16 August 2009

Guest Author: Amanda McIntyre

This week we're welcoming Harlequin Spice author Amanda McIntyre as she talks about her latest erotica historical, TORTURED, set in 500 AD Britannia. Here's a link to the excerpt and trailer, and here's the blurb:

In a time of chaos, darkness, and violence it is better to live only in the moment, lest your memories eat you alive.

A young woman blessed with "sight" seeks vengeance against a tyrannical lord responsible for her mother's murder. Forced to become an executioner's apprentice, she encounters a Roman prisoner who offers her a away to escape her prison and find a future. Torn between desire, duty, and the chance for revenge, her choice to live or die leaves her TORTURED.
"Vivid descriptions and steady rhythm of the story made for one disturbingly touching tale of hope, love and survival. A recommended read for any Medieval lover." ~ BookWyrm Reviews

"Well plotted, with vivid characters and a strong sense of time and place." ~ RT BOOK Reviews

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How did you come up with this idea of a woman executioner?

The idea for TORTURED came out of the blue after reading an obscure bit of historical information that there were only one to two 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?

In making your protagonist--especially your heroine--an executioner, what steps did you take to make her sympathetic?

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, who'd been hanged for treason, and her younger brother, who is cast out of the kingdom and left for dead.

She alone is spared because of her gift of "sight." Britannic kings relied heavily on spiritual magic for guidance. But due to her aggressive nature, the king sentences her to a life imprisoned as his executioner's apprentice.

Part of her sentence requires that she look like a boy. The king orders her hair cut and forces her to dresses in breeches, but a few years later, when she comes of age, the king sees the potential of her womanly attributes being a benefit in extracting information from prisoners.

Now your hero is Roman-Celt, yes? How does he figure into the drama in Britannia?

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 the 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.

What is next for you? Are you working on another novel?

Yes, my current WIP is called THE MASTER AND THE MUSES, a lush Victorian-set erotic tale of three women, all of whom posed for the same artist. Loosely based on the lives of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, it features Thomas Rodin--icon, rebel, unabashed romantic. With a single look, he is able to convey the ecstasy of creativity and the pleasures awaiting the woman who can fuel his artistry.

Here is a sneak peek at the back cover blurb. I'm savoring the cover art and bow to the gods who work on the Harlequin Spice cover art team!

The Innocent
What did this master artist see in me? Genius abided in his soul, rapture in his flesh--I doubted not. To refuse him...my folly. To surrender...my sensual salvation.

The Upstart
I chafed at the bonds of servitude until he set me free. I turned my back on all that I knew to follow him and found myself between two men--master and student--one whom I loved with my heart...the other with my body.

The Courtesan
I understood, perhaps better than any, his needs. I stoked the fires of his soul, the spark of his creativity--he made me a legend. But never could I forget his searing touch...

Three transcendent tales of women bewitched by a master of seduction--a slave as much to his art as to his boundless passion.
Bestselling, internationally published author Amanda McIntyre has sampled everything from an office career and motherhood to being a newspaper columnist turned fiction writer. She is the author of over two dozen novels, novellas, short stories and anthologies. Her highly sensual and character-driven work covers several genres including paranormal, historical, and contemporary romance, as well as non-fiction. She currently writes historical erotic romance for Harlequin Spice. Her debut novel, DIARY OF COZETTE, was released in October 2008, followed by TORTURED in August 2009 and "Winter Awakening" in the WINTER'S DESIRE anthology in November 2009. You can find all of Amanda's web locations and newsletter subscription at her website.

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If you'd like to enter for a chance to win a copy of TORTURED, please leave a comment or question for Amanda. I'll draw the winner next Sunday. Good luck! And thanks again to Amanda for stopping by today!

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