Hi Susana! I’m so pleased to be visiting your parlour today.
I’m Killarney Sheffield, the author of Through Gypsy Eyes, released from Crimson Romance on April 15, 2013. Through Gypsy Eyes is my eighth published novel.
I would be delighted to offer my newest re-release Stand & Deliver Your Love from BooksWeLove to one lucky commenter.
Many people have asked me just how I came up with the idea of a blind heroine and a guide animal in the form of a seeing eye pony named Jester. Like many authors I sometimes struggle with “showing” vs “telling” and developing the sensory dimensions in a novel. I started writing a short piece from a blind woman’s point of view. Obviously my character could not see the world around her but had to interpret it through touch, taste, smell and the sounds around her. It is a wonderful exercise that really helped me connect with Delilah.
The story just took off from there and refused to stay quiet until I seriously wrote her story and for me as a Canadian farm gal, a book is never complete without some kind of animal sidekick. Most people would have gone with the guide dog approach but, I hate to offend anyone here, I am just not a dog person. My whole life has been spent around show horses of various breeds and disciplines.As I was thinking on an animal sidekick I remembered an old show I saw once on Animal Planet about a lady in the USA who trained miniature horses to be guides for the blind. She used a harness similar to a dogs, put cute little sneakers on the pony’s feet for traction and house-trained them. These remarkable little creatures could do everything a guide dog could and posed less of an allergy problem.
From this simple show the idea behind Jester was born and he quickly became a most endearing character who threatened to steal the story in more than a few scenes! You can view a quick teaser of the tale here: http://youtu.be/S6qfLlbIkxA.
True to my love of critters big and small I am currently polishing another historical romance novel with suspense, adventure and paranormal aspects to it titled Love’s Magic. It is the story of a female magician and her unusual sidekick, a black Holland rabbit named Dexter.
About Through Gypsy Eyes
Delilah Daysland doesn’t see herself as marriage material. After all, who could love a woman locked in darkness?
Try telling that to Lord Tyrone Frost. He’s determined to do his duty and see her wed to a suitable gentleman, as the King commands.
Delilah has other plans. Convinced her father’s death was no accident, she must depend upon her pony Jester to guide her through everyday challenges as she seeks the truth behind mystery, murder, and deception. Though drawn to Tyrone she’s afraid to trust him, until she sees the world and love through gypsy eyes.
Sensuality Level: Behind Closed Doors
The pony snorted and then nickered. She strained to hear anything beyond her own movement as she kept herself afloat. Was there a slight rustle in the brush? Stilling her movement, she paid closer attention. After detecting no further sound she closed her eyes, allowing herself to relax and float in the blissful rocking motion of the current. It must be a small woodland creature out to parch its thirst on such a stuffy night. There was nothing to fear from such creatures, she was sure. A soft splash gave her pause and she rolled over. Treading water she turned to face the opposite bank. Ripples rose, slapping her chest as if something waded in the shallows. She listened again. A rhythmic sloshing made its way toward her. Alarm quickened her pulse as she concentrated on the sound.
An answering nicker came from the bank behind her. She worried her damp lower lip between her teeth. If Jester is yet on the bank, then what is in the water with me? The unknown visitor slowed, treading water a few yards from her. By the noise it made she surmised it was large. Intuition told her it was not a mink or beaver come to fish. The fine hairs on the back of her neck began to prickle. Crossing one arm over her breasts and paddling with the other to keep afloat she inquired, “Is someone there?”
“I thought my eyes deceived me when I spied a fair maiden floating in this pool.”
The unexpected baritone froze her movement. Delilah gasped, almost going under the surface of the water when she forgot in surprise to paddle for an instant. She scrambled for something appropriate to say under the circumstances. “I beg your pardon, sir? ‘Tis most unseemly to disrupt a lady’s swim.”
He chuckled, a low, husky sound making her picture a large, muscular physique. “Ah, you are right; however, I have yet to determine whether you are a lady or merely a figment of my overtaxed imagination.”
Heart thudding against her ribcage, she swam backward toward the opposite bank, struggling to appear calm and collected. The stranger could accost her here and no one would know to come to her rescue. How senseless I have been. Surely Jester will be no match for a man intent on harming me. Taking a deep breath, she gathered her courage.
“I assure you sir, I am not a figment of anyone’s imaginings, least of all yours.”
“Hmm …” the preponderance followed her. “Perhaps then you are a woodland nymph out to temp any man who passes by to try your nectar?”
Her feet touched bottom, sinking into the sand. Before she could turn and make for the bank his hands were on her waist. To her horror he cradled it in a firm, yet gentle grip.
“Release me sir, for you do offend a lady, not a nymph.” She fought a growing sense of panic as he drew her to him.
His minty breath tickled her damp cheek. “You have flesh as any maiden. Do you taste as sweet as one, too?”
Anger and shock at his boldness brought her hand down with force to slap the surface of the water. He sputtered in response to the spray splattering his face. Perhaps I might have the upper hand. “Release me this instant or I shall scream and alert my maid who sleeps on the bank,” she bluffed.
Despite the warning, he chuckled. “There is no maid, wood nymph, for I walked the whole perimeter when I spied you here.”
Is his intent to take advantage of a lone woman and defile me? What am I to do?
Summoning her little remaining courage, she tried to reason with him. “I say again, release me good sir, for my presence will be missed at the manor even as we speak.” She grimaced at the tremor in her voice betraying her fear. He shifted, his mouth brushing her ear, and she gasped at the intimate contact.
“Ah, even so I would take a moment to test your lips to see if they are as soft and sweet as your voice,” he whispered.
About the Author
Well, before becoming a published author I used to be a natural horsemanship trainer, farrier and English & Western riding coach. I currently live on a Canadian cattle ranch with my family, though one day have dreams of seeing the world and moving to Australia. I am still as passionate about my horses as my writing but have to work hard to balance the two these days. Which is my greatest joy? Probably my registered Thoroughbred stallion, Stamp de Gold, whom I lovingly refer to as Love Monkey. In a horse person’s life there comes that one very special equine who seems to know exactly what you want and what you are thinking. I have been blessed with two of those amazing creatures over my years of owning, training and showing, my dear departed Melderman and Stamp de Gold. For all those ‘horsey’ readers and authors out there I also have a blog dedicated to all kinds of horse info.
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What a lovely posting! Your book sounds fascinating. It’s so strange to me that miniature horses haven’t become more popular as seeing eye animals. They live much longer than dogs, they have equally sweet natures and because of their longevity, cost less to train. And honestly, who wouldn’t want to live with a pony?