Hello - Let me introduce myself. My name's Beverley Eikli and I write Regency Romances with lots of adventure or intrigue. I write sensual historicals with a sting in the tail as Beverley Oakley.
Take care, take risks – that’s the motto of the new school my daughter is start next terms.
It’s a school which encourages kids to climb the trees on its 11,000 acres of Australian bush, and to play in the creek and explore its bush walks – with watch and compass - during break times. They don’t believe in molly-coddling children whom they believe need to be taught to assess and manage risk during exploration.
|Homer, my Rhodesian Ridgeback|
The first two school excursions will be a four-day bike ride and then a week-long camping trip to Tasmania. I know these will come as a shock to my daughter – who is eleven and decidedly unsporty – but the school puts just as much emphasis on academic achievement and has an exciting approach to English, which is why my daughter, who is utterly determined to be a writer - like me - has been begging for several years to attend.
Take care, take risks is a fine motto which sums up my attitude to life, including writing. Three years ago, when I wrote A Little Deception which was published in hardcover by Robert Hale (UK), it was nominated Favourite Historical Romance of 2011 by ARRA (Australian Romance Readers of Australia). Obviously I was delighted but I nevertheless felt a sense of loss due to what I’d had to cut from the manuscript due to my publisher’s page limit and sensuality limit.
Recently, the rights reverted to me and when I re-read A Little Deception I could see why some reviewers were disappointed I closed the bedroom door on so many encounters between my marriage-averse hero, the dashing rake, Viscount Rampton and my family-oriented, determined heroine, Rose.
So I decided that as I was able to view their story from what is now a great distance, and in the privileged position of being able to do something about developing areas of their relationship – I would.
Certainly, I would take care to retain everything in it that made it worthy of its nomination, but I would also boldly take the risk of making it a book I could really be proud of. One that could be read as an affordable e-book and paperback in addition to the hardcover edition.
The editing and rewriting has taken me weeks longer than I’d anticipated but I think I’ve nearly succeeded – and I'm proud of it. It’ll be going up on Amazon within a few days with a beautiful cover in shades of blue and with the following blurb:
A Little Deception Blurb
A one-night charade to save the family sugar plantation wins loyal and determined Rose Chesterfield more than she bargained for – marriage to the deliciously notorious rake, Viscount Rampton. Her reluctance at contracting the union is soon transformed into happiness beyond her wildest dreams as she and Rampton discover a mutual desire neither had expected.
However, Rampton’s love for his wife soon turns to fears that her trickery goes beyond leg-shackling him for life when Rose is implicated in a series of high profile jewel heists.
Is the woman he’d come to trust nothing more than a fortune hunter with a penchant for money, men and mischief? Or are there sinister forces at work trying to tear the lovers apart?
The following scene takes place as Lord Rampton cynically contemplates Rose’s inevitable demands after the two of them have been discovered in a compromising situation in his bedchamber by Rose’s brother.
‘MISS CHESTERFIELD.’ Miss Chesterfield. The name should have provoked rage; instead, Rampton was dismayed by a surge of feeling that was so far from rage as to render him no better than a drooling schoolboy when confronted with the object of his adolescent obsession.
‘Show her in,’ he said, struggling for the self-possession that had always been second nature to him and tossing aside the reading matter which had failed to engage his attention for the past hour.
So, she had come to state her terms.
Having been caught well and truly in flagrante delicto, he accepted he had no one but himself to blame. Experience with women had tuned his antennae finely when it came to sensing all manner of ruses calculated to inveigle him into matrimony. But Lady Chesterfield – Miss Chesterfield, as it turned out – had slipped entirely under his guard.
Stonily he faced the door while he waited for her to enter, the events of the past week flashing through his mind. For twenty-four hours after she’d been hauled off by her brother, Rampton had paced his study like a caged lion, fuelling his anger with the multiple lies and untruths she’d fed him as he tried to relive exactly the moment at which he should have become aware of her deception. Any half-intelligent man would have sensed that not all was as it seemed at the very outset, he told himself.
Cynically, he had waited for Miss Chesterfield to call and negotiate the terms of his matrimonial incarceration. He had practised all manner of snide and ironic responses, while his anticipation at seeing her again had grown steadily more unbearable.
He wanted only to tell her what he thought of her.
So he assumed.
But she had not come, and that had been worse.
After three days he’d snapped. Arriving unannounced, he had confronted a pale and patently uncomfortable Sir Charles in his study and stonily dictated the terms of a marriage contract. He was a man of honour and he had compromised a lady. She was the clear victor in their final round; she had more than just pinked him. Now he must pay the price.
Rampton had been prepared for a rambling defence from Sir Charles of his sister’s behaviour. And, if Sir Charles were in a robust mood, perhaps a healthy lashing of recrimination for Rampton.
But when the young baronet said only that his sister did not wish to marry him Rampton was at last moved to anger.
‘Doing it too brown, sir!’ he declared. ‘She engineered that little scene so that I’d have no choice but to suffer her joy as she leg-shackled me on her triumphant progress towards the altar!’
Sir Charles, looking white around the gills, concurred miserably, ‘I know, I know. But she’s made me tell you, expressly, my lord, that she has no intention of holding you to marriage. That, in fact, she does not desire it.’
‘Does not desire it?’
He could not believe it. It was all part of the charade. There was a trick involved somewhere, though he could not see it.
Not want to marry him?
Why, every unmarried female participating in the social whirligig was there because she wanted to get married and most of them saw waltzing off with him as the ultimate feather in their caps.
Not want to marry him? When she’d gone to such pains to ensure him?
The very notion was preposterous.
He would not believe it.
Well, I hope you enjoyed the extract. It was an adventure writing it and seeing it in print and the adventure is happening all over again as I endow the book with new wisdom and maturity.
|E-book and paperback|
I love the philosophy of my daughter’s new school’s which reminds me of the freedom we kids enjoyed growing up in the 1970s when our mothers sent us out to play in the neighbourhood streets with our friends as long as we were home by supper-time.
Freedom and adventure are my catch-cries and I loved having the freedom to do what I wanted with this book and to be adventurous about it.
Thank you for dropping by and for those who feel the urge to comment, I’d like to offer a give-away – a choice of either of my two other Regency Romances – the sweet, but ultimately adventurous romance of Lady Sarah’s Redemption – or the intrigue-laden, passionate Lady Farquhar’s Butterfly. Just tell me – in A Little Deception - what the result is of Rose’s charade – and you’ll be entered in the draw.
Beverley Eikli wrote her first romance when she was seventeen. However, drowning the heroine on the last page (p550!) was, she discovered, not in the spirit of the genre so her romance-writing career ground to a halt and she became a journalist.
After throwing in her secure job on South Australia’s metropolitan daily The Advertiser to manage a luxury safari lodge in the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, Beverley discovered a new world of romance and adventure in a thatched cottage in the middle of a mopane forest with the handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met around a camp fire.
Eighteen years later, after exploring the world in the back of Cessna 404s and CASA 212s as an airborne geophysical survey operator during low-level sorties over the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland's ice cap, Beverley is back in Australia living a more conventional life with her husband and two daughters in a pretty country town an hour north of Melbourne. She writes Regency Historical Intrigue as Beverley Eikli and erotic historicals as Beverley Oakley.