08 May 2011

Guest Author: Carrie Lofty

Today on Unusual Historicals we're welcoming blog founder Carrie Lofty as she celebrates the release of her latest historical romance, PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION. This is the sequel to last year's SONG OF SEDUCTION, which helped launch Harlequin's digital-first imprint, Carina Press. Here's the blurb:

Greta Zwieg forges masterpieces. With her copies on their walls and the original paintings safely hidden, the noble families of Austria can rest assured their treasures will survive Napoleon's advances. But now Greta's uncle is changing the rules, selling her counterfeits as originals. Greta abhors the deceit. Anxious for her family's safety in a perilous time, she is nevertheless determined to put things right.

Oliver Doerger is living a lie of his own. Acting as valet for his aristocratic half brother, Oliver thwarts an attempt on Greta's life and is overwhelmed by the forbidden passion that flares between them. Although he's not truly a servant, he is a bastard and a spy--certainly no match for a woman of such exquisite quality.

Though both fear discovery, they cannot resist each other. When the truth comes out, and the city falls into chaos, Greta and Oliver will be forced to choose: love or duty?

So you've returned to Austria! Was this a different experience compared to writing its prequel, SONG OF SEDUCTION?

Absolutely! Once again I was inspired by the movie Immortal Beloved, but whereas Gary Oldman's portrayal of Beethoven sparked my initial idea of Arie, the hero of SONG OF SEDUCTION, the scenes of war and carnage directed this tale. Many Regency-era romances mention the Napoleonic wars, especially when wounded heroes return to England, but I wanted to be in the center of the action. What would it have been like to huddle in these ancient, beautiful cities full of priceless treasures and architecture--as well as ordinary citizens' lives--and await Napoleon's advance? This tale definitely has more adventure and action as the armies arrive.

The hero should be familiar to readers of SONG OF SEDUCTION, yes?

Yes! My main inspiration for writing this romance was Oliver Doerger. He was the valet Lord Christoph Venner, but with a mysterious military past...and a secret connection to the nobleman. I wanted to play with the dynamic of a man who had subsumed all of his ambitions for the sake of his half-brother's political success. What would that eventually to do his pride when faced with temptation and the need for his own identity? In many ways, this is the story of a man coming into his own--it seems to be one of my favorite themes!

Have you visited Salzburg yet?

No. I'm still pouting about that. Soon, though! I absolutely must visit the place that started my entire romance-writing career.

What has been your experience with Carina Press?

Carina Press has been fantastic. My editor, Deb Nemeth, is a marvel of support and humor. She made this book so much better than my initial incarnation. And I love the artwork!

Also, to help celebrate this release, Carina Press is running a sale on SONG OF SEDUCTION, which is only $.99 through the end of May. You can get the prequel PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION, now cheaper than ever!

You have a busy 2011 ahead of you. What's coming up?

I have two major projects in the works for this year. The first, for paranormal readers, is the launch of Ellen Connor's "Dark Age Dawning" trilogy. Ellen Connor is the pseudonym I share with Ann Aguirre. Our apocalyptic shapeshifter romances NIGHTFALL, MIDNIGHT, and DAYBREAK will be release in June, September and December, respectively, from Berkley Sensation.

Then on September 27, I begin a new Victorian series. FLAWLESS is the tale of a reckless viscount and his estranged wife as they try to make a diamond business in colonial South Africa profitable--or lose her inheritance. I'm so excited about this new opportunity with Pocket!


Thanks for stopping by today, Carrie! Readers, you can win a copy of both PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION and its prequel, SONG OF SEDUCTION by leaving a comment here. Just tell Carrie what intrigues you most about a story set in the midst of the Napoleonic conflict. Drama? Danger? Sweeping changes to the old ways? Let's see what a little talk of warfare does for our romance readers. We'll select a winner at random in one week. Void where prohibited. Best of luck!


Blythe Gifford said...

Carrie - You are a goddess! So thrilled to see your success.

StacieDM said...

Hello Carrie!

Congratulations on the new book! I'm looking forward to all of your upcoming releases. I love the pen name you and Anne use. I like the two kick-ass women who inspired the name too.

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Maria said...

Congratulations on a 2nd release at Carina Carrie! I look forward to your upcoming works at Berkley and Pocket.

I think what intrigues me about a story set in the midst of the Napoleonic conflict is both the danger and the conflice but also the differences in battle from today. Back then when you had to kill your enemy, it was mostly up close and personal - either via sword or bayonet. Even though cannons existed and guns had begun to factor into wars- they weren't like our modern weapons today and were much less efficient and medicine was still an emerging field that wasn't as much of a help on the battlefield as it is today.

Thanks for the contest!


Jen B. said...

Ooo, I am so excited. I saw this book for the first time last week and immediately added it to my wish list. I hadn't even realized there was a prequel. Cool! What do I like about that era? I only know a little about the Napoleonic era but I do know that it was a time of huge technological developments. If I remember my history correctly, it is considered a time when great art was starting to be pushed to the side in favor of technology. It was also the beginning of the world shrinking in terms of how fast news and people could travel. I am very intrigued. Thanks for the giveaway.

Susan said...

I'm looking forward to Portrait of Seduction. I loved Song of Seduction, it was a stand out read for me last year.


Dr J said...

Congratulations on the release of this new book. Thanks, too, for sharing in the interview. I find that knowing these kinds of thoughts from authors informs me as I read and review books, no matter the time frame or the genre. Always enjoy the posts!

Rosie Hong said...

I think what intrigues me most is that your book is set right in the middle of the action, whereas other historical romances I've read only reference the Napoleonic wars as coloring the hero's past. It will be interesting to experience the different setting and culture, and your excerpt to Song of Seduction really intrigued me. I also can't wait for Flawless!

abbydillon16 AT yahoo DOT com

LilMissMolly said...

I really enjoy a good mystery and intrigue with my historical fiction. It's weird but those books set in the Napoleonic era tend to have more of that than those set in other eras. I really enjoy it when the author keeps you guessing who's the spy or troublemaker in the novel.

LilMissMolly said...

Was I supposed to leave my email addy? If I were, I'm sorry I forgot!
lvsgund at gmail.com

Danielle Gorman said...

I can't wait to read this book. It looks really good and I will definitely be adding this one to my TBR pile.


Carrie Lofty said...

@Blythe: Coming from a goddess such as yourself, you know that makes me smile extra wide :)

@StacieDM: Thanks so much! We came up with it sometime in 2008, so it's amazing and incredible to finally have it attached to something tangible. We not only made up our world, we made up ourselves!

@Maria: Absolutely! When invading armies arrived, they went house-to-house! Terrifying stuff for the ordinary people trapped in the middle of it, with nowhere to go. Thank you for stopping by!

@Jen B: Nice! Glad you found me and my SEDUCTIONS. And yes, the Regency/Napoleonic era was just on the cusp of the 19th century's heavy push toward the industrial revolution. The old ways could only hold out so long, which made way for self-made heroes ;)

@Susan: Oh cool! Thanks so much for that! *blushing*

Carrie Lofty said...

@Dr J: I appreciate that you've stopped by. Happy to provide some interesting content for you!

@Rosie: Cool! I'm glad that the new angle intrigues you. I hope you enjoy it. And yes, I'm stoked for FLAWLESS too. I just finished the copyedits last week, and I just got the cover. SO PRETTY!

@LilMissMolly: I hope to keep you entertained with this one! Thanks for stopping by today.

@Danielle: You're very kind! Best of luck :)

Anonymous said...

I find the setting a little intimidating... it makes me worry that the book will be too epic for me. But I still could not resist the $.99 lure and bought it. ;-) And going out of my comfort zone often introduces me to the best books. -- willaful

Carrie Lofty said...

@willaful: So glad to hear that! Please *please* let me know if it works for you :)

Virginia said...

Congrats on your new release! The danger is what intrigues me with these types of books. Can't wait to read this. Thanks for sharing with us today.


Carrie Lofty said...

The winner has been selected. Congrats to Rosie Hong! Details here:


Thanks to everyone who stopped by!