Tag: Carrie Lofty

Guest Author Carrie Lofty Talks Women’s War Fashions (+Giveaway)

Posted September 18, 2012 by Rowena in Giveaways, Promotions | 2 Comments


Book Binge: Please join us in welcoming Carrie Lofty to the blog today. She’ll be discussing women’s war fashions and giving away one of her books, so read on for more information…
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Women’s War Fashions
By Carrie Lofty

I like a good, dry, informative WWII text as much as the next history-lovin’ nerd, but I’m also crazy mad for the fashions of the era.

Although movie stars such as the amazingly gorgeous Lauren Bacall epitomized high style, they were rarities. Fashion magazines instructed readers on how to transform their husbands’ disused suits into military-inspired women’s clothes. The production of dyes and cloth were restricted to only those needed by the military, which meant in the face of adversity, fashion adapted.

Look at this group of women who worked at an aluminum factory in Canada. Most of the colors are simple: gray, blue, black, white—and that’s not because it’s a black and white photograph! Even the names of the dyes were given patriotic names such as “victory gold” and, ta-dah!, “navy blue.” The uniformity of their appearance reflects just how many sacrifices had already been made to the notions of propriety and conservation. No skirts too long. No garment too full and “wasteful” of materials.

But, well, a girl needed her pearls! (They were probably fiercely guarded heirlooms!)

Even USO performers had to make do. Women who traveled the USO circuit were given a ration of sequins and glue. The gowns they wore were gorgeous from a distance—probably the most ostentatious clothing anyone in the audience had seen for some time—but up close, even this Rita Hayworth gown might be patched together as many times as a kid’s breeches.

Accessories were even less important than clothing, but women are ingenious creatures. This adorable little item is owned by my friend, Molly Maka, who’s also a romance writer and WWII re-enactor. Most people think it’s a lunch box. But no, it’s a vintage purse made of scrap aluminum. Just think about it as the ultimate in recycling. (We were on a war era B-17 bomber when I took this picture. Extra vintage!)

Then there’s the symbolic accessory of the era: the nylons. I couldn’t escape a romance set in WWII without mentioning nylons! Here the heroine of HIS VERY OWN GIRL, a British civilian pilot named Lulu Davies, is getting ready to head out dancing with her beau, Joe Weber, an American medic paratrooper. She needs his help with a finishing touch…

“Unfortunately,” she said, “this doesn’t solve the dilemma of my stockings.”

From there on the floor Joe had the best view of her legs—swear to God, eight feet long. “You don’t need them. You’ve got great gams.”

“Thank you again,” she said, almost blushing this time. “But you could help me, you know.”

“With what?”

She pulled a tiny stub of kohl pencil from her toiletries bag. “Use this to draw on the seams, like seams on a stocking—well, as close as we can get these days. I can’t draw them straight by myself.”

The erotic and the surreal mashed together. “You want me to draw on your legs?”

“It’s not art. Just two straight lines. Not so challenging if you can keep your hands steady. You can manage that, can’t you, Doc Web?”

“I don’t know.”

“At least you’re honest,” she said with a giggle. “Give it a go. Worst case, I’ll have to wash up again, but I’ll make you help.”

“That’s no incentive.”

“You’re right. Well, then, don’t waste my kohl. This is the last pencil I own. Even if I were rich as Croesus, I doubt I’d be able to replace it.” She arched one of those decadent eyebrows. “You game?”

“Give it to me.”

So in all my research, I think our impressions of wartime fashion have become dramatically influenced by the movies of the era. Not every woman could pull off military-inspired pantsuits and peek-a-book hairdos. Not every woman had the resources. What they did have was ingenuity, a collective spirit of making the best of a bad situation, and a little good old fashioned vanity. They’d look good, darn it! After all, the boys in blue would be coming home any day, and a dame wanted to look her best!

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Summer has been a blast! Available now from Pocket Books are three Christ Family [http://carrielofty.com/Books.html] romances. FLAWLESS kicked it off with a tale of an estranged couple’s search for love. The 99¢ tie-in novella, “A LITTLE MORE SCANDAL” follows two aspiring lovers to London. And the Scottish-set second novel, STARLIGHT, was an RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick. “Richly nuanced characters and a superbly realized Victorian setting come together brilliantly.” ~ The Chicago Tribune

I’ve also launched a co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter [http://www.katieporterbooks.com], with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. Our “Vegas Top Guns” series of contemporary erotic romances launched from Samhain with DOUBLE DOWN and INSIDE BET, both of which were RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Picks: “This racy, raunchy, hella good read…will move Fifty Shades of Grey to the children’s section of the bookstore.”

Where to find me:

http://www.carrielofty.com
Twitter: @carrielofty

GIVEAWAY ALERT: I’d like to give away a digital copy of HIS VERY OWN GIRL in any format. Just answer: Which fashion icon from the 30s, 40s, or 50s, is your favorite?

Thanks again to Book Binge for featuring His Very Own Girl!
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Thanks to Carrie Lofty for joining us here on Book Binge today and for her gracious giveaway. Make sure to get those comments in and good luck! We’ll run the giveaway for a week and announce the winners shortly after, please don’t forget to include a valid email address with your comment.

-Rowena & Holly

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Review: Starlight by Carrie Lofty

Posted July 25, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Holly‘s review of Starlight (The Chrisities, Book 2) by Carrie Lofty

An esteemed astronomer, Alex Christie, the eldest and most steadfast of the Christie siblings, has never possessed his late father’s ruthless business drive. But to protect his frail infant son from his cruel father-in-law’s bid for custody, the young widower must undertake Sir William Christie’s posthumous million-dollar challenge: to make a Glasgow cotton mill profitable. At sea in an industrial world of sabotage and union agitation, Alex meets Polly Gowan, daughter of a famed union leader, who hopes to seize a mysterious saboteur without involving the police.

Because a sympathetic mill master would aid her cause, Polly becomes Alex’s guide to urban Scotland. From soccer games to pub brawls, Alex sees another side of life, and feels free for the first time to reveal the man–vital and strong–behind his intellectual exterior. Polly is utterly seduced. Their ambitions, however, remain at odds: Alex vows to earn the mill bonus to save his child, while Polly fights for the needs of her people. Is there strength enough in their sparkling passion to bind them together in their quests– and in a lasting love that conquers all?

Fans of North and South should enjoy this, for that’s what this reminded me of. Union supporter heroine meets master of the mill..sparks fly, passions are roused, hijinx ensue…

This isn’t a carbon copy of that story, but its close enough. My one issues with North and South is Margaret, the heroine. She’s stubborn and intractable, but she’s also somewhat cold and reserved. I never warmed up to her. That wasn’t the case with Polly McGowan. She’s full of fire. She had an indomitable spirit, but also a great deal of compassion and no small amount of cheek.

Alex was such a contrast. Loving father, activist, savior, astronomer and angry, aggressive male. Like Polly, just when I thought I had a handle on him he’d show another side, and I’d be adrift.

That Alex was the mill owner and Polly a girl who worked for him wasn’t the biggest conflict. She was also the defacto leader of the local union and he a master who had obligations to his infant son. He needed the money he’d inherit if he turned a profit within two years. I could almost have hated him for putting those needs ahead of the well-being of his employees, but his reasons were sound and engaged my sympathy.

Lofty is a master at writing strong, multifaceted characters that straddle the line. Polly was no one’s victim, and Alex wasn’t easily pigeon-holed.While I enjoyed both characters immensely, they aren’t perfect. Both had trouble communicating. That Alex kept such a large secret from Polly was nearly unforgivable..except Polly had secrets of her own. Nothing about them was easy, but they fit together perfectly.

Though they’re flawed, I was drawn to both characters and sucked into their battle of wills. Lofty’s writing is beautiful and evokes such vivid images, I was fully immersed.

4.25 out of 5

The series:

This book is available from Pocket Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Want a chance to win Starlight? Check out Carrie Lofty’s guest post!

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Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): Carrie Lofty – Cut Scene!

Posted July 23, 2012 by Holly in Giveaways | 24 Comments

Cut Scene!
By Carrie Lofty

Sometimes, a nice scene just needs to go. It can’t be helped! A story only needs so many trees or pixels in order to be told properly. The hardest scenes to cut are nice ones. What follows is a scene cut from STARLIGHT, when Alex walks Polly home from a bar brawl (another cut scene!). This was just…nice. Well worded. Decent banter. Yet it lacks that indefinable quality that a steamy, zingy, exciting, essential scene has in spades.

However, being both a reader and an author, I love to read cut scenes (and watch them in movies). Sometimes I agree—yeah, cut that baby! Other times, well… Ask me about Terminator II if you’re interested…

In the meantime here’s a near-miss between Polly and Alex. I hope you enjoy a little peek into my artistic decision making process!

“I want you to kiss me properly.”
Alex bit his back teeth together. He couldn’t look away—like a man hypnotized. “And what exactly would you define as kissing properly?”
“With passion and a little bit of fear.” Her big, dark eyes were weapons, able to strip him of decency. With very hitched breath, her breasts rose and fell. “I want you to kiss me like every force in the world is urging you to back me against this wall and claim me as your woman.”
“That’s barbaric,” he said, even as her words shot a jolt of heat to his groin. It would be so easy. “It’s crude.”
“It’s what we both want. Admit it”
“How is it you’re even saying this to me? What sort of family do you come from?”
She reared back as if he’d struck her across the cheek. “One you need. Don’t you forget it.”
“What about your virtue?”
With an expression Alex was quickly coming to dislike, she raised her eyebrows and offered a mocking chuckle. “Look around you! Tell me where the fun begins. We drink and we dance. We play rough games. And yes, if I were a Catholic girl I’d have made confession. Because there isn’t much else to be had.” She looked him up and down in a way that made him feel like the one who’d sinned. “I thought maybe… But maybe I was wrong.”
Alex’s brain was a poached egg. And his body—his body simply craved. “It’s late, Miss Gowan.”
“That it is, master.”
“Just… Hell, woman. Stop it.”
She looked up at him as if they weren’t quarreling. “That’s the first I’ve heard you curse.”
“You haven’t been in my mind for the last five minutes.”
“No, but I think I might’ve liked it.”
“Why do you say that?”
With an aching slowness, she reached up to touch his cheek. The tips of her fingers caught on his late evening stubble. “Because I’d like to know what you really think. Beneath all these layers. Mostly I want to know what you think of me. You make it impossible to tell.”
“I want to know why you think we could do what you suggested.”
“Well, you’re not about me to marry you. Not the esteemed master Christie!” She grinned as if sharing a fantastic jest—just before she stroked down his lapels. Alex banked a hard shudder as he imagined her hands on his bare chest. “It would be a wonderful diversion. A few weeks to look back on with a private smile.”
“There are risks.”
“Risks that can be avoided with discretion and a little planning.”
Alex looked up to the sky, disgusted that he was even contemplating such an arrangement. He could make it good for her, make sure she and her family were cared for. And where was the harm? She was willing. He was widowed. Men had taken mistresses for centuries without so much as a moral twitch.
He respected Polly Gowan. And he desired her to the point of throwing away his principles. Those two conflicts cleaved his skull as if splitting down the middle with an ax.
Alex ran a thumb along her jaw, then tucked that same auburn strand behind her ear. The temptation of sinking his fingers deeper into the heavy mass of her hair burned with the power of a star’s nova.
“I won’t do this.”
She smiled softly, almost sadly. “I don’t understand you, but I’ve never taken you for a coward.”
Alex tensed. Let her go. Stepped back. “Not a coward, Miss Gowan. A gentleman.”
“Too bad,” she whispered. “There’s hardly any call for gentlemen in Calton.”


What’s next for me: 

Now that RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick STARLIGHT has hit the shelves, I’ll be looking forward to the release of HIS VERY OWN GIRL, a historical romance set in World War II. It’s not women’s fiction. It’s not literary fiction. It’s a genuine romance, complete with sexy times and a happy ending. Look for it September 4th as a Pocket Star digital original novel. I cannot wait to see how readers respond! 

I’ll also be launching a new co-written pseudonym, Katie Porter, with my long-time friend and critique partner, Lorelie Brown. Our “Vegas Top Guns” series of contemporary erotic romances will debut from Samhain on July 31 with the release of DOUBLE DOWN, which is also a RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Pick. Two more from the series, INSIDE BET and HOLD ‘EM, will follow in August and September. You can learn more about these and future books at our website.

Where to find me:

http://www.carrielofty.com
Twitter: @carrielofty

I’d like to give away a copy of STARLIGHT, and I’ll ship anywhere. Just answer this: Cut scenes…love them or don’t need them? Why?

Thanks again to Book Binge for having me!

This book is available from Pocket Books. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Author Carrie Lofty Talks about Movies and Kisses! (+Giveaway)

Posted June 1, 2012 by Rowena in Promotions | 21 Comments


Please join us today in welcoming Carrie Lofty to Book Binge. Carrie has written some pretty fantastic Victorian romances that you should have already read but if you haven’t, why the heck not? Today she’s here to talk about those one kiss movies that we all know and love.

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One-Kiss Movies
By Carrie Lofty

First off, thanks to Book Binge for letting me stop by! I’m excited to talk about “A Little More Scandal.” At just $.99… Take a chance! This is an adorable intro to my Christies series of Victorian romances.

It’s one of Pocket’s first original digital releases. You can read more about those fabulous new originals here [http://pages.simonandschuster.com/pocketstar/a-little-more-scandal], including an extended excerpt of “A Little More Scandal.”

But there. Aside from the blurb, that’s my sales pitch.

As romance readers, we’re pretty used to kissing and much, much more physical contact being part of the journey toward a happy ending—inspiration romances aside, of course. But so many romantic comedies feature only one kiss. The finale kiss. The kiss that says everything will be just fine for the rest of forever, even if we never see them gasp and scream. (Although sometimes? Damn I wish we could see that!)

So here they are. My top ten one-kiss movies, in no particular order.

Pride & Prejudice: Either version! Darcy and Lizzie are the quintessential romance couple, complete with meddling families and the snappiest of banter. Whether Firth/Ehle or Macfadyen/Knightley, the romantic tension is so fabulous that the kiss is like being able to breathe again.

Return to Me: OK, yes, it has a tremendously sad beginning. That only makes the kiss and the sweet, swoon-worthy embrace between David Duchovny and Minnie Driver all the more beautiful. In Italy. Perfection!

Love Actually: Tons of characters, tons of fabulous storylines, but I always watch in anticipation of Jamie’s awkward, adorable proposal to Aurelia. That Jamie is Colin Firth never hurts.

Leap Year: Don’t tease. It’s a formulaic, often painfully ridiculous movie, but I adore Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. They were too good for the script, but that doesn’t mean I don’t savor their kiss on the Irish coast.

North & South: Technically it’s a miniseries, but if you hold that against me, we can’t be BFFs. Richard Armitage, people!! Amazing how, after four hours, something as simple as an undone cravat is enough to leave me breathless.

10 Things I Hate About You: Julia Styles plays vulnerable, bitchy, and brainy to perfection, and Heath Ledger (RIP) is the epitome of youthful charm. They were perfect together. Oh wait! Drat! They kiss after the paintball scene. But too late now—I’m not taking it off the list.

The Cutting Edge: Oh, I could write a thesis on this movie’s perfection. Moira Kelly and DB Sweeney have never had more memorable, more adorable roles. Knowing Olympic skating, they probably didn’t win the gold medal anyway, but who cares? Kissing! On the ice!

While You Were Sleeping: Sandra Bullock at her cutest, Bill Pullman with his rough-edged sincerity, and one of the best ensemble family casts ever. Who knew kissing in a CTA toll booth could be so melty-happy?

Clueless: The modernization of Austen’s Emma features quick-fire banter, a young Paul Rudd, and dated references to designer clothes. I suddenly realized I’m probably dating myself with these choices.

The Decoy Bride: Ha! I won’t date myself! This is a 2011 independent romantic comedy featuring David Tennant (of “Doctor Who” fame) and Kelly Macdonald (of Trainspotting and “Boardwalk Empire”). There’s lots of adorable Scottishness. And a near-drowning. And an author whose fiancé is certainly not the girl for him. I highly recommend it as the best “one kiss” movie of the last year.

I really encourage you to add your own, because I’m such a huge fan. I can never get enough of the promise that a single lovely, perfect, long-awaited kiss will seal the romantic deal forever.

Next up for Carrie:

STARLIGHT is the second full-length romance in the Christies series, set in Victorian Glasgow. It was just given 4 ½ stars and chosen as a Top Pick from RT BookReviews. It’ll be released in paperback and digitally on June 26 from Pocket.
HIS VERY OWN GIRL is a historical romance set in WWII England. Seriously. Not women’s fiction. Not literary fiction. A full-on honest to goodness historical romance. Another Pocket Star digital original, it’ll be available September 4.

Carrie on the internet:
http://www.carrielofty.com
Twitter: @carrielofty
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarrieLofty

GIVEAWAY ALERT: Carrie Lofty has graciously offered to give away a copy of FLAWLESS [http://www.carrielofty.com/Flawless.html], the first of the Christies series from Pocket. To be entered to win, leave a comment letting us know what your favorite movie kiss is.

Good luck!


Thanks so much to Carrie Lofty for stopping by today, it’s been such a pleasure. The giveaway is opened to everyone so have at it in the comments! And just so you know, Leap Year was great because of Matthew Goode and Amy Adams! 😉

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Excerpt: Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty

Posted June 7, 2010 by Holly in Promotions | 1 Comment

Check out an excerpt from Carrie Lofty‘s upcoming release, Song of Seduction, available tomorrow, June 7, 2010 from Carina Press.

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Set-up: In this scene Mathilda Heidel is arguing with her music tutor and soon-to-be-lover, Arie de Voss, about why she hides her musical talent…and why she believes her first marriage was a sham.

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“Yet the choice to become a musician, a composer–that was yours. You feel no obligation toward civility or propriety. You simply cater to your muse and the rest of the world be damned.” Mathilda’s shouted words scattered across the studio. “The Kapellmeister told you about my parents. I married Jürgen to let them rest in peace, so that I could live without being judged by their mistakes.”
“They fell in love.” From Arie’s mouth, with his delectable accent, the possibility seemed effortless.
“No, they were impetuous and selfish.” She fought to deny the ease with which she might succumb to his eyes. Despite his accusations–accusations she had only ever heard within the confines of her mind–Arie remained watchful and attentive. She suspected he would take her into his arms without question or recrimination. If she relented.
But she could not.
“For as long as I can remember,” she said, “the specter of my parents’ marriage and their demise clung to me. I was that girl. The talk died down with time, especially when I insisted on proving how calm and reliable I am–or was. I would not be like them.”
She paused. A rush of recollections, coupled with the heady scent of Arie standing close enough to touch, threatened to engulf her. “When I discovered my skill for the violin,” she said, “I was twelve years old. I refused to touch the thing for years. I wouldn’t become a spectacle.”
“But you played again. After attending my concert.”
“Yes, for about a year,” she said. “Frau Seitz encouraged me. But after her death, I pushed everything away. I had no champion, no one to fend off the criticism and society’s long memories.”
“And thus you made your reputation as a fine, upstanding woman by marriage with a fine, upstanding doctor.” He took her by the shoulders.
“Let go of me.”
“And you will run again?” Arie smiled coldly, as if reading her as easily as the sheaves of his compositions. “No, not this time. You cannot leave again. We are drawn together.”
“To your music. Not you.”
“Am I a channel? A vessel for God?”
“You might as well be. You’re nothing like your compositions!”
“No?”
“You’re heartless, intentionally misunderstanding everything I say.”
“Heartless? I say I love you, but you ran from here.” His fingers tightened into the flesh of her arms.
“You’re hurting me!”
He brought his face lower, his questions and nearness becoming a rapid assault against good judgment. “You want rather that I give in to you? Expect nothing of you? Maybe that was your husband, but not me.”
As Arie slashed and ripped the cloak of her defenses, panic climbed into her throat. “You would speak so callously of the dead?”
“I did not know the man. I owe him nothing.” He shoved her shoulders, stepping away with a look of disgust. “You knew him. You were the one who married him. You–his wife–“
“I know!”
Her screech cleaved the room. She shrank to the floor, her heart punching her ribs. She pushed hard palms against her eyes, gouging her scalp with clenched fingers. Truth and shame and spite pressed back, forcing her words. But she would not look at Arie.
“I was a fraud! I didn’t know you, but I thought of you constantly. Fantasies. Fictions. And when I dreamed…when I dreamed, I heard your music.”

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Song of Seduction is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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