It’s my pleasure to have the delectable Toni Sands as my guest to talk about her hot new historic Knight Shade trilogy. Welcome Toni! Knights, chain mail, sexy damsels! Do tell!
Thank you, K D, for inviting me along today to chat about my latest project. Forgive me if I loosen my lacings and settle my skirts around me. This huge scarlet cushion you’ve thrown me is the perfect match for my gown. And the delicious gooseberry wine you’ve poured must surely be down to your hard work in the vegetable garden?
I hope you’re sitting as comfortably as I am so I can begin …
Wow! Fit guys in chain mail pursuing gorgeous girls with cleavages deep enough to make Friar Tuck choke on his game pie? It sounded fun to me. So I took up the gauntlet thrown down by my lovely Xcite editor and allowed the knight of my dreams to sweep me up on his trusty steed and whisk me away to his raspberry stone castle.
Well, not quite … and I do apologise for involving you in my fantasy. But it’s not difficult to dream of bygone times, when we carry so many images from our childhood. There are countless stories of princesses seeking their Prince Charming, usually a gallant warrior or swordsman with great legs. Think of the many books and movies based on those chivalrous boys who thunder down the jousting ranges, lance in hand. Robin Hood always seems to be around in some form or other, so purely in the interests of research, I checked out Men in Tights but only after my personal favourite among the Jupiter Knights (Tebal the camp one) arrived in my story. I have no idea how he turned up but I love hanging out with him. A Knight’s Tale is another fun flick celebrating ‘silly boys with a horse and a stick’ while the Arthurian legend forms the basis for innumerable stories, movies and TV dramas, not least the BBC’s Merlin series.
My Knight Shades Trilogy (hope you approve of the name) is a mix of medieval, zany and romance. And erotic encounters. Oh and there are magic forces at work within it too. Our hero, Sir Gavin, hits the ground running in Book One as he and his stallion, Sarum, gallop towards a crystal cleft, the portal to another world. Magic allows a writer quite a lot of licence when suspending the reader’s disbelief but hero Sir Gavin’s own strength of character and the power and determination brought about by bonding and of course love ensures the enchantress doesn’t quite get it all her own way.
Yes, I did mention strength of character though you may huff with disbelief when you read Woman of Power and see our hero’s lusty reactions to the beautiful women he meets. Please give him a break! In Woman of Power, he’s newly returned from the Crusades and kind of like a monk who decides chastity’s not really his thing. Lust really does turn to love for Gavin where one particular lady’s concerned but the object of his desires is out of bounds. Plus, Gav’s personal journey towards emotional maturity is hampered by the tricks performed on him by that evil witch playing a complicated game of souls.
The next book, Wicked Woman, takes my knight to a frozen landscape, in part inspired by a visit to the Nordic European country of Iceland. If you like quirky and aren’t put off by freezing temperatures, you’ll be blown away by Iceland. It’s the perfect place for a writer of erotica – so much going on under the surface with thermal energy bubbling away and geysers discharging clouds of steam. The city is ablaze with lights and the bars and restaurants are often lit subtly. Very flattering if one is past the youthful, dewy stage!
Gavin and his fellow-knight accept hospitality from a woman holding a girls’ weekend while the men folk are away on a hunting trip. As Gavin might say, ‘What’s a knight to do?’ Enchantress Sibilla makes more than one appearance, ramping up our hero’s determination to escape her clutches.
Gavin’s liaisons, amorous or otherwise, have repercussions. Women tend to use him for their own means. But he’s no wimp and the third book is intended to hone his character in readiness for the challenge awaiting him as the story draws to a conclusion.
Unforgettable Woman, the final book of my trilogy and almost complete, is destined to be the most poignant book of the three. Gavin’s physical and emotional strength will be tested again as new characters join existing ones. It’s due for publication in January and I hope you’ll stay with my hot knight as he rides on …
Before I leave your roaring log fire, I’d like to follow the popular trend and talk a little about writing sex scenes, something which tests writers in many ways. Decisions … decisions. If my hero let his eyes do the touching, should my heroine take the initiative or not? Does she want to open the box of chocolates NOW? Or wait until later? The mind often provides the foreplay. Can a character’s fantasy have a greater impact on the reader than an explicit description of the actual encounter? I do hope so because this is an approach I use within my writing! If two lovers (or would be lovers) are kept apart for story reasons, the author can bring them together upon the page by giving one of them a chance to fantasise. All of us have dreams, don’t we?
I wish you all a sumptuous holiday season, whether you plan to drink mulled wine by candlelight, escape to a tropical hideaway or attend every possible party!
Follow me @tonisands
To buy Book One, Knight Shades trilogy: Woman of Power, please visit
For my lovely US readers:
To buy Book Two: Wicked Woman, please visit
and for US readers:
You can pre-order the print version of Orchid Pink