Ellora's Cave author Helena Harker is here to talk about her newest book, a steampunk novel. Steampunk is a genre that fascinates me because I know it's one I'd never be able to write, so I'll be picking this one up myself!!
Thanks for hosting me today. My latest release is another steampunk book. I love steampunk. Ever since I started writing erotica, I have been experimenting with different genres: BDSM, contemporary, cougar. I think I have found my niche in steampunk. I love the inventions, the fashions, the social rules. I love that I can base my stories on historical fact, and at the same time I have the freedom to change history any way I choose. There’s a great sense of adventure and discovery. And a lot of lust and betrayal, in this case. Camilla is a woman consumed by revenge, so much so that it may prevent her from finding true love.
The heroines I create tend to be in a position of power over men. There are a few fem-dom scenes in this novel, where Camilla exacts revenge—a very special kind of revenge—against men who betray their wives. I found it very easy to relate to her!
I came up with the idea for Camilla’s Consequences when I was surfing the net and came across an article about a sexual blackmailer. I thought that would be a fabulous premise for a story, to have a woman who is vengeful and blackmails men who are guilty of adultery.
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.
Camilla Covington 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.
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