We’d like to welcome to UTC once again, Carrie Lofty.  With the release of STARLIGHT just a few days away, this is actually the first time we got to ask her some questions and here’s what we got out of her!

For someone who hasn’t read your Christies series, how would you describe it?

Sir William Christie, ruthless tycoon and notorious ladies’ man, is dead. Now his four grown children have gathered for the reading of his will. What lies in store for half-siblings Vivienne, Alexander, and twins Gareth and Gwyneth? Stunning challenges that will test their fortitude across a royal empire…and lead them to the marvelously passionate adventures of their lives. FLAWLESS, the story of an estranged husband and wife learning to love each other for the first time, was released in September 2011. A tie-in novella called A Little More Scandal came out just last month, where I take a look even father back in time to see tough, gruff William Christie fall in love. It’s available now from Pocket in all digital formats.

STARLIGHT is about the eldest Christie, Alex. What can we expect from his book?

First off is a new setting for me: Scotland. I finally made it north of the border! Readers can expect a passionate affair that catches both lovers by surprise, and a conflict between them that seems to have no resolution. Alex is determined to save his son at any cost, while Polly, the head of a weavers union, works tirelessly for an entire community. I loved working with that dynamic, as to which holds greater value. Compromise, trust, being able to see the other side of an issue–these are themes that weave through their romance and define who they are, both as people and as loving partners.

You write post-apocalyptic stories under a different pen name with Ann Aguirre. How do you get in the right mood to write each genre?

Sometimes it was simply a matter of deadlines! For example, I co-wrote MIDNIGHT, the second of our Ellen Connor “Dark Age Dawning” books, at the same time I was writing my Napoleonic historical, PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION. I would literally finish a chapter on one, take a break, then finish a chapter on the other. The brain…it spins! To get in the mood, however, I always use music. I have a playlist for each of my books. Some I choose ahead of time, but most spring up organically from music I’m listening to at the time. For example, with MIDNIGHT the playlist consisted of dark, atmospheric music by performers such as Abney Park, St. Vincent, Jon Crosby, and the Cocteau Twins. PORTRAIT OF SEDUCTION was much more adult contemporary, with OneRepublic, David Cook, Bat for Lashes, and Dido as key artists. Switching from one to the other was vital!

If you could travel back in time, what would be your ideal time to visit and why?

I grew up fascinated by the Old West and eventually wrote my master’s thesis on gunfighter legends, so that’s the first to jump out of my head. Recently, though, I’ve become much more interested in the Georgian period. I haven’t set a book there yet, but I have an image in my head of the movie Amadeus. Decadence. Wealth. Few rules. It seems like Rome before the fall, with cataclysmic events such as the French Revolution right around the corner. So…I’d visit and play for a while, but scamper back home before the peasants dragged out the guillotines!

Were there any particular writers that influenced your craft or your desire to be a writer?

I grew up reading literary fiction as well as romance, which gave me an appreciation for poetic language. We derogatorily call it purple prose when too much of it is used in romance, yet I love playing with words. Romance authors such as Penelope Williamson, Megan Chance, Patricia Gaffney, and especially Candice Proctor are among my favorites because of their rich characters, immersive settings, and gorgeous use of language.

Can you give us a peek into the day of a writer? Do you write every day? If so, for how long?

I can give you an idea of the variety of tasks I accomplish, but again, what I do always depends on putting out fires. Promotion, contracts, proofing, answering emails, website updates, conducting workshops, social networking–they’re all essential to an author’s career. That said, I feel cheated if a day passes where I haven’t written new words! One a solid writing day, I average 18-20 pages, and I’ll managed three to four such days each week. The writing is the reward!

Out of your own characters, do you have a favorite hero/heroine?

I once heard Nora Roberts reply that the favorite of her books is always the most recent one. I love that, and it’s completely true for me. When I think back to what compelled me to write previous romances, sometimes I’m not able to remember that spark, that obsession. As such, the characters don’t resonate as well for me as more recent ones do. That said, Polly will remain one of my favorite heroines for many years. She’s the least pretentious, happiest, most resilient young woman, despite growing up under tough circumstances. And I’ll always have a soft spot for Miles, the lovable bad boy rogue in FLAWLESS. Who can resist an aristocrat wielding a whip?

What’s next for Carrie Lofty?

After STARLIGHT hits 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 launch from Samhain on July 31 with the release of DOUBLE DOWN. 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 [http://katieporterbooks.com].

Thanks again for having me!

Where to find me:
Twitter: @carrielofty


“Now, then, Mr. Christie, you seemed ready to act as judge and jury. Shall I fetch an ax and reveal my neck?”
He blinked so hard it was nearly a flinch. “Excuse me?”
“You might as well be my executioner, too.”
And, good Lord, he could be. A quick glance down revealed hands bunched into fists like mallet heads. He wore that beautiful white shirt and finely tailored woolen trousers, yet the simmering anger that pulsed from his robust body was anything but elegant. More like . . . brutal. There was no mistaking how his baser instincts would resolve matters.
How odd. Most masters left their dirty work to overseers like Livingstone. This Mr. Christie looked ready to knock heads. Polly shivered and returned her gaze to his face. But that was no help either. Breathtaking hazel eyes stared back at her, narrowed, fierce in his disconcerting blend of ire and intelligence.
She cocked a hand on her hip. “No bloodshed today, then? No beheading? Just rampant accusations and brute force, instead of a proper investigation. Typical, I say. If this is how you do business with your workers, especially after an emergency, I’ve all I need to know about what sort of master you are.”
His deep assessment was nearly more than she could endure. She would’ve rather taken more of Livingstone’s jabs and pinches. Standing before Mr. Christie, waiting, holding her breath, with the whole room silent after her taunt, she felt terribly exposed, as if he could peer past her bravado to the place where she hid her moments of doubt.
But they were just that. Moments. She never let her doubts last long.
Briefly, he stood at the wide only window and looked out to the darkening sky—half in shadow, half in the fading afternoon. Only then did Polly notice the coat he should have been wearing, tossed over the back of his chair. Her rebel mind insisted on playing out that moment. How had his body moved as he shed an encumbering layer of civility? Even now, poised in that tense moment, she admired the way the revealing cotton stretched between his shoulders. She traced where twin shirttails disappeared into the snug waistband of his trousers.
She shut her eyes. Secretly, she led the union in her father’s stead, which meant the new master of Christie Textiles was her adversary. But he was also a precious novelty in her tiny world: a strong, handsome, intelligent gentleman.
“I want all of you out,” he said at last. His odd American accent, so low and rough, invaded her darkness. Polly opened her eyes on a shiver.
“Pardon, sir?” asked Constable Andrews.
Mr. Christie swiveled away from the window. “Out of my office. I’m going to chat with Miss Gowan.”
“You don’t know what the hell you’re doing,” the overseer snarled. “She bats her green eyes and wraps every Calton man around her finger.”
“And you are radically out of place by speaking to me in such a tone. I’m no Calton man, Mr. Livingstone, and I’ll manage just fine.”
“The law doesn’t work for you.”
A callous smile shaped Mr. Christie’s firm, wide mouth. “No, I suspect the law works for the highest bidder. I will ensure they’re well compensated for putting you in your place. Get out.”
Raw hatred flickered through the overseer’s eyes, but Mr. Christie stood his ground. His big fists were back, curled and primed for a fight. Polly covered her mouth with unsteady fingers. To see Livingstone get his comeuppance at the hands of this new master would be the makings of her wildest fantasies.
Hit him, she found herself chanting. Hit him.

I’d like to give away a copy of STARLIGHT, and I’ll ship anywhere. Just answer the question Under the Covers asked me: If you could travel back in time, what would be your idea time to visit and why?  Be sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

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?

Available June 26, 2012
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  1. Great interview.
    For me it would probably be the Victorian era, I just love everything about that time, but I the clothes are one of the thing I love most.
    Thanks for the giveaway and interview.

    fa.iza@ hotmail. com

  2. I’d love to go somewhere ancient, like Greece or Rome, just to see how different yet similar their societies were. Most people usually think of the past as being really rustic or primitive, but places like Ancient Rome were so advanced, and it’d be amazing to see them.
    But only for a little while, I am WAY too attached to modern everything! Case in point: books and the internet. I honestly don’t think I could live without them.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway 🙂


  3. I think I would like to visit the 1920s–flappers, jazz, great literature. If not then, I think to live during the Scientific Revolution would have been awesome…to be there during the discoveries of Galileo, Copernicus, Brahe, Newton, Kepler, etc. WOW.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  4. Hmmm, I think I’d like to go to Georgian England as well, as long as I could pack certain toiletries, lol!


  5. Thanks for a fun interview and giveaway!

    I’d love to travel to ancient Greece or Rome. Even though they didn’t have more “modern” technologies, they definitely made up for it w/ their social structure.

    gfc: erin

  6. I’d love to travel back to the Victorian era to see their architecture, their dress, their mannerisms.
    Thanks for the giveaway. This book sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to read it.


  7. My grandmother is 96 years old. She was born in 1915. I would love to go back to that time to see how her life was compared to now. I always think how much she has seen in her life time. I think it is just amazing. History just is so interesting to me. I love listening to my grandmother tell me about her childhood and her young adult life. I feel so lucky to have had all of these years with her.

  8. If I could go back in time, then I would choose the Regency era. A time when people were able to live, laugh and love and find their way to each other. I would love to attend all the glittering balls wearing beautiful gowns, escorted by a handsome titled gentleman. I would also love to go riding in Hyde Park, with the love of my life alongside me. I like the thought of being waited on hand and foot, and not lift a finger, except to eat. lol

    Thank you for this great opportunity to win Carrie’s book.

  9. If I could go back in time, then I would choose the Regency era. A time when people were able to live, laugh and love and find their way to each other. I would love to attend all the glittering balls wearing beautiful gowns, escorted by a handsome titled gentleman. I would also love to go riding in Hyde Park, with the love of my life alongside me. I like the thought of being waited on hand and foot, and not lift a finger, except to eat. lol

    Thank you for this great opportunity to win Carrie’s book.

  10. If I could go back in time, then I would choose the Regency era. A time when people were able to live, laugh and love and find their way to each other. I would love to attend all the glittering balls wearing beautiful gowns, escorted by a handsome titled gentleman. I would also love to go riding in Hyde Park, with the love of my life alongside me. I like the thought of being waited on hand and foot, and not lift a finger, except to eat. lol

    Thank you for this great opportunity to win Carrie’s book.

  11. If I could go back in time, then I would choose the Regency era. A time when people were able to live, laugh and love and find their way to each other. I would love to attend all the glittering balls wearing beautiful gowns, escorted by a handsome titled gentleman. I would also love to go riding in Hyde Park, with the love of my life alongside me. I like the thought of being waited on hand and foot, and not lift a finger, except to eat. lol

    Thank you for this great opportunity to win Carrie’s book.

  12. That’s a pretty tough question for a history teacher. 🙂 I’d love to go the ancient Rome and see how they lived. But I’d also love to see how life was for the first settlers or be an onlooker during the battle of Waterloo. Too many choices.
    Thank you for the giveaway!

    claudigc at msn dot com

  13. @Fiza: Just avoid the clothes from the 1850s. Gosh, some of those were AWFUL!! Makes the 1860s Scarlet O’Hara hoopskirts look like a relief.

    @Cecilia: The empire waist is flattering on so many figures. We need to go back to that!

    @JessS: I visited the Colosseum in 2010 and was just…awed. I couldn’t wrap my head around people having actually fought there. It would be an amazing thing to see in real life. But yes, then come home to modern medicine and conveniences!

    @Yvette: I’d only go back as far as Peter the Great, tho, and his attempts to modernize Russian according to the advancements of western Europe. Before then, it was a bit…savage!

    @Catherine: A serious history nut! Hai! My Katie Porter writing partner, Lorelie Brown, is a 1920s aficionado. Her debut with Samhain was JAZZ BABY, about a speakeasy owner and the prohibition officer who makes her life interesting. I wish more were published from that era!

    @sienny: Vikings would be cool, yeah. Except I’d need to be a heck of a lot tougher. Viking chicks were hardcore. They had to be to keep up with their men!

    @Rebe: If only for the clothes!! I love to watch Amadeus just for the outfits. Well, and the music *g*

  14. @erin: I was at the Roman baths in Bath, England, where the tour guide mentioned that the domed ceiling had been constructed without mortar. Just well-placed, perfected shaped bricks. I was stunned. Now *that* is a culture worth seeing in person!

    @Danielle: Nothing wrong with wanting to see kilts in context 😉

    @Joanne: Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. And yes, I’m fascinated by the Victorian era–those moments on the cusp of change.

    @Mary D: Wow, that actually gave me goosebumps. She’d have been a teen during the Depression, a twenty-something in WWII. Just think about how your teens and 20s would’ve been so radically different under those circumstances. So glad you go to hear stories like that first hand from a dear loved one.

    @Diane D: A true Austenite! My caveat would be that I’d have to know all the manners before I traveled back to that era. Otherwise…can you imagine? Laughing stock of the ton!

    @Danni T: It would be quite a change of pace, wouldn’t it? Going to church would mean going to temples and make sacrifice. I’d have been a courtesan, though. They were educated and trained in all the arts, so as to keep the men entertained. They also lived on their own a great deal, having more independence than wives who were second class citizens. Imagine, wanting to be a courtesan! Pretty different!

    @ClaudiaGC: A fact I learned a few years ago was that 25% of US homestead claims in the 19th century were made by single women. That’s something the history books don’t mention! I wish western-set romances were back in style because I would be all over that.

  15. Enjoyed reading the contents. I would have loved to have been on the Lewis & Clarke expedition to see the untamed West. I am a lover of the historical opening of the West after the Civil War. If I would have returned to the Ancient world I would have been of the lower class and I don’t think they had much of a good time. of course, meeting Plato, Aristotle and all of the great thinkers would have been thrilling.

  16. I’ve always been fascinated with Medieval times (but I don’t know how long I would want to stay – overall prefer modern conveniences).
    sallans d at yahoo dot com

  17. I would like to go back in time to hear Jesus of Nazareth teach. To meet Him in that time period would have been amazing!
    I would love to go to the fancy balls and such but only if I could go back in time and have enough money so that I could make my own decisions!
    Maybe go back to my college days and ask that cute guy in my English class out! That would be nice, too! Hmm…

  18. I’d love to travel back in time but in Romancelandia. While I doubt I’d enjoy the real life rapist, filthy, murdering pirates with bad teeth and stained clothes; I’d love a romance novel pirate straight out of the seventeeth century. This applies to Vikings as well.
    But in reality, I’d love to go back to the twenties, and see it all unfold.
    karen.wapinski at gmail dot com

  19. I’d love to travel back to the time of Stonehenge & the Druids — just ’cause I’m curious!!

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com

  20. If I could time travel, I’d actually rather go forward in time. 😀 But if I were to go back, I’d like to visit Victorian times, it seems like a bit more civilized time where I might not have too many problems fitting in.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  21. I’d like to go back & see one of Shakespeare’s plays on the stage as he intended it to be. Maybe Queen Elizabeth I will be in the audience.


  22. @joye: My thesis was on Jesse James and Wild Bill Hickock after the Civil War, so I can definitely relate to wanting to be part of that era. Watching “Deadwood” made the realities a little too real tho!

    @Di: Is it the knights or the highlanders? *g*

    @Phoenix: Time travel for a very specific personal goal. I like that! Although I’d go back in time and punch a certain guy in the face 🙂

    @Landry: One of my favorite movies is Last of the Mohicans, not necessarily for the pre-Revolutionary era, but because it showed the hardship ordinary families had to endure in order to homestead. Daniel Day Lewis wasn’t a chore to watch, either!

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone. If you have questions, I’m here. Love talking history! ~ Carrie

  23. Just from watching Downton Abbey I’d probably say the Victorian era as well. I’d have to be sure to go back as the noble daughter of some really wealthy family though for the dresses and the servants. The food also sounds very interesting and extravagant. I’d like a taste of that.

    abbydillon16 AT yahoo DOT com

  24. Timitra and Minnie: You two could go together and hoard toiletries. Once the other lassies find out about smooth legs, you’re gonna need to watch each others’ backs!

    Rosie: Downton is nothing if not fabulous clothing. The Edwardian period was so elegant–perched on the edge of modern. Gorgeous!

    Linda: yes, a lot of history would be qualified by “if I were rich” or “if I were a peer”!! It’s not like I want to head back to the 1810s as a chimney sweep!

    Squirrel: I know so little of Rome that thinking about it is like thinking about the Moon. Living it first hand would be an amazing way to learn.

  25. I would really like to visit Scotland or Ireland during the Medieval period. I would like to see the castles and the way of life as it was then. So different and very interesting.


  26. I would love to go back to the time of the Tudors in England. That whole period fascinates me.
    Lauren @ Mommabears Book Blog
    Lmackesy @ gmail.com

  27. I’d go back to the Renaissance…I love going to the Renaissance Fair and it would be great to see the real thing as a lady of the court though :). Not for to long though I like my rights as a woman in today’s society compared to then.

    [email protected]

  28. Julie: The Renaissance has lovely dresses, but I’d only stay for a while. That whole “only bathe once a year” custom would be WAY too much for me to handle!

    Karen W: LOL! Historical Romancelandia. It’s like a very clean alternate universe. After making Meg and Will walk through a sewer to escape a castle, I had to find a way to make them clean before they found a cabin for sexy times. Naturally, there was a river they had to jump into! Ha! Thinking of these things is part of the fun 🙂

    As for the twenties, Lorelie Brown has a book called JAZZ BABY from Samhain. It’s fabulous, and I can’t remember many other 20s-set romances. Speakeasy owning heroine, Prohibition officer…

    BookAddict: You could come back and tell us all about the origins of Stonehenge, why it was there, how it was constructed etc!

    Barbara E: Forward??? If you get this message, I’d be curious what you might expect to see. My Ellen Connor persona wrote about the future, and it wasn’t very pretty. Except for the covers and the hot guys 🙂

    marybelle: I’ve been in the reconstructed Globe, which is amazing enough, but yet–the rabble and excitement of a genuine Shakespearian era play would be astonishing. We’d have to be up in the rich people seats tho!

  29. Na: Oh, those castles! I’ve seen one or two castle ruins, but nothing compares to the ones in full repair like Buckingham and Windsor. The differences between those grand, ornate, frankly ROYAL residences and a more “ordinary” castle would be a cool comparison to see.

    Lauren M: Lots of drama. And heads rolling, And absolutely amazing clothing OMG. Just watch out for Henry…he may take a fancy to you. Romancelandia Henry would be great–Jonathan Rhys Meyers, bring it on. But fat, gout ridden…nah, let’s not think about him!

    Leigh: Yes, about the rights. And yes, about the Renaissance (which I can never spell correctly) Faire. I get to go to the one in Bristol on the Illinois border in two weeks. SO excited. Have a good one!

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