Today, Literary Escapism is excited to welcome Carrie Lofty, author of Song of Seduction, to the floor.
Eight years ago, composer Arie De Voss claimed his late mentor’s final symphony as his own and became an icon. But fame has a price: fear of discovery now poisons his attempts to compose a redemptive masterpiece. Until a new muse appears, intoxicating and inspiring him…
Mathilda Heidel renounced her own musical gift to marry, seeking a quiet life to escape the shame surrounding her birth. Sudden widowhood finds her tempted by song once more. An unexpected introduction to her idol, Arie De Voss, renews Mathilda’s passion for the violin–and ignites a passion for the man himself.
But when lust and lies reach a crescendo, Arie will be forced to choose: love or truth?
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of Song of Seduction to a lucky individual.
I remember reading a historical romance when I was in high school that featured Benjamin Franklin as a character, but I can think of few recent examples of historical characters popping up in romances. Often they’re mentioned–from Wellington and Napoleon to Queen Victoria herself.
When writing Song of Seduction, I quickly realized that I was either going to have to incorporate historical characters or insert “based upon” placeholders. The world of Salzburg in 1804 was a very tightly-nit community, especially with regard to its music scene. I decided to draw from the history and work it into my romance, adding a little more historical depth.
I did not, however, intend to add five such historical figures!
The most prominent is Johann Michael Haydn (1737-1806) who served as Salzburg’s Kapellmeister for almost forty-four years. He produced over 360 compositions during his lifetime, and in Song of Seduction, he serves as a kindly mentor and friend to the hero, Arie de Voss. While sage and generally light-hearted, I imagined Haydn would have a slight dark side because of the brutal treatment he suffered at the hand’s of Napoleon’s troops when they entered Salzburg in 1803. That grudge might have been hard to overcome.
One of the most influential “real life” characters I incorporated into Song of Seduction was Regina Strinasacchi Schlick, who lived from 1761-1829. She was a renowned violin and guitar virtuoso, and one of the first noted female soloists. Her musical accomplishments at the time helped make my heroine, Mathilda Heidel, who she is. I wanted to know that a musical career was possible for a woman–which it absolutely was, despite the rarity of such examples.
Along with a Salzburg pianist named Joseph Wölfl and Grand Duke Ferdinand III, who led Salzburg during the year when Song of Seduction was set, I also included my dear, surly, cantankerous Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827).
Although my hero Arie De Voss is fictional, his musical achievements were based on Beethoven’s innovations. Through his compositions, Beethoven became an object of radical speculation during his lifetime. One of the first composers to work freelance, as opposed to earning a living through a permanent position, his music bridged the structured, regular musical patterns of the Classical Era and the deeply emotional, experimental forms of the Romantic Era.
And he has a great couple of lines in the final scene! He was a blast to write.
What do you think of historical characters in romance? Are they an unwanted distraction from the romantic fantasy? A clever bit of added historical depth? And please, please enlighten me with examples, if you have them. I’d love to check them out!
Thank you Carrie for taking the time to visit Literary Escapism!
Contest Time! Carrie has graciously offered to give away a copy of Song of Seduction to a lucky winner. All you have to do is answer her question: What do you think of historical characters in romance? Are they an unwanted distraction from the romantic fantasy?
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
- +10 Purchase any of Carrie’s novels – What a Scoundrel Wants or Scoundrel’s Kiss – or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or through the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.
There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until June 15th, at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer and the List Randomizer.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.
I don’t read a lot of historical romance but I enjoy Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s St Germain series which is a historical vampire series. I enjoy the history and historical characters. I find that they add to the story rather than distracting from it
For me, it totally depends on the story as to whether the historical figures are a distraction or not. Every now and then it’ll throw me out of the story, but more often I end up thinking, ‘oh hey, that’s cool’.
Thanks for your feedback, ladies, and for stopping by today! I appreciate the opportunity to chat about SONG OF SEDUCTION.
All my best,
I love having historical figures pop up in fiction if they are ancillary characters. Done right, having historical figures embedded in a story is like finding the perfect bracelet to accent a new outfit. The bracelet isn’t necessary, but it enhances the overall look (with two kids my days of accessorizing clothing are done, but I can still appreciate the clever inclusion of historical figures on the written page).
i can’t see where they’d be a distraction for me….the few i’ve read didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story. this sounds like a great story!
k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com
it depends upon how familiar with the period I am. I’m a medievalist by training, so early 19th century Austria is *pretty* (totally) unfamiliar to me, and historical figures probably wouldn’t be a distraction. (actually, musicians would be fun!) But I’m constantly distracted by appearances of historical figures in medieval historical fiction. I can’t think of any specific examples right now, but having a deus ex machina with a medieval king always frustrates me. It’s probably why I don’t read much medieval fiction….
Also, this book looks fantastic! I love stories revolving around music. Describing music in the written word is such a challenge!
I love historical charactrers in my books- I’m a fan of history so I think it adds just a hint of a taste of realism to it and I enjoy it. Like a swirl of caramel in my chocolate icecream. : P