Please welcome Bevererley Eikli author of 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.
A Little Deception
By Beverley Eikli
1.What or who inspired you to start writing?
Thank you for having me here today. Inspiration has never been a problem for meJ Intrigue and dastardly doings inspired me as a seven-year-old to write my Witch School series. As an adult, I’ve just added a hefty dose of romance to the mix.
I guess I was lucky to have two younger sisters who loved having me make up stories for them. Growing up, first in Lesotho in Africa, and then Adelaide, South Australia, I was always brimming with sometimes fairly outrageous ideas. Now I write them all down and they take on a life of their own in my books.
As I’ve had such an unexpected variety of life experiences, I love varying the types of books I write, so I use the pseudonym Beverley Oakley for my erotic historicals. That only denotes the heat level, however, as the books under both names vary from sweet erotic with an underlying mystery (eg Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma) to the most dastardly villainess (the vengeful sister-in-law in A Little Deception) written under my Beverley Eikli name.
2.How did you come up with ideas for your books?
As I mentioned, I write historical romantic intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic romantic intrigue as Beverley Oakley, but the source of my ideas for both is the same.
I find posing the “What if…?” question really useful. For example, what if the prevailing laws stripped a woman of her child because her philandering late husband lied and broadcast to society that she was a harlot? This is from my book, Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly (under my Beverley Eikli name). Of course my poor heroine has to fall in love with the most inconvenient man possible when she assumes a different identity in order to reclaim her child. Yep… she falls in love with the little boy’s guardian who truly believes she is a harlot. It doesn’t help that her unwitting actions have also denied the hero his birthright.
Another ‘What if…?’ that I loved was: ‘What if desperation propels a well brought up young lady to entice into her bed (and consequently force into marriage) the rake who believed she was a woman of the night? This is from my erotic Regency Romance, Rake’s Honour, which features two feisty characters and a hero who has to do a lot of groveling to reclaim the woman he loves.
For me, the ‘What if?’ is the precipitating factor for a heroine to be forced into the most extreme action or danger possible in order to gain what she most wants. I don’t generally write sweet, gentle romances, although sometimes they start off that way. I write romances that gather pace until they reach a climactic ending.
3.What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
Romance and lashings of intrigue. A Little Deception was originally published in hardcover by UK publisher Robert Hale but I had to cut 15,000 words for it to fit the prescribed page number. When I got the rights back a few months ago I rewrote the book extensively and uploaded it to Amazon. In the last week I’ve done a further overhaul and published it in all formats, including to B&N and Apple iBooks. A Little Deception features my most villainous villainess and a plot with multiple twists and turns that incorporates an elaborate diamond heist in which my heroine, Rose, is framed. Since she’s already tricked her delectable rake into marriage, he seriously doubts her honesty. The hardest part of this story was making sure each character got their just desserts and actually, in the rewrite, I changed the ending from the hardcover version.
4.What expertise did you bring to your writing?
Apart from being a misfit in the 20th and 21st century? I was a journalist for many years which no doubt helped with the word-smithing, however my love of adventure was fed by the exciting life my husband has treated me to over the past 18 years. He was a handsome Norwegian bush pilot I met in Botswana and we’ve worked in the safari industry and the airborne geophysical survey industry in many countries. We’ve also done stints in the Solomon Islands and Japan, so I’ve pick up incredible stories all over the place. Sometimes what might seem improbable is in fact based on a true-life story of how someone I’ve met has actually got together with his or her life partner.
5.What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
I guess that I didn’t walk properly until the age of seven. My hips became famous when x-rays of them went on teaching tours through the world after my undiagnosed hip dysplasia was finally corrected. I’d grown up in the remote mountain highlands of Lesotho in Africa, and no one picked up the problem until long after I should have been walking. My parents took me to see surgeons in South Africa and the UK but it was my South Australian surgeon, Sir Dennis Paterson, who performed the ground-breaking operation, having worked out why previous corrective operations had broken down. He was knighted and he was the first man I proposed marriage to. Sadly, he was already married with four children and I guess I was too young, being only seven. However, as the result of dragging myself around for many years in hip-to-toe frog plasters I still have extremely good upper body strength. Also, having a disability as a child makes one very accepting of life, I think.
6.As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
Now this is very exciting. Just before Christmas my writing career went in a totally different and wonderfully exciting direction after I was announced the winner of Choc-Lit’s ‘Search for an Australian Star’ competition. My winning Regency Romantic Intrigue, The Reluctant Bride, will be released in September 2013. This will be followed six months later by my 1960s diamond smuggling romantic suspense set in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho where I was born and where my father prosecuted many illegal diamond smuggling and medicine murder cases.
Under my Beverely Oakley name, Ellora’s Cave is also about to publish my erotic romance, Her Gilded Prison which is about a viscount and his lovely, unloved wife and their two daughters. This is the first in the series which is really ‘Downton Abbey’ with sex, featuring, initially, an older woman and younger man, and then, later, the viscount’s two very different daughters and their stories.
7.Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
I’ve been part of a critique group of four for nearly eight years and their practical help and support have been invaluable. Jess Dee and I were the first to be published, the other two are regular competition winners, so I think the results speak for themselves. I’m very proud of our Ozcritters.
8.When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
I made the big mistake of not joining a professional writing organization for decades. I was travelling the world, doing my romance writer’s apprenticeship while sharing the cockpit of a Cessna 404 or CASA 212 during eight-hour sorties over the Greenland Ice Cap or French Guianese jungle with a lonely pilot, but I never learned the proper protocol of submitting, or properly researched the editor to whom I was sending my books in an ad hoc fashion to at various publishing houses. Only when I joined Romance Writers of Australia did I learn that knowing the market and how to pitch my work properly was the only way to succeed. RWA and my critique group were the two stand-out factors I credit for getting published.
9.Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I always start with a setup and go from there. When the book is about half finished I’ve got a few good threads and subplots happening. I then brainstorm the end so I know how to get there. Then in subsequent drafts I heighten my character’s particular traits and up the ante wherever I can throughout the whole book.
Mmmm. Lemon Meringue Pie. Our family version is a good old South African recipe using condensed milk, lemon juice and egg yolks as the creamy filling, rather than thickening the filling with cornflour.
Here’s the recipe from my ‘Bible’ of cookery, Magdaleen van Wyk’s The Complete South African Cook Book. The one difference is that whereas she uses a baked pie crust I’ve always used a crushed biscuit crumb base using a packet of plain biscuits (or ginger nuts) pulsed in the blender to which 150g of melted butter is added. This then is pressed into the bottom of a pie dish and placed in the fridge while the rest is made.
3 eggs, separated
250g sweetened condensed milk
Grated rind and juice of 3 small lemons (don’t use too much juice or it won’t thicken properly.)
5 tablespoons caster sugar
Beat egg yolks, lemon rind and juice together until thick and creamy.
Beat in the condensed milk and pour onto the biscuit base. (Usually I don’t even use a mixer but just beat it with a spoon until it’s combined.)
In a separate bowl, beat together the egg whites and castor sugar until stiff but not too dry. Spoon the mixture over the lemon filling.
Bake in the oven at 180C for 25 minutes.
Tip: If I’m in a hurry, before I put on the meringue topping I put the pie in the microwave for a couple of minutes until it’s slightly set, then I add the meringue topping and put it in the oven until the top is browned.
Thanks so much, Christine, for having me here today. I’ve really enjoyed it.
A one-night charade to save the family sugar plantation wins loyal and determined Rose Chesterfield more than she bargained for – marriage to the deliciously notorious rake, Viscount Rampton.
"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?
(This occurs when Rose chooses to be alone as she questions the rightness of her charade. A surprise visit from Rampton shatters her resolve.)
His eyes held hers and a smile curled the corners of his lips. This time Rose had no response. Her heart thudded so painfully she wondered whether he could hear it. She schooled herself to remain still, not to squirm with embarrassment or appear too eager. Nor to turn him away with a lack of enthusiasm.
‘I looked in at Almack’s briefly.’ He remained standing a few feet from her, his hands clasped behind his back. ‘In case you had chosen to accompany your family, after all. When I saw you had not I was concerned …’ His voice trailed away and his intensely blue eyes bored into hers before he added softly, ‘that you might be lonely.’
Still Rose made no rejoinder. It was hard enough just forcing herself to breathe. Every nerve ending was like a taut violin string, heat prickled the surface of her skin and the most unbearable longing threatened to turn her into a fool. No, she had no choice but to wait, then act accordingly.
‘Come here,’ he said, softly, and Rose felt her body answer the summons before her mind had time to fully comprehend. Without conscious thought she had closed the distance between them and was abandoning good sense with the breath that left her body in a whoosh as she raised her lips to meet his.
There were no gentle preliminaries. Hot and demanding, his mouth covered hers as he cupped her face, almost drinking her in and she, seemingly boneless, wilted in his embrace.
His lips burned hers as he growled against them, ‘I’ve looked forward to this moment since I first laid eyes on you,’ before resuming his passionate assault, his hands roaming over her body, cupping her bottom as he drew her against him.
Dear Lord, it was terrifying, and it was wicked and oh, so exhilarating. She was an innocent. Inexperienced. She knew she should be shocked by the liberties and the jutting angles of his masculinity but her body answered with equal ardour as her hands twined behind his neck and her tongue tangled with his in a dance of seduction that could have no happy resolution – but she could take what he offered, now, and she’d have that to sustain her for the rest of her days.
She squirmed at the disconcerting feeling of molten liquid pooling in her lower belly but she only pressed herself closer for in the drawing room she was still mistress of her own destiny and her reputation was preserved. She could show him how much she desired him but when he released her, here it would end.
‘You are wicked, my lord,’ she told him, kissing his ear, running her palms over the roughness of his angular cheekbones and revelling in his caresses, arching into him as he contoured her body without shame, knowing that he would realise it could go no further since she was, in his eyes, a married woman, and that she was due to leave the country in a few short weeks.
‘And you are a minx,’ he muttered against her throat, drawing back at the sound of heavy footsteps in the passage, and adding, just before Edith made her presence known, ‘but don’t you think you’ve got the better of me.’
Rose widened her eyes and smiled into his face, still only inches from hers. ‘Time will tell, my lord,’ she said, with emphasised coquetry. She sighed as she stepped backwards and out of his embrace. ‘I am mindful of the fact I am deeply in your debt.’
He reached out one hand to stroke her jawline. ‘Yes, you’d do well to remember that,’ he murmured.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Beverley Oakley wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page (p550!) was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
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