View Full Version : Day 4, Savor All the Flavors of Romance, How About a Taste of Historicals?

May 15th, 2012, 09:51 PM
I think 5/16 will be all about historically based romances. Gianna, Andrew, and Alice all write historicals so I'm sure you'll enjoy those excerpts.

Remember, the prizes for Day One and Three are still up for grabs. Just leave a comment on those threads. And this one, too.

See you tomorrow morning.:punk:

May 15th, 2012, 10:02 PM
They don't hang witches in Salem anymore, but Milena's punishment is being shunned. When her lover Thomas' ship is lost at sea, she fears he perished with the rest of the crew leaving her alone in a town bracing for a war over slavery, but still rife with an older form of prejudice.

Milena travels into the Forest and Sea Otherworlds to search for him, paying the fairies for her passage with bodily pleasures. Circe, the evil mermaid holding Thomas hostage, demands even more. She faces off against Circe in her underwater lair, endures the wrath of a colony of escaped slaves, and learns the terrible truth of what led to the shipwreck that left Thomas as its only survivor.

On the long journey, Milena learns to use her powers in ways she never imagined and discovers surprising truths about her own past. Left questioning everything she has ever believed, she must make the choice whether to return home with Thomas or stay in the Otherworlds forever.


Villagers swarmed around the dappled gray stallion to obstruct her passage. They buzzed like flies on dung. Since the day Milena stumbled dazed and disoriented out of the Swampscott forest, and Hecabe's lair, they'd branded her a sorceress. Thomas found her huddled near the docks, knowing little of the world and nothing of her origins, surviving only by an innate ability to forage and perform simple magic. He transformed her from an illiterate, illegitimate enigma with his love and attention, teaching her numbers, letters and the ways of the civilized.

If not for the laws on the books, and the protection Thomas provided, Milena would have been hanged. Being shunned was the extent of her punishment. And for that she owed him her loyalty and fidelity. Perhaps the winds of war blowing since Lincoln 's election and the Southerners' secession now occupied the Northerners' attention, but Milena knew prejudice to be a blinder as effective as those used on skittish work horses.
"Go back into the woods where you belong, witch." A woman reached up and tugged Milena's ebony plaits. "Immodesty in dress and action. No cap covering your hair, devil worship at the full moon."
Greystone reared. The crowd fled the horse's shrill whinny and pawing hooves.
The woman spat on the ground. "Good riddance, demoness. Ride your ghost mount back whence you came."
Milena clutched the horse's middle with her legs, regained her balance and continued on to the docks. The gray, sticky aura of the sea's wrath shrouded everything in Milena's sight. Whitecaps frothed on the bay. Plumes of sea spray surged through the planks with each swell the agitated waters. A steady wind dispersed black clouds over the town.
Hateful eyes glared from a safe distance. She tethered Greystone and walked into the shipping company office. Her footsteps echoed in the room. The workers fell silent.
She approached the purser's desk. He surveyed her from the neckline of her sackcloth dress down to the battered boots on her feet. "What business have you here, witch?"
"To inquire after Thomas Harper." Milena ignored her heart pounding and stared directly into his eyes. He would not intimidate her.
"And of what interest is he to you?" A smirk spread over his face.
The vision of Thomas headed into the forest on the day he left flashed through her mind. Milena's voice quavered despite her effort. "He's my husband."
Unmoved, the brute spoke with the venom of a poisonous snake. "His ship was last seen leaving Cay West on two months ago. The ship went down, but no one knows where." His crooked smile indicated perverse delight in delivering the news. Despair surged through Milena's body like lightning. Her heart trembled with grief, the empty pit in her soul ached. Why had the spirits not spoken the truth? She would not show any vulnerability, she would not react, she would not give them the pleasure of seeing her cry.

The Journey (http://www.eternalpress.biz/book.php?isbn=9781615722488) by Gianna Bruno

Andrew Richardson
May 16th, 2012, 02:41 PM
I’m a sucker for anything historical, especially historical fantasy. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t spellbound by Viking sagas and Celtic myths and even Grimm’s fairy tales. My favourites though are the Welsh legends, which have their own distinct flavour. Two of my novels are set in North Wales against the backdrop of old stories. They were great fun to write because I’ve lived in North Wales and I know the settings well.

Here’s the opening to my “The Doe and the Dragon” from Rogue Phoenix Press. It’s a romance which uses a mixture of Arthurian and other local legends as a background.

The maiden's hand was warm and soft, and Einion's chest swelled. His heart pounded with both fear and pleasure.

The earthen road was long and endless and the prince tried to remember when he had last slept. Yet, the small fingers entwined with Einion's eased the fatigue and the prince felt he could still fight a thousand battles.

The world was quiet but for hooves clomping the path and the light breeze in the trees. The prince glanced around, at his saddlebag and the gift inside.

Einion looked back to the maiden.

Red-rimmed eyes met his. The prince was certain he saw a smile under the grief etched aroundher eyes and lips. There was silence and Einion fought with himself, desperate to find a speech worthy of her. By Lleu, why must words form in my mind, but my tongue tie in knots before I speak them?

The maiden's tears became less frequent.

Einion loosed his hold on the maiden's hand, giving her an opportunity to pull away.

She held his fingers tighter and Einion wrapped his hand around hers again, wanting her to know he would keep her safe.

Breena. The name rolled around his mind, becoming as one with her green eyes and night hair. Why must my stomach pound so? "How far is it to your settlement?" Einion asked at last, pleased to break the quiet.

The maiden looked to the east, squinting to Bel's disk. "We will be there before dark."

"Dusk approaches and the clouds build. I fear rain."

"We are not far. We will be home before the rain."

"If we will be there before the clouds reach us, then I suppose your home cannot be far." Einion's laugh was self-conscious. Cadwy told me speaking with a beautiful woman is easy,once you have become friends.

Cadwy lied.

The prince stopped, sucking in a breath. He gazed into her features.

The maiden looked up with quizzical eyes.

One day, my doe, I swear, I will have the courage to tell you how beautiful you are. "I have a gift for you," the prince managed to force out, his voice cracked.

"For me?"

With reluctance, Einion released her hand to rummage in Majestic's saddlebag. The horse snorted as the prince pulled out the bag and felt it. He gave a nod of satisfaction when the rod inside appeared unbroken, and looked to the maiden as he handed the flute to her. "You play so well. I want you to have an instrument that matches your talent."

Einion liked the way she looked when she blushed. She reached inside the bag and pulled out the flute. Two big green eyes widened as they looked at the instrument.

"Do you like the flute?"

The eyes welled."It is beautiful."

Relief flooded the prince. "Please, play."

May 16th, 2012, 04:19 PM
This is from my Harlequin Spice Brief, The Devilish Duke, which will be released this summer.

The butler led Rosalind into a dining room.

“Miss Weaver, Your Grace,” he said softly and then left.

For a moment, she couldn’t help but stare— at the huge hearth, the heavy candelabras around the room and on the table, and most of all, the man at the other end.

The Duke of Fallon, Richard March by name, stood, setting his napkin to the side of his plate. “Who sent you here, Miss Weaver?”

She dropped a curtsey and then straightened to her full height. “I came on my own.”


“To negotiate.”

“I don’t believe that you and I have an arrangement in the works,” he said.

“You do with my father,” she answered. “An agreement for me to become your wife. I’ve come to close the deal.”

“Do tell. Have a seat.” He pointed toward the chair at the opposite of the table from him. So far away they wouldn’t be able to see each other clearly. “Tom, set a place for Miss Weaver.”

A footman who’d been standing in the shadows came forward to pull out her chair. From the sideboard, he produced china and silver and then platters, first of roast beef and then potatoes. The odors wafted into her nostrils, making her stomach cramp with hunger. Still, she forced herself to cut dainty pieces and not shove the food into her mouth.

“How did you get here?” he asked after a moment.

She glanced up at him. That far away and with the shimmering of the candlelight, his facial features were mostly planes and shadows. She’d seen him often enough at home, though, when he’d visited to oversee some of his property. Always tall on his huge chestnut gelding, his skin kissed by the sun, his black hair and eyebrows shaggy. One time, he’d looked at her directly, and the blue of his eyes had made her breath catch. A striking if not a handsome man.

“Miss Weaver…” he prompted.

“I’m sorry.” She took a breath and set her fork and knife aside. “I took the public coach.”

“And then, walked here? All alone?”

“It was the most direct way,” she answered.

“When I last saw your father, he kept a carriage,” he said. “He hasn’t gambled everything away yet, has he?”

“No, sir. Not yet.”

“He doesn’t know you’ve come, does he?”

She didn’t reply. He’d hardly see her if she shook her head, so she let silence be her answer.

“You didn’t trust him, so you came on your own,” the duke said.

“As your wife, I’ll have no secrets from you,” she said. “But, I’d rather not tell you now.”

“It could have some effect on whether or not I want to make you my duchess.”

“Please, Your Grace.”

“Tom, more wine,” he said. “And pour some for Miss Weaver.”

“I don’t drink.”

“Try it,” he ordered. “It’s excellent.”

When the footman filled her glass, she took a sip. It tasted dark and floral all at once. With nothing to judge it against, she couldn’t have spoken to its quality.

“Now then, negotiations.” He leaned back in his chair and studied her. “You become a duchess. I give your father a large sum of money. What do I get?”

“What you must have been looking for all along,” she answered. “It’s common knowledge you don’t have an heir.”

“And, why you, Miss Weaver?”

“Not all families will give their daughters to the devil duke.” There, she’d said what everyone called him behind his back. He had to know of it, even if it was never said to his face.

“Repeat that,” he said.

“They call you the devil duke.”

The candle caught a light of something in his eyes. Anger? “Do you know why they call me that?”

“Because both of your wives died.”

“And the fools think I had something to do with it.” He sighed. “In truth, I did.”

She set her wine glass down with a clatter.

“Don’t look shocked,” he said. “I didn’t murder them, but I had a hand in their deaths, nevertheless.”

If what she’d heard was true, the first wife had died in childbirth and the second had committed suicide. No sign of foul play, and yet, enough to rouse suspicions.

“Are you still willing to give me an heir?” he asked.

“I am.”

He brought his glass to his lips and stared at her over the rim. “You know what that involves, do you?”

“Of course, I do.”

“All right. I have a test. If you pass it, you’ll become the Duchess of Fallon.”

She lifted her chin. “I can pass any test.”

He chuckled but without mirth. “You’re sure of that?”

“Try me.”

“All right.” He gestured to his footman. “Tom, have a bedroom made up. The way we discussed. And then, bring us our dessert.”

When the man bowed and left the room, the duke turned his attention back on her. “When you leave this table, Tom will lead you to your room. Take off every stitch of your clothing. Put on the night rail laid out there— nothing underneath— and lie on the bed.”

“And then?”

“I’ll visit you.”

“But you can’t,” she said. “We’re not married yet.”

“I won’t ruin you. You’ll have your virginity when I’ve done.” He set down his glass. “But I will touch you.”

“That’s a test?”

“I want to watch you spend,” he said.

“Spend?” She repeated.

“Spend, climax. I want to witness your orgasm. Will you let me do that?”

“Do I have a choice?”

“You can go home to your father,” he said. “I’ll send you in my carriage.”

Back to her father and to a different choice— either the man who’d offered more for her than the duke or to be put out onto the street.

“I’ll take your test, Your Grace.”

“Good.” He leaned back against his chair. His expression might have been carved of stone.

The footman reappeared carrying a tray.

“Enjoy your dessert,” the duke said.


Jess W.
May 16th, 2012, 10:13 PM
The Devilish Duke sounds good! I will have to watch for that! I have a couple authors who have pulled me into historical romance. It wasn't the genre that made me realize reading was fun, so I am still venturing into it. I really enjoy Lisa Kleypas, Hannah Howell, and Johanna Lindsay.

May 17th, 2012, 11:53 AM
Thanks, Jess. I love historical romance. My favorite authors are Laura Kinsale and Anne Stuart. Stuart does both contemporary and historical.

The Devilish Duke sounds good! I will have to watch for that! I have a couple authors who have pulled me into historical romance. It wasn't the genre that made me realize reading was fun, so I am still venturing into it. I really enjoy Lisa Kleypas, Hannah Howell, and Johanna Lindsay.

May 18th, 2012, 10:20 PM
wonderful excerpts!

May 19th, 2012, 06:41 PM
Awesome excerpts.. Great work and very tempting..

CTR making it soooooo difficult to choose the authors and their books.. You guys are coming up with very tempting and unique stories and excerpts and my tbr list is increasing by the day.. LoL.. Please make it easy and post not so good blurbs and stuff.. ;)

Keep bringing us more.. We love you.. :)

May 19th, 2012, 09:12 PM
Fantastic excerpts .I want all of these :)

May 21st, 2012, 12:49 PM
Glad you enjoyed them. :)

wonderful excerpts!

May 21st, 2012, 12:50 PM
I just found out The Devilish Duke will be out August 1.

Awesome excerpts.. Great work and very tempting..

CTR making it soooooo difficult to choose the authors and their books.. You guys are coming up with very tempting and unique stories and excerpts and my tbr list is increasing by the day.. LoL.. Please make it easy and post not so good blurbs and stuff.. ;)

Keep bringing us more.. We love you.. :)

May 21st, 2012, 12:53 PM
LOL. You flatter us. :)

Fantastic excerpts .I want all of these :)