It all started with a candle.

No, I didn't burn down my house, though with my candle fetish, and I do mean fetish, I have to be ever vigilant of the never-leave-any-candle-unattended rule. Especially with three cats on the loose.

I have different scented candles for every room in the house, every season, holiday, mood, and candles to get me in the mood for writing love scenes. I am Gold Canyon's best customer.

My nose is my sensual compass and if there is a candle shop within driving distance of any city I visit, I'll find it. Anyone who reads my books soon learns my lead characters all suspiciously smell like candle scents. I have to confess, this fixation goes all the back to my very first book, MY LORD PIRATE, written under another of my names, Laura Renken.

Of course, if you know anything about seventeenth century hygiene, you would know that no one smelled remotely pleasant in a day and age when bathing was considered a health risk. One can only imagine the fragrance emanating from a pirate ship. But in historical romance land, even pirates and rogues bathe on occasion.

It wasn't until I'd written five or six books that I realized all my heroes had one thing in common. In addition to being tall, dark-haired, to-die-for-beautiful, and thirty-two years old, they all smelled like Sandalwood. Recognizing this was the point in my writing career when I began to suspect I might not only have a candle fetish, but I was also obsessed with sandalwood, which would explain the abundance of sandalwood based candles I have.

When writing SIN AND SCANDAL IN ENGLAND, I decided to be daring and step out of my box. Because I'm a sensual creature of fantasy, (and I really liked Daniel Craig as 007), SIN AND SCANDAL IN ENGLAND not only features my first dashing golden-haired Adonis who is younger than thirty-two years old but he does not smell like sandalwood. No indeed, for a hero who scours seaside cliffs, battles his way through dark tunnels filled with danger and even darker secrets that threatens his beloved, his candle scent had to be superior to sandalwood. To that wonderful end, I found the perfect candle that captured the passion of his character.

For those of you who do not think cinnamon bayberry a manly hero scent, then you haven't smelled a real cinnamon bayberry candle. This scent not only fits an elusive man who lives a dangerous life of intrigue but it also makes him yummy enough to eat, especially on cold nights in front of a blazing fire.

With SIN AND SCANDAL IN ENGLAND, you'll get a sensual journey to tickle the most discerning of olfactory senses. Much of the book takes place on the turbulent sea-swept cliffs of Northeaster England, overlooking the North Sea. I loved this gothic setting. Very moody. Very electric. And a perfect background for a romance that is equally moody and electric and, I have to say, filled with the most sexy smelling hero and heroine that can be found today in romance land. Did I also mention that Ian has a really nice body?

So for me, building that perfect blend of mystery and sex appeal in a hero starts with a candle. What are some of your favorite scents? Are there scents you love? Hate? What turns you on as a reader? I'd love to know every sensual detail.

Melody Thomas

5 Comments:

Blogger Sandra Barkevich said:

OMG! ROFL! Not only has your description made me want to run out an buy this book immediately, but I also want to purchase a cinnamon bayberry candle!

What a fabulous post and so true about scents. I've always been partial to sandalwood. However, I think I might have to take a trip to our local candle store to scope out some new sensual scents for my heroes and heroines.

Thanks for the tip, Melody!

Sandy :-)
Sandra Barkevich - Romance Author
*October 27, 2007 at Sandra's Goings On – Guest Blogger Gemma Halliday ~ Undercover in High Heels

And, don't forget to Check out my October contest with fabulous Prizes donated by some truly amazing authors!

11:52 AM  

Anonymous Melody Thomas said:

Hey, I still love sandalwood the most. LOL. Quince is another. I had a hero who once smelled like Quince, I just can't remember which one it was. Maybe Ryan from A Match Made in Scandal.

6:30 PM  

Blogger Helen said:

I love anything woodsy and musk I also love the fresh smell of the ocean and I have read your last two books Melody and loved them I am trying to get the backlist now I have managed to get two of them so as I will have them all. Thanks for the great reads.
Have Fun
Helen

9:31 PM  

Blogger Stacy S said:

I've never really thought much about the smell. My hubby doesn't wear anything. But I love candles. My favorite is apple cinnamon. Can't place sandalwood.

Your book sounds great.

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