Located on the southwestern tip of England, the Cornwall of today attracts tourists to what is sometimes called “the Cornish Riviera,” on its southern coast, where visitors can enjoy the atmosphere of Fowey and Falmouth. Newquay, on the northern coasts, is known for great surfing. Penzance, immortalized in the comic opera, “Pirates of Penzance,” is at the westernmost point in England.
It was the history and legend of the area that inspired me to set one of my rare historical romances there. Images of mermaids, giants, and piskies ran through my brain, helping me conjure up surreal scenes where these creatures came to life and interacted with the mortals I created to inhabit an enchanted, sometimes frightening land.
Mind you, I generally write contemporary romances. Sometimes I delve into urban fantasies in the form of vampires, whom I introduced in Beneath a Cornish Moon without regard for the fact that I’d never come across legend about those particular creatures in my cursory research. It just seemed appropriate for the evil mother of my hero to be a blood drinker—which goes to show I’m no historical research purist!
Beneath a Cornish Moon is foremost the love story of a hated, feared earl and the young noblewoman whose marriage has been arranged on her father’s deathbed—a love story enriched by its setting and the legends surrounding it. Its ties to history are loose indeed—the product of my reading about a fascinating place I’ve never visited and my instincts as to how Alain and Lea might have ended a curse and found happiness together in a period I obviously never experienced!
I hope you enjoy their tale as much as I loved writing it.
The sun had fallen behind the blackness of night as they approached a spot known as The Cheesewring on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor. Lea gasped at the sight illuminated by a clear, pale moon. It was a series of huge, flat boulders, some as wide as five tall men laid out head to foot across their centers. The largest stones perched upon smaller ones, forming a cavern-like interior where rumor had it that ageless Druid priestesses made their home.
“Awesome,” Lea murmured. “Surely that could not have been made by man.”
“The Cheesewring has been here for centuries. The Old Ones say the giants meant to construct it as a means to destroy the saints.” Mayhap if he told the tale, he’d lose the sudden sense of thirst that had come upon him during the ride. “According to legend, St. Tue, a small saint, challenged Uther, the leader of the giants, to a trial of strength. If the saints won, the giants were to convert to Christianity. If they lost, they’d leave Cornwall forever.
“It’s said that they gathered twelve large rocks, the smallest of which Uther hurled onto the summit of Stowe’s Hill. St. Tue, with God’s help, tossed a larger rock the exact same distance, causing it to land atop the smaller rock. This went on until Uther failed with the last stone. St. Tue, with aid from the angels, succeeded where the giant had failed. The giants ceased the worst of their evildoing and became Christians at least in name, but the Cheesewring to this day remains, a symbol of the struggle betwixt good and evil.”
“Seems an unlikely place for pagans to gather, does it not?”
“Nay. ‘Tis rather a strange mixture of pagan and Christian beliefs. Be silent and observe.” Alain dismounted, affixing the stallion’s reins to a gnarled ash tree. His thirst becoming more intense, he lifted Lea down, trying to ignore the burning in his throat, the ache in his upper jaw. “The ritual begins.”
His rod stirred at the sight of the thirteen naked priestesses emerging from the Cheesewring, their long hair swirling about their heads like molten honey as they undulated, hands raised to the moon that cast a golden glow upon their alabaster breasts…their deliciously rounded bellies.
The wind whistled through the bare limbs of ash trees in the nearby forest. Footsteps, soft and reverent, rhythmic in their cadence, heralded the arrival of onlookers who had stayed back until he’d come with his consort. Thunder boomed, though Alain saw no sign in the sky that portended foul weather. The thirteen giants who’d prostrated themselves before him this morning appeared now, their footsteps rattling the earth, making the stones wobble as though they’d fall, as they took their places, one behind each of the priestesses.
Pray God that tonight the curse would end. Alain turned to Lea, and despite his unholy thirst, his body tightened. When he reached to loosen the golden girdle about her waist, his hands shook, though almost imperceptibly.
First published by Berkley in 1997, Ann Jacobs is the author of over a hundred novels and novellas, all romances. Some are mainstream sensual romances, while others explore erotic themes. All of the books, as they revert to her, have been completely rewritten or very heavily revised to reflect her own view of what constitutes good taste in romance, however erotic they may be.
In other words, the excessively crude language embraced by a former publisher has been deleted, as has repetitious and salacious description of human body parts. She has endeavored to make these books’ content so that nothing in them will offend the average lover of sensual, but mainstream romance. Some titles, because of their content (BDSM and ménage themes, for instance) retain their classification as erotic romance at Ann’s website. Others, whose story lines are strictly about the love stories of one man and one woman, are classified there as “romance.”
Ann hopes you will enjoy these reverted stories, as well as her new, never-before-published books and novellas that will be coming along in 2016.
Amazon UK-- http://amzn.to/1POPAdZ
All Romance Ebooks-- http://bit.ly/1Vk1rED
Books will also be available at barnesandnoble.com and iTunes (Apple), but buy links are not yet available for them.
Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/scandalously-yours/ a Rafflecopter giveaway