For those of you familiar with my writing you know that as Tina Gerow I write paranormal romance that is sexy and sensual, and snarky. And as Cassie Ryan I still write paranormal romance that’s definitely snarky, but it’s smokin’ hot erotic – usually with a little kink for fun 🙂
So each book that I write, I have to decide up front which pen name I’m writing under so I know what kind of heat level to include in the book.
When I wrote my latest novel, Sleeping With Shadows, it was with a definite Tina heat level in mind. It definitely has some very sensual scenes and situations, but it was nowhere near the heat of my Cassie books…or so I thought…
Now some back story…
Sleeping With Shadows was the last book I wrote before my brain blowout. My agent read pieces of it as it was finished and she did question a few of the things that were in there thinking the heat level might be much higher than other similar books in the genre. However, after we discussed it, I went to the local bookstore and found books in the paranormal romantic suspense genre that had similarly heated scenes and “acts” to Sleeping With Shadows.
It was one of the funniest emails I’ve ever written to her outlining the similarities and listing the other books, authors and ‘acts’ that were comparable. It was a pretty graphic email, but she and I both needed to know that it was within the “norm” of that genre and that it didn’t eek into the Cassie Ryan territory.
Okay, fast forward three years. Even though my agent told me this was the best book I’d ever written, she wasn’t able to sell it to a New York publisher. After all, Cassie Ryan has New York numbers, but Tina Gerow still doesn’t. Tina Gerow has sold to small press publishers and even to foreign publishers, but not to New York, so would be counted as a new author.
Yes, I know – Cassie & Tina are the same exact person, but from a branding perspective, and thus a New York perspective, Tina is a brand new author and therefore a harder sell.
Anyway- that’s why I decided to publish Sleeping With Shadows myself. In fact, it’s my first self published book.
My critique group, The Butterscotch Martini Girls, make it a habit to buy each others’ books as they come out. Now while I was writing this one several of the girls were dealing with either health or family issues so I don’t think they had much of a chance to critique Sleeping With Shadows, so it was mostly new to them! So when my long-time friend and critique partner Brit Blaise bought the book, I was eager to hear what she thought. After all, she started our Butterscotch Martini Girls critique group back in 2003, and I learned a TON about this business called writing from her!
So imagine my shock when she came back to me and told me that Sleeping With Shadows was definitely NOT just a sensual book, but erotic. Now she did say it was a “classy” erotic…LOL! Which makes sense because the Cassie Ryan books, while erotic, do have a bit of a kink factor, and the situations are a bit on the kink side most of the time too. But since I REALLY respect Brit’s opinion – she’s an amazing erotic author in her own right, and was the one who helped me take my Tina Gerow sensual heat level and turn it up to smokin’ hot to create Cassie Ryan when Kensington Aphrodisia was looking to start a new line of erotic paranormal romances, I was really looking forward to her feedback! And I got it 🙂 It’s erotic, not just sensual…
Sooooooo…… I’m rebranding the book as an EROTIC paranormal romantic suspense and letting the world know of this switch in categories. And the best way I knew how to do that is to offer you up an excerpt as an example…. So, to take Brit’s comment, here’s an example of the “Classy erotic” LOL!
So let the games begin…
Matt woke to the sensual sensation of Sarah running her fingers lightly through his chest hair. He turned his head and could just make out the line of her jaw where she leaned on her elbow next to him in the darkness. Her hair tickled over his bare shoulder sending jolts of pure lust through him and straight to his groin.
“Sarah.” His voice came out sounding strangled as she laid a line of open mouthed kisses over his chest and continued downward to his stomach, stripping away the sheet and comforter ahead of her eager lips.
As the cool air hit his skin, rows of goose bumps pebbled over him in a rush.
Matt swallowed hard in a last-ditch effort to keep enough blood inside his brain to ask Sarah about being in a Houston hospital so he could judge her reaction. “I need to talk to you.”
A smug feminine chuckle against his stomach sent lava shooting through his veins and made his cock throb to life under her seeking hands. “So, talk,” she whispered against his skin as she closed her hot mouth over the head of his erection.
Matt hissed at the intense pleasure that rocketing through his system as she teased just the sensitive head by swirling her tongue over him and lightly sucking.
He dug his fingers into the sheets, trying to anchor his body against the skyrocketing sensations inside him.
“I can’t think, let alone talk while you’re doing that.”
Her throaty laugh vibrated down his length and sent searing heat shooting through his veins. She pushed his legs apart and settled between them. Her smooth curves brushing lightly against the hair on his legs was like a thousand erotic caresses, and he shuddered against the onslaught.
“Sarah,” he tried again as the last vestiges of blood left his brain, heading due south.
When Sarah ran her fingernails over the sensitive skin just below his testicles, he nearly jumped off the bed, and he sucked in a lungful of air against the intense sensations.
As if to sooth him, she slowly lowered her tightened lips over him, taking more of him inside the heated cave of her mouth. Matt groaned long and low, then bit his lip to keep from thrusting forward until she took all of him.
He closed his eyes against the sensual assault and let the heated pleasure spill through him like good whiskey, dark and slow.
Sarah gently cupped his balls as her lips finally slid down around the base of him, his full length buried deep inside her mouth and throat. He had only a second to register the sensation before she moved again, slowly sliding him out between her tightened lips as her tongue swirled over him in a torturous caress.
She set a steady rhythm, pulling him nearly all the way out, the head of his aching erection still captured in the wet heat of her mouth before she began to suck him inside once more.
Lost in a roiling wave of ecstasy, Matt opened his legs wider giving her full access to do whatever she wished. As long as she continued her erotic assault on his senses.
When Sarah sat back, releasing him with a small pop, she wrapped her fingers around him and cool air hit the tip of his wet cock.
Matt gasped until her warm tongue traced a path from just below his testicles, up over the sensitive sac. She gently sucked one of his balls inside her mouth as she stroked him from base to tip in a slow, steady rhythm Matt was convinced would drive him insane.
He buried his fingers in the warm mass of her hair, enjoying his unconditional surrender to Sarah’s whims.
She kissed a path over to his other testicle and then sucked that one into her mouth as well, while she continued to stroke him.
His balls slowly tightened under her ministrations and he felt pre come pool at the tip of his cock as he hardened further in her hand. “Damn it, Sarah. I want to be inside you.”
“Mmm.” She abandoned his balls and laved a slow line up the length of him until she could lick the drop of moisture away and tease the tip of her tongue along his slit spearing pleasure through him like an electric shock.
Matt’s hold tightened in her hair as his impulses screamed for him to roll her over on the bed and plunge inside her.
“I love the way you taste, Matthew.” She sucked the head of his cock lightly as if making sure she got every bit of moisture. “I want to feel you come inside my mouth.”
The dark, erotic words surged through his body like a wildfire out of control. Matt swallowed hard as vivid images of him spilling inside Sarah’s mouth while she watched him with those beautiful hazel eyes darkened with passion, flashed across his mind’s eye like a promise of things to come.
He had no warning before she leaned over him again and took his entire length into her mouth, his sensitive head bumping against the back of her throat before she slid him out again and repeated the process.
Quick, panting breaths were all Matt could manage as the barrage of overwhelming sensations drove him toward a cliff of insanity he begged to reach.
His heart pounded like thundering hooves, echoing through his head until he thought his ears might burst from the intensity.
Matt’s balls tightened against his body, and the familiar tingling began deep inside his pelvis as Sarah continued her assault on his senses, the sounds of enjoyment deep in her throat vibrating through him as her silky hair danced a teasing path over his stomach and legs.
Without warning, he exploded, sending hot jets of his release deep into Sarah’s waiting mouth.
She continued her ministrations, milking him until his body finished convulsing and a thick haze of euphoria had spread through his limbs.
He was distantly aware of her kissing the tip of his softening penis and crawling up his body to curl beside him, pulling the covers with her. She laid her head on his shoulder, tucked into the crook of his neck. Her hair was so close to his face, each of Matt’s breaths was filled with the soft musk of vanilla and the unique scent that was Sarah.
He curled his arm around her protectively and splayed his fingers over her bare hip. “Give me a few minutes to recover, and then we really need to talk.”
Her throaty chuckle was the last thing Matt remembered before sleep took him.