Category Archives: Tina Gerow

Remembering my brother 16 years later…@TinaGerow

James Douglas Hatcher

My brother Jim died 16 years ago today, and since I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately, I thought remembering him today would be a great blog.

So today I remember not his death, but his life. He was only 53 when he died, and for the most part I always remember him as a robust, energetic, sweet, funny, obnoxious smartass.  🙂

Yes, for those of you who follow my pages or read my books, this won’t be a surprise to you. That runs in our family. And in fact I probably have Jim to thank for a lot of my snark abilities!

Since my Dad, through no fault of his own, didn’t get to see me grow up, Jim became something of a father figure to me. He was the one who taught me to tie my shoes, ride a bike, and swim.

Well, he threw me in and told me to paddle or sink…LOL. Yes, at the time I wasn’t amused, but I learned to swim really fast! And I’m still a very strong swimmer to this day… Although I did NOT teach my son to swim that way!!

Jim also taught me how to load, clean, care for, and shoot a gun, as well as the best places to aim, to slow down, take down, or even kill. He told me if I ever had to pick up a gun to shoot another human being that it would be for self defense or defense of another so I needed to know where and how to shoot to achieve whatever aim I needed to, and if I was shooting for food (hunting) I needed to know where to shoot so the animal didn’t suffer any more than needed to provide us food.

He taught us to hunt rabbits, squirrels and quail and how to clean them and prepare them to cook. We never killed what we didn’t plan to eat. That was a rule,and I still believe that. He was a very firm believer in being kind to animals and the earth, and that everyone and everything was connected.

He taught me to bait a hook and how to fish. He taught me to be patient, not to rock the boat and scare away the fish, and to watch the changes in the ripples of the water and the behavior of the birds to tell me where to fish for the best results. And, of course, how to clean the fish. Because if you caught it, you cleaned it. Just like in the hunting – if you killed it, you dressed it for cooking.

We also had to learn to pitch a tent, build a fire, make sure the fire was completely out when you were done, change your own oil, and a thousand other things… He wanted me to be a strong woman, self sufficient and a positive force in the world.  He wanted me to be proud of who I was and have a strong set of personal values and live by them.  And I hope I’ve made him proud.

In many ways he was a simple man, but also a big kid at heart. I remember several Christmases when I was little hearing Santa and the reindeer up stomping around on our roof and hearing the jingle bells. Of course when I got older I realized that was Jim up there making us think Santa had come.

He also taught me to have a love and reverence for reading. He introduced me to Piers Anthony by giving me On a Pale Horse – the first book in the Incarnations of Immortality series and I was hooked on paranormal forever! Which is probably why I write it. He wasn’t a big fan of romance, but he probably would’ve enjoyed my Cassie Ryan books. He viewed sex as a fun, natural and very necessary part of being human. And knowing his little Sis wrote “smut” for a living would’ve amused the hell out of him.  Although he would’ve enjoyed the Tina Gerow books too.  Still steamy but not quite the kink factor of Cassie Ryan! 🙂

I didn’t start writing until 2003, and Jim died in 2001, but I know he would’ve been proud of me to have books published. And he would’ve read them and enjoyed them. And the Cassie Ryan heat level wouldn’t have made him bat an eyelash. I’m pretty sure that Jim has thought about and done “much kinkier shit” than Cassie Ryan could ever write!  🙂 Snerk!

When I published my first book, Into a Dangerous Mind, I dedicated it to Jim. And because when he asked me to give my son the last name “Hatcher” to carry on the family line, and I couldn’t, I named my first hero Zack Hatcher. I know it’s not the same as naming my son Hatcher, but in some small way, I have a Hatcher out there who will endure, or at least I hope he will 🙂 I know there are still Hatchers out there – probably a ton of us…but carrying on the family name was important to him, which is why he asked me if I could have Darian named Hatcher.

But of course my husband at the time didn’t appreciate that idea, so Darian was a Keller until just after his 18th birthday when he changed his name to Gerow. And in a very Jim-like manner, when the judge at the name change hearing asked him if he had any minor children, Darian said, “Not that I know of…”

Yes, Jon and I both FACE PALMED simultaneously at that one, but then we did chuckle. The judge wasn’t entertained, but was nice about chiding him. But I could VERY much see Jim coming out in my son at that moment!

Jim left behind one son, three sisters, and two daughters. He never got to meet his five grandchildren, or his son, but he would’ve loved them all.

Five little girls for grandchildren… He would’ve loved to have some boys in there too, but would’ve encouraged the girls to do anything they wanted – which is why my sister and I turned out to be tomboys. You’ll never see “shoe porn” on my Facebook page or blog, and most likely not on my feet either. I love my tennis shoes and jeans!

Jim gave me a lot of shit for my poofy white wedding dress and fancy high heels that I wore for my first wedding. Mostly because he liked giving me shit when the opportunity arose – AND the fact that it made me a few inches taller than my future (now ex)  husband 🙂  That tickled the hell out of him!

And the smartass even used the childhood nickname he gave me when he did the “Her mother and I do”…and then said just loud enough for the pastor and my future husband and I to hear…”We approve of Tuna Salad and ‘whats his name’ getting hitched.”

He called me “Tuna-Salad” or “Salaaaad” for short, ever since I can remember… But I guess that was better than my sister Amy’s nickname – Ameel–worm” Not sure how the heck he came up with that one, but it stuck…

He was definitely a jokester and liked to make everything sarcastic or outright funny, and sometimes downright dirty! It sometimes was corny, but often endearing. It could be embarrassing, especially when I was younger, but I would welcome it all back if he could still be here.

He would’ve railed at what our nation has become post 9-11, he had proudly served in the Army during Viet Nam, but yet he would also be celebrating his life and his family. He always lived life on his own terms as much as possible and was very “what you see is what you get.” You never had to wonder where you stood with Jim, and in fact, sometimes he had no filter at all – or at least chose not to use it.

Yes, smartasses – I hear you telling me that THAT is another Hatcher family trait.

Hey!!! I resemble that remark!!

Anyway…a few words on a blog can’t celebrate the fullness of my brother’s life, and I wish I had more time to dig out old pictures of him and us, but he is always full of life to those who loved him, and I know he’s watching over us and either smiling or smirking as the situation requires.

I’m sure he’s keeping the angels busy with his antics, and possibly even comes back for visits now and then. 🙂 I know there’s been several times in my life where I’ve felt him nearby, especially when a situation arises that I know would’ve made him hold his belly and laugh, or that would make him curse and shake his fist. 🙂

And for those of you familiar with my brain blowout, that long white hallway where I spent most of my time while I was under heavy sedation – he was there giving me shit.  While other relatives and friends were down there guiding me and laying their arms across my shoulders, Jim was teasing me that he’d always told me my brain would blow up one of these days if I didn’t stop holding things in and just let it “all hang out” once in a while! 🙂  I don’t think that was quite the brain blowout he had in mind, but he made light of it and made me laugh, which took some of the fear away, and I was grateful!

So, Jim, here’s to you! I raise a drink to you and tell you once again that I love you and miss you…  I don’t think we ever did get a chance to drink together while you were here, but we’ll make up for it when I get there!  Like I told you before – if we end up in hell – save me a seat over by the male strippers…I’ll meet you by the hillbilly moonshiners when I’m done!

Our family line carries on, maybe not in name, but the Hatcher genes are alive and well, and we’ve found another of us who we are welcoming into our fold in your stead. I can’t wait until you can meet and look into a face so similar to your own…

Until we meet again, Jim

I love you!!

Tina

 

Tina Gerow: New Year’s resolutions for smut writers…

Everyone I know has the more normal New Year’s resolutions – you know…lose weight, clean out their closet, exercise 4X a week…

Yeah – not my style. Not that those aren’t admirable resolutions to have, but they just aren’t on my list. And I would probably never keep them beyond January anyway.

 

So what IS on my list?

 

  1. Write daily! I already try to do this, but end up on a pretty normal week only writing on 5 days and those aren’t always productive ones.
  2. Read more! TONS of people have this on their lists, but as a writer, it’s pretty important. I often use reading as a  reward for reaching some word count goal in my current Work in Progress, and I can’t read in the genre I’m currently writing. I don’t want to start sounding like the author I’m reading. When I read, I get just as immersed in that world and those characters as when I write.  So often, I’ll read historical romances, comedy romances or even history or biographies.  But whatever I’m reading I NEED to read more in 2016!  I only read 13 books in 2015 (not counting the ones I critiqued for other writers) and that’s pretty pathetic for me.
  3. Do more real time research! I do a lot of my research online, or even chatting online with people to get the information I need. But for my current series, I really need to wrangle the Butterscotch Martini Girls and go to a BDSM dungeon/sex club.  Hubby told me in no uncertain terms when I was offered the contract with Random House Loveswept that he would NOT be the one to go with me…LOL! But I’ll bet at least a few of the girls would be game!
  4. Find a few more people who are active in the BDSM/fetish lifestyle to interview and get story ideas. Pretty self explanatory – more research from those who live that lifestyle will give me great writing material!!
  5. Step up my sex scenes.  Yes, I can see some of you cringing because a lot of my sex scenes are already pretty hot, but I don’t want them to get stagnant or predictable so I need to keep striving to write better/hotter ones that also bring the characters together and bring the characters closer emotionally.
  6. The BMG’s have been talking about getting Martini girl tattoos. I’m thinking about it. I have one existing tatt I need to get touched up, but I wouldn’t mind adding a small BMG one to the two I have. After all, I’m one of the founding members and it’s been a BIG part of my life for over a decade now. It would be a tattoo I would love forever, and I do still have a few places that won’t sag too much over the next 20 years!! No one wants a crinkly or suddenly 3 foot long martini glass….snerk!
  7. I also do have some normal resolutions…like not to beat myself up as much when I have a bad writing week or get behind on word count.
  8. To not compare myself to other authors’ writing output and feel bad about myself.
  9. To be thankful every day that I can STILL write – even if it takes me four times as long as it did pre brain blowout.
  10. The be more kind and compassionate
  11. To always work to be a better mother and wife
  12. To love myself more
  13. To be less judgmental about myself and others
  14. To be thankful for everything each and every day!
  15. To make sure everyone I love and care for knows how I feel!
  16. To find joy in every day!
  17. Do my gratitude exercises every day as soon as I get up!

If you were expecting more X-rated resolutions – just head on out to my Cassie Ryan page and pick up a book or two…and definitely my latest – My Obsession. That’ll give you the X-rated you’ve been looking for! 🙂

But if you’d like to go sensual instead of erotic – head on out to my Tina Gerow page.

What are some of YOUR resolutions that aren’t on everyone else’s list?

Happy New Year!

Tina

 

I’m off to raise a Butterscotch Martini to a new year!!!!
butterscotch martinis

100th Anniversary of ASU’s Marching Band by Tina Gerow/Cassie Ryan

Tina ASU band  This was from my Freshman year at Arizona State University, back in 1986 – EEP!!

Damn, has it really been that long? yep! I’ve only gone back for 2 Homecomings since I graduated in December of 1990. Marched the Alumni block in the halftime show and played in the stands. Every time it was great to see old friends and yell “Go Devils” and play the Fight Song – Maroon and Gold until I lost my voice…LOL!

I’m looking forward to that again…well, most of it. Due to the brain blowout – the neurologist nixed me marching. Too much chance of a concussion from the half a brain that’s floating around up there getting beat up from all that marching. I also need to be careful not to play too loud. Puts pressure on the whole sinus cavity which the healing brain might not like. THAT one will be tough for me because the idea in marching band – especially on an instrument like clarinet is to play LOUD most of the time…LOL…

AND, I just downloaded the music and did a quick EEP! I need to get with my sister ASAP and get my marching clarinet. My niece just started band and she’s using it until she gets her own. But my sister said I’m good to borrow it back for Homecoming weekend, and Megan can take my sister’s wooden one to school.

I can sit here and hum and finger through the music, but I need to get the clarinet in hand – AND go get some reeds, a lyre and a flip folder for the music… and practice!

I’m sure the lady who lives above us will be pissy! She gets her panties in a twist when Jon plays his acoustic guitar down here, I’m sure she’ll LOVE a clarinet – especially in the high register…snerk!

Even though I won’t be as confident playing as I was 25 years ago, I’m still really excited!

I’ve resigned myself that people might not recognize me or remember me, and I might not recognize or remember some of them. After all – this is the 100th anniversary of the marching band – which means people from the last 100 years will be coming back for band! Hey – it could happen! We could have a 118 year old tuba player show up and rock the band!! Don’t underestimate the bandies!

The ASUSDMB changed all of our lives! I was a music major, but most people in band weren’t. Those people were all so dear to me for the 5 years I was in band before graduating and moving away! Now I find myself doing a bit of memory lane walking tonight…  Here’s a few pics that are on my hard drive…I’m tempted to go scan even more…

 

Tina ASU band banquet

Here’s Paul Patterson and I at the end of season Band Banquet in 1986!!

 

Tina college hijinx

Wow!  We all look so freaking young!!  From left to right…  Scott Burgener – aka Burgenbooger, Christy, Scott Hexum, Me (Tina Hatcher, aka Hatchbitch) per Burgenbooger…lol, Bill Gallimore & Kathy Hunt!  This was one of our late night undercover missions to do something to Paul Patterson’s primer-painted car…We saran wrapped it, covered it in sprinkles and cherries!

I can’t find the pic of us covering his car entirely int those mini post it notes!!  That was classic 🙂 We really do love you, Paul! We just loved messing with that car 🙂

Tina college recital

And finally….here’s me at my Senior Clarinet recital in December of 1990… Damn, check out that 90’s hair and the cheesy dress…snicker 🙂

Enough memories for one night!

Here’s me now…this was at Benihana’s with my hubby Jon for our 12th wedding anniversary this past March.  I might look different, but I’m still ready and willing to raise some hell!

Bring on the ASUSDMB! (That stands for Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band!!)

 

12th Anniversary Dinner

And here’s my snarky mini me, Darian. Well, almost a mini me – he plays trumpet!  You know those trumpet players…snerk! But seriously – he’s an awesome kid! (And if you follow that link to his FB – NO! I did NOT give him that middle name, Abbadon!  He’s got a perfectly good middle name – Ryan, but insists on the other one because it annoys me…LOL!)

Tina & D graduation

 

So here’s hoping that after 25 years, people still recognize this snarky ex band director who has put her dirty mind to good use as a smut writer for the safety of herself and others 🙂

Tina

5 Publishing Myths every new writer should know!

rp_keepscore-287x300.jpg All of us were new at one time and had to learn the hard way what was actually the truth of things in the publishing industry. Lately I’ve heard each of these 5 Myths about the Publishing Industry and hope that this blog will save at least one new or aspiring author the pain and suffering that a lot of us went through before we learned this stuff.

Myth 1: Authors Don’t need to do promotions, their publishing company will do it all for them.

Reality: Usually that’s a big fat NO! In fact, until my current publisher – Random House – this has hardly ever been true for me. To be fair, my first series published with a new York Publisher (Kensington), they did pay to have my books faced out for the first month after release. I think that’s part of why my Seduction Series did so well and why Ceremony of Seduction went into a second printing – my only book so far to do that. Granted, I did a TON of promotions for it, but I have for every book I’ve released, even when I was still with a small press publisher. With a lot of the larger publishers, they simply have too many authors to outlay major money on promotions for each one. It’s usually not cost effective. You sink or swim on the strength of your own promotions and the strength of your author brand you’ve built even before you sold it to them.

But the bottom line is – you can’t count on a publisher to do all your promotions. Even with Random House spoiling me rotten – I’m still out actively promoting!

Myth 2: Every book published goes immediately to print and will appear in every bookstore.

Reality: Many books are either released in ebook only or need to meet a threshold of sales before they go to print. Ebooks have become very popular, so neither of things are really a BAD thing. Yes, several books do go immediately to print, but not all of them. It’s very important to check your contract before signing so you know what to expect. Also, a print run (how many books are printed) is set for every book based on a combination of factors – usually the strength of your author brand and how many the sales people for each of the outlets are willing to buy into their store. Smaller booksellers can request your title from Ingrams, but many don’t want to have take the risk on an untried author unless there is some major draw behind either the book or the author. Bookshelf space equates to money and if they aren’t sure they can sell your books and make money, they will pass and save that space on books they KNOW they can sell.

Myth 3: After I write my book I can just hire a professional editor and that will make it easy to sell it to a publisher.

Reality: Even a professional editor (and not all those who call themselves professional editors truly are) who uses the Chicago Manual of Style etc can guarantee that the line editing they suggest will be what a particular editor or agent will want. So you could end up shelling out a LOT of money for editing and either still not be able to sell it, or have to do edits all over again to meet the needs/preferences of that agency or house.

Best advice on this one. Get some beta readers to work out the pacing and the kinks in your story and find a friend, or beta reader who is good at spelling and grammar. Get the book to its best possible state under those conditions and submit, submit, submit. Once an agent or editor acquires the book, they will give you their own edits and then copyedits.

Myth 4: When I sell my book I’ll get to choose my cover, my title and have full say over all content in the book.

Reality: Maybe, but not necessarily. The marketing department of the publisher will weigh in on the title of the book, your cover, and possibly even your pen name. If you are lucky, they will ask you what you would like to see on your cover, what your characters look like – and you might even get characters on the cover that actually match the ones you’ve written. Titles are changeable and in fact I think I’ve only gotten to keep my originally suggested title on 3 out of my 16 published books. Luckily, Kensington liked my suggested Cassie Ryan pen name so I was able to keep that one after all my research to choose it. I suppose they do it that way so they don’t get something that sounds like your pole dancing name – which makes sense, but it surprised me when I found that out. I’ve been very lucky to have been given an opportunity for input on nearly every book cover, blurb, plot flow, title etc, but my ideas didn’t always end up as the one hitting the bookstore shelves.

Myth 5: Once I sell my first book I’ll be able to easily sell everything else I write

Reality: Maybe. I’ve published 16 books to date between my 2 pen names. But even after all of that – Book number 14 I couldn’t sell. My agent said Sleeping With Shadows was the best book I’ve written to that point and she tried her best to sell it. But there were several things against it. First, that was a book I was selling as Tina Gerow. It wasn’t as hot and kinky of all of my other Cassie books but was a little hotter than my other Tina books. So the decision was made to publish it as Tina Gerow. Well, even though Tina has published several books, they were with small presses, so Tina had no New York numbers. But wait, Cassie Ryan has several sets of New York sales numbers, you say. Well, in New York, even though Tina & Cassie are the same physical person, apparently the bean counters look at the sales numbers and Tina doesn’t exist there so is a bigger risk to publish. Also, paranormal was on its way out, as were hotter books. So I self published Sleeping With Shadows – my only self pubbed book, but definitely the book of my heart. A smoking hot reincarnation with a twist story! But nope – couldn’t sell it, even with 13 published books under my belt – several with major New York publishers.

There are many more myths out there, but those are for another day. If you have any big ones, feel free to post them in the comments.

 

Tina

Book ideas from a hot woman on a gravestone?

Coveted Dreams JonVJones Where do book ideas come from? Everywhere and anywhere! Join me for a discussion of some of mine…funny, snarky and even serious. 🙂

I’m always asked where I find my book ideas. This picture by Jon V Jones was the inspiration for my popular Maiden series so I thought this would be a great place to start. I don’t even remember WHERE I first saw this picture. It was back in early 2004, so it might have even been in a local gallery.

I fell in love with the picture and stood looking at it for quite a while. My mind immediately started playing “What if?”  You know…that game we all played when we were little and got in trouble for when we got caught playing it in class and not playing attention?

Or maybe that was just me.

I think the part that fascinated me the most was how the stone was slowly flowing up her body as if she WAS turning to stone.

POOF!  My gargoyle warriors were born.  Some more “what if” time and it became Stone Maiden, the first book in my Maiden series, about 900 year old female gargoyle warriors who can turn to stone to fight and heal. God created them during the crusades to protect those being downtrodden in God’s name.  To date, that is my most popular and asked about series.

Unfortunately, the publisher I started it with, imploded, and my series was orphaned after the second book, Fire Maiden, but I do still plan to write Ice Maiden and Chaos Maiden! So stay tuned!

SEDUCING THE SUCCUBUSFor my Sisters of Darkness series, my husband and I were watching the History Channel. I don’t even remember the subject of the show, but they said that Lilith, the Demon who in Jewish Folklore was considered Adam’s first wife, made from the same dust of the earth he was. There are other folklore stories saying that she was the one who convinced Eve to eat the apple and then offer it to Adam in the Garden of Eden. For that treachery, that folklore considers her the first succubus.

That was about the same time I was trying to come up with a new series idea for my agent to shop around. So that little snippet fell on fertile ground…aka, my overactive imagination!

I started thinking what pressure that would be to be Lilith. Yes, per the story she convinced Eve to take the apple, but she didn’t MAKE her take it. And she didn’t MAKE Adam eat it, either. Humans were given free will. But Lilith ended up taking all the blame? Sounded like a bum rap to me!

So I started thinking about what a succubus would really do after that black mark on her resume…so to speak. For that matter, if they are immortal like many demons are thought to be, then what would they do with themselves as the world started to become more modernized.

What career path could you really go for when your only skills were temptation and killing men with too much sex? My snarky side first thought, “Lobbyist?” But that wasn’t really helping me with my new series idea. So I figured, if I were in that situation, with those jobs skills….I would probably go find a job at a high priced legal brothel. But then I needed some conflict for my book, so I started thinking that after living that long, they had probably pissed some other beings off. Thus, the Sisters of Darkness were born. The series is about 4 Succubus sisters in Hell’s version of the Witness Relocation Program.

 

rp_ceremony-of-seduction-sm.jpg For my Seduction Series, I had never written erotic before, and my friend and fellow critique partner, Brit Blaise, suggested I try my hand at one. My first thought was, what world can I build where it will be easy for my heroine to need lots of sex? After all, I like story with my sex in books, so it HAD to be integral to the story and make sense for my characters to need lots and lots of sex…LOL!

My son came home from school and said they were reading a book in class about how certain words became almost taboo in a culture. I don’t even remember what book they were reading now, but it ignited my imagination. I thought about the words I had issues with – which weren’t many. But I did find one that had always bothered me. In fact I saved that “C” word for the truly evil of the evil.

So, being my smart ass self, I decided to create a race of otherworldly witches whose life force is sexual energy. (Gives them a great reason to have LOTS of sex!). They started as one race on their home planet – they were called the Klatch. One faction called, yep – you guessed it…. the C%@*$, tried to overthrow the King and Queen and when they lost, they were banished to earth.  On earth the name of their race became synonymous with evil and betrayer…

I wrote the first three chapters and sent them off to Audrey LaFehr at Kensington. It’s a long story, but she bought a 3-book series off of that 3 chapter partial. She never blinked at my use of that word. I also used that offer to get my agent, Paige Wheeler, who also never blinked at that word.

I kept expecting somewhere along the way for someone to tell me I had to change it.  But nope…

In fact, Ceremony of Seduction is in its 2nd printing!! It is my best selling series under either pen name. I think that’s my most outlandish book idea story! And even better, it’s true!

rp_SleepingWithShadowsEbook_Medium-187x300.jpg Sleeping With Shadows came about because I was contacted by my first love who had found me on Classmates.com. He was older than me and in the Navy. My grandfather (a Navy SeaBee) had gotten his word that he wouldn’t do anything “dishonorable” with his granddaughter. They shook, and that was it. Anyway, I was too young and the intensity of emotion was too much for me to handle, and I broke up with him. But for a while there, I thought I had found the man I was going to marry. And many times after that as I grew up, got married, had my son, divorced, remarried etc, I thought about him and wondered what he was doing.

When we got back in contact we had a lot of catching up to do. We were both happy with our lives, but were grateful to have found each other again. In fact, he’s one of my oldest friends (no, smartasses – not in age!!) But once we were in touch again we kept in touch, emailing when our kids made some new milestone or we had fun things going on in our lives. My husband never minded me staying in contact, and in fact, when I was in the hospital for all that time just after my brain blowout, he called Phillip to let him know what had happened and so he could talk to me.

But during all those walks down memory lane, he and I did have quite a few discussions about “What if things had gone differently.” Neither of us would want to give up the happy lives we have today, but it was firmly planted in my imagination. Sleeping With Shadows came out of all of that, but, I, of course, had to add a paranormal twist and a bad guy! This book contains some true stories out of my past as well as a whole lot of imagination. It became a reincarnation with a twist story, and yes, I did send him a copy of it when I was done and he said he really enjoyed it 🙂

The Pleasure Project After my brain blowout in 2010, I was trying to get back into writing, and my wonderful agent, Paige Wheeler, found an opportunity for me to try to break back in. Kensington (who had bought my Seduction series) was looking for authors to be in a futuristic erotic anthology. They had a big name author as an anchor for the anthology, but they were looking for others to fill out the rest. Paige asked if was interested, and I jumped at the chance. I had never written futuristic, but I had read a lot of it and knew my critique group would help me brainstorm something.

My friend a critique partner, Kayla Janz, suggested a space pirate, and that got the imagination firing. But I like to turn things on their head, so rather than having the normal male space pirate, My heroine became the infamous space pirate, Red Death. She spacejacks our hero and takes HIM as her sex slave!!

There’s more to it than that, since she also drags him into a war between two worlds and much more, but that was the main idea. One of my favorite characters to write in that book has both been raved about and panned by different readers and reviewers. The idea came from my friend and critique partner, Brit Blaise. I had Dani (aka Red Death) using a sex toy in one of the early scenes. When Brit critiqued it, she pointed out (rightly so) that in the future, there probably wouldn’t be VIBRATORS….so, the Pleasure Probe was born. And my heroine regretted buying the talking model!!

Needless to say, this thing can also fly, and enjoys taunting all the male characters–especially our sexy hero, to prove they can offer Dani better “equipment” than the probe can…LOL.

I have several other books published and each of those have their own spark of an idea. All book ideas come from somewhere! I have a growing file of book ideas, and I would have to live to be 250 to write all of THOSE!

How about you? Any of you have great book idea stories?

Tina

One new writer’s hilarious “process” for writing sex scenes! @tinagerow

My Obsession Cover

I was contacted by a self-professed newbie writer who had just read my latest release, My Obsession, and wanted to know how the heck I wrote those sex scenes and kept track of who was doing what to who, when, while making it hot, romantic, sexy and keeping the emotional connection going, and making their dialogue sound so natural.

Whew! I was just relieved that I did all that stuff. I mean, I always try to. But it’s definitely not “plug and play” so to speak. Wow, that was a REALLY bad descriptor….snicker.

Anyway, I told her I was willing to chat a little, but that I didn’t have time for a longer discussion since I’m on a deadline. I told her that one of the places I teach online classes for regularly had already expressed interest in me teaching my “Writing Love Scenes” class again in 2016 and I would be announcing it on my FB page, twitter etc once I knew a date.

So then we chatted a bit and she told me how frustrated she was with writing the sex scenes, but that she just didn’t want to write sweet, since it was so far outside her personality. So I asked what her process was. (And yes, she gave me permission to use this as a blog post! LOL)

She said she starts out with a diagram and two paper dolls… Yep – you read that right! She cuts out two paper dolls – a guy (usually a little taller and less curvy) and a girl. Hell, I was impressed that she could do that! I can barely draw a circle or a straight line, let alone draw and cut out something that resembles two humans!!

I asked why she didn’t just use Barbies or something if she thought visualizing would help her. She said because they were her daughter’s toys and she couldn’t in good conscience use her them for this purpose. Not to mention she would feel like a pervert if she BOUGHT them for that purpose!

Anyway, she takes the paper dolls and tries to “script” things. And she watches porn flicks on her phone (so her hubby doesn’t catch her and think she’s creepy) to see what THEY do…you know…for tips and tricks!!

Once she has the basic scripting – (F) – R leg over (M) L shoulder, (F) – R arm flung wide on top of pillow (super soft high grade thread count sheets) etc….. Then she tries to decide at which point the big “O” should happen in the scene. And she marks that with a large O, circled with RED So she can AIM for it!

Then she goes back in and inserts dialogue – “Come on, you big stud, do me NOW!” and stuff like that.

That’s when she goes back in and fleshes out the scene to actually smooth the actions into the dialogue. After all of that she goes back in and adds stuff like the feel of the super soft sheets, the aroma of his man musk, the taste of his “emissions” (her word, not mine).

Then she lets her husband and her best friend read them so she can get feedback. But she keeps getting discouraged when they both laugh and tell her it’s the most hilarious thing they’ve ever read.

I’m glad we were chatting online so I didn’t make her even more discouraged with MY laughing! But I did give her some high level tips like NOT using porn of any type as a template or any kind of inspiration, and cutting down on purple prose. But also to read a LOT of books with hot sex scenes in them to see how other people do it (so to speak) while she gets the hang of writing them.

She said she’ll keep an eye out for my class but was excited that I had finally given her the secret to why her husband and best friend were most likely laughing rather than raving.

She was also impressed with me telling her that if her sex scenes didn’t turn HER on then the reader wouldn’t be turned on when they read them. She told me that a lightbulb came on for her when she heard that because all she felt was frustration when she was writing hers.

We had chatted enough and exchanged some fun banter after that when I told her she’s not alone. LOTS of newbie writers struggle with writing sex scenes. Hell – there are veteran writers out there who struggle with them! It’s tough to juggle all those things (yes, I DID almost type balls…snicker). But after all that, she did tell me I could use this for a blog. She said if it helped even one other writer feel better about writing the damned sex scenes, then it would be worth cringing when SHE read it!

So that’s my fun story to relate for the day, and I hope she feels better with the few tips I was able to share and I hope none of you hurt yourselves laughing while imagining this!! It still cracks me up!!

Tina

4Cats of Christmas@tinagerow@britblaise

ChristmasTree2014

It may not be the most beautiful tree I’ve ever had, but this one means more to me than all of those others…

 

 

 

 

We haven’t had a Christmas Tree up since 2008. In October 2009 we lost Jon’s 23-year-old kitty Katie…

Katie

 

 

 

 

 

Rusty was left by himself and started mooning around the house, missing his buddy, Katie…

 

 

So we went to the pound and fell in love with our black beauty, Nox (the Goddess of the night)

Nox April 2014.5yo

Nox was only 4 months old when we got her in December 2009, and even though she was pretty skittish because she came from a house with several crawling children, she was a normal kitten and liked to explore and climb whenever possible. So we didn’t think a Christmas tree with all its temptations would be a good thing with a 4 month old kitten in the house.

Then in November 2010 I had my brain blowout, and our house was foreclosed on in December so we moved into an apartment.  No tree that year.

And for all of you who follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know that we lost our sweet Rusty in October of this year.

Choc Affaire 2008001

 

 

 

 

 

This time it was Nox’s turn to be lonely and moon around the house without Rusty. She had never been a lone cat in her entire life. And she wandered the house looking for Rusty even though she came and bumped noses with him as he passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

So Rocky came to live with us…our resident small pony…er….Maine Coon.

16.5 pounds of long-haired, purring sweetness…

Rocky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, my guys knew how much I’ve missed having a Christmas tree and decorating for Christmas so on my birthday last week they decided to pull out our artificial tree, do basic decorations and see how the cats handled it.

Armed with the spray bottle I got Rocky to stop trying to chew on the branches and Nox to stop chewing on the bows of the presents under the tree….  After a few days we added more ornaments and they’re still doing fine with it. No broken ornaments and only a few mushed presents – although nothing breakable from just this:

RockyUnderTree

 

 

 

Rocky likes to lie on the smaller presents under the tree. He’s adorable and he’s not really hurting anything so we just let him stay there and look cute 🙂

As for me, I’m still writing. Getting my kink on daily and trying to finish up this current WIP.  Darian just finished finals for this semester and Jon is getting some shows done before he starts vacation next week…

Thank you for joining me for the 4 Cats of Christmas!!  And I hope all of you have terrific holiday seasons, no matter which ones/what you celebrate!

Tina