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!
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.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.