Happy Wednesday! Thank you for coming back for What to Read Wednesday. I hope you enjoy meeting author MM Jaye and like the sounds of her book Fate Accompli. She’s sharing an interesting guest post about the differences between “Clean” romances and “Sweet.”
Afterward, check out her latest release Fate Accompli and enter her wonderful giveaway!
Take ti away MM Jaye…
CLEAN VS SWEET
I’m a member of a “marketing for writers” group where members exchange marketing tips and promotional resources. They’re a very patient and welcoming lot, and I’ve learned a lot since I joined the group. The only time the air turned from rosy to acrid was when a writer announced promo opps on her blog, specifying she was looking for “clean, guilt-free” romances.
Apparently, the term drove another writer up the wall. The email he sent focused on the “holier-than-thou” attitude of some writers who although include graphic violence in their books, campaign that explicit sex is “dirty” and contaminated. The writer who wrote the original post huffed and puffed about how the term “clean” is established, claiming that her “guilt-free” addition meant books you can give your daughter to read. In the end, moderators had to jump in to resolve the situation.
Initially, when I thought about putting out two versions of Fate Accompli based on the heat factor, I had chosen “Sweet” and “Spicy” to distinguish between the sex-free and sensual versions of my story. I, too, was bumped by the “clean” characterization and can admit to have left a couple of pithy comments on blog posts about the “unclean” idea that explicit intimacy between adult, consenting partners is “dirty”. But the term “Sweet” also bugged me. A lot (although not all) of the sweet romances I had read were written in a well-rounded language that smacked of classical romance stories. Not my voice.
So, I kept reading stories tagged either as clean or sweet to get a clearer idea of whether there is a distinction, and I came up with the following conclusions:
Sweet romance: well-rounded, wholesome language, innocent (often sexually inexperienced) heroine, possible literary undertones, classical romance style found mainly in faith-based novels. Think films rated PG. (Sleepless in Seattle.)
Clean romance: could-be gritty language, could-be strong, sassy, independent heroine, a more modern feel adopted by mainly secular reads. Think films rated PG-13. (The Hunger Games.)
So, basically, “Clean” is a category that includes “Sweet”. While I’m still in the process of getting to terms with the term—pun intended—I chose the broader category to describe my sex-free version of Fate Accompli. I accepted that it’s an established term, and I don’t intend to make extra waves with my debut novel where, apparently, the water is already rough.
So what’s your take on “Clean” and “Sweet”? Are you put off by the term “clean”? I’d love to turn this into a conversation with readers and bloggers, so I’ve started it on my Author’s Page. Jump right in!
Aegean Lovers # 1
By: M.M. Jaye
Released November 21st, 2014
Monica Mitchell flies all the way from Boston to Athens, Greece, not to get a tan but a very specific job. Because besides an MBA, this twenty-four-year old has a mission: to prove to Alex Argiros, the gorgeous Greek magnate, that she has now grown out of the habit of flashing her underwear and looking like a zombie flick castoff … in the presence of hundreds.
The catch? She has to hide who she is. Thankfully, not having seen him since her early teens helps, and soon she gets all she wants and so much more. Not only does Alex not connect his highly qualified new assistant to the disaster magnate of his distant past, but apart from his admiration, he also offers her his heart.
Now, Monica has a new mission: to keep it forever. But first she has to come clean before he finds out her connection to the bane of his existence. Because if he does, he’ll rightfully assume she plays the part of the Trojan Horse, and then he’ll shed the sleek businessman exterior, letting his hot-blooded Greek nature take over.
She knows he could destroy her.
She knows, yet she needs just a little longer to savor his searing kisses…
“Now take out the tart. Let’s dig our teeth into that sin of a dough.” Jenny’s breathing was shallow.
“We can’t have a picnic on the desk when they are in there,” she whispered. “What if they suddenly come out?”
“Trust me. These meetings never last less than three hours and they’ve only been in there for one.”
“What about the smell? It’s quite heavy!”
“Heavier than Terzakis’ cigar? Please! By the stink of it he must have offered one the other two. They wouldn’t know if we boiled broccoli out here. Now bring it on,” Jenny rasped, breathing hard with anticipation.
“Okay. I’ve got it!” Monica said in a conspiratorial tone and knelt behind the desk. “Come down here. I’ll give you a piece and if we hear them come out, we’ll pretend we lost one of your contacts.”
“You’re a total nerd, you know that?” Jenny crouched beside Monica and there was more giggling. Monica felt like a naughty schoolgirl, which was quite foreign to her. But she couldn’t let Jenny down. Not after finding out she was expecting.
She opened the bottom drawer and took out a flat plastic container. Just by lifting the tight lid Jenny gasped. “Ooh, it smells so good.” Fishing out a large yellow napkin from her handbag, she handed her a piece of tart on it. Jenny took a huge bite and immediately moaned. “Oh, Monica, that’s orgasmic!”
Monica opened her mouth to respond, but she was cut short by a deep masculine voice. “When you finish giving each other orgasms, can I have the Latin America folder, please?”
Jenny froze mid-bite.
Monica whipped her head around and looked between the desk’s legs. There were more legs. Human legs. In crisp pants. And leather shoes. Alex’s shoes.
She rose very slowly and raised her eyes until she met his. Taking in as much air as her lungs permitted, she blurted out—what else?—the plain truth.
“Jenny’s pregnant. And famished. I made a pie—”
“Tart!” Jenny piped in.
Monica’s eyes popped wide just as Alex’s narrowed. “Jenny craved the … tart. I thought we shouldn’t eat the tart on the desk. So we ate it under … it. Jenny liked the tart.” She gulped. “A lot, apparently. Hence the … um … orgasmic comment.” There. She’d said it. She hadn’t intended it to sound like a nursery rhyme—and did she have to use the word tart so many times? And in the same sentence with orgasmic?
Alex’s expression was inscrutable. He looked down at Jenny then back at Monica. “Can I have the Latin America file, please?” His tone was exactly the same as if nothing she’d said had registered. She only wished it were so.
Handing him a red folder this time, she felt like swallowing again, but her throat felt as dry as parched paper.
“The meeting will be over soon. Can you make sure you have satisfied your … tart cravings by then?” He angled a glance down at crouching Jenny, who managed an awkward full-mouthed smile.
“Of course,” Monica replied mechanically, then inwardly winced as she understood the double entendre of his choice of words.
Alex made a move to turn, then changed his mind and paused facing the wall.
“And congratulations … about the baby,” he said—to the wall apparently— then walked into his office.
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/10/fate-accompli-aegean-lovers-1-by-mm-jaye.html
Amazon Buy Links
MM Jaye’s mother claims that she spoke her first word at the age of six. Months. As a kid she would record fairytales in her own voice, play them back and then re-record adjusting the pitch and tempo. Later, she used her voice to inspire young adults and teach them the art of translation. But there came a time when life took a turn for the worse, and her voice temporarily died out. That’s when she turned to writing. Fate Accompli is the first book in her Aegean Lovers series, set on the Greek island where her husband proposed. MM Jaye lives in Athens, Greece, with her husband, daughter and Kindle. Yes, it’s that important.
*MM Jaye is hosting a Tour Wide Giveaway for a $25.00 Amazon eGift Card, Three Ebook copies of FATE ACCOMPLI and Bookmarks*