Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Label Me This, Label Me That...

By Nichelle Gregory (Guest Blogger)

We live in a world that uses labels constantly, especially pertaining to people. For instance:

He's a jock.

She's a nerd.

They're homosexuals.

She's white.

He's black.

You get the idea. We use labels without even realizing it. We categorize people and things without really knowing the details of whatever or whomever we're referring to. I'm guilty of labelling myself and yet being labelled is one of the things that bug me the most as a person and as an author.

None of us can be painted with a single brush. When you label a person, you aren't seeing or appreciating the fine details, subtle shading or unique flair of that individual.

I'm an erotic romance author. I understand why the label is necessary here. I don't want under-aged readers or readers who don't enjoy erotic tales accidentally picking up my books. But in the world of romance reading it seems like more and more genres, sub-genres are being added every day. I know readers seek out certain types of stories. They want to know what type of romance book they are about read or buy and labelling a book makes this process easier.

I think it's wonderful there are so many different options in romance reading, but I've wondered if too many labels deter potential readers.

I write contemporary, paranormal, suspense, fantasy and multicultural books. It feels so weird labelling my books sometimes. I know it's not practical, but I wish I could just put one label on my books: ROMANCE. I know...I forgot to add the erotic part. Not because I'm ashamed of what I write, but because to me erotic romance is still first and foremost romance. It's just been ramped up a few hundred...thousand degrees!

I've realized that I don't want to be boxed into one genre or another. I simply want to write the story in my heart to share and I hope readers will enjoy the varied tastes of my writing.

Labels abound in the literary world and I often wonder how many readers miss out on a great read because they are unwilling to branch away from the familiar to try something different. I believe a well rounded reader must step out of their normal reading circle to experience new authors and different genres. Only then can you truly appreciate what you love to read and hey, you might just discover new literary joys!

I'd like to thank Lisabet Sarai for having back on her fabulous blog (Thank YOU!) before I share an excerpt from Doll, my latest offering with Total E-Bound! Doll is a (here come the labels) contemporary, BDSM, multicultural, erotic romance!


She's only allowed to say, 'yes' and 'please'...

Rena Venoy has finally become a sex doll. For the next forty-eight hours, giving and receiving pleasure is her only purpose, fulfilling sexual fantasies her primary goal. That's until she sets her heart on becoming Raiden's one and only doll. To get her wish, he must bestow the ultimate honour she seeks and claim her as his. When she breaks a rule, Rena is devastated. Will Raiden chose her after all?


"Congratulations, Rena. You've graduated, earning the coveted title of sex doll in a remarkably short span of time. You've been a delight to teach."

Rena bowed her head. "Thank you, Mistress Belle." She met the blue gaze fixed on her and blushed as feelings of pride and excitement rushed through her.

"Although this may seem redundant, it's still necessary for me to go over the rules. You do understand you will not be physically harmed at any time during your forty-eight-hour session?" She tapped a lacquered fingernail against her full ruby lips.

"Yes." Rena swallowed hard, her gaze dropping to the strawberry-hued nipples in full display as the half-naked blonde wrote on her clipboard. She admired everything about the woman's effortless sensual poise. A sliver of anticipation and nervousness skittered down her spine as she stiffened her own posture beneath the blonde's hard scrutiny.

"You understand the use of your safe word?" She pivoted in golden stilettos and walked back to her desk.

"Yes." Rena's gaze dipped to the glimpses of Mistress Belle's rounded, naked ass visible beneath the black latex micro-mini skirt hugging her hips. The woman's confidence and beauty took her breath away.

"You understand if you choose to use your safe word all activities cease and you will be free to go?" She lifted one perfectly arched eyebrow as she turned around.

Rena shifted her weight in her three-inch stilettos. "I understand." But I don't intend to use it. Her heart hammered in her chest at the unknown possibilities of what such 'activities' she'd be taking part in she'd be tempted to change her mind about.

"Finally, you understand the only words you'll be allowed to say are 'yes' and 'please'."

Rena nodded.

"You must verbalise your agreement, Ms Venoy."

"I agree."

Mistress Belle placed her hands on her hips and smiled. "Good. Take off your robe."

This is it, my last moment to walk away…

A moment passed as both women studied the other.

This was her gift to herself. She wasn't backing out now.

* * * *

Doll is available now with Total E-Bound Publishing!

Bio: Nichelle Gregory has been in love with books and writing since middle school. A lover of the arts, she enjoys anything that embraces the creative nature within us all. Bringing believable characters to life that thrill and excite her readers is a challenge that continues to push Nichelle. She loves creating stories involving super sexy alpha heroes with divine heroines in magical, exotic, and fantastic scenarios. So, gone on . . . Indulge your secret fetishes and desires!

Visit her website and blog


Nichelle Gregory said...

Lisabet, thanks again for graciously sharing your blog space with me today! ;-)

Tanith Davenport said...

This rings true to me immediately - I'm two weeks away from my first release date and I've already had people pass judgement on me for being an erotic romance writer: "Oh, so it's THAT sort of a book..." I wonder how many people will bypass my writing because they think erotic fiction is somehow not what they should be reading.

Nichelle Gregory said...


Congrats on your upcoming release!! I think the individual(s) most put off by 'that' kind of book, is probably because they're the most turned on by them! :-)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Greetings, Nichelle,

Welcome to Beyond Romance! Sorry I didn't welcome you earlier, but my Wednesdays are very full of non-Lisabet responsibilities.

Anyway, as I commented to you in private email, this topic is one of my pet peeves. The romance genre - hey, the erotic romance genre - has been sliced and diced into so many little labeled enclaves that it makes it difficult to write. I like to mix things up, but readers seem to get upset when a book doesn't fit neatly into the pigeonholes. And I do believe that readers limit themselves. I had a comment on my Monday post: "I don't usually read M/F books..." Good grief! Could a reader really want a steady diet of only one specific kind of relationship?

Guess so.

Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, and good luck with DOLL.


Mina Dorian said...

I'm a day late, but I just need to comment on this, because it is so true. I have always wondered why we (people in general) seem to feel the need to file and categorize everything on sight. I am not excluding myself from this practice, although I try to keep an open mind. I am just asking. Why does it so damn hard to keep an open mind and get to know a person or learn more about something BEFORE we put a label on them?

Incidentally: I recently read 'Doll' and I really liked it. I think you did a good job not labelling your characters :-).

She said...

Well said. I read many genres. Nothing keeps me from picking up something or someone new to read. I belong to several book clubs. That's the beauty of them. Books are chosen in them that I would never choose for myself. I've found some fantastic reads that way.

Maggie Nash said...

SO true's ROMANCE first and foremost...

And I love that excerpt. I guess I'll be buying that one :-)


Nichelle Gregory said...


I agree with you that readers should mix up their literary diet a little. Heck, we should try new things in all aspects of our lives. You many not like it after all, but if you don't try something will you know?

non-Lisabet responsibilities? Sounds like non-fun to me! :-)


I admitted to being guilty of labeling myself too, but at least we are recognizing this within ourselves and working towards keeping an open mind. I just hope more people will try not to judge a book, an author or a group of people by their outward covers alone.

I'm so happy you enjoyed Doll!! :)


Congratulations on being a diverse reader! I love how books can introduce us to new ideas, new experiences!

Hey, Maggie,

'ROMANCE first and foremost' that! Sounds like a good blog name. :) I do hope you enjoy Doll!

I thank all of you guys for reading my post and weighing in!

Love & Laughter,


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