Wednesday, April 29, 2009

IMHO welcomes historical author Emily Bryan!

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.

And sad.

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!


Margay Leah Justice said...

I'm happy to say that I have Vexing the Viscount and I am enjoying it very much.

Danielle said...

Emily, I reading Vexing The Viscount now and I had to write to let you know how much I'm enjoying it. Daisy is a riot. Can I ask where do you get your ideas from?

EmilyBryan said...

Margay--I'm so glad you're enjoying my VISCOUNT!

Danielle--The ideas are everywhere. I'm inspired by art, music, travel, walking my dogs . . . No, the challenge is deciding which ideas have the legs to propel me 400 pages! I talk about making that decision on one of my WriteStuff pages. There are 7 pages of writerly advice for aspiring authors on my website. Hope you find something there that helps YOU!

housemouse88 said...

Hello Emily,

I've not had the opportunity to read your work, but from the excerpt I'm going to have to remedy that. I'll be honest when it comes to reading light or dark romances it really depends on my mood. If I'm needing a pick me up, I want something light. If I want something to sink my teeth into, I prefer dark. I'm not that hard to please, just give me a book and I'm happy. Have a great day.

Colleen Thompson said...

Hi, Emily,
I wanted to say how much I enjoyed Vexing the Viscount. I loved the story within a story. I thought it added wonderful dimension to the tale. Generally, I prefer a darker read, but every now and then (usually after reading a bunch of dense, dark literary stuff) I really enjoy a little humor... and a lot of romance.

Beth C said...

Hi! I remember when you were a finalist in the Suzannah contest one of the years I was in charge. I had the pleasure of calling you to give you the good news!
Congrats on your new "Emily" persona and all your publishing success! I'm adding "Vexing" to my shopping list now!
Best wishes, Beth Cornelison

EmilyBryan said...

Housemouse--I'm with you. I enjoy a good cry almost as much as a good laugh, which is why I write both as Diana Groe and Emily Bryan. We all need balance.

Colleen--Thank you for the kind words. They mean alot coming from an author whose talent I hold in total awe. I can't wait for your Beneath Bone Lake! Your work is on my auto-buy list.

Beth! Hi again! The Suzannah has been a real treat for me. I'm so appreciative of you for rolling up your sleeves and running such a great contest. It has helped me so much! Hope you love my VISCOUNT!

jcp said...

I like both angsty and lighthearted plots but I read more lighthearted ones when I don't have lots of time.

LuAnn said...

Hey, Emily! Great interview, as always.
I prefer lighter romance, mainly because I read to relax most of the time. But every now and then, I like to pick up a book that is a little more intense.

Judy said...

I am glad your scene didn't get cut. It must be hard for author's to write and then have it be cut by editors. Personally, I usually enjoy a light romance.

Judith Leger said...

Oh, Emily, that was a wonderful excerpt! Thanks for posting! The novel looks delicious!

cheryl c said...

Emily I have read PLEASURING THE PIRATE and VEXING THE VISCOUNT, and I enjoyed both. They were funny, suspenseful, and sexy--a great combination!

JeanMP said...

I loved the excerpt, the book is definitely on my list to buy.
I guess I like lighter romances, I can relax when I read them.

chey said...

Vexing The Viscount sounds great! Can't wait to read it!

Cheeky Girl said...

I took one of Emily's workshops at the RT Convention and loved it! I bought Vexing the Viscount at the book fair, and am loving eveyr minute of reading it!

The initial meeting between the hero and heroine is exactly what I love and I'm having a fantastic time with the story

EmilyBryan said...

JCP--According to the NYTimes, romance sales are still strong. People are looking for something fun and with a guaranteed happy ending.

LuAnn--Two posts in one day! I'm honored!

Judy--My working relationship with my editor is very positive. If Leah says something needs to be cut, I usually agree with her. But if I feel strongly about something, I've been able to talk her into leaving things in. It's a collaboration, not a dictatorship.

Cheri--I'm so glad you enjoyed my PIRATE and VISCOUNT. Have you tried DISTRACTING THE DUCHESS? It was my first light-hearted book and is up for the Colorado RWA Award of Excellence.

Jean & Chey--Thanks for your kind words!

Cheeky Girl--Glad you got something from the workshop! If anyone else would like to read the opening you're talking about, I've posted the first chapter of VEXING THE VISCOUNT at

Jane L said...

I have to say Emily VTV WAS my favorite! Happy Blogging!

aromagik said...

I'm not really sure why or when I like one or the other; I'd say it's more a matter of how my mood swings when I'm finishing a book and getting ready to choose my next one. I may get in the mood for lighter fare and stay on that trend for 2-3 books, then a darker book will catch my eye and I'll be on a dark jag.


TJ Bennett said...

Hey, folks, it's after 11pm my time, but feel free to keep commenting on Emily's post, and I want to thank her for stopping by today.

Remember, the contest period ends on April 30, through which date you'll be able to comment on all four author guests hosts' posts. Only comments placed on their posts are eligible for the contest (although I'm always happy to see comments on other posts as well!) I'll announce the winner of April's "Coffee, Chocolate & Romance" gift basket on May 2, so be sure to stop by then. Our first guest for May 6 will be RITA award winning Deanna Raybourn (winner of the Strong Romantic Elements category), so be sure to come back and visit with us again in May.

I'm packing up my laptop tonight to take with me to buy software tomorrow, so you probably won't hear from me again until late tomorrow. Take care, all, and thanks again to Emily!


Carol L. said...

Hi Emily,
Thought I'd missed out here but came to see if it was to late to poat and I see it isn't. :)
I'm sure glad that scene wasn't deleted. It was perfect. If I love an Author's work it doesn't matter if it's dark or light romance, I'm going to read it. So go ahead and write anything Emily because I love all your books and now I'm waiting for A Christmas Ball due out i Sept. :)
Carol L.

Jody F. said...

That was a great scene to read! Thanks for bringing it to us. As to when I read light toned or dark toned stories.....I find that during the summer I tend to read more happy, fun stories since the weather has put me in a great mood. Since I have seasonal affective disorder, in winter I tend to read darker books since my mood is a little down.

EmilyBryan said...

Jane--Thanks, girl! Glad you love my VISCOUNT!

Lindy--I know what you mean. Sometimes, I'll look at the next book on the TBR stack and know my heart won't be in it if I've got my eye on something different a little lower down.

Carol--Thanks so much for your kind words!! I can hardly wait for A CHRISTMAS BALL to come out too. It was what I needed to write at the time--a total light-hearted romp!

Jody--Maybe you should "self-medicate" with some comedies in the winter. Or would they just irritate you? Sometimes, if I'm down, I don't want to hear someone else chirping like a cricket.

TJB--Thanks so much for having me here at IMHO. You have a great blog! Please come visit me at next time you have a new release!

Pam P said...

Hi Emily, so enjoying this series, and I love books with a story within a story. I also recommend her Diana Groe Viking books if you haven't yet read them, very realistic to the culture and great books.

Unknown said...

Hi Emily, Its nice to see you again. I am happy to say that I have VEXING THE VISCOUNT in my TBR pile but haven't had the chance to read it yet. I have been spending a lot of time working outside in the yard and haven't had much time for reading. It is on top of my pile so I sould get to it soon. I have read PLEASURING THE PIRATE so I must get to this one soon. I may start it my next read. Thanks for visiting us here today at IMHO.

EmilyBryan said...

Pam--Thanks so much! I love my Diana Groe Viking books and would love to write more. Glad you enjoyed them!

Virginia--Spring does call to gardeners, doesn't it? Hope you enjoy my Viscount on the next rainy day!