This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gayle Feyrer will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
About Heart of Deception
Intrigue and treachery stalk the grimy streets and the royal courts of Elizabethan England. Returning from war, Rafe Fletcher finds his family accused of conspiring to murder Elizabeth and place Mary, Queen of Scots, on her throne. His only hope to save them lies in infiltrating the criminal underworld of nefarious siblings Nick and Vivian Swift.
Rafe discovers it’s Viv who is the mastermind of the duo. Bold, clever and ruthless, Viv is also loyal and fiercely passionate. Rafe fights the intense magnetism that pulls him ever closer to destruction. But desire defies every warning he gives himself and they begin a blazing affair–until murder and betrayal severs their newly formed trust. Restoring that trust may be the only way Rafe can save the Queen, his own family, and the woman he’s come to love.
Their adventure takes them from the fledgling theatres of Shakespeare’s London to the desperate corridors of Bedlam, from the deadly backstreets of the Clink to the glittering court of Queen Elizabeth. It is a world of dark secrets and darker intrigues. Will the fire of their passion burn bright enough to incinerate the lies, and illuminate the truth?
Read an Excerpt of Heart of Deception
“I am always hunting.” Smiling dangerously, Viv stepped to face him. “And I always catch my quarry.”
Rafe stood utterly still. “I’m sure you’re a most skillful huntress.”
Her eyes scanned him from head to foot, then lifted to meet his own, glinting with challenge. Laying one hand on his chest, she rubbed slowly against the nap of his doublet. “Soft as fur.”
Her touch was both caress and threat. Rafe’s heartbeat quickened beneath her hand, but he held her gaze steadily.
“Yes. You do look splendid in my livery.” Her fingertip skimmed the collar, her nail grazing lightly along his throat. Then she stepped back. Her voice was low, but every word was hard and distinct. “Now—take it off.”
Rafe drew a sharp breath. Lust and mutiny clashed in his nerves, stringing every lineament taut. He didn’t move. She read the tension in his body and laughed softly, mocking him, knowing that her aggression disconcerted him. He glared defiance.
“Take off your clothes.” Her voice was low, as menacing as it was enticing. Her eyes calculated his opposition. Only a flicker of laughter in their depths leavened her brazen tyranny.
Rafe wondered if his resistance made him more compelling. Was it that few resisted, or she preferred those that did? He did not think she wanted subservience, but neither did he know how much mastery she would accept.
Her voice softened to a seductive whisper. “Take them off … I want to see all of you.”
Guest Post: My Inspiration for this Book
Heart of Deception had a circuitous route. When I embarked on my first historical romance, I’d recently been to Italy and fallen love with Venice. Paris was my favorite city, but Venice was the most beautiful. I had my male protagonist, Antonio, who’d been deceived by his first love. I planned to write a darker version of Gigi, with an innocent about-to-be courtesan. But I wanted a historical lynchpin and couldn’t find any event that felt right in Venice—my books combine the romance, the history, the thriller aspects pretty evenly. My research led me to Florence where I found the fanatical monk, Savonarola, and his Bonfire of the Vanities. He was at odds with the corrupt Borgia pope and his offspring. Perfect. Antonio stayed and my heroine reincarnated herself as the wild child, Veronica, with her Gypsy blood and occasional visions, who knew she was fated to love The Prince of Cups.
I ventured into the medieval world for my second book, Marian, but had wanted to return to Italy for the third. I’d been watching Wiseguy reruns and Vinnie Terranova would be a great basis for my hero. (Ken Wahl looking perfect for the part – (20+) Watch | Facebook) And what about turning Sonny Steelgrave into a woman? My original plot didn’t resemble Wiseguy, other than my hero was penetrating the fortress of an enemy. I imagined an Italian city state which was ruled by my new heroine—I’d seen a woman in Assisi who looked exactly like the one in my mind. I’m incredibly lucky that my new cover closely resembles the characters I’d pictured. My city was filled with towers like San Gimignano was in the past. (Possible image below Public Domain painting – if so, include sentence that – Only 14 remain of the 72 that once stood there) My hero was a failed Franciscan monk who’d killed a superior in a fight because the other guy was molesting the choirboys.
I embarked on this story, but my publisher didn’t want another romance set in Italy. And the new publisher who signed me didn’t want Italy either. Italy wasn’t sexy enough for the readers. Paris wasn’t sexy enough for the readers. They wanted Regency (not written spicy at that time), the American West, Scotland, or Tudor England, preferably Henry VIII. I hate Henry enough that I didn’t want to write about that era, but I adored Elizabeth and the publishers were okay with her. (Possible Elizabeth images below).
But I didn’t want to give up the characters I’d created. They were alive and didn’t want to be abandoned. Without inspiration I really can’t write. I envy writers who can just grab what’s on offer and run with it, but I am not one of them. But the first spark had been Wiseguy, the undercover guy liking the criminal way too much. So my tale moved far closer to its initial inspiration, and my warring lovers became Rafe and Vivian. (possible image that I own below).
I had great fun learning all the slang of the Elizabethan underworld. I got to add a brief cameo of Shakespeare. I love paranormal elements, but Tarot didn’t feel right with any of these characters. Then I got the idea for the hero of my second book in the series, Adrian, Lord Roadnight, who’s suffering from his ability to read objects by touch, psychometry. He’s been locked in Bedlam by a greedy relative and meets Vivian when she’s imprisoned there. The setting, the costumes were great to describe, though I had to do some quick improvisation to keep Rafe out of the silly roundhose so popular in the period. I researched the intricate web of Walsingham’s spy network and immersed myself in the Elizabethan world of intrigue and romance to finally finish Heart of Deception.
(Possible last image of Tower of London with poppies)
Public Domain Image of San Gimignano
Public Domain Elizabeth procession
Or the one I used for my backcover image
I own this Rafe and Viv
Public Domain image of Tower of London
Or my actual version of the Elizabeth Armada painting.
About Author Gayle Feyrer
Gayle Feyrer began drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon and writing when she was twelve. She holds a Bachelor’s in Pictorial Arts from UCLA, and a MFA from the University of Oregon in Creative Writing. In her varied career, she has been a tie dye artist, go-go dancer, baker, creator of ceramic beasties, illustrator, fiction teacher, and finally, novelist. A Libra with Scorpio Rising, Gayle’s romantic nature takes on a darker edge. She hopes these shadows bring depth to her romances.
A world traveler, Gayle has visited Paris, England and Italy numerous times. She lived for two years in Jakarta, Indonesia, with many trips around Asia. She currently resides across the bridge from San Francisco, with her husband and their two rescue cats, Charlotte and Emily, the Flying Bronte sisters, half Siamese and half tabby.
Tygerbright Press – Novels of Romance and Mystery: https://tygerbright.com/
Gayle Feyrer (@yves_fey) • Instagram photos and videos: https://www.instagram.com/yves_fey/
Book Video: https://youtu.be/zLQ_AydxEyE
Gayle Feyrer will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.