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An evening at the La Scala in Milan twirls the lives of five people into a web of rivalry, intrigues, heartaches, obsession, murder, loss, and revenge.
“… 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 life.
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
Read an Excerpt
“Are you a bloody dyke or not, Shana?” I was ready to hit the fucking roof.
“It’s really none of your business. But Alyssa is—”
I strode purposefully to her, pulled her to me, raked one hand into her lustrous hair at the back of her neck, grabbed a handful of it firmly, and tilted her chin up with my other hand. I bent and kissed her hard on the eat-me-whole lips. Kissed her savagely, without trying to push my tongue into her mouth. I simply licked and sucked with force. She smelt of manmade scent and sultry womanhood.
She tasted like heaven and hell combined.
My penis announced its needs. I tipped her back further without breaking the kiss and pressed my London Stone against her. Voltages. Frenzied amps. She gave a short high-pitched squeal. Off the charts lust, boiling deep within her. I pressed her harder to my breast while I rubbed my London Stone against her lower belly.
As her lips began to yield, to slightly part, to surrender to me, to let me take full possession of her mouth, I stopped kissing her and pressing against her. I jerked her head away from me by my handful of hair and locked my eyes with hers again.
“Yes?” as imperiously as she had been. I saw her confusion.
She whispered, “Oh heavens,” and closed her eyes.
“Indeed. Look at me,” I ordered in a low dark voice, torn between a million shades of mad and frustrated.
She opened her eyes again in blinks. “Roman. Alyssa has fallen in love with you, one. She’s my best friend since childhood, two. And yes, she’s my lover too.”
My temples worked. But you’re a man’s woman! “Not any more, Shana. From now on, every single bit of you belongs to me. You’re. My. Woman.”
She shook her head, probably denying my statements, probably perplexed.
“You. Are.” I still held that bunch of hair at the back of her head in a firm fist.
“Roman, I don’t mind Alyssa having men in her life. But—”
“Time you had one too. Me.”
“Christ, Roman, men don’t work for me since—”
“One just did perfectly with no more than just a kiss, Dr Lindqvist.”
I released her. Turned away and walked out.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Stracciatella, with lots and lots of fine, crunchy shavings of chocolate. Yum! I love
it so much that when we take a weekend in Venice or travel to Trieste for the car
ferry to our home in Greece, we always make a little detour to the city of
Bergamo, where Stracciatella was originally created.
Which mythological creature are you most like?
Phoenix. Like the bird, whenever I’m down, I do everything to get up again.
Whenever I’m burned, I shake off the ashes and rise to begin again. And keep
First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
Despite being a girl, Lord of the Flies by William Golding. I read it roughly
twenty years after it was published and loved it. I think it represented my secret
wish to escape from my archconservative upbringing. Ralph and his boys
represented freedom for me and I admired the democratic “politics” the boys
practiced, with that conch as their “seat of governmental power”. I began turning
the boys into girls in my head and imagining how this “government” would have
been if the boys were girls. I believed – still do – that girls would have managed
things differently and somehow remained civil, not turned into little savages,
even without parental guidance. Of course I cast myself into the role of Ralph!
How do you develop your plot and characters?
Being a Pantser, I never do an outline. I usually start the process with the
presupposition of the premise in my mind. An assertion or proposition which
forms the basis for my story. Then I briefly jot down the points, usually five to ten
points about the character – exactly like I’m listing here – such as what they look
like, their physical world, their childhood, age and marital status (or absence of),
their goals, how they plan to achieve the goals, what conflicts I’ll throw on their
paths, including the antagonist if necessary.
I do the same thing with the plot; jot down brief points on brainstorming the
general idea, pinpointing the core premise, structure, central conflict, story arc,
subplot, series of events with causes and effects. Then I begin, and my first hurdle
(I suffer from perfectionism) is always the first sentence, let alone paragraph. I
want that first sentence to come in blazing, and blazing in a way that the flames
can only get higher before they’re extinguished.
For example, I’m now working on my next story (while also continuing the
Golden Shana Series – my way of dealing with Prof Writer’s Block is to work on two or more stories simultaneously). The presupposition I started off with is:
What if a girl child who is abused sexually or through physical beatings and
psychological verbal indignities and humiliation grows up to be a formidable
achiever? What if she becomes an Alpha female instead of a beta who craves the
whole pain and abuse all over again? For this story, it took me four days to come
up with what I considered a worthy first sentence: I was eight when my mother
said the three familiar words that turned me into a murderess less than an hour
later. Now, I’m satisfied with this opening and the Pantser in me can take that
and run off with it. Of course there’s every chance I might change it again, but…
Describe your writing space.
Three Cs – chaotic, cluttered and comfortable. I’m the only person who can find
anything (including the laptop, tablet, electronic reader and printer) buried in the
mountains of papers and books and coffee mugs and pencils and notebooks and
pens and spectacles. Some stuff get discovered once a year, during the spring
cleaning. If it were in the cellar, I’d probably be sharing it with rats galore!
I call it my intellectual chaos.
But I’m lucky to have the entire airy attic of one wing of our home, where I love
bowls of fresh flowers on the coffee table. My desk is right opposite the sloping
window wall of the southern side and therefore flooded with natural daylight and
views of the forest in the background when I’m standing. The downside? I can’t
see a thing but the sky when I sit! My inherited 150-year-old desk is a restored
Wilhelminian style piece made of solid oak that once belonged to my husband’s
great-great grandfather. But I love the decorative floral motifs on the wood. It’s
the only constant piece of furniture in the attic; the desk chairs, lamps,
bookshelves and couch and coffee table keep changing every few years, rendered
useless with spilt cocoa, grape juice, red wine, or melted forgotten chocolate bars
and pralines, accidentally sat-on eclairs and strawberry jam scones.
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.
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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