Reading e-books before bed.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Away From the Spotlight Guest Post

Welcome to my stop at the Away from the Spotlight Virtual Book Tour,
organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.
Here you will find details about the book and a guest post from the author, Tamara Carlisle.

Title: Away From the Spotlight
Author: Tamara Carlisle
Genre: Contemporary Romance
In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?

This generation's idea of romance
and how it differs from yesteryear
by Tamara Carlisle

The difference between the pre and post-Sexual Revolution Eras is the openness of society to the subject matter of sex as well as its prevalence in popular media, including novels.

Since the Sexual Revolution of the ‘60’s, society has become increasingly desensitized to sex in the media. One of the consequences is the increasing popularity of erotica, a sub-genre of romance novels. With the recent bestseller status of the Fifty Shades series by E.L. James, even the BDSM lifestyle has become part of the mainstream social consciousness.

That said, sex has been a part of popular culture since long before the Sexual Revolution. Examples of novels in which sexual relationships are portrayed include Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, among many others.

However, prior to the Sexual Revolution, sexual subject matter was considered taboo. While there doesn’t appear to be a whole lot of discussion regarding whether or not E.L. James’ subject matter is obscene, Flaubert and Lawrence weren’t so fortunate – both were prosecuted for obscenity (although neither were convicted). With respect to the prevalence of novels with sexual subject matter, a quick search on Amazon reflects the many, many novels of this kind that are available.

Even though erotica is only one subset of romance novels, sex is still an important element of most modern romance novels, even if not detailed as explicitly as in the erotica sub-genre. In modern adult relationships, sex is part of the equation for most people. A romance between younger adults without the sexual element would more likely be classified as “Young Adult” and, thus, for an audience between the ages of 12 and 18. Even many “Young Adult” novelists struggle to exclude sex sufficiently for classification as “Young Adult” because, for many teens, sex is part of the equation in their relationships as well.

Interestingly, historical romance is very popular. However, these novels often include sexual situations, even when set in time periods in which courting was very ritualistic and sex was not a part of that ritual. For example, numerous re-imaginings of Jane Austen’s works exist that include sexual elements not present in Jane’s novels. While Jane Austen makes clear in Pride and Prejudice that Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy were sexually attracted to each other, she likely would be mortified by any reference to “sexual attraction” in light of the social mores of her time.

As a writer, I struggled with how much detail was necessary to reflect the sexual element in Away from the Spotlight. My lead characters are twenty-somethings and in love. They have sex – often. Did I feel the need to describe it in excruciating detail? No. Did I use details at all? Sometimes, but not those of an extremely explicit nature. Extremely explicit sex scenes just didn’t seem to fit the fairytale romance vibe of my novel. Will I use more explicit details in future novels? Yes. I have a few novels in the works where more explicit details make sense in light of the tone of the novel.

Whether explicit or not, the sexual element is inherent in a modern, Post-Sexual Revolution Era romance novel. My references to sexual situations in Away from the Spotlight reflect the openness of society to the subject matter of sex and my novel further contributes, albeit in a minor way, to the prevalence of sex in mainstream media.

About Tamara Carlisle

Tamara Carlisle is a former attorney and business consultant. Away from the Spotlight is her first published work of fiction. She currently is working on two additional novels: one is about love in the music industry and the other is a work of paranormal fiction. Tamara currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her British husband and daughter. For further information, go to

Library Thing:

Tamara’s Goodreads Author Page also includes a blog detailing trivia relating to Away from the Spotlight.


  1. A fascinating post. I think you would find different degrees of sex in most books these days.


  2. Goddess Fish PromotionsSeptember 27, 2012 at 9:24 PM

    Thank you for hosting Tamara today.

  3. You're welcome! I like helping out. :)

  4. Nickielove, thanks for hosting me here at Night Owl Reads! I look forward to checking and chatting throughout the day. Mary, thanks for joining us this morning. I agree that there are varying degrees of sex available in romance novels today. It is still an element openly discussed in modern romances even if the characters remain chaste.

  5. Nickie, I just noticed that you list the genre as YA. It is contemporary romance. However, my teenage niece and daughter have both read it and it is fine for that age as well.

  6. As a 60-something woman, I thoroughly enjoyed Away from the Spotlight. It was warm and well-written, and would appeal to anyone who would enjoy the romance.

  7. Oh really? sorry about that, I'll change it. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for joining us today, dtsinsr! Glad you liked the book! Nickie, thanks for everything today! It's been fun and I look forward to following your blog!

  9. Thanks, Mary - I'm glad you enjoyed the post, and I agree with you.

  10. Congratulations to Mary P. and Shannon R. for winning the Amazon $25 gift cards! I appreciate everyone who joined me on my tour. Please stay in touch on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads!


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