Let’s face it, there’s a wide range of Romance novels out there.  Some are sweet and tender, and pull at the heartstrings.  The hero and heroine might share a warm kiss and a warmer embrace, but that’s as far as it goes.  Some are so intense and steamy it seems as if there’s a love scene in every chapter and when you turn the pages, your fingers blister from the heat.  From one extreme to another, what’s too much?

I can tell you from experience, Romance writers struggle with this question.  It’s like the three bears of Goldilocks fame: one bowl of porridge is too hot, one too cold, and one just right.  But in this case, there’s no definitive “just right” because titillation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.  And each reader who picks up a Romance novel has his or her own idea of how far things between the pages – and the sheets – should go.

My publisher, The Wild Rose Press, has a rating scale for the books they publish.  There’s Sweet, Sensual, Spicy, Hot and GLV (graphic language and violence).  The Wild Rose Press also has what they call their “Wilder Catalog” for erotica.  So a reader shopping on their site is forewarned.  The world of Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and other online venders is not so cut and dried.  Ratings aren’t always displayed and sometimes when we download a book we’re not sure what we’re getting in the hot and steamy department. 

My first Historical Romance for The Wild Rose Press – Devil Black – was rated spicy, but since not everyone saw that rating some readers were shocked when they read it and some, quite amusingly, were disappointed.  And they were reading the same book!  What’s a writer to do?

I happen to think arousal begins in the mind.  So when I write my love scenes I try to make sure they evolve from a deeper and more meaningful attraction between my hero and heroine.  In Devil Black, my hero and heroine were absolutely perfect for each other – they just didn’t know it at the beginning of the story.  Or did they, subconsciously?  Was that the trigger for all that irresistible passion dripping from the pages?

In my latest book, Daughter of Sherwood, I’ve built a spiritual component into the attraction, which is further complicated by the fact that there’s a love triangle.  Daughter of the legendary Robin Hood and caught in a fight against the Normans, our heroine, Wren, knows she needs a warrior at her side.  Both men in the picture want her; both are willing to die for her.  But to preserve the magic of Sherwood, she must choose only one. 

Martin – son of Will Scarlet – with the dangerous blue eyes and mop of golden hair, is rough and always ready.  He has a wicked tongue and wicked hands as well, and he’ll put them anywhere Wren allows.  He’s neither a safe nor a tame choice, but he calls to something heedless and daring inside Wren. 

Sparrow – son of Robin’s right-hand man, Little John – gave his heart to Wren the moment he saw her.  Every time Wren looks into his wild, dark eyes she senses all the magic of Sherwood.  When she kisses him he calls to her soul; when they’re apart he whispers in her mind.  She could easily loose herself in Sparrow, but dares not.  For, not only her happiness but the fate of Sherwood rests on her decision.

When Wren gives her heart, she must make a pledge of magic as well.  What does that add to a love scene?  Well, I can’t give too much away here or reveal whom she chooses.  But the enchantment of Sherwood does tend to heighten a woman’s senses…

What do you think?  How many love scenes are too many?  I tend to let my characters follow their hearts, because when love’s involved, I think they always get it just right.

 Thank you, Laura, for spending time with us and our readers today. What an interesting thought,How much is too much???


DaughterOfSherwood_w7891_750Laura Strickland’s new historical romance book Daughter of Sherwood, published by The Wild Rose Press, will be released on November 1, 2013.

Raised as a scullery maid in Nottingham Castle, Wren has no idea she is the daughter of the legendary Robin Hood. When she is forced to defend herself against the unwanted advances of an influential man, she flees the castle and finds refuge in Sherwood Forest. It is then she learns a powerful secret: she has a destiny as a guardian of Sherwood, charged with the responsibility of defending its ancient magic.

Since Robin’s death many years before, his supporters have kept his legend alive.  Now one of the three guardians holding the spell has died. With two young men, Sparrow and Martin, Wren must form a new bond strong enough to protect Sherwood and continue her father’s fight.  Drawn equally to Martin’s warrior spirit and Sparrow’s gentle strength, she finds it nearly impossible to choose between duty and love.

Laura takes us on a journey into the world of Robin Hood’s daughter, where we experience her struggle to accept her identity and the demands of her father’s legacy.  Along with Wren, we learn that what is loved in life can never be lost, and that great love is worth the price paid.  For at last, when Martin is captured and held at Nottingham Castle, the path becomes clear for Wren and she finds the strength to become the woman she was born to be, the Daughter of Sherwood.

Daughter of Sherwood is book one of The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy.



Laura StricklandAbout Laura:

Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her “fur” child, a rescue dog. Currently she is at work on the third book of the Guardians of Sherwood series.







(Sponsored by the publisher and/or publicist)

Thanks to, Kelsey, at Book Publicity Services, we are offering 1 lucky commenter a chance to win a Kindle digital copy of ” Daughter of Sherwood” by Laura Strictland. **YOU MUST answer the author’s question(What do you think?  How many love scenes are too many?)**

Please leave a valid email address with your answer, in your comment. There are NO right answers!!

Giveaway will run from November 14 until November 21, 2013.

Thanks everyone and Good luck!!


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                           Book One: ARAMaram


                           Ishtar_book2-1-1-1Book Two:  ISHTAR’S REDEMPTIONTrial by Fire


     Neb_Cover front cover onlyBook Three:  NEB THE GREAT – Shadows of the Past


Cover for ARAM 2013


Neb_Cover front cover only




  • Series: The Deliverance Trilogy
  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: A K Frailey (August 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989103544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989103541


November 3, 2012

Aram is a man who wants to start his life over but he must deal with his haunting past, a lost wife and son and a discontented clan. He must accept the choice he has made in a new wife and face a mysterious beast which pursues him through a dangerous terrain. While keeping his people safe against all odds he encounters a new land beside a beautiful lake and there he finds his first real sense of security and joy. Unexpectedly, he finds that he is in the midst of a battleground where an innocent clan is about to be annihilated and he must decide if he and his people will become involved. In the greatest battle of his life he must face his haunting past, turn a young pagan from his father’s evil ways, and forge a new hope for future generations.




  • Series: Deliverance Trilogy
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: A K Frailey; 1 edition (February 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 098910351X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989103510

Ishtar’s Redemption – Trial by Fire, the second book in The Deliverance Trilogy is the sequel to ARAM and is now available on Amazon. Ishtar’s Redemption continues the story of the three clans introduced in ARAM and introduces new characters in the persons of Ishtar’s two sons, Ammee and Amil, and three new clans who come to aid those most in need. Evil sorcery, dangerous raides, and heroic rescues make Ishtar’s Redemption a story to remember.


Neb_Cover front cover onlyNEB THE GREAT: SHADOWS OF THE PAST


  • Series: The Deliverance Trilogy
  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: A. K. Frailey (August 20, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989103536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989103534


August 24, 2013

Neb the Great was raised to conquer and conquer he did until he met a woman who challenged his heart and enslaved him in a way he never thought possible. From their union is born two sons, one who would change the course of history by becoming the father of a new generation which wiould lead to the birth of Aram, while the other would descend into further corruption by embracing his grandfather’s name and his gods.



Ann Frailey of rural Fillmore, Illinois has published her first book entitled “The Road Goes Ever On A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings” under the name A. K. Frailey. It is a reflection on the characteristics of the heroes and villains in the Tolkien classic and what influence virtue and vice have in our own modern world. Ann gives us a glimpse into the Christian ethos that was fundamental to Tolkien’s life and work.

ARAM, book one of The Deliverance Trilogy, her first fictional work is an adventure, romance and mystery all rolled into one with characters who struggle to survive in a hostile world while encountering evil from within and without. Three clans meet, clash, and battle out their differences before they come to know that they share a hidden past.

Ishtar’s Redemption – Trial by Fire, the second book in The Deliverance Trilogy is the sequel to ARAM and is now available on Amazon. Ishtar’s Redemption continues the story of the three clans introduced in ARAM and introduces new characters in the persons of Ishtar’s two sons, Ammee and Amil, and three new clans who come to aid those most in need. Evil sorcery, dangerous raides, and heroic rescues make Ishtar’s Redemption a story to remember.

Neb the Great – Shadows of the Past, the third book in The Deliverance Trilogy, was published in August 2013 and is now available on Amazon. For the sake of his son, Ishtar retells the compelling histories of the ancestors in the clans of the first and second books and at the same time the story moves into a hope filled future.

Ann has had articles published in the New Oxford Review and the Latin Mass. She won runner-up in fiction for ARAM in the 2011 Indie Publishing Contest. Both The Road Goes Ever On and ARAM have won the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval for 2012. ARAM is up for the Catholic Writer’s Guild Arts and Letters Fiction Contest in 2013. All three of her books are available as e-books and paperbacks through AMAZON Books.

Ann has a B. S. in Elementary Education and is married to John Frailey who is also an educator. They have eight children and they homeschool while maintaining a mini-farm.

Ann devotes her time to writing books that align Christian thought with the lived adventure of becoming who we are called to be. She is a devoted wife and mother and enjoys spending her time with her family and friends on their mini-farm in rural Illinios.

Ann’s future fictional works will reflect on the journey-quest of humanity from our ancient past into the Middle Ages. Visit her website often for her newest blog, updates on her writings, book signings, and public speaking events.

Twitter: @akfrailey


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