Book Tour & Giveaway: Eternal Guardians author Elisabeth Naughton on writing a steamy hot scene
Please help me welcome bestselling author Elisabeth Naughton!
Hot and steamy is really in the eye of the reader. Every reader has different definitions of what’s sexy and pushes boundaries, and I think it varies from genre to genre.
When I’m writing a book, the “hotness” factor really depends on the genre. For example, my paranormal novels tend to be sexier than my romantic suspense novels. They’re a little more graphic in the language and descriptions, and they usually have more love scenes. That’s not always the case, but it seems to be the way things go, and I’ve noticed my readership tends to expect more of those steamy scenes in my paranormals than in my romantic suspense books.
Hotness doesn’t just have to be about sex though. In my most recent release, BOUND, the sixth book in my Eternal Guardians series, my characters are touching all the time. Titus, the hero, hasn’t been able to touch anyone for over a hundred years so when he encounters the heroine…yeah, you could say he’s a little obsessed. This lends itself to sexy, steamy scenes…that don’t necessarily have to end in sex. Sometimes, just a brush of skin against skin can be so sexy, a page steams.
The air churned around her. A fresh gust that filled her lungs, eased the fever she lived with every hour, and blew a calming breath all across her skin.
She drew it in. His spicy, masculine scent filled her nose. Tingles rushed over her flesh, soothing her irritable edges. And oh, he was hard beneath her hand. Silky skin over carved muscle and bone. Reflexively, she brushed her fingers against his muscles, loving the texture, the dips and angles of his rib cage, the way he groaned with every tiny movement.
As if she were the one who could soothe him. As if he needed only her.
Rough fingertips caressed the back of her hand and sent stimulating sensations all along her flesh. She glanced down, his tanned skin such a contrast with her much paler hand, then looked at his face. His eyes were once again closed, but unlike when those guards had touched him, this time pleasure toyed with his features. And a wicked, tantalizing smile curled his tempting lips.
That pull to him grew stronger. The irritability she was so used to eased. Normally, around others, she felt boxed in, trapped, and every breath was more stifling than the last. But next to him…touching him…all she could think about was what it would be like to brush her fingers over other parts of his body. What his naked skin would feel like sliding over hers. How thick and exhilarating he would be pushing deep inside her body.
Contrast that to my bestselling book, WAIT FOR ME, which I consider probably the tamest book I’ve written with regard to sex scenes. There are only two love scenes in that book, and they’re more emotional than descriptive. And because that book was read by a lot of people who aren’t regular romance readers, some of the reviews have mentioned they loved the story but thought there was too much “sex stuff” in it. These reviews always make me laugh because 1) the cover clearly shows two people kissing so you know it’s a romance, and 2) they make me think, “Wow, if that bothered you, do NOT read my Eternal Guardians books!” The love scenes in those books are way more graphic than WAIT FOR ME!
Honestly, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this and I think the reason some books seem to be sexier even though they may have fewer detailed sex scenes is because those books strike an emotional connection with the reader. While my Eternal Guardian books are definitely more descriptive than my romantic suspense books, they’re still emotionally charged. And I think that influx of deep, raw emotion is what kicks up the steaminess factor for readers.
For me, the sex scene has to fit the book and the characters. I’ve read lots of books where the characters had sex just to have sex. One of the publishers I wrote for (in the past) sent a reminder notice to all its authors one day. It was timelines: “Your characters must kiss by page 50. They must have sex by page 100…” I rolled my eyes and deleted the email. I don’t force my characters to do anything that doesn’t grow organically out of the story. The sex must grow out of both the story and the characters and if it doesn’t happen until page 200, I’m okay with that. MARKED, the first book in my Eternal Guardians series only has one love scene, and it comes ¾ of the way through the story. Readers didn’t care because it worked. And reviewers called that the sexiest book I’d written (to that date).
The other element that’s a must for me is emotion. I wrote about it above but…without some kind of emotion (and there are a lot you can pull from a sex scene…anger, lust, jealousy, love, longing, etc.) even the most superbly written and highly erotic scenes will fall flat.
Sexual tension is a must in any romance, regardless of the subgenre. The sexual tension should build from the first page and be one of the main reasons readers are anxious to turn pages. From BOUND:
She tugged him out of the torchlight and into the shadows of a tent. As soon as they were covered by darkness, he closed his hand over her wrist, yanked her close, and captured her mouth with his own.
She gasped in surprise, but he didn’t let it slow him. He dipped into her mouth, slid his tongue along hers, and reveled in the warm, wet taste of her. That and the fact he couldn’t feel anything other than the heat of her body, the silkiness of her skin, and the pulse in her veins that indicated she was alive.
He pulled back and brushed his finger over her soft cheek. “You did it again. You saved me. You do care.”
“I…” A frown turned her lips. But he saw the desire in her eyes. And the heat. “I haven’t saved you yet. Save your thanks for someone who deserves it.”
He kissed her again. Quick. Safe. Chaste. Not at all like he wanted to kiss her. “I will. When we get out of here and are finally alone, I’ll thank you properly. That’s a promise.”
When readers tell me they couldn’t stop turning pages, I know I’ve done something right.
TITUS—To most his gift seems like a blessing, but for him it’s a curse the other Eternal Guardians—those who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld—seek to exploit. One he would gladly trade for the chance to be free…
Obsessed. Her touch is like a drug. From the moment he met her, Titus knew she was different. Even dangerous. Yet though his guardian brethren are convinced Natasa is working for Hades, Titus can’t stop thinking about her. Can’t stop fantasizing about her. Can’t stop craving the one thing he knows could lead to the downfall of his world.
Possessed. Faced with stopping Natasa or joining in her quest, Titus falls to temptation and is thrust into a world of lust, deception, and deadly treachery designed by the gods. Her touch—only hers—frees him from his bonds, but desire may just condemn him. Because before the end he’ll have to decide which is more important: duty and honor to those he took an oath to defend, or a woman who could very well be the biggest curse to them all.
About the author
I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be an author at the age of six. I didn’t have imaginary friends. I didn’t write stories in my journal or entertain my relatives by firelight after Thanksgiving dinner. For the most part, I was just a normal, everyday kid. I liked to read, but I wasn’t exceptional at it. And when my teachers complimented me on my writing abilities, I brushed them off. I did, however, always have a penchant for the unique and absurd. And as my mother told me all throughout my childhood, I should have been an actress—I was a drama queen before my time.
Years ago, my husband bought me Scarlett: The Sequel to Gone With The Wind. If you ever saw the book, you know it’s a long one. I sat and read that thing from cover to cover, and dreamed of one day being a writer. But I didn’t actually try my hand at writing until years later when I quit my teaching job to stay home with my kids. And my husband? After that week of reading where I neglected him and everything else until I finished Scarlett, he vowed never to buy me another book again. Little did he know I’d one day end up sitting at a keyboard all day drafting my own stories.
My writing journey has not been easy. I didn’t just sit down one day, decide I was going to write a book and voila! sell my very first attempt. As most authors will probably agree, the path to publication is filled with hours of work, pulling all-nighters I thought I’d given up in college, sacrifices, rejections, but a love I discovered along the way I just can’t live without. Instead of a big, thick book to read by lamplight (I do read much smaller ones when I get the chance), I’ve traded in my reading obsession for a laptop. And I’ve never been happier.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful family and fabulous husband who put up with my writing—and obsessive personality—even when life is chaotic. More than once my kids have been late to swimming or baseball because I needed just five more minutes to finish a scene. Their support and encouragement mean the world to me. I also have amazing friends and a support network I couldn’t survive without. So to all of you out there who have encouraged me along the way, sent me emails and fan letters, phone calls and congratulations, I just want to say, thank you. You make this whole writing gig that much more enjoyable. I truly wouldn’t be here without you.
Find Elisabeth online at:
- Website/Blog: http://www.elisabethnaughton.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElisNaughton
- FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.naughton1
- Eternal Guardians FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/EternalGuardians
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2002988.Elisabeth_Naughton
Elisabeth is giving away some great prizes on this tour! The more you comment, the more chances you have to win! To enter to win on this tour stop, leave a comment telling us just how steamy-hot you like your love scenes to be! Don’t be shy now. *wink* Psst – don’t forget to fill out the Rafflecopter below! Here’s what you can win…
- 1 ebook copy of “Bound”
- Character Trading Cards
- 1 Eternal Guardian Bookmarker
- 1 Eternal Guardians Drink Coaster
- 1 Eternal Guardian logo Temporary tattoo
- 1 Bound Car Charm
- 1 Bound Keychain
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