Message From The Author
After my first book, Impetuous, was released (Harl.Temptation, Jan. 96), I found myself cautioning prospective readers to beware the steamy content. After all, I write category and I didnt want to shock any of my friends or family. A high level of sensuality is often expected in mainstream or historical, but category? My caution always received the same reply: The racier the betterthats the kind I like!
So I decided to do a little research. I would enter a bookstore and ask the manager if they received many requests, and for which types of books. With sly smiles the managers would tell me that sexy was the most common request, and most often they would recommend a mainstream or historical romance.
My caution disappeared. Rather than worry about offending anyone, I started explaining that I, too, like a sensual readalmost as much as I enjoy writing a sensual book. Im comfortable with the level of sexual tension and the explicit scenes in my books. Theres no shame in thatin fact, its a trend in category romance whose time has come. I received a good deal of fan mail after my book had been out a while, and there were two recurring compliments: readers liked the characters and their explicit lovemaking.
Were not talking pornography, because pornography doesnt include an emotional bond between the hero and heroine, a bond that enhances their sex. Romance does. But why was category, the most widely read form of romance, left behind in the sensuality department?
Look at some of the most popular writers out there, Sandra Brown, Stella Cameron, Catherine Coulter, Brenda Joyce, Linda Howardtoo many to name, and many of them started in category. Not only do they write superbly plotted books and characters that you know better than your neighbors, but they write hot. The sexual tension crackles, the love scenes are explicit, and the hero and heroine are deeply in love.
Well that makes sense to me. An unforgettable romance must include unforgettable sex. Our heroes and heroines wouldnt be very interesting to read about if they slept in separate beds and found no fascination in each others bodies. Love can be expressed in many ways, and sex is one of the most elemental ways of all.
Its a sign of the times we live in: the societal switch from needless inhibition to liberating self-expression. It comes across in every form of entertainment: music, movies and especially books. It sends a message about what people enjoy and what they want from their entertainment.
So it was only a matter of time before a category publisher realized the needs of the readers and delivered Blaze, the steamier side of the Harlequin Temptation series. Blaze, which launched in April 97 with my book Outrageous, and has offered more than a dozen titles since, is not for the timid. Bold, sensual and hotter than anything else youve read in category, Blaze will satisfy your raciest desires!
The books have been very well received and have caused a stir in the industry. Sure theyre daring, but the sex is between two people in love, and more often than not there is a happy ending.
Blaze titles are distinguished not only by their content, but also by their look. Readers will recognize the flames blazing across the top of the front cover where the red Temptation wave usually appears, indicating the hotter content inside. But as always, Harlequin delivers fast-paced stories with well-drawn characters and romances that will leave you wishing for more.
Look for TANTALIZING, Lori Fosters January release in the Temptation/Blaze category series, reviewed this month. Write to Lori at P.O. Box 854, Ross, OH 45061.
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