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.
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.
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.
“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?
Oh come on dudes, just crack open the voddie and get on with the cossack dance will you?
ELAINE JEREMIAH. Well funnily enough it was my husband who suggested I write Jane Austen fan fiction. TBH the sales of my romance books weren’t amazing. My husband pointed out that to be successful as an indie author, it can be a good idea to target a sub-genre to gain a bigger, more loyal readership. It can be easier to be more successful within a sub-genre. Romance is of course a huge genre, with loads of sub-genres to it. I’d read a bit of Jane Austen fan fiction, so thought I’d write a story about a girl who’s a huge Jane Austen fan (like me!) who accidentally time travels to Regency England. I then decided to turn it into a trilogy and having taken a break from writing it to write my ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation, I’m now working on book 3.But being honest again, the first two books in my trilogy didn’t make waves. I hadn’t read that widely in Jane Austen fan fiction and as I read more and more JAFF,
I realised over time that what is most popular is ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variations, particularly those about Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy, set in the Regency era. Basically retellings of the Darcy/Elizabeth story which people love. The time travel story I’d written, while I’d enjoyed writing it very much, wasn’t quite what people wanted to read within the genre.So having written and published book 2 of my trilogy, I decided to turn my attention to writing a ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it, though it took me a lot longer in the end to write than I’d planned. I got bogged down with the plotting of the story and then the editing stage took a long time. I changed quite a lot, with the help of my beta readers and then my editor, which was absolutely right, but it did take quite a lot longer.
I’m very happy with the result though. The story is much stronger and better for all my hard work and I’m really pleased and proud to finally be able to share it with the world.
ELAINE JEREMIAH. Hahaha! I wish! But no, I don’t live in South Korea, I haven’t even been there yet, but it’s on my bucket list. I’m definitely going to go there one day, for sure. I kind of fell into a love of all things Korean by accident – a friend of mine recommended Korean dramas – or Kdramas as they’re known – and I started watching them and was hooked. They’re all on Netflix. I would highly recommend them!
Most of them are romances and a lot of them follow the Darcy/Elizabeth trope of rich arrogant man falls in love with feisty, poorer girl. I just love them – I’ve watched more than 25 series now. The settings and the people are beautiful. It’s so interesting to learn about another culture this way. South Korea is a first world country, but of course it’s Eastern so they have a very different society to ours. There are good and bad sides to that and it’s fascinating to me to learn about their culture.
I was inspired by watching so many Kdramas to start learning the language and more about the country in general. I’ve got this Korean language audio course I’m listening to, mostly while I do housework! It’s so much fun. I also have an app on my phone I use. So I’m in love with all things Korean!
ELAINE JEREMIAH . Of course (not) But you see I live in Bristol, South West England, which isn’t far from the Regency city of Bath, the setting for 2 of Jane Austen’s novels. Di you know has some beautiful Regency buildings and is also generally a great city to live in? There’s loads to see and do, like visiting the Clifton Suspension Bridge or the SS Great Britain, which was one of the first passenger steamships crossing the Atlantic in the mid-nineteenth century. It’s now a permanent museum in Bristol’s docks. Well worth a visit if you ever come to Bristol.
If you’re into street art, Bristol is also the home of Banksy and if you have a sharp eye and know where to look, you can spot some of his murals on certain buildings. Bristol also has loads of great shops, restaurants, museums, cinemas, art galleries – you name it, Bristol has pretty much got it.
ELAINE JEREMIAH. RE Jane? Loads of reasons. Partly because the characters she creates feel so real, they’re so well developed. Characters like Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy stay with you in your mind long after you’ve finished reading her novels. And there’s always something new to spot in them, even if you’ve read them loads of times before.
For example, I’m realising the more I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ just why exactly Mrs Bennet is so keen to get her 5 daughters married off and how in some respects she’s actually quite wise. It was very difficult for women in Austen’s day who weren’t working class to get work and support themselves except as a governess. Which wasn’t a great job. If they weren’t married and couldn’t get work, they’d have to rely on their male relatives to support them. So a young woman in the Regency era, especially if her family weren’t rich, would need to marry well. Mrs Bennet is very aware of this, particularly because being girls her daughters can’t inherit the family home when their father dies and it will go to his distant cousin Mr Collins instead.
Jane Austen is also very funny – I laugh out loud at some of the scenes in her books when I’m reading them. She also doesn’t hold back at subtly criticising the social conventions of the era she lived in. Like how Elizabeth Bennet, a woman who’s not very well off, turns down not one but two marriage proposals, defiantly refusing to marry without love. That’s very subversive for the era it was written in.
As for the writing just now? Actually I would say it’s been easier than usual. It’s really given me something to focus on and take my mind off the dire news that we’re bombarded with day after day.
And because what with the internet and me self-publishing digitally via Amazon, it can all be done remotely anyway. So you don’t need to physically be in the same room with someone to share your work with them, to use beta readers or an editor. I can also promote my writing entirely online. What with this new release and how well it’s going, I feel more motivated than ever now to crack on with my writing!
ELAINE JEREMIAH. Uhmmmmmm. Well…uhm…as I mentioned, I’m writing book 3 in my Jane Austen-inspired time travel romance trilogy. And that would be hard to do in hamster cage. It’s called ‘Captivated in Time’. So maybe one day I might be very willing to…might even enjoy..living in hamster cage. What’s more, I’ve more or less plotted it out, so I pretty much know what’s going to happen. I know the ending! So this could be sooner rather than later. I’m trying to keep the momentum going – I tend to write quite slowly, so I want to try and make more time for writing and get this one finished as soon as I can. After that, I plan to write more Darcy/Elizabeth Regency era ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variations. That’s what’s most popular within JAFF and actually I feel that writing in Regency-esque language is what I’m most comfortable doing. I feel like I’ve finally found my niche. Just maybe not in a hamster cage. …. But look on the bright side of keeping all that voddie to yourselves.
Little does Elizabeth Bennet think the journey across muddy fields from her home at Longbourn to Netherfield Park will change her life forever.
But an unexpected encounter with the proud and haughty Mr Darcy leaves her injured and vulnerable. Worse still, she is left alone with him for a significant amount of time. Her reputation at risk, she is forced to make a decision about her future. Now her life will never be the same again. Can Elizabeth ever be happy? Or will she always loathe Mr Darcy
Elaine lives in Bristol, South West England with her husband and their golden retriever, Dug. But she was privileged enough to grow up in Jane Austen country, in Hampshire.
She’s always loved writing, but it’s only been in recent years that she’s been able to devote more time to it. She decided to self-publish with the help of her wonderful husband who’s very tech-savvy! In 2013 she self-published her first novel, but it was only with her fourth, her novel ‘Love Without Time’, that she felt she finally found her niche: Jane Austen Fan Fiction!
She’s always loved Jane Austen’s writing and the Regency era, so this felt like a natural thing for her to do. ‘Elizabeth and Darcy: Beginning Again’ is the first ‘Pride and Prejudice’ variation she’s written.
If you want to connect with Elaine online, her Facebook page can be found here:
‘We are all the product of our experiences in life, of our upbringings, our hopes, dreams, failures, mistakes, needs, fears. Life shapes us and life is not always perfect.’ Shehanne Moore, Tea, Toast and Trivia podcast with Rebecca Budd.
Cassidy Armstrong has had an unfortunate life, that has scarred her in more ways than one. Cast off from family as a baby, and her brother dead from beatings, she is pressed into being a jewel thief. Nonetheless, she has managed to hoard her virginity like it was a massive collection of fine Waterford Crystal worth more florins than any working class person would see in a lifetime
Now, she has returned to claim her birthright. As a fake widow, Lady Cassidy Armstrong can move around more freely, searching for her proof of heritage. Yet, even after 10 years of aging, donned in a widow’s “Crow Black” and with a new name; Devorlane Hawley (fifth Duke of Chessington) recognizes her.
I asked Shehanne: Devorlane Hawley – Fifth Duke of Chessington, was off at war for 10 years. Was it the Napoleonic Wars? If not, which war was he in, and can you give a bit of history of the war and/or London around the time of this story?
Answer: It was the Napoleonic Wars but he was in the military a little before they actually started in 1803, as an unwilling recruit shall we say? And obviously since the book is set in 1810 and the wars didn’t end for another five years, he’s no longer a soldier, having been badly wounded and invalided out. The Wars came out of chaos that was the French Revolution and for some time, a long time, it looked as if Napoleon Bonaparte could become master of Europe, until he was finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and exiled to Saint Helena. I imagine that life for people in London and indeed elsewhere, would–as ever, even as we’re seeing today– depend on your wealth. Whatever your class, most people had a relative in the army or navy and would be anxious about that but that’s roughly where any kind of things in common would end. For the rich there was the chance to make more money, for the women to adopt new fashions, go to charitable balls and see some wonderful re-enactments of battles etc onstage. For the poor–the usual struggle for survival. All the English counties had a militia, there to protect the county and of course there was espionage, the suggestion of which the heroine of this book uses to her advantage at one point.
“Never judge a book by its cover, unless there’s a gown on it.”
I came up with that exceptionally memorable saying, after reading “Splendor”. It was the first book by Shehanne that I read. I pair it here with “Loving Lady Lazuli”, as they are both part of a series about London Jewel Thieves.
You can read my review, and mini interview with Shehanne by clicking on the drawing of “Splendor”, above.
I read “The Viking and the Courtesan” quite recently. It is definitely a bit of a departure from the other stories.
Malice Mallender is quite the piece of work. For the right price “Strictly Business” will destroy any marriage, usually by dealing with the wife nuisance. The right price; enough to buy the latest pair of shoes she covets in Madame Faro’s window. So, what happens when “Strictly Business” is inadvertently hired to destroy Malice’s own marriage to Lord Cyril Hepworth?
I asked Shehanne: In “The Viking and the Courtesan” – How did you come up with the idea of “time displacement” ?
Answer: My dearest, lovely Resa, first let me thank for all your kindness and especially for the gowns and asking me here today. You may know I must be amongst your biggest fans, not just as a mega admirer of your work but the fact you make gowns to be used for charity.
Okay, so to answer your question, I had a flash moment. I never ever set out to write a time displacement story. Just like I never ever set out to write any book. But I had written the first few chapters of this book exactly as they stand now, to the bit where she goes to her husband, Cyril’s flat. The story was to be a second chance love story between them but one day as I was belting away at the keyboard, I thought that idea was a bit too similar to the Lady Fury book. Then the little voicewhispered… you know that Viking idea you have where you have the hero’s story but not the heroine’s? Hmm?? Well … why don’t you just bung that in here? Quite understandably I thought, no way. Are you serious???? I mean, come on. Then I went and thought about it for a moment. And I thought, okaaaay. Maybe I should just give it a try for a chapter or so, no more? What have I got to lose really? And that was it. That’s the truth. It just popped into my head.
The moment I saw the new cover of Shehanne’s re-released tale of Lady Fury (Genoa 1820), I fell in love with the gown. I read chapter one on Shehanne’s blog. Then I read the book.
“Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: You will be fully clothed at all times… Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position.”
Perhaps ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore (a man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed) has never been good at following the rules, still she decides to use him to produce an heir.
I asked Shehanne: In “Lady Fury” – What was your impetus for coming up with “the rules”? Did you have a reason for making Blackmoore a privateer… ie: a love of ships, a port you have been stimulated historically by?
Answer: Ooh, I have always loved pirate stories since I read Treasure Island as a kid. I was reared on all the old films and one of my fav board games was buccaneer. I was gutted to learn it just wasn’t possible to pursue my chosen choice of career actually. But I did always want to write a book about a pirate or a privateer. As for ‘the rules’, well, once again I had written first few chapters and I thought, now what? You can tell by now I never ever think anything out. And I thought, well, he’s got her cornered which she’s er…not going to take lying down. So what would she do here to pay him back and keep any feelings which she sees she sort of still might have, under wraps Then I thought I could maybe have a little fun dissecting a certain activity shall we say? I am a great believer in having fun especially with rules on anything. Let’s face it, I dunno about you but over here in Scotland right now, and England, well .. I never saw so many that were badly thought through.
his is my favourite book by Shehanne. It is her most recent, and proves that she gets better with time. As the ending demands a sequel, I am hoping there is one in progress!
You can read my review, some Q&A with Shehanne and see the gown drawings by clicking on my above rendition of Destiny
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The Historical Cornish Environment—a land of Smugglers and Secrets …
‘A separate people. Throughout the early modern period, many Cornish people continued to regard Cornwall, not as an English county, but as a British country, called Kernow. … ‘
‘Physical isolation provides the key to Cornish history. A rocky peninsula, jutting out some 90 miles into the Atlantic Ocean, Cornwall stands at the extreme south-western corner of the British Isles. Surrounded by waves on all sides but one, it is practically severed from the adjoining lands to the east by the River Tamar, which runs almost from sea to sea. Although mediaeval Cornwall was – technically speaking – an English county just like any other, the culture of the ordinary Cornish people remained entirely different from that of their English neighbours. They still spoke in the Cornish tongue: a language, closely allied with Welsh. They still prided themselves on being descended from British ancestors, rather than Saxon ones. And, as late as the mid-16th century, they still possessed their own styles of dress, their own folklore, their own naming-customs, their own agricultural practices and their own games and pastimes.’
So the past economy of Cornwall might have been based on a range of industries, including metal mining, fishing, china clay production, wool cloth manufacture, quarrying and ship building. Indeed Cornwall’s rich mineral resources may certainly have been exploited on a large scale since medieval times and rows may rage today between surfers, environmentalists and those bent on lifting the tin tailings sitting on the sea bed to be used in gadgets like phones and computers, Cornwall is also known, historically for another ‘industry’. A sort of ‘cottage’ one in that rather a large number of its inhabitants were involved. And one that the landscape and environment lent itself to naturally. Smuggling.
But the location as described above, the fact the people saw themselves as different weren’t the only things to lend themselves to the trade. Parts of the actual coastline were very nicely placed for trips to France and the Scillies. Then there was the nature of the terrain, vast empty beaches, rocky caves, jutting headlands, little better than cart tracks for roads—and, as a quick glance at any map of Cornwall will show, quite a big expanse of moor sitting smack in the middle, while the inhabited bits cluster round the coast. It was nicely private all right.
At its peak, an estimated 500,000 gallons of French brandy per year were smuggled into Cornish coves. Smuggling has many stereotypes and these images often include a small group of men unloading barrels in the night. However, until the early 1800s it was a highly organized, well financed business that was run on very efficient lines.
Of course the reason for all this unhindered smuggling wasn’t just the highly organized locals, it was the weakness of the excisemen, although in their defence, the level of local support, the sheer organizational skills of those involved, which frequently included the clergy, the landowners, in fact, you name it, and the overwhelming numbers of those involved, made it quite impossible, even for the most dedicated exciseman, to police. So a lot went right on under their noses, in broad daylight.
“They were told that if they persisted in trying to make an arrest they would have their brains blown out. As the law now stands, I fear a criminal prosecution would have been useless for the reason, which it shocks me to mention, that a Cornish jury would certainly acquit the smugglers….These, my lord, are the facts.”
Did the tramp, tramp of smugglers’ feet, the alleged digging of tunnels from houses, damage the rock, the wild flowers, the beach grasses, the environment? I have no idea. But, since reading books set there and further along the south coast, I felt the ruggedness, the isolation, the sometimes crumbling decay of their own lives, that drove people into this world, might lend itself to a book someday. And it has. Finally. Set not only in Cornwall but at a point when the government was beginning to fight back and seriously crackdown by every means at their disposal. I hope this book trailer roughly explains it.