Tag Archive | erotic

Guest Author Beverley Oakley and “Her Gilded Prison” + GIVEAWAY

Hi Susana,

Thank you so much for having me here to talk about my debut erotic historical romance with Ellora’s Cave, Her Gilded Prison.

Beverley Eikli and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, HomerHer Gilded Prison is classified ‘erotic’ because the theme is sexual, and yet the story itself is more that of a good and faithful woman in the Regency era inadvertently discovering fulfilment in her limited sphere. I say ‘inadvertent’ because Lady Sybil’s motivations are purely altruistic to begin with, though the story has aroused contention amongst readers.

Some see it as a story about infidelity. The official blurb would suggest that’s the case, however, I wrote the story based around the question: ‘How far would a good and virtuous woman go to ensure the security of her daughters and the viability of the estate to which her husband has devoted his life?’

My heroine, Lady Sybil, and her husband have had four children in their twenty years of marriage. Two sons have died in their early teens and two daughters remain. Lady Sybil is still able to have children but her husband, who is utterly devoted to his mistress, cannot bring himself to sire an heir with his wife.

So Lady Sybil, desperate to ensure the estate doesn’t go to an unworthy distant relative who would then have the right to cast out her daughters once he inherits, decides upon bold action to provide the heir her husband cannot, or will not.

Her Gilded Prison is not about infidelity but about courage and determination to do what is right by an unloving husband and dependant daughters. Love becomes the complication—but only later.

Below is a letter my heroine, the lovely, unloved Lady Sybil might have written to her distant cousin, Persephone, hinting at her confused feelings. Although the letter doesn’t appear in Her Gilded Prison, it lays out Lady Sybil’s sentiments and motivations in courting the attentions of my gorgeous hero, Stephen, who is transformed from a “laddish” young man to a sensitive and caring and ultimately very heroic hero through his deepening affection for Lady Sybil, a woman forced into marriage with a man who has never loved her.

My dearest Persephone,

You will no doubt be expecting the usual weekly, prosaic account of my life: that Hetty remains terrified of the prospect of her London come-out as she is convinced no one will ask her to stand up with them; that Araminta is as defiant as ever and determined to ignore the shadow cast by her London season’s dramatic finale last year.

Nothing changes when it comes to my daughters, and my fears are as great as ever for them: that Araminta will singe more than just her wings in the flame she’s fanned to her own magnificence; and that Hetty will moulder in the country, never blooming as she might were she to experience the true regard of a kind and caring gentleman.

A regard I have never known from Humphry who nevertheless continues to provide us with everything we need, other than his affection and attention. He reserves that for—

Ah, but Persephone, you know the pain is too great to mention her name, even to you, my dearest cousin. It is not jealousy that prevents me. Simply the pain of believing I will never in my lifetime know the love or consideration of a good man.

But now I must confess to you a foolish woman’s fancy. The daydream of an old woman who ought to know better for I will be one-and-forty my next birthday and my concentration should be focused only on my daughters’ successes—not on my daydreams.

Dearest cousin, you have always been the voice of reason when I heard none from my chivvying, unsentimental mother and my disinterested father who would still have me wed Humphry when they knew his heart belonged to another.

The fact is, I believe I have garnered the special interest of a kind and very handsome young man. For a week I have tried to convince myself that I must be quite queer in the attic. Indeed I must, for this young man, Stephen, was—until yesterday—Humphry’s heir and has been staying with us to learn the running of the estate.

And now for the most shocking part of this letter which occurred at close to midnight last night and turned our lives upside down. Humphry’s nephew, the late Edgar, whom we were all so relieved to learn had been killed at Corunna, made his miraculous reappearance upon our doorstep. I thought Humphry would die from the shock. It certainly was not pleasure for now Stephen—capable, intelligent Stephen, Humphry’s distant cousin whom he’d been grooming as his heir—has been usurped by a dullard.

I wept bitter tears afterwards as I prostrated myself upon my lonely bed —not because Edgar will become the next viscount but because it is I who have failed. I have not provided Humphry with a male heir who will inherit all that for which my husband has worked; my failure imperils my daughters’ security if they do not marry, for it is quite possible Edgar will deny them tenure in the family home. He is contrary like that.

And now I must end for there is much to organise with Edgar’s return. Sadness weighs heavy upon my heart at the thought of farewelling Stephen whose charm and good nature have brightened the moods of everyone here.

Ah, Persephone, I would provide Humphry with an heir if he would only come to me but he will never betray that woman. Not even to try for the son who would change all our fortunes for the better.

Tomorrow I will solicit Stephen’s counsel. When he first arrived I thought him young and, being so handsome, surely overly fond of the young ladies.  I was wrong. He is wise beyond his years, and he is kind. And, to my astonishment, he seems to hold me in high regard. The way he looks at me…

Foolish, I know. I will not pursue that line of thought. Suffice to say I feel sure he will listen well. I’m sure he will help me with the terrible conundrum that places all of us in such peril…”

About Her Gilded Prison

HerGildedPrisonLady Sybil’s perfect life is a perfect lie. Her husband spends more time with his beloved mistress and illegitimate children than he does with her. Worse, since he no longer beds her, they’re left with only a distant cousin as heir. While her husband lives, Sybil knows no erotic touches, no passion. No love. If her husband dies, her home will be entailed to Stephen, a stranger.

When Stephen visits the property that will one day be his, he’s instantly ensnared in a web of lust, longing and lies. For how can he resist Lady Sybil, a woman so full of beauty and life? A woman who deserves to be loved and worshipped and set free from the gilded prison in which she’s trapped? Stephen is determined to show Lady Sybil every pleasure she’s been deprived of, even if it means being forever condemned in society’s eyes.

Inside Scoop: This erotic Regency romance features an intense, taboo relationship between an older woman and a younger man.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

“Think “Downton Abbey with sex….”

 Update and Giveaway

Thank you so much for having me here today. I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s helped take my mind off losing my lovely Homer, the handsome Rhodesian Ridgeback you’ll see in my profile picture and who has been with the family for eleven years.

On a happier note, the sequel to Her Gilded Prison has just been acquired, I’m very pleased to announce. It’s called Dangerous Gentlemen and is as different in tone as possible from Her Gilded Prison as it follows the unexpected path of Lady Sybil’s quiet daughter Hetty through London revels.

I’d also love to offer a giveaway of my English Civil War novella The Cavalier to one random commenter.

 Available

Ellora’s Cave • Amazon

Contacts

www.beverleyoakley.com

www.facebook/AuthorBeverleyOakley

http://beverleyeikli.blogspot.com

@BeverleyOakley

Guest Author: Debra Glass + Giveaway

Susana:

Today my guest is Debra Glass, who, like me, writes historicals for Ellora’s Cave, although hers are quite a bit more steamy than mine! Last year I loved her ménage book, Scarlet Widow, so I’m eager to hear about her latest release, Lover For Ransom. Welcome to Susana’s Parlour, Debra!

Debra: 

Thank you very much for hosting me in the Parlour today.

A Yankee Teacher Comes South in Lover for Ransom

Cathleen Ryan is one of my favorite heroines. She’s feisty and no nonsense and has a firm grip on everyone and everything—except herself. I thoroughly enjoyed writing her interaction with Southern hero, Ransom Byrne, who found he was far more intrigued with the Yankee hired help than he wanted to admit.

Leave me a comment and be sure to include your email address. One lucky commenter will receive a copy of Lover for Ransom!

**********

Byrne’s End, Thompson’s Station, Tennessee

June 3, 1866

Mr. John A. Bennett

Dear Sir,

I have arrived in Tennessee in one piece, though at times, I highly doubted that would be the case. Once my train crossed the Mason Dixon line, there was a marked change in the land. Many once grand dwellings are now but burned out shells, skeletal remains of the bastions of slavery I so fervently fought against during my tenure as an abolitionist prior to the war. I must admit, however, this area referred to as Middle Tennessee by its inhabitants is, for the most part, unscathed by the ravages of the war.

Upon my arrival, I was met at the station by Mr. Ransom Byrne who, I’m given to understand, contracted my service with the Perkins School for the Blind. Though pleasant enough, Mr. Byrne embodies all the qualities I would have heretofore ascribed to a former officer in the Rebel Army. With his easy and overly familiar manner of speech, he seeks to dazzle and woo, but I assure you, Mr. Bennett, those cavalier charms are lost on an affirmed spinster such as I, but not, as I so shockingly observed, on the local maidens.

Mr. Byrne took it upon himself to confide in me that, during the war, he had been brought home to convalesce during an illness which he unwittingly spread to members of the Byrne family, including my charge, his younger sister, Jenny. The illness resulted in her blindness, and I have clearly determined that my work with the sixteen-year-old has been cut out for me. Like many who have been robbed of sight in the bloom of life, Miss Byrne is disillusioned and bitter. I have no doubts I shall be able to rectify that and teach her that the blind can indeed live full lives.

It is obvious to me that Mr. Byrne feels beholden to his family and their business of horse breeding. In fact, the Byrnes and their servants alike, put far too much stock and trust in the wiles of the beasts, as I unfortunately learned firsthand after a mishap with a wagon and its novice driver, seven-year-old Charles Hunt.

I imagine a lesser woman would be intimidated by the Southern aristocracy, but not I. I fully intend to not only adhere to the standards I have adopted from my friends and mentors, Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Miss Susan B. Anthony, but to instruct these Southern women, long repressed by their menfolk, the way to equality both in the home and at the voting poll.

As soon as I begin my instruction with Miss Byrne, I will write to you and inform you of my progress. Again, I appreciate the opportunity you have afforded me to travel from my hometown of Boston to this godforsaken land where I might not only help this young woman, but also enlighten my Southern sisters.

Very Truly Yours,

Cathleen M. Ryan

loverforransom_msrSMwebAbout Lover For Ransom

Ransom Byrne has been ravaged by guilt since an illness rendered his little sister blind. The former Confederate cavalry officer has resolved to make amends by hiring a Yankee tutor who’ll hopefully restore order to his sister’s life. Once accomplished, he’ll be free to leave Byrne’s End.

From the moment she steps off the train in Tennessee, Cathleen Ryan makes a startling first impression. With her feminist ideas, the irrepressible Bostonian quickly outrages everyone—especially Ransom. He deems the bespectacled teacher too uptight and prim for his tastes. Appearances, however, are deceiving. She tenders decadent proposals that shock and intrigue him, and sultry nights spent submitting to his every illicit request offer them both love and redemption.

But when her steadfast convictions attract the attention of dangerous men, Cathleen risks losing her chance of becoming more than just a lover for Ransom.

Inside Scoop:  This 19th-century tale contains mild violence, spanking, sloppy puppy kisses, more spanking, fiery suffragette speeches and an attitudinal horse named String Bean.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Excerpt From: LOVER FOR RANSOM

Copyright © DEBRA GLASS, 2013

All Rights Reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

“Don’t you ever read anything for pleasure?”

She toyed with the earpieces of her glasses, her mind fixed on the way his velvety drawl had played havoc with the word pleasure. She cleared her throat. “There are far too many important things to read to waste my poor eyesight on frivolities, Mr. Byrne.”

He closed her book, set it on the table and stood. Cathleen flinched as his leg brushed hers when he passed on his way to the bookcase. He opened it and pressed his fingertip to his lips in thought as he perused its contents.

Cathleen studied his casual stance. His weight shifted to one leg and his head cocked to the side. He looked back at her, stared so long it made her insides quiver and then turned back to the collection and removed a slender book from the shelf.

“I shall read to you then,” he said with a smile and he returned to his chair. “To protect your poor eyesight from…frivolities.”

Cathleen gulped as his long fingers opened the book and he thumbed through the pages. It looked like a child’s volume in his hands and she couldn’t help but wonder what he’d chosen.

“Ah, here,” he said, placing his elbow casually on the armrest of his chair to hold the book at a comfortable height. “It was many and many a year ago, in a kingdom by the sea, that a maiden lived there that you may know by the name of Annabel Lee.”

Edgar Allan Poe. Of course she was familiar with the famed Baltimore author. But she’d read his works in braille, and certainly had never heard them read aloud by a man with such a hauntingly husky voice. This night—this moment, with the clock’s pendulum ticking off the seconds in time with the poem’s meter and the flickering glow of the lamp—seemed to be made for the dark, beautifully macabre poem about a woman who’d died before her time.

“For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams of the beautiful Annabel Lee,” Ransom continued.

Cathleen closed her eyes, picturing a pair of young lovers walking hand in hand on a stormy beach. Ransom’s voice transported her and she felt the anguish of the author who’d lost his love only to find himself frequented by her ghost.

“And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side, of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride, in the sepulcher there by the sea, in her tomb by the sounding sea.”

Eyes still closed, Cathleen sat in the stillness, absorbing the song contained in the words. When her lashes fluttered open, she was surprised at the tear that traced down her cheek. Blushing, she swept it away. “Very nice, Mr. Byrne.”

He raised his eyebrows in mock warning.

She giggled. She actually giggled. Closing her eyes for a split second, she struggled to compose herself. She was acting like a bashful schoolgirl. “Ransom,” she corrected, her voice but a breath.

In that instant, something had suddenly changed between them and she was at a loss to decipher it.

Staring, he inhaled. “With your hair loose, you reminded me of the woman in that poem.”

Her eyes widened. “Dead?”

He chuckled without mirth. “No. Wild and windswept.”

This time, Cathleen did begin to smooth her hair down.

“No,” he said. “No. Don’t touch it. It’s perfect the way it is.” He must have realized he’d said too much. “I mean, it’s only you and me. There’s no need for pretense.”

Cathleen nodded. Her gaze fell to the brown leather covered book in his hand. “Do you believe such love exists?”

He snorted and closed the book. “This was the fancy of a man who imbibed too much and who thought too much. Love like that is for the young and foolish—for people who haven’t experienced the things I have.”

Cathleen gnawed her bottom lip. “Are you referring to your time during the war?”

He suddenly looked uncomfortable. His big and masculine exterior seemed incongruous with his sudden unease. “Yeah,” he admitted. “I saw and did things no living human being should ever have to see or do. Things that’ll make you hate yourself.”

Cathleen didn’t know how to respond. Newspapers told of the hardships and combat. She’d seen soldiers boarding trains to join the fighting. She’d watched neighbors don their widow’s weeds. She herself had received a telegram informing her that her brother had been killed. But even when the war had come into her very home, it had always seemed a distant thing. But these Tennesseans had lived the war. This man had fought it. Federal troops had occupied their home. While on the train, she’d overheard tales about frightening guerilla raids from both sides, about men who didn’t live by any code of decency, who took what they wanted and killed indiscriminately. These families had lived day to day, wondering if their hard-earned food stores, their homes or even their very lives would be taken from them.

“No,” Ransom continued. “The war was anything but glory.”

Still, Cathleen remained uncharacteristically silent. While she pitied the plight of these people, in her eyes, the war had been a necessary evil, a vehicle through which an entire race had broken the bonds of slavery and declared themselves free. And yet, she didn’t feel free to admit her thoughts on the matter to Ransom Byrne. Not tonight.

“What about you, Cathleen?” he asked, his gaze finding and holding hers, daring her to correct him. “Do you believe in that kind of love?” His tone was almost mocking.

Realizing he’d shifted the conversation back to the poem, she let out a laugh. “Of course not. In fact, I don’t agree with marriage at all and I shall never marry.”

“How did you come to this conclusion?”

“Contrary to what you might think, I haven’t chosen a life of spinsterhood because I am bookish and outspoken, not to mention plain.” She straightened, confused at the way a belief she’d always maintained with pride, now hurt. “No. I simply do not accept as true that a woman should have to marry and live out her days in subjugation.”

“Subjugation?” he asked and then laughed. “I’ve always thought that was the other way around. All the married men I know are pretty beholden to their wives.”

“That’s but a puerile joke. We all know that marriage gives husbands rights to a woman’s livelihood and even her body, if he so chooses to claim them. For a woman, marriage is nothing but legalized…rape.”

This time, both his eyebrows shot up. “That’s a mighty strong word.”

“A married man can demand his rights anytime he chooses. Therefore, if a woman is forced into coitus with him, it is legalized rape.” Cathleen lifted her chin, awaiting an argument. It was a strong word. But he needed to know how she felt about subjugation. She needed him to know it.

Instead, he surprised her. “Don’t you ever feel desire?”

Yes, I’m feeling it this very instant.

Can’t wait for the drawing? Buy Lover for Ransom (available in all ereader formats ) at Ellora’s Cave today! http://www.ellorascave.com/lover-for-ransom.html

glass_SMAbout the Author

DEBRA GLASS is the author of over thirty-five books of historical and paranormal romance, non-fiction, young adult romance, and folklore. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Professional Authors’ Network as well as RWA’s Heart of Dixie and Southern Magic Chapters.

She lives in Alabama with her real life hero, a couple of smart-aleck ghosts, and a diabolical black cat.

www.DebraGlass.com