Thursday, October 25, 2007

Guest Blogger - Bianca D'Arc

I’m thrilled and excited to guest blog here today. I’m Bianca D’Arc, and I aspire to be just as prolific and successful as Lucy when I grow up! ;-) I write mostly paranormal, futuristic, sci fi and fantasy romance – extra spicy, at times. I guess I’m best known for my Dragon Knights – a series where the dragons are the good guys who fight alongside their chosen knights against evil. Set in a fantasy-medieval world, a precious few of the dragons are shapeshifters – half-dragon and half-human. These are the special men of the royal line and so far they’re featured in two of my books: The Ice Dragon (which won an EPPIE Award), and my most recent release, Prince of Spies.

I also write paranormal and urban fantasy featuring werewolves, vampires, fey warriors, magic users, and spec ops guys who kick butt! The first of these books is already in print, titled Lords of the Were, and a related book will be out in ebook this December and in print next year, titled Sweeter Than Wine.

My next big print release is in March, and will mark the beginning of a new futuristic series called Resonance Mates. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world that isn’t dark, but rather, a place where only those gifted with psychic abilities have survived an alien takeover of the Earth. It’s one of those books that defies labels because it has elements of sci fi, paranormal, and a good old-fashioned Western, complete with a ranch and cowboys. This book is on the hotter end of my writing spectrum, so be warned. It’s definitely in the “erotic romance” sub-genre.

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about what’s “erotica” and what’s “erotic romance.” To me, there is a vast difference. Erotic romance focuses on the relationship and is a love story at heart. There’s got to be deep, emotional commitment between the characters that allow the extra-hot love scenes to make sense in the context of the story. I try to let my characters drive the story and write what makes sense for them. It’s not about getting as many sex scenes as you can in there.

It’s more about how these characters, put in this situation, will act and demonstrate their love for each other. That’s the thing erotica is missing, in my opinion. There’s usually little or no emotional component in erotica, and very often, no mention of love. I don’t write that. I just write love stories, and always end with a Happily Ever After. To me, that’s what romance is all about. How about you?

Special thanks to Lucy, for inviting me here today. I had the good fortune to meet her (and the Hubcap) at Lora Leigh’s RAW a few weeks ago. I hope we get to do it all again next year!

Bianca D’Arc
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Lucy Monroe said...

Welcome, Bianca! And mega smooches on your sweet words. :)

I totally agree with you on the difference between erotica and erotic romance. For me, it's not the language used, or the level of graphic depiction, or even the intensity of the sex, it's whether or not those two people making love on screen are doing so with emotion or simply for the sake of sex itself. I truly believe that erotic romance is empowering to women - it educates as well as stimulates. And I'm not just talking about libido - but creativity, imagination, and definitely emotion! I love it and I write it because I know I'm *supposed to* and can't imagine writing any other way.

Stacy~ said...

Hi Bianca! Welcome to Lucy's place. I love it here :)

I am definitely a fan of erotic romance, stress on romance. The sexual intimacy is not as exciting or as erotic for a reader unless there is emotion tied into the relationship. I've read erotica over the years, even recently, and it just didn't make me feel connected to the story - I didn't enjoy those stories very much. But an erotic romance, where the characters care deeply for each other and you can relate to those strong feelings between them, well that's what makes it erotic. There is trust, and affection, and commitment, and when your heart is engaged, it makes for a much more intense story.

I think back to JR Ward's "Lover Awakened" and the first kisses Z shares with Bella. They are so incredibly charged with sexual tension and feeling that this one scene is more potent and heart-pounding than a hundred written depictions of erotica, at least to me. It took my breath away.

AmyC said...

((Hugs)) Bianca!!

I was lucky enough to meet you again and meet the wonderful Lucy at RAW.

I agree, there needs to be romance and a happily ever after! Apparently, I've never read erotica, just erotic romance. Everything I've read has had a happy ending. I think it's important to have the love and HEA's if it's going to be in the romance section. I've tried to read two different Urban Fansay series and just cannot get into them, because there is no HEA! And I agree with Stacy! When two characters connect and you can 'feel' the heat and sparks come alive between's awesome! Usually, if a book is going to make me cry it's during a sex scene, and if it wasn't about love then there wouldn't be any emotional connection. And a book that makes me tear up or cry is always a good one!!

Bianca D'Arc said...

Lucy - Thanks so much for having me here today! :) And I've read (and enjoyed!) quite a few of your books - you've definitely got the emotion in there that makes me love a character and really root for them. I agree that romance can empower women, no matter what the critics may say. :)

Stacy - Hi! Glad to know I wasn't way off base with my thoughts on the subject. I know there's a lot of controversey about these definitions in the big publishing houses and even in bookstores. Many stores aren't quite sure where to shelve erotic romance or how to label it, but we readers know what we want and where it fits, right? ;-)

Amy - Hiya! Yes, it was great seeing you again at RAW! And I totally agree about the HEA. See, I read a lot of fantasy and sci fi and you never know what you're going to get at the end of those. But if I pick up a "romance" book that doesn't have an HEA, it's grounds for me to throw the book against the wall! ;-)

Kate Davies said...


How fabulous to see you here! I'm such a fan of your books, as you know. :)

It's funny that bookstores can't quite figure out where to shelve Erotic Romance -- because any romance reader can identify an ER as opposed to an erotica with no trouble! I so agree that the emotion has to be there, and the HEA. (Not that every book I read has to have an HEA, but I despise false advertising. If I pick up a romance, it had better have a happy ending, no matter the heat level between the covers!)

Selena Illyria said...

Hi Bianca! Great Blog. Sending everyone Big Hugs. :-)

Susan said...

Hi Bianca!

I think you hit the nail on the head. Erotic romance stories strike a chord with me that erotica doesn't. I like to have an invested interest with the characters.

Cathy said...

Hi Bianca, totally agree with your definition of erotic romance. It's what I look for when I am deciding on a book, and you have always delivered. The new series Resonance Mates looks like another winner.

Lucy Monroe said...

Exactly! I'm so enjoying this discussion. Any romance reader *can* tell the difference between the two. In fact, my kids and I were talking about this very thing the other day - though the discussion started with vid porn. Moved to discussing the difference between being a runway model wearing very little and a stripper. Then to books, etc. We all agreed (me and the three teens) that it's the emotion and intent behind an artistic endeavor that places it in one category or another. What was neat, was that none of my kids judged either - simply stated that there *was* a difference. And they totally got the I love writing erotic romance, but I would really struggle trying to write erotica and have no desire to do so. Doesn't mean some truly fab authors don't do that - just that it's not my thing to write. I want emotion - I want intense feelings that lead to memories later - I want to pull at a reader's heart and her libido. But yes, if I haven't touched her libido with a love scene, I'll wonder where I didn't dig deeply enough into my characters.

Speaking of my new painting hanging on my wall in the office...right where I can see it when I write!

Hugs to all,

Bianca D'Arc said...

Kate, you are so right about readers knowing exactly what the differences are. Too bad the publishers and bookstores aren't always so clear. ;)

Hi Selena! Thanks for the hugs! :)

Susan, I agree. Like you, I need to be involved with the characters.

Cathy, thanks for the kind words! I hope Resonance Mates can live up to the high expectations! :)

Lucy - sounds like a really great conversation you had with your kids. Interesting points all around! :)

flip said...

Wow, I could not agree more with you. Before the current trend of erotic romances, erotica was a big turn off for me. Sex without any emotional attachment does not work for me. When some romance writers had skanky sex scenes between two unlikeable characters, it would really sour me on the book.

Sex is empowering to men and women. It gives us renewed life and energy. But it is only true when there is a connection between a couple. I don't think that it has to be love, a strong, mutual attraction is enough to make sex special.

Estella said...

I am a fan of erotic romance. I have not read your books, but will be looking for them in the future.

Amy said...

Welcome Bianca! I have not read any of your books as of yet.
I totally agree with you ladies. Any book I read has to have the romance and the happily ever after or I am not reading it.

Cherie J said...

Hi Bianca,

I agree with your opinion, especially since I have read aome of your books and I know you have well developed characters. Well developed characters are essential along with a great plot for me to continue to want to read an author's books.

Brandy said...

Welcome Bianca!

I admit I haven't read your books, yet. But, I am intrigued by the Dragons mentioned! *g*
Best of Luck.

Stacy S said...

Hi Bianca! I totally agree with you. If they don't have strong feelings for each other, to me it's not a good story.

Bianca D'Arc said...

flip - great points. There does need to be a connection between the participants for me as well.

estella & amy - thanks for commenting and I hope you'll like my characters if you get a chance to read one of my books. My books always have an HEA. If I read a so-called "romance" and there's no HEA? I throw the book against the wall. ;-)

Cherie - Thanks! :) Glad you liked my books! :)

Brandy - yes, dragons are very tempting creatures, aren't they? LOL! Hope you like them if you get a chance to read them! :)

Stacy - thanks for commenting, I agree! :)

pam51 said...

Hugs Bianca!
I agree with your comments on erotic romance. I have read romance for over 30 years and I am very happy to see the erotic componet come into the mix. Before it was kinda like in the old movies where they were just getting down to business(and the plot was really getting interesting!) and all of a sudden you see a scene of a sunrise and when you come back they're all sweaty and covered up with the sheets and maybe smoking a cigarette. I miss the zing if it's not there with the romance. Keep doing such a good job Lucy and Bianca. We all love your work!

Bianca D'Arc said...

Thanks, Pam! And you're so right. LOL!

Thanks also to Lucy for inviting me to post on her blog. I had a great time! :)