Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We Have a Winner for Tiffany Clare's Contest

Congratulations to Johanna R Jochum.!!! Please contact Tiffany at tiffany@tiffanyclare.com and providing your full mailing address to receive a copy of The Surrender of a Lady.

Thanks again to Tiffany for a great blog and for all who stopped by yesterday!

Cheers!
Vicky

Monday, October 4, 2010

Meet Debut Author Tiffany Clare!

Please help me welcome Tiffany Clare, the author of  The Surrender of a Lady on sale now!  Romantic Times gave her debut novel 4 1/2 Stars and a TOP PICK. Be sure to keep reading because Tiffany is giving away one copy of her fabulous historical romance to one  lucky commenter. (North American entrants only).

Before I grill interview Tiffany, here's a quicky blurb to whet your appetite.

THE PRICE OF PASSION
Sold. With one word, Lady Elena Ravenscliffe’s destiny changes forever. Forced into Constantinople’s slave market to pay off her late husband’s debts and save her son, Elena reinvents herself as Jinan—a harem girl adored by the rich lords who bid on her favors. But one man instantly sees through her fa├žade.

…IS COMPLETE SURRENDER
Griffin Summerfield, Marquess of Rothburn, let Elena slip through his fingers years ago. When he recognizes her on the auction block, he pays an outrageous sum to possess her even if it is for a short period of time. But when his deadline looms, Griffin will risk all in a desperate bid to make her his—and his alone…

Tiffany, what is the first romance novel you ever read?

Outlander, Diana Gabaldon. I know it’s not strictly romance but after reading it I wanted more happily ever afters. More specifically, I gobbled up Scottish historical romances like no one’s business after falling in love with Jamie. He’s the hero of heroes.

What inspired you to write THE SURRENDER OF A LADY? 

I had this perfect image in my head of this woman in a veil. I’ve even included the two pictures that were my focus. There was just something about these pictures that tickled my muse into action. Once I immersed myself in art, research, and the culture (not physically, only through reading) and I knew enough to write the story and do it justice for the setting and time period, I couldn’t stop writing Jinan’s story.

And what gal wouldn’t want to picture themselves dancing seductively in the garb of a harem princess for the man she loves more than life itself? It’s every role players’ fantasy. LOL Okay, maybe not every role player, but it is pretty dang sexy.

Tell us about the setting. Did you uncover unique or intriguing historical details while researching the novel?

Ah, the setting. For me, setting is another character—it needs to come to life or I’m doing something wrong. It wasn’t till I’d written about a third of the book that I realized I didn’t know where in the eastern part of the world my harem took place. I finally settled on Greece territory seized by the Turks in the 19th century—it offered a rich and opulent backdrop to the harem. I loved researching the climate, flora, fauna, and especially the food and lifestyle.

Interesting facts I learned: When Barbary pirates seized ships they often took the women aboard (the ones who survived the attack) as prisoners to be sold as slaves. Sometimes those women would end up in harems (this is documented as far back as early/mid 16th century). The Ottoman Empire, Algerian, Moroccan, etc., all had a fascination with white skinned, light eyed beauties also known as Circassian women.


What do you love the most about your hero? And your heroine?

I love that Rothburn knows he’s bad. I love that he thinks he’s right when he’s not, but that his heart is on his sleeve for Jinan. She is his whole world.

My heroine is a survivor. She’s given the worst lot in life but she makes the best she can of it. She learns to adapt and grow and open herself up to any possibility. 

If you time-traveled back to Victorian England, what would you enjoy the most? What would you detest? What one modern product would you mourn?

I’ve always thought of myself as an old fashioned kinda gal. I think I might do well with Victorian England—so long as I was rich and so long as I lived in the more pleasant smelling countryside. What modern amenity do I adore—coffee makers. I’d be lost without my flavored coffee in the morning. Yes, I just so happen to be drinking a cup of coffee right this minute.

Tell us what's next for you?


Asbury and Emma in February 2011 in THE SEDUCTION OF HIS WIFE. And Emma’s sister, Abby THE SECRET DESIRES OF A GOVERNESS are coming June 2011.

***
Merci Beaucoup, Tiffany! 

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free book. Tiffany and I regret the contest is limited to North American entrants. To find out more about Tiffany's books and where to purchase them, visit her website at: http://www.tiffanyclare.com/

Cheers!
Vicky

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speak Loudly

Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, recently wrote an opinion piece in the News-Leader of Springfield, MO in which he labeled Laurie Halsey Anderson's Young Adult book SPEAK as a filthy, immoral, and soft-porn novel because the subject matter involves rape.

I read Ms. Anderson's book a few years ago and found it a compelling, honest look at the problem of rape for young women.

As I write this blog, writers and readers are decrying Scroggins for his attempt to censor SPEAK. I wonder how Mr. Scroggins would feel if a young woman in his family was victimized. Is the man so ignorant that he doesn't realize the horrifying statistics? RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network reports 1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.

And those statistics reflect only what is reported.

Shoving the problem under the rug will not stop the abuse. And it most certainly will not help the victims who suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome.

Frankly, I'm appalled that such ignorance still exists. Many years ago when I was a freshman at the University of Texas, our dorm resident assistants counseled us, guys and girls alike (we lived in a co-ed dorm), about rape. To give you an idea of how long ago this occurred, let me say I have a grown son and a daughter in college.

A writer has spoken out about her own horrifying experience. You can read her brave story here: The Last Word.

Do you know someone who has been a victim of rape? I wish I could say no, but I do. Their stories will always haunt me.

Laurie Halsey Anderson's novel SPEAK ought to be required reading in high school classes everywhere. Teens need to be aware and informed. Parents should use the book as a springboard for discussions with their teens. Information is power. Ignorance leaves our teens vulnerable to peer pressure and violence. They need to know they can turn to their parents for help.

Most of all, young women who have suffered from abuse need support. They need to know that they are worthy.

In my book HOW TO MARRY A DUKE, the heroine confesses a traumatic experience to the hero. I hope young women who have suffered bad experiences at the hands of scoundrels will read what my hero Tristan says to Tessa, my heroine. As a writer, I sometimes feel as if my characters take over. And in this case, Tristan's words brought tears to my eyes.  Because he recognized that Tessa's past did not define the woman she is now.

The past is past. All that matters is who you are now and what you contribute to the world. Lift up your hearts. Extend a helping hand. Give encouragement to those in need. Be a true friend. And love your family.

May the Magic Romance Fairies be with you.

Love,
Vicky