“Isn’t this just beautiful?” enthused a tiny, grey-haired woman at her side. “And those people in the period costumes seem so real. I feel like a fly on the wall.”
Caroline followed the woman’s gaze, and . . . there. He stood at the window where an apple-cheeked young woman reposed in the window seat. The woman wore a gown of blue velvet brocade and cloth of silver with a jewel-encrusted headdress set slightly back on her head in the French style.
He appeared in costly black, and, as her gaze traveled his body, she caught her breath at the length and shape of his legs. Long and muscular below black leather breeches, enclosed in black hose that revealed every line from thigh to boot top, muscles flexed with his shifting weight.
Her glance moved down to his leather boots and back up his torso only to stop suddenly at his codpiece, bejeweled and prominent. Her imagination ran rampant while she considered what lay nestled inside the circlet of leather. It would be long and thick and crowned with black curls. He would be lusty and virile, and women would swoon at the sight of his erect member.
Blood ran into her face and heat all the way to her scalp.
When the woman at her side pointed in his direction again, he caught the movement. Recognition flared in those whiskey-yellow eyes, followed quickly by leaping flame. He glanced down at his codpiece, then slowly allowed his gaze to roam her body until he met her eyes again. He acknowledged her with a secret smile and placed a hand on his hip, seemingly casually. But his fingers pointed toward the codpiece. He had acknowledged their mutual attraction and had given her an invitation.
You just read an excerpt from:
VELVET and TOPAZ
Buy Link: Freya Bower
Today, we're here with author, SHARON NOBLE
Linda Kage: Hi, Sharon. Why don't you tell us a little about you and what you write please.
Sharon:Well, I seem to have fallen into writing contemporary erotic romances, not because I have a preference for that genre. I read all kinds of romances, but when I get an idea, it always seems to be contemporary. I think I might try a time travel story just so I can mix contemporary with some historical period. The best of both. I write under my own name, but, if I ever decide to write period stories, I’d probably use a much more elegant name.
Kage: What happened to the first book you ever wrote?
Sharon:The first one I actually started writing was Passion’s Design, but I put it aside when I was hit in the head with the idea for Autumn Desire, a story about a woman who loses her husband to a sudden, unexpected heart attack and then finds herself attracted to his detested rival, the man she holds responsible for his death. So Passion’s Design went on the back burner for I don’t want to tell you have many years – until I took a fresh look at it and my brain picked up an interesting storyline and colorful secondary characters who move the plot forward in unexpected ways. It turned out to be a good seller. It was bought by the first publisher I sent it to.
Kage:What’s your backlist and coming soon bookshelf look like? (you don’t have to provide all the books you’ve ever published if there are too many, just the most recent)
Sharon:Ha, ha, I wish there were too many. I’ve written three manuscripts and have been fortunate enough to have sold all three – to three different publishers. The first, Autumn Desire, was published by The Wild Rose Press last summer. The second, Passion’s Design, was published by Pink Petal Books on January 10, and Velvet and Topaz was published by Freya’s Bower on January 18. That exhausts my supply. I guess I’ll have to get to work on a new one. I actually have an idea that hasn’t fleshed itself out yet. I’m waiting.
Kage: Which story are we going to talk about today?
Sharon: Velvet and Topaz. It’s published by Freya’s Bower, and it released in electronic format on January 18. It’ll be available in print at a later date; I haven’t been told exactly when. It’s a story that came into my head when I heard the first line: “It wasn’t his eyes that she noticed first . . .” I just took it from there. As it turns out, she’s very impressed with his codpiece – as any woman would be. It’s about a young woman whose husband divorces her on the brink of her 40th birthday, so he can marry his younger, pregnant girlfriend. To boost her spirits, her best friend takes her on a six-week vacation to England where they can visit all the sites of their favorite historical period, the 16th C Tudor England. Of course, she meets the personification of all her girlhood dreams in one of the castles. Hmmmmm, what to do, what to do?
VELVET AND TOPAZ
When Caroline Benning's husband of 18 years divorces her on the eve of her 40th birthday, she is devastated. To boost her spirits, best friend Marjory treats Caroline to a month-long trip to England where they can indulge their long-held passion for Tudor history. History comes alive when the friends visit Hampton Court Palace, mingling with costumed reenactors populating the palace and the grounds, and they are virtually transported to 16th Century England and the court of Henry VIII.
One man in particular, a dark, bearded cavalier in black leather and velvet moves Caroline to unexpected sexual longing - so much so that she returns alone the next day just to see him again. In a shadowed closet adjacent to one of the bedrooms, they make love unlike anything she has ever experienced.
Caroline is unable to explain her uncharacteristic behavior, and she determines to put the episode behind her and continue her vacation as if nothing had happened. But the memory of his topaz eyes haunts her dreams. Her life will never be the same.
Adam Carruthers is a high-powered attorney who enjoys reenacting Tudor history. When he sees a beautiful blond tourist, he can't resist her and soon finds himself in an unlikely, but very enjoyable, position.
Now, he can't forget her or their brief encounter. However, when she doesn't return to the court, he has no way to contact her... until a chance meeting at a protest rally. Unfortunately, they are on opposing sides.
Can their passion overcome their differences? Or will their beliefs keep them apart?
Kage: What would the story be rated if it were a movie?
Sharon: Ooooh, I think it would be rated a strong R. It involves explicit, anonymous sex with a stranger as a starting point and gets better with each sexual encounter. .
Kage: If you HAD to fit this story into a cliché, which one would it be?
Sharon:I don’t know. The main thrust (no pun intended) of the story is two people on opposite sides of a social issue that both believe in strongly. They each believe the other is trying to manipulate them without regard to ethical or moral behavior.
Kage:Okay, now that we have a general idea which class to fit VELVET AND TOPAZ under, what makes this book so unique from every other book out there?
Sharon: It’s drawn from several real-life experiences, although I’ve never experienced anonymous sex with a complete stranger. But it worked out well for Caroline, so maybe it’s not entirely a negative. Adam is unlike any hero I’ve ever read, except, perhaps for Boyd Mackenzie, the hero of Autumn Desire. They both have solid emotional and intellectual stability that enables the most disastrous events to have a positive solution.
Kage:What was the easiest part to write?
Sharon: Dialogue, because I just listened to the characters and wrote down what they said. Really. It’s the only way I know how to write. Second easiest is characters because I see them as they speak, so I can write the descriptions as I view them. Most difficult was the working-class dialect spoken by the tenants of the apartment building that Adam’s company is tearing down. Fortunately I have a close friend who’s from England, and he taught me the sounds of the working-class accent. I’m a seat of the pants writer because I’m completely unable to devise a plotline or characters until the exact moment they’re needed. Basic ineptitude, I guess.
Kage:What do you like most about the main character(s) and what do you like least? Did you learn anything from them?
Sharon: Caroline and I share a love of animals. She rescues unwanted or abused dogs, and my family does the same. She has three dogs that she adores. We have five. Caroline is a hard worker (ESL teacher) with a strong sense of social justice; she always tries to help the underdog, and she’s willing to go the extra yard to make life better for those who can’t help themselves. She’s a member of Greenpeace, PETA, and her local ASPCA. I like that. What I like most about Adam is his ability to look at a problem from different perspectives and to attempt to solve a problem that is seemingly without a solution. He also has a great sense of humor. And he has two English bulldogs that he adores. I like that.
Kage: Sharon, Thank you so much for stopping by today and gracing us with your presence. Before we go, is there anything else you’d like to say to wrap things up?
Sharon: Yes. This book almost wrote itself. Ideas seemed to come tumbling out of my brain faster than I could write them down. I had most of the information I needed because my older daughter and I made two trips to England to indulge our passion – Tudor England, of course. All the places that Caroline and Marjory visit, my daughter and I visited, twice, so I hands-on experience from which to draw my story. The food, the scenery, the castles, the people, the weather, the historical sites were all experienced first by me before Caroline and Marjory ever boarded their plane.
If you're still curious about Sharon, here are other places to find her on the web:
Facebook: Sharon Noble