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Welcome to my blog! Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and read what's on my mind. I've a vicious sense of humor, an apprecation for romance and a mad addiction to writing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hot UK Heroes! Eleanor Sullo's, Moonrakers. Comment for a chance to win!

Welcome to my Sizzlin’ Hot Heroes of Scotland, Ireland, England & Wales summer blog event. Though the summer is winding down, I still have some top notch romance writers to share with you. This week it’s my pleasure to welcome Eleanor Sullo. She’ll be dishing out about her latest tale, Moonrakers. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win an Ecopy of Moonrakers and a $6 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press main store.

Moonrakers

Their romance seems as doomed as the clashing forces of Victorian England itself—science versus spirit, propriety against compassion, appearance over truth. But there’s a plaintive cry for understanding under the surface of the cool, capable investigator that rends Olivia deBaine’s soft heart and draws her to him like a scone draws Devonshire cream. Nor has Harrison Pell ever met a woman like the lady of the Manor, full of spirit and life, warmth and healing.

Just when their future seems assured, Harrison learns what could turn him away forever. On the rocky cliffs of Devon, the two struggle, grasping for the shattered glass of a moonraking mirror. Will its broken surface reflect a relationship that has grown strong enough to hold their differences, or merely shards that kill?

SKY: Welcome, Eleanor, thanks for joining me this week!

ELEANOR: Thanks to you, Sky, for such a great idea—assmebling those giants of historical romance who light our fires. I think we all have some favorite heroes from the past, men who are of their day and time, but who reflect universal qualities that grab us—strength, charisma, self-confidence, even cockiness, and, for me, a kind of simmering, brooding, sex appeal. Like the hero of Moonrakers, Harrison Pell.

SKY: Our heroes are indeed such an important part of our story. Moonrakers’ hero, Harrison Pell already sound delicious. Tell me, what inspired you to create his character? Did he simply form as you wrote or had he been in your mind for some time?

ELEANOR: As I re-created the legend of Chambercombe, a real, live haunted 900-year-old house in Devon, England, I needed an investigator who could arrive on the scene, a bit pompous and overeducated, a psychic researcher with Scotland Yard credentials. I expected him to seem dry and dull at first, but to my surprise as Harrison took his place on the pages he was full of unspent emotion, as vulnerable as a boy, and passionate as a Highland warrior.

SKY: Wow! Sounds like my kind of guy. Give me a little insight into Harrison’s personality. Is he cunning, aggressive, arrogant, kind, humorous─share all!

ELEANOR: As a man of the Victorian age, he’s arrogant, unable to understand or appreciate a feisty, self-confident woman like Olivia deBaine, and likely to get himself into several messes before he accepts his feelings and attachment to the heroine. He’s a tall, craggy-faced, moody Sherlocke Holmes type, but with piercing blue eyes, longish hair over his neck, and an impulsiveness that helps to set him free from his strait-laced ways. His straight slash of a mouth hides his incumbent humor, and the spark of his intelligence keeps him one step ahead—almost—of everyone.

“When your father returns I’ll interview him. Then, tomorrow perhaps, you can show me the property, introduce me to others who—”

A stab of anxiety cut through her chest and she straightened, trying not to stare at his teeth, so white they reminded her of sun-bleached shells. “We must begin at once. “ …

“—but, you see, there is a system, a procedure, by which an investigation proceeds. I am schooled not only within the Society for Psychical Research, but in the methods of Scotland Yard—the science of detection. My work is first to seek evidence of a more human perpetrator.”

The deep timbre of his voice, the sharp angles of his face modeling a perfect mask of control and the commanding way he rubbed his long, fine hands together at the fire seduced her. She felt her resolve weakening. But then she thought of the cries that haunted her nights and of her father lying in a pool of his own blood… She shivered, she would trust no one. Nor wait until the cruel spirit struck again.

Without intending to she stamped her foot, turned and clicked her way down the hall to the stairs.

“I understand the reputation of the Society to be flawless, and your methods without equal,” she called back at him as she went. “Which is why I contacted you, above all the others who work with Dr. Sidgwick. They say you’re the most uncanny of investigators, sure to find a spirit if there is one.”

“And so I shall if one exists, Miss deBaine, in due time.” He hovered just behind her, his breath on her neck sending scintillas of sensation to her fingertips.
She straightened and pointed up the stairs, determination rising like heat in her throat. “This is due time, Doctor Pell! Due time enough. Your room is to the left of the stairway. Please settle yourself. And understand my urgency, sir. My father’s life is at risk! I trust you will begin your work at once.”

“Do you? Trust me, that is?”

She laughed a bitter laugh. “Perhaps that trust must be earned, sir. Meanwhile, I believe that while you are at Chambercombe you are in our employ.”

His gasp told her no other woman had ever talked as bluntly to this paragon of masculine bravado and good looks. Olivia sniffed and turned away before she might cave in to his lifted chin and furrowed brow. Her knees shook.

Why did he affect her so?

“As your employer,” she snapped over her shoulder, as she retreated back down the hall, “it is reasonable that I supervise your efforts. “We’ve wasted enough time. She heard him blustering behind her all the way to the entry, but she dared not pause for his retort.

SKY: Excellent excerpt! Turning up the temperature─Why are readers going to fall in love with your hero-lust for him?

ELEANOR: Harrison’s brilliance, his bravery, his fiery insistence on high principles, and his cool, composed good are charming qualities, but his burning devotion to the woman he loves beats all. He’ll go to the ends of the earth for her and nearly does. She can count on him, trust his arms around her to keep her from harm, and find herself catching fire from the spontaneous yet innocent passion engendered in his touch. What woman wouldn’t be moved by this hero for all times?

“Harrison, what in God’s name--?”

From top to bottom the man was a nightmare image of the fine gentleman who’d come to tea a few days ago.

His hair stuck out in every direction, dirt smeared his face, sand stuck to his ears. His fine cape was torn almost to shreds and his britches were ripped and wet and stinking of marsh. He wore no boots at all, and she didn’t dare ask where they had gone. Worst of all was the gaunt look on his sallow face. Absent were the ruddy cheeks she’d noticed earlier, absent the matter-of-fact, competent manager of this afternoon whom not even a poltergeist could rattle.

He sank into the bench beside the grandfather clock as she watched, and slid his long legs out in front of him, struggling to catch his breath.

Bending close she spied the trickle of blood from his lip and lurched toward him to somehow make it better. Her hands fluttered in the air for assistance. Then she grasped the hem of her skirt, snatched up a corner of her petticoat and pressed it to his mouth. “You’re hurt! Oh, Harrison, I’m sorry.”

He winced as she wiped away the blood and dabbed at his swollen lip. “I must get some water and soap, and some calendula compresses. Do wait here, and then tell me, you must tell me, what happened. Oh, my God, Harrison, was it a poltergeist again, or a, a ghost?”

He clenched her hands in his own strong ones, all the while shaking his head.

“No, no, Olivia. I wish it were, for your sake. Tonight I followed your father and his business friends to the sea. What I learned, what I saw--will surely upset you even more!” He pulled himself up and gripped her shoulders.

“Tell me, tell me, please.”

She clutched the lapels of his coat, her hands besmeared with the grime there, and suddenly she wanted to breathe him in, all the hurt places, the moist wool of his coat, the scent of spice and outdoors. She inhaled deeply and realized with a start that with her skirt and petticoat still raised up in front, she was feeling clearly the imprint of his thrusting manly form against her own! He himself shuddered and breathed deeply.

“Harrison? I--.”

Before she could pose another question they grasped at each other and he pulled her mouth against his. She was too stunned to resist, then too thrilled to care. She kissed him as gently as she could, ran her palms over his back, around his neck, desperate to heal each part of him. An explosion of caring burst through her.

“Olivia,” he murmured. Sweetly they had kissed, at first, but now a rush of passion joined their mouths, their breath! She had only imagined such a kiss in dreams. Their tongues met, tentatively at first, then wildly, probing with abandon. She fell against him, on fire where they touched. He groaned without his lips leaving hers.

Once she broke free to cry, “You’ll hurt yourself, beware--” His answering voice was husky, and wordless. Somehow Olivia understood that for them both the time to “beware” was over.

The thin light from the rising moon seemed to swell and burst into flower on their embrace. To her it seemed a sign. Now was the time of risk and retribution, thirst quenched and hunger abated. Truly, Harrison Pell wanted to hold her as much as she wanted it herself!

Yes, yes, she thought, letting herself be crushed against him, seeking more, drinking him in, the passion of that one, wild kiss purified by the very taste of his blood!

“Olivia, sweet, adorable Olivia,” he murmured into her ear.

Her knees gave way as his hands slid under the lifted hem of her frock, reached around to her hips and pulled her closer. His fingers were fevered against her thin shift. Her head swam.

“Yes,” she said, not knowing what she was agreeing to and caring less. “Yes, Harrison. Yes, yes, a thousand times yes--!”

Neither of them heard the great door open, nor the pounding of boots coming hard at them until it was far, far too late.

SKY: Another suburb excerpt! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing!

ELEANOR: I’m so glad to do so. It was a joy to revisit Moonrakers and my dark and evolving hero, and feel again the hunger and hidden warmth in him. No wonder friends often tell me he’s their favorite hero from my books. I kind of like him, too.

Thanks so much for your invitation. I hope your guests will visit my website for more glances into my writing world. And cheers to you in yours!

WORD WEAVING REVIEW EXCERPT

Author Eleanor Sullo presents a fascinating historical romance with a touch of the paranormal in MOONRAKERS. Sullo's flair for creating outstanding characterizations dazzles, from the strong heroine to the slimy anti-hero. The clash of contrasts between Olivia's intuitiveness and Harrison's scientific fastidiousness gives the novel strong historical presence. With its strong gothic overtones, hidden treasure and hidden passageways, MOONRAKERS will appeal to wide audience. Further, its fast paced plot and intriguing plot twists will keep the reader guessing. Indeed, Sullo delivers romance with sweeping intensity and spell binding passion. Highly recommended.

Cindy Penn editor@wordweaving.com
Senior Editor, Wordweaving.com
Amazon top 50 reviewer
Midwest Book Reviews

THE WRITE LIFESTYLE

Moonrakers--Reviewed by Vivian Crystal

Looking for a romantic thriller that's written in a classic style, without a lot of fake, special effects or trivialized plot? Here it is!

Ghosts, pirates, poltergeists, a cruel and shifty father, a mute mother whose eyes alternately register peace or horrid fear, a repulsive suitor, poor but loyal servants, and a logical private investigator whose objectivity is flouted by the electric reaction his body, mind and heart experience on first meeting Olivia deBaine - these and more daring characters fill the mysterious pages of this truly Gothic mystery.

The task? Find the ghost who haunts this manor built in the time of William the Conqueror. Find it before more residents die or are the recipients of daunting injuries. Put an end to the shrieking, crying voices that terrorize the staunchest dreamers. For how long can the protective amulet work in the face of whatever randomly attacks during the day or night?

Yes, the reader will fly through the pages of this long but compelling novel. This reader couldn't help remembering, while absorbing the MOONRAKERS, the various flavors of Daphne DuMaurier's "Rebecca," the Bronte sisters' dark and passionate novels, the early Victoria Holt works, and Penmarric's "Cashelmara". Sullo writes with the flair of these literary giants yet overlays each turn with her own unique skill.

The fantastic strength of this novel lies in the author’s ability to describe the terrors within and around each character and the manor's intriguing structure and surrounding cliffs, beaches, caves and more. Most impressive are the characters of the psychic investigator, who is like a schoolboy experiencing his first "crush," and the cantankerous father who at certain times seems to deserve the wild and powerful phantom's attacks.

The female protagonist is appealing, a feisty, capable woman, unafraid to counter her father's nasty orders and threats as well as the initially sanctimonious investigation of the visiting detective. However, her intuitive physical and emotional, feminine reactions to this Scotland Yard investigator delightfully emerge in a scintillating manner.

Enjoy this historical mystery in all its audacity, sympathy, passion, and horror. It's a treat for sure!

--Viviane Crystal

ESCAPE TO ROMANCE REVIEW EXCERPT

If you enjoy reading books that skillfully combine suspense, romance, laughter, passion and paranormal elements, THE MOONRAKERS is the book for you! Eleanor Sullo has crafted memorable characters, indeed, she has shown that everyday men and women have the strength to act morally and responsibly, and have the inner strength to confront, and best, evil. THE MOONRAKERS is a touching love story that has this reader craving more books from Ms. Sullo.

--Julie Shininger, Escape to Romance

Can’t wait to read Moonrakers? Purchase HERE.

Vist Eleanor at her Website.

Don’t forget, for a chance to win an Ecopy of Moonrakers and a $6 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press, be sure to leave a comment by Friday, August 27th 12 PM EST!

Thanks for stopping in!

~Sky

12 comments:

Stephanie Suesan Smith, Ph.D. said...

Watching arrogant men get their comeuppance from a feisty woman is always fun, whatever the era. I would enjoy this book and hope I win.

stephaniesuesansmith@gmail.com

Robin K said...

I love books with all of the above. Particularly humor. :)

robin [at] intensewhisper [dot] com

Sky Purington said...

I agree, Stephanie! Thanks for popping in. :)

Sky Purington said...

Gotta love a sense of humor! Thanks for swinging in, Robin.

stacey said...

Love a strong woman Character sound like a good store can't wait to read it.
sasluvbooks(at)yahoo.com

Carol L. said...

Sounds like my kind of book.
And Harrison sure sounds like my kind of man. lol
I enjoyed the post today. Thanks fr the opportunity.
Carol L.
Lucky4750@aol.com

Sky Purington said...

Carol, so hear ya, he sounds fabulous, eh? Thanks for commenting!

Sky Purington said...

TY for stopping by, Stacey!

Eleanor Sullo said...

Stehpanie--he gets his comeuppance for sure, but will he learn from it? That was the trick of putting him on the page. Thanks for mentioning that.
And Robin, then I think you would enjoy Monrakers, and some of the curious jams the male characters especially get themselves into! Thanks for commenting
Ellie

Eleanor Sullo said...

Sky, Thanks for staying with us here. Hectic medically challenging morning kept me away till now. Love the comments.
Stacey, good insight into Olivia. She is used to being the strong one, depended upon, which makes her weak spots all the more terrifying to her!
Thanks for posting.
Ellie

Eleanor Sullo said...

Carol, Good of you to post, too. Thanks. Good luck to you!
Ellie

Beverly said...

Hey there! Just wanted to stop by as many of the blogs that I follow as I could during the Friday Hop timeframe! If you have a chance, stop by The Wormhole and check out my 300 follower giveaway! Happy reading – have a great weekend!