Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Miss the Party: The Romance Troupe Beltane Blitz!

Blog hop, e-party, and Giveaway!
   Win Books           Win Gift Cards
Win Swag
Play Fun Games
+…visit each blog for random prizes!
May 1 – 3, 2013
Make sure to Join our  and set it for announcements and notifications, and play games with us, including the scavenger hunts on our .

Sunday, April 28, 2013


euphemism is a generally innocuous word or expression used in place of one that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant.  The fact that so many exist for the female genitalia is insulting in and of itself. They are a way to talk about female parts without actually considering them. As if vagina, vulva, labia, clitoris, ect. are vulgar themselves and other words must be substituted. If a person can't bring themselves to use the correct word, maybe they don't deserve to refer to it.  This goes double for politicians.  I won't get myself started on a man who wants to limit my contraception rights but can't say vagina.  

BUT, as a writer of erotic romance, I often run out of synonyms for vagina. Let's face it, we all thought E.L. James used 'down there' and 'my sex' a few hundred times too many. The problem is that very few of them are sexy. Most are funny or offensive or downright gross and insulting.  Euphemisms for female parts are usually:
  1. food related (fish taco, bacon strips, beef curtain)
  2. gross (dirty pie, slime slit, stinky pinky)
  3. references to monthly cycles (gash that never heals, tampon pocket)
  4. in relation to the penis (dick depot, cock sharpener, tool shed)
  5. scary (hatchet wound, four-lipped man eater, the abyss)
  6. strange animal (beaver, bearded clam, fur-back turtle)   

No erotic romance writer worth a dime would use any of these.  Not that I mind it being thought of as something to be eaten, but the food related ones aren't usually that appetizing.  A woman would never refer to her genitalia as anything gross so these type bring to mind the frat boy with no couth.  The last thing I want to think of while reading is my 'moon time' (which is the one my grandmother used and my preference in my real life).  It is a little insulting to my feminist sensibilities to think of my parts only as they relate to the male counterpart, but that is pervasive.  When writing a sexy scene, there is usually at least one of each (so far, I haven't published any purely homosexual scenes, though I have a few menage) and so having correlated euphemisms work.  Think sword and sheath.  Our nether region is a complicated area so the scary type arise from thinking of it as the unknown.  Again, these are used by men, mostly.  The strange animal ones are just weird.

Now, I am not one to refer to it in flowery way.  Sex is messy and physical and needs descriptive words that portray that but in an attractive way.  Here are some of my favorites to use in my books.  Please do not take offense – I mean this post as humorous.

Velvet Sheath – because it goes well with flesh sword
Pussy – because she purrs when you pet her
Cunt – now this one gets a lot of women because they think of it as derogatory, but every euphemism is technically derogatory. This is my personal favorite and I often get editing notes that I have overused it. My response, "Hey, I'm taking the word back!"
Channel (or tunnel) – as if it's something just to 'get through'

I will end this with a bit of trivia I discovered while researching this post.  Vagina is actually a euphemism!  It is the Latin word for "a sheath or scabbard".  The technical, medical term for the most intimate and beautiful of female parts isn't really about it, but about the service it provides the penis.  If you are outraged about this, there's not much we can do.  Some women I know have begun to refer to it as 'yoni'.  Yoni is the sanskrit term for vagina. Apparently that ancient language is the only one that has a word for it that isn't degrading.  It means the divine passage, womb, and sacred temple. In Hinduism yoni is used in many circumstances as “origin of life” or “divine mother of all”.  

Thanks for reading my FIRST EVER BLOG POST.  I hope you enjoyed it, or at least haven't written off the entire Romance Troupe as a result of reading it. 

Author Natalie Gibson


Book Buy Links

(Book One of the Carrier Trilogy), a gaslight era horror/paranormal thriller
I am re-releasing this book on May 3rd and there is a very cool unique contest.  

(Book 1 of Sinnis), a Paranormal Erotic Romance/ Urban Fantasy

(Book 2 of Sinnis)

(Book 3 of Sinnis)

(Book 4 of Sinnis)

(Book 5 of Sinnis)

(A Mount Haven Quickie), an Erotic Short (BDSM)

(A Mount Haven Quickie) 

(A Mount Haven Quickie) 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

To Plot? Or Just Run With It?

To Plot? Or to Just Run With It?

I used to be only in the ‘just run with it’ camp, but I’m moving more and more toward the ‘plot’ camp. At first I thought plotting would box me in and I would feel trapped and the story would lose the living element I loved, but that’s not true. I find so much more freedom now, knowing where my characters are ultimately trying to go and accomplish. That, I’m able to write much faster and cleaner than I ever was before. PLUS, I have nearly eliminated that pesky problem of writing myself into a corner and having to delete pages and pages of uselessness while I go back and try and figure out where I took the wrong turn. If you write, you know what I'm talking about...if you don't, bless your heart, and pray you never do. LOL.

Plotting gives me the ability to look at the 'Big Picture' which is very important for series. And I am seeing the warning signs of a serial series writing career in my future. Organization is going to be my friend. So, I'm embracing it with open arms. Excel is also quickly becoming my go to program for timelines, character data, and overal plotting. I LOVE my color coded boxes!

Tell me what you think about plotting... What is your preference? Do you have one? Do you 'Just Run With It'?

I just released two books this spring, , the second book in the Pool of Souls series and , the first book in my developing Vegas Mates series. Let me just tell you, Vegas Mates is really starting to take on a life of it’s own. I can’t wait until I’m a little further in to the plotting of Vegas Mates Book 2 and can start sharing more about that world.
Pool of Souls of course is still my baby. I love Aphrodite

and Ares and the chemistry between them is just…SIZZLING! Pool of Souls Book 3 is in the just being plotted stage too, and I’ll let a little something slip. There will be a suspenseful element in this one! I love trying something new and Pool of Souls is such a genre breaker already, ROFL, I’m going for it. Why not throw a little romantic suspense in the mix!

I attended the DARA Conference – Dreaming in Dallas in March, and got to hear from all these spectacular writers. I have some new ideas to try for my plotting to make it even more streamlined and even faster and cleaner writing than it is now. I’m also reading a book, . This has been a fabulous book as well. Between my notes from Cherry Adair, Christie Craig, and now Rachel Aaron, I have a lot of organizing to do. It will take me a little longer to get started on projects but I know it will pay off in the end.

Liberty, Jimmy, Krystal
You can see I have plotting on the brain. I’m currently working to get Vegas Mates Book 2, Pool of Souls Book 3, and a brand new series plotted all at the same time. I know, I know, but I can’t seem to shut my damn brain off, so I JUST RUN WITH IT!!! LOL!

Oh! I also have another novella coming out soon with Decadent One Night Stand line and hopefully
a second later this year for their new TEASE line!

As you can see… the plotting never ends!

Krystal Shannan Love and Destiny in all Realms
Author of
Chasing Sam: Vegas Mates Book 1  |& Others
Open House: Pool of Souls Book 1  |& Others
Finding Hope: Pool of Souls Book 2  |& Others
A Very Russian Christmas  |& Others
JUST RIGHT from Decadent Publishing - Coming Soon!
 |  |  |  | GoodReads | 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Natalie Gibson hosts Sophie Moss

Sophie Moss is NOT a member of The Romance Troupe, (I guess we can't all be perfect) but she HAS written a great romance trilogy.  When she asked me if I'd be willing to host her Book 3 of the Seal Island Trilogy, The Selkie Sorceress, I jumped at the chance to help out a fellow author.  I read and reviewed book 1, The Selkie Spell, back in March and it is a 5 star read.  If you haven't read it yet, run out, right now, and get it.  You won't regret it.  Book 2, The Selkie Enchantress, is on my TBR pile and I am anxious to get to it, especially now that the finale is completed.

New Release: The Selkie Sorceress (Seal Island Trilogy, Book Three)

Author: Sophie Moss

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance

Release Date: April 25, 2013

Book Designers:

Book Description:

American detective Sam Holt has a knack for finding people who shouldn’t be found. When his last case almost killed an innocent woman, he swore off detective work forever. But when this same woman asks him for one last investigation—to find her husband’s long lost mother—Sam cannot refuse. Clairvoyant Irish artist Glenna McClure will do anything to stop Sam, even if it means teaming up with a powerful sorceress who she knows she cannot trust. But when the petals of a mysterious night-blooming rose begin to turn black, Glenna realizes that an even darker force is at work. To protect the people she loves, Glenna will have to face a terrible curse that has haunted her all her life before the final petal fades to ash.

 The Seal Island Trilogy is now available in paperback!




To celebrate the release of The Selkie Sorceress and the Seal Island Trilogy in paperback, Sophie is offering a giveaway! In addition to reducing the Kindle prices of The Selkie Spell and The Selkie Enchantress to $.99 each from April 25-28, she is giving away a $25 Gift Card to Amazon and THREE signed paperbacks!

   / /

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Romance Troupe Beltane Blitz!

Blog hop, e-party, and Giveaway!
   Win Books           Win Gift Cards
Win Swag
Play Fun Games
+…visit each blog for random prizes!
May 1 – 3, 2013

Join our and set it for announcements and notifications, and play games with us, including the scavenger hunts on our .

Saturday, April 20, 2013

March Winds, April Showers, and…?

Beltane Blitz, Anyone?
From March winds to April showers to Beltane (frequently spelled Beltaine), many of us stand in awe of our Creator and Mother Nature. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of religions run the gamut from rare and misunderstood to popular and widely accepted, but at one time or another, every culture has celebrated Beltane. Remember dancing around the Maypole and enjoying lots of delicious food on May Day? The celebration’s title varies, but partying over green fields, plentiful vegatation and flocks, love, lust, birth, and creation of life in its many forms has been with us since the beginning of time.
Before many theologians decided to represent the Creator as asexual, wiping the existence of everything female from the life-giving process (probably had something to do with the belief that Eve plunged us all into sin all by her lonesome), May 1st was celebrated as a time of rebirth, originally thought to be the time when the goddess (Ki, but She has many names) opened to the god of creation (Yahweh, but He has many names, too) and new life was created, including plentiful crops, fertile livestock, even fertile women.
My point is that although Beltane is considered a pagan holiday, we all celebrate life. The Vodouin faith calls it Loa, a spiritual term beyond literal English translation, but spirit of life, vibrance, and purpose all rolled into one comes close to a definition. The term Beltane originated in the Celtic culture, but other civilizations have always celebrated the time of year as well, calling it a multitude of names, and there was always a party associated with the joy accompanying new life.
So, The Romance Troupe, in keeping with the widespread feeling of joy, gratitude, and appreciation of life, creation, love, The Creator, and Mother Nature, is gearing up for a party! We’re calling it a Beltane Blitz, and representing it with fire in reverence of the traditional Beltane fire dance! We hope you join us for our Beltane Blitz with prizes, fun games including our popular scavenger hunts for even more prizes, and great stories and books, of course.
In addition to the grand prize, each blog is offering a prize. You can also win prizes by playing games and answering questions. Think I used the word “prizes” enough times? Come party with us May 1st – 3rd and celebrate the combustible nature of life! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

We DO Judge a Book By It's Cover! #coverartists, #Rom Trp, #books, #RNC

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Okay, so you are feeling the need for a new book.  Yes, an eBook will do nicely.  You think for a moment about what genre of book you would like to read or try to remember if there is a book you have just been dying to get your hands on.  You decide you would like a spicy, action-filled Romance and without a specific one in mind, you look up your favorite online bookstore and start to browse.

So here is the question:  Out of the literally hundreds of thousands of books out there, how will you choose?  What will make you select one book over another?

To start with?  That's right, the cover.  Covers are everything when trying to stand out in the sea of books these days, especially in Romance.  And we are not talking just any cover either.  It needs to be good quality, easy to read and eye-catching.  Truth be told, it needs to be done by a professional.  I mean, you would not ask the graphic designer to write your 80,000 word novel, would you?  No, because that is not their forte.  It is not what they do best.

If you are an author, then that is your forte.  It is your strong suit and where you can shine.  Of course, many people think that, especially if they are just starting out like I am, that they cannot afford some fancy-schmancy cover.  They choose instead to have themselves or someone they know (and love?) make one instead.  Let me tell you, you can stop those ideas right now.  That would be like me having my sweet and talented computer geek husband (don't worry, I say geek with affection) make it for me.  Could he?  Sure but would it be artistic enough to catch the reader's eye?  Probably not.  Besides, if you are like me, you may be shocked to discover just how inexpensive a quality cover can be!  Try somewhere in the under $50 range!  Seriously!  Now of course, they can run up in the multiple hundreds.  It all depends on what exactly you order and who you order it from.  Would you like to see some examples of what I mean?  Well okay! ;)

Phatpuppy Creations: Best Selling Book Covers &emdash;
Phatpuppy Creations: Best Selling Book Covers &emdash; Rua
Phatpuppy Creations: Best Selling Book Covers &emdash;
Phatpuppy Creations: Best Selling Book Covers &emdash;

As you can see, there are as many styles, varieties and prices as there are books and this is just a tiny sampling of what is available.  So just like when you choose a book to read, take your time, look around and then make your choice.  Then you can enjoy the Happily Ever After!

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