Hi all! Here’s an article I wrote recently about Daring Time for Berkley that I thought you might enjoy.
I’m here to tell you a bit about my newest Berkley release, an erotic romance/time-travel called Daring Time. For me, this story calls to mind a whole host of images of a bygone era of grace, elegance and pure romance. Daring Time was inspired by my love of my hometown—Chicago—and the history of this progressive city, most especially the Prairie Avenue District.
They called it “the sunny street of the sifted few.”
From the moment I visited this historic neighborhood just south of the Loop in downtown Chicago I was transported to another time and place. This is the famous avenue where self-made men and barons of industry lived shoulder to shoulder with retail giants like Marshall Field and Joseph Sears.
It was a street where late Victorian sedateness mixed together marvelously with unapologetic ostentation and neighborly one-upsmanship in regard to the grandeur of the family residence. On South Prairie Avenue the scientific marvels of the Chicago Worlds Fair of 1893 were first put on proud display and mansions were installed with electricity. Lavish events such as the Mikado Ball (Marshall Field’s mansion was transformed into a Japanese Village) commemorated an emerging American awareness of its place in the international amphitheatre.
But this was also an era of growing social responsibility for the poor and unrepresented, a time period that saw vicious labor union and workers’ rights disputes and the creation of Jane Addams Hull House and the field of American social work. My heroine is a proud soldier of social reform. I could almost envision Hope marching down Prairie Avenue, intent on saving the world one person at a time.
I have a favorite scene in Daring Time where my early twentieth century heroine’s father asks her to show him how she saw them dance in the year 2008 at a charity event to the Frank Sinatra classic Fly Me to the Moon. For me, it represents all of the glamour of not only the era, but of the genre of time travel itself. Here’s a snippet.
She obligingly walked several feet into the enormous ballroom while her father sat down at the table. She closed her eyes, perfectly imagining Gail and Ramiro moving in tandem to the unusual, exciting music. She positioned her hands, picturing herself touching Ryan’s broad shoulder while his big hand spread at the back of her waist. She began to softly hum a tune while she swayed to the music, occasionally inserting remembered lyrics.
Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars, da da da ta da, ta da on Jupiter and Mars…
The train of her blue satin gown and her petticoats swished behind her as she circled the ballroom floor in her solitary dance.
Like Prairie Avenue itself, Daring Time mixes together flagrant, lush sensuality with pure, unadulterated romance. I hope you enjoy it.