NaNo Day 16:
I’m super excited about the release of my first lesbian historical romance, Beguiled. Although I’ve written a few contemporary girl on girl stories, this one was really a book from the heart. I’ve always been fascinated with women who summoned the courage to break out of society’s bonds in order to discover their true selves.
After seeing a segment on the news about the alarming number of women veterans who’d been wounded in the Middle East, I was inspired to write Beguiled. I was astounded by the vast number of women returning from war after losing limbs or being told they’d never walk again. Faced with such a situation, I expected most women would harbor resentment. I was surprised to see how many had risen above their circumstances to not only thrive, but to help others in their same situation.
I wondered what would happen if a woman had been wounded while fighting during the American Civil War. How would the men have treated her when they discovered she was a woman? How would other women view her? How could she ever go back to life as a normal woman after having fought alongside men?
Growing up in the South, Civil War history is just a part of the local scenery, and while authors are often told to write what they know, I also choose to write where I know. I’ve experienced the deafening sizzle of cicadas in the trees on a sultry summer night. I’ve smelled earthy red Georgia clay and felt the stifling humidity that hangs oppressively in air so thick you can hardly breathe. I grew up playing on acres of rolling farmland and wading through the cotton stalks when the cotton bolls were so white they’d blind you in the sunlight. So I couldn’t think of a better setting for Beguiled than war-torn Georgia. And no better time than the 1860s to write about two enemies—two women—who struggle to find the strength and the courage to be together no matter what it takes.
Here’s a taste of Beguiled ~
“I have something that might fit you.” I slid off the bed to rummage in the chest of drawers. When I pulled open the bottom drawer, Dalton’s scent filled my senses. I breathed it in, longing to feel his strong arms, yearning to feel safe and sheltered again.
A lump welled in my throat as I withdrew one of his neatly folded nightshirts. “This was…is…is my husband’s,” I said. “It should fit you.”
Again, those stormy eyes collided with mine and held. The way she studied me with that deliberate stare unnerved me. She winced as she shifted in the bed to drag her shirt out from under her bottom. At once, I moved to help her, placing Dalton’s nightshirt on the bed as I gathered up Alice’s shirt and dragged it off over her head.
I easily saw how she passed herself off as a man now. Her broad, angular shoulders looked as strong as any man’s. Muscular biceps defined the shape of her long arms. But my gaze drew magnetically to her breasts. All peaches and cream, they were small and boasted dark, velvety nipples. I swallowed thickly, realizing I couldn’t stop staring — and also realizing Alice didn’t seem to care.
Instead, she leaned back slightly as if to give me a better view. Her nipples rose as she inhaled a deep breath. If I hadn’t known any better, I would have thought she intended her pose to be provocative. Was she that shameless?
A wave of heat settled in my neck, and, hands trembling, I unfolded Dalton’s nightshirt and slipped it over Alice’s head. At the same time, we both reached for the ties at the neck. Our hands clashed once and then twice, and I let out a nervous laugh. I swatted her hands away. “Let me.”
Her hands dropped to her lap, and she watched me as I looped the thin ties into a perfect little bow. I sat beside her once more. “What was it like?” I asked. “Fighting?”
I fell utterly in love with Alice while writing Beguiled. If you’d like to read more of Alice and Belle’s love story, you can purchase the book here: Buy the book
Thanks Delilah, for allowing me to introduce your readers to my characters!
Paisley Smith ~ http://paisley-smith.com ~ Aren’t you just a little curious?