A tongue can be sacrificed as easily as a goat . . .

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Ten Quotes -The Viking and the Courtesan – Available ebook and paperback from Amazon-14 the Feb 2022. Presently available on Hinovel.

“No doubt Miss Mallender told you I did try to find her. And I begged her on bended knees. That was for my betrothed’s benefit. She has a lot of money. I don’t want to lose it.”


He was her cousin twice removed. But whether it was twice or ten, it wasn’t far enough.

   “No talking over there, a tongue can be sacrificed as easily as a goat.”

     “You know damn fine you have never been any wife of mine. And if you are pregnant it must rank with the immaculate conception in terms of miracles. Of improbabilities.”


“Although he is no longer game of step, my father shall give you his sword, my heart’s dearest.”
      Game of step?  Hardly able to walk one was a more apt description.

“I don’t care what you want. Shoes are what you can have. And jewels and whatever . . . Do you understand? Now. Lie down. That’s it. Steady. Steady. And do it. You’re in no position to bargain here. If you can’t moan, I’ll get someone else up here who can.”
      She stuck her chin in the air. “So you say. But the choices didn’t exactly look up to much if you ask me.”

        Hadn’t all the girls said as much, that men said all sorts of things because of course, they were greatly misunderstood.  No doubt it was all her fault he’d gone into hiding for four years with Aunt Carter’s silver teapot and Malice’s twenty guineas.  Probably he believed she’d deserted him and not the other way about.
These stars are not mine. 


        “Whether I love her is not the point. I will be her husband.”
       “Oh really? Well, if it’s anything like the husband you made me I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was her.  Unless she wants to die of suffocation?”
  “Being his . . . I do not think I wish to be his wife. No. No. Not if he should take a stick to me. Malice, you cannot mean this. All these years I have known Sinarr, he has never once shown the desire to take a stick to me.”
 “’e must have been alone in that.” Gentle set the cup down on the table.

In 898 AD she wasn’t just from another land.
Wrecking a marriage is generally no problem for the divorce obtaining, Lady Malice Mallender. But she faces a dilemma when she’s asked to ruin her own. Just how businesslike should she remain when the marriage was never consummated and kissing her husband leads to Sin–a handsome Viking who wants her for a bed slave in name only?
She came from another time.
Viking raider Sin Gudrunsson wants one thing. To marry his childhood sweetheart. Only she’s left him before, so he needs to keep her on her toes, and a bed slave, in name only, seems just the thing. Until he meets Malice.
One kiss is all it takes to flash between two worlds
But when one kiss is no longer enough, which will it be?  Regency London? Or Viking Norway? Will Malice learn what governs the flashes? Can Sin?
Where worlds collide can love melt the iciest heart

This Year . . .



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United States,  India,  United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Germany,  Spain, China, Brazil, France, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Ireland, Kenya, Japan, Thailand, Finland, Malaysia, Turkey, New Zealand, Kuwait, Greece, Czech Republic, Morocco, Peru, Uganda, Austria, Mexico, Portugal, Egypt, Ukraine, Poland, Nepal,  Australia, Philippines, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sweden, Romania, South Africa, Ecuador, Chile, Croatia, Israel, Zimbabwe, Serbia, South Korea, Bahrain, Norway, Belgium, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Columbia, European Union, Singapore, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Guatemala, Netherlands, Lithuania, Switzerland, Algeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Hungary, Togo, Belarus, Taiwan, American Samoa, Latvia, Bahamas, Jordan, Tanzania, Ghana, Malta, Jamaica, Vietnam, Macedonia, Qatar, Denmark, Puerto Rico, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Monaco, Cameroon, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lebanon, Mozambique, Madagascar, Seychelles, Cambodia, El Salvador, Myanmar,  Bermuda, Curacao, Burkina Faso,  Bhutan, Oman, Hong  Kong SAR China, Luxembourg, Sin Maarten,  US Virgin Islands, Papua New Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago
A Little SLice of Raunch

Reviews, Podcasts and 1st Chapter discussions,https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2021/09/26/reviews-podcasts-and-first-chapter-dissections/

The Ball’s the Thing

The Ball’s the Thing https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2021/05/04/the-balls-the-thing/ via @shehannemoore

More Than Seven When It Comes To Wonders.


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November Book Reviews https://mythsofthemirror.com/2021/11/28/november-book-reviews/ via @Dwallacepeach

1…..Kengo Kuma On The Bus

In Juteopolis

More Than Seven Wonders

The Ballad OF Peter Black

Dancing Around An Alibi

Mother Of All The Peoples

Larkhall to Nazareth

Oor Wullie

No Pasaran Albert Square

Churchill’s Nemesis

Mary Shelley’s Blues

McGonagall’s Ghost

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Shey.. Hey dudes where’s the rest of the post?

Down some cold field in a world outspoken. Peter Black and the Newport War Memorial https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/down-some-cold-field-in-a-world-outspoken-peter-black-and-the-newport-war-memorial/ via @shehannemoore


THE ACOUSTIC Version—not the final one of the title track.

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McGonagall’s Ghost…still working the crowd.


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William Topaz McGonagall a Scottish poet of Irish descent, writer of roughly 200 poems, including “The Tay Bridge Disaster” and “The Famous Tay Whale”, which are widely regarded as some of the worst in English literature.

ONE……..A writer with a voice that took uniqueness to a whole new level.

TWO….. A true journalist in terms of reporting everything.

THREE…. He self published.

FOUR… He was shameless when it came to self promotion.

FIVE.. Proving there was no such thing as bad publicity. And could you imagine him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter today?And the use he’d make of it?

SIX…. He was deeply into public appearances in terms of meeting his fans.

SEVEN … He also did literary dinners. And bestowed himself briefly on New York, as other famous authors including Charles Dickens

and Oscar Wilde had.

‘Oh mighty city of New York, you are wonderful to behold,

Your buildings are magnificent — the truth be it told.’

…….’When I go to Ireland, they won’t treat me as I was treated in New York. In the streets there when they looked at my poems with the Royal coat of arms, printed on the top, the Yankies shouted ‘To the deuce with that.’ ………..W McGonagall. ….

EIGHT He was very well read for a man from a poor family quite important for a writer and prepared even more therefore to branch out…

NINE…. He rubbed shoulders with the famous.

TEN….. Like him or loathe him he has not only remained a controversial figure to this day, he has stood the test of time.

Reviews, podcasts and first chapter dissections.


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HIS JUDAS BRIDE interview/review by RESA McCONACHY.

This fiery, passionate romance thrills without much graphic reference. True, Lady Kara wears a see through gown, revealed at the top of the story. However, it’s not her choice. She makes many choices, good and bad, but her gowns are imposed by her vile father.

Comments are in regular type. My questions are in italics. Shey’s answers are in bold.

1 – Shey, I want to draw Lady Kara in her gowns. It feels like 1700. Is there an exact year to this tale?

I based the Trojan horse premise of this book on the actual Glencoe Massacre. Let’s be clear that whole bit of Scotland was a law unto itself. South of the highland line was an entirely different Scotland. Anyway, the way to get into Glencoe, which was pretty impregnable at that time, was to come as friends. I liked that idea of a small clan who largely survived where they were because no-one could get in or out.

I looked up the Glencoe Massacre. It was in 1692. So, without mentioning an exact year, the flavour of your writing sets up the right time frame.

2 –  Ewen and some other characters speak in a dialect that give the Scottish highlands an authentic feel.“Whit? Can ye no see Ah’m busy.” “How is it no’? Mah horse, laddie.” Is this written by ear, or have you studied  Gaelic? Or?

Now here in Scotland we probably speak English, in  a local dialect. This is sometimes incomprehensible to those who are not local. We also speak…maybe not old Scots but certainly Scots as Ewen and some of the other characters do. Gaelic would have been spoken by the clans. It was mainly spoken in the Highlands and islands of western Scotland. It is still spoken by about 58,000 people in these parts. When you’re writing dialogue and trying to give something an authentic feel, you’re torn between that and being understood which was why I didn’t have everybody–hero and heroine particularly speaking in some form of Scots. I think it’s fair to say we often joke that there’s more than one book set here which we don’t understand because the dialogue is not authentic.  For example ‘donnae’ is a name, not the word for ‘don’t’ which is ‘dinnae’!

3 – I find certain small bits of your writing make me laugh…..such as Ewen’s talents, the description of the green dress and Callm asking himself:

Is it just me? Or do you insert this humour on purpose?

No and no. It’s not just you and no I don’t mean to do it, but it sort of comes out. I mean, I love that people have idiosyncrasies. They are what makes us. Kara’s little habit of firstly, secondly, thirdly, and her mantra about doing  things that she will be happy, or not happy with, when it comes to choices–quite awful things in some instances. These are her little idiosyncrasies.

Also people can be gloriously unselfaware. As you see with Callm asking himself why he shouldn’t be considered suitable, is a rich seam to be mined. Also let’s face it too, funny things do happen to people. Things like Kara not being able to get on that horse and walking round the yard trying to, while making out she knows what’s she’s doing. Well, honestly one day in the middle of nowhere in Yorkshire of all places, this woman asked if I could hold this absolute beast of a horse steady while she got on it. She’d been walking for miles at this point trying to do just that and hadn’t come across anybody.  As for asking me? Well… But hey (no pun intended) I did it. In truth I’ve never been any good at being serious, or keeping a straight face. It’s probably why my palms have half inch fingernail dents in them. Just joking. But not actually.  So I guess I don’t bung the humour in on purpose. It just appears.

4- Near the end of the story, Ewen joins Callm on the mission. It’s a wonderful twist of sorts, that solidifies the family. When asked why, Ewen answers – “Te get mah bride, Kertyn. Or Ardene. Whitever ane will hae me.

Kertyn returns with Callm and Ewen’s entourage. Does this mean Kertyn marries Ewen?

Well now… I didn’t want to ruin it entirely for the poor girl given he’s not exactly an oil painting, but I guess she is gonna be lady ruler of Lochalpin while Kara is gonna rule her glen. That’s if Kertyn doesn’t do a runner next!!!!  I honestly just don’t like writing cardboardy villains. No-one is all bad.  (except maybe Snotra from the Viking!)

Hahahaha! No oil painting! Just oily! Still, you gave Ewen the talents of dancing and cooking/baking! 

Lol…I did!!  I wanted to give him something!! Also, I wanted to explore resentment between two brothers who ultimately are still brothers.

I wanted to explore Ewen as the younger sibling, the one the lassies never looked at. As he says, no very bonnie, he’s loud, overweight, and cos he has had the glen handed to him on a plate, even down to Callm keeping it safe for him, he’s fallen in with the wrong crowd and is throwing his power around. Meantime here’s the big bro who obvi has done so much right… the wife, the child … in the past anyway.

And by the way Shey, OMG! Snotra is a total bitch!!! 

On that note, I thank Shehanne Moore for  answering all of my questions. I totally enjoyed this book! A+

‘So much of her life had revolved around fear and shock, little paths of darkness she had managed to find her way along, to places where she’d always managed to survive, after all. It hadn’t  broken her. Because the thing she had to care about was always there for her to see. No matter how dark the night. To tell herself it was all gone, lost at Maisie’s croft door, and she should now do as she was told, would be an act of unparalleled folly. She’d no intentions.

Yet it was hard when she also saw clearly as the silver moon above her head that she hadn’t lost Arland at the croft door. She had lost him a long time ago.

Until this moment she just hadn’t wanted to see she had.’

His Judas Bride- Shehanne Moore.


“My name is Resa McConaghy. I’m a Costume Designer for film and television.

“Art Gowns” is a creative project that has sprung from my old Blog,  Queen’s end.

As “Art Gowns” continues on,  I will Post other creative clothing ideas with the “Art Gowns” branding.

All of these ideas, of course, will revolve around the “Art of Glamorous Fantasy”. I’m thinking things like Poetry Shirts, DIY Gowns and DIY Crystaline Accessories.

This is all new to me, and should develop with time.

Cheers! “


https://jeanleesworld.com/2021/09/08/a-powerful-study-in-character-on-this-firstchapter-fiction-podcast-the-unraveling-of-lady-fury-by-shehannemoore/ via @jeanleesworld

Season 3 Episode 33: Shehanne Moore on the Writer/Publisher Connection https://teatoasttrivia.com/2021/08/16/season-3-episode-33-shehanne-moore-on-the-writer-publisher-connection/ via @chasingart

Visiting Wolfe Manor with Adele Marie Park


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Hi, I’m happy to be here today. Hi Dudes, it’s good to finally meet you all.

Wolfe Manor began as an exercise on “showing not telling”, however as is always the case it blossomed into a horror awakening tale of Fianna and the others who called Wolfe Manor home.

I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, dyspraxia, functional neurology disease, and am on the autistic scale. The reason I’m including this information is that it had a lot to do with the development of Fianna and the story.

Change is annoying, I know most people will agree with me but change to someone like me is a nightmare. Confusion, anxiety, and their friends visit and overstay their welcome.

I placed Fianna in her secure life in her secure home, Wolfe Manor. Then threw her a curve ball introducing change in the first chapter by introducing Miriam with her hippy hat and witchy vibes. From there things just got worse for Fianna until she is forced to face her fears and do battle with them.

Did I base Fianna on myself? Well, no. I am lucky enough not to have to battle demons or live in a private school hundreds of years old.

Yet, I have had to battle all through my life against situations, people who have hurt and betrayed me and the loss of family. So, I guess I was writing Fianna from experience to a certain degree.

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Wolfe Manor took a long, long time to come to fruition. When Black Wolfe Books were gracious enough to take me on, there were many re-writes, days, and nights spent going over the manuscript. My wife helped so much, reading the whole manuscript several times, and picking out not only spelling or grammar but whole scenes that didn’t make sense.

I am proud of the finished product and happy to see others enjoy the story and wish for more.

Is there vodka in the story? No but there is plenty of tea drunk.

Speaking of which, the character of Mr Smith, came with a fully realised back story and way of talking that resembles a certain British actor who is well known for playing fantastic gangster characters. Can you guess who it is?

Once she lived a normal life, a good, boring life, but a safe one…

Abandoned as a baby on the steps of Wolfe Manor, Fianna was raised with love, secure inside its walls. Now her bubble of safety is about to burst. Can she save the home and school which once cocooned her when old fears overwhelm? Facing students at the start of a new term is frightening enough without nightmares resurfacing which terrify Fianna.

She may have a degree in teaching but will this skill help her?
The return of old friends sends Fianna spiraling down the rabbit hole of her past. Wolfe Manor may call her to be what she was born to be, but can she find out in time to save it from an evil only she can defeat? Or if she fails and Wolfe Manor falls, what happens when the evil faces humanity unchallenged?

Meet Adele Marie Park Here.



‘Fantasy, horror writer. Forever stories that flow into me and hopefully out of me, onto paper and into your minds. I am from a small Orcadian island called Rousay. I am married to my beautiful wife Becca, who patiently puts up with my creative moods. My daughter Tara, I am so proud of and our dog Dante who keeps us sane, well, as sane as you can get in our world. And say hello, our world is fun, mad and great to visit.’

Read the latest review from Horror Addicts here.

Book Review: Wolfe Manor by Adele Marie Park https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2021/08/15/book-review-wolfe-manor-by-adele-marie-park/ via @horroraddicts13

Carolyn Haynes, Bewitched and a Beloved Star


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Have you ever seen one of those dramatic moments in a film when two people meet, and all the noise in the room disappears?’

CAROLYN. Yes, it was at Hugh Hefner‘s party, and I was there to meet Hugh and his then-girlfriend Barbie Benton. I don’t think I ever believed in love at first sight until that evening. Even then, it took some time before I realized the thunderbolt was love. LOL During my conversation with Lloyd, I asked him what he did for a living, and he told me he was a bra salesman. Considering where we were, I thought business must be good. Besides, Lloyd was too convincing for me to laugh out loud, so I just stared quietly. LOL 

CAROLYN. Lloyd Haynes, the lead actor of the 1970s TV show Room 222. The show had premiered a month earlier, and I missed it and didn’t know who Lloyd was. Despite that evening we weren’t together right away. It was quite a long journey.

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CAROLYN. I started as a child with dancing, ballet, piano, voice, and modeling lessons. Then appeared in a few children’s shows, sang with on-camera personalities. I still have newspaper clippings that my mother saved. I grew into television, films, sang in a few clubs, and Lloyd and I almost toured together as singers, but my family came first.

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CAROLYN. Yes, after Lloyd died, I wasn’t ready to go back to acting, and working with Sol Saks became available.

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CAROLYN. Yes! I’ve been in the process of writing a book on Bewitched for the last two years now. I’m editing at the moment and hope to find a publisher with more clout to launch the book.

CAROLYN. Over the years, people asked questions regarding Lloyd and growing up in the Hollywood area. Then, one day a dear friend suggested I write a book. I was reluctant, but she convinced me.

I prayed a lot and began the four-year adventure that I surprisingly enjoyed. With the success of my first book, I then had the honor to write a book for Sol Saks. Though he did ask me a couple of times while we worked together, I couldn’t imagine writing in those days. 

CAROLYN Thank you, dudes. I hope it’s a book that people enjoy reading. The best advice I received on writing I learned from Sol Saks. During the years we worked together, I took pages of notes on the advice he gave university students, his regime, and experiences writing for newspapers, scripts for radio, television, and books. His words explain it so much better than I can, and I believe I’ve captured the advice in this new book. 


A native of Los Angeles, California U.S.A. and born into a large fun-loving Italian family, I had the good fortune to grow up in Montrose, California and New York. I have been blessed with four wonderfully talented children, worked as an actor, assisted Mr. Sol Saks of “Bewitched” with his writing projects, continued my formal education, and traveled. Now, “Help for Angela,” my first true short story has just been published and Imy special biography, “The Lloyd Haynes Story.” Samuel Lloyd Haynes, notably known for his staring depiction of Pete Dixon on “Room 222,” is a look at an extraordinary international, multicultural, and sometimes controversial soul that I think you will enjoy.






Lloyd Haynes, the beloved star of critically acclaimed 1970s television series Room 222. A visceral story of unyielding love and epic valor, as we follow Lloyd Haynes remarkable journey from a family mortuary to stardom, military officer, and recognition from the U. S. Senate. “With all those gorgeous women around, what made his eyes seek-out yours? Or, did you seek-out his?” Alison Bogert A MUST READ- SUPERBLY WRITTEN – The Tribune

SheyGoths and Otherworld Adventures


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Princess Blue Holly descended gracefully into Otherworld.

She was led by her Tangle-Heart. A moonless night was falling, as it watched over the defoliated magic trees.

Upon arrival, Blue Holly adopted the garb of the common peoples of Otherworld. She wandered tirelessly through a dark, eternal 3 a.m., searching for SheyGoth.

At first the song was far away, but PBH followed the music. AGM Shey was an incurable romantic. She was sure SheyGoth was behind the music.

As PBH drew near to SheyGoth, DracGoth intercepted.

“Princess Blue, I call you out! You are not in your league here. You have few powers to do anything. SheyGoth is here of her own free will. She can only leave of her own free will. We are Otherworld lovers.”

Blue Holly faced him dead on, albeit a tad cheeky.

“Was it the red hair that tipped you off? Look, I just want to talk to SheyGoth!”

SheyGoth appeared behind her Goth lover.“Princess Blue, I have no desire to talk with you!”

PBH replied, “then at least speak with Rene. You owe her that much. She made you, and all of the Art Gowns Models international celebrities.”

Driven by her love for all her AGM sisters, SheyGoth conceded. Blue Holly chose Nowhere & Nothing World, for the meeting. SheyGoth slipped on a simple gown, thereby becoming AGM Shey for the occasion.

A hologram of Rene Rosso appeared. “Come home dear Shey!”

“Remember the gowns, the colours, the joys of the catwalk? Remember Holly, Dale, Marina & Gigi? Remember how all the AGMs help each other? They wait for you! Rebecca Budd says she can’t do another show without you!”

AGM Shey’s memories filled the air around her. Soon her true colour  came back.

AGM Shey looked at RR, and asked,”Will you sing “Once I Was Loved”, by Melody Gardot?”

DracGoth was frantic. “SheyGoth, don’t leave me! I love you! I need you! We are Otherworld lovers!”

“Sorry, Dahling! As much as I love our loving, there is no colour, no daytime, no any other time but 3 a.m. here. The Girlfriends and Gowns are calling. Dahling, you can come up and see me any night! I’ll wait in the dark for you.”

With that, SheyGoth slowly faded into a golden glow. The golden glow was cast upon the leafless magic trees.

Soon AGM Shey’s tree and all other magic trees were green again.

One-eye shed a tear for love.

Princess Blue Holly & Rene Rosso characters © Resa McConaghy & Holly Rene Hunter

Since September 2019

Shey – Gigi – Marina – Dale – Holly

All magic tree photos curtesy of & © Timothy Price – Off Center Not Even

TWO Things of note.

1. I was commissioned to draw Dracula. DracGoth is some of the drawings that did not win. Here is the winner:

2. AGM Shey/aka SheyGoth/ aka Shehanne Moore – IS a true romantic. She writes the best historical romances, ever! Of 8 I’ve read 7. I’ve reviewed 6 here on Art Gowns. More will come!

Click on the above banner & go to Shey’s Amazon page!

In case you missed the first episode to this adventure, click on the pic below, and go there!

Otherworld Adventure https://artgowns.com/2021/05/04/otherworld-adventure/ via @resalis


My name is Resa McConaghy. I’m a Costume Designer for film and television.

“Art Gowns” is a creative project that has sprung from my old Blog,  Queen’s end.

As “Art Gowns” continues on,  I will Post other creative clothing ideas with the “Art Gowns” branding.

All of these ideas, of course, will revolve around the “Art of Glamorous Fantasy”. I’m thinking things like Poetry Shirts, DIY Gowns and DIY Crystaline Accessories.

This is all new to me, and should develop with time.


The Ball’s the Thing


ANNA KARENIN   Leo Tolstoy .  The ball scene.

“The ball had just begun when Kitty and her mother stepped on to the central staircase, which was bathed in light and embellished with flowers and powdered footmen in red livery. From the interior came a steady rustle of movement which filled the rooms like bees buzzing in a hive, and while they adjusted their hair in front on a mirror between the potted plants on the landing, the delicately clear sounds of the violins in the orchestra could be heard striking up the first waltz in the ballroom.”

Shey. As Silv just said there –sorry, just let me let go of her paws–I am on my 8th book and when that’s done there will have been a ball, or dance scene in six of them. I was uncertain re this latest one whether the ball would actually take place but on reflection, I am big on what ball scenes in books can offer. You can blame the scene in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenin for that. It’s not only a case in point being the first time Vronsky and Anna really eye each other up, leaving Kitty standing. The lavish description of the ball, of Kitty descending the staircase, full of starry eyed hope was like a beacon to me when I read that book. An eternity ago now but even now, I can remember it. Before that, talking balls? Well, there was Cinderella. I used the idea of Cinderella shamelessly in Splendor. The second ball scene –yes there’s two– is the big pivotal moment where she finds out the whole truth about the hero and runs, realising there’s things she can’t manage—managing things being her biggest strength and greatest flaw– and things she can’t lay on him either, leaving her glove on the stairs. Of course I thought the shoe might be a bit much, as would hamsters pulling the coach.

I’m sure you were asked but you fell under the wheels and that is why you are crushed. Sadly.

A ball also gave scope for when he loses her in a complicated dance set, mirrorring the maze of hopelessness he then lives in for months, and the contrast between this glittering world and the one facing her, if she doesn’t ‘manage’ this evening and that of her ex fiance, now begging in the gutter outside.

But the first ball scene was ideal for the hero really noticing what’s been under his nose and that’s her, as opposed to the awkward, clumsy, accident-prone, woman who has faced him as a man across a pair of duelling pistols and a chessboard. From the liveried footmen to the shining chandeliers, balls are such glittering occasions, all kinds of magic can be at work. Especially when neither partner can dance and they don’t want anyone knowing either.

I dunno dudes, you tell me. In the Viking and the Courtesan, Malice decides to confront her husband in a similar glittering scenario, after he’s set the law on her for services unrendered re a little biz she runs– a move that backfires spectacularly when, having failed to recognise her, he then kidnaps her at fork and knife-hurriedly-nicked-from-the-kitchen-point, after she tries to insist that the pillow she’s stuffed up her skirt is far more than that; all to the tune of a Mozart minuet.

‘Since you were low enough to ask us, naturally we were low enough to come.’

Miitchell Killgower cuts his’ ball’-breaking ex sister-in-law and aunt by marriage, short at the start of the ball scene in the Writer and the Rake. A ball she’s thrown in the middle of a bitter inheritance dispute, in order to expose the fact his ‘wife’ in his sham marriage has been missing presumed vanished off the face of the earth for weeks. It’s another pivotal moment where the heroine discovers that Morte, a man roughly five years older than herself is in fact her ten times great grandson and aged a thousand, and has her revolting feet admired by Francis Dashwood,—the actual founder of the Hellfire Club. Balls are also a great place to introduce real historical figures.

Again, neither hero nor heroine can dance, except the latter on a 21st century nightclub floor. But they’ve had a lot of fun learning–a good chance to sort of get together–with the help of Mitchell’s polar opposite teenage son, who he’s finally liking. Alas, all before Brittany learns from Morte, exactly what she’s doing wrong about getting back to her time. Sob, sob as the dudes would say.

Nor do balls have to be grand society affairs as in these three books. In Loving Lady Lazuli the fact the ball was set in Assembly Rooms in a small town, and held for everyone regardless of class, on Christmas Eve, was a good excuse to delve into a more rustic affair, with children jigging on the upstairs landing and farmer’s wives unpacking pot luck suppers. And the perfect scenario

for the heroine to go for broke with an I am Spartacus moment about who she really is. Or rather an ‘I am Sapphire,’ after she’s gone round nicking every thing she can lay her hands on and dump it on the floor, because the hero intends betraying her so what does it matter? It’s also the perfect scenario for him to show exactly the man he really is and finally admit his feelings for her.

There’s no grand ball in His Judas Bride either. Not in the wilds of Scotland at that time. There’s a supper party/ dance, where the heroine learns that her drunken, womanising, horror of a husband-to-be may have other sides to him–he’s an ‘awfie guid cook, when he lays aff the nips’ apparently. But there’s still no way she can marry him, after he insists not just on dancing with her but in her showing off the fine dancing skills she’s allegedly learnt in ‘Edinboro.’ With the emphasis on the word ‘allegedly’ and every step of what she’s making up, under the nose of her betrothed’s brother, a man nothing gets past, reminding her of the abuse she suffered for years in a prison cell, she also learns it’s time to run, as in ‘now’,

thus setting up the rest of the book.

SO yes, after much debate the current WIP does have a ball scene. Why the uncertainty? Well, that it’s being held in an abandoned house, by two people on the run and even the food on the guests’ plates is of course

nicked and not a bowl matches a plate, should be answer enough. Also I didn’t want to go for another world crashing in ruins ball scene. But equally, if a world is going to crash…….

, where better to let it fall than on a ballroom floor?

So, there you go, balls in books, balls in films. From Scarlett O’Hara leaping forward to….raise money for the ‘noble’ cause., with Rhett Butler, Anna and the King of Siam, to Maria getting up close and personal with Captain Von Trapp–AND, let’s not forget one I forgot until Rene reminded me in the comments, Jezebel where Bette Davis loses her lover over a red dress. Even if there’s no ball, there’s dancing, the romance of Dirty Dancing, of Strictly Ballroom.

So come on folks, tell me your fav ball or dance scene that way?

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Oh come on dudes, just crack open the voddie and get on with the cossack dance will you?

The Rogues of Cornwall and O’Roarke’s Destiny—the best laid schemes …

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The Rogues of Cornwall and O’Roarke’s Destiny—the best laid schemes … Shehanne Moore

Firstly I’d like to thank Elizabeth Schultz for inviting me along to Authors’ Lounge, a great resource from all I can see, for authors, so a great honor to be here.

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Secondly if you know anything about quotes, you might recognise the bit about the schemes, coming from a poem by Scotland’s own bard, Rabbie Burns, “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men, Gang aft a-gley.” which roughly translates as, ‘you can make your plans as foolproof as you want, they will still go to pot. Indeed they are a hundred times more likely to.’

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O’Roarke’s Destiny never began life as  a darkly dangerous tale of ghosts, grief, old scores, curses, secret passages, mythical figures, old houses, smugglers, or the excisemen charged with bringing that particular ‘cottage industry’  under control, (trying to rather).

Will you shut up?

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It wasn’t called O’Roarke’s Destiny, or even set in Cornwall either for that matter. It was a frothy, little comedy about the ownership of a house, starting, not when the hero wins it  in a dodgy card game, (the heroine too, after she rashly throws herself in with it,  not knowing who to)  but a few years later when he announces he’s getting married and it’s not to her.

Boy, when it comes to plans, am I glad I’ve never seen a book beyond chapter one. I might get upset otherwise.

The hero whispered early on that he didn’t want to own some fancy pad in Hampshire, he fancied Cornwall and the book should start with the house being lost to the heroine. Then he didn’t want to be a ‘poor boy made good,’ house and garden designer either. He wanted that to be a front for smuggling—temporarily—because, of course, then he didn’t want to be a real smuggler, since it made him look very bad indeed and he was already bad enough.  Instead he wanted to have been forced into it to assist the excisemen because of his dodgy business dealings. But that was temporary too, since, on reflection, that made him look even badder.

Wouldn’t it be a million times better–in addition to you lot shutting up– if he was an exciseman, an undercover exciseman, a man on the edge, who has gone rogue, messed up horrendously on the last job, and can’t afford to stray again, as in ever again?  But at every turn he’s haunted?

 Oh, and could he please be called something other than Manning Carver too?  Thank you. You can see my heroes don’t ask for very much at all. Just a dude free zone.

Fortunately I could see there were some merits in what he wanted. Inspiration had originally sparked one night over a glass of wine with now sadly deceased, friend. It had been a difficult time selling the family home of nearly 30 years and I’d been telling her how a pupil’s father had come to the door, said he’d been shafted on buying the house, three doors along,  was going to make a very good offer on ours and please don’t worry about showing him round.  He understood this must be difficult to sell a house like this after all the years.

 ‘Wow,’ she said.

 ‘The deal was done on the spot,’ said I. ’Maybe I should have turfed myself in as a housekeeper while I was about it?’ A joke of course but my mind started whirring.

 As for the move of the story to Cornwall? Maybe I haven’t been there but I have always loved stories about smugglers and they were on my ‘get to’ list for a future book. So, why not this one,  a hopefully raunchy historical romance, about two flawed people, who have been damaged by life,  finding redemption and happiness, since that’s what I write. It may take them a bit, but it’s what   I hope readers over a certain age can relate to.  Maybe getting a few laughs along the way at the idiosyncrasies, the gall and lack of self awareness of the characters? As I wrote it I also thought this could be the first in a series about undercover agents. Book two, Wryson’s Eternity, about a secondary character in O’Roarke’s Destiny, a man who intriguingly doesn’t know who he is and an ‘extra,’ a woman who is only seen briefly through a window in one scene, is nearly finished.

So my goal is to extend O’Roarke’s Destiny into three books.

I guess the moral is, you don’t have to have everything meticulously plotted to write that book that’s in you.  You just have to be unafraid to start.

In fact, living here in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Scotland, on the banks of the River Tay, naturally devoted to my family, who live nearby,  I’m surrounded by some wonderful scenery. Being out in the wilds, the Glencoe  mountains especially,  led me to compare writing a book to hill walking. How? Well it’s like this. ‘I see the beginning, I see the end and in the middle, I hope I won’t fall on my ass too much.’

Once again, a big thank you Authors’ Lounge. You’re the best.

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EXTRACT……. The bit that threw the book and left me thinking……………….since when???

He’d never known any man leave it at that around her. Look at Nick Trengouse, threatening to blow his head off with a pistol after she turned down his offer of marriage, look at Harold Penhaligan who’d gone to drink and the devil when she’d finished toying with him for giddy months on end. It didn’t matter how changed she was.

Rose was here,  waiting to ambush him. What would she think if he followed Destiny Rhodes upstairs, presuming the dead could think?  Over his dead body could he go up these stairs. 

“Then tomorrow can’t come fast enough, sir,” Gil said. “Because if she ever finds out what your business really is she’ll go to the law. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“I don’t doubt it, but aren’t you forgetting one thing?”


“I am the law.”