Posted on October 20, 2013
THE PRIMARY PLAYERS:
What happens when a struggling actress and a grieving widower come together in a night of unbridled debauchery orchestrated by a bored and machinating rake? With the devil in charge…there will be hell to pay!
She’s a lonely lady down on her luck… Phoebe Scott, alias Kitty Willis, is a struggling Covent Garden actress with a bruised heart and a closely guarded secret.
He’s steadfast and eminently respectable.. Sir Edward Chambers, Ned to his intimates, is guilt-ridden over his beloved wife’s death and avowed to live out a rustic and mundane life … of celibacy.
With the devil in charge — there will surely be hell to pay. Devil in disguise, Viscount Ludovic DeVere, is determined to return his best friend, Ned, to the land of the living. His meddling machinations result in a night of mind blowing passion after which “dull dog Ned” awakes to find himself in the King of England’s bed!
“For three years following my wife Annalee’s passing, I had lived a perfectly quiet and orderly life in Yorkshire with my daughter, Vesta, but with her 18th year coming I was obligated to think of her come out. That’s what actually brought me to London from whence began the entire madcap misadventure. I met Phoebe in highly irregular circumstances. (He blushes.) It was in a brothel ,you see. I was dragged there by DeVere, at great reluctance on my part, and Phoebe sought me out as a means of escape from another’s unwanted advances. I immediately sensed that she was as ill at ease as I was and suggested taking some air together… that was the beginning of a night that would change my life forever….”
Phoebe’s Tale :
“I had been struggling to make a name on the stage at Covent Garden Theatre, only to be passed over time and again for all but bit comedic parts. I was eking out the most meager existence by assisting the wardrobe mistress until my big break finally came, only to have the theatre close for renovation!
It was then that I realized my only chance to ever make it would lie in finding a benefactor- a wealthy and powerful gentleman protector. It was with this purpose that I sought out Viscount DeVere at Mrs. Hayes’s King’s Place, the most notorious brothel in London. And it was there I met my darling Ned. He was handsome, gallant and everything a gentleman could be, but to my dismay, had no interest in taking a mistress. When I then asked for an introduction to the devil DeVere, I felt like my appetite had been whetted for beefsteak only to be served liver instead!
“Ned and I have been best of friends since our University days until the fool up and leg-shackled, and then buried himself in the country for nigh on fifteen years! When he came back to town to arrange a house for the season, I was challenged to find a way to crack the boorishly respectable veneer he’d honed to perfection since leaving my sphere of influence. Although he would deny it, the truth is that he was bored to distraction and in desperate need of diversion. Ned sought me out knowing I’m precisely the man to answer that need. Indeed, I was then avowed to become his savior…from himself! It was the greatest of fortune to receive at this time an invitation to the decadent Feast of Venus at Madam Hayes’ King’s Place.
“Ned, you must wake up.” The frantic whisper and tickle of silky hair pleasantly penetrated the periphery of Sir Edward Chambers’ drink-induced, sexually sated, and fog-enshrouded consciousness. “Come, Neddie,” the soft voice implored. “You must wake, or there will be the devil to pay.”
Ned’s bleary eyes popped open, his attention immediately riveted to the massive bed, the heavy velvet curtains of rich crimson and gold, and the towering hand-carved posts of mahogany. He jerked upright as if doused with ice water, his gaze settling on the voluptuous, blue-eyed blonde lying amidst the tangle of luxurious linens. “Kitty?”
“No. Phoebe,” she answered. “My name. It’s Phoe-be.”
“Phoebe?” He frowned in puzzlement. His gaze darted from his thoroughly tumbled bedfellow to the opulent room. He frantically scrubbed his face and looked wildly about the room, eager to light upon something, anything, to assure himself he wasn’t going mad. The vision of his surroundings sent him scrambling to his knees, entangling him in the bed sheets, and tumbling him to the floor. Lying stunned on the thick Turkish carpet, his confused conscience absorbed the soaring twenty-foot shadow-boxed ceiling depicting classical heroes.
His heart beating apace, Ned willed himself first to breathe and then to modulate a tone verging on panic. “I was with DeVere last night. Where is DeVere?”
“DeVere is locked safely in the linen closet.” She hugged her breasts, her expression suddenly wary. “Don’t you remember anything?”
His gaze glued to the bed, Ned made a mechanical backward retreat to the center of the room where he had a clearer prospect of its crowning glory. His vision rose to the top of the headboard, to the heraldic shield seated betwixt the carved figures of a lion and a unicorn. His gaze slid with dread to the engraved scroll beneath. Dieu Et Mon Droit. God and my right, the motto of the king. His chest seized. The room began to spin. He looked to Phoebe, aware that the blood was draining from his face, and that his voice emerged as a strangled sound. “May the same God save me…for I’m going to be hung, drawn, and quartered for spending last night rutting in the King of England’s bed!” (end excerpt)
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Posted on October 11, 2013
The Trouble with Sin (Devilish Vignette #2) is a comic romp that follows on the heels of Devil in the Making.
It is also a prequel to Jewel of the East ( book #5 in the Devil DeVere series) coming in January 2014.
The Trouble with Sin … Is the devil within… Aspiring poet Simon “Sin” Singleton, has lived his life only for larks, laughter, and ladies of easy virtue, eluding defying, and flouting all manner of authority until his impetuous misdeeds finally catch up with him. Having lost his muse, his allowance, and even his friends by edict from a tyrannical father and puritanical mother, Simon is ready to drown himself in drink, until receiving an ingenious proposition that could change everything.
The wages of Sin is……twenty-five percent of the net! It seems a fantasy come true when Simon is offered an independent income by combining his two great passions– poetry and lewd women –by writing poetry about lewd women! Unfortunately, maintaining anonymity may be much harder than he thought…
Victoria’s Titillating Tidbits
I am often asked where I find the inspiration for my characters. And while occasionally I model them after a particular person, most often they form as an amalgamation of several different people, as was the case with Simon Singleton. I knew Simon had to share some traits with his best friend DeVere, but I also wanted him to be a man apart and not under DeVere’s shadow. The two historical figures that merged in my mind were the Irish poet Samuel Derrick, later the Master of Ceremonies at Bath, and another would-be poet, soldier, and renown Regency-era rake, Colonel George Hangar, 4th Baron Coleraine.
Derrick (once described by James Boswell as “a little blackguard pimping dog”) was reputedly the true mastermind behind Harris’s famous Directory of Covent Garden Ladies. Although the Ode to the Milkmaid of St. James is my own effort at lewd verse, most of the poetry quoted by Simon in the story may be attributed to Samuel Derrick.
It was also in reading about Hangar’s colorful life that Freddie came into being, as one of Hangar’s youthful misadventures was to elope and wed a gypsy girl who later ran off with a tinker! (Hangar never remarried!)
The Magdalen Charity was also a very real organization. First established in 1758 in Whitechapel “for the reception of penitent prostitutes”, it’s stated mission was: “to provide for women and girls on the streets a safe, desirable, and happy retreat from their wretched and distressful circumstances.” The first Magdalen Charity House opened in a former hospital with fifty beds and accepted six penitents the first day. By 1760, it boasted 131 female residents. In 1765 Queen Charlotte became a patroness, and the charity expanded to larger quarters. By 1769 over 1,500 women had passed through its doors, with most staying a period of three years.
THE DEVIL DEVERE SERIES (in reading order)
A Wild Night’s Bride #1
The Virgin Huntress #2
The Devil You Know #3
The Devil’s Match #4
A Devil’s Touch #4.5
Jewel Of the East #5 (coming January 2014)
PREQUEL VIGNETTES (in reading order)
Devil in the Making #1
The Trouble With Sin #2
Ned’s Folly#3 (late 2014)
Posted on September 18, 2013
Posted on October 13, 2013
Never tried audiobooks? Are you looking for a chuckle?
Amazon has put THE TROUBLE WITH SIN audiobook on sale for $1.99
This comedic Georgian romp story is narrated by the incredibly talented Guy Veryzer.