Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Meet Sofie Darling and Three Lessons in Seduction

Posted by Susan B James on 3:00:00 AM with No comments
Sofie Darling's debut novel is a Regency Romance called  Three Lessons in Seduction  which won one award and finaled in three contests before publication. I was beyond impressed at her achievement. I always look up new authors who guest on my blog. I read the first few pages of Three Lessons in Seduction  and bought it. I am looking forward to the read.
Sofie, please tell us a little about yourself.
After some worldwide adventuring with my husband in my early twenties, we decided to settle down in Austin, Texas and raise a family. As the boys grew up, though, I realized I wanted to write the sort of books I loved. So, in my thirties, I went back to university and finished my English degree with the intention of becoming a historical romance writer. When I was pregnant with my first son, I fell in love with the genre, tearing through every Kathleen Woodiwiss and Mary Jo Putney novel I could get my hands on. Now, six years after graduating, my dream is coming true!
Sofie, I see Three Lessons in Seduction won one award and finaled in three others before publication.  What was your road to a publishing contract?
At the time I was entering contests, I was also querying agents, but with little success. I made it pretty far down the road with a few agents, but ultimately they passed.
The process of querying agents and either getting rejected or ignored led me toward a bold decision: I researched every single romance publisher who accepted direct submissions from authors and submitted to all of them. Out of the twelve publishers I queried, I received five requests for more material. Within five months, I had a signed contract with Soul Mate Publishing. Wow!
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.
The submission process for the publisher I decided to sign with was a query letter and the first few chapters. A few publishers had expressed interest and “were reading” when I received an email from the Soul Mate editor I’d submitted to. It wasn’t more than three sentences along the lines of, “Have you signed with anyone? If not, can you send me the first 100 pages?” Elated, I did. Just a few days later, she asked for the full, and then a few days after that she offered a contract. Her passion for the book was the deciding factor for me. Mine, too, when I signed with them.
If it isn’t too nosy, how about the first time you kissed your true love.
This sounds terrible, but I have no memory of it! For shame! However, we do have a cute Meet Cute story. We were new neighbors and had caught a few glimpses of each other, but hadn’t yet met. Well, it was near dinner time, and I’d just finished showering when my roommate asked me to open a jar of spaghetti sauce that she just couldn’t get open. We tried everything, and nothing worked! So she sent me next door with the jar of spaghetti, towel still wrapped around my head, to ask one of our strapping neighbors (there were three of them living in that condo!) to pry the stubborn lid open. My future husband opened the door, I explained the problem, he twisted the lid loose on the first try, and the rest is history! Love it!
Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes, heroines, writers) in your genre?
Hands down, my favorite historical romance writer is Judith Ivory. Not only is her writing exquisite and lush, but her characters come alive on the page with all their complexity and faults. No one writes chemistry like her.
What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
The day I learned Three Lessons in Seduction won the Writers’ League of Texas’ Manuscript Contest (Romance Category). It was the moment I felt validated as writer and confident enough to pursue a career in romance. That's great!
What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
I’ve been a distance runner for about ten years now. I’m not sure I think of it as a “favorite” pastime, but it is something I feel compelled to do, if that makes any sense. Distance running is actually very similar to novel writing.
How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
I read, mostly in different genres.
Any advice for writers just starting out?
I highly recommend forming relationships with other writers, both in online and in person, for the necessary critique and the encouragement to keep going during the high’s and low’s. Also, enter contests! They’re a great way to receive critique and to gauge whether or not your work is ready to submit to agents and publishers. I agree 100%

Tell us about Three Lessons in Seduction.
Three Lessons in Seduction is my debut historical romance and the first book of my Shadows and Silk series.
Paris, September 1824

When Mariana catches the eye of the man at the center of an assassination plot, Nick puts aside their painful past and enlists her to obtain information by any means necessary, even if it means seducing the enemy agent.

Even if the thought makes his blood boil.

Only by keeping his distance from Mariana these last ten years was he able to pretend indifference to her. With every moment spent with her, he feels his tightly held control slipping . . .

Can she trust the spy who broke her heart?

Mariana spent the last decade forgetting Nick. Now she has the chance to best him at his own game, an opportunity she can’t resist, even as her view of him begins to shift. Increasingly, she wants nothing more than to seduce her own husband . . . 

It’s only a matter of time before mad passion ignites, a passion never convincingly extinguished. A passion that insists on surrendering to the yearning of the flesh and, quite possibly, of the heart.

     “Unbutton your dress?” Nick repeated. It wasn’t possible he’d heard those words in that order.
     “Have you spent a single minute of your life bound within layers of corset, shift, and tightly buttoned dress? Has this ever been required for one of your spy missions?
     He couldn’t miss the scorn in her voice. “Never.”
     “Then you’ll have to trust me when I suggest that it’s a bloody fantastic idea for you to unbutton me. You’ve done it before, in case you’ve forgotten.”
     “I haven’t,” he said, his voice incapable of more than a low, gravelly rumble.
     She blinked, and a moment passed.
     Reason bade Nick exit the room and abandon the entire proposition. Under no circumstance should he close the distance between them and place his hands on Mariana’s body. Paper thin layers of chartreuse silk and muslin between his fingers and her skin wouldn’t be enough.
     A few quick steps could carry him to her.
     A few quick steps could undo him.
Friends, I went on Amazon and read the first couple of chapters. I urge you to do the same. 
What’s your current WIP?
Book two of the Shadows and Silk series, Tempted by the Viscount, scheduled for a June 2018 release, is already in the hands of my editor at Soul Mate. Currently, I’m working on book three of the series, as yet untitled.
And finally, where can we find you?
You can find me on my website, social media, and on my newsletter. Here are the links:

 Thank you for being here, Sofie. I wish you all luck and many awards.
And to my readers I send you wishes for a fabulous week and a lot of Happy Reading.


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