Today we're visiting with author Beverley Eikli on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance novel, "A Little Deception".
Beverley will be awarding an e-copy of her backlist - Lady Sarah's Redemption or Lady Farquhar's Butterfly at each stop plus one randomly drawn commenter during the tour will be awarded a $25 Amazon Gift card, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a book!
Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?
I write in two genres. I write Regency Romantic Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic Historical Romances as Beverley Oakley. All the books I write, however, are full of intrigue, plot twists and usually feature revenge and redemption themes. That’s on top of the core romance, of course. I’m a serious fan of Dangerous Liaisons, the 1988 film based on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’s eighteenth century work.
What research is required?
Since the age of 12 I’ve devoured social histories so the actual research part comes naturally. It’s usually while reading social histories that I come upon some unusual incident or fact that begs to become the central plot component of one of my books. For example, the prevailing laws of the times in which I write were extremely discriminatory to women. Often my characters are put in a desperate situation, legally, so that reclaiming something vital – like dignity or a child that’s been stripped from them by a lying, lecherous late husband (such as in my book, Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly), might mean they have to use their wiles to petition a man in a stronger position them themselves to get them what they want.
I find that balancing the strengths and weaknesses of my heroines is a subtle business. Often she simply didn’t have the legal power to take the same kinds of risks we would consider acceptable today, taking for granted – as we often do – our hard-won legal status.
Name one thing you learned from your heroine.
Forcefulness. My heroine from A Little Deception, Rose, has to put herself forward so as not to be overshadowed by her vengeful sister-in-law who believes Rose is responsible for blighting her happiness. Rose has already innocently beguiled her rakish, delectable husband into marriage (as he’d believed she was safely married) so when it appears that Rose is responsible for a series of jewel heists, Rose has to work hard to ensure that justice is delivered appropriately while winning back her husband’s love. This was a difficult balancing act in the book. I’d had to cut 15,000 words in the original and although A Little Deception had been nominated Favourite Historical for 2001 by Australian Romance Readers of Australia I knew I could make it a much better book. It’s only in the past week I’ve done yet another overhaul of the entire story and even changed the ending from the hardcover original, now that I’ve got my publishing rights back.
Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
Routine has always been alien to me. As a journalist I was a shift worker on the newsroom floor before becoming a features writer. As a safari lodge manager in Botswana I kept all hours, socializing with visitors who came from all over the world to my tiny, 16-bedded reed and tented lodge. It was just part of my job, as was organizing elaborate meals using ingredients that could only be flown in by small plane which would land on the dirt air strip once we’d shooed away the wild animals. Then, as an airborne geophysical survey operator doing my romance writer’s apprenticeship in the cockpit of a low flying Cessna 404 or CASA 212 over the French Guianese jungle or Greeland’s ice cap, I again kept odd hours and turned to writing romance as a change of scene from playing cards with the other (usually male) crew members.
These days, as the mother of 7 and 11-year old daughters and the wife of a long-haul pilot I have two routines. When my husband is away I write late into the night but when he’s home I get up at least an hour before the household wakes, cook elaborate meals, watch movies with him and enjoy playing at being a good wife and mother *G* On the whole it works well.
Plotter or pantser?
I always used to be a pantser but after having to rewrite the second half of three novels (more than once!) I’m half and half. I start with a set-up, write up to the middle, then decide where I’m going to go from there. Once I’ve decided upon the ending, I can rejig things a little, rearrange my plot to make the most out of any opportunities for intrigue and romance, strengthen motivations and polish my characters so that their most defining characteristics are all the more obvious and work in with the plot.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
My gorgeous husband of eighteen years, Eivind. We met around a campfire in Botswana the day before I was due to leave my safari lodge home and return to Australia - and to my boyfriend of eight years. Eivind has turned my life into one big adventure. We worked together in Botswana in the safari industry, then did a year’s flying together as the only husband and wife team in Namibia, and later for a Canadian company based in Ottawa though we flew long contracts together all over the world. I also spent a year living with Eivind’s parents in Norway where I learned to knit Norwegian fairisle sweaters the European way and to speak decent Norwegian so I can communicate with all his large family. We also spent two years in Solomon Islands in the Pacific and a year in Japan before returning to Australia. We’ve lived in Perth, Sydney and Adelaide but a few years ago we put down roots in a pretty town an hour north of Melbourne. The children needed the stability, and so did we.
Eivind loves his job, and now that things are going so well for me (including the first in a series of erotic Regency Historicals for Ellora’s Cave and winning Choc-Lit’s ‘Search for an Australian Star’ competition just before Christmas, with three releases scheduled for them over the next 18 months) life couldn’t be better. I think, also, contrasts make one appreciate the good things. We had a number of years where things were very difficult. Eivind broke his back three weeks before our youngest was born, resulting in years of intense pain, medication and rehabilitation. Then, with the vagaries of the aviation industry he lost his job when the company he was flying for folded – three times this happened - leaving us wondering where in the world we were going to live next. Norway? Australia? Asia?
Now that we’ve weathered that, I think I’m fairly insulated against whatever shocks or surprises are thrown my way. Life is precarious, so I believe that if you can be happy, make the most of it and don’t waste energy worrying about the past or the future. Things just happen.
Anything new coming up from you? What?
My latest release from Pan Macmillan Momentum has just been made available at B&N and Apple iBooks as well as Amazon. Saving Grace, written under my Beverley Oakley name, is one of fourteen erotic short stories by the Hot Down Under Aussie Erotic Authors, of which I am one. It’s an erotic Victorian Historical Romance about a proud and beautiful prostitute who discovers she’s about to service the man she once loved and whom she believes is responsible for plunging her into this hated way of life. It’s also about early photography and how a rich man’s hobby becomes a poor girl’s road to ruin. I’m really happy with the reviews it’s had. Apparently – according to reviewers - it’s a very ‘sweet’ erotic historical :-)
Do you have a question for our readers?
Do you like to read in one genre for multiple books or do you like to intersperse your reading matter? For example, if I’ve adored reading a gentle home-and-hearth romance, I’ll be keen to then throw myself into a tense, gritty romantic suspense for the next book I choose. How important is variety to you?
Thank you for having me here today. It’s been great!
"A love match!" proclaims London's catch of the season who happily admits he has been hoist on his own petard.
But when his new wife is implicated in the theft of several diamond necklaces he wonders if her deception goes beyond trapping him into marriage. Is she the innocent she claims, or a scheming fortune hunter with a penchant for money, mischief and men?
The following scene takes place as Lord Rampton cynically contemplates Rose’s inevitable demands after the two of them have been discovered in a compromising situation in his bedchamber by Rose’s brother.
‘MISS CHESTERFIELD.’ Miss Chesterfield. The name should have provoked rage; instead, Rampton was dismayed by a surge of feeling that was so far from rage as to render him no better than a drooling schoolboy when confronted with the object of his adolescent obsession.
‘Show her in,’ he said, struggling for the self-possession that had always been second nature to him and tossing aside the reading matter which had failed to engage his attention for the past hour.
So, she had come to state her terms.
Having been caught well and truly in flagrante delicto, he accepted he had no one but himself to blame. Experience with women had tuned his antennae finely when it came to sensing all manner of ruses calculated to inveigle him into matrimony. But Lady Chesterfield – Miss Chesterfield, as it turned out – had slipped entirely under his guard.
Stonily he faced the door while he waited for her to enter, the events of the past week flashing through his mind. For twenty-four hours after she’d been hauled off by her brother, Rampton had paced his study like a caged lion, fuelling his anger with the multiple lies and untruths she’d fed him as he tried to relive exactly the moment at which he should have become aware of her deception. Any half-intelligent man would have sensed that not all was as it seemed at the very outset, he told himself.
Cynically, he had waited for Miss Chesterfield to call and negotiate the terms of his matrimonial incarceration. He had practised all manner of snide and ironic responses, while his anticipation at seeing her again had grown steadily more unbearable.
He wanted only to tell her what he thought of her.
So he assumed.
But she had not come, and that had been worse.
After three days he’d snapped. Arriving unannounced, he had confronted a pale and patently uncomfortable Sir Charles in his study and stonily dictated the terms of a marriage contract. He was a man of honour and he had compromised a lady. She was the clear victor in their final round; she had more than just pinked him. Now he must pay the price.
Rampton had been prepared for a rambling defence from Sir Charles of his sister’s behaviour. And, if Sir Charles were in a robust mood, perhaps a healthy lashing of recrimination for Rampton.
But when the young baronet said only that his sister did not wish to marry him Rampton was at last moved to anger.
‘Doing it too brown, sir!’ he declared. ‘She engineered that little scene so that I’d have no choice but to suffer her joy as she leg-shackled me on her triumphant progress towards the altar!’
Sir Charles, looking white around the gills, concurred miserably, ‘I know, I know. But she’s made me tell you, expressly, my lord, that she has no intention of holding you to marriage. That, in fact, she does not desire it.’
‘Does not desire it?’
He could not believe it. It was all part of the charade. There was a trick involved somewhere, though he could not see it.
Not want to marry him?
Why, every unmarried female participating in the social whirligig was there because she wanted to get married and most of them saw waltzing off with him as the ultimate feather in their caps.
Not want to marry him? When she’d gone to such pains to ensure him?
The very notion was preposterous.
He would not believe it.
After throwing in her secure job on South Australia’s metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.
Eighteen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne. She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.
Buy A Little Deception - http://www.amazon.com/A-Little-Deception-ebook/dp/B009HKKCKM/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
Amazon Profile: http://www.amazon.com/Beverley-Eikli/e/B0034Q44E0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1