Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Beyond The Bedroom Door

By: Alexandrea Weis

Congratulations to "Sandra G.", the winner of Alexandrea's giveaway.  Thank you to all who participated.

So you want to write a romance book. Now, what kind of romance do you write? Do you stay with the teenage version of romance where a kiss on the cheek and a yearning for more is enough, or do you go all the way and break through those bedroom doors? I think this is a question every romance writer faces. How far do you go? The level of heat you wish to put into your story depends on such factors as the story, the characters, and the writer. 

    The story and how sex contributes to it should play a role in your decision. Not every story needs sex to sell it, but when you are talking about the human condition, sex is invariably a part of our sense of self. Also, sex is a real life issue, and whether your characters have it, or don’t, could make or break your story. I let the characters decide that facet of a tale. Some characters, like people, are less sexual, some more. Their interaction with others is sometimes based on a sexual relationship. After all, the goal of any romance may be a “HEA”, but do you know of many couples in today’s world that get to that “HEA” without a having a little SEX. 

    Terminology is also important. You can make it really dirty by how you refer to those “sensitive areas” or try to be descriptive without getting into what some people might call a vulgar territory. It’s tricky, but then again how your characters interact in the story will have a lot to do with how detailed you wish to get. If you are writing about werewolves, it might be easier to get to the nitty-gritty, as opposed to writing a story about intrigue among a Manhattan social set. Just be prepared to defend your choices. I invariably find that how the sex scenes are played out has a lot to do with likability for readers. Many reviews of your book will come down to how deftly you handled the way your characters get down to business.    

    If you are going to get graphic, then I suggest you also get ready for some interesting questions from fans about sex, safe sex, and your sex life. It was the one thing I never counted on as a writer, but readers have a funny way of associating your books to you. I get asked a lot of questions about my love scenes, namely are they based in fact. Personal, yes, but we humans are known for our curiosity. Needless to say, you had better be prepared to explain yourself if your characters go all the “R” or “X” way. There will be questions about safe sex as well. In our AIDS and STD wary world safe sex has become the norm, and some readers will wonder why you do or do not address it. 

   The bottom line with sexual content is do what moves you as a writer. As in life, sex does not a relationship make, and unless you’re writing erotica, it isn’t the beat all and end all of a good romance book. It’s about love; happy, sad, unrequited, or lost. What gets us to the bedroom is sometimes a hell of a lot more interesting than what goes on behind those closed doors.

At thirty, Nora Kehoe is feeling pressured to settle down. On a blind date, Nora unexpectedly ends up in the emergency room where she meets Dr. John Blessing. She hopes the pragmatic Dr. Blessing can make her life complete. Then, a passionate encounter with a childhood friend changes everything. The charismatic Jean Marc Gaspard manages the family business, Gaspard Fisheries. But rumors abound that Jean Marc is running more than seafood through the waters around Manchac Louisiana. When a family crisis sends Nora to Manchac, she is thrown headlong into the dangerous world of smugglers and swindlers. And as Jean Marc tries to protect Nora from his past, he realizes he may lose her because of it. The dark bayou waters run deep with secrets in Louisiana, and every Cajun knows how to dance the fine line between the right and wrong side of the law. But for strangers, learning the steps to staying alive in the swamps can be tricky. Life, and love, will be dependent on how well one can master the … Acadian Waltz.

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Her popular second novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards 2011, was named best Romantic Suspense novel by the Spring 2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Awards, and was a Finalist in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Wards in 2012. Her fourth novel, Broken Wings, won best Contemporary Romance by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2011, and is a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Contemporary Romance in 2012. Her sixth novel, Diary of a One-Night Stand, was released in August 2012 and was named a  Paranormal Romance Guild’s Best Reviewed of 2012. A permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.      

“I didn’t realize you and my uncle were so close.” 

Jean Marc smiled, a warm and uplifting smile that muted the sadness in his eyes. “Jack was always a second father to me. My dad was too busy with the business, and when he wasn’t doing that, he was bailing Henri out of some mess.” 

“I’m sorry. I’m his niece. I should have been more involved, and then maybe I could have helped him.” 

Jean Marc reached across the table for my hand. “Don’t blame yourself. You didn’t know. You aren’t responsible for your uncle, Nora.” 

“Then why are you?” I questioned, feeling a sudden twinge of something strange as his strong hand held mine. 

“Your uncle has been good to me.” He let go of my hand. “He’s been there for me and listened to me.” He lowered his eyes to the worn surface of the old pine table. “I owe him a debt.”
I shook my head. “You owe him the debt of friendship. I owe him the debt of family.” 

“‘It’s better to owe a debt of love than blood,’ my grandfather used to always say. I never realized what he meant until now.” He paused and the chill returned to his dark eyes. “I can look after Jack here. You won’t have time to keep coming back and forth.” 

I stared at him, a little taken aback by his comment. “I can’t ask you to do that.” 

“Nora, you have a great deal going on in your life. You have your wedding to plan and all the changes your new life will bring.” 

“Did Uncle Jack tell you I was getting married?” 

“He mentioned you were going to marry a doctor.” He paused and once again his eyes changed and a glint of warmth appeared in their darkness. “But he doesn’t believe you’re in love with this guy.” 

I sat back in my chair, feeling slightly dumbfounded. “He said that?” 

Jean Marc rose from his chair. “Make sure you love the man you’re going to marry, Nora. Otherwise, marriage can be a real bitch.” 

I looked up into his face. “You were married once, weren’t you?” 

He nodded. “Lasted less than a year. She was the daughter of a business associate I knew in Dallas. It was wrong from the start.” 

“Wrong?” I asked, realizing how little I actually knew about the man. 

He snapped his fingers. “There was no spark, no passion between Cynthia and me. Love needs passion to ignite. Without it you just have hormones.”

Alexandrea will be giving away a digital copy of ACADIAN WALTZ to one lucky person leaving a comment. 

Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST Jan. 23rd. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.


  1. Sounds like a great read. I like nothing better than getting lost in a book! It can take me anywhere ...

  2. OH, sounds so good...would love to win. I have never read any of your books but love to find new authors. My TBR pile keeps growing but I know I always have something to read...thanks. Is there a book I should start with? Are they connected? lsscarchuk@att.net

  3. This sounds like a dark, dangerous read. Yummy! We all love that bad boy hero. Would love to win a copy of this book.

  4. It looks like a good story. I think every story is different and how intimate a couple is really depends on the story.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  5. Sounds like a awesome book.i love getting on here and finding new authors debra stolhand(cher123@cableone.net)

  6. That's a nice excerpt.


  7. JRS has introduced another new-to-me author! Good post. Acadian Waltz sounds like a great read.

  8. Love Louisiana bayou stories. Just the setting lends an air of mystery to a story.

    Can't imagine asking an author to give me sex advice though.

    jo1963jo at gmail dot com

  9. I had not given too much thought about the decisions that writers must face as regards the level of sex in their stories. Certainly food for thought.

    I would love to read ACADIAN WALTZ thank you.


  10. Like everything, it depends on the comfort zone. The more self-confidence that you are, the further you go with the sex scene. The least confidence you feel, it would be a peck on the cheek.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  11. I would love to read this, it sounds good...thanks...lsscarchuk@att.net

  12. Acadian Waltz sounds really great! I love reading books set in New Orleans and Louisiana. Thanks for the chance to win. BTW I enjoyed the post!!

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  13. I love Southern fiction and this sounds like a great read.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com


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