Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?
Hi there, my name is Shereen Vedam. I write paranormal/fantasy romances. Since I love fairytales, I decided to do a series of historical romance novels inspired by popular fairytales and set in my favorite time period, the Regency era. This current series involves shape shifters who can make themselves look like anyone they want. They call themselves The Rue Alliance.
Please tell us about your latest release.
A Devilish Slumber is inspired by the fairytale, Sleeping Beauty.
What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
I have several, this one is when the heroine, Lady Roselyn Ravenstock, disguised as Ben Turner, meets the fastidious Sir Phillip Jones, who has agreed to work with Ben (Rose) to solve a murder.
EXCERPT from A Devilish Slumber:
“When we last spoke, you intended to visit Lady Roselyn Ravenstock. How did that fare?”
“Not well. The lady insists on keeping secrets. She refused to admit that she had received an invitation from Mrs. Beaumont on the night of the murder.”
“Perhaps she did not.”
“Of course she did. We saw the remnants of that invitation in the wastebasket.”
“It is possible that Mrs. Beaumont never sent such a note. Lady Roselyn may not be involved in this at all.”
The barmaid returned with their drinks.
Rose took a mouthful and choked on the bitter taste, spurting some over the table. Embarrassed, she swallowed what remained in her mouth in one big gulp and immediately coughed again. Once recovered, she said, “Sorry, sir.”
“I take it you have never had gin and water?” Phillip wore an unpitying grin. “You will get used to the taste soon. Take small sips and do not become castaway. We have work to do.”
“What work?” She sipped and managed to keep the fiery liquid down.
“You do wish to help with the investigation?”
Her throat and insides warmed nicely and she had another taste. She rather liked this drink.
With a raised eyebrow, he seemed to be awaiting an answer. What had they been talking about? “Yes.”
“Um, what was the question?”
He sighed. “Do you still wish to assist me with the investigation?”
She nodded. “Yes. I must know who killed Mrs. Beaumont.” She held up her glass and searched for the barmaid.
Phillip brought her hand down until the glass thunked against the scarred wooden table. “One is sufficient for a first try.” He waved away the server. “I suggest we start by checking the docks where Mrs. Beaumont’s body was discovered.”
Rose licked the last drop of her drink. Her head felt lightened. Could excess alcohol make her face revert back to normal? Not only would Phillip be surprised, but the tavern’s patrons would wonder why a man suddenly looked like a woman. She pushed away her glass.
“Perhaps you have had too much.” Phillip eyed her empty glass now resting at the very edge of the table.
She wanted to lean forward and kiss his smirk.
“Some fresh air might do you good.” He stood.
Rose tried to stand and the room swayed. She grabbed hold of the table and her glass tipped over.
Phillip caught it and placed it back on the table. His laughter was clear now. “Come along, young Ben.”
Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
Always find interesting info during research. I take a lot of Regency history courses and my favorite one, which I used extensively for this series, was called Regency Servants, given by Sally Roberts.
Did you know that in the richest households, it is the groom of the chambers (not the butler) who answers the main door, opening it for members of the household?
What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?
I travelled a few years ago to take a look at the Doñana region of Spain, where the last book in the Rue Alliance series is set. I thought it might also be fun to go horseback riding while there, in the Andalucian region. So I took riding lessons and made it to cantor (which was the required level for this horseback riding holiday package). I also took a few Spanish language classes so I would be able to communicate with the guides and others in the group. What I didn’t realize until I was on the back of a crazy horse named Hermosa who loved to gallop along those flat sandy trails, was that the guides and the rest of the people in my group mainly spoke German (and I suspect so did Hermosa). She loved to race and had no concept of what “stop” meant in English or Spanish. I plan to write a blog about that trip when that last book in the series is released. For now, I’ve included a picture of Hermosa. She looks mild-mannered, doesn’t she? She wasn’t!
Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?
The Regency world, especially among the highest of London society, is itself quite different from our world. Add to that the fantasy elements of shape shifting and you have a world that is vastly different from our contemporary day to day lives. Stepping into the Rue Alliance world takes us not only back in time, but into a realm where magic is real.
With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?
Each novel can be read as a stand alone, but you’ll get the most enjoyment reading them in order. Subsequent stories do have repercussions for characters as a result of the challenges they faced and conquered, or failed at, in previous books.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
I attended a fantasy workshop once that helped me resolve this issue. Whenever I’m blocked, I write down (with pen and paper) a short paragraph outline of the scene I’m struggling with, what I hope to accomplish, and then I play a game. I pick 3 random words from the dictionary and give myself 5 minutes to come up with a solution and that solution MUST use those 3 words. Works 90% of the time.
Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?
I love reading on the bus, if I can find a seat. It’s peaceful and I can tune everything and everyone out and focus on the story at hand.
Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?
This is a bit more of the scene shown earlier:
EXCERPT from A Devilish Slumber:
Once outside, she leaned against the wall and waited for the world to right itself while he attempted to hail a hackney. Not finding a cab, he returned and suggested they walk the short distance.
She agreed. “If only the street would stop swaying.”
“That might have more to do with your wavering steps.”
She glared at him but did not argue when he wrapped a supporting arm around her shoulders.
They reached the shoreline by the Thames River where the salty air was laden with odors of fish and rotting timber. Her stomach began to turn in unpleasant ways, adding discomfort to her already nauseous state. They continued on, turning onto a lane called Wapping New Stairs. This was where Helen’s body was found! If she had been lightheaded before, the sea air stench and the reminder that Helen had died here made her double up as her lunch threatened to erupt. She clutched her side and leaning over the far side of a barrel, she heaved, praying for the stitch in her side to subside.
“Not a seafaring youth, I see,” Phillip said. “Can you hold your own while I speak to those lads by the docks?”
She grunted her affirmative.
With another soft chuckle, he sauntered off.
Rose slithered to the ground, resting her back against the barrel, and lowered her spinning head between her legs, an action that Hannah had said helped her papa when in this state. After a while, she found she could breathe without choking on each breath.
Up the road, Phillip spoke to a couple of sailors who shook their heads. He walked toward the pier where a group of men were crouched, playing some dice game. They were probably from that merchant ship anchored far off shore. She squinted to read the name. Lady Tourville.
Her attention wandered back up the road from where they had come, and she spotted a figure emerge from the shadow of a building. Was that Trenton? It was! He tipped his hat to her.
How could he recognize her? She touched her face and gasped. Her features had slipped back to normal.
A Devilish Slumber
The Rue Alliance
Genre: Regency paranormal romance
Publisher: ImaJinn Books/Belle Books
Date of Publication: Feb. 19, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-61194-609-3 (ebook)
ISBN: 978-1-61194-592-8 (print)
Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 85,000
Cover Artist: Debra Dixon
Beauty awoke, and then the trouble began . . .
Since dealing with the death of her sister and her abandonment by Sir Phillip Jones, the man who professed to love her, Lady Roselyn Ravenstock has lived as if sleepwalking. Mired in grief, she sequestered herself in her home, avoiding all callers. Then she meets Mrs. Helen Beaumont, and Rose starts to come to life . . . until Helen is murdered. But this time, Rose isn't going back to sleep. Vowing to avenge her friend, Rose dons a costume and goes out into the night looking for a killer.
Sir Phillip, the Regent's favored spy, returns from war determined to win back the woman he was forced to leave three years ago. But when he witnesses Rose covered in blood, racing from a brutal scene while gripping the murder weapon, he goes on a desperate mission to unravel what he hopes is a case of mistaken identity.
The investigation leads Rose into a world of enchantment, where people can re-shape their features, fires are begun with a snap of fingers and objects move of their own accord. But the real magic is the blazing attraction that is re-awakened between her and Phillip.
Will Rose ever get her happily-ever-after? Possibly. But first, she'll have to convince Phillip of her innocence-before the killer strikes again. . . .
About the Author:
Once upon a time, Shereen Vedam read fantasy and romance novels to entertain herself. Now she writes heartwarming tales braided with threads of magic and love and mystery elements woven in for good measure. She’s a fan of resourceful women, intriguing men, and happily-ever-after endings. If her stories whisk you away to a different realm for a few hours, then Shereen will have achieved one of her life goals.
Blog (A step beyond the ordinary): http://shereentwo.livejournal.com/
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