Guest Post - Author Sawyer Belle

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2014 12:01 AM

Thank you, Loren, for having me! I'm excited to be here.

Every author is asked the question at some point in their career. How do you come up with this stuff?

For me, inspiration begins with a place. I know my story’s setting before I ever know its characters. Every place has a vibe – a soul. It’s layered with years of history, of tragedy and triumph, of progress, destruction, and the fingerprints of all the personalities that went into its making. There are definite differences between walking down the streets of Rome, sloshing through the surf along a Caribbean shoreline, and the smell of sagebrush after a desert rain in the hills of Virginia City, Nevada.

Tapping into the heart of a place and being able to recreate it in fiction so that it comes alive to the reader is one of my greatest goals as a writer. When it happens, I feel that spark of life in my storyteller’s heart, and characters are quickly born.

As a writer of historical romance, I take advantage of the genre to educate my readers about places and events through the eyes of my characters. History is a far more colorful storyteller than any writer I’ve read. In the right setting, history has already mapped out the plot. All that’s left is to write characters who will do it justice, and that is no small task. In fact, it is the greatest one, but it ties back to that sense of place. If I really know a place, I will know the type of people who inhabited it.

I had an advantage when writing my newest release, Silver Nights With You, which takes place in northern Nevada during the early days of the silver boom, 1860s. I’m a native of southern Nevada, but lived up north for three years during college. I spent those years combing the hills around Virginia City, soaking up every exciting word of the town’s wild past. I read books, old newspapers, attended lectures, visited landmarks and graveyards, took tours and studied photographs – and this was long before I was even aware of the story culminating in my brain!
The desert, and therefore almost the entire state of Nevada, has an overlooked and underrated beauty. It’s raw and rugged, inviting the strongest and demanding their perseverance. In the words of the book’s hero, Morgan Kelly, “What survives here thrives.” When I mention the phrase “the wild west,” people rarely think of Nevada, and that is an injustice to both the state and the reputation it helped mold. I'm hoping my novel will change that.

In Silver Nights With You, readers follow the tale of two brothers, Morgan and Valentine, who find their fortune out west in the silver mines of Virginia City. The town sprouts up around them, inviting all manner of lawlessness, from bar fights to robberies to political corruption, and the danger doesn’t stop there. The risks of early mining, the natural perils of the environment and the pitfalls of a developing society all cause a stir for the brothers. But nothing could have prepared Morgan for the east coast debutante, and the frenzy she caused when she arrived in a stage coach full of bullet holes.

The book will be released on September 1st, available only through Amazon, both in print and Kindle format. I invite readers to enjoy this excerpt, and also encourage them to follow me on Facebook, Goodreads and my blog: For more information regarding my other published works and upcoming projects, please see my website:

Silver Nights With You - Excerpt

Loren Mathis

Guest Post - Author RC Matthews

Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014 12:01 AM

Sexy Time: How Much Is Enough in Romance Novels?

Many publishers of romance have come up with creative ways to designate the amount of sexual content within the books they offer. My debut contemporary romance novel, Little White Lies, was published by Crimson Romance on March 24, 2014 and is designated as being “Sensual”. The other potential categories include “Behind Closed Doors” and “Spicy”.

While writing Little White Lies, I struggled with how much sexy time to include in the story and how explicit the sex scenes should be. Part of the reason I struggled is that every reader is different. Some readers prefer euphemisms to describe what all of the essential body parts are doing during the act, while others prefer explicit and hard core terminology. Yet another group of readers would rather leave the sex to their own imagination.

So how much sex is the right amount of sex in a romance novel and how explicit should it be? In the end, I realized that I will never be able to please every single reader. It’s simply impossible. You want proof? Check out reviews for my second romance novel, Date Night. One reader rated the book four stars and withheld one star because there wasn’t enough sex in the book. Whereas another reader rated the book three stars because there was too much explicit sex in the book. Go figure! So instead of worrying over how much sex to include in my books or how explicit that sex should be, I focus on the story line and the romance and let the characters dictate how much sex is the right amount for the story.

Loren Mathis
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