More Hecklers, More Hamsters and More Reviews


, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Review:

The Writer and The Rake


Shehanne Moore


I can confirm Shehanne Moore is no Miss Barbara Cartland.

Now there is two ways you can take this news. If you are anything like me it will be with a lusty huzzah and an air punch. I was never one for simpering virgins and sex scenes discretely ending outside the bedroom door.

Shehanne Moore writes historical romance with a sci-fi twist that’s unapologetically smexy. For those who don’t know, smexy (her word, not mine) is a cross between smutty and sexy… raunchy romance in the raw… or is that with a roar? Cos, boy, does the gal deliver!

If you want a complex heroine, so feisty she could bitch slap you in a stand-up row, meet tough but vulnerable Brittany Carter – ‘brittle as porcelain and deadlier than shattered glass. An irresistible combination.’

If you like a ruggedly handsome man, oozing animal magnetism, you can’t go far wrong with Mitchell Killgower. He’s not so tough. Underneath them smouldering looks and icy demeanour beats a heart to make you melt. At least something will be wet by the end of the novel.

By that I mean if a ‘good man who needs saving from himself’ don’t bring a tear to your eye then you are no Brittany Carter – not matter how smexy and gorgeous you are – ‘darling!’

Brittany is a struggling historical romance writer and no simpering virgin. Like most good-looking modern women in their mid-twenties, she’s had her fair share of men; all of them disappointments.

The book opens when a stranger called Morte stops Brittany for her autograph. Or so she thinks.

To be honest she’s not taking much notice. The girl’s got a lot on her mind. Off to straighten out her finances with some crap-head she used to date – he took everything but somehow managed to leave her name on a mortgage he’s not paying.

Morte’s weird, more stalker than fan. As his ominous warning about making the right choice rings in her ears, lightning strikes him. Brittany does the decent thing: calls an ambulance; helps Morte live.

Wrong choice!

Next thing Brittany wakes up in a sixteen year boy’s dusty bed. Wound tight as a cheese wire garrotte, she desperately plays it cool, frantically struggling to keep herself together while figuring out what the hell happened?

The boy’s furious. Handsome dad’s furious too. Not with her; with each other.

All the while she’s praying it’s a nightmare and she’ll wake up. Gradually it dawns. She’s somehow travelled through time, back to 1765 to be precise. To a crumbling stately home in Georgian England and the middle of a bitter inheritance feud between handsome rakish father and puritan unloved son, and with a cow of a sister-in-law holding the purse strings and fuelling the whole debacle.

The Writer and the Rake starts at 100 miles an hour and never flags. It is an unrelenting tour de force; a dazzling pas-de-deux of searing wit and laugh out loud moments between Brittany and Mitchell. The frisson between them is tangible, popping and fizzing across the pages as they slog it out to gain the upper hand, only to have the other snatch it back.

Despite wanting to return to her own time Brittany can’t take her eyes off Mitchell; while he can’t keep his hands off her behind. So, what about Morte? Don’t worry, he’s there too. Intent on sealing his Faustian bargain.

When Mitchell sees Morte with Brittany, he’s jealous as hell of her secret lover. It’s just the spark they need for scorching emotions to boil over into reckless sex. Even if you don’t smoke, you’ll be reaching for that post-coital cigarette Brittany can never have because she ran out in the first few days.

Casual sex has consequences. Hell, Brittany knows that. But she’s not prepared for what they are. Ok it’s not the first time she’s woken in a strange bed. But this one’s oddly familiar. She’s leapfrogged forward to her own time to find she’s been missing for weeks, presumed kidnapped, and her books are now best sellers.


Morte picks his moment to explain it all; a drunken night out with the girls. Apparently she’s a time mutant – the mother of a dynasty. Shame she’s too pissed to take it in.

Talk about sealed with a kiss. One drunken snog with some bloke in the club and Brittany’s back to Mitchell’s crumbling house. Only one thing for it, seduce Mitchell and use the ride of her life to hitchhike through the centuries back to her duly deserved fame and fortune.

Here lies the rub.

Mitchell’s the man she wants, the one she’s been waiting for all her life. She knows it from the moment he sweeps her up in his strong arms and drops her on his big old bed. From the second he unbuttons her bodice, and she his breeches. If only he was from her time. If, if, if…

If this is her last kiss; the last time she can make love for fear of ricocheting through the ages with every orgasm, then there is no one she would rather do it with.

Life’s never that simple, is it Brittany? Not with destiny calling… loud and clear.

The Writer and the Rake is a genre-bending adventure. It confirms Shehanne Moore as an author who know today’s woman is as likely to be into science fiction, playing computer games or watching light porn as reading heavy romance. And Moore’s not afraid to give her readers what they want … without ifs, buts or apologies.

The dialogue is racy, witty and thoroughly modern. This is no cod 18th century comedy of manners. That would get in the way of the lust and punishing pace. Her characters are real: gritty, decent and flawed as the rest of us. And ultimately, as redeemable by love we all are. Though it’s bloody hard work for them sometimes!

And in case you are thinking this is just for the girls, I’d advise you to give it a shot, lads. Cos let’s face it… it does no harm knowing what your woman wants.

O Hecklers & Hamsters, Sarah Potter & Book Reviews


, , , , , , , ,





all images from–and more info from

The Writer and the Rake (Time Mutants #2)The Writer and the Rake by Shehanne Moore
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I totally loved everything about this time-travel romance and would give it ten stars if I could.

Brittany Carter is an author, who drinks, smokes, and parties too much. After a surreal encounter with a character called Morte, she’s transported to the Georgian era and meets bad boy Mitchell Killgower, who is locked into an inheritance dispute with some hateful relatives of his deceased wife. When Brittany materialises out of nowhere, he hopes she can prove useful by pretending to be his obedient and mousy wife for long enough to hoodwink those who hold the purse strings and stop his son getting the inheritance. The only trouble is that the feisty Brittany is incapable of fitting into this role and Mitchell has truly met his match on the impossible person’s front.

I don’t want to give too much away, as this will spoil readers’ fun; and the novel is such great fun, in a quirky sense of the word, always sustaining a great forward momentum with wonderfully entertaining dialogue. Come to think of it, I don’t recall the author using any dialogue tags at all and, if she did, they weren’t intrusive.

Brittany is often insufferable, but also pretty cool in a chaotic way. Mitchell is a Mr Darcy type: dark, handsome, brooding, stubborn, hard to impress, and master of his heart, but decidedly sexier than the original. His relationship with Brittany is meant as a short-term arrangement of convenience and nothing more. And the feeling is mutual …until it isn’t.

Speaking of the raunchy scenes, Shehanne Moore knows how to write about sex in a way that’s humorous, playful, erotic and, at times, intense. It’s never explicit, because it doesn’t need to be; the subtle interplay of all the human senses is sufficient.

On the hilarity front, the crowning moment for me is when Mitchell rifles through Brittany’s bag and puzzles over its contents from the future, and then questions her about one of the items in particular.

If you haven’t already guessed, I fell in love with Mitchell and felt really sorry for him when Brittany kept appearing and disappearing. A rake like Mitchell does not give his heart easily to a woman, preferring the casual company of floosies when needs dictate.

The Writer and the Rake can be read as a standalone novel, even though it’s the second part of a series. One reviewer has suggested that, in order to understand the time mutants better, it’s an idea to read the series in the right order, starting with The Viking and the Courtesan.

As you can imagine, Time Mutants #1 is near the top of my reading list, as I can’t get enough of Shehanne Moore’s writing and am delighted to have discovered someone with such a fresh and original voice.

A highly recommended read.



It’s a Man’s World. The lot of women in later Regency times.


, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



It’s A Man’s World – with Shehanne Moore

‘You wait ages for one Shehanne Moore book and then two come along at once! Hot on the heels of her irrepressible timeslip novel The Writer and the Rake, comes her long-awaited Regency – Splendor – sequel to the fabulous Loving Lady Lazuli. Shehanne has the knack of creating unforgettable heroines set against an authentic historical backdrop.

Here she talks about some extraordinary women on the late 18th/early 19th century.’

In terms of being a wife in ruination only which is what he has just asked, you can see my latest hero, Kendall Winterborne, Earl of Stillmore, is following in well-trodden footsteps when it comes to my heroes.  As for Splendor the heroine? Well, being up to her neck in it, goes with the turf.

I recently did a guest blog for the lovely  poet Christy Birmingham,  on the pretty awful lot of Georgian Women.  Splendor  is set in a slightly later time, Regency more than early Georgian, where the hunt for a husband was a serious business, families spent a fortune on their daughters,  ‘coming out’ and unattached ladies had but one goal, NOT to signal what that goal was. But what happened when they achieved that goal?

Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley—and a woman who defied convention– had published her  Rights of Women in 1792.

It highlighted the ‘means and arts by which women had been forcibly subjugated, flattered into imbecility and invariably held in bondage’. So all good for women then? A great time being spent in pursuing frivilous  goals?  On going to dances with wet skirts as a means of showing off their legs and getting lots of attention from the male sex, of arriving dirt-poor from the country and passing oneself off as an heiress to bag a rich suitor? All things that went on, things that are alluded to in Splendor. So, a jolly good time for women then? Right?  

 Well, no. Contraception, childbirth etc, had  not greatly improved.  For women, chastity before marriage, was often as much a matter of necessity.  

 Also women were still their husband’s property.  My hero Stillmore may be divorced, he certainly got all his wife’s money beforehand. In fact marrying her saved the family fortunes after his father ran off with a kitchen maid who bankrupted them.

So, given all this, you can understand Splendor being glad when Stillmore informs her that while this ’thing’  he’s asking her in such polite and patient terms, involves marriage, it will be one in name only, since he utterly despises and actively fears the institution. In fact he regards anyone foolish enough to take that trip down the aisle, as he once did, as an imbecile. 

He has his reasons by the way.

 You can also see, given the only slightly improved lot of women in the early 19th century, why quite a few of them wanted to be a man. And that is something Splendor is masquerading as at the start of the book.  Not because she especially wants to be a man but because the prize money in a certain chess completion is much greater in the men’s part of the tournament, than the ladies. Nine and a half thousand guineas greater to be precise. Money she needs—badly.

   In that respect she’s not the first woman to decide that going about this as a man was the way to ensure her future as a woman. Katherine Ferrers—The Wicked Lady anyone—was said to have taken to the highways as a man in her husband’s absence,  to sort out the little blip in her finances, get them on a more even keel. 

 Too bad that she was apparently shot, exhorting a victim to stand and deliver, which they did, killing her in the process.  Looking on the bright side, at least her financial worries were at an end.  Something Splendor certainly considers when she gets challenged to a duel by Stillmore. Just one of the little drawbacks of entering a man’s world. 

 Very well, Katherine’s case has never actually been proved but the idea of women dressing as men is not stupid.  Shakespeare chooses to make his main character in Twelfth Night, Viola, a cross-dresser. She wasn’t laughed off the stage either. all right she was no doubt being played by a man dressing as a woman, masquerading as a man. 

 Shakespeare also has each of the three women in the Merchant of Venice, dress as men at certain points of the play, for perfectly valid reasons. Again, the idea wasn’t derided.

Why does Viola cross-dress?  Because, ship-wrecked and needing to find her brother, she is also faced with the harsh economic reality of finding work and the only opening? Yep, you guessed it. It’s for a man.

There are several instances of women cross dressing for that reason.

Christian Cavanagh, an Irish-born mother, left her children with her mother and a nurse to pursue her husband who had disappeared, into the army. Christian the subject of a book by Daniel Defoe, fought in several battles before it was discovered it was Mrs. Davies not Mr. 

  Pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read never masqueraded as men but they certainly lived as them. 

 Lady Caroline Lamb, as mad, bad and dangerous to know as her lover,  the poet Byron, being rich, didn’t need to dress as a man to make her way in that world, unlike her poorer ‘sisters.’ But when she fancied a quickie with Byron, she did find that sneaking into his chambers was a lot easier, if she was dressed as a boy.   

Author and mistress of Chopin, George Sand, who I forgot to mention in the original post- (How the hell could I ever miss out George?) never dressed as a man because she wanted to be one, took the name George either. Originally she only wanted to go to the theatre, to the cheap seats where women were forbidden. Why did she want the cheap seats? Because she couldn’t live with her husband any more, divorce was illegal and he cut her monthly allowance.    I reckon that women, were doing what resourceful women, have done from time immemorial, and that’s survive. Whatever the era.  And freed from having to be a woman certainly seemed to make them quite as dangerous to know in some instances too.    Catherine Cavendish, thank you so much, lady and writer extraordinary for asking me to your wonderful blog today.

And now? That duel.

Extract from Splendor: Shehanne Moore

He was an unashamedly driving, look-at-me male. Unless he knew her body was shaped differently? Did it mean he wasn’t going to shoot her? She could stay in the tournament? Win the ten thousand pounds? If he knew she was a woman, he was surely going to say…

“For God’s bloody sake, you’re damn well meant to move,” Stillmore snarled. “Stop bloody arsing, will you?”

In all of her intimate brush with the Starkadder Sisterhood, she had never been told to stop doing such a thing, especially not by a man whose buttocks seemed glued to hers. She felt him turn his head. 

“Don’t damn well add miscounting to cheating.”

“Miscounting? Me? When you—”

“Fram, start the count again. As for you, try to do what he says this time if it’s not beyond you.”

Despite the fact the pistol felt like ice in her hand, she gritted her teeth. “Do you somehow think it’s my fault I’m not? Look, Your Grace—”


Whether it was her fault or not, the shock she got at hearing the word yet again and the difficulty of forcing her feet to move, meant she took a giant step forward, almost sliding on her said arse on the wet grass. These damned boots of Gabe’s were too large and thin as milk dribble on the soles. But so long as Kendall Winterborne didn’t think this was another trick on her part to delay the action, it would be all right.


Another step. She could barely keep hold of herself as she took it. But, count her blessings, her senses weren’t being accosted by the feel of him. The man…good God…who might kill her.


A drag of air into her tortured lungs. All she had to do was get off one round. How hard was that? Her finger tightened on the trigger. What if she killed the earl? Was he so black-hearted he deserved to die?

And all because he’d undermined her when she’d meant to say, I’m a woman. You can’t shoot me. Or had she undermined herself, precisely because she was a woman?


For God’s sake, was it five paces or six? Seven even? She could not remember for the mist snaking into her nostrils. And she needed to remember. As surely as her name was Dora Malachi whom everyone called Aurora Splendora, she needed to remember. She would be shot in the back otherwise. Then…then she’d be dead.

“Five… Six…”

But there was no sharp retort, no searing agony, no impact of a bullet tearing cloth and flesh, so obviously, obviously, when it came to how many paces, it wasn’t, five, or six. It couldn’t be. It must be…


 The word wasn’t even out when she seized a breath and swung on her heel, managing just to keep her balance in the dew. Her fingers squeezed the trigger. She should have aimed, but it wasn’t as if she could see, so it made no difference. The crack ricocheted through her head, reverberating around every cavity in her eardrums. Crows rose like a screeching blanket from the ground. It was nothing to the noise Kendall Winterborne, the Earl of Stillmore, made as he hopped on one foot.

“Jesus bloody Christ. Jesus suffering bloody Christ.”

Nothing to the way he limped about, blackening the air with curses as she stood trying to look knowledgeable either. The buzz in her ears swelled. Starkadder and his silver watch fob chain she never got to polish, she hadn’t hit him, had she? How on earth she had managed to get that shot off, she had no idea. How it had blasted him in the foot either. But she had blasted him. Oh God, oh God, oh God. She had fired. He hadn’t. It meant one thing.

Even the somewhat large, staggered first pace she’d taken had not substantially increased the distance between them. For that she’d have had to bolt. So now…now he didn’t just stop hopping, he stopped dead center in the space opposite, the space he’d occupied just before she’d shot off her pistol, the smoking pistol that slithered from her palm, making a funny thudding noise as it struck the soft grass.

He raised his arm. Raised one eyebrow too. Her gaze widened in an involuntary spasm, so she saw the drizzle-sprayed mist, and his eyes primed on her like flintlocks above the shining barrel of the gun. The one now leveled at her breast, so carefully aimed, he could not miss.

A shudder shook her as his eyes narrowed, his brow furrowed. His finger fastened slowly on the trigger.

Then he drew it slowly, deliberately toward his chest.



 The only thing he hates more than losing at chess is marriage…

 For Splendor, former servant to the London’s premiere jewel thieves, pretending to be someone else is all in a day’s work. So when she learns of a chess tournament—a men’s chess tournament—with a ten thousand pound prize, pretending to be a man is the obvious move. The money will be enough to set her fiancé up in his own business so they can finally marry, and more importantly, it’ll pay off her bills and keep her out of debtor’s prison. But she doesn’t plan on her opponent, the rakish Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, being a sore loser—and a drunken one, at that. But before she can collect her prize, she finds herself facing the most merciless man in London across a pair of dueling pistols at dawn. Chess may be Splendor’s game, but she’s never fired a pistol. And dressed as a man with ill-fitting shoes on the slippery grass and borrowed glasses that make it hard to see, she’s certain she’s finally tipped her own king.

 Bitter divorcee Kendall Winterborne, Earl Stillmore, is the ton’s most ruthless heartbreaker. And he’s got three pet peeves: kitchen maids, marriage…and losing. So when he realizes the “man” opposite him has entered the chess tournament under false pretenses, he’s in the perfect position to extort the little chit. But that’s before the exasperating woman begins to slip beneath his skin, and soon all he can think about is slipping beneath her skirts. But the confounded woman is engaged to someone else, and worse—she’s nothing but a former kitchen maid, just like the one that lured his father into the marriage that ruined the family name. And his ex-wife taught him more than he cared to know about why marriage was the worst kind of checkmate of all…

Etopia Press Bookstore


Barnes and Noble


Google Play


Oil, Water, Bees and P.J. Lazos


, , , , , ,

Pam.   My interest in the environment definitely came first. I remember talking to trees as a child. My mom has a video of my as an infant, wrapped up in a blanket, staring up at the tree she had set me under, just jabbering away.

Pam. I have no idea what we were talking about, me and the tree, but it was in earnest. After college, I went to work for a law firm as a paralegal and after a year I was bored. My bosses convinced me to go to law school; I didn’t really want to be a lawyer.


Pam – But I decided that being an environmental attorney would be the one kind of law I could happily practice so that’s what I did. Ran it into the ground, you mean. 

 Pam.  No. Absolutely not.

Pam – Although, despite all my blog posts about how we have to care for the Earth and live sustainably, etc., I think we’re more like fleas on a dog where we and the Earth are concerned. She don’t pay us no mind when you really think about it and She will always have the last word (as women should!).

Pam — My favorite experience so far has been writing my novel, “Oil and Water.” It’s a crap-ton of fun, being in the zone, letting your characters lead you to wherever the heck they feel like going. I am working on another novel right now, but haven’t hit my stride yet from a time perspective — always a challenge to find enough time to write — so the characters haven’t started talking to me. I’m trying to find the magic hour where I can write every day. When I wrote “Oil and Water” it was 5 a.m., but I go to bed way too late to get up that early this time around.


Pam — Probably more than I even realize.

Pam – “Oil and Water” was an eco thriller, but I also wrote “The Quality of Light” which is about hydraulic fracturing and am currently working on another novel about pharmaceutics. Even when I’m not writing about the environment, there are eco themes running through the stories.  I start with a basic rough outline, not anything as elaborate as a five-act structure, but more like a screenplay’s three-act structure — in the beginning there is this premise (plotter), then there’s this wide open sea of possible ways to get there (panster), and then the end is going to be this (plotter). Not sure what that makes me.

Pam -Well, my husband had kept bees for a long time, long before we even met, and it became one of the staples of our marriage and what we did with the kids, keeping the bees, collecting the honey — every year we’d have a big party when we harvested the honey — making stuff like soap and lip balm and hand lotion with the honey and bees wax, and it’s not something I would have ever thought to do on my own. Sadly, the last few years we haven’t had bees. There were a few years in a row where they all just up and died or disappeared. We kept starting new hives and they’d make it through the winter and then die in the spring. My husband gave up in frustration and I can’t talk him into starting up again. He thinks we’d need all new equipment, that maybe the frames are contaminated with pesticides and that’s what’s killing the bees or maybe contributing to their disappearance. Some years ago we moved our bees to an organic farm, but bees have a 6-mile foraging radius so that wasn’t going to be enough to keep them from eating pesticide-laden food. Each of the last three springs I’ve thought I’d make a go of it on my own, but I really am not ready to do it alone, hence the apprentice.

Pam – It’s like breath. And it’s cheaper than therapy.

Pam–What’s next? A full deep breath and then another sentence.

When inventor Martin Tirabi builds a machine that converts trash into oil it sends shockwaves through the corporate halls of the oil cognoscenti. Weeks later, Marty and his wife, Ruth are killed in a mysterious car accident. Their son, Gil, a 10-year old physics prodigy is the only one capable of finishing the machine that could solve the world’s energy problems. Plagued with epilepsy from birth, Gil is also psychic, and through dreams and the occasional missive from his dead father he gets the push he needs to finish the job.

Meanwhile, Bicky Coleman, head of Akanabi Oil is doing his best to smear the planet in it. From a slow leak in the Gulf of Mexico to the most devastating oil spill the Delaware River has ever seen, Akanabi’s corporate practices are leaving oily imprints in their wake. To divert the tide of bad press, Bicky dispatches his son-in-law and Chief Engineer, David Hartos to clean up his mess. A disillusioned Hart, reeling from the recent death of his wife and unborn child, travels to Philadelphia to fulfill his father-in-law’s wishes.

There’s no such thing as coincidence when Hart meets Gil and agrees to help him finish Marty’s dream machine. But how will he bring such a revolutionary invention to market in a world reliant on fossil fuels and awash in corporate greed? To do so, Hart must confront those who would quash the project, including his own father-in-law.
You’ll find murder, mystery, and humor as black as fine Arabian crude filling the pages of Oil and Water. The characters are fictional, but the technology is real. What will we do when the oil runs out? Open up and see.


P. J. Lazos is the author of the novel Oil and Water, about oil spills and green technology, and of Six Sisters, a collection of novellas; a blogger for the Global Water Alliance (GWA) in Philadelphia; on the Board of Advisors for the wH2O Journal, the Journal of Gender and Water (U of Penn); a member of the Jr. League of Lancaster; a former correspondent for her local newspaper (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal now LNP); a literary magazine contributor (Rapportage); an editor; a ghostwriter; an author of a children’s book (Into the Land of the Loud); an environmental lawyer; and, because it’s cool, a beekeeper’s apprentice. She practices laughter daily.




Have you ever heard of the Hellfire Club? The Lot of Women in Georgian England-reblog


, , , , , , , , , , , ,


Quote about Women

Have You Heard of the Hellfire Club? The Lot of Women in Georgian England (Guest Post) Shehanne Moore

155 Replies

Here with me today is historical romance author Shehanne Moore. We go back a ways, Shey and I, so when I heard about her new book The Writer and the Rake, I asked her to come visit the blog. She kindly agreed to write a guest post, and, wow, she has provided quite a read about Georgian England, women, and the writing process. Now, let’s give Shehanne Moore the stage.


Let’s be clear here, this is not a paean of praise to Francis Dashwood’s exclusive club for high society rakes.  When meetings often included mock rituals, items of a pornographic nature, much drinking, wenching and banqueting, what kind of a person do you think I am? And while the hero of my latest book has every selfish reason to appear enlightened about women, he has a point. Women were not able to walk into a tavern and drink in these days, the way they do now. In fact, a woman’s lot in 1765 was one to die for and not as we have come to know that term either.

Firstly, let me thank this very special woman, Christy Birmingham, for asking me, a romance author, to her blog today.  It’s a great pleasure to be here and to know Christy, one of the most supportive women I know, a tremendous poet and an intelligent advocate for us ladies.  My home town, Dundee, gave the U.S. Fanny Wright, lecturer, writer, freethinker, feminist, abolitionist, and social reformer, born here in 1795.

From Dundee to the U.S., Meet Francis Wright

Where the lot of Georgian women was concerned it’s a pity she hadn’t been born a bit earlier and hadn’t been lost to across the pond.

My idea in writing this book was to take Brittany, a young woman from today’s world and have her flit between Georgian England and the present day. You know ,I even thought how nice, gracious  and sedate that Jane Austenish world would be, that within hours of arriving, she’d be so calmed by the green-fielded pleasantry and ladies in rustic bonnets everywhere,  she’d fall totally in love with this charming world. DUH.  What is it they say about the best laid plans? The more I looked into this alien galaxy and the lot of women, the clashier, not classier, this became. And not just between my hero and heroine either. What was interesting was the things I had to go to bat for re this book.

The hero is a rake but before anyone thinks too badly of him, a lot of upper crust men from that era were because most society marriages were arranged. Sometimes affection grew but not for my hero, whose shy, awkward, naïve, young wife, he was railroaded into marrying at sixteen,  hated him on sight, so he joined the ranks of men who went elsewhere. At least he didn’t force the issue which he would have been perfectly within his rights to do.

If, as a woman, you think you would have been free to say no, or choose your spouse, think again. You and your belongings, all these nice shoes, bags, books, everything in fact you thought were yours, were, in fact,  your hubby’s. Take the case of rich heiress, Lady Mary Bowes, an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth 2nd, and the subject of The Luck of Barry Lyndon, by Thackeray. Her second husband kidnapped her, beat, gagged and carried her around the countryside  on horseback, in winter, all to stop her divorcing him and keep his hands on her fortune.

And to think my editor initially complained after my hero, at the end of his tether and really not understanding  why my heroine wouldn’t do what he asked regarding the servants, stuck her under a water pump.

Talking servants, Mary Bowes escaped only with the help of loyal ones.  The initially sympathetic public were affronted to learn of her affair with her lawyer’s brother and felt she was quite wrong not to hand her money over to her abusive, swindling, husband.

Interestingly, that was another editorial clash where no questions were raised over my hero but some shock was expressed that my heroine had  a history of getting drunk in the present day and went with random men.

So, that’s marriage. Next up? Childbirth. In Georgian England, public opinion was against contraception within marriage.  Romance writers Google all sorts –ahem—let’s face it, these things have to be looked after.

And, I understand sheep’s intestines were all the rage for prevention. Soaked in water, of course, for an hour beforehand and torture to get on. Small wonder my hero quite welcomed the contents of my heroine’s bag. Childbirth was one of the most dangerous threats to a woman’s health and life. Up to 20% of women died during or after childbirth. Small wonder too my heroine wants back to her time.

Childbirth wasn’t the only killer. Noblewomen—and we are talking noblewomen here, although the lot of a poor woman was as bad in different ways— noblewomen caught diseases passed on from their husband’s prostitutes. They suffered barbaric ‘bleedings’ during pregnancies, developed lead poisoning from their make up, indeed as my heroine  Brittany thinks–

Author Quote from The Writer and the Rake

The Lot of Georgian Women. Quote by Shehanne Moore.

And before anyone thinks their lives were frivolous in their smelly gowns—wash day once a month, baths very seldom—their powdered wigs it took hours to arrange, the lady of the house was tasked with running that same house, of getting up early to instruct the servants on their daily duties and supervise the kitchen, because the servants were mostly illiterate and couldn’t write things down, meal choices, polishing,  etc. before sitting down to breakfast at eleven. My heroine thinks the eleven bit is quite civilized but that’s it.

So I think we get the picture that a Georgian lady’s lot was anything but happy.  Live in that time? Thank you. No. As for whether Brittany finds anything to recommend it, you’d have to ask her.


Extract from The Writer and The Rake

“While it might not pay to underestimate this man, what if this morning was an aberration? Now that he saw how domestic she was, he’d go away again and drop this nonsense about instructing the servants. In what way? If she wrote Regency romance, she might know but she didn’t and frankly she’d other things to consider. Besides she couldn’t. If she was successful he wouldn’t need her.She slipped her gaze back, bestowed her kindest smile on the young man opposite. Mitchell Killgower took another sip of brandy.

“God-fearing, you say?”

“It is what one of us, I can’t remember if it was you, or me, or even Fleming here, told Christian. Or maybe, she told us. But, obviously it is a condition that prevents me from giving too many orders. And frankly I feel it solves everything.”

“Do you?”

“Do I what? Darling, I’m sorry I don’t know what you’re on about.”

“The fact that this condition solves everything.”

She kept her gaze firmly on the wool. Her hands winding it too. Mitchell Killgower sounded quite happy for him. Satisfied as he nursed his drink.


“So as conditions go, it does not prevent you from sitting on your backside?”

“You know, I almost think you’re taken with my backside, the amount of times you mention it.”

“Sometimes your thoughts fail to come remotely close to what I’m really thinking. To do that you’d have to fully think.”

She smothered a grimace. “Oh, I think all right.”

He set the glass down as if he’d made up his mind. She hoped it was to let her win this battle.

“Good, then you’ll have no trouble coming with me, seeing as you’re so God-fearing, Brittany. After all, a God-fearing wife obeys her husband.”

“Well, they must be several sandwiches short of the proverbial picnic. Anyway.” She stopped winding the ball of wool, tilted her chin. “I didn’t think God-fearing wives were your cup of tea, or that you expected a woman to obey you? Except in certain places.”

The Writer and the Rake Book Blurb

Is having it all enough when it’s all you’ll ever have?

When it comes to doing it all, hard coated ‘wild child’ writer, Brittany Carter ticks every box. Having it all is a different thing though, what with her need to thwart an ex fiancé, and herself transported from the present to Georgian times. But then, so long as she can find her way back to her world of fame, and promised fortune, what’s there to worry about?

He saw her coming. If he’d known her effect he’d have walked away.

Georgian bad boy Mitchell Killgower is at the center of an inheritance dispute and he needs Brittany as his obedient, country mouse wife. Or rather he needs her like a hole in the head. In and out of his bed he’s never known a woman like her. A woman who can disappear and reappear like her either.

And when his coolly contained anarchist, who is anything but, learns how to return to her world and stay there, will having it all be enough, or does she underestimate him…and herself?


Thanks for being here today, Shehanne! I have my copy of The Writer and the Rake and hope you pick up a copy too. Get The Writer and the Rake at Amazon US | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK

You can also find Shehanne Moore on social media at Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Find out more at her self-titled Weebly site and follow her Smexy Historical Romance blog too!

Now back to reading and writing here,

♥ Christy

Splendor. (London Jewel Thieves.) Shehanne Moore Chapter One


, , , , , , ,




London 1810

There was nothing wrong with pistols at seven paces at dawn. Except dawn was at eight o’clock tomorrow, and Splendor had a dressmaker’s appointment then. Three thimbles and the scissors had smacked into the back of the Chinese dressing screen the last time she’d wandered in ten minutes late. Madame Renare had said these were meant for her assistant, that paying customers, even those who were behind with their bills, were sacrosanct. Splendor knew she lied, that Lady Haskins, who always had the next appointment, would depart wearing Splendor’s guts for garters if she were late again. And if she didn’t bring the money to pay her the bill.

Despite the pulse beating in her throat and her desire for the black-and-white checkered floor she stood upon to open up and swallow her, she’d promised Gabe there was nothing to this. She wouldn’t do anything to draw attention to herself, wouldn’t be found out. Yet just five minutes in this damnable tournament and look at what had happened. Every dull clod-pate in the room was looking at her, glaring holes in her loose fitting jacket—Gabe’s—as she stood there. The grandfather clock in the nearby alcove appeared to be holding its breath midtick, the potted palms to have frozen. The silence stretched from window to window, slipped between the heavy crimson drapes, wound around the yellow tassels, hung from the poles, all the way to the entry salon on the ground floor of Boodle’s Gentleman’s Club.

Worse than being found out, she was going to be shot at dawn. Or rather, eight o’clock.

Checkmate. If she’d known that one word was going to cause all this trouble, would she have said it?

The spectacles she wore, which did not belong to her, rendered her blinder than a belfry of bats. Nonetheless, she removed her gaze from the shining silver buttons on the waistcoat of the man who stood before her and looked straight at his face.

Young, handsome, divorced, the third Earl of Stillmore was a rake, a killer in every way, in the bedroom and on the chessboard. Or so her sources had said. Impatient, foul tempered, drunk, and a conniving fiddler was more accurate.

“My second, Your Grace?” she asked, speaking in carefully lowered tones as if duels were things she was challenged to fight every day of life. Challenged by the best shot in London too.

“Yes, boy,” Kendall Winterborne, the third Earl of Stillmore, snarled. “Your second. Who’s it to be?”

“Well… I… Well. You see, Your Grace… About that. I was really hoping that you and I might—”

“Oh, hang it all to hell and back. Chasens!”

His terse huff was followed by a terser finger snap. Please God, not another brandy to add to the lake the drunken earl had already drowned himself in.

The man standing behind him, a blur in black, snapped to attention. “Yes, sah.”

“You might as well fetch me some paper and ink to go along with that snifter. Then I can pen my autobiography while I’m waiting.”

Gabe’s warm breath brushed her cheek as he stepped up behind her. “Come on, Splen. Leave now while you still can. His nibs gets wind of the fact you belong next door, in the ladies tournament—”

“Where the prize money is less?” She fought the little ripple that always spun in her blood when Gabe brushed against her. “Nine-and-a-half thousand pounds less, to be precise? Gabriel, I can’t.”

“I ain’t needing to be bought into the clergy.”

“Well, I ain’t needing to go on as we are. Besides, he’s drunk.”

A voice cut across the hall. “Would someone mind telling me what the devil is going on at table number seven?”

Her heart almost sprung through the bindings around her chest. The tournament organizer, the Duke of Brampton. While she couldn’t see him for the spectacles, she instantly recognized the cultured tones of the elderly man who’d been so nice to her earlier. “Well? Kendall, why has play stopped? Surely you have not fallen out with your opponent?”

Gabe’s hand snatched at her sleeve, crushed her arm. “Splen… I mean it. Ten thousand pounds ain’t no bleedin’ good if you ain’t around to spend it. Cos you know where you’re headed next, if they find you out, don’t you? And I ain’t talking the cemetery.”

She knew indeed. The place Starkadder had taken her out of. Prison. Her gaze froze behind her spectacle lenses. Even now, despite the thick fug of cigar smoke clouding the high ornate ceiling, that festering stink of prison, of centuries-old dirt, lay loose as a winding sheet on her skin. Gabe was right. Besides, the money was no good if tomorrow was the lateness to end all latenesses.

“Very well.” She caught his bony wrist. “Let’s go.”

“Excuse me.” The Duke of Brampton, blurry in purple and blue, a powdered wig on his head, squeezed between the tables. “Now then, Kendall, everyone is looking. Sufficient to say, yet again it is at you. Be a good fellow and sit down, won’t you?”

The duke pressed his be-ringed hand on Stillmore’s black-brocaded chest and pushed him down into his chair.

She hesitated. She’d thought everyone was looking at her. But if Stillmore was known for being looked at, perhaps they weren’t looking at her at all. Perhaps she could wait one more moment and see…? She didn’t just need that ten thousand pounds to get Gabe bought into the clergy. She needed it to pay off Madame Renare—without Gabe finding out. If he found out about her dressmaking bills, he’d kill her.




Win the prize money. Clear her account with Madame Renare. Buy Gabe with his soft dark hair and soulful eyes into the clergy. Marry him. Benefit the poor. Live happily ever after. Stop spending money like water.

This, as her dear papa always said, wasn’t over till it was done. Stillmore could bluster all he wanted about duels. When it came to it, she’d beaten him fair and square, and that was all he could have on her.

Stillmore’s chair clattered to the checkered floor. “No, I don’t mind if I don’t. I abhor sitting down.” Crystal clinked on the silver tray floating in her vision. “Especially in the presence of cheats.”

“Well, that’s a great pity.” The Duke of Brampton’s voice was silky smooth. “But perhaps you haven’t noticed this is a chess tournament? In love, in war, challenging a man is all very well. But surely even you can see it’s not the done thing to go around shooting your opponents in a chess tournament?”

“When they cheat, I damn well will.”

“Oh, for God’s sake man, have you any idea of how unreasonable that makes you sound?”

“Not half as much as you telling me, me, who’s won this damned thing three years in a row, that I’ve just been beaten in five minutes in the first round by some nincompoop schoolboy in britches. Some…some jackass turkey just out of the nursery?”

Won this thing three years in a row? If this was the standard, she could dispense with any doubts that she’d not win. She just needed to dispose of the arrogant, drunken earl. Or rather, leave the Duke of Brampton to do it for her.

Never let it be said that this was anything her humble position in Lanthorne Street—at Starkadder’s and the Sisterhood of London Jewel Thieves’ beck and call—hadn’t prepared her  for. When she’d served as the Sisterhood’s skivvy, she’d burned holes in petticoats, cinderized the odd stocking or two, and suffered sundry pots, pans, and ladles bouncing off her temples. But she never forgot one thing: to remove the sting from the situation, even if humiliation burned in the very pit of her breast, she must always smile.lockt

She flicked a stray strand of her strawberry blonde hair back behind her ear. “And what, pray tell, would be the purpose of me cheating, exactly, Your Grace? Hmm?”

“Ten thousand bloody pounds. That’s what.”

The growl froze her smile to her teeth backs.

“Anyway, I didn’t say you cheated. I said there has been some…”

He stepped closer, and her heartbeat froze. A heady concoction of mint, brandy, and sandalwood tickled her nose.


She’d glanced over her spectacle rims. When she’d sworn not to. She held her breath right down in the furthest corner of her lungs. In fact, she possibly held it in her stomach. Tousled black hair, black brows knitted with perfect disdain above coal-black eyes that were coldly leveled on her, sinfully sensuous lips and a dusting of stubble on his jaw gave him a wolfish air. Her heart battered her rib cage with metal hammers, his stare was so bold.

He canted his jaw, drawing his brows together. “Some discrepancy…of play. Forgive me for saying so, but…”

His words hung in the air as he stared at her. Her jacket hadn’t burst so that her breasts hung out, had it? “Your Grace,” she said, darting her gaze back behind the safety of the thick lenses. “I don’t forgive you anything. Certainly not you looking…” Down her front? Looking more handsome than any man she’d ever seen? “Saying… Saying I’ve cheated you. It was bishop to that square, and you…well, you…”

Stillmore wrinkled his nose and sniffed deliberately.

Her soap. Essence of Violets. She froze. How, in all the preparations she’d undertaken at Mrs. Hanney’s, had she forgotten that one vital thing? Perhaps she should have kept her mouth shut and let the Duke of Brampton deal with this after all.

“For goodness’ sake, Kendall, sit down, now, before you fall. Or you’ll leave me with no choice but to throw you out.” The duke set the spindle chair back on the tiles. “Everyone here knows you’re foxed over that business with Baxby.”

“Baxby?” Crystal shattered as the stem of the snifter in Stillmore’s hand snapped in two.

Baxby, whoever he was, apparently inflamed the earl almost as much as being checkmated.

There was nothing to be done about that now. It was Gabe’s dearest dream to become a clergyman, and it was down to her to see he succeeded. Then there was the little matter of the dressmaking bill. That was down to her too. Benefiting the poor was all very well. But sometimes, to do so you had to look the part. Spend in order to receive. Papa had always said so, although he had liked to spend money he didn’t have, as well.

If the earl shot her tomorrow at Blackfield Heath, it would certainly solve her bill problems, though.

“You think this is about Baxby?” Once again, the earl’s voice held notes of the darkest modulation. “That it’s of any consequence to me that the sneaky, damn, bastard son-of-a-whore is here? Dancing on my grave?”

“We’re hardly in the cemetery. But yes. Baxby. And a certain lady with whom you are the talk of London, my boy. So if you want to continue making a damned fool of yourself…”

“I’m not your boy unless my mother was as big a whore as that certain lady. And even if I were your boy, do you think familial loyalty would stop me from calling you out for that?”

Splendor froze. Did the earl descend from wolves? Growling, trigger-happy, pistol-toting ones who thought nothing of calling half the hall out at dawn? What if he shot the Duke of Brampton? Perhaps Gabe was right, and they should leave now.

The earl drained the contents of his glass down his lace-clad throat. “If you must know, this has nothing whatsoever to do with Baxby and Lady Langley.”

“Well, then, if it isn’t, you will see that this boy here—”

“This boy? This boy? Oh, that’s a good one. This boy.”

Splendor’s heart hammered as if a boa constrictor had slithered across the polished floorboards, climbed her leg, and wrapped itself around her rib cage. At all costs she couldn’t afford to sink to the floor. Imagine the sensation it would cause if she did and someone loosened her, or rather Gabe’s shirt?

In another minute the Earl of Stillmore would succumb to the pleasant, manly smile she cast him. If he didn’t, she’d have to accuse him of cheating.

The Duke of Brampton shifted beside her and looked at the chessboard. “Kendall, from where I’m standing the last move was this bishop to that square there—”

“I don’t give a bull’s toss whether the last move was the Archbishop of Canterbury to that square there. The Archbishops of York and Durham too. Every damned archbishop in the country to that square. I know what I saw. Exactly what I saw.” The earl turned to her and pointed a finger at her chest. “Now boy, find yourself a second. And be on Blackfield Heath at eight. Don’t waste time with a physician; by the time I’ve finished with you, you’ll need an undertaker.”


He hates to lose. Especially to a man who’s not.

One move to win ten thousand guineas in a chess competition. One move to marry her fiancé.  Another to face the most merciless man in London across a pair of duelling pistols.  For Splendor, former skivvy to the London’s premiere jewel thieves, it’s all in a day’s work. But when one wrong move leads to another, can she win and keep her heart intact, against the one man in London with the potential to bring her down? Especially in a chess game where the new wager is ten thousand guineas against one night with her.

The Endgame to end all Endgames

One move to pay back his ex-mistress. One move to show the world he doesn’t give a damn he’s been beaten in every way. The ton’s most ruthless heartbreaker, bitter, divorcee,  Kendall Winterborne, Earl of Stillmore’s, pet hates are kitchen maids, marriage and losing.  Knowing Splendor has entered a male chess competition under false pretences, he’s in the perfect position to extort her help, regardless of the fact she’s engaged to someone else.  He just doesn’t bank on having to face up to his pet hates.  Certainly not over the kind of skivvy who ruined his father and set him on this course.

As one move leads to another, one thing’s for certain though. His next move better be fast if he wants to keep the ‘Cinderella’ he’s fallen for. But the clock is ticking. When it strikes twelve, which man will she choose?


Art, poetry and dudes, with Ka Malana


, , , , , , ,

Ka Malna  – No, but that sounds like a good idea. I’ll chew on that.
Ka Malana– I never thought of it. I’m sorry, dudes.
Ka Malana  -Art for Art provides glimpses of my personal mind/body/spirit journey in the format of poetry. The contents spans over a couple of years of time. Most of the poems started out on the blog but they wanted to be in a book,
so a book was made to give them a home. Almost all of them were edited, and some of them now look like new poems – some divided, some grew.
Ka Malana –There’s also quite a bit of new content, and of course the arrangement was naturally put together in mostly the order of its occurrence (poem’s birth). That said, friends came in to help this new budding author (me), and that really made it happen, and inspired me that “I can do it.” For years, I had been talking about writing a book, so many different kinds of books. I used to make handmade art books of different types for friends throughout the years, and have gotten myself interested in and busy with different types of skills. For some reason, this book was born the way it was, when it was. What surprised me was I started my blog on astrology, and then I remembered that I was a writer, and had a love for different genre, format,…etc.
Ka Malana –Oooh, I can’t really stop being inspired. I think when I see that I’ve made a difference, or an impact, or when I’ve led someone to their next step in their own process, that is a particular compliment to me that sort of fuels me on to be more expressive and creative in my own expression. Does that make sense? When people say, “your book really inspires me.” I’ve heard this many times now, so I believe Art for Art will bring that ‘something’ into your life that helps you ‘go.’ Also, people are very nice – they were inspired all along and maybe I helped remind them. That’s inspiring.
 Ka Malana  – The original name for my blog was  I was living in a different state (2011) – not of consciousness – a U.S. state. Anyways, I was taking my first Spanish class in person with this adorable old Cuban engineer retiree. It was unconventional and conversational right from the beginning, a unique format – it was teaching formal Spanish (and basically though now I can’t speak or write, or understand Spanish) because I went to Hawaii and my life got transformed, and I was whisked away into doing other things and living in other places – all very long stories — in and of themselves. So that Spanish class and language in general, I appreciated for the way it sounded. “Fiestaestrellas” to me, means “star party.” Then years later, I was uncertain of whether I wanted a literal translation because I was uncertain of a lot of things, like my audience. Who are they? So, I figured, I’d make it plural to be more comprehensive of many celebrations, many stars, and just because it happened that way.
Ka  Malana. My blog tag line has changed many times throughout the years. After answering this question, a new more updated tagline made itself known to me, and I will switch it shortly. That said, 
 Magic, as I am thinking of it now, is the part of the experiment that doesn’t exactly botch our work, but also doesn’t go the way we planned on. It’s that mysterious guidance system that shows us the next step in our projects, or provides miscellaneous inspiration along the way. It might be something that we intended long ago, but then had forgotten. Magic is also intentional and developmental, and I think that I love the word because I think it belongs with Science. In the way that Science is a process, Magic is also an element. Science helps us work through our curiosity and (just now as I’m writing, my font changed and one word was highlighted: curiosity). Magic helps us stay on task with the Great Work, while taking us deeper into what interests us, until we are utterly lost in it. 
Ka Malana –Yes, dear. I will write another book. And, thank  you for mentioning my photographs earlier. I enjoy photography very much – in many ways I ‘see’ through photography and map the world in my head through it. Sometimes my brain feels like a lens. I think I have a poem that hints about that.
 all  photographic images  and artwork copyright of Ka Malana.
Ka Malana  –Oh, that’s so difficult to answer. I have a new favorite place from memory to memory, and visit to visit.  Angkor Wat in Cambodia (back in 2001 there were virtually no tourists! I felt like Indiana Jones. Do you  dudes like Indiana Jones?)
Ka MalanaCurrently I’ve been working through a rigorous graduate program as an acupuncture associate intern. I’ve got a couple years yet to go, so that’s been my main project. I try to keep myself open, even when I am extremely busy, to the possibilities, which is why my new blog tag line will play with the idea of,”living on the edge of infinity.” I’d also like to get back into painting some more. Maybe I’ll try to draw a hamster? But please do not hold your breath little dudes: That kind of cuteness is hard to capture!
Do you  dudes ever meditate? I’ll meditate, and what’s next… we shall see 🙂 Thank you! 🙂
Ka Malana says she is a Shamanic-Astrologer, Reiki Master, Massage Therapist, Creatrix, blah blah blah. (Her words)   Since herniating  a lumbar disc, she has   refocused her energy towards other endeavors – such as pursuing a graduate degree in Traditional East Asian Medicine (TEAM) and renewing her focus on posting on her blog about poetry, art (including photography), and just telling stories as they come.
  ‘Art For Art is a quiet prayer into the dark abyss of night, a candle flame that lights a path when the map has been lost for ages. It is clear that Ka Malana is a disciple on the timeless journey to the enlightenment of the soul, and here, through her accessible verse, she provides human insight into that becoming. “What other temple is there? Sitting at the altar of my broken shadow, loving all parts of it, and trusting in the sacred.” These lines are at the heart of this beautiful collection. Art for Art is a poetic companion for all soul travelers. “You: who aren’t seen. You who are lost in the masses. I rise up. I wake for you.” Wake up with Ka, through these heart-infused pages.’

Writing a book review. A hamster dude’s guide.


, , , , ,






 Loving Lady Lazuli

According to Romance Writers of America, romance books garnered $1.08 billion in sales in 2013 and accounted for 34% of the fiction market. With stats like that, I’m wondering why I didn’t choose the romance genre but then I remembered — I have no talent for it. Ah, but Lady Shey does. Loving Lady Lazuli is the classic storyline of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy meets girl again, but told as a relentless, breathy romantic mystery.

It’s been decades since I read a bodice-ripper if you don’t count the Outlander series by Diana Gabladon which markets itself as romance, but is really a hybrid — the love child of Romance and Historical Fiction — and I may have never read another one if I didn’t chance upon Shehanne Moore’s blog and struck up a friendship with the Lady Shey.

Now, announcing your desire to read a virtual friend’s book and write a review can be a tricky process even if they don’t live across the street from you because, well, the blogosphere has limits, too, writer’s tend to travel in the same circles, and you just don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Thank GOD that I just adored this book because all that worry is now a moot point. After reading a few chapters of Loving Lady Lazuli, I was hooked. Moore writes a self-described brand of romance that she calls “smexy”— a cross between smutty and sexy — a classic pot-boiler of a book with the trademark characteristics of historical fiction adding to its allure.

Loving Lady Lazuli is the story of Sapphire, the renowned London jewel thief who no one has ever seen. Sapphire’s greatest defense has been her invisibility. Her many costumes and identity changes have allowed her to remain elusive and because of that, the most successful jewel thief in England. But one evening Sapphire makes a terrible mistake. Her “mark”, the famous Wentworth emeralds, are in her grasp, but the escape route is not. Her partners have let her down and there is no way out except a long trek across an open field in winter, and in an evening gown, no less.

Complicating matters, there is a witness, the rich, young, handsome Devorlane Hawley who happens upon the bewitching Sapphire while driving by in his coach. The unsuspecting Hawley has no idea what’s happening when he offers Sapphire a ride. It all happened so quickly, that kiss, that hand where hands should not be when strangers are involved, the pawning off of the Wentworth emeralds into Hawley’s pocket without him even knowing, and her alighting from the coach before he could catch his breath and clear his addled brain. Months later, he’s been enlisted into the army, the rich man’s version of punishment for a theft, preferable to hanging from the end of a noose, but still a high price to pay for a crime he didn’t commit. She caught him all right, with a breathy kiss and a swift goodbye and he will use all his resources to exact revenge.

For ten years Devorlane harbored his enmity, for ten years, he replayed the events of that night, and for ten years he swore that one day he would find and catch Sapphire and make her pay for ruining his life. Ten years of feeding and nourishing that hatred which festered like the wound to his leg when, upon his return, he is met with a sight that makes his heart both soar and shatter — it’s her, Sapphire, sitting in his drawing room. Now who’s caught?

Want to find out? Then read Loving Lady Lazuli, a romantic page-turner of first order. You may want to ditch the tea and crumpets for something stronger!

Want more?  Go here to read an INTERVIEW with Shehanne Moore.

About Pam Lazoz.

P. J. Lazos is the author of the novel Oil and Water, about oil spills and green technology, and of Six Sisters, a collection of novellas; a blogger for the Global Water Alliance (GWA) in Philadelphia; on the Board of Advisors for the wH2O Journal, the Journal of Gender and Water (U of Penn); a member of the Jr. League of Lancaster; a former correspondent for her local newspaper (Lancaster Intelligencer Journal now LNP); a literary magazine contributor (Rapportage); an editor; a ghostwriter; an author of a children’s book (Into the Land of the Loud); an environmental lawyer; and, because it’s cool, a beekeeper’s apprentice. She practices laughter daily.






The loneliness of the long distance author


, , , , , ,









I’ve been a fan of Shehanne Moore’s work since The Viking and the Courtesan. Now she brings us the Writer and the Rake, which is even better! I absolutely loved the concept. For certain people who happen to be Time Mutants, a kiss can take them backwards or forwards in time to a completely different century. This is what happens to struggling romance writer Brittany Carter, who is frustratingly whisked away into the past just as she is about to make her ex-boyfriend’s life a living hell.

I think I mentioned before how I hate romance heroines who are the paragon of all virtues. Well, Brittany is definitely not. This heroine is a vindictive, manipulative, chain-smoking alcoholic, and I love her. If romance heroes can be rakes, why shouldn’t the heroine be a ‘rakette’?

Brittany meme 1

Brittany arrives in 1765 dressed in nothing but a bathrobe, landing in Mitchell Kilgower’s teenage son’s bed. Mitchell, a long-suffering, brooding gentleman thinks his son has finally stopped being such a milksop and become a man, or rather the kind of man his father wants him to be. Brittany is just confused. She thinks her ex-boyfriend has murdered her and she is now in some sort of strange afterlife. Mitchell thinks she’s insane.

wandr 565656Of course, one can’t blame him as for all he knows, a woman has appeared out of nowhere and keeps babbling on about him being good fodder for her next romance novel. Mitchell’s uncle and slightly incestuous aunt (or former sister-in-law) show up, and the only way Brittany’s presence can be explained is in a lie hastily concocted by Fleming, Mitchell’s son, that she is Mitchell’s new God-fearing wife.

Hilariously unsuited to the role, Brit goes along with is because she needs to figure out a way to get back to the 21st century.  She may be a romantic novelist, but unlike her naive heroines, she’s not going to swoon and fall into Mitchell’s arms just because he has a gorgeous body and amazing cheekbones. All the same, there is an attraction simmering beneath the surface of her pretense.

mitchell meme44As for Mitchell, he starts out wanting to get rid of her, but he is by turns enraged and captivated by a woman the likes of which he’d never seen. A modern heroine unleashed on an unsuspecting 18th century world is a force to be reckoned with.

Brittany wreaks havoc everywhere she goes. She is a truly comedic heroine, though Ms. Moore deftly alerts the reader to how easily things could turn tragic if these characters don’t find love very soon.

Mitchell treats Brittany terribly, though she’s no picnic herself. However, she shows real resiliency and even keeps writing while in her 17th century imprisonment. One of the most beautiful lines of the book is, “A writer could write without paper, without ink, without hope.”

Time is working against them as Brittany can’t control her travels between centuries, but love might just bring them together in the end.

About Carolee

Enchanted by romance on page and screen, I have always tried to write my own numerous versions of the perfect fairytale. No matter whether the story takes place in Ancient Rome or on one of the moons of Jupiter, romance always beguiles and charms us with its fairy tale magic. My first inspiration to sit down and write came from watching the movie The Princess Bride.


This was a “modern” fairy tale with plenty of action, humour, and of course, true love. I resolved that my stories should have the same light-hearted, fun, and romantic spirit.

As for real life… I believe I may have already found the man of my dreams, but I still haven’t found the dog of my dreams. Currently, I am obsessed with greyhounds, but I live in an apartment that doesn’t allow pets. I guess this means my perfect dog is still a fantasy, and I hope it is a story yet to be told…

I usually live on the west coast of Canada, but I’m currently in Oxford, UK, not actually attending the university but absorbing all the smartness that emanates from its general vicinity.








Beguiling something far more dangerous. The non-villainry of the Hellfire Club


, , , , , ,




 The tail end of Brittany’s little scene with Sir Francis Dashwood which takes place just after she finds out, not just  how to get home to her own time, but to finally stay there too. Oh, and her feet just happen to be killing her

“Anyway, whatever is said of us, we’re not as bad as all that.” Sir Francis’s muddy brown eyes held a slimy twinkle. “Just different. There’s one shoe on. Let’s get the other one for you.”


“You know Mitchell thought you had come to us?”

“What? When?”

“Recently. He seemed to have trouble finding you.” He lifted her other foot. “Do you know he virtually accused me of stealing you?”

“Real—? Well.” She cleared her throat. “He was probably just . . . desperate. I left him a note because I was in such a hurry, but obviously it never reached him. The servants Christian sent are so unreliable.”


“Lazy, lying, conniving. What? You didn’t know she sent them to spy and report on everything we do, to her? They probably hid that note on purpose from him. She had to know though. She went and arranged this whole evening the second I was gone, in the hope I wouldn’t be here and Mitchell would be left high and dry. You have no idea of the spite of that creature.”

“Hmm. Well, I daresay it’s something we’re all capable of.”

“I’m sorry?”

“I said, didn’t I, that he used to come to our humble, little meetings?”

“I’m sure they’re anything but humble.”

“Well . . . Anyway but then he stopped. Maybe, you’ll be the one to bring him back?”

She might. But then again she wasn’t staying. She rose above her agony to fix on her warmest, most ingenious smile.

“Who knows what the future holds for any of us, Your Grace.” Unless you were Mort. Then it probably did hold certain non-existence. “But, who is to say indeed?”

“Of course he never really forgave us for Gabriella as such. The fact she preferred others to him. Silly, when he preferred so many to her.”

“You’re not saying that Gabriella pretended all that in order to make him jealous?”

“If she did, she did it well. Nor would you ever call Mitchell the jealous kind. No. That was a forced marriage of the worst kind. Still, why don’t you ask him?”

She offered her most enigmatic stare. “Why don’t you?”

“I would like to, my dear, but Mitchell and I don’t really get along any more, which was why I was so surprised he abased himself by visiting me. Here is your dear husband now. If you don’t mind, I shall make myself scarce.”,_11th_Baron_le_Despencer…/legend-and-history-the-hell-fire-caves-west-wyc…