The Joy of Working the Lode
It’s funny that I only recently stumbled into writing MMF erotic romance. I’ve actually been writing MMF scenes for years, and then when it came time to ship the manuscript to my publisher, I’d delete or tone down the MM stuff to the point where, I hoped, readers could barely tell anything “untoward” was going on. I’m overjoyed that MMF activities have finally risen to the top of the popularity pile! I thought I was the only one who liked reading/writing hot scenes involving two men. I always figured hey, if one man is sexy, aren’t two men double the fun? But I thought I was in the minority, so I self-censored these scenes. I was always sad to basically eviscerate a huge part of who these men were.
My “straight” sex scenes were always fairly steamy, anyway. This was a strange thing to discover in a historical fiction book—explicit sex. I had no idea it wasn’t normally done. “Well, they had steamy sex back then, didn’t they?” I was bowled over when a friend told me that one of the most popular themes in erotic romance these days is ménages with one woman and two men. Glory be to thee on highest! What a breakthrough! I can finally write what I love, keep my historical voice, and plumb the full depths of these complicated, ornery, and magnetic men…and the women who love them.
So I had 100,000 words of research notes all involving the California Gold Rush of 1848. In straight hist-fic that’s not unusual to get so detailed about your historical facts, even though of course you only wind up incorporating less than 1/10th of this knowledge. I think it does show through in the basic flavor of your setting to have such a thorough background in it. So after six or more months of research, my old publisher wasn’t interested in my intense tome about how the Mormons came to San Francisco in 1846. Not wanting to waste all that time and research, I decided I had enough information for a trilogy of erotic romances! Once I realized that, I just zoomed through the writing of Working the Lode. It immediately found a home at Siren Publishing, a pretty good match for everyone’s particular interests.
And it was fun. Seeing as how I now feel I know every detail of everything that ever happened in 1848-49 California, I rarely had to stop to look anything up in my notes. It was such a dramatic, tragic and colorful time, it just leaps off the page. Theodore Hittell wrote in his voluminous History of California: “There certain never was before...and never will be again thrown together under such peculiar and interesting circumstances, such a body of choice and pickled spirits.”
What is so attractive about MMF romances? My own opinion is that adding another man to the mix doesn’t constitute a threat to the heroine. Because there is no comparing physically or emotionally with a third man, a heroine will not feel that her position or standing is being usurped. In Working the Lode I wrote:
It was evident from the way Valenzuela had dumped her on the ground to grab Cormack that the debauchee favored men over women. That was fine. What woman would feel threatened when another man stroked and playfully swatted her man’s colossal erection? There was nothing to be jealous of when there was no competition between her and another man—in this case, Valenzuela. How could one compare her to Valenzuela? One could not. It would not matter if Valenzuela’s hair was silkier than hers, for example. Another woman, now, that was a different matter altogether. Zelnora would have blown the head off any other woman who dared put a fingertip on Cormack’s arm.
What is the attraction for women to these ménage romances? I like to think it’s simply a case of “the more, the merrier”! I am glad they are finally making their way to the forefront of the wonderful world of romance.
So what is Working the Lode about?
Going to California. It’s three thousand miles nearer to hell.
Mountain man Cormack Bowmaker meets up with Zelnora Sparks on the eve of California’s great rush—the discovery of gold. Zelnora is fleeing from her mentor, the mighty businessman Brannagh. They are being shadowed by the most scandalous Spanish bandit in the frontier. Joaquin Valenzuela wants to rob them of their gold, but soon discovers a desire for much more. Californians call for the pickled head of Valenzuela in a jar, but his passion for the two Americans overpowers his zeal for mayhem.
They band together in their quest for riches, love, and the good life. Bowmaker is a sharpshooter, his aim true. Valenzuela will slit the throat of anyone who wanders by. Zelnora knows where to find the gold. And Brannagh will do everything it takes to stop them.
They are about to discover the frontier—within themselves.
You can purchase Working the Lode by clicking here.
And because Karen is so very nice she is giving away 1 pdf copy of Working the Lode to one lucky winner!
Just leave a comment with your email address in it to enter. Contest will run until 11:59pm (pacific) on 1/4/11. Winner will be announced on 1/5/11. Good luck!