Thursday, 16 July 2015

Women of a Certain Character...



 ...and What Makes Them the Prize to be Won
by
Shehanne Moore

Well? 

Let’s start by defining what I mean by certain character. I mean I may have gotcha there.  This is a very sumexy blog Antonia has here after all and my new heroine, Lady Malice is the courtesan half of the title of my latest book.

At least that’s what she tells herself she is. 

So, after thanking the lovely Antonia kindly for inviting me to her wonderful blog,  I’m going to talk about my ladies. I’ve never been very good at writing ‘nice’ ones.  I do set out to do that but they don’t come off the page that way. 

Take Fury. 
 
I really meant her to be dignified about the fact her back is against the wall and the only way to save herself is by taking a lover, only too glad when an old friend turns up to turn to him for ….advice. And in the process discover that there is no finer man.  

But this other woman leapt off the page….  Used to living entirely on her wits, sharp tongued, living behind a high wall, she’s constructed of necessity  and a blackmailer to boot.  I think I prefer writing about women who have been through the wringer.  Let’s face it, life is not exactly a straight road. The wringer shapes us all. Bottom line? Fury is a survivor who relies on herself, never playing the soft woman card. She wears that fact like a shield. It’s also a big flaw with her.   Underneath, Fury will do anything - give anything - for those she loves.  I’d say it makes her a prize to be won and really it’s no wonder she guards her heart with steal talons.    

Like Fury, Kara, the heroine of His Judas Bride, has had her sorrows to seek and these sorrow have shaped her into a woman who will battle anything and anyone, especially the hero, to get what she wants. That’s her son. There’s only one thing she fears and that is love itself. But Kara  always feels she’s the outsider, craving nothing so much that way as acceptance.  Kara, when you remind her is very much a woman who will make room in her life for everyone she loves. 

Sapphire doesn’t  give in easily. 


Having been sold to a gang of thieves as a child, she’s spent her life being owned and lives behind a mask of cool impenetrability, clinging to the notion that she was stolen from her rich parents.  She’s not good at being thought wanting in any regard.  Sex in particular! It’s what makes her irresistible to Lord Hawley.  Win Sapphire’s heart and she’ll pick a lock for you better than anyone.  She will also sacrifice herself for you. 


 So meet Malice, my new heroine. What makes her the same yet different? Well, like the others she’s strong willed, incapable of not saying her piece, doesn’t take the hero’s nonsense  and doesn’t spend too long thinking she does bad things, like running  a marriage-wrecking business. But where Sapphire has balls, she has sass and attitude and a lot of shoes. She’s femininely into the finer things in life. She’s also always been the unloved outcast. While she thinks she’s overcome that she hasn’t.  Win Malice and she just might come through time for you. 

I have tried to write women who aren’t fighters, women who look to men to sort things out, women who know their place in their time - always important in historical novels - but I descend from women who  never knew their place, who were before their time. Yet women who kept home and family going through all that, women who gave everything for their men…eventually—whatever it took. 

If you think I can write about them some other way, please tell me. 

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Shehanne. Now, here's an extract from The Viking and the Courtesan:

             “I don’t care what you want,” he gritted. “Shoes are what you can have. And jewels and whatever…” 

                Actually tipping her back onto the mattress so her flailing body was underneath him, wasn’t the smartest, although if Snotra had crept up the ladder and was staring through the drape, this tussle with the troll would certainly look convincing. On the surface anyway. He didn’t know how much muster it would pass if Snotra looked closer. He could and would make this Saxon she-wolf obey him now.

           “Do you understand?”He seized her wrists, dragging them above her head so she couldn’t move.  “You’re in no position to bargain here. If you can’t moan, I’ll get someone who can.”

             She stuck her chin in the air.  “So you say.”

            “And they can have the damned dress, the troll toothed shoes too.”

            “Viking shoes. Oh fortunate them.”

            “Start doing it now.”

                “So Snotra can tear my eyes out?” Her face was set in the blandest lines. “You know? I think not.”

                “Well I do.”

In 898 AD she wasn’t just from another land. 

Wrecking a marriage is generally no problem for the divorce obtaining, Lady Malice Mallender. But she faces a dilemma when she’s asked to ruin her own. Just how businesslike should she remain when the marriage was never consummated and kissing her husband leads to Sin--a handsome Viking who wants her for a bed slave in name only? 
She came from another time. 

Viking raider Sin Gudrunsson wants one thing. To marry his childhood sweetheart. Only she’s left him before, so he needs to keep her on her toes, and a bed slave, in name only, seems just the thing. Until he meets Malice. 

One kiss is all it takes to flash between two worlds.

But when one kiss is no longer enough, which will it be?  Regency London? Or Viking Norway? Will Malice learn what governs the flashes? Can Sin?  

Where worlds collide can love melt the iciest heart? 

 You can pre-order The Viking and the Courtesan here:


 About the Author:

When not cuddling inn signs in her beloved Scottish mountains alongside Mr Shey, Shehanne Moore writes dark and smexy historical romance, featuring bad boys who need a bad girl to sort them out. She firmly believes everyone deserves a little love, forgiveness and a second chance in life.

Shehanne caused general apoplexy when she penned her first story, The Hore House Mystery—aged seven. What didn’t she work at while pursuing her dream of becoming a published author? 

Visit her blog to find out about past releases and hear more about her forthcoming time-slip historical,  The Viking and The Courtesan.  


You can connect with Shehanne here:

Sunday, 12 July 2015

When A Goddess Chooses Your Man...


Be prepared for the fight of your life

  “...The story flows nicely along, has some interesting characters, has a gorgeous setting in rural England, and there is plenty of action. You can tell Ms van Zandt has experience in writing erotica; although there is only one actual sex scene, the sexual tension practically drips off the pages. ...” – Saguaro Moon Reviews

Nothing much happens in Abbey St. Francis, but Freya’s about to change all that...
 
Eve Lawson is no stranger to heartbreak. Three years ago, the man of her dreams betrayed her and left her unwilling to trust anyone ever again. So when gorgeous hunky farmer, Mark Latimer, starts to take more than a casual interest in her, she is cautious and nervous of committing either her mind or her body to him. But the attraction is there, and it’s growing. All Eve needs is just a little more time. 
Abbey St. Francis—a sleepy, pretty village where nothing much happens and traditional values are held true—has been Eve’s home all her life. No one suspects that the beautiful young woman who has just moved into West Lodge is anything other than a wealthy and generous benefactor. But Freya Nordstrom is not what she appears to be. 

Then the mysterious stranger takes more than a passing interest in Mark, and Eve knows she has a battle on her hands. But never in her wildest dreams could Eve have imagined the nature of the forces stacked against her... 


Excerpt from Freya's Choice...
...A loud flapping startled me. I looked up and couldn’t believe what I saw. The most massive bird I had ever seen flew past me and hovered, silhouetted against the moon. Then it flew directly toward West Lodge. I glanced back down at the cats. Their ears twitched, but nothing more. I searched the sky for the giant bird again, but it had disappeared. Could I have imagined it? Surely not. I certainly wasn’t imagining those cats or the malevolence in their eyes. 

My knees buckled from my unaccustomed crouching position, but I was scared to make any rapid movement, and Freya’s cats continued to stare at me. Their eyes narrowed, as if at any moment they would pounce and tear me to shreds. But their hackles didn’t rise, they didn’t arch their backs, spit or make any of the warning gestures cats employ to let you know they’re about to strike. They just sat there, like statues. Waiting. 

My knees ached and I had no choice or I would simply keel over. Slowly, I rose to my feet, wobbling with the effort, while I kept my eyes on the animals. 

Their gaze traveled upward with my movement. A chill wound itself around my spine, spiraling the length of it, and I shivered. 

Then, as if receiving some signal I couldn’t hear, they blinked in unison and turned away. They slunk down my path before jumping over the wall and out of sight. I continued to watch and, in the light of the streetlamp at the bottom of Freya’s drive, saw them emerge and pad slowly up her long drive. They matched each other step for step, their tails held high. 

Then I saw a tall figure striding down Freya’s drive toward me. He passed the cats, apparently without acknowledging their presence. Too dark and far away to make out his features, my heart still lurched. 

Mark. I could see the familiar long hair fanning his shoulders, the white shirt and dark pants. Tears pricked my eyes. At that moment, I wished with all my heart I hadn’t seen him. It couldn’t be happening again. Surely he wouldn’t betray me as John had. After all he’d said to me. And I’d believed every word. 

So Freya had been telling the truth. Somewhere along the line she’d made his acquaintance, and now I knew why he hadn’t answered his phone. He’d been with her. 

I told myself to calm down. There could be a hundred innocent explanations for his visit. But unless I asked him, I wouldn’t know. I hurried down my path and opened the gate. 

“Mark! Hi!” I hoped I sounded nonchalant, but a note of desperation had crept into my voice. 

He reached the end of her drive and turned left. He was directly opposite me now, in shadows, on the other side of the lane. Any second and he would cross over. 

“Mark!” 

He must have heard me, but not a flicker. He never broke his stride. Just carried on walking, farther down the lane, away from me, while I stood and watched him, my insides turning to mush in dismayed disbelief... 


Freya's Choice is available from:
 ARe

Monday, 6 July 2015

Freya's Choice - Half-Price This Week Only!


 
 “...The story flows nicely along, has some interesting characters, has a gorgeous setting in rural England, and there is plenty of action. You can tell Ms van Zandt has experience in writing erotica; although there is only one actual sex scene, the sexual tension practically drips off the pages. ...” – Saguaro Moon Reviews

Nothing much happens in Abbey St. Francis, but Freya’s about to change all that...
 
Eve Lawson is no stranger to heartbreak. Three years ago, the man of her dreams betrayed her and left her unwilling to trust anyone ever again. So when gorgeous hunky farmer, Mark Latimer, starts to take more than a casual interest in her, she is cautious and nervous of committing either her mind or her body to him. But the attraction is there, and it’s growing. All Eve needs is just a little more time. 
Abbey St. Francis—a sleepy, pretty village where nothing much happens and traditional values are held true—has been Eve’s home all her life. No one suspects that the beautiful young woman who has just moved into West Lodge is anything other than a wealthy and generous benefactor. But Freya Nordstrom is not what she appears to be. 

Then the mysterious stranger takes more than a passing interest in Mark, and Eve knows she has a battle on her hands. But never in her wildest dreams could Eve have imagined the nature of the forces stacked against her... 




...A loud flapping startled me. I looked up and couldn’t believe what I saw. The most massive bird I had ever seen flew past me and hovered, silhouetted against the moon. Then it flew directly toward West Lodge. I glanced back down at the cats. Their ears twitched, but nothing more. I searched the sky for the giant bird again, but it had disappeared. Could I have imagined it? Surely not. I certainly wasn’t imagining those cats or the malevolence in their eyes. 

My knees buckled from my unaccustomed crouching position, but I was scared to make any rapid movement, and Freya’s cats continued to stare at me. Their eyes narrowed, as if at any moment they would pounce and tear me to shreds. But their hackles didn’t rise, they didn’t arch their backs, spit or make any of the warning gestures cats employ to let you know they’re about to strike. They just sat there, like statues. Waiting. 

My knees ached and I had no choice or I would simply keel over. Slowly, I rose to my feet, wobbling with the effort, while I kept my eyes on the animals. 

Their gaze traveled upward with my movement. A chill wound itself around my spine, spiraling the length of it, and I shivered. 

Then, as if receiving some signal I couldn’t hear, they blinked in unison and turned away. They slunk down my path before jumping over the wall and out of sight. I continued to watch and, in the light of the streetlamp at the bottom of Freya’s drive, saw them emerge and pad slowly up her long drive. They matched each other step for step, their tails held high. 

Then I saw a tall figure striding down Freya’s drive toward me. He passed the cats, apparently without acknowledging their presence. Too dark and far away to make out his features, my heart still lurched. 

Mark. I could see the familiar long hair fanning his shoulders, the white shirt and dark pants. Tears pricked my eyes. At that moment, I wished with all my heart I hadn’t seen him. It couldn’t be happening again. Surely he wouldn’t betray me as John had. After all he’d said to me. And I’d believed every word. 

So Freya had been telling the truth. Somewhere along the line she’d made his acquaintance, and now I knew why he hadn’t answered his phone. He’d been with her. 

I told myself to calm down. There could be a hundred innocent explanations for his visit. But unless I asked him, I wouldn’t know. I hurried down my path and opened the gate. 

“Mark! Hi!” I hoped I sounded nonchalant, but a note of desperation had crept into my voice. 

He reached the end of her drive and turned left. He was directly opposite me now, in shadows, on the other side of the lane. Any second and he would cross over. 

“Mark!” 

He must have heard me, but not a flicker. He never broke his stride. Just carried on walking, farther down the lane, away from me, while I stood and watched him, my insides turning to mush in dismayed disbelief...

This week only, Freya's Choice is available for HALF PRICE - only from: