Behind The Oak and the Ale

The moment I started writing this piece, I knew I wanted to write a fairly atypical viking. Strong, burly, brutal, that’s the image that comes to mind but the thing that had always drawn me to stories about that era were the skalds, the warrior poets. That still didn’t fit either. What I wanted was a viking who couldn’t fill the role anymore. Who was looking for his own anchor, his own rock and lodestone. I wanted the kind of viking who doesn’t get much play in media, in spite of our fascination with violence.

And thus my hero was born; Teothir, or One-Leg. Crippled, bitter with it, but I gave him that slightly fatalistic optimism I always associate with the best kinds of warriors. I made him big, sensitive, and trying desperately to cling to a life that has abandoned him. I have a whole back story in my head for this guy, I just adore him.

My heroine though, Aridhe, she was tougher. I have a tendency to write healers, in my historicals, but it just didn’t fit with her. She was too spiky, too broken on her own as well. I didn’t want to write a shield-maiden, I didn’t want to write a slave, I wanted a heroine who had her own power and was clinging to it with teeth and nails and determination. It went through a lot of iterations for that fact alone, trying to work out what she does, why she does it. She’s got a whole backstory too.

I hadn’t meant for her to be so traumatised, though, but when I finished the story, I realised I had written something where two broken people come together to heal each other. A lot more romantic than most of my work (although that recent WIP is contemporary AND romantic, go me) but I do have that tendency with my historicals. A bit darker too, possibly darker than I intended I think, but I don’t really regret it.

New Release coming soon!

Conquests, edited by the always amazing Delilah Devlin, featuring my story The Oak and the Ale is set to drop really soon.

A businesswoman trying to secure trade routes for her family instead finds love with a crippled warrior.

More snippets and excerpts and behind the scenes info to come, keep an eye on the site for posts from all the other fantastic authors involved. Suffice to say this was one of my favourite heroes to write, one of my favourite heroines, and while it took some finessing in places, I think it ended up right where I wanted it to be.

Review: Best Women’s Erotica 2015

This was great, so great. But it was Tryst of Fate by Lydia Hill really got me. Really, painfully, instantly grabbed me. Surprising given my aversion to condomless sex, but Jesus it worked so well. I’ve already expounded on how amazing Alison Tyler’s story was (in fact, I thought that Hill’s story was another of Tyler’s when I first read it and had to go back and check). Click-Click-Click by Annabeth Leong was great as well, just so much positive energy. I rather liked Postcards from Paris by Giselle Renard (I have such a weakness for body hair) and The Seven Ravens by Ariel Graham – odd and mythic and thoroughly enjoyable. Roxanne by Tasmin Flower was a really lovely story too, hot and sweet and really, really, good.

My entry in the illustrious series was Accidental Transmission, excerpt below.

All in all, go buy it! Read it! Enjoy.

Continue reading