Please welcome Beverley Oakley aka Beverley Eikli back to the blog. You may remember she was here in May and shared another story – Rake’s Honour — and her tale of being imprisoned in French Guyana. Today she has another story of her time in French Guyana, another book (Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma), and a great treat for you – in the form of a giveaway. Leave your comments for Beverley – one person who does will win a copy of Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma.
My Unusual Apprenticeship as a Romance Author in French Guyana
By Beverley Oakley (also writing as Beverley Eikli)
Flying eight-hour sorties with a lonely pilot above the French Guyanese jungle and Greenland’s ice cap was a great apprenticeship for a romance author.
When I was newly married I joined my husband in the skies, working for a Canadian airborne geophysical survey company which sent us on contracts all over the world. He flew while I operated the computer in the back of the aircraft.
However as Flight and Duty restrictions didn’t apply to the operators I worked seven-day rosters with a variety of pilots. Many of them had been in the field for weeks, if not months, and were missing their families and girlfriends.
Cocooned in a Cessna 404 with just the pilot and no room to move for such long periods was often physically difficult when temperatures or turbulence were extreme, and could be boring. However there’s something about being in a confined space with a fellow human being for hours on end that seems to facilitate unexpectedly deep and personal confessions and revelations. Over the years I gained a deeper insight into the male psyche than I might have had I remained a journalist on a South Australian newspaper.
French Guyana was a difficult contract. Air conditioning interfered with the data gathering equipment so the high heat and humidity and non-stop turbulence sapped us of energy – and pretty much everthing that was in our stomachs. Using my favourite Regency era parlance, I perfected the timing of ‘casting up my accounts’ in the precious seconds between closing off a survey line on the computer and setting up the coordinates for a new one. After seven weeks in the field, separated from my husband who was finishing the Greenland contract, I was almost skeletal.
Even though I write Regency Historical Romances, these experiences deepened my understanding of what motivates people in a wide variety of situations.
A few weeks ago I blogged here about honour, incarceration and redemption being recurring themes in my traditional Regencies written under my Beverley Eikli name and my sensual Regencies written under my Beverley Oakley name.
Honour is often the major motivation for my characters, whether they’re rakes – such as in my last Regency – Rake’s Honour – or consummate gentlemen, such as Lord Lovett, my hero in my just-released Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma.
Redemption is another of my favourite themes. Surprisingly, it is my naïve heroine Cressida, Lady Lovett, who is redeemed by the end of Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma.
As was normal 200 years ago, Cressida is not equipped with the vocabulary or knowledge to explain that while she wants to continue her loving relationship with her husband she can’t bear to be intimate when she knows the consequences may well be another pregnancy.
Prompted by her jealous, bullying cousin to discover the truth behind the rumours of her husband’s philandering, Cressida stumbles upon the means to save her marriage, as well as a 20-year-old mystery. It’s now that she uses her sweet nature – and hidden determination – to secure someone else’s happy ending as well as her own, showing surprising depths of courage, daring and spontaneity along the way.
Cover Blurb From Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma:
Eight years of marriage has not dimmed Cressida, Lady Lovett’s, love for her husband, but the birth of five children has cooled her ardour.
Now rumours are circulating that the kind, dashing and seemingly ever—patient Justin, Lord Lovett, has returned to the arms of his former mistress and Cressida believes her choices are stark—welcome her husband back to the marital bed and risk a sixth pregnancy she fears will kill her, or lose him forever.
With the astonishing discovery that methods exist to enable the innocent Cressida to transform herself into the vixen of her husband’s dreams without expanding her nursery, she seeks to repay the woman responsible for her empowerment…only to discover her unlikely benefactress was, and perhaps still is, her husband’s mistress.
I hope you enjoy reading about the book, or the book itself, and I look forward to returning here on July 19 to talk about my next release – The Cavalier – set during a fierce battle between Puritans and Royalists in 1648.
You can read more on my website: http://www.beverleyoakley.com or get the book here: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1718
Or follow me on twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/BeverleyOakley
Commenters will also go into the draw to win a copy of Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma.
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