Join me in welcoming my first ever guest blogger: Leigh Daley!
Why I Write Books with Sex in Them
I write under two pennames—Arley Cole for my YA-friendly fantasy and Leigh Daley for my steamy romance. Arley Cole keeps it out of the bedroom, but Leigh Daley gets into some seriously R-rated territory.
This makes life difficult for me in my tiny Alabama hamlet. When people ask about my latest release, I have to make a quick judgment—do I tell them about the Leigh Daley stuff or will it scandalize them? What would the little women in my church say about me if they read my Leigh Daley stuff? Would they ask me to put a scarlet letter on my choir robe?
But the truth is sex has a hugely important place in women’s lives. We think of men as being the sex-driven beings, but human relationships are cemented together by the physical act of belonging to one another. If we want stronger relationships, we need to be having frequent, mutually beneficial, loving sex.
That is not to say that I am at all in favor of the “jump in bed first, ask questions later” school of relationships. From personal experience, that attitude leads to sleeping with frogs rather than princes. My characters sometimes do sleep with each other before they should – that’s one of the relationship minefields we have to navigate. When they do, I am compelled as a story-teller to deal with their actions in the most realistic way possible. Sex too soon causes trouble they have to work out together.
But sex in the fullness of time in a relationship binds two people together in ways very little else can. I truly enjoy writing about a couple’s exploration of each other. In loving someone else, we really do discover things about ourselves. The sex act opens up all kinds of emotional territory for us, and I love to show my characters discovering themselves through their physical loving of each other.
Our sexual experience affects us profoundly, no matter our age, background, or gender. As an erotic writer, I try to treat the subject with the respect and integrity it deserves. If my readers sometimes find themselves inspired to jump their partners after reading, I am glad of that. Anyone fortunate enough to be in a loving, committed relationship owes it to that relationship to invest in it physically as often and as jubilantly as possible. In fact one of my personal goals as a romance author is to inspire my readers to have more sex!
In my latest Leigh Daley release, “Storm Duty (Finally Ever After),” a natural disaster shakes up divorced couple Kyle and Jenna. In the midst of the chaos, they both have to learn that all that really matters is who we love, and their love scene is one of my favorites because of the healing that takes place between them.
At this season, especially after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, I think we all need to remember to hold close the ones we love. So I’m going to keep writing romance, and I hope you all will keep reading. Now, go hold somebody!
Their careers drove them apart–could disaster bring them back together?
In the aftermath of a series of tornadoes, Kyle Mathis just wants to guide his linemen to restore power to the devastated town of Milton. When reinforcements in the form of corporate deskjockeys come to work storm duty, he’s glad for the extra bodies to help serve food and support the crews working eighteen hour days.
But Kyle is not prepared to face one of the latest arrivals, his ex-wife Jenna. Jenna left him years ago, choosing her career over their marriage. However, being back together in their home town brings back memories and desire–for both Kyle and Jenna.
Can Kyle and Jenna find each other again in the midst of the devastation? Or will their jobs pull them apart and leave not only their homes but their hearts shattered?
The instant Jenna Harlow heard her ex-husband’s voice, she wished she hadn’t agreed to come.
She certainly wanted to help and Cedar Hill had been home once. But as she stood and saw Kyle face to face, she wished she hadn’t. There were just too many memories.
“Yeah, I’ve got some made already,” she answered him, aware that his eyes had widened at the sight of her. She covered her own desire to stare by pouring him a cup. “Do you still take cream and sugar?” she asked, trying to keep her tone light even though her heart pounded so hard she could feel it in her fingertips.
“I’m drinking it black these days,” he answered, his tone just as even.
As she passed him the cup, her hand trembled. He took the coffee, but the hot liquid splashed out a little over the side. His hands were shaking too.
He cursed under his breath as he sat the cup down on the table and grabbed a napkin to mop up the spill.
“Don’t worry,” she insisted. “I’ll clean it up.” She looked at his face in the dim light. His eyes that same dark green, his hair the same light brown—still cut the same as she remembered from seven years ago.
But his shoulders were broader, and he stood taller, more muscular. His jaw had a strong, determined set, and little sun crinkles had begun to frame his eyes. She’d always thought he was good-looking, but now in the fullness of manhood, he was downright gorgeous.
He frowned at her.
“I didn’t expect to see you here, Jenna,” he stated in the direct fashion she remembered so well.
“That’s storm duty for you. I just go where I’m sent,” she explained with a little smile. “How bad is it?”
“Milton looks like it’s been bombed. You remember Mama Cherie’s diner?” At her nod he added, “It’s gone. It’s an empty cement slab. There’s nothing left.”
“Was anybody hurt?” she asked, horror in her voice. Mama Cherie had always been such a sweet woman. Jenna had never eaten a peach cobbler anywhere else to compare to hers.
“They were all in the city hall storm shelter down the street,” Kyle replied with a relieved sigh of his own. “We pulled at least fifteen people out of collapsed houses. So far no deaths though. But I hear in Hackleburg the fatalities are in the double digits.”
Jenna sighed. Hearing the statistics on the radio was one thing, but hearing it from Kyle made it real. Back when they were first married, they’d drive up to Milton on Sunday afternoons. They’d go eat at Mama Cherie’s after church, then head over to the lake to fish or swim or just relax on a blanket. They used to talk about buying a cabin out on the reservoir. But that hadn’t happened.
Kyle picked up a coffee stirrer and twirled the stem in his fingers with a frown. When he picked up his cup and gave the black coffee a pointless stir, she noticed angry-looking scratches on his face and down his arms. Dirt and yellow fiberglass streaked his skin and shirt, one sleeve sporting a jagged tear. “What have you been doing?” she asked, coming out from behind the table to get a better look at his injuries.
“Just helping out in Milton,” he replied with a yawn.
“Come inside and I’ll get the first aid kit and clean those scratches,” she offered.
Kyle shook his head. “I’ll dump some alcohol on them at home.”
“No hydrogen peroxide?” she teased, their old debate springing back to life. He used to pour hydrogen peroxide on everything.
He gave her a curious glance, then a half-smile. “I’m into the hard stuff these days. Real men pour alcohol into their wounds.”
“Well, I’m a hydrogen peroxide kind of girl now,” she admitted. “I avoid unnecessary pain. Life hurts bad enough as it is.”
All Romance E-books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-stormduty-973779-149.html
Leigh Daley lives with her husband and kids in the wilds of West Alabama along with her dogs Bruno and Jack. Now on her fourth career, she has spent most of her life writing for other people, but these days she is writing for herself. She eats like a cavewoman, posts crazy fanfic as Arcole, and tries to meet her creative needs by writing romance as Leigh Daley and fantasy as Arley Cole. She’s a really big fan of happily ever after.