Thursday, February 23, 2012

Toni Sands: Orchid Pink

Please welcome author Toni Sands who's here today to talk about her new historical erotic romance novel, Orchid Pink.

Morning Everyone!
Don’t you just love Gale’s ‘Wake up your wild side’ invitation? It makes me think of walking in the Welsh mountains, letting the wind frolic with my hair and hearing the call of the predatory birds riding the thermals in search of supper.

It also makes me think of the stories I’ve written which are set in Iceland. Now, I don’t mean the supermarket chain. I mean the strange, quirkily-beautiful island that’s a two hour flight from Heathrow and about two universes away in terms of character. Surprisingly, the terrain is quite a lot like Wales. Think Brecon Beacons but with a triple helping of ice. The Icelandic ponies roam the terrain, their beautiful coats forming a palette of bitter chocolate, milky caramel, honey and cream. Think caves tucked into hillsides, allegedly built to house elves and goblins, and often bearing a cute little signboard stating the residence’s name. Think awesome, pounding waterfalls, glistening glaciers and a powerful sense of history. The bright colours so typical of the country’s visual art fit the primal and energetic mood of the island. Think primary school meets Grayson Perry. For months and months, the people are starved of daylight. So they love vivid splashes of colour, bright lights and sparkling ornaments. I adored being in Iceland, as you can probably tell. My visit to the big ‘Blue Pool’ (a thermal pool) sparked an idea for a story and I also wrote one for Lucy Felthouse’s collection ‘Seducing the Myth. Orchid Pink contains a scene set in a steamy spa though it’s very different from the Icelandic experience.

My heroine, Adelaide Beauchamp, also walks the wild side, despite her demure exterior and comfortable existence in a big house near Kew Gardens. Outwardly she’s typical of her class but her physical needs bring about a pressure cooker situation and make her susceptible to the advances of an experienced, slightly older woman who introduces her to the delights of sapphism.

Adelaide’s passionate interest in orchids, inherited from her absent mother, forms the backdrop to a lot of the action, whether in her own Victorian glasshouse or at the Royal Botanic Gardens just down the road.

Here’s Adelaide initiating Daisy into the delights of exotica.

‘I’ve never seen nothing so perfect,’ she said at last, her voice reverential.
‘I have,’ I said. My orchids were calling me, urging me to tell her about their irresistible allure. ‘These bad girls are cunning, Daisy. When it comes to procreation, they are no better than harlots.’
She looked puzzled so I rephrased my words. ‘They know all the tricks. Some varieties can mimic the smell of a female wasp on heat. Even produce a petal so hairy, it feels like an insect. So, a male wasp mistakes the plant for a partner and attempts to have intercourse.’
I watched her tongue brush her top lip. Wondered if she was shocked.
‘When this occurs, the orchid produces a load of pollen and dumps it onto its lover's head. Do you understand my meaning, Daisy?’
I expected girlish sniggers - a baffled look. She nodded. Stood closer. I had my student’s absolute attention.

When Adelaide decides to settle for marriage and conformity she’s well aware which erotic delights float her boat and she believes that making love with a man will propel her to even higher levels. What develops within her union with Thomas colours the rest of the novel and caused my lovely editor to describe Adelaide’s husband as a sleazebag. Result! No way could I write him as the archetypal romantic hero but even I didn’t imagine Thomas would behave quite as despicably as he does. You’re so going to enjoy discovering how he gets his comeuppance!

It’s been great to call in and chat. I hope we’ll meet again before too long. Do, please contact me via my website or post a comment for Gale.


Demure Adelaide hides a passionate nature beneath her elegant gowns. After hiring a delicious new maid, Daisy, she can’t wait to initiate her into the delights of the orchid house. Though resenting paternal pressure to marry businessman Thomas, Adelaide finds excitement in his touch and his erotic whisperings. Yet, when he reveals his sinister side, she seeks solace elsewhere. Christmas brings snowflakes, also a vivid reminder of a heart-wrenching past. Intrigue and obsession rock this Victorian household as Adelaide’s poignant search for love leads her into storms. Will she ever bask in the sunshine?

Orchid Pink is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and All Romance eBooks, as well as other good eBook retailers.


Toni Sands lives near the Black Mountains in Wales. Many of her ideas arrive while she’s walking by the river or travelling by train and she also finds inspiration when visiting London. This is where she enjoys roaming galleries and gazing at colourful window displays. She drinks too much coffee and often talks to strangers. Her erotic romances feature in collections by Virgin Black Lace and Accent Xcite, both paperbacks and e-books. She writes to entertain, sometimes finding, as in the case of her new heroine, a character will pop into her head, demanding to have her story told. Toni enjoys networking and belongs to the Romantic Novelists’ Association. She’d like to keep on writing as long as her readers keep on reading.




Calisa Rhose said...

Iceland is one of those countries you hear of, but rarely about. I loved your descriptions, Toni. How interesting to incorporate orchids in a sexual lesson! Thanks for the great post ladies!

Toni Sands said...

What a lovely comment, Calisa. As well as talking about my new novel, I couldn't resist sharing some memories of Iceland. Hope you'll drop by my website some time.

Toni Sands said...

Gale, thanks for letting me visit today. I've enjoyed blogging for you and I hope you'll have plenty more visitors.

All best
Toni x