Archives for posts with tag: novels

Thanks so much to Ailsa Abraham Author​ for a great interview and for the hospitality. Beware! Today I talk about my books!

The Bingergread Cottage

Welcome back. Still chatting to Olga. Finally, your own work! Tell us all about your writing.

Thanks Ailsa. I’ve been writing since I was quite young, although, thankfully, most of it has been lost in the darkness of time. The first novel I published, called ‘The Man Who Never Was’ is a story about Jesús, a canvis portada 2 ingvery ugly boy, and his very special family. I was very influenced by Magic Realism at the time when I wrote the first draft (I must have been 17 or 18) but have worked on the story a lot since.

Twin EvilsThe second story ‘Twin Evils?’ I also wrote years back. It’s a novella about a pair of twins, a boy and a girl, complete opposites of each other, and a their best friend, a girl their age, who finds it difficult to keep neutral between them. I published it as a YA story, although…

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Hi all:

This is an extra post today because wonderful author Marie Lavender has organised a fantastic giveaway. 42 authors, 77 titles and 150 donations. I’m donating a couple of my titles Click Me Happy! and I Love Your Cupcakes but there is such a great choice that I’d go there straight away if I were you.

biggiveawayValDayWritModAgeILRB (15)To participate in the giveaway, you only need to CLICK  on the links and visit the two blogs.  And I recommend you carry on visiting. Here they are:
http://marielavender.blogspot.com/2015/02/multi-author-romance-book-giveaway-Valentines-Day.html

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/can-you-resist-romance-multi-author-book-giveaway/

Go, quick! Don’t waste any time!

Good luck with the giveaway, thanks to Marie for organising such a great event and thank you all for reading and clicking!

 

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I bring you guest authors and recently also new books. I met today’s author, Viv Drewa, through a group of authors I belong too, and especially through her efforts blogging and sharing the work of other writers and bloggers. If that wasn’t enough, she loves owls (so do I) and one of her blogs is called ‘The Owl Lady‘. She also has owls in her books, so, how could I resist?

Here with you, Viv Drewa!

Author and blogger Viv Drewa

Author and blogger Viv Drewa

Viv is a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. Though she studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan her passion has always been writing.

She was awarded third place for her nonfiction short story about her grandfather’s escape from Poland. Later, she rewrote this story and was published in the “Polish American Journal” as “”From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” and recently had it published again on Amazon.com

Viv took creative and journalism courses to help in her transition to fulfill her dream of becoming a writer. She worked as an intern for Port Huron’s ‘The Times Herald”, and also wrote, edited and did the layout or the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter “Thumb Prints.”

She teaches sewing to physically and mentally disabled adults, a cause close to her heart.

Viv also writes for two blogs.

Here is her Amazon page:

http://www.amazon.com/Viv-Drewa/e/B00J1PTJ20/

And here the Owl Lady Blog:

http://theowlladyblog.wordpress.com/

Viv has written two novels and a book where she talks about her grandfather’s experiences:

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa

The Owl of the Sipan Lord

Rather than the brief description of the book I decided to leave you some detailed reviews to wet your appetite.

5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book August 1, 2014

By Oliver

Format:Kindle Edition

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa is a wonderful novel. The character of Clare Montgomery is woven with dexterity. The web of mystery, intrigue and murder lends additional charm to the work. The plot is gripping and beautifully presented. The narrative style is praiseworthy and establishes Viv Drewa as a master of this genre.Read it for a fine plot, gripping story and lifelike characters. Highly recommended.

5.0 out of 5 stars Shadows of El Brujo? June 23, 2014

By John R. Dizon

Format:Kindle Edition

The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa is an action-packed adventure novel centered on the exploits of Clare Montgomery, a widowed 52-year-old archaeologist. She goes on a vision quest to Peru along with Cord Willoughby, intent on discovering the secrets of La Senora de Cao. The mysterious death of Hans Windmueller leaves little doubt as to the presence of evil spirits along the trail. Upon arrival in El Brujo, they find themselves delving headlong into a web of mystery, intrigue and murder. It takes them to the ancient Temple of the Moon, where they enlist the aid of the Lord of Sipan, Cantunta. They find that his daughter Adelgonda awaits in the land of the dead, and only by overcoming the evil goddess can they rid the land of the curse of Cao.

The author develops her tale with artistic flair, bringing us into the storyline with authentic narratives of Peruvian society and culture. There is also the midlife element portrayed by Clare’s affair with Cord, leading to the possibility of a pregnancy that serves as a highly unexpected distraction. Yet the dream sequences force the reader to keep their eye on the ball as her visions reveal the imminent danger awaiting them. The theme of betrayal resonates throughout the novel as Adelgonda endangers not only the lives of her parents but her entire clan as her death cult endures. It brings us to a dramatic conclusion as Clare and Cord are brought face-to-face with the ancient demons in a final showdown.

For action/adventure fans as well as sorcery buffs, The Owl of the Sipan Lord by Viv Drewa is a worthy addition to your collection.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HFDIXK4/

The Angler and the Owl by Viv Drewa

The Angler and the Owl by Viv Drewa

The Angler and the Owl

For 25 years France Hunter has been studying owls, and has discovered five new species around the world. Her work has kept her busy and she never had time for a relationship. She travels with Jason “Doc” Bradley, a former paramedic, and his cousins Tony and Andy Bradley. Now, on her last outing she is joined by a magazine writer, Cathy Birch, and a world famous angler, John Sinclair, who has also dedicated his life to his field.
As the small caravan travels to the Amazon river France falls and severely injures her left arm. Against Doc’s recommendation to turn back, she pushes on. This is her last trip and she wants to go to the place where she found her first new owl.
Once the caravan arrives by the water they are met by seven boatmen, hired by Sinclair, and their canoes. Here they continue on the river dropping France’s group at her location, and Sinclair continuing for two days to the area he wants to fish for his TV show.
John is immediately attracted to France, but all she notices is how handsome he is, not feeling anything else. It isn’t until later she discovers she has feeling for John.
After landing in his spot he can’t help but feel something is wrong with France’s group. His good friend Mark Ward tells him it’s just love talking and he’s sure they’re alright. John doesn’t buy it but they plan on fishing the next morning.
While fishing a blue-ringed owl lands on John’s canoe and looks down the river to where France’s group is, and then looks back at him. This alerts John. He gets the satellite phone and tries to reach her to no avail. He decides the fishing can wait and, with Mark in another canoe, begin the journey back to France.
At France’s camp two jaguars attack one of the boatmen severing his left leg. The other two boatmen, they all have rifles, shoot at the jaguars killing one. The other escapes with the boatman’s leg. Doc and the others wake to the noise and he and Tony go to where the boatmen are camping. In the ruckus the canoes become untied and go eastward down the shore and the sat phone is destroyed. Now they have no way to get help and will have to wait for John’s team to come back, which could take three or four more days.
Doc dresses the boatman’s leg and they bring him to their area. Safety in numbers. Doc’s supply of penicillin and IV dextrose is limited and he doesn’t think the boatman will make it if they can’t get help quickly. Only a two day supply.
As John and Mark head east the water carries them quickly. The get a distance from France’s group and hear gun shots. This makes John paddle faster convinced he was right about something being wrong.
John sees the lanterns and runs toward them; Mark follows quickly behind. The learn about the attack and Mark uses his satellite phone to call for help.
Will help get there in enough time?

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HQP60OW/

From the Pages of Grandfather's Life by Viv Drewa

From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life by Viv Drewa

Story of a young man’s escape from Russian ruled Poland in 1913.

Link:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I3PNX76/

Thanks to Viv for her reblogs, for visiting and for her owls, to you all for reading, and don’t forget to like, share, comment, and of course CLICK!

Hi all:

As you know on Fridays I bring you guest authors and/or literary novelties. I’ve known Jo Robinson for a while, but recently we’ve been interacting more through her fantastic blog, where she shares everything, from her adventures in health, post offices and moving across countries, to humorous videos, and also the posts of many others. Jo is generous in the extreme and she has helped me meet many other bloggers that might otherwise have passed me by. And she’s a great writer, so I thought she more than deserved a visit to my blog.

Here she is!

Author Jo Robinson

Author Jo Robinson

I was born in the windy city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, but consider myself a citizen of the world. I live with my husband Angus, a dog with an odd sense of humour, four birds, and some chickens.

My stories are mostly about people, and the sometimes dark twists that life takes. I also write science fiction / fantasy books. Shadow People is the first in the Lapillus series.

Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/J-C-Robinson/405248799532723

Blog: http://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Jo-Robinson/e/B009JB6IAW/

 

The Visitation. Short Story

The Visitation. Short Story

The Visitation (Short Story)

Tony had often thought that all of humanity was a blight on the face of this planet. And now he knew that he had been right all along.

http://www.amazon.com/Visitation-Jo-Robinson-ebook/dp/B009DX4JDY/

Fly Birdie. A short story.

Fly Birdie. A short story.

Fly Birdie (Short Story)

Hannah’s life has given her no reason to be anything but bitter and afraid. She tries to hold on to her sanity as her life spirals further into superstition and dread, until a small averted tragedy leads to the melting of her heart, and teaches her how to love.

A Short Story.

http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Birdie-Jo-Robinson-ebook/dp/B009GDHVUE/

Plight of the Rhino

Plight of the Rhino

Jo participated in this anthology for a great cause.

Plight of the Rhino: A Wildlife Anthology by Springbok Publications

Plight of the Rhino is the first wildlife anthology by Springbok Publications.

The stories and poems, written by international writers, depict wildlife in all its glory. The book will take you on a journey across continents and introduce you to some iconic as well as lesser known wildlife species. These heartfelt stories recognise the joys of the animal kingdom and the heartache of poaching and extinction, facing our wildlife today.

We will donate a minimum of £1 from the sale of each book to Save the Rhino International. To find out more about its rhino conservation work please visit http://www.savetherhino.org

Stories and Poems by: Teresa Ashby, Chris Brown, Liz Cox, Jean Dawson, Kirsty Ferry, Teresa Fouché, Elizabeth Glanville, Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, Amanda James, Sandra Jensen, Elizabeth Koufidou, Elaine McKenna, Dulcinea Norton-Smith, Emma Louise Oram, Christine Parmenter, Rebecca Raisin, Paula RC Readman, Jo Robinson, Gill Sainsbury, Holly Stacey, Amos van der Merwe, Tanja Vermaak, Stephen Wade, Matthew Glenn Ward All contributors kindly waived their fees for this worthy cause. Let’s save the rhino!

http://www.amazon.com/Plight-Springbok-Publications-Wildlife-Anthology-ebook/dp/B00H2XDHD0/

African Me & Satellite TV

African Me & Satellite TV

African Me & Satellite TV

For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.
After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And an unexpected hero changes everything. Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very special man.
On her path to make amends, she discovers the story of his life, connects with the people of his past, and finds the chance to fully live her life once again if that’s what she chooses to.

http://www.amazon.com/African-Me-Satellite-TV-Robinson-ebook/dp/B00F5640UK/

Shadow People 1. The Finding

Shadow People 1. The Finding

Shadow People 1 (The Finding)

After Natalie and Gabe discover a hidden room, they are hurled across time and space, and find themselves on Lapillus, a beautiful world made up of precious gems. But they soon realise that Lapillus is home to an ancient evil when they are attacked by the demonic wraiths of the Nefandus.
They find themselves thrown together with a group of beings vastly different to them in this lifetime, but closely connected through the aeons. They realise that the prophesies of all have come to fruition, and that without their intervention the fate of the universe is at stake.
With the guidance of the angelic Gluri and the help of the mysterious sentient spacecraft, the Vimana, the race is on to find out what the Nefandus want, and prevent evil from winning the battle of all time.

http://www.amazon.com/Shadow-People-Finding-Jo-Robinson-ebook/dp/B00BCL91EC/

 Thanks to Jo Robinson for visiting, to all of you for reading, and you know what to do, like, share, comment, and most of all CLICK!

Like all Fridays I bring you an author guest who is also launching a new book. If  you’re into vampires novels, you should not miss this chance to get to know Shane KP O’Neill and his Dracula Chronicles. And without further ado:

SHANE KP O’NEILL – THE DRACULA CHRONICLES.

Once read, never forgotten.

 

EXPERIENCE THE ULTIMATE BATTLE OF GOOD VERSUS EVIL. THE BATTLE FOR SOULS HAS BEGUN.

The Dracula Chronicles is a new and exciting series adding a fresh dimension to the Dracula legend, which combines the real historical Vlad Dracula with a new and different version of Dracula the vampire. The series has been released in two arcs, one that follows Dracula the man and the other following Dracula the vampire. It is written in a style that is both literary and cinematic, that places you there in the thick of the action always.

The books are historical novels of Gothic horror; religious corruption; political intrigue; tragedy; war; dark paranormal fantasy; and deep romance. The premise is built around Creation and the divide in Heaven that results from Lucifer’s jealousy of the creation of man. This leads to the First Great War of the Angels and Lucifer’s eventual expulsion from Heaven with all those who sided with him. The annihilation of the angels continues, but rather than destroy Lucifer, God agrees to a truce. By its terms, Lucifer can contest the soul of every living being as long as he does not interfere with their free will. Should he control more souls than God at any time, he can ascend again to Heaven and cast God and the angels out. He would then have a free hand to destroy all mankind.

Lucifer turns man against God with ease. God responds by sending his prophets one after another to bring man back to the path of righteousness. It seems to be merely delaying the inevitable and in one last effort to thwart Lucifer, God sends his son made man. In giving his life on the Cross, Jesus wipes away man’s sins. This leaves Lucifer back to where he was at the beginning and means he has to start again. The Catholic Church is born on that fateful day in Jerusalem as Christ’s church on the earth. Lucifer then believes if he can destroy this great icon of God, he can turn man against God once more. He searches for over a millennium for the one who can lead his assault on God. The Crusades give him renewed hope, and he is sure the conflict between Christian and Moslem will provide the one he seeks. When this does not materialise, he turns his attention to the Balkan region where this conflict is renewed with Ottoman expansion into eastern Europe. He finally identifies the second son of Vlad Dracul as the one he can manipulate into achieving his ends. God has prepared for this event, and in the very moment that Vlad Dracula draws his first breath, so does another child sired by Dracul, though born to a gypsy woman. This child, Andrei, is blessed by the angels and bestowed with great powers as a balance to the evil about to be unleashed upon the world.

THE VLAD DRACULA ARC.

The Vlad Dracula arc.. Books #1 to #5. Set in the 15th Century Balkans, this arc brings to life in its entirety the world in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived. It follows his loves; his triumphs; his many great tragedies; the betrayals he endures; and his great struggle to survive his many perils and secure the autonomy of his sovereign nation, Wallachia, which is sandwiched between the mighty Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. The books introduce you to all the great players of the period, their political machinations, and their great conflicts set within the battle between Christianity and Islam. They follow Lucifer and his schemes to manipulate the young Vlad Dracula into seeing through his great plan. Replete with references that are Biblical and drawn from the writings of the Kabbalah, The Dracula Chronicles also introduce a new vision of Hell and take you on a journey you will never forget.

THE BOUND BY BLOOD ARC.

The Bound By Blood arc.. Books #6 to #10. This arc begins with Dracula’s last great battle at Snagov in 1476. Despite winning yet another great victory, his enemies mortally wound him with arrows. He orders his men to take him to the chapel at the nearby monastery so he can die on holy ground. To his great chagrin, it is Lucifer who comes to claim his soul. The Dark One speaks of his great vision, and of how he has chosen Dracula as his instrument to bring down the Catholic Church. He bites into Dracula’s neck and then gives him his own blood to drink. In doing so, he creates a monster, superhuman and immortal, who can live through the ages and help him win the battle for souls.

Into the 16th Century, wherever the Catholic Church is harmed or loses its influence, Dracula is there behind the scenes to propagate it all. He involves himself with Machiavelli; Martin Luther; in the Italian wars between France and Spain; the Borgias; Henry VIII and the Tudor dynasty; and many more.

At the same time his brother, Andrei, takes up the fight against him and arms the Church with the knowledge of how to counter him. In resurrecting Dracula’s legitimate brother, Radu, from the dead so as to exact retribution against him, Dracula and Lucifer have unleashed a powerful enemy who has joined the battle against them.

PREQUEL – THE LAMB OF GOD.

The Lamb Of God - Cover

The Lamb Of God – Cover

 

This is a prequel to For Whom The Bell Tolls and the entire The Dracula Chronicles series. It offers a taste of what is to come, giving the background of the concept, the Crucifixion, and the night of the births of Vlad and Andrei.

If you subscribe to my blog, link below, I will send you a free download of this prequel. You can also hear an audio version, narrated by myself, on my website and on my YouTube channel.

BOOK #1 – FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.

For Whom The Bell Tolls - Cover

For Whom The Bell Tolls – Cover

 

“A war rages on around us every day. The struggle to save all mankind. The ultimate evil.”

All is well in Heaven until God creates man. Lucifer’s jealousy leads to the First Great War of the Angels. Hundreds of thousands of years on, the feud simmers beneath the surface. It plots the course of history as we know it today. Both sides manipulate the major players through the centuries to seek an advantage over the other.

The battle for souls has raged since the truce that followed the First Great War. God has struck the ultimate blow and sacrifice to gain the advantage, and defeat Lucifer. As Lucifer stands at the foot of the Cross that drains the last ounce of life from Christ and eradicates man’s sins, he realises that his work must begin anew.

In time, he comes to understand that his only chance to win this battle will be to destroy the institution of the Catholic Church to turn man against God. He searches for more than a millennium for the candidate to see his plan through to an end, and finally discovers the one that can cast that final blow.

On a cold night in December, 1431 in Sighisoara, an old gypsy woman delivers a prophecy to the great Vlad Dracul. She tells him he is about to sire two sons, one an angel and the other a devil.

He returns to his fortress just as his wife bears him a son, whom he names Vlad. In the very same moment across the country on the border between Transylvania and Hungary, a gypsy girl gives birth to another son, Andrei. The die is cast. The twin souls are born. The young Vlad Dracula becomes the instrument of the forces of Darkness. To balance this, the baby Andrei is blessed by the angels and bestowed with awesome powers.

This is their story.

AMAZON REVIEWS – FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.

“I never thought a man could be capable of writing with such sensitivity and emotion.”

“Beautifully written with great story lines, the author does not hold back in his descriptions of many brutal acts of violence (save for a very long and tastefully done sex scene).”

“The relationships between father and son, the son and his captors and the individual characterisations are way beyond what a fantasy/paranormal book might offer. The writing is of literary class.”

“FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS differs from Shane K.P. O’Neill’s BOUND BY BLOOD sagas in that it takes place years prior to Dracula’s vampiric existence, but this in no way diminishes the power and intensity of its read. Events unfold with the depth of a historical epic.”

BOOK #2 – THE PATH TO DECAY.  (Release date March 20, 2014).

THE PATH TO DECAY

THE PATH TO DECAY

 

“The path we walk, is the path to decay. The only way to live, is to die.”

The great Vlad Dracul is dead, fallen in battle, and his throne gone. His son, the young Vlad Dracula, is consumed with grief and a need for revenge. All alone in the world, he keeps his promise and returns to Anatolia. There, he takes a commission in the Ottoman army. On the fields outside Kosovo Polje in Serbia, he is handed his first opportunity to strike back against the men who killed his father.

He has grown into the ultimate fighting machine, and is feared by one and all. This path to decay, as described by his father, is the one he chooses to follow. Lucifer guides and watches over Dracula, but also deepens his hold over him. As time passes, though, his enemies build in every quarter, and they strive to bring him down.

With nowhere left to turn, how will Dracula avenge his family? How can he hope to win back his throne? As he faces one tragedy after another, these events mould him into the man who will be spoken of for centuries to come. A man who lets nothing stand in his way in his pursuit for revenge, and the throne that was his father’s.

Trailer for FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS and THE PATH TO DECAY

 

 

PREQUEL – BIRTH OF THE MONSTER.

Birth Of The Monster. Cover

Birth Of The Monster. Cover

 

This is the prequel to Bound By Blood, and the vampire arc. It takes you to Dracula’s last triumph on the battlefield, and his last moments as a mortal man. While he lies dying in the chapel of the monastery at Snagov, Lucifer comes to claim his soul. The Dark One speaks of his vision in destroying the Catholic Church in his quest to win the battle for souls, and creates Dracula the vampire.

BOOK #6 – BOUND BY BLOOD.

Bound by Blood cover

Bound by Blood cover

A new edition of this and the next book is currently with my copy editors, and will be released and re-launched with new covers in the summer.

“A war rages on around us every day. The struggle to save all mankind. The ultimate evil.”

As his moment of death looms Dracula suffers the ultimate betrayal. The champion of the Catholic faith in Eastern Europe realises it is Lucifer who is coming to claim him. However, Lucifer does not want his soul.

Instead he bites into Dracula’s neck and then offers his own blood to drink. Dracula suffers his mortal death, but he re-awakens. Immortalised with Lucifer’s blood coursing through his veins, the two are bound by blood for eternity. Lucifer has groomed him for this day and lays out the task before him.

Dracula is to destroy the institution of that which he has championed for so long. By bringing down the Catholic Church he can undo the Crucifixion and turn man against God once more. If he succeeds then Lucifer will ascend again to Heaven and signal the end for all mankind.

AMAZON REVIEWS – BOUND BY BLOOD.

“This story is a powerful and sweeping epic. The language, the settings, the characters…they all exude Classic.”

“If you are looking for a vampire novel that is rich in detail, with historical facts, legends and folklore weaved in and splashes of gore and a bit of romance, this is for you.”

“This book will stimulate your imagination as it entertains you. Bound By Blood is among the best vampire novels I have read.”

THE AUTHOR.

Author Shane KP O'Neill

Author Shane KP O’Neill

 

The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age. Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee’s portrayal of him on the big screen. It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there. An avid lover of history, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years. It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject.  He built a concept and premise where he could accommodate both Dracula the vampire and Dracula the man.

Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests. He reads a lot of books from a wide variety of authors, though his main interest lies in the horror genre.  His love of books is matched only by his love of the countryside and of course, his family.  As an added note, he has lived and travelled all over the world. He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval Europe. Anywhere he travels, he likes to search out locations with an historical interest and will always hunt for the ruins of an old castle before heading to the beach.

I’m sure you want to learn more about the Dracula Chronicles and get in touch with the author, so here I leave you some Links:

Amazon

US –  http://ow.ly/qSHx1

UK –  http://ow.ly/qSHDH

Website

www.draculachronicles.co.uk

Blog

www.draculachronicles.co.uk/blog

Twitter

@ShaneKPONeill

Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12341417-shane-o-neill

Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/user/DraculaChronicles

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/ShaneONeillsDraculaChronicles

 Thanks for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it, please like, share, comment, and of course, CLICK!

It’s Friday and of course, time for an author guest post. Today I bring you Giselle Marks, whom I met in Twitter. She’s a great person to follow in Twitter (try it and you’ll see) and reading about her novels and projects I could not resist and asked her to come and visit my blog. She’s been kind enough not only to tell us a bit about herself, but also to write an article about regency rakes that is pure joy. Here I leave you with the lady herself, Giselle Marks!

Giselle Marks's logo

Giselle Marks’s logo

Biography:

Giselle Marks has been writing for many years.  She has written two Regency Romances and a Fantasy/ Sci-fi series with erotic content.  Her first published novel, The Fencing Master’s Daughter was launched by Front Porch Romance in September 2013.  Her second Regency Romance, The Marquis’s Mistake was released by them in December 2013.  Her Fantasy series, The Zeninan Saga is currently being edited by Nevermore Press and should start appearing in the near future.  They hope to release the first in the saga, Princess of Zenina in February to March 2014.  Giselle is currently working on an erotic fantasy novella called Lucy, which she hopes will be available in next year and a number of other projects.

Are Regency Rakes Sexy?

By Giselle Marks

Rakes are often mentioned in Regency Romances, but controversies surround them as female readers have mixed views about whether they are sexy, romantic or fairly disgusting. For those of you who believe a rake is only a gardening implement, a rake is also a man who is promiscuous. In the Regency Period young women were required to be virgins when they married, but the men were expected to have sown their wild oats before settling down to marriage.

This inequality existed where experienced men sought to marry innocent women.  But in the period, women who were sexually active outside of marriage were shunned by society. Although women today may be more sexually free, a double standard still exists in society’s expectations of how the sexes should behave.  There are far more words that suggest a woman is promiscuous in a negative way (e.g. tart, slut, hussy, slattern, jade, strumpet, whore, harlot,) and the male equivalent words (stud, player, gigolo, Casanova, Lothario, rake) which have a far more positive ring to them. But the question remains whether there is anything attractive about men who have acquired such sexual experience in loveless relationships?

If you try for accuracy as a historical romance writer, then you cannot throw an inexperienced man and virgin together and expect their untrained fumblings to produce mind blowing sexual encounters. So how heroes became sexually experienced is important to the story.  How they behaved to previous sexual partners sways our modern romance readership’s assessment of men as romantic heroes. Most women conjecture why any girl would risk taking on a man who might regress to behaving in a similar manner.

Many Regency romance writers describe characters as a rake but then do not mention their earlier debaucheries further. The reader is left to imagine their sexual history and to apply their own standards to it. But whether any “Rake” is an attractive or sexy hero, how did he acquire his sexual experience?  Did he keep mistresses of a lower class whom he treated relatively well and paid off generously when tiring of them or did he seduce virtuous serving girls? Were his partners always willing to succumb to his manifold charms or were they beguiled by lying promises or forced by threats or physical strength.

Did this rake prey on young widows or seduce other men’s wives? It takes exceptional circumstances to admire a man who had married women as lovers.  Most modern readers find it difficult to condone adultery in heroes unless they were deeply in love with the women concerned. I despise men who use defenceless women or are sexual predators. Even if the hero’s behaviour was thought unobjectionable by his peers, how do today’s women evaluate his treatment of women?

Assuming the hero’s previous partners were willing or professional, did he take financial responsibility for any by-blows produced during his sexual education? Were his bastards well cared for? And did he consider the sexual satisfaction of the women involved?  Would he boast of his conquests or defend the ladies’ concerned reputations? Questions like these might make the man more or less appealing as a hero.  Other qualities than a handsome face and well maintained muscular lithe body are necessary for a sexily attractive Regency hero.

Did he frequent brothels where he would have been at great risk of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases? Syphilis was virulent in the period and was untreatable. Various weird ineffective cures were tried including the erroneous belief that sex with a virgin would cure it. That resulted in many infected young whores who were discarded as soon as symptoms became obvious. Regency romances of course, rarely mention the risks of something as unromantic as syphilis. Did he use a condom? They had been invented. Giacomo Casanova did, but he still caught and died of syphilis. If the rake escaped the dangers of infection then his regular use of paid prostitutes still lessens his appeal.

The term rake also implies other licentious behaviour including drunkenness, injudicious gambling, over-spending and recklessness. Most writers of Regency romances skate over such behaviour. It is difficult to look at men in the period without applying the political correctness of today’s society. Most of today’s women find the idea of a man paying for sex repugnant and despise double standards towards women.

Yet my favourite writer of Regency Romances Georgette Heyer included several rakes as heroes.  Jasper Damerel, (in Venetia) we are told, sowed his wild oats across Europe and brought back a number of London courtesans to his family seat for what was locally believed an orgy. His career as a rake began when he eloped with a young woman of birth but was then discovered she was not a virgin. She deserted him for a wealthier lover. Today some Regency purists consider his behaviour when he kissed the heroine without seeking her permission as sexual harassment even though she was trespassing on his land. Yet by showing his genuine interest in Venetia and how he is prepared to sacrifice his own happiness for her, Georgette succeeds in making his past life seem unimportant to both readers and the heroine. Despite the fact that he is not described as handsome, he is undoubtedly a sexy hero.

In my own published novels, my first hero Edward Charrington’s sexual history is not mentioned (in the Fencing Master’s Daughter) and he has not been seen as rakish in any way. However it would be naïve to assume he was inexperienced as he had been a career soldier in the Napoleonic wars.  However my second hero, the far too handsome Sebastian Vernon (in the Marquis’s Mistake) is accused of having been a rake so his sexual back history is important to the story.  His realisation that despite treating his women well for the moirés of the period that he had used them without loving them is critical to his character.  It has been suggested his bride Alicia is too suspicious of him and should have been won over quickly by his charm and good looks. I instead think that her determination to be sure her marriage to a reformed rake would be successful, shows a great deal of common sense on her part.

The jury is still out as to whether readers will continue to find Regency rakes romantic and sexy but it is important to consider modern views on sexual behaviour when writing a rakish character. I think more rakes will be considered like Jane Austen’s Wickham (Pride and Prejudice) as villains who used women with little consideration except for their own pleasure.  It is a dichotomy which I find salutary as I write my third Regency Romance, “A Compromised Rake.”

My books can be bought from Front Porch Romance, Amazon, Smashwords and Barnes & Noble.

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Fencing Master's Daughter Cover

Fencing Master’s Daughter Cover

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