My guest today is Shehanne Moore, author of the fabulous The Unraveling of Lady Fury . She is here to talk about her heroine's idols - and one of mine. The stage is yours, Shehanne...
‘There are no good girls gone wrong--just bad girls found out’
Mae West was not one of my heroine’s idols—Mae was born too late, But I bet she would have been. Did she not wear silk panties while serving time on a morals charge? Dine with the warden and his wife? And get two days off for good behavior. Mae?
Yes Mae would have been Lady Fury’s kind of lady.
I don’t want you thinking Fury is all bad because on page one she’s busily blackmailing men into having sex with her and there’s something distinctly iffy about what’s in the cellar. No. No. She’s really very nice—ahem—as Captain Flint soon discovers. In fact she’s even nicer than he remembers, which is saying something.
Anyway like us all she does have her idols. Firstly, Marie Antoinette.
Fury admires her courage, if not her actual cake eating philosophy-certainly no-one would have been eating any of mine.
Secondly, Salome. Fury chose the Genoese villa over the head of her-- heads being something Salome was always very fond of as John the Baptist soon found out. Pictured here in a red dress...Fury’s favorite color of frock. The villa had a hanging, you see, of the lady in question and even though it meant the poor maid having to walk miles to the market every day, Fury determined there and then the villa was for her.
But her other idol was none other than Messalina.Apt because the book is set in Italy. Then there’s the whole business of what Fury is up to. Fury may have rented the villa on the strength of Salome, but it’s Messalina who hangs above the bedrail.
The ancient Roman sources portray Messalina as cruel, insulting, greedy, disgraceful and lustful. There is that tale of Messalina's all-night sex competition with a prostitute, which Messalina won hands down with a score of 25. Oh and that other one where she had a brothel under an assumed name and organized orgies for upper class women. So maybe you’re wondering why Fury likes her. Well, actually Pliny never named Messalina as the competitor in that competition. That was a later dramatic invention in 1640, so maybe the poor girl was innocent. As for the brothel biz, Fury probably applauds her altruism. No-one twisted these ladies' arms about going with a hot Roman stud, now did they?
And would you want to be offered the choice between killing yourself and being killed, as her husband offered her eventually?
While all sources say only her children mourned her, doesn't that tell us she must have been a good enough mother? Fury would understand that. As for the rest, they could go to hell. Perhaps the woman was very unhappily married. Claudius, possessing a gammy ear and leg, wasn’t exactly a stud now, was he?
I don’t necessarily applaud Fury’s choice of idols but I don’t think there’s any denying that bad women do fascinate, especially if you are sort of one yourself.
Thank you so much Antonia, not just for asking me along today but all your support.
His thumb brushed against the back of her thigh as she positioned herself with as much decorum as she could. He could have spared her this. But she was not looking for that now. Raising her chin she fixed her gaze on the pale oval of Messalina’s face, visible opposite her in the flickering candlelight.
Flint shifted beneath her. “I found grasping the bedrail helpful. Since I wasn’t allowed to touch you.”
“Thank you, but I think I gave you the advice.”
So long as she got through this with her inner self intact. “But first, if you will just give me a minute?”
She couldn’t believe how cool she sounded as she braced herself up on her knees. This coupling was cold though. Why not be so herself? Yet she wondered, would another man hold himself so hard in the circumstances? Of course Flint had considerable sexual needs. And he’d no doubt been without since he was captured. Was it so miraculous?
She edged down. “Just tell me, if I’m not right.”
“You said I was to touch you little as possible.”
She looked at him for a second through downcast lashes. Damn him. She was going to have to use her fingers just to make sure he didn’t hurt her. But the knowledge of his unhelpfulness gave her the impetus to press herself through her gown. Then she sucked a breath and edged down further.
The feel…the feel was like drowning…in a tub of icy cold water, the lack of air in her lungs. All the time she stared at Messalina, horrified, dismayed. Oh God. Why hadn’t she let him kiss her?
“There.” Her breath was unsteady.
“Sure it is, sweetheart. But you want to just get going.” It wasn’t a question. “You don’t satisfy me, it’s going to be a waste of time.”
“Of course.” Her skin tightened. That was why she hadn’t let him. Damn him. Did he think she didn’t see exactly the kind of bid for mastery this was?
Rule One: There will be no kissing. Rule two: There will be no touching…
Widowed Lady Fury Shelton hasn’t lost everything—yet. As long as she produces the heir to the Beaumont dukedom, she just might be able to keep her position. And her secrets. But when the callously irresistible Captain James “Flint” Blackmoore sails back into her life, Lady Fury panics. She must find a way to protect herself—and her future—from the man she’d rather see rotting in hell than sleeping in her bed. If she must bed him to keep her secrets, so be it. But she doesn’t have to like it. A set of firm rules for the bedroom will ensure that nothing goes awry. Because above all else, she must stop herself from wanting the one thing that Flint can never give her. His heart.
Ex-privateer Flint Blackmoore has never been good at following the rules. Now, once again embroiled in a situation with the aptly named Lady Fury, he has no idea why he doesn’t simply do the wise thing and walk away. He knows he’s playing with fire, and that getting involved with her again is more dangerous than anything on the high seas. But he can’t understand why she’s so determined to hate him. He isn’t sure if the secret she keeps will make things harder—or easier—for him, but as the battle in the bedroom heats up, he knows at least one thing. Those silly rules of hers will have to go…
Buy The Unraveling of Lady Fury here:
You can connect with Shehanne here:
Thank you so much for joining me today, Shehanne.