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Sharon Clare, author of the hot, hot, HOT new and debut Love of Her Lives joins me today in the Hammock.

For the record, I plan to sit in a comfy chair beside the hammock because,

  • the steam rising from the book makes my eyes water,
  • it’s dang near impossible to write and swing double in the hammock,
  • Sharon’s book includes a scene with hero, Calum, and heroine, Bethia, in a hammock, and…

SHARON CLARE

[If I choose to rock a hammock, it won't be with the likes of Sharon Clare. No offense, Sharon. You simply don't have the necessary parts, if you know what I mean. *blush*]

A blurb about Love of Her Lives:

Beth Stewart thought she lived a normal life until a warrior from a past life shows up to rescue her.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: He plans to, hopes to, does do, a lot more than rescue her. Phew!]

Ready, Sharon? I have my interview questions semi sort of ready.

SHARON CLARE ON WRITING (secks) PAST THE BLUSH FACTOR

1) You know my story. I’ve repeated it often enough, eh? [Just making you feel at home in the hammock. You're welcome] Before I made my final decision to write romance, I thought, “I wonder if I can write a make-’em-squirm steamy scene. I should sit down and try to write one”. So. I did. I could. I am a slut. How about you, Sharon? Did you agonize over your ability to think those thoughts and put them on paper?

Thank you for inviting me to your hammock today, Gloria! Passing you a Star Bucks green tea and getting ready to talk sex scenes. Yes, I agonized over how to make sex not cliché, agonized over word choice, agonized over family and friends reading these scenes. Now that I think back, my sex scenes have been through the greatest evolution in my writing. They’ve become easier, and I’ve become bolder with each book.  

 2) I love the way you seamlessly weave love and lust into the scenes. Calum and Bethia share a love that spans centuries, and Beth’s core love for Calum becomes pivotal to consummation of the building lust between them. Was it difficult for you to keep the tension going as you wrote the scenes leading up to that pivotal scene?

Good question, Gloria. Now I realize why internal conflict between the hero and heroine is so important. We have no sexual tension without it. A friend once told me that out of all addictions, sex is the most wide-spread and difficult to treat. Beth’s mother was a sex addict and walked away from Beth and her dad when she was a child. This had a huge impact on Beth and is the root of that imperative tension. Calum challenges her self-control on many levels as we see in this excerpt:

‘Oh no! She’d followed him like a puppy dog because he’d felt good. The physical thrill had superseded her reason. Just like her mother who’d hardly come up for air between men. What did that say about her ability to steer clear of men–hopping behaviour?’

3) When I wrote my first manuscript, I intended to write a suspense novel about a penny stock scam. The problem? My protagonist and the FBI agent wanted to jump between the sheets. So, they talked me into letting them have sex. In that novel, I held back on writing true steam. I couldn’t get past the people-I-know-are-going-to-read-this factor. You?

Huge issue that I do struggle with. My next story, Rhapsody, is steamier than Love of Her Lives. I won’t recommend it to my daughters. When reading Love of Her Lives, my 24 year-old daughter said she couldn’t read the sex scenes because she heard my voice in the words, reading to her as I’d done all through her childhood. I get that. Ewwww. I explained I write those scenes because I want to write books that feel good. I want my readers to have lots of endorphins floating around in their bloodstream when they read my books. With all the real life conflict going on, we need those healthy, happiness stress fighters. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it!

4) I have a theory on erotica. Some of the best I’ve read didn’t use nicknames for the – er — engaged body parts. In some instances, they didn’t name them at all. Yet, I knew they were there and what the POV character felt. [HOT!] You’re a master at writing those scenes. Was it a conscious decision on your part, or did your characters dictate the choreography and words for you?

Thank you, Gloria, yes it was a conscious decision because I’m not a fan of the sexual word-pool. I once heard a radio show (avid CBC listener) comparing the names of sexual body parts between English and Italian (or possibly somewhere else European). The English were much more prudish about sex and thinking it dirty did not give us pretty names for much to do about sex. I have to agree. Some words I refuse to use. I just may need to make up my own words!

5) I wrote one of my steam scenes out-of-sequence because I needed to get it out of my head and onto the page. I felt as if my character’s libido (well, mine, too) would suffer Long-term Deprivation Sydrome if something didn’t happen — and soon. Did you let your scenes flow with the build-up of tension, or did you write some of those scenes out-of-sequence?

I am very much a linear writer. I don’t jump around. I guess I need to feel the build of sexual tension to write it. I like to develop the characters first, so I’m turned on by the hero despite his flaws. I need to be in the moments as they happen naturally.

6) I readily admit that lust and culmination of the male/female bond is what I look for as a reader of romance. And, I hate it when a writer takes me to the bedroom door and slams it in my face. There is a bit of voyeurism in that reading experience. Do you feel the same way?

Oh interesting, I didn’t think about it that way. Now you’ve got me thinking. I believe I put myself in the heroine’s shoes, but you’re right. I want to go in the bedroom with her. I want those scenes. When the author has me falling for the hero, I find the seduction very sexy, and I want to go all the way, baby! Like I said earlier, it feels good to be turned on, and I’m all for it.

7) Let’s talk lust and love for a moment. Some of my favorite authors lead with lust (and sex) that ultimately results in love. Since the Romance demands an HEA (Happily Ever After), I know love will likely follow. Jennifer Crusie wrote some of my favorites. With her early reads, it was a mixed bag. The lust existed from the beginning. But, I found the stories acceptable in both instances — sex before love, and love before sex.

Me too, Gloria, it’s great to have variety. The thing I love about romance is the building of a relationship, the falling in love. As a reader, the hero becomes sexier as I get to know him. But lust can work too. One of the best  lust-first scenes (very funny) I read was Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Breathing Room.

This has been such fun, Gloria! Thank you again for inviting me today. Do you need more tea? I could stay on this hammock all day and talk romance.

If you’d like to read Love of Her Lives, it is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Google Play (for epub file) and wherever ebooks are sold.

Print copies coming soon!

That’s because the sales have been so dang phenomenal! I already read the e-version, but those are difficult to dog-tag put on my bookshelf.

So, tell all! Leave a comment about your preference as a reader. And, if you’re a writer of romance, curious minds want to know how (or, if) you got past your own blush factor. GIVEAWAY GOODNESS! I will randomly select one lucky commenter to receive a copy of Love of Her Lives. Yes. It will be a brand new copy. No. I won’t have the steamy parts already bookmarked for you. You’ll love the build up and the read. I promise.