THE SENSUALIST & THE UNTOUCHED Release Party #4: Party Wrap-up

December 19, 2014

Hi to any newcomers and late party-goers. I’m Susan Laine. I’m hosting a release party here today, Dec 19, starting from 2:00 p.m. EST for my latest release, The Sensualist & the Untouched.

The last hour of this release party is at hand! I’m still open for any and all questions you might have, so don’t be afraid to ask.

This is the wrap-up party, as it were. My time here at the Dreamspinner Blog is coming to an end. Thank you all kindly for stopping by and commenting! I hope you’ve had fun hanging out with me :)

Using Random.org, I will announce the winner of the giveaway an hour after this last post, so keep checking it at around 7:00 p.m. EST. You have an hour to comment on this, or any of the posts, and be a part of the giveaway. The very best of luck to all who commented and thanks again!

You can find me at:

Author WebsiteDreamspinner PressFacebookTwitterAmazonBarnes & NobleAll Romance eBooksManic Readers

All my very best,

Susan Laine

THE SENSUALIST & THE UNTOUCHED Release Party #3: Characters & Excerpt & A Giveaway

December 19, 2014

As usual, I’m Susan Laine. I’m hosting a release party here today, Dec 19, starting from 2:00 p.m. EST for my latest release, The Sensualist & the Untouched.

How to describe Corey and Lucian?

Corey is a rational kind of guy. He sees a problem and he tackles it head on. He over-analyzes too, which makes him hesitate whenever the opportunity to be close to someone presents itself.

Here’s an image I had in mind when writing Corey:

Gray Sweater

Lucian, however, is more instinctive that Corey. He’s unafraid to try new things, and he’s a great lover of both men and women. In fact, due to his family, Lucian has made a conscious choice to have his whole life revolve around sensual issues.

Here’s an image I had in mind when writing Lucian:

White Suit

Here’s a scene to show Lucian and Corey learning more about one another in an intimate—and pitch-black—setting at Boudoir:

———-

“Am I your first frigid man?” Corey wondered briefly if that were true. Statistically he couldn’t be the only one in town.

“You’re not my first enigma” was Lucian’s cryptic reply. That seemed so like Lucian that it made Corey laugh. “You want to dance, Corey? No one would see. Not even me.”

Corey bristled. “I happen to be a good dancer.” Then he cleared his throat. “Not that that’s the point or anything.”

Lucian let out a merry sound. “I’d love to dance with you. I bet you lead very well. I must confess the notion of your hand on the small of my back is enthralling.”

Corey swallowed nervously in the blackness. He wasn’t sure what it was about the idea of dancing with Lucian that made him anxious and jumpy. His confused mind still reeled and refused to provide him with clear-cut answers. And his body was so deep into the land of confusion, Corey wondered if it would ever get unlost again.

The rising pace of the “Boléro” changed to a new piece then. A lone saxophone began to play, a blues tune so soft and melancholy it stirred something in Corey’s chest. A heavy weight shifted, an ever-present reminder of the pain he carried. And yet, the notes of the sax held a certain erotic charge that tingled on the edges of Corey’s awareness and in his gut, this time showing him how a single instrument could depict his condition so accurately. The sad longing for sensuality.

Would it be so bad if I danced with Lucian?

Corey threw caution to the wind. “We can try that. One dance.”

Lucian let out a surprised, gleeful gasp. “Really?” Corey heard chair legs scrape on the floor as the man rose and then soft footfalls as he approached. “Take my hand.”

Corey knew that if Lucian had used an endearment right then, he would have changed his mind so fast his head would have been left spinning like in those old time cartoons. But Lucian’s voice sounded gentle and kind and even somewhat yearning, so Corey stood up and fumbled to find his host’s hand in the dark.

How Corey wished he could have felt passionate sparks and colorful fireworks as their hands touched. Alas, all he felt was a hand smaller than his own with delicate bone structure, long, svelte fingers, soft skin that carried the scent of passion fruit, and the feel of luxuriously manicured nails.

———

Time to announce today’s giveaway! As the above excerpt shows, this is Corey’s first time dancing with someone, and is therefore profoundly meaningful for him.

So I pose you this question: What do you remember from the first time you danced with someone?

I’ll answer to get the ball rolling.

I was a teenager, thirteen or fourteen. My Mom had taken me and my sister on a cruise, just a short two-day trip. I wore a blue silk blouse I’d borrowed from my Mom when a man came to ask me to dance. I did, though I’d never done that before and was feeling a bit nervous. I don’t recall his face, only that he was a lot taller than me and he had a spicy cologne. We never really spoke and I never learned his name. Yet I remember the experience well. I’ve danced with other men since then but that moment has stuck with me.

The prize for this giveaway is an e-book (your choice of format) of The Sensualist & the Untouched—or if you already have it, one from my backlog.

You can find me at Dreamspinner Press and at my website.

THE SENSUALIST & THE UNTOUCHED Release Party #2: Themes

December 19, 2014

Hi again! I’m Susan Laine. I’m hosting a release party here today, Dec 19, starting from 2:00 p.m. EST for my latest release, The Sensualist & the Untouched.

I have a couple of themes that take center stage in this book.

The first is sexual inexperience and how detrimental the effect of that can be on a person’s self-esteem, especially if you are an adult. The emotions connected to that state of being are the same for both men and women: Poor self-esteem, shame, embarrassment, and feelings of inadequacy. Last but not least, there is loneliness, which is another central theme.

The physical aspect in a relationship may not be key but it is important. As social beings, we all have an instinctive need to connect with people, to see and to be seen by others. Our modern society is over-sexualized. Sex sells, as the saying goes. You can see it everywhere, not just on the pages of a porn magazine, but in huge billboards around big cities. Women with big boobs and butts, men with thick muscles and ripped abs. The imagery radiates sex.

It seems as though everyone is having sex everywhere, all the time, with anyone and everyone.

But… what if you’re not? What if you’ve never felt the touch of another, never been kissed, never been seen as desirable, never even been brushed against by someone who isn’t part of your immediate family?

That is where Corey comes from. No sex. No touch. No intimacy. No sensuality. Nothing.

He is fundamentally alone and lonely, and he’s tired of it. He’s an adult, in his thirties, and he has no practical knowledge of what it takes to be intimate with another human being. Loneliness is his best—and worst—friend.

Here’s a tiny excerpt to show how loneliness effects Corey:

Corey had never realized, not with the total awareness of this moment, how much he ached to be touched. His raw, palpable loneliness permeated his whole body, from skin to soul. Perhaps the constant solitude had fried his brain, making him mad, delusional, and wanting impossible things. But in his heart, he had more than an inkling it was this isolation that left him hollow and hurting, touch deprived and in desperate need for contact.

“Fuck. I’m sorry.” Corey was glad his face was hidden by the cushion, but he wasn’t stupid enough to believe or hope that Lucian hadn’t noticed.

Loneliness

How about a realization that others seem so capable of love—while Corey is not?:

Love….

Funny how Corey could recognize it, though he had never felt it or sensed it aimed at him. Perhaps it was instinctual and universal and undeniable.

If so, why couldn’t he reciprocate? Why could he not… feel… those better emotions, the ones that didn’t make him feel like a loser, despondent and bereft of hope? Had it been nothing more than… gasp… a fluke?

As I’m sure you can imagine, this is an emotional ride. Corey has a lot to deal with throughout the story, and because of him, so does Lucian.

Lonely Heart

And now, a question for you all: Do you find it easy or hard to talk about loneliness?

If you feel the topic is too intimate and private, there is absolutely no obligation to answer.

As I wrote, at times I almost choked on the heaviness and hollowing feeling as I experienced it through Corey. Many find it hard to admit they ever feel lonely, even in company, while others find comfort and safety in solitude. Our society labels poorly those who have the courage to admit their loneliness, as though they were abnormal or freakish somehow. That is the place where Corey’s loneliness stems from, the unwillingness to vocalize it, burying it under the condition of frigidity.

My books can be found through my website.

THE SENSUALIST & THE UNTOUCHED Release Party #1: Intro for Today’s Event

December 19, 2014

Hi! I’m Susan Laine. I’ll be hosting a release party here today, Dec 19, starting from 2:00 p.m. EST for my latest release, The Sensualist & the Untouched. This is a standalone contemporary M/M erotic romance.

I’ll be around for four hours to offer excerpts, a giveaway, a picture or two, and answers to any and all of your questions. I might even spring up a few myself. I’ll do a post once in an hour or so, to give everyone a chance to stop by here at DSP’s blog.

Here’s the cover by the talented Bree Archer:

SensualistAndTheUntouched[The]FS

This novel is set in contemporary New York City, and tells the tale of Corey Paige, an adult male who has never experienced any kind of sex first-hand. Corey is introduced to Lucian Allard, an eccentric man with a large cache of sensual wisdom ready to be imparted on a sexual novice like Corey. A sensual journey begins.

You can find the book HERE.

Here’s the blurb:

“Being over thirty is not an issue for Corey Paige. Being frigid and a virgin, however, is a huge problem for the only son of a newspaper magnate. No matter the risk, Corey’s intent on resolving both problems in one go.

Enter Lucian Allard, a wealthy hedonist with a notorious reputation at club Boudoir—and an unconventional sexual mentoring program for those who suffer from dysfunctions. As the two men begin a sensual journey to awaken Corey’s libido, Corey’s frigid body isn’t all that begins to melt. His untouched feelings also spark to life.

Though a family emergency puts a halt to awakening Corey’s senses and desires, Corey and Lucian grow closer as friends. Then an unexpected kiss from Lucian in Corey’s most desperate hour changes everything. Now Corey must decide if the program is still an aid or an obstacle to two lonely men trying to maintain a professional detachment but falling hopelessly in love.”

As I said above, I’ll be around from two to six EST to offer excerpts, giveaways, pictures, and trivia tidbits. So please, if you’re interested and/or have some free time, stop by at the DSP blog.

Question for you all: Are you familiar with my work, or would The Sensualist & the Untouched be your first story of mine?

You can find more about me and my books at my website.

Thank you!

December 10, 2014

Thank you!

 

My time here on the blog is up. Thanks for being here!  I appreciate the support.  I’ll return here this afternoon to announce the winners.  Please feel free to continue to leave comments. I will be back later to respond to each one.

 

LastGuyBreathingORIG

Next for me:

I’ve started a new series. Book one, titled Here for You, will be out this February. *Happy dance*

This is a very emotional series for me, and I hope all of you will check it out. It revolves around 4 roommates in South Florida. When tragedy strikes, it has a ripple effect. Each roommate will get his story. I hope you will like the first book.

The Sunshine and Happiness series will be 3-4 books (I hope) . I fell hard for these fellas.

 

Thanks again for being here with me.

HolidayHoax[The]FS

 

 

Worlds

December 10, 2014

LastGuyBreathingORIG

Diversity in romance

Last year I attended the awesome Rainbow conference in Tampa. It was tons of fun. I was nervous, however, to be sitting on the panels. My favorite panel was about writing diversity in romance. This one is an important topic to me.  When I look around my area, I see so many types of people, and I love that diversity. I think contemporary novels should reflect the modern world. In my previous books some of my characters are Cuban, Italian, Jewish, Indian, and Brazilian. This reflects my real world because I have family and friends of different religions and races. Perhaps if I wrote historical romances, I’d create a far different world. But in contemporaries, I’m committed to expressing diversity.

The Holiday Hoax, for example, has Evan a member of a family of two religions. They try and balance both Christmas and Hanukkah. The main aspect of his family, whatever holiday, is love. This family is all sweetness and love– –I celebrated that in the novella—–Evan’s family embraced its differences. JD was not as lucky.  I don’t sit down and order myself to put in diverse characters, which would be silly and be way too forced, but I’m comfortable with diversity. I think this is why it often naturally comes into my books.  Evan told me his background as I wrote him, and I simply followed his voice.

HolidayHoax[The]FS

I’m curious how you all feel? Do you like seeing contemporary romances express some diversity?   Or do you not really think about this question?

One reader will get any e-book from mine of choice for this answer!

 

 

Series or Alone?

December 10, 2014

LastGuyBreathingORIG

HolidayHoax[The]FS

 

 

 

The Holiday Hoax is an independent novella, while The Last Guy Breathing is part of a series. I like to write and read both standalone books and series books. My goal last year was to write my first series, and The Last Guy Breathing completes the trilogy. I’m thrilled to have done it!

( But there might be a short holiday novella for July Fourth to catch up with all the couples too in The Guy Series—-if I actually write the darn novella. Would you guys out there want that?)

Why do I enjoy writing a series?  I like to see how a community changes and develops in a series. I also enjoy revisiting the couples from the other books. There is more pressure in a series. You want all the books to be liked equally and that’s tough.

Why do I enjoy standalone books? In a standalone book, I need to feel the story gives me that “happy click” as I turn the last page and exit the world.

What do you all look for in a series? Do you prefer stand-alone books or do you prefer a series?

Since The Last Guy Breathing is part of my series, one reader will win my The Only Guy audiobook for answering this question!

Ideas

December 10, 2014

Book origins:

Many readers want to know where authors get their ideas. For these two new releases, The Last Guy Breathing and The Holiday Hoax, I found inspiration in very different places. For The Last Guy Breathing, I had the idea back in The Only Guy. As soon as Locke briefly appeared at the wedding scene in that novel, I knew he would hookup with Henry.

How I got the idea for The Holiday Hoax is a cute story. I was listening to a radio program last year, and the disc jockey discussed how so many people hated going home for the holidays because they get the third-degree on their love lives. One caller even said she paid a complete stranger to go home with her and pretend to be her boyfriend just to get her mother off her back. Hooray! An idea was planted! It wasn’t until the following summer I actually wrote the story, but I had jotted down the thought.

 

HolidayHoax[The]FS

Donuts and Weddings

December 10, 2014

LastGuyBreathingORIG

Donuts and Weddings

Where do couples first meet? I think it is fun to examine that in a novel.

Although Henry and Locke from The Last Guy Breathing knew each other before, their first major encounter takes place at a wedding. Weddings are ripe locations for romance. People want to let loose at weddings. There’s a happy couple. There’s dancing.  And hey, there’s alcohol too. No wonder Henry and Locke get carried away at the wedding.

In The Holiday Hoax, Evan and JD first meet at a donut shop.  When I was in college, there was a twenty-four hour donut place nearby, and I have a ton of fun memories of sitting around with muffins and coffee into the early morning, chatting with my roommates.

Perhaps the oddest place that I ever met somebody was in the middle of a parade. The relationship did not last, but I can still see the floats and almost hear the music from that day.

My husband and I met at a tiny restaurant on the beach in South Florida.

Where have you met a significant other?  One lucky reader will get an e-book of choice for the answer today!

Blurbs: The Last Guy Breathing and The Holiday Hoax

December 10, 2014

Here are the two blurbs for the two books:

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5801

HolidayHoax[The]FS

The Holiday Hoax

I’m Evan Goodman, budding actor, future star, college freshman. Oh, and let’s not forget—recently dumped. If only my family wasn’t expecting to meet my new boyfriend over the holiday break. Enter JD Laurens—a sweet and quiet science major who mostly keeps to himself. When he gathers the courage to come out, poor JD gets abandoned by his only family right in front of me, and now he has nowhere to go for Christmas. But I have a proposition for him: pretend to be my boyfriend for the holidays so I can take him home. It’s a win-win. What could go wrong?

 

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5747

 

A Work in The Guy Series

THE LASY GUY BREATHING

Henry Clueley doesn’t want to be in Glamour, not after moving far away to overcome a difficult, if privileged, childhood. He’s no longer that pudgy kid desperate to escape his hometown, but it still holds painful memories.  When his recently widowed mother needs him, however, “dependable Henry” does the right thing—even if it means leaving the IRS to take a boring corporate position. Things don’t stay boring for long. Soon Henry helps the local sheriff’s department unravel a crime. Posing as half of a fake couple seems like a fun idea… until Henry learns he already knows the deputy playing his other half.

Deputy Locke may be new to the Glamour Sheriff’s Department, but he’s fought his way up in the world and is determined to make a good impression. He keeps his private life quiet, even from his beloved younger brother. Locke knows better than most the need to protect what’s his.

Henry resents the arrogant, gorgeous cop, and Locke thinks Henry is sheltered and spoiled. Their secret and steamy encounter only adds to the animosity. As they join forces, Henry thinks a relationship with Locke would be catastrophic, but the white-hot passion between them makes it hard to resist.

LastGuyBreathingORIG