Tag Archives: sweet romance

Sex and the Single Romance

“Show me the money!” screams Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the film Jerry Maguire.  In porn parlance, it’s called “the money shot.” Yes, romance novels are often associated with sex—an image promoted by torrid covers of shirtless men clutching panting heroines in the throes of passion.

Is there anything wrong with that? No, of course not. It’s all good fun; escapism had for less than the price of a movie ticket. I used to gobble up bodice-rippers when I was a hormonal teen. White lines would appear on the spine of the paperbacks where the particularly juicy scenes could be found. Sometimes, with historical romances, I would actually learn something other than intimate details of procreation.

In this topsy-turvy world, writing romance novels without “money shots” has actually become controversial.  Unless the book specifies it’s Amish or Christian, some people expect a little friction between the sheets.  Even if the story is categorized as Young Adult, readers often look for the spice…and get annoyed when it fails to materialize.

In traditional Regency romance (romance set during the British Regency from 1811-1820), no explicit sex occurs. The last few years have seen the rise of a more modern Regency romance; romances of a non-traditional sensual variety (ie: more “marketable”).

So why on Earth would an author swim against the tide of filthy lucre (money) and write what might be termed “clean” or “sweet” romance…especially considering reader expectations?  Call me crazy, but personally I think readers should have choices. I don’t think novels and stories without explicit sex scenes need be antiseptic or anemic.  In my romances, for example, my characters have sexual feelings and thoughts. For me, the money shot is the kiss!  I also tend to put  exciting adventure in my stories…fisticuffs, sword fights, and escapes from death.

If you’re looking for a good time that doesn’t involve *ahem* “biology,” check out Clean Indie Reads. The blog features “flinch-free” fiction in a variety of genres.  Clean Reads (slogan All Story. No Guilt) is a publisher specializing in sweet romance and fiction in various genres.

I guess you could say “clean” fiction is now edgy.  And I guess I can call myself a maverick. ~ S.G. Rogers





The Calico Heart – Guest Post by Bestselling Author Patricia Kiyono

Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

~Author Unknown

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I’ve always loved to sew, and once I retired from full-time teaching I was able to join the quilting group at my church. We meet twice a month, on the first and third Tuesday, and make lap quilts to distribute to the chaplain at the hospital, the veterans’ home, and other charities. It’s been a wonderful way to make new friends, provide a creative outlet, and to my husband’s delight, a way to use up some of my fabric stash!

I love the challenge of taking a pile of fabric in coordinating colors and creating a new and different design. The group’s rules are that the quilts are 40 inches by 40 inches and be made of cotton fabric. The tops can be made using any pattern we like – so that opens us up to a lot of creativity.

It should be no surprise that when I decided to start writing a series, my thought went directly to my quilt group. Here is a diverse group of women, coming from various walks of life, at different ages, bound together by a love of sewing. I thought about the various patterns used in quilting – Log Cabin, Around the World, Sunlight and Shadows, Amish Heart – and immediately a myriad of stories popped in my head! I shared the idea with Stephanie Michels, my critique partner and friend, and she came on board with the idea. Since she’s my plotting guru, she’s great at taking my mishmash of ideas and putting them into a coherent set of storylines. And so the first book in our Stitching Post series, The Calico Heart, was accepted by and recently released at Astraea Press. ~ Patricia Kiyono

Here’s the blurb:

On the surface, Sylvia Miller has a perfect life. She’s married to her college sweetheart, has three great kids, a rewarding career, and wonderful friends. But beneath the appearances, Sylvia is restless. She loves her husband, but wants to see more of the world than their peaceful Michigan town. For years, she’s dreamed of the interesting places she wants to visit. Now, their youngest child is grown, and Sylvia is ready for adventure.

Left a penniless orphan, David Miller promised himself his family would never know the same humiliation. For twenty-six years, he and Sylvia have lived frugally, saving for the future. Now, Dave is on the brink of a promotion that will ensure their financial security, but Sylvia wants him to retire and travel with her.


The Calico Heart is available at Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other ebook outlets.


Patricia Kiyono can be found at her blog, on facebook, and twitter (@PatriciaKiyono)



Stephanie Michels can be found at her blog, on Facebook, and her website