Everyone welcome the lovely Helena Harker to Silken Sheets & Seduction!
Helena’s promoting her newest release Camilla’s Consequences
Released June 28, 2013; Sub-genre: Steampunk
Camilla is a sexual blackmailer. After a betrayal from her fiancé, she spends her days exacting revenge against men who are unfaithful. Armed with an iron resolve, her Panoptoscope and a handbag filled with instruments of castigation, she becomes a formidable adversary. Her quest for revenge has hardened her heart, but a small part of her still thirsts for passion and the heat of a man’s touch.
Hephaestus is a skilled metallurgist who hammers iron into any shape his imagination desires. When Camilla walks into his forge asking him to repair a pendant, flames of passion ignite between them. After Camilla receives letters that threaten to expose her, she seeks his protection as well as his love. However, in order to melt her heart, Hephaestus must resort to extreme measures to make her see that pardon, not punishment, is needed for love to grow.
Hunting men is a most lucrative occupation, one I enjoy with an ardent passion. As I wait for Lord Aldridge to exit his tent, I silently curse him for choosing to pitch his camp in this godforsaken bog. Although we are barely an hour outside London, it seems I have been transported to the jungles of Borneo. The dank, moist air wreaks havoc with my curls, my riding boots slip through the mud and my walking skirt reeks of rotting leaves and mallard droppings.
Silent, shielded by darkness, I rest my body against the trunk of a tree that leans precariously over the pond and adjust the lens of the Panoptoscope against my eye. Motionless against the elm’s rough bark, I blend into my environment. Although my hiding place is barely ten yards away from Aldridge’s simple canvas tent, he will never see me.
I aim the ‘Scope at my quarry and peer through the lens. How magical. My newest, truly ingenious modification far exceeds my expectations. My contraption allows me to see in the dark, and for a few moments I imagine myself to be a panther lurking in the undergrowth, waiting for the perfect moment to ambush my prey.
The leafless trees appear in various shades of gray, their limbs hanging low, resembling eerie fingers that reach for the tent. Lantern light glows inside, and shadowy figures stir within the canvas walls. Lord Aldridge has brought company. It is not unexpected. After all, Aldridge has many suitors.
All of whom are male.
Come out, Aldridge. Your judgment awaits. Often, I choose to confront men and punish them for their sins. It is a good thing that I do, for who else would pass judgment over them and sentence them for their transgressions? Surely not another man. No, it is a woman’s duty to judge men and determine whether they should be condemned for their actions.
Shadows shift. I catch sight of an arm, a knee, a head. An embrace? I believe so.
Does Aldridge’s wife know about his philandering? How can she not? After tracking his whereabouts for weeks, I know how little time he spends at home. How does she cope with his betrayal? When a man promises to stand by the woman he loves till death do them part, he should be forever bound by that promise or be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Camilla Covington’s consequences.
More about Helena Harker!
Where did you get the idea for your story? I was doing some random research online when I came across an article about someone who was a sexual blackmailer. I thought, huh? A sexual blackmailer? Wouldn’t that be a great premise for a story? What kind of woman would become a sexual blackmailer? Why? What would push her to do this? She must have had someone wrong her at some point, like maybe her fiancé. And the story started off from there. Camilla was betrayed by her fiancé and now she has taken it upon herself to exact revenge against other men who betray the women in their lives. She is a very powerful woman, but she has many lessons to learn about love.
Why does your story start where it does? It starts as Camilla observes an adulterer and his male lover by a marshy pond. It sets the scene immediately. Camilla is a vengeful voyeur who enjoys recording evidence of men’s illicit transgressions and then uses that information against them. She has become rich and powerful as a result.
What creates conflict between your romance couple (or more)? Camilla is obsessed with the idea of punishment and retribution. Hephaestus believes in pardon. This is the lesson he must teach her, and he thinks up very innovative methods to get his point across. He is a metallurgist, and Camilla’s heart is as hard as iron. He must melt her heart and gain her trust. That is his challenge.
Does a character in your story have a secret? What is it? Every single character in this story has a secret. But I can’t tell what they are!!!
Is this a series and will you be writing more stories in this series? I’ve discovered that I get bored if I use the same characters in sequels. What I am doing now is creating different storylines in the same steampunk world. My earlier novella, Carnal Devices, is set in the same world.
What do you love about writing in your romance sub-genre? Steampunk offers me the ability to delve into the lifestyle of Victorian England, and at the same time I can deviate from that any time I wish. So I can do a lot of research and include that in my story and try to be as accurate as possible. But when I want to create wild inventions like the Beast Machines, I can!
Helena Harker is a teacher by day, writer by night, a daydreamer who loves to escape to other worlds. Her fiction is populated by strong men, passionate women and lots of steampunk inventions. In her free time she enjoys photography and curling up with a good book.