Winter Queen and sex

Thursday, April 11, 2013
I'm always nervous right before a book is released. I pour my heart, soul, and sweat into a book, and I hope people love it as much as I do. 

Winter Queen is a little different than my previous two books though. The tone is much darker. There's more violence. And there's one sex scene. *cringes* Let me be clear: THE SEX IS "OFF SCREEN". But it's still there. Because it has to be. 

You see, one of the themes in Winter Queen is the treatment of women. It wasn't very long ago that women were thought of as a commodity (we still are, in some places/situations). I wanted to explore that in Winter Queen. So Ilyenna, cherished daughter and leader that she is, is basically thrown to the wolves to save the majority of her people. 

So why the sex? Well, rape was and is one of the ways women are controlled. Ilyenna gets tired of having the threat of that thrown in her face and decides to take control of her own body in the only way she can. By choosing how and with whom. 

I explore the consequences of that decision, but I can't get into much detail without spoiling parts of the book for you. 

So why choose to write this book in the first place? 

I remember watching Last of the Mohicans as a young teenager. One of the characters, Alice, watches her love interest die, and then is faced with a choice: kill herself or be forced to marry--be raped by and bear children for--her father's murderer. That theme--that choice--tore at the core of me, at what it meant to be a woman (note, the movie/book also explores what it is to be a man--a theme I also play with in the novel).

And I had to wonder, were those really the only two choices Alice had? What if she'd just waited few minutes longer? What if she'd survived that moment? What would have happened next?

That's what Winter Queen is about. I hope that girls, women, and mothers can see past the "oh my gosh! There's sex in this book, ban it!" and see the themes woven throughout are there for a reason. I hope young girls can read this book and realize that the only person who owns their body is themselves. 

And they ALWAYS have a choice--one that doesn't have anything to do with a cliff.

Just a little hint, Winter Queen's ebook has gone up for sale early. *nervous!* We've been having problems with the print version, but hopefully the paperback will follow soon.


  1. You should read my book. It's set way off into the future, and in the future people scrump like mad weasels.

    Not behind closed doors.

    But, the book was edited by a woman. She had me take out all the sex scenes that did not have meaning to the story.


    ps: holding out for the hardcover.

  1. Pili said...:

    Reading this blog entry has resonated with me so much, I've just gone and bought the book! Yay for the instant gratification of eBook buying!

  1. Shanella said...:

    I'm currently reading (thank you) and I did notice it was darker. I have to say that it's definitely more emotional than the other two books. I have gone through a spectrum of emotions and I'm only 15% in!

  1. Oh man, y'all need to be quiet or I will wind up with both the Kindle version and the hardcover.

  1. Sexuality as a means of control is a theme many books shy away from. I wouldn't refuse to buy a book because it has sex in it. Especially if it is to propel the story.

  1. Having read that particular scene (thanks for the early preview), I don't think you have to worry. It was tasteful and well-played. :)

  1. Pili and Shanella: Oh, I hope you love it!

    Anthony: Do it!

    Sheena: It's vital the the story.

    David: Hugs for you!

  1. This is a great book, and it's written well. Your readers will get it.

  1. I am opposed to sex scenes in books because I feel like they detract from the story and usually the romance. It turns the love into lust, for me.

    As you know, I've read Winter Queen, and I can't say enough good things about it.

    Yes, there was off-screen sex. It wasn't graphic. It wasn't raunchy. It didn't detract. It didn't make me uncomfortable. It was well done, in my opinion. I see your reasoning for having it in there, and I'm glad I read this post.

    I can also see why you'd be nervous. But, I hope you know that what you've done is create a masterpiece. Seriously. I loved Winter Queen and I promise you I'll be reading it again. And probably again.

  1. Itara said...:

    Hey there, my name is Itara and I am a book blogger. I found your book on lovin los libros & her review was awesome. I must say that I love the cover, it's absolutely gorgeous! I've seen the book before but I don't remember where. Do you have any news on when it will come out in print? I'm so tempted to buy the Kindle version. I'm following your blog for any upcoming news. I can't wait to read this book! Congrats on finishing your book.

  1. JoLynne: Most of them will. A few won't, but you have that with any book.

    Deborah: Aw! I <3 You!

    Midnight: The paperback is already out. Hardcover should be in the next couple weeks. Hope you love it!

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