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Showing posts by: Alisa Kwitney click to see Alisa Kwitney's profile
May 14 2014 4:30pm

Contemperotica? Erotimance?: A New Breed of Contemporary Erotica

Beyond Repair by Charlotte SteinThere’s a new kind of contemporary erotic romance in town, and it’s breaking all the rules. The heroes aren’t billionaires, the heroines aren’t virgins, there’s no specialized equipment cluttering up the love scenes, and the only thing complicating the plot is the essential, authentic quirkiness of human psychology. It’s the grunge music of erotic romance—earthy, experimental, choosing flannel shirts over leather pants and broken down VW Beetles over red Audis. If Fifty Shades of Grey brought kinky fuckery into the mainstream, then the new contemporary erotic romances are bringing it to the next level.

Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna are two of the rising stars of this subgenre. In Stein’s latest release, Beyond Repair, the heroine is an emotionally and physically scarred recluse who spends her days in her home watching movies until the day she discovers an unconscious man in her house and realizes that he is a movie star. In her blog, Stein mentions that she’s been working on the book for about two years, and it shows—this is no throwaway bonkfest. Instead, it’s a book that includes a funny, shockingly hot scene that features…oh, man, how do I say this…a formerly taboo act, now trending enough to warrant an, er, in-depth article in the April 7 issue of New York magazine. You may be thinking, ew, that’s not my cup of tea, but Stein may have done for that particular act what the California roll did for sushi – made it palatable to the uninitiated.

[Hey, let's break down some barriers...]

Dec 13 2012 1:30pm

New Avengers: Breakout Prose Novel Excerpt

New Avengers interior art — Black Widow and Hawkeye — copyright 2012 by Marvel & David Finch, Mark Bagley, and Danny MikiFantasy/romantic fiction/comics author Alisa Kwitney (A Flight of Angels, Moonburn) reveals the secret backstory of Avengers couple Hawkeye and the Black Widow. Under secret orders to assassinate the Widow, the rough-edged marksman finds himself caught up in a violent prison break that releases some of the world's most vicious and powerful criminals. Defying his superiors, Hawkeye joins forces with the sultry Russian spy—and with a mismatched group of personalities that include Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Captain America and Iron Man. Unexpected betrayals and shocking revelations will lead the team from Manhattan's top security Raft prison to the untamed jungle of the Savage Land in dramatically different take on Brian Michael Bendis' blockbuster Avengers comics debut. Learn the sizzling backstory of your favorite big-screen heroes in this adaptation, inspired by the best of page and screen!

Get a sneak peek at Alisa Kwitney's New Avengers: Breakout prose novel (available January 1, 2013) with an exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1-2. 

Chapter 1

THERE was something about the redhead that caught Clint Barton’s attention. It wasn’t her wickedly pretty face or her exceptional rear view, although those were certainly worth noticing. No, it was some­thing subtly discordant, something that made Clint think Red didn’t belong up here in the command center of the Strategic Homeland In­tervention Enforcement and Logistics Division.

[Log in or register to read the full excerpt...]

May 8 2012 11:00am

Current Contemporary Romance: Return of the Flawed Hero?

Don Draper in Mad MenTake away the bondage, and Fifty Shades of Grey is an old school romance between a worldly-wise but emotionally constipated hero and a naïve but emotionally intelligent heroine. Back in the ’70s and ’80s, almost all romance novels, historical and contemporary, featured this kind of dynamic. Like Mad Men’s Don Draper, the hero knew all about fine wine, guerilla warfare, engine repair and female orgasm, but some traumatic event had scarred him and left him completely closed off to any emotions, especially his own.

The heroine, on the other hand, was unworldly, having lived a life so sheltered that she had barely tasted wine, let alone orgasm. (I know, it’s easy to make fun of this trope now, but let’s face it, the female orgasm can be at least as tricky as engine repair, and almost as hard to pin down as guerilla warfare.)

I’m not going to list the many reasons this paradigm changed—or how grateful I am that it did—but the old school romance hero started out as teacher but wound up as student, which gave both hero and heroine clearly defined character arcs.

[Nowadays? Not so much...]

Apr 18 2012 10:30am

Mastering the Classics: Spanking in Pride and Prejudice?

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. JamesYou would think that no one had ever written an erotic romance before.

All of a sudden, everyone’s buzzing about Fifty Shades of Grey, the ebook that started life as a fan fic of Twilight. (For anyone too busy monitoring Middle East affairs to have checked the entertainment news, the author, E.L. James, recast Twilight’s vampire hero as a dominant entrepreneur and made the heroine of legal age to consent to being tied up, punished, and pleasured. )

Despite the fact that the writing is as subtle as a Victoria’s Secret thong, with more eye-rolling than Al Jolson’s Jazz Singer, Fifty Shades of Grey has an undeniable appeal. First of all, it’s straightforward. In a time when so many romances seem to have wildly complex plots featuring mad scientists, Russian gangsters, evil cults, or terrorist networks, Fifty Shades keeps all the conflict focused in on hero and heroine. It’s like an old school Harlequin, the kind Violet Winspear used to write, with the shy but spunky innocent coed and the jaded, sophisticated, domineering boss who has to learn that women aren’t just playthings.

[As you do...]

Jan 25 2012 5:45pm

Who’s Brooding Now? The YA Heroine Has a Sulk

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsIt used to be the hero who brooded. There he stood, in a corner, warily keeping his back to the wall, moodily gazing off into the middle distance, holding the heroine at arm’s length—until she got under his skin and he got under her petticoats. The heroine might be an innocent miss, a feisty spitfire or a bookish bluestocking, and she might pout or sulk, but she did not brood.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

In Suzanne Collins’s dystopian Hunger Games trilogy, the heroine, Katniss, is the one who does the brooding. Clever, resourceful and so guarded emotionally that even she doesn’t know what she really feels, Katniss has more in common with classic romance genre heroes than she does with heroines.

She certainly doesn’t fit any of the female master archetypes set out by Tami D. Cowden, Caro LeFever, and Sue Viders in their book, The Complete Writer’s Guide to Heroes and Heroines: Sixteen Master Archetypes.

[There’s a new heroine in town...]