How’d I End Up Here? The Journey of an Erotic Romance Writer

CARINA_0114_9781426897863_PurelyProfessionalGuest blog by Elia Winters, author of Purely Professional

Hi folks! Thanks to Love Romance Passion for hosting me today. I’m excited to be sharing my story with you.

Like most writers, I’ve been writing stories ever since I could remember. I set out to write longer works in high school, cutting my “novel teeth” on two book-length monstrosities of mediocre Star Wars fanfiction. (I still have them. Please don’t ask.) In my budding curiosity about sex and love and relationships, though, I realized the scenes I really wanted to write were far too naughty for traditional fiction. I’d already started sneaking my mother’s romance novels, but I wasn’t invested in the stories; I’d just skim them and look for the sex scenes.

Much of my sexual education came from these illicit paperbacks left on the coffee table. I knew the mechanics of sex: I’d had the standard mediocre sex education common to America’s public school system, and my mom had given me The Talk when I was nine. I didn’t understand why people had sex, though, until I read The Mammoth Hunters by Jean M. Auel back in 8th grade. I probably had no business reading that book, but it sparked my curiosity, and within a year I was well on my way to filching Nora Roberts romances and skimming for the juicy parts whenever my mom wasn’t around.

It wasn’t long before I tried my hand at writing romance. Not whole books, not yet, but scenes. The first ones – *cringe* – were Star Wars fanfiction, just like my first novels. (My geekiness runs deep, in case you weren’t sure.) Soon after, though, I started branching out into fictional characters of my own creation and actual detailed sex scenes. This collection of stories made the rounds in my high school social circle, handed off to friends between classes and read discretely during study hall, always one step ahead of the administration of our conservative Catholic school. I still can’t believe we were never caught.

I continued to write novels all through college and beyond, but I didn’t settle on erotic romance as a genre for quite some time. I wrote a little of everything: fantasy, young adult, science fiction, even horror. An avid participant in National Novel Writing Month, I soon ended up with a dozen or so novels tucked away in the digital junk drawer of my hard drive. Finally, I decided to write a novel just for me, indulging all my whims and fantasies in one text. The resulting first draft became Purely Professional, just released from Carina Press.

It’s been easy to continue writing erotic romance. I love the stories, the characters, the hot sex and the happy endings. I still enjoy reading and writing other genres, too, and might someday revise some of the other novels lying in wait in my hard drive. In the meantime, though, I can’t seem to stop writing erotic romance, and you can expect a lot more of it from me in the future.

About Purely Professional

Columnist Bridget Hartwell agrees to write about BDSM to impress her new executive editor at Sultry, the “sex-positive magazine for sex-positive women.” Unfortunately, it’s a topic she knows absolutely nothing about…but if she ever wants that promotion, she’ll need to learn the ropes, fast.

English professor Max Harlow is active in the Dom/sub scene, but only for casual play—he’s never found his ideal partner: a woman who is his equal, but sexually submissive. When he’s asked to explain the lifestyle to his cute but obviously inexperienced neighbor, Max is certain it’s best to approach it academically—to keep things purely professional.

Until Bridget’s first article is a huge hit, giving her the perfect excuse to delve deeper into the naturally submissive side of her sexuality. But as their encounters intensify and each of her boundaries is skillfully pushed, Bridget must decide what this all means… for her identity, her career, and, most importantly, her future with Max.

Buy: Purely Professional

elia_avatar_highresAbout the Author

Elia Winters has always been a New England girl, despite having spent much of her childhood in Florida. She holds a degree in English Literature and teaches at a small rural high school.  She dabbles in many genres, but erotic romance has been one of her favorites since she first began sneaking her mother’s romance novels. Elia currently lives in New England with her loving husband and their odd assortment of pets, where she balances her love of the outdoors with a bottomless well of geekiness.

Elia has a virtual life as busy as her real life. In addition to her website, you can find her on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Buy: Purely Professional

Review: Claimed (Club Sin, Book 1) by Stacey Kennedy

claimedReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: This is supposed to be “a novel of erotic discovery and forbidden desire that goes beyond Fifty Shades of Grey.” Presley Flynn wants to experience everything her heart desires, and will do anything to get the man she wants into the bargain once she gets into the world of exclusive Club Sin in Las Vegas. Unlike the other women who frequent Club Sin, Presley has never indulged in kinky sex, so that means she’s never been tied up, whipped, and been made to feel submissive to any male in her life – this makes her special in other peoples eyes, especially one man, Dmitri.

Dmitri Pratt is the man who wants to show her all the delights of being a submissive and he would jump at the chance of being her Master within the confines of Club Sin. She is the perfect muse for him to enjoy as she stirs a passion inside him no one else can produce.

Review: For those familiar with Fifty Shades of Gray by EL James, this book is along similar lines and is penned by the same author who wrote Werewolves Be Damned, Beg For It, Some Like it Wicked, Corporate Temptress and Bind Me. An aficionado with ultra erotic romance, Stacey Kennedy doesn’t throw her readers into the BDSM scene with Club Sin being the backdrop of the main two characters. Instead she takes it at a slower pace so that the reader can take in the general atmosphere of a BDSM club; the sights, sounds and dare I say it, smells. The story takes the reader on a journey through Presley’s eyes and lets you experience what she does along with her, which is much better than being tossed in at the deep end. Stacey is considerate to her readers and it shows in this, the first of her novels.

Presley is a caring and considerate character, (I thought she might be based on the author in some ways) as although she has a mind of her own, she cares about how she looks in front of others, but in the world of BDSM that sort of emotion doesn’t matter as people are accepted for who they are within the ‘scene.’ While she plays Doms and Subs with her new master, they can grow to understand each other both in and out of the club, and that is also when their love begins to blossom. Dmitri is a forceful kind of guy who doesn’t suffer fools gladly – in fact he doesn’t take kindly to her ex-boyfriend trying to muscle in on their time together. As Presley is a kind soul, he won’t allow a man who slept with another woman spend time with her when he can be the better boyfriend.

Summary: One other thing that Stacey does is when she introduces her readers to the BDSM scene, she takes a softly softly approach that, if you have never experienced it before is rather nice as I have read and experienced the harder written erotica novels based within a club setting and found them too heavy.

I would say that for those who have never read this kind of story, this would be a great way of starting out with erotic novels based on the Fifty Shades series, and I am itching to read the next novel as I will be wondering where it will take me.

Buy: Claimed: Club Sin

Rating: ★★★★★

Review: His by Elizabeth Coldwell

by Sharon S., guest reviewer

Okay, when I was offered a chance to review this, I jumped! You should know by now I *love* m/m especially when there is a dominant/submissive relationship, and after reading the blurb I was excited.

I have mixed feelings about this story. I will start with what I liked. The story is set in London and based on the prose I would think Coldwell is from the U.K. It added a surprising and fun element to the story once I wrapped my brain around the slang. I really liked the main characters. Dante is the owner of a very exclusive, what I would call hard core, BDSM club. The author is definitely knowledgeable about the Mater/Slave relationship. Sean is inexperienced and naïve when it comes to the BDSM scene, and had no idea what he was getting into when he accepted an invitation to the club. He is a natural submissive, but didn’t realize this until Dante decided to make him his slave for the weekend. The myriad of emotions Sean went through while being Dante’s slave were believable.

I have read BDSM erotica, but this was what I would call “hard core”. I am sure some people like this type, but it wasn’t for me. I prefer a more romance in my m/m stories. This was a little to true to life. Dante admits to having feelings for Sean and wanting to pursue a more permanent relationship, but he was still going to have other men and loan Sean out to other Masters. This isn’t love to me.

I can’t really rate this story based on the sexual content. This type of erotica isn’t my thing, but if you like hard core BDSM, then I think you will like this. I did enjoy the writing and characters. This is a 64 page novella and a quick read.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: His, His (UK)

Review: Spice ‘n’ Solace by K.C. Burn

by Sharon S., guest reviewer

When it comes to m/m I am very forgiving of the plot device used as long as I love the characters and connect to them. Funny, how this doesn’t hold true for my m/f reads, damn double standards <G>.

I would classify this novella as an erotic read, which means it was a little more detailed than I like and some of the word choices could have been classier, but that is just me. That being said, I loved the main characters, Kaz and Jathan. I eat up tender sub/dom stories like this.

The story is a Sci-Fi and takes place on a futuristic planet where gay men are not respected. The plot device had promise, but it was never explored to the extent that would have made me enjoy the world building, but this is a novella, so only so much can be done.

The chemistry between the Kaz and Jathan and the sub/dom play make this story worth reading. I give them 4 stars. I give the rest of the book 3 stars.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Spice ‘n’ Solace

Review: One Real Thing by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox

by Sharon S., guest reviewer

Excuse me while I wipe my gooey self off the floor <G>. When it comes to m/f romances I can’t stand a co-dependent weepy female that needs her alpha to come and make it all better, BUT in my m/m romance I can’t get enough of it (go figure). In Manga there is a whole genre devoted to this type of story called Yaoi (boy love). Most m/m fans know about Yaoi (Google it and check some out). This story would make a great Manga.

This is the first story about a true dominant and submissive relationship I’ve read. It probably counts as an erotica too, which isn’t a genre I seek out. Nick Addison is the dominant. He has a driving need to take care of Hollister (Holly) Welles. Holly is only submissive with Nick. The relationship is based on love. There is nothing humiliating or demeaning in the way Holly submits to Nick. There is so much mushy, mushy, mushy goodness that happens between them <G>. The sex is a little explicit, but that is just me.

The writing isn’t grade A, but I don’t care. If you love erotic Yaoi (dominant/submissive) relationships then this is probably a 5 star book. I focused on the love story and it is full of the warm and fuzzies and that was good enough for me! :P

Rating: ★★★★☆  warm and fuzzies!!

Buy: One Real Thing

Review: Corporate Seduction by Bridget Midway

Corporate Seduction is a highly erotic interracial romance set in the workplace with a white male boss and a black female secretary.

Winston Biggers is a jerk. He’s rude, mean, unfeeling and Maybelline, his secretary, is certain he’s keeping her from advancing. He won’t even give her a raise after all she’s put up with over the years. To cover the gap in her salary, May takes a second job at the Oh Club, a exclusive club that caters to a BDSM clientele, as a Dominatrix.

When a masked Winston wanders inside he’s immediately drawn to Mistress Mayai (pronounced “May I/Eye”) as she reminds him of his secretary, a woman he’s been attracted to from the beginning of their working relationship, but was unable to do anything about do to company policy.

When they learn of their real identities the game changes. Win will get to be the Dom during the day at work and have May submit to him. At night, May will continue to be Dom. This setup lets them remain in lust with each other while also allowing them to take full control.

Winston and Maybelline are not perfect characters. They each do things that aren’t very likeable. For instance, Maybelline does something incredibly cruel and stupid in the beginning to Winston in retaliation to ill treatment. She sends his current girlfriend a very mushy note with an overly sentimental and romantic bouquet when he requested something very benign as he was leaning toward breaking up with the woman. I felt so bad for the soon-to-be-ex.  On the other hand, Winston is a true cad. He knows Maybelline deserves the raise she requested and to be promoted but he keeps her where she is because it suits him. It’s hard to like a story when you don’t like the main characters.

Some other things that bugged me – May never interacting with her grandmother for whom she was taking the moonlight job for and Princess/Mistress Payne the sadist side character.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Buy: Corporate Seduction