Writing Inspirations

The Virgin Dilemma

Hello Lovies!

Long time no post. First a few updates. I’ve hired a personal assistant to help me manage my ARC list, so if you recently joined there might be a little delay in getting your complimentary copy of my books for review!

For those of you asking how can I get free books you can email CandyCapPublishing at gmail.com or fill in the webform to sign up for the list. Serious reviewers only please 🙂 http://goo.gl/forms/kCQhGVgjkb1P0Axi2

Once you’ve completed your review leave the link to it here. Periodically a reviewer will be selected to win a gift card!


If you want more chances to win join my Street Team! This week’s street team prize is treats from France!!!

Find us here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/579799565524743/

Now to the topic at hand…

I’ve had a few people ask me about my latest book, the Roman’s Woman and one aspect that’s a departure for me. What follows is a SPOILER if you haven’t read the book, but not a huge one.

For the first time my heroine is NOT a virgin. Several of you were disapointed by that and I know why!

First I want to address why I (mostly) write about virgins in the first place. It is intentional. The Singular Obsession books are an homage to all of those red cover Harlequin books I read when I was younger. I wrote Making Her His after reading like 50 Lynne Graham novels back to back to back.

You’ll recognize versions of those Harlequiny romantic tropes in this series. This is also a very deliberate choice. I wanted to do my own versions of those stories, but with certain “improvements”. I like my women strong. I detest emotional immaturity in my male and female leads. I once said my goal was to write characters you didn’t want to punch in the face. Yes, my men often do stupid things, but hey…they’re men 😛 Anything truly stupid they do will be mitigated by their unwavering devotion to their heroine.

Most of these books I’m referencing were about virgins. It’s one of the reasons I loved them. While in real life I would never expect that a woman abstain, I do enjoy it in fiction. I’m not making a statement about women or sex. I’m a strong advocate for equal rights when it comes to a women’s reproductive health. I don’t believe women have to wait for marriage or can’t enjoy casual sex. My stories are meant to be a pleasurable diversion and nothing more.

In books a virgin has an opportunity for clean slate, romantically speaking. They can have a fresh start without the baggage that comes from past disappointments or even past triumphs. There are, of course, exceptions. What makes a character a full-fledged person in my mind changes for each one.

Writing about virgins allows me to write a world where their first (or let’s be honest second) experience is an earth-shattering pleasure-filled dream. It sets a precedent for all their subsequent sexual interactions. Maybe it’s unrealistic, but I don’t write true-to-life fiction for a reason. The books I read and want to write are about as far from real life as I can get. I want the fantasy.

But it has to feel real. Yes, I love writing virgins—provided it makes sense with their life experience.

When I pictured Sophia, The Roman’s Woman (aka Gio’s true love), she was exceptional. The upbringing and circumstance of my other heroines led to them being virgins quite naturally, but Sophia just didn’t work that way. She’s a bit older than the others, more established. I didn’t think someone at her career level would be inexperienced. Additionally, I wanted her ex to play a role and that meant she couldn’t be a virgin.

To some extent I don’t write these books. I write what I see in my head. If everything is going well, it’s a process akin to writing down what’s happening in a movie. For this reason, I can’t promise all my heroines will be virgins. But most of them will be—when it makes sense. It is my fantasy after all 😛

Food, glorious food…in my books.

You might have noticed I like detailing the meals my characters eat in my books. That is no accident. I’ve always loved good descriptions of food in fiction, and while I do it in a more cursory way than my favorite authors I still have to do it.

Living in France means great food, but there are things I can’t get in this country. You might have noticed some of those things in Making Her His. Did you know you can’t get roast beef here? And for a long time the only iced tea you could buy was peach. I would kill for a lemon Snapple. Or clam chowder. And one day I’ll go back to Santorini to get another plate of shrimp saganaki from that one restaurant overlooking the caldera- if I can remember the name. Lots of places there serve shrimp saganaki and no two places do it the same. And when I’m doing that I’m going to stuff my face with real Greek yogurt served with honey and nuts, which is nothing like the stuff you can get in the grocery store.

I don’t always focus on what I can’t have. I’ve mentioned a few dishes that I can get regularly. A good duck confit is an unparalleled experience. This region of France is known for duck and duck products. Foie gras, magret… it’s all so very good. Not PC, but if that’s important to you, France is not the place for you. I once had a hachis parmentier of shredded duck confit covered in foie gras poêlé, which was in turn covered by the most buttery potatoes you’ve ever had. Someone in my books needs to have that dish someday.

You’ll see more of my cravings in print when Calen’s Captive hits your e-readers 🙂