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My Take On Fifty Shades

My Take On Fifty Shades

Prompted by the upcoming release of Fifty Shades of Grey, Carole and I decided to do a guest series on erotic romance.

In many writer’s circles, Fifty Shades of Grey has gotten a bad rap. As writers, we are compelled to critique our fellow author’s works, since that’s all part of a writer’s journey to improve craft. Believe me, we’ve all had our writing critiqued, judged and possibly reviewed. For the most part, this is all productive stuff.

So here’s my take on Fifty Shades of Grey. First, here’s why I read the novel:

  1. Because of all the hype.
  2. Because my mother-in-law lent me the paperback.
  3. Because I was curious about the BDSM culture.

I happen to have a friend who’s been a submissive in a couple sub/dom relationships. In her opinion, there is no deeper bond. She experienced an emotional connection and caring from her dominant lover like she’d never experienced before. She also felt that ultimately she had all the power in the relationship. He could not be dominant if she didn’t play along. If she chose to leave him, he would be crushed. Neither she nor her partner felt that Fifty Shades portrayed the lifestyle accurately.

Back to Fifty Shades. At first, I was engaged with the story and found the relationship between the two protagonists interesting. I believed in Ana’s curiosity, her inner conflict and her intrigue with the toys a billionaire could provide. I was even curious to know more about Christian’s wounded dark past, at least I supposed there was a dark past.

I don’t know Christian’s back story because I didn’t read the other books in the series.

I like the bedroom doors open in a novel. Sex scenes are a turn on when I’ve connected emotionally to the characters, when I’ve fallen for the hero along with the heroine. When that alpha male takes her to his bed, it’s sexy, and I want to be there too, in my fantasy world.

I didn’t read on because I stopped believing in why Ana returned to Christian’s bed. To me, it takes a certain kind of psyche to find a red room of pain sexually arousing. I’m not judging here, I’m just saying it’s not for everyone. It’s not for me. I don’t like pain and torture makes me sick to my stomach.

That’s me, and the problem I had with the book was that I believe the lifestyle was not for Ana either. I didn’t believe she was a natural submissive, aroused by the red room. And I didn’t like it when she went back to Christian at the beginning of book 2. (I did read the first chapter of book 2 because it was delivered to my Kindle.)

Since I don’t know the whole story, I may be wrong, but that’s why I didn’t read on.

All this aside, I have to applaud E.L. James while I dream of her success. She made it mainstream for women to read erotica and that’s a good thing. I don’t think it’s easy to write, and I don’t know if I will cross the line into erotica, but I’ll keep reading.

Stay tuned for our upcoming erotica series. I can’t wait to see what our guest authors have to say on the subject!



How To “Turn On” A Setting

How To “Turn On” A Setting

The title of this blog is a bit misleading. Not the “turn on” part, but the “how to” part. I’m not a seasoned, multi-published author to give a how-to lesson on setting. What I’m really doing is sharing my way to make a setting sexy in the context of a hot romance. read more…

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Keeping it short today as many people are in the midst of holidays.

When I started this journey, I realized early on, especially after joining the Toronto Romance Writers, that writers are generous people. We are part of a community that works together, shares information, relates do’s and don’ts, all to help each other succeed. This is a community with no ego.

Carole and I look forward to 2015 here at Romance & Beyond, to sharing more articles on writing craft, publishing, marketing, all things writing related. We plan to bring new guests to our Friends on Friday and revisit with old friends. We not only wish to be a resource for writers, but also a place to share book releases because that’s what it’s all about—writing the best books we can and finding the readers who love them.

We’re excited to bring you a new guest series planned for later in January.

For now, we wish you all the very best in 2015. Let’s make this a productive year!




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