Friday, 29 July 2011

Challenge No 12 - RFW - She loves me ... She loves me not. She loves me!

My contribution to this week's challenge for Romantic Friday Writers is a snippet from my historical English Civil War novel, the one a lot of bloggers' went wild about during a blogfest last year. 

Brief: Although Morton and Anna once loved each other Civil War tore them apart, and a recent tragedy has led to uneasy truce between them. While the new lord and master at Axebury Hall endeavours to ease sense of pain and loss for both, Anna proves unwilling to grant him any favour.  

On reaching the house he enquired as to Anna’s whereabouts, and upon taking his cloak Tilly pointed him toward Anna’s favourite sitting room. He knocked the door and entered. Anna as expected proved tearful and less than enamoured by his intrusion. ‘May I sit with you,’ he asked, half prepared for outright refusal.
       She kept her eyes averted, her attention out through the window, the river flowing fast from heavy fall of rains. ‘It’s your house, and who am I to say where you can sit?’ her curt response from the window seat.
       ‘Anna please, Axebury is your home as much as mine. In truth, to some extent more yours than mine.'  She looked up at him then, her eyes searching his as though disbelieving a word said. ‘I feel like an intruder, trespassing,’ he said, moving into the room. ‘All that I loved I feel has gone from me now.’
       She gestured her hand toward the chair nearest the fireplace, and again looked away out through the window. ‘And you don’t think I feel much the same as you. That I intrude where I no longer belong, and that I have lost everyone whom I love?’
       There was no ready answer to that, for she was still blaming him for his father’s death. He refused to take to the chair, his mind in turmoil. He stood with back to the fireplace sense of anger and frustration overwhelming him. The memory of his father’s last dying words caused a lump to throat. ‘I will not be held responsible for the death of my father. Do you hear me, Anna, I never laid a warring hand upon his body, and the sooner you get that into your pretty little head the sooner we can be civil to one another.’      
       She turned then, rose to her feet and walked toward him. ‘I loved him Morton, and it was I whom asked to be his wife.’
       He had known of her intended marriage to his father long before his aunt had informed him. Blasted servants had tongues worse than serpents hissing vile gossip from household to household and around the village, and yes it had sore hurt to think of her as his father’s wife, but it had not happened, they had not wed.
       According to Tilly’s father, his daughter as close as anyone to Anna, the betrothal had been merely Anna’s way of avoiding marriage to Thomas Thornton.  He needed no prompting to know the reason for her refusal to wed Thomas, and although her grief genuine it was far from that of a woman truly in love with her betrothed. Despite her bold stance and harsh glare, her eyes revealed all that he needed to see.      
       ‘Stop acting the grieving widow, Anna. It is most unattractive in one so young, and don’t think him innocent when abroad. He was just as inclined to whores in doxy houses as Thomas.’
       Anna flew at him, and pummelled his chest. ‘You’re jealous, jealous that I sought comfort in your father’s arms.’
       Her taunting words sliced through him, slashing at his heartstrings. Numbed by it all he fell speechless. She kept at him, fists flying and he fending her off until finally his arms about her. He held her fast against him.  She loves me . . . She loves me not. She loves me. I know it, she knows it, and only God knows when she will admit to such.

O.K., I know - 5 words over the limit of 400.

To see other contributions go here for the list of participants.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

1st Adult "Raunchy" Book Read Blogfest!

I'm so cheating with this post.  It's not only Saturday evening, but this is a re-posted piece. I know, it's terribly wicked, but why write the same thing over again?  Oh, and it's Sunday tomorrow and I may be up late in the morning, plus on Sunday's we tend to have a leisurely breakfast. ;)

For this blogfest we're supposed to name our first "Adult" book read, but I can't do that without saying how it came about and where I found my first juicy adult read!

At about twelve-years-old I'd moved from kiddo reading (Swallows & Amazons etc) to historical romance, (all found on my mother's book shelves) and the first historical romances I got my teeth into were those of Daphne du Maurier and Georgette Heyer. Though feel I must mention that all the classical literary novels were obigatory and enjoyable reading too: Bronte sisters', Austen etc., and that was only the beginning of a long list of romance novels. I even indulged and read Barbara Cartland historicals as well.

I loved Daphne's descriptions of places - incredibly atmospheric, but found the romantic elements always a little on the chilly side and lacking sensuality.

Whereas, with Georgette's romantic offerings, the sensual was apparent if airing a tad modest!

This is a really interesting link for all Georgette Heyer fans:

see website

Then, oh lordy, I discovered this at age fifteen (hidden at back of bookcase):

Ha ha, my taste for hot and steamy had come of age.

Well, that was it I was on a quest for hot and raunchy reading!

Blimey, when I discovered "Angelique" I learned a lot about mens' desires! If you've never read an Angelique and love steamy historical romance, go buy one: it's
an experience you won't forget.

SERGEANNE GOLON aka Anne Golon: see website.

So, come on, dish the dirt on yourself! Which books got you all hot and bothered?

If you're up for a naughty/shocking read try my historical novella:

"Her Favoured Captain".

It's available on Amazon: see top of sidebar.

To see entries by other partcipants go here

Friday, 22 July 2011

Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No 11 - "Coming Home"

My entry for this challenge is a snippet from a modern historical set 18 yrs post WWII. 
Brief: American pilot officer once stationed at an airfield in the Cotswold Hills, Oxfordshire, UK, has returned, and memories haunt his every step.   

He steered the car toward the village, until now the locale quite alien. The road seemed a lot wider than he’d remembered, plus a few modern houses grouped to the right on approach to the village. 
       His heart lifted on passing the village sign on the roadside.
       Halleluja, the quaint little cottages either side of the main thoroughfare little changed. The church to the right, the village green to left backed by a row of cottages, and the post office still there, just as it had been eighteen years ago. He drove on, and there it was, the Swan Inn nestling on the bank of the River Thames, the stone bridge beside it. The bridge that had once led to  . . .   
       He eased his foot off the accelerator.
       Hell. Stepping back in time not always good.
       As the car glided past the ancient structure, bar for excess in floral display it looked just as it had  . . . 
       He gunned the accelerator, and within a hundred yards braked hard.
       Goddamn it, he’d almost missed the turn.
       He steered the car up the steep incline, the tight bends familiar and his heart beat increased, adrenalin coursing through his veins. Bizarre as it seemed, it felt akin to coming home: a Texan coming home to the Cotswolds.
       The plateau finally reached, his heart felt as though ready to burst. The car ground to a halt where the sentry post had once stood, the old runway barely visible beneath swathes of meadow grasses and wild flowers; brick conning tower and office block dilapidated and roof caved in. Not a sign of Nissen huts.      
       Movement the far side of the airfield caught his eye.
       It was a string of horses and riders at the gallop.
       The memory of a once special girl who’d galloped her horse alongside the perimeter fence just at the point of his aircraft leaving terra firma leapt to mind.
       Then what, shot down over Germany, and not a reply to any letters sent from a stinking POW camp. What was it her mother had said: she doesn’t live here any more. She’s married to an RAF pilot.
       He reached inside the car, grabbed a pair of binoculars.
       No  . . . Get a gripYou’re seeing things.           
       His heart lurched.      
       Just as beautiful as I remember, but you’re trespassing, Patsy. You’re trespassing on my property.  

Word Count: 400.

To see entries by other participants go here

Monday, 18 July 2011

What makes for Inspiration!?

This is the very substance of Summer's blogfest!

As it says in my profile: 
A painting, wind whispering through trees, 
droplet of rain, snowflake on eyelashes: 
all can stir my imagination!

But, portraits remain the greatest inspiration to my writing of romance novels. 
The following pic an example, and end result a novel that is to be published Stateside and due for release July 2012 - The Billionaire's Dilemma: Twin Mistresses.


How could two polo players be inspiration?
The polo player on the right inspired the novel, plus overall glamour associated with the sport of princes'.
And of course, women bounty hunters whom seek trophy husbands make for a thrilling read!

The following pic inspired: Her Favoured Captain - a historical novella - available on Kindle.

If interested in why this image inspired you can follow the link and read a sample page here 

Now your prompt!

The Shell house as used in Harry Potter movie: incidentally built on a beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, not in Cornwall where the story is supposedly set.

Too see entries by other participants to Summer's blogfest go here.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Challenge No. 10 - "Surrender" - Romantic Friday Writers.

If you're here looking for Shelly's poetry blogfest, it's the post below!

Romantic Friday Writers set a new themed challenge every week, and romance writers who love to stretch their writing muscles take up the challenge for a Friday post. Sometimes the cameos presented by members of RFW are real tear-jerkers, sometimes light-hearted, at other times dark and dangerous!  
What might their offerings contain this week - sensual sweet, slightly steamy or scary sexy? As you can see from the image, this Friday's theme is Surrender.  
You don't have to be a member to participate, but it would be nice if you decide to join with us on the good ship Romancer. 

I've chosen a snippet from my English Civil War epic for today's theme Surrender. 
It's a tad steamy, or not: as maybe the case for some. After all, what one person thinks of as a tad erotic another will think of as pure smut. ;)

Brief: Anna Lady Maitcliffe, and Morton Lord Gantry have recent been engaged in a pleasurable if sexy romp within a woodland glade: post swim in pool beneath waterfall.  

Morton suddenly disturbed her daydream. ‘Anna, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?’
       She tilted her head sideways, taking in the profile of his face, his slumber like pose all too innocent, replied, ‘I cannot be sure that I am ready for marriage.’ 
       He slid his arm from around her, and sat up straight, one knee instantly drawn up to rest his arm upon it. ‘What nonsense is this now, Anna?’ He turned to look down at her, his eyes searching hers, demanding explanation. ‘What possible reason is there to suggest yourself unready for marriage?’
       She propped herself up on one elbow and toyed with a blade of grass: eyes quickly downcast to avoid his questioning gaze.  Having never felt so liberated as today, she gloried in her own nakedness and tore the blade of grass free from its root and reached out to drag it across Morton’s thigh, and thence to her own thigh. She savoured the sensuality as she stroked her skin with the blade of grass, quite aware his eyes fallen to rest on her tantalising gesture. Amused by his sudden interest, she dragged the green strand upward and across her furry mound.  
       ‘Anna, as much as it excites me to witness your teasing ploy you have not explained why you are against becoming my wife.’
       ‘Must you make consideration of marriage, such a tiresome business’ she challenged, well aware how frustrating and infuriating her reluctant stance must sound to him.
       ‘You were wont to wed my father soon enough, and that alone confirms you are not too young to be wed,’ he said, strong grip suddenly applied to her hand, which he promptly edged closer to her delta, the blade of grass teasing the senses.  ‘You say you love me, and therefore I cannot see where objection to becoming my wife fits with our present state of undress.’
       She laughed, looked him in the eye, and said, ‘Unhand me your lordship, I feel you take too many liberties with my person. I will not surrender so easily this time.’
       ‘Too many liberties, eh?’ he said, his tone commanding.  He roared with laughter, caught up her hand in his and rapidly engaged her freehand and forced both above her head in one vicelike grip, her body trapped beneath him. ‘You feel I take too many liberties, then let me take another.’

400 words!

To see entries by other participants, go here.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Shelly's Blogfest - Vampire Dreams!

Shelly Brown is host to this wonderful mind-teasing poetry (whatever) blogfest! 

Vampire Dreams

In still of night and breathless fear, I hear my pounding heart;
A shiver… stilled in the gloom, clouds skitter past a silver moon

Oh snowy owl swooping past, and moon to light thy path,
How soon will he come, the deed to be done?

Power of attraction no dismiss, pure agony and ecstasy of untold bliss,
Life's potent wine the inner lust, give of blooded Nile I must.

Oh snowy owl swooping past, how long to frosted breath on air, sparkle in eyes and scintillating hair?

Come the moment, come the time, the crossing of forever line;
Moonbeams shall dance, and shadows quiver,

Oh snowy owl swooping past, how soon the shadowed wings, and instant sparkle of glittering ring?

Hear him now, footfalls on flagstones, a phantom of night; and I, to embrace his sensual rites and live the orgasmic dream!  

To see other participants entries: go here.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Six Sentence Sunday!

Hosted by Six Sunday.

The following 6 are from my Historical Novella set 1808: England. Although this novella may seem sweet, think veiled deception! It's really very risque.

Her Favoured Captain.

A tentative smile creased his face and something stirred within her as it never had before, and out of her depth, floundering in his honesty, words flowed from the heart. “Fondness has been far from Ned’s thoughts for a long while,” she said, eyes drifting to his ship at anchor. “And you, back then . . . a soldier too?”
  “Lieutenant, in his majesty’s Royal Navy.”
Her eyes levelled on his again, and something about them implied him genuine. “Then why are you now a buccaneer?”          

Below is the book trailer for "Her Favoured Captain".

To see entries by other participants go here.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Romantic Friday Writers - Challenge No. 9.

For this, the 9th RFW Challenge "Forgiven", I settled down to write this last night at nine o'clock and finished it at nine-forty-five. You'll get the gist of it, I feel sure. The whole cameo is conducted via cell-phones.
Characters: Tess is Amy's sister, and a colleague of Max: both doctors.
Amy is Max' wife.
Max is absent.
Sonia is Max secretary.
The unknown girl a nurse.

“Max just isn’t the sort of guy to play around.”
       “She’s barely out of nappies, Tess, and I’m fifty-five. Worse, it’s our silver wedding anniversary, and here I am all tarted up for dinner out and Max has just rung to say he’s running late. He’s sending a taxi and said he'll catch up with me at the restaurant as everyone else will be doing.” There was a long pause: Bloody cell-phones and dead spots. “Can you hear me?”
       “Yes, I hear you, Amy. Max wouldn’t get involved with someone younger than Kate.”
       “Why does he go out of his way to drop this girl off at night then, and leave extra early in the morning to pick her up? It gets worse. She’s pregnant, and guess what … she’s dumped her boyfriend.”
        “Doctor confidentiality and all that, how could anyone know the girl’s pregnant?”
        “News travels fast in hospitals, especially when a certain person is seen at onsite pharmacy, a pregnancy test kit discreetly requested. Then she and Max leave together that evening and are spied parked up outside a GP’s surgery.”
        “Oh.” Yet another long pause.  "It isn't what you think.”
        “But he was seen, and evidence as proof. It was Sonia’s day off and she snapped them on her cell-phone and sent me the pic. ”
        “Blast Sonia. The truth is, this girl has had her eyes on Max for months. But, she doesn’t know the full facts about you and Max, nor about Kate. Believe me, he stupidly looked on this girl as a surrogate Kate, and like the trusting fool that he is he was utterly blind to her advances. He’s finally wise to his mistake, but Max is sometimes too nice for his own good, which makes him a great doctor if slave to compassion. Naturally, he wants to let the girl down gently, and he’s desperate for any help he can get in this quarter.”
        “You knew about this girl?”
        “Forgive, me please. I wanted to save you from unnecessary heartache.”
        “Forgiven, Sis, because I’ll need your shoulder to cry on, later. It's at times like these I miss Kate so much. She would have been twenty next Thursday.”
        “I know, and Max misses Kate, too: dreadfully.”
        “He never talks . . . We never talk about her.”         
        “He will tonight. Trust me, I know, and you haven’t been told. O.K?”
        “O.K., and my taxi's here.”  

400 words!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

I've clinched a publishing contract! - How shall I celebrate?

Right then folks: how to celebrate having signed a publishing contract for "The Billionaire's Dilemma: Twin Mistresses"?

Does anyone remember reading a snippet (blogfest) in which "Lost" a lion cub featured? Well, this is the novel and it's scheduled for release July 2012. Naturally, by the time the hero meets "Lost" she's nine-months old and all muscle, but, being as he's an ex-cavaleiro (Portuguese bullfighter) Allessandre is not afraid to face Lost with little more than golf club to hand. Exciting stuff.

Actually, I have sort of celebrated this publishing deal by self-pubbing a historical novella to Kindle. See my writer profile blog for details and tell me what you think re self-made book trailer.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Book Trailer & Challenge No. 8 - "Lies!"

Even though I dreamed up the theme "Lies" I found it quite hard to come up with a piece that had any romantic elements. "Lies" is a tough one, because there might be hurt along the way even if romance the end result, and this is the opening to a romance novella. 

When would life again be simple?
       Damn it, he just couldn’t erase the image of her leaning on the top rail of the paddock; her attention solely transfixed on the horses and ponies, a swathe of poppies dancing in gentle breeze beside her. 
       She hadn’t come to kiss him goodbye, and she’d never missed doing that before. Had she known, known then that he’d lied?  Why hadn’t he got off his damned Ducatti and strode across to her, swept her of her feet and hugged her?  But no, he’d glanced at his watch and running late had set off with nothing more than wave of hand.
       O.K., so he’d sort of said his goodbye at breakfast: her cornflower blue eyes following his every movement. Something in her expression throughout had implied distrust at every word uttered from his mouth, her raven hair tumbling over her shoulders and petulant air about her. And, when she’d left the house she’d looked remarkably unconcerned about his going. But to just stand and not even watch him leave, as though he merely motoring into the village for the morning paper when in fact he would be away for months It all made him feel a worse rat than usual. 
       Damn and blast it, he couldn’t let her coolness get to him. He had an important business meeting. He needed to be focused on matters at hand not have his mind wandering to Anna Marie, not when he had Caroline to pick up on the way. But then again, Anna Marie had every right to be mad at him. He’d promised so much one way and another and delivered little or nothing, bar for lavish gifts that always seemed to delight her.      
       What of Caroline, though, and how would Anna Marie react if she knew there was someone else?
       He knocked on Caroline’s door, sense of guilt weighing him down.
       The door opened in a flurry, Caroline’s ever provocative smile teasing the senses.           
       “Nick, lovely to see you back. You didn’t call.”
       “I had things on my mind.”
       Oh God. When would the lies end?  When would he finally be able to tell his daughter the truth about himself?  Anna Marie deserved so much more from him than that of absentee father, and of being left with his aged parents. 

386 words.

To see work by other participants go here

And please, take a look at this book trailer!  This is my meagre attempts at a book trailer for my novella "Her Favoured Captain". 
Be kind, please, I'm a novice at this game.  
"Her Favoured Captain" is now published and available on Kindle at Amazon.
The Amazon link can be seen top right side-bar.
If you look at the bottom left corner of cover image you'll see a motif: RFW. There's a reason for this and I'll explain more, later, on a RFW set-aside page.