The suggested topics for my guest blog today were:
the importance of research
the power of promotion
coming up with a good title
If I were to write “coming up with a good title” it would go something like this.
• Save file as Druids 2
• Bang head against wall
• Continue to bang head against wall and hope something falls out that’s a title and not an important part of your writing brain cause let’s face facts, it’s the only thing of importance up there.
• Come up with something along the lines of Birthrite as an acceptable title and hope to the goddess of titles that someone somewhere along the editing chain comes up with something better.
See? A very short, very uninteresting blog.
Instead, I’ll regale you with Sex and Victorian Fashion
Corsets, bustles, hoopskirts, and miles and miles of fabric. How did anyone ever have sex? All cumbersome to handle and in the way of the hero and heroine’s desire. As an author in historical romances, paranormal and otherwise, I’ve given this much more thought than is healthy.
How does our intrepid heroine allow the hero access to her body without a team of engineers to undo her? It’s not easy!
There are four myths about Victorian clothing and sex:
1. No, you can’t tug on the lacing of the corset and expect the entire thing to come undone. A corset is a rigid undergarment whose entire purpose is to torture the wearer; the Victorian version of a chastity belt. (Which were probably myths, too, unless you watch Robin Hood: Men in Tights.)
2. You can not, not, not lift a Victorian skirt, no matter the time, and expect to encounter anything more than yet more fabric. A lady very well trained in dressing and undressing herself could possibly extricate herself from a layer or two. With time. But an inexperienced man will never, ever get to the moist center.
3. Laying down on any surface still clothed. There’s that bustle or really large Scarlett O’Hara hoop to contend with. Lying down while fully clothed would not happen. There’s a reason women fainted to their sides; even they knew landing on their bustled rump would ruin a perfectly good faint. So having your hero push her onto a convenient desk…no.
4. Redressing. If your hero was a lady’s maid in previous life then that’s one thing. Okay, he could have also been schooled by a lady’s maid, but if he’s not, or hasn’t been, then he’ll never ever be able to redress his lover. All those buttons and lace and eyehooks and ugh. No. And nothing screams beacon of ravishment quite like being shoddily redressed.
So, in my learned experience of trying to write several spontaneous sex scenes with clothed Victorians (since it’s frowned upon to walk around naked in the late 1800s) my advice would be: Teach the hero enough about Victorian undergarments to be able to get through the miles and miles of fabric. Or have a lady’s maid conveniently available. One who’s bribable. Or possibly mute. Take your pick.
A Very Short & Hot Excerpt from Desert and Destiny (available in September, 2010) involving clothes and flat surfaces:
Angry sex seemed to be the only thing between them and yet, when he kissed her, she lost all reason. She didn’t understand it, hated it, but was helpless to resist her body’s pull to him.
“Gareth.” Only partly aware of the moan, she slid her fingers under his coat, ripping buttons on his shirt, exposing his hard chest to her greedy touch. Despite the bustle, he managed to sit her on the desk, bunching her dress about her hips and exposing her sex to his touch. His fingers teased her, pumping in and out of her in short strokes until she almost begged for more.
He pulled her against him, spreading her legs wide as his mouth tasted down her neck, tongue laving the tops of her breasts. The tip of his cock pressed against her opening, but he did not enter her. Her breath was short, constricted by the corset and her unfulfilled need, but she refused to beg.
“Say it,” he demanded, fingers on her again, rolling her nub. She strained against him, lips pressed hard together to keep from calling out.
Dark Desires of the Druids: Sex & Subterfuge available now in bookstores! And be sure to check out Isabel’s free story!
Blurb for Sex and Subterfuge-
A master magicker, Morgana Blackthorne has a tenuous hold on her following. When a strange Englishman arrives on her doorstep with news of other druidic magickers, and magicker problems, she’s intrigued but suspicious. There hasn’t been contact between the American and European druids in over a hundred years. Plus she has her own worries and doesn’t need the handsome earl adding to them.
Lucien, Earl of Granville, left England to seek out the Blackthorne Druid line and discover what they’ve been up to since contact was lost. Once he and Morgana meet, their mutual attraction distracts him from his purpose. Embroiled in her problems, he finds himself more concerned with her welfare than is practical for a passing affair.
When I invited you into my bed, it never occurred to me I wouldn’t want you to leave.
There are darker forces at work and the hunger of a weak magicker desperate for power. Will Lucien convince Morgana of his true feelings before things spiral out of control? Or will the surrounding subterfuge tear them apart?
Excerpt for Sex and Subterfuge-
“Lucien Harrington,” Jacobs, her butler, intoned, “the Earl of Granville.”
Smiling, Morgana swept out of the circle, stepping into the foyer, and greeted her guest. His timing was off, but as the magicker she knew him to be, not suspect.
“Welcome, Lord Granville,” she said, offering a slight curtsy.
He was tall, with dark blond hair, dark blue eyes, and a sharp nose over which he looked down at her. Her eyes traveled over his face, down his body, clothed in immaculately tailored Savile Row, back to his face. Arousal pooled hot in her belly.
She’d never wanted any man. Yet Morgana wanted Lord Granville. Her skin prickled at his nearness, her womb clenched with want.
Forcing her mind off his body, she studied his face. Briefly, want flashed in his eyes and she smiled a truly wicked smile at him. It was gone as fast as it’d shone and she returned to studying him. There was grief hidden deep in his eyes, along with suspicion and weariness. Tilting her head, she wondered what caused those emotions. Suspicion she could easily understand. It’d been more than a hundred and thirty years since their families had any contact. Though, since he’d sought her out, she should be more suspicious of him.
“Mistress Blackthorne,” he bowed over her offered hand. Flicking a glance behind her, he said, “I hope I’m not interrupting.”
“Not at all,” Morgana smiled. She could all but feel David’s displeasure. Suppressing a giddy smile, she took Lord Granville’s arm and led him into the parlor. “We’re about to begin the New Moon Ritual. Do you still practice it in England?”
Looking up at him with guileless eyes, she waited for his confusion, gratified when it sparked briefly in those bottomless depths. Damn them all. She could be as gracious as she liked, but in the end, resentment bubbled to the surface. They’d abandoned her ancestors to indentured servitude and hadn’t bothered to contact any of them since.
“I’m afraid we lost that custom when we lost the valuable Blackthorne line.”
Morgana raised her eyebrow at him as they entered the parlor. Wasn’t he the diplomat?
“Would you care to join the ritual, Lord Granville?”
He bowed again and smiled. “It would be my pleasure, Mrs. Blackthorne.”