>Almost five years ago, I finally found the time to sit down and read Passion. It was a wonderful read that just blew me away. I knew then that I had found another auto-buy author for me! Today, I’m excited to have that author, Lisa Valdez blogging here with us. Her latest release, Patience, was a NY Times (extended list) bestseller and is a deliciously sinful read that you should treat yourself to immediately. Please welcome Lisa for today’s Pleasure Me With Romance guest post.
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Thank you so much for having me, Monica. I’m really looking forward to reading PLEASURE ME. I know it’s going to be fabulously successful!
Okay, so with the publication of my most recent book, PATIENCE, I learned that I could still shock and surprise readers—which, lol, was a bit of a shock and surprise to me. I mean I knew PATIENCE was a risky book, but I guess I just never think I’m being as shocking as some readers think I’m being. So I thought I’d talk about what makes for a Lisa Valdez romance. For readers who know me, it’ll be an elucidation of what you have seen in my books. And for new readers, it’ll give you an idea of what to expect should you decide to pick up one of my books.
Okay, so here we go—three things you can expect from a Lisa Valdez romance:
1. Raw and Emotional Sex Spurred by the Promise of Love—I write very raw, explicit sex using the slang of the period I’m writing in. I don’t hold back and my characters share their every intimacy and vulnerability with the reader. But don’t let the raw language or the immediacy of the sex/love scenes fool you. In a Lisa Valdez romance the sex is never “just” sex. It is a powerful conduit to story, character and conflict, and it is loaded with emotional underpinnings that are acted out and demonstrated throughout the scenes. And those same emotional underpinnings, or themes, will be demonstrated by the characters outside of the bedroom as well.
The careful and/or emotionally engaged reader will see and feel how the sex/love scenes move the characters and the story forward, and how the emotional development of the characters is tied to those scenes. Which brings me to love. The promise of love, the birth of love, or the flowering of love is in every sex/love scene I write. Even if the hero and heroine engage in sex in the first chapter, it is the promise of love that puts them there. In other words, they wouldn’t be there with any other person—only their love match. And even though their minds may not know it, their bodies and hearts do. And we do.
Oh, readers should also know that though I’m a one man/one woman kinda gal, the sensual leanings of my characters won’t always be the same. In PASSION I explored the fantasy of sex in public places. In PATIENCE, I explored a dominant/submissive relationship. But in both books, the sex/love scenes carried emotional weight and the promise, birth and flowering of love.
A WOMAN CALLED PATIENCE. A DESIRE THAT WOULD PUT HER NAME—AND HER LOVE—TO THE TEST.
Known for her exceptional beauty, Patience Emmalina Dare has been pursued by admirers ever since coming of age. But suitor after suitor fails to inspire her love – or her desire. Certain she will never find a man who touches her deeply, she decides to forgo marriage in favor of pursuing her music. But just when Patience thinks she has her life well in hand, a passionate kiss with her enigmatic brother-in-law awakens a powerful need in her. How will she reconcile her desire for him and her desire for a life that’s her own – and what will she do when he shows her a deep and hidden part of herself that she never knew existed?
When the secret of his illegitimate birth pushes Matthew Morgan Hawkmore from his place in society, the darkly handsome half-brother of the Earl of Langley plots his resurrection and his revenge. Betrayed and abandoned by the women he believed loved him, he swears to never again be controlled by love. But despite his vow, he is unable to resist the beautiful Patience, whose strength and self-reliance hide a need that he is perfectly suited to fulfill. Can he have her without loving her? What will he give up to keep her? And will her passionate surrender be the one thing that can stop him from making a tragic mistake that could destroy them both…
2. An Overall Emotional Read—As one might guess from my first item, readers can expect a high degree of emotion from a Lisa Valdez romance. Lol—I sometimes remind myself of Kathleen Turner in ROMANCING THE STONE. At the beginning of that movie, her character is writing her latest romance and crying her eyes out as she’s writing. That’s me, in the privacy of my writer’s lair. Now, some readers thought PATIENCE was lacking emotion.
But I truly believe that critique was founded in some readers’ disassociation with Matthew and Patience’s sensual leanings, rather than an actual lack of emotion. Or, perhaps, Patience’s personal journey from emotionally walled-up to emotionally free made some readers feel that she wasn’t warm and fuzzy enough. Regardless, PATIENCE is actually a book that is all about emotion and the pursuit of emotional freedom. And I cried like three times while writing that book!
Anyway, the reader will find that the emotional arcs of my characters are as heavily weighted—if not more weighted—than the external arcs of my characters. I mean, this is romance and, to me, the emotions are paramount.
3. Purple Prose—Make that Violet—Wickipedia says purple prose is “sensually evocative beyond the requirements of its context.” And that purple prose employs “exaggerated sentiment or pathos in an attempt to manipulate a reader’s response.” But who’s to say what is beyond the requirements of context? And who’s to say what is exaggerated sentiment? Every reader decides this for himself or herself. And so, too, does every author.
When I write, I’m completely immersed in the bodies, minds and hearts of my characters. The words flow onto the pages directly from my characters. “Manipulating a reader’s response” is the last thing on my mind. I think romance as a genre is often criticized for being “purple.” But I, for one, wouldn’t be especially interested in reading a Hemingway-esque romance. I mean passion, love and romance touches us at our hearts—at our purple cores—doesn’t it? I’m thinking it should be some shade of purple. So I have embraced the “purple.” And if I’m deep violet, then so be it. I don’t know how to do mind and body blowing sex that is laden with unacknowledged love and emotional baggage any other way. Vive la pourpre!
So there you have it. I hope this gives readers an idea of what to expect from a Lisa Valdez romance. Thanks again for having me, Monica, and may PLEASURE ME pleasure readers everywhere!
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