Friday, January 23, 2015

Jane Eyre Part 2 : Mr. Rochester's Dark Moods

"I both wished and feared to see Mr. Rochester on the day that followed this sleepless night. I wanted to hear his voice again, and yet feared to meet his eye"  Jane Eyre, Chapter 16


In the previous post I introduced the plot in the classic story Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
The theme of the book, the lonely woman struggling to find her way in a harsh world, resonates with us.  Like Dickens, Bronte created a dark world for children, the harsh school where Jane is sent to be demeaned and emotionally abused. The story is about Jane, but Mr. Rochester is also a very compelling character as a romantic lead. 

Mr. Rochester, at first look, appears to be a sullen, angry jerk.  Almost a bully as he is so sharp with Jane from time to time, baiting her to try to anger her. He's so moody his countenance competes with the shadows at Thornfield Hall. When you delve a little deeper into his past, you find him a little more human, and you can understand his dark outlook on life. 

He has a terrible secret. Throughout the novel, it is hinted at, but only slowly revealed.  When Jane first comes to the Hall, she feels an odd sense of being watched from the shadows. There are queer happenings that frighten her, yet ignite her curiosity. The unease grows, especially at night, making this a great Gothic novel.

The strange events, almost ghostly appearances in the old manor are always blamed on Mrs. Pool, a servant who lives in the upper part of the castle. Mrs. Pool is said to be drinking a lot, and this is supposed to cover up for the mysterious happenings at the manor. If it happened in the night, it was just drunk Mrs. Pool .....you get the drift. Not quite true, but it wards off Jane's curiosity for a time.

Our hero, if you will allow me to call him that, is imposing. Our first introduction to him in the novel is on a dark road at twilight. (Gothic, don't you love it!) He is riding to Thornfield Hall when his horse is startled by Jane's appearance in the mists. The horse throws him. He is injured. 

Jane describes him thus:
"His figure was enveloped in a riding cloak, fur collared and steel clasped; its details were not apparent, but I traced the general points of middle height and considerable breadth of chest. He had a dark face, with stern features and a heavy brow; his eyes and gathered eyebrows looked ireful and thwarted just now; he was past youth but had not reached middle age, perhaps he might be thirty-five. I felt no fear of him, and but a little shyness (she doesn't know he's her employer yet as she hasn't met him). Had he been handsome, a heroic looking young gentleman, I should not have dared to to stand thus questioning him . . " Jane Eyre, Chapter 12

Okay, tall, dark, imposing, and looking somewhat angry. That is her first impression of him, and ours. Note that she implies he isn't handsome! It is a lovely set up for a Gothic tale, don't you think? 


But wait, there is more to this mysterious, brooding man . . .

Mr. Rochester's secret torments him. He has the keeping of a little girl, Adelle, the child of a French actress he was in love with. The mother died, and he has generously agreed to provide for her as his ward--hence the need for a governess.  So, we wonder in the back of our minds if little Adelle is his illegitimate child. He claims not, but he has so much affection for the girl, it seems entirely possible. Men often did 'adopt' such a child as a ward, claiming them to be a friend or a relation's child who died and asked him to care for their offspring to cover the fact that the rich man was actually raising his own bastard. Anyway, from this situation we might be inclined to think that he is pining for a lost love, little Adelle's mama.  

That might suggest why he's so dark and moody. 


Yet, as the story progresses, Mr. Rochester, despite the fact that he's not handsome, according to Jane, and not young--charms her. Jane falls in love with him because he slowly reveals his kinder side as the months progress. (Yes, this is a classic novel from the mid-nineteenth century, not a quickie read romance novel of modern times.)  So, they are finally set to be married and the wedding day comes. This is when Mr. Rochester's horrible secret is revealed.
At the wedding, as Jane and Rochester stand at the altar before the vicar in their wedding garb, in walks a man named Richard Mason. "You cannot marry her--" he insists, "You are already married!"

This is the reason for Mr. Rochester's deep dark outlook on life. He is married, to a crazy woman he keeps locked upstairs--albeit with a nice room and a woman to tend her. Bertha is crazy. He keeps her a secret, locked away in his home on a deserted wing of the manor, well cared for, but imprisoned just the same. Sometimes, she escapes, because Mr. Pool, her caretaker, actually does drink too much from time to time and the clever woman slips out to do mischief at night. Clever, dangerous, completely crazy.  


It was right under our noses all along, right under Jane's nose, but who would think that such a horrific situation would occur? Not us, or Jane.

Poor Mr. Rochester has been angry and disillusioned with life for a long time. He's had to deal with a wife who was mad, a secret kept from him when he courted her in the West Indies. When Mr. Rochester was a young man and his older brother was alive and able to inherit the estate, he went the to Indies to seek his own fortunes. While there, he met Bertha Mason, a wealthy heiress and it seemed her family kept throwing them together socially. He was never allowed to be alone with her to converse before the wedding, according to his own admission. So he married her, and then his brother, the heir died. He had to come back to England with his bride. Once they were away from her family, he started to see a change in her. The odd little quirks turned into violent behavior, and he was forced to keep her restrained. She kept trying to kill him. Even years later, when Jane is at the Hall, there is a mysterious incident where the curtains of his bed are set fire while he's sleeping. Jane awakens, smells smoke, and saves him by waking him up. At the point he did not reveal the secret to her of how this happened or who would do this to him.

He feels betrayed by the Mason family. Bertha was literally foisted upon him, like a sick horse. Apparently, her mother had also gone mad in midlife and it's "hereditary", as far as people in the 1840's believed. So, not only is he stuck with a crazy wife, but if he cannot have an heir with her because the madness might then infect his family line. He can't divorce Bertha. It was illegal to divorce an spouse who is insane. He's stuck with Bertha, forever.

Now, his moodiness and his anger make a lot of sense. He feels cheated, tricked, and hopeless. That's why he's gone from his home a lot. He travels to get away from the painful reality of the crazy lady upstairs, the crazy lady he is ultimately responsible for.

And then came Jane Eyre.  He saw something fresh, clean and intelligent in Jane. She is younger than him by a decade or more, yet she refuses to be intimidated by his dark moods. He fell in love with Jane, saw her as a beacon of hope for his future. Until the interfering brother-in-law appeared and stomped out that hope forever. Jane runs away, goes into hiding, she's so shamed by this episode. Now he has even more reason to be dark and moody!
There is a happy ending, but it takes a little while to get there. We leave Mr. Rochester for a bit as the story is told from Jane's point of view, not his. 



If you are interested in Mr. Rochester's back story, there is a novel written about him and Bertha, The Wide Sargasso Sea, by Jean Rhys, in 1966. In the story, she gives a more romantic and sensual feel to Mr. Rochester's relationship to Bertha Mason. It is mostly told from Bertha (whose name is Antoinette, apparently Rochester nicknamed her Berta, in this version). It may not be strictly Bronte style, but it is an interesting and entertaining read. It tells how she met Rochester, and their courtship, as wells as her struggle with a mentally ill mother, and a brother who is also messed up. It's mostly set in the lush Caribbean. Now, mind you, it is a modern interpretation of the classic story, giving us a different character's POV that was not available to us in Jane Eyre. But this isn't any different than the fan fiction stories we guzzle like soda about Mr. Darcy and the Pride and Prejudice world, so enjoy. 


If you are more the movie type, The Wide Sargasso Sea was made into a movie in 1993, I've watched it. The sensual feel of the film is compelling. Antoinette and Mr. R frolic in a pool with a waterfall, and have several sensual scenes that will captivate you.  Here is a link to the movie: Wide Sargasso Sea


Next time, I'll peek into Jane's Character, and why she is such a plucky heroine. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Enduring Love Stories: Jane Eyre Revisted part 1



If you are a romance reader, you likely have read the book or seen a movie version of Jane Eyre. Maybe you were forced to read it in high school lit class. Maybe you missed it.  The storyline is a classic one, and many, many romance writers today like to use the plot line of Jane Eyre for Gothic or historical romances.  Why not, the storyline is brilliant. 


Recap:  For those who haven't experienced it in book or film form:  

Jane Eyre is an orphan girl, raised by an indifferent aunt who has three of her own children. Jane endures the abusive talk and behavior of not only the aunt, but also the aunt's son, who is slightly older than Jane.  He's mean to her, and brutal. Always conniving to get Jane in trouble with his mom by staging things so he attacks her and then when Jane stands up for herself and retaliates, the Mom accuses her orphan neice of harming her 'precious boy.'  Yeah, like a nine year old girl could actually bully a adolescent boy, but you get the picture--she's oppressed. 

 

One day, the conflict between Jane and her mean older cousin gets auntie so worked up she sends Jane to a nasty boarding school. It's a religious school, and it seems that dear auntie might have paid the cold and cruel headmaster on the sly to continue to punish and humiliate the poor girl. Jane is ostracized by all due to the underhanded headmaster's machinations. Our poor orphan girl is alone in the world, friendless, and without a bright spot to look forward to in life. She's beaten down in body and in spirit. She takes a job teaching at the school when she matures, continuing to reside in that bleak place as she has no other option. 

 
Jane and her new charge, Adelle

And then, wonder of wonders--Jane finds a teaching job far away from the horrible school. A teaching job as a governess in an isolated manor house in the English countryside.  It is here that she finds acceptance and friendship by the housekeeper, human kindness and some freedom. She will teach a little French orphan named Adelle, the ward of a rich man, Mr. Rochester.

 

Jane's employer, Mr. Rochester, is handsome, brooding, and mysterious. He's gone alot, and when he's home, he's mostly in a foul mood. But, through their odd interactions, Jane falls in love with him. He's a mixed up guy, a true Gothic hero, tortured and prone to dark moods. Some times he's nice to her, other times, he's a bit peevish. Jane's heart is broken when he starts courting a very rich neighbor,  Blanche, and it looks like Mr. R will be marrying soon. Jane is convinced she will be dismissed and Adelle, Mr. R's charge, will be sent to boarding school by the soon to be new Mrs. Rochester. 

 
plain Jane hasn't a chance against beautiful Blanche

Strangely, the anticipated romance between Mr. R and Blanche never comes to pass. 

It turns out he's just toying with Blanche and parading her in front of Jane as a way to vex Jane, comparing Blanche to plain Jane. He does weird things, like summoning Jane to come and sit in the parlor with his guests when Blanche and her family are visiting, making Jane uncomfortable, as well as the guests, because, well--she's a servant. Love is simmering beneath his dark exterior. What is actually happening is he is comparing the quiet, sweet, but spirited Jane with the empty headed and vain society girl, Blanche. Mr. R finally confesses his love for Jane, citing he cannot live without her in his life. As things progress, Jane and Mr. R are set to marry. At the wedding,  a stranger shows up and tells all Mr. R can't marry Jane, he's already married. It's true. Mr. R  brings Jane and the wedding party back to the house and reveals to all his legal wife, a pathetic creature, crazy and violent, who is locked in a secret room upstairs in his Gothic manor hall with a keeper to manage her. 

Jane runs away. She's humiliated, emotionally devastated. She wanders the harsh moors for a time, begging for food at doors. A stranger finds her weakened from exposure and near starvation, and takes her home. He's  St. John, a Reverend. He has two sisters. They nurse her to health and help her out. She lives with them for a time and is given the example of a true home where kindness rules. St. John wants her to marry him and go to Africa with him to be missionaries. He sort of badgers her about it, making her feel it's her Christian duty and her calling to complete him. 

 

They almost marry, but our spirited heroine Jane comes to her senses, realizing she still loves Mr. R. with all her heart and does not love St. John. Nor does she find the prospect of poverty in Africa appealing.  She has haunting dreams of Mr. R calling out to her for help. She leaves the siblings and returns to Thornfield, the manor where Mr. R. lived.  She arrives to find the house is charred remains. A fire destroyed it. Upon questioning locals, she learns Mr. R. survived and is living nearby. The crazy wife died in the fire, as it was she who set the fire in the middle of the night in the first place. Mr. R. tried to save his poor wife, and was badly burned in the fire. He's become blind, it seems. Jane goes to him, and they have their happy ever after. They marry and have children. He gradully regains sight in one eye.

 

A timeless love story!  

Governess falls for stern single (she thinks) employer. Mysterious happenings (a haunting it seems) at the manor house make the man leave frequently and return in a bad mood. The two find love, and they are driven apart. But--in the end, the governess and the master are given a happily ever after. It's a gothic tale of endurance, and hope. It's dark at the beginning, and has many dark parts, but love truimphs against all in the end. You can see why so many people would adore this dark romance, and why this romance trophe (the lord and the governess)  has been used time and again by romance writers.  It is a classic. Rich employer with social status/poor governess with no one, not even family to help her.  It's ripe for dark things to happen. 

Will he take advantage of this poor waif? In the real world this would more than likely be the case. 

Will she be misled by him and give in to his dark desires?  Again, a real world outcome is that would unfortunately would happen, and often did as wealthy, powerful men could take advantage of female servants. The women had little recourse in those times, as they were 'ruined', and could not get a court to prosecute a rapist, especially a rich, titled rapist.  

But as romance readers, we have but one question----Will he rescue her? 

 

Perhaps not as gallantly or as passionately as we might prefer, as this was written in the nineteenth century, when men were more stoic and less touchy-feely as we like our romance heroes today---but yes--ultimately the couple end up rescuing each other from dark, painful pasts!  Ah, the magical, healing properties of true love!

This story has been so popular with the ages that there are several movie versions of it. Each generation seems to revisit it and give Jane and Mr. R  new faces.  My favorite version stars Timothy Dalton. He makes a delightfully dark and compelling Mr. Rochester. 

Dalton as Rochester in the 1980's

 

However, there are so many versions of the movie your head could spin. There is one with Dalton, above. 

And one with Ciarn Hinds as Rochester,

 

 

Then we have one with William Hurt as Rochester; 1996

And few others. I think I even recall seeing Liam Neeson in the role once, many years ago.  You get the picture, this story just does not go out of style. It's remade every decade, and with new actors taking up the role of the moody, broody heart-throb, Mr. Rochester.  The most recent, with Michael Fassbender continues the haunting drama of a a Gothic rich dude and the fiesty governess he hires. 


The main part of the story, aside from the forbidden romance, is the spirit of Jane Eyre. She's not broken. She's learned to depend upon herself and this helps her survive in a bitter world where there are no hand outs and no compassion. She's mousy looking, true, but she is a strong woman.  You gotta love her for that.  

Next time, I'll reach a little more into the characters of this enduring story, and share some romance stories I've enjoyed based on this classic.  Until then, here is a delicious peek at the movie version;

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Addictive Reads: Our Favorite Things December Giveaway Event

 
Santa with Roses, Lily Silver 2012

Enter to win the Kindle fire and other Gift Cards at the main site.

Addictive Reads Holiday event page

My Gift to readers this month:  Thank you for being there.

**Dark Hero, A Gothic Romance, is Free on Smashwords this month. Full length historical-paranormal romance!

Link to the e-book giveaway are on the bottom of the page. And don't forget to visit the other blogs for more goodies!

Hello readers and friends, 

I'm part of the Addictive Reads collaboration of authors. This month, for December, we're celebrating Christmas by sharing some great prizes with readers, including a Kindle fire for one lucky reader, loaded with our books.  So indulge yourself a little by entering the contest to see if you might win a Kindle Fire as the grand prize, or  gift card to buy yourself a few of your favorite things.  

 Each of us has agreed to share our favorite things with you.  If you'll bear with me, I'll share my most favorite Christmas things with you. I'll keep it short and sweet.  Here goes.......

Top 7 Favorite things about Christmas:

 

Movie:  White Christmas!    It is my Martini Movie, one I share each year with my dear husband. The dancing in this is spectacular. It has romance, dancing, a heartwarming Christmas story of helping others, and BING CROSBY singing! Also has Danny Kaye as the comedic relief, Rosemary Clooney singing, and Vera Miles Dancing! It's artsy, with musical numbers in the movie that will entertain you. What's not to love? 

 

 

Candy: Angel Food Candy!  (also known as seafoam candy or sponge candy) Loved it as a kid, still love it today. I received a recipe from my sister years ago to make it, but after several botched batches, I just buy the stuff every year.   

 

Drink:  Tom and Jerry.  I'm old fashioned in that. My parents drank this on Christmas, and I still keep the tradition. Its warm, creamy with whipped cream, sugar and eggs batter, and it has rum in it. Like a hot toddy. Sprinkle nutmeg on top and ah..... it's a great winter warm up drink.    

 

 

Christmas Cartoon:  Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. It came out in 1964, when I was a wee lass. I watched it faithfully every year as a child, and then with my children. Thanks to the digital age we can buy the DVD, don't have to wait for it to come to broadcast TV each year like when I was a kid. 



 Food:  Lefse---a family tradition from my Norwegian side. We had lefse all the time when I was a kid, but especially on Christmas. In our family tradition with our kids, we have Lefsa on the Christmas Buffet every year, and there's never any left over. It's a potato type flat bread, like a tortilla. You put butter on it and roll it up, YUM!


 

 

 Music:  The Rat Pack Christmas Album. Hey, there's just something magical about Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. belting out Christmas songs that makes me happy. And who doesn't like Frank's singing? 

Time for a Martini and some fun!  How about a game of Spades, or a game of Scrabble? That's our tradition after the grandkids are asleep on Christmas eve.



 Christmas Romance Novel: The Wallflowers Christmas by Lisa Kleypas.  I love the series, with four women, wallflowers, seeking beaus. Each of the books was compelling as the four women were friends and helped each other win their honey. So, the Christmas book is all four married women together for the holidays at Stoney Cross Manor, with their families.  I love it when an author gives us a peek at the couple after the happily ever after at the end of their story, and Kleypas does this beautifully with Annabelle, Lillian, Evie and Daisy and their dashing husbands. The four women do a little Christmas magic to help out another wallflower find happiness and true love at Christmas. 


That's all for now. It's not the end of my list, but my top favorite things of the Christmas season. I hope your Christmas is the best one ever.  Don't forget to go to the main site to sign up for the Kindle Fire giveaway and the gift cards. This might be your lucky season! 

My Gift to readers this month:  Thank you for being there.

Dark Hero, A Gothic Romance, is Free on Smashwords this month. Full length historical-paranormal romance!  Dark Hero on Smashwords


This Event with Addictive Reads goes on until December 31st, so check back here frequently for new free gifts of books to my awesome readers. It will change regularly.  

CHECK OUT THESE AWESOME BLOGS FOR MORE GIFTS AND HOLIDAY FUN:

 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Serial Sundays Update: The Gypsy's Curse


Note: buy links are at bottom of page for The Gypy's Curse

For those of you who have been following the serialized romance on this blog, The Gypsy's Curse, I have good news. It is now published, and out in the world. You were given a rare first glimpse of an author's rough draft writing this past year. I started posting in February of 2014 and ended on December 3rd, 2014.  The whole novel was posted here in increments. 


Thank you so much for following my progess, and Zara's progress!   The book is now available for sale on all digital platforms and will soon be available in print form as well.   The posts of excerpts are no longer available on this blog, except for a couple of entries I left up--the beginning, and the end posts. I hope I entertained you, as that is the main goal of every fiction writer, to entertain!     

 

 

So, here is a bow from Stephan St. John, who played the deliciously handsome and cunning hero in TGC,  I hope he entertained you with his wild side.  

Stephan was a fun character to write,  a merchant class lawyer in regency England with a little problem--being a werewolf. I made him gallant and noble, as well as a little scary--the perfect blend in a Gothic Romance, right?

 

And here is a curtsy from our heroine, Zara the gypsy girl, a.k.a. Miss Sarah Jennings.  She was a bit more difficult ot write, as I had to keep reminding myself that she has had no formal education and so her internal thoughts and observations had to be within her own world-view. I found myself editing word use more and more with her as I couldn't have her use complex words like diversion (substitute fun here and you get the picture) that an educated person of our time might use. Hopefully, we (myself and my editor) caught all those little pesky quirks of word use so our 19th century uneducated woman didn't end up sounding like a college graduate. 

 

***Note--I mean no formal education here, that does not mean she's dumb, but rather that she's had to educate herself through reading books, as many women had to do in that time.  Fortunately, the widow who took her in helped her get past the rudimentary reading lessons she had as a child and expand her reading skills so she could pursue self education in Stephan St. John's extensive library at Huntington Abbey.  Zara taught me a lot about writing, and her POV was often a challenge.  Hopefully I grew as a writer in this story. 

 

So, we close the book on Stephan and Zara, and move on to the next writing project, the sequel to Some Enchanted Waltz--Some Enchanted Dream~  (The adventures of Tara and Adrian continue!) 

Thank you all, 

Lily Silver, Author

Links for The Gypsy's Curse digital books online: 

Amazon Kindle

iTunes

KOBO

NOOK



Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Wishes: Indulge yourself this year


Christmas Pudding featured in A Dark Hero Xmas


Christmas is upon us. It's December, my favorite time of year. I'm celebrating by having a 3 day ebook giveaway on Amazon.com of one of my Christmas Stories. 

Click link below to get your free copy

 The Widow's Christmas Wish--Free today and Friday only

The Widow's Christmas Wish is book two in the A Dark Hero Christmas Series.  It is part of  a Trilogy that continues the story of three women from the full length historical novel, Dark Hero, as they celebrate the Christmas season.  The Widow's Christmas Wish is the second book in the series, but a stand alone. 

  Backstory:

At the end of Dark Hero, the hero's mother arrived to celebrate Christmas. I ended the book with mom freaking out as she thought her son was dead.  He's a recluse and shuns social gatherings. She walks in on Christmas Eve to find a party in full swing, complete with musicians playing and dancing. So, her first thought is that he died and someone else lives at the manor. Now, the reason I had to have an abrupt end to Dark Hero--leaving it with mom arriving and freaking out--is because the book was already a full 400 page novel.  So, I wrote three new stories, love stories with each one featuring one of the female characters in the main story.  The series features three women, a bride, a widow and a companion (single woman) celebrating Christmas together over the week of a family houseparty. It's about family traditions, romance, Christmas traditions, and the irritations of family that come with the holidays. The series is also available in one book, if you prefer to have them all in one set.  You can buy them separately or in one volume.  

 

Christmas Feast in Dining Room circa 1800

  Chances are, if you have a few decades of Christmases under your belt, you've experienced Christmas with that annoying, arrogant or  unpleasant relative.  In the first story, Christmas at Ravencrest, the new bride Elizabeth is struggling to create a wonderful Christmas for her family, both old and new. She's got two brothers to please, a cantankerous grandfather, a new husband, his family--including his mother--ah, the mother-in-law.  We all have fond memories our husband's mother, right? Especially in those first months of marriage, when everything is new and expectations are high. 

 

Elizabeth is in a strange place, the Caribbean, in a new home, far from her beloved England. She's trying to create a traditional Christmas for her family in a non-traditional setting.  Her grandfather is ill, and is being a jerk about celebrating Christmas, making everyone uncomfortable. Her younger brother is being petulant, demanding a traditional English Christmas Pudding when they are on a remote island in the tropics,  and the mother-in-law will arrive at any moment. Elizabeth has not yet met her husband's mother, so this Christmas celebration is fraught with anxiety for her, as you can well imagine! Worse for it, her new husband is acting odd, playing pranks on her and trying to keep her distracted. Could he be hiding a very special present or is he just being a jerk--as the honeymoon fever wanes?  (You'll learn why he's doing this in A Christmas Kiss, as Chloe the companion and the staff are instructed by him to keep Elizabeth from entering her private salon for two days before Christmas--to hide his gift)

 

 

The current free offering is about the Widow, Elizabeth's Mother-in-Law, Alicia Beaumont. See top link and 1st book cover above) The story is told from Alicia's point of view, with her struggles with her grown son who is a very difficult person to deal with. Her only child, Donovan, is a recluse. She learns on arrival that he's finally married, and is hurt that he didn't even invite her to the wedding or notify her that he married a few months earlier. Alicia also encounters a new butler, Giles St. Vincent, who will turn her heart and her predictable life upside down during her stay at Ravencrest Plantation.  It was a fun book to write, as anyone with adult children and can fully understand a mother's disappointent or irritation with how her child turned out as an adult, despite her best intentions. 

 

The Third book is about the Paid Companion, Chloe Ramirez.  She is a servant at Ravencrest. An upper servant, but even so, a paid companion to the lady of the house. Chloe's never had a real Christmas before. She is confused by the traditions, and sees all the prep and fuss as a lot of work.  Chloe is in love with the master's dependent relative, Gareth. They have been meeting in secret, having a little romance on the side. Chloe is hoping to get Gareth to reveal his affections for her publicly, so they don't have to hide their relationship. She's using some good old fashioned voodoo magic and a Christmas tradition of the kissing ball to get Gareth to come forward.  Her story is about new love, a servant and a single woman reaching for forbidden love in the form of her employer's family member.  Her Voodoo spell affects other men instead of the one she intended. 

 

As we enter the Christmas Season, take time for joy. Take time for you. As a mom and grandma I know how hectic it all gets as we shop, make cookies and oodles of goodies for the family, plan the meal, and coordinate the family event. It might even involve extensive cleaning if you are hosting Christmas at your house this year. But PLEASE---Don't get too busy and become frustrated. Do something nice, just for you, to make you happy. Eat chocolate, take a day off for just you, buy yourself that nice thing you've been wanting. Watch a Christmas movie--tear jerker or romantic comedy--your choice, not the kids this time. Read a Christmas romance--I'm giving you one here if you like. But please, please indulge yourself a little so when the big day finally comes, you can be calm, serene, and enjoy the day with friends and family. 

 

As an added bonus, you can download Dark Hero, the first book in the series, and the main book, FREE, on smashwords.com. Smashwords allows you to pick your ebook device, and offers all kinds of e-reader or pdf options. Smashwords link

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, 

 

Lily Silver, Author

 



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Gypsy's Curse, A Christmas Eve Wedding!




When the clock struck seven o'clock on Christmas Eve, Zara was helped into the library to meet the wedding party. She was escorted by old Jasper, and leaned on a cane for support. Her gown was a lovely gold brocade. She imagined herself a princess in such a rich gown. It had been a hand-me-down of Julia St. John's, but so was this wonderful house and the bridegroom who waited for her at the library hearth.
The doors were opened and she allowed Jasper to lead her to the makeshift altar in front of the massive stone hearth. The alter was a high table, and behind it were two chairs, one for her, and one for St. John. They were billed as 'the invalids' to the justice of the peace, and thus the need for him to travel to Huntington Abbey to help them make their vows instead of meeting them at Gretna Green. The library had been festooned with greenery, red ribbons and bright candle light. It was bright and cheery. The scent of cedar boughs, and fresh pine cuttings mingled with the essence of apple cider and cinnamon. Beyond that, the fragrance of roasting chestnuts was an invitation to linger by the fire. As her intended still felt a chill from the day before, it seemed best to sit with their backs to the roaring fire as they spoke their marriage vows.
The only people in attendance were Annie, Jasper, Maggie, the doctor, Mr. Leeds, and the justice of the peace's wife. The middle-aged couple had traveled here to conduct the ceremony, as they were but a few miles from the Scottish border, or so Zara had been told. She believed it was St. John's money more than their invalid status that made the couple rouse themselves from their warm fire and come to Huntington Abbey to conduct the marriage ceremony and then claim it all took place at Gretna Green on ink and paper.
"I now present Mr. and Mrs. Stephan St. John," the justice of the peace said with finality and moved to the side so the seated bride and groom to be seen by their well-wishers.
"I think you forgot something." Stephan said, with all seriousness.
"No, I didn't." The justice replied, appearing perplexed. He pushed his round spectacles up on his nose and looked to his wife for confirmation.
"You forgot to say 'you may kiss the bride'." Stephan reminded the fellow.
A look of consternation passed over the justice's face. "Well, kiss her, sir. Why do you hesitate? You're married, you don't need my permission."
Laughter ringed around them as Stephan lifted Zara's chin with his thumb and gazed into her eyes with tenderness before brushing his lips across hers with a sweet, gentle possession. 
As he drew away, he cradled her face between his palms. "Merry Christmas, Mrs. St. John," Stephan whispered with his face inches from hers. "We must make it through the next hours with our guests. It pains me to do so. If you aren't careful, I may devour you this night."
Zara smiled. "I hope so, my gentle beast. If not, I should be sadly disappointed." 



The End!   
Copyright Lily Silver, 2014

So, will Richard McManus be successful in finding a cure for werewolfish, or shape shifting. Will he tame Mr. Leeds? Will he become one himself, and open up that Home for Forelorn Werewolf Bachelors he was talking about? 

I hope you have enjoyed this serial romance, and in getting a glimpse into a writer's life, the rough draft posts have been written mostly the week of the post, as an incentive for me to finish this book. It was first began in November 2009, and never finished. I decided that in order to finish it, as I have had so many other projects going on, that I needed to do something to make myself publicly accountable. So, posting a chapter a week has helped. It was tough some weeks, but I made it through. And as you have been so patient, I decided to bring the last part fast and post daily so you could get to the end. Thanks for your support and encouragement. 
Lily Silver, Historical Romance Author. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Werewolf Romance: Walking on the Wild Side



Last Thursday I started talking about Monster Love, in the form of Werewolf romances.

Werewolves have had a renaissance so to speak, a revival of interest since the movies and television have romanticized them.  I mentioned the series Twilight, with Jacob Black, and Trublood with Alcide. Those two werewolf characters are hot, and appeal to a wide audience of admirers.

So, with the paranormal romance genre, we've evolved from mere vampires to embrace all manner of creatures, so to speak.  Werewolves are no exception.  If you've been following this blog, you know that I have my own werewolf romance in progress, and I've been feeding you tidbits weekly in the form of my Serialized Sunday excerpts since last February. It's a change for me, as I've always been a Vampire Hero girl. But, Stephan St. John, my werewolf hero, has an endearing quality. If you want to read the story for free, just start here: The Gypsy's Curse, Post One

Now, Let me introduce you to a unique series that is sure to delight you: the Wild Wulfs, of London. They are three brothers. These boys were my first introduction to the werewolf romance lines, and it was a good experience---my first time with a werewolf hero.

The first story was called, The Dark One. It features the oldest brother, Armond, who is trying to live his life quietly. His pesky neighbor, however, won't let him be. It's a woman, and she's in trouble. So, Armond, being noble and honorable, helps her.  Of course this brings trouble, and romance.
This is set in the regency era.  It's my favorite story of the three.  

The heroine, Annabelle, is in the control of her wicked stepbrother. She turns to Armond for help. Armond marries her to save her reputation, and the marriage is one of convenience. Of course, they won't fall in love, now will they?  I love these kinds of forced marriage of convenience stories, so this one immediately pulled me in. The full moon is looming, and Armond has a big secret from his new wife. Will he overcome the curse, or will he end up killing his lady love?


Armond has two brothers, Jackson and Gabriel.



Jackson's The Untamed One, the troublemaker. He is on the hunt for a witch. He believes that by killing her he'll be free of the curse. But, things don't go as planned. He finds the witch Lucinda, in a cave, after having just given birth. Instead of trying to kill her, he ends up protecting her and her baby from an angry, dangerous man. After realizing she is not the evil witch he believed her to be, Jackson helps her after she promises she may have a spell that can set him free from the werewolf curse. Of course, this beastie has a big heart, he falls in love with Lucinda and her baby . . . .




The third brother, Gabe, is the earthy one. He's sort of a farmer. A rich farmer type as he tends the brother's estate and likes working with the land. He is cursed because he's the one in the family who vows never to love, and lives in seclusion. He ends up fleeing into the wilds with a woman named Amelia, a widow who is being hunted by another beast. Gabe ends up trying to protect her and himself from being hunted by a mad man who wants to kill them both.I liked this one because it featured the two of them running from danger in the wilds, the woods, and trying to survive.




All three Wulf Brothers are yummy heroes, each one different, and yet each one appealing as a romance hero.  The main theme in these books is the werewolf hero protecting the heroine from some sort of danger. He risks his life, both in human and wolf form, to protect the woman he loves.  This is the fascination of historical romance to begin with, and with contemporary romantic suspense, the woman in jeapardy theme that endures.  Sometimes it's an ex-navy seal protecting the woman in danger, sometimes its a noble hearted werewolf--your choice!

These wonderful romances are also set in the Regency time period, making them an extra special treat for Halloween if you like Historical Romance with a paranormal twist.  I've heard that Ronda Thompson published two more books in the series, making them a five book set. I've only read the first three, and highly recommend these delicious romance stories as a Halloween treat.

The werewolf romance; its all about loving the wolf, the beast within the man. The alpha romance hero takes on a whole new meaning with these stories--pun intended.



Happy Halloween, and may you have a wonderful night with the monster of your choice!

Here is a pic of the first silver screen werewolf, Lon Chaney as The Wolf Man.