Susana’s Morning Room will be on hiatus until further notice so that Susana can concentrate on her historical blog, Susana’s Parlour.
The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.
About The Sale of Woodhouse Glass
“Touching and intelligent, The Sale of Woodhouse Glass isn’t your ordinary romance. Kali Woodhouse is a widowed mother-of-two who spends her days running her deceased husband’s business, Woodhouse Glass, and flirting with the town police officer, who is exactly right for her in every way. He’s certainly a better choice than the bad-boy, screw-up she’s known since childhood, and who just so happens to need a job and has the necessary skills for Woodhouse Glass.
“No, this isn’t the generic storyline you’ve seen before with flat characters who play their roles according to the formula. Watters eschews cliche and instead tells a touching story about love, loss, family, and finding happiness again after tragedy.”
-Author of “Someone Else’s Fairytale” E.M. Tippetts
“How do you feel, fancy suit-wearing business owner?”
“Excited. And sad.” Spencer stopped walking to turn and look at her. He pulled on his collar. “And hot.”
Kali laughed. “A mixed bag. Such is the life of the self-employed. I guess I’m off to the life of the unemployed for now.”
“You sure you don’t want to keep your job?” Spencer looked hopeful.
“Nah. No offense, but I sold it to get away from you, so that would kind of defeat the purpose.”
Spencer nodded with a good-natured chuckle. “Fair enough. But if you change your mind…”
Kali smiled sadly. They both knew that wasn’t going to happen, and they stood looking at each other for a moment, neither exactly sure how to walk way.
“Hey, um, give the kids a hug for me. I’m gonna miss ‘em. Would it be weird if I signed up to coach Ryder’s soccer team this year?” He wasn’t serious about the soccer, but she knew he would miss the kids. They would miss him, too. They already complained about not getting to see him much. Now they wouldn’t see him at all.
“Single thirty-something man with no children signs up to coach six-year-old soccer. Yeah…I’m thinking it might be weird.”
He laughed as he reached for her and pulled her into a tight embrace. It was the first time they had touched in weeks. “I’m gonna miss you, Kal.”
Kali rested her cheek against his silky tie and freshly pressed shirt. This was goodbye.
“I kind of hate you, Spencer.”
“I kind of hate myself, Kal. But I love you.” He didn’t let her go.
“I love you, too.”
When he finally released her, his eyes looked a little bit glossy, the way hers felt. He kissed her on the forehead and turned to walk to his truck, leaving her standing in the sunshine, not quite sure if she was supposed to feel relieved or heartbroken to have reached the end.
About the Author
She has an underutilized degree in Communications, selected for its minimal math requirements. She married her math tutor who is now a CPA in southern Oregon.
Her hobbies currently include reading, writing, and watching beginner level gymnastics, ballet, and soccer practices. When she isn’t writing or being a mom, she also teaches high school conflict resolution classes part-time.
Mistletoe, Marriage, and Mayhem
A Bluestocking Belles Collection
In this collection of novellas, the Bluestocking Belles bring you seven runaway Regency brides resisting and romancing their holiday heroes under the mistletoe. Whether scampering away or dashing toward their destinies, avoiding a rogue or chasing after a scoundrel, these ladies and their gentlemen leave miles of mayhem behind them on the slippery road to a happy-ever-after.
***All proceeds benefit the Malala Fund.***
All She Wants for Christmas, by Amy Rose Bennett
A frosty bluestocking and a hot-blooded rake. A stolen kiss and a Yuletide wedding. Sparks fly, but will hearts melt this Christmas?
The Ultimate Escape, by Susana Ellis
Abandoned on his wedding day, Oliver must choose between losing his bride forever or crossing over two hundred years to find her and win her back.
Under the Mistletoe, by Sherry Ewing
Margaret Templeton will settle for Captain Morledge’s hand in marriage, until she sees the man she once loved. Who will win her heart at the Christmas party of her would-be betrothed?
’Tis Her Season, by Mariana Gabrielle
Charlotte Amberly returns a Christmas gift from her intended—the ring—then hares off to London to take husband-hunting into her own hands. Will she let herself be caught?
Gingerbread Bride, by Jude Knight
Traveling with her father’s fleet has not prepared Mary Pritchard for London. When she strikes out on her own, she finds adventure, trouble, and her girlhood hero, riding once more to her rescue.
A Dangerous Nativity, by Caroline Warfield
With Christmas coming, can the Earl of Chadbourn repair his widowed sister’s damaged estate, and far more damaged family? Dare he hope for love in the bargain?
Joy to the World, by Nicole Zoltack
Eliza Berkeley discovers she is marrying the wrong man—on her wedding day. When the real duke turns up instead, will her chance at marital bliss be spoiled?
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- Goodreads Reviews
About the Bluestocking Belles
The Bluestocking Belles’ books carry you into the past for your happy-ever-after. When you have turned the last page of our novels and novellas, keep up with us (and other historical romance authors) in the Teatime Tattler, a Regency scandal sheet, and join in with the characters you love for impromptu storytelling in the Bluestocking Bookshop on Facebook. Also, look for online games and contests and monthly book chats, and find us at BellesInBlue on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Come visit at www.BluestockingBelles.com and kick up your bluestockinged heels!
Interview with Julie
What were some early influences on your writing?
Nancy Drew and Mad magazine.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everything I’ve ever seen, read, heard or done. I wrote an entire medieval romance just from seeing a blue gown worn by a minor female character in the movie Becket. The entire novel just sprang into my mind fully-blown. I could hardly write it down fast enough. I wrote it on 3 x 5 index cards, since I was in college doing research and that was all I had to write on, one sentence per card. They took up an entire shoebox. After carrying that shoebox around for forty years, that novel eventually became Dark Warrior.
Do you feel humor is important in romantic fiction?
I feel that humor is important in everything! I can’t imagine how dreary life would be without it.
Are sex scenes easy or difficult to write?
Easy in that I know where all the parts go. Difficult in finding exciting and interesting new ways to describe how the parts get there and what happens as a result. Otherwise what you get is a medical treatise. After all, there are only a finite number of words in the English language suitable for describing an orgasm. And they’ve all been used ad nauseum.
Name three things that inspire you?
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, the Smoky Mountains, the full-length ballet Romeo & Juliet, and medieval illuminated manuscripts. Okay, that’s four things. So sue me.
Dogs or cats?
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Definitely Coke.
Coffee or tea?
Coke. Definitely Coke.
Leather or Lace?
Lace. And Velvet. And silk. Oh, and satin. Yeah, satin…with lace…
Edwards® Hershey’s Chocolate Crème Pie. OMG! You know how most people cut their pies into six pieces? I cut this one into…two.
About Passion’s Triumph
Former SEAL Dr. Lucas McKay and his brother Alex, former FBI agent, have been looking for their lifetime submissive. And they may just have found her in the new Director of the Passion Lake Library. She’s sweet. She’s curvy. She’s adventurous. She’s a green-eyed, freckle-faced redhead with the world’s sexiest glasses. And she’s chock full of secrets. Not the least of which is the fact that she writes steamy BDSM romances in her spare time. She’s also a virgin who has never done any of the kinky stuff she writes about.
When they discover this, they offer to act as her temporary Doms, giving her lots of first-hand experiences designed to enrich her writing and make her D/s scenes more authentic and emotional. Since she’s as attracted to them as they are to her, she leaps at the chance. Unfortunately, Lily has another, even deadlier secret. One with the potential to destroy not only her but the two men she’s grown to love. Will death triumph? Or will love?
Alex climbed into his truck, but he didn’t drive off. He was too busy mentally reciting the FBI’s Manual of Administrative and Operational Procedures in an effort to deflate his cock enough to ease the stranglehold his jeans had around it. Holy shit! That woman is so fucking hot! The moment he’d laid eyes on her, his response to her had been instantaneous. The electrical current zapping between them had ripped the breath from his lungs. His heartbeat had gone from zero to sixty in one second flat and had started beating so hard he’d thought he was having a heart attack. He’d never reacted like that to any woman. Ever. And he’d had more than his fair share of those. But this one was different. He closed his eyes, squeezing his face tight. Lily Rose. God, what a beautiful name! Lily Rose. She was different, all right. She called to a part of him no woman had ever touched before. A part of his soul that had been waiting, biding its time, for just such a woman as Lily Rose Prescott.
And she was not immune to him either. The Dom in him had recognized the submissive signals she was giving off—her shyness, her diffidence, the constant blushing of that pale, translucent skin, her inability to hold his gaze. She had been aroused. He had smelled her essence, especially within the close confines of the elevator and his truck. If he’d swiped his finger through her slit, it would have come out wet and slick with her juice. Just the thought made him moan as his cock hardened once again, making him wince in pain.
Christ! I can’t go back to work like this! I’ll never hear the end of it. Suddenly putting his truck in gear, he checked both ways, made a u-turn and pulled into his driveway, heading back toward the garage. Fortunately his property was shielded from the neighbors’ view by a hedge, a cluster of crepe myrtle trees, and a gigantic live oak tree. Feeling desperate, awkward, and not a little stupid, he shoved his seat back, lifted his hips and unzipped his jeans, freeing his rock-hard erection. The skin was a mottled purple, and blistering hot to the touch. Wrapping his hand around the base, he began moving it up and down in hard, rapid strokes. As primed as he was, it didn’t take long before his eyes were closing, his body was tensing, and he was coming, great white globs of cum spurting all over his hand. Hissing his breath through his teeth, he continued to stroke himself and massage the head of his dick with his thumb, coaxing every last drop out of him. When he finally released himself, he realized he was shaking. And his dick was still semi-hard. As orgasms went, that one had been singularly unsatisfactory, leaving him feeling restless and scratchy, as if millions of insects were crawling just under his skin.
Grimly, he rummaged through the glove box, looking for a rag to wipe the stickiness off his hand, but the only thing he found was a coffee-stained napkin. Feeling more than a bit sheepish, he tucked himself back inside his jeans, moved the seat back up, and backed out of the driveway, his mind still reeling with what had just happened. He had just jacked off! Sitting in his driveway! Jesus, I haven’t done that since I was sixteen! As he turned to head back to the station, he realized that the truck still reeked of cum, so he quickly lowered the windows, hoping the breeze would dispel any lingering aroma. You’re in deep shit, McKay. Deeeep shit.
At the very last second, he jerked the wheel hard to the right and pulled into the clinic’s parking lot. Exiting the car, he entered through the back door. He had to tell Luc about this woman. Because if she was who he thought she was, Luc needed to be on board, too. The decision to take her as their sub and train her would have to be made by both of them. Alex walked past several open doors into empty examining rooms and headed straight for his brother’s office. Luc was sitting behind his desk, gazing intently at his computer screen, writing something on a pad on the desk top in front of him.
“I’ve found her,” Alex said quietly. “She is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. And sweet? Fuck, is she ever sweet!” Now that he was describing her, his words tumbled all over each other in their effort to be heard. “And so fucking gorgeous! Red hair, perfect, pale skin, with just a light dusting of freckles. Green eyes. Ripe, delicious breasts, a body to die for, her ass is—”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Lucas held up his hand. “Slow down. What the fuck are you talking about? Who are you talking about?”
“Lily Rose Prescott. Our new submissive.”
“What?” Luc’s voice rose three octaves. “You just met her and you’ve already talked her into being our submissive?”
Alex shrugged. “Well, not exactly,” he had to admit. “She doesn’t know it yet—”
About the Author
Julie has always loved stories, both reading and writing them. A career as a children’s librarian eventually led to her dream career as a freelance storyteller and puppeteer, a business she operated successfully for twenty-five years. During that time she created and wrote all the original material for Kidstuff, a monthly language arts resource newsletter for early childhood educators. For that endeavor she won the prestigious EDPRESS Award, given by the Educational Press Association of America. She has also written other resource materials for preschool and early elementary teachers.
Now she writes erotic romances. Go figure.
Other Books in the Series
When Clay “Raven” Nighthorse is offered a job as bodyguard to a woman being stalked by her vengeful ex, he’s ready to turn it down. Until he discovers that she is the woman he met on a beach three years ago. The woman with whom he felt an instant connection. The woman who has been haunting his dreams ever since.
Leah Stanhope has never forgotten the day she found her husband in bed with another woman. Nor has she forgotten the kindness and compassion of the complete stranger who’d simply held her in his arms and let her cry herself out on a public beach. She despairs of ever seeing him again until fate brings them together in a conflagration of desire and smoking hot passion. Can Clay convince Leah to risk her heart? And when her stalker finds her, will Clay be able to stop him in time?
When Simon Rafferty finds Kylie Ferrell sleeping in her broken-down car by the side of the road near Passion Lake, Virginia, the connection between them is instantaneous and combustible. He recognizes her as the woman he and his two brothers have been searching for all their lives. Their lifetime submissive. And the fact that she’s homeless, injured, and targeted by the mob? Minor details.
Identical triplets and former spec ops soldiers, Caleb, Simon, and Ash Rafferty are more than capable of handling anything life throws at them. Including a sweet, sexy, lusciously curvy woman who has sworn off all men and who is clueless about the darkness of their needs and desires. Clueless…but intrigued. These dominant alpha males will do whatever it takes to get her into their bed, their hearts, their lives…and their dungeon.
But Kylie has secrets that put them all in deadly danger. And when that danger catches up with her, Caleb, Simon, and Ash must launch a desperate search to find her before she is ripped from them forever.
On the run from an abusive Dom, Charlotte Fielding has sworn off men and the BDSM lifestyle. She’s only attending this particular Open House for the free food. But when her abuser, who also happens to be at the club, confronts her, former SEALs Nikolai Rostov and Jay Gillespie come to her rescue and offer to help. But that would require her to trust the two hunkiest Doms she’s ever met. And Charlotte’s all out of trust.
But fate has brought these three people together—Nik, the big Russian Daddy Dom, Jay, the switch, and Charlie, the submissive who needs what both of these men have to offer. Just as they need what she has to offer. Can she learn to trust them? Can she risk her heart? And when danger comes for her will she stay and let Nik and Jay risk their lives to keep her safe? Or will she run—and risk destroying the only happiness she’s ever known?
Kimberly will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.
Welcome to today’s interview of Candace and Logan, the heroine and hero in Kimberly Keyes’ contemporary romance, Lover’s Leap.
Interviewer: Candace and Logan, the two of you are involved in a wildly passionate relationship and anyone who sees the two of you together can’t miss the fact you’re meant for each other, but as we understand it, when you met, starting a relationship with each other was the furthest thing from either of your minds. The word is your paths crossed by chance when both of you wound up vacationing at a mutual friend’s luxury vacation home in Tahoe. Can you tell us a little bit about how you both ended up there at the same time? And also, what held you back from acting on the attraction the two of you so obviously share?
Logan: I wasn’t on vacation in Tahoe. More like on sabbatical. Trying to decide what direction I wanted to go in my career—and my life, for that matter.
Candace: I wasn’t actually on vacation, either. I went to Tahoe to work—I’m a romance writer—and to clear my head. The house belongs to my agent, who also happens to be my very good friend, Eric. He offered it to me after a certain…um…traumatic event put my life into turmoil.
Logan: She walked in on her fiancé in bed with another woman.
Candace: (Laughs) Yep. Eric was worried about my ex badgering me into taking him back. I knew that would never happen. I can’t stomach cheaters, especially not after the way my dad treated my mom. But I did want to examine why I wasn’t more broken up about ending my engagement.
Logan: She didn’t love the guy. (Grins) She loves me, though.
Candace: (Gazes at Logan) I sure do.
Interviewer: So you both had reasons for hiding out in Tahoe. And?
Candace: After Eric offered me the house, he belatedly realized his quote-unquote special friend, Logan was already staying there. At that point, he almost rescinded his offer to me! And that’s where the confusion came in. You see, Eric’s gay. When he said he had a special friend at his vacation home, I figured that meant…
Logan: She figured I was Eric’s lover. I was pretty shocked when I realized she thought that. And a little peeved. Eric had (clears throat) given me strict instructions to keep my hands off his quote-unquote special friend, Candace, so I thought he’d told her he and I were lovers to insure my cooperation.
It struck me as way over the top—at first—primarily because Eric was my late twin, Luke’s partner. But after spending, what? Five minutes in Candace’s presence? I knew there was something really special about her.
Candace: He got the hots for me.
Logan: There was that…but also, she was a breath of fresh air. For most of my adult life, women have kind of…how do I say…
Candace: They throw themselves at him.
Logan: I was going to say, they come on strong when they’re interested.
Candace: Which any single woman is bound to be.
Logan: See? Told you she loves me. So…back to my guilty conscience over having it bad for Candace when I’d promised to steer clear. I tried not to notice her pretty eyes that saw right into me, and I tried not to follow her around like a puppy dog just because she really listened to me when I talked, and I never meant to get possessive and protective over her when I learned about her idiot ex cheating on her.
Candace: Or when the store clerk offered to help me.
Logan: (frowns) He seemed aggressive.
Candace: Whatever you say, Logan.
Logan: Okay, okay. Maybe I wanted you all to myself and that clerk was showing just a little too much interest.
Candace: Logan had taken me sightseeing in Tahoe, and practically ran off the cute male store clerk. At the time Logan and I were still firmly in the friend phase. I picked up on the boyfriend-ish vibe, but decided I was just wishful thinking, because, after all…
Logan: I was supposedly Eric’s boyfriend.
Interviewer: Okay, so if I understand you right, you each felt an attraction for the other, but felt you couldn’t act on it?
Logan: Absolutely. And it only got worse after we slept together.
Interviewer: Excuse me?
Candace: (Laughs out loud) It’s not how it sounds. We just had occasion to wind up in bed together in the middle of the night. The dreams I had about Logan…
Logan: and I had about Candace…
Candace: Still make me blush. But that’s a story for a different day.
Interviewer: You were attracted, but felt each other were off limits. How did you get over that hump?
Logan: I had to leave Tahoe. Had some personal business in San Francisco, and I wasn’t supposed to come back to the lake house. My God, I was gone something like twenty-four hours—
Candace: Not even.
Logan: …and I missed her like hell. But I resisted calling her because she’d been through enough with her jerk ex. I figured she didn’t need any Loganesque complications.
Candace: I missed Logan, too. I pretty much decided I needed to have my head examined. I finally felt a soul-deep attraction for a man, and he was completely off limits—or so I thought. But then a killer storm hit Tahoe.
Logan: (takes Candace’s hand) And I came rushing back.
Candace: He came rushing back to me.
Interviewer: And? What happened next?
Candace: (Smiles at Logan; Logan smiles at her) You’ll just have to read Kimberly Keyes’s Lover’s Leap and find out!!
About Lover’s Leap
After finding her fiancé in bed with another woman, Candace, a twenty-something, up-and-coming romance novelist takes off for a friend’s vacation home in Tahoe. The good news? She’ll share the place with fellow house guest, Logan, her best friend Eric’s latest lover. Except…
Logan, the nearly-irresistible-to-women photographer, isn’t Eric’s lover. Not now, not ever. He’s in Tahoe licking his own personal wounds, and before he’s allowed near Candace, he’s sworn off of her. No problem. Except…
There’s something about Candace. She’s not simply beautiful and enticingly off-limits. It’s in the way she doesn’t flirt with him. In the way she treats him like he isn’t a shallow pleasure-seeker. In the way, somehow, she brings peace to his world-weary soul.
Too bad she thinks he’s gay. But even if he can clear that hurdle, can he really entrust Candace’s heart to his own haphazard keeping?
Exhausted. Soaked. Muddy. Hair plastered to his forehead, blinding him. He dug his elbows into gravel and dragged himself further away from the drop off, then rolled onto his back and closed his eyes. He would definitely lecture Candace. Just let him catch his breath first.
“Logan, are you all right?” Candace demanded, not content to wait for him to recover his strength. She crawled onto his chest and put her ice cold hands on either side of his face, pushing his hair out of his eyes. “Logan, answer me.”
Logan cracked his eyes open and studied her. Her fair hair was soaking wet and plastered to her skin. Water droplets slid down her cheeks, and off her nose.
“You told me you were safe, you silly man,” she half-yelled, half-sobbed. “You’re lucky your car stopped where it did instead of crashing into the gorge.”
Shivers racked her slight frame. Was she frightened? Cold? He lifted one exhausted arm and swiped her hair back from her cheeks. “Let’s get you home,” he said.
For a moment she stared at him with the blankest expression—then laughter burst from her lips. “You’re crazy.”
“I’m crazy? You just took a joy ride in the middle of a tropical storm.”
She sat back on his stomach and just smiled at him. A big beautiful smile that lit up her whole face. Something warm and wonderful filled Logan’s chest and he did the only thing he could do at that moment. Grasping her nape with one hand, and her shoulder with the other, he dragged her down and kissed her.
About the Author
Kimberly Keyes knew before she was old enough to drive, writing was her passion. Specifically, writing romance. Once she got up the courage to start typing, she never looked back—although some of her earlier works will never get further than underneath her bed!
She writes single title contemporary and historical romance, Victorian era, and is most comfortable working on two books in the two different genres, simultaneously.
The bulk of her time she spends writing, and re-writing, plotting, and dreaming up ways to perplex the characters living inside her head.
She’s lucky to have the unswerving support of her family, and most especially her two faithful companions, Pappillon, a twenty pound rescue puppy from Puerto Rico, and Frank, a.k.a. “President of the Black Dog Club,” also a rescue. The two are constantly by her side offering love and encouragement, and occasionally demanding chewies.
Lover’s Leap, a contemporary romance, is her first published book. The Trouble With Tigers, a Victorian romance will be released soon, too! Both books are published by The Wild Rose Press.
Tricia O’Malley will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.
About Wild Irish Heart
It is time…
An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O’Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.
Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.
Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.
From New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley, comes a new romance series set on the rocky shores of Ireland.
“Have you heard of the famous pirate queen, Grace O’Malley?”
“Of course; she is legendary throughout Ireland. She was notorious for her fierceness in battle. I know she married twice and had several children. She was famous for being ruthless, yet at the same time is credited with preserving much of Gaelic history.”
“Absolutely, and she was a woman that knew her own mind. Did you know that Grainne is the Celtic name for Grace?” Margaret asked. Both Keelin and Margaret’s middle name was Grainne.
“I did not,” Keelin said.
“Almost all of the women of a particular bloodline in Grace’s Cove carry that name. It isn’t because of the town name. It is because our bloodline is that of Grace O’Malley.”
“Shut up.” Keelin was thrilled. She was related to a famous pirate queen? How cool was that?
“Keelin, do not say, ‘Shut up.’”
“Yes, you are a descendant of Grace O’Malley, for whom Grace’s Cove is named. Your grandmother has a direct connection and experiences the effects of it.”
“Of what? I don’t understand. Is ol’ Grandma a pirate or something?” Keelin asked.
Margaret smiled. “No, not quite. Grace was rumored to have powers other than her formidable ones as a pirate queen. Some say magick. Others say a healer. Others point to almost a psychic ability to predict potential threats. It isn’t really known what all surrounded Grace, yet almost all will agree she had a level of power.”
Keelin began to nervously pick at her nails. She pulled at a loose hangnail and winced as blood came to the surface. Without thinking she covered it with her hand and the wound slowly faded.
“The cove itself is rumored to be enchanted. Almost no one will go there. Well, aside from your grandmother. And a few others. I’ve gone there. I never will again.”
About the Author
A New York Times Bestselling author, Tricia O’Malley lives in Milwaukee with her husband Josh, and their much doted-upon dogs, Briggs and Blue. On a typical day you will find her lost in the worlds of her making or working with up-and-coming authors. She loves the entrepreneurial life, is strongly resistant to the cubicle-world, and thrives on creating the life that she’s always wanted to live.
The book will be free during the tour.
The Stolen Dog
Eliza Redgold will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. Click here for the Rafflecopter. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and increase your chances of winning.
The Morning (After) Gift
Silently he rolled away and reached over to where his belt laid cast aside on the floor. My eagle gold beside it.
A small leather pouch. He held it out it to me.
“The morgengifu. Your morning gift.”
My brow furrowed. “But we’ve set our terms.”
Coventry. Was he revoking our agreement?
He shrugged and pressed the package into my palm.
Slowly I untied the long cord.
A ring. A dull gleam of gold. Carved swirls. A large smooth gem in the centre, egg shaped. I held it up to the light.
The gem glowed red as a wood berry. “It’s beautiful.”
I’d not expected such a courtesy of him, just as I hadn’t expected the pleasure he’d given me.
I slipped the ring onto my finger. “Thank you,” I said, made shy. “Where did it come from?”
“It was my mother’s. It’s Mercian made.”
So he’d brought it with him to Coventry. The eagle belt too he must have had with him. He must carry them with him always, a family keepsake.
“And now you give it to me.”
A beautiful old custom I discovered while writing NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva was the Anglo-Saxon custom of the morgengifu or ‘morning gift’.
The morning gift was given to a bride by her husband the morning after their wedding. It could be land, money, goods or jewels. More than a mere dowry, it defined the power relations in a marriage and between the two families of the bride and groom joined in wedlock. Negotiations could be heated and many alliances (and misalliances) were built.
In NAKED, Godiva’s morgengifu is more than the ring she receives by surprise from her new husband. Historical documents from the 11th century show Godiva’s name as a female landowner. Her status as a landowner indicates that she inherited her own estate. Godiva had a lot to offer … and a lot to lose.
Marriage was a risk for Anglo-Saxon noblewomen like Lady Godiva. As Lord Leofric puts it:
“There’s something you have forgotten.” Moving nearer still, he closed the gap I’d stretched between us. His breath warmed my cheek. “The morgengifu is given to a woman by her husband the morning after their wedding night. Not before. To wed is to gamble. In our language even the words have the same meaning.”
Godiva vows to protect her land and her people, whatever the cost. As you’ll discover in NAKED, her marriage gamble may cost her virtue, her heart… or her life.
About Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva
We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.
We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.
Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.
Magic sparkled in the sunlight, falling on the leaves as we reached the edge of the Forest of Arden.
Leofric stroked Wyrd’s neck as we tethered our horses. “This is a sacred place.”
“How did you know?”
Arden was the home of our ancient spirits but it wasn’t common knowledge beyond our borders. Many still came to worship in Arden on holy days, but only those who lived in the Middle Lands.
A shrug was his only reply as we went deeper into the forest by foot, the oaks, elms and poplars whispering their mysterious welcome. Yet I swore he bowed as we entered the deep green grove.
About the Author
Eliza Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. Eliza has also written two upcoming Victorian historical romances for Harlequin Historical. Look out for Enticing Benedict Cole in November 2015.
NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in July 2015.