Archive for 'historical'
Sunday, March 26th, 2017
I’m fascinated by medieval history and enjoy books and media releases that focus on events of this timeframe. I loved the movies Braveheart and Rob Roy, and more recently the TV series Vikings.
After a couple of years of research for my latest series, “The Forbidden Series,” focusing on the dissolution of the Knights Templar, you can imagine my happy surprise to learn of the upcoming TV series, “Knightfall,” which surrounds the last days of the Knights Templar. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of this new Templar series.
Regardless if hundreds of years have passed, questions remain of where the Templars fled, what treasure they took, and how so many valiant knights were able to disappear without a trace. As a major plotter, I’m enjoying weaving in my character’s journey, where they face challenges and in the end fall in love, around these mysteries and more along with my speculation as to where their fleet and many of the Brotherhood could have escaped to prior to the arrests beginning in France on the 13th of October, 1307.
Forbidden Legacy – Book #1 (Stephan & Katherine)
A Knights Templar, Sir Stephan MacQuistan desires no bride, only vengeance for a family lost and a legacy stolen. A profound twist of fate tears apart the brotherhood he loves, but offers him an opportunity to reclaim his legacy – Avalon Castle. Except to procure his childhood home along with a place to store Templar treasures, he must wed the unsuspecting daughter of the man who killed his family. To settle old scores, Stephan agrees aware Katherine is but a pawn in a dangerous game, not a woman he will ever love.
Forbidden Knight – Book #2 (Thomas & Alesone)
There is an intruder in the woods near King Robert Bruce’s camp, but when Sir Thomas MacKelloch comes face-to-face with the interloper, he is shocked to discover his assailant is a woman. The fair lady is skilled with a bow and arrow and defiant in her responses. The wary Knight Templar dare not allow her beauty to lower his guard. Irritated by his attraction, he hauls her before his sovereign to expose her nefarious intent.
To be entered in a drawing for a coffee mug and a bag, please post a reply to the following question:
What is your favorite historical book, movie, or TV series?
*One name will be drawn as the winner. The contest ends midnight the 28th of March 2017.
Thank you so much for stopping by, and I wish you the best.
AGC(AW) USN, Ret.
International Best-Selling Author
About the Author
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series have been translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.
After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. After the release of the bestselling MacGruder Brothers series, The Oath Trilogy, and Forbidden Legacy, book #1 of The Forbidden Series, she is now working on book #2, Forbidden Knight which will be released in June 2017.
Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
Saturday, March 25th, 2017
Some of you may know, but one of my favorite publishers, Samhain Publishing, closed its doors a month ago. I had 27 titles published with them, and now I have to get every one of those stories refurbed, recovered, and back out in the world. So, I’m starting here. With a story I love about a woman entrepreneur in hot-as-hell West Texas who’s about to fall under the spell of a very special town—Two Mule, Texas. Those of you who love my Lone Star Lovers series recognize that name. Don’t you want to know whether kinkiness is something new the present-day town folk are embracing, or whether it’s been there a while…?
Check out Joe and Honey’s story—but I warn you: Be prepared to laugh and sweat!
Sweeter Than Honey
Honey Cafferty lives a happy but precarious existence as a traveling saleswoman, searching for a sense of belonging. From her colorful wagon she brews decoctions to cure ennui, sleeplessness, hysteria—and after a visit from a mysterious Mexican curandera—she believes she’s found the way to improve a man’s libido. But how can she package her “Elixir of Love” without being run out on a rail from the nearest town for selling something that produces such carnal effects?
Sheriff Joe Tanner is protective of his little town and downright hostile toward anyone who takes advantage of the fine folk in Two-Mule, Texas. When sees the gypsy wagon roll into town, he’s ready to hurry the snake oil salesman on his way, but Honey isn’t what he expected. When the men of the town begin to plead exhaustion and place the blame for their state squarely on the pretty little redhead’s shoulders, he has to investigate.
Get your copy here!
Finally, they reached his office, and Honey breezed inside and set her bag on his desk. He closed the door behind him and turned to find more faces peering through the window. He cursed under his breath and pointed to the inner room where the jailhouse was.
Her back stiffened, but she didn’t demur and stepped inside. When he had her out of sight and hearing of all the interested folk of Two Mule, he lifted a foot and nudged the door closed behind them.
Honey had her back to him and lifted her slim hand to smooth her hair.
He stayed silent, deciding to let her stew for a minute. When someone got nervous, they tended to talk, and Joe wanted to hear everything the little lady had to say.
At last, she cleared her throat and turned, a small, tight smile pasted on her lips. “Am I under arrest, Sheriff?”
“Should you be?”
Her breath gasped, lifting her gently rounded chest against her staid gray shirtwaist jacket. “You’re angry with me.”
He crossed his arms over his chest, leaned his back against the door and tried not to think too hard about the fact they were completely alone. A tantalizing prospect he’d imagined often the past couple of days.
As he watched her standing in the narrow, darkly lit room with the bars of the cell block behind her, his imaginings became disturbingly carnal. He cleared his throat and forced his mind back to business. “I sold you a license to solicit your medicines,” he said, keeping his voice even although the memory of her straddling Paddy Mulligan still burned hot. “Yet I found you rolling on the floor of a saloon, performing surgery.”
She gave a short, strained laugh. “I wasn’t rolling on the floor. Paddy’s a large man, and I couldn’t see into his mouth when he was seated. Besides, I only pulled a tooth. I do have some expertise—”
“I’m getting complaints about possible poisonings—”
“Poison?” Her finely arched brows rose. “I don’t deal in poisons, sir.”
“Then explain why all the married men in town have taken to their beds.”
She opened her mouth but quickly clamped it shut. Her back straightened.
“You don’t deny you’re responsible?”
A blush the color of the pink roses his mama used to grow spread quickly across her cheeks and down her neck to disappear beneath her collar. “It’s not what you think, Sheriff.”
He wondered if the blush extended to her breasts, but didn’t dare let his gaze fall below her rounded chin. “Then tell me exactly what it is.”
She lifted that stubborn chin high. “I can’t. That information is privileged. Meant to remain private between me and the persons I sold the medicine to, like a priest receiving confessions or a doctor—”
“You’re no doctor. Those rules don’t apply.”
“Have you talked to these men? Have any of them made complaints against me?”
“No, but you’re up to something, and I don’t want any trouble.” And she was trouble with a capital T. “I’m thinking you should hitch up your wagon and head on down the road.”
She blinked and, for a moment, her expression faltered. “I had hoped to winter here. Mrs. Sessions—”
“Is an innocent lady. She’s not wise to your ways.”
Her stillness cut him, and he felt heat warm the back of his neck and the tips of his ears. He’d crossed the line between being professional and being cruel.
She jutted her chin higher and fisted her hands on her hips. “You’re implying I’m not…innocent?”
His gaze swept over her, from the tip of her red-haired head to her toes. Another insult. He couldn’t seem to help himself where she was concerned. Something about her had him firing with both barrels blazing. “You travel alone—without a chaperone. What’s a man supposed to think about that?”
She took a step closer, drawing her eyebrows together in a fierce scowl. “Being alone in the world means I’m a whore?” she said, her voice rising.
“A decent woman,” he bit out, “would set roots in a community—seek help and protection from a husband or her neighbor.”
“I don’t need any man to protect me or my virtue, sir.”
“I’ll grant you had me and most of the town fooled. But your charm’s a little too practiced, and you’ve got a slick tongue.”
Her mouth gaped, and her cheeks went from pink to a dark red that clashed with her bright hair. “A slick tongue?”
Her anger goaded him on like a burr under a saddle. “You’re a snake-oil salesman, a charlatan—”
She stepped so close her chest nearly touched his, and she glared up into his face. “Now, you look here, buster,” she said, pointing a finger at his chest and giving him a nudge. “I’m a business woman. I sell cures people need. I haven’t broken any laws, and I sure as hell haven’t poisoned one damn person in this town.” She paused to catch her breath…and that’s when it happened.
Her breasts brushed his chest, and he felt a spark arc between their bodies, igniting a fire as fierce as lightning striking dry prairie grass. It filled his loins with a heavy, pulsating heat and drew his balls tight and close to his groin. He shot out his hands and grasped her shoulders to pull her flush against his body, but he halted, holding her an inch away. What he wanted of her wasn’t very civilized. Best not cross that line.
“Sheriff?” Her plump, pink lips gasped, but she tilted her head back.
Invitation enough. He slammed his mouth down onto hers even while he damned himself for being a fool.
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Have you read my Lone Star Lover stories?
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Sunday, March 19th, 2017
Thank you, Delilah, for inviting me to visit with your readers.
Writing is hard. There, I said it. I’m in the middle of, well, actually closer to finishing, a somewhat major revision of my work-in-progress. I say somewhat major but what I mean is a massive overhaul of all aspects of the book – character arcs, plot, inner conflicts, the whole kit and kaboodle. And that is hard, difficult, painful. By the end of the day my brain is mush and can just about function enough to get supper on the table. Ask me a difficult question and expect blood to flow from a cranial orifice.
Alas, I’m not one of those lucky people who can relax in front of the TV. I have to be doing something whilst streaming my latest obsession (Penny Dreadful) or enjoying an old black & white comedy (Arsenic and Old Lace).
That’s where crafts come into play. Even before I began this writing career I’ve done something whilst viewing TV. I’ve been stitching counted cross-stitch samplers and Christmas ornaments for more years than I can count. Every family member and most friends have received at least one cross-stitched item as a gift. Rug hooking is a newer craft to me, introduced to me by my mom. I’m now completely addicted. Knitting is a craft I’ve been pursuing for decades. Most members of my family have received at least one hand-knitted item as a gift as well. These crafts are not mindless activities. But they use a different area of my brain, and they use different muscles in my hands and arms. So after eight hours of tapping at the keyboard, devising obstacles for my characters and creating fictional worlds, I curl up on the chesterfield with my needle or hook and create something soft and tangible.
Do you have a craft or an activity you use to unwind at the end of the day?
One commenter will receive a hand-knitted (by me) washcloth
and a bar of handcrafted soap. (USA and Canada only.)
If Wishes Were Earls
A mysterious letter and an enchanted keepsake promise to lead Miranda to her heart’s desire. Or does her heart secretly yearn for more than a sexy earl?
When a mysterious note directs Miss Miranda Large to a tiny village in Cornwall to find her heart’s desire, she has no choice but to go. An enchanted keepsake heightens her curiosity. A snowstorm forces her to accept the hospitality of a sullen, albeit sexy and handsome, earl and Miranda’s wish doesn’t seem so out of reach.
Edward Penhallion, the 12th Earl of Claverlock, is not in the mood to start his search for a new wife. He wants to be left alone with his books and his dreams of revenge. But the arrival of a headstrong, sharp-tongued spinster forces him to play the charming host. Not a difficult task, given her intelligence and beauty. Suddenly, he’s not terribly eager for her to leave.
But as the snow falls and the winds blow, Edward discovers there’s more to Miranda than a lively wit and a lovely face. And Miranda wonders if the trappings of wealth are enough for true happiness.
Buy Links: Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iBooks
All other retailers: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/209375
Thursday, March 9th, 2017
Hello Delilah fans! Spring is upon us, most of us at least. Libidos stir in days of budding flowers and warm air. What better time to enjoy a torrid romance?
I’ve got a freebie for you again this month, but fair warning—giveaways with future blog posts may not include frequent freebies as they have in these past few months. If you want to never miss a giveaway, subscribe to my once-a-month newsletter. That’s where to nab freebies plus notices of upcoming releases, juicy tidbits, and other good stuff. Sign-up at http://eepurl.com/bHOyS9 and be assured that your info goes no further than my fingertips. The newsletter is free and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Now to a brief confession: sometimes when I write a story, it keeps on living after I quit. I consider that a success as far as writing goes, but it can become quite the nag. After nearly two years, the nagging that surfaced after I finished writing “The Captive” became deafening. So I’ve written a second installment, “The Escape,” in what seems destined to become a lengthier tale.
“The Captive” is a short story set in the late 9th century England when the Saxons and Danes were fighting over control of the land. Seeking a brief time of secret pleasure with a captured Danish warrior, Elspeth Lady of Hystead hides away in a remote cabin on her estate and has the man delivered to her. Her aging invalid husband will be none the wiser. Yet an unexpected problem arises and it has nothing to do with her husband. It has to do with this stunning man standing before her, tied and injured, his long blond hair partially hiding the disdain in his intense stare. This was not what she expected.
Not at all.
Book 2, “The Escape,” is a novelette, available at your favorite bookseller.
So here you go—use this code RE54R for your free copy of “The Captive” at Smashwords—and always remember, Indie authors thrive on your reviews!
About Lizzie Ashworth
A bit about me – I live in the wilds of the Ozark Mountains with three cats, two hound dogs, and whichever child has taken up temporary residence between grad school and relocation. I’ve been writing my entire life and can’t express how wonderful it is to share stories with readers like you. Every book comes from the heart in the hopes that you will find a bit of pleasure within those pages.
Follow me for free erotic short works, hot photos, and the occasional rant on my blog at http://lizzieashworth.com/
Like my Facebook author page for updates on other nice and naughty works https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLizzieAshworth/
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Thursday, February 9th, 2017
Bet you didn’t know that Valentine’s Day got its start in the Roman Empire with some public BDSM. That’s right. The feast of Lupercalia involved women lining up along the streets so men could run along and whip them with strips of animal hide (preferably goat or dog).
The ritual was supposed to increase female fertility and there’s actually no telling how far back in history this tradition might have started. A lottery followed the whipping with women’s names drawn from a jar by young men. Thus matched, the couple had sex for the rest of the three-day festival (Feb 13-15). (More on Lupercalia) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupercalia
The name Valentine got connected with this sex orgy during the third century when Emperor Claudius II executed a priest named Valentine for secretly continuing to marry couples despite the emperor’s command that marriages must cease. Married men didn’t want to join the army and leave their families behind and Claudius needed more soldiers. The bludgeoning and beheading of Valentine occurred on February 14.
A little over the top on the BDSM there, Claudius.
Fast forward through a few more machinations of church and state to the Middle Ages when Chaucer and Shakespeare took up this old legend and made it more romantic. Lovers in those times crafted handmade paper cards to exchange as tokens of love. By 1913, the tradition had become so popular that Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Missouri started mass producing Valentine cards and commercial marketing took over.
In case you haven’t noticed, Valentine’s Day has become a major event on social calendars around the world. Sales reached nearly $18 BILLION last year and will likely continue to rise as everything from cards to chocolates to flowers to jewels makes the day a business success. And woe to the lover who fails to participate!
A little basic BDSM Roman style is my gift to you this Valentine’s Day. Use this 50% off coupon code DZ42S for the first of my two-book story of Caerwin, a young Celtic lass captured by a Roman tribune and taught to appreciate his, um, discipline. Don’t wait—coupon expires on the 14th.
Here’s the link:
Want to wow all your friends with more about Valentine’s Day history? Check out:
Want some fun ideas about homemade gifts, probably nicer than what lovers were doing in the Middle Ages? Check out heart-shaped foods at:
Or how about cute homemade gifts?
Most of all, love YOU this Valentine’s Day with a special treat,
maybe a nice sexy book?
Monday, January 16th, 2017
How erotic can a historical romance get? Especially with straight-laced Victorians, prudish Puritans or proper Regency society?
When an agent asked if I could turn my Regency-set romance into an erotic romance, it turns out it wasn’t that hard. The fact that the Regency was a period where proper manners and polite society were of paramount importance made the taboo even more naughty.
The granddaddy of kinky wickedness—the “S” in BDSM—lived from 1740 to 1814. The Marquis de Sade was a French aristocrat and sexual libertine. One of his affairs involved his wife’s sister. Others involved prostitutes and servants. According to Wikipedia, “[h]e coerced women into performing sodomy, mutual flagellation, and other unorthodox sexual acts, and poisoned several of them with aniseed and cantharides.” His mother-in-law secured an arrest warrant, and de Sade was eventually imprisoned in the Bastille in the 1780’s. During his imprisonment there, he wrote his magnum opus, The 120 Days of Sodom.
My historical romances are mostly set in early 19th century England, and de Sade’s works were not widely published then. According to Wikipedia, the first uncensored English translation of his novel, Justine, or The Misfortunes of Virtue, was not published until the 1950’s. But de Sade wasn’t the only novelist writing kinky stories.*
John Cleland (1709-1789) was arrested for the 1748 publication of his novel Fanny Hill: or, the Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure. The story, featuring a young innocent woman and her sexual encounters as a prostitute, includes menage, orgies, voyeurism, flagellation and non-consent fantasies.
After reading de Sade and Cleland, I didn’t find the idea of a BDSM club set in a historical so far-fetched. (Actually, nothing I can think of can come close to the stuff de Sade wrote in The 120 Days of Sodom, which was required reading in my political philosophy class in college.) I had a lot of fun researching what was possible, and the prevailing norms of society back then only adds more tension to the erotic elements.
If you’re curious to read an erotic historical romance, you can get a free copy of my book, Punishing Miss Primrose, here. It starts off steamy but gets more wickedly wanton as it progresses.
About Punishing Miss Primrose
The Marquess of Carey intends to provide Miss Primrose a set-down she will never forget after what she did to his brother at the Inn of the Red Chrysanthemum, where members indulge in illicit pleasures. He entices the wicked harlot to spend a sennight at his estate. But when Miss Primrose enflames his passions, will she prove too hot for him to handle?
Get your free copy here!
*’Kinky’ may be far too tame a word to describe de Sade’s writings, which many find extremely disturbing.
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017
January 2017! A new year and new adventures, hopefully good ones, await us. Best of all, for the not so good days, we’ve got books! Reading takes us away from the present moment and immerses us in pleasure. My mission today is to provide a time of reading pleasure for you.
One of my personal favorites in writing and reading romance is a steamy historical. Men wielding swords, their warrior bodies muscled and scarred—whew, what’s not to like? More than the allure of warriors, though, I enjoy being transported to another time and place. Plus there’s the actual glimpse of history—what did our ancestors face in their struggle to survive? How did the relationship between a man and woman differ from what we experience now?
All those ideas and more course through a writer’s thoughts as she creates a historical romance. For myself, reading actual history or other works of historical fiction helps put me in the mood as well as instructs me on details I need to make my story rich and factual. In the story below, for example, I had read Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon series, which I highly recommend. This series is popular, so you can usually find it in your local library.
Here’s the opening scene to my story, “The Dane’s Bride.” And here’s a coupon code WQ54S you can use to get the rest of the story FREE at Smashwords. (https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/610250)
Aetherlin stared at the man through the leaping flames of the firepit. Hrald, Jarl of Dunholm. Her hands clenched in want of a weapon. Taut muscle quivered in her legs, eager for escape. Breath hitched in her throat.
Fire cast his shadow to the far wall as if he were a denizen of Hell itself, his tall frame looming and pale eyes glittering in the orange-red reflection. He wore fitted leather leggings and an open vest over his muscled chest. Lengths of dark hair brushed his wide shoulders. Gold bands wrapped his biceps and forearms, badges of his prowess in battle and the respect of his tribesmen. His forehead creased in his determined expression, although the quirk of his cruel mouth bespoke lascivious thoughts. About her. And what he would do to her.
In spite of the message of anger and resistance she sent with her glare, he did not relent in his survey of her. His gaze lingered over her red marriage dress with its scrolling needlework and golden thread. Her attending lady had wept as she dressed her in the clothing ordered by her father Aetherwulf, Earldorman of Gloucestershire. These were not garments Aetherlin would have chosen, cut low to reveal the curve of her breasts to present her body as if a fattened goose. But then, she would not have chosen this day, this man. Or perhaps any man at all.
“Loose your hair, maid,” Hrald commanded, his deep voice echoing through the empty hall.
Her body stiffened. Again she thought to refuse, to turn and run. But the great hall had been emptied and the door barred. She had been given to him, to be his chattel just as the hall itself, the trenchers and tables, the servants moving in the adjacent kitchens and storerooms, his pledged warriors and lesser vassals going about their evening tasks in the courtyard, the stables. Who was she, a mere woman, to fight off this hardened warrior?
In a fury, she yanked off the narrow silver band holding the linen scarf and flung them to the floor. Her thick braid took more time as her numb fingers combed through the long wavy strands, separating and spreading them over her shoulders and chest. Golden glints of firelight reflected on the red-blonde hair. Aetherlin could not look at him, but she knew his gaze stayed on her—it burned like coals on her skin.
He said nothing for a time. The fire’s crackle barely matched the noise of her heart thudding in her ears. Did he mean to possess her here, in the public hall?
“Now the dress,” he demanded.
His voice had taken a husky tone. That recognition startled her. She wished it did not matter whether he cared about what she did. Surely he did not want her, but rather embraced the power, lands, and wealth that came with the marriage. Still, his reaction caused her to flush.
Her glance flew to his face. What did he intend, forcing her to undress in the main hall? Anyone could enter, even though he had dismissed them all. Would he shame her? What man treated his bride so coarsely?
A fiend, that’s who, she answered her own question. A filthy, bloodthirsty Dane.
His eyes had narrowed and his body leaned slightly forward so that the spiraling patterns carved into his leather vest picked up more of the fire’s light and seemed to move of their own accord. Likewise, the inked design of dragons rippled over his muscled arms as if alive. His dark hair brushed at his wide shoulders, casting his clean-shaven jaw in shadow.
Why did he not simply rip down her clothes like the ravening beast he was? The sudden thought of such an act caused her heart to leap against her ribs. Her fingers stumbled at the clasps. The heavy woolen dress fell to the floor around her ankles. She stood in the linen shift, waiting, her breath shallow and fast.
“Do you think I wish only to see your undergarments?” he questioned in a hard voice.
“I think you wish to lower me, so that I am the least of all possible things,” she snapped back. “Expose me to your savage acts, like a village girl at the hands of your men.”
Today I sit in the snow-clad wilds of the Ozark Mountains watching the woods with my cats and hound dogs snuggled near the wood stove. I’ve been writing my entire life and can’t express how wonderful it is to share stories with readers like you. Nab more of my exciting romance short stories, novellas, and novels at your favorite bookseller.
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