A few tables away, a handsome man sitting with two beautiful women caught her attention. His companions flirted blatantly by rubbing their generous curves against him and nibbling his neck like pastry. The olive-skinned, tawny-haired man took it all in like Lord and Master.
Jui gazed over the top of her sunglasses at their naughty escapades. Get a room, will you?
A waitress brought Jui the lunch menu and a glass of water and then left. While she looked at the choices, the low sounds of the stranger’s voice kept distracting her and Jui couldn’t help surveying them from behind her bound menu and dark glasses. When one of the vixens kissed the stranger, Jui’s breath caught in her throat and she became aroused by the sexual drama.
The handsome stranger returned the kiss with similar boldness, cupping the woman’s head in his large hand. Their jaws flexed while they kissed, hinting at the passion behind it.
Another shot of desire ran through Jui’s body. She couldn’t drag her eyes away from the erotic scene.
by Bruce Strand, Arts editor
Margie Church leads a double life. In Elk River she’s a wife and mother, a band booster, active in her church, with a PR job in Andover. But in cyberspace, she is the author of steamy erotic novels that arouse fans all over the world.
You can locate Church online at www.romancewithsass.com. The “sass” part, she says, stands for “suspense, angst, seductive sizzle.” The site warns: “Adults only, please. If you’re under 18, please leave my site.”
A professional writer for 28 years doing radio and TV, corporate magazines and public relations, Church has veered off in the last three years to create titillating yarns with such titles as “Awakening Allaire” and “Wet” and “Dangerous Love.”
She created characters like Devon, a handsome, big-hearted British lawyer who must rescue Allaire, a married woman who fell for him and was kidnapped by thugs; Ladislav, a psycho vampire driven by hate and jealousy (“He has even visited me in dreams,” she shudders); and the winsome Jui Fabrice, a spunky businesswoman who falls Wade Kairos, whom she doesn’t know is a vampire albeit a “good” one.
“My books have been read all over the world,” said Church, who declines to provide numbers on sales or income.
Online publishing is an intriguing, interactive venture, Church reports. Communicating on Facebook and the authlor’s loops, in which authors and readers interact, she has met many people “and some of them are dear friends.” Last Saturday she was on the Noble Publishing web site from 6:30 to 11 p.m., answering a hundred e-mails and solling a few books (for six bucks each online).
Church has been married for 28 years and has two school-age sons. She is active at St. Andrews Catholic Church and as a band and drumline booster as her son is a member. She sees no conflict with the new career she took up in middle age.
“This is not about me. None of this is my life,” she said. “These are just imaginings of mine. God gave me a talent to write and I am using it to entertain …. The day I stopped worrying about (reactions) is the day I really started writing.”
Church branched the other way by recently publishing a children’s book called “First Spring,” using a different pen name, Margaret Rose, and a different web site, www.margaretrosewrites.com. This story, actually written for her eldest son when he was a toddler, is a book in print, is a series of rhymes about a youngster discovering many wonders of spring when the snow melts.
A native of Ely and a journalism graduate of St. Cloud State, Church was a disc jockey in Ely early in her working career, then did TV and radio news writing in St. Cloud, including on-air news for KCLD radio.
She got into the corporate magazine field 12 years ago, working for Interplastic Corp., which manufactured resins, turning out a quarterly 40-page magazine. The firm that produced the magazine hired her away to work for them.
“I learned how to interview, in order to write about things hat I knew nothing about beforehand,” said Church, who, at that time, far from dreaming up passionate affairs, was examining such subjects as a new asphalt manufacturer, oil refineries, the building of a hospital, orthopedics, and a wave machine on a cruise ship.
Church currently works part-time for Pinpoint Direct Marketing of Andover, which does public relations for the credit union industry, writing about social media management (twitter, facebook, blogging).
Church got started in fiction in 2009 when a web site for Days of Our Lives, the soap opera, invited fans to write stories for the show’s characters. The site, Forbidden Love, has 5,000 to 6,000 members, mostly female. Church decided to give it a try.
The storyline she penned, about a young woman who threw away her marriage when she fell for a handsome, powerful man, got second place in fan voting. Church and others invited to Los Angeles for a reception where they met cast members Allison Sweeney and heart-throb Brit male lead James Scott.
Church modified that story with different character names and settings and turned it into her first erotic novel called “Awakening Allaine,” published in August 2009. She quickly penned the sequel “Avenging Allaire” that came out in November of that year.
Since then she has churned out vampire novels “Dangerous Love” and its sequel “Love Bites,” along with “Wet,” a shorter work (a novella) and a sequel that’s short-story length called “Love Revisited Wet,” classified as a “naughty nibble” by Noble.
Church has worked with three publishers – Noble Romance and Sizzler Editions for the erotic romance fare and Guardian Angels for her children’s book. “Noble Romance” and “Dangerous Love” are in print. All her books are available on Amazon.com. Kindle and Nook.
She has also written a gay male romance and is currently working out character issues with the publisher’s edtior. This genre tends to generate the most sales, said Church, so she wants to tap into that market.
The e-book realm is not the big leagues. There’s no book tours sponsored by publishers. Church says it’s mainly up to the writers to promote and market their novels. “Social media is a must,” she says, meaning blogging on your web site and other authors sites, and Facebook, Twitter, and Linken at the minumum. You submit books for reviews and enter contests.
She wants to make it clear that e-books have the same quality standards as print books. “Sure, there are writers who self publish,” she said,”but publishers I work with have extremely high standards, and you go through several edits. E-books are lot more afordable but the quality is not diminished at all.
Web sites devoted to the genre can give you a boost if their readers like your work. One site called Good Reads publishes viewer reviews on e-books and books in print. She’s gotten an average of 4.48 out of 5.0 and had a 5.0 once.
She adds cheerfully: “My mom has read every one of them!”
ONLINE NOVELS BY MARGIE CHURCH
Allaire West threw away her marriage when she bedded the handsome and powerful Devon Mercer. Pregnant with Devon’s twins, she tries to pass them off as her husband’s, only to have the ugly truth end with a gunshot. As Allie puts her life back together, she secretly attends Devon’s Halloween masquerade party and they share a sizzling reunion. Allie is kidnapped and held for ransom, enduring starvation, isolation, and drug addiction while Devon makes a deal with the devil to find his beloved.
Allaire and Devon’s story continues. The couple plans to marry but encounter opposition from his father and from their pistol-packing nanny in a story packed with murder, white collar crime, and plenty of spice.
Good vampire Wade Kairos faces deadly consequences for defying the leader of the vampire nation, Ladislav Husek, who partners with Master Prophet Dirk to plot revenge on Wade and the mortal beauty he loves, Jui Fabrice. Every bit of his ingenuity is needed to protect her from being turned into a vampire or a prophet. Church said she took a class in BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism) to research a kinky relationship for this story.
An accidental encounter turns into high stakes love when Jui Fabrice meets Wade Kairos in Germany. She has no idea he’s a vampire and Wade has every intention of keeping his secret. A vineyard cottage is the perfect place for Jui and Wade to make love until he discovers her unique link to his living years. He vows to stay away from her forever, but he can’t let her go completely.
Noah and Reagan are divorced but their passion is far from over. For the sake of their children, they end up living together until the Navy determines Noah’s next assignment. When the rain falls one night, they get wet in more ways than one.