I originally wrote this art-historical essay about The Absinthe Drinkers by Jean-François Raffaëlli (1850-1924) for another project entirely separate from my author life. I include it now as context and background material to my Victorian erotic romance stories. Book 6 of my Harwell Heirs series, Their Noble Deceit, will have a mention of absinthe drinking by heroes Norrington and Ravensburgh.
In 2018, I was on a Seasoned Romance panel at the Emerald City Writers Conference. My topic was “Sex and the Seasoned Romance”. I was recently reminded of this presentation when another author posted a rather shocking comment in a seasoned romance author discussion group I am no longer a member of:
“I would not write an erotic romance about an older couple…simply because there’s a level of maturity that makes their sexual relationship much deeper and more meaningful, because of all they’ve been through.”
Uh…that’s exactly why an author can write a seasoned erotic romance! Or even just sex scenes featuring seasoned characters.
I’m still trying to get my head around what this author might have meant. Does she think “erotic romance” means lots of vacuous, meaningless sex? Because that’s not what an erotic romance is at all. In fact, the “maturity that makes their sexual relationship much deeper and more meaningful” feeds into what an erotic romance is: a sexual journey leading to a happily-ever-after. Continue reading →
This re-post of an interview I did with romance author Betty Bolte is the fourth in a series of blog interviews I’ve done over the years. The first post explains my purpose.
Betty Bolte’s Interview
Today’s post is from a 2020 interview I did for Betty Bolte’s blog to promote Resistance. Betty is one of the authors who participated in the Common Elements Romance Project, and she generously offered space on her popular blog for her colleagues. Continue reading →
In the opulent palace of Ctesiphon, the capital of ancient Parthia, lives a princess who searches for the stolen throne of her kingdom, the sella regia. She engages the services of a palace eunuch in her quest, a handsome and astute advisor. Over the years, respect and esteem transform into love, love deepens into trust, trust sparks sexual exploration.
Creating a romantic connection between characters is what a romance writer does. And sometimes that writer is given an opportunity to explore the relationship beyond the happily-ever-after, to take a peek into the life of a couple after that first flush of excitement.
Continuing a romance is especially wonderful if the characters are beloved characters, more so if these are characters who almost did not make the page. Continue reading →
Naughty Getaways: Eleven Sultry Stories is out! And it includes my ancient world romance, “An Unexpected Discovery” set in Parthia, the kingdom to the east of the Roman Empire. My heroine, Roedogune, is based on an actual historic figure, a Parthian princess who, along with the Parthian imperial throne, was captured by the Romans during their invasion of Ctesiphon, the capital of the Parthian Empire. Continue reading →
Both are set on San Juan Island in Washington state, very close to the Canadian border. It’s a place near and dear to my heart. It’s pretty remote, accessible only by boat or plane. In the summer, the island is crawling with tourists. In the winter, only the locals remain. Continue reading →
Imperial Warriors: Two Scorching Tales of the Roman Empire is out! This mini-anthology includes previously published stories now available together for the first time. “The Promise of Memory” was published in Hot Highlanders and Wild Warriors, and “Protecting Her” was published in Conquests: An Anthology of Smoldering Viking Romance. It’s my very first anthology of my own stories, which means it’s really a “collection of short stories” rather than an anthology (which implies several authors). But I’m calling it a mini-anthology because I like that word!
And it’s on sale for only 99¢!
To celebrate my new release, I’m keeping the price to only 99¢ for the month of June! [UPDATE: I’m keeping it at this price through August!] For this fabulously low price you get not only two scorching historical erotic romances, you get an introduction chock full of history plus a mini-bibliography, and an enticing excerpt from my historical erotica epic, Hadrian and Sabina: A Love Story. Continue reading →
In Part One of this blog miniseries, we learned how Victorian doctors defined “hysteria” and how they treated it. Spoiler alert: doctors used various methods of stimulation to bring women to achieve the “hysterical paroxysm”, i.e., an orgasm.
Around 1879, the electric or electro-mechanical vibrator was introduced into doctors’ tools of the trade for treating hysteria. Vibrators were first used in France, then this method spread to the rest of the European continent, England, and America.
But what did this Victorian stimulation device look like? One perhaps imagines corseted women cowering as a mustachioed doctor approaches with some bizarre Steampunkish contraption… Continue reading →
I recently saw a revival of the play In The Next Room, Or The Vibrator Play by Sarah Ruhl. In case you haven’t heard about this play it takes place in upstate New York in the 1880s. A doctor provides treatments for hysteria – to both women and men – using the latest technology, the electric vibrator. In the course of the play there is emotional and sexual discovery amongst all the characters, along with several orgasms.
I originally saw the play in February 2009 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California. The play had been written for the Berkeley Rep and made its debut there before being launched on Broadway. I’m not a theater regular – I do see shows from time to time – but when I heard about this play, I absolutely had to see it.
Let’s just get this out of the way, but the History Channel’s production of Vikings has given a sexy cachet to the fiercest warriors of the Middle Ages. When Delilah put out a call for stories in a Viking erotic romance anthology, my heart just went pitter-pat with excitement.
And then the excitement sort of dissipated.
My knowledge of Vikings is limited given their era is out of my purview. My field of study is Late Roman into the early Byzantine (roughly 200-600 CE), and the Viking Age starts around 790 CE. I worried I would not have sufficient knowledge to pull off a believable story.
Except that Delilah mentioned in her call for submissions the “Rus who served in the Byzantine Varangian Guard”.