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Feeling Restless

Writing-wise, I am feeling very restless lately. I started working on an erotica story (no romance, really, although the story features a husband fulfilling a couple of his wife’s fantasies and to me that’s romantic) a couple of weeks ago, but it stalled out because of some of the same factors that caused me to stop writing romance and erotic content in the first place. Now I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to finish it, because even though I think I’ve worked through those factors, I’ve kind of lost interest in the story.

Meanwhile, I keep getting flashes of inspiration for romances, which is cool. I haven’t had that in months. But… the flashes by themselves aren’t enough to create stories, and when I try to brainstorm something based on one of those flashes, I get stuck. Or lose interest.

I used to have a brainstorm buddy, but he isn’t in my life right now, unfortunately. I miss having someone to talk to who understands writing enough to talk with me about it, and cares enough about me and my writing career to *want* to talk about it. His brain was as twisted as mine, and between the two of us, we came up with some pretty cool things, plus he could talk me through the “what the heck am I doing, this story sucks” stages of writing and revising.

But I have to do those things for myself now, and it isn’t always easy. I do hope to bring out some new stories soon, because I miss the romance writing. I just have to get past this restlessness and make my brain cooperate.

Teaser Thursday- Hummus on Rye

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Someone knocked on the door. The same sharp rap as earlier, so I suspected it was the same person. “That’s probably them.”

“That would be my luck.” Tobias went to the door.

He barely had it open before Polly said, “Alpha, I asked your mate to have you come see me as soon as you were available. Didn’t he give you my message?”

“He did.” Tobias squared his shoulders, and I knew without even being able to see his face that he was giving her that alpha stare that always made me want to hide somewhere. She shrank back. “Didn’t it occur to you that just because I’d come back might not mean I was available?”

“I apologize if I’ve interrupted something, Alpha.” She said it so fast the words slurred together. “Did he tell you what we need to discuss?”

“He said that you’re upset about our new neighbors.” Tobias leaned against the doorway. Obviously he had as little intention of letting Polly into the apartment as I’d had. “We’ve always lived amongst humans, Polly. There is no other way. We’re in the biggest city in New England. Where would we go to be away from them?”

“They’ve never lived amongst us before,” she argued.

He tilted his head to the side. “Really? Have you forgotten how long Kyle lived here before Melia attacked him?”

“That was different.” She sounded like he’d taken some of the bluster out of her, and she was frowning. “He’s only one person. And you had an interest in him.”

“So if I was interested in Trey it would be different?” Tobias said. “Somehow, I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think your problem is humans in general. I think your problem is human children.”

“It isn’t safe for a child to be around here,” she said. “You know better than anyone what can happen to a child.”

“And that would be why the pack is under my order to allow no harm to come to this child,” Tobias said coldly. “Don’t talk about my past, Polly. You know nothing about it. As long as everyone obeys pack law, there’s no need to be afraid for the child living here.”

“They shouldn’t be here,” she said. “It’s annoying and unsafe, and they should leave.”

“I’m sure they’d be glad to know their neighbors are looking out for them.” Tobias’s sarcastic tone outdid mine. “Again, the pack is under law not to harm them or allow any harm to come to them. Bear that in mind. And no, I won’t be asking the Damones to leave. That isn’t my right. If you have a problem with them as neighbors, take it up with the landlord.”

“I’ll just go to them.”

Tobias straightened again, and compulsion surrounded us. “No, you won’t. You will not speak to Trey or Michael Damone. Do you understand me, Polly?”

“Yes, Alpha,” she said slowly.

Harriet looked at me. “Tobias did the same thing when you moved in, setting a law to protect you, but there wasn’t quite so much opposition.”

“I wonder what she has against kids,” I said.

“I don’t have anything against kids.” Of course Polly had heard us. She wasn’t standing that far away, and we hadn’t exactly made an effort to be quiet. “Just against kids being in our territory.”

“Polly, go home,” Tobias said, and again he added compulsion to his words. “You have your answer, and I have work to do before tomorrow’s hunt.”

“Thank you for listening to me, Alpha.” She spun on one heel and clomped back up the stairs to her apartment.

Tobias closed the door and sagged against it. “There has to be something behind this,” he said. “She’s never acted like this before. Right now, I’m not sure I care enough to figure it out. She’ll stay away from them. That’s the important thing.”

“Hopefully,” I said.

“Hopefully?”

“You told her not to speak to them. You didn’t tell her to stay away from them.” I’d learned that compulsions had to be phrased exactly right in order to have the wolf do what was intended. Or not do, in this case.

Teaser Thursday- Veggie Burgers to Go

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Tobias scowled at the floor. “I should have known better.”

“Stop it.” He’d said that far too many times. If he kept it up, I might start to believe he honestly regretted my being with him here. Which would be a short jump to assuming he regretted being with me at all.

Of course, I knew he didn’t mean that. Saul’s diatribe had hit everyone hard. My gut hadn’t stopped aching yet. Suzannah had called the guy a homophobe, and he definitely wasn’t the first of that ilk I’d encountered. I just hadn’t expected the complete, black-holish hatred.

“I’m the only alpha in North America with a male mate,” Tobias muttered. “For all I know, I’m the only one in the world. Alphas are supposed to have mates. That doesn’t mean the rest of the shifter world is ready for a homosexual alpha.”

“Will you shut up?” Actually, I was glad for his rant. He wasn’t holding everything in the way he so often did. I didn’t really want him to stop talking, despite the pain that accompanied his words. What hurt him, hurt me, and I was already hurting enough from my own reaction to Saul’s bullshit. I only told him to shut up because I was afraid if he realized I wanted him to talk, he would stop. He was like that sometimes.

“I thought they’d be ready,” he went on. “Zane accepts us. So does Chal. When the Arkhon and one of the most powerful alphas in the region are accepting, is it that unreasonable to think the others might be?”

“No.” If telling him to stop talking about it didn’t work, maybe agreeing with him would.

He stood. “I have to go. I need to meet with Zane about this. He isn’t going to let Saul get away with attacking us in the meeting. I need to make sure the consequences fit the action.”

“You need to sit back down.” He was too upset to face anyone else. The tension in his body told me he was holding onto his temper by a thin thread. I was damned if I would let him just walk away.

Besides, according to our host this was our honeymoon. We’d been too tired the night before to take advantage of our accommodations. Now I was far from tired.

And Tobias could use the distraction.

If I managed to persuade him to stay in the room long enough to distract him. He walked toward the door as if he hadn’t even heard me tell him to sit. Knowing him, he hadn’t. One-track mind, that was my Tobias.

I jumped in front of him. “I said sit.”

“I’m not a dog,” he growled. “Move out of my way, Kyle.”

“You’re not a dog,” I agreed. “You’re one hell of a pissed-off wolf, and you’re going to stay here with your mate and forget about nimrodistic jackwads who think they’re better because they fuck a pussy instead of an ass.”

That didn’t even get a smile out of him, which told me just how pissed off he really was. “Move.”

I folded my arms and braced myself. If he wanted to move me physically, he’d be able to. If he kept trying to use compulsion on me the way he just had, he’d be out of luck. His anger fueled the compulsion enough that it actually tugged at me, but I was still abundantly able to ignore him. “I don’t think so.”

Teaser Thursday- Reflected Love

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Listrial sat up when she entered the room. Ralie ignored him for the moment. She hadn’t worked at her job long enough to risk ticking off her employer. Her phone was still where she remembered leaving it, fortunately. She dialed and asked to speak to her boss when the receptionist answered, then gave her supervisor a halfway thought-out excuse about food poisoning, the only thing she could think of off the top of her head that would make her sick enough to need to stay home. He expressed his hope that she would feel better soon, and she hung up.

“You talk to people through that?” Listrial asked.

“Yeah.” Ralie handed the phone to him, and he turned it over in his hands, looking confused. “Please don’t ask me to explain how it works. I’m not completely sure, and I haven’t had enough coffee to try to explain anything.”

“Coffee?” He licked his lips. “That, at least, is something with which I’m familiar. At least if it has anything in common with the drink we have at home.”

Given how little their worlds seemed to have in common, Ralie doubted her coffee would be anything like what Listrial drank. Especially since all she had was instant. “I’ll make you some,” she offered. “Then we really need to talk.”

“I agree.” He stood. “May I help you with anything?”

“Thanks, but I know where everything is and you don’t.” She would eventually have to show him where she kept things. For the moment, she didn’t want to take the time.

She went over to her cupboards and took out the jar of instant coffee and the only two mugs she owned. She filled her kettle with water and set it on the burner, then went back to Listrial, who hadn’t moved from his spot. “The water will take a while to boil,” Ralie explained, sitting beside him.

“In that jar, those brown things?” he asked.

“That’s coffee. Instant.” She looked down at her hands. “That probably doesn’t mean anything to you. How much should I explain to you, Listrial? How much do you really want to know about this place?”

“I’m unsure,” he admitted. He rested his hand on her knee. “I thank you for the place to sleep and for your care last night. I may have seemed ungrateful. Truly your assistance meant a great deal.”

“You didn’t seem ungrateful.” She hesitated. “Are you going to stay or try to find your way back through the mirror?”

“If I return home, I will return to the Unseelie ruling my world,” he said slowly. “At least ruling the lands once held by my Queen. If they truly killed her as they said, the Unseelie Queen has right to my Queen’s holdings now. As a Seelie soldier, I would likely not be allowed to live.”

“This isn’t an easy world to get used to,” she said quietly. “Even for those of us who’ve always lived here.” She didn’t know whether she would be able to handle the responsibility of helping him acclimate to her world. When she’d seen him through the mirror, she had wanted desperately to be with him. Now that she had him in her home, she wondered if she really wanted him there.

At least, her mind wondered. Her heart had no question. She loved Listrial, and looking at him, she knew that what the mirror had said was true. They belonged together. He belonged there. And she did want him.

Teaser Thursday- Beta Test

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The next morning, Justin awakened with his arms around Tareth. Throughout the night, he had awakened every time she moved, although he was usually a heavy sleeper. He didn’t want to let her go. After what had happened the day before, he didn’t want her out of his sight.

Which meant she wouldn’t be the only one staying home from work that day. He still didn’t want to leave the room, but he had a few phone calls to make. Carefully he eased himself out of bed and went to the living room. He hoped he hadn’t disturbed Tareth. She was thoroughly exhausted from everything that happened the night before and in the middle of the night that he wanted to let her rest as long as she could this morning.

It was only seven o’clock, but Justin doubted Chal was still asleep. Even though Chal had left him in charge, he wanted to check with the Alpha before he decided to take the day off. He also needed to talk to him about Tareth. The more he thought about it, the less he wanted to leave her behind in Boston while he went to the hunt the following night. She would be alone in the house while the wolves hunted, but that would likely be safer than staying in the city. If an intruder showed up at Sharon’s, the wolves would smell him.

Chal once again answered on the first ring. “Justin.”

“Alpha.” Justin chose to be formal, hoping it would help his case. “I’ve told Tareth to take the day off. After what occurred at the office yesterday, I think she should take a break. She was injured worse than she wanted to let on.”

“I agree. It might be best if she takes the rest of the week off, since the office is closed tomorrow.” Given how many pack members worked for Chal at the office and warehouse, both locations closed on the day of the full moon each month. Chal paused. “You want to take today off as well.”

“I’m concerned about leaving Tareth alone.”

“Put Connor in charge of the warehouse and Jillian in charge of the office for the day,” Chal said. “I think they’ll be best able to manage.”

“Thank you, Alpha,” Justin replied. “I have one more thing I wanted to discuss with you.”

“If you bring Tareth with you tomorrow night, how will you keep her safe?”

Once again, Chal had read his mind. That made things easier, though it also disturbed Justin somewhat. “I can make sure she’s in her room before the sun sets. If I tell her to stay there, she’ll listen. She knows that it might be dangerous, and I don’t plan to bring her unless she agrees. I just think that surrounded by the pack, she would be safer than at her home or mine.”

“You have my permission to bring her if she’s willing to go,” Chal said. “None of the pack is responsible if she is harmed there.”

“Thank you, Alpha.” He wouldn’t hold any of the pack responsible. He knew all too well how shifting affected one’s thoughts. If Tareth wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time, it would be no one’s fault if she was hurt, but his.

He would kill any wolf that hurt her. He just wouldn’t hold that wolf responsible.

Teaser Thursday- Their Home Port

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Saturday morning, she woke with nothing to do except laundry and grocery shopping. At least, she would do her shopping if she dared brave the grocery store on a Saturday morning, which she usually didn’t.

Other than those things, she would just sit and wait for Micah’s call. She hadn’t been this nervous about a date since high school, and her nerves then had come from the knowledge that her stepsister would do something to mess it up for her. Now she had no reason to be nervous other than knowing that she was about to have her first date with a man who made her entire body tingle.

Laundry sounded better than sitting around thinking about tingles. It was just a date. No reason to be all sappy about it.

Over the course of the morning and early afternoon, she made several trips down and up the stairs between her apartment and the building’s laundry room. Just for something to do, she’d decided to wash all her bedding and everything she’d worn even once since her last laundry foray. It didn’t amount to much, but the landlord had only sprung for an apartment-sized washer and dryer in the basement, shared among the tenants of the six units in the building, so it took a while for Reesa to finish all her laundry.

During her final trip up the stairs, her cell phone, which she’d shoved into the pocket of her cut-off shorts, rang. With her arms full of sheets, she couldn’t answer it, so she ran the last flight to her apartment and tossed the bedding onto the couch. By the time she managed to yank the phone from her pocket, she’d missed the call.

The display showed an unfamiliar number. She waited a few minutes to see whether the caller left a message. No voice mail showed up.

It had to have been Micah. Still, she didn’t usually return calls from unfamiliar numbers, and it took her a few minutes to work herself up to calling this one back.

“Hello?” Micah’s deep voice came from the other end of the phone.

Reesa’s heart gave a happy little skip. “Hi, it’s Reesa. Did you call me?”

“I did,” he replied warmly. “I wanted to see what time you’d be able to meet. And…” He cleared his throat. “My stupid car still won’t start. I’m having it towed to the mechanic down the street. He said it won’t be ready ‘til Monday at the earliest, though. So even though it’s highly irregular, I wondered if you’d pick me up instead of the other way around.”

Her cheeks ached from the grin which spread across her face, and she chuckled at “highly irregular.” “Sure, I’d like that,” she replied casually. “Your place?”

“I don’t have a place,” he reminded her. “But yeah, please pick me up at my parents’. I feel horrible about not being able to give you the full date experience, with me picking you up and handing you flowers and everything. I’ll crawl on my hands and knees if you want.”

She laughed. “I don’t mind a bit. You don’t even need to crawl. So I assume we’re going somewhere other than your parents’ house?”

“Bringing a date to my parents’ would make me feel about fifteen years old,” he muttered. “Like I said, I want you to have the full date experience. Maybe I won’t be able to do the picking you up part, but I can still take you somewhere nice. Would you rather spend an afternoon walking in the park, or go somewhere for dinner?”

“You decide.” Reesa hated making decisions like that. When she’d gone on dates before, she’d always let the men decide where to take her.

Of course, that hadn’t worked out too well with Charles.

Micah’s parents’ deck looked like a nice, quiet place to sit and talk. With the trees surrounding it, it gave the sense of being in the country somewhere, even though it sat only a couple miles from the city. She wouldn’t have minded just hanging out with him there. She understood his point, though.

So they’d go somewhere. He’d called it a date, which gave her a warm, fuzzy feeling. No wonder he didn’t want to just sit on the deck. Dates didn’t do that.

Teaser Thursday- With My Heart

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He chose to wait outside and checked the time on his phone every few seconds. No messages came from Cole, and the clock didn’t seem to be moving particularly quickly. Finally, at ten minutes past seven, he saw Cole heading up the street toward him. Ignoring the impulse to meet him, Merit stayed where he was until Cole reached him. “I was getting worried you weren’t going to show.”

“Sorry.” Cole didn’t sound especially apologetic. “I ended up having to work a little later than planned—” He broke off and stared at the passing cars for a moment. “No, that’s bullshit. I’m pissed at you, but I’m not going to lie to you.”

Merit’s heart sank, and he knew he didn’t want to hear what Cole was about to say. But he asked anyway. “Where were you?”

“Last night I went out with a guy from work.” Cole hesitated. “I thought about taking him home. I didn’t. I left him at the bar and went home alone. That’s part of why I’m so pissed at you right now. I had the chance to get laid, and I couldn’t do it because I felt like I would be betraying you. And then I find out you had the same chance and took it.”

“I’m sorry.” Merit could barely hear his own voice over the noise of the traffic.

“Don’t be.” Cole took a breath. “Tonight, I asked him out again. When you told me what you did last night, I wanted to do the same thing. And once again, I couldn’t. He was in my truck, hand on my thigh, and I told him to stop because I still felt like I would be betraying you. And I wouldn’t have liked myself very much if I’d fucked him just to get payback.”

“You’re a better person than I am.” Merit let out a long breath. Cole hadn’t done what Merit had feared he would. Merit didn’t know whether he would have fucked someone for revenge if the situation had been reversed, but he didn’t want to give himself too much credit. He might have. And Cole hadn’t. That was what mattered. Cole hadn’t done it.

“No, I’m not,” Cole said. “I thought about fucking him. I wanted to hurt you. That isn’t good. But you aren’t a bad guy, Merit. As you said, you didn’t do anything wrong. Let’s go in and talk about this over food. My blood sugar is dropping too much to handle this conversation right now.”

“Okay.” Merit’s stomach was churning so much he doubted he would be able to eat, but given that he hadn’t had a solid meal since breakfast that morning, he figured he should try to choke down some food.

They found a seat fairly easily and placed their orders before continuing their discussion. “I can’t forget about you sleeping with someone else,” Cole said.

“Can you forgive it?” Merit braced himself for the answer.

“You didn’t do anything I need to forgive you for.” Cole sighed. “I kind of think I should forgive you, or not. I feel like you did something wrong, but you really didn’t. This whole ‘we aren’t exclusive’ thing isn’t working for me, though. I know it’s only been a day, but I don’t want to do it. The way I felt when you told me you were with someone else last night, I don’t ever want to feel again.”

“Yeah, and I don’t ever want to hurt you like this again.” Merit stopped himself before he rambled on about how sorry he was. He hadn’t done anything he needed to apologize for. The only thing he had done wrong was suggest they see others in the first place.

It had seemed a good idea at the time. They were arguing too much, and taking a breather had sounded reasonable. He wasn’t entirely sure it hadn’t been, but looking at the man across the table from him, he could see the pain he had caused. He definitely didn’t want to do that again.

Teaser Thursday- Dancing Away

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They headed down the sidewalk. “I teach dance. I perform. There’s a lot to do,” Merit said.

“Right. That makes sense.” Cole paused. “You’ve really settled in here, huh?”

“Very much. I love living here. It’s a lot more open than our hometown.”

“Yeah.” Cole looked around at the buildings and people they were passing. “Yeah, I can see that. I’m glad you found a place where you’re happy.”

“So am I.” Merit glanced at him out of the corner of his eye. He sensed Cole wanted to say something else and didn’t quite dare. Despite his curiosity, he wasn’t about to ask what that might be. If Cole had something to say, he could just say it.

Cole didn’t say anything for a moment, just kept walking. Merit stayed beside him, willing himself to stay silent. Whatever the guy was thinking, Merit refused to try to read his mind or to push him in any way.

“I work for my uncle,” Cole said suddenly.

“You told me that,” Merit said. “Is there a reason you’re repeating it?”

“If I didn’t work for him, things might be easier.” He hesitated. “If I didn’t work for him, I’d be able to move. He has everything set up so that when he retires, I take over the company, and he’s retiring pretty soon. Within the next couple years, most likely. I can’t just leave him in the lurch.”

“Did anyone ask you to?” Merit felt a bit of mental whiplash trying to keep up with Cole’s thoughts.

“I asked me to.” Cole shook his head. “I know I’m not making a lot of sense. I haven’t really thought this through, and it’s hard to figure out what I’m saying while we’re walking up the street. Too many distractions.”

“Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?”

Cole snorted. “Not always. Look, we need to sit somewhere and talk. This place looks good.” He gestured at the bar and grill they’d stopped beside. “Hopefully it’ll be quiet enough we can hear each other.”

“Sure.” Merit hoped so, because he was growing a little tired of not really knowing what was going on. Cole obviously had something on his mind, but he was jumping around so much with his words that Merit couldn’t even begin to keep up.

It sounded like Cole was thinking about moving to the city. And he didn’t have any reason to do that other than being with Merit. Merit didn’t know how to feel about that. A guy—not just a guy, but Cole Dellany—was thinking about changing his whole life for him.

He decided he was better off not trying to figure out what to say until Cole clarified what he was talking about.

They went inside and found a small table near the front window. “What do you want to drink?” Cole asked. “My treat.”

“I won’t argue with free drinks, but I’ll just have a soda,” Merit replied. “Rehearsal in less than an hour, remember?”

“Right. I’ll be right back.” Cole went to the bar to order their drinks while Merit sat and looked out at the passers-by. He’d only come to apologize to Cole for the way he’d acted on Sunday. He hadn’t planned on having a serious, potentially life-changing conversation, and yet that seemed to be where they were headed.

Cole returned with a bottle of local beer and a glass which he set in front of Merit. “Soda, as requested.”

“Thanks.” Merit took a sip. “Look, you obviously have something to say. I’m having a little trouble figuring out what it is and we’re running short on time, so if you wouldn’t mind just saying it, that would help me out a lot.”

Cole swigged some of his beer and took a deep breath. “Fair enough. I don’t want to go back. I want to stay here. With you.”

Teaser Thursday- You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This

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Eventually, the lack of music registered on her consciousness and she stopped in the middle of the floor. Her heart sped up and she turned toward the door, not knowing what to expect.

Stefan stood there with a tentative smile. “You’re beautiful when you dance.”

She didn’t return his smile. Until she figured out whether they were about to make up or whether he just wanted to tell her off, she didn’t want to let him know how happy the sight of him made her. “Thank you.”

“May I come in?”

She shrugged. “The studio doesn’t belong to me. I can’t tell you to stay out even if I wanted to.”

“You’re angry with me.” He entered and stopped only a few steps inside. “I’m sorry I haven’t answered your calls. I’m here now. Can we talk, please?”

“I think that would be a good idea, if you’re sure you want to talk.” She certainly wouldn’t force him to have a discussion if he wanted to avoid her. And given the unreturned calls, he didn’t want to say anything to her.

He held out his hand. She ignored it, and he let it drop back to his side. “When you walked out on me, it pissed me off, I admit. You didn’t even give us a chance to talk about where things are or where we see them going. I haven’t had many relationships, so I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure when two people are together they’re supposed to discuss things. That’s why I didn’t want to talk to you on the phone.”

“Because I pissed you off.”

“Partly,” he agreed. “Mostly because if one or both of us is going to be upset, we should be together to hold each other.” He took her hand. “We’d just gotten things started between us.”

“Yeah.” Her heart sank. “I might have messed up. You had a share in that argument, though.”

“Yes, I did.” He pressed a key on the laptop, and the opening notes of his favorite song filled the room. “Dance with me, Erin. Then we’ll talk.”

Reluctantly, she allowed him to lead her into the center of the room. Reluctant only because she wanted to sort things out with him without procrastinating. Her body took over from her mind as the music played, and they moved smoothly together through the steps and variations they’d done before.

The touch of his hands electrified her. The music flowed through them, connecting them in the dance. All the joy she’d felt dancing with him returned to her. Their argument didn’t matter. Her anger evaporated, and she allowed herself to simply feel the dance, to follow without anticipating. To do what she loved most.

He pulled her to him, and rather than releasing her in the next beat, touched his lips to hers. She cupped his face in her hands, deepening the kiss as desire coursed through her.

He tightened his arms around her. His tongue sought entry to her mouth and she parted her lips to allow it. Her nipples stiffened as their tongues touched. She wanted him, and her body didn’t care that they stood in a dance studio where students would shortly arrive. She needed the closeness of his body.

He broke the kiss, breathing heavily. “I love you.”

I Wrote That?

One of the reasons I decided to take a hiatus from writing was because I felt like my writing–especially sex scenes–had become stale and repetitive. That’s sometimes the price one pays when one tries to write too much in too short a time.

Here are two scenes that show a little of what I’m talking about. One is from one of my most recent releases. One is from a few years ago. I’ve taken out character names so there’s no hint of which book is from which year. (Both have been published.) See if you can guess which book is which. I’ll let you know at the end of the post.

 

Snippet 1:

She turned her face up to look at him, and he met her lips with his. The kiss was filled with love and heat, which quickly grew to hunger. Hers. This man was hers and she was his, and she couldn’t believe they had waited so long to say so.

His tongue met hers. He cupped her breast. Moaning, she took one hand off him to fumble with the buttons on her blouse. She craved his touch on her skin.

 

Snippet 2:

The beat of the song was low and throbbing. For West Coast Swing, the music worked well because of how easily the count of the beat could be followed. However, this song had obviously been written with something in mind that involved much more contact between bodies. The bass thrummed through her and her pussy kept time, moistening with arousal so strong it nearly pushed her out of the dance.

 

When I re-read some of my older stuff, written and published prior to 2012, I’m sometimes astonished at how good it is. Especially the sex scenes. I’ve found a few recently in books I wrote in 2010 and 2011 that I could hardly believe were actually my work. And it wasn’t only in published books; I found scenes in a couple of unpublished manuscripts, meaning they didn’t have the benefit of an editor’s guidance. I wrote those scenes myself.

When I look at some of my newer stuff, though… it’s different. The technical aspects of the writing are still good, but my heart clearly wasn’t in writing those scenes, and nothing my editors and I did could change that. Between the end of 2011 and now, I tried to write too much. I got burned out. My personal romantic life went through some changes, and PTSD did some figurative ass-kicking on me, and somewhere along the line, I lost my ability to write scenes where the characters–and hopefully the readers–are begging for more.

Reading my older stories, I remember how much I loved writing them. Even though writing sex scenes has never been exactly easy for me, I at least *wanted* to write them. My heart was fully invested in showing all aspects of the growing relationship between the characters, physical and emotional. And I liked finding different ways to show what they were feeling, without resorting to cliches, repetition, and flat out saying it.

If I wrote that way before, I will be able to again. But I think taking the step back and giving my brain some breathing room was definitely a good idea. Maybe this way, I’ll find the joy in my real life again, and that will bring the joy back to writing these books.

WithEveryTouch_covertnKiss 100

The covers above are in the same order as the snippets. With Every Touch was released in March of this year. You Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This was released in February 2011.