Friday, July 03, 2009

Countdown to Branded By Fire: 4 Days to Go!

Winners: The random numbers have spoken and the winners are:

Rob - Witch Fury by Anya Bast
Yogagrrl - Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks

Congratulations!
__________

I can't believe Branded By Fire will be officially out next week! Here's a snippet from a recent review by BookThingo:

The way Mercy and Riley’s relationship is unfolded, broken, repaired, strengthened and resolved is done so beautifully. Their conflict isn’t trivial, and the push-and-pull for control is both fun and excruciating. I was barracking for both of them the entire time, and not once did I feel like one should surrender to the other.

I hope you guys are all enjoying the cyber launch party. I thought it was time to pass around some drinks. (The pic's from my last dinner at the 2008 RAW conference).

Today, I'm celebrating by giving away a copy of Witch Fury by Anya Bast, and a copy of Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks.

Entry rules are the same as Monday. Leave a comment with your response to the day's burning question. Bring a friend or tell folks about the party and you get a second entry. (And don't forget to note if you already have one of the books).

And what is today's burning question? Since
Branded By Fire kicks off with a love scene (!) - the first time I've ever begun a book that way, let's talk about heat: What makes a love scene work for you? Conversely, what would make you skip a love scene?

69 comments:

bittybye2000 said...

Love scene aren't my favorite part of a more mainstream romance, so something not terribly excessive or graphic. Unless I'm reading something that is supposed to be erotic, then just about anything
What can ruin it for me? The 'C' Word for a male genitals in mainstream romance. Again in erotic, it's fine.

Christine said...

When a love scene is too long without adding much to the plot, I tend to skip.... unless it's really, really, really hot!

Jacqueline C said...

I can't say that there's a specific formula or "it" factor that makes a love scene work for me. I think it depends on the authors style and I like the various takes that different writers have. I do prefer that the characters have at least the beginnings of some real feelings for each other.

What doesn't work for me? Too much technical detailing. If it sounds like an analyzed account, and doesn't have enough emotion/passion/fervor, then I can't get with it.

Cecile said...

Hello there... did I pick a question to walk into today!! I am a new follower... or should I say a new commenter...

what makes a love scene work... The chemistry between the two people of course. But not only that, the realization the author can bring to the pages. If I can feel my heart beating faster as I read the passage, or my fingers twitching to turn the page faster, or is my desire and heart on the same level as that of what I am reading. How real is it, no matter if it is historical, parnormal or whatever... real!

What makes it not work... if it is too perfect. A love scene is never perfect, no matter how hard we all try - it isn't. And if the characters banter goes back and forth too much. Then you start to think, "just give it up already - the relationship, not the sex - and move on".
Congrats with Branded By Fire kicking off!!
Thanks for the cool contest!!
Hope you have an awesome day!

flchen1 said...

In general, a love scene works for me if I'm into the couple and believing that the love scene works in the context of their relationship. If I'm caring about them and what happens to them and feeling the sexual tension between them in a believable way, then I'm into it. Conversely, if it seems like it doesn't flow with the rest of the story development, or if it's more "porn" than a love scene (where it's focused on mechanics rather than the emotions driving them), I tend to flip right by.

Chris said...

I already have Witch Fury (signed in person by Anya Bast even!), but this was an intriguing question.

The scene should add to or advance the story in some way and not be gratuitous. The characters should stay in character. If it's meant to be scorching, the language should not be disruptive. There's a certain well-known writer who has a weakness for overusing "her feminine channel" (multiple times in just a few pages) and it ruins the story for me every time.

Lisa J said...

A love scene just thrown in anywhere to make the book hotter always makes me turn away. I like the scene to be part of the story, not just a random act.

Jo-Anne said...

love scenes...well I'll skip it if it's full of harsh, blunt language and has been added just for the sake of it.What keeps me hooked to a love scene is descriptive alpha male taking control, and it's the only way the story can move forward. The author has to tease me first though...with lots of tension!

blushing now..thinking of Tegan in the Midnight Breed series...fan, or cold shower please

danni said...

I don't care for when that's all the book seems to be about. I like when the scene actually makes sense and isn't just put there to add more hotness. I like it when the characters actually feel emotions for each other, even if its just the start of something.

Jamie said...

I love it when a love scene gives me butterflies in my stomach. I think a good love scene can make or break a book. Sometimes it is just the little things (like a purr or low growl) that can make it perfect.

Natascha said...

A love scene works best for me when the hero and heroine don't start off their interaction hating each other because of a past wrong done to each other then, oops, all of a sudden they are ripping each other's clothes off and love each other like nothing ever happened. I need to see the conflict slowly be resolved and their affections towards one another grow steadily over time. No "wham-bam-thank you-maam.

The sooner the love scene occurs in the book, the happier I am. I just HATE waiting until page 350 for the first and ONLY love scene. I just want to scream and chuck the book across the room. If the love scene occurs within the first 75 pages, then I am a happy camper.

3 cheers for Riley and Mercy!

chey said...

If the scene fits the characters I don't skip over it but some scenes are just too long, and don't seem to have anything to do with the book. Those ones I tend to skip.

Dani said...

Feelings and emotions have to be there during a love scene in order for me to enjoy it. Communication.The commitment and connection that they feel for each other when making love even though they might not know it yet ;o).

What I don't like and would make me skip the scene is if it feels all one sided. Even if the scene is intended for one partner to pleasure the other both sjould experience the satisfaction.
The other is if the scene seems mechanical like someone is there directing the couple telling them what to do.

dlbaath at yahoo dot com

Rena said...

For me it's a turn off when the love scene is too long, I read one that was four pages once! Four pages! In a hardback book! By the end of the second page I was bored. Another thing I don't like is when the dialogue starts to resemble a porn flick. I'm all for talking dirty in love scenes, but some authors go way overboard.

adh said...

Everything pretty much works for me except the sappy talk. Dirty talk, sure. Sappy talk, not so much.

Orangebeaker said...

I find myself skipping love scenes and go straight toward the emotional connection toward the end. I like reading about the morning after...any tender scenes.

Marisa said...

For me love scene must be somthing that i'm expecting for longe, with a lot of passion. Like riley and mercy love scene.I like very hot love scene.
In the outher site i hate when it is to soft

bridget3420 said...

I need to feel the attraction between characters. There has to be some sort of chemistry or it does nothing for me.

kathy_erb said...

What makes a love scene work for you? : For a love scene to work for me, it has to be believable.

Conversely, what would make you skip a love scene? : I skip love scenes if they seem like smut, and/or drag on and on.

Rob said...

Hi :)
Thanks for the great contest!
What makes a love scene work for me is the genuineness of the characters and language, not all studpid euphemisms and, best of all, if there is humor in the love scene.
:)
twitter.com/RKCharron

Amy S. said...

I think it does depend on the author. I usually read them.

Amy Kathryn said...

Works: It has to be believable, both physically possible (I hate it when I have to actually think about whether that position can happen) and emotionally. I think someone already mentioned about having characters loathe each other and then oops, we're suddenly making love and all is changed!

Skip: As above, if not believable.

I already have sweet persuasion but would love witch fury to complete my collection!

Cora W. said...

Cheers, Nalini!

A love scene must support the whole story. It must be hot, full of passion and it must suit the characters.

Mercy i.e. is passionate, wild, sexy, fierce, she knows what she wants and she takes it, etc. and so should be the love scene.

I appreciate a detailed love scene, but it must be with sophistication. They can be soft or rough, fast or slow, etc. and when I read it, I will get a shiver which run down my spine. :-)

Jen K. said...

Great question! Thanks for the opportunity. I have to say I have read the love scene for Mercy and Riley and WOW - it works and it is one of the best I have ever read!

What works: HEAT - the two characters must have strong passion for life and one another! Slow and steamy. I have to admit this (and I'm not saying this just because it is your blog), but Nalini Singh and Larrisa Ione write the BEST love scenes.

What doesn't work: quick, meaningless sex. No passion.

Kris said...

love scenes that work for me have to be passionate, but not hokey. I do not mind crude language and sometimes would prefer it to some other words that i have heard used that sound like they come from a very uptight writer.

PS. I have Witch Fury

macbeaner said...

I LOVED Sweet Persuasion so I'd love to win Witch Fury :)

Love scene. I think as long as it is realistic and they aren't jumping into bed every three pages, I enjoy reading a good love scene. But it has to be a part of the story, not forced.

couchpapaya said...

I like it if the setup for the love scene is believable. If the scene gets too long or there's too much purple prose, I tend to skip.

Thanks for a great contest!!

LouiseD said...

-It needs to be there to progress the plot or tell me something new about the characters.
-If it goes on too long it slows the pace down (on the other hand if it's only a paragraph I'll feel like the characters are being gypped - I'd rather the author simply closed the door.)

Cybercliper said...

I don’t skip sex scenes. But I will roll my eyes and make all kinds of snarky remarks and funny noises if they suck. Gratuitous sex scenes just to spice up a book do not work for me – especially within the first 10 pages of the book!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love great sex scenes - spicier, hotter, all the better. I want details – lots of verbs and adjectives!! But the scenes have to work with the characters. I hate when a strong, feisty heroine in a scene involving anger, fear, or pain is suddenly overcome with a rush of lust – an overwhelming, uncontrollable, tangible thing – ((snort)) I know there has to be some give in the plot to allow for a relationship to develop, but using the sex scene to do it is not the way to go. IMHO

Anonymous said...

would love to be entered for witch fury

love scenes are for well, dependin on mood

GYPSYWITCh36@YAHOO.COM

Caffey said...

Hi Nalini!!
As a romance builds and the tension builds in the story, I love when it comes to a strong scene(s) that makes it bring out the love that the h/h have for each other.

I've read a few where the opening scene was a love scene and it made it all the more exciting to know more about them!!

Kristine said...

As long as the love scene does something for the characters' relationship, it generally works for me. I hate it when the sex scene is too long, does nothing for the relationship and/or character development, or when it just seems "awkward." If that makes sense.

articfox121855@yahoo.com

yogagrrl said...

This is an interesting question! I hadn't given it much thought before, but here goes:

What works is a steady buildup of tension. When characters just jump in, it's distracting. ;)

What doesn't work is when the love scenes seem random or situationally inappropriate.

I've got Witch Fire and am looking forward to reading more.

Aymless said...

I'll skip the love scene if it breaks the flow of the story or if it requires too much visualizing. Having to work at "seeing" it just makes is fizzle.

Kammie said...

The only thing that would make me skip a love scene is bad dialog. Conversation between the two that doesn't create tension and is just full of dirty words. lol Or, I have flipped through ones that go on and on and on.

celi.a said...

I actually like dialogue during love scenes. Some writers describe only the actions, and it's as if the entire thing happens in silence except for strategically placed female moans of pleasure.
I like the verbal give-and-take.
What can ruin a love scene? Extremely graphic play-by-play or medical terminology to describe what's happening. Say enough, but not too much, you know?

Thanks!

celialarsen(at)gmail(dot)com

Pam P said...

The best love scenes will convey the emotions, chemistry between the characters in some way. Sensuality more than erotic works more for me; you don't need lots of sex words (or even any) for a great love scene--too many of those or ridiculous euphemisms and phrases ruin it. Though some can work if not overdone depending on the type of story if it fits the characters. Those thrown in just to get in some heat can ruin it because it shows in the reading and doesn't fit with the characters and romance in the story.

Pamk said...

have to have emotion or it doesn't work me. I seriously dislike the trend now with m/m romances. If I can't picture myself in the book it just doesn't do it for me.

Anonymous said...

i like foreplay and lots of kissing and sweet words

i dont like long love scenes that dont make sense or a word i dont know lol

hot books
please enter me

kh

Courtney said...

A love scene works for me when I feel like it's important for the couple to be doing it at that point. It needs to tell me something about them and where they are in their relationship. If a lovescene feels obligatory or gratuitous, it won't do much for me.

I'd love Anya's book. She writes awsome stuff. I'm still kicking myself for forgetting to bring a couple books for her to sign at RAW 2008. But I did remember to knit something for Nalini. :)

Fuarie Ai said...

Dirtier the better. That is what I like and so that is what I like to read. I would usually stop reading if it was one or two lines of just explaining who she felt she was doing the right thing and blah blah then sex then some more thinking...

host said...

Hi! Love scenes....hmh...I have to say that love scene, to work form me, has to have importance for the plot and for the both characters. It mustn't be just about writing about it on a 10 pages but it has to mean something :)

Megan said...

it's all about chemistry, if there's chemistry that makes a love scene an integral part of the storyline.

Conversly I hate when it's obvious the sex has been written in after and has nothing to do with the storyline

Natasha said...

I can't wait to read BBF!! All the reviews are getting me very very hungry for more!

Love scenes...I like it when the characters converse. And not (just) the love talk conversations. But when they are having fun and fooling around. It just makes it sweeter for me :)

On the other hand, too much description makes me skip them. I tend to read only the beginning of the paragraph so I don't lose track of when they "finish".

Rianne said...

I want to skip every love scene in which two persons are together who in my mind don't fit. Basically I like a love scene when the persons fit together, when the anticipation has been building up and the description fits the kind of book I'm reading. And there has to be emotion involved, otherwise I will certainly skip it.

Blodeuedd said...

Hard to say, if they are just to over the top vulgar, and it feels wrong or just gross then I will skip it.

In the end even if I read erotic lovescenes, I am in my heart a girl who likes the romance, not so much the action

Carolyn Crane (aka CJ) said...

I'm not actually entering, I just wanted to say congrats on the impending release and all the great reviews! I'm really looking forward to BBF!!!

Jeanne said...

What makes a love scene is the emotions of the people involved. It does not have to be overly graphic to work for reader.

What does not work if it is so bland that you realize later in the book that you missed the scene entirely and have to go back to see if it really occurred.

Cheryl McInnis said...

I'm like everyone else, there has to be chemistry between the characters for a love scene to "work" for me.
I don't mind graphic language or descriptions, but the logistics have to make sense- no third foot, arm or hand appearing out of thin air, lol.

Annie said...

I am all for love scenes between two who are falling in love. If it's just unbridled lust well then...fun to read but doesn't pull the heart strings.

caitie_ar said...

Chemistry between the h&h is very important...if it's not there in a love scene, I will skip it. An emotional connection is great, but maybe not there if the love scene is so close to the start of a book, which is fine too.

What turns me off a love scene the most is flowery or silly language. I guess I prefer straight up description, anything more can quickly become over the top.

tetewa said...

I enjoy reading a love scene if there done tastefully!

Sassy Chase said...

My favorite love scenes are when it feel natural between the two characters. I must feel the connection between the two lovers. It could have been a dirty, tied up scene or even a menage a trois. I love any type of lovemaking as long as it remains real.

When an author forces a love scene between characters that originally have no chemistry is when I stop reading. Mostly this is when an author overuse descriptions. Too much purple prose is a turn off for me.

Kay said...

What works for me is if the scene fits with the book and the characters. I do not have a right or wrong way for a love scene, except for a gratuitous love scene and I usually skip. I have found scenes I would expect not to like, our not my “cup of tea” but they fit with the characters so they do not bother me. So for me love scenes are done on a case by case basis.

jeanette8042 said...

If love scenes last too many pages and occur too frequently in a single book I will tend to skim and skip it. But most of the time I enjoy love scenes.

CrystalGB said...

What makes a love scene work for me is great chemistry between the couple.
What makes me skip a love scene is when it is just thrown in.

Heather B. said...

The scenes vary for me book by book. If I want something really steamy I pick up Lora Leight, Maya Banks, Delilah Devlin, Kate Douglas, Elizabeth Amber or any number of authors that write for Ellora's Cave, Aphrodesia or Samhain.

If I want something less steamy then I will pick up an urban fantasy. It depends more on my mood than anything how the scenes affect me.

Darcy Jo said...

This is such a hard question, because it really depends on the story, characters, and my mood.

I usually like them if they're quick but passionate, and at the right time for the characters.

There is a lot that can turn me off of a love scene, such as being too long, severe hatred along with sexual tension between the characters, and the biggest one: if one of the characters is a virgin. First off, I think it's weird if they're a virgin in the first place, and then it's always an amazingly pleasurable experience--yea right! Haha.

I don't have either book, but I have been eying Anya Bast's novels for some time :-)

Jennifer K. said...

What works for me? It has to "fit" with the scene itself. You can't just drop a sex/love scene into a book because you think that one has to be there.

What ruins it for me? See above. In some erotic books I've read, they have too much sex that doesn't seem to fit the story. I like erotic romances, but there has to be a strong story to hold my interest, not just sex, sex, sex. ;)

Estella said...

The love scene needs to be an integral part of the story to work for me.
What turns me off is a lot of 'c' words flying around.

sarabelle said...

I want the love scenes to flow with the rest of the book. I really like when the author has worked the plot up to the love scene and its like a huge wow factor. I want the pages to sizzle between the characters.

Tiffany M. said...

I like love scenes when they are well-done and wanted. If I've been waiting, anticipating, and feeling the tension, even better.
I skip them with sappy or cheesy language, weird and/or awkward word choice, and if I feel the scene was not needed to further the story.

romantic@heart said...

What makes a love scene work for me? When it is equal parts passion and romance. I am swept away when the lovers are emotionally connected as well as physically explosive.

What would make me skip a love scene? When it is basically a porno masquerading (badly) as a love scene.

Lisa F. said...

I pretty much like all love scenes. The more the better. I like them steamy and hot.

I already have Witch Fury. Great series!

Paula said...

If the love scene feels like it's actually distrupting or slowing down action, I don't bother to read every word. Overly flowery prose (if it doesn't fit the rest of the book) pulls me out, too. Dirty talk or c-words don't bother me if they fit the characters. I like to see/feel the participants interacting, not just the "fireworks" going on in their heads.

nightdweller20 said...

The excessive use of some words can grate on my nerves. Like 'co*k' used over and over is really annoying.

But what makes it work for me is the chemistry between the two characters. If it's a scene just thrown in, that's a no-no.

P.S. I already have Sweet Persuasion.

I Heart Book Gossip said...

A love scene has to have chemistry. Without it, the characters are boring.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Kat said...

Nalini, Branded by Fire is #1 on Galaxy Bookshop's bestseller list!

http://galaxybooks.com.au/ (Sydney-based independent sf/f bookstore)

Nalini Singh said...

Thanks for the heads-up Kat! :)