Writing as Therapy.
Firstly, a big thank you to the Secret Writer for giving me this opportunity to share my enthusiasm for historical romance…and who knows perhaps make a few converts!
A recent post at TSW struck a chord with me – the author worked in the mental health field.
You see I also lead a double life, as a veterinarian by day and author by night. I’ve read a deal of blog entries where authors always wanted to write, or came from creative families, but it just wasn’t like this for me. For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a vet; I poured everything into school work, faced the competition and was rewarded by a place at University. So how then, did I come to be the proud author of my debut novel ‘A Dead Man’s Debt.’
To tell that I have to go back to a school reunion, meeting friends I hadn’t seen for twenty years. Struggling to remember names but they remembered (if not my name)… the stories I wrote for English homework and was forced to read to the class.
‘What did you do?’ They asked. ‘Did you become a writer?’
‘No…’ I shook my head, ‘No, I went to Uni and became a vet.’
But the seed had been sown. After two decades of science it was time to dust off my creative side…and boy was it a revelation. People that wound me up during the day, found themselves on the page at night. Tales of revenge at first, bitter and embattled, pouring out bile… but then I began to notice the world afresh; the amber tones on horse chestnut tree, smell the rotting leaf mould and feel the autumnal mist dampening my skin.
Now writing is my therapy after an emotionally demanding day at work. It keeps me sane. It’s taught me the knack of immersing myself in romantic characters and escape to their world - of satins and silks, of blackmail, peril and duty, where real men rode stallions and a woman with opinions was considered rebellious. I love manipulating their world, reeking havoc with the order of things, placing twist after twist on their tangled love lives…and so much more.
‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ is - A story of personal sacrifice, pain and redeeming love, set against a background of blackmail and family duty.
Celeste Armitage has a plan…and that plan doesn’t include marriage.
After deliberately humiliating a suitor, Celeste’s despairing parents exile her to the country. But once there she discovers a sketch book of daring nude studies and is shaken to find the artist is her hostess’s eldest son, Lord Ranulf Charing. This darkly cynical lord is exactly the sort of dissipated rogue she despises most…if only her blood didn’t heat at the thought of him…
Nothing is as it seems. Lord Ranulf’s life is a façade. Only he can save the Charing’s from disgrace as a blackmailer tries to ruin his late brother’s reputation. But just as Ranulf dares to open his heart to Celeste, the fury of his nemesis is unleashed… facing him with the stark choice between true love and family duty. However when Celeste guesses the truth behind his rejection, Ranulf underestimates her resolve to clear his name and in so doing places the woman he loves in mortal danger….
Excerpt from ‘A Dead Man’s Debt.’
[Lady Sophia reveals her portrait to a friend.]
With a swoosh the drape hissed to the ground.
Georgiana’s eyes widened, flushing crimson as a hand covered her mouth.
The oil showed Sophia Cadnum stripped of her satins and silks with her natural beauty shining like an exotic flower. In just a gossamer shifts, with a rope of pearls wound round a swan like neck, she reclined in a woodland clearing, happy as a nymph. Ringlets of rich raven hair, unpowdered and unrestrained, tumbling over her shoulder to provide a modesty not offered by the transparent gown. On closer inspection, the male viewer would be enchanted to discover the ghost of a nipple peeping between ringlets.
“Well?” Sophia asked breathlessly.
“Sophia you are too bold! This portrait will be the talk of every salon. Why it, every rake and rogue hang will beat a path to your door to ogle daring Lady Sophia.”
Sophia smiled happily. “Isn’t it wonderful?”
Georgiana grew quiet, nervously averting her eyes.
“I speak as your dear friend and only with your interests at heart, but is it quite…” she glanced at Sophia then steeled herself, “…appropriate?”
Black thunder darkened Sophia’s pretty face. “And by that you mean?”
Georgiana took a deep breath. “Well, what with you being a mother now, something less… provocative… might be more correct?”
Sophia scowled. “But that’s precisely the point. Producing a son was my duty… and I won’t be made into a dowdy matron because of it. I need to feel alive and have my heart race for joy…heaven knows already the Duke talks of producing another brat for the nursery.”
Comprehension dawning Georgiana gulped. “Was it so very awful… giving birth?”
Sophia closed her eyes. “Hateful, from start to finish.”
Silence stilled the air. Georgiana cleared her throat.
“Has the Duke seen the painting?”
“In truth I don’t think he cares enough to have an opinion. As long as I serve my purpose as mother to his heirs, he won’t object.” She stroked her tightly laced stomacher, resting a hand on the barely perceptible dome of her belly. The light went from her eyes as she whispered. “Please God grant me respite from duty.”
‘A Dead Man’s Debt’ is now available from most good eBook retailers, Amazon Kindle Bookstore and http://www.solsticepublishing.com/products/a-dead-man%27s-debt.html
If you would like to know more about Grace Elliot and her work please visit:
International GiveawayGrace has very kindly supplied an e-book copy of of her new novel 'A Dead Man's Debt' to accompany this post. All you have to do to enter the draw for this fantastic prize is to join this blog as a follower and then leave a comment on this post. Please also leave details of your e-mail address with your comment, so we can then contact the winner following the draw and to e-mail them their prize. If you are already a follower of this blog you can also enter the draw by leaving a comment on this post (do not forget to include your e-mail address with your comment!). Entry for this draw will close on Wednesday 24th November 2010. The winner will then be announced as soon as possible after this date.
Good luck everyone!