The Heartbreaker Hop is over and a few new visitors stopped by my blog. Tomorrow I’ll sort through the comments and pick a winner for my ebook. You’ll hear from me if you’ve won. Thanks for participating everyone! Follow this link to see if you’ve won the BIG prizes. :) http://carrieannbloghops.blogspot.com/
I’ve just finished my sequel and tomorrow I’ll send it off to the editor for a once over. It’s funny, you can read and read and read then reread and still miss little things. The fabulous cover is done. Loving Leonardo – The Quest comes out soon. Yay!
And so does part two in the Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo saga. Just waiting on the cover. Busy busy.
Hopefully, I’ll get back to the blog to post something by the weekend. Until then, here are my books, my links, a fanciful character interview, and something to make you smile.
I was recently a guest on fellow author Brynna Curry’s blog where my literary character had an interview. This is my third such interview where in answering the questions as our characters might, we get to see how they see their world. I think they’re fun little exercises for the imagination. Enjoy!
Tea with Nicolas
I had an unusual experience the other day. It was a quiet day at home, inside and out. The snow was falling in that slow magical sort of way. It was just cold enough that snowflakes landing against my windowpane lingered a second longer as perfect six-pointed stars before falling to accumulate on the sill. I’d spent the morning seeing to author obligations and chipping away at my work in progress. Taking a much deserved break, I decided I’d enjoy a cup of tea.
I have a small collection of British fortuneteller teacups and saucers. They’re fun and fanciful little things for reading tea leaves back in the day. Several in my collection are from the Victorian era. That day, I chose the Aynsley bone china cup. I’ve been in a Victorian England frame of mind lately, unavoidable considering I’m wrapping up book two in my unusual Victorian polyamorous romance – Loving Leonardo.
Loving Leonardo is one of those color outside the lines stories for me. I like to stretch my abilities as a writer and I especially love challenges. The impetus for Loving Leonardo came right out of the headlines last summer. The US elections were underway and lines were drawn as political opponents dug their heels on key social issues. It got me thinking. Here it was 2012 and who you love, and who you wanted to commit your love to, were still hot issues as if love itself was a social condition and not a deeply personal thing.
At the time, the news was also filled with women’s issues and negative talk of “progressives”. I’d heard the term women’s issues combined with progressive before. That was the point to the Suffragettes 100 years ago! Before I knew it, I had a very American, very unorthodox, Victorian progressive heroine named Ellie.
My hero Nicolas Halstead is an art historian working for the famed Ashmolean museum. Nicolas leads a somewhat normal life as of a man of means, though he takes pains to hide his homosexuality from the world. He has to. Even though it’s no longer a death sentence, his nature is still a criminal offense at this time. One day Ellie, the daughter of an American consul, comes to call and confronts him with her knowledge of his particular predilection. To his incredulous disbelief, she proposes marriage. But there’s method to her madness. It turns out she wants him to help her rescue a previously unknown work of Leonardo da Vinci – a book of love poems and erotic sketches from Leonardo to his gay lover Salai. How can Nicolas refuse?
Thus begins their unorthodox marriage and abiding friendship. The book is held by a man who has plans to destroy it for the vulgar thing he sees it as, so they race to Venice and devise a plan on their journey. They didn’t count on meeting Luca, himself a historian. Secrets are revealed as they share their common interest in Leonardo da Vinci. While they come to redefine their long-held notions of themselves, a man with a dark obsession comes into their lives. The story continues in the second book. I’ve enjoyed these characters so much, they may very well return for other adventures.
So as I sat with my tea, my mind revisited previously written story threads searching for that perfect crescendo to end with. Wouldn’t you know, Nicolas Halstead appeared beside me. What else was there to do but ask my Victorian gentleman questions?
Nicolas: Rose! Good afternoon.
Rose: Hello Nicolas, what brings you out on a day like this?
Nicolas: You, my dear.
Rose: Oh, I guess I did. How silly of me. I’m having a little trouble ending this adventure of yours. Any insights you could share that might point me in that direction?
Nicolas: Hmm…what would you like to know?
Rose: Well, let’s start with the women in your life. What can you tell me about them?
Nicolas: There’s my grandmother, Lady Augusta Halstead. I’d describe her as a woman of stately dignity, for she takes her role as Dowager quite seriously. A week doesn’t pass where she doesn’t make the rounds to visit the Halstead tenants and parsonage. I’ve never found her affected or stuffy, though there’s no denying she has her finger on the pulse of society. She’s always ready to laugh and is affectionate in her own reserved way. I don’t know what else to say other than I love her. That, and she loves to play mahjong with her friends.
Rose: She raised you.
Nicolas: Yes she did. At a young age I’d lost both my parents and nanny to a coach accident. I’d have to say however, that my housekeeper Mrs. Fletcher played a far greater role in my upbringing. With my parents and nanny dead and my bones broken, I was naturally inconsolable. Grannie was dealing with her own grief, after all she’d lost her only son. Mrs. Fletcher’s tenderness saw me through my pain and loss. In fact, I’d bonded so thoroughly with that loving woman that my grandmother dismissed her hastily hired nanny and left me in Mrs. Fletcher’s care. Though I was too young to understand it at the time, I’d learned much later that Mr. Fletcher had passed just a month before I arrived in my sorry state. She’d needed me as much as I’d needed her. That Grannie made this small unconventional adjustment to her household was a demonstration of her concern and affection for the both of us.
Rose: That was unusual for the time.
Nicolas: Quite. Mrs. Fletcher still looks out for me. She was very fond of my parents and with Grannie’s help raised me in my father’s image. I couldn’t love her more than I do. To me, she is the only mother I remember.
Rose: And what about Ellie? Ah, that made you smile!
Nicolas: I’ll begin by saying her marriage proposal impacted my life in ways I hardly thought possible, and that she’s singlehandedly brought me immense happiness. She’s helped me to discover myself. Not only do I adore her views and perspective, I consider Ellie a true partner in life and love. She’s opened my mind to things I’d never thought about before – women’s rights for example. I doubt half the men in my own House of Lords are as well versed in Britannia’s policies as she is in the politics of your America. My wife is by far the most intelligent women of my acquaintance, present company excepted of course.
Nicolas: You’re welcome, my dear. Ellie is delightfully refreshing. In general, I find Americans aren’t as stodgy in their mannerisms as we English are. My wife can be as bold as brass, but that’s one of the reasons I love her so completely like I do. She’s quick and witty and kind, and has a tremendous capacity for love.
Rose: And that brings me to Luca.
Nicolas: As you are well aware, Luca is a sensitive soul who’s been through much pain and isolation. I’d do anything to keep him safe and ease his mind. He’s compassionate, loving, and thoughtful. And to those he cares for, he’s self-sacrificing to a fault. In many ways, he and I are cut from the same cloth in our interests and views. But where I am reserved, Luca is bold and brave, far braver than I. He’s a man anyone would be proud to know, let alone love. Ellie feels that sentiment as well. It’s trite to say, but we three complete one another in ways we hardly realized were incomplete a mere six months ago. They love me unconditionally, and I love them for that and more.
Rose: It’s impossible not to feel that love between you. How does Thomas fit into this picture?
Nicolas shook his head and as quickly as he appeared, he was gone. He had his reasons. I refilled my cup and went back to my laptop.
And now this will make you smile. :) I just love dogs.