With: Carol Ericson
Congratulations to "LS", the winner in Carol's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!
Noir is defined as “crime fiction featuring hard-boiled cynical characters and bleak sleazy settings.” When I think of Noir fiction, the first author that comes to my mind is Raymond Chandler. Hollywood made several movies of Chandler’s books, including The Big Sleep with Humphrey Bogart as P.I. Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall. More recent examples of “film noir,” are Chinatown with Jack Nicholson, L.A. Confidential with Russell Crowe, Basic Instinct with Sharon Stone, and one of my favorite movies of all time, Body Heat with Kathleen Turner.
What makes noir “noir”?
Settings – the definition above mentions “bleak sleazy settings.” These settings can be the big city where corruption reigns and there is an unhealthy juxtaposition between the mean streets featuring hardened criminals and ladies of the night and the gated communities with their manicured lawns where money keeps secrets. A noir setting can also be a lazy, small town where the inhabitants know what their neighbors are hiding but they just don’t care until a stranger threatens to expose them all.
Characters – noir characters are not black and white. The cop may be on the take, but he’s a good guy who’d lay down his life for a kid. The P.I. might be a drinker, but he’d be offended by a bribe. And then there are the noir ladies. Typically, the ladies of noir are nasty pieces of work—cheaters, liars, killers, and not above using sex to get what they want, which is usually money or revenge. The Intrigue Noir stories, however, are romances in the end, so our ladies might be bad but they’re not killers…at least not that we know of.
Mood – dark, edgy, sultry, gritty. In noir fiction, there are going to be crimes—blackmail, embezzlement, kidnapping, murder. Like most crimes, noir crimes are motivated by money or sex and usually both, which brings us back to character. The noir dames are always sexy, sensual, seductive and dangerous. They understand the power of sex and aren’t afraid to use it. Often there are twists and turns in the plot and people and situations aren’t what they seem. The movie Memento with Guy Pearce had a lot of noir qualities with a big twist.
Not Your Momma’s Intrigue – Harlequin’s new Digital First line, INTRIGUE NOIR, combines elements of an Intrigue story with elements of traditional noir fiction. It’s still the same heart-stopping romantic-suspense you’ve come to expect from an Intrigue, but the mood is darker, the characters more ambiguous, and the sex is hotter. Harlequin is launching this new line on November 3rd with four stories: BAD GIRL by Julie Miller, CALL ME TIFFANY by Kris Rafferty, PINUPS AND POSSIBILITIES by Melinda Di Lorenzo, and my story, TOXIC. Did I mention the sex is hotter?
So, slip on your red stilettoes, straighten the seams of your silk stockings, powder your nose, put on Peggy Lee’s “Fever,” and put your lips together and...blow. And get ready for INTRIGUE NOIR.
Leave a comment and win a digital copy of TOXIC. We’re also having a party on Facebook on Nov. 3rd to celebrate the launch of INTRIGUE NOIR where we’ll be discussing all things noir and giving away books and other items. Join us!
"That's the way I like it—hot and wet."
Not something I'd typically say in a job interview, but it just kind of slipped out. I blame Ronnie Tate—the woman is sin in stilettos. As bosses go, the sexy ex-showgirl is way more appealing than the Miami billionaire who hired me to find his missing mistress.
The girl's trail ends at Ronnie's bayside bar, so I've got to get close to the people there to find out more. And I plan to get real close to Ronnie in particular. She's hiding plenty—like why she's clinging to this dump her late husband left her, and why her employees keep disappearing. If I have to expose more than just Ronnie's secrets, so much the better.
Slinging drinks isn't private investigator J. P. McCoy's usual MO. But nothing is what it seems in this sultry noir tale of blackmail, murder, sex and scandal.
If you love heart-stopping suspense and fearless romance, look for Carol Ericson's Harlequin Intrigue title The Hill available now!
Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST November 4th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.