Thank you for hosting me today. I’m excited to discuss what makes good heroines and my recent release, Rose, Exposed, a multicultural historical erotic romance set in the 1930s.
What Makes a Good I/R | Multicultural Heroine?
When Plucking the Pearl came out, I received a lot of reader feedback. As with most books, there are people who love it and others who don’t. I read each comment and tried to learn from it, especially since I’m new to the I/R genre. When I worked on my latest release, Rose, Exposed, I even revisited the feedback to make sure I addressed everything I should.
One reader really got my attention because she saw Pearl as a Mary Sue heroine — too perfect with green eyes and a privileged background. Uh-oh, I thought. If she didn’t like Pearl, she’s really not going to like Rose, my latest heroine who struggles with her biracial identity. I chose to give these heroines different backgrounds to make them stand out and not fit into the community so easily. This created the drama and conflict I wanted.
Why didn’t I write about Sadie, the reader asked? At that point, I had to laugh because I’ve been planning to tell Sadie’s story as the third book in the series for a long time.
What makes a good I/R | multicultural heroine? I’m not talking about the general stuff that applies to all heroines, such as likeability and not being too stupid to live, but genre-specific traits. I got a little help from the ladies at the Café au Lait Book Club. Strength ranks high as well as taking pride in who she is and where she comes from. Thank you all!
Because my series takes place in the 1930s, I think my heroines need to be especially strong to face the challenge of having an interracial relationship in a society that isn’t as open as it is today. Having a career was tougher for women then too. That’s why I gave each woman a calling. Pearl plays the piano, Rose paints, and Sadie — well, I’m keeping her new talent a secret for now.
Keep the feedback coming. I thank that one reader for really opening my eyes and making me a better writer. I hope she reads my latest release and Sadie’s story when it comes out.
(I love creating trailers for all my books!)
When Leroy Johnson gets promoted at the new oyster plant on Pearl Point, all he cares about is working hard. When he meets the flirtatious artist Rose Wainwright, however, nothing matters except getting her to the altar and into bed. Healing from a recent loss, he’s not about to let her go too.
Because Rose’s strict, social-climbing father doesn’t approve of dark-skinned Leroy, they court in secret anyplace they can find. Although Leroy’s raw passion can convince her to do almost anything, why can’t he understand she needs freedom, not marriage?
Her father wants her to be white, but Leroy wants her to be black. Playing both sides of the fence leaves this young biracial beauty exposed in more ways than one.
Rose, Exposed – Copyright © AFTON LOCKE, 2013 – All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.
“You’re so…dark,” she exclaimed. Instead of the disdain he expected, he heard fascination.
Come on, lady. Don’t tell me you’ve never seen a colored man before.
“Yes, I’m dark,” he agreed as he politely removed her hand, “which is why it’s not a good idea for us to sit alone together in this car. Someone might come along and jump to the wrong conclusion.”
A conclusion that could get him beat up or worse with the Klan close by on Oyster Island.
But before he could stop her, she clasped both sides of his face and pressed her sweet mouth to his. Aw, hell. A man only had so much self-control, and she’d just shattered his. Unable to stop himself, he plundered her delicate mouth. Her lips reminded him of rose petals, and he sucked the sweetness out of them as if he were a bee. The more he tasted, the more he wanted.
She opened, giving him access to her even sweeter tongue. His penis strained, hard and now wet, against his undershorts. Hell, even his balls must be twice their normal size. Taking a big breath, he pulled away from her.
“We can’t do this. You’re white.”
She looked down at her upturned palms. “Then I really do look white?”
Leroy frowned. “Aren’t you?”
For the first time, her smile disappeared, making him shiver in his wet clothes. “The truth is, I don’t know what I am. I suppose that’s why I took this foolish drive.”
She must be biracial then, he realized, and not forbidden after all. The thought made him want to dance on the hood of the car. She still looked white, though. If he didn’t have the time to court a girl his own color, he sure didn’t have any for a complicated one like this.
“Kiss me again,” she demanded.
Without waiting for him to answer, she locked her hot, damp mouth on his again and tugged hard on his shoulders. Before he knew it, he was on top of her on the front seat. He wished her dress weren’t so thin when two round breasts pushed against his chest and long, slender legs shifted restlessly under his. Dizzy with the scent of rain and her, he froze.
At that moment, nothing mattered except finding out if her cunt was as sweet and yielding as her mouth. He didn’t care if the entire Klan showed up, knocked on the window and caught him thrusting between her legs on this slippery leather seat. It had been too damn long since he’d had a woman. He needed to stop this while he still could.
“Do you know what you’re asking for?” Lust had turned his voice into a husky croak.
She laughed and touched his face again. “I don’t know. What am I asking for?”
This girl was crazier than he’d first thought. What if someone less honorable than himself had stopped instead? She could’ve been raped.
“A whole lot of trouble.” He sat up. “Look, this is not the time or the place. Now let’s get you home.”
The sooner he could be rid of her—before she derailed him from his job, family, and everything else that mattered—the better.
WIPs Coming Soon
Rose, Exposed is the sequel to Plucking the Pearl, an interracial historical erotic romance.
I have two more books planned for the Oyster Harbor series. Next up for romance are Sadie and Henry.
In addition to interracial/multicultural historicals, I also plan to keep writing erotic contemporaries.
Can an older woman find love with a hot male stripper? My current WIP, Two Hours to Entice, will answer that question.
Where readers can find me
I will be attending EC’s RomantiCon Oct 10-13, 2013 in Canton, Ohio
Don’t miss the book signing on Oct 13th.
I’m also hosting a Fabulous Fusion workshop with Koko Brown and Eve Vaughn to celebrate interracial erotic romance for EC’s Fusion line.
This post is part of the official Rose, Exposed Blog Tour (3/26 – 4/09).
The grand prize for the tour is vintage-style rose earrings for pierced ears (U.S. shipping address only).
To be eligible, COMMENT on this post. Comment should include the historical time period and geographical setting (when and where) you’d most like to see in a romance.
The tour winner will be announced at http://www.aftonlocke.com/RoseExposedTour.html on April 11th.