Release Day for a sweet, erotic tale of revenge and redemption
By Beverley Oakley
Hi Ivy, it’s great to be back. I love Manic ReadersJ I always get such a warm and wonderful welcome here.
Well, I don’t know what to be more excited about: winning UK publisher Choc-Lit’s Search for an Australian Star competition and having three books due out with them over the next 18 months.
Or being shortlisted for the second year running for an Australian Romance Readers Award in the Favourite Historical category.
Or perhaps the fact that I finished final edits for my first Ellora’s Cave erotic romance, Her Gilded Prison, due for release in April. Finishing the edits came at a cost, though. I can now add World’s Worst Mother for January 15 to my ARR Award since my poor children spent the day foraging on chocolate and “Hundreds & Thousands” while I wrestled with my deadline. No milk, no bread, no nothing. I was at the supermarket at 6.30am today so we could have breakfast as DH is flying over in LA at the moment.
I think, though, the most exciting thing is the release of my erotic short story, Saving Grace.
It’s a sweet, poignant, erotic story and I love my strong but vulnerable heroine. I also love the wronged and noble hero. He’s very young and he, too, is vulnerable in his own way, but by the end of the story they’ve fought the demons that would hobble them from achieving their dreams.
Revenge and redemption are recurring themes in my erotic romances and romantic intrigues. In Saving Grace I’ve explored the shifting balance of power between two rich men and a vulnerable serving girl with a shared history. The story takes up at the point at which justice must be served.
Here’s an excerpt.
Reclining on the red plush sofa, Grace sipped the sickly sweet orgeat Madame Chambon insisted her girls drink and tried not to think about the night ahead. The others were gathered in companionable groups on the fashionable Egyptian sofas, their heavy scent perfuming the air.
As usual, no one gravitated towards her, though of course later, when their clients came calling, that would no longer be the case. Grace would have preferred the company of a like-minded female rather than the alternative.
An expectant hush fell as the heavy draped and tasselled curtain was drawn aside and Madame Chambon arranged herself theatrically in the opening, ready to address her petites choux.
“Ravissement!” she complimented them in thickly accented English, clapping her hands. Grace suspected the elegantly ravaged Madame came from Lambeth rather than the Left Bank. Not that it mattered. No one in this business was who they said they were.
Least of all, Grace.
The girls, awed and anxious, straightened their rich, colourful gowns nervously. Despite her appearance of bonhomie Madame Chambon could turn on a coin. And it was she who ensured the girls did not return to where most of them had been plucked from – the gutter.
“A great opportunity awaits one of you tomorrow,” she addressed them, “for I have just been honoured by the visit of a woman of great discernment …”
A couple of the girls tittered. “A woman?”
They closed their mouths at Madame Chambon’s beady stare, attending as she went on, “who has requested I supply her with one of my loveliest …”
She drew out the pause as several of the brothel’s most popular young ladies preened.
“… most hard-hearted girls.”
All heads turned towards Grace. She blinked. Is that how they regarded her? Hard-hearted?
She simply had nothing left to offer anyone once she’d earned enough to pay her keep and just survive.
Madame Chambon levelled her expectant look upon Grace, whose mouth dropped open in protest. “A woman? But—”
“The woman wants to give her son a present to remember for his twenty-first birthday. She is obviously a very fond mother—” Madame Chambon allowed herself to share the girls’ amusement, adding, “with very good sense in choosing our select establishment to provide him with the very best initiation—” Her smile grew cloying as she continued to look at Grace—“without fear of him being lured into a transfer of affections amidst all the other … ahem … transfers that take place.” Though she made a gesture with her hands to indicate the transfer of money, the girls tittered at the double entendre.
The redhead closest to Grace dug her friend in the ribs. “Grace doesn’t have a heart to lose.” Her whisper resonated.
Nor did Grace have the heart to participate in the banter that followed.
So what if she’d been selected? It was just another job and a good thing she need not worry about eliciting the emotions of a twenty-one-year-old virgin. Pleasing, also, was the knowledge that it would inevitably be over in less than five minutes.
Yes, the final four books in the collection of 14 were released on all e-formats, and at all good romance e-tailers, though I’ve only included a link here to Amazon.
So thank you to those who dropped by, and to those who commented for a chance to win a copy of my English Civil War erotic romance, The Cavalier. It’s just had the most lovely review on Two-Lips Reviews, BTW.
I’d also love it if you could ‘like’ me at my Beverley Oakley FB page