Well, we can with Art Gowns and imagination. I choose the 1920’s! What a decade of influences to inspire an Art Gown! King Tut’s Tomb was discovered. Art Deco was the movement. Chanel and Vionnet eschewed the corset, flattening the chest and dropping the waistline.
In 1920 women’s right to vote was ratified in the U.S.A. – Cafe Society lead to the Jazz Age, and the Fitzgeralds were all the rage. Flappers were making their mark, and Zelda Fitzgerald was the most famous flapper of them all.
Cleopatra Capriccio is dedicated to Elizabeth Gracen, a 21st century Flapper. Twenty some years ago, she was the star, and I was her designer. We have remained good friends, since.
As a matter of fact, she gave me the Mini-Me I dress up to go with the Art Gowns.
It began with the gift of a sequin fabric, a leftover from a TV series.
I paired the sequin fabric with a table runner I’d hung onto since my teen years, and yardage of: a soft grey, heavy weight, acetate satin curtain lining, purchased at a liquidation sale for $0.75/yd (120 ” wide).
The dark blue Dupioni silk table runner is embroidered with actual silver metal thread. It was already a vintage piece back when I was gifted it. I cut the diamond shapes and zig-zag bordeur out of the runner.
Finally, some dark royal blue silk that had been stored for 25 years in musty storage, also gifted, rounded out the fabrics. I harvested sequins off of the scraps, and sewed them onto the silk.
I pinned CleopatraCapriccio up, but she still wasn’t as short as a Flapper dress. Still, the sequins did a fun bit.
Elizabeth Gracen arrived in NYC from a small town in Arkansas a year after traveling the world as Miss America 1982. She used her scholarship prize money to study acting at HB Studios and photography at the New School. She later moved to Los Angeles where she has worked as an actress for over twenty years, most notably as ‘Amanda’ on the long-running HIGHLANDER: THE SERIES and HIGHLANDER: THE RAVEN.
In 2012, Elizabeth formed FLAPPER FILMS, a production company devoted to developing inspiring, informational content for multi-generational men and women. Her films have met with great success on the international film festival circuit and on streaming media platforms.
In 2016, Elizabeth formed FLAPPER PRESS and published her first YA novel, Shalilly.
Please meet Shehanne Moore: writer, author, publisher, wife, mother and one of the official Art Gowns models.
SMART + SEXY = SMEXY
I just finished reading “Loving Lady Lazuli”
Cassidy Armstrong has had an unfortunate life, that has scarred her in more ways than one. Cast off from family as a baby, and her brother dead from beatings, she is pressed into being a jewel thief. Nonetheless, she has managed to hoard her virginity like it was a massive collection of fine Waterford Crystal worth more florins than any working class person would see in a lifetime.
Now, she has returned to claim her birthright. As a fake widow, Lady Cassidy Armstrong can move around more freely, searching for her proof of heritage. Yet, even after 10 years of aging, donned in a widow’s “Crow Black” and with a new name; Devorlane Hawley (fifth Duke of Chessington) recognizes her.
I asked Shehanne: Devorlane Hawley – Fifth Duke of Chessington, was off at war for 10 years. Was it the Napoleonic Wars? If not, which war was he in, and can you give a bit of history of the war and/or London around the time of this story?
Answer: It was the Napoleonic Wars but he was in the military a little before they actually started in 1803, as an unwilling recruit shall we say? And obviously since the book is set in 1810 and the wars didn’t end for another five years, he’s no longer a soldier, having been badly wounded and invalided out. The Wars came out of chaos that was the French Revolution and for some time, a long time, it looked as if Napoleon Bonaparte could become master of Europe, until he was finally defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and exiled to Saint Helena. I imagine that life for people in London and indeed elsewhere, would–as ever, even as we’re seeing today– depend on your wealth. Whatever your class, most people had a relative in the army or navy and would be anxious about that but that’s roughly where any kind of things in common would end. For the rich there was the chance to make more money, for the women to adopt new fashions, go to charitable balls and see some wonderful re-enactments of battles etc onstage. For the poor–the usual struggle for survival. All the English counties had a militia, there to protect the county and of course there was espionage, the suggestion of which the heroine of this book uses to her advantage at one point.
“Never judge a book by its cover, unless there’s a gown on it.”
I came up with that exceptionally memorable saying, after reading “Splendor”. It was the first book by Shehanne that I read. I pair it here with “Loving Lady Lazuli”, as they are both part of a series about London Jewel Thieves.
You can read my review, and mini interview with Shehanne by clicking on the drawing of “Splendor”, above.
I read “The Viking and the Courtesan” quite recently. It is definitely a bit of a departure from the other stories.
Malice Mallender is quite the piece of work. For the right price “Strictly Business” will destroy any marriage, usually by dealing with the wife nuisance. The right price; enough to buy the latest pair of shoes she covets in Madame Faro’s window. So, what happens when “Strictly Business” is inadvertently hired to destroy Malice’s own marriage to Lord Cyril Hepworth?
I asked Shehanne: In “The Viking and the Courtesan” – How did you come up with the idea of “time displacement” ?
Answer: My dearest, lovely Resa, first let me thank for all your kindness and especially for the gowns and asking me here today. You may know I must be amongst your biggest fans, not just as a mega admirer of your work but the fact you make gowns to be used for charity.
Okay, so to answer your question, I had a flash moment. I never ever set out to write a time displacement story. Just like I never ever set out to write any book. But I had written the first few chapters of this book exactly as they stand now, to the bit where she goes to her husband, Cyril’s flat. The story was to be a second chance love story between them but one day as I was belting away at the keyboard, I thought that idea was a bit too similar to the Lady Fury book. Then the little voice whispered… you know that Viking idea you have where you have the hero’s story but not the heroine’s? Hmm?? Well … why don’t you just bung that in here? Quite understandably I thought, no way. Are you serious???? I mean, come on. Then I went and thought about it for a moment. And I thought, okaaaay. Maybe I should just give it a try for a chapter or so, no more? What have I got to lose really? And that was it. That’s the truth. It just popped into my head.
The moment I saw the new cover of Shehanne’s re-released tale of Lady Fury (Genoa 1820), I fell in love with the gown. I read chapter one on Shehanne’s blog. Then I read the book.
“Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: You will be fully clothed at all times… Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position.”
Perhaps ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore (a man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed) has never been good at following the rules, still she decides to use him to produce an heir.
I asked Shehanne: In “Lady Fury” – What was your impetus for coming up with “the rules”? Did you have a reason for making Blackmoore a privateer… ie: a love of ships, a port you have been stimulated historically by?
Answer: Ooh, I have always loved pirate stories since I read Treasure Island as a kid. I was reared on all the old films and one of my fav board games was buccaneer. I was gutted to learn it just wasn’t possible to pursue my chosen choice of career actually. But I did always want to write a book about a pirate or a privateer. As for ‘the rules’, well, once again I had written first few chapters and I thought, now what? You can tell by now I never ever think anything out. And I thought, well, he’s got her cornered which she’s er…not going to take lying down. So what would she do here to pay him back and keep any feelings which she sees she sort of still might have, under wraps Then I thought I could maybe have a little fun dissecting a certain activity shall we say? I am a great believer in having fun especially with rules on anything. Let’s face it, I dunno about you but over here in Scotland right now, and England, well .. I never saw so many that were badly thought through.
This is my favourite book by Shehanne. It is her most recent, and proves that she gets better with time. As the ending demands a sequel, I am hoping there is one in progress!
You can read my review, some Q&A with Shehanne and see the gown drawings by clicking on my above rendition of Destiny.
Shehanne’s titles are available worldwide on Amazon, Ingram Books & Barnes and Noble. If you click on the above banner, you will go to Amazon’s universal “select a country” page. Once there, select “Books”. In “Books” search “Shehanne Moore. It will take you to all of her titles.
While waiting for Hyperion to answer the call that she sent out via Resa’s Tree, Princess Blue Holly (aka PBH, Blue Holly & Princess Blue) morphed into her Cheetah outfit!
“Princess Blue, you’re so cool, NOT, with all your magic changes. HA! cough … hiss … cough! PBH is Peanut Butter Holly to me. You’re nothing but mush… cough!”
No wonder Hyperion wasn’t answering! Princess Blue Holly remembered that Resa’s Tree had been frozen by Evilomlap, into an artificial winter. She couldn’t use her Tangle Heart, he was onto it, and had used it to lead her to his lair.
Blue Holly suddenly heard Marina’s invisible whisper. “Use my Pear Tree! It’s incognito, hiding between Dr. Huey and Melody Parfumee rose bushes. Pruned to a point, it should get through to Hyperion. Evil can’t find it!
Evilomlap wound his length around Princess Blue, squeezing harder and harder. Princess Blue surrounded Evilomlap with her spiked leaves and poison berries. Stalemate!
This was the moment of truth. Princess Blue Holly could not last forever in a stalemate. With all the might of her telekinesis she could muster, she called out to Hyperion and felt him finally answer. She could feel her inner dragon welling up as Hyperion calmly guided her Special Claw Glove to pierce deeply into Evilomlap’s scaly flesh. In desperation, Evilomlap buried his fangs into her ankle, and injected his virus venom.
Princess Blue Holly winched in pain and held on as her inner dragon forced the virus through her and into her Claw Glove, injecting Evilomlap with his own viral poison.
As the virus coursed through Evilomlap Etagloc, he turned blue, was frozen by his own venom and rendered into the very frame he had intended to imprison Princess Blue Holly within. Checkmate!
Once Evilomlap was imprisoned, Resa’s tree was freed into a new magic realm.
The distorted path upon which PBH’s Tangle-Heart had beaconed from far away, straightened out. Her Tangle-Heart was back in focus.
Tangle-Heart led Blue Holly through the Paris night, back to the Moulin Rouge. With the Art Gowns models restored and dressed for the next number, PBH segued into Rene Rosso.
When Rene Rosso was asked to sing in Paris, well, she said YES!
Of course, she had several requests. One, was that the Art Gowns would open for her with a fashion show. She had a special gown designed, just to announce the Art Gowns.
First out on the runway in “The Tulle Collection” was Gigi. In an asymmetric one sleeved stunner named “The Twirl”, she swept the stage with ease.
Holly totally glammed it up for the catwalk. She had wanted to ride out onto the stage on a motorcycle. It had to be a Harley, but they couldn’t find an acceptable one, on such short notice.
Rene Rosso, being a class act, sent out a big Thank you to the Beauty Team.
Taking care of the Wardrobe is the very capable Bijou. She wields a hot iron like no one else. Stay good and you won’t get your face pressed!
Margot is the hair stylist. She was once up for a Golden Globe award.
Geneviève, one of the best make-up artists, ever, to graduate from The Coop will be attending the Maquillage.
Of course there are unsung heroes. Rene Rosso insisted they come out to the stage for a bow, to hearty applause.
Above, Bridgette is responsible for all of the staging. Below is Adrienne, the Tour Manager.
Then it was back to The Art Gowns fashion show, with the vivacious Dale leading the way in an Avant Garde specialty.
For Shey, inspiration was taken from her romantic period novels. During the flight to Paris, the Art Gowns readThe Viking and The Courtesan. The girls are all still chattering away about it!
Marina is for real, even as she models this Faux Ballerina number.
It was time for Rene Rosso to perform a song. She adores the Parisienne audiences. In an Art Gown designed by Resa, and stage production design by Bridgette to look like a painting,
… she torched with “La Vie en Rose”. Her favourite version is by Melody Gardot.
Suddenly, on the last note of the song, the lights went BLACK!…..
… and Princess Blue Holly found herself in the night’s streets of Paris.Changing to her Crimes in a City’s Dark Corners outfit, she climbed to the roofs of Paris.
Hiding by a Gargoyle on on the southeast tower of Notre Dame Cathedral, Princess Blue Holly awaited the dawn and for her Tangle – Heart to guide her.
What was happening? How had Rene Rosso become Princess Blue Holly without conscious effort? Where were the Art Gowns? Where was her Tangle-Heart? Would the master of her inner dragons, Hyperion be able to help her?
Princess Blue Holly torpedoed herself toward the surface, the moment the Rio Grand’s mouth met the Gulf of Mexico.
Suddenly, just below where the gulf waters met the sky, MerSin confronted her. Not shying away, Princess Blue Holly demanded he set the Art Gowns Mermaids free, and return them to their normal Art Gowns Models selves.
MerSin, under complete control of SinMonto, laughed wickedly. Louder and louder his laughter roared like a fire from hell, as he transformed into a dragon. His evil SinMonto mission; destroy Princess Blue Holly!
Princess Blue Holly was at a massive disadvantage. She called on the master of her inner dragons, Hyperion.
There was no need for words. Hyperion appeared in a roiling fountain of steam and transformed Princess Blue Holly, with a roar like thunder. MerSin fell back in fear. Princess Blue Holly and her gown were now the form of a smaller, yet more fierce blue-green dragon. Her Mission; stay alive and save the Art Gowns Mermaids.
She was unbeatable. MerSin cowered, awaiting his death blow. In the same roiling fountain of steam, Hyperion returned her to her mermaid self. She had refused the final kill. This act, of a kind and noble heart, freed MerSin from the clutches of SinMonto.
A fountain of steam, spinning counter clockwise, and MerSin became merely a lonely voice in the sky. He vowed to return one day, and fight beside Princess Blue Holly.
Her Tangle Heart showed her the fastest way back to Albuquerque. Surfacing at Tingley Beach she realized she had only 20 minutes to make Rene Rosso’s last set.
Using her animal powers outfit, she channeled a Cheetah, the fastest animal on earth. Although Cheetahs have poor night vision, Princess Blue Holly had Resa’s Cottonwood tree guiding the path.
As she leapt past Resa’s Cottonwood, the sky turned from the dark blue ink of night, to orange. It was MerSin’s voice announcing that the Art Gowns Mermaids would return to being Art Gowns Models just after dawn. They would awaken on South Beach, Miami.
Back in her dressing room, Rene Rosso looked in the mirror before going on stage. The salt water had destroyed her hair, and her gown was a no go.
A quick change, with the help of her beauty team, made her only 1/2 hour late for her set.
She opened with “Baby I’m A Fool” by Melody Gardot, an artist who she admired deeply.
The next morning Rene Rosso was on South Beach waking up with the Art Gowns Models. Their hairs were ruined, their mascara running and gowns destroyed.
The dragons art is a public mural. The pics were taken in Toronto by Resa – July 24, 2019, and later creatively edited. No financial gain is intended by the use of these photos.
This is the 3rd and final episode of Princess Blue Holly and the Art Gowns Mermaids. If you would like to catch up on the story click on the image above. The category presents most recent at the top, so scroll to the bottom, to read from the beginning!
Did you ever feel like making an Art Gown about the Tango?
If so, you may be thinkingpassion, desireand poetry in motion.
Those words also perfectly describe the prose of Holly – House of Heart. Art Gown Velvet Tango is dedicated to her. Holly, I hope you just love this!
Gigi (Georgiann from Rethinking Life) wrote some Tango poetry. With Gigi’s permission to use these pieces with an Art Gown dedicated to Holly, I began an epic 5 month building of Velvet Tango.
Holly thought a Tango gown could be black, red and silver. So, I immediately began deconstructing a red, 25 year old synthetic velvet coat that I never wear.
In the rear of a fabric jobbers, I found an old rayon bengaline lining for $4.00/yard. It was a splurge, but I bought 4 yards.
Tango dresses can feature lots of asymmetry and legs for days. Unfortunately, Judy has a metal pole and 4 wheels. I didn’t cut into the fabric. Instead, I began at one side of the Judy, and draped the fabric right around. This created a massive tail off to one side, the feel of asymmetry, and the need for 20 release darts.
The unorthodox drape I had done left a huge gap in the centre back. Fortunately, an old friend found my blog, and sent me 14 pounds of old, musty and Art Gowns worthy fabrics. I found a toned down red that fit into the back space.
There was enough leftover to interline some red lace to fill a quarter front panel slit. Some of the lace was made into flowers. Using a silvery sage scarf from my stash, and an old silver grey dupioni silk dress, leaves were formed.
Easy as pie!? Here’s the classic front, back and side shots.
He was kind enough to submit this Tango video for the post!
Historically the Tango is a dance of slaves and poor, and was fueled by the emotions of young men who immigrated to Argentina to find a better life. Click on the pic below to read a page on the history.
While the world awaits Princess Blue Holly to save the Art Gowns Mermaids, let’s take a look at a photo shoot from last month!
Above: In a knockout mesh gown, accessorized with mesh fan, full length gloves and mosaic hair, renowned Torch Chanteuse, Rene Rosso, opens the layout.
Art Gowns was lucky to get Gigifor this shoot. Her fall schedule is hectic, as she devotes much of her time to saving all birds, with a focus on turkeys. Here she is resplendent in a mosaic gown, accessorized with mosaic hair and bracelets .
Shehanneis the meaning of splendour in a mosaic and eyelash gown with full length mesh gloves and mosaic hair. The beauty team gave her a 1980’s Italian vogue make-up look. When she got home the Hamster Dudes didn’t recognize her and called police.
Holly is adorned in a mosaic and mesh gown. Her hair mocks mosaic, with Jet beads set in at irregular intervals. Art Gowns wanted to do something special for Holly. Knowing she adores motorcycle adventures, mosaic gauntlets were added to the gown.
This shoot was Dale’s first time modelling for Art Gowns. We all had a lot of fun working with her. In a mosaic & mesh gown, accessorized with a mesh/mosaic fan, mosaic bracelet & hair, Dale does not disappoint!
Aquileana is marvellous in this mosaic & eyelash gown. Pulled together with a mosaic fan, full length mesh gloves and subtle mosaic hair, this outfit is deadly gorgeous.
The colours of Marina’smesh & mosaic gown was largely inspired by the Aegean sea colours in a painting she sent me. (I love it!) Half length mosaic gloves and mosaic hair complete the outfit.
BTW! I bought a Marina Kanavaki calendar for 2020. It’s absolutely fabulous. Click on the calendar, and go to her blog’s calendar post. There’s PayPal buttons, and you can get one of your own.
As per her contract with Art Gowns, Ms. Rosso modelled 3 gowns, and had her choice of which gown to open the article with.
Ms. Rosso, a class act, shared her fruit plates and flowers with all of the models.
Impressed with Paloma Fath, Ms. Rosso is currently preparing a new act, featuring all new gowns, and a heavily directed stage presentation.
H’eye there everyone!
I want to let you all know that the new Art Gown is done. So, we’ll all have to wait to see the next episode of Princess Blue Holly.
Of course I have to dress the Mini-me, give the gown a final press, vacuum, arrange the plants and then shoot it. After that there is the selection of photos and making the post. I can hardly wait!!! 💖
While the Art Gowns Mermaids slept until their spell was broken, Princess Blue Holly set off to to save them.
Timothy Price had given her a Tangle-Heart tree to carry with her always. It would guide her. She placed it in her heart, so she would never be without a compass. Besides it didn’t fit in Rene Rosso’s suitcase.
Her Tangle-Heart led her to Albuquerque. Here, as Rene Rosso, she would await further information. Of course every venue in town was eager to book the Torchy Nightingale.
Ms. Rosso negotiated: 5 new Art Gowns (1 of which would be styled after the Cottonwoods in fall), a new poster featuring afore mentioned Art Gown, a double size dressing room, a massive star on the door, her choice of songs, musicians and hair, make-up & wardrobe changes during the sets.
Of course limo service to and from her hotel, fresh flowers and fruit plates were included in the Rider. On Saturday night she closed her first set with “Why Don’t You Do Right”, Julie London style.
Retiring for an hour to her dressing room, she threw on a shortie robe. There was note by her fruit plate. It read: “The evil oceanic spawn of SinMonto Corporation, MerSin, turned the Art Gowns models into mermaids.”
“He’s headed to where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico. His intention; to feast on the fishermen who gather & hang out there.”
She had only 1 hour! Rene Rosso quickly morphed into Princess Blue Holly.
(ONE begins the morphing)
She looked into her Tangle-Heart for the fastest route. Resa’s Cottonwood marked the shortest path to Tingley Beach; enter the water there, swim to the Rio Grande and surface when it met the gulf.
Princess Blue Holly ran at super speed. She was so fast that no one could see her, as she flew past Resa’s Cottonwood tree.
At Tingley Beach, she jumped into the water, and morphed into Princess Blue Holly Mermaid.
Using her Turbo-Tail Fin at full speed, she would arrive in the Rio Grande within moments. She would be at the Gulf of Mexico within minutes.
Darlings! Rene Rosso here, in a suit! Can you believe it?
However, it’s an Art Gowns suit. So when Holly and Resa asked me to host this post, I said “okay!” Still, how did this happen? Well, there was no multi-medium paper at the art store. Resa had to buy a sketch pad.
It’s been awhile since Resa just pencil sketched. She was excited to rise to the occasion, & started with Shehanne Moore in a Town Suit, very 1980’s come 1930’s.
Then it was GiGi’s turn to model this ultra-uber, never seen before style. No one can wear an imaginary time unknown suit like Gi! (Above)
Craving some colour, Resa added ballpoint pen and turquoise ink pen bows. There was no way I was going to wear a suit with bows! Holly had no choice but to model it.
The musicians were going wild downstairs when Resa came up with a Crazy Free Style Art tulle skirted suit forMarina Kanavaki. Having a colour meltdown, Resa went nuts with felt pens. They soaked through 3 pages of paper, and she had to iron the sketch.
Resa should have drawn me in the above suit. DARN!
This Art Gowns Suit is more like it. Now, I can work on the next song being added to my repertoire “Sweet Love”. I’ve been very inspired listening to Anita Baker sing it.
Their names are hot in the descriptions under the suits they have modelled. They all have fab blogs to visit.
Is the line between love and hate so fine you can’t see it? If you can’t see it, can you cross it?
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.
3. I’m fascinated by “Doom Bar Hall”. How did you come up with that name? Had you considered calling it “Rhodes Hall”?
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!
Click on the pic below, to buy O’Roarke’s Destiny on Amazon!
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!