Saturday, April 25, 2009

Please welcome the Ravenous Romance Ornery Eleven Tour!

Hi ya! Today’s Question of the Day is brought to you by Isabel Roman, strong women, and druidic magickers. (And the letter R.) I write a lot of paranormal, it’s a favorite subject with so much to draw from. But I also write ‘straight’ historicals because there’s a lot to draw from there, too, and contemporaries, well, they’re sexy and fun, too. I doubt there’s a time I don’t enjoy, so usually have many a story brewing.

Do you prefer writing historical fiction or contemporary, and why?

Isabel Roman: Historical fiction. There’s so much you can do with an historical! Inherent conflicts that aren’t present in contemporaries. In a historical tale, you have your choice of time periods to accommodate the kind of character you are looking to craft. For instance, if you want to create a believable society that engages in orgies, curses, outrageous decadence all out in the open, you need look no farther than the glory days of the Roman Empire. If you want that reserved society where a woman’s rights were curtailed, well that’s most of history but you get my meaning ;).

Historical writing enables the writer to play in a verse that has established rules and that most readers don’t need to learn. And it’s ever so fun to break those rules! Conflict is one thing, a twist on that conflict is something else you can run with.

However, that doesn’t mean that contemporary fiction isn’t fun either. In a contemporary the writer has the luxury of playing with language in a popular way that isn’t possible in an historical. Taboos that you have to work around in an historical are of no great consequence in a contemporary, and therefore easier to write. In a contemporary you aren’t banging your head against the wall trying to figure out all sorts of euphemisms.

Lisa Lane: I prefer writing contemporary—and future history. Writing contemporary allows me to focus my research on characters more than surroundings, and writing future history opens the door for social commentary, which happens to be my favorite literary device.

EM Lynley: I write contemporary though I'd love to do some historical. There is a lot of research involved to do it well, or readers can tell when you're faking it. I'm a perfectionist and I would want to have every detail of the setting perfect. Then of course, there's the story! It's a challenge to craft an accurate story from character's perspective since we think so differently now!

Jamaica Layne: I've written both, and I don't know that I have a preference one way or the other. I tend to write what I'm in the mood for writing on a particular day.

Inara LaVey: It entirely depends on my mood. My narrative voice flows really well in contemporary humor, but it's fun to stretch the writing muscles and visit different time periods and/or worlds.

C. Margery Kempe: As a medievalist, I enjoy both, but it's a lot faster to write a contemporary as there's less research to do. However, there's a greater risk of not hitting that sense of timelessness.

Savannah Chase: I have never tried my hand at writing a historical so I’m not sure how the book would turn out. I’ve mainly done contemporary stories and I think it is something I’m more comfortable with. I also think I tend to write contemporary because I get inspired by life and everything that happens in today’s day and age.

Angela Cameron: In some ways, I prefer contemporary because they’re easy to relate to, but I love the depth and color that come with historicals. I’m inching into that end of fiction, and I’m sure I’ll have a historical before long.

Elle Amery: The first romances I read were all historical, but lately, when I pick up a book for a fun read, I pick up contemporary. It’s easy for me to slip into the character’s world that way. But I do enjoy reading historical romances as well, and have a couple of historical books planned.

Sèphera Girón: I prefer to write modern day stories because that is what I relate to the best.

Neve Black: Both. I find research regardless of period an interesting piece of writing.

Excerpt from Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder & Magick

Murder & Magick is the first in my series of Druid stories set in 1880 England and Philadelphia. Raven Drake is a master, one of the most powerful magickers in the world, and responsible for protecting those few remaining magickal people from a world that wants to eradicate them. When she finds herself falling for the wrong man, someone who knows nothing of her world, will she trust him enough to tell him her secrets?

"Are you all right?" Mac asked in a soft tone, his hand a gentle brush on her cheek. The act belied his body's reaction. He refused to release his tight control on his emotions.

"Aye," Raven nodded. Her eyes were still closed, her rapid breathing caused her breasts to strain against the bodice.

She was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen, and he couldn't get enough of her. Passionate and smart, funny and willing, she was everything he'd ever wanted in a woman. And more, so much more.

Alive. She was alive and unhurt and in his arms.

"Then tell me," he demanded, the tiniest slip of control. But his fingers were still soft on her neck, the tops of her breasts. "What the bloody hell do you think you were doing? Following me onto the lawn like that with Corwin's men there. It was dangerous! Corwin's dangerous. Mad most definitely in his quest, and that makes him even more so."

Stiffening in his arms, Raven struggled to pull away. His hands tightened around her, holding her captive between him and the door. He couldn't let her go. His hands wanted to shake. His heart clenched in remembered fear at how close she was to death. The bullet had come entirely too close to her for his liking. Too close for his sanity.

Fire in her eyes, she glared up at him. "I wasn't going to stand indoors and wait for you to do whatever it was you planned. I didn't follow you," she added with a sneer worthy of the best sailors. And he'd seen more than a few. But he felt her pulse jump under his fingertips, saw her own fear, hidden in those fire-blue eyes.

"I followed Corwin to see what insanity he'd brought with him."

"You could've been shot!"

His fingers convulsed on her shoulders, and he shook her once. His voice betrayed his own anger, his own panic. Hating that weakness, he stilled. Breathing heavily, Mac forced his fear-fuelled rage to calm. Forced images of Raven's bloody and broken body away. Deliberately relaxing his fingers, he smoothed his hands down her arms, twining their fingers together.

Closing his eyes for a moment, he opened them again to see Raven watching him. She was furious, but there was still that fear deep in her eyes. She nodded once, gaze holding his. Shutting her own, she breathed deeply.

"I know."

She was barely aware she'd said the words aloud as she rested her head against his chest. Allowing herself that single weakness, she squeezed his hands and looked back up at him. She knew what he felt, though she also knew he was unlikely to show it more than he'd already done.

His anger was fear for her safety. It didn't stop her temper from igniting. Something settled around her heart, compressing it tight. He cared far more than he ought, far more than she should wish him to.

"I'm fine, Malcolm," she said in an even voice, a gentle smile on her face. Despite the stress of the evening, the smile was easy. For him.

In Malcolm's arms, with his sheer presence around her, Raven had no trouble forgetting.

Forgetting she'd wanted to know what Corwin knew, terrified he knew entirely too much. Was frightened she and her family, the people she'd promised an end to terror and persecution, were in terrible danger. She wanted to change what had happened and help that man.

Blinking the memories away, she looked into Malcolm's clear eyes and relaxed. The tension of the day would return soon enough, haunting her nightmares. Strange how she never dreamt when she slept in his arms. But that didn't bear thinking on.

Right now, with Malcolm holding her close, Raven willingly let him soothe her. Maybe she'd hate herself later. Maybe she'd find no solace beyond the physical.

For now, it was enough.

"They had no right," he stated through clenched teeth. His eyes flashed and fingers convulsed around her arms. Raven wondered if it was in anger at Corwin, or at her for her perceived foolishness. "He had no right. Corwin's a madman, worse than whatever evil he professes to hunt. That man fell mere centimeters from you, if the shot had missed..."

"Shush, darling." She touched his cheek in a tender caress, and smiled up at him. He was a good head taller than she, strong, and commanded respect for both his size and his money. Yet all she wanted at this moment was his body in hers.

"Make me forget, Malcolm. I don't want to think of Corwin or that unfortunate--" She looked to the side for a moment. No, there was no sense in wishing. "Make me forget."

Remember to leave a comment; it automatically enters you to win a box of Godiva Chocolates and a signed DVD copy of Murder & Magick. We’ll also be giving away three $5.00 gift certificates for Ravenous on three random stops. You won’t know which ones until the tour is over, so visit as many as you can! And if you leave a comment on every stop in the RR Ornery Eleven BBT, you’re eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Ravenous Romance!

Thanks so much for stopping by and thank you, Wicked Thorn and Roses, for hosting us! Please visit Sia McKaye’s Thoughts On…for another question of the day and our featured author Neve Black!


Becky said...

I enjoyed reading the excerpt from Dark Desire of the Druids I: Murder & Magick. I love reading both contemporary and historical fiction. When I first started reading it was historical that I read first, now I enjoy reading both.

Isabel Roman said...

Thanks Wicked Thorn and Roses for having me! I love this blog. :)

Becky, I was the same way: the furst author I can remember reading by name is Kathleen Woodiwiss. Then I moved onto contemporaries, then back. When I started to write, I found myself gravitating more toward historicals. But it's all fun!

Carol L. said...

I enjoyed the excerpt Dark Desires of the Druids and enjoyed reading about everyone's favorite writing style. I myself love Historicals and anyhting to do with Scottish Highlanders. :)
Carol L.

Isabel Roman said...

Ooh, Highlanders...YUM! I fell in love with Scotland, specifically the highlands, at a young age when Highlander the movie came out. It's been an obsession ever since.

Spent 2 wonderful weeks there about 10 years ago with my best friend tooling about the countryside and getting lost. If you've never been, I can't stress this enough: GO! It's great fun and there are tons to see...just make sure you drive on the proper side of the road. But hey, they're really nice about it when you don't. Or when you make your own lane at a stop light and suddenly there's oncoming traffic. Or when you hit their gas pump. Or can't figure out how to get the *%#@ car into gear on a stick...:)

neve black said...

Good Morning!

What a wonderful, easy, to navigate and interesting blog site! Thank you.

Isabel, I enjoyed your excertp here. Very interesting.

I was chuckling over my coffee as I read your Q/A piece too:

"... For instance, if you want to create a believable society that engages in orgies, curses, outrageous decadence all out in the open, you need look no farther than the glory days of the Roman Empire...."

God, isn't that the truth!

Phoebe Jordan said...

Hey, Isabel I really enjoyed the excerpt. I got a copy of this book when it was up for free on FREE Book Friday on RR.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the excerpt. I look forward to reading this one. On the comments, my favorite genre to read is historical. I am reading more of others now, but historical remains my favorite.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful excerpt, Isabel.

Anonymous said...

What a great topic, Isabel!

I minored in history in college -- probably should've majored in it because I did better there than anywhere else! -- so I've always had a weak spot for history. Heck, I still read social histories for fun and self-improvement.

When I write erotic fantasy, I freely borrow bits and pieces from history and I don't have to worry too much about historical accuracy since I'm planting those elements in a "created" world. So what I shape is something of a pastiche -- a bit from the history, transplanted into my world and a whole lot of imagination.

Training Desire was built that way, as will the three novels that will follow it.

Other Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana Fredsti said...

Good morning, all! Slept in despite the best attempts of my sister's cats to get me up and it's so lovely to see things already rolling this morning

Coffee and then back....

Heh. and just left a comment signed in as my sister...I need that coffee!

David Fitzgerald said...

"hidden in those fire-blue eyes"
ooh, I love that line, Isabel! (My Dana has fire-blue eyes...)Nice excerpt - can't wait to see how he makes her forget... and I totally agree with you about the challenges and rewards of writing historical vs. contemporary.

A big part of the fun for me is researching, even for contemporary stories. I guess it's the history major in me. Hey, how many other history majors do we have, here anyway? I'm seeing a pattern...

Dana Fredsti said...

I have blue-green eyes, she said for accuracy's sake. :-) It DOES seem like we have a fair number of history majors roaming around our group, doesn't it?

I love reading historical novels - history was always one of my favorite subjects in school - and am looking forward to the challenge of writing one. The research is fun, but I tend to forget about the writing and get wrapped up in the reading!

Anonymous said...

Love historical fiction--either ancient or contemporary. Future history is loads of fun too, as well as alternate history--which is even more fun because you can invent the circumstances according to your desires: America as a monarchy, dragons, etc.LOL.
Jack C. Young

Anonymous said...

I like historicals as long as the facts match the period. I have read a few that were great and then lost me with the wrong language style, or with things that couldn't have been in that time or place. Thanks for the excerpt of your book, it is in my TBR mountain already.
Nancy G aka joshgranny

Dana Fredsti said...

Back from a walk on the Venice Beach boardwalk - gorgeous day in Southern California!

I think everyone is either at RT or enjoying the weekend... :-) I'm about to leave to go the cathouse - I hope to see more people here when I get back! It's nice to see some of the regulars already!

Stacey Smith said...

I love to read contemparay and historical than if its paranormal then that makes all the better to my taste.looks like murder and magick may be a good book i have to but it on my list of books to get some day.

Leigh M. Lane said...

Great excerpt, Isabel! Your series looks wonderful! What a great topic, too!

Savannah Chase said...

I have read this book and love it..I think it is so amazing..I think everyone should read it...

Isabel Roman said...

Sorry for not responding sooner, I had some slight issues with my A/C and since it's finally above 60 this weekend, needed to get that fixed. What a nightmare.

Yeah, I was a history major but then got my Library Science MLS. I wanted to go back for Military History but things didn't work out and now with writing, who's got the time? :)

I htink historical accuracy is very important. That said, and I admit to not finishing books because of gross innaccurcies with words despite the fact they were 'technically' in use, I don't go overboard. And my that I mean put paragraphs of detail into the story that most readers might not like and can be, ah...tedious.

Still, I do get lost in the research. It's so easy! And here we all know what a big geek I am. *G*

Savannah, thanks for the kudos!

Anonymous said...

Love the excerpt of "Murder and Magick" Isabel. Cannot wait to read the rest of it. I have a Minor in History.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Looks like everyone had a busy day. I was gone, writing two term papers for the end of term in my non-History major classes. :)

Dana Fredsti said...

And Mama Duck checking in at the end of the evening... In addition to the fun of Murder and Magick, the cover for it and the two sequels are some of my favorites of the RR books, especially the third. It's nice when the cover art reflects the quality of the book itself!

Babyblue22 said...

Hey Fellow Bloggers!!!
Stopping by to support the Ornery Eleven and see how the blog tour is doing.

Isabel!!Great excerpt from Murder and Magick! Sounds like Magick!!!


Anonymous said...

Isabel -- I'm so excited to know there's another history buff. What's your favourite period? If I hadn't become a medievalist, I might well have become a Victorianist, but I've come around to loving the Edwardians as well.

I'm a bit late as I was down in the city to see a play and lunch with a friend. Central Park was just PACKED with people (and so were the Metro trains, argh!) but I wanted to be sure to stop here before going on the next stop. I am just so impressed with the vast array of talents in RR. So many things that people bring to the table here!

And for the record, my eyes are smokeblue as Joyce would say ;-)

David, you are such a sucker for historical smut -- Yahoo!

Dana, even on vacation you check on your ducklings. What a mama!

Isabel Roman said...

I thought I posted the winner yesterday morning, but since it's not here, I blame the heat. Or something. :)

First, my favorite time period. It all depends. I love WWI because of the lack of attention paid to it and all the attention paid to WW2. I know, I know, but there you have it. I like unusual times, Charles II of England's reign, ANYTHING in Russia, I adore medieval, but the little things such as how they dyed cloth--the History Channel has this nifty show about the worst jobs in history where the host actually does them. YUCK! But it's fascinating!

Now then...the winner is...

BabyBlue! email me your snail mail address and I'll get your gifts out to you.

marsanderson said...

I'm a bit late, but I did enjoy reading this today :) I'm a huge fan of historical and fantasy fiction, but I'm getting more into contemporary for the light reading these days.

Thanks :)

Elle Amery said...

Hello! I know, I know, I'm significantly late crashing the party, but I was at the Romantic Times convention and had issues with my own prowess over my iPhone.

Simply wanted to say how much I appreciate Wicked Thorn and Roses for hosting our blog tour, and a special thanks to Isabel Roman (love, love, love the cover for Murder and Magick!) for the great excerpt.

Elle Amery

Keta Diablo said...

Hi Isabel,

You know I lurve your covers! They're on my blog, and oh, so sexy.

Our very own Isabel Roman has rocked the charts at Ravenous Romance lately, and no wonder, she's a stupendous writer!

Major kudos, Isabel.

And great job Wicked Thorns and Roses -- one of Keta's fave haunts.

Keta Diablo

Sierra Wolfe said...

Awww, thanks Keta! I'm glad you like our little corner. :)

Unknown said...

Excerpt was great!

Caffey said...

HI Isabel! Loved these Magicks books! This series rocks!

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