Posts Tagged ‘romance novels’

Any story, whether it be book or film, needs a good love scene. From the shocking, first ever film kiss in, The Kiss (1896!) to Basic Instinct and Fifty Shades of Grey, storylines need romance or (soft) sex.

But what used to be considered X-rated now seem the norm. Full frontals and realistic love making are nothing new in movies today, which leaves little to the imagination. At least with a book you can visualize what he or she might look like (naked) or what they might be doing (having sex?). I wonder what’s left to give-up in cinema?

What makes a good love scene? That depends on what you are looking for. Obviously some people want the tell-all kind of story and others want the Jane Austin lead up to sex, which are truly ‘love scenes’. It’s knowing what is going to happen through the buildup. Very titillating.

Take 9 1/2 Weeks. That blindfolded ice scene could make anybody squirm. And when Vasili and Tania finally fall into each other’s arms on the dirty floor of the underground bunker in, Enemy at the Gates, it was breathtakingly passionate. You’ll find yourself drawn to the questionable but undeniable desire in The Lover or Y Tu Mamá También.

In 1954, Anne Descios (under the pen name, Pauline Réage) shocked the literary scene with, The Story of O, while Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice remains the ultimate, timeless love story. Diana Gabaldon’s, Outlander, is a big contender in the ultimate love story genre, as is The Notebook, by Nickolas Sparks.  

Whether you are a fan of the more erotic and explicit, or prefer tender romance and ‘love conquers all’, we each have our favourite books and films, and there are far too many to name.

Share yours with us in the comments section and tell us why you love it. We want to hear from you!



Let’s have a look at our very own favourite books — bodice rippers!

The origin of the bodice ripper is loosely based on the romance novels of the Austin era, but more erotic. Bodice Rippers became popular in the 1980’s when it became more acceptable for women to enjoy their own form of pornography.

Generally, this genre is predictable and formulaic with a handsome, strong and rich man sweeping some poor, long-suffering beauty off her feet. Seduction scenes should happen often enough to keep the pages turning, and all must end happily ever after.

The difference between a romance novel and a bodice ripper is the level of titillation. Romance novels tend to be tamer — more about love and good over evil, where bodice rippers, although with the same agenda, tend to be juicer. Covers of a true bodice ripper will show the male hero with his heroine, the damsel in distress, safely in his muscular arms. She is (of course) breathtakingly beautiful, with ample breasts that are spilling from the figure forming corset with laces coming undone. 

Despite the success of romance novels and bodice rippers, with commercial book sales in the millions, the literary world has yet to accept the work as legitimate. Such criticism has affected how the public reacts to this genre. To this day, readers of books like the bodice ripper, generally hide behind their iPads or magazine covers so as not to publicly reveal their true indulgence.

Four Days In Vegas

Posted on: June 7th, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

Well, almost Vegas…  IMG_0149

The Romance Novel Convention was conveniently just on the perimeter of Vegas – off the strip as many conventions are nowadays. I suppose it’s to keep the attendees attending. It is pretty easy to get sidetracked there, although with temperatures rising as high as 115 degrees F, who would really want to be outdoors?

Four days felt like being locked away in another world. It was dark and moody. The stench of cigarette smoke was ever present and the ka-ching of slot machines and dribble of coins rang throughout.

I tried my hand a couple of times – won a little, lost a little. It’s fun to dabble but to get lost in it would be more than dangerous. For us novelists present, the setting made for the start of many a story, I’m sure.

The convention was small and intimate with cover model, Jimmy Thomas, as our host and event organizer, no easy task. I soon realized this was quite a different scene than what I had been used to in my writing life, romance or otherwise, and it took me a while to adjust to the onslaught of romance novels at their finest. Covers with beautiful damsels lusting after hunky guys, muscled bodies slick with perspiration staring seductively into the distance, hot men and hot women in hot embraces. Did I say hot? It goes on. I realized how ‘conservative’ my covers are, but then, I write with a somewhat different technique in the genre.

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In any case, I embraced this new style of true romance novels and came to learn a lot from my fellow authors/friends. There was a whole bunch of marketing and social media they were doing that I had not tapped into, for instance, Amazon, and it was fascinating. I too, was able to teach some tricks of the trade in my workshops How To Find The Erotic In You, How To Write Erotica and Become Self-reliant, Focussed and Confident in your Craft. Tons of fun!

All said, a good time was had by all and new friendships were made. Thanks everyone. You know who you are 😉  Romance Conventions are the best!


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The Ripped Bodice

Posted on: March 8th, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

My fabulous sister lives in Los Angeles. The other day she sent me the link to a new bookstore that just opened in Culver City. It’s called The Ripped Bodice and it sells only romance novels.bodice 2

The store is owned and operated by two sisters who are smart, enterprising visionaries who love romance novels and apparently always have. They want to change the way the general population thinks about writers and readers of romance novels as a genre, although one has to wonder who the naysayers are when stats show it was the bestselling genre (1.08 billion) in 2013. Nuff said.

So, at my sisters nudge, I called the store yesterday and spoke with Leah. I told her a little about Madison Lake and gave her my website to view. Two hours later Leah emailed me to say they would be delighted to sell Madison Lake’s books, that they are ‘right up their alley’.

I’m very excited to be part of what is sure to be a successful new shop and I can’t wait to visit when I’m next in LA. I might even arrange a reading and book signing. And kudos to Bea and Leah for taking a stand in support of romance novels and novelists everywhere. It’s about time somebody did.

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If you live in LA or plan to visit, definitely stop in at The Ripped Bodice bookstore and tell them you’re a friend of Madison Lake’s. Culver City is quaint and worth a stopover and the Culver City Hotel is very cool. My fabulous sister used to perform there with her band Doozy.

ML xo

By the way, my fabulous sister is currently suffering from a horrible case of shingles. This blog is for her. Thanks for this great tip, honey. Feel better soon. 

True or False

Posted on: February 9th, 2016 by Madison Lake No Comments

book-featimg-boudoir-storiesA few of you have asked me, or at least thought about where I get my story ideas from. It’s a common question for writers, but probably more intriguing when asking a writer of erotic romance novels.

One of the first things I learned about writing is to always write about what you know. It will be your most authentic voice. It will be believable. For instance, I will not try to write about growing up in Israel during war times or escaping capture from soldiers in Somalia. I might be able to weave a piece of fiction on those subjects but they might sound more like a report, not a deeply rooted, moving picture of someone’s life.

Now that I’ve backed myself into a corner about authenticity and writing erotic romance, I will remind you that we are all sexual. We are born that way. Perhaps not everyone can write but we all feel sexual arousal, sensual stirrings, lusty desire, and even have our fetishes.

I was also fortunate enough to be born into a very creative family – artists, thinkers, writers. So if I put the two together, voila! An erotic romance writer was born.

I didn’t always have a desire to write romance novels. In fact, I did not grow up reading them and still don’t gravitate to them as my genre of choice. But they are damn fun to write. A little imagination and fantasy and a lot of courage and honesty goes a long way.

Courage is to write the stuff unabashedly. Honesty is hatched from courage.

It took me a while to overcome my inhibitions and ‘come out’ as me rather than hide behind the persona of Madison Lake. That was partly because of the (stupid) reputation romance novels have had in the land of literature, and partly because of what people might think of me. Ridiculous but true. Once I let go and could write with courage and honesty about a character or situation, whether it was real to me or not, the story became more real, more authentic.

Most, if not all of my stories are fiction and fantasy but of course they are drawn from something I’ve either read, seen, heard or experienced. The fun part is to elaborate on a situation to make it much more than what it might have originally been and weave that into a story that way.

You, the reader, can decide. If you think I had a poolside orgy with my workmates in the short story The Party in Boudoir Stories, or danced topless at the Beltane Festival in Where Daffodils Grow Wild, go for it.

I will be whoever you want. I will be your chameleon.   MLbowie