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.
“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?
‘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.
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…
Born. 1919 Blairgowrie, Angus, Scotland to a single mother.
Lived in an orphanage in London after her death, having won a scholarship to Dulwich School in London.
Studied Modern Languages at Downing College, Cambridge.
WW2 -ran messages for a Quaker organization aiding the German resistance and helped rescue Jews. Received a commission in the Intelligence Corps. Took part in the Desert War.
His 1948 poetry book about his experiences in the war, Elegies for the Dead in Cyrenaica, received the Somerset Maugham Award.
Instrumental in bringing about the Edinburgh People’s Festival Ceilidh in 1951, which placed traditionally performed Scottish folk music on the public stage for the first time. However, the People’s Festival, of which it was part, was planned as a left-wing competitor to the Edinburgh Festival and was was deeply controversial which led to the Labour Party declaring it a “Proscribed Organisation and it being permanently cancelled.
1955-1987 he was on the staff of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies which he co-founded
Henderson was a socialist a campaigner for Sctottish Home Rule, openly bisexual, and vocal about gay rights and acceptance.
Died 8 March 2002 aged 82.
Survived by his wife Kätzel and their daughters, Janet and Christine Henderson.
ARISAIG. Shey on the rocks without a drink too… DAY ONE. The walk was to Rhu Point and back. Shey and the Mr were full of day one walking anticipation, so they howfed the three and a bit miles there, then back again.
ARISAIG Shey on a moth-eaten swing. Strangely this was without a drink although you might not think it. The Highland Games Dance was yet to come….
ARISAIG A deserted set of swings without anything….
And a phone box somewhere in Glen Roy that took Shey’s fancy largely cos you can’t get a mobile signal… BUT MAYBE there’s a ‘ beam me up Scotty,’ story here, OR It’s the TARDIS… As you can see …many writing prompts here.
DAY TWO. Shey at the Silver Sands, Morar before she and the Mr clocked the incoming tide…. and had to walk miles back to the road… or water, lots of it would have been what they were drinking…
DAY two the Silver Sands of Morar from a safer viewpoint.
DAY TWO Unperturbed by the diversion at Morar and dancing half the night away, Shey and the Mr drove to Glencoe and tackled the Duror Trail feeling very brisk and loving the joys of walking. So much so they even walked along to Am Torr and back later before howfing it into the Boots Bar.
GLENCOE DAY 3. Despite the sun now beating down Shey and the Mr. set off to bag Meall Mor. From 1500 feet already up –on a forestry road to Ballachulish no less– with the last bit, straight ahead there, through the bog, round the sheep fence, through the gate and up the slope, just to go, what could be simpler. In Glencoe, there is no such thing as simple…
The view looking down from the top was quite something.
As for the five and a half hours all told it took Shey and the Mr to do the entire bagging-yes you can spot him there, thinking how one slip would result in him taking the express route down to Loch Leven…, while Shey tried a more zigzagging approach well….that was something too…
But returning…, or rather crawling back…to the Clachaig a surprise awaited. A bottle of lovely bubbly from the staff there for the wedding anniversary. So obvi this picture and all the ones taken after had a drink in them, in fact they had many, and no wonder.
Now this as blogger Ralpha will know is THAT sign again which Shey, no longer so full of the joys of walking, but rather full of fizz and cask aged cider tried to vary pose-wise.
DAY 4. GLENCOE/BALLACHILISH. Despite outright rebellion in the ranks, the Mr fell into step and did the lonely, overgrown, Brecklet Trail where Ping Pong Monsters lurk….. Monsters that tasted delicious…….
Plenty slainte in Glencoe last few days.
Games of pool played- 4
Games of pool won – 4
Miles walked—- Many
Amount of walks – 4 …
Drink consumed–no telling
Weather– pretty Baltic
Amount of laughs–tons
Bands listened to -1