Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: August 2, 2011
Genre: Erotic Historical Romance
Inspired by the tale of Cinderella, Lila DiPasqua weaves a steamy historical romance that offers a glass slipper, a dangerous deception, and an impoverished beauty determined to find her handsome prince...and make him pay.To read a scandalous excerpt of A MIDNIGHT DANCE click HERE:
Born into wealth, Sabine Laurent and her twin sister lived a life of luxury, their father's prestigious theater frequented by royalty and aristocracy alike. And Sabine dreamed of her own prince charming--the devastatingly handsome Jules de Moutier.
That was before the loss of her sister and her family's fall from grace--a disaster Sabine blames on the Moutier family. Now, with her father's death, she's inherited his sizable debt and the responsibility of caring for his spoiled long-time mistress and her two wastrel daughters. But with the help of Sabine's eccentric friends--the balance of her father's acting troupe--she plans to get very close to her old infatuation, seduce the rake--and make away with a fortune.
Resisting Jules's skillful mouth and tantalizing touch is not as easy as Sabine supposed. And soon she must decide whether her desire for vengeance is greater than her desire for her one and only prince...
Hi guys! Please welcome Historical Romance author Lila DiPasqua to Lovin' Me Some Romance!
About the Author: Lila DiPasqua writes wicked & witty historical romance for Penguin/Berkley. She lives with her real-life hero husband and three children and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after. She loves history and enjoys traveling. She has been to four continents so far. To learn more about Lila and her books, visit http://www.liladipasqua.com/.
A MIDNIGHT DANCE features a twist on Cinderella, the timeless classic. How is your novel different and similar to the original tale?
Great question! A MIDNIGHT DANCE is similar in that I have all the elements we love about the classic fairy tale: an impoverished beauty; a “Prince Charming”; a stepmother (or in this case, the heroine’s late father’s long-time mistress and her two spoiled daughters as “stepsisters”). I also have a ball, a glass slipper and a fairy godmother in form of a loveable, yet highly opinionated an apothecary.
What makes mine different: I took those elements and gave my Cinderella retelling a fresh, unique twist. This Cinderella is out for revenge against Prince Charming. She blames her family’s fall from grace and her losses on Jules de Moutier and his powerful family. This book is steamy, fun, romantic; did I mention steamy? *smiles* (There’s serious chemistry between Sabine and Jules). And there’s plenty of intrigue, twists and a surprising villain keep you turning the pages. . . until the romantic climax.
Our cinder-girl, Sabine was once the daughter of a prominent playwright. She’s lost her father, her lovely home, her father’s prestigious theater and worse still, her beloved twin sister, Isabelle. Though it’s been five years, Sabine is the only one who thinks Isabelle is still alive. Sabine is in dire straits and desperate. She, and what’s left of her eclectic family—that includes the balance of her late father’s acting troupe—an eccentric bunch!—face debtor’s prison.
To save them from this fate, she intends to steal a fortune from Jules. All she has to do is pretend to be a harlot named Elise, seduce the rake and feed him the tainted wine. Easy, right?
What she didn’t count on was her attraction to her old girlhood flame was still very much alive, despite her contempt for Jules. You see, she had a mad crush on him as a fifteen year old girl and would worship him from afar as he, then nineteen, attended her father’s theater. Today, Jules de Moutier is even more devilishly handsome . . . and a lot more carnally talented. *winks*
Why Cinderella? What is about the tale that moves you as an author and as a reader?
It’s my favorite fairy tale. And probably the first romance I ever read. ;) I think I’m drawn to historical romance because of it.
Jules and Sabine, your hero and heroine, have sex within the first few pages. Are these types of scenes easy or more difficult to write when they occur so early in the book?
I don’t plan for a sex scene to land at the beginning, middle or at the end. They happen whenever it feels natural and right in that particular story. In this book, having the hero and heroine have sex at the beginning was right. She is, after all, pretending to be a prostitute in order to get close enough to steal from Jules. Thought she wasn’t supposed to actually sleep with him, given that she was once so attracted to him, and that this is the first time she’s seeing him in eight years, I felt it was the natural thing to happen. And it certainly complicated things right off the bat. ;)
Speaking of sex, girl, you write it well! *fans self* What's your imaginary and writing processes for choreographing such scenes for I imagine that it would be necessary to move through the act frame by frame given that there is so much...ehem...movement? In other words, how do you make it all flow?
First of all, thank you for the compliment! To answer your question: I don’t know what this says about me, but I just *see* it all in my head. LOL. No sex scene in my books is written just so the hero and heroine can have sex. Every love scene is there to up the conflict and advance the romantic plot. Because there’s that complexity to ever sexual encounter, I tend to write the act itself first. Left hand here. Right arm there. That kind of thing. There’s plenty of dialogue during my love scenes, and that really helps to add heat. Once it’s choreographed, I layer in the emotions. With each sexual encounter, I assure you that Sabine and Jules, grow more and more emotionally vulnerable to each other.
Your characters aren't shy when it comes to naughty language. I must say, your novels have a distinct tone whereby the words don't come off as derogatory or offensive but rather seem very appropriate. How do you walk that fine line between appropriate and offensive? Do you think there's a line at all?
I think there’s definitely a line. Anything in excess feels vulgar to me. My heroes are usually a lot more sexually experienced than my heroines, and so, I make sure to show that the heroine is receptive and not offended by the bedroom talk. I think if the reader sees that the characters are comfortable, they feel more comfortable, too.
Also, it’s paramount to create likeable characters. If the reader likes the hero, she won’t mind it if his language is a tad blunt in the heat of the moment. :)
Jules de Moutier is a beautiful yet arrogant hero. He's also smart and distrustful. What was your experience writing his character?
I really enjoyed creating Jules! He may be arrogant at the beginning, but he’s also loyal—and down to his very core, decent and honorable. I wanted to show that even though he’d been born into high society, had wealth and privilege, deep inside, he’s no different than Sabine, who’s of common birth. His temper was fun to play with, too. The sparks between him and Sabine was just such fun to create.
Sabine Laurent is a very beautiful heroine with hair like spun gold. Jules thinks she’s a combination of many different types of women including an innocent, a seductress and all the faces in between. What was your experience writing her character?
I love writing about strong women—a woman who, like many women, has a tremendous amount of responsibility to shoulder, all on her own. Sabine has a tough, strong exterior, but it’s Jules who sees how broken she feels inside without Isabelle. Only when she learns to see herself through his eyes, can she finally feel whole and healed.
This isn’t a story about a damsel in distress who is saved by her Prince Charming. This is a story of two people, thrown together by fate, who defy the odds against them, and, despite their different social class, save each other—and find a lasting love.
I love your character’s names. Do you labor extensively over the perfect name? Which comes first, the character or their name?
I absolutely CAN’T start to write a book, or even write the synopsis until I have a name for the hero and heroine. Only then do they take shape in my mind. It’s very important to me to have a name first.
A MIDNIGHT DANCE is your first full length novel. How was this writing experience different from your novella compilations? Which is easier?
I don’t think one is easier than the other. I think each has its challenges. Every author wants to deliver an entertaining read. If you have only 120 pages to do that in a novella, then you’ve got to come up with compelling characters and storyline that has a resolution that feels satisfying to the reader.
With a full-length book, you’ve got the challenge of coming up with a more complex plot that can be believably sustained for 350 pages or so. To do that you’ve got to keep the conflict rising until the climax (black moment). I shoot for a page-turner each time. :) If you don’t keep upping the conflict, then you have a slow-moving book with a saggy middle. And no one wants that.
And finally, what’s next for Lila DiPasqua?
I can’t give any details yet, but there will be a couple more Fiery Tales . . . and a secret project I’m very excited about. :)
I’m very excited to show you the brand new book trailer for A MIDNIGHT DANCE! Done by Book Candy Studios [ http://www.bookcandystudios.com/ ], it’s so breathtakingly beautiful, hot and romantic….and so perfect for this book!
Thanks to Lila DiPasqua, two random commenters will win their choice of AWAKENED BY A KISS *or* THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED *or* A MIDNIGHT DANCE, AND a glass slipper! Giveaway open WORLDWIDE.
To enter to win: Watch the book trailer for A MIDNIGHT DANCE and tell me one of the review quotes found there. HINT: There are 3, (one from Fresh Fiction, The Romance Dish and NYT Bestselling author, Elizabeth Hoyt). You only need to give me *one* in your comment.
***Contest Open to ALL***
****Must be 18 or Older to Enter****
****Contest Closes Thursday, August 25th at Midnight U.S. Pacific Standard Time and the Winner will be Chosen Randomly and Announced Friday, August 26th****