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Sharon Page | Engage in a Tortured Hero


Meet the hero, Devon Audley, Duke of March of my new release, ENGAGED IN SIN.  In this scene, Devon has just been woken from a nightmare by the heroine, Anne Beddington...

"I mean what did you do to me that made me leap up and slam you onto the ground?"

"I—I brushed your hair out of your eyes."

"Exactly.  It was an inconsequential touch, but it set me off like a flame reaching a keg of gunpowder.  I'm mad.  The war, the battles, the blindness, the killing and the grief—I wasn't strong enough to let it all just glance off me.  I'm no war hero—all throughout the damned thing, I was filled with pain and fury and grief and doubts.  A hero is a man who is filled with confidence, who takes action and doesn't waste time on remorse.  He doesn't hide in the blasted dark.  He gets a damned grip on himself.  But I can't.  I've gone out of my wits, and I'm going madder by the day.  I'm not getting better, I'm getting worse.  That's why I have Treadwell to scare people away."

"You are drinking too much," she said firmly.  "That is probably why you are getting worse.  If you were to stop drinking—"

"I like drinking," he snapped.  What was wrong with the chit?  Didn't she recognize the need to get away from him and stop arguing?

"But it doesn't help—"

"It helps me.  And I intend to do a fair bit of drinking right now.  So you need to get out of this room and leave me alone.  For the rest of the night, you will stay in that bedchamber.  You will not come out until I summon you."

Devon expected to hear her footsteps patter across the floor.  If there ever was a cue for a woman to hasten out of a room, this was it.  But, no, the stubborn wench was not moving.

"Go," he roared.  "Get out now."

He should have felt satisfaction as her feet slapped against the floorboards, then the door slammed—obviously behind her as she left.  Instead, he now needed a drink because he felt like a blackguard.  War hero.  His bark of laughter rang in the room.  What a blasted joke that was.

When I first decided to write ENGAGED IN SIN, I wanted a hero who needed to be healed.  Since I'm writing in the Regency, I had Devon fight in the Napoleonic war.  He is left blinded and affected by post traumatic stress.  How could I ensure I portrayed him and his struggle accurately?

To my good luck, a television documentary on post traumatic stress disorder aired while I was writing the story.  And I was able to find two amazing books on blindness.  The first book was a memoir written by a man who lost his sight, called "On Sight and Insight" by John M. Hull.  I had certain preconceptions about how blindness would affect Devon—for example, I thought his other senses would become better to compensate for his blindness.  However in the memoir, the author said his senses did not actually improve—they were just all he had to rely on.  For me, that was an astounding discovery and touched my heart.

The second book was a biography of James Holman, a young naval officer who lost his sight in 1811.  He went on to become a world traveler, and his life story is fascinating.  While blind, he crossed Siberia in a sleigh.  From this book, "The Blind Traveler," I learned how medicine in England dealt with blindness.  Surgeons at the time resorted to the technique of couching to deal with cataracts—which involved giving a blow to the eye with a slender spike to detach the lens.  Scary stuff.

I think this research helped me create a realistic tortured hero in Devon Audley.  If you read ENGAGED IN SIN, I hope you agree.

To celebrate the release of ENGAGED IN SIN, I am giving away 3 copies to 3 lucky readers. Just comment below to be eligible.

Excerpt from "Engaged in Sin" ©Sharon Page 2011




58 comments posted.

Re: Sharon Page | Engage in a Tortured Hero

When I find egregious mistakes in a book I not only stop reading it but I am
sure to tell all my reader friends to avoid that particular writer now and in the
I say writer as opposed to author because an author gets paid and a writer
tries to. Those who make avoidable errors by not doing their research don't
deserve the money. There are too many writers waiting to be published who
do their homework.
(Sandra Spilecki 9:00am November 5, 2011)

Book does sound great - When publishing books, I think facts and research should be meticulous, because they reflect on the rest of the book's content and message.
(Diane Brixius 9:23am November 5, 2011)

I really appreciate a book that is well researchedl
(Kathleen Bianchi 9:53am November 5, 2011)

I would love to read this! Thank you for the giveaway!
(Lisa Garrett 9:59am November 5, 2011)

Now THIS is my kind of book! And I love the cover! I
appreciate the time and effort the author took to research
details to ensure they are as "real" as possible. I'm a
HUGE historical romance reader and am always on the look out
for new authors. Sounds like I've found a good one and
can't wait to read this book!
(Laura Henderson 11:38am November 5, 2011)

Wow! what a fantastic spin. Sounds like a great read.
(Barbara Hanson 12:00pm November 5, 2011)

Sounds like a great read and I love the cover.
(Gail Hurt 12:04pm November 5, 2011)

What a wonderful story. This book sounds like a great read. Thanks for visiting.
(G S Moch 12:05pm November 5, 2011)

Thanks, Pam. I love researching, as I learn all sorts of interesting things. I have a Regency Christmas novella out now, and it was fun to learn about Christmas traditions then.
(Sharon Page 12:14pm November 5, 2011)

While growing up, I read Helen Keller's autobiography, and she was a big influence on my life. I admired how she faced adversity, and did so much with her life!! Little did I know that I would be faced with health problems myself in my 20's, and those would carry on into this phase of my life. I always tried to live by her "rules" so to speak, and didn't let things get me down. She helped me to get through some of my worst times, and has been like a little angel who has sat on my shoulder the whole time. That has made me so excited to read your book, and see how you wrote the story of Devon Audley. It sounds like you used a lot of thought going into it, as well as a lot of research. Congratulations!!
(Peggy Roberson 12:48pm November 5, 2011)

I read The Club last year and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to your latest -got to love the tortured hero.
(Na S 1:26pm November 5, 2011)

You learned some interesting stuff in your research. I do enjoy reading about wounded heroes who are trying to rebuild their lives.
(Maureen Emmons 1:44pm November 5, 2011)

Love the sass in the title and the tongues which wag because of the suggestion. Hope your story lives up to all the implications as I'm under no illusion that you have what it takes.
(Alyson Widen 2:41pm November 5, 2011)

I love the story of a torture hero and the heroine who makes him see the light (hope). I'm going to have to find this book in the store. Story is interesting and intriguing.
(Kai Wong 3:25pm November 5, 2011)

I think it's very important to a good story when an author takes the time to do a lot of research for the details for the story, which makes it more fascinating and interesting for the readers. Everyone loves to learn more, especially historical. I've learned many things myself, just watching the history channel. My father served in WWII in the Navy on the USS Montpelier naval ship and told me many memorable and fascinating stories and information about islands they took small boats from the ship and rowed in to. He wanted to be an author and write a book about the events that took place on and off his ship. He kept a diary and documented many things. A friend of his, had the same idea, and wrote the book. A close friend of his did lose his sight and an arm, as my father and his five friends docked their rowboat onto the beach. One fellow stepped onto a land mine buried in the sand. Needless to say, their fun of eating, drinking, and souvenier hunting (good times) were cut short!
Enjoyed reading your post, Sharon. Much success with your new book, which sounds fantastic, because you worked so hard at it!
(Linda Luinstra 4:36pm November 5, 2011)

Wow...sounds like an engaging read! Thanks for the chance to
win it!
(Leanna Morris 5:39pm November 5, 2011)

What a great story to read as these cold winter evening approach and I'm sitting by the fireplace
(Shirley Younger 5:59pm November 5, 2011)

Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to it.
(Sheila True 7:24pm November 5, 2011)

Congrats on the new release, Sharon. I love tortured heroes and can't wait to find out more about Devon.
(Jane Cheung 8:08pm November 5, 2011)

Congrats on the new book! The little excerpt sounds good!
(May Pau 8:22pm November 5, 2011)

Sounds like another great read!
Happy Holidays
(Julie Parrish 8:41pm November 5, 2011)

Thank you for your dedication to your readers. The accuracy of details in your books is truly appreciated.
(Joanne Hicks 9:47pm November 5, 2011)

Sounds like a great read. Can't wait!
(Jane Limback 10:08pm November 5, 2011)

Nowing an author has worked on reseaech for the book you know that it will be a book that you will enjoy
(Patricia Kasner 10:14pm November 5, 2011)

Book sounds great,thanks for giving me a chance to win it.
(Linda Hall 10:32pm November 5, 2011)

Thanks so much to everyone for stopping by. Since Devon was a soldier, I really wanted to be as accurate as I could. I remembered stories my parents told me about being in Britain during the Second World War. I am still stunned that people coped with it and it became sort of a part of everyday life. My grandfather and great-grandfather used to stand in the doorway of the house when planes would drop bombs in the street. Once, one hit somewhat close, and the force of it, knocked them over, and sent them rolling down the hall. They were rolled up in the hall carpet. I just can't imagine such a thing.
I love doing the background work and reading for a book. Right now, I've been studying the work of anatomists, and it is really amazing. There was actually a Dr. Dolittle type of character in England who kept all kinds of exotic animals on his country estate.
(Sharon Page 10:36pm November 5, 2011)

Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this.
(Jennifer Beyer 10:45pm November 5, 2011)

Sounds like fun!
(MaryAnne Banks 10:47pm November 5, 2011)

congratulations on the new book. i sure am glad that medicine has made advances since then, that sounds like it was not only barbaric but probably made things worse most of the time.
(Tammy Ramey 10:47pm November 5, 2011)

As a Librarian, I both applaud and appreciate your research to provide us readers with quality enhancement. I love regency romance with twists and turns. Thanks for citing James Holman's biography. We all will look forward now especially to reading your novel.
(Carla Schuller 10:50pm November 5, 2011)

I love damaged (emotional or physical) heroes. Can't wait to read about this one.
(Lisa White 12:23pm November 6, 2011)

Resarching for your writing defines the essence of a professional.
(Susan Navidad 1:26am November 6, 2011)

Sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for the chance to win.
(Jennifer Langford 1:41am November 6, 2011)

I love a well researched book, it adds so much to a book.
(TinaMarie R 6:36am November 6, 2011)

ENGAGED IN SIN looks like a wonderful read. Love the title.
(Mary Preston 7:08am November 6, 2011)

thanks for sponsoring the contest!
(Cheryl Stillwell 8:22am November 6, 2011)

Thanks for taking the care in researching for this book. The excerpt is very interesting and I look forward to reading it..
(Cate Sparks 8:35am November 6, 2011)

I would love to read it, it sounds really good
(Debbie Penny 8:51am November 6, 2011)

This book sounds like my kind of read! Would love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway
(Karen Haas 10:06am November 6, 2011)

What a great title! Would love to read this!
(Nancy Ludvik 11:41am November 6, 2011)

Sounds very interesting.
(Jennifer Lower 11:51am November 6, 2011)

Sounds like a story that will touch my heart.
(Diane Sallans 12:20pm November 6, 2011)

Sounds great... I look forward to getting my hands on it and reading it!
(Colleen Conklin 12:37pm November 6, 2011)

Sounds like a good read - appreciate hearing about the research you did for the book.
(Mary Chin 1:25pm November 6, 2011)

That must have been some interesting research you did for the book. Must admit that I flinched to read in your post about the treatment for cataracts. However, I bet you made good use of the research that you did for this book.
(G. Bisbjerg 1:38pm November 6, 2011)

What an interesting title and plot! I hope I'm fortunate enough to win it.
(Anna Speed 2:44pm November 6, 2011)

I would love to read this!
(Cheryl Haut 4:52pm November 6, 2011)

I've been hearing good things about this book and it sounds like something I would enjoy very much!
(Jeanne Sheats 4:59pm November 6, 2011)

Wow, this sounds like a great book. Would love to read it!
(Sharyn Lewis 6:27pm November 6, 2011)

This sounds like a great book and I love the cover. Thank you for the post and the great giveaway!
(Patti Paonessa 7:28pm November 6, 2011)

Sounds wonderful! I love it when the women in books have some strength and the men aren't perfect!
(Joanne Schultz 8:18pm November 6, 2011)

Sounds intriguing!
(Tara Smith 9:13pm November 6, 2011)

Sorry I missed this giveaway.
(Lisa Kendall 11:19pm November 6, 2011)

GOod luck with the new book, sounds fascinating!
(E Felder 12:33pm November 7, 2011)

Research can lead in all sorts of directions and reveal interesting facts. Remarkable the two books that were able to give a framework to your hero.
(Lindsey Ekland 3:04am November 7, 2011)

The tortured hero is one of my favorite types of Hero. Dark, broody and withdrawn, and losing themselves in liquor. It’s those very layers that need to be peeled away slowly and expose what he is trying to conceal. Who wouldn't love to be the woman to heal him?

Thank you for this opportunity.
(Diane Diamond 12:49pm November 7, 2011)

What a timely book with all the vets coming home from
Iraq/Afg. I love your books and have them all! Is this a stand
alone or part of a series? glittergirl54 at ymail dot com
(Lenna Hendershott 6:02pm November 7, 2011)

I love a hero that needs healing, both physical and mental. Sounds like a
promising book with deep characters! I have to put this in my TBR list.
(Lexi Hansen 8:52pm November 8, 2011)

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