Multi-published author Carrie Lofty is our special guest today! Carrie's debut novel, What a Scoundrel Wants, was released in December 2008 and its follow-up, Scoundrel's Kiss, hit the shelves this past January. Both garnered wonderful praise! She recently paired up with fellow author and friend Ann Aguirre to co-write their "Dark Age Dawning" romantic apocalyptic trilogy under the name Ellen Connor. Her newest historical romance (out now!), Song of Seduction, set in Napoleonic Austria, is helping launch Carina Press. Its sequel, Portrait of Seduction, is set for an early 2011 release. Carrie is also part of a multi-author blog for those writers and readers who love historical romances set in unusual times and places called Unusual Historicals. Also married with two children, Carrie is one busy lady! Please help us welcome her to The Romance Dish!
My First Time by Carrie Lofty
I had completed other manuscripts and written other stories, but writing SONG OF SEDUCTION presented me with the first opportunity to write...a sex scene. It's true that you never forget your first time, and that holds true for writing sex as well.
My husband had moved to Richmond, Virginia, to complete a summer internship for his MBA. That left me in Madison, Wisconsin, with our two young daughters for three long months. During that summer, I got serious about becoming a published author. SONG OF SEDUCTION was going to be my ticket to fame and fortune, naturally. But first I had to take care of a few pesky tasks, such as finishing--and finishing meant walking Arie and Mathilda through their sexual encounters.
I was a grown woman. I had a husband and two children. But something about putting such intimate detail down on paper stole my confidence. Just think about the people who might read it one day! Parents. Friends. Teachers. To say I was inhibited is an understatement.
But I did mention that my husband was something like 56 states away from me that summer, right? A few weeks...fine. But three months? I had sex on the brain, much more forcefully than if he had been home. I channeled that energy and imagination into what I wrote, thanks in part to sexy tunes such as "Buttons" by the Pussycat Dolls and "Chocolate" by Kylie Minogue.
The conclusion I came to was several-fold. First, people only really read what they want to read. If my parents or friends or kids' teachers eventually wanted to read SONG OF SEDUCTION or any of my books, they would do so out of choice. My job was to make that experience entertaining, not just with regard to sex but the entire romance.
Second, it was my story! That summer I rather enjoyed relieving my frustrated, lonely single-parent burdens with a little sweet-and-fiery imaginary romance. The journey I was taking was, first and foremost, for myself.
And finally, I liked writing the sexy scenes. Pages and chapters of build-up deserved a hot payoff. I anticipate it when I read a good romance, so I consoled myself that true fans of the genre would be looking for me to turn them on. It's all part of the job!
So inhibitions aside, I embarked on a few months of sexual exploration that hard nothing to do with reality. I learned a great deal about my chosen career, its rewards, its challenges—not the least of which is tuning out the negative voices. I don't bat an eye at writing sex scenes now, but turning out negativity is a skill that still comes in handy!
Here's the introduction to that first fateful scene. I'm keeping it clean here, so you'll have to pick up a copy of SONG OF SEDUCTION to read it in its entirety!
With the barest distance between their faces, she found the familiar web of tiny lines at the corners of his eyes--eyes filled with a wary, intense longing. Even now, he remained afraid of her, terrified she would disappear despite the clench of his arms. But he didn't retreat. He held her close, still waiting. That he could seem so defenseless and yet so determined made clear the depth of his regard.
Arie De Voss. Her idol. Her maestro.
Out of the thousands who experienced the power of his music, he wanted her. That heady knowledge tossed Mathilda in exhilarating flight.
She pulled tingling hands from his scalp and touched delicate fingertips to his cheeks, his lips. His hair stood in wild thatches, pulling a wobbly giggle from her chest.
His breath rasped. "You tell me to comport myself, Tilda, but then you tangle my hair. I cannot win."
His elusive sense of humor signaled her undoing.
His smile. She wanted to taste his smile.
Mathilda kissed her maestro with the unrestrained passion of a woman who held nothing in reserve. Her mouth became a partner to his and toiled at the happy task of learning him. Thoughts of retreat vanished. Impatience demanded more. The connection she had sensed on stage proved a mere prelude to this, a more staggering intimacy. Words, melodies--those powerful means of communication became ungainly barriers.
But rhythm…she understood rhythm. In the midst of their kiss, she wanted to melt into the man who held her enthralled. The steady push and withdraw of their tongues became her native language. It beat in her blood, a rising tide of delight surging beneath her skin.
Arie acknowledged her body's request for more. He trailed a parade of kisses along the ridge of her jaw. He captured one earlobe between his lips, his teeth, and Mathilda recalled the moment, weeks earlier, when she had waited in expectation of just that touch. Now he advanced. Each deliberate taste aroused new, reckless sensations. She gasped at the tickle of his tongue. Her lungs stretched against her stays, frantic for breath enough to sustain her yearning.
Drowning, feeling her waking mind dip below the surface of the visible world, Mathilda experienced desire's sharp onslaught. A rush of warmth unfurled in the pit of her stomach, sliding through her muscles in an exotic dance of need. She knew what that warmth meant.
After all, she was no innocent.
She was selfish. Decadent. Hungry. Alive.
Dear Readers, Carrie's books have unusual settings such as Italy, Spain, and Austria, along with some upcoming books set in South Africa and Australia. Do you like to read historicals with different settings? If so, where are some of your favotite places and why?
Tormented by guilt. Haunted by scandal. Freed by love.
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?
For more information on Carrie and her books, please visit her website at: http://www.carrielofty.com/
For more information about Ellen Connor and her upcoming series, please visit: http://ellenconnor.com/
To visit Carrie's blog, Unusual Historicals, please visit: http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com/