Wednesday, April 29, 2009
IMHO is delighted to welcome Emily Bryan, author of light-hearted and sexy historical romance. After earning a degree in music, Emily sang professional opera, debuting with the Denver Symphony. Those wonderful stories of passion started her down the road to creative writing. For each of her operatic roles, she imagined her own backstories to motivate her character's actions.
In 2001, Emily started writing her own stories. In May 2006, her debut novel, MAIDENSONG was published by Leisure Books under the name Diana Groe. ERINSONG followed in November 2006 and SILK DREAMS in July 2007. These are epic, dramatic tales—full of passion in exotic settings.
When she wrote DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS, its light-hearted and frankly sexier style was such a departure from the first three books, her editor suggested a different pen name. Emily Bryan was born. While “Diana’s” books are grand opera--all angst and high drama—the author describes her “Emily” tales as “Gilbert & Sullivan--with sex!”
Emily will place her witty, light-hearted historical romance VEXING THE VISCOUNT in the “Coffee, Chocolate & Romance” gift basket for our April contest. She loves to hear from readers, so she encourages everyone to visit her on her website and enter her current contest for a chance to win PLEASURING THE PIRATE (her VEXING heroine Daisy is a mischievous ten-year-old in this story). So that’s a chance to win BOTH titles!
IMHO: Emily, tell us which scene in your book, VEXING THE VISCOUNT, our readers almost didn’t get to read.
EB: Thanks, TJ. Believe it or not, there are actually four scenes in VEXING THE VISCOUNT that almost didn’t get written. They are set in an entirely different time period from my central story. My hero and heroine, Daisy and Lucian, are searching for a lost Roman treasure, the yearly pay for the entire Roman Legion on Britannia. These four chapters tell readers the whole tale of how and why the treasure went missing in the first place. It’s a love story within a love story.
A freedman falls in love with a Celtic slave girl. Their story is told in a much different style than Daisy and Lucian’s. VEXING THE VISCOUNT is all about misdirection and mistaken identity. In short, light-hearted, sexy fun. The Roman Britain world is darker. Readers who enjoyed my Viking books, MAIDENSONG, ERINSONG and SILK DREAMS, written as Diana Groe, will recognize the more dramatic style.
Here’s a taste:
Londinium, 405 A.D.
The sound charmed Caius toward the garden. The girl’s voice was like a flute, all rounded and wispy with air wrapped around the tone.
In all his life, Caius had never heard such a lament. The song weaved its melodic fingers around his heart and squeezed.
He peered from the corner of the villa into the mistress’s herb garden. The air was alive with tiny honey bees and the steady hum of green, growing things. The new girl, Deirdre, was bent over, clawing at weeds, singing her Celtic dirge as she worked.
Then the song stopped and she straightened, arms extended over her head in a huge stretch. Her palla rose almost to her knees, baring shapely calves and delicate ankles. Her feet were naked, her toes and heels grass-stained. The fading sun flashed behind her, showing the separation of her thighs and a shadow of the dark triangle of hair under her thin palla. When she leaned down to grasp a cankerwort by the stubborn root, Caius saw the outline of her breasts swinging free.
The girl yelped.
Bee sting, Caius decided.
She stuck her finger in her mouth, sucking fiercely. The innocent gesture made his body respond. He’d desired women before, but none had ever made him stiffen quite so unexpectedly.
He’d never had a woman.
When he’d been a slave, his master hadn’t permitted it. But now, Caius was a freedman. If he wished, he might take a woman to his pallet. A female slave was more prized if she proved fertile. He would bring the girl no harm if…
He walked toward her. In the Celtic he’d gleaned from the market, he told her to show him her finger. With care, he plucked out the stinger, still pulsing its venom into her reddened and swelling skin. He pursed his lips and blew softly on the spot.
Her smile washed over him like a breaker.
And he knew in an instant. He was a drowned man who hadn’t quit struggling. It was said to be not at all an unpleasant end once a man gave up.
Best to let the deep claim him.
IMHO: Wow, glad we didn’t miss that scene, lol! Thanks for sharing, Emily. And folks, since Emily is an expert on both the light-hearted romances and the darker ones, tell her when you prefer to read a light romance and when you prefer a dark one, and why. Be sure to leave a comment for Emily and at least one other guest author this month to have a chance to win the April gift basket. The more authors’ posts you comment on, the better chance you have to win! Be sure to come back on May 6 to see who our winner is for April's basket, and to welcome our first guest for May, the incredible Deanna Raybourn, author of the Julia Gray mystery series.
Emily always loves to chat with readers, so be sure to visit her at her blog.
And to whet your appetite, Emily has provided a book trailer for VEXING THE VISCOUNT. Enjoy!