We strive to bring you the latest news with PRIDE. On the Blog today, A Divine Tour Stop for Aisling Mancy, Sleight of Heart. Get all the saucy details here!
Welcome to the Book Tour for Sleight of Heart: Romani Verdos and the Tiny House Movement!
A very special thank you to all the wonderful folks at Divine Magazine for hosting me today for the Sleight of Heart book tour! It’s great to be here!
My name is Aisling “Ash” Mancy and my name may be new to you. But my writing may not be. I write young adult works for Dreamspinner’s Harmony Ink Press label under C. Kennedy. Though I write for Harmony Ink and have spent the past four years concentrating on young adult works, I write primarily for adults—surprise!
The Morality of Magick Series is a series of stand-alone books (Yes, it’s true! No waiting for the next book!) about different sorts of magick. My newest book, Sleight of Heart, is the first book in the series and comes to you from CoolDudes Publishing.
Sleight of Heart is an enchanting romance about a palm-reading gypsy and a vampire mage who fall in love against all odds. The story combines the primordial phantasy of the preternatural with the ancient superstition of the Romani—set against a backdrop of present day reality. The penultimate question: How would humans treat preternatural creatures in society today?
The story includes Romani lore, and I tell a true story of my experience in Paris with a Romani young man here. Pesha is largely based on this young man and, in Sleight of Heart, he is a mysterious gypsy who lives under the tyranny of his father, the ruler of a compania (band, tribe, clan) in Wales. I include Romani customs and beliefs (superstitious and genuine) in this novel, one of which is: a brightly colored wagon, or verdo, is a sign of status and wealth.
Having experienced persecution throughout history, the Romani are an itinerate people and travelling from place to place is not only a way of life, but often a matter of survival. Initially, their mode of transport was by foot, often pulling carts containing possessions and sleeping in benders (tents made from hazel twigs covered with canvas). The verdo (or vardo) as living quarters began emerging around 1850 and, though there are many types of verdos, all have large wheels so as to be able to traverse fords and rough terrain. Highly prized, verdos can be ornately decorated. Not only painted in bright colors, but also adorned with carvings often embellished with goldleaf. The more fancifully decorated, including mirrors and stained-glass windows, the higher the status of its owner.
Verdos vary in size and decoration depending on their intended purpose. By way of example, the Brush wagon or “fen wagon” has racks and cases fitted on the outside to display traded wares such as brushes, mops, brooms, pots and pans, wicker chairs. They are high-quality wagons and served as all-in-one traveling superstores and billboards.
The Reading or “kite wagon” is highly valued for its beauty, design, and practicality. It is approximately ten feet long with a porch at front and back, sporting portable steps leading to “Dutch doors.” Cupboards and built-in locker seats prevent possessions from shifting during travel. The wheels are located on the outside of the carriage with back wheels larger than those in the front of the verdo.
The Ledge or cottage-shaped wagon is similar to the Reading with more elbowroom owing to the narrower floor and extension of the living area over the wheels via a “ledge” beginning at about knee-height.
The Bow Top, based on the design of the Ledge, is significantly lighter and less likely to roll or turn over in strong winds. The top is constructed with a lightweight, weatherproof canvas supported by a wooden frame. Inside, the ceiling is often patterned and designed for added decoration; and interior wood is painted with bright colors. The wagon’s design is reminiscent of the bender tents of old and the tops are often colored green for camouflage in wooded areas.
Finally, there is the Burton or showman’s wagon—think Brush wagon on steroids. These wagons are built for show and eye-catching appeal. Made for travelling over better roads and smaller circuits, they are not suited to off road use. They are elaborately adorned and used for travelling the carnival circuit.
Powered by one horse, the typical Romani verdo travels about fifteen miles per day. A second horse is added for hilly terrain. The Romani believe the dead are bound to their possessions until the possessions are burned, buried, or sunken. As such, a verdo is often burned upon the death of its owner.
With the advent of the Tiny House Movement, verdos have made an incredible comeback offering affordable housing and preventing homelessness—not only for individuals and families, but also students who do not wish to add the financial burden of dorms to the college costs.
Check out Tiny House revolution on Tiny House Talk! I hope you enjoy reading Sleight of Heart as much as I enjoyed writing it!
A vampire mage, a Romani young man, and a love that won’t be denied.
Lord Taliesin Solitaire was born albino, cursed mute by the fey, and betrayed by a vampire lover. For two hundred years, the vampire mage has vowed never to love again and has only used sex as a means to a meal. Until a palm-reading gypsy finds himself in peril and Taliesin can’t resist rescuing the beautiful young man.
Pesha Sinclair is the eldest but smallest son of King Vaida Sinclair, the oppressive ruler of the Kåle Romani Compania. Deemed impure by his father, Pesha is shunned and mistreated by his band and four half-brothers, and one brother in particular wants him dead. His pale, silent savior gives him safety, security and a love he never could have imagined. As Pesha falls in love with his handsome white knight, his half-brother does the unthinkable.
Can Taliesin rescue Pesha from the cruel clutches of his half-brother a second time?
Now available at CoolDudes Publishing,
About Aisling Mancy
Ash is an author who lives, most of the time, on the West Coast of the United States. Ash writes adult fantasy, science fiction, adult romance, and fiction for gay young adults as C. Kennedy.
Raised on the mean streets and back lots of Hollywood by a Yoda-look-alike grandfather, Ash doesn’t conform, doesn’t fit in, is epic awkward, and lives to perfect a deep-seated oppositional defiance disorder. In a constant state of fascination with the trivial, Ash contemplates such weighty questions as If time and space are curved, then where do all the straight people come from? When not writing, Ash can be found taming waves on western shores, pondering the nutritional value of sunsets, appreciating the much-maligned dandelion, unhooking guide ropes from stanchions, and marveling at all things ordinary.
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February 12th – Joyfully Jay and a True Story of My Time in Paris with a Romani Young Man
March 11th – Bike Book Reviews and About Sleight of Heart and the Morality of Magick Series
March 12th – Jo & Isa Love Books
March 13th – Divine Magazine
March 14th – Release Day with The Novel Approach!
March 16th – My Fiction Nook
March 17th – Love Bytes Reviews
March 18th – Kimi-Chan Experience
Amy Lane, who has the biggest heart in the world, flails Sleight of Heart!