Guest: Eliza Knight + Book Giveaway!

The Difference Between Porn, Erotica, Erotic Romance and Romance
By Eliza Knight

I’m going to be daring today and talk about sex, sex scenes and the written word. There are varying stages of sex in writing, and for authors, it is sometimes hard to know which line you’ve crossed or uncrossed. Where do you fit in the scheme of things?

It all depends on the sex and the plot.

Here are my definitions:

Porn—Pornography’s goal is to elicit a sexual response from the audience. To turn you on. To ramp up the synergy in the bedroom, or to do something you may consider risqué. While a pornographic novel or movie may or may not have a specific plot, the end result should be you feeling randy. Very graphic in nature. May include kink, fetishes, taboo sexuality, multiple partners.

Erotica—The focus of erotica is on the sexual journey of the main character in the story. While the sensuality of the story can turn you on—there is also a deeply focused plot. The main plot follows a character as they grow sexually. There is a GMC. There isn’t necessarily a happily-ever-after or happy-for-now, as the focus is not a relationship but on the sexuality of the main character. Graphic language and graphic scenes. May include kink, fetishes, taboo sexuality, multiple partners.

Erotic Romance—Erotic romance focuses on the relationship between two people (or sometimes more). They grow and change together. There is a GMC and there is either a happily-ever-after or at least a happy-for-now. You may say this sounds a lot like a romance, and that is because it IS a romance. What is the difference between a romance and an erotic romance? The language and the sexual activity. More graphic language, ie, the “c” word. More graphic sex. Your characters can get really down and dirty, explore their sexuality together. More kink, fetishes, taboo sexuality, multiple partners—but it doesn’t have to include these last bits. The main difference between erotic romance and regular romance is the graphic nature—like Rated R vs. Mature Audiences Only. (and yes, the sex scenes may turn you on.)

Romance—A romance focuses on the relationship between two people. That is the main focus of the story. Sexuality varies from very sweet (maybe hand-holding) to Rated R—sizzling HOT. While there are sub-plots etc… the story is all about the h/h and how they will get together. The characters have concrete GMCs. In the end, there is a happily-ever-after or at least a happy-for-now. (Once again, the sex scenes may have you reaching for your sig other or taking the single road to happy land.)

You see in all my descriptions I talked about how the story can make you feel sexually—it’s true, there’s no doubt about it. The biggest difference between all of these you will see are the focus of the story, and the graphic nature.

I personally write romance and erotic romance, and I have varying degrees of sexuality in all of my stories, some of them are XXX hot and some of them are more on the sizzling spectrum, but all in all, every story I write has a concrete plot and is character/relationship driven.

There is nothing wrong with porn or erotica, hell it’s a fine line between them all! (And I enjoy them all too). But, if someone says to me, “oh, you write porn,” that will get my knickers in a twist faster than if my husband complains about the laundry.  I do NOT write porn. I write romance, no matter how sexy, hot or graphic it is, my stories are all about love, and how two people fall in love, and express that love through making love (and doin’ it well, I might add J)

My release this week—A PIRATE’S BOUNTY, is a lot more hard-core than any of the other stories I’ve written, hence the “Reader Advisory”, but that being said, it is still a love story, and I had a blast figuring out how to get Wraith and Faryn together.

My other new release, A LADY’S CHARADE, is not considered erotic romance, but it is sizzling, and boy do Alexander and Chloe put up a fight!

Answer my question for a chance to win a copy of BOTH of my new releases! (one winner) 
What makes a book a Keeper for you?

 Eliza Knight is a multi-published author of historical romance and erotic romance. Her releases this summer include: A LADY’S CHARADE, a medieval romance, and A PIRATE’S BOUNTY, a historical pirate erotic romance. Visit Eliza at

A PIRATE’S BOUNTY – Now Available at Ellora’s Cave!

1764. When Faryn is captured by the mysterious and sensual dread pirate Captain Wraith Noir, who delivers her as a slave to the flesh-hungry court of the pirate queen, she expects her future will be bleak and death imminent. Lucky for Faryn, Wraith doesn’t plan for that to be her end, as he wants her for his own.

Duty, desire, passion, revenge and treachery besiege Faryn and Wraith. With the future uncertain,  only fate, love and the truth will set them both free.

Reader Advisory: Contains a heroine experiencing the diverse pleasures of a pirate queen’s court, including f/f touching and scorching public sex, as well as mentions of traditional pirating endeavors.

An Excerpt From: A PIRATE’S BOUNTY

Copyright © ELIZA KNIGHT, 2011

All Rights Reserved, Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.

Chapter One

The Coast of the Greek Isles, 1764

The crack of the whip stung as it struck the flesh of Faryn’s bare buttocks. She bit hard on the inside of her cheek, refusing to cry out as she knew the crew liked to hear. She would not try to jump overboard again.

Metal clanked against the masts as men shouted, “Heave! Ho!” to get the sails down now that they’d come into port. Instead of a white sail flying prominently against the mainmast, this ship’s sail was a flag. Large and intrusive, its image would shake any ship or person who neared it. Eerie wisps of clouds dusted the night sky, and the large silvery moon shone in flashes on the design, which sent an involuntary shudder through her now, just as it always did. Against the wide black backdrop, sewn in white, a large skull, and beneath it two silver swords crisscrossed. Below that was clearly an image in white of the top half of a man, well-muscled, who held the two swords.

“School your hands, mate! Orelia will not be pleased that you marred the flesh of one of her slaves.” The voice was filled with authority, and though he spoke English, she noted a slight undertone of French, something she ought to remember as he could prove to be an ally, but as soon as the thought entered her mind it was quickly gone again.


The word echoed in Faryn’s mind over and over in tune to the throb of the welt on her flesh. She looked around with glazed eyes. A rough crew this was. Weapons covered their bodies, some crude, some elegant—and so very out of place, with their rough clothing. They smiled, some with teeth and some without. They leered at her with one or two eyes, some covered with a patch. Some grabbed at their crotches and waggled what little bits of male flesh hid beneath the layers of grubby breeches. Except for one. The captain. He stood out—dark, mysterious, large and eerily handsome. A cut above the rest.

Slave. Slave. Slave.

This was why they’d taken her in the middle of the night. She cursed her sleeplessness and need to walk on the beach that dreadful evening. They’d ripped her from everything she knew, tied her hands behind her back, tossed her over their shoulders and disappeared into the fog. She would be slave to Orelia. But who was Orelia? She’d never heard the name before now.

“Avast, ye wretches, down ye go, else prepare to feed the fish!” a man shouted, as he hobbled up and down the line of slaves on one foot and a wooden pegleg.

The captain’s gaze held hers, catching her breath in her throat. She was frightened…yet another feeling had her belly twisting into knots. Without taking his gaze from hers, he flicked his hand toward her and sliced through the rope tying her arms around the mast. He jerked his head toward the other gangplank and Faryn hurried to line up with the other beaten and naked men and women who would serve as slaves to the mysterious Orelia, eager to have her feet walk on steady ground again. They’d traveled far, she was sure. And as she stepped down the gangplank, splinters sinking into the tender flesh of her feet, she was hit with the knowledge that escape would not come easy.

Ocean stretched far and wide. The sounds of water crashing against the shore, and the scents of salt and ocean surrounded her. Loud voices shouted all around her, mixed with the creaking of boards, boot heels clicking on wood and other ship sounds. From the dock came people, she could barely make them out with only the small lanterns they carried. Naked bodies trembled and wobbled down the planks in front of her. She was delirious from hunger and pain. Cold and wet.

Gooseflesh rose along her limbs, her nipples were hard and stung as her hair whipped violently against her chest.

She cried out and lost her footing. Arms flung out, she sought hold of anything, her hands catching the slippery back of another slave, who jumped forward at her touch. Her knees dropped to the wood of the gangplank.

“Get up!” shouted one of the men wielding a whip. But she could not. She was so weak…too tired. Her vision blurred.

“That one won’t make it. Captain, ye want her back? Might be best to toss her to the sharks.”

Yikes! Fantastic cliffhanger! I can't wait to read this! 

Remember to leave a comment for your chance to win Eliza's wonderful hot books!!



Carly Carson said...

Hi Eliza, good explanation of some categories that can be confusing. Great excerpt too. Good luck with your releases!

Sarah Hoss said...

Thanks for explanation. Makes it much easier to understand.

As for what makes a book a keeper for me..... The book has to catch me in the first two paragraphs or I won't continue reading it. But to keep it and read it over and over is the plot and the conection between the H/H. I want to root for them and I want an unusual story line.

Regina Mize, Marketing Magic For Authors said...

Thanks for explaining the differences between those genres.

For me, a keeper is a book that I can't put down. This usually means that I have to be intrigued enough by the back blurb to want to read the story and that in the first few pages, or at least in the first chapter, there has to be some type of action or conflict that makes me want to read more. If the author doesn't capture my interest in the first chapter, then I normally move on to the next book as my TBR pile is overflowing.

Carol Burnside aka Annie Rayburn said...

Nice, concise definitions you've written and good ammunition for those times when I want to define the fine lines between the sub-genres. Thanks.

A keeper book, for me, is one that I don't want to put down. When I'm not reading it, I'm thinking about the story and what might happen next. When I've read The End, I still think about the characters, as if I'm moved away from good friends and still miss them.

Eliza Knight said...

@Carly -- Thank you! I'm glad it made sense!

@Sarah -- You're welcome :) Great points for a keeper! I agree about the first couple of paragraphs needing a hook!

@Regina -- You're welcome! Thanks for stopping by. It is soooo important for the book to have conflict! I love lots of it!

@Carol -- Thank you :) I know that feeling! If I'm reading a really good book, I think about it a lot when I'm not reading too, and I miss them! Its like having to say goodbye to good friends! Probably why I like to re-read books a lot.

Sherry said...

If a book holds my attention and I love the characters and the plot it goes on my keeper shelf and will probably be read a lot more times. I enjoyed your post and loved your explanations.

sstrode at scrtc dot com

Pat McDermott said...

Informative post, Eliza. Enjoyed the excerpt too. I wish you continued success with your wonderful writing.

As for what I keep on my bookshelf, I love having a variety of well written stories handy that I can pull out when I'm stuck writing something myself, not to steal, but to see how another author did it. They all have to pass the test of having great plots and characters first, of course. I do admire excellent writers!

Keena Kincaid said...

Hi, Eliza. Good explanation for the categories.

What makes a book a keeper for me? If I think about the characters when I'm through.

Michelle Muse said...

A keeper is a book that takes me away and makes me disappear into the story. :)

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

The hero is usually deems whether the books is a keeper or not for me. If I am 'in love' with him and enjoy reading him in action, then it's a winner. I have a lot of books I cannot let go for just that reason.

I hope you have lots of sales, Eliza. You have a fantastic voice and I can't wait to start reading your next book. I have this synopsis I have to write first, but luckily I have saved a lesson on doing it right and it is helping. ;)

Eliza Knight said...

@Sherry -- Thank you for stopping by! How many shelves do you have of keepers? I have too many!

@Pat -- Thank you :) A lot of times if I'm stuck, I like to read too. Reading helps get our minds off of it, but also as authors, reading helps us to hone our own craft.

@Keena -- Thank your for your comment! I agree, if your mind is still going when you put that book down, its a keeper!

@Michelle -- Love the escapism of reading! Thanks :)

@Paisley -- lol, thanks Paisley! Glad that synopsis post helped :) And thank you so much for the comment on my voice! I too love to fall in love with the hero :)

Angela Johnson said...

Thanks for clarifying the differences between romance, erotic romance, and erotica. Your definitions were the most succinct explanations I've ever read before of the genres.

A keeper for me is when I can remember the characters and even visualize and remember certain scenes from the books years later.

Mel Haffners Book Club said...

A good keeper is one that I can not put down from the moment I start reading it, it is one that I walk around the house with a book in one hand, doing housework with the other, it is a book I devour in a day, and the next day I pick it up to start all over again and find hidden meanings within the book that I missed the first time.

A keeper is a book when I can allow my mind to fall into it's world feeling everything the characters are feeling, seeing, touching and smelling. A keeper is one that I constantly think about, one where I look for the characters characteristics in a crowd of people, ones that I yearn for, one that I rush home to pick up and embellish all over again.

I have never read one of your books, nevertheless I would love the opportunity to see if your more revealing books is a keeper. As I believe it may be.

Nicole North said...

Thanks so much for being our guest Eliza!! I enjoyed it!!

Greta said...

Hi, Eliza.

For me a keeper is a book that I know I will return to in the future. With all the great new books waiting to be discovered (and with limited shelf space), a keeper has to be really special. Mostly it's characters I love and want to spend time with again.

hotcha12 said...

a keeper for me is one I can't get outta my head for days.

Delilah Fawkes said...

Loved this post!

All of my short stories tend to fall under the "porn" catagory, but my novella is definitely an erotic romance.

I love mixing things up and hitting all of these catagories with my writing. It's a rewarding challenge! ;)