Sunday, March 16, 2014
New Release: Barrendack
I wrote it quickly--in less than two weeks. The story told itself with very little effort. I wanted to write twincest and I wanted to write a gothic romance. While I was mulling over ideas I remembered I had started a gothic romance about 7 years ago and abandoned it. Time to pick it back up!
As the new version took shape it became more medieval than the classic 19th century settings of gothic novels, but I still think it has an...optimistically gothic feel. I set it in a universe I have been toying with since last summer. (Working on the possibility of a novel-length story set in the universe.) This story takes place in the same world as "The Dragon's Bride."
A bit on the cover--I adore this cover. The art is by Pre-Raphelite painter Gabriel Rossetti, who also did the drawing on the cover of "Goblin Market." I love this genre of painting and, public domain bitches! :) Free art ftw! One of my pen-names has taken to only writing historicals so I can just use classic works of art for the covers. Note: Smashwords doesn't care if your nudity is DaVinci, you still gotta cover that shit up.
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Treated with indifference (at best) by her own family, Giselle is frightened but optimistic about marrying one of the Barrendack sons, whom she has never met. When a sudden illness strikes her father en route to Barrendack Manor she finds herself helpless and nearly alone when she arrives. To complicate matters, the two sons are identical twins who enjoy torturing her by constantly trading places. The brothers eventually prove themselves, supporting her as she cares for her ailing father, yet now she is faced with a new problem. How can she marry only one twin, when she may have fallen for them both?
This is a romantica piece intended for those 18 years or older. Contains heavy M/M/F and light M/M interaction. May offend some readers. [This is my fancy way of saying twincest, btw] 15,000 words.
Lord Barrendack was a stout man of about forty-five. He had a greasy dark beard and tiny, beady dark eyes. Giselle took an immediate dislike of her future father in law, especially when he did not rise or stop eating to greet her. She stepped further into the room and stood near him, close to the fire. “I've been told there’s been an accident,” he said.
“My father had an attack of the humors,” she admitted, her voice shaky. “I apologize for any disruption to your household.”
“Is he well yet?”
“I’m afraid not, Sir,” she said.
He picked up a goblet and gulped noisily from it, wine dribbling out the corner of his mouth. This wasn't what she had expected, not at all. What if his sons took after their father in looks and manners? “The leech is being sent for,” he said. “All will be done for the old chap. Come here then, girl. Let me look at you. I’m a bit short-sighted, so come close.”
Giselle stepped next to the table, close enough to know her future father in law wasn't fond of bathing either. He squinted his little eyes at her. She didn't like being studied inch by inch. Giselle was shapely, neither fat nor thin, and stood tall and straight not because she wanted to impress this man, but because her nurse had always slapped her whenever she slouched as a child. She did wish he wasn't seeing her in her dull traveling dress, but rather the expensive burgundy velvet her father had made up for the occasion.
“How are your teeth?” he demanded.
“Fine,” she answered, a little shocked he would be so forward.
Lord Barrendack nodded. “Strong, healthy looking girl. You’ll do for my son.”
“Sir…” she said uncertainly, knowing this was not a conversation they would be having if her father were well, “which son?”
“That’s the rub of it, isn't it?” he said with a laugh, standing. He was shorter than Giselle by nearly a head and she had an instant fear of a dwarf husband. “I have two sons,” he stated. “I had a third, an older boy, but...well. The Lord is mysterious in his ways, isn't he?” He turned his head in the direction of another doorway. “Boys!”
Presently his sons entered the room. First Giselle sighed with relief. Neither were short, nor did they share any resemblance to their father. But she saw quickly why their father had laughed. The two young men before her eyes were exact copies of each other. Both were blond and clean shaven, with a fortunate aquiline nose and blue eyes. They stood shoulder to shoulder in matching blue jackets and black trousers. Identical twins.
“Which one of you is Drue?” Lord Barrendack asked. The twin on the right stepped forward. “Ah. And that makes the other one Eduard. If only your brother were alive things would be so simple,” he lamented to his sons, and turned back to Giselle. “I have no idea which one is the elder,” he admitted. “They weren't even named until we were sure they would live. I don’t suppose you have a preference.”
Eyes wide, Giselle shook her head.
“Anyway, this is the Lady Giselle of Stillwater,” he continued. “If one of you boys wanted to volunteer to marry her…”
“And should he marry her,” Eduard interrupted, “I would be stricken.”
Both twins bowed at the same time, their motions seemingly that of one man, and they greeted her in unison. “Your service, my lady.” It was too much. Too much had happened, and Giselle began to tremble.
“I...am...pleased to meet you,” she managed to mutter, grabbing on to a dining chair to remain standing.
“She’s overcome with joy,” Drue said.
“Or weak with fear for her father’s life,” Eduard said. “Dear lady, let me show you to your chamber so you may rest.” Giselle nodded, and when he offered his arm she took it gratefully. As they walked away, however, she noted Eduard turn and give his brother a rueful smile.
Posted by L at 2:39 PM