Monday, March 9, 2009

Guest Author Sharon Page in the Manor!


Today I'm so thrilled to have author Sharon Page here with us. Sharon is a fellow Canadian, as well as a really nice person. Oh, and did I tell you she writes some of the HAWTEST historicals out there! I've been a fan for a few years, and was thrilled when I saw she was now making it in mainstream romance!

I've purchased The Club, and I know you guys are not going to be disappointed! Stay with us today and Tuesday for a chance to win a copy of The Club as well as something from Sharon's backlist.

Let's give Sharon a lively LIT welcome!
***

Thanks so much to the Lust in Time Ladies for inviting me to be a guest blogger for a couple of days this week. I’m honored to be here, and since I’m in the middle of revisions for my next book, it’s nice to take a bit of a breather.

I have a new book out now, called The Club, with Bantam Dell. It’s my first mass market release, and my first book reviewed by Publishers Weekly (and received a starred review.) While Romantic Times defined The Club as scorching and Publishers Weekly has called it ‘erotic’, the story was my move toward more mainstream historical romance. It’s a very sensual book but not as erotic as my books with Kensington’s Aphrodisia line.

The Club is a twist on the classic “rake and innocent” story. My heroine Jane, Lady Sherringham is a widow and not a virgin, but she knows nothing of a healthy and loving sexual relationship. My rakish hero, Christian, Lord Wickham, is determined to give Jane the pleasure she deserves until he discovers he is out of his depth—he doesn’t know how to heal an abused woman. They must learn together, but first, they must find Christian’s missing sister, Del, whose disappearance is linked to a scandalous London gentleman’s club.

The Club itself is a Regency version of a swingers club, in an elegant townhouse. So it’s a racy gentlemen’s club where wives are actually allowed. There were many real scandalous Regency couples, including Lady Oxford, whose children were known as the Harleian Miscellany since they had so many different fathers.

Reading The Club now, it’s hard to remember how tough the book was to write. In my first drafts, I found it hard to bring sexual attraction into the beginning of the story. The problem—I wanted Jane to find Christian attractive and respond, but it just didn’t make sense that she would melt at a kiss on her hand when she was searching for her missing friend Del. She would be too worried about Del.

It was my struggle to blend Jane’s attraction to Christian, her rejection of those feelings, and her fear over Del’s fate that made me understand how she would feel. And it made me realize her attraction to him would be emotional more than blatantly sexual. That way, when story events allowed Jane and Christian to respond to their desires, they’d already built up a powerful emotional attraction. It took ten drafts of Chapter Three for me to figure that out!

I put together readers’ questions for The Club, and one is: “What is the most sensual scene in the book?” One of my favorite scenes in The Club involves a piano. Here’s a small excerpt:

But he kissed her more deeply. His fingers slid out from under hers, teasingly crept down her back, and shivers radiated from the gentle caress. Shivers that seemed to ignite sparks all over her skin like tiny fireflies landing upon her. He cupped her bottom. Lifted her—

Too late she realized he was lowering her. Her rump landed squarely on the pianoforte keys. Dozens of them struck and an ear-splitting cacophony exploded out around her.

The vibrations rushed up her spine. She gasped in shock and clutched the silky fabric of his waistcoat.

“There, my jewel, you’ve made sound and the world hasn’t ended, has it?” On a chuckle, he shifted her, her bottom moved and a bizarre melody rang out in the room.

“You must get me off here. What if someone comes to investigate these odd…odd sounds? They might think—?” What? A cat was in the house and running on the keys? Surely they would not think it could only be a woman’s derriere on the piano—?

Christian lifted his head and discarded his coat. Hunger burned in his eyes. “I locked the door,” he promised…
(Excerpt from The Club, © 2009 by Sharon Page)


What are some of your favorite sensual scenes in romances? What made the scene sensual? Was it location? The language the author or the characters use? Or the emotions the characters revealed?

To celebrate being here, I’m giving away a book from my backlist. I’ll pick a winner randomly from the comments. To make your choice on which book you would like, please check out my site at www.SharonPage.com

55 comments:

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Hi, Sharon--thanks so much for joining us here at the LIT manor today! The Club sounds fabulous--I'm ordering my copy from Amazon today.

Hmmm, sensual scenes...I might have to take the one not-sick kid to school and have a cup of tea before I can go there, LOL!

Amy C said...

Hi Sharon, your book 'The Club' is not my normal type of reading. I don't usually read London/Rake type books, but this one sounds really good. It's the HAWTNESS! And I like that the heroine isn't an innocent.

The most recent sensual scene I've read happens to be in Amanda McIntyre's book, The Diary of Cozette. The first encounter with Cozette and Mr. Rodin and the mirror. Yes, I love mirror scenes. They hold a great sensual appeal.

Barbara said...

Hi, Sharon! Your book sounds great! Right up my alley!

Hmm...favorite sensual scenes? For me to really fall for a love scene it has to be jam packed with emotion. Emotion and of course anticipation. The more, the better. That, for me anyway, is what makes for a great love scene.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

I'm stopping for a Chai latte after I drop the kidlet off at school. I'll be thinking of sensual scenes on the way. Hope I don't get into an accident! lol!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Amy C, Sharon definitely write HAWT!!!!!

Barbara, I think you'll like her writing, Sharon packs quite a bit of emotion in her love scenes, and her characters are very well developed.

Amy C said...

Thanks, Charlotte! I'll pick it up, if I'm lucky I'll find it at the bookstore :)

I agree with Barbara, emotions are key to a great sensual scene, but not always necessary. There was this one where the heroine was told by the hero to describe what she saw through binoculars (another couple happened to be fornicating) and what she described, he in turn did to her. So I guess voyeurism is pretty darn sensual, hawt, whatever...I like reading it!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Oh, I agree about the voyeurism Amy C! I have one of those scenes in Sinful. Just wrote it last night as a matter of fact! lol! And I like mirrors as well, have one of those scenes in my contemp Hot In Here! lol! Either I'm unimaginative, or we're on the same sort of wave length! lol!

As for me, the numbers of bodies and the use of toys does necessariily denote a hot or erotic scene for me. I can be left utterly empty after reading those scenes. For me, it's about the connection between the characters, passion, lust, love, desire, hate, anger, all those volitile emotions that can spur so much in us. The more emotional the connection, the better the scene. For me, I can be left completely undone by just reading about the hero grazing his knuckles down the cheek of the heroine, or the slow, sensual untying of a corset. To me, that can be just as erotic as a threesome, or foursome, or whatever.

Also, I like those pent up love scenes, the really eager, frantic ones against a wall, or on top of a desk, and the characters are tearing at clothes and such. Those are desperate, and they always, (if done right, with appropriate build up of tension) leave me panting. Kristi wrote one of those frantic scenes for her novella in the Winter's Desire anthology coming out in Nov. It was really hot, and I love it. And it really worked for the couple

Now, a small confession, if done right, I like those love scenes where the hero won't take no for an answer. I love those. But they're tricky to write, but then, I love a challenge....

Sharon Page said...

Hi Everyone
It's so great to be here, and I'm honored to be invited.

Kristina/Kristi, thanks so much for picking up a copy. It sounds like you have a sick kid at home--we've been going through that for a couple of weeks. And now that my daughter can read what I'm typing while I write...!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Good morning Krist and Charlotte, all our guests guests and a warm welcome Sharon to the manor! I picked up your book the other day and it looks plain yummy!
Your name choices also blend perfectly Christian (what a paradox) and Jane (innocence personified!) I love this type of story where nothing looks as it is,the secrets, the mystery, and all that clothing that can be so descriptively removed! LOL
And the fact that these clubs really did exist, even back in the day, fascinates me! How much we've changed and how little some things change, eh?

Aw, Amy thanks! I'm glad you liked the mirror scene in Cozette. I have a short story out now devoted to the mirror! LOL The effect can be entirely sensual and very titalating!

Favorite scene-Cristina Skye's "Christmas Knight"-time travel knight is brought forward in time by a curse and the modern day woman needs help saving his castle. He is taking a shower (new fangled contraption) and she gets bold enough to enter the bathroom. He steps out, dries off and then realizes she is watching. He asks if she knows what she is doing, she nods. As you can imagine, in the next few moments they stop time all together right there against the bathroom window.
Seriously sensual.

I of course, have a list of favorites. Maybe we should do a top ten one day LOL

Your piano scene sounds scrumptious! Hey and good luck with those revisions, been there, done that;) Sending energy your way, sister!;))

Im back to researching today my bad boy Victorian artists and need more coffee.

Love having you here, Sharon! Can we get you anything? Tea, coffee,a scone, Lord C.M.?

Amanda

Amy C said...

Charlotte,
You are right on with each of the types of scenes you described! You're right a simple touch by the hero to the heroine can be just as good as a full blown descriptive sex scene. It's usually the build up to the actual intercourse that is the best part. The looks, the undressing, the words, if used, of what they want to do to each other. That is most times more fulfilling than the actual coming together.

And no I don't think you are unimaginative. I don't think those two particular scenes could be over done! Honestly, I don't think they are used enough. Now I gotta read Sinful when it comes out!

Sharon Page said...

Amy C,

What I loved about writing The Club from the very begining was the chance to write an experienced heroine--but also one who needs to experience love and loving sex.

Mirror scenes are terrific--I think one of the first I read was in Jo Beverley's Something Wicked, and I just about melted!

And I'm delighted you may take a look at The Club for its HAWTNESS :-)

Sharon Page said...

Barbara,
I completely agree with you that sensual scenes need emotion--it's what makes them resonate, and makes them unforgettable.

Amy C said...

Oh yes, Amanda, I seen your Spice Brief Mirror, Mirror. That is on the list for a future purchase.

Sharon Page said...

Ooh, frantic scenes can be excellent. I'll be looking about for Kristi's Winter's Desire. There's such energy in the frantic lovemaking scenes. I find my heart is pounding as I read.

And Sinful sounds delicious.

When I'm writing, I often think back to when I was young, when it seemed so daring just to touch a guy's fingers! Anticipation makes for such incredible sexual tension.

Sharon Page said...

Ooh, frantic scenes can be excellent. I'll be looking about for Kristi's Winter's Desire. There's such energy in the frantic lovemaking scenes. I find my heart is pounding as I read.

And Sinful sounds delicious.

When I'm writing, I often think back to when I was young, when it seemed so daring just to touch a guy's fingers! Anticipation makes for such incredible sexual tension.

Sharon Page said...

Also, I have some exciting news. I just found out last week that The Club made the USA Today list. It's my very first time on the list and I'm thrilled, and also so thankful to the readers who've bought The Club, and the wonderful booksellers who get out books into readers' hands.

Amy C said...

Ha, I feel shallow that my main reason for looking into The Club is for the Hawtness! LOL I mean, it sounds good otherwise too! Sounds like it could have some good emotions. I'm so looking for it today.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Congratualtions , Sharon ;)

Amanda

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hey, don't feel shallow, Amy c, I first found Sharon because she was writing a) HAWT! and then B)Historical. I will not say which drew me first! lol!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Amanda, if you even dare think about making me decide on ten sensual/love scenes from the trillions of books I've read, I'll choke you! lol! Seriously, I get all anxious and sweaty even thinking of something so daunting. I also could never name Desert Island keepers, either. I so, don't play that game! lol!!!
But if other's want to play, I'll officiate!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Sharon, CONGRATS on making the USA today list! You SO deserve this!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Sharon, you bring up an interesting thought, about when it was so new, to be with a guy, or when you were just discovering them. I remember my first kiss, I was 11, and it was beneath the neighbor's deck. About two dozen kids were playing kick the can over a six house radius. Joey and I hid together beneath the deck. We were close together, and quiet, and then his lips were on mine. I don't remember the actual kiss, but I remember the feelings racing through my body and the way my stomach pitched. It's re-creating those feelings in adults that's so much fun, and challening!

Although, my daughter is nearly 10 now, and that's a year away from 11, and yeah, you know where I'm going with this.....blech.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Charolotte, if you're having a Chai latte where I think you are, no I dont want you to think of those scenes right now, you might cause one yourself!;)

Speaking of..are scenes where the hero or heroine is alone be as powerfully charged emotionally ? Or is it only satisfying in "real-time?"

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

Clarification:
Meaning the hero or heroine together in real time, or the hero or heroine is "thinking" dreaming about something thereby creating the "sensual moment?" LOL
* odd that a woman who writes erotic is having trouble articulating this one;)

Amanda

Charlotte Featherstone said...

No, I think it can be hot to be dreaming, fantasizing, or doing the solo pleasure thing. I had that dream scene in Velvet Haven, and my editor raved about it, and really, it's just the description of the hero through the heroine's eyes. She doesn't do more than lick away a droplet of sweat from between his ripped shoulder blades, but my editor thought it was so hot. So, I guess, it kind of goes back to a 'to each your own' sort of thing. Not everyone finds beauty in the same thing, and not everyone finds the same things sexually satisfying.

I think it's all in mood, tone, setting and the feelings of the character at the time of the scene.

But that's just my opinion, and you know me, I'm full of them! lol!

Amy C said...

I hope this doesn't sound dumb but my thinking on your question , Amanda, about whether it can be as emotionally charged in a dream or thinking about the other not in 'real-time' is that I don't think it could be because I think as a reader we are already imagining the two together so now we are imagining imagining the h/h together! For me anyway, I don't get the same satisfaction out of a 'thought' scene than i do in a 'real time' scene. However I do like those kind, but I haven't read one that sticks out to make me believe they could be just as good.

RachieG said...

Howdy Sharon!!

I think simply, the best books are the ones where you can see the hero and the heroine connecting. I hate all that, Oh wow, your hot, let's get frisky stuff. If they actually have a connection and it's developed, I love it!! :)

rachie2004(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thanks for the contest and blogging!!

Barbara said...

What the devil has been going on here as I ran my morning errands?!!

Oh and BTW, speaking of hawt...I just finished The Lover. MEOW! I'll tell you this, I'll never look at banana the same *wink*

And yes, if the author can make the emotional part mesh with super steamy--sigh--I'm golden.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

LOL! Barbara, we're talking sex, what else! All this talking should be rousing Lord Craven-Moore shortly. This is his domain!

Barbara said...

Oh and I have to add...

IMO, scenes where the hero or heroine are alone and fantasizing about the other can be super hot. But, like Charlotte had said, it all depends on how it is written, the scene itself, and of course the emotional aspect of it.

Barbara said...

You know, I'm seriously missing Craven-Moore! He hasn't shown his lovely pecks in a while!!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Barb et al, in the not too far future, we have a bit of a surprsie for you here at the manor!

we've created a little video tour of the manor , set to music and with a few hidden surprises! Amazing what you can see through a keyhole!!;)

watch for the launch of the LIT Manor tour coming soon!

Amanda

Anonymous said...

Here I am, ma petite anges!!! I'm wearing my smoking jacket, alas, and my pecs are covered. But I'm not opposed to a feminine hand untying my sash....

This has been a most rousing conversation. I do enjoy learning what women like in the budoir. Although, I do consider myself something of an expert!

I'm so glad that my abscence has been felt. Charlotte has been man handling me I am afraid. Using me for research and such, and figuring out logistics in a scene involving red satin ribbons and a statue that Wallingford has just carved.... It is interesting to say the least.

Have I told you how much I adore the position of research assistant?
Sharon, I'm available for hire, you know. I come quite cheap and highly recommended! Oh, I couldn't even begin to tell you how many inches long my recommendation is...oh, right, PG-13. Blast, I wish these ladies would do the honorable thing and give me carte blanche when I post. It seems only fitting, doesn't it?

Well, after my port and eggs and sausages, I will be back with a list of my favorite sex scenes from Amanda, Kristi and Charlotte and Sharon's books. OH, and maybe one from my days as rake of some note.

Hugs and kisses
Lord CM

Barbara said...

Craven-Moore!! Sigh...I've missed you! Charlotte's just so greedy! Stealing you away from us :(

And if this tour Amanda is speaking of features plenty of you...I wouldn't miss it for the world *seductive grin and a wink*

Oh and BTW, congrats, Sharon on making the USA today list. I've already marked The Club on my TBB list.

Sharon Page said...

Charlotte,
I love the way you described your first kiss. Isn't it true that it's the emotional sensations (and all the physical ones related to that) that we remember most. My first kiss was when I was six, and I was walking home along a tall snowbank, when my grade one heartthrob leaned over and kissed my cheek. I was so flustered, I leapt off the snowback to pick up the homework he'd dropped while kissing me!

Sharon Page said...

Hope you are enjoying your port, eggs and sausages, Lord CM. Now, there must be many sensual possibilities there!

I'm looking forward to hearing your favorite scenes :-)

Amy C said...

Talking about sex is a great motivator to make me take a trip to the bookstore. I just got home with my very own copy of The Club!

I'm gonna delve into it real soon! So glad you guest blogged here or I wouldn't have known about this book.

Genella deGrey said...

Hi Sharon! Hi LIT gals!
HELLOOOO Lord CM!! ;)

One of the most memorable love scenes I remember way, way WAY back when I first started reading was from a Jude Deveraux book. Ironically, it also involved a piano! :) :) It was in the book, "Mountain Laurel." The heroine, a diva opera singer, decided to give the man who had been protecting her (and helping her with another external conflict) a private concert. She NEVER did that for ANYONE! They were crazy about each other from the first – and the pay off of this scene totally complemented the angsty build up.

In a tiny mountain shack, she has her piano player set up the piano and one seat for the hero. She sings an aria from La traviata and he gets so turned on that he storms out during the high C at the conclusion of the song. Well she runs after him, giving him 'what for' for walking out of her performance and he drags her back into the shack . . . yeah, baby . . . and they have at it for like, three days.

Sigh.

Oh, one more love scene worth mentioning – again from Jude Deveraux – the shower scene from "A Knight in Shining Armor." This is a time-travel, and he's never been in a hot shower before. Imagine the possibilities. ;) Dang, that scene was sooooo YUMMY!!

As you know, both books were written way before erotic romance was even a genre. It's the emotional impact on the characters and in turn, the reader, that will allow these scenes to stay in my mind forever.

Smooches!
G.

Victoria Janssen said...

This sounds great, Sharon!

One of my fave sensual scenes is the chair scene in Judith Ivory's UNTIE MY HEART.

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Okay...favorite hot scene...well, the first big love scene in Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Ain't She Sweet keeps popping into my head--strangely enough, because it isn't the type of sensual scene that I *normally* love (normally I say that I prefer very emotional love scenes).

But the scene in Ain't She Sweet is kind of light, almost flippant, but I think what I love about it is how much is at stake emotionally for the characters to actually give in to their desires. They are revealing SO much of themselves and their feelings--sort of putting themselves 'out there' in a way that neither usually does--and trying to hide their vulnerability behind a flippant facade.

Oddly enough, the first time the hero kisses the heroine sticks in my mind, too--a very, very hot kiss, again, I think, because it is SO emotionally charged. I LOVE that book (and I'm not even such a fan of contemporary romance!).

And interestingly enough, I have a "love on the piano" scene in one of my book, too--To Love a Scoundrel! Fun stuff can happen on a piano, LOL!

Sharon Page said...

Amy C,
Thanks so much for picking up The Club!

Sharon Page said...

Another of my favorite love scenes was in Jo Beverley's Something Wicked. It takes place on a coffin (the hero and heroine were taken hostage and dumped in there). It's very intense--the heroine pushes until the hero reveals his terrible secret.

A fun scene I loved, was in Julia Quinn's An Offer from A Gentleman. The heroine's moans get longer and longer through the scene, from:
"oohhh"
to "oooooohhh." It was very cute, and because the heroine had been illegitimate, it was a huge step for her to have sex with the hero.

Sharon Page said...

BTW, Amanda, I listened in on your interview with Renee Bernard on Canned Laughter and Coffee on blog talk radio. That was a terrific interview. Very relaxed and fun.

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hmmm, I've been trying all afternoon to come up with my fav sensual scene, and I can't. Just when I think of one, then another jumps in my head. But, I'm thinking about Rhage from JR Ward, when he undresses Mary for the first time see all her scars and kisses them. All the love scenes with Sebastian and Evie from Devil in Winter (Lisa Kleypas) were HAWT!!!! Seriously love that book.

Amy C said...

Charlotte, I was thinking about Rhage too. When he tells Mary to take from him what she will after he gets back from taking the edge off. And then she does...oh, I loved the intensity of that scene. Alot of good stuff between Rhage and Mary.

Jane said...

Hi Sharon,
Congrats on the new release. I'm looking forward to reading the piano scene. I think what makes a scene sensual is the emotion between the characters. I like to see how the hero and heroine are responding to each other's reactions to a kiss or caress. The location of a scene can make it sensual, too. If the scene occurs in a public place there's a heightened sense that comes from the possibility of being caught. I'm quite partial to love scenes in the bath. One of my favorites is from "Worth Any Price" by Lisa Kleypas.

ranearia said...

Hello Ms.Page!
Hope you like your stay at the manor (Lord CM is always on the look out~ XD)

When it comes to sensual scene, I love a tension builder (Carolyn Jewel's Scandal great example), where you can feel the heat from the touch of the hero or from the look in the heroine's eyes. For me words also play a big part in the scene, how the author draws the scene before my eyes.

I, hands down agree with Barbara, The Lover's snack alfresco scene is one of the best and everytime you comes across the fruit stand you can't help but blush!

VampFanGirl said...

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for providing not only excellent information regarding your new release but also for that juicy little excerpt as well. :)

I've already tagged your book on Amazon for the cover really caught my eye and now I'm really glad that I've added to my wish list.

As far as my favorite sensual scene, I can say right now that all of them are bound amongst the pages of Lisa Valdez's 'Passion'. Hoy, that book is hot!! From the first page right up to the very end. :)

Good luck with your new release and I can't wait to read it.

Best Wishes,
VampFanGirl

Sharon Page said...

Hi Jane,
Mmm, the "Worth Any Price" was a fave of mine too. I love how Lisa Kleypas was able to bring a shower scene into the historical.

sarabelle said...

Hello LIT ladies and welcome Sharon. I hope I havent missed all the fun.

Sharon Page said...

I love to try to think up settings for lovescenes that will have huge emotional meaning for my characters. And challenge them. (I wrote a hot air balloon scene in Black Silk to let my shy heroine soar for once. If it had been me, I would have been in the bottom of the basket whimpering--I'm afraid of heights).

Genella, the piano scene that you mention sounds like it completely fits into that. The piano had such meaning, it became more than just an interesting place to make love :-)

sarabelle said...

I love sensual and romantic scenes. My favorite are when the author can paint a picture with words. I want to be able to invision the scene happening, I want to get the tingles right along with the characters. Anna Campbell does a great job with Tempt the Devil.

Caffey said...

Hi Sharon! Hi all!
I've been so looking forward to this one!! I so love historicals! Especially those regency ones! Thanks for the huge peek into it! For me, when reading sensual scenes, its how it leads up into the scene, which can lead up to all the sexual tension with the hero and heroine! So with that, the build up and that first scene can be such a great read! Usually doesn't matter where it is, but with historicals, I like the uniqueness of them because of the culture then and that 'forbiddenness'! (That I don't think is a word!) So that's why I do love them in historicals!

Amy S. said...

The Club sounds great! Excerpt was great!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Hey Sharon, thanks for listening to blogtalk radio;) Renee makes things very easy to do a live show. LOL You wouldn't believe where I broadcast from that night. She's defintely a pro, hands down.

I certainly am getting a lot of good titles for my TBR pile here! Cool beans! Its like having my own catalog without the search!

Amanda