Tag Archives: Rosemary Rogers

Open doors…or closed doors?

My, my, my….there are so many ways to interpret what the title of this week’s blog challenge is. I’m going to go with the first thing that came to MY mind when I read it, namely, as a romance writer, do you write sex scenes openly, or do you leave them for behind closed doors?

The first actual romantic story I ever read was Pride and Prejudice. 

The sexiest thing about that book was its lack of sex. No hand holding, no touching except with gloves on and while dancing, no stolen kisses behind chaperone eyes. Lingering looks and side glances were the extent of the sexual tension shown. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it tension. More…expectation.

For hundreds of years after that book was published, the majority of romantic fiction remained the same. The hero and heroine fell in love, had their troubles, then got married. The End. The wedding night was never detailed; their children seemed to be sent from God as immaculate conceptions. You literally didn’t know how they got it on in the bedroom.

Even in the movies things weren’t shown. Remember the great staircase scene in Gone With The Wind?

A drunken Rhett scoops his wife, Scarlett, up in his arms and carries her up that grand staircase, the light fading behind them the higher he goes, his intent obvious. End of scene. Cut to the next morning with Scarlett lounging in bed, a girlish blush on her cheeks, and our imaginations left to run rampant on what occurred after the fade out and the bedroom door was shut in our faces. (Click here to see the actual filmed scene)

Fast forward a half century.

A little independent movie called The Devil in Miss Jones opened and sex – raw, in your face ( and every other body part) sex between two people…and even more than 2 people at once – was now on view for all to see and be…entertained by. It wasn’t shown in back street, urine smelling alleyway hole-in-the-wall porno theaters, but right on Main Street, USA movie houses. The people who stood in line for hours weren’t pedophiles or sex perverts ( although, I’m sure there were a few of those!) but everyday men and women, NORMAL people who were intrigued -and let’s be honest, titillated – about this movie and its usually forbidden subject manner.  It became an overnight cult classic that was accepted and viewed by the mainstream majority.

If you could watch sexual acts among consenting adults openly in the movie theater, sitting next to your neighbor, your boss, your politicians, even your doctor or dentist, why the heck couldn’t you buy a book and read about it openly as well?

Jacqueline Suzanne thought the same thing and wrote a little fictional tome called Valley of the Dolls.

 And while this wasn’t classified as a romance story but as literary fiction – nowadays it would be referred to as Women’s Fiction – it was a runaway bestseller and the major reason it was is because it talked about people having sex — and showing it!! All kinds of sex in all kinds of places – and I’m not just referring to locales, but to different orifices! (Orifi?)

Writers Rosemary Rogers and Kathleen E. Woodiwiss thought the same thing. Why couldn’t you show the physical side of a relationship? In detail? 

This new openness about sexual acts opened that bedroom door and they invited us in. All in! Before those two burst on the romance writing scene, if you wanted to read about what consenting adults did in the privacy of their bedrooms, you had to go to a certain brand of book shop and wander in the erotica section because that’s where the books with sex were kept. Or behind the counter and you had to – blushingly – ask for them by name and author.

 Rogers and Woodiwiss made it acceptable for the average romance reading MOM to buy a book with detailed sex scenes in them at the town independent bookstore, or the local Walmart, Target, and KMart.

Once that bedroom door was opened, it hardly ever closed again. Sweet romances still sell – a lot – but the majority of romance books written and sold now all have open bedroom ( and every other conceivable place and room) doors.

I’m with the majority on this one. I like reading about open bedroom doors and I write about open bedroom doors. In its baldest sense, I have an open door policy for my writing. Pun intended. I read all genres of romance except pure erotica. I do, though, read and enjoy erotic ROMANCES because –HELLO!!!– romance is the major part of the equation. A really good writer can devise a “love scene” where you never even realize the physicality of what you’re reading as much as you do the emotions involved in the physical aspects of what’s on the page. And let’s face it, if you’re getting a little…turned on…both emotionally and physically by what you’re reading, that author has done her job. I long to be that type of writer!

To quote the late and amazeballs George Michael,

“Sex is natural, sex is good
Not everybody does it
But everybody should
Sex is natural, sex is fun
Sex is best when it’s, one on one”
from I WANT YOUR SEX

Now, there are a bunch more authors in this blog challenge who may have interpreted this blog title just a little bit differently than I have. Let’s hop over and see what they’ve come up with, shall we?

 

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Filed under #Mfrwauthors, Author, Contemporary Romance, Life challenges, love, research, Romance, Romance Books, Strong Women

Evolving Romance reader….

When I was a teenager ( 175 years ago!), my taste in, and selection of, romance books was a tad different from what it is today. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers were my top reads back in the day and this little sheltered Catholic girl learned a whole lot about love, sex, and romance ( you thought I was gonna say Rock and Roll, admit it!) from those talented writers. In a world before the Internet, cell phones, reality TV and fame for fame’s sake, these books educated me in the ways of seduction, foreplay, and the real difference between men and women. Being transported back to the times when manners mattered, words could be used to seduce or slay, and women came to a marriage bed untouched and unknowing was fun to read.

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Flash forward to the present day and I’m invested in, and now  read a, different kind of romance story. While Regency tales of naughty noblemen and lascivious Lords are still fun for me to loose myself in, I know all about sex now, firsthand (!) so my eyes don’t need to be opened from reading about it, and I have a different perspective on what I want to read in today’s romance book.

Contemporary romantic fiction runs the gamut from sweet (no sex) tales of Amish women finding their true loves, to mild ( some sex, bedroom door closed) stories of women embarking on new life challenges; from sensual (sex with bedroom door wide open) stories of women discovering the meaning of their lives, to spicy (LOTS of sex in every place imaginable!) tales of women who are discovering their sexual – and personal – identities.

The common denominator in all the books I like to read now? The word contemporary.

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I lovelovelove reading about present day women of any age who are struggling, trying to make a better life, wondering if they will ever find their own happily ever after. Contemporary women in the here and now are my tribe. They live their lives with passion, fight for the ideas they believe in, aren’t afraid to speak their minds, and would do anything for, and sacrifice everything for,  the people they love. The men they let into their hearts may not always be deserving of such a place of honor in the beginning of the tale, but by the end of it, my contemporary girls have brought about a profound change in them – and in herself – that it facilitates their lifetime love. Their own happily ever after.

The contemporary romances I read – I will freely admit – run from sensual to spicy. Unlike when I was growing up, women can have sex freely these days without the dread of being burned at the stake ( don’t laugh – it happened), without fear of being abandoned by family and society, and without worry about getting pregnant – although this last one is a popular romantic trope to this day ( the unplanned OOPS baby).  They can engage in behavior that at one time would have lead to their banishment from society, their public censure, and their economic downfall. And they can have fun doing it now. Some of my favorite books to read are romantic comedies where the laughs equal the sexy parts, measure for measure.

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In my youth, the heroines I read fell into a very small category: ladies of noble birth or not. No in between. No shopkeepers, governesses, scullery maids.

Today, the heroines I read about are brilliant doctors, powerful lawyers, CEO’s of their own companies, tech executives. They are  nurses, teachers, veterinary techs, bus drivers, race car enthusiasts, television producers. And they are stay-at-home moms, policewomen. writers. They are all the women I know.

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So, in the past several decades I can truly say I have evolved as a romance reader.

But I have to admit I still love a Regency rake!

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Since I love contemporary romances, here’s where you can find the ones I write – stories about strong women, the families who support them, and the men  who can’t live without them. Amazon author page

 

My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.

Blurb:

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Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.

Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.

Buy Links: Amazon /// TWRP /// Kobo /// Nook

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Filed under 3 Wishes, Alpha Hero, Alpha Male, Author, Characters, Contemporary Romance, Family Saga, Historical Romance, Kensington Publishers, Life challenges, Lyrical Author, Romance, Romance Books, RWA, Strong Women, The Voices of Angels, The Wild Rose Press, WIld Rose Press AUthor