My latest plunge into shameless pandering, I mean writing

Some of you know I've been dipping my toe in the wide world of self-published paranormal het romance lately, and I have a pen name now to call my own: Lauren Esker. :D

I realized as I started trying to describe this book that it sounds like a parody, but it actually isn't -- well, aside from a certain amount of flirting with the comic potential inherent in the premise.


Can the big bad wolf and a sheep shifter have a happy ending? Curvy farm girl Julie Capshaw was always warned away from the wolf shifters next door, but she made friends with their son Damon Wolfe anyway. Now she's come home from college to find that Damon grew up into the smoking hot, motorcycle-riding alpha wolf shifter of her dreams.

Damon still thinks of her as the cute kid next door, until their eyes meet and he realizes she's the mate he's been looking for. His scorching touch sets her on fire — and ignites the fuse on a powder keg.

Now the star-crossed lovers are running to stay one step ahead of their enemies, with a sadistic alpha gunning for Damon's head and their families' long-running feud about to explode. Can this red-hot Romeo and Juliet find a way to be together, before the curtain comes down on their happy ending?

Hot sheep and wolf action thisaway!

If you read Held For Ransom, my m/m novel from Dreamspinner last year, this is actually rather similar to it -- small towns, large families, lots of ensemble and small-townishness. Only with 100% more shapeshifting and a lot more sheep. Although, come to think of it, Homespun had sheep. Maybe I'm typecasting myself.

(There is explicit sex in this book, but be reassured that everything is 100% tasteful, with no sheep involved, actual sheep or otherwise.)

I also have a Facebook page for Lauren: https://www.facebook.com/laureneskerwriter. Here you can keep up on all my adventures in paranormal erom. Probably with less sheep next time.


ETA: The book will be free next weekend, if you are curious and want to snag a copy then. Or I could email it to you, if you like; let me know if that's something you want. As always, don't feel like you need to read it just because I wrote it. It isn't much like my fanfic.

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What, no bears? *g*

It's been really fascinating to watch your adventures in shifter romance!
haha, no, now it's werewolves for variety! :D

By the way, I keep meaning to comment on your Write Every Day posts (and basically suck at it), but I'm really impressed you're keeping it up! Go, go! \o/
Aw, thanks! I've been in a slump all week and am desperately trying to get going again because I've got a deadline on Monday, but other than that my writing month has been going very well indeed. :)
Hah! Congrats on the new release--I'll be watching your adventures in this direction with curiosity. I'm working on a paranormal het romance myself. I've been reading a LOT of mainstream het romances and romantic suspense stories trying to figure out what these genres are like (especially with regards to the level of sex depicted, so completely different from M/M romance). I'll definitely check out your story!

Edited at 2015-07-25 11:06 pm (UTC)
especially with regards to the level of sex depicted, so completely different from M/M romance

Hmmm, how so? I'd be interested in knowing more. :D What I've been reading and writing lately has been largely paranormal erom (the "Pounded by the Bear" variety of stuff), which seemed about the same as m/m regarding the level of explicitness (though a bit less raunchy and more, er, flowery in the sex scenes -- depends on the author, though, on both sides). Are you finding that mainstream het is a lot more fade-to-black?
Mainstream het romantic suspense (there seems to be a run on Beltway stories, where the female protagonist is an FBI agent, and top level government people are getting murdered or threatened to be murdered) is definitely in the fade-to-black or gently euphemistic category or (which is odd because characters are getting killed, so you'd think the violence would be an issue too...)or the heroine can't make up her mind between two men for the bulk of the story. The straight-up romance stories are either fade-to-black, or there is sex, but I find the scenes strangely lacking the heat of a male/male sex scene. It just feels... forumalaic and somewhat sanitized, even when the main characters are becoming members of the Mile High Club. Hard to explain, but I have as yet to read anything in the current het genres that feels right, not in the way I felt when reading my first slash story--THAT felt like coming home! :-)

Yeah, don't get me started on the flowery descriptions.

I'm beginning to think I don't really fit any genre. I don't seem to write enough sex for the M/M crowd and I probably write too much for the het audience. Hmm. I think I should start a blog post about this. Maybe I'm just reading the wrong ones!
Hmmm, if you prefer the more explicit sex scenes but aren't finding it in mainstream romantic suspense, maybe there's an audience that's hungry for it, and if you supply it, they will come!

(Because it's definitely not that het audiences don't want explicit sex. Erom is PLENTY explicit. And there might be a large market for a mash-up between the two.)

I also was wondering, reading the above, if you've thought about where you want your het to fall on the sliding scale of "writing to sell" vs. "writing for yourself". Not that I am a marketing expert or anything. But I am DEFINITELY writing the erom to sell. I went into it with the intention of getting a feel for the tropes, pacing, level of explicitness, and generally what the audience is looking for in that genre, and then I'm writing that. If I were writing for myself, I would be writing VERY different books.

Which means you could go two ways with your het: you could emulate a formula that is obviously successful, which might include finding a genre in which you CAN write the formula -- you might be more successful at erom than at mainstream suspense, say, because most erom still has suspense/action elements, but it's wrapped around a ton of sex. Or you could write your own kind of thing (raunchy romantic suspense?) and see if there is an audience for it!
Yeah, my foray into het romance is two-fold: I'm curious as to whether I can write a heroine I admire and I don't think I write enough sex scenes for the M/M genre as it is. So I don't think I'd make it as an erom writer!

But when I write sex scenes, I like them to feel real... so something a bit more than the typical scene I'm coming across but less than your typical erom. Since I am definitely writing this for me (but hoping there will be a market for it), I guess I'll just have to create my own genre here. :-)

The thing is, I read a TON of slash before I attempted my own slash stories. I'd like to get a feel for what the different genres expect...

Thank you! :D Ooh - I would absolutely LOVE a promo spot - let me think about how to write it up. Thank you!