Guest Blog by Sharla Lovelace, author of Before and Ever Since
Hi everyone! Thanks for having me!
I want to start by posing a question to you. What do you find sexy?
In books, that is.
Do you like a slow build to a relationship? Instant heat? Old love? New love? What do you find sexy in a story?
In a romance novel, there has to be a romantic relationship, and there has to be a happy-ever-after-ending. It’s in writing, there is no way around it. In fiction, the rules are vaguer. There doesn’t have to be romance at all, but I personally have to have it. It’s key for me. In fact, it’s one of the first things I figure out when coming up with a story. I have to find the backstory on a couple first…a reason for chemistry. My favorites are old lovers that run across each other by accident. In Before and Ever Since, Emily is quite literally floored when her first love, Ben is standing right in front of her after twenty years. There’s nothing like that oh-my-God moment running across your first love, when your stomach drops to your feet and you can’t feel your tongue. Here’s an excerpt from this book.
Oh no. No, no, no, no. Goosebumps ran the length of my body and back again. Ben Landry. As I stared into that face, I felt the old hurt I thought I’d forgotten seep through my bones right down through my feet, rooting me to the floor.
“You’re back,” I said, hearing the words and how my voice suddenly went all croaky and hating how stupid that was.
But I was painfully aware that I had only thrown on a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt, and otherwise still looked like I’d just crawled out of bed. Additionally, after twenty-one years, I was looking at probably the only person on the planet that ever really knew me. And could turn my life upside down.
“Yes I am,” he said, his voice quiet.
“Mr. Landry,” my mother said from behind me as she moved me over from where I’d dropped anchor in the doorway. “Come on in.”
“Just Ben, ma’am,” he said, shaking her hand and then gesturing toward where I stood with my heart slamming against my ribs. His dark eyes warmed with memory. My stomach threatened to send me back my four cups of coffee as I recalled the last time I’d seen him.
“Emily and I are old friends.”
Ben was the boy that put snakes in the teacher’s lounge and snuck into the girls’ bathroom. That popped all the girls’ training bras and spent at least two days each week in detention. That wore an old black jacket with chains on it when he rode his bike, so he’d look like a bad ass. He was the boy that lured me under my house when we were seven for my first kiss, and into a closet in the eighth grade for another one. He was the mysterious, dangerous looking dark-eyed guy in high school who could part a room like The Red Sea when he entered it, who always sat with his back to the wall and never let his guard down. Except with me.
“I don’t remember seeing you around here,” Mom said.
Ben grinned, an endearing expression that transformed him back into the twenty-one year old I’d last seen him as. Time may have dulled some of the edges, but it worked for him, God help me.
Does that work for you? There’s already chemistry there, already a sizzle they are trying to ignore or forget.
With new relationships, however, there’s also the magnetic draw of first everythings. First brush against each other, first touch, first kiss…and on and on. Do you prefer that to build slowly, or jump on top of it with fired up heat? And what about the tease?
For me, there has to be the tease.
I’m personally not a fan of instant sex in books. I love the tease, the push and pull between people that leaves you wanting more. It doesn’t even have to be physical. Sometimes the most intense sensual experiences are scenes where two people are just staring at each other, hearts beating in their ears, feeling the pull but fighting it. Those moments, when written well, can be just as hot as wild monkey sex.
And then there’s that. Because the wild monkey sex is good, too. J
In Before and Ever Since, I have old lovers dancing around each other, fighting chemistry and feelings and secrets. Throwing them right back into each other’s arms would have sold the story short. Me being me, I had to build it slowly. Teasing with words, looks, and even the real-life aspect of awkwardness. Sometimes that endearing quality can be very sexy. I feel the build up worked well, you’ll have to tell me your thoughts on that after you read it. LOL.
So back to the question…what do YOU find sexy?
Thanks for coming by, and I hope you all enjoy the book!
Back Cover Blurb:
Emily Lockwood, your past is showing.
Emily Lockwood has been sitting on a secret for so long, and buried so deep that she really doesn’t even
think of it anymore. Why should she? She has a successful career, an ex-husband who rarely tests her patience,
a mother who usually does, and a stubbornly independent grown daughter. Everything is fine, just
another crazy kind of normal.
Until Ben Landry comes back to town. The one person that could change it all. From best friends growing
up, to young adults who realize their love in a night of crazy passion, Ben and Emily had an unbreakable
bond. Or so she thought. When he then disappeared without explanation for over twenty years, she’d had
to pick herself up and accept otherwise. Seeing Ben back again now triggers more than mere memories
and a tug at her heart. It rips the cover off an old secret that could hurt the people she loves the most.
While Emily works to keep her secret safe and her heart safer, her sanity gets a reality check. She’s been
seeing things—her past played out like home movies unreeling before her eyes, visions that are making
Emily see herself, her family, everyone she knew, and every choice she made, in a revealing new light and a
startling new angle. For Emily, seeing her life in rewind makes her realize she has hard choices to make for
her future. Choices that may redefine everyone else’s future as well.
Author Bio: Sharla Lovelace is the author of The Reason is You, Just One Day, and Before and Ever Since. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her family, an old lady dog, and an aviary full of cockatiels. Sharla is available by Skype for book club meetings and chats, and loves connecting with her readers! See her website www.sharlalovelace.com for book discussion questions, events, and to sign up for her monthly newsletter.
Connect with Sharla:
Each stop: A random commenter will receive one of Sharla’s customized tote bags, some bookmarks and swag, and a random bestselling author’s book from her collection she accumulated at the RWA Writer’s Conference in Anaheim! (Authors include Larissa Ione, Terry Spear, Tessa Dare, Elizabeth Hoyt, Stephanie Laurens, Barbara Freethy, and Robyn Carr.)
Grand Prize giveaway tour wide: A random commenter chosen from the entire tour will receive an e-basket: E-book of The Reason is You, E-book of Just One Day, $25 e-gift card from Amazon or B&N, $10 Starbucks e-gift card.
The more stops readers comment on, the greater their chances of winning.