Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Donna MacMeans and Sexy Historicals
Thank you, Terra, for inviting me today. I thought as the temperatures outside are heating up, we could chat about another hot topic – SEX. I’m not talking erotica (although those will get you waving a hanky or two) but rather the new sexy historicals.
I think as a society we’ve become more accepting of portrayal of intimacy in romance, both in contemporaries and historicals. Consequently, the new historicals novels have sizzling sex scenes like never before.
My latest Victorian Novel, The Seduction of a Duke (Berkley, April 2009), is no exception. (This, by the way, is the sequel to my earlier Victorian striptease titled The Education of Mrs. Brimley.) It’s an arranged marriage story loosely based on the story of Consuelo Vanderbilt who was forced to marry the Duke of Marlborough. Unlike that real-life event, my story has a happy ending. Adding a sexy twist to that story, I have the new groom suspecting his wife is already pregnant with another man’s child. He can’t ask her as she has motive to lie. Therefore he decides to avoid consummation of their marriage until he knows for sure. On the other hand, my virginal heroine has a motive to become pregnant as soon as possible. So she is trying every trick she can find to seduce her new husband. The push-pull keeps the tension high.
Check out that striped corset on the cover. The artist’s depiction is of a real British corset from the 1880s that I used in my novel. Here’s a sample of its use in the book. The newly married couple are enroute to England. He has been sea sick and she’s been nursing him:
A soft rustle of fabric and accompanying movement pulled his gaze to the aisle between the berths.
His breath caught. An expanse of smooth bare skin, broken only by wispy tendrils of dark hair, expanded above the most provocative corset he had ever had privilege to witness, and he had witnessed a great many in his time. Medium and dark stripes cleverly curved and molded the wearer into a tantalizing hourglass shape, while black lacing down the back teased the eye as it crisscrossed through a medium stripe. She stood so close, his hand was tempted to reach and tug loose the cleverly tied knots. But he didn’t, believing this to be a dream, or a figment of his earlier delirium.
Yet she seemed so real in this pale unearthly light. He clenched his jaw. This must be what happens when a man is so long without a woman. He can vividly recall an angel at will, one who encompasses the best of all mortal women he’d known. Either that, or someone had blessed him with a highly paid strumpet, one who understood the tantalizing play of color and form.
His eyes followed the captivating trail of the lacings to silk encased buttocks. As if by his very thought, his dream mistress bent forward to retrieve something from the floor, the motion pushing her backside even closer for his observation. Lord, his mouth and throat dried to dust. His fingers twitched to feel the firm mounds presented so. But he didn’t for fear that one touch would cause his vision to disappear and return to the dream world from which she came. His bed sheet slid down his chest, the result of his rising erection.
She stood, a printed cotton garment with a design of tiny circular wheels in her hand. She placed it on the opposite mattress where more of the fabric lay. His brain whirled much like the tiny wheels, where had he seen that pattern before?
Her shoulder blades drew back, her elbows lifted at angles to her side, he knew she was unfastening the front of that amazing corset, and he prayed she’d turn around. He ardently wished it so, hoping that as before, she would act upon his thought command. Instead, she spread the unfastened garment wide across her back, like an erotic fan employed in the finest pleasure houses. She released one side of the corset and pulled it to the front of her, leaving a thin creased chemise in its wake. Just as he was enjoying the artistry of her disrobing, the memory of the pattern clicked with shocking reality.
I’d include more but I want to tell you about another book and I fear my space is limited. I recently had the honor to participate in a project with nine other authors to produce an anthology called Tails of Love. All the stories in the anthology celebrate a love of animals and the wonderful, curious ways they take part in our lives. All the author proceeds from the anthology will go to the Animal Adoption Foundation in support of a no-kill animal shelter in Ohio. While most of the stories are contemporary (except mine which involves one of the school girls from The Education of Mrs. Brimley), there’s a wonderful variety of stories – some are sweet, some will make you cry, some have a touch of the paranormal to them. The participating authors are: Lori Foster, Stella Cameron, Kate Angell, Dianne Castell, Ann Christopher, Marcia James, Donna MacMeans, Sarah McCarty, Patricia Sargeant, and Sue-Ellen Welfonder. Here’s a photo of everyone except Stella and Sarah. I’m the one with her mouth open ( surprise, surprise J)
I’m giving away a copy of Tails of Love to one lucky commenter, but if you don’t win a copy – please consider buying one. It’s a great way to assist a worthy cause.
So tell me, do you like the new sexy historicals? What period? Tell me your favorites. How about animals in stories? Any favorites there? Come chat with me. I have a signed copy of The Seduction of a Duke and Tails of Love here to send to two commenters. And don't forget your email addy with your comment!!