Sunday, 13 June 2010

Carrie Lofty - Song of Seduction - now released!

Today we have Carrie Lofty as a guest at Lindsay's Romantics. Carrie has been here before, to talk about her novels, and she's here to chat a bit about herself and her work, especially her latest release, 'Song of Seduction'.


Ok, Carrie, tell us about yourself.

I was born in California’s agricultural Central Valley, and my brother arrived two years later. I turned seven the summer our parents moved us from the outskirts of Los Angeles to a tiny community in northern Indiana, where my best friends morphed from Latinas to Amish girls.

My first research obsession? The Lincoln assassination. At age ten I raided my dad's Civil War books for more information. Aliens became my second obsession--I base my ideal of feminine strength on Ellen Ripley--but the most influential emerged with the debut of "The Young Riders," a '90s TV show about the Pony Express. I became the foremost authority on pony express history at Mishawaka High School. Not much of a boast, but research, fan fiction, and historical romances kept me out of trouble.

As a National Merit Scholar I attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I traveled to Norwich, England, for my junior year to study at the University of East Anglia, where I met my husband. After a brief stint as an unaccomplished art major, I graduated from BGSU with a BA in English and history. Ohio State University accepted me as a graduate teaching assistant. I earned my MA with a thesis on Old West outlaws and the impact of legend on society.

In November of 2006, shortly after committing to a career writing fiction, I established Unusual Historicals, a multi-author blog for those writers and readers who love historical romances set in unusual times and places.

I also wrote what became What a Scoundrel Wants--my swashbuckling contribution to the Robin Hood legends--and an Italian time travel called "Sundial," which won The Wild Rose Press's "Through the Garden Gate" short story contest. Both stories were accepted for publication in autumn 2007. The Spanish-set sequel to What a Scoundrel Wants, called Scoundrel’s Kiss, featuring a warrior monk and an opium addict, was released in January 2010.

I've recently embarked on three new projects. First, co-writing with my friend Ann Aguirre under the name Ellen Connor, our "Dark Age Dawning" trilogy of hot-and-dirty apocalyptic romances will be coming soon from Penguin.

My historical romance called Song of Seduction, set in Napoleonic Austria, will help launch Carina Press, Harlequin's new digital-first venture, in June. Its sequel will be Portrait of Seduction, set for an early 2011.

I've also just signed a two-book deal with Pocket to write Victorian-set romances. The first, Flawless, is set in colonial South Africa, while the second, Shameless, will take place in Australia. Both will be arriving in early 2012.


SONG OF SEDUCTION

Tormented by guilt. Haunted by scandal. Freed by love.

Austria, 1804

Eight years ago, composer Arie De Voss claimed his late mentor's final symphony as his own and became an icon. But fame has a price: fear of discovery now poisons his attempts to compose a redemptive masterpiece. Until a new muse appears, intoxicating and inspiring him...

Mathilda Heidel renounced her own musical gift to marry, seeking a quiet life to escape the shame surrounding her birth. Sudden widowhood finds her tempted by song once more. An unexpected introduction to her idol, Arie De Voss, renews Mathilda's passion for the violin--and ignites a passion for the man himself.

But when lust and lies reach a crescendo, Arie will be forced to choose: love or truth?

June 7, 2010
Carina Press
978-14268-9002-4
$5.99 / $6.89 CA


Excerpt.
Tormented by guilt. Haunted by scandal. Freed by love.

Austria, 1804

Eight years ago, composer Arie De Voss claimed his late mentor's final symphony as his own and became an icon. But fame has a price: fear of discovery now poisons his attempts to compose a redemptive masterpiece. Until a new muse appears, intoxicating and inspiring him...

Mathilda Heidel renounced her own musical gift to marry, seeking a quiet life to escape the shame surrounding her birth. Sudden widowhood finds her tempted by song once more. An unexpected introduction to her idol, Arie De Voss, renews Mathilda's passion for the violin--and ignites a passion for the man himself.

But when lust and lies reach a crescendo, Arie will be forced to choose: love or truth?

Excerpt Intro: Arie de Voss has just won a piano competition, but he's refused to accept his prize until he's defeated by the best musician in the room, his student Mathilda Heidel. Only, Mathilda has never performed in public and hides her musical gift...

Arie watched his brilliant, unexpected student emerge from the crowd like a queen among peasants. She wore mourning black trimmed with drapes of pearl gray silk. A wide ribbon banded her body below the gown's square neckline, accenting both her bust and the regal tilt of her neck. Piled in artless curls atop her head, her hair tinted red in the flash and dance of candlelight.

And her expression...Mathilda's face appeared a curious blank.

Only when she reached his side, joining him on stage, did Arie understand the emotions she struggled to curb. He wanted to step back, to flee from the fury he had sparked within her, but he held fast. Beneath her obstinate resolve to hide her gift, Mathilda needed to perform. Arie knew it. She merely required an indelicate push to reveal that gift to the world.

In front of innumerable onlookers, they sparred in a private skirmish. Her furious whisper hissed the opening volley. "Why do this?"

Arie drew strength from the playfulness they had shared only minutes ago, in those moments before his solo. He grinned. "Tonight is a night as good as any for your debut."

"I hate what you've done to me."

"Take your revenge, then. Humiliate me."

"I should, by walking off this stage. That man can have your money!"

"You cannot. The violin is already in your hand." He leaned nearer, ensuring that even Stüderl would not hear. "And you are having too much fun."

Instead of a tirade or physical violence, his prodigy attacked him with a violin interpretation of his improvisation. She twisted and swayed, imitating the initial parade of notes from the mirrored motif. The melody and counterpoint in tempo rubato followed, as well as the percussive assault on the harmonics of music.

Before Mathilda concluded that miraculous echo, Arie joined her. At the pianoforte he added color and depth to her instrument's high soprano, accompanying her to the delicious world of discovery and trust he had conjured for them alone. Darkness and light battled. An armada of fears threatened to overwhelm any brightness or hope they fashioned. He declared his intentions and opened his heart through music, fearing the worst but yearning unconditionally.

Perhaps she heard his declaration and became frightened. Maybe she reached the limit of her expertise or stamina. Whatever the reason, Mathilda dragged her bow across the strings and produced an unruly screech, stopping her performance cold. Arie, not missing a beat, concluded the recital with a silly little parody of "La Marseillaise," the French anthem.

Their audience, silenced and amazed, erupted into laughter and a riot of unrestrained applause. Mathilda bowed graciously before stepping aside and presenting Arie as their champion.

He accepted the praise hurled at him from all corners of the room, just as he halfheartedly accepted Mathilda's admission of defeat. He would not ask whether her dissonant screech had been intentional. For the moment, she had acquiesced.

She moved to descend from the stage but stopped and turned. How differently she regarded him now. Her expression sparked with a luminous combination of wonder and heady excitement, robbing Arie of any awareness other than her.

Alone, he would have pushed impatient fingers into the pile of curls, dragging her flush against his body and kissing her with all the senseless passion she provoked. He would have enticed and cajoled with his lips, his teeth, begging her to join him at the brink of desperate madness--the very place she seemed willing to abandon him, still wanting.

But perhaps he was alone after all, alone in a one-sided attraction.

"You earned your money, Maestro," she said. Arie could barely hear her over continued applause and happy, drunken conversations. "But you can owe me a complimentary lesson."

He grinned. Sudden relief forced a pent-up breath to tear from his lungs.

Dreaded memories, the strain of his financial difficulties, and the pressures of competition collapsed. The thrill of a capital performance overran every malicious thought. The mischievous curve of her lips withered his worries to nothingness.

"Tuesday afternoon, then," he said.

A plea and a command, both.

Thanks for being here today, Carrie! Congratulations on your 'Song of Seduction'!

http://www.carrielofty.com/Song.html

13 comments:

Lindsay Townsend said...

Congratulations on your publishing success, Carrie!

I wish you all the best with your novels.

Do you find writing these different historical periods a challenge?

Carrie Lofty said...

It's a challenge, naturally, but it's also a passion of mine. I have a master's in history and just love research. The bigger challenge has always been putting down the ancient tomes so I can actually start writing!

Thanks for inviting me to stop by, Lindsay!

Linda Acaster said...

Oh, we can tell that you don't find the research a trial, it comes over effortlessly in tiny snippets to beguile the reader. The very best of luck with it.

Carrie Lofty said...

Thanks, Linda! There is effort involved, but I'm glad it doesn't show ;)

Miriam Newman said...

Carrie, I love the fact that you choose somewhat unusual time periods and settings for your books. It makes them unique and fascinating. Best of luck.

Savanna Kougar said...

Carrie, congrats on your latest release!

Stunning, beautifully written scene!

I wish I had more of a gift and understanding of music, other than simply enjoying it.

Celia Yeary said...

CARRIE--welcome. Your education and your writing journey makes for an interesting tale, too. I have visited the Unusual Historicals site--very impressive. I congratulate you on all your contracts and books--you make it sound as though your stories just flow from you with no effort at all! If they do, then I'm equally impressed. I love research, too, but on a more limited basis, sticking with one period. Celia

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Carrie, nice to meet you. I enjoyed your excerpt; very nice!

Carrie Lofty said...

Thanks again to everyone for stopping by! If you have any questions about SONG OF SEDUCTION or Carina Press, let me know.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Hi Carrie! Thanks again for stopping by.

I have a question re Carina Press. It's quite a tricky question and the press may not have been going for long enough to answer it just yet.

How far do you think Carina have stepped outside the Harlequin genre lines?

Are they willing to look at different and more unusual periods for historical romances, for instance?

Are they happy to look at less conventional heroes - ie not tall, dark, handsome or rich?

Sorry that's two questions! But I'd be really interested to know.

Carrie Lofty said...

Lindsay, absolutely. You should check out this interview I did with my editor:

http://magicalmusings.com/?p=9625

Lindsay Townsend said...

Thanks, Carrie! Fascinating and useful interview at magical musings

StephB said...

Carrie, the novel sounds fascinating! Good luck with sales.

Smiles
Steph