Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bright Scoundrel by Lily Silver: Character Interview and Excerpt


Interview with Kieran O’Flaherty, Hero in Bright Scoundrel by Lily Silver.   Bright Scoundrel is the second book in the Reluctant Heroes Series. First book is Dark Hero, A Gothic Romance. Book Three, Gallant Rogue, will be available in the summer of 2013. 


Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

Kieran: I was taken away from my ancestral home in Ireland at an early age. I always wished to return there. Now I have, so I have fulfilled my dream in returning home. I have even had the good fortune to have recovered the deed to the O’Flaherty stronghold, and hope to return Roisin Dubh Castle to the glory of more prosperous times.

What do you think makes a good story?

Kieran:  A story with plenty of magic, ghosts and spirits, romance, and a mystical, foreboding setting--like a haunted castle in rural Ireland.  

Tell us about your family.

Kieran:  I am the oldest child in our family. I was born in 1772, in Ireland. My father married an English woman. They were in love, but her father, an English Earl, would not approve of his daughter’s choice in a husband. So my parents ran away and were wed in secret. Unfortunately, my grandfather Wentworth disowned my mother.

My father was an Irish Viscount. His two younger brothers ran a secret militia group in County Galway that was devoted to freeing Ireland from British rule. As you know, that could only end badly. My father was accused of treason along with his brothers, and hanged with his brothers when I was eight years old. My mother was stranded in Ireland, alone and without funds. An English soldier took pity on her, married her and we went to London to live. My mother’s father forgave her for her youthful indiscretion in marrying an Irishman. As her oldest son, I was named the heir of Lord Wentworth.

All was not as it seemed, as my stepfather had married my mother because she was an heiress. We didn’t know that Mother married him. My stepfather was cruel and conniving.  

What was the scariest moment of your life?

Kieran: When I was nine my stepfather took me on an outing to see the London docks and the ships anchored there. My mother was expecting a child soon. Little did I realize that my stepfather was actually taking me to a ship and selling me as an indenture! I was terrified when he handed me over to the ship’s captain and money was exchanged. I was tossed in the hold with a bunch of other boys, mostly beggars and street urchins. We were bound for the West Indies. I thought I wouldn’t survive the voyage.

What are you passionate about these days?

Kieran: That delightful little spinster, to be exact. Miss de Lacy is a fascinating creature. She’s my estate manager. A bit prickly, like a hedgehog at times. She has some rather progressive and odd ideas about women and female rights and independence. She’s attracted to me, I know it. She pretends not to be affected by my charms, but it’s all an act. One day, hopefully, very soon, she’ll stop all her frowning and scolding, and then . . . I’ll kiss her. Really kiss her . . . make her forget that Wollstonecraft woman and that book she wrote about rights for women.  

What do you do to unwind and relax?

Kieran: I don’t know how to relax, to be honest. I spent eighteen years of my life as an indentured servant, and then I was thrust into English society as Lord Wentworth’s heir. That didn’t go so well. It’s why I fled and to Ireland, to escape the scandal and the heavy expectations of my grandfather, the earl. I’m trying to learn the art of relaxation, and yet, how can I relax when I live in a haunted castle and have smugglers terrorizing and harming my tenants. 

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

My younger siblings. I have a sister and a half brother from my mother’s second marriage. I regret every day that I did not go back to London to rescue them. I should have been there to protect them. If I had gone back to London as a young man, I might have been able to prevent much of their suffering at our cruel stepfather’s hands. I feel I failed them as an older brother.  

What would you consider to be the best book you have ever read? 

Kieran: The O’Flaherty Book of Secrets. It contains the history of the O’Flaherty Clan dating back to the 13th century, as well as spells, healing knowledge, and ancient Druid wisdom handed down through the generations. It’s a very special book and I’m honored to have the keeping of it as the hereditary high priest of our clan.

Who should play you in a film?

Kieran: That’s easy; Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam Winchester on  Supernatural. He’d play a fine Irish sorcerer, I believe.  

What makes you happy?

Kieran: Being free, being my own man instead of someone else’s servant, and living at my ancestral home, Roisin Dubh Castle. I feel free here, free for the first time in too many years. Oh, I realize we have a bit of an ‘infestation’ problem here at the moment, but I’m working on banishing all the spirits that have gathered. And I’m searching for a spell to exorcise that wretched elemental spirit that has taken up residence in the tower room. Once I fix those little problems, it will be heaven on earth, just like it was when I was a lad.  

What one word best describes you?

Kieran:  Wizard

Do you have any special routines or rituals?

Kieran: Yes, as a practicing druid, I cast magical circles daily, usually in the morning. I do a little magical work, some spiritual cleansing exercises and then get on with my day. I do this alone, in the secret room set aside for such purposes deep within the castle. I also like to connect with the earth spirits in nature. A druid is a child of nature. We cannot thrive without connecting regularly with the spirits of the earth, be they living beings or those that have passed into the Summerland. The ravens cloistering about the castle are my special familiars. They are the guardians of the O’Flaherty lord.


What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Kieran: I’m a bit of a rake. At least, I have a reputation in London society as being a shameless rake. Yet, it’s really not my fault. The women, you see, they come to me. I’m not certain what it is that draws them. My red hair? My Irish ancestry? I suspect it has something to do with my magical aura. I come from a long line of distinguished seers and sorcerers. Yes, that must be it. They are drawn to my metaphysical energy, it affects them on a purely instinctual level. And, (shrugs), what can I say? I am a man. They come, and I do my best to please them. . . .(ahem). Kieran grins with impish delight. It’s a gift, and what single man wouldn’t rise to the occasion when a lady is seeking his attentions?


Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?

Kieran: My grandmother taught me much in life, but I have learned the most from her example.

I learned through her folly. She taught me, through her ill-advised actions and the repercussions that affected our family, to never cast a spell in anger or great emotional distress. If you do so, you end up hurting people you didn’t intend to, hurting loved ones. My grandmother fashioned a curse in anger, and it ended up harming my sister terribly, as she was affected by the curse my grandmother sent out. The concept is simple yet most people overlook the safeguard until its too late. We call it the Law of Three: Whatsoever you send out into the world, good or bad, comes back to you, times three.


 Bright Scoundrel is the sequel to Dark Hero, and features Kieran O'Flaherty, (Baron Grey) as the Hero. After spending most of his life in indentured servitude and three years of maneuvering the treacherous maze of London Society as Lord Greystowe's heir, Kieran flees to Ireland to begin a new life. He wants to be his own man, but being in charge of his own destiny also brings challenges and responsibilities he didn't expect.

In rural Ireland, Kieran meets Rose de Lacy, a proud spinster who adheres to the teachings of a revolutionary feminist. Like Kieran, Rose wants only to be free to design her own life. She's an artist and a businesswoman.

For Rose, the joke is on the absentee English landlord, Baron Grey, as she is the steward in charge of his estates--a position traditionally held by men. Through correspondence to England, she's known only as The Honorable R. de Lacy. When Baron Grey suddenly arrives, Rose is certain she'll be sacked from her position because she's a woman. 

Rose challenges Kieran in ways he never expected. Rose cherishes her freedom as a single woman and seems immune to his charms. Can he convince Rose that marriage is not indentured servitude?

Kieran struggles to win the acceptance of his clan, The Fierce O'Flahertys and to free Roisin Dubh Castle from a curse that has attracted a menacing evil. He encounters various magical creatures during his journey, including a Banshee, a member of the Fae hiding among his staff, a vicious elemental creature, and enchanted wild ponies.

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Excerpt from Bright Scoundrel by Lily Silver, Book Two in the Reluctant Heroes Series:  Kieran O’Flaherty has just arrived at his ancestral home in Ireland after living in exile for over twenty years. He is troubled by the unseen residents that have accumulated there during its long vacancy.  
Kieran walked slowly down the long hall toward his old room at the end, the room where the ghostly boys had emerged just moments ago. The echo of solitary footsteps followed, reminding him of his lonely state. The castle wasn’t barren. There were spirits here and elementals. Some good and many that were not. It was a lonely place, devoid of human inhabitants, and yet it was full to the brim with unwanted guests that needed to be sent packing.
He spent over an hour perusing the opened rooms on the second floor, taking slow inventory of the place and getting a feeling for what needed to be accomplished to revive the old fortress. When at last Kieran reached the tower room, the master bedchamber, a sick feeling of revulsion came over him. He entered the room, and just as quickly backed out, holding his nose. The smell of sulfur was overpowering. He thought he might retch. As he backed away his eyes stung and watered.
“Lord Grey?” A young maid called from down the hall, near the stairs. “Are you ill, sir?”
“No.” Kieran answered with difficulty, as he tried to not breathe through his nose. “No, I’m just a little tired.”
“Where would you like your trunks set up? In the turret room, sir?”
“No.” He said quickly, a moment of panic seizing him, and he was not one to panic. “No, I want this room closed up. Tell Aine to lock it and to give me the key.”
The maid, a young woman of not more than eighteen years, gave him a curious look. She started down the hall toward him at a quick pace, a frown marring her brow. “Why, who is that with you, Lord Grey? Did you bring a child with you from England, sir?”
“No . . .” Kieran said sternly. He held up his hand, signaling for the woman to not advance further. “Go downstairs, now. Find Aine. Tell her to bring me the key to this room. Go--now!”  He pushed her back with all of his willpower. He held out his hand and pushed mentally against her determination to come near, lest she, too, be put in danger.
The girl paused for a moment, as if sensing she’d reached an invisible barrier and could go no further. She tilted her head, still looking at him with concern. Her face suddenly changed from wonder to outright panic. She turned and ran down the long corridor to the stairs in the center of the castle. She hurried down them without giving him or the creature beside him a second glance.
The panic was real. He felt it, too, when he first encountered the elemental. Panic was the human’s primal reaction to something so inherently evil.
“What do you want here?” He demanded now well past any panic as anger consumed him. This was his home. The being had no right to be here, but someone summoned it, or invited it in. And once an ancient fetch was allowed inside a place, it was not easy to get them to leave.
The thing had no eyes. There were dark holes where the eyes should be. The face of the creature was like rotting flesh, hence the awful stench. It was about three feet tall and covered with rangy, oily, putrid smelling hair. It merely stood there, looking up at him, silently brooding.
It may have been surprised that he could see it. Most people only noticed a dark shadow when they encountered a fetch, along with the horrid smell and the strong sense of panic the being evoked.
“I said who brought you here? Answer me? What is your purpose? I’ll have none of your games. This is my house now, you must leave.”
The creature attacked. Kieran was not surprised, yet he wasn’t prepared for it either. Before he knew what was happening, he was on the floor, on his back, as a searing pain slammed him in the chest. It had jumped up and pushed him backwards. He heard the shuffling noise it made as it hurried back into its cavern, the master chamber, and the door slammed hard.
 He lay gasping, holding his shoulder when the maid returned with Aine at her heels.
“My lord . . . what happened, sir?”
“I tripped.” Kieran groaned as he sat up holding his left shoulder. It ached and burned, just as if he’d been shot again in the same place as he had years ago. “I tripped and fell, that’s all.”
“O’Neill, here, says you were acting peculiar, like ye was ill, sir. She said you asked for me.”
“I’m fine.” Kieran rubbed his collarbone. He could swear there was a bullet lodged there. It felt just as real as when Captain Fletcher shot him. He looked at the young woman who Aine had called O’Neill. “Surely, lass, you have a name besides O’Neill? A pretty girl should not go on being called by such a name?”
“Mary Grace, sir.” The young woman blushed. She looked down at her apron, as if embarrassed to have caught the attention of the master. “O’Neill is my family name.”
“A very pretty name, for a very pretty girl.” Kieran forced a smile as he focused his attention on charming her. “I’m more relaxed than my English peers, Mary Grace. I don’t hold with strict formality, nor do I refer to my household servants by their surnames. Call it a flaw of mine. I prefer your first name, if it does not offend you.”
“Oh, no sir, not at all.” The pink cheeks bloomed into a deeper rose hue, yet still, the girl did not look at him.
“Now then, Mary-Grace, I thank you for bringing Aine to me. Would you please leave us and attend to your duties. I must speak with our stalwart housekeeper alone.”
The girl rose and hurried down the stone corridor again.
“Ach, and weren’t you born with the gift of glamoury, my lord.” Aine said, giving him a canny look.
“A little flirtation goes a long way to make a lass smile and forget ugliness.”
Aine helped Kieran to his feet. He was still stinging from the crushing blow the thing had given him.
“And what was so ugly here that you fear O’Neill must forget seeing, Lord Grey?”
Kieran straightened. He was loath to confess the truth to her and yet, if she was half the woman he sensed she was when he hired her she would not run away shrieking. “Remember what I said when I hired you? I specified that someone with uncommon courage was needed at Roisin Dubh Castle to help me reclaim my ancestral home.”
“Aye, sir. You implied t’was from ghosts and spirits when you said it. I remember it clearly. And I told you, I’m not one to be chased off by shadows and slamming doors. I hold to that, sir.”  Aine’s honest face and those somber, deep set brown eyes looked up at him without flinching.
Kieran wasn’t one to touch people if he could help it. Touching people made him see things he didn’t like. This time he couldn’t refrain from grasping Aine’s arm. “We have more than ghosts here, Aine. Mark me, there are ghosts infesting the castle, but there’s also something much more dangerous.” 

1st Book in the Reluctant Heroes Series

Guard Your Dreams . . . Lest They Emerge from the Mists to Embrace You!

After her mother is murdered, Elizabeth’s grandmother casts a spell summoning a dark hero to arise from the mists to rescue them. When a beguiling Irishman appears at their cottage one magic summer eve, he seems to be everything Elizabeth imagined in a hero.

Donovan turns out to be much more than she bargained for when she said ‘I do’. Once they arrive at his isolated estate, a dismal place where sorrow pervades and ghosts linger, Elizabeth finds she is more a prisoner than a beloved wife. When she is stalked by a malicious spirit she is forced to embrace her magical heritage to protect herself and those she loves.

The cost may be too steep; if Donovan learns her dark secrets will Elizabeth lose his love forever?

Kindle   |  Paperback

 I grew up in Western Wisconsin, and currently reside in the Great North Woods along the shores of Green Bay. My husband and I live in a lovely old Victorian Home with our German Shepherd and our three charming cats.

I went to college as a journalism major, then switched to an art major, but found I kept getting distracted by all those wonderful classes offered by the history department at UW Green Bay. I switched majors, graduating  with a B. A. in History and  a B.A. in Humanistic Studies with an emphasis in Ancient and Medieval Research. All my art classes didn't go to waste, as I also possess a minor in Art History and in 2D art. Despite all the research assignments for my history classes, I still love reading historical romances most of all!

 I joined Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (WisRWA) in 2008.  RWA & WisRWA have helped me to grow as a writer and have given me many wonderful writing companions. 

Aside from writing and historical research, I love cats, art, and photography. I play around with watercolor painting, mixed media collage art and photography when not writing or researching. I also love to play with my adorable little grandson, Charles, who inherited Grandma Lily's red hair. Currently, I am working on the third installment of the Reluctant Heroes series, Gallant Rogue.

Facebook author Page:

And Check This Out!


Free Book Download photo FreeBookDownload.pngSequel Short Story to Dark Hero, Christmas Short Story, A Colonial Christmas Short story

It's 1798 in the Colonial West Indies. Far from her beloved England, a new bride struggles to bring Christmas joy and hope to her family in the wake of tragedy. Her grandfather forbids a celebration, believing they should be in mourning. Her husband wants turtle soup for Christmas dinner and there isn't a goose or a ham to be found anywhere to grace their table. It's too late to make Christmas pudding and her younger brother insists it's not Christmas without it. Can Elizabeth create a traditional English Christmas for her wounded brothers and dispel the lingering shadows at Ravencrest Plantation?


Enter for a chance to win a Print or digital copy of Bright Scoundrel. Print option is available for shipping to US only. Digital copy is open internationally.  Giveaway closes June 2nd.




PuttPutt1198Eve said...

Just a note to say "HI," to Lily and to let her know how much I love historical romances that involve a little magic, as well. Thanks, Lily!

Lily Silver said...

thanks, putput...

I love writing historical romances with a little magic! :D

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Hello Laurie and Lily! I enjoyed the interview and learning more about Kieran. I, too, like the magical element and look forward to when I get to the book on my TBR list. :)

Lily Silver said...

Thanks for visiting us, Stacey.

Mel said...

thanks for having giveaway!!


Hi Lily, just wanted to say hello

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily! Thanks for the post & thanks for the giveaway too!

Amanda Good said...

Hi! Thanks for the giveaway! :)