evening at the La Scala in Milan twirls the lives of five people
into a web of rivalry, intrigues, heartaches, obsession, murder, loss, and
“… for those who love selective
eroticism with substance. An exciting and sophisticated erotic thriller for the
astute romance reader, woman or man.”
Love, a word Roman can hardly
spell, hits him when he sees Shana one evening. She’s the first woman not
dropping to her knees at his mere presence. Used to getting whatever he wants,
he chases her. Only to discovers that she prefers the girls. Roman can’t let
that deter him. But is he for once up against his own comeuppance? At any rate,
he needs assistance, which comes in the form of Alyssa, Shana’s BFF. Trouble
crops up when Alyssa is all too ready and willing to drop on her knees for him.
Roman can't get anywhere near
Shana on his own. Would he start anything with Alyssa as long as this finally
leads him to meet Shana in person?
Then there’s Marie, his current
companion, who has a life-changing surprise for him.
Roman: I never chased after a
woman. Then I caught a glimpse of the woman I would kneel for, but didn’t even
know her name. Heck, I determined to find her if it took me the rest of my
Shana: He stood in the room with
her. The frisson in the currents freaking between them knocked her senseless.
The mutual force of predator and prey, blasting into her core ... her soul ...
Danger. Keep far away from him
love I felt for Svadishana? A woman I’d spoken three whiny words – Please call
me! – to? Was it more than simple lust and desire? Did I want to possess more
than just her body? Pondering these questions alone was so unlike me. That
woman had turned me into an alien even unto my own self. What I felt, my inner
voice said, was more than the thrill of the hunt. More than lust, desire, need,
passion, the excitement of possession, and subjugation. Of course all that was
part of it. But the basis or the source, the seedbed on which all that sprouted
and was growing to full blossom in me, could well be something else.
thought of her, saw her image from Milan in my mind, watched how she moved
in long smooth strides in YouTube, my brow beaded with sweat. I couldn’t pull
my gaze away from the few photos I’d fished out of the Internet. Group photos
at a family birthday or the authorized biography of her father. Her movements
in a YouTube conference clip were springy and powerful even in their
smoothness. She exuded strength all over the place, laughing, talking,
breath-taking beauty. Such beauty that I dared not believe it at times.
brains to go with it.
or not, I knew what I wanted and Svadishana was the answer. I wanted her and
would do anything short of suicide to get her. Who knows – perhaps when it came
to that as the only means available, I’d really murder too. I didn’t in the
least care about the consequences, as long as they got me to where I wanted to
arms and knickers and… heart?
obsession, Roman. Get back to real.
chance. Real was Svadishana.
Questions to Define Your Characters:
My Take by A P Von K’Ory
As writers we’re familiar
with the five basic
elements in every story: character, setting, plot, conflict and resolution. Writer Lekic suggests six
questions all writers should ask themselves to help them better define their
characters. I used them to a great extent in writing Shana and Roman’s story in
the Golden Shana Series. Below is my
1. Why is the character unhappy with his or her current life? I tend to do the contrary – I make the character as happy as a lark, to
start with, then find a way to mess up that joy thoroughly and have them go
through all the nasty processes in order to figure out how to achieve that
sublime happiness again. This is what I do with Shana and Roman in the Golden
2. What does the character want to happen to change his or her
circumstances? When I get Shana and Roman to meet for the
first time, I intentionally make their meeting place the world’s most famous
and revered opera house, La Scala in Milan. This very symbol of
culturedness, success, elitism and wealth becomes the kickoff of their
beautiful and carefree life suddenly making them aware that they have feelings,
emotions deeper than spectacular opulence and comfort. I want them suddenly
confronted with their abject internal poverty. That constituted a more compelling
challenge to me (and my protagonists) than the well-trod rugs-to-riches. I
wanted a figurative riches-to-rugs story.
3. Why hasn't the character done so already? In Shana and Roman, I create two people who have never really known basic
unhappiness in an existential sense. Their wealth and social standing offer
them joy, pleasure, privilege and power. Until they meet and are confronted
with a new state of being: the lack of those privileges and power in their
internal well-being. From the fairytale castle right into the sinister forest
they can’t escape for all the trees and lack of experience.
4. What steps
must the character take to achieve his or her goal? In my story, Roman’s
first reaction is his usual Alpha billionaire I-get-whatever-I-want. When this
strategy fails he realizes he needs to change tack. When that, too, fails and
he still can’t walk away and forget his goal, he realizes he’s up against a
totally different “need” deep within him that demands he recognizes it and
changes himself in order to reach his
goal. The zillionaire Shana, on the other hand, has her demons when it comes to
men. She, too, has to recognize that there are men, other than precious Pappa
and her brothers, who are trustworthy and full of honourable intentions. She has to
come to terms with the fact that the infamous global womanizer and Europe’s heartthrob, Roman Castell, is capable
of genuine love. She has to learn to relinquish control and accept the
important bond of fealty and loyalty to a man outside her family.
5. What stands in his or her way? Each writer has to
decide on this in accordance with their story and plot. I can’t reveal all of
mine here for fear of the infamous plot spoiler alert!
6. What will motivate the character to persevere? And here we come (miraculously!) to the resolution, which takes us full
circle back to the where we began: Why the character is unhappy, and what he or
she is willing to sacrifice in order to be happy. How they do this brings in the suite of conflicts and constitutes
A P Von K’Ory writes the kind of books she herself would
like to read and is passionate about, whether romance, psychological thriller
or nonfiction. She is the winner of six awards from four continents, the last
one being the Achievers Award for Writer of the Year 2013 in the Netherlands. The Selmere Integration Prize
was awarded her in 2014 for her engagement in helping African Women in the
Diaspora cope with a variety of domestic and social problems. The Proposal, a
short story, won the Cook Communications first prize in 2010 and is published
in an American anthology Africa 2012. In 2012, she won the Karl Ziegler Prize
for her commitment to bring African culture to Western society in various
papers, theses, and lectures. Again in 2012, her book Bound to Tradition: The
Dream was nominated for the 2012 Caine Prize by the Author-me Group, Sanford,
and in 2013 she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
|A P Von K’Ory|
Von K'Ory is married to an aristocrat and politician of
Franco-German descent, has a large extended family. She lectures Economics and
Sociology in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. She’s migratory and – weather
willing – lives in Germany, France, Cyprus, and Greece.
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