Saturday, March 23, 2013

Lost in Time? Is it an accident or Fate?




I have always loved Time Travel Stories. Not necessarily romance, but also those that are just plain fun or even Sci-Fi or historical.  I guess the reason is that I have always loved history, even as a kid, and the idea of slipping into another time seemed intriguing, if only to have a peek at the past before returning to my own time with all it's luxuries.

As I grew up, I became a historian. I possess a bachelor's degree in history and also a bachelor's degree in Humanistic Studies with an emphasis in Ancient and Medieval Research. So,it seemed only natural that I would one one day write a time travel story, mixing romance and history together. Strangely, I have four full length romance novels out, three of them historical romance and one of them a contemporary, and out of the four, my best selling novel is the time travel romance. So, here is an excerpt from my time travel romance, Some Enchanted Waltz by Lily Silver, copyright 2012:

A little background for you:  Tara is a graduate student writing her master thesis on an obscure rebellion in Irish history, one that failed. She is sent back in time to that very period, and awakens after the powerful electrical jolt that sent her there unable to reconcile her surroundings with her very damaged memory.  She's scared, but trying to cope, as any of us would be. She wakes up lost and alone in a quaint castle in strange country (she's a Wisconsin girl!)  unaware that it is not only a foreign country but another time period, and tries not to panic. It gets worse as she finds she has no I.D. and no money, and no idea of who to call after this weird, cosmic hangover! She thinks she is in a posh hotel and might be kicked out soon as she has no money to pay the bill. 



Some Enchanted Waltz by Lily Silver, copyright 2012,

Chapter Five



      Tara looked about the strange room with awe.
       It was like a set from a Jane Austen Movie.
       The walls were oak paneling, the kind you’d see in an old English manor house.
Tapestries hung on the wall, and not the cheap catalogue copies you could get for under a hundred bucks. The ones before her had a rich heaviness that bespoke the dust and the weight of several centuries. She admired the scene depicting a rich medieval landscape. A couple sat on a blanket in a forest enjoying a romantic lunch. The woman had long waves of blonde hair trailing over her shoulders and faded pale silvery eyes Tara guessed were once blue. The woman’s expression was wistful as she gazed at her companion, a young man dressed in the rich attire of a thirteenth century noble. A distant castle could be seen in an opening in the trees beyond them and a unicorn was nestled in the brush in the foreground.
        As she studied the tapestry, Tara was enveloped in an oasis of much needed calm.
She’d awakened into a void. She couldn’t remember anything about her life. She didn’t know where she lived, or with whom. She did not live here, that much she did know for certain. She tried all morning to think of someone she could call to come and take her home. Nothing came. No names, no faces.  
        Calling someone. Now, there was a good reason to crumble into hysterics!
        She could not think of anyone to contact, no family, lover or friends.
        Tara rose from the bed with difficulty. Her body was stiff, sore. 
        Had she been in an car accident? She tried not to trip over the overlong white cotton gown as she shambled across the room like a zombie to the antique wardrobe. She opened the door and then the drawer inside it.  Her cell phone was there along with her car keys and her iPod.  A green hair bungee with Celtic designs lay nestled beside the items.
        No wallet. Ah, but that would make things too simple, wouldn’t it? 
        No wallet meant no driver’s license, no clue as to her home address. No credit cards  and no money. Her khaki cargo pants and lace camisole top were folded neatly in the drawer, having been washed by the staff of this odd hotel.
       She picked up her cell phone with her bandaged hands and pressed the ON button. Nothing. No bars, no signal, not even a welcome screen. Her battery must be dead.  If she couldn’t even get it to turn on it meant she’d been here more than a few hours. Damn, if she had a cheaper phone instead of this model with the expensive data package that sucked the batteries like a vampire emptying a crack addict, she’d still have battery power. Without a charger, she was screwed and it wasn’t likely they’d have one here that would work with her phone. 
       Given her weakness and confusion, Tara had to have been here for a few days instead of hours.  Her iPod still worked, for all the good that did. She could listen to Meatloaf, Madonna and Motley Crue while trying to find her way home. If her phone worked, she’d have GPS capabilities so she could figure out where she was, and at the very least she could send a text message.
       And who would she send it to? Would she recognize the names listed in her contact list?  That was the scary part. Tara was lost, like in one of those stupid reality TV shows where the contestants got dropped off in a strange land and had to find their way back home first to win a million bucks. Unlike the people on the show, she was stranded, with no instructions, contacts, money and no freaking idea of who to call to pick her up and take her to the airport. At least on the reality shows they were given detailed instructions.
       She searched the drawers of the ornate desk. There was no phone in her room and no phone book. None of the hotel literature one would expect to find in a place like this. She couldn’t even call a taxi. Even if she had a phone her speech was too garbled to be understood. The hotel maid didn’t understand her so she wouldn’t get far trying to call anyone.
Image credit: yoshiyayo / 123RF Stock Photo
      
Texting! Now that was a different matter. Or Email. Yes, that would work, if she could get to a computer. Tara wiggled the tips of her fingers, peeping out from the heavy linen bandages swaddled over her hands. Her fingers were still pretty numb and stiff, but she could probably pull off the hunt and peck method. They had to at least have a computer in the lobby. All hotels had them in lobbies now.
       The Eagles song echoed in her mind, the one about the creepy hotel you could never leave.
This wasn’t Hotel California, but Hotel Ireland. She learned that when she tried to question the maid who delivered her breakfast tray. She could only manage the word ‘where’ amid her garbled speech. The maid informed her she was a guest at Glengarra Castle overlooking the Bay of Bantry in County Cork, Ireland. At least they spoke English here--sort of. It was hard to understand Maggie’s accent and her queer way of phrasing things.
        Terror didn’t begin to explain the gnawing in her gut as her eyes darted about the stately room filled with antique furnishings. Geez, there wasn’t even a freaking television. Usually they were hidden in the wardrobe closet in the fancier hotels. Her wardrobe closet was empty save her few belongings.
         Fear was making her queasy. Tara didn’t want to vomit again, because she’d have to use that quaint porcelain pot under the bed to throw up in because no one seemed to understand her request to be taken to the restroom. There wasn’t a bathroom attached to her room, which, while odd was logical in an ancient building such as this. The hotel owners wouldn’t want to risk losing their Historic Registry standing by knocking down walls and drilling holes through stone floors to install modern plumbing in every guest room. Still, a phone would be nice so she could ring room service.
         Definitely not a five star experience here, despite the rich furnishings.
         Fatigued from her trek across the room in search of a phone, Tara returned to the bed. She clutched the velvet coverlet in her bandaged hands, ignoring the tears stinging her eyes. So, she was stuck in a hotel somewhere in Ireland with no memory of how she came to be here. And no credit card.  Damn. They’d be kicking her out of here real soon. 
         As Tara sat clutching the covers and worrying about the hotel concierge demanding payment for this lavish Irish holiday, there was a sharp rat-a-tat-tat at the door.
         Oh, God, here it comes, she though, steeling herself for the confrontation.
Excerpt from Some Enchanted Waltz, A Time Travel Romance, by Lily Silver, copyright 2012.

If you would like find out what happens to Tara, and who comes through that door,  you can purchase a digital copy of Some Enchanted Waltz through the following ebook outlets.
iTunes
Kobo 
Amazon.com 
Barnes and Noble Nook 
Smashwords.com 




 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lucky in Love? Take home two Irish Heroes, free on Me!!

Congrats to the following winners: Susan, Viktoria, Felicia, Rachel and Isabelle!  Thanks everyone for visiting! Hope your St. Patrick's Day Weekend was Fun! 



Lucky in Love? Well, are you? It's a time of luck and wealth...or not. With each romance we find ourselves in a new world of love and memories. Are these just by chance? Is it luck? Welcome to your second annual Lucky in Love Blog Hop where we want to hear about your love, your romance, and how much you love St. Patrick's Day!!! Are you wearing green? Ready to get pinched...or wait...do you like that?

Almost 300 bloggers have giveaways and posts about those men we love! 

But that's not all....

We have TWO grand prizes. You as a reader can go to EACH blog and comment with your email address and be entered to win. Yep, you can enter over 200 times!

Now what are those prizes?
1st Grand Prize: A $100 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
2nd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!
 Remember to leave an email address below with your comment
 so we can contact you if you are a winner! 

***On this blog, I'm offering a free digital copy of both of my Irish romances--to not one winner but three lucky readers! 
 

Ireland, it's a land of myth, mystery and magic

And let's not forget those hot Irish rakes out there.  
I'm partial to a sexy alpha male with a little Irish in him, but that's just me! Two if my three historical romances that take place in Ireland feature Irish heroes with plenty to offer a girl.  In Some Enchanted Waltz, my Time Travel Romance, Adrian Dillon is an Irish Viscount with a dual identity. I just love a man in a mask. Well, Lord Dillon is also an Irish patriot, a leader of a local group connected to the United Irishmen. He's working hard behind the scenes to free Ireland as a covert militia leader by night, and a bored Irish Lord by day. 


When Adrian Dillon finds himself blackmailed into marriage by his enemy, he realizes he needs a bride to prevent himself from being aligned forever with a hated British loyalist. Enter Tara O'Neill, a woman from the twenty first century who has fallen through time, and has no memory of who she is or how she got to 18th century Ireland. Lord Dillon rescues her from British Soldiers, and then tells her that she is his betrothed, having arrived all the way from America by ship.  

Tara is a 21st century historian, but her memory is a little wonky right now. She's not sure where she belongs. With no place to go, she takes Lord Dillon up on his offer and marries him. She discovers that the man she married is involved in a secret rebellion--he's sneaking out of the house at night in dark clothing and a mask, sort of like an 18th century Irish Zorro. As Tara's memory returns she realizes that her lover's mission will end in disaster, as the rebels will not succeed in their quest to seize the government. Will she be able to stop Adrian from dying for a cause destined to fail?  

Some Enchanted Waltz is a Time Travel Romance that depicts the events of the Rebellion of 1798 in Ireland. It includes paranormal elements as Tara also discovers her true Irish heritage includes being of fae descent
                                                                     
                                                                        *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  

Bright Scoundrel, My newest Irish Historical Romance takes place a few years later, in 1802, as an Irish wanderer returns to his ancestral home after having been kidnapped as a child and sold as an indentured servant, shipped to the West Indies.  

If you read Dark Hero, Book One of Reluctant Heroes, you met Kieran as a support character, and you already know he's a talented druid magician. He was Elizabeth O'Flaherty's brother. 

Bright Scoundrel starts out after Kieran O'Flaherty has been restored to his English family, yet, he longs to escape the strictures of English society after a few scandalous episodes, so he flees to his ancestral home: Roisin Dubh Castle in County Galway, Ireland. Kieran will find his home has more problems than merely a few spirits haunting it. He'll encounter the Banshee of the O'Flaherty Clan, a clever Fae hiding among his staff, and an elemental creature summoned from another realm by his enemy, a vile creature that has taken up residence in the castle and craves innocent blood. 
Kieran O'Flaherty, a rake with magical abilities
 Kieran is a womanizing rake. He's also an adept in the magical arts as an accomplished druid sorceror. He returns to his childhood home and finds that the idyllic life he imagined is not possible. He struggles to gain the acceptance of his clan, and he just can't fight his attraction to a determined spinster who is an artist with some very unique ideas about women's rights. Rose de Lacy seems to be the only woman immune to his sexual charms.  (read full excerpts of this story in two previous posts this month!)

If you like magic and mystery in your romance, you'll find Bright Scoundrel to be an interesting story.  It's full of Celtic magic, myth, enchanted creatures and some good old fashioned Irish romance.   

 I'm offering a free digital copy of each book to three lucky people who leave a comment here. That's a free digital copy in any format you wish of both titles, Some Enchanted Waltz and Bright Scoundrel for each of the three winners. 


Also, for those who prefer a print copy there is a free giveaway in progress on Goodreads until April 2oth for Bright Scoundrel. Feel free to enter that giveaway as well.   

So here is the chance to take home not one but TWO Irish Heroes to romance your heart. You'll get an Alpha male Irish Patriot in Lord Adrian Dillon (aka Captain Midnight), and a beguiling Beta Male Irish Rake/sorcerer who uses magic to save the girl and conquer his demons in Kieran O'Flaherty, aka Baron Grey. 




And don't forget to visit the other romance bloggers on our list: there will prizes galore for those brave enough to hunt for the treasures. You might not be Lucky in Love, but you can be a Lucky Winner of this blog and so many others.    






Thursday, March 7, 2013

Get Your Irish On: Part Two! Meet Kieran O'Flaherty from Bright Scoundrel

Take a little jaunt to Old Ireland with me, a land of myth, mystery, legend and magic!
As a writer, I enjoy researching the past. Often it's so intriguing that I find it hard to write a straight up historical romance without adding a little magic and mystery to the mix. With three historical romances out, two that take place in Ireland, and all three featuring Irish characters, I wanted to celebrate the season, the season of the Irish, by featuring some excerpts this month from my Irish romances. 

Weekend special!  Bright Scoundrel is .99 cents on Nook only! 
Barnes and Noble Nook link to Bright Scoundrel 

Bright Scoundrel, Copyright Lily Silver, 2013

Chapter One

Greystowe Hall, Kent, England, 1802

      “Lock up your daughters and even their maids!” James Wentworth, Ninth Earl of Greystowe thundered as he waved the latest newspaper before him. “Neither are safe from that Bright Haired Scoundrel from abroad, Lord Greystowe’s uncivilized heir.”
      Once more, Kieran O’Flaherty was the talk of the ton. He’d been lampooned in the London newspaper as it illustrated his latest ‘exploit’ for the amusement of his peers and as a way of publicly shaming him.
      “Look at this, young man.” The old earl fumed, waving the obnoxious drawing before him, hindering Kieran’s attempt to study it.  “And look at me when I speak to you.”
       Kieran pulled his gaze from the elaborate dentils in the crown molding above them to regard his grandparent with a resentful eye. He wished he’d never left the West Indies, where at least a man could frolic with a wench and not bring the wrath of the universe upon his head; his present universe being London Society and his maternal grandfather, Lord Greystowe. 
Kieran O'Flaherty
       He took the newspaper from his aged grandparent and studied the drawing on the front page. His caricature grinned back at him. This time, he’d been depicted with wild, untamed hair, a prodigious mound straining the front of his breeches and a lecherous grin. Kieran was astonished by the acrobatic pose the artist had drawn him in. It was a pose no man could sustain in reality, but such was the empty world he’d been transported to; an elite world hungry for scandal to liven up the tedium of the idle rich. He was drawn dancing a lively romp with a debutante and appeared to be pinching her arse. Meanwhile, an older woman, presumably the chit’s chaperone, was galloping alongside them. She was placed behind the dancing couple and between their profiles and offered up an exposed breast for Kieran to nibble on. The debutante had a shocked expression on her face, while the matron gave the viewer a sly wink and a smile, implying that they were having a good time. Kieran looked at the name on the print
      It wasn’t Gillray’s work. That was disappointing. Gillray would do a much better job.
      “This behavior will cease. Do you understand?” Grandfather continued to shriek.
      Was the old man so deaf that he had to scream just to hear his own words?
Nicholas Barnaby gazed at Kieran with sympathy from across the large room. Barnaby was an apothecary. He had been treating Grandfather’s heart condition for three years with an obscure bark from South America. To wit, poor Barnaby had become Grandfather’s nursemaid.
     “Yes, the earl is behaving worse than usual.” Kieran could almost hear Barnaby’s thoughts aloud.       He’s overly agitated. It’s an unfortunate side effect.  With prolonged use the Peruvian bark seems to cause an extreme belligerence, but it’s also keeping him alive.”
Kieran and Barnaby had had this conversation many times before. He had only to look at his mentor to discern the man’s thoughts.
      “You’ve shamed me a thousand times over with your callow behavior, but this--this is reprehensible.” Grandfather went on. “You are a jacknape, a barbarian. That’s what comes from my daughter running off to Ireland to marry a godless heathen. Your father was hanged as a traitor and now you’ve made me look like a doddering old fool for merely being related to you--for unleashing you upon polite society to pollute and terrorize womankind with your shameless exploits . . . Good God, man! Can you not behave with decorum and quietly take on a mistress like any proper Englishman would do? Must you humiliate me at every turn?”
      Kieran’s lips pressed into a hard line. He tossed the offending caricature aside and squeezed the arms of the chair with his fingers. So, he flirted carelessly with a debutante at a ball and then tupped her chaperone in a back room? The widowed chaperone had thanked him for a good frolic that enlivened an otherwise dull evening, or so she confessed. They were just adjusting their appearances and were about to part ways when they were discovered--by the debutante he’d absentmindedly danced with twice with when only one was allowed--and by the girl’s Mama.
       The mother, had she possessed the slightest grain of intelligence, would have simply steered her wide-eyed daughter from that particular room. Instead, there had been shrieking on the mother’s part and then melodramatic gasping and fainting on the daughter’s, which brought forth a slew of first servants and then gentlemen to see who might be getting themselves murdered in the middle of Lord Angesworth’s annual Spring Ball.
       Kieran and the widow were fully dressed by the time the entire guest roster intruded. They were both a bit rumpled, but decent. Nothing would have been amiss if the gathered gawkers would have simply ignored the incident and resumed the festivities.
       It had gone rather badly, he had to admit. The next day the outraged mama and her faint hearted daughter were claiming Kieran had ruined the girl’s chances on the marriage mart--a strange paradox in his mind as the innocent girl could hardly have been ruined by merely seeing him with his jacket removed and his shirt covering his gaping breeches for the space of sixty seconds--and with her mother standing right beside her, no less.
      It didn’t matter. He was Lord Wentworth’s heir, the honorable Baron Grey; the future Earl of Greystowe and thus the conniving matron was demanding he come up to scratch and propose to her daughter.  Ah, the cruel maneuverings of desperate society matrons!
      The more he thought about it, the more Kieran was convinced the mother deliberately intruded upon Mrs. Weston and himself, timing their entrance to be precise knowing it could garner publicity and mayhap net them a future earl for a husband.
      Oh, but they underestimated Lord Greystowe, hadn’t they, those conniving females?
Kieran was nearly engaged--if only in his grandfather’s mind--to Miss Georgiana Pennington, the daughter of Viscount Rothbury. Rothbury was an acquaintance of Lord Greystowe’s. There were murmurings of a marriage contract being signed between them. Kieran, however, made certain he was unavailable whenever Rothbury requested to meet to discuss the particulars with him.  
       Kieran had been staying at the Wentworth London house for the season as directed by his grandparent. He was dutifully attending the balls and fetes in an effort to gain some ‘town polish’, as the old man had put it. He wasn’t about to flee London only to take up residence here, with the belligerent and domineering earl at Greystowe Hall.
       He was tired of being insulted and dressed down at every opportunity. He was tired of this wretched business of being an heir. He wished, and not for the first time, he was back on the island of St. Kitts, running the apothecary shop with Barnaby. Granted, it wasn’t a luxurious life as this was, but at least Barnaby didn’t treat him like an overgrown child and dictate an endless litany of rules and expectations for him to keep. In the Indies, when he lived as a simple apothecary’s apprentice, he earned the respect of his master and the local populace. Kieran used his magical gifts of second sight and sorcery to help others. He inherited the gifts from his Irish grandmother, a powerful druid priestess. Here, he was just Lord Greystowe’s whipping boy.
      “What have you to say for yourself, young man?” Grandfather’s ranting, mere background noise to Kieran’s musings, had finally distilled down to a direct question.
Kieran glanced at Barnaby before answering. The man was wilting in the mighty Lord Greystowe’s employ, reduced to a cringing servant of the old goat when he himself was elderly and should be enjoying the sunset of his own life. This was not how they envisioned it when they agreed to accompany Grandfather from St. Kitts to England three years earlier. Grandfather had been dying. He was not expected to last more than a few months. Little did they know the earl would rally under Barnaby’s expert care and live on to make both their lives a perpetual hell.
      “Speak up, boy. What do you intend to do to rectify the situation?”
      Anger suffused Kieran’s being. He stood. “I’m leaving England.”
     The old man bristled at his words. If Kieran thought his grandfather’s countenance couldn’t get any darker, he was wrong. “How dare you trifle with me?” The old man was shaking with fury. “This is serious, young man. You can’t just laugh it off and make ill mannered jests. Not this time.”
      “I’m not making a jest. If I’m such a disappointment then make Michael your heir. I’m off to Ireland. I don’t care if I must live in a cave or a humble cottage. I’m not listening to any more of your venom and I’m through being treated worse than one of your hired servants due to the unfortunate circumstance of our shared blood.”
      The earl stared at Kieran with his jaw sagging. The old man was beyond words for the first time in their short association.
      He had a feeling the earl’s side of the conversation was far from over.
Kieran was mortified by his outburst. He hadn’t planned it. Now that he said it, he was relieved and resolved to follow through. Ireland was his birthplace. It was a week away at most. A ship leaving England could arrive in Dublin within a day or on the western coast of Ireland within a week. 
     “Ireland.” The old man said the word without his usual contempt for the place. This time, he’d said it with a sense of awe and wonder. “Ireland. Yes . . . it’s the perfect excuse.”

Copyright Lily Silver, 2013

Rose de Lacy
Once Kieran arrives at his family estate in Ireland, he finds the place is haunted, and not just by ghosts but also by a malicious elemental being that thirsts for innocent blood. He meets an old druid hermit, and the Banshee of Roisin Dubh Castle. And that's not all, he also meets the lovely estate manager, Miss Rose de Lacy, a woman who seems completely immune to his charms.


Bright Scoundrel is book two in the Reluctant Heroes Series, and it is available through March 9th for 50% off on Smashwords.com   along with some of my other historical romance titles.  It's read an e-book week, so pick  up an ebook today on Smashwords. Many authors are participating in this event with books at discount prices.