Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Guest Blogger Janet Mullany Shares Details on TELL ME MORE + Giveaway!

UPDATE: The winner of TELL ME MORE by Janet Mullany is Lolarific! Congrats! Please email your addy to Contests(AT)KnightAgency.net.

What does C.S. Lewis have to do with erotic romance, you may well ask. One thing I find fascinating about writing is how my reading cross-pollinates my writing, particularly books I read long ago. The C.S. Lewis link to my recent release TELL ME MORE is a little obscure, but here’s how it came about.

While I was writing the book I read Lev Grossman’s THE MAGICIANS, a brilliant and complex novel that starts out at a sort of Potteresque school for magicians. The book becomes darker and more dangerous as its characters travel to a fantastical land invented by a writer who wrote a series of children’s books. Just like Narnia?—no, Narnia gritty and grownup and cruel.

So I had THE MAGICIANS on my mind and that led to me thinking about C. S. Lewis’s books which I read and loved as a child, totally oblivious of the rather heavy-handed Christian subtext.

But back to my book and my heroine and her adventures. At one point in the book she becomes involved in a community with a rigid social structure that gets together for various sexual activities. Jo, as a newcomer, is one of the apprentices who serve the higher levels, but she finds a way into the main part of the house, seeking her fascinating mentor who she’s spoken to only on the phone. Almost immediately she takes refuge in a coat closet. This coat closet does not lead to enchanted lands. Instead, she finds herself an unwilling voyeur when a couple uses the closet for other activities:

Clothing rustled. A zipper slid down.

One of her hands emerged from between the coats and almost smacked me in the nose.

I ducked.

Her hand grasped, fluttered, and grabbed the coat rack. I squeezed myself away from them.

It was a bit too late to reveal myself to them at this point; what the heck could I say?

Jo escapes from the closet and explores the rest of the house. Here’s an excerpt from THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER by C. S. Lewis.

Now she had come to the top of the stairs, Lucy looked and saw a long, wide passage with a large window at the far end. Apparently the passage ran the whole length of the house. It was carved and paneled and carpeted and very many doors opened off it on each side. She stood still and couldn't hear the squeak of a mouse, or the buzzing of a fly, or the swaying of a curtain, or anything--except the beating of her own heart.

There isn’t much similarity between the two but I was definitely channeling C.S. Lewis now, remembering how spellbound I was as Lucy walked down that passage, seeing mysterious magic symbols on the doors and at one point a mirror that has a frame of hair and a beard, making her reflection strange and sinister. She’s in a magician’s house to find a spell and solve a mystery. Here’s mine:

A corridor led off at the top of the stairs and I peered down it. The smell of food was stronger now. As I hesitated, there was a muffled thump and a ringing sound, and two wall panels slid apart—an elevator. Waiters emerged with a rolling cart of food. They took no notice of me, but pushed the cart and its covered dishes into a room. I peered around the door. Masked people, Jake and Cathy among them, sat at a long banquet table with an elaborate centerpiece, laughing and talking…
At the table a guy wearing a mask that gave him the face of a lion, stood, and headed for the doorway and me, cellphone at his ear. He was tall and slender, a few threads of gray in his dark hair. As he passed me, I heard a few words, to my surprise apparently about investments.

“But of course…” He sounded slightly annoyed.

He sounded familiar. Very familiar.

“Mr. D?” My voice rose to a squeak.

He turned and looked at me and the lion’s eyes gazed at me, unreadable, in his mask.
Aha! A lion mask! You may remember that the central deity in the Narnia chronicles is a lion called Aslan (the Persian word for lion), and that little detail just wrote itself in there.

Leave a comment answering the following question, and enter to win an autographed copy of TELL ME MORE: Which books did you enjoy as a kid that have stayed with you or even come back to surprise you?
The winner will be randomly selected and announced tomorrow morning.
What people are saying about TELL ME MORE:
… a deliciously naughty novel with an intense steamy narrative. Jo's humble yet enthusiastic attitude makes the bedroom scenes fun and provocative, with more than enough tension to make your heart race. This novel is a hot, spicy adventure you shouldn't miss! --RT Book Reviews

This novel is erotica at its best. A good, strong story driven by interesting characters, and steamy scenes that will leave you smiling secretly to yourself. --The Raunch Dilettante

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Blogger Unknown said...

CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY has stuck with me for years. I should've realized in fifth grade that I was destined for an obsession with all things romantic :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 10:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I should add, I can be reached at what_ever_for (at) cox (dot) net

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 10:51:00 AM EDT  
Blogger traveler said...

I read the entire Anne of Green Gables series in hardcover when I was 8 and loved it. That was the only style of book at the time way back then. still pine for it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 11:32:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Lolarific said...

i read alot as a kid and there were alot of books that stayed with me. Off the top of my head there's The Boxcar Children, Homecoming/Dicey's Song, Are You There God It's Me Margaret?, and all the books by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. I think the Variety has stayed with me as I still read across the genre board. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Tell Me More!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 3:21:00 PM EDT  
Blogger petite said...

Reading was my entire and favorite form of entertainment. It still is. When I read A Wrinkle In Time I was transported to another world.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 4:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Na said...

Books from my childhood that have resonated with me include Nancy Drew (love the smart heroine), Little Women, Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairies.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 5:00:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Janet Mullany said...

Hi whateverfor, traveler and lolarific--sorry I haven't been around until now to chat, I've been on a bus back from NYC most of the day and the wifi was very iffy.

I think it's fascinating how our early, best loved books resonate all our lives, and if you have kids you have the pleasure of returning to them for reading aloud!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 6:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Joya said...

Great post and excerpt, Janet. The LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE books were my favorite. I loved reading about how they conquered their struggles and surroundings. Talk about strong heroines! ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 7:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Christa C said...

I loved Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, and the Little House series. Fun memories!

Thank you for the chance to win!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 7:49:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jen B. said...

The other comments list some great books. The first one I thought of was On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony. It's not actually for kids and I read it as a teen but it stands out as one of the funniest things I have ever read.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 8:28:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi, Janet,

Fun blog. It seems like I spent most of my childhood reading, but often I read history series I found at school. Lots of individual books that I don't remember - so they don't answer your question :D A different type of recognizable series I do remember was Nancy Drew :D Eclectic, even then :D

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 8:55:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Janet--
The books that have stuck with me would be Anne of Green Gables and Little Women--and I couldn't get my daughter to read either one, much to my chagrin!!!

I also loved My Side of the Mountain, which fueled my desire to run away from home and commune with nature. (I got over it.)

Beth Werrell

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 8:57:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Christi Barth said...

Its like you invaded my library in my sleep - I adored CS Lewis (and I starred as the Witch in a musical version of Lion, Witch and Wardrobe). My book club read the Magicians, and I'm now eagerly awaiting the sequel. My favorite would have to be Madeline L'Engle's Ring of Endless Light. Magical!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 9:20:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was always fond of Black Beauty and Little Women. I think with Black Beauty it was all about a horse and I loved horses when I was young.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 1:36:00 PM EDT  

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