Hello Happy Readers –
I can’t imagine what I’d do in this pandemic mess without books! Honestly, reading keeps me sane. It’s what I look forward to every day. I write until around 2 p.m. and then it’s time to read. How about you?
This time around I’m introducing Captives of Desire, a collection of short stories and longer pieces that have been previously published. These works have been revised and expanded, so if by chance you’ve read one of them before, you’ll find the new version even more enjoyable.
Rape, pillage, plunder. Those were the bywords of life in the British Isles from the time of the Romans in 50 AD until the Norman invasion in 1066. In each new wave of foreign conquerors, the native Britons – well, not actually the original natives because no one knows who they were – were pushed to the west. Those who maintained their Celtic culture survived in isolated Welsh, Irish, and Scottish strongholds.
Some of the Romans married Britons and their descendants became part of the normalized population clinging to the advancements Rome brought to the island. It is theorized by some authorities that the fabled King Arthur was of such a lineage, and the order he sought to establish derived from Roman law. Arthur and his cohort defended against the invasions of the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles, all Germanic peoples who found British shores inviting.
Three hundred years after the Saxon invasions, Scandinavian vessels bearing Vikings made landing bringing forces from Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, all of them sharing a similar belief system based on pagan gods such as Thor. For five hundred years, the population of the British Isles grew to include thousands of invaders who made this place their home.
The final invasion of men of the North came to British shores in 1099 with the Norman invasion. These were a mixed breed of those living in Normandy, France, an area yielded to Viking invaders under Rollo in 911. Subsequent intermarriages between French, Normans, and English led to William the Conqueror’s 1066 Norman invasion of England, which established the early cohesion of Britain as a nation. This fascinating history is explained at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Saint-Clair-sur-Epte.
Throughout these centuries, it was the women and their (often unwilling) coupling with invaders that forged the people ancestral to modern Britons and, in consequence, the earliest settlers of the American colonies. These stories imagine the lives of the women who met such invaders with courage, fear, and not a small amount of pleasure. Not all such encounters ended so nicely, as we can imagine. But it’s lovely to think that in some cases, the worlds meshed and new generations sprang up from true love.
The stories are:
Ruthless Invader: In the dangerous unsettled times of 5th century England, native Britons join to fight off invading bands of Saxon warriors. With her husband Bedwyr off at battle, Nefyn lingers at their homestead hoping for one last visit from him before she flees to the mountains with the last of their belongings. The door latch rattles and she is suddenly confronted with a tall warrior and the risk of rape and death. (Short Story)
The Captive: Lady Elspeth hides away to take her pleasure with a captured Danish warrior. He gives her much more than she ever imagined. (Short Story)
The Escape (sequel to The Captive): Elspeth Lady of Hystead rides through the night with Magnus, a Danish warrior whose lover’s skill woke a hidden trove of erotic pleasure in her heart. But outlaws intervene, and Magnus faces the challenge of a lifetime. Will Elspeth come to regret her escape? (Novella)
The Dane’s Bride: Married against her will in order to save her father and their village, a Saxon maid faces her wedding night with a brutish Danish warrior. He stands across the fire pit from her, leering as he demands she remove her clothing. Does he mean to take her on the floor like the animal he is? (Novelette)
A Taste of Love: A cruel wind blows across the midwinter lands of Northern Britain, flapping Senna’s cloak as she hurries inside the praetorium on the heels of the blustering Tutonius, legion cook and dear friend. In Rome, Saturnalia would last a week and include a day of relaxation for all the slaves. But, she sadly acknowledges, this is not Rome but a miserable outpost on the westernmost boundary of Roman-occupied Britannia.
Senna does her best to relieve some of her friend’s staggering workload as he prepares the holiday meal. The governor of all Britain will feast here tonight along with officers of three legions. Hurrying outside the fortress to the sprawling campgrounds of refugees, camp followers, and traders of all kinds, Senna shops for last-minute gifts for her enslaved Briton mistress Caerwin and food supplies Tutonius must have. But upon her return to the kitchen, Senna blushes as Teutonius shares a moment of personal pleasure. (Short Story)
His Only Love: As Saturnalia dawns and Rome’s Legio XIV Gemina prepares for the midwinter celebration despite their station on the far western border of Britannia, Greek slave Antius faces the disaster he set in motion involving his beloved master and legion commander, Marcellus. He takes refuge with his young lover even as an intimate betrayal unfolds between trusted friends. (Gay Erotica Novelette)
While these stories are available individually for only 99 each, this collection sells for only $3.99 – a $5.94 value. I don’t know about you, but more reading for less money is a hot bargain in a time like this. Enjoy!