24 July 2011

Guest Blog: Lorelie Brown

This week, we're welcoming long-time contributor and romance author, Lorelie Brown, as she celebrates the release of her latest novel, CATCH ME, available now from Carina Press. Please leave a comment to win a copy! Here's the blurb:

Arizona Territory, 1882

Maggie Bullock's father needed expensive medical care and if that meant stealing from their friendly swindling banker, so be it. Once her father was on the path to recovery she would face the consequences. The whole thing was surprisingly easy until she's kidnapped by bounty hunter Dean Collier.

Collier is tired of tracking down worthless scum. He's afraid he'll lose his last scrap of humanity and become a stone-cold killer, just like the men he brings to justice. He jumps at the chance to become sheriff of Fresh Springs, Arizona. The one condition—capture Maggie.

He figured it'd be easy. Until beautiful, loyal Maggie breaks through defenses he'd thought cemented. His feelings for her run the range from fury to confusion to love, but if he doesn't bring her in someone else will. Can there be a future between a sheriff and a fugitive?

How do you deal with balancing the realities of historical settings with romance fantasy?

 Actually, I had a bit of a funny moment with that regarding CATCH ME. My original meeting between the hero and heroine had her stopping and bathing after a long time on the trail. The hero watched from the woods while developing a particular sort of interest in her figure. My fabulous editor pointed out this was a bit of a cliché. Accepting that, I changed it to have her sneaking up on him.

The copy editor pointed out that after two weeks on the trail she’d be rather stinky and did she ever have a bath?

I laughed, because what else could I do? My editor and I agreed that we’d leave it as-is with the unsaid assumption that life in the west was hard, but Maggie would have squeaked in a bath where she could have, even out of a basin. Because she’s a romance heroine, she’ll always smell amazing.

It’s just the rules.

Why switch from 1920s to the 1880s West?

I read Stephen King’s The Gunslinger one too many times? Which is just a short way of saying that I’ve had a long-term penchant for the late 1800s, same as the 20s.  To me, the key is that they’re both periods of extreme change. The dynamics of the world were changing. In the Old West, America was pushing her boundaries as far and as fast as possible, in the epoch of expansion. That meant lots of people struggling to find their place in the world. That’s the part that appeals to me.

Will you be writing more in the 1880s?

Absolutely. I just finished a book that’s set in Victorian London, at the same period. Don’t tell anyone important, but I would have much more preferred to set the story in New York. But I took marketing into consideration. Still, I think I kept that different flavor. The hero and heroine wouldn’t be right in any other time period.

Plus if you read CATCH ME, you’ll probably realize what I did: If Dean’s the tasty broody one, his brother Andrew is quite the rake prototype. He’s a lot of fun. I can’t leave him unattached forever.

What’s your favorite moment from CATCH ME?

Dean, Maggie and a pair of handcuffs. Neither of them are particularly happy with each other, but whoa-damn do the sparks fly. That was a lot of fun to write.  A taste:

          Like a conjured ghost, she was there when he lowered his hands. She held the canteen out and the cuffs gleamed in a sliver of moonlight. He hadn’t seen her mouth held that flat since he’d first abducted her from her hotel room.

          He took the water and his fingers brushed hers, sending a fluttery shock up his arm. It rocked him all the way down to his toes, tightening his body and making his dick perk up in eager attention.

          Her gaze ranged over his arousal and she cocked a hip. “Got yourself fully under control, do you? Looks like at least part of you thinks running away with me might be a good idea.” And then she smirked. Downright, goddamned smirked, lips curving in a sultry smile.

          His vision washed gray at the edges. After all this time, she still didn’t understand. The control he had to exercise, the rigid lockdown he had at all times.

          By god, he’d show it to her, exactly how dangerous he could get. And then she’d please, Christ, just shut up already.

          His hands flashed out and sank deep in her hair, yanking her head back and pointing her lush, tempting mouth up. He had only a second to see how wide her eyes went before he swept in and kissed her.

          Except this meeting of lips and teeth wasn’t about giving anything. It wasn’t a prelude to more. It wasn’t a promise.

          It was an exorcism.

Thank you, Lorelie! Please leave a comment to win a copy of Lorelie's latest, CATCH ME!