Some women are attracted to bad boys. Are some men attracted to bad girls? What if a good boy became a bad boy? What if a bad girl became a good girl, even when she was bad?
That’s just part of the passion play in O’Roarke’s Destiny. The intrigue, mystery and small matter of an effective curse cast by Diver’s O’Roarke is the story’s action.
It’s 1801, Cornwall; a time when women needed men, more than men needed women. Or, so society knew. 1801, Cornwall; Destiny Rhodes needs no one, nor anything: save Doom Bar Hall, its servants, Aunt Modesty’s porcelain, Lord Tredwynne’s antique armour, Grandfather Austell’s stuffed parrots, garlands in the hall at Christmas, her garden and all the embroidered pillows sewn up mended. At least that’s what Destiny was thinking.
However, it all seems somewhat moot after Divers O’Roarke wins Doom Bar Hall, from Destiny’s drunkard brother, Orwell.
It’s a world of smugglers, pirates, excisemen and extreme danger, yet, Destiny needs only her instincts. She’s in over her head, but owns a drive to do what has to be done to get to the bottom of what is going on, and retain a position to remain at Doom Bar Hall.
Still, Lyons busted her illegal casks of spirits. Who tipped him off? Mostly, why did Divers O”Roarke take the fall for her?
💥 BREAKING NEWS! 💥
There’s gowns in the story.
Tragically, Destiny’s dear husband Ennis, while in his carriage, had cascaded to his death into a ravine.(credit to the curse) Now, Destiny is in an eternal mourning in black. On top of it all, she has pined away her body’s curves, and chopped off her luscious long black hair.
Divers O’Roarke wants her, but black is for widows. He has won Doom Bar Hall … fair & square? So, her gowns are his, to sell at his pleasure. Yet, his pleasure is far from the few bits of coin he could get for the gowns. What he wants is to see Destiny, in any gown other than widow’s black.
Eventually, Destiny must wear a gown for him. She dons her least sexy gown, which is in Egyptian blue. (I don’t have that colour in my caddy, but I came up with an eau de nil). This colour is not her best, possibly her worst, definitely her most disliked.
Yet, what Divers O’Roarke wants is to see her in her most vibrant and glorious red gown. Will she wear it?
1. How did the idea of a curse come up? Are you superstitious, dabble in say; Tarot or Astrology? How/why did the curse entail everything turning to dust? Why not turn to toads, a lowly insect or even a hamster? (a little cheek)
Oh, now there was a time I did some work for a psychic journalist. I did once say what haven’t I done writing wise and other way wise when it comes to earning a crust. And yes I also did some Tarot work for her too as part of that. So I did learn the cards. At that time I also could do card readings from playing cards. I had a great aunt who could do the tea leafs. That totally fascinated me growing up. I think much as we may mock it, we do want to know a bit about what’s ahead, that HOPEFULY there’s a corner that will be turned or some good luck coming. As for the curse idea? Well, the book started about a house that the heroine had lost. And that idea came from us having to sell up our family home and me jokingly saying to a friend, I should just have flung myself in with it as a housekeeper. Then I thought BINGO idea for a book here. And it started out as fun and frothy but there were things on the table that weren’t right. Like why didn’t the hero just put her out? How can he be so besotted with this family when they were horrible to him as a child? Was light and frothy going to sustain a book? Then for some reason I saw their pasts and how and why he had cursed her and how everything had then gone wrong in her life since. Everyone she cared about has died. So she gets this name locally that way. Now if only I had thought beyond the box though, you are right. He should have said may everything you touch turn into a hamster dude. But then she’d have been overrun. That might have been a worse curse. 2. Your use of humour helps in feeling the underlying intense emotional states of Destiny and O’Roarke. With Destiny it’s the simple practical day to day things she plans to do the next day. With O’Roarke, it’s what to dig his grave with. Did you intend these character’s personal thoughts to be a humorous relief? Or did it just turn out that way?
No. Firstly I always like to use humour of thoughts. We all have them, let’s be clear. Maybe not about graves and what to dig them with etc., but we do have little idiosyncrasies and of course we are not always aware of them either. And I also know my readers expect to have a few giggles. So I couldn’t not. My characters always have some kind of wee saying or attitude. One heroine had sliding scales of things. Another would sooner swallow a crocodile than do whatever and as the book went on, that list grew and grew. One hero–my most impatient one–had Christ on various things. I did feel this book would be a bit dark if I didn’t have these bits. They are neither of them in the best place emotionally. However I then have the prob of her being a widow and I did NOT want to tackle it by having her thinking well, she was widow, thank God, because she had every reason not to have loved her husband. I felt that was a get out. So I thought if I had her, having been hit so hard that her way through is to line up tasks and tick the boxes, that that actually could prove quite humorous, especially if she’s so busy lining up these tasks, while people keep ‘getting in her face’ she doesn’t see how deep the waters are getting. It was like a wee you may think wink to my readers she’s going to be incandescent with rage the way my other ladies would be, but you are in for a surprise here. She’s too busy thinking she has that cushion cover to sew and that stool to mend. In a way these are the things that also need to be prised loose from her fingertips.
Doom Bar Hall was called after Doom Bar sandbar in Cornwall. Given I wanted to write of curses and smuggling, and not such great emotional states, I wanted something dark sounding and it is quite a fearsome sandbar I gather, responsible for hundreds of ship wrecks down the years. Originally before I went from frothy to dark, from Hampshire to Cornwall geographically, the house was called Lavistock and the book title was the Lady of Lavistock. Divers wasn’t called Divers O’Roarke either at that point. I just felt all round this was stronger. I do like to create a pervading mood and landscape for each book. This became the one here.
Resa, I want to thank you not just for inviting me here today, but your wonderful friendship AND the talent and readiness to use it to create gowns, for all those you create gowns for AND that includes my ladies. They and I salute you.
Here’ s the first drawing I did of Destiny. I was trying too, hard with the chopped off hair look. Yet, I still like it, because she looks like a pirate courtesan, with hair for an eye patch. Yet, perhaps this is a more correct visual introduction to Destiny.
Shehanne Moore is a native of Scotland, Dundonian by birth. She is the author of many Romance novels.
Having read 3 (almost 4) of her books, I can say her attention to the details of an era puts one in a different time and place. You don’t question it. You are there.
As for the flame of love she burns with her words, I suggest you read a book to see the fire!
A cover for one’s book can be as daunting as writing it. After a great search, Shehanne found the image below. The colours were wrong, but they were made right.
Eye’d like to thank all who took the time to read this post. Love you all!