Welcome Lady Malice. I’ve never interviewed a time traveller before; I just hope you can stick around long enough to answer my questions.
‘Well, so long as you don’t try to kiss me Jane, I am sure this should not be a problem.’
Shoes are right up there with ice cream and chocolate when we women need a little me treat. How did your obsession with shoes begin?
‘Obsession? Having fifty pairs of shoes, plus another fifty pairs of boots is an obsession? I do not see it as an obsession. On the contrary I think that any woman can understand the healing power of shoes. If I tell your readers how my husband, my second cousin twice removed actually, abandoned me on our wedding night, after entering in the contract on purely financial grounds, how he later stole from me too and then disappeared so I could not even divorce him, I am sure you will see not a cold hearted business woman in me, but a woman in need of pampering, of seeking solace…. ’
What attracts you to a pair of shoes? Is it looks or comfort? Is the same true of men?
‘Shoes? My dear, everything and anything attracts me to a pair of shoes, so long as they are not serviceable. I prefer heels but some flat satin jewel encrusted slippers can be nice. Men? I am attracted to men? Oh very well, I confess. I must be to have liked my husband at one stage. The thing is he and Sin are polar opposites looks wise although they are both good looking men. If we talking basic attraction-ahem-I suppose it is looks. But, a handsome face does not necessarily mean a handsome manner. To stay the distance with a man requires more.’
So if shoes were men which pair of shoes would Sin be? Do you have a picture to share with us; of the shoes or the man himself?
‘Well I think he would be all of these.’
‘You can see the resemblance he bears to the shoes.’
M mm yes, I certainly can. Absolutely delicious, the shoes I mean. 🙂
How did you decide on the name for your business, strictly isn’t it?
‘Yes. Well, it was like this you see, obviously it’s a delicate matter ruining a marriage by arranging for a husband to be ‘caught in the act’ shall we say and that act not in a play either? Obviously I wanted to ensure our clients…and our girls..Understood one vital thing. It is all Strictly Business and that is how we keep it. Very business-like. No–one is there to frolic. At least I hope not.’
Destroying marriages for money is a strange profession for a married lady, is it not? Rather more risqué than playing the pianoforte or embroidery. How do people react to your business, or do you keep it a secret?
‘Well, obviously I am not received in polite society. No. I do not use my own surname and I live very quietly and unassumingly, meeting the female half of the partnership only. However, I do assure you I provide a vital service when divorce is virtually impossible to come by and I am lauded by those couples I have brought together. Before you think too m badly of me, I did once try to make a living by other means. One of these was by selling my own embroidered tea cosies at Spitalfields Market. Yes.’
You suffered greatly in Regency England for your outspoken thoughts, yet you still voiced them, why was this?
‘My thoughts are outspoken? Do you know that is the first I’ve heard. However, I suppose that I if we are talking my husband, I had a mission to fulfil and very little choice after he complained to the magistrates about not getting his money’s worth but to fulfil it. As for everything else, well, I had a lonely life. I suppose it made it interesting.’
Do you miss anything from Regency England when you time travel to Viking Norway?
‘Shoes. I do think it is fair to say. These Viking ones are awful AND it was all made worse by how and where I landed in Norse times. I lost my shoes. Imagine. I suppose it is fair to say I miss a lot actually but there are compensations.’
What attracts you to your Viking, the aptly named Sin? Were there no suitable men in Regency London?
‘My dear, the position I was in Regency London was very difficult. A cast off wife has no rights. And of course I would not want to be considered a slut. So, anyway, Sin is ..Well he is Sin. And as you can see from that little picture I gave you, the question hardly needs answering. BUT I would add that Sin is a complicated man and was in tow with the wrong woman. Do you know that despite looking like that he was her third choice. Sin, on the surface, can seem iced but underneath he’s had a hard life, one where he’s always been second best and it gives him this quite delicious vulnerability.’
What do you consider the five worst things about Viking Norway?
‘Do you want them in any particular order?’
No, however you like.
The pigs trotting about the house floor.
Reindeer stew. Do you know they eat that?
Everyone living in one room. I mean Sin and I have our own but really….
The fact you go everywhere by boat.’
Would you like to see England in the 21st century? If you lived here now, what career would you pursue? Why?
‘I think I would like to try my hand at two things if I lived now. One is designing shoes, the other is match-making. I do think I would do rather well. I would indeed like to see England, London especially in the 21st century. I would like to look up my grandmother and stop her selling her soul to be a best selling author, resulting in us all being cursed. But, there. Then I would not meet Sin.’
Do you believe in soul mates? If so have you found yours yet?
‘Absolutely. His name is Sin and I adore him. And he must be my soul mate or I would still be zinging back and forward.’
Thank you for staying with us Lady Malice and for your characteristically candid answers.
‘Thank you so much for having me Jane. Now, you don’t by any chance need a marriage wrecked do you?’
No, thank you I think after thirty plus years… We’ll stay the course. 🙂
Here’s something from
The Viking and the Courtesan to tempt new readers:
In 898 AD she wasn’t just from another land.
Wrecking a marriage is generally no problem for the divorce-obtaining Lady Malice Mallender. But she faces a dilemma when she’s asked to ruin her own. Just how businesslike should she remain when the marriage was never consummated and kissing her husband leads to Sin—a handsome Viking who wants her for a bed slave in name only?
She came from another time.
Viking raider Sin Gudrunsson wants one thing. To marry his childhood sweetheart. Only she’s left him before, so he needs to keep her on her toes, and a bed slave, in name only, seems just the thing. Until he meets Malice.
One kiss is all it takes to flash between two times.
But when one kiss is no longer enough, which will it be? Regency London? Or Viking Norway? Will Malice learn what governs the flashes? Can Sin?
Where worlds collide, can love melt the iciest heart?
Interested? you can buy The Viking and the Courtesan by clicking on the links below:
Here’s what I thought about The Viking and the Courtesan:
Lady Malice is not your typical Regency heroine but she is compelling and strangely likeable. A victim of an arranged marriage, she is still, woefully innocent and unfulfilled. Maybe this is why she enjoys her chosen career so much?
Destroying marriages is an unusual pursuit for a married lady but it keeps her in shoes and stops her thinking about her own disastrous nuptials. Faced with an unthinkable dilemma she seeks out her errant husband to carry out her latest commission, with life changing results.
The time slip is seamless and the shift from Regency drawing room to Saxon village under Viking attack, swift and shocking. Malice’s surprise and fear is tangible but her cynical outlook and sharp tongue remain. Both traits help her withstand the unexpected ordeal, despite the carnage surrounding her.
Sin is less than impressed with the latest slaves but he needs a bed slave to keep his fickle fiancée interested. Malice is no one’s slave but she finds Sin hard to resist. The chemistry between the courtesan and the Viking is memorable, despite the incongruity of their situation.
I loved the inconvenient time travelling and the gradual reveal of its meaning. Malice is prepared to risk all for her man and her strength and tenacity are legendary.
I purposely delayed writing this review for a few days, to see what I could remember. Malice, Sin and their compatriots’ formidable personalities, are easy to recall.