I’m delighted to be interviewing Maggie Sims, author of the School of Enlightenment Series. Her romances are of a spicier subgenre than mine and I’ve been looking forward to this chat. Welcome, Mags!
Before we get carried away about books and writing, won’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Thank you for hosting me!
My love of reading started early. Even prior to my teen years, I would ask to be left at the public library for hours on a Saturday or during summer. I read Jane Eyre for fun, long before it was assigned in high school. In between the classics, I found the rounders of Harlequin and Silhouette books – anyone else old enough to remember the lavender covers?
My other big hobby is travel. Before marrying my dad, my mother was one of those glamorous flight attendants on Pan Am international flights. I inherited a passion for any and all travel from her – I can barely stand to eat at the same restaurant twice, for want of discovering new places.
My undergrad was at a small liberal arts college, giving me more opportunity to read and to learn to write better before I turned to business. I earned a CPA and an MBA and moved up the ranks of the corporate world.
Between that and living in New York City for much of my twenties, I was way too busy to settle down. Two moves and many trips later, I ended up in the San Francisco Bay Area and met the love of my life at the tender age of 32. We’ve been together ever since and retired a year before COVID. We currently reside outside Austin, Texas and have one old dog and two four-month-old kittens.
I love that we live in the same state. :)
What do you like to read? Do you have a favorite book or two? How about a favorite author?
If left to my own devices, I read romance almost exclusively. In fact, I joined a friend’s book club to force myself to get some exposure beyond romance. Within romance, I read pretty much all heat levels except sweet, and all periods – from ancient times to future, from paranormal to historical fiction (fictionalized versions of historical figures and events).
Does any author you know have a favorite book? I’d be amazed! Keeping it PG-13, I’ll pick two of my favorite comfort reads – the books I reread when my brain needs a break. They’re really different, so you’ll get what I mean when I say I pan-read romance:
You write erotica. I don’t read erotica and can’t imagine writing it. To me, it’s like a wild frontier. Even prolonged, steamy sex scenes make me somewhat uncomfortable. So this is new territory for me.
Ssooo…first, I don’t write erotica. But thank you for mentioning it. LOL! It gives me an opportunity to clarify.
Erotica does not necessarily include an HEA (happily ever after) or even an HFN – happy for now – ending. It’s about the sex; plot, story arc, and character development are secondary. (And if you’d like to further investigate the difference, I can point you…😉 teasing!)
Erotic romance on the other hand is a romance story, full character development – goals, motivations, conflicts, both internal and external, and a romance plot arc. What most in the industry specify as erotic romance is when the sex is integral to the characters’ journey: if you take the sex out of the story, the story doesn’t make sense. Example, trying to keep it PG-13 – in my first book, the heroine sees her hosts (cousin and his wife) fooling around and is curious. The 18-year-old turns to her cousin’s best friend to explore that curiosity, which leads to her being compromised and them needing to marry, etc. etc. – and that is only the first half of the book. Erotic romance is also different from steamy romance in the language used (think other four letter words vs. euphemisms for body parts, even in a more open-door romance).
Good to know!
When writing the more erotic scenes, is the writer concerned with showing tender emotions and the characters' physical reactions to each other?
In an erotic romance, it’s still about the romance. So while the characters might engage in sexual play earlier in their relationship than in a less steamy romance, their emotions are still engaged. Or maybe they experience unexpected emotion during the intimacy, or just after. The sex is included in the story because it’s a physical manifestation of their attraction to one another, which is emotion-based. Their thoughts and their physical reactions are on the page (if it’s done right) so the reader can relate to the characters’ growth in the relationship. It’s still a romance at the core of the story.
Would you mind going over the heat levels in romance? I’m assuming that erotica has varying heat levels within the subgenre as well?
Within erotic romance and erotica the differentiations are actually a different scale, honestly – for the different kinks (read kinks as personal preferences for sex, just as all of us have our own personal preferences of how and when and where we like to be touched). There are hundreds of nuances of BDSM (bondage, dominance/submission, sadism and masochism – a person can enjoy literally only one kind of bondage and nothing else, or that and some dominance, etc. etc.). Even without bondage and impact play, there are role plays and many other kinks/preferences…there are threesomes and foursomes and reverse harem, etc. (You asked!)
For overall romance, the general standard I see in Facebook groups for readers is as follows:
Mild (ex. PG movie, Hallmark, “sweet”, some handholding, a chaste kiss, no detailed descriptions of intimacy, any intercourse and steamy scenes occur off the page or it fades to black, lots of emotional tension. There are further levels within this of no sex before marriage – one of my fellow Austin-area TWRP authors is Mormon, for instance.)
Medium (ex. PG-13 movie, second base, kissing and touching and intimacy shared but less focus on the body parts, majority of the sexy stuff is still behind closed doors)
Steamy (ex. R movie, sex on the page, doesn’t fade to black but might follow the participants through the door and into the bed)…on Instagram, ‘steamy’ refers to this and level 4, FYI, in case folks follow bookstagrammers for reading suggestions
HOT HOT HOT (ex. NC-17 movie, explicit sex, graphic language, anatomically descriptive in detail)…on TikTok this is called ‘spicy’ FYI
As a last note on this, you’re not alone in being uncomfortable with this subgenre of romance – spicy romance authors have been arguing with Amazon for the last two years, since they moved their ‘erotic romance’ category out of romance, and under Literature & Fiction / Erotica / Romantic Erotica. This stinks for authors put there (they call it ‘the Amazon dungeon’) because books under Erotica will not come up in general searches by readers – e.g. “Regency Romance”). But to find more categories of erotica and erotic romance, take a look at the Kindle store categories under Erotica.
Thank you for explaining all of this with patience and eloquence. What inspired you to write erotica... I see now I must correct myself... erotic romance? Please tell us about your writing and your writing journey.
I love sharing how I ended up writing the stories I chose to start my career as a romance author.
My mum is British, and I’m of an age where many of the full-length romance novels from my early romance-reading days were historical – Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsay, etc.
More recently, I found Maya Banks (her early books were much better than recent ones) and a couple other spicy / erotic romance authors. Then Fifty Shades came out and so many readers were looking for more of that, and authors were making bank.
Once or twice in my corporate career I had breaks between jobs. Back around 2000 I had one and I started to try to write a Harlequin romance novella (it’s still unfinished and has pay phones in it, so that will never see the light of day!). When we retired, I found I did not sit still well, and my husband did not enjoy my project management efforts left over from my corporate life (go figure…). And I was reading a lot.
I wondered how historical romance authors would tell a more kinky story. But when I searched for historical erotic romance, there were only a handful of authors who had written that. The business side of my brain woke up and said, “if you’re going to attempt this, go for the niche market where there is higher demand and less supply.” Sadly, in the 5 years it took me to learn the craft, write, rewrite, rewrite again, and rewrite again Sophia’s Schooling, there are a lot more on the market. And younger readers don’t read as much historical romance.
I am still amused at the two sides of my brain attempting to make this profitable. 😊
I cannot imagine you being anything but successful at whatever you attempt.
Do you feel that there are misunderstandings about your chosen subgenre?
Well, given that you did not differentiate between erotica and erotic romance, sure… 😊 But my guess is that many readers who don’t know that would probably not read either type of story. And that is ok. I’ll never (other than for peer reviews) knowingly pick up a book where the couple doesn’t have sex as part of their journey. As I told my friends when we were single – none of us would buy a $100 returnable dress without trying it on, so why would we want to commit to someone for the rest of our lives without testing all interactions for the right fit? But I also respect the fact that while that is right for me, it’s not for everyone. So I market accordingly, and tag bookstagrammers who read what I know to be at least something close to what I write, etc. I’d rather people read my book and love it, knowing what they’re getting, so they aren’t disappointed…and so I don’t get bad reviews, of course.
Your new series, School of Enlightenment, has a historical setting. Did you have to do a lot of research in that regard? Please tell us about it and about the first book in the series, Sophia’s Schooling.
The School of Enlightenment (4 books eventually) is a secret school that empowers young women of all classes in Regency England to take their future and their pleasure in their own hands. It helps titled young ladies navigate their husbands’ world of the House of Lords to influence the passing of laws that protect women and children, it helps working class women learn to manage their own finances. And yes, it teaches these ladies to know their bodies and how to derive pleasure from sex.
Book 1 is about the untitled cousin of an earl who was orphaned, and the earl’s best friend—a second son with a secret he considers shameful—who is suddenly thrust into the earldom.
Book 2 is about a working class girl with East Indian heritage who wants to open a bakery combining British pastries and her great-grandmother’s recipes.
Book 3 is about a widow who owns an apothecary and an earl who is connected to the school…but I haven’t figured out what I’m sharing in the blurb yet, so I’m keeping that vague.
Each of these books, in addition to having all the romance steps of discovery and interest, doubt and dark moments, and ultimately a grand gesture and an HEA, have some historical details about laws and road surfaces and workhouses, and tell a story of strong women who navigated behind the scenes, around the same time that the Blue Stocking Society was working out in the open for changes. I am just sad that my research had to be mostly from my home due to COVID.
If anyone is interested despite all my warnings above 😊 then Sophia’s Schooling can be found here on all major retail platforms. Or if anyone is unsure and wants to dip their toes in my world without committing to buy a book, sign up for my newsletter that talks about books, wine and travel once a month, and they’ll receive a free 23k word novella. Sign-up link is on my website www.maggiesims.com.
Love the premise! Is the next book in the works?
Book 2 is actually available for preorder on some platforms currently here and everywhere on October 19.
There is also a spinoff short story from Book 2 that is coming out in a winter holiday anthology on October 18 – and I didn’t even ask for that date.
Books 3 & 4 are in the works now – yay!
Wow! Go, you! Any last thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about my books and my subgenre. I know your audience is less likely to be mine, but I hope this has been somewhat informative. My experience to date with The Wild Rose Press has offered me the chance to get to know many fun, friendly authors, especially you.
It’s also helped me read quite a bit outside even romance – if I may plug the suspense book Not My Child by Lis Angus, and the YA Fantasy From Brick & Darkness by J.L. Sullivan – they are TWRP 2022 debut authors like you and I.
Your book is one of the next on my list to read, and I’m excited to continue this journey with you.
If your readers want to know more, they are welcome to visit me at www.maggiesims.com, and/or follow me on social media (I’m mostly on Instagram). They are also welcome to email me directly, especially if they have specific questions or concerns, at email@example.com. 😊
Thanks so much for joining us today, Maggie. This has been great -- educational, interesting, and fun. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you through The Wild Rose Press and look forward to sharing our writing journey, too! I just love your sense of humor and your confidence. I wish you much success.
And now, for those of you who might be interested in some extra spice, following is more information about Maggie's books along with some excerpts!
Sophia’s Schooling (School of Enlightenment Book 1)
An innocent country girl...a jaded earl...an education in pleasure.
Orphaned at eighteen, Sophia has learned love means loss. Now she must leave her country home to navigate the opulence of the London Season, although she has no desire for romance or a husband.
Edward, the newest Earl of Peterborough, is struggling with the business of his family estate. He has shunned marriage due to a shameful secret, but with his title comes the need for heirs.
Despite their misgivings, Sophia and Edward cannot resist their attraction. When she accidentally discovers his penchant for spankings, her curiosity is her undoing. A clandestine meeting risks a scandal. Only marriage to a reluctant bridegroom can save her reputation. But perhaps the School of Enlightenment can give her an education in love.
Edward gave a mental snort. “You continue to disobey orders.”
Sophia groaned in frustration, probably suspecting where his statement was leading. “I’m very sorry.” She sucked in a breath. “I shan’t do it again. As I came out alone, I thought it would be safe.” She sent him a sidelong glance. “Is this a punishable offense, my lord?”
Perfect. She knew she was wrong. She saw what was coming. Her side-eyed glance told him she mayhap even invited it. Who was he to refuse a girl a spanking?
He took a deep breath, wishing… No. She’s not mine to covet. But she is mine to punish tonight.
His eyes shuttered as he considered. Was he taking advantage of her naiveté about Ton rules? He knew she’d enjoyed the last punishment and could not deny either of their desires. He almost heard the turn of the key as his conscience was again locked away.
He pushed, “We have been over this, Sophia. Punishment is an important learning tool. Hopefully, it shall be an incentive for you to obey specific directions in the future.”
Frustrated, she crossed her gloved arms. “Darn it. My feet hurt so much. I did not anticipate my bottom becoming sore, too. I shan’t be able to sit or stand comfortably.”
That wasn’t a no.
Purchase Sophia's Schooling.
Penelope’s Passion (School of Enlightenment Book 2)
Schooled in the art of pleasure, her real passion is baking. Required to marry, the earl’s heir finds his new courtesan more to his taste.
1816 - London
After her mother's death, Penelope Wood's hope of opening a bakery falls victim to the real need to support herself. When four retired courtesans present her with a temporary yet lucrative path back to her dream, she wants to hear more. Attending the School of Enlightenment, participating in a Virgin Auction, and becoming a courtesan all sound feasible. The most important rule--do not fall in love.
Lord Michael Slade, heir to the Earl of Mansfield, loves his family above all else, cooks for relaxation, and revels in his membership to a discreet spanking club. But his father is ill, and his mother is pushing him to marry. Even so, when he meets a dark-haired beauty who doesn’t mind a good spanking and discovers she's up for auction, he can't let her go to another man. He has to have her...at least until he finds a wife.
With an inevitable marriage looming and a vow to remain faithful to his hypothetical bride once he's engaged, both Penelope and Michael must protect their hearts, even as they find a connection they cannot deny.
“Hmm, a proper greeting first, eh? And a thank you, mayhap?”
“Of course, my lord, I am sorry,” Penelope said, aghast. Gor, how could I have forgotten my training so easily? Leaning up, she brought her lips to his in a gentle kiss. “Welcome, ’tis lovely to have you here with me.”
“All is well, Pen. I was teasing you.” Michael smiled. “But I would not be upset by you removing one article of clothing to thank me.” He arched his brows in hope and took one step back, releasing her.
“Oh!” She considered, tilting her head. Then, with a small smile, she bent and removed a slipper.
“Will that do, my lord?” She slid him a sidelong look. Internally, she berated herself. I should be
thinking of these games. But I like that he created this one. I like playful Michael a lot, I shall do better in the future.
He strolled over and fingered the bread peel, his lips pursed. “At the very least, the pair is really one article of clothing as you always wear them together. Beyond that, I can see I will need to be more specific. Fair enough, young lady.”
Preorder Penelope's Passion.
Roslynn’s Rebellion (free prequel for newsletter subscribers)
He wants to bury his secrets. She is creating a new secret school. Can they work together?
1813 - London
Lady Roslynn St. Pierre has no need for a typical Ton husband. Frustrated with the constraints women are forced to endure, she desires a partner who will show her unbridled passion as well as supporting her ambitions to empower women. If the rumors are correct, the Earl of Suffolk might be precisely the man for her.
Nicholas needs a perfect wife. To advance his parliamentary agenda, he must forge a spotless reputation in Society, putting to bed the whispers of his membership in a spanking club, which so scandalized the Ton. Besides, his lady wife will undoubtedly have no interest in his more prurient desires.
Roslynn is determined to win his heart and satisfy his secret needs. But her plans go awry when her idea for a secret school for women conflict with Nicholas’ expectations in a wife. Together, they must determine whether Ton expectations will dictate their marriage or they will forge their own relationship.
About the Author
Maggie Sims began her love affair with romance before her teen years, drawn to the Regency by her mum’s British influence. In her twenties, she did her best to live the Carrie Bradshaw life in New York City, albeit with less expensive shoes and more books
Despite reading hundreds of romance novels in her life, she was still blown away when she met the love of her life, an ex-Marine cinnamon roll with creative woodworking and culinary skills.
Having retired from corporate life, they live in Central Texas and are parents to a varying number of dogs and cats. When not writing, Maggie is a wine enthusiast, a travel junkie, and a romance reading fiend. She also sporadically crochets for KnotsofLove.org and does just enough exercise for that second glass of wine at night.
To find out more about Maggie’s latest reads, favorite wines, and travel destinations, sign up for her newsletter and follow her on social media.
Today I'm leaving the blog in the capable hands of talented romance author Virginie Marconato. Welcome, Virginie!
Wedded To Her Golden Knight is my latest release, and my first friends to lovers romance. The theme of unrequited love was one I have wanted to explore for a while and from that starting point Sebastian and Catriona’s story came out easily.
It is set in the middle of the Hundred Year’s War, at a time when luck was favouring the English. My hero takes part in the famous Battle of Agincourt in October 1415, which was a resounding victory for Henry V of England, who annihilated the French troops despite being vastly outnumbered. Sebastian will find that war is not the glorious enterprise he imagined. Although that opinion is perhaps representative of what we think today, I cannot help but think that people would have considered such massacres just as horrific as we do.
Why focusing on the 14th and 15th centuries for my historical romances? Quite simply, because I have always been drawn to the Middle Ages. I don’t really know why. It could have been the Egyptians, or the Romans or the French revolutionaries who captured my imagination but for some reason I can’t explain, as soon as the teacher started to talk about this particular conflict, I was hooked. I imagined myself as a henin-wearing lady staring into the distance as her valiant knight rode away to war. This image never left me and is always at the forefront of my mind when I start a new book.
Ironically, being French myself, I ended up married to a British man. It pleases me to prove, six hundred years later, that our two nations don’t have to hate each other!
I have written three other books set during the Hundred Years War and two during the War of the Roses, all set in England. You can find them on Amazon.
Thank you for giving my books a chance!
Friends becoming lovers in the middle of the Hundred Years War.
Catriona has been in love with Sebastian all her life. But the rakish future Earl of Whitley has eyes for every woman – except his best friend.
Then one day, against all odds, he proposes to her to save her from marriage to a man who scares her. Or so she thinks…
It will come as a bitter blow to realise that he only did so to gain back his inheritance.
Can a woman deeply in love with her husband accept the fact that she has only been married to be used as a brooding mare? What will it take for Sebastian to realise that what he feels for his wife is love of the deepest kind?
His departure for war will precipitate them into a whirlwind of self-discovery and when secrets are revealed, Catriona and Sebastian will have no choice but to accept what they cannot change.
Damn the girl!
How dare she meddle where she had no business to? He should make her pay for her impudence, accede to her request to kiss her. He allowed himself a smile. Let us see how long it would be until she admitted that she had bitten off more than she could chew and ran away in fright.
The idea made him choke on a laugh. Catriona had probably never kissed anyone before and she might literally bite and chew at his mouth. Her kisses would never compare with Arabella’s expert ones, she might even draw blood if he wasn’t careful. The laugh he had tried to contain escaped his throat at the thought.
When Sebastian laughed the sound pushed Catriona over the edge. He had called her a child and now he was laughing at the idea of kissing her, as if such a thing was too ludicrous to even contemplate. She could not countenance it. The man she loved saw her as a twelve-year old girl.
Well, he was about to see how wrong he was.
With a cry of frustration she launched herself at him, aiming for his mouth. It was not easy, as he was much taller than she was and in her outrage, she misjudged it. Sebastian, utterly unprepared for the assault, staggered backwards and tripped on a rock. They both fell to the floor, Catriona landing on top of him, panting in surprise and fright. She was unhurt, he had cushioned her fall most efficiently, but for a long moment she stared at him in mortification.
Dear. Not the best start.
“What the devil do you think you’re doing?” he exclaimed at length, sounding winded by the fall, and not a little annoyed.
“Giving you no choice. Now you are going to have to kiss me, or I won’t let you get back up.”
The blue eyes widened. “You won’t let me get back up?” he said slowly, as if that was the most ludicrous thing he had ever heard.
“No. Not unless you kiss me first,” she said boldly, feeling both daring and deliciously vulnerable.
“Cat, I’m quickly running out of patience and I’m still aroused from my encounter with Arabella. Are you certain you want to tease me?”
All she heard was a grunt. Then there was a sudden jerk and, without understanding just quite how Sebastian had managed it, she found herself with her back onto the floor, pinned under a hard masculine body.
“My dear little Catriona. No one makes me do something I do not want to do. I thought you knew me well enough to have realised that by now.” His lips curled into the hint of a smile. “And now I would very much like to see you get up. I think we can both agree that it was not exactly difficult for me to overcome you. The reverse might not be quite as straight forward I’m afraid.” The smile he had been fighting bloomed on his lips. “But I’d love to see you try.”
Catriona knew she had no chance of lifting him off and she refused to humiliate herself by even trying. Besides, she did not want push him off, rather the opposite. The heat of his body against hers was sending her senses into a wild tangle. It was the first time they had touched thus, so intimately, like lovers. It was intoxicating, delicious. Why on earth would she want to put an end to the moment? She could tell he was careful to keep most of his weight off her despite his annoyance and as a consequence she could experience the pleasure of the contact without the inconvenience of having to fight for her every breath.
She lay there, breathing heavily with a mixture of apprehension and barely controlled desire. Her breasts were straining against his chest, one of his legs was lying between hers. Feeling him so close to her was creating havoc within her body, filling her mind with all sorts of lewd thoughts. She licked her lips and the light in his eyes changed.
Suddenly Catriona was not so sure she was in a position of weakness. Sebastian had strength on his side but she had… something else, something she could not quite identify but which seemed to keep him firmly under her spell.
Available at Amazon.
About the Author:
I think I became a writer the day I decided to write a (very bad, shamefully close to the real story) version of White Fang when aged nine or ten! As for the Middle Ages I fell in love with it at school during a history lesson, then Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood put its final seal on it all. A girl of twelve then, I never recovered!
So much delicious romance, so little time! Happy Medieval Monday!
The Medieval era was long and varied -- from approximately 500 CE to 1500. Although popular fiction might have us believe otherwise, it does refer to the whole world, not just Europe. I point this out because there was a lot more travel than we generally consider. Vikings were all over the place, as were missionaries, explorers, merchants, and pirates.
To write a solid historical novel, a writer has to do a surprising amount of research. One thing leads to the next and the next... There is a lot of fiction written by PhDs and I can understand why. History is fascinating and demands to be remembered and shared. In my opinion, medieval history calls to be revealed in all of its richness and glory and gore. They don't all have to be in one story. Personally, I do very well without the gore. That's just me, of course. I love the beauty and mystery of it all.
There are so many wonderful writers who craft magnificent, medieval tales of adventure and romance. Some amazing authors -- just to get you started: Mary Morgan, Barbara Bettis, Judith Sterling, Ruth A. Casie, Mary Gillgannon, Amy Jarecki, Sherry Ewing, Cathy and DD MacRae, Jenna Jaxon, Sophia Nye, Madeline Martin, Eliza Knight, Tanya Anne Crosby, Julie Garwood, Vonda Sinclair, Shelly Thacker, Mairi Norris, Ashley York, and a new favorite, Virginie Marconato. Some write in a variety of romance subgenres and some write strictly medieval romance. Some add fantasy to the history, some do not. They all write beautifully.
Care to disappear for a while into a world of magic and mystery, chivalry and romance? Try one of these authors. Oh, and you might want to check out my time travel romance, Tremors Through Time. :)
Be sure to visit Mary Morgan and Barbara Bettis (beloved authors of mine) for more medieval romance!
Available at your favorite online bookseller.
August, Limbourg Brothers, Les Très Riches Heures
Happy August, Happy Medieval Monday!
Hard as it is for me to imagine here in the heat of a Texas summer, the first of August marks the beginning of harvest time in many countries. For ancient Gaels, August 1 meant the festival, Lughnasadh/Lughnasa. Those are the ancient words. Called Lùnasta in modern Irish and Lùnastal in Scottish Gaelic, it's one of the four seasonal Gaelic celebrations (along with Samhain), Imbolc, and Beltane). It was in celebration of the beginning of the harvest season.
In Tremors Through Time, it was this festival which took Lachlann away from his family for a short time, only to return to devastation.
Scottish Highlands, 1351
Shrouded in mist, Loch Nis loomed, dark and foreboding, in the distance. Lachlann pulled the packhorse along swiftly, anxious to be home before nightfall. He needed to see his family, to hold his son. He checked his sporan. The wee leather ball and wooden horse figurine were there, safe. He could hardly wait to watch Iain’s little face light up when he gave him the toys.
Allasan should be pleased that he’d found everything on her list. He grinned. They had their differences, but if there was one thing about his wife, she knew what she wanted. She was the most stubborn Gael alive. Despite fever, nausea, and a sick three-year-old to care for, she’d almost pushed him out of the door.
You have to go,” she’d urged, her brown eyes unnaturally bright. “I want the dye and you’ll find it in Inbhir Nis. You promised! I didn’t work day and night all summer to be disappointed because of a paltry ailment. I have my family and yours all around me if I need anything. Go! You’ll only be in my way here!”
He had to admit, she’d been right. The Lùnastal festival in Inbhir Nis was much larger than their local fairs, with a wider variety of merchants in attendance. Not only had he found her purple dye and wax candles, but all sorts of vegetable seeds as well, even Norse Anastasia Abboud 8 favorites such as horseradish and mustard.
Thanks to a bountiful harvest and the cloth that Allasan wove so skillfully, he’d had plenty with which to barter. He’d even been able to choose gifts—Iain’s toys, silk ribbons for his wife and sisters-in-law, and iron gall ink for the bard.
He only wished that Allasan and Iain had been able to go with him as planned. He’d worried about them the whole week. What’s wrong with the horse? He tugged lightly on the rope. The beast stalled, its ears flat back. He tugged harder, then smelled it, the foul stench of smoke
Available in ebook and paperback from your favorite online bookstore.
Wishing you a wonderful beginning to both the new week and new month!
It's no secret that I prefer fat HEAs. Where better than in a beautiful romance?
From me to you with a smile.
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