Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weekend Inspiration: Deadline booster shot

So I'm busy busy doing rewrites and edits for this upcoming book and you've only to ask the good ladies here at the LIT manor what a curse and a joy this has been!
And don't even get me started with how pouty Lord CM has been whilst we are all dutifully penning our tales!

I have used images and music from King Arthur and Tristan & Isolde, as well as Braveheart to capture a sense of the simple sensuality of dress and manner of that time.

But no one said writing outside of the box was going to be easy and in truth, I don't want it to be like anything anyone has read--at least for a very long time!

My objective of course is that I project the reader back in time--
A Dark Ages-set historical, TORTURED has been a roller coaster project to research, write and rewrite from day one! There are not many novels out there set in this era, mind you. One, it's a very brutal, dark time in many ways and yet there had to be SOME romance and passion, eh? Finding it--was the challenge in my research and making it plausible within the context of my story!

The idea for TORTURED came out of the blue after reading an obscure bit of historical info that there were only 1-2 female executioners during the medieval era of Britannia(now England) You have to wonder what type of woman could emotionally and physically handle such a job--or even want to!

But what if--she had no choice?

While it seems perhaps obvious the direction an erotic romance author would go with having a female executioner, I chose a slightly different path and made my heroine the prisoner of a barbaric Saxon ruler who had brutally defeated the last of the Briton kings. Having lost her family, she carries a guilt that she could not protect her mother (hanged for treason) and younger brother who is cast out of the kingdom and left for dead.

She alone is spared,because of her gift of "sight" (kings back then relied heavily on spiritual magic for guidance) but due to her aggressive nature, the king sentences her to a life imprisoned as his executioners apprentice.

Sentenced to look like a boy, he cuts her hair and dresses her in breeches, but a few years later, when she comes of age, the king sees the potential of her womanly attributes being a benefit to him in extracting information from prisoners.

Further, rumors of rebel armies gathering against the Saxon lord make him paranoid and when a Roman warrior is captured who likely has crucial information about the rebellion, the king orders my heroine to persuade the truth from the resilient warrior.

In the process, she determines that he is the one man who has all the right stuff (as it were) to help her escape this miserable life. She partners with him to plan a grand escape and helps him lay a trap to ambush the Saxon king and his army.

Kept secret however, are the images she "sees" when she touches him...images that give her reason to believe that he holds answers to her past she thought was dead and the promise of her future.

Their journey to freedom is riddled with danger and obstacles that they must overcome and as passion heats up between them, the risks grow greater and their time shorter. (TORTURED Aug. '09, Harlequin Spice)

So its back to work for me now! Deadline is loomin!



Amy C said...

Hi Amanda, as I said earlier, I love different and Tortured sounds like it is going to be wonderful, like nothing I've read before. I do prefer medieval settings over other historicals. Most of them are set in Scotland. I'm really looking forward to reading Diary of Cozette.

Anonymous said...

This story sounds wonderful!

I actually purchased, The Diary of Cozette this afternoon from eharlequin, and I am really looking forward to it.

Good luck with your deadline.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Amy (uptop) was the one raving about Diary, BTW!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Thanks Amy and Barb for checking out Cozette! Wow, what great incentive to tackle these remaining edits!

I am thrilled that Charlotte's Addicted and Diary of Cozette as well as Megan' Strangers has turned you guys on to Harlequin's Spice line! By comparison, it's still in infant stages to other lines at Harlequin! Hopefully it will be around to celebrate the next 60 years of Harlequin!

I know we all have enjoyed the freedom and encouragement of the creative "coloring outside the box" that we have experienced at Spice!

I approached TORTURED at first more as a womens fiction piece, but my characters just wouldn't have it--they wanted some romance!
So while there is plenty of angst, a bit of heartbreak,serious sensuality, the hot hero-- adventure,revenge, greed, lust, a wee bit of darkness,(it IS the Dark Ages) there is also I feel is a satisfying, happy ending.

I love Scottish historicals as well. I love anything remotely close, in fact! LOL There are few things much finer than a able-bodied man in a kilt welding a sword, eh? (canadian slang rubbing off on the Iowa girl)

The Lit ladies have a few more surprises a bit down the road when we unveil the first in our Celtic Spice mini-series-WINTER'S DESIRE!
But not going to give anything away for now! heehee*

Barb, wanted to say I love the Disney frames on your blog! Did you both design your own blogs??? They are beautiful!


Anonymous said...

" 1-2 female executioners during the medieval era of Britannia(now England)"

Wow, now that does sound cool, if not a little scary. I wouldn't want to meet them in a fight! O_o;

Amy C said...

Celtic Spice mini-series, you say? Sounds interesting :).

Oh yes, nothing like a kilt wearing, broad sword wielding hunk of a man! Oh and war braids!

Oh eh, I do that frequently, use eh. I'm only a few minutes from Canada though ;).

The more you talk about Tortured and the more i read about it, the more I want to read it!

Amanda McIntyre said...

I think I have a book on Mad men and women of Europe that talks about one who used to sketch her prisoners faces on the walls of the chambers. She had a plank attached to a tall tower (her "chambers" were above , instead of below in a dungeon) she would force her prisoners (in a noose) to walk off the plank themselves..not really sure what she used to prompt them, but she sounds a bit on the looney side to me --maybe that was enough incentive?

legend has it that after she died, they found this room with all these drawings on the wall...strange.

Apparently she was the only one gusty enough to handle the job after the town lost their male executioner.

I don't know if the place still exists, doubtful. But that kind of thing intrigues me-legends and lore types of things. Whether Celt or Native American.

My dream is to do a haunted castles tours in England, Scotland and/or Ireland--wouldn't natter much to me ;)


Amanda McIntyre said...

You're distracting my focus on the Roman warrior I have to write about, Amy!!!

But a sweet distraction nonetheless! Actually, the man on the horse is Henry Cavill of recent Tudor fame (this from his stint in Tristan & Isolde) now there is a guy who is my constant inspiration!
whether his hair is long, braided, short or some place in-between--he has one of those "looks" that just turns your knees to jelly ;)

*trying to imagine him in a kilt...hum...

but I digress...Roman warrior...Henry Cavill..focus...


Anonymous said...

Hey, Amanda! Thanks for loving my Disney clips! I'm a huge Disney fan. Perhaps it's a bit childish, but I love my happily ever afters :) I think that's another reason why I love romance novels so much. Romantic at heart.

Yes, and no. I chose exactly how I wanted my blog to be, right down to the kit used. I then had someone design it for me. The Disney clips however didn't come with the blog design. I found them on Photobucket and fell in love. I did have four of them up but I had to take two down. Believe it or not they take a long time to load.

I'm so happy Charlotte mentioned this blog! I had read one of Charlotte's shorts at Harlequin and loved it. I then went on to read her entire backlist, lol. Save one--which I will be getting my hands on.

Both your stories and Kristi's sound great as well! I will definitely be getting to all of them.

As for Tortured...You know, I love Medievals, but you don't see them as often as Regency and Victorian romances. Who doesn't love a Knight in shining armor? I'm looking forward to reading it!

Genella deGrey said...

What are you doing here!?!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Just a teensy breath, over the weekend,love! ;)

I shipped off my ms to my editor on Tuesday! Woohoo!

Though I admit I'm feeling akin to a gopher coming up out of his hole and discovering there's new world out here ;)

oddly, there was the laundry waiting patiently. I do live the glam life!

Somehow I've also become costume and props director for the upcoming high school musical-Suessical(the twin boy-children are both are in it) its a delight to help with and a lovely creative outlet! But Lord, working with that many high school kids for costuming! wasnt sure which was more of a challenge-my edits or fitting costumes.

Starting now to research my next book, Master & the Muses--we're back to jolly old England and the formation of those bad boys, the Pre-Raphaelites! Talk about scandal!Lordy!

so looking forward now to a bit of reading and research! and catching up with my real life! ;))

oohh and the Oscars are on my birthday weekend!! Woohoo!!! I LOVE the Oscars! Rootin' for Kate Winslet!! Chocolate Martini's and the Oscars! does it get any better than that?? :))