The Christmas Fae
Isadora is a Christmas Fairy, it’s her job to grant one wish to make one human’s Christmas perfect.
Lucas is the lucky man and as soon as he meets Isadora he knows exactly what wish he’ll be wishing for, her in his bed.
Fae law forbids Isadora from refusing and she’s certainly not complaining, but when Christmas ends and the magic fades will the feelings they’ve discovered disappear? Or will Isadora and Lucas find that love is not just for
‘Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas
From the keeper of Santa’s naughty list, delightful little Elves eager to please, and the sensual love of a toy soldier—the holidays are filled with orgasmic cheer. Where wishes come true, Frosty is itching for a melt-down, fairies and angels are randy to grant your every wish, ‘tis the season to be oh, so jolly-filled.
Unwrap your darkest desires…for this is Christmas, and it will never be the same.
When you have to ‘up’ the heat by Emma Shortt
If, like me, you’re a romance writer, there may come a time when you hear the words, we really need to up the heat.
My ‘up the heat’ moment happened quite recently, when my short, The Christmas Fae, was accepted for the Evernight Christmas anthology, ‘Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas. I was very happy with the story when it whizzed its way through cyber space, and was pretty confident it hit the ‘heat level 3’ rating.
Heat ratings are tricky things and differ between publishers. It can be a tough job for an author to work out if they’re hitting the right level, or if they’ve fallen a bit short. Broadly speaking heat ratings are as follows;
- Heat level 1: Minimal or no sexual contact, or if sexual contact is present, is done in a romantic, loving kinda fashion.
- Heat level 2: Graphic sex, erotic content, only suitable for adults.
- Heat level 3: Very graphic sex and erotic content, may offend mainstream readers.
- Heat level 4: Filth.
I’d asked various pals to read the story through prior to sending, and they agreed with me that it was pretty graphic. Job done thought I… until the story came back and my editor said those immortal words, we really need to up the heat.
So what does ‘upping the heat mean’?
Well, let’s imagine you’ve created a masterpiece of level 1 romancing and you’re asked to get it to level 2. You’d need to either pop some sex in, or make the sex you’ve already put in a wee bit more graphic. Words like manhood and female core would need to be replaced with words like cock and pussy. That magical moment when the sex is shrouded in metaphor and florid prose must be ruthlessly cut and explained… graphically. If you’ve already breached those particular, ahem, walls and are being asked to up to level 3 then it gets a whole lot more interesting.
I’d already used the right words and described the sex, in detail. But no, now was the time to be even more graphic. And this is where I paused, just how graphic could I be? What exactly was I going to make my characters do? It was time to identify my limits. First and foremost in my mind this was a love story, I wanted the emotion to come firmly across to the reader. Some particular sexual practices could, I thought, ruin that. My characters had just met for crikes sake, I could not have them doing certain things already. So no bondage, no anal and certainly no fetishee stuff. The only option open to me was to describe the scenes in even greater detail, to introduce a few more graphic words and make my characters a little dirtier. It was a hard job, but someone had to do it, and you can be pretty sure it’s working when you find yourself blushing as you write it.
Upping to level 4… let’s not go there…
So what is the moral to this little tale – if there even is one? Well I guess it’s about saying to both readers and writers, to be certain what heat levels you are comfortable with. If you don’t want graphic don’t buy above level 2, if you want it as dirty as it gets then it’s level 4 all the way and if you don’t have a clue try them all.
Just remember upping the heat can be a tricky experience, it requires exhaustive research and attention to detail… it is certainly not for the fainthearted.
Emma Shortt started her career by taking a degree in planetary science. However, after several arguments with NASA and the Russian space program, she finally, begrudgingly, accepted that she was never going to be an astronaut. With two kids to support, she realized she was woefully unqualified to do anything, other than describe Jupiter in loving detail. Forced into an office job, her last desperate break for freedom was to turn her hand to writing, and she realized pretty quickly that it was romance all the way.
Contest Time! Emma has graciously offered to give away a ecopy of ‘Twas a Dark and Delicious Christmas. All you have to do is answer this one question: What is your heat level? Or simply ask Emma a question. In case anyone missed it, this is for a digital copy.
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
- For every dollar donated in the Child’s Play Giveaway, which includes 100+ books.
One thing I do add to my contests…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.