The key word above is romance. Being of a fantasy writing background, I had never written a story where the main aim was getting man and woman together and in love. A HEA as it’s called -- Happily Ever After. I thought I knew how to get inside character’s heads and write from their point of view, but when it came to writing romance, I found it was a whole extra step up the ladder. Fun, though.
I learnt as I went. I wrote my erotica, subbed it to Loose Id and got a very encouraging ‘rewrite, please’. Eventually, on the third rewrite, my story was contracted…and then I had to rewrite yet again. With the advice of my editor, Christy Lockhart, I chiseled and hammered away at my words and finally, built a true romance.
What did I change? I made my people into three-D rounded people. I gave them and their lives more facets. I inter-related facts so that nothing stood alone. I interwove sub-plots into the background and into the other plots. I improved my mythology. Even though I knew how to write fantasy, I’d been lazy. I hadn’t thought hard about why things happened the way they did. My fae gained distinct abilities and those abilities affected the people who wielded them and that changed the plot. The book, subsequently, doubled in size.
One of the keys to creating tension and reality in a story -- and those two are inter-linked -- is to make everything, as much as possible, bounce off other things in your story. If you, in your world, love playing tennis on weekends, it doesn’t end there. Ripples spread outwards. You have to get money for tennis clothes and equipment. Where from? You need the time to play, and go shopping. You may have to arrange for someone to babysit children or make sure your husband knows to pick you up from the courts afterwards. Playing makes you fitter, happier. You may trip and sprain your Achilles tendon. Things ripple, interweave, interlink. Stories aren’t rigid, flat things, they should burgeon with life, grow and breathe.
So, that’s what happened to my story. I started with the naïve idea I could just dive in and write a perfect romance straight off the bat (or racquet) and found I had much to learn, as Yoda says. I started with an idea for having a tattooed Maori hero walk from a lake like the frog prince in the fairytale, only instead of needing a kiss from the princess to set him free, this prince needs something a little more risqué. Being PG 13, I can’t go into detail. If you’d like to see the naughty shenanigans my hero and heroine get up to, Three Days of Dominance was released by Loose Id on June 7th.
When a man with mint-green eyes steps from a lake and offers to rescue Danii’s dog in exchange for three days of total obedience, it’s obvious he must be either joking or crazy. Being a police officer, she knows how to handle the crazies, but when it comes to Heketoro, she’s the one being handled. Each day their lovemaking becomes wilder and Danii discovers exactly how far this man can take her. Though the tattoos drawing themselves on his body make it clear he’s not quite human, to Danii what’s more important is their burgeoning love for each other.
An ancient curse prevents Heketoro from returning to his world. With one last ritual of love needed to break this curse, Heketoro’s enemies return and threaten to destroy him by using his only weakness -- Danii. Will love, or their enemies, triumph?
With water sluicing off him, Heketoro walked calmly from the lake, his black-clad chest barely moving. He breathed as if the swim had been nothing, yet he’d been under for two minutes. Jugsy shook himself next to her, sending out a spray. She dodged as best as she could.
“Pah!” She was wet from head to toe and might as well have done laps.
Her jeans had sagged down, and the top of her panties peeked out. The red shirt, the bottom of it soaked, clung to her like plastic wrap. A breeze made her nipples stand out like big buttons, saying press me. Disaster. She tried to be nonchalant when she wrapped her arms across her chest, as if she wasn’t concealing her nipples. Not that it worked for long. Heketoro handed the lead to her, and she had to take it.
“This is the first day,” he murmured. His fingers moved over hers, and across the back of her hand, to trace a light but electric path up her forearm.
She shook her head, dumbstruck by both his words and his touch.
A shiver ran through her. She noticed every runnel of water across the muscle-hugging neoprene, felt the stir of his breath and the goose bumps rising on her skin.
“The agreement stands.” Slowly, as if she were an animal he was afraid might startle, he reached out and put his hands on her waist, his fingertips almost meeting in the small of her back. He pulled her to him.
Knee to the groin, she told herself, blood thumping hard through her arteries. Or a chin strike and a heel slide down the leg to crunch onto the foot. And yet…and yet she did nothing.
“One kiss,” he murmured. And, oh, those green eyes, lids halfway down. His lips covered hers, lake water mixing with the taste of his mouth. She swayed and closed her eyes. The brush and press of warm lips melted whatever resistance she might have summoned, and she felt warmth between her thighs. Beneath her hands was the moist slickness of his wetsuit, and beneath that the shift and glide of muscle. She clutched at him, lost, drowning in sensation.
Whatever time passed, she couldn’t say, as she answered his kiss with the instinctive movements of her body, pressing against him, groin to groin. She sighed as his mouth left hers to journey with a trail of kisses down to the hollow of her neck and farther, to where her breasts swelled above fabric. He glided his broad hand across the thin T-shirt, from her waist down her back, fingers curving into her bottom and drawing her closer. Then he stopped. She hung there in his arms, with her head back and lips parted, inviting more of his caresses. Through the languor, she was aware of his gaze, though her eyes remained closed.
He leaned in, warmth stirring the lock of hair at her ear as he murmured, “I see our agreement is to your liking. Later then, we will continue this.”
He released her, and she staggered a little, then recovered.
Every part of her ached with longing.
She should tell him no. She should. And she shivered and lifted her head only to find him gone. Water gurgled as it washed together where an arrow of disturbance mapped where he’d gone. Underwater, again. People walked past, silent, as if shocked at what they’d seen only moments before.
Cari Silverwood website
Cari Silverwood website