I met Ria Restrepo through the best kind of serendipity. We are both authors in Spy Games edited by Jillian Boyd, and in the upcoming Prompted anthology that I am editing with Oleander Plume. Ria is passionate and amazing, and I have a bit of a crush on her so I had to have her on my blog to enthrall you–so without further ado!!!
I want to sincerely thank the amazing F. Leonora Solomon for inviting
me to be on her blog. I’m fairly new to blogging and even newer to
guest blogging, so I’ve been pretty neurotic about it. Leonora was
very encouraging and said she trusted me to write about anything that
excites me. Her only request was that I bring passion.
I had to chew on that for a while, because many things excite me as a
reader and writer: strong female characters, alpha males with a
sensitive side, page-turning plots, an engaging voice, vivid writing,
a satisfying ending, sizzling sensuality, kinky sex, and so on.
However, when it comes to writing, I feel most passionate about
enrapturing readers. What do I mean by that? I mean creating stories
that grab the reader’s attention from the first line and gets them so
absorbed in the characters and their story they can’t stop reading
until the very end.
I want readers to feel how I do when I read a great story. I want them
bouncing up and down like giddy schoolgirls at some flirtatious
banter. I want them biting their fingernails as they turn the page,
because they’re worried about what will happen next. I want them
squirming in their seats and fanning themselves while reading a torrid
sex scene. If I’ve really done my job well, they might even need to
take the edge off, so to speak.
One of my favorite ways to enrapture readers is with riveting
chemistry between characters. Showing chemistry between a hero and
heroine can be a tricky thing. Chemistry is an ineffable element that
should be so tangible to the reader they can imagine themselves in
place of the characters they’re reading about. I think this is most
effectively accomplished with a combination of feisty and/or
flirtatious dialogue, alluring body language, and tantalizing
descriptions of actions and reactions.
I know, you want a demonstration, right? Okay, I always aim to please.
Let’s take a strong, sassy heroine — we’ll call her Lana . . .
She’s been up most of the night preparing a kick-ass proposal she
hopes will land her a prestigious promotion. As VP of Marketing,
she’ll finally prove to her condescending, misogynistic father that
she can make it in the business world. But first, she needs coffee!
Before the meeting that could change her life, Lana goes to the break
room for a necessary shot of caffeine. Unfortunately, someone took her
favorite coffee mug. Damn! There’s only one mug left. It’s black with
bold white lettering that reads, “Mine.” Lana rolls her eyes. She
knows exactly who the mug belongs to.
Normally, she wouldn’t dream of touching it or anyone else’s mug, but
she’s desperate. She quickly grabs the cup, fills it with fresh dark
roast, and adds sweetener and cream. Hopefully she can down a quick
cup, wash the mug, and put it back before it’s missed. As she brings
the steaming hot mug to her lips, she turns around and freezes when
she spots the mug’s owner in the doorway.
Devon Reed is the kind of man who seems to have the world by the
balls. His short black hair is perfectly in place and his crisp
charcoal suit is so well-tailored it accentuates his tall, lean,
powerful frame. He exudes confidence so effortlessly it annoys Lana.
Lana’s heart flutters wildly in her chest and a familiar ache blossoms
between her legs. It irritates her that her body betrays her every
time Devon’s around. She’s sure he knows the effect he has on her —
and so many others — and uses it to his advantage. Men like him
always get what they want. That’s reason enough to dislike him as far
as Lana’s concerned.
Catching her red-handed, Devon arches a dark brow — the one with the
small scar that bisects it. Lana has caught herself staring it in
meetings, wondering how he got it. Somehow it only adds to his
masculine appeal, giving him a slightly dangerous edge.
But at that moment, his dark blue eyes entrance her as he stalks
toward her like a panther ready to pounce. Lana wills herself to snap
out of it, but she just stands there like a cornered rabbit. When he
reaches her, he places one hand on the counter by her hip — not
touching, but oh so close.
The corner of his mouth curves up slowly. “It’s not enough to go after
my promotion? You have to take my coffee mug too?”
Lana clears her throat. “Someone took mine.”
His other brow rises to meet the first. “So two wrongs make a right?”
Lana sighs, then takes a gulp of coffee. The warm creaminess slides
down her parched tongue, making her feel a little more in control —
but not much. “I’m sorry, but I really need it. I’ll wash it and give
it back to you in a moment.”
“Well, I always enjoy giving a woman what she needs,” his says, his
voice lowering as he leans in closer. “But what about what I need?”
“Uh . . . you?” Lana wants to slap herself for that brilliant
comeback, but he’s so close his spicy manly scent is intoxicating.
“I have the same important meeting you do.” His gaze leisurely
explores her face, finally landing on her mouth. “It doesn’t seem fair
that you get the benefit of coffee and I don’t.”
“I’m sure you’ll be fine without it,” she says and takes another long drink.
Devon’s smile widens. “Or we could share.”
Lana gasps when his free hand gently grabs the underside of the mug,
taking it from her.
Realizing his intent, she quickly says, “That’s probably not the way
you like it.”
His eyes never leaving hers, he turns the cup around and places his
lips where hers had been. After a deep swallow, he murmurs with
“Perhaps a little sweet, but deliciously strong and creamy,” he says,
his warm, coffee-scented breath teasing her. “I like it.”
Would you like to know what happens next? I know I would! Could you
feel the chemistry? I hope so, or it’s back to the workshop for me. If
you’re stomping your feet and crying, “You can’t leave it there!” —
then my work here is done. Who knows, I might finish Lana and Devon’s
story. I really like them already.
Ria Restrepo has written in many genres, from literary fiction to
political humor, under various names. Now she’s focused on writing
what she loves to read — romance, erotica, and all the shades in
between. She’s spent most of her life in South Florida and continues
to live in the Sunshine State, because she still has nightmares about
standing in feet of snow, waiting for the school bus in rural
Pennsylvania. Her work has recently appeared in Spy Games: Thrilling
photo courtesy of Ria Restrepo