Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Facebook Phenomena...

Change of topic today...let's talk social networking sites. They're huge in the romance community, especially Facebook and Twitter (but also MySpace, Goodreads, etc.). You can generally find most authors on at least one. These days I try and keep a presence on both Facebook and Twitter, and I also follow many of my own favorite authors, even non-romance ones like Neil Gaiman, and I'm amazed at the way I feel "connected" to both readers and writers alike.

But beyond the whole reader/writer sphere, the whole phenomena of places like Facebook has amazed me. This weekend, I went to a friend's "all girls" dinner party, and the power of Facebook became evident very quickly. Once the wine started flowing, we started gabbing about Facebook, and one person's story led to the next.

For starters, the hostess is now seeing a guy that she went to high school with (20 yrs. ago!). Both single, they reconnected on Facebook last fall. Turns out that he lives in the same town as her parents do, many states away from where they attended high school. They were able to get together over the holidays, and voila! A Facebook love story!

Another party attendee made a Facebook love match, too--through her ex-boyfriend! The guy was her ex's best friend from high school, and he saw something she had posted (a picture, not of herself) and was intrigued, so he commented on it. Next thing you know, they were talking back and forth, getting to know one another, and totally falling for each other. They've since met in person, and things are looking good! The copious amount of wine consumed was getting us all really thoughtful and introspective, and we decided that maybe the entire relationship with the ex--apparently not a good one--was simply fate's way of bringing her together with this new guy, a man she wouldn't have ever met if not for the ex and his Facebook page.

My own experience was less exciting, but meaningful, nonetheless. My high school ex found me on Facebook recently. This was the one past relationship in my life that left scars, that left unresolved issues that have actually weighed on my psyche all these years (and it's been more than 20). Fast forward to now, both of us happily married with kids--and with perspective on everything that happened all those years ago. We've since had several healthy, no-holds-barred conversations where we got it all out there. Heck, I yelled at him. I yelled, he apologized, we talked and talked....and you know what?! I feel like this little black cloud that hovered hidden in my brain all these years is gone now. Poof, just like that. He feels better, too. I didn't realize that I needed to forgive him, but obviously I did. And he didn't realize how much he needed to apologize and BE forgiven. Feat accompli. (Yes, it was ALL his fault, LOL!) And now we move on.

How about you? Any Facebook Phenomena stories (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Goodreads, etc.)? (I know...sigh....the absence of wine makes it a bit harder to share) A person from your past you reconnected with? Someone you met through a mutual Facebook friend? Or even a fun exchange with a favorite author/singer/artist?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Merry Old England

I'm in England today, Somerset to be exact! I'm having a steaming cuppa and admiring the view of Glastonbury Tor.

Yeah, I know. I'm dreaming. However, I am in Somerset, and I am admiring the view, from my just received glossy colored travel brochure of Somerset. Now, I've been to England numerous times, but have not yet had the pleasure of visiting the county of Somerset. The furthest west I've been is Bath and Salisbury.

So, what's the allure of Somerset? Ah...that most mysterious place of Glastonbury Tor. It's been there for millenia. No one knows it's exact purpose. It's been told that the Holy Grail is hidden there, deep in the Tor's labyrinth. It's fabled that Arthur and his knights stayed there, and that Arthur is buried there. It's told by the locals that it's really a fairy mound, and every Beltane and Samhain the faeries come out and walk amongst the mortals. For certain it's a mystical place, brimming with imagination and possibilities, and a certain amount of tranquility.

In my world however, Glastonbury Tor is the site of my Unseelie Court. As soon as I saw pictures of it, I knew that this is where my dark Fey princes would live and carry out their shenanigans! Deep in the labyrinth is the path to Faery. One path leads to the Seelie Court, or the court of light and the other leads to the Unseelie Court--the far more exciting court, if you ask me! lol!

It's a perfect spot for mortals and Fey to blend in, and with the surrounding villages and villagers, it's easy to make the mortals believe in the Fey folk.

So, Lust begins on the Eve Beltane, and the villagers of Glastonbury are all out making merry. The Tor rises like a mythic beast in the back, while in the valley, a Georgian May Day fair is in full swing.

So, now I'm sitting in my chair, with a warm cup of tea, pouring over the colored visuals. It's arm chair travel and it doesn't cost a cent!!! If you're interested in learning more about Glastonbury, click here: Glastonbury Tor

So, if you could travel anywhere, where would it be? What would inspire you in that place?
Happy Hump Day

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Ha! Gotcha! You thought this was going to be one of two things, a treatise on flesh fetishes, or something naughty penned by Lord Craven-Moore! Sorry to disappoint you. But it is about two, possibly three of my fetishes!

The last few months I've been researching; mostly late Victorian era society and fashion, along with the fantasy realm and folklore of the fae. It's been fun and enlightening. As with all research, one tiny kernal of fact can landslide into a free fall into weird and wanton places. During my research, I've continually come back to three of my secret fetishes...leather pants, old fashioned sunglasses and Bram Stoker's Dracula! I know...I'm weird.

But truly, I cannot tell you how visually inspiring Dracula has been to me over the years. Yeah, Reeves' performance as Jonathon Harker was wooden and all that, but the visuals...wow, and the barely tethered eroticsm....phew! I was drawn in from the very moment I watched it. And now I'm watching it again, mostly to get the feel for the vibe and tone I want for the Unseelie Court, as well as the dark, Gothic setting for the mass market historical I'm writing for HQN.

So, let's take Dracula. Sexy, sexy, sexy. Those three sexy vampires chicks? I love the costumes (what there is) and the jewellry, and their seductive ways. That really inspired the Unseelie Court in my Sins and Virtues series. It's decadent and sensual, exotic.

I also LOVE, love Gary Oldman as the count. Kristi will attest to my fetish with him and those damn sunglasses of his! Mmmm! The clothes, the gowns, the flimsy nightwear, the homes, the carriages...just everything is so inspiring for me.

Sunglasses....I have vowed for years that I am going to have a hero wear blue or purple lensed glasses and stare wantonly at the heroine behind those lenses. I have sworn over and over to do it. And now I've done it! Lord Black, the reclusive and mysterious hero in my historical (tentative title Dark Waltz HQN, Oct 2011) wearing them, and let me tell you, the heroine is smitten by him and those sexy glasses of his. But then, as I was writing Lust, I envisioned this Fey Prince standing in a perfumery, dressed in an embroidered frock coat, with little lace sleeves peeking out from beneath the cuff. He has longish dark hair, and when he turned his face to glance at his virtue, Chastity, he was wearing...sunglasses.

No, no, I thought! Too early for sunglasses. It couldn't be. So, off I went to Google, and consulted enclyopedias etc...and guess what? The Chinese have been wearing sunglasses since the 1200's...and since I'm writing in the 1790's well...sunglasses were an expensive, exclusive accessory for the rich. Naturally Lust must have them.
And now he can...

Leather pants. yeah, well, I saw one of the princes on horseback wearing black leather. I think it's continued reaction to that hottie on the cover of Velvet Haven. Man, he looks fine in his black leather trousers and ever since I've had absurd fantasies about leather pants! But in 1790? Hmmm, doesn't seem plausible even for a Fey.

Well....turns out leather pants, trousers, britches etc...have been worn by men for hunting and country fashion since the 1500's. Most were tanned color, but hell, I think my princes can come up with some black dye, don't you?

Oh, research! Sometimes it can so thrilling!!!! Now, I'm doing more research today. I've made myself some lunch, and I'm just about ready to pop my DVD in--Bram Stoker's Dracula, of course! I gotta have me some Gary Oldman in those sunglasses!!!

So, what movie has done it for you? Which one has captured your unfailing devotion? And why? Or, what book has captured your fancy with it's setting?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Charlotte's Getting A Makeover!

Well, not me per se, although that's something I've always wanted! But my website, Charlotte Featherstone.net.It's time to get a new a look, not that there is anything wrong with the current look! It's just that I'm moving into a few new historical areas with my writing, and the site was going to need an overhaul anyway. So, I decided to take the plunge and go for it. My web mistress (Rae Monet) is fantastic, and she's got a lot of ideas for graphics. But what I'm stumped with is my part of the project--content. I've been pondering this all weekend. What do readers like, and expect when they go to an author's site? What keeps people coming back to check on what I'm up to? What brings new readers and visitors to a site, and what makes their visit memorable and enjoyable?

So, I was wondering if I might pick the highly intelligent brains of our LIT followers. What are your pet peeves at author sites, what do you like, what do you think Charlotte must have at her new site?

Thanks in advance for all your help!!!
Oh, and the site unveiling is going to coincide with the release of Sinful! Yeah, I'm so excited! A new site and Lord Wallingford revealed together!!! ;)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome author Carrie Lofty to the Manor!

Lord Craven-Moore and the LIT Ladies are delighted to welcome author Carrie Lofty to the Manor! Carrie's debut book (WHAT A SCOUNDREL WANTS, Zebra Books) was simply fabulous, and I know she's got a quite a treat in store for readers with her newest release, SCOUNDREL'S KISS (and whoa, what a gorgeous cover)! So, without further adieu, here's Carrie....

A Secondary Character Speaks

Fernán Garza in SCOUNDREL'S KISS was a great surprise as I wrote this historical romance set in early 13th century Spain. With all of the attention paid to the Gavriel, a warrior monk, and to Ada, a recovering opium addict, Fernán became rather jealous. He insisted on having the opportunity to speak his mind. And good grief, can the boy talk...

Do not worry. I have not been offended. After all, I am a fourth son, used to lingering at the fringes rather than standing at the center of attention. Some would call me a buffoon, but how else was I to compete with three older brothers?

My brothers care little for me. In Castile, you see, estates are divided equally between all surviving children. To say I was an unwelcome addition to the roster of my siblings would understate the situation considerably.

So what could I do to but prove myself as idle, ridiculous and cowardly as everyone assumed? Only my father's determination to make something of me ruined my fine time. A man like me, one who loves wine, women and song...confined to a monastery? Death would be a lesser punishment. At least in death I might dance with womanly angels.

Now Gavriel...he was a man made for the austerity of monastic life. Too bad Ada spoiled his plans. I found it particularly amusing to watch him succumb to her rather mouthwatering charms. Love brings the (high and) mighty low.

What was that? Did I ever fancy Ada for myself? Well, that is an amusing tale. No matter her wide eyes and arousing vulnerability, I left her to Gavriel. Not even in dreams did I try my hand at winning hers. And my reluctance was not entirely born out of respect for Gavriel's rather intimidating command of armaments.

No, just because I am a buffoon and a fourth son and a very reluctant monk doesn't mean I cannot keep secrets. I have one that could get me killed, one that urged me to do something rather terrible...

Well, that's the first time he's been quiet all day. I hope you'll pick up a copy of SCOUNDREL'S KISS to learn more about Fernán, his secrets, and what he's willing to do to keep them!

How important are secondary characters to your enjoyment of historical romances? Leave a comment or question for your chance to win a copy of SCOUNDREL'S KISS. Best of luck, and thanks to Lust in Time for having me!

You can find out more about SCOUNDREL'S KISS here.

(Kristina says: Wow, set in Spain?! I cannot *wait* to read this book! Thanks so much for joining us here at LIT, Carrie!)

Edited to add: The winner of the book is MsHellion! See comments for details...