To save her sister’s life, Julia Grey seeks a spell hidden somewhere within Merriweather Manor. Her position as a lady's companion affords her the freedom to search the house. But time is running out. The necromancer she's bargained with is growing impatient. And an unexpected appearance of a man from her past makes matters worse in an already complicated situation.
Basil Merriweather returns to England after ten years abroad to discover his childhood sweetheart living in his home. But, he's no longer the carefree man of his youth and she's hiding something--deadly secrets Basil vows to uncover even as he hides a dark secret of his own.
While neither Basil nor Julia will trust in the other, their hearts speak a truer language. In a grand attempt to save Julia's sister and Basil's life, the two must finally confess sinister truths. Will their admissions help or hinder any future they may have together? Or will the necromancer destroy all in a vile attempt at revenge.
The Wild Rose Press
All Romance Ebooks
"What are you doing?"
He ignored her frantic questioning. Instead, he blocked out the sound of her voice and raised his arms into the air at his sides, his fingers splayed out as he extended his senses to scan the area. His power eased out, like extensions of his fingertips, stretching into the corners of the room, seeking, searching for the source of the magic he sensed.
It was here...somewhere.
He had sensed it earlier on his arrival, but being that his aunt and siblings practiced magic on a regular basis he'd never given it a second thought.
This room, however, stank with it. He smelled the odor, something strangely like sulfur...
"A spell has been cast in this room," he muttered. A strange spell. Odd. A spell he'd never sensed before, something new. It felt off is some way he couldn't explain. Who would be working new magic of this kind in his home? And, in this room in particular. Aunt Petunia worked her spells in the privacy of her rooms upstairs, or sometimes in the gardens, but never in this room. And his siblings each, practiced in their own private settings, places where they could concentrate without the threat of being disturbed. A fairly difficult task with the number of people normally in residence at Merriweather Manor.
He took a step closer to the center of the room where he sensed a surge of power. He shivered as coldness seeped into his skin. It wrapped around his arm, sinking into his flesh, right down to the bone. This was not right.
The magic in his house was always full of warmth and gentleness. Goodness and love. This magic chilled him to the bone. His heart skipped a beat. There was fear, terror, pain. This spell was full of darkness.
About the Author:
Tricia Schneider is an author of paranormal and gothic romance. Before the supernatural took possession of her pen, she worked for several years in a Waldenbooks store as Assistant Manager and bookseller. She now writes full-time while raising her 3 young children. She lives with her musician husband and 2 neurotic cats in the coal country of Pennsylvania.
To learn more about her and the books she writes, check out her website or blog. She can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.
For the last ten days my mother-in-law has been visiting. I know that for many of you just the thought of the dreaded in-laws brings on a full body shudder followed by a couple of shots of something akin to gasoline in order to provide you with the necessary courage to withstand such an ordeal. However, for me this is a time filled with joy. I’m one of the few women who is lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who is the embodiment of laughter and love.
As we had a guest we decided to take some time to explore one of my favorite cities, Edmonton. Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, Canada, and the closest city to my home in Northern Alberta. It is one of the sunniest places in Canada with over 2000 hours of sunshine a year, and with a population of over a million it has a lot to offer the tourist.
As you drive into Edmonton on roads flanked by strip malls and office buildings you might not realise that in its heart is a river valley that boasts 22 parks. It’s the largest area of urban parkland in North America.
Edmonton is also a place of festivals with over 30 events a year. No matter what time you come you will be able to find something unique and interesting to see and do. Here are some of the things we did in our ten days:-
We ziplinned and swam at West Edmonton Mall’s waterpark. (West Edmonton Mall is the largest mall in North America with a waterpark, an amusement park, an ice rink, a hotel, and of course, tons of stores)
We went to the races at Northlands and lost a small amount of money – but that was expected. And cheering the horses on was
And we enjoyed an assortment of delicious food provided by a wide variety of restaurants at A Taste of Edmonton – this is an event where restaurateurs provide a sample of their food and you pay a minimal fee to try a their product.
What’s your favorite city? And if you had a guest what events or sights would you visit?
I've interviewed Captain Alex Thomas, the hero from the short story 'Beacon of the Night' (Book 1 in The Lighthouse Anthology). He's gorgeous and fearless!!!
Take a look
Hi Alex. Welcome to my page.
Alex: Thank you. It's great to be here.
We’ve got a lot o people anxious to meet you so let's get this interview started.
Alex: Ready when you are.
Okay. I see you are now the Lighthouse Keeper on Destruction Island with Sylvia Ross.
Alex: I am. It’s an interesting profession, to say the least, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Although, I think Sylvia is better at the job than I am. She’s so in tuned to the mystical qualities of the ocean, she knows just when a rescue is imminent.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
Alex: I would say when I realized my ship, The Justice, was going down. Black Bellamy had gotten the drop on us and blew a hole through the port side. I lost a lot of men that day, and that will haunt me forever.
I’m sorry to hear that. Did you always want to be a sailor?
Alex: I wanted to be a farmer like my father. Pirate hunter and entrepreneur just sort of fell into my lap.
What are you passionate about these days? Do you still hunt pirates?
Alex: *chuckles* No, thank God. Sylvia saved me from that. I can’t get enough of her. She’s so brave and innocent I fall in love with her each morning when we wake. I still think I don’t deserve to have her. I would say my passion is reserved for her only.
So what do you do to unwind and relax?
Alex: I like to sit by the fire while Syl reads me a passage from whatever novel she is currently reading. I don’t particularly care for the stories, but I love to hear her speak.
How romantic! If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?
Alex: Sylvia. For leaving her when I should have stayed.
But you came back, so that’s something.
Alex: I suppose, but I have a lot of making up to do for leaving in the first place.
What one word best describes you?
I’d say. Black Bellamy didn’t stand a chance. Unfortunately our time is up, I know you need to get back to the Lighthouse, but I think we have enough time for one more question. So what is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Alex: I can make a delicious loaf of bread. You know, years on a ship with only one cook, you eventually learn some skills in the galley.
I think every man should learn how to cook. Thank you for leaving the island to join us today, Alex!
Thank you for stopping by and visiting with Alex. If you’d like to keep reading, here is an excerpt and blurb for the Lighthouse Anthology which is available from Amazon
When violent ocean forces become too strong, the keepers are watching. They are strong, determined, and afraid of nothing. They will risk their lives to save others, and risk their chance at love to serve their country. Can love overcome the obstacles thrown in their path and shine the light in their hearts? They are the ladies of the Lighthouse Service and men of the Life Saving Service. Those who have vowed to watch and protect.
They are…the keepers.
Beacon of the Night
Alone in the world, Sylvia single handedly runs the Destruction Island Lighthouse. Courageously, she puts her life in danger to save shipwrecked sailors. When she rescues a man during a storm, she learns that this notoriously handsome Captain has a notorious secret.
I Heard the Bells
Ever since she was young, Abigail has been infatuated with her brother’s best friend Gavin Walker. She is the lighthouse keeper’s niece, and not at all inclined to join in the deadly ocean rescues. He is a local hero and second in command at the Lifesaving Station in Cape Disappointment. A place known to many as ‘The Graveyard of the Pacific’. Can Gavin help Abbie save her brother, and nurse her uncle back to health before Christmas?
The Ghost ships Cry
Wade Alston is keeper of the Little Island Life Saving Station. He is haunted by his past, and the spine-chilling cry of the ghost ship that lies just outside the shoreline. To top it off, a crewman from the wreck is missing, and the man’s wife and daughter, Laura, continue to plague his life with a request that is not only against the rules, but downright dangerous.
Laura asks him to attend her father’s Wake, and Wade becomes the victim of deception. During which, he finally gets the courage to tell her how he has felt for years. But will her desperation to find her father jeopardize any future they may have together?
Burning Light Within
Vanessa has taken on the task of Dry Tortuga Island's lighthouse keeper in place of her late husband. As keeper, "Nessa" rescues those who find trouble in the warm Florida Key waters. The brave young woman is challenged by a man she saves from the water -- a man from her past. Will he raise the longing she once felt, or will she be reminded of a past that once was but is no more?
Excerpt from ‘Ghost Ships Cry’
Laura scooted closer to the edge of her seat so her mother could enter the carriage without mishap. She waited until the door closed before bringing up the subject that bothered her since its inception. “Are you sure it will work?”
“It has to,” Parthena said. She settled in and fluffed
her large, full skirt. “We need him, and we know he’s there. So there is no other option, if you want to see him
Laura pulled her lips into a thin line. The plan they hatched was dicey—at best. There were so many ‘ifs’, that it made her uncomfortable. The carriage jerked and she bounced in the seat. She snuggled deeper into the bench cushions to draw out as much warmth as possible. “I just don’t like it, Mama. He is such a nice man, and I’ve known him since school. Isn’t there any other way we can do it?”
“Well…have the couple of times you pleaded with him worked?”
“Then there is your answer. There is no other way. It has to be like this, and it has to be now.”
Excerpt from Beacon of the Night
Washington Coast, October 1895
The sea looked dark, a catalyst for the abyss and the final resting place of the brave men surrounded by the dark waters. Davie Jones called to them, beckoned his crew to the afterlife of a sailor. He was the only one left, clutching the floating plank of his ship and desperate for survival. He would live to get his revenge on the bloodthirsty pirate who did this to his beautiful ship, The Justice.
The sea grew angry, driven mad by the deadly storm that dominated the sky. Alex watched the waves, each one a wall of water as it reached to heights of up to sixteen feet, and the water cold enough to slow his body.
He looked up and saw the land and flashing light of the
lighthouse, a beacon of the night. They were close to shore when the storm—and the pirate—hit. Alex could see the dark outline of the land he needed to reach; his only hope for survival.
He clung to the wood, buoyant against the raging ocean force. He kicked his feet and swam against the current, with no effect. He tried to reach the light. He struggled to keep his head up, his gaze on the horizon, and swim with all the energy he had left. His strength drained rapidly as the ocean temperature and physical exertion took its toll. No matter how hard he tried, it
didn’t seem to work. The land stayed out of reach, and
taunted him with its closeness.
There is a breaking point in every man. He saw it on many occasions with his crew, but never thought he would experience it. Now he knew differently—this was his. Mere moments after he hit the ice-cold water, he wanted to give up and let God take him.
He loosened his grip on the wooden plank and let his body sink. The water slid up to his waist, then chest, neck, and face. Just as his head sank below the water’s surface, he felt a sharp scrape against his back and he was pulled against the water’s current. Against his will, he reached the surface and glided across, to land with a thud against a wooden boat.
A country girl born and bred, Dawn Luedecke has spent most of her life surrounded by horses, country folk, and the wild terrain of Nevada, Idaho and Montana. As a child, she would spend many afternoons reading books, watching western classics, and Rogers and Hammerstein movies. When she grew up she decided to leave the quiet country life for a chance to find adventure by serving a successful tour in the United States Coast Guard. During that time, she found her soul mate (and alpha male) and started a family and writing career. She enjoys writing historical and paranormal romance and spends as much time as she can working on her current manuscript. For more information visit www.dawnluedecke.com.
Social media links
Youtube Book trailer
All romance novels have a great hero. Someone who, whether he wants to or not, falls in love with the heroine. Do you prefer a hero to be charming or maybe you like them a little grumpy? This week I have guest author Joanne Stewart talking about her favorite type of hero.
Thanks so much for having me, Marlow! Thrilled to be here.
Balpha hero. Have you heard the term? This is a term I’m frankly stealing from someone else. I believe (but I’m not positive) it was fellow author and friend AJ Nuest who coined this term, and it fits perfectly. I’ve never kept it a secret that I’m not fond of what most people think of when they talk about alpha heroes. They’re usually jerks who treat the heroines with little to no respect. They’re usually very arrogant guys who think the world of themselves. So, it’s always a complete surprise to me that women actually find this sexy.
My kind of alpha is a cross between the alpha and the beta. Don’t get me wrong. I love a guy with self-confidence, who knows who he is and doesn’t make excuses for it. But I want him to treat the heroine with respect. I want him, essentially, to have a heart. So the Balpha guy is also that guy who’s also a good friend, a good brother, a good neighbor. Whether he’s good with kids or he’s a loner, deep down, he’s a good guy.
Some of my favorite alphas? Jamie Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. He can be downright cocky, but he’ll do anything, risk his life, for the heroine, Claire. And he needs her.
Oh, his need for her is downright swoon worthy, but when he’s tough, it’s because he’s trying to protect the people he loves. He’d gladly give his life for them, but in the darkness of night, holding Claire, he’s soft around the edges (insert dreamy sigh here. lol).
Another favorite? Off the top of my head, Matthias, or Matty, from AJ Nuest’s Jezebel’s Wish. Jezzie was, well, honestly, I didn’t like her very much at the start of the book. She was rough around the edges, pushing everybody away, but he wasn’t intimidated by her in the least. Matty met every single of her attempts to push him off with a calm kindness. He was patient. I recall him having a sense of humor as well with her, which just made him sexier. In the end, he cared enough to break down her walls.
When love calls, it’s rarely easy but always memorable, and definitely worth turning the pages. Recapture the thrill, the delicious anticipation of finding your happily ever after in these 10 unforgettable, hot stories by some of today’s brightest names.
Her Knight in Black Leather – J.M. Stewart
Destination Wedding – Robyn Neeley
Drawn to Jonah – Jennifer DeCu
On the Fly – Katie Kenyhercz
Wildly – Debra Kayn
Falling for You – Heather Thurmeier
Beginning Again – Peggy Bird
Spiraling – Rachel Cross
Save My Soul – Elley Arden
Sweet Gone South – Alicia Hunter Pace
JM is the author of passionate, heartfelt contemporary romance. She’s a wife, a mother, a spiritualist, and lover of puppies, and happily addicted to coffee and chocolate. She lives in the rainy Pacific Northwest with her husband, two sons, and two very spoiled dogs. She’s a hopeless romantic who believes everybody should have their happily-ever-after and has been devouring romance novels for as long as she can remember. Writing them has become her obsession. For more about JM Stewart and her books, please visit: http://authorjmstewart.com/
Amelia Augusta Ethrington, 18th century Duchess of Abbington, fourth in line to the English throne, is considered by society an old maid at thirty two. She refuses to marry and relinquish her royal authority to a husband. Instead, she finds romance in trysts with total strangers. Amelia’s sole entitlement to her duchy lies in an intricate and valuable necklace, The Abbington Jewels. An unscrupulous Traveler wishing to steal the jewels and sell them at future prices seduces her, catches her off guard, and snatches the necklace.
Amelia must now risk everything to Travel to the present with the aid of a kind gypsy seer to find the thieving scoundrel, kill him and retrieve her title before her jealous male cousins lay claim to her duchy. Complications arise after she meets a handsome shy man, a museum appraiser named Ryan Redstone who was sent to acquire the jewels for The Smithsonian. Amelia falls in love with him but realizes she must focus on her quest to regain both her necklace and title. The Duchess is now faced with the most difficult decision of her life.
Barnes and Noble
It didn’t take long for his carriage to reach the riverfront. We stopped. Ryan leaned over and kissed my cheek whispering in my ear.
“Let’s go back to my room. It’s just upstairs. You can tell me what your secret is in private. I trust you and hope you trust me.”
Ryan helped me out of his carriage. We climbed the one flight of steps up to his room. Once inside, I sat down on the bed and stared out the window before giving him a serious look.
“This is not how I planned to tell you. I hoped to wait until we saw if the necklace was genuine. You must listen to me before passing judgment. I hope that you will still want to keep me in your heart afterward. ”
Ryan closed the drapes before sitting down next to me.
“Amy, how could I help but keep you in my heart no matter what your secret is?”
He squeezed my hand as I touched his lips with the gentlest kiss. Ryan filled me with a deep passion. I was ready to reveal my desire for him. I hoped he felt the same way.
I knew what I wanted and decided to show him how I felt in a special manner. Standing up, I slowly removed Starr’s silk floral sash and placed it around his neck. I stepped back to dance the seductive dance of the gypsy women who camped outside my childhood manor house grounds. They had always looked graceful, bracelets jingling, ribbon colored skirts twirling as they turned and twisted by their campfire in the moonlight. They seduced traveling knights and lesser royals hoping for romantic trysts out of their coin. I had heard the gypsies’ haunting songs and desired to get a better look. I became quite good at sneaking out night after night, hoping not to get caught. I watched them dance, hiding in some nearby bushes. One night, a beautiful gypsy spotted my hiding place and grabbed me. To my surprise, she had me stand and taught me their dance.
I wanted my necklace but strange as it sounds, I wanted Ryan more. I removed my blouse first, touching his face with its soft perfumed cotton. I swirled, kicking off my shoes and stepping out of my skirt. I seduced him, taking off each undergarment until I stripped myself bare. His face flushed with reluctance but finally gave in. He stared at my naked body, his eyes intoxicated with passion. I have been with enough men to know he liked what he saw. Holding onto my hand, I pulled him up and helped him disrobe. His body was as muscular as a bull’s. We lay down together. His touch was gentle, making my body desire him more. We made sweet love until we became so tired, we both fell asleep. Our nap was all too brief. Ryan was the first to wake up. He whispered my name, “Amy, wake up sweetheart.”
I stretched remembering where I was and what I needed to tell him. My feelings for him now made it more complicated.
About Mariah Lynne
Ever dream of traveling through time? Mariah Lynne does. She writes stories that take her readers along on exciting journeys. Travel to distant times and beautiful places with strong-willed independent heroines whose memorable tales will entertain with twisted plots that dabble in the paranormal. Both of her novellas, THE LOVE GYPSY and THE DUCHESS’ NECKLACE, fit that description to a T.
A Graduate of Syracuse University, Mariah lives on a beautiful Florida Gulf Coast Island where she wrote weekly entertainment columns for two island newspapers. She loves where she lives and has Southwest Florida take center stage in her stories. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Southwest Florida Romance Writers who recently published an anthology: “From Florida With Love Sunsets and Happy Endings.” Mariah’s short story “Love At First Flight” is included.
When she is not writing, she enjoys swimming, traveling and spending time with her husband and dolphin hunting dog, Max.
To learn more about Mariah and her Time Travel adventures visit her at:
http Website: www.MariahLynne.com
This week I’ve decided to bring you the uplifting story of a woman who most definitely had drama in her early life, but went on the become a force to contend with.
Eleanor Josephine Medill Patterson (Known as Cissy) was born on November 7 1884, in to a life of wealth and privilege. Her family owned and ran several newspapers and dabbled in politics. In her late teens she accompanied her uncle, Robert S McCormick, ambassador to Austria-Hungary, to Vienna. It is here that she met a dashing Eastern European count, nearly twenty years her senior, named Josef Cyzicki. He claimed to be a millionaire, telling her stories of his splendid castles on the Steppes of Moravia. (In what is now the Czech Republic.)
This experienced older man wooed her and although rumours circulated about the Count’s numerous affairs, drinking, gambling, and his illegitimate children, he managed to convince Cissy that her family were fabricating the stories and that he was the ultimate misunderstood bad boy. What young woman can resist that? It appears the more her family disliked him the more she insisted on being with him.
Cyzicki was finally able to win over Cissy's mother, and although her father still didn’t approve the couple were married on 14th April 1904. It is rumoured that on their wedding day he threatened to leave without her if he was not paid a dowry. Her mother settled the situation by doubling her allowance, but the Count’s behaviour made her father even more determined to withhold a settlement.
Once Cissy arrived at Cyzicki's home in Blansko, she discovered the truth, his estates were rundown, mortgaged to the hilt, and he was living off credit. She also learned that his mistress of five years, who had born him a child, had just moved out. The Castle was grim, sparsely furnished and the few fixtures it possessed belonged to his mistress.
Worse was to come, he drank a lot, and once drunk would beat the servants. He took control of every aspect of her life, especially her money. She must have become pregnant soon after arriving in Blankso because in September 1905 their daughter, Felicia, was born. Having ignored the advice of her family and friends, Cissy was trapped with a controlling, abusive husband who saw her as his meal ticket.
In January 1908 the couple were staying in a French resort when Cissy had finally had enough. Josef, it seems, had progressed from beating the servants to beating his wife. One night after a fight, about his womanizing, he beat her. She managed to escape fleeing with her daughter to London. Cyzicki followed and within a few months kidnapped Felicia and demanded a ransom before he would give her back. The matter was resolved in August 1909 when President-elect William Howard Taft and Czar Nicolas II intervened on Cissy’s behalf. After much legal wrangling, she finally managed to obtain a divorce in 1917.
Cissy did marry again in 1925. This time the groom was a respectable New York lawyer named Elmer Schlesinger, but he died after just four years of marriage. She went on to become a journalist, a newspaper editor, and in 1939 became owner and publisher of the Washington Times-Herald and an icon in her field. She died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1948.
Jordan Holbrook is the single mother of a five-year-old daughter. She’s just inherited her Grandmother’s house in South Florida where she’s hiding from an abusive ex-husband who’s been released from prison early. A new man in her life isn't part of her plans.
Connor McCrae is a handyman who lives out of his van. He walked away from a privileged life and loving family after being badly scarred in a vicious attack. He doesn't believe a woman’s love is in the cards for him.
What brings them together is a rundown house, a mutual attraction, and a Common Enemy.
Bobby Ray Butler is cutting a path of murder and mayhem through south Florida in his quest for vengeance. His sights are set on his ex-wife and anyone who gets in his way
Barnes & Noble
Jordan stood for a moment trying to catch her breath. Her heart was pounding like a jackhammer. Her hands braced against his chest. “Oh God, I can’t believe how stupid I am. I thought you were him. You scared me to death.”
“You see why I worry about you? You’re not prepared. You should be in the house with that damn alarm on.” He was clearly annoyed.
“Don’t you think I know what an idiot I am? I married that monster,” she cried. “I deserve what I get, but where does that leave Lizzy? I’m not saying you’re wrong. I just don’t know what to do about it. I can’t live like this for the rest of my life, not knowing when he’s going to show up, or what he’s going to do. I feel like I’m losing my mind. The last thing I need is you reminding me. What are you doing out here anyway?”
“I was just wandering around thinking,” he said more quietly. “There’s something I want to tell you. I want you to know that last night meant a lot to me. I had forgotten what it felt like to be that close to someone. There have been other women since…my divorce. But, it was just sex. You were so much more than that. I just wanted you to know. I wanted to say thank you for making me feel normal again.”
“You are normal. After last night, I can’t say you’re average. That would be a huge understatement. But there isn’t anything wrong with you. As I see it, you’re pretty awesome. You took me, a neurotic Amazon woman, and made me feel desirable. That’s what I call a miracle.”
“You are desirable. You are downright amazing. And you are not an idiot. You don’t deserve any of this. You deserve a man who can love and protect you from that psycho. For now, you’ll have to settle for me. Even if I do have to stay away from you, I intend to see you and Lizzy through this.” He ran a finger through a lock of hair that had escaped her braid and then held her hand as he led her back to the house. He lifted her fingers to his lips before he left her at the door.
Jordan watched him walk back to his van. She was fascinated by the way he walked. He seemed half man, half panther. All of his sleek muscles moved in a graceful rhythm. He had been hers for one night. If she had known the effect that one night would have on her, she probably wouldn’t have done it. She didn’t regret it though. And, she knew she would never forget it.
About Sandra Dailey
Sandra Dailey lives in North Florida with her husband and house plants. She has four children, ten grandchildren, and a goldfish named Clementine. She has a passion for needle crafts, reading and writing. Her addictions are chocolate, coffee, and football. She loves to hear from fellow readers and writers. Her first two books, The Chief’s Proposal and Twice the Trouble are contemporary romances and also available in ebook and print. She is currently hard it work on Close Enemy and a couple other surprises.
After last week’s post on Caroline Norton I had to wonder how a woman could be victimized by her husband and have no recourse and was in effect in the eyes of English law a non-person.
To look to the subjugation of women in England we have to go back two thousand years to the Roman period. The Celts who ruled before the Romans had a high regard for women they could be leaders of their tribe, could own property, were allowed to be warriors, healers or druids, and had a say in the government of their clan. And in a divorce was entitled to half their joint property.
The differences in the Roman and Celtic views on women can be seen in the story of Boudicca, (sometimes spelt Boudica or Boadicea) queen of the Iceni. Upon his death her husband, Prasutagus, left his kingdom to be shared by his two daughters and the Roman emperor, Nero, believing this would keep the peace with the Roman governors in Briton. Unfortunately the Romans refused to recognize the rights of his daughters. In their world women could not rule, it was against Roman law. They flogged Queen Boudicca and raped her daughters. In retaliation Boudicca raised an army in rebellion. Although she had many victories, she was ultimately defeated. The exact date of her death is unknown.
By the late 4th or early 5th century (Scholars disagree on the actual date) the Romans had withdrawn from Britain leaving behind a power vacuum which was filled by successive waves of invasions from the Scots, Picts, Jutes, and Saxons. The Saxon’s were the most successful and ruled most of England until the Norman Conquest in 1066.
In her book Women and Marriage in Nineteenth Century England, Mrs. Joan Perkins said this about the Saxons
“In Anglo-Saxon England women had rights to property, to a share in control of domestic affairs and of children, even in a last resort to divorce and legal separation, departing with the children and half the martial goods.”
Everything changed under Norman rule, with military service being linked to land ownership, women were pushed to the side. By 1180 women they were legally described as a sort of infant needing to be under the control of a husband or father. As a result they had very few rights. (I have read of this law in several of my text books, but nowhere does it state where this is referenced. If you know the author of this law I’d be interested in the details.)
I can find very little change in the status of women for the next nine hundred years. It seems that owning property meant having power, which as society evolved translated into having the right to vote. I should point out that until 1832 the right to vote depended on being a man over the age of 21 and owning property. This meant that the vast majority of men could not vote either. Even after 1832 Reform Act, out of a population of about 30 million only 1.43 million could vote. It wasn’t until after World War 1 with the 1918 Representation of the People Act that all men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 gained the right to vote.
(Statistics provided by BBC Bitesize History)
So it seems that the voting rights of women, at least, ran hand in hand the rights of the common man. After the Norman Conquest power and freedom lay in the hands of a precious few. The rest of society worked and slaved with very little say in how things actually were.
In Common law and church law a woman was essentially the property of her husband. There must have been hundreds, probably thousands of Caroline Norton’s over the years. Women who were abused and beaten by their husbands and found that there was nothing they could do to protect themselves or their children. We only know the fate of Caroline because she was well educated and well connected. A Woman's status as a non-person meant that they could lose everything in a heartbeat, desertion or abuse at the hands of her husband left her desperate with no legal recourse
I am eternally grateful for the courage of women like Caroline Norton and Emmeline Pankhurst who fought so hard for our rights.
As a rising medical malpractice attorney, Charlotte Taylor believes in standing up for the injured, giving them a voice, and advocating for their rights. She couldn't do it for her mother, so she does it for others, even if it means losing the love of her life.
Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town...until he discovers her chosen career path.
Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away?
ITunesThe Wild Rose Press
Barnes & Noble.com
Red. Hot. Sexy.
Like magnets, Clay’s eyes clicked on Charlotte, unable to repel the force that held them. Tall and graceful, her chestnut hair was held up in a loose, sexy do that had him itching to pull the pins that would release it. Her strapless dress showcased a long neck and creamy shoulders that called out to be kissed. His involuntary focus on her lovely traits throughout the evening had made him a rude dinner companion; unable to answer even the easiest of questions.
He had come here tonight to socialize with the powers that be at the hospital, to talk up the ER, to lay the ground work for future requests. But his concentration had been directed elsewhere. Since he’d squandered his opportunity to network, he should leave. But here he was at the bar at ten-thirty, waiting for a scotch and soda. The band was heavily into their Motown set and many of the revelers packed the dance floor.
Across the room, Clay zeroed in on Charlotte talking to a group of men, her red gown like a flame in a sea of black. He smiled. She sure knew how to turn heads. His included.
But he knew her better than those clowns. He knew the sweet, tough eighteen year old who’d lost her parents within hours of each other. The broken girl whose emotional health had worried Dr. Collins, their Chief of Surgery, much more than her physical wounds.
As the band segued into a slow song, Clay covered the distance between them. “Excuse us, gentlemen, but the lady promised me a dance, and I’d like to claim it now.” He deposited his drink on an empty table and guided her toward the dance floor.
“I don’t recall promising you a dance.” Her beautiful face held the hint of a smile.
“You don’t? Then I must have dreamed it.”
He pulled her into his embrace, and moved with the music around the floor, feeling like one of the luckiest men there. Although she hadn’t promised anything, she glided around the room, following his lead. Her perfume intoxicated him more than any drink ever could, and the feel of her graceful body against his, had his heart palpitating.
Little Charley Taylor had certainly grown up, and he couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to know her now. As an adult. Ten years removed from the time their lives had intersected.
He called on his memory, pulling up their very last encounter.
“I’m leaving for college today.” She stood tentatively in his office doorway, her crystal blue eyes so expressive in their sadness. “I wanted to thank you for all your help – especially with physics and calculus. I never would have done so well without . . . you.” She avoided his eyes as her voice trailed off, choked with tears.
His heart constricted, startling him. He hadn’t anticipated the day she would no longer be around – trailing him at the hospital, asking incessant questions, teasing him for being so serious. His life was on overload with his internship, not allowing him to realize the time he dedicated to her was not just tolerated, but treasured.
He walked around the desk intending to give her a friendly hug, but when he took her in his arms something changed. Her familiar flowery scent awakened his senses as if he’d been in a deep sleep and he closed his eyes to heighten the aroma. Her body fit against his like a shadow. He fought the confusing stimuli - this was Charley, his former patient and pupil. But that wasn’t who he held close, who he breathed in. When had she become more than that?
Charley hugged him hard, laughing through tears. “I hate good-byes.” She turned to make her escape, then added, “Dr. Collins has my information at school. Call me sometime. Let me know what you’re up to.”
Clipped, hasty words said with a matter-of-factness meant to cover up the emotions she clearly felt. The same emotions that had just blind-sided him.
About Maria Imbalzano
Maria Imbalzano is a matrimonial lawyer in central New Jersey where she not only uses her law degree to navigate her clients through the court system, but her psychology degree to guide them through their personal struggles. While writing motions, legal memoranda, and briefs is fascinating, it pales in comparison to creating memorable characters and taking them on their emotional journeys. In addition to practicing law and writing fiction, Maria enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters either at home or at the Jersey Shore.
Visit Maria at www.mariaimbalzano.com