Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Guest Blog-Anya Delvay
I'm super excited to have Anya here. She's one of my fantastic CPs and her debut Ellora's Cave release is something worth celebrating for sure.
I love this book. I loved it the first time I got a glimpse at it and it was then I told her to pitch her idea during a pitch contest at Passionate Reads.
After much arm twisting she did and...well I'll let her explain.
It’s all Amy’s fault.
Yeah, I know, that’s a line usually reserved for her husband, kids and other assorted relatives to use, but in this case she deserves it.
There I was, minding my own business, when Miss Busybody emails me with a link and this message:
An EC editor is having a pitch contest. Manuscript doesn't have to be finished to pitch.
Chance to get past the slush!!!!!
Huh, nice email to send to a friend whose going through an extreme case of writer’s constipation. She insisted I pitch to Grace Bradley at the Passionate Reads blog, forced me to hone a half-baked idea into a somewhat viable blurb and twisted my arm until I said I’d give it a go. [I freely admit it. *grin*]
Then she threatened me! Said she knew my husband would back her if I didn’t pitch and she had to come over to kick my butt.
Worse of all, she was right…
I pitched, making sure she knew I had to go hurl after I hit send.
That was January of this year, 2011. I know because I looked up the email and chat logs. This is September, and last Friday the book I wrote based on that pitch, Beyond Prudence, was released by Ellora’s Cave. You can watch the video here, and read an excerpt here. I’ve also included a short additional excerpt below, featuring Amy’s favourite secondary character.
Yep, it’s all her fault.
Thanks Amy, for the faith and the *whippah* and the encouragement when I was absolutely, positively sure it would never work.
Couldn’t have done it without you!
Journeys Through Seduction
The mysterious device in Prudence Hastings’ basement could be the answer to her prayers, if she could just figure out what it is. Needing William Foreman’s help, she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to gain it. Even putting aside her dislike of machines and volunteering to test the risqué apparatus he’s developing for the Acolytes of Concupiscence.
Will’s expecting a lightskirt for a test subject and is horrified when he realizes the tempting woman he just debauched is very much a lady. But despite his best intentions, something keeps drawing him back to her, and it isn’t just the thought of discovering the inner workings of her uncle’s last invention. Unlocking their passion is turning out to be a far more pleasurable, if dangerous, job.
Beset by desire, automatons, secrets, an unintelligible maid and the danger of utter ruin should their association become known, Will and Prudence haven’t a chance in hell of remaining unscathed.
Fire up the boiler, open the sluices and take cover. Something’s about to explode…
This had to stop. Torturing himself with desires that were best forgotten would serve no purpose. Prudence Hastings was far beyond his reach in the most important ways there were, and nothing good would come of their continued association. In fact, if what they had done became known the scandal would be horrendous and the consequences dire for them both. He couldn’t trust himself to keep his hands to himself, and neither could afford further dalliance.
So he would have to put an end to it.
Rifling through the various documents on his desk to find the one he wanted, he reached for a sheet of paper and the pen lying beside his blotter. Albert Fitzwaller would, he was sure, be able to help her to unlock the mystery of Sir Harold’s machine. Even better, that gentleman, although an energetic septuagenarian, preferred the company of other men to that of women.
He had just started his note to Prudence when Oliver flew into the room, a package clutched in his talons, and tried for a landing on the short, and only clear, end of the desk.
“No, Oliver, circle arou—”
Of course the owl ignored him and overshot, the package flying from his grip, talons scraping across the wood before he smashed into the wall.
“Sorry!” Oliver righted himself, sending Will a sheepish look. “I keep thinking, ‘This time I will get it right.’”
“I’ve told you, it’s no fault of yours.” Will bent to retrieve the package as Oliver hopped toward the fireplace. “I just can’t seem to adjust your wings exactly right for the quick stop.”
“Never you mind.” Oliver rotated his head, clicking his beak in amusement. “Gives Max something to laugh at, anyhow. He does love to see me crash—”
With a horrendous clang the fire iron flew from its spot on the hearth and whacked the owl in the side, bowling him over again.
“Oh, bollocks.” Oliver tried to get up, but the angle of the poker wouldn’t let him. “I’m bloody magnetized again. I hate when this happens. Now, if there’s anything for you to sort out, it’s this.”
Will didn’t bother to explain again that if Oliver could land properly and not go bashing into things, he wouldn’t end up magnetized. Instead he called for Clifford to come get the owl and take him back to the lab to have his molecules properly realigned.
“May I deactivate him first, sir?” Clifford asked, lifting Oliver, fire iron and all, and preparing to carry him away.
“You bloody well better,” Oliver retorted, rustling his feathers in an attempt to look fierce and failing spectacularly. “Or as soon as I’m free, you’ll be on the receiving end of my beak. I hate having it done when I’m awake.”
It was only after they had left that Will got a chance to look at the package and when he did his heart leapt. He recognized the feminine, looping handwriting from the two letters Prudence had sent him, which he had finally found and read the day before. Tearing open the paper, he found his jacket, neatly folded, along with a note.
Dear Mr. Foreman,
After you left Hastings Halt yesterday I realized you had unfortunately left your coat behind and thought I would send it on to you.
I also wanted to thank you again for your offer to aid me in investigating Uncle Harry’s invention. I will not bore you with details, but determining its use and potential marketability is of overriding importance to me at this time.
Yet I also realize that, because of my unconscionable and frightfully untoward behavior, you may not wish to have anything more to do with me. I sincerely apologize if I have caused you any discomfort, and if you no longer desire to render assistance I would understand completely. I only ask that you suggest another gentleman of your acquaintance who may be able and willing to unlock the mystery of my uncle’s device.
I remain, yours sincerely,
Will read the note through once, then twice again, getting a little more—well—aggrieved each time. The formality of her words, the assumption her actions were distasteful to him, annoyed him beyond measure.
If there was any untoward behavior, it was his.