Oooh, this is so exciting!
I know a few of you already know Bernita Harris, from around the wide wide internet, but if you don’t, here’s a little introduction.
Back when I first started blogging as December–well, actually, I found Miss Snark, and wanted to comment there, so needed to set up a Blogger blog, and that’s what I set it up as–I noticed this particular commenter there, this very smart and gentle and funny lady named Bernita. And then she started showing up on my blog, which was a surprise–a lovely one, of course, but a surprise nonetheless. (The fact that other people started showing up on my blog as well surprised me every time.) So of course I started reading her blog, and it was delightful and smart. This went on for a couple of years. Bernita was there to cheer my every success, and the success of everyone else in her wide circle of friends; people are simply drawn to Bernita.
Occasionally Bernita would post snippets from the book she was working on, a fun paranormal about a character named Lillie St. Claire. And I always thought they were great; snappy and fun, well-written, interesting…and I was right. bernita finally submitted the book to Carina Press, and they of course snapped it up, and now you can buy DARK AND DISORDERLY, a delightful book by a truly delightful lady. I urge you to do so.
So without further ado, here’s Bernita’s post (with occasional comment from me in brackets, just for laughs).
No Sex? What Do You Mean, No Sex?
No Sex? What Do You Mean, No Sex?
Stacia, you blessed girl, thank you for having me here today.
A recent poll at Dear Author indicated that 30% or so of readers skim sex scenes. I don’t understand that. Once the basic plot has been established, I’ve been known to skim until I get to the sex scenes! I dearly want to know how the writer has used intimacy to explore and develop the relationship. I have nothing against sex scenes. Dear me, no. [Oh, sure, you say that. But I still feel betrayed–SK]
But. There is no explicit sex in Dark and Disorderly. I admit it. Erotic fail! Oh, there is body-to-body contact and nothing chaste about it either—like this:
“You warned me you were a danger, Leannan, and I think this is what you meant,” he said, and fitted his wicked mouth to my open one. His wicked tongue. Instant lust. I wanted to wrap my legs around him, lock my ankles and pull him tighter. Public place with people passing by be damned, indeed.
I despised myself for that impulse. I despised him for my impulse.
So I bit him.
And it’s not that Johnny doesn’t try to get lucky, more than once:
“Nathan didn’t like to kiss,” I mumbled. “He didn’t like face to face…” Why had I said that?
“Selfish, stupid bastard,” said Johnny, pressing my fist against his chest, moving my hand in slow circles against the sleek fabric of his sweater, then sliding my fingers slowly lower toward his belt. “I like it very much. I like to watch a woman’s face when I make love to her. Lillie, let me take you home.”
As you can see, I took Stacia’s “How To Be A Sex Writing Strumpet” course–and failed. (There’s something puzzling and contradictory about getting an “F” for that, though.) [I hardly think that’s failure–SK]
However, Lillie has some quaint, old-fashioned attitudes and though she is strongly attracted to the big, ugly lunk of a psi-crime detective; in the scene above she’s known Johnny Thresher barely a week. A very confusing, busy, dangerous week at that, with a zombie bursting through the front door, a grave-robbing and a riot and so on. She suspects Johnny might be just looking for a casual lay; but at the same time she has the feeling he’s not the sort who thinks with his balls. And there is the additional problem of her husband rather recently and indecently dead and who doesn’t want to stay that way. A husband who, while not destroying her libido, obviously, fractured her sense of worth as a woman. Lillie is cautious because she had been impulsive before; she’d been taken in by smooth flattery once.
Even though sex and death, sex and danger, are irreversibly entwined in our psyches, hot ’n torrid, pick the horizontal/vertical surface of your choice, did not seem to fit with the characters or the plot at this time. Dark and Disorderly does not contain explicit sex. Violence, now, and ghosts and bodies and murder, that’s a different case altogether… [Sigh. I guess violence and ghosts and bodies and murder and grave-robbing work as substitutes.–SK]
Dark and Disorderly: The Adventures of Lillie St. Claire, a paranormal suspense by Bernita Harris, is available from Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most places where ebooks are sold. The first chapter is a free download here. You can find me at An Innocent A-Blog, and I’m on Facebook, somewhere.