Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Excerpt from Savage Kingdom Only a little naughty!

I spoke in my previous post about Freygard. Well this scene happens only a couple of pages into the book when Nerya meets Jaden for the very first time.

Nerya pushed the door shut and glanced toward the bed. By the gods! She’d expected a warrior, but not this. Chained to the bed was the most threateningly masculine creature she’d ever laid eyes on in her entire life.

She stepped over to the table and poured herself a large goblet of wine. After drinking it down in a couple of swallows, Nerya pulled herself together and turned to examine him again. The slave lounged against the pillows, seeming untroubled by his plight. He was totally naked apart from a blue linen tunic draped across his groin, and his obsidian eyes stared at her in a disdainful, almost predatory manner that angered her and yet oddly enough stimulated her at the same time.

This one would be a challenge—there was no doubt about that.

Nerya never underestimated her opponents in battle, and she had no intention of underestimating this slave. He was dangerous. She wanted to face a man like this fully armored and with a sword in her hand, not in the coupling chamber skimpily clad in only a thin linen tunic.

It was difficult to gauge his height when he was sitting on the bed, legs outstretched, but he appeared to be at least a head or so taller than her. His skin had a dusky tint, looking even darker compared to the pristine whiteness of the linen sheet. She supposed if she were to consider him objectively, he was in fact a fine specimen. His body was a mass of corded muscle, with a wide, well-defined chest, narrow waist and lean hips. She had to admit she was somewhat relieved to see his arms were held fast above his head by chains.

She took another sip of wine, trying to ignore the fact he was curiously examining her as she examined him. She felt an unwanted warmth color her cheeks. Why was she letting this situation trouble her so much? The slave’s appearance had no bearing on this coupling. All she should be concerned about was that he had a good physique and was most likely a formidable warrior; therefore his seed should be powerful.

Yet he had the gall to lounge there staring insolently at her, displaying none of the expected demeanor of a slave, and her cheeks became even warmer as she realized he stared intently at her breasts. The damp linen tunic stuck to her full curves and, under the thin covering, her nipples hardened into firm peaks. “Don’t stare at me, slave,” she snapped.

Oddly enough, for a man he was remarkably pleasing to the eye. His features were strong and symmetrical, his cheekbones high and well-defined, while his nose was straight and aquiline. His mouth was maybe a little too wide, but not girlishly full, and his long, raven-black hair fell in a silky mass around his shoulders. It was his eyes that troubled her most as he stared at her with such insolence it almost took her breath away.

He was bold and appeared unafraid, something she wasn’t accustomed to in a slave. Nerya was suddenly tempted to run her fingers over his dusky skin and gauge the strength of his muscles that appeared to be carved from something far harder than living flesh. She’d never seen a slave as magnificent as this creature and now, for some inexplicable reason, the blood began to sing wildly through her veins.

Deanna Ashford

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Savage Kingdom - Todays's The day

Savage Kingdom is set in the same fantasy universe as my two other fantasy novels Savage Surrender and Wild Kingdom. I've not written about the heroine of hero of my book before. Nerya is a warrior from the Kingdom of Freygard, and Jaden, her captive, has a mysterious past which is slowly revealed. However, there are characters from my previous books in Savage Kingdom. So if you've read Savage Surrender or Wild Kingdom, you'll get to see Tarn, Rianna and Sarin again.

Just to give you a little bit of the background I'll explain:-

FREYGARD - Nerya's birthplace is a land ruled by women, where all men are slaves, even the male offspring of these women - which can get pretty complicated at times. In order to improve their line, they force the more powerful captive males to serve in the coupling chambers. Their queen Danara does not allow any contact between Freygard and the outside world, so Nerya is unaware how different her life is to those of the women in the lands surrounding hers.

KABRA- a land to the north east of Freygard, ruled by King Tarn and his beautiful wife Rianna. In the past Kabra had been invaded by Lord Sarin of Percheron, who held Tarn captive for a number of years, before he managed to escape and wrest his lands from Sarin's hands. Consequently there's is a complex relationship between these two men.

ACHERON- a mystical land over a vast range of mountains that few people know anything about, ruled by the Dragon Lords, who control powerful magic.

I hope those who buy the book really enjoy it. You can purchase Savage Kingdom at

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


Lee Mead and Skegness, not words I'd normally put together.

Lee Mead conjures up visions of a smooth seductive, sexy voice that gives me the shivers on many occasions; a mass of dark curly hair, a body....perhaps I'll keep the rest of those thoughts to myself!

Back to less titillating matters. Skegness. I always thought of it as a Victorian seaside resort, the faded grandeur of a few sea-front hotels, a north sea battered coastline, a rickety pier, fish and chips and sticky pink and white rock. How wrong I turned out to be.

After a pleasant long weekend in Lincolnshire, my friend, her husband and mine travelled to Skegness, arriving in time to grab a drink before the show started at 7.30. For one night only Lee Mead the winner of Any Dream Will Do. The men had planned to find a nice hotel bar, hunker down there and wait for us to finish out Lee fix. They were dressed respectably, as only husbands can on occasions, but one look at the brash resort, filled with bulky men covered in tattoos, wearing shorts and garish 'T' shirts and they were hotfooting it into the theatre to purchase tickets. (Apologies here to anyone who lives in Skegness, and thinks it an utterly delightful resort! It just isn't my cup of tea.)

Of course they were sat way at the back while we were savoring, and somewhat salivating over a central position three rows from the front. I was surprised at how many people there were. I'd been to two previous concerts, the packed Southend, and the almost as packed Basingstoke but Skegness seemed quite a different entity to me, with a theatre catering mostly to the folks who holidayed in the town. Although taking a look around the auditorium I'd guess a fair number of people were locals and not holidaymakers at all.

There was already an air of anticipation and, as the band started playing the intro to Paint It Black, the excitement built. Then Lee bounded onto the stage dressed all in black and belted out the Stones classic - a version more akin to his hot, dark 'Any Dream Will Do' performance, than the violin laden arrangement on his first album. This was closely followed by Gonna Make You a Star (so much better than David Essex's version) and Nothing Else Matters, the title track from his second album. From then on the audience were in the zone and captivate by this gorgeous young man.

He spoke of many things in his life and his career, between numbers, chatting without a script, which is refreshing and makes each concert a new and exciting experience. This time he included a cute remark about how hot he was, and he hoped he wasn't sweating too much. Bless him, he glanced under his arms, then clamped them to his side making the audience laugh. This is a such a different Lee from the shy young man who appeared on 'Any Dream Will Do', and did do one or two quite awkward interviews during his initial tenure as Joseph. Lee has blossomed and grown over the last few years, and his voice as well as his confidence just gets better and better.

My favourite songs have to be the Musical Theatre numbers, 'Anthem' (Love him to record this), 'Jesus Christ Superstar' (brilliant he should play Judas) and of course the crowning epitome of 'Close Ever Door'. You just have to hear him sing this live to appreciate how special he is; he acts the song, you can feel the angst as he sings it and at the end his stunning voice just soars, sending shivers up your spine.

Added to this were songs from his albums, including my two special favourites, ' When I need you the Most', written by Gary Barlow and Lee's dad's favourite number 'Through The Barricades.' He also included in this eclectic mix, some standards. First a song I never expected him to sing 'Kiss'! This guy knows just how appealing to women he is, and he plays on this; his sexy dance moves making the audience scream. 'Beyond the Sea', the old Bobby Darin classic, displayed the smoothness to his voice, like rich dark chocolate- a treat we all crave but only indulge in on occasions. He then dedicated a song to his wife Denise and new daughter Betsy - the melodic favourite, 'When You say Nothing at All.' So sweet and moving.

I should add at this point that Niamh Perry, one of the girls from the Nancy show, who is now appearing in 'Love Never Dies', performed a small number of songs and dueted with Lee singing 'When the Stars Go Blue.'

When Lee mentioned the show 'Any Dream Will Do', he asked very innocently if anyone had watched it. DOH! But his words got a laugh and when he sang 'Any Dream Will Do' he didn't need the children's choir, let alone a backing track, the audience sang the accompaniment perfectly!

All too soon the show was at an end, but we were given one last song, one we recognised from the show - 'Daydream Believer', which had the audience standing and joining in as well. All in all a great night, with still more concerts to come.

My friend's husband, who wasn't a particular fan said at the end "Boy can that young man sing". I think that sums Lee up very nicely.
credit for photo- Lee Mead Music