Monday, July 2, 2012

Today's Special -- Carrie Lofty







I am very pleased to welcome historical author Carrie Lofty to the blog! I fell in love with Carrie’s writing back in 2010 when I read Scoundrel’s Kiss. I have since been captivated by her Christie family series. The first book, Flawless, released last October, and the most recent release, Starlight, released last week. I absolutely loved it and you can read my review here. Carrie also writes hot paranormal apocalyptic romance under the name Ellen Connor with pal Ann Aguirre, and will soon release erotic romance under the name Katie Porter with friend Lorelie Brown. Wow! Talk about a multi-tasker!


Welcome, Carrie!




Glasgow, Gold Mines and John Thornton

By Carrie Lofty
 

When coming up with the over-arching plot for the Christies series, in which four adult children of a self-made tycoon are bequeathed challenges rather than riches, I came up with possibilities as to where the siblings would go. Where would they find love and adventure? 

Because FLAWLESS, the first book featuring older sister Viv, was going to be set in a diamond mining town, I wondered if all of the books could have a precious metals/gems theme. Rapidly, it became apparent that would be dull as plain white toast. Diamond mining…possibly intriguing. Gold mining…didn’t we just read this? Because yes, STARLIGHT was originally going to be set somewhere in a gold mining town. 

Snore. 

In reimagining STARLIGHT, I decided to send the oldest Christie sibling, Alex, to his father’s home town, the rough and tumble Calton neighborhood of Glasgow, Scotland. It would be a way for the academic son to better understand his hard-charging, industrialist father. And, as a bonus, there’s not a lot of mining in Glasgow! 

So what would his challenge be? How would Alex prove himself worthy and earn part of the family fortune?  

Before I could settle on the answer, I (re)(re)(re)watched North and South, starring Richard Armitage as self-made mill owner John Thornton. The pieces clicked. I wanted to investigate that narrow line between the challenges of living in a hardscrabble place and the happiness that could be found in a tightly knit community. In the Victorian era, mills dominated many of Britain’s northern cities. Perfect! 

There’s an old saying about creating conflict in romance: If your hero’s a firefighter, make your heroine an arsonist. It’s an extreme example, but the heart of it is true. So who better to make life and love difficult for a mill master? The daughter of a union agitator. I gave them the same cause—make the mill profitable—but for different reasons. He wants to protect one person, his son. She wants to work for the betterment of a whole community.  

Just enough purpose to keep them together, and just enough conflict to make their road to happily ever after a little thorny. 

In the end, I much prefer this version of STARLIGHT than the original incarnation. And it meant watching North and South a few more times became…research. Yeah, we’ll call it that! 

What’s next for me: 

After RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick  STARLIGHT hits the shelves, I'll be looking forward to the release of HIS VERY OWN GIRL, a historical romance set in World War II. It's not women's fiction. It's not literary fiction. It's a genuine romance, complete with sexy times and a happy ending. Look for it September 4th as a Pocket Star digital original novel. I cannot wait to see how readers respond! 

I'll also be launching a new co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter, with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. Our "Vegas Top Guns" series of contemporary erotic romances will launch from Samhain on July 31 with the release of DOUBLE DOWN, which is also a RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick. Two more from the series, INSIDE BET and HOLD 'EM, will follow in August and September. You can learn more about these and future books at our website 

Where to find me:


Twitter: @carrielofty


I'd like to give away a copy of STARLIGHT, and I'll ship anywhere. Just answer the question: What historical romance movie/miniseries adaptation is your favorite, and why? That’s a totally random drawing, no matter your answer. 

As for those of you who also love North and South, give me your favorite line. I’ll be back at the close of the drawing to one choose one, also at random. That person will win a copy of MIDNIGHT, the second of my EllenConnor “Dark Age Dawning” series, the first of which, NIGHTFALL, has been nominated for a RITA™.

Thanks again to The Romance Dish for having me!

69 comments:

  1. OMG Carrie! You touched a soft spot here... I have watched North & South so many times that if I try to play it again, my DVD player will just spit it out in protest! The final scene at the train station is STELLAR, I would play ovet and over again it's ridiculous. I am equally addicted to Little Dorrit im the latest BBC readaptation...I love thr novel and I have a serious crush on Matthew MacFadyen.
    minadecaro(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I love North & South, too, Mina! And I believe it's time for a rewatch. ;-)

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    2. Yay for N&S! And if I don't make Matthew Macfadyen a hero of my someday, I'll have lost half my memory.

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  2. I love North & South and have watched it often. But my absolute fav miniseries is Pride & Prejudice. With Colin Firth as Darcy.

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    1. I love P&P, too! To be honest, I'm very fond of the newer version.

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    2. Andrea, me too! I like that the Keira version highlights their difference in circumstances so much more profoundly. She has chickens and pigs in her backyard! The public ball is incredible too, with little kids and dogs running around. So much more earthy and real, compared to his world.

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  3. I love North and South, I think my favourite line is John saying "Look back at me", as Margaret leaves to go back and live in her aunt's. The emotion of that scene gets me every time.

    I think my favourite HR miniseries is the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre with Toby Stephens, although it's a close finish with Pride and Prejudice, the Colin Firth version. :)

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    1. Hi, Beebs! I agree--hands down, that is my favorite part. You can definitely feel the emotion. :)

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    2. Beebs, I love that adaptation too. Ruth Wilson is the perfect Jane. She has this almost mystical calm to her, even when she's hurting, so that when she actually breaks down and cries--it's that much more powerful. He's this big brash dude, but she totally owns him by the end. Amazing.

      And I watch N&S 3 1/2 hrs to get to that part *g*

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  4. It's been a while since I watched NORTH AND SOUTH. I have never read it. I should.

    I'm re-reading BLEAK HOUSE by Charles Dickens right now after just having watched the BBC production. It's superb.

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    1. Oh, I need to check out BLEAK HOUSE, marybelle. Thanks for the rec!

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    2. marybelle! Bleak House!! I always recommend it to people and they just don't listen. It's incredible, and so very very emotional. Esther is the only female heroine Dickens ever wrote, and she's brilliant. Yay!

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  5. Hi,
    Another North and South fan here.

    My favourite line is the same one that Beebs mentioned.
    IMO it is the most beautiful scene in the world of historical drama: the snowflakes are dancing around and John is watching Margaret´s carriage to roll away. After "Look back at me" you can see all the emotions he is going through and in the end the agony when he realizes that Margaret is not coming to turn around. Le Sigh.

    My other favourites are The Forsyte Saga and of course P&P with Mr Firth.

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    1. I could not agree more, Serenissima. This makes me want to watch it again as soon as I get home from work!!!

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    2. Oh! Forsythe Saga! Did you by chance see my post on Rough Posh, where just about every commenter went on and on about how awesome Damian Lewis is? I was so surprised, but in the best way. I've adored his word for years. http://www.authorsoundrelations.blogspot.com/2012/06/carrie-lofty-rough-posh.html

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  6. I've always loved North and South. I will never understand how families and friends could fight and kill each other over this. It is just so very sad

    I enjoy so many BBC Acorn Media series. I love mysteries like Midsomer Murders or comedies like Doc Martin. Of course, there's also The Borgais, The Tudors and Downton Abbey. There are lots of wonderful series out there and I like to watch as many as I can get my hands on!

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    1. Connie, I've yet to have the opportunity to watch Downton Abbey. I should make time since everyone raves about it! :)

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  7. Hi Carrie! I LOVE North & South.It's a wonderful mini-series which marked the beginning of my crush on Richard Armitage. Loved the contrast between the Margaret's life at Helstone and Milton, and how it represented the changes England and the world was going through-industrialization, modernization, class upheaval, etc. Love the scene at the train station of course, and the moment when he realizes the man he saw Margaret with was her brother, not another suitor. For some reason, the line that stuck with me most is after the scene when Margaret sees the mills for the first time and says "I believe I have seen hell and it's white, it's snow-white."

    Of course, I love the 95 BBC version of P&P with Colin Firth (really, is there any other version worth mentioning? ;) lol ), and An Ideal Husband with Rupert Everett, Jeremy Northam, Cate Blanchette, and Minnie Driver. Also a big fan of Emma, both the Gwenyth Paltrow/Jeremy Northam and Romula Garai/Jonny Lee Miller versions.

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    1. Oh, Lisa, I also adore the Gwenyth Paltrow/Jeremy Northam version of Emma! I watch that one so often. I just love it. :)

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    2. "I believe I have seen hell and it's white, it's snow-white." -- and then the profile of Thornton walking through the white as the music comes up.... *dies*

      And I hated Ramola Garai after her turn in ATONEMENT, but she's so absolutely fresh and adorable in EMMA. Amazing how one role can change your mind about an actor/actress. I guess that's why they do their jobs and we do ours!

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  8. I have enjoyed Rebecca the most of any historical novel since it is so emotional and unique. A favorite line from North & South would be, Reckon I'll leave my brains at home then.

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    1. I've not read Rebecca, traveler. Thanks for the rec!

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    2. Higgins!! Gotta love the almost-bromance between Higgins and Thornton :)

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  9. I've actually never seen North and South - but I definately have to now after hearing about it. My favorite movie adaptations have to be Jane Eyre (the newest version) Pride and Prejudice (not too picky about which ones, I love them all), Emma, Bleak House...now off to see if netflix has north and south... dtchycat at charter dot net

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    1. Oh, Wendy, I think you would love it! I still need to check out the newest version of Jane Eyre.

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    2. Yay for another Bleak House fan! I really liked Michael Fassbender in the new Jane Eyre, but the Toby Stevens/Ruth Wilson one is still my favorite--maybe because it was longer? Miniseries are always more satisfying for me. Glad you stopped by wendy!

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  10. When I read The Good Earth this book was memorable and extraordinary. From North and South, I don't want to possess you, I want to marry you because I love you.

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    1. I remember staying up to watch The Good Earth with my mom when I was about nine. She loves Pearl S. Buck. We ate oranges. I was just happy to be up past my bedtime. There...random memory :)

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  11. I haven't watched North and South in a long time but you make me want to re-watch it. I would pick Pride and Prejudice as my favorite historical movie.

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    1. Great choice, Maureen. Which version do you prefer?

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    2. That is the question, isn't is Andrea? Although I think there's enough room in our lives for many versions *g*

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  12. North & South is one of my favorite hr miniseries. The kiss at the trainstation, the love in his eyes, made me melt inside. I also really liked Our Mutual Friend and Cranford. Also loved Larkrise to Candleford, Dorcas is a very charming lady.

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    1. My English mother-in-law keeps insisting that I see Larkrise to Candleford, so I may have to give in. She adored N&S, which means she obviously has good taste!

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  13. I've never seen North & South. Everytime I hear that title, I think about the American South miniseries, not the English one.

    My favorite romance movie or miniseries would be Gone with the Wind. Even though it didn't have a HEA, it's amazing how they were able to condense a 1000 pg book into a good movie.

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    1. It took me a long time too, Kim. I kept thinking Patrick Swayze without an arm!

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  14. All the above mentioned movies/books are great ones. I've read more of them than seen the movies since I always like the books more. I will mention Gone With the Wind though - such a classic. And your series sounds wonderful!

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    1. My favorite scene in Gone With the Wind is when Scarlett has to shoot the Yankee and Melanie says they should search his pockets. Meek little Melanie doing something clever! "What a cool character you are, Melanie." Awesome.

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  15. Congrats Carrie on this terrific new series. I'm looking forward to reading it. A mini series has to be really good to take me away from reading, but DOWNTON ABBEY is my current favorite. I will be dating myself by telling you that I also loved THE THORN BIRDS and THE WINDS OF WAR!

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    1. Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it.

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  16. Hi, Carrie. Believe it or not, I haven't watched North and South, but I want to. Netflix, here I come. lol

    Pride and Prejudice is my favorite adaptation, and the original with Colin Firth is number 1. That being said, I enjoyed the movie version, and I own it, too. :-)

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    1. There's no getting away from Mr. Darcy in Romancelandia. I'll be curious your thoughts about Thornton vs. Darcy. Thornton is a self-made man, which has a lot of appeal to those of us now who set a lot of store by the "up by your bootstraps" mentality. Darcy actually comes across as a little lazy by comparison! I try not to compare them, so I'll be perpetually happy *g*

      So good to see you, Gannon!

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  17. It's been such a long time since I saw North & South - I'm going to have to see if I can find a copy to watch - maybe the Library.
    But I've got to go with the BBC productions of Jane Austen's books - Pride & Prejudice, Emma

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    1. They're all well worth a re-watch on a lazy Sunday. Ideal! Glad you came by today, Di.

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  18. Some how I've missed North & South... but oh... Roots was wonderful..

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    1. You've missed N&S, and I've missed Roots. Can we trade? Meet back here and discuss! Have a good week, girlygirl :)

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  19. Congrats on the newest release!!! I keep meaning to watch N&S but I just don't have the time!!!

    My fav so far has been Kiera Knightley's P&P :)

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)Com

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    1. Thanks, erin! It is four hours of commitment, but I think the payoff is well worth it. Keira is luminous in P&P--just amazing. Matthew Macfadyen isn't bad either *g*

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  20. Not a big fan of movie adaptation.. I always prefer the original book. Except maybe LOTR :)

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    1. I think that would the case for a lot of romance books. People get very attached to the way they envision the characters. I think some of these miniseries have been remade so many times that they fact they're based on actually books gets lost! Glad you stopped by, sienny!

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  21. I think I'd have to go with Pride and Prejudice because I love the story and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy is wonderful.

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    1. He just IS Darcy, isn't he? Quintessential! Have a great week, Barbara

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  22. Carrie, I just realized that I never left a comment this morning!! Thank you so much for the Christies. I am loving this family/series and look forward to DIVA! :)

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    1. No problem, Andrea! You've been filling in before I could get to my replies this evening. Thanks again for having me here!

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  23. I like the Pride and Prejudice miniseries because of the acting.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I know everyone always goes on about Colin Firth--and really, why not?--but I adore Jennifer Ehle as well. Amazing performance as Lizzie!

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  24. Hi Carrie! Thanks for blogging with us today. I'm looking forward to reading STARLIGHT, especially after hearing Andrea rave about it.

    I do better with movie adaptations if I haven't read the book first. They rarely live up to the written word in my mind.

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    1. True! Although for me, something as convoluted as Bleak House really comes alive for me AFTER I've seen the film. Then I can sort through characters, especially for someone like Dickens who used so many! I hope to see you at RWA, PJ. You going to me there?

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  25. I have to say Sense and Sensibility. That's one of my fave books by Jane Austen. The movie was starred by famous actress and actors. I like the movie mostly because it touches my sweet spot for the overwhelming Marriane and sensible Elinor.

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    1. The one with Emma Thompson? She did the screenplay adaptation too! Such an amazing movie. I watch it whenever I need a happy cry :)

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  26. LAST OF THE MOHICANS is one of my favorites. For me, the romance is in the intensity of the emotions and the relationship. Theree is so much more to the story than just the relationship and that is another plus.

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    1. Oh, I adore that movie! It's very, VERY different from the book. Like...entirely different. But the movie is by far one of my favorites. Plus it's in a time period that's rarely shown on film--or in romance, for that matter. Thanks for being here!

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  27. The Impossible Dream is my favorite movie. It is based on The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha by Cervantes and was a musical on Broadway before the movie came out.

    To be Cervantes is the first historical romance writer and his story is timeless. Many have only been "introduced" to the movie on the big stage of Broadway and many local productions of The Impossible Dream.

    When I read it for the first time it was in High School and was required reading in my 11th grade English class!

    When we were dating I got my soon to be husband to read Cervantes work and shortly after he finished it the song The Impossible Dream was popular on the radio. We both were so taken by the song that we had it played as "our dance" at our wedding reception.

    This year as every year since we married 42 years ago we played and danced to The Impossible Dream. After 42 years we're still living the impossible dream!

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    1. Oh wow! You're about the only other person I've ever "met" who's read all of Don Quixote. It wasn't required reading for me, but it was THE assigned book for a (geek alert) English academic competition in my high school. We have to know it inside out. Let's just say my love and appreciation of it was ground to dust, poor thing. Turning a masterpiece into 100+ lit questions for a 16yo doesn't guarantee eternal fondness. But your love story twist, with the Impossible Dream? That puts a beautiful new spin on it for me. Thank you, Jeanne!

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  28. Carrie -

    No, thank you for your wonderful stories! One of the reasons I'm looking forward to reading Starlight is that my ancestors left for the "new world" from Glascow. My maiden name was Ryon (yes with an O not an A) and for years my father told us that our last name was spelled that way because we got thrown out of Ireland and fled to Scotland. I've been searching on Ancestry and it seems that we were actually English "Ryon" and are also related to the Hastings which is my middle name.

    Fortunately other parts of my family are from Scotland which is the land of my heart!

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  29. I have to go with the flow here and say North and South is tops on my list of favorites. There are so many great lines in that film but I do believe when John said "Look back, look back at me" was by far the best writing ever!

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    1. In part because of how Richard Armitage said it ;)

      Thanks for stopping by, Karen!

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  30. The BBC version of Emma. It is really close to the book.
    countessofmar @ yahoo.com

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