Monday, 7 June 2010

Guest Author: Carrie Lofty

Well, the day has finally arrived. Carina Press has launched! I've waited so long to be able to say that in the past tense :) And I have Carrie Lofty visiting today with her new Carina Press release, Song of Seduction, that is available right now, fresh off the digital press.

Welcome, Carrie!

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?

The inspiration for Arie de Voss, the hero of my latest historical romance, SONG OF SEDUCTION came from two photographs:

The former is a picture of Gary Oldman in Immortal Beloved, where he played Ludwig van Beethoven. I loved that photo. (The movie...not so much.) The image of a man leaning over his piano, embracing it as he would a lover, resonated with me on several levels. It was sexy, artistic, sensitive, complex, and desperately in need of my in-depth exploration.

The latter is Hugh Jackman, who broods very handsomely. And there's always room for a little Hugh Jackman inspiration in any romance hero.

Now my friend Jenn, whose family is very Dutch, insists that Dutch men are not necessarily the most attractive bunch. I beg to differ and present the following picture of famous Dutch footballer Dennis Bergkamp:

This same friend spent a portion of her childhood in Michigan, where the DeVos family is huge. Richard DeVos, for example, founded Amway. Jenn is now banned form giving me "real life" advice while I'm in the midst of creation. Quit ruining the mood!

Let's go back to those lovely pictures and think heroic thoughts. Here's Arie:
"I have never been in love because my ambition overshadowed all." He released her hands in favor of the softness of her hair, without another thought about how reckless he had become. He swept soft, loosened tendrils away from her face. "With you, Tilda, I had no choice. Do you understand? I could fall in love or go mad from wanting you."

Jenn never mentioned how intensely adoring Dutch men could be. Or maybe that's just my take. No matter. Arie de Voss is hot, and so is SONG OF SEDUCTION, the story of his love affair with a widowed violin prodigy. I hope you go forth and enjoy the fruits of my imagination!

Thanks for stopping by, Carrie. It's always great to take a peek behind the scenes at what inspires a story and hero. You can visit Carrie at her website and you can find her book at the Carina Press e-store,

A little side note for my South African readers (thanks for the heads up, Leonie), straight from Carrie's site... 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.

So, I went along to ask Carrie to feed us a few tasty morsels of what we could look forward to and what inspired SA as a setting, and here we it is...

In late 2011 or early 2012, my first foray into Victorian historical romance will be published by Pocket. FLAWLESS tells the story of a self-made tycoon's daughter and her estranges husband, an English viscount. Together they have two years to make a Cape Colony diamond brokerage profitable or else forfeit her inheritance, which forces them to rely on one another and discover the true heart of their marriage. I initially wanted to do a series of romances set in international boomtowns: diamonds in South Africa, gold mines in the Klondike and Australia, etc. Although that inspiration eventually gave way to the series in its current incarnation--where each sibling is presented with a business challenge in order to earn an inheritance--FLAWLESS, set in Kimberley, is where it all begins.

Kimberley is a marvel to me. Such a rocket-fast launch toward wealth and power! It transformed from squatters' tents to becoming the first city in the Southern Hemisphere illuminated by electric light in only 16 years. Astonishing! I was drawn to the constant contrasts of wealth and squalor, colonists and those just passing through. Researching such a fascinating yet politically thorny history was quite a challenge, as was finding the right moment in its history to set a romance. I honestly believe it's my best story to date, and I can't wait for its release.

Thanks again, Carrie, it's wonderful to have you here.

Tomorrow Jenny Schwartz will be visiting to tell us bit about her release, The Price of Freedom


  1. Welcome Carrie, it's so good to have you here

  2. Carrie, thanks for the interesting insights into how your story developed. I'm swooning over the brooding Hugh Jackman!

    I'm so glad to see that you're writing a story set in South Africa. Was it difficult to sell the setting to your publisher, or were they as excited as you about it? We're biased, of course, but have long thought our beautiful country a marvellous setting for romances.

    Good luck with your "Song of Seduction"; it sounds like a book I'll enjoy, so I'll be visiting the Carina website shortly!


  3. Thanks, Claire, for having me!

    Judy, I'm sorry to say that the South African setting was a deal-breaker for four interested editors. They were denied approval to make a bid! Luckily Lauren McKenna, Pocket's executive editor, was so impressed by the story that she took a chance on us both. As far as I can tell, FLAWLESS will be a rarity among historical romances. Do you know of any others set in South Africa/Cape Colony? I'd be very curious to read them!

    Thanks again for letting me stop by. I hope you enjoy SONG OF SEDUCTION! Hugh Jackman makes everything better :)

  4. Thanks for stopping by to chat with us, Carrie! We South Africans are very interested in any story with a South African setting, and cannot understand why SA is shunned as a setting by so many editors, given it's rich and varied history, and its spectacular scenery! Let's hope this is the start of many more romances (historical and contemporary) set in South Africa. There is an enormous untapped market of well-educated readers in South Africa, who'd dearly love to see more romances set in South Africa! Maybe the impending World Cup soccer tournamnet (hosted by SA) will jolt a few editorial brains...!!

  5. Carrie, I am disappointed to read that the SA setting was a deal breaker for no less than 4 editors. We'll just have to spread the word about "Flawless" in the hopes that it becomes *such* a huge bestseller, romance editors are suddenly awakened to the untapped potential of romances set in South Africa! :)

    And, as Leonie, says, hopefully the SWC 2010 will positively showcase our beloved country across the globe!

  6. Hi Claire and Carrie! Thanks for the post. Very interesting but at the same time distressing to hear how SA is shunned by publishers! I agree with Judy's comments! We'll punt the book so it sells in droves and puts SA on the map! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Flawless.

  7. Sounds like a perfect plan, ladies! I'm glad to know I have a passionate army behind me in my plan for world domination ;)

    And if there's anything I'm keenly aware of at the moment, it's the approaching start of the World Cup. My husband's English, you see, which means the Group C game between the US and England will make for an interesting day!

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