Friday, 30 August 2013

Whatever Happened To... The Vamp?

 If ever an actress was manufactured for the silver screen, it was Theda Bara. From her name to her ethnic origins, even down to her eating habits, the woman born Theodosia Goodman into a hardworking Jewish family in Ohio, was transformed. She rose from obscurity to apparent overnight success as the original Vamp in the 1915 silent film, A Fool There Was.

At 30, Theodosia had been playing the theatre circuit, auditioning for bit parts in films and generally trying to make ends meet. She wasn't especially striking and, by now, her age was against her, but somehow (and there is conjecture about precisely how), she caught the eye of Fox Director Frank Powell. He was looking for an actress for his new film, based loosely on the Rudyard Kipling poem, The Vampire (itself inspired by a painting by Burne-Jones of the same name). Fox was a cash strapped embryonic studio and couldn't afford any of the big stars. Theodosia de Coppet (as she was then known) fitted the bill perfectly.

Being Jewish middle class wasn't ideal so, in typical Hollywood fashion, if the star's background didn't fit, the studio simply rewrote it. Enter Theda Bara (anagram for 'Arab Death'), with a French actress mother and Italian sculptor father. She was born in Egypt, "in the shadow of the Sphinx", they said, and Theda did her best to live up to the hype. In reality, she had never even been to France, Italy or Egypt!

Her back-story maintained she dabbled in the Occult, conjured up dark spirits and ate raw beef. She had also, apparently, been reincarnated on a number of occasions. In short, she was an exotic, sexually charged, otherworldly character, both on and off the screen. And, while this was the cause of her fame and fortune, it also became the catalyst for her downfall. She was typecast, so when the public grew tired of vampish characters, Theda really had nowhere else to go.

Her career was short, even by Hollywood standards - just five years. Today, only one of her major films remains intact, but while her candle burned, it flamed with fire and intensity. She scorched the screen and her attire frequently teetered on the edge of acceptability. What she did for nipple tassles had to be seen to be believed! 

From this, you might think that her audience was mostly male. Not a bit of it. She had the ability to captivate both male and female cinemagoers, in thirty-three films in just three years. In shocked delight, they flocked to see movies with titles such as, Sin, Destruction, The Serpent, Galley Slave, When a Woman Sins and,he rinterpretation of Cleopatra. Fan magazines latched on and dubbed her, "The Wickedest Woman In The World", "The Devil's Handmaiden" - and, of course, "The Queen of Vampires".
Her public lapped it up and hungered for more. At the height of her fame, Theda Bara stood third in line, behind Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, as the top three Hollywood film stars of the day. 

It becomes unclear just how much of the image was Theda's creation and how much the studio's, when quotes such as this appeared (allegedly penned by Theda herself):
"You say I have the most wicked face of any woman. You say my hair is like the serpent locks of Medusa, that my eyes have the cruel cunning of Borgia, that my mouth is the mouth of the sinister scheming Delilah, that my hands are like the talons of a Circe or the blood-bathing Elizabeth Bathory. And then you ask me of my soul — you wish to know if it is reflected in my face."

Whew! Powerful stuff!

By the end of 1919, her time at Fox was over. The fans were tired of seeing her in, essentially, the same role and she was tired of playing it. There had been some failed attempts to modify her image, but going from wicked vamp one minute to downhome, wholesome American woman the next, was a leap of credibility too great to have any chance of success.

In 1920, Theda married Charles Brabin and retired from public life. She did indeed become an American housewife, wed as she was to a man who didn't believe wives should work outside the home.
From then on, she made brief reappearances, usually to talk about the Golden Days of the silent era. Then, in 1936, she appeared in Cecil B. deMille's Lux Radio Theatre in a production of The Thin Man with William Powell and Myrna Loy. There were talks to make a film about her life, but this never materialised.

Theda and Charles Brabin remained married until her death, in 1955, from stomach cancer at the age of 69. She is buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale California. Charles - a film director, who originally hailed from Liverpool - lived on for only two more years.

Brief though her stardom may have been, there was only ever one Vamp Girl. And that was Theda Bara.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Who's Your Ideal Heathcliff?

Goodness knows, there have been enough of them. From Laurence Olivier in1939 to James Howson in the 2011 TV version.

Each actor has attempted to plant his individual stamp on the character - and their interpretations have ranged widely.

Laurence Olivier gave us an almost aristocratic intepretation and, for me, sadly, it never worked. Great actor though he was, he couldn't capture the raw earthiness of Emily Bronte's wayward hero. I have never ceased to wonder how this quiet, virginal girl, raised in a Yorkshire parsonage in the middle of the untamed and magnificent Pennines, could have dreamed up such a wild and untamed main character - the template for so many wicked, yet irresistable, heroes ever since. Oh, hang on a minute. Got it now. It's because she was a quiet, virginal girl, living in the midst of all that wild moorland. That probably explains her sister Charlotte's Mr Rochester too.

Anyway, let's run through a few of the Heathcliffs so far.

Following on from Sir Larry, Timothy Dalton smouldered onto our screens,  in the 1970 adaptation, called, simply Wuthering Heights.  This film stayed fairly true to the book, with exceptions (aren't there always?) and those dark good looks had my teenage self melting in my cinema seat. Here's a clip:

In 1978, a TV series afforded the luxury of time to Ken Hutchison who brooded, but not consistently enough (I felt).

Then, in 1992, the farmhouse became a Gothic pile for the latest cinematic adaptation.  This version was titled 'Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights' for some reason. You mean there's another one? This time it was Ralph Fiennes who gave us long, brooding, dark looks. I actually quite liked his portrayal. Here he is:

Just six years later and a TV series comes along, still reminding us that it was Emily Bronte's Wutheirng Heights (not to be confused with anyone else's) and with Robert Cavanagh at the helm. Generally regarded as the most faithful to the book, this version has had its lovers and its haters (well, haven't they all, really?) For me though, he still isn't Heathcliff. Not the Heathcliff I see when I read the book anyway.
2009 and 2011 gave us two new TV movie versions. On both occasions the directors decided we really did know who wrote it and just titled their productions, 'Wuthering Heights'. Of these, Tom Hardy's 2009 performance definitely takes the critical bouquets from James Howson's later effort.

So far, I haven't mentioned the stage version. You know, the one with Cliff Richard. Cliff Richard? Yes, I remember squeaking in disbelief too. Heathcliff - a musical too! Sadly, I never got it. His many thousands of fans seemed to love it though. They went to see it again and again in London's West End. No doubt many of them would put him as their number one choice. As they are entitled to.
OK, no prizes for guessing that, for me, the ideal Heathcliff is... Timothy Dalton. A controversial choice, I know. Of course, if they decide on yet another remake, I'd settle for Josh Holloway with black hair. I reckon he'd pull it off! 'Course he'd need to work at the Yorkshire accent...

So, who's your ideal Heathcliff?

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Magic of Purr-fect Love...Heather M. Sharpe

Just published this weekend, fellow Etopia Press author and cat lover, Heather M. Sharpe, shares her latest release, a paranormal romance with a difference.

Here's the blurb:
With time running out, there’s no pussyfooting around…

After her fiancĂ©’s last betrayal, Mahri Lassler decides she’d rather become a crazy cat lady than live with another man. Yet when her sister drags her to the animal shelter to make that dream a reality, Mahri just isn’t ready to commit. Not even to a litter of cuddly kittens. But when an odd black and white tomcat reaches through the bars, it’s almost as if he’s choosing her

Cursed by a scorned lover for all eternity, Scottish clansman Morgan Felix resigns himself to living eleven months each year as a cat. Now, nearly a millennium later, he’s trapped in a cage at the animal shelter with no hope in sight. He has to escape before the first day of spring, when he’ll change back into his human form and find himself in a very tight squeeze. So when the pixie-like woman stops just outside the cage, he takes the situation into his own paws and reaches out to touch her hand… 

Here's an extract from the opening chapter:

Scotland, 1099

How do you tell the woman you love you have to marry another?

Morgan pulled on his horse’s reins, slowing the stallion to a trot as he neared the quiet clearing. He approached the cottage, still uncertain of what to say.

Dismounting and striding toward the door, he steeled himself. From the very beginning, he had found Brigid easy to talk to. It was almost as if she knew what he wanted to say before he actually said it. The words came to him without effort, and she understood.

Before he could call a greeting or tap on the wood, the door swung open, and Brigid launched herself into his arms. She wrapped her long, slender legs around his waist and rained kisses onto his face.

Morgan placed his arms around her body out of habit. Reluctantly, he untangled her legs and set her on her feet in front of him. “Sweet Brigid, we must speak.” His thoughts were tangled tighter than the vines climbing up the outside of the modest cottage.

“Mother told me your news a’ready. Your father is forcing you to choose between marrying a lass of his choosing or losing his blessing for succeeding him as chief. So your position will no longer keep us apart. You can choose as you will who you wish to be with.” Brigid’s voice was breathless with elation.

The fog of confusion in his head evaporated, leaving him to stare blankly into her warm blue eyes. Could he have been so wrong? Didn’t she know better than to think he’d put his own desires above the good of the clan? How could he have given her that impression? He caught her shoulders as she stretched closer to him in an attempt to capture his lips in another kiss. One dark brow lifted in a silent question. “Is something amiss?” She asked.

“Brigid, dearling, I won’t force Malcolm to rescind his blessing. The clan can’t afford the succession to be in contention.”

Brigid’s mouth compressed into a thin line, and two pink spots bloomed on her cheeks. Her nostrils flared with each quickened breath. “You would still choose them over us? After everything they have done?”

“’Tis my duty. I thought you understood. No matter how misguided they may be, they will need a steady hand to guide them in the future.”

A sudden wind wound between the trees, carrying with it dried leaves and the biting promise of winter. The strength of the gust pushed him toward her one more step before he could brace against its fury. The raven ringlets framing her face lifted gently from her shoulders.

“You love me. I saw it,” she said between clenched teeth.

Rumors named Brigid’s mother a witch, but Morgan had always dismissed the stories as nonsense. Sometimes, though, Brigid’s words or actions caused the hair to rise along the back of his neck. Morgan swallowed around the knot forming in his throat. Dark clouds floated over the sun, prematurely tingeing the world dusk-gray.

“Of course I love you. But I will not abandon my duty. The marriage Malcolm has planned will strengthen our clan, and his blessing will assure a smooth transition after his death.” Morgan’s grip on her shoulders tightened. He didn’t want to let her go.

Coming here had been a mistake. He needed to cut them both free and walk away. She would be angry, but eventually she’d move on. “I’m sorrier than I can say,” he continued. “I never meant to hurt you, but I will not be back.” He reached out with one hand to cup her face. “Good-bye.”

Brigid turned her face into his caress for a moment before sucking in a deep breath. Then she lifted her head regally, took two steps back, and stretched one trembling hand in front of her. With each move, her hair spread more and more until it appeared to stand on end. Every curl possessed a life of its own, twining and coiling wildly, yet not a single strand passed in front of her face to break her unrelenting stare.

Disconcerted, Morgan wanted nothing more than to turn from the glaciers of her eyes, but he was rooted in place. The wind continued to blow from behind him with unnatural strength. Immature vines growing on the sides of the house behind her swirled curious strands outward, vibrating with energy as they reached for her.

All the scary stories of the witch in the woods whispered during his childhood came to mind, causing goose bumps to race down his spine and a cold knot to form in his gut.

When she spoke, a deep, multilayered growl replaced her sweet, soft voice. “You have taken a beautiful gift and thrown it away. Even as you sacrifice all for your people, they move against you, killing your father and taking over the clan. In spite of your decision, should you return now, you too will be slaughtered.”

Morgan tried to argue, but all that passed his lips was a hoarse sound of denial. He wanted so badly to turn, run to his horse, and race back to the village to prove her wrong, but his feet remained rooted to the ground. He didn’t have the strength to wrest himself away.

The woman’s eerie voice continued with the howling of the wind. “Had you chosen love, you would continue to live, oblivious to the fate about to befall your clan. Instead you will pay for playing with the love of an innocent heart. Like the beast you are, you will wander forevermore until you find one who will love you in spite of your beastly form.”

Her rough words seemed to take on a life of their own, flying from her mouth and climbing up his arms, across his torso, and over his face. He was certain he felt their sting, and he wouldn’t be surprised to discover they left shallow claw marks in their wake.

“So that you will understand what you are missing, you will not be allowed to retreat completely into your bestial state. At the beginning of each spring, you will revert to your natural form for thirty days.”

With those last ominous words, the wind gusted again, more intensely than before, and finally succeeded in pushing him toward her. But his feet were still solidly stuck to the ground, and he fell forward, sprawling awkwardly at her feet.

Unimaginable agony ripped through him, searing every nerve and igniting his blood. Contorting in pain, his muscles contracted independently, twisting his body into impossible positions.

What seemed an eternity later, he lay gasping in the dirt. He pulled his lips back in a painful grimace as he sucked air into his aching lungs and looked around for Brigid. He would think twice before giving her an opportunity to hurt him that profoundly again. In all the battles he’d fought, he’d never felt such pain.

The clearing was empty. Brigid, the cottage, his horse, the small garden where they’d spent hours talking: all of it had disappeared without a trace. A shiver of unease raced through his limbs.

The breeze, gentle now, ruffled his hair. Testing his muscles tentatively, he noticed only a slight tenderness after the unbearable agony of before. But his muscle and joint pain paled in comparison to his sudden thirst.

Climbing unsteadily to his feet, he stumbled to the brook. Whatever she’d done to him had corrupted his vision. Everything seemed skewed. A silver sheen blanketed the world before him, and dampened the forest colors. Trees and other still objects appeared fuzzy, while anything that moved snapped with clarity, instantly claiming his undivided attention. Small animals scurried about everywhere.

Closing his eyes to offset the dizzying effects of this visual phenomenon, Morgan stretched toward the musical bubbling of water over stones, put his head down, and drank several mouthfuls before daring to crack his eyes open.

From the surface of water below, a furry black face with two short, pointed ears and feline eyes stared up at him.

You can read on, by buying 'Purr-fect Love' here:

You can connect with Heather here:

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Whatever Happened To... Mae West?

 She was the original bad girl. Unique - and I mean unique. She's a lady my friend, the incomparable Shehanne Moore, loves as much as I. The one, the only Mary Jane West..I mean, of course: Mae West.

For seven decades, Mae teased, tantalised, shocked and had a whale of a time, strutting her stuff across stage and screen and creating such wonderful quotes as:

"I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it." 
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
" When I'm good, I'm very good. But when I'm bad I'm better."
"Ten men waiting for me at the door? Send one of them home, I'm tired."
And my own personal favourite, "I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

The list goes on and on.

At first sight, Mae West was something of an unlikely screen siren. In an age when the classic beauty of Garbo, the provocative charms of 'It' girl, Clara Bow, and the blonde bombshell Jean Harlow, were worshipped, along came this voluptuous, mature woman who bucked the trend in beauty.But she could sizzle them all off the screen with her quips, clever humour and sheer presence. Let's face it, the woman had charisma - in bucketloads.

She was also an astute businesswoman and self-publicist, who could turn her hand to a whole range of creative arts. Actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, she made her name initially in vaudeville in New York before moving to Hollywood.

She was born in Brooklyn in 1893 and her background was (wait for it) Jewish, German, Scots, Irish, English, Catholic. She was raised Protestant. She first performed at the age of five at a church social and then went on to win talent contests from the age of seven. Her professional career started at the age of fourteen, with the Hal Clarendon Stock Company, in 1907. Her trademark sassy walk was said to have been influenced by female impersonators (specifically Bert Savoy and Julian Eltinge). She appeared opposite Al Jolson in Vera Violetta at the age of eighteen.

Supported by her mother (though not by other members of her family), Mae started to write her own risque plays, under the pen name Jane Mast and, in 1926, her notorious play, Sex, resulted in a raid on the theatre and a prosection for Mae for "corrupting the morals of youth". She was sentenced to ten days in jail. Mae took it all in her stride and spent the time in prison, wearing silk panties and dining with the warden and his wife. With time off for good behaviour, she served 8 days.

Needless to say, all the scandalous publicity helped further her career and more self-penned plays followed: The Drag (which dealt with homosexuality), The Wicked Age, Pleasure Man, The Constant Sinner and a massive hit in 1928 - Diamond Lil. Ahead of her time in both her work and her political views, Mae was a supporter of gay rights and equal rights for women.

Hollywood beckoned in 1932, when Paramount Pictuires signed her, despite having reached the unfashionable age of 40. Her debut was in Night After Night opposite George Raft. She was allowed to rewrite her scenes and Raft said of her performance, "She stole everything but the cameras." One of her rewrites included another of her famous quotes. In her first scene, the hat check girl remarks, "Goodness what beautiful diamonds." Mae's reply? "Goodness had nothing to do with it."

She is credited with discovering Cary Grant and for saving Paramount Pictures from bankruptcy, owing to the success of her film She Done Him Wrong. Her next film also paired her with Cary Grant and was the most successful of her career - I'm No Angel (1933).

Censorship became more rigorous as the 1930s progressed and bit into Mae's scripts - even causing one film to be retitled. It Ain't No Sin became Belle of the Nineties. During this era, not all of Mae's films were well received, but in 1939, she made My Little Chickadee when she was paired with W.C. Fields. The film outgrossed both his previous and next films, although the two stars reputedly hated each other.

Her private life was as controversial as her public one. In 1911, she married Vaudeville star Frank Szatkus but kept the marriage secret until she was forced to admit it in 1937. It was rumoured that she married another Vaudeville star - Guido Deiro - in 1913, but this is debatable, although she certainly had a deep and lasting affair with him. Following a string of other relationships, Mae's final partner was a former Mr California, called Chester Rybinski, who changed his name to Paul Novak. Thirty years her junior, he stayed with for the rest of her life and said, "I believe I was put on this earth to take care of Mae West."

Mae's final film was Sextette (adapted from her stage play, Sex) and released in 1978. As always, she had a gorgeous man (Timothy Dalton, in this case) at her beck and call and steadfastly refused to look a day over 55. A trooper to the end, she was desperately ill at the time of shooting. Two years later, she died at the age of 87.

Her legacy remains - not just in her plays and films, but also in her influence on popular culture. The famous 'Mae West Lips Sofa', designed by Dali, her image on the cover of Sgt Pepper and, of course, the life preservers known as 'Mae Wests' - well, what else would you call them? And, of course, for those wonderful quotes. 

I'll leave the last words to her:

“I wrote the story myself. It's about a girl who lost her reputation and never missed it.”

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Collared For A Night - Susan Arden

Susan Arden writes scorching, red hot erotic fiction and Collared For A Night will leave you hot in more places than just under your collar! She's sharing the blurb, an extract - and offering you a chance to win super prizes.

First the blurb:

All it takes is one mistake to be marked. One bite, she crosses a line...into forever.

      Diana Hambre's body is blazing. For days, this leopardess shifter has spun through a body-searing heat cycle. Alone. Her senses reel when Shawn Barclay, her boss, walks into her reserved room at the Downtown Den, a stud club for shifters. He gives Diana a choice: spend the evening with him, give into his every desire, and she'll find out what it means to quench her heat-crazed thirst—or try her luck with a stranger, one of the club bangers. 

      Shawn hates when his back is against the wall. One sip of Diana’s pheromone-laced scent is enough to force his alpha hand. The tables have turned and it's Diana's back he wants up against a wall or any other surface for that matter. 

      As the moon rises toward midnight, Shawn and Diana come to understand the difference between sex and bonding. For a night, neither resists their primal instincts, blindly giving into carnal desire. Her wild nature fights being subdued and she risks spontaneously shifting without warning.

     Now, bearing Shawn's bite marks, she can’t simply walk away from him; not when he has the means to teach her to harness her leopardess nature. 

    Shawn accepts the challenge of training Diana to control her untamed cravings. While employing every method available in and out of the bedroom, he discovers he's the one on the verge being ensnared.

Warning: Scorching, erotic scenes hot enough to peel paint!

Explicit Content: For Adults Only - Don't say I didn't warn you!

She teased and nipped at his sweet spot, underneath his head, licking and sucking, and pushed past his dominance.

 “Suck me harder, sweetheart.” Shawn’s voice was an inhuman, hoarse whisper. He stopped tonguing her pussy and held her head. He fucked her mouth, pumping and thrusting across her lips. 

She adored the feel of his cock in her mouth and did as he instructed. Diana ran her claws across his flesh. 

He followed suit, rasping the tips of his nails over her skin. Shivers broke out from the tiny pain-pleasure scratches over her skin. His muscles quivered around her. His scent filled her mouth and head. She could savor him without fear and, at this moment, had to taste his orgasm. A savage hunger tore into her. 

Previously, her mouth had been a safe spot on her body where an alpha’s semen couldn’t cross her physical barrier. Yet now, her whole body convulsed and shifted, a sign of error in her judgment. This man was different. Her leopardess nature pushed outward. She told herself she must absorb his musky scent and taste if only to recognize his marking in the world beyond this room. He pulled out of her mouth and her leopardess mind quaked in frustration, on the edge of claiming her mate.

“No,” she roared. Her pelt rippled and she shook, flexing feline muscles. Spontaneously she’d let go and shifted. The experience was more than exhilarating. On all fours, she crouched next to him on the futon. Her long tail slapped against the wall. Never had shifting felt this powerful. She licked his face, stared at him from behind twitching whiskers, and she flicked her tail, snapping his leg.

“Diana, reel in your leopardess nature. Come back to me.” His whispered command eased her nature. 

 “Now, sweetheart.” He rubbed his thumb on the ridge between her eyes, then petted the side of her cheek. She could feel his essence without responding to the content of his words. Deep within her, primitive instinct was a force that drove her, and she responded by purring and rubbing up against him, marking her scent over him.

Shawn’s voice lulled her. She calmed instantly. Acquiesced. Her animal and human forms flickered. 

The scent she released as leopardess would be near impossible for him to resist. She dropped beside him, blinking, and lowered her lids. For him, she began the process of shifting back. She hissed, and then moaned, curling up next to him.
“I’m sorry,” she said, opening her eyes and contemplating him. This was the first time she had shifted in front of an alpha male for over a year. Was Shawn taken back at her lack of control?

 Her fur receded, emitting sparks of energy over the length of her skin, tightening and smoothing into her human form. Her claws got caught in the futon. She tugged each curved spike free, then focused and steadied her nature. “I understand if we shift during sex, things will get away from us.”

Whetted your appetite? You can buy Collared For A Night here:

You can catch Susan here:
Susan Arden: Goodreads

And you can win PRIZES here:

Friday, 2 August 2013

The Hottie-Scottie is HERE! His Judas Bride by Shehanne Moore

"Every district has its ‘last wolf’.” Sobieski Stuart. 

The lovely Shehanne Moore has 'borrowed' some of my flames, and taken over my blog, to talk about wolves, Highland warriors and her long awaited latest novel,  His Judas Bride ...-

 Few animals have captured people’s imagination like the wolf. For thousands of years, wolves have frightened.  Do we have were-tigers? Were-hippos? The Three Little Pigs being afraid of the Big Bad Panda? Red Riding Hood’s Granny being devoured by a bear?

Or the boy who cried fox? Did Antonia make her lovely Karl a zebra when the moon was full? 

And wasn’t the plastic wolf in the toy animal tin so much scarier than the plastic lion and tiger? Did you even have one? I did. There was something quite unnerving about it, especially when my sister put it in my doll’s house.

But wolves fascinate in equal measure, perhaps because there’s a part of us that identifies with their wild, untamed spirit. Wolves are definitely sexy, smexy-  Antonia’s certainly is. Generally intractable to human handling, monogamous and living in packs. 

So when it came to having a Highland romance--a hottie Scottie—I just had to have a wolf. These Highlander warriors liked their names—for example there’s the Wolf of Badenoch. Suddenly there he was, the Black Wolf of Lochalpin. Is he man? Is he monster? Is he shape-shifter? Is he supernatural? All things that are said of him. And what about these men who ride with him, the Brotherhood of Wolves?

  How did he get that nick-name? Did he really sell his soul to the devil? And is it possible that having done so, he is still a creature of flesh and blood?

These are questions I’m not going to answer here...Awwww!.....although I can say that there’s ways for a hottie Scottie to find that last bit out there. Clue – 

 His Judas Bride is out from Etopia Press today (  Barnes and Noble ARe Kobo  and I want to thank the lovely Antonia Van Zandt for inviting me here to her fabulous blog. I’ve met many fantastic, generous and kind authors in the year since I first signed with Etopia Press; she is one of them. She’s got the cover to show, the blurb...and a little extract...

To love.......

To save her son, there is nothing she won’t do. To save his people, neither will he. Dire circumstances force Kara McGurkie to forget she’s a woman. Dire circumstances force her to swear to love and honor; to help destroy a clan in order to get back the life she lost.  But when dire circumstances force her to seduce her fiancĂ©’s brother on the eve of the wedding, will the dark secrets she holds and the things she wants most, be enough to save her and them, from his powerful allure? Especially when she knows he may just be playing with her.


 Callm McDunnagh, the Black Wolf of Lochalpin, ruthlessly guards heart and glen from dangerous intruders. But from the moment he first sees Kara he knows he must possess her, even though he also knows that surrendering to his desire may prove the most dangerous risk of all.

And betray...;

Now no problem becomes big problem as passion and desire rage out of control. Kara must look into the soul she thought she sold to make a choice. But can she look deep enough? Only she can decide who and what passion can save, or destroy, how when and who will finally learn the truth of the words… Till death do us part.

His Judas Bride – desiring her could be murder...


      Kara struggled up. A woman here meant she was safe. Although what flared in her blood was so unwelcome there was no harm making doubly sure. She wouldn’t want this woman, or any other, thinking she had somehow invited him onto the bed with her, would she? To sprawl, in that unseemly fashion, on top of her too.
      “I—I’m Lady Kara McGurkie.” Grabbing the woman’s hand, she peered through her plastered strands of hair. “Yes. And I—I was on my w-way to marry Lord Ewen w-w-when that…that m-man there—”
       “Don’t you even go there, Princess.”
        He might have retreated to the doorway, but he wasn’t any tamer. In fact his eyes stood out like ice in the dim smoky light. Polished silver as they held hers, and so indignantly, coldly furious, a chill swept down Kara’s spine.
        “I wouldn’t long-pole you to save my life.”
        That was so very definite. What on earth was she worrying about? The breath sharpened in her lungs, rushing through her nostrils. That he wouldn’t to save his life. Why, the damned bastard should be so fortunate.

 You can connect with Shehanne here: