Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Science behind a Slow, Sexy, and Satisfying Dance

A slow dance, in itself, is not enough to send your senses into a delicious spiral. A few elements have to come together to make swaying in someone’s arms a sensual and unforgettable experience. Sexual attraction, one of life's great mysteries, is a major part of the equation. After endless studies, many experts agree that it involves a complex mix of visual, vocal, and olfactory cues.
In Strangers in the Night, Jake and Keila first notice each other when Jake is standing in the sidelines and Keila is helping a friend teach a few complicated salsa steps. His eyes stray to her hips and he gazes at their rhythmic swivels and swerves. Keila looks up and meets his intense, brilliantly blue eyes. Their initial spark is purely visual.

When Keila is forced to teach a reluctant Jake to salsa, her pulse picks up the moment she hears his deep baritone. A deep male voice is a sign of genetic fitness. Like it or not, Keila is genetically wired to react to his voice. Moments later, she’s in his arms, and the dance lesson begins.
Exertion makes their skin glisten with fresh, sweet sweat, which releases scented sex hormones known as pheromones. Some scientists have described pheromones as magical. During a particularly slow and sensual salsa number, Jake is lured in by Keila’s scent, and it makes him tug her closer…and closer.  The sense of touch is connected to every other sense, and proximity raises Keila’s responsiveness to new heights. Their attraction is purely physical…so far.

Jake will soon be announcing his candidacy for mayor of Chicago and Keila is waiting to find out if her dream of moving back home to play for a renowned orchestra will come true. They’re both feeling tense. Studies on both sides of the Atlantic have found that dance lowers levels of cortisol; a stress hormone. When people dance, they unwind and relax. Jake is also just learning to salsa. When he loses his footing, he steps forward just as Keila does the same. His hands go down to her waist, her hands wrap around his arms, and their eyes lock.  They laugh, and laughter relaxes muscles, boosts energy, and triggers the release of feel-good chemicals. Shared laughter helps people synchronize their emotions and create bonds.

As these two strangers dance, they forget the world and become lost in the music, their emotions, and each other. They don’t know how different and far apart their lives are, and they don’t care. When the night comes to its inevitable end, they decide to remain strangers. They’re not ready to explore their startling chemistry. But, as time passes, neither can forget their singular night at Chicago’s SummerDance Festival.

Undoubtedly, they’re destined to meet again. This is a romance, after all. And I think most of us would rather explore the intricacies of romance through story than through science. On that note, I’d love to learn a little bit more about your own real-life stories. Has an instant physical attraction ever lead to a long-lasting emotional connection for you?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Interview with Kay Rogal, author of Sweet Revenge

I'm here today with Kay Rogal, author of Sweet Revenge. Kay, thank you for agreeing to chat with me! I’d like to pick your brain a bit to find out how a romantic suspense trilogy comes together.
Inés Saint: Do you plot the entire trilogy before beginning or do you take it book by book?

Kay Rogal: As I begin plotting for one book, my brain starts going off in all different directions on the 'what if' and plots a series. In this series, it's about Donovan's children seeking revenge on their father's white slavery business and what he did to them and the society.

IS: Is this plot something that stays in your mind, changing and adapting as the story develops, or is it something you write it down, point by point?

KR: It stays in my mind to the point...I can't get rid of it until it's finely tuned, every little twist, black moment covered. As I write, get a massage, go hiking, my mind surprises me with new leads.

IS: Do you get emotional while researching and writing about something that wounds people in such a profound ways, and, if so, do you channel it into your writing?

KR: Good question! I'm an advocator by nature and have a soapbox built to travel lol...I guess you could say....and don't let go when human rights are at stake...whether child or adult.

IS: I’ve already learned you’re a very sweet, thoughtful person from our chats, so I’m not surprised!
Okay, it’s now time for a few quick quirky questions:

IS: If you could have one of your characters over for coffee or tea, which character would it be and what is the one question you’d ask them?

KR: Hmmm....that's hard to say...I like getting to know my characters one on one, but there's just something in me that likes to bring a spice to the surface. I'd have to say all the women...there's something about a group of women getting together and what comes from it - intrigue, fun, spice, advice. The questions would come out on their own :-)

IS: I agree. A few margaritas and a fun group of women…it doesn’t get more entertaining than that.
If you could live in any story ever written, which story would you choose and why?

KR: I love all of them and it would be hard to choose a favorite, but if I had to choose, it would be my current work in progress - a legal supernatural where the heroine, along with her eccentric nana, and the other attorney wives, are going to cause all sorts of waves, for the better, of course, (I know you can't see me smiling, but it's a mischievous one).

IS: Eccentric nana and a fun group of women? I love it already!
If you were single, who would you rather kiss: James Bond, Mr.Darcy, Thor, or Lloyd Dobler? And you know I’m going to ask…why?

KR: James Bond - depending on which one it is. There's a style of charisma, finesse seen on the screen...but then, maybe, I should be focusing on the person directing him...forgive me, I have this spicy attitude happening this morning. I am single and think kissing is one of most enjoyable things about a relationship, besides hugging and holding hands. I would have to choose James Bond. He seems to kiss the most compared to the others.

IS: James Bond is my pick, too. And yes, he does seem to have plenty of kissing experience :-).

Kay, thank you so much for visiting with me today. It’s been fun! I wish you much success and best of luck with your trilogy. Sweet Revenge is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and wherever ebooks are sold.