Welcome Tim Smith!
Welcome Tim Smith!
Wading Through Quicksand
By Tim Smith
Here’s something you don’t run into on an author’s blogsite every day – a male author of straight contemporary erotic romance. Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking – “A man writing romance stories who gets the details right? It can’t be done!” Trust me, I get that a lot. I began published life as a writer of mystery thrillers set in The Florida Keys. Two of my three novels won awards and I had a nice following. While they all contained romance and sex, I never considered writing a full-fledged romance novel. Why should I, when I had what appeared to be a niche career?
That’s when I decided to wade into the quicksand known as “contemporary erotic romance.” A few years ago I wrote a romantic comedy, Anywhere the Heart Goes. My friends who eagerly anticipated another thriller were aghast and asked me “How could you do such a thing???” The answer is pretty simple. I was attending a book festival and while my books were selling well, I noticed other authors drawing bigger crowds. They were selling romance novels and after reading one of them, I thought it would be fun to write one of my own, but told primarily from the man’s perspective and with more humor. I also knew I could write something better than the one I’d read. This first one did well enough that I followed it with two more lighthearted erotic romances and a romantic mystery. I recently released a romantic intrigue story, Memories Die Last.
No matter what type of story I’m writing or where it takes place, I strive to make it as atmospheric as possible. I love it when a reader tells me they felt like they were in the scene with the characters. I use realistic dialogue, writing what I hear people say on a daily basis. I also take great pains to craft characters with human flaws and quirky personalities, to make them step off the page. I’m not a fan of cardboard characters and heroes who come off as perfect. The one difficulty I had to overcome when I switched genres was the way I wrote sex scenes. They were abundant in the first three books, but for this new market I had to turn up the heat and be more explicit. I’ll admit it was a little awkward at first, but I soon reached my comfort level and stopped blushing when I wrote something down and dirty. The nicest compliment I can receive is when someone tells me they can’t wait to read my next book. Man, it doesn’t get much better than that!
Here’s the blurb for my latest release, Memories Die Last:
He’s as cool as a Mojito on a Key West beach, he’s the kind of guy your mother wouldn’t let you play with, and he’s every bad guy’s worst nightmare. Former CIA operative Nick Seven finds his peaceful life in The Florida Keys turned inside out by the surprise appearance of an old nemesis he thought was buried alongside the painful memory of a personal tragedy. He reluctantly gets back into the spy game to settle an old score and is pleasantly surprised to find himself paired with beautiful Felicia Hagens, a former co-worker from Barbados. Together they uncover a complex maze of intrigue, espionage and high-level government corruption. The assignment gets more complicated when they realize they have unrequited feelings for each other. Can Nick finally hit the elusive target and reclaim his personal corner of paradise? Will Felicia decide to stay with the rugged former spy she’s always had a secret thing for?
Now that you’ve read the trailer, here’s the feature. This is a G-rated excerpt. A hotter one can be found at www.extasybooks.com. More information about all of my books can be found at my website, www.timsmithauthor.com.
(Copyright 2012, Tim Smith. All rights reserved.)
Nick drove them to The Flats, a former waterfront shipping and warehouse area that had been converted into an upscale dining and entertainment complex on the Cuyahoga River. He and Felicia found seats on the outdoor deck at Shooter’s On The Water and ordered drinks. Nick took out a cigarette, tapped the butt end on his lighter a couple of times then lit up.
“You oughta quit those, you know,” Felicia said.
Nick chuckled and looked at her. “Still thinking about me, aren’t you?”
Felicia returned his gaze and absently brushed a strand of hair back from her face. “I never stopped.”
“Tell the truth, I never did, either.”
“So how come you don’t write to me all that time I’m back on Barbados?”
“Nothing to say, I guess.”
“Not even a card at Christmas. I thought about you lots the last few years, wondered how you were and what you were doin’.”
“Ya know, Barbados isn’t that far from The Keys. You could’ve hopped a plane and came to see for yourself if you were that interested.”
Felicia paused. “No guts.”
“You? No guts? The woman who almost single-handedly took on the PLO? I don’t believe it.”
“Maybe I was afraid you wouldn’t want to see me.”
Nick pondered her statement for a moment. He looked at Felicia and appreciated anew her natural bronzed beauty, including the deepest, most sensual brown eyes he’d ever gazed into. They were eyes he could lose himself in with no trouble, and often had when they were together before. He had always liked Felicia and at one point he had briefly toyed with the idea of asking her to run away with him, but the timing wasn’t right.
“Not a chance,” he finally answered, “and you’re right, I could’ve caught a plane myself. Maybe I was short on guts, too. Felicia, I never forgot the kindness you showed me after what happened. You really made it easier for me to get on with my life.”
Felicia glanced down in embarrassment and let out a soft laugh. “So what’s it like on Key Largo?”
Nick sat back in his chair and propped one leg on the other. “Gorgeous. Great temperatures year round, bright blue water, all the fresh seafood you can handle and the most beautiful sunsets in the world.”
“What you do for action down there?”
“I have a bar and restaurant on The Gulf.”
“You like it?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“Can’t be as excitin’ as this.”
Nick puffed his cigarette. “I had enough excitement in my former life, thank you very much.” He sipped his drink. “So much for me. What’ve you been doing on Barbados?”
Felicia paused. “Survivin’. It was kinda strange goin’ back there after everything I did here. Took some gettin’ used to.”
“I have to ask. Were you really working as a bouncer in a waterfront bar?”
Felicia chuckled and tossed him a wink. “It was one way for me to stay in shape. Those roughnecks like to let off some steam after a couple months at sea.”
“What did you get from it besides exercise?”
“I learned never to bend over in front of them.”
Nick laughed. “Yeah, I can see where that would cause a problem.” His laughter subsided. “Why did you leave? You could’ve stayed with the program and had your own team. Why bail?”
Felicia took a sip then glanced down. “Tough to explain. When you transferred to The Farm and became an instructor they gave Brodie your team but it wasn’t the same.”
“He wasn’t leadership material?”
“He was okay, but it was kinda dull, no spontaneity. Too much by-the-book crap. It was like without you there to call the shots he had to get someone’s permission to take a leak.”
Nick smirked. “That explains why they promoted him to Deputy Director.
So that’s why you left?”
“It stopped bein’ fun so I decided to go back home where my family was until somethin’ better came along.”
“And you never found it?”
She slowly shook her head while looking at him. “Not yet, but I’m still lookin’. What about you? Did you find what you were lookin’ for?”
Nick gazed into her eyes. “I’m working on it.”
Tim Smith is an award-winning author whose books range from romantic mystery/thrillers to contemporary erotic romance. He is also a freelance photographer. When he isn’t pursuing these passions he can often be found in The Florida Keys, doing research in between parasailing and seeking out the perfect Mojito.