Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Little Bit of Syn

By H.K. Carlton (Guest Blogger)

As I was trying to decide what to write about for my guest post with Lisabet, I realized that through all of my promo for If You Can’t Stand the Heat, I’ve concentrated solely on Sesto, the male protag and why he came to be in my dirty little mind. And I wondered why, I’d done so, when Syn is equally as interesting and just as hot and sexy as Sesto. I can only assume, that Sesto has been louder and more obnoxious, needing his ego stroked. But I have regrettably neglected Syn, which was silly on my part, when she is the more rounded character.

My mother was here for a visit this past week and we ended up having this deep conversation about where people come from. I don’t mean geographically either but rather how a person’s environment, upbringing and experiences, shape them. Why the things that we have experienced in life explains why we live the way that we do and why we make the choices we do.

We, as writers, do the same with our characters. Layer them. Give them depth. We try to give them a background so that the reader will understand where they come from and why they do what they do. Delve a little deeper into their past and you’ll understand what makes them tick. And then the whys and what-fors all become clear.

When I began to write If You Can’t Stand the Heat, it was intended to be a hot erotic romp, centred around a cooking competition. A handsome arrogant chef and a world-weary author of erotica meet and clash and tease each other. Sesto was already hanging out in the back of my mind, all swagger and ego, looking sexy and smug. But as I began to write the story and develop the characters, Syn’s background began to take shape and it dictated not only her behaviour but also her motivation and why she acts the way that she does. Why she holds men at arm’s length. It's all about sex and satisfaction, for Syn, no strings attached. Her past taught her to protect herself and she will do so at all costs. And my hot little romp turned into something a little more serious.

I enjoyed writing Syn. I wish that I was as quick-witted and unconcerned as she appears to be. One might think that in a way, she is like me because I created her, but that’s not true at all. I don’t think that fast on my feet, and even if I did, I wouldn’t have the guts to say it. I usually think of the perfect comeback the minute I walk away from a situation and then kick myself for not thinking of it in the moment. Syn stands toe to toe with the ego-maniac chef and not only holds her own, but puts him right off his arrogant game.

But as in most things, Syn is not what she appears to be. She comes off as a woman who craves attention, good or bad, just as long as she has it. She shows off her body in skimpy clothes and titillates her audience with her naughty language. She gives them what they expect. However, in reality, she is only trying to protect herself and hide behind the bigger than life illusion of Syn the author.

On a lighter note, the best part of writing this story was the sharp banter between Syn and Sesto.

Here’s a little taste.


Somebody’s about to get burnt…

An unlikely couple is brought together as celebrity judges on a new cooking show—Sesto Théodore, an American-Italian New York chef, and Syn Fully, a world-weary author of erotica. It’s instantly clear that they are complete opposites and their personalities clash, but physically, sparks fly and passion ignites.

However, after a video with some rather personal content surfaces on the Internet, Sesto immediately jumps to conclusions and accuses Syn of the breach.

Can the arrogant chef forgive and forget, or will his pride leave him out in the cold?


Syn dangled the crustacean above her open mouth, making a great show for all the males watching, finally closing her luscious lips down to the creature’s tale, snapping it off with a pop. She chewed charmingly.

I loved the display, the martini type glass with the sauce in the bottom. But it was a little on the hot side for my tastes.” Placing her hand delicately to her throat, she then said, “But you’re a little hot too, aren’t you Denny,” she flirted, shamelessly.

The kid grinned from ear to ear.

Sesto sent her a censorious glare. She merely stared back at him innocently.

She just told you your food was shit, Romeo. And I tend to agree. No imagination. Any idiot can serve shrimp cocktail. Step back. Next!” Sesto gave his opinion.

Next, we have Theresa.”

I have prepared a mussel-stuffed mushroom cap with lemon and bacon.”


More with the sea urchins. Bah!” He pushed the plate away.


Still chewing, she rolled her eyes and swayed in the chair. “Oh. My. God. Theresa this is orgasmic.”

Sesto couldn’t help the cluck of his tongue. Did she have to be that way?

Syn shrugged, nonplussed then reached across the space and snagged Maksim’s mushroom cap off his plate, depositing it quickly into her mouth. “Mmm, mmm, mmm.”


It was well done, Theresa. My only criticism, watch your cooking time on the mussels.”

Yes, sir, thank you, chef.”

Next we have Rick.”

My creation is a tofu skewer with a walnut pesto, for the vegetarians in the crowd.”


Yuk, no good. No flavour.”


Sorry, Rick, I’m not a big tofu lover. I like my meat.”

Seriously?” Sesto turned, having endured enough of the crudeness. “Do you have to do that?”

What?” she asked artlessly, fluttering her lashes.

Make every sentence that comes out of your mouth sexual in some way.”

She smiled proudly. “It’s a gift.”

Facing the director, Sesto questioned, “You’ll edit that out, right?”

Thank you for having me back to Beyond Romance, Lisabet!

Buy Links:

If You Can’t Stand The Heat @ Totally Bound


Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

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Author bio: H K Carlton is a multi-published Canadian author of erotic, historical and contemporary romance

You Can Find H K:

H K at Totally Bound

Twitter @AuthorHKCarlton

H K’s Blog Pick a Genre Already

Amazon Author Page 



H K Carlton said...

Thank you for hosting me today, Lisabet! :)

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, HK! I'm so pleased to have you back! This sounds like a great tale. It's fascinating that we both have just released stories featuring egotistical male chefs. Though Syn sounds very different from my heroine Emily.

One thing about Syn: you're perpetuating the notion that erotica authors are all gorgeous, voluptuous, outrageously daring women with fabulous sex lives... Not that I'd mind that being true, but let's be honest, most of us aren't like that.

On the other hand, who knows? *You* might be!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my, H.K. - I love your guest you come up with your story-stars. I've read your work and your story-stars absolutely ROCK!! I bought this one...haven't had time to read it yet...but look forward to when I can:) Congrats on its release. Hugs!!
Hugs, Lisabet:)

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