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.
“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?
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…
Places stayed. Hovingham – one free night. The Worsley Arms.
Easingwold – The George Hotel.
Places would stay again – 1
Places visited. Hovingham, Coxwold, Helmsley, Easingwold, York, Ampleforth Estates.
Places driven through by mistake…rather a lot. …
Places not stayed. The Old Vicarage Easingwold now closed.
Walks – Ampleforth Estates. York Walls
Hecklers spotted- One
Attractions visited – Railway Museum York
Attractions not visited. The Minster- there was a wedding on as in NOT just the ceremony….place closed.
Kippers spotted – On the menu
Pubs visited – The George Hotel, Easingwold, Yorkshire Terrier, Three Legged Mare, Guy Fawkes,York. Fauconberg Arms, Coxwold -where Malice spent her non wedding night with her her cousin/hubby in the Viking and The Coutesan backstory. The Malt and Shovel, Hovingham.
Faux Pubs – The Cricketers Arms, Hovingham.
Alcohol consumed – No telling.
Dundee mentions – one
Book character mentions- one
Pairs of shoes and boots worn – all of them.
‘Twice, the sight of him had almost caused her to expire. When she had walked into the church at Coxwold and seen him standing there with a carnation in his lapel—their wedding day—and then that night in his apartment. Very well. She lied. It was thrice. When she had knocked on the door of his room at the little inn across from the church.
Now, seeing him chucking wine down his throat as if the vineyard was about to run dry, casting his eye over some serving girl–her backside rather—and wagering what Lady Grace possessed, nausea rose in her gorge. When she considered a man who made her heart pound–a man who she should not be thinking of here–her heart also pounded wastefully. Whatever the problem with Cyril—and there were a good twenty dozen—you knew where you stood with him. That was nowhere at all.
She glided closer. She had come to speak with him, wife to husband. And she had chosen here to do it because it was public. Those who thought the sun shone from the backend of his brown velvet breeches had a lot to learn.
Of course, she might have known Cyril would be more interested in looking at her breasts than her face. Maybe she should have ventured in here topless? Still, at least he was looking at her.
Now that jerked his chin up. If ever there was a way to bring a dog to heel, this was surely it.
“I knew I should find you here before me, my dearest. And involved in a wager too. My lords, you must excuse Cyril, especially when he does not possess the money to pay any debts. And, we are shortly to require every penny we own.”
“Malice?” He peered at her closely. “Malice? Is that you?”
“Most certainly it’s not Aunt Carter’s silver teapot, my dearest husband.”
She shifted on the chair. The door was there. Was she making a mistake not signing the silly bit of paper? What if he kept turning up at all her signings? She could scream. She could have him arrested. Given the way he flitted all over the place like a vampire bat, the prison didn’t exist that would hold him however. Signing would get rid of him for good. Signing would probably ensure none of this ever happened.
“Actually, if you do want my autograph . . .”
“Brittany, I’m not here for-–”
“I’ll give you it. I’ll sign your piece of paper too. It’s really no odds. You and your time-mutant friends want peace. That’s my choice and my pleasure. If not, don’t come back.”
His gaze, dull as his eyebrows, flickered over her.
“Do you really think you can stick to that?”
She reached forward. It was worth parting with another book to get rid of him, since he clung to his copy like a drowning mariner. She opened it, scraped the pen across the paper.
“To Mort, with all my love, Brittany Carter. Will that do? Hmm? Or do you want something more personalized? Like . . . well, I forbear to say.”
A shrug of his equally un-expressive shoulders. “Whatever suits you.”
“Well, what suits me is for you to go away, Mort. So if you’d also care to hand me that bit of paper, I’ll also prove I’m as good as my word. Just make sure, you don’t go bursting into flames in here. Although they do say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
I love a bit of time travel romance, so I was looking forward to falling into this story and discovering how the two main characters would stumble across each other – or, in the heroine’s case, appear in the 18th century in the blink of an eye.
Brittany is your classic heroine; she portrays a strong, don’t-mess-with-me, nothing-can-hurt-me-exterior, but as the story moves on you begin to notice cracks in her resolve.
It took me a while to warm to Mitchell, however, as he came across as conceited and totally void of emotion and empathy. Except this is where Ms Moore has written her colourful, full-bodied characters so well. They are perfectly flawed, because no-one is ever as they seem on the surface.
The overall story arc is beautifully chaotic, comical and a touching read. It left me with that wistful sigh of the happy-ever-after, and tailed-off thoughts of… what happens next?
I’ve not read The Viking and the Courtesan, but it’s definitely being added to my TBR pile.
Mother, freelance writer and social media marketer, passionate about life, love and wellbeing.
Writer of inspirational articles, from the best moments and discoveries in life, to finding yourlevel of happy. Creator of real-life, sassy heroines and their journey in finding out who they are.
Social media marketer, cultivating and nourishing meaningful relationships through networking. Sowing and growing excitement for brands across social media with boundless energy and enthusiasm (also keen gardener and wordsmith). Inspiring others to seize the day and embrace life with added sparkle.
After all, we’re just winging our way through life, and we only get one chance at it.
Dare to dream… Then live it
7 Simple Ways to Survive on a Budget
In 2012, I left full-time employment to concentrate on my family and a writing career, in favour of a better work/life balance. This book was inspired by my decision and looks at simple ways to save money in the current economic climate, filled with hints and tips I apply on a regular basis.
“Well, I…I do want a divorce but only because… I mean only so…”
“You can marry her for her money?”
“Malice…I am vexed you think so little of me that I would do that and set the law on you into the bargain…”
Her heart began to pound so loudly it drowned the strains of the Haydn minuet drifting through the open doors. After all these years. Years in which she had waited. Abandoned hope in. Lived like a drudge at times on a penurious income. She had him at a disadvantage. She reached inside her reticule.
“So you can live in a state you should like to become accustomed to? Ruining her as you have me?”
“Well, the thing is, the thing was, I had no choice regarding the law. That woman you sent to do whatever she was meant to do, she let you down badly.”
“I’m sure that your other ladies aren’t so workshy. Why, your business came highly recommended.”
She unfolded the square of gauze. His expression as she placed the square on her head then arranged it over her face was worth a king’s ransom. “That woman was me.”
Every scrap of color drained from his face. Not that there had been a great deal to start with. There never was. It was one of his many attractions, what gave him that boyish look at the age of thirty.
“Y-you mean… Well, Malice.” Give him his dues, his recovery was excellent. But then it had every reason to be. “May I say how very—”
“You may say nothing. But I will say I think we will agree there will be no divorce. How can there be when we are so very happy, so joyous together?”
“That I am having your child?”
Was it any wonder his eyes widened? Widened so the wonder was they didn’t pop clean out his head and ping about the paving slabs? She tilted her chin. If there was ever a doubt she shouldn’t do this, that moment was past. What was he going to do? Have it all over London his wife ran a marriage wrecking business? That he was a cad who stole from the woman he had abandoned? Hardly. No, the man was a leech she would do well to stay married to. And one who would support her from now on.
“Yes, husband dearest. From that night, the one that was so special to both of us.”
“That’s a damned lie. That night you disappeared. Vanished right before my eyes. I shut them for a second. One second only and poof.” He snapped his fingers. Indeed, his face had contorted with such rage, the only wonder was he didn’t snap more with his fingers, he didn’t snap her neck. “If it was so damned special how come I don’t remember the first damned thing about it?”
But it is not your first unsettling experience, is it?
That got your attention!
Many of you fear you are going mad or perhaps caught in some nightmare; which is unsurprising after your recurring vivid dreams and the recent dislocation experience.
You are frightened and alone. Let me assure you. You are not alone. We have all been through the same thing: because each of us is related.
I see you looking at the different styles in the room, clothes, hair, cosmetics, and wondering if I joke. You think you know your family: parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins. You were brought up to view family as those around you. You do not to think in terms of deep time: about generations past and those to come. But you will learn. Believe me.
Why am I here? You want to ask.
We all carry a double recessive gene from our common ancestress that makes us time travelling mutants.
Oh dear! How to put this simply?
Genes are what make you look like your parents or grandparents. If grandparents, you may have been told it skipped a generation: this is a recessive gene. Over centuries, families separate. Generations later, distant relatives meet and fall in love. When this happens often enough, you are the result.
Our common ancestress lived in the early 21st century. Her name was Brittany Carter. She wrote romantic fiction distinguished by the fact her heroines time travel: her granddaughter to the Viking age and another, in a thinly veiled autobiography, to the 18th century.
I know many of you read her classic novels when studying English Literature, and perhaps experienced a thrill of recognition in their pages. No doubt you were taught they were written by that literary giant Shehanne Moore. A pleasant fiction I am afraid. Brittany Carter wrote these works. Shehanne Moore was merely her nom-de-plume. A ruse used at the insistence of her publishers.
But time travel I hear you protest, surely you need a machine like the fabulous TARDIS of legend, or perhaps a sacred circle of standing-stones to concentrate the Gaia force. Not at all! Our research at the Institute, shows time travel is simple. It is caused by the relatively common ability of psychokinesis: the power to move objects with the mind.
Historical records show many of you experienced poltergeist activity when you hit puberty. Would it shock you to learn poltergeist activity is in fact involuntary outburst of psychokinetic energy, brought on by hormonal changes? As you grew older you no doubt noticed the violent outbursts subsided.
About the same time lucid dreams began. Lucid dreams are a psychological term for vivid dream states where your conscious mind remains aware making it seem you are actually experiencing the dream as reality. If it seems so, it is because you are.
Such dreams are a psychokinetic by-product; a telepathic bond with your ancestors and descendants. It is widely known Brittany Carter wrote about her granddaughter, Malice, under the influence of such dreams. This is why we time travel during moments of heightened sensation, usually, but not exclusively, during sexual arousal.
At this point I need to tell you everything you understand about time is wrong. From an early age you were taught to view time as a progression of events paralleling birth, growth and gradual decline towards death.
Here are some ancient flick-books, please take one and pass the rest on. See how each photograph, taken exactly a year apart, shows the person moving from birth to death at a fixed rate.
Normally we do not question this.
But think for a moment, even identical twins do not die at exactly the same time. Age is relative. It depends on a series of complex interactions governed by genes and environment.
In the 20th century the oldest person on the planet died at the age of 140 – which is nothing now; while children with the disease progeria died of advanced old age when no more than ten. Some individual cells, like cancer, never die. Others can be indefinitely held in suspension, such as the 5,000 year old seed from a Chinese tomb that grew into a magnolia tree when planted by archaeologists.
Aging is not due to minutes flowing into hours; days into years.
Aging is not time travel. The minutes and hours of your life merely mark the earth’s revolution on its axis and the year its orbit around the sun. Even a light year is a measure of distance, 5.9 trillion miles to be exact.
Stephen King claimed time particles, or chronons, were formed by the past colliding with the present and evaporated when the present dissolved into the future. Michael Moorcock agreed. Moorcock envisaged humans, called Time Dwellers, evolving to live permanently within a single moment. For Moorcock the only answer to the question: ‘What is the time?’ was ‘The present’.
Einstein, the father of science, did not believe in time. He said it was nothing other than a measurement of space like height, width and depth. To him we were no more capable of seeing the bigger picture than a word printed on the page can read the novel it belongs to. Like fish in a barrel we cannot see or understand the world outside, never mind swim in it. He explained it thus:
If a fish swims in a tank at 4 miles per hour, inside an airplane travelling at 500 mph, that is flying across the earth rotating at 1,000 mph at the equator, and orbiting around the sun at 68,400 mph, in a solar system spiralling around the Milky Way at 515,000 mph, in a universe expanding at 158,000 mph. How fast is the fish swimming? The answer is 4 miles per hour. That’s relativity.
If we stepped outside relativity, we would see the past, present and future happening concurrently. It would be like looking at a road from a hilltop. This is how Brittany saw her granddaughter’s life 800 years in the past.
You must understand atoms are not like specks of dust. They are infinitesimal amounts of electrical energy clustered into a nucleus of protons and neutrons and orbited by electrons. If the nucleus was the size of a tennis ball, the atom itself would be four miles across. This means most of the universe is empty space.
The universe expands in every direction at approximately 158,000 mph; as does every atom in it. Think of drawing two circles on a balloon then blowing it up. The bigger the balloon gets the more distant the circles become and the bigger they get.
If we could compact or expand an atom, it would automatically shift to the point when the universe was at the same density. In other words it would time travel.
The electro-magnetic force holding the universe together is the same as Gaia, the life force within every living creature. Outbursts of psychokinetic energy are measurable electric currents. This is how we time travel. Psychokinetic outbursts cause our atoms to contract or expand, hurling us through time.
The final question I am asked in this introductory session is: Am I immortal?
Yes and no.
Remember Michael Moorcock’s Time Dwellers living within a single moment? Like them we can dwell in a single moment of time and so do not age. But in that case, how did Brittany and Malice manage to live with their lovers?
That is relativity. As we cannot exist outside our immediate space-time environment, we take it with us, like a deep-sea diving suit. It is perhaps no more than an atom’s thickness but enough to keep us safe.
If you would care to get to know each other and work out your complex and often confusing relationships, there are refreshments next door. However, before you leave let me assure you, my fellow time-travelling mutants, you have long and interesting lives ahead of you, and many difficult skills to master. But master them you will. For we already know your future.
Finn Mac Cool – rude, crude and funny, explicitly sexual and disturbingly violent, Finn Mac Cool is strictly for adults only
Finn mac Cool is a modern retelling of the Irish Myth cycles with a science fantasy edge.
Finn Mac Cool is a must for those with Irish ancestry or anyone interested in Irish legends and folklore. Ever since being a child Paul was fascinated by the phantasmagorical and strange. Blessed with the type of mind that squirrels away peculiar facts, he supposed it was only natural these should become a central feature in his novels.
As Paul got older he often forgot where he found these oddities in the first place. Odds and Sods: A cabinet of Curiosities was born as an on-line notepad and sort of grew from there. Now it showcases the curious stuff he’s come across when researching his novels. He also get a tremendous kick from sharing it with friends.
I have a very special post today in collaboration with Shehanne Moore about her latest novel, Splendor. It includes a review and an interview with Ms. Moore and her hamster friends and even the Earl of Stillmore himself.
Carolee Croft/ First, the review:
I just love Ms. Moore’s cheeky heroines, and Splendor is no exception. How can you not like a woman whose name is Dora and she therefore decides to name herself Lady Splendora?
She’s an honorary member in the London jewel thieves’ guild known as the Starkadder Sisterhood, but not a thief herself. In fact, she wants to help the poor, marry her sweetheart Gabriel and buy him a ministry.
Gabriel, as it turns out, is no sweetheart at all. But then neither is the Earl of Stillmore, a man who calls his servant an “overstuffed seal”. He reserves even better names for Splendor. Mostly he calls her names in his head, but sometimes he does so to her face… usually when she’s being a brat, which is quite often.
While Gabe shows his cowardly and whiny nature, the earl drives Splendor up the wall by “training” her to win a chess tournament even though she is obviously better than him at the game.
With shades of Shakesperean cross-dressing comedy and scenes that reminded me of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady and Confessions of a Shopaholic as Splendor by turns participates in a men’s chess tournament and then tries to pose as an aristocrat at high society balls, this novel had me laughing out loud throughout. It was also extremely touching when I realized how much these two have suffered for love (and their own stubbornness).
I would highly recommend Splendor as a fast-paced, funny and romantic read!
Now I have some questions for Shehanne Moore (and hamsters):
Carolee. How did you come up with the idea for this novel?
Shey. Okay dudes can we stop this and leave Hamster Dickens out of this.
Shey. What I meant to say. Now then Carolee, first of all let me thank you for asking me to your fabulous blog. I hope all your own writing is doing well. So looking forward to reading your next book. I have had the basic first scene of this novel a long time. Before I had anything published in fact. I don’t play chess myself but in Regency times it was so popular there were clubs in most of the cities and matches between them too. Obviously the period was very constraining for women. So I had this idea of a woman cross dressing to enter a competition but running into trouble straight off and being challenged to a duel by the best shot in London. That was it. At that time I was trying to break into romance writing and sticking to the ‘sort of’ formula. The characters were pretty limp wristed. The heroine was a lady who had fallen on hard times. Her fiancé was a clergyman. The hero was a very decent sort really. No wonder the first chapter yawned on the shelf for years while I wrote four other books.
Carolee… What is it about Georgian England that appeals to you?
Shey. Right dudes, can we stop it. I suppose that it’s where a lot of books are set. I have to say though there is nothing that appeals to me. It was a very different world from this one so I might say I set books there because I want to be bad to my heroines. Oh, ok, it is quite nice to set a book there and try and create characters who will flout convention in an acceptable way. I know that sounds sort of contrary but I mean I hope I make them tough enough to break the rules, to mold their world, as far as that is possible because of the kind of characters they are.
Carolee. Do you have an actor in mind to play Earl Stillmore or Lady Splendor?
Shey. We always have muses don’t we? I do anyway even for the smallest character. So yes. Aidan Turner for Stillmore. He has the right glowering impatience. And Drew Barrymore for Splendor.
Carolee. Good choice! He was great in Poldark.
The Starkadder Sisterhood series has many fine ladies in it, Ruby being one of my favorites just because I think of her as a very unlikely romance heroine. How many more novels are you planning in the series, and will Ruby get her own love story?
Shey. You know she is so unlikely as you can see from this extract from Loving Lady Lazuli…..
‘“Get ’im, Pearl!”
Dear God, while that would be very nice, if Cass didn’t do something, blood would be spilled. His. Of course it would be his own fault. But it would also be hers if she had to bury him in her herb garden. Besides she was unsure about Barron. Where he would stand on the matter of assistance. A broom handle may have been sawing his windpipe, but it did not mean he was one of them. What might be around the county tomorrow about her?
“Kill ’im! Toffee-nosed snout.”
Ruby sprung and Devorlane Hawley did not hit her back. Cass’s throat constricted, the noise that came from the back of it not one she would usually make. Men, certainly those of her acquaintance, would never do such a thing. Did or did her own back not bear witness to that fact? What Starkadder had done to her that day. And not just that day. Every day she’d refused to steal.
Of course, a corpse would make things inconvenient for her. Who would have thought he’d have retaliated like this, a powerful man like him, who had no fear of arrest, though? Plainly not herself or she’d never have opened her mouth. Let alone row with him over a kiss, a kiss she gave him so she could worm off the hook, a kiss which would be a complete waste if she didn’t stop this unraveling further, if they had to flee the county.
“Ruby. Ruby—no. No.”
“Get orf of me, Cass.” Ruby tried wrenching the handle free—no doubt because her fists weren’t good enough. “I knows whot I’m doin’. Stickin’ it ‘round ‘ere like ‘e owns the bleedin’ place. Smarmy—”
“’E thinks ‘e knows. ‘E don’t know jack-shit. ‘E—”
Pearl who was her sidekick in Lazuli is quite unlikely too, I quite fancy having a go and giving each their own story. I have ideas for Diamond, Jade and Amber. So that’s definitely another three. But I am playing with one for Pearl and it would be an awful shame to leave her out. In fact, an idea I have been keeping for Emerald might well work better with Ruby. As you say she is so unlikely…..
Carolee. And for the hamsters… who was your favourite character in Splendor?
Carolee. I also have some questions for the hero of this novel, the Earl of Stillmore:
Carolee . Your first wife broke your heart. Why couldn’t you just get over it?
Splendor: Because he doesn’t like to lose. Not even a dud farthing.
Stillmore: I did get over it. I shot lots of people I challenged to duels. I drank. I went with women. What was that if not getting over it? Well?
Splendor : Being afraid of falling again, Your Grace.
Carolee : Do you actually enjoy playing chess, or did you join the chess tournament just to foil your former mistress and her fiance?
Stillmore. Me? Do that? Me? That is the kind of thing someone else would do. It is the kind of thing you would never see me doing. If you were not a woman, I would call you out for that but I would never call out a woman.
Splendor: Dearest, aren’t you forgetting something? You know….pistols at dawn.
Stillmore: Well, what I mean is… YOU were dressed as a man. How was I to know you were a woman?
Splendor : Well….
Stillmore : Oh very well, the answer is no. Obviously I am an excellent chess player. Indeed if Splendor had taken my advice, freely offered she would never have lost that ten thousand pounds. As for Babs Langley, had she not put me off my game, snapping the lid on that bracelet I bought her before the chess tournament, I’d have won it. I can’t think what else she was expecting when I presented her with that trinket box.
Carolee You famously hate marriage, indeed you said-
Stillmore: Not me.
Stillmore : I see. Well. It is a loathsome, hackneyed institution. Suitable only for those whose picnic is several sandwiches short. I just didn’t know I was famous about it.
Carolee. But maybe with the right partner it wouldn’t be so bad. Do you think you would like to marry Carolee Croft? 😉
Splendor : Dearest, do be polite. In fact…..
Stillmore : Well, I might. Yes. I wouldn’t like you to think that is why my cravat has just got tight and I am sweating beneath it. But the thing is I haven’t married Splendor. I mean officially and I don’t know she’d be pleased. She might rip this blog up as she did that cheque for ten thousand pounds if I said, ‘But of course.’ So really, truly, although I could, whether I should is another matter. Because of her you understand. Nothing else.
Carolee :Thank you so much, Shey, for joining me with your hamsters and your characters, even if some of them refuse to get married (ahem).
Brittany Carter must choose either to live in the present or in 1765. She cannot have both. In her present, she is finally starting to reach her goals of fame, success and money. Her romance novels are bestsellers! But success does come at a price. And that price is Mitchell Killgower.
Drop dead gorgeous and with a heart to boot. The man of her dreams, the love of her life, THE ONE she’s been waiting for her entire life.
But can she trust him?
Does she want to live in 1765 with all its inconveniences which she takes for granted in the present?
Is she willing to give up fame, success and money?
Moore is delightfully good at historical romances. With wit and intelligence she takes the reader back to Georgian England where bad-boy Mitchell is in the midst of an inheritance row when Brittany Carter literally drops into his life.
With the romance between Brittany and Mitchell as veneer, Shehanne Moore smoothly makes her way through the power struggles between men and women – using as backdrop a feisty, strong protagonist with present day relationship values trying to apply them to the relationship values of a man living in 1765.
One of Buddha’s famous quotes is
Happiness is a journey not a destination.
The journey to arrive at the ending of The Writer and The Rake is complex, entertaining, amusing, reflective, smexy and made me happy as well.
The Writer and the Rake is the latest in Shehanne Moore’s Time Mutant series.
Pinçar em excesso pode levar a sobrancelhas muito finas, curtas ou desiguais. Além disso, a remoção excessiva de pelos pode prejudicar o crescimento futuro dos fios e tornar ainda mais difícil alcançar a forma ideal no futuro.https://go.hotmart.com/L73806300E