Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Lisa Barr guest post on the site today. Take it away, Lisa!]
As an author/journalist/blogger, writing about “passion” has become my day job. I write it, read it … and yes, I live it. As a Mom of three daughters (aka: Drama Central), I am embedded in the cataclysmic world of teen relationships: He likes me/He’s being an a-hole/ He’s so hot/He’s so NOT/I love him/I hate him. Pick a day, any day – and there is a boy drama with an attached emotion in Casa Barr. Secretly, I KNOW, my girls get the dramatic gene from their Mama. I have lived for adventure, traveled the world, seen the most wondrous art, experienced romance, love and loss — always following my passion wherever it leads me, whether it is in “real life” or in a book. My characters, like their creator, tend to go to great lengths to follow and fulfill their deepest desires.
As the author of what is being touted a “steamy beach read”, my new novel, The Unbreakables, features a protagonist who is a hot mess turned badass. After her “perfect” marriage falls apart, Sophie Bloom flees to the South of France to put the broken pieces of herself back together while rediscovering her own joie de vivre—a lust for life, art, and sensuality. Sophie is sexy, lovable, creative, flawed, funny, and spirited — and I kinda fell in love with her and her journey to reinvent herself.
Let me let you in on a little trade secret: I’ve done my homework. Whenever I need to write a strong sex scene, I draw on my “Passion 101” Collection – classics that have helped me ignite the senses and create all the “feels.”
Is there a difference between first love and true love? Judy Blume’s groundbreaking novel about teen sexuality was where the heroine Katherine, is introduced to her boyfriend Michael’s penis, which he calls Ralph. I had the page marked and so did every teen girl I knew back then. That singular sexual revelation and the feelings around it are embedded in my brain FOREVER.
I snuck this beauty off the top shelf of my parents’ bookshelf at age 10 (ten years too young to read this provocative novel). It was the ‘70s, and Jong chronicled the soul-searching, sensuality-seeking adventures of an intellectual young poet named Isadora Wing during a business trip with her husband in Vienna. It doesn’t get sexier or more liberating than this book, which immortalized the term: “Zipless Fuck.”
This is a CLASSIC … one that you DON’T read in your high school English class. With its explicit descriptions of sexual intercourse, Lady Chatterley’s Lover is one of the most sensual albeit forbidden novels of all time. Now, it would be considered mehh in terms of porn factor, but back then it was denounced, blacklisted … a luscious forbidden literary fruit.
This book is a romantic, passionate, and deeply tragic story of two East Coast college students from different classes. He was a spoiled WASP, who came from a cold wealthy home, and she was a poor working-class girl who was brilliant, loving, and rose to success on her own merit. It is a life and death romance on how each changed the other’s life forever. And yes, I could make myself cry right now thinking of its sensual beauty and heartbreak…not to mention the film starring the fabulous Ali MacGraw (that hair, that face, those ’70s dresses … ahhh) and a young Ryan O’Neal at his gorgeous best.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
This spectacular novel is set against the political backdrop of Prague Spring, and it examines the relationships of four lovers. Sex, intimacy, and adultery are both romantic and realistic. The writing is just gorgeous … and its book-to-film adaptation with Daniel Day-Lewis is one of my favorites.
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
This is a tale of a book reviewer whose marriage collapses due to a cheating spouse. She sets off for Tuscany to rebuild her life again. This book ignites all of my senses with its stunning setting and a character whom I love and can relate to on every level. Frances’ quest for love begins at home … the one she builds for herself.
Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
Where love meets laughter meets a flawed heroine with whom you fall deeply, madly truly in love. Of course there’s the conflict facing Bridget – the bad boy womanizer Daniel Cleaver vs. the principled barrister Mark Darcy. I’m literally screaming Go, Bridge, Go throughout this book (and movie) … as Bridget Jones trips, falls over and over again, and ultimately, rises in love and in life.