Tag Archives: sex scenes

Winter Morning

This piece of steamy fiction was commission by The Mad Woman Behind the Blog for her Sexy Time series on A Diary of a Mad Woman. It was a chance to flex my writing-fiction-on-demand muscles, and I was grateful for the invitation.

Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone!

Winter Morning

The old farmhouse was always cold in winter. There was no escaping it. Whole sections of the rambling building were pre-Revolutionary, so the insulation was patchy at best. Her grandparents, like the generations before them, had simply endured the cold, feeding the voracious maw of the wood stove in the kitchen to stay warm.

When the livestock had gone to auction, a half-century before, the barns had fallen into disuse, and had slowly crumbled on the outskirts of the door yard. Here and there, broken windows were patched with what materials her grandfather had foraged from the collapsing outbuildings. Money had always been tight, but there was always deadfall in the acres of forest that still remained on the homestead for someone cold enough to pull it home behind the old tractor for burning.

For the millionth time, she cursed her parents for neglecting the place, and the tough but fragile people who’d made their life together under the deteriorating roof.

She still wondered, looking at his pristine hiking boots on the rug next to the antique sled in the front hall, if bringing him here had been been the right choice. His black cashmere coat and ridiculous shearling hat kept him warm, certainly, but the arctic wind columns of the Ladder District were less wild, less primitive than the foothills of the Green Mountains, if equally as cold.

She kicked clumps of dirty snow from her boots, an ancient pair from L.L. Bean she’d found in the front hall closet the first time she’d come back to the house. The cold from the snowy logs seeped through the red and black plaid wool work shirt she’d thrown on over her long underwear and into her arms, standing the hair on her arms at attention.

She bent to stack the wood next to the stove, reached for the door handle with the wool wrapped around her bare, chilled fingers. She filled the stove, prodded the fire, opened the dampers to get the air flowing, and sat back on her heels to admire the crackling blaze.

“I like the shirt.”

She startled, nearly pitching forward against the hot cast iron. He was at her shoulder in a flash, arms around her to steady her. His hands were cold, but his body was warm, pressed against hers.

“Come back to bed,” he whispered.

Again she wrapped her fingers in the cuff of the wool shirt, damping down the stove to keep the flames from devouring the firewood too quickly.

She turned to him, tilted her head, offered him her mouth.

She slid her fingers under his fleece half-zip sweater, under his soft cotton tee shirt, laughing wickedly at his sharp breath. Her fingers were icy against his stomach. He grinned in reply, and kissed her, stealing her breath completely away.

This, oh, this, his clever lips playing hers like a woodwind, his clever hands in her hair, on her back, between the silk of her long johns and the jut of her hip bone, this was why she’d brought him here, far from conference rooms and coffee shops. She pressed up and into him, urging him back from the hearth towards the bedroom door.

He hummed appreciatively, ran his hands over her ass and hoisted her up. She held on gleefully while he carried her into the bedroom. The bed was a simple one, hand-carved, glossy with age, too high off the floor, small.

He set her down into a sea of goose down and worn flannel, kissing his way down her throat, stopping to taste the hollow between her breasts before drawing the silk top up and over her head. He paused to lay the shirt carefully over the footboard. She reclined back on her elbows to watch his face, shadowy in the light of the oil lamp on the bed side table. His meticulous care of objects was endearing, a reminder of his meticulous care of her.

He returned to her, kneeling on the braided rug, gently tugging off her rag socks, kissing her right ankle as he set the socks to one side. He came up between her legs, caressing the backs of her knees, the insides of her thighs through the silk, hands stopping just shy of where she so desperately wanted to feel them.

She let her body drop back when he lifted her to slip the bottoms down, baring her skin to the still, crisp air. Lifting her head, she saw his breath; hot clouds rose as he blazed a trail of open-mouthed kisses to follow the tide of cold air as it washed along her uncovered legs.

As he stood to strip off his clothing, she tucked herself under the ancient eiderdown, shuddering as much from anticipation as from the sudden warmth. He was beautiful in the amber light, taut skin rippling with shivers. He set his discarded garments over hers on the foot board, and she lifted the comforter to invite him in.


Filth & Flowers

Would I write for The Red Dress Club? Yes! A topical piece, related somehow to myself as a writer? What to talk about…. Of course!

Filth and Flowers

We don’t all aspire to works of important literary fiction, to writing The Great American Novel. I, for one, am writing a single title romance novel. Think Nora Roberts in hard cover. That said, I do want it to be literate. I want characters who reach out and take you by the hand and pull you into the story, just like any author of fiction. I want a story that resonates with my readers.

But romance has a peculiar challenge.

There’s a certain expectation in romance novels: the physical side of the love story. Yes. The sex scenes. If you’ve ever picked up a paperback romance, a good old fashioned bodice-ripper, you find a lot of references to throbbing members and quivering womanhood, but really? Really? That just doesn’t resonate with me.

And yet, I’m not entirely satisfied with chaste, closing the bedroom door, end-scene love scenes, either.

I want to be turned on. I want to fall in love – dare I say in lust? – along with the characters, but I don’t want to feel icky reading it.

So, where is the fine line between filth and flowers? As George Michael so aptly phrased it, “What’s your definition of dirty, baby? What do you consider pornography?”

This is what I have struggled with in writing my first draft.

How to tap into sensuality and sexuality without cliché or ridiculous euphemism or clinical onlooking.

So, here are my own personal guidelines, the ones I’ve used, for the most part, in crafting my story:

  • Sex scenes should both complement and progress the plot. If we’re going to be in the room with them, there needs to be a reason.
  • Emotions, reactions, and sensory experiences can tell it like blunt physical description never can. More touch, taste, scent, less size and shape and motion.
  • Unless you’re going for outright humor, if writing it makes you giggle like a thirteen year old? Chances are it’s not that sexy. (Caveat: funny can be incredibly sexy, so by all means, go for that!)
  • In reality, sex can be serious or playful, sweet or angry, intense, spontaneous, premeditated, and sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. Let all of that into the story.
  • Allow for anticipation. As in real life, sometimes the journey is more fun than the destination. Let a scene get hot and steamy, build up the moment gradually, and maybe make them wait. Let life intrude, as it so often does. The characters will find a way to get back there, and won’t that be fun to write!
  • If you feel uncomfortable or awkward writing it, your readers will clue into that pretty quickly, and you lose the moment.
  • Obviously, no one has a perfect sex life like the characters in a romance novel, but, unless you actually are Prince? No one’s going to buy into twenty two positions in a one night stand.

Of course, in the end, what’s sexy to one might be dirty to another, or, on the flip side, too tame. What turns you on?

Sexy Time with the Mad Woman Behind the Blog

Today, you’ll find me whoring myself guest posting over at A Diary of a Mad Woman. My contribution to her Sexy Time series, a little something to warm up with, called Winter Morning, is also a response to this past week’s Magpie Tales photo prompt, Mag 44.

Now, go read Winter Morning, and let me and the Mad Woman know what you think!

Let’s Talk About


Shall we?

I’m over at The Red Dress Club today, talking about writing sex scenes.

I draw upon the wisdom of George Michael and Prince.