Intrigue and treachery stalk the grimy streets and the royal courts of Elizabethan England.
Welcome to the May 16th stop on the blog tour for Heart of Deception by Gayle Feyrer with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, more author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your leading roles?
When I was hunting for my cover image, I was overjoyed to find a couple that looked very much as I’d envisioned the characters. Rafe really gorgeous. Viv attractive but not beautiful. It’s her charisma and magnetism that enthralls him.
I do have the perfect actress for Vivian Swift. It’s Ruth Wilson. Her looks, her physique, are close to how I imagined Vivian Swift. Her embodiment of Alice Morgan in Luther has everything I’d want for Viv’s personality. She’s smart, sexy, dynamic, ruthless, rapacious, almost feral. And witty. Of course, Alice is also a psychopath, otherwise it’s a perfect match. She and Idris Elba also share palpable erotic chemistry.
Wilson’s also my favorite Jane Eyre, the only one I’ve seen who captured Jane’s passion. But she’s a decade too old now.
The winner, sort of: If I had to pick tomorrow, I’d choose Jennifer Lawrence, who’s tough and sexy, if a bit broody for extroverted Viv. She was wonderful as Catniss and her character in Red Sparrow has Viv’s ruthlessness.
Runners up: I love Anya Taylor-Joy, who has great intensity and that elusive feral quality, though I’m not sure Joy has the aggressive energy Viv needs, which Jennifer Lawrence can certainly deliver, but I like her quirkiness which captures Viv’s playfulness. She’s really too young still. I’m also a big fan of Lily James, who is one of my favorite Elizabeth Bennett’s—a kickass version in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’d wish her to have a bit edgier look than she does.
Rafe Fletcher is my most perfect romance hero. He’s tall, with the favored combo of dark hair and blue eyes. He’s muscular and that’s he’s built like that is important for the role of bodyguard that he assumes with Viv, though perhaps I could have made him even more skillful with weapons if the actor isn’t that much of a hunk. I do often cast my characters to have the fun of making a movie in my mind as I write, and Rafe looks like that because one of the inspirations for Heart of Deception was the TV series Wiseguy, and it’s star Ken Wahl as the undercover agent was cast as Rafe. For Viv, I began asking myself What if Sunny Steelgrave was a woman? But the first version of the book didn’t have the undercover cop element as strongly. It was going to be another Italian Renaissance romance, with political warfare amid the city state it’s setting, not a criminal underground. In any case, Ken Wahl was how I envisioned Rafe.
This clip is nice for the hair. I can’t quite hear an English accent though.
Searching among today’s stars, I didn’t find an exact match for my idea of Rafe. His physical prowess was important for his easy confidence and in Viv taking him on as her bodyguard for more than his pretty face. But I suppose an actor could compensate with great sword work to make the role believable. Most every man I found who fit my image had aged out of the part.
So, who’s young enough?
The winner (sort of) Liam Hemsworth—He’s got the physique (and more) and a great voice. And he and Jennifer Lawrence had a good on screen rapport in The Hunger Games – though he does complain she ate garlic before all their kissing scenes. I can see them as a believable combination. My brain keeps muttering, but they’re blond. That really doesn’t matter for casting, but it matters for my own vision.
The Runner Ups: Robert Pattison is still young enough, barely, and an excellent actor. He has an edginess I like, though it’s not particularly Rafe. Nicholas Holt was good in Tolkien.
If I could have made my movie with Ruth Wilson. I’d be intrigued to see her opposite Richard Madden, who’d have been close to my vision of Rafe a decade back. I think they’d have played well together and have an intense presence. Maybe I can get a time machine, go back and film the novel with my dream team.
Lots of full episodes of Wahl Wiseguy, but no usable clips – and he really looks more like Rafe in that interview.
About the Book
Heart of Deception
by Gayle Feyrer
Published 3 May 2023
Genre: Historical Romance
Page Count: 397
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
Intrigue and treachery stalk the grimy streets and the royal courts of Elizabethan England. Returning from war, Rafe Fletcher finds his family accused of conspiring to murder Elizabeth and place Mary, Queen of Scots, on her throne. His only hope to save them lies in infiltrating the criminal underworld of nefarious siblings Nick and Vivian Swift.
Rafe discovers it’s Viv who is the mastermind of the duo. Bold, clever and ruthless, Viv is also loyal and fiercely passionate. Rafe fights the intense magnetism that pulls him ever closer to destruction. But desire defies every warning he gives himself and they begin a blazing affair–until murder and betrayal severs their newly formed trust. Restoring that trust may be the only way Rafe can save the Queen, his own family, and the woman he’s come to love.
Their adventure takes them from the fledgling theatres of Shakespeare’s London to the desperate corridors of Bedlam, from the deadly backstreets of the Clink to the glittering court of Queen Elizabeth. It is a world of dark secrets and darker intrigues. Will the fire of their passion burn bright enough to incinerate the lies, and illuminate the truth?
“I am always hunting.” Smiling dangerously, Viv stepped to face him. “And I always catch my quarry.”
Rafe stood utterly still. “I’m sure you’re a most skillful huntress.”
Her eyes scanned him from head to foot, then lifted to meet his own, glinting with challenge. Laying one hand on his chest, she rubbed slowly against the nap of his doublet. “Soft as fur.”
Her touch was both caress and threat. Rafe’s heartbeat quickened beneath her hand, but he held her gaze steadily.
“Yes. You do look splendid in my livery.” Her fingertip skimmed the collar, her nail grazing lightly along his throat. Then she stepped back. Her voice was low, but every word was hard and distinct. “Now—take it off.”
Rafe drew a sharp breath. Lust and mutiny clashed in his nerves, stringing every lineament taut. He didn’t move. She read the tension in his body and laughed softly, mocking him, knowing that her aggression disconcerted him. He glared defiance.
“Take off your clothes.” Her voice was low, as menacing as it was enticing. Her eyes calculated his opposition. Only a flicker of laughter in their depths leavened her brazen tyranny.
Rafe wondered if his resistance made him more compelling. Was it that few resisted, or she preferred those that did? He did not think she wanted subservience, but neither did he know how much mastery she would accept.
Her voice softened to a seductive whisper. “Take them off … I want to see all of you.”
About the Author
Gayle Feyrer began drawing as soon as she could hold a crayon and writing when she was twelve. She holds a Bachelor’s in Pictorial Arts from UCLA, and a MFA from the University of Oregon in Creative Writing. In her varied career, she has been a tie dye artist, go-go dancer, baker, creator of ceramic beasties, illustrator, fiction teacher, and finally, novelist. A Libra with Scorpio Rising, Gayle’s romantic nature takes on a darker edge. She hopes these shadows bring depth to her romances.
A world traveler, Gayle has visited Paris, England and Italy numerous times. She lived for two years in Jakarta, Indonesia, with many trips around Asia. She currently resides across the bridge from San Francisco, with her husband and their two rescue cats, Charlotte and Emily, the Flying Bronte sisters, half Siamese and half tabby.
Gayle Feyrer will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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