Please make today’s guest author, Victoria Vane, feel welcome. Victoria writes erotic historical romance. You won’t want to miss my interview with her, her book excerpts, or the chance to win the copy of BREACH OF PROMISE she’s giving away. Leave a comment here to enter to win.
Q: Please tell us a bit about yourself – when did you first know you wanted to write – what was your journey to publication like – do you have a spouse or significant other – kids? Pets? Where in the world do you live? Where did you grow up? What real life events and experiences fuel your writing?
I am a forty-eight-year-old mother of two, and wife of twenty nine years currently living in northeast Georgia. Although I have lived most of my life in the south, I was born and raised in New England.
I began writing at the tender age of forty-four . While I have been a book lover all my life, I never considered writing before that chiefly because 1) I didn’t know I had a talent for it and 2) I never had a story to tell. One day all of that changed. I woke up with a story in my head that insisted on being told, so I began writing it. As for life experiences fueling my writing, my debut novel was indeed a convergence of three lifetime passions— history, horses and love stories. Since then, all of my stories have been inspired in some way by people and events I have read about in history books.
Q: Please tell us a bit about THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES
The Devil DeVere series is absolutely unique as it is comprised of four novellas that connect to read as a serial novel. In essence, each novella tells a piece of a much larger story.
This series has also allowed me to stretch myself as a writer. While all are erotically charged romance, the four novellas span the spectrum from romantic comedy to murder mystery! While technically speaking they can be read as stand- alone stories, I highly discourage reading them out of order, as so much is lost by way of character development — especially regarding DeVere who is the shining star of the series.
Q: Most authors include some aspects of themselves in their characters. What parts of yourself are included in your characters from THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES?
The good, the bad and the ugly—there is a piece of me in every one of them! Seriously, I most closely relate to the reckless and impetuous Vesta, as she very closely mirrors me in my youth, and Diana, who is much more like the person I am today.
Q: The DEVIL DEVERE SERIES is an erotic historical series. In what time period is it set? What aspects of the story and/or your research led you to set it in that time period?
All of my work to date to include my first two romantic historical novels, THE HIGHEST STAKES and FORTUNE’S SON writing as Emery Lee, and all of my erotic romances as Victoria Vane have been set in the Georgian era. As a self-professed Georgian Junkie as I have always been particularly enamored with the 18th century. I am fascinated by the paradoxical nature of this period. The Georgians were truly a riotous breed—they drank heavily, gamed to excess and rarely practiced fidelity in marriage, yet conversely, there existed rigid rules of social conduct and an even stricter code of honor. I love this mixture of virtue and vice that was clearly portrayed in the art work of William Hogarth, the bawdy and biting stage plays and the social satire of authors such as Defoe and Fielding. It’s all fabulous fodder for a fiction writer!
Q: What can you tell us about this series that isn’t in the blurb?
The first three novellas each have a distinct “theme” and the fourth ties all of the individual storylines together. To explain more about the themes, A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE contains strong fantasy elements as seen when Phoebe chooses to adopt her stage person while seeking a protector. The fantasy theme surfaces again in the brothel where the madam stages a “re-enactment” of Otaheitian fertility rites, and again when Phoebe and Ned finally come together in the King’s bedchamber at St. James Palace.
In THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS the prevailing theme is Vesta’s wild and ungovernable nature, clearly demonstrated with a runaway horse and a kidnapping! I use this theme in the culminating love scene when Hew perceives that Vesta is governed only by her passions and resolves to use passion to govern her!
Q: What has been the hardest scene you’ve ever written and why?
My love scenes are always incredibly hard to write because writing explicit sex is still a bit uncomfortable for me, although I’m getting lots of practice now. LOL! I typically re-write love scenes four or five times, often spending several days on them. Although erotic in nature, I never write love scenes between the hero and heroine purely to titillate. These are key moments in the story that are meant to show the developing romantic relationship by revealing the characters’ motives and emotions. This can be done so very effectively through love scenes, as we are all very vulnerable during times of sexual intimacy.
Q: What aspect of writing do you find the most difficult?
I think many of my characters tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves, much as I do. And while I feel I excel at dialogue, portraying characters internal thoughts and emotions is always a a bit of a challenge. Some writers are very gifted in this arena. I have to work at it.
Q: Your series is described as an erotic historical. How erotic is erotic? What do you see as the lines between the various heat levels we see commonly in romance – i.e. sweet, sensual, erotic. What separates sweet from sensual, sensual from erotic? Is there something beyond erotic?
This is such a relevant question these days as the lines are really blurring now between hot/erotic/ and erotica. While I do write very explicit and sometimes adventurous sex, it is absolutely not erotica. While I may incorporate some lewder sexual detail as part of world building (such as the brothel scene in AWNB) the sex scenes between my hero and heroine are the result of their romantic relationship. The sex between the h/h NEVER comes first in my stories—chronologically or otherwise, as it is always secondary to the plot and characters.
A great example is THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS which is by far my tamest novella, in fitting with the experience of the characters. There is only one real love scene between Hew and Vesta and doesn’t occur until ¾ of the way through the book.
THE DEVIL’S MATCH has incredible sexual tension throughout and while the love scenes are highly erotic and adventurous, once more, we don’t see that until almost the end of the book.
Moreover, if you were to remove all of the love scenes from any of my books, a good story would still remain! I think that is the key difference between erotic and erotica. In true erotica, the sex IS the story.
Q: Your series is described as erotic – how far is too far in erotic? Are there places your characters will never tread or things they will never do? What are their hard limits?
While I may incorporate some light BDSM elements in my work, I don’t see myself going there for real. Neither do I envision writing anything with multiple partners, homoeroticism, or kink/fetish which is all a part of true erotica. That is just not my thing. Neither is casual sex.
For me, sex is only appealing in the context of love and romance.
Now for some just for fun:
Q: On Pinterest are you a A.) Hoarder in disguise (you collect images of everything you like) B.) Minimalist (you only collect images that fit in with some project – my next book – a home remodeling project – etc.) C.) you’re not on Pinterest.
I am a minimalist- mainly due to time constraints. I love looking at pin boards but just don’t have the time.
Q: On Twitter are you A.) The life of the party engaging with my friends and followers B.) Mostly a promoter – I use Twitter primarily to promote my books C.) Mostly a lurker. I follow a lot of people looking for useful information – some of which finds its way into my books. Promoter by necessity and part-time lurker as I am an introvert by nature.
Q: Did you read 50 Shades of Grey? Love it? Hate it? Somewhere in between?
I only downloaded a sample. The book did not appeal to me.
Q: What was the last book you read that you really loved – enough that you’d recommend it to someone else?
I am an active member of Goodreads and try to recommend and promote every good book that I read. I started a group two years ago called Romantic Historical Fiction Lovers : http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/33864 and more recently established a book review blog with a team of 30 wonderful authors and book reviewers: http://romantichistoricallovers.wordpress.com/. As for specific books, one of the best I have read this year is DEFIANT by Pamela Clare. Loved it!
Q: If you could go backwards or forwards in time and have dinner with anyone in history who would it be and why? Wow! Tough question.
Q: Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Definitely an introvert although I can fake it when I need to!
Q: Describe your ideal romantic getaway? Someplace quiet and secluded. I also love the mountains. My husband and I celebrated our recent anniversary in Highlands, NC. It was lovely.
Q: If you were to be stranded on a desert island with one of your characters which character and why? Hands down it would be with Ludovic DeVere. As to why, I shall quote DeVere himself : Reasons are for those with inferior understanding.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers about yourself, your books, your characters? Yes. I despise rules and formulas. If you read my work, you can expect the unexpected!
** Please comment with name and email address for a chance to win a digital copy of
A BREACH OF PROMISE by Victoria Vane **
The Devil DeVere Series
(Book #1) A WILD NIGHT’S BRIDE: What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake? With the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay!
(Book #2) THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS: Desperate times call for devilish measures…Lady Vesta Chambers is accustomed to getting what she wants, but when the object of her passion has eyes for another, it’s time to take matters in hand!
(Book #3) THE DEVIL YOU KNOW : When dealing with the devil it’s easy to be burned…especially when passion ignites the flames…
Beautiful, respectable, and dutiful, Lady Diana Palmerston-Wriothesley has long resigned herself to her loveless marriage …until her husband’s gambling pushes them to the brink of ruin. Viscount Ludovic, “The Devil DeVere”, is a man accustomed to taking what he wants according to his whim until he encounters a woman who won’t be had at any price. But will a single night of heavenly passion damn them both forever?
(Book #4) THE DEVIL’S MATCH: Once burned twice shy… but when old flames come together…passion reignites…
DeVere, on the other hand, evinced no such qualms. He had already loosened his cravat and was stripping off his coat.
“As I said earlier, there is no need,” Phoebe insisted. “A couple of buttons and a raised petticoat are all the business requires.”
“How delightfully unromantic you are, my dear!” He chuckled. “But while most men would be charmed to comply with your simple wishes, I have quite another game in mind. One that most definitely requires you to disrobe.”
“But what if I don’t want to?”
“Oh but you will,” he said with a smug smile.
She glared. “You are very sure of yourself!”
He studied his buffed fingernails. “I am sure of Ned. Thus, we must put on a convincing show.”
Her brows came together in a deep scowl. “What do you mean? What has Ned to do with this?”
“Everything. And at any moment, I expect him to burst through that door like a raging bull.”
“But it is so large and swollen, is it painful?
“No, just uncomfortable. Now, may we stop discussing my …” the appropriate word for feminine ears failed him.
“Phallus?” she offered. “That is what the grooms call it.”
“Why are you eavesdropping on grooms?”
“I used to watch the stallions leaping the mares.”
“You what!” Hew almost choked.
“Well, how else is a girl with no mother supposed to get any education? Although I doubt Mama would have told me very much. So there’s really no reason to be timid, Hew. I already know all about the mating process. And to the best of my knowledge, the stallions never ‘ignored it until it went away.’ Please feel free to relieve yourself of it. I would even help you if you would like. I’m not the least afraid for I have seen much larger ones.”
She wanted him too. He could see it in the rapid rise of her breasts. He could smell her budding arousal and would relish bringing her to full bloom. God, how he loved this dance! She had taken the first tentative steps, yet she still fought her desire, refused to give in to it, but he would lead her now. He was a master…and a ruthless bastard.
He moved behind her, his fingers riffled gently through her hair. He closed his eyes to inhale her faint rose scent mixed with womanly musk. He dipped his head, letting his breath tickle her ear. She shivered. He whispered low and sultry. “Do you wish me to name the ways I can please you? I am delighted to comply if that excites you…although it would please me far more to demonstrate.”
DeVere rose and came to her, perching himself on the arm of the settle. “My honorable and straitlaced brother could never satisfy a woman like you, Diana. He could never plumb the depths of your passion…unlock your secret desires.”
His voice was low and seductive, and the flickering blue fire in his eyes heated her insides. Diana fiercely tamped down the smoldering sensation that threatened to reignite feelings she’d struggled to suppress. “And what would you know of my wants and desires after four years?”
“A great deal.” He gave her a slow, confident smile. “Given that I was the one to unleash them.”
Diana averted her face with a bitter laugh. “Thus you presume to have an exclusive claim to me?”
“Has any other exerted one?” he asked softly. He reached out a hand and traced a long, manicured finger along her jaw. “You are still unwed, Diana. Have you taken another lover in my absence?”
“It is none of your business whether I have or not, and you are grossly impertinent to ask.”
He laughed long and low. “I think I have my answer.”
She glared at him, and thus they remained, silently challenging one another for an interminable beat. Then suddenly his mouth was on hers, taking, possessing, as if it was indeed, his singular privilege.
Diana leaned into him, teasing his lower lip with her tongue and sucking it eagerly into her mouth before sinking her teeth into it. Hard. Savoring the coppery taste of his blood.
“What the hell!” DeVere jerked back with a cry. He touched his lip and examined the crimson stain on his fingertip, his expression a mix of outrage and bemusement.
“You took without invitation,” Diana said. “It was a warning not to do so again.”
A lover of history and deeply romantic stories, Victoria combines these elements to craft romantic historical novels and novellas for a mature reading audience. Her writing influences are Georgette Heyer for fabulous witty dialogue and over the top characters, Robin Schone , Sylvia Day, and Charlotte Featherstone for beautifully crafted prose in stories with deep sensuality, and Lila DiPasqua for creative vision in melding history with eroticism. Ms. Vane also writes award nominated romantic historical fiction as Emery Lee (http://authoremerylee.com)
VICTORIA VANE TITLES:
A BREACH OF PROMISE,Ellora’s Cave 12/23/11
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