Friday Feature: Guest Blog by Toni Sands

One look at Kathy’s ‘all about me’ page shows how very far-ranging her reading tastes are. This is good news for me! My novel, Orchid Pink, while having much erotic content, contains aspects belonging to mainstream historical fiction. It’s set in the year 1900, turn of the century, just as Queen Victoria’s reign was set to end. I’m told the novel encapsulates the flavour of that era. Well, I certainly hope so because I found researching it absolutely captivating.

The Victorian society was one of many contrasts. Those of us who enjoyed The Crimson Petal and the White will remember the mucky streets and noisy taverns, the ragged urchins and the ladies of the night, including fabulous heroine Sugar. There was a huge gulf between the often consumptive lower class individuals and the well-fed, well-heeled middle class folk. ‘Fallen women’ were visited by wealthy male Victorians while, at the same time, these gentlemen’s virtuous wives were campaigning to assist and reform those very same street girls.

Adelaide, while tempted by her pretty maid, remains aware how a dalliance with Daisy would doubtless be viewed by her father as monstrous. There’s a hint that such shocking behaviour with her maid might even be viewed with more lenience if it was taking place with a woman of the same class. But Adelaide simply cannot help herself, as she explains here. It’s bath time … think perfumed … steamy.

She smiled hesitantly at me from the doorway. Uncertain. I held out my arms. She came into them. We were much of a height and the sensation as her firm breasts found a mooring against mine made every inch of me tingle. I was walking into my own fantasy.

I released her and held her hand while she climbed into the tub. It seemed natural she should help me step in too. Her hands circled my waist as we sank beneath the scented water, face to face, legs aligned; hands free to soap, stroke and tease. I longed for her intimate touch on my body but first I needed to win her.

More about Adelaide and the kind of life she led … while the horse-drawn carriage and omnibus was still the norm, the open-top motor car was also appearing on the scene. My heroine has no interest in learning to drive but her liking for Jimmy, the young man employed by the household to carry out a whole variety of tasks, including chauffeuring, allowed me to devote time to their developing relationship. They share a common bond but it’s not for me to give that particular secret away here.

Jimmy is the male character I like most. Perhaps you’re wondering what I mean by this. After all, I’m the one who created the cast list! Why can’t I like every one of my fictional men? Well, I’m a writer who enjoys seeing a character take on a life of his or her own as the book progresses. And just as in real life, we don’t necessarily like and admire every single person we meet.

We know that not only prostitutes but also female servants were often the prey of middle-class gentlemen. Wives were there primarily to warm their husbands’ bed, oversee the household’s smooth-running and of course to provide an heir and a spare. While many a child was conceived during stolen moments with a pretty parlour maid, wives typically found themselves desperate to please their husbands by giving them sons and daughters or else resorted to weird and wonderful herbal potions in an effort to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. The era was a rich mix of familiar traditions and brand-spanking new developments. Toffs, tarts and teetotal do-gooders walked many of the same streets.

I’d love you to risk melting your Kindle by ordering Orchid Pink. Thanks for letting me chat.

Demure Adelaide hides a passionate nature beneath her elegant gowns. After hiring a delicious new maid, Daisy, she can’t wait to initiate her into the delights of the orchid house. Though resenting paternal pressure to marry businessman Thomas, Adelaide finds excitement in his touch and his erotic whisperings. Yet, when he reveals his sinister side, she seeks solace elsewhere. Christmas brings snowflakes, also a vivid reminder of a heart-wrenching past. Intrigue and obsession rock this Victorian household as Adelaide’s poignant search for love leads her into storms. Will she ever bask in the sunshine?

Orchid Pink is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and All Romance eBooks, as well as other good eBook retailers.

Toni Sands lives near the Black Mountains in Wales. Many of her ideas arrive while she’s walking by the river or travelling by train and she also finds inspiration when visiting London. This is where she enjoys roaming galleries and gazing at colourful window displays. She drinks too much coffee and often talks to strangers. Her erotic romances feature in collections by Virgin Black Lace and Accent Xcite, both paperbacks and e-books. She writes to entertain, sometimes finding, as in the case of her new heroine, a character will pop into her head, demanding to have her story told. Toni enjoys networking and belongs to the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She’d like to keep on writing as long as her readers keep on reading.

Toni’s Website.
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Filed under Friday Feature, Guest Blog, Toni Sands

7 Responses to Friday Feature: Guest Blog by Toni Sands

  1. It’s a pleasure to be here, Kathy and thank you for hosting me so delightfully. I’ll call in later but must go now to check Adelaide is behaving herself on Facebook! These late Victorian women are sometimes quite scandalous…
    Toni x

    • Book Reviews & More by Kathy

      I am thrilled to have you here, Ms. Sands. Loved Orchid Pink and I’ll definitely be keeping up with what Adelaide is up to 😉

  2. Eileen

    Thanks Toni! I like knowing a little bit more of the behind the scenes thinking of your story. Have my curious about Jimmy’s relationship with Adelaide.

  3. Hi Toni/Sandra – always interesting to hear a story behind a story – and I wish you huge sucess with Pink Orchid.

  4. Timitra

    Great post Toni!!!! Orchid Pink is on my wishlist as soon as I am able I will be buying it!!!

  5. Angie M

    This sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing your process with us. I agree that it is impossible to like every character you write just as it is hard to like everyone you meet!

  6. Cec

    Thank you for a great post, Ms Sands!
    I have added Orchid Pink to my tbr pile and I’m really looking forward to reading it!