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Guest Blogger: Lexi Post (Contest)
Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Psst! Rhonda, you won the Venetian mask! Please contact Lexi at lexi.post@yahoo.com to arrange delivery of your prize!

* * * * *

Wherefore art thou, Inspiration?

awblue cWriters find their inspiration in many places.  For some of my friends, they have a dream and ta-da, the beginnings of a story. All they need to do is get to the computer and write it down.  For my critique partner, EVERYTHING is inspiring.  She sees two people interacting in the park and she gets idea. She takes a tour and she gets another idea.  An item in a gift shop, a page on an historical website, a song on the radio, an old John Wayne movie and she’s got four more stories! For me, it is a lot more controlled, but no less exciting.  For my erotic stories, I find inspiration in the classics.

Yup, I do. Now before you shake your head, let me explain. For example, my debut release with Ellora’s Cave is called MASQUE. This story was inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death,” first published in 1842. In Poe’s story, Prince Prospero seeks to escape the Red Death by gathering his aristocratic friends and sealing them off from the rest of the town in a great abbey, leaving his other subjects to live or die as fate decrees. On the night of the prince’s Masque, which is held in his seven colored entertainment rooms, when the great clock in the Black Room strikes midnight, a figure enters the party in a mask resembling a victim of the Red Death. When the prince attempts to kill the intruder for such audacity as to remind them all of the sad state of affairs outside, the prince falls dead, as does everyone else in the abbey, and the clock ceases.

So my thought was, what if the intruder had been a friend who hoped to sway the prince to do what was right by his people, only to have everything go wrong? How would that friend feel when everyone dropped dead around him? I’m thinking he might feel just a tad bit of guilt. But what if it was made worse by the fact that 73 inhabitants, all except the Prince, weren’t able to cross over and continued to exist in a ghostlike state becoming more solid with the full moon and disappearing all together with the waning moon.

And don’t forget that the Prince, in Poe’s story, had seven entertainment rooms, each of which was a different color. I couldn’t ignore that, because to me, it appeared that those rooms were made specifically for a different sexual experience that a live woman, let’s call her Rena, would need to experience to complete the Masque which would allow the trapped souls to cross over.  See where I’m going here? But that might make it too easy. I mean, who wouldn’t want to complete the Masque with the hero, Synn, a Mr. Darcy with more muscles and longer hair? So I thought, what if Rena must turn the abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove to herself she can and to solidify her income.  Ah, now here we have a problem.

So you see, there really can be inspiration in classic literature. My current, almost ready-to-go, WIP is based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” What is fun for my readers is that they can read my erotic romance knowing nothing (except what is in the author’s note) about the classic piece and still enjoy it.  And for those readers interested in reading the original, they will find another whole level of meaning in the happily ever after.  So you see, finding inspiration in the classics really isn’t that strange, is it?

For a chance to win this beautiful Venetian mask made in Italy, leave a comment.

I’ve included a short excerpt from MASQUE. Enjoy. Lexi

Masque

Rena Mills plans to turn an abandoned abbey into a haunted bed-and-breakfast to prove she can be successful without her ex-fiancé. What she finds inside is Synn MacAllistair, the distinguished, self-proclaimed Ghost Keeper. Her dreams soon fill with sexual cravings for him. But are they dreams?

Synn, born in 1828, is determined to free the souls of the resident spirits, blaming himself for bringing the Red Death that killed them. When Rena steps into the old Pleasure Palace, he’s sure he can take her through the after-midnight Pleasure Rooms and stoke her passion to complete the Masque so the souls can cross over. Her innocent fire makes him crave more, but it’s far too late for him.

As Rena begins her erotic journey, her heart becomes more involved with every sensual caress until she discovers by completing the Masque she would lose her ghosts. Synn’s betrayal wars with her compassion for her ghostly friends. Torn, she must make a choice between her financial security and freeing seventy-three trapped souls. Either way, she could lose her Synn.

Buy Links: Amazon | Ellora’s Cave | Goodreads

An image of the lone man standing on the battlements crowded her head. “Do you mind if I run upstairs? I really want to see the sunset.”

Valerie took three loaves of bread from the first bag. “Yeah, yeah, go. But don’t expect me to make dinner.”

“That’s a deal.” Spinning around, Rena ran up the stairs to her wing of the Abbey. Striding through the hallway toward the back, she found another set of stairs leading to the floor above, which had a similar hall. By the time she reached the end of that hall, she was at the front of the Abbey again, only here there was a stone spiral staircase. Carefully, she ascended.

At the top, a wooden door stood open and she stepped outside into the fading light of day, but it wasn’t the sunset that arrested her attention. Synn stood, one foot braced on an embrasure, one hand resting on the crenellated stone of the battlement. The breeze lifted his long brown hair away from his face and off his shoulders…his very bare shoulders.

Oh shit. She hadn’t expected his back to be so broad and muscular. His biceps stood in stark relief as if he worked construction. Below his narrow waist, his firm ass and muscular thighs were outlined by his tight gray pantaloons, if she had the term right. She’d bet the boots he wore were Hessians because those were the only nineteenth-century boots she’d heard of that rose to the knee. To call the man handsome would be to belittle his sculpted perfection, and her heart increased its beat as raw, sexual attraction rifled through her limbs.

He brought his arm down, causing the muscles in his back to ripple before he turned to catch her staring.

Her gaze shifted to his eyes and for a moment they revealed such heartbreaking anguish that all sexual heat fled and her stomach tightened into a sorrowful knot. He shuttered his gaze and smirked. “Were you looking for something?”

Confused, and more than a little distracted by the man’s emotions and his highly defined pectoral muscles, one of which had a fist-sized dark spot, she grasped for logic. “Yes, the sunset.”

“Ah, then you are just in time.” He stepped to the side, bowed and swept his hand toward the battlement. “It’s ready for you, my lady.”

She searched his eyes for any sign that he made fun of her, but found only sincerity. “Thank you.”

She stepped up to the place next to him as indicated and gazed across the town. As she suspected, the ocean was a few blocks past the shops and it glittered red as the setting sun shimmered off its dark surface, its waves lifting and lowering the dazzling color as it moved.

“This is breathtaking.”

“Yes, it is.”

His tone made her glance up, and she found him staring at her. She swallowed.

He released her hair from its clip and the breeze swept it from her face. She couldn’t have looked away from his eyes even if the sun had turned green.

He cupped her jaw with his hand. “You are exquisite.”

Her breath hitched at his words, but her mouth parted as his face drew closer to hers. When their lips were but a breath away, he spoke again. “You are made for passion, Rena.”

She let her eyes close, his words shooting pure desire through her, and then his full lips were upon hers. It was not a gentle kiss, but neither was it harsh or demanding, simply controlled. The hand holding her face encouraged her to open her lips and she did.

She grasped his biceps as his tongue swept into her mouth to explore. He tasted like cinnamon spice but not sweet. When his arm snaked around her waist and pulled her closer, she entwined her arms around his neck, her body tight against his hard one. Unable to stem the growing need building inside her, she pressed her hips into his. A long, hard cock greeted her. She wanted him.

Synn groaned and released her, stepping away.

She grabbed at the embrasure to keep herself from falling on her ass. What the hell was that?

He turned toward the sunset again, his body in perfect profile, his hands clenched at his sides.

Not sure if she was upset because he stopped the kiss or because he started it in the first place, she gritted her teeth. Her body ached for release and she wanted him to provide it, no matter what her mind said. Her sexual frustration gave her a bravery she rarely had. “Why did you stop kissing me?” She had hoped to sound matter-of-fact, but hurt crept into her voice. Did he find her beneath him?

He remained motionless, speaking to the horizon. “If I didn’t stop now, I wouldn’t be able to. You are not ready for me yet.”

* * * * *

Bio of Lexi Post

Lexi Post spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about classical literature. From the Medieval work “The Pearl” to the 20th century American epic The Grapes of Wrath, from War and Peace to the Bhagavad Gita, she’s read, studied, and taught great classic literature.

But Lexi’s first love is romance novels. In an effort to marry her two first loves, she started writing erotic romance inspired by the classics and found she loved it.  Lexi feels there is no end to the romantic inspiration she can find in great classic literature.

Lexi lives with her husband and cat in the Caribbean where gorgeous sunsets, warm weather, and driving on the left are the norm.

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23 comments to “Guest Blogger: Lexi Post (Contest)”

  1. pookietoes
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    1
      · March 14th, 2013 at 8:09 am · Link

    I remember seeing the movie with Vincent Price and reading the book also. Neither was a particularly enjoyable experience. I’m going to love reading this version. Seriously, if you had written some of them I wouldn’t have made such a fuss about reading the classics in school! LOL



  2. Toni Whitmire
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    2
      · March 14th, 2013 at 8:24 am · Link

    I also saw the movie and read the book but I liked it because I always liked scarey things and I love your excerpt .bibbiesparks@yahoo.com



  3. Jamie Salisbury
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    3
      · March 14th, 2013 at 8:31 am · Link

    I love to read books such as this based or inspired by old classics – and Poe certainly is classic. On my TBR list-has been moved up!



  4. laura
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    4
      · March 14th, 2013 at 8:34 am · Link

    Love the mask. Cant wait to read the book.
    lauratroxelatyahoodotcom



  5. Diane D - Florida
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    5
      · March 14th, 2013 at 8:50 am · Link

    I loved the excerpt, and I also love lots of naughty stuff when I’m reading – in a book, that is!!! :wink:

    I’d love to win and read “Masque”. The cover is downright sexy and sizzling. I’d love to win the Venetian Mask too. :wink:



  6. Z
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    6
      · March 14th, 2013 at 9:11 am · Link

    Nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the classics. I have never read that one from Poe but it does sound good. Thanks and Happy Fridays Eve.
    Z



  7. Rhonda
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    7
      · March 14th, 2013 at 9:23 am · Link

    I love the idea of reinventing a classic. This was a book that I had never heard of and now I can read both versions. I would also love to win that beautiful masque.



  8. judy shepps battle
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    8
      · March 14th, 2013 at 9:36 am · Link

    Congrats, Lexi on doing everything you set out to do and more. I have read the book from electronic cover to electronic cover and wanted to linger on each erotic page and yet rush to the end to see what happened to all the characters, especially Rena and Synn.

    Kudo’s for the choice of Synn’s name. Everytime it occurs, a visceral image of all that “sin” implies provides added energy to the read.

    And he is SUCH a believable character.

    I’m not usually a fan of romance novels but this one shatters my reluctance totally. I’ve already recommended it to a whole bunch of folks.



  9. red headed hellion
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    9
      · March 14th, 2013 at 9:48 am · Link

    I want I want! :)



  10. Laurie P
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    10
      · March 14th, 2013 at 11:47 am · Link

    Wow, I’m intrigued. Now I have to read this and compare.



  11. Lexi Post
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    11
      · March 14th, 2013 at 12:05 pm · Link

    OMG I can’t believe how many people visited while I was teaching the classics in class this morning! So nice to take a break and say “hi” to everyone and talk about my sexy Synn and Rena.

    I’m absolutely thrilled that you are open to a new version of Poe’s story. I doubt it was anything he would have thought of, but I know he would appreciate the love story since he was head over heels in love with his wife.

    There are more masks to be given away as I have about 10 more stops on my MASQUE Tour. So don’t be shy : :) :

    I know Judy enjoyed the book and hope everyone else does. I certainly enjoyed writing it :wink:



  12. Laura Bowles
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    12
      · March 14th, 2013 at 12:34 pm · Link

    I love Vincent Price movies and John Wayne movies if the old stuff gives you inspiration that would make for great reads.



  13. JOYE
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    13
      · March 14th, 2013 at 2:24 pm · Link

    I remember reading that book in high school. Enjoyed it then. This one seems equally as good. Failed to see the movie, tho.



  14. Amber Kuehna
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    14
      · March 14th, 2013 at 5:30 pm · Link

    Sounds wonderful——(and I wanna win that mask–got some interesting ideas about using it!) :)



  15. Lexi Post
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    15
      · March 14th, 2013 at 6:02 pm · Link

    I haven’t seen the movie. Wish I had. But Poe is such a classic. Hope my creepy ghost will make him proud 8-O



  16. Denysé Bridger
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    16
      · March 14th, 2013 at 6:55 pm · Link

    Congratulations again, Lexi!!! I can’t wait to get clear of my own stuff to start reading your novel!! I know it’s going to be a HUGE success!!! Big hugs, D



  17. sharon chalk
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    17
      · March 14th, 2013 at 9:53 pm · Link

    oh my,I think that Synn is wrong and that Abby is ready for him,I know after reading that little tidbit,Im ready lol, I can’t wait to read it because I can already tell its going to be steamy and I know she is going to have a tough decision to make in the end,but hey this is a romance so the odds are there should be a HEA ,better be or I know I will need a box of kleenex, lol zanarigrandma@gmail.com



  18. Lexi Post
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    18
      · March 14th, 2013 at 10:24 pm · Link

    Hugs back at you, Denysé!

    Sharon, what good is a romance without a good cry? :wink:



  19. Melissa Porter
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      · March 14th, 2013 at 10:34 pm · Link

    Thanks for sharing. I am going to add to my list of need to get books. :-P
    I like to read stories that authors have redone the classics. I like to see other peoples’ versions. It makes it fun.
    The mask is very nice.



  20. June M.
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    20
      · March 15th, 2013 at 12:23 am · Link

    I love that you are getting inspiration from classic stories to create your own. I will have to add this book to my TBR list :)



  21. Mary Preston
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    21
      · March 15th, 2013 at 3:27 am · Link

    I am looking forward to reading more of MASQUE.



  22. Angila
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    22
      · March 15th, 2013 at 10:23 pm · Link

    Wow! This looks and sounds like a great book can’t wait to check it out.



  23. Lexi Post
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    23
      · March 16th, 2013 at 10:20 am · Link

    We have a winner! Rhonda you have won the Venetian mask! Please contact me at lexi.post@yahoo.com with your address so I can mail it to you.

    I hope everyone enjoyed the tidbit of Masque. If you read it, be sure to email me which is your favorite room. I’m taking a poll :-)

    Thank you Delilah for having me on your blog. You are awesome!