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
Shehanne’s titles are available worldwide on Amazon, Ingram Books & Barnes and Noble. If you click on the above banner, you will go to Amazon’s universal “select a country” page. Once there, select “Books”. In “Books” search “Shehanne Moore. It will take you to all of her titles.
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.
Lady Fury. It’s Fury you little creeps.And if you think I am sharing my treasured fudge recipefrom my treasured kitchen, you have another thought coming. A big one.
Lady Fury. Only something Shehanne got me involved in without the common decency to serialise me first.
Lady Fury. But since this has to do with being on Kindle Unlimited till February, we will say nothing.
Lady Fury. Except that we are going last.
Lady Fury. Indeed Shey having examined her two remaining contracts held by a publishing house, and seeing she owns the subsidiary rights, I may well even be going behind Malice and Brittany which is beyond shocking if I say so myself. You would have thought she’d have held off in order to let me go first. May I just say however you have no idea how hard it is having such a selfish author. But I will say that … Manga? Well, this is how books are often read in the Asian market, where Amazon is not a big deal. Buying and electronically reading each chapter as it becomes available is, so it is of course, when you consider the size of the Asian market, a golden opportunity for me to be read…and did I mention fan/reader forums? No. Well it is also an opportunity for me to be discussed there.
Lady Fury. Yes. And given the company Shehanne has signed with expanded a few months ago have just moved into taking onboard Western romance, so in that respect I suppose it was no bad move on her part to consider this venture on my behalf, especially as the rights that were signed for are the non-exclusive ones on the five books she holds the rights to.
Shehanne. That’s very gracious of you to say so, Fury. What I would like to add, if I may be so bold as to get in a word here, is that as authors we are always looking for new markets, chasing the reader, the event party, keeping up with social media, etc. etc. and this was one market I was not only unaware of but one that shows the importance of aiming your work, in the first place, at a particular market.
Shehanne. Apart from the above? Probably being open and willing to look at new horizons, especially one that does the marketing and pays a good rate of royalties, one where you’ve nothing to lose by signing the contract offer actually. Then you need to break the books into chapters. Again this market isn’t much interested in shorts. All novels must be over 50 thou words and there must be over 50 chapters — when you break it down that is. So each chapter has to be no less that 1000 words and no more than 2000. It’s meant a small bit of adding some words here and there, say when a ‘section’ was coming in at fifty words short or it was possible to break 2900 into three chapters by adding that extra 100 or so. Also, where there’s a series, they put the books out as one big follow on volume, so suddenly you are typing a chapter 125 heading because you start the chapter headings for the second book after the last chapter of the first book. But that’s been it and once you get going it’s not that hard to do. I have always preferred to write in shorter sections anyway than muckle great chapters because I have worked in graphic comics.
Lady Fury. Oh God, Please. For the sake of common decency. No.
Shehanne. You never know.A hamster can but hope. For Christmas presents too…
May everything you touch wither to dust.’ Cursed? Or just unlucky? Shehanne Moore
‘The question is this. I cursed you. I cursed you and your brothers –”
“One of whom—”
“Blew his brains out at midnight. Do you seriously think I didn’t trouble myself to find out?”
“Oh, I’m sure-“
“May everything you touch, turn to dust.”’
Cursed? Or just unlucky? Nice to think it’s the latter but legends of curses permeate practically every culture in history. from entire families to items—jewels especially—but places too. It would be good to say we just like someone to blame misfortune on but then again, some folks don’t seem to have a lot of good fortune, do they?
Let’s take my new heroine, Destiny who is the victim of just such a curse…
“But the fact was that curse uttered for nothing had killed Ennis, as surely as if Divers O’Roarke had pushed his carriage down that ravine that night.”
It’s very convenient to believe that all the loss and tragedy that follows Destiny about like a bad smell is the result of that curse, when it was probably on the cards anyway. Also, at the time she was cruising for the proverbial bruising, causing besotted men to shoot each other, this could just have been a wind change in her life, a what-goes-round-comes-round time. But then again, the loss of a mother, father, brother, husband and more in the space of two years, not to mention another brother becoming an alcoholic, does seem the kind of misfortune that would give the Kennedy family a run for their money in the cursed stakes.
And I think that is where curses have their power—superstitious–but even so. Would you really want to flout a curse by wearing the Hope diamond for example? Or indeed by then touching someone who was cursed?
“From Land’s End to Launceston people avoided her like she had the plague. In fact it was probably from Land’s End to John O’Groats. She couldn’t get another husband even if she wanted to.”
Whether it is balderdash or not, if something goes wrong after you flout a curse, well, you are probably going to blame the curse and wish you hadn’t done it, even if curses may, or may not exist. The Rhodes family aren’t alone in being cursed. Other famous families, in addition to the Kennedys, include the Hapsburgs, the Grimaldis, the Hemingways. I guess the Romanovs weren’t exactly what you might call lucky either.
Of course big families like that, in terms of being newsworthy, of having wealth etc., are always going to find their bones being picked over by the ‘lesser mortals.’ And the Rhodes family have that local standing.
‘She was a Rhodes and Rhodes were all about living life to the hilt.’
Big old house, family tree going back centuries, suggestions of links to pirates, definite links to smugglers. Legends surround them, like Raven’s Passage, said to stretch from their family seat, Doom Bar Hall, all the way to the beach, a fabulous place stuffed with golden treasures.
It’s easy to say that some of these real families were cursed when you can point to the actual curse itself, how it came to be uttered and who was responsible. Rasputin, of course gets held responsible for cursing the Romanovs but as a family they had plenty of misfortune before that. Nicholas II’s father and grandfather didn’t exactly fare brilliantly either and Rasputin never cursed them. But then the times they were living in were pretty explosive. No pun intended actually. Just pointing out the possible carnage/ill heath rate which brings me to the Brontës, another family that might be construed as cursed. Equally fame eventually touched them, so we know of their lives. But their deaths were the lot of entire families especially given the unsanitary conditions of the time.
The thing about curses? I honestly think you pay your money you take your chances…NOW go open the voddie and do Cossack dances.
“He cursed you, me, Chancery. You most of all. Think how different your life would now be if he hadn’t uttered these damnable words. When Chancery loved Rose. Wanted to marry her, for God’s sake. That Divers O’Roarke didn’t know is no damned excuse.”
“I am thinking. And I’m thinking we are the life we live. Its graces and its pain. And while we may not always have any control over it, we can control what we do about it. But if you want to believe in a load of old gypsy mutterings and superstition and hold it responsible for the fact you can’t walk past a drink, without feeling obliged to down and then drown in it, that’s your choice. This is mine.’