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Historical romance writer Gina Danna joins Steam Scenes for a conversation about writing period romances: from Roman gladiators to vampire pirates to Regency gigolos. Plus, I get a crash course in Civil War fashion. Crotchless undies in the 19th Century? Mind blown.

Connect with Gina on:
https://ginadanna.com/
FB: www.facebook.com/GinaDannaAuthor
Twitter: www.twitter.com/GinaDanna1
IG: www.instagram.com/csa26ms

Transcript:
Elle
Joining me today is USA Today bestselling author Gina Danna. Gina was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has spent the better part of her life reading. History has always been her love and she spent numerous hours devouring historical romance stories always dreaming of writing one of her own. After years of writing historical academic papers to achieve her undergraduate and graduate degrees in history, and then for museum programs and exhibits, she found the time to write her own historical romantic fiction novels. Now under the supervision of her dogs, she writes in the middle of a library of research books where her only true break away is to spend time with her other lifelong dream: her Arabian horse. With him, her muse can play. Welcome to steam scenes. Gina, it is so cool to have you here.

Gina
Thank you, I’m thrilled to be here.

Elle
I am a huge fan of historical romance and historical fiction. I aspire to write one day. Yet the research part is a bit daunting because you have to have it so on point.

Gina
Very true, particularly from my perspective, I want to write as if I’m reading it. There’s a lot of historical novels that I will seriously close the book and put it away. I’m like, they wore corsets in the 19th century, nobody dreamed of being free and easy. Oh my Lord.

Elle
Well, that’s the thing. A lot of it has to do with the fashion.

Gina
Fashion, the way people get around, what they eat, the way they live. It’s not like today, where, as you say, we’re going to do this, and there are microphones, and there’s this and there’s that. And we’re like, okay, and it’s on scene, and there we go, we’re over. I’m back down. Of course, they don’t have any of this. But it’s a little longer, a little more extreme. Women aren’t going to write stories like I write, because that wasn’t acceptable.

Elle
Right?

Gina
So there are those things that you have to keep in mind when you’re writing them.

Elle
I’m super curious about language. And you know, and particularly, the dialogue because the speech, the mannerisms, the choice of words are all very different from what we have now.

Gina
Very true. And since I am notorious for not…my muse won’t stay in one timeframe. It likes the Civil War, loves ancient Rome. And then I do write Regency and sometimes there’s a pirate that shows up in those. And I, I did actually have an agent tell me you have to choose one. And I’m like, not gonna happen. But when I write the Regency, I have a great editor who sits there says, um, that’s very Victorian. So, to me, Victorian, which is the Civil War era and Regency, you know, your Jane Austen, they’re very close, and yet they’re not. Actually we’ll get into arguments over words being used. Because they’ll say, well, it’s not in the dictionary and wasn’t used. Then I said, Oh, really? So words get into the dictionary because we use them a lot. So how do you know that word? And I won’t say which word it was because it’s not a very nice word…

Elle
Oh, no, you can say it. We’re very…well, maybe not.

Gina
Well, I said, crap. I have the characters say crap. And they’re going they didn’t say that back then I’m like, how would you know, were you really living back then?

Elle
They didn’t say that back then? I mean, of course they did. Why wouldn’t they?

Unknown Speaker
I know. It’s just a…it’s…Anyway…

Elle
Well, this is the thing too. I feel like when you’re writing historical, you can really pick apart the minutiae.

Gina
Yeah, I’m a person you don’t want to take to see historical movies.

Elle
You’re the one that sits and goes that would never happen like that.

It’s like, I’ll bring one or two examples. Um, I love the movie Ride with the Devil. It’s a Civil War One. It’s set in Missouri. It’s so well done. Tobey Maguire’s in it. Excellent movie, except there’s one scene in the very beginning and she’s walking away and they point her out to Tobey Maguire and she’s got a seam down the back of her dress like a zipper. And I’m like…you know, I just want to pull my hair out Gods and Generals which comes after Gettysburg, which the actual title to that was, I think they should put out which was Killer Angels. By the end, I was kind of – and I got to see a premiere and I took my son with me and I’m like, okay, we can go and he’s like, No, we need to see the movie and I’m like, no, I’m done. Historically, I’m screaming the whole way through the movies.

All right, so I’m curious what drew you to the romance genre because you have this background in history? And so I mean, obviously historical romance was your draw, but what was the pull of romance for you?

Gina
Well, I think you know, like every girl I knew, I grew up with this idea of we, you know, would love to marry a prince. Marriage, it was, you know, you grow up, you meet this guy, you fall madly in love, and you get married. Of course reality is life isn’t exactly that way. But, you know, my mother was reading Kathleen Woodiwiss, and I picked it up. Don’t ask me which novel it was ever, I don’t recall because I greedily ate all of them. I fell just madly in love with it. But at the same time, I picked up John Jake’s Bicentennial series, starting with the book, The Bastard. And I must have been maybe 10, 12ish, somewhere in there. I literally sat down and read The Rebel I think all in one day. And these are, you know, 400 page long books, but I would just get so pulled in. I couldn’t put it down. And then when I’m like how does he know all this? Because he talks about street names and all this. I’m like, Wow, that’s so cool. When you know, you do the research.

Elle
So that’s what drew you to it.

Gina
Yeah. And I’ve always loved history anyway. So.

Unknown Speaker
Right, right. Obviously, you sort of have your career in that. So when you first sat down to write your first historical romance, what was that process like for you?

Gina
It was so funny, because I’m one of these people who I’m, sure in years I will pay for this, I used to lay out a lot. I still do when I can. But because there’s something about my Sicilian half coming out, I love being out in the sun. Right. And I read when I’m out there. And I was gobbling books up like crazy. And this was back in the day when you could go to like Walgreens. And they had a whole bunch of you know, they had paperback row, and you could pick them up. And in fact, I exhausted their paperback row. Because I would go through and I would sit there read them all. After a while, I got to where the first couple pages, I could tell you exactly what was gonna happen to the book. And I’m like, oh I can write one of these. And it took till my son went to college, and… Well, I am a civil war reenactor and his father’s second wife was hoping because I would come and speak to her writing group about this. And I’m like, what are you talking about? And of course, young kids don’t really know much, but he did find out more. And he said, Well, romance writers. I’m like, there’s a group of people who do this. And so I kind of walked in that way to it. And that kind of inspired me to start writing and he went to college. And so I had this free time. Then like, oh, let’s just try this out.

Elle
So where do you find your inspiration then for your books?

Gina
Oh, it depends. My first one was a Regency with a pirate in it who was also a vampire.

Elle
Okay.

Gina
This is back when True Blood was out and The Vampire Diaries. So it’s kind of a combination Pirates of the Caribbean meets Vampire Diaries sort of deal. And it was fun to write. But after that, I was at a loss. I got tired of reading all the Regency ones about, well, she’s a prostitute and he goes in there, the Lord whoever, and he falls for her, and he must save her. And I’m like, Oh my God, give me a break. What if we reverse this? And so my second story is about a Regency Gigolo. And I mean, what guy doesn’t think he should be paid for this.

And it was, it’s so much fun to write. It was kind of scary. Um, and I always get ridiculed at that one. Because you see, even though he met her, he still kept working. You shouldn’t be doing that. Okay. All right. All right, I got it. So like, if I lose my job, I’m just going to tell my mortgage company. I’m working on getting a job. It’s really okay. I’ll pay you when I can. Right? Tell his creditors, I’m sorry, I met this woman, and she said I but I can’t work anymore. Right? It’s his character arc! Read his viewpoints on this as he continues and see how he changes. So, you know, that was a lot of fun. And then after that, one, I loved the Civil War, huge in the Civil War. I’m part of the Civil War Trust, which is now the American Battlefield Trust, you know, a lot of stuff along those lines. But I was terrified to write the Civil War.

Elle
Why?

Because it has to be deadly accurate. And the people who I was writing for who I wanted to read it, I know would be the first people to jump down my throat saying that didn’t happen. So that’s part of the reason why these are very long books. And they’re very, very involved because everything has to be accurate. These books all have bibliographies at the end. So you can see some of the sources that I use, I literally will sit… Well, if you could see my apartment right now. I’ve got a lot of books. Yeah. I have my ancient Rome library, and I’ve got my Regency one, but my place is more or less overwhelmed with the Civil War. And I have books open all around me. So it’s, it gets all crazy.

So, because we touched on the clothes when we’re writing steamy scenes, we’re disrobing people usually. This is sort of like an added layer of things because the clothing was a little more structured, I guess, would be the word then what we have today, right? So again, like, you know, I’ve, I’ve often read, like this big complaint about like, you know, the sort of getting a woman out of a corset it doesn’t happen that quickly.

Gina
It can. I can undress out of a Civil War outfit faster than they can and I have seven layers of clothes on.

Elle
Well, it is about the layers too. Right. So you’ve got these seven layers of clothes that you have to get off, right?

Gina
But you have to keep in mind so much of this. Okay, that a chamise is just it’s kind of like a nightgown in a way. You could use it that way they didn’t, of course. But it’s close to your body and it’s loose. It’s white cotton. And pantlets. It’s just a button in the back that is it. And they’re crotchless FYI.

Elle
Oh my god. Really?

Gina
Oh, yeah, I’m trying to think what movie it was it was done right. Was it The Piano? It’s a very old movie. And they’re out walking and she needed to go whiz. And they all stand around her and she literally just squats. Well, you can do that because they’re not sewn together. So it was crotchless it was just to leggings tie to a waistband and then we have a corset on over it. Okay, and it’s got the busk and then the strings pull around and tie in front of you. Jodie Foster did correctly in. Now, I can’t remember the name of the movie it’s with Richard Gere.

Elle
Okay, so we can look that up.

Gina
You untie that, you push your waist together and the busk comes right off. It’s really easy.

Elle
So actually, then the fallacy with historical romance is that it’s hard to get out of these clothes. It sounds like.

Gina
It is. I mean, the harder part is probably the dress itself. And you know with crotchless underwear you can just…

Elle
Yeah, you just lift the skirt?

Gina
Yeah. With all the petticoats.

Elle
Oh, my God, this is kind of blowing my mind at the moment

Gina
Because he’s got two rows of buttons to go through.

Elle
Yeah, for him. Is it more complicated for him?

Gina
Yeah, because he’s got drawers on that’s a button fly. And then he’s got his pants on, his trousers that have buttons fly.

Elle
So it’s actually more complicated for him to get out of his clothes.

Gina
It’s easier for me to bend over and lift up skirts and he’s fumbling.

Elle
Wow. Okay, my mind is completely blown. My mind is completely totally blown. Okay, here we go.

Gina
So it is a lot easier. And like, when I’m reenacting and I’m done, I can literally get out of that outfit in about 90 seconds. It might take a little longer to out of the boots. But literally, everything drops to the floor, which is a real problem when I had cats because I’m like, all these pull strings! Not funny! But it just puddles at the floor. And you literally just step out and you pick them all up.

Elle
Wow. Okay, my mind is totally blown. absolutely blown. All this time. I was like, Oh my god, it’s so complicated. No, it’s actually not as complicated as people make it out to be.

Gina
Right. You see, that’s why I like on some of the scenes it is that pooling or puddling effect that you know. Like today, if you want to do a quicky, you can.

Elle
Amazing, absolutely amazing. Okay, so um, I have a scene from your wait I’m sorry, which book is it?

Gina
The Wicked North.

Elle
The Wicked North. That’s what it was. I have it in my notes somewhere and now all of a sudden I can’t find it. So The Wicked North This is the first one in your Civil War series.

Gina
Mm hmm.

Elle
Yeah. Okay. And so yeah, set this up for me. Let us know a little bit about the book and set up the scene that you saw me.

Gina
Okay. The book is about Jack and Emma. And Jack is a Louisiana boy, who is at West Point when he meets Emma/ He becomes friends with Emma’s brother who is at West Point. And Emma lives in Virginia, close to Richmond, where her family owns a plantation. And he goes down there to meet her and actually her older sister. Well, she’s quite an individual. And so the story is Emma and Jack and it’s all issues that a lot of people can run into with relationships when you’re attracted to somebody and other people get in the way. Right. And he ended up having to marry her older sister. And so of course she’s furious at him. And then the war breaks out, and he will not go home, he does not like his family. And so he stays in fights with the Union. But of course, she’s a good Southern girl and considers him a traitor in more ways than one. He had asked her to marry him. And he was going to speak to her father, but it was a big celebration, you know, a lot of drinking going on. And her sister managed to get him royally drunk, and managed to end up in bed with him and get caught. And she arranged it.

Elle
And that was how they ended up having to get married,

Gina
Right. So they’re forced to get married. Of course, Emma’s all upset. And Jack was too drunk to really know how all this occurred. And so Jack takes her with him because he’s got to report north. And Emma’s all upset. And so her best friend for forever asked her to marry him. And she’s so upset, she just does. And while she’s always cared for him, she, in the long run, you know, her heart is still Jack’s, right? And then Jack finds out what a witch her sister is. Like he comes home from Washington and gearing up with his because of course, he’s an officer. So he’s part of that gearing up to going down south, and he comes home and she’s got all these guys there. He’s like, what are you doing? And this is after he finds out on the wedding night that she know she you know, she faked the whole thing. And he wants nothing to do with it. And in fact, he gets so mad, he sends her back home. And when she shows up down at Emma’s family home, she’s pregnant. Emma of course is just devastated. So, long story short, Caroline dies in the birthing bed. And when Jack, he’s part of McClellan’s group that went down on the first Manassas, and he shows up at her plantation, he goes AWOL because their family home is in Battlefield Way. And she meets him at the front door with a gun. And it’s the opening scene to the book, and there’s a baby crying in the background.

Elle
What a great opener.

Gina
And he just, of course, he’s like, that’s not my kid. And so Emma ends up is has to take care of the baby. Well, and a long story short, and he goes AWOL more or less because he still loves her. And he needs to get her to safety, which surprisingly enough is his family in Louisiana, which is filthy, rich, Old French Creoles. And this is their journey going that way. So here they are together, she’s taken one of the slaves from her family plantation and her father, who’s now starting to go sink into senile dementia. And so all their opportunities get interrupted. And she’s still mad at him over Caroline. And considers him a traitor in more ways than one. And they run into all sorts of situations because he’s a Union soldier, so she could turn them in anytime. So this is when they finally have an opportunity, no interruption. And of course, I think because it’s in the middle of a field. A lot of people are like, Huh, but if you read the story, it makes sense.

Elle
Right? Right. Right, right, right. Okay. So I am going to just I’m just going to dig right in. Okay, so here’s the first little bit that jumped out at me. With a deep breath, she allowed herself to relax into him. He was rock solid, a contoured wall of strength. Heat radiated from him warming her and desire unfurl deep within her. When he lately crust her cheek on his last one. Words she’d dreamed about what she really wanted for Christmas. He was leaving them to get food. To find where the armies were to protect them. War still reigned in the land. Despite his promise to return he might not. It was almost too bold to think of an even harder to say, but it might be the only chance she ever got. I want that and more for Christmas. She whispered. Okay, this, this felt really bold for the time period when I read it. But now I’m wondering if my initial reaction to this was actually no, it wasn’t bold, or was it?

Gina
in a lot of ways, it’s bold for her. He’s been fighting an uphill battle with her in more ways than one. He’s been trying to prove that he does love her and winding up at the pulpit with Carolyn was a big mistake. And you know, that’s something she can’t get over. Actually, her husband ends up kind of sacrificing himself for her happiness. And actually, because he’s been so badly wounded in battle, and he sent home more or less in the invalid. He had said to Jack, take her give her the children she wants, and of course, she’s just livid. And he ends up dying to save her more or less. So of course, she’s got all these complexes going on.

Elle
Right, right, right. And I should add, like right before this, they’re in this sort of field, they’re, they’re on their trip. It’s Christmas Eve, and he’s saying, I’m going to go and get you food and do all of these things. And he’s basically going to leave her at camp for a couple of days. It sounds like I’m not sure how long now. And she is of course worried. What if you know what if the Yankees come? What if this happens? You know, she’s got all of these concerns. And clearly one of those concerns is just being away from him. Although she might not admit it.

Gina
Right. She a lot of her issues in this book is this fear of abandonment. She’s been abandoned several times. Her mother’s dead, her sister’s dead, her brother’s at war. She doesn’t know if he’s alive or dead. He’s fighting for the Confederacy. She’s lost her home. She’s got this baby that’s not hers that she all of sudden, you know, motherhood is thrust on her. She’s dealing with a dad going downhill with dementia and he switches on and off. Sometimes he recognizes Jack sometimes he doesn’t. Um, and Jack could easily disappear. He could be killed. He could be sucked back into the war, captured whatever. And she’s in the middle of nowhere where with a baby, a slave, and a demented father.

Elle
Right. Poor woman’s going through it.

Gina
Yeah. She goes through a lot in this book. And she’s not sure she can ever trust him. That’s an underlying problem. She’s not sure she can ever trust him.

Elle
Right. Right. Okay, I’m going to move on to this next little bit. Well, it’s actually a long bit way longer than that. So, but it was hot, okay. His eyes flickered before turning dark and his arms momentarily tensed. Her mouth felt dry and she couldn’t breathe. He devoured her with his gaze. She wedded her lips, his nerves began to overtake her. He would reject her again. She was sure whether it was because he had preferred her sister or for some other reason. he growled and trumping her thoughts as his lips claimed hers. She gasped and surprise, and he took her reaction as an invitation to plunder her mouth. He tightened his embrace, she encircled his neck and met his lips with a force of her own. He ran a hand down her back heat from it penetrating her clothing. As a continued over her hip and buttocks cupping her against his arousal. She shivered with delight he wanted her the unexpected joy of it caused her to sigh deeply as he kissed her neck and happiness he went, his other hand sank into her hair, which she’d hastily arranged that morning and pulled out the pins holding it up for long trusses fell loose and cascaded down her back, like a waterfall caressing his skin. She mowed a lap moaned, allowed inside, she burned with desire wanting need pooling in her lower stomach. Oh my love, he rasped taking her earlobe between his teeth and gently tugging at his tongue skittered down her neck again to her collar. With a groan he began on clasping the pin at the top of her batas. He ended the buttons with the expertise of a man who is familiar with the design of ladies clothing. When his hand slipped into the opening it burned against her skin despite the cold air threatening to kill her. He kissed her along the swell of her breasts searing her with his lips, tingles branching down and through her. He pulled the ribbon at the top of her corset and open the class clasps on the busks fraying her breasts from the boning. With a growl he lowered her scoop neck chamis giving him full access to one of them. His tongue blazed a trail to a pro tip and golfing it and he suckled his tongue choosing the top bud. I loved this with the clothes here. I’m like obsessed with this whole, like olden-day fashion thing. But I mean, I loved how you really made the undoing of the clothes, super erotic and really part of the seduction here. Well, thank you. You know, which I think I you know, and as you know, even with my own writing, I’m sort of in my head going, I maybe should make more of that. Although with contemporary clothes, it’s just you kind of pull off the T shirt. You know, you push down the jeans, you know, like it doesn’t have the same. It doesn’t have the same I don’t know, doesn’t have the same rhythm. It doesn’t have the same, I guess foreplay to it. Because there’s I mean, there’s not a whole lot to kind of undo with contemporary outfits, you know?

Gina
No, you all Yeah, no, that’s taking off pantyhose. There’s absolutely nothing romantic about that.

Elle
Oh, no, ain’t sexy.

Gina
No. Now stockings is another situation. But I have read some author’s works that, you know, they didn’t get as close as my two did and I was like, I need a cold shower. And so that’s a lot of what I try to strive to do. I want to pull you in, I want you to be there. I want to be like, Oh my God, please just get this over with. Um, because that’s how I have read some and they just suck you in and make you and this is the first scene that they actually actually actually get to complete it. They were pretty close one time and the baby cried. And his first thought is I gotta have a talk with that kid.

But that is, you know, long seduction scenes are fun to write. My first sex scene, I thought, I can’t write this. It ended up being 10 pages long.

Elle
I love that.

Gina
Yeah, when take the time to go over it in your head and it changes scenes in the middle of the scene. Part of the time, you’re in her, part of the time you’re in him. So that also helps us out. The seduction is not just one-sided.

Elle
Well, I’m kind of curious. Um, when you say your first, the very first sex scene you wrote and you said I can’t write this. Like, why did you feel like you couldn’t write it?

Gina
Well, you know, I’m a single mother. I’m at home. My kid was actually home when I wrote it. So I mean, nothing like “mom!”

Elle
Yeah, nothing more awkward than that. Right?

Gina
Really kills the libido going on even in your head as you’re trying to write it and you’re always terrified that they’re gonna walk in right with your writing this and what are you doing? Now Actually, my son really cared less, um, he’s not that nosy. But still you have that kind of, what I’m not doing anything, I’m looking at Facebook.

Elle
It is super awkward. For a while, I had this just ridiculous commute in and out of New York City, which was very long and so I would take my laptop. And you know, I could not write those scenes like I would have to put them away and go back to them. It was so awkward to write on public transportation or in a coffee shop to write a sex scene in public like that. I was like, I can’t do this.

Gina
Well, and it’s I think it’s it’s interesting because I know some authors who will then just skip over the scene and move on. I can’t do that.

Elle
You mean you need to write like that linear progression.

Gina
Right. You know, in my head, I can see the end, you know, I can see the end of the book in my head. I’ve actually had characters rewrite a scene for me. I was writing my Rome books, and I wanted this particular scene. And they’re going no. Like, yeah, this is another guy. No, this is Oh, hey, and actually, it made it better. But that was not…I almost couldn’t write that scene. So, and with the sex ones, when I’m at work because I work for the airlines. And you know, it’s so funny because everybody wants to read my book. And I’ve actually used a couple of people at work their names because I can come up with a hero on the heroine’s name right off the bat. After that. I can’t.

Elle
Little struggle. Yeah, I know names can get tricky after a while.

Gina
Yeah. And I have a tendency of sticking to a certain letter. So I often these people at work and it’s just hysterical. Because one guy who’s in book number three kept saying what am I doing? I said You’re a courier. You’re running an errand. I have another one who wanted I said, you know your part of the Louisiana Tigers cool. What are we doing? I said You’re going to die.

Elle
I’m killing you off.

Gina
It’s funny because a lot of people who want to be in my stories from work are the guys. And I’m like, No, like you really don’t want to piss a writer off because my ex-husband is in one of the books. I won’t say what books but he’s in it. No, he doesn’t die it’s just his real character comes to life. But um you know, it’s hard when they’re fighting over you know, wanting they have football on and you’re just like, I can’t think if you people are doing this. Turn the TV off. So it’s harder to do there but you know, once you get or at least for me once I get into a scene I can stay in. Just sometimes getting into it can be hard considering the circumstances.

Elle
Right right. So it was more the struggle for you was more almost environmental rather than this sort of like oh crap I have to write a sexy now like, here we go.

Gina
Yeah, in fact in one I just did I took a couple of scenes out because I’m like, it doesn’t really fit. When you look back in retrospect, no.

Elle
Okay, so next little section and, and this is where we have the perspective shift, which I wanted to talk about. So now we’re in Jack’s perspective. Jack so wanted her to be buried deep inside her, and he knew she was ready for him. When she stroked his arousal through his wool pants. The heat from her hand and the pressure of the buttons on his fly against his sensitive organ made him hiss. He’d already decided to pleasure her only knowing later she’d regret it if he took her fully. As his fingers pumped harder, he felt her slick and sheath clenching at them. When she began undoing the buttons on his pants. He started losing his resolve to avoid taking her completely. If she actually touched his skin, he’d lose the battle entirely. She clamped a hand onto a shoulder digging into it and kissed him hard. He wanted her, needed to claim her make her his. His carnal need primal began to surface as she clumsily worked the buttons on his drawers. With a low growl he pulled his fingers out of her and finished the unbuttoning himself. She gasped when he withdrew his hand, and he knew she had been on the verge of climaxing after taking her to that plateau. He couldn’t leave her unfulfilled. Emma, he muttered his arousal resting against her curls as he smashed her into the rock. You don’t want me like this? There. He’d said it and put his own fears out on the table. Okay, I read that and I was like, Oh my god, man. Yes, she does. She does want it. Oh my god, are you that thick? She does want it, come on. But I actually really loved how you moved these perspectives. And this wasn’t the first time that our character perspective changed. We went, you know, it shifted a lot and I don’t think I’ve ever actually read a book, where during the intimate scenes, the perspective kept shifting from one to the other and I really thought it worked very well.

Gina
Thank you.

Elle
So I’m curious, what made you decide to do that?

Gina
It is kind of their character development. Um, because if you’ve been with this book after a while, you’re like, please do this, please. You’re in both of their heads through the whole story. He wants her. He knows that she hates him, because of everything. But he’s so compelled to protect her because he loves her. And so he’s all being just one day, you know? And she has that fear of being abandoned, of him just betraying her all over again. And there are so many circumstances that then she gets like, you’re just using me and he’s like, What? Oh, there’s a pond scene where she’s cleaning, and she’s in underwear, you know, just down the chamise and the pantaloons and scrubbing diapers and getting pissed off. Because, you know, there she is stuck was all this. And he’s on the other side and is terribly hot. And so he just drips down and jumps in and kind of swims and comes up right in front of her. And they have this huge argument, Huge argument. And he’s just like, what the hell. So, you know, you have a lot of this going on in between them. So when it comes to this scene, it just made sense to me, because you, you need to know what they’re both going through.

Elle
Yeah, I guess what I was sort of thinking, um, you know, I usually write just one perspective, um, which I’m trying to do, two now, in my next book. I should say, the book that I’m working on, not the next release. And, so I’ve read the books where you have the sex scene, usually from the female perspective, and then right afterward, the perspective will change, but I had never actually read it in the moment going back and forth, which I thought was really kind of cool. And I was like, that might be something. I was like, ooh, you might consider playing around with doing that because I thought it was really fascinating to actually have that happen in the moment rather than sort of like the male perspective comes in after the deed is done, you know, and sort of like, you know, doing during the aftershocks of the situation.

So, got one bit again, this is a little bit long, so. So everybody buckle in, but it’s good. Okay, now we’re back with I think we’re back in Emma’s world here. She looked into his darkened eyes, she too ached with need and it would be so easy. She gripped a shaft and brought up against her soaking entrance, placing the head inside her wet folds. This was his undoing. He plunged into her as his mouth captured her as again. She gasped, does it filled he was so big and for a moment she burned as he buried it all the way in. With an instant though her body accommodated him. He withdrew almost completely and she whimpered. Again he felt her, her back and bare shoulders getting scraped as he lifted her against the boulder. Over and over. He delved deep inside filling her. She braced herself between jack and the rocket, she wrapped her legs around his hips. He groaned against her neck, and she panted wildly gasping for air, as took her higher and higher. She clung to him as she approached the precipice of something she hadn’t experienced before. He plunged into her again, and she lifted her hips to meet his thrust with Jack’s next thrust her world shattered. With her eyes shut, she saw the stars explode into a million pieces. Jack thrusted had one more time moaning at his own release, and as a seed filter, he buried his teeth in her buried shoulder. As he showered her womb the explicit pain from his bite made her climax again. Together, they slid down the rock to the hard ground. Emma top of Jack, he wrapped his arms around her and her skirts cover them. She’d never felt so sated. She was exhausted, happy, warm, in love. Her head fell to his shoulder as a sigh escaped her.

What the hell did he just do? He acted like a complete scoundrel no better than his father. He had taken what wasn’t his, hard, against a rough stone exposing them both to the cold and possible discovery. He simply lifted her skirts and claimed her, although she wasn’t his declaim.

Oh my god. Okay, so first of all, there’s a lot going on here that I love. The perspective shift like that was again, like, so great. Um, you know, particularly they’re kind of reactions like, she’s actually admitted in love, right? She’s like, she, that L Word, The L Word came out of her, even even if it was something that she was just thinking or feeling. And his reaction was, Oh, my God, I blew it. And it was so great to have those counterpoints. And it was also very heartbreaking because he felt so guilty and so upset about what he had just done. You know, and so I don’t know, it just, they’re just the two perspectives again, having that, in those moments, I thought was so fascinating and really, really drove the character development here for sure. With the two of them.

Gina
Oh, thank you.

Elle
Which I thought was, was pretty damn phenomenal. And like, you know, at this point, like, I’m totally rooting for the two of them.

Gina
Yeah, well, I mean, you know. It is a romance from the standpoint they are together in the end.

Elle
Okay, good.

Gina
Um, it’s, it’s, but as the book ends, you know, they are together and everything is great. And the cannons are heard in the background firing of Fitchburg. So it’s interesting, a couple of reviews going, what we don’t know what’s going on, what type of ending is this? And I’m like, Oh, my God, you know, if you really looked, here’s Book Two.

If there’s more book is three, almost 400 pages long. They’re together, they’re gonna get married. It’s gonna be wonderful for them. Despite the fact that the war is still going on? Because it’s only 1863.

Elle
Right.

Gina
And so the series does go on, actually. Book Two is on her brother. Book Three is on his runaway sister. Book four that just came out is on his older brother, who almost stole Emma away from Jack because she thought Jack was done at one point. And then book five goes back to Jack and Emma.

Elle
Oh, oh, well. So do you envision the series going beyond the five books or is it going to be bookended by their story?

Gina
Well, I plan to do the book ending by their story, but then I was reading thanks to Brian into other aspects for promoting and I do not have a newsletter list. I am awful. I kind of sit there like I don’t even know what to write. Um, I’m like, I have a Twitter account. I am awful with it. I because I write 140 something thousand words, I put it in 143 spaces. What’s wrong with you? Um, so I raised the idea of a newsletter. Once the same. Nick says we should have a reader magnet.

Elle
I know it’s so daunting all of the writing that we have to do just to get through the marketing part of it.

Well, we should say that the latest release is called the better angels. Yeah. And that came out in at the end of June,

Gina
right, yes.

So cool. So where can readers find you? I know you say you don’t have a newsletter, but you’re starting one right?

Yeah, I am going to start one. Since I got the editors off, I was actually gonna go play around with that today.

Elle
Actually, I think because you write historical and because you are so knowledgeable, I would imagine there’s so much that you could put in a newsletter. Every week, I have no idea what to talk to you guys about, like, you want to hear about, like, what I’m watching on Netflix? Probably not.

Gina
There’s actually from that standpoint, you know, you might look at Bob Murr because he does, he will break things with that. But, alright, moving right along. Um, I do have a website. I’m notoriously bad about not doing anything with it. But I have put up research things on that. Articles. Um, and I do have Facebook, and Instagram, I still haven’t figured out Instagram all the way. But it’s there. Sounds so bad. I’m on BookBub and Goodreads. I mean, the easiest way to probably get me is through my author Facebook page, which is just Gina Danna Author.

Elle
Um, okay. That’s on Facebook.

Gina
Yeah, that’s probably the easiest one to find me on.

Elle
Well, I have to say you’ve blown my mind completely in this interview, and it’s like everything that I thought about historical is like was wrong. So, which is actually kind of exciting.

Gina
Is that good?

Elle
Still daunting yet kind of exciting. So thank you. Thank you so much for being here and doing the podcast. I appreciate you taking the time.

Gina
No. Well, thank you for having me. I’ve enjoyed it. Nice, nice conversation.

Elle
Well, thank you. Thank you. And thanks for listening everyone.

Gina
Thank you.