By Liz Everly
So if you’ve been following Lady Smut—and so many of you are for which we are very, very grateful, you’ll remember my posts about my historical romance, “Tempting Will McGlashen.” If you don’t remember them, click here. I’m thrilled that Tirgearr Publishing will be releasing this book on October 14. And here is the cover:
I simply adore it.
But in looking at it and all of my other covers, it occurred to me that it’s very different for the Liz Everly “brand,” isn’t it?
All of the publishing and author experts out there might say this will confuse my readers and therefore it’s unwise to publish a historical. All of my other books are sassy, sleek, and contemporary.
I call bullshit on that attitude. Readers are a smart bunch. My sense is that a lot my readers are like me and read all across the genres and subgenres. Just give me a good story—I don’t care what you call it.
I began to think about what similarities and differences there are in my books and short stories. I think they are more alike than different. At the heart of my romances, of course, is the relationship. Whether it’s a contemporary set in Scotland, or a historical set in Virginia, the romance is the focus.
But one thing seems to run consistently through all of my work, even my mysteries that I publish under another name: food.
Food is front and center in “Tempting Will McGlahsen” because Mathilde is a cook for her family inn, or “ordinary” which is what Virginians called them at one point in history. Of course, this research was fascinating.
Since Lady Smut readers are special to me, I’m going to give you a snippet of one of my favorite food scenes in the book. (Unfortunately, you can’t order the book yet. Stay tuned on when pre-orders and orders are ready!) Enjoy this snippet!
“Mr. McGlashen,” Rosa said, coming toward him. “Please have a seat. We have coffee this morning. Would you like some?”
He was not a big coffee drinker. He much preferred tea in the morning, though tea was sometimes harder to come by as many of the colonists were refusing to serve it, let alone buy it. And he was warned when he drank his last cup of tea in Philadelphia that it may be hard to come by in the frontier of Virginia, even this part. But the coffee smelled good this morning and he nodded as he pulled up a chair.
She brought over a pewter cup steaming with the drink and a plate with blackberry pie and several slabs of ham. He’d seen ham in Edinburgh, but didn’t eat it because his clansmen preached against eating pig. He developed a taste for it in Philadelphia, though he thought it odd to have ham in the morning, but it seemed Virginians ate it all day long.
He took a bit of the pie, which he did not get a chance to eat at last night’s supper, and it was as if all the pores in his tongue opened and melted at once. The flavors and the textures in his mouth sent delicious sensations throughout his body. The warmth in his stomach spread throughout his body as he took another bite. What was happening to him? It was embarrassing and frightening—oh, for heaven’s sake, the warmth was spreading delightfully down his body to his nether regions. Food can’t do that to a man, he decided. Must be all the pretty young women about; Rosa and Mathilde, both beautiful, offered tempting images to any young man as they walked around the dining room, chatting, smiling and leaning over pots, plates and tables.
Control yourself, man, he thought as he sipped the coffee. It was the bitter drink he remembered, but the edge of it was taken off by another flavor. Whatever spice it was, it made the drink more palatable. And the drink was clearing his head a bit.
He bit into the salty ham, which gave his mouth another set of flavors to consider. Salty. Sweet. But the pie . . . dare he eat the rest of his slice? What was it doing to him? It felt like it was reaching inside and pleasuring him in the most delightful way.
He yielded to the temptation. He had no choice. The flavor hung there and enticed him to the point of no return. He braced himself and opened his mouth again, shoveling in as much as his fork could hold. The jellied berries wobbled around in his mouth. He liked the way they felt next to the crusty edge he bit into and he closed his eyes, willing himself to not get too excited again. It was ridiculous. He focused on the sloppy purple mess on his slate blue plate. He stopped himself from licking up the purple juice off the plate. Will tried not to allow his eyes to wander from it to either of the pretty sisters or the other woman at the table next to his, whom he noticed looking at him from time to time. The woman’s heavily made-up face looked out of place in this clean, spare establishment. Her eyes focused on his, she gave a little smile, and he settled his on the pie. But he couldn’t help feeling a surge.
He needed to find a woman soon, but he saw no way out of his need in this hamlet, and even if he did, he had so much work to do there was no time for that. His urge for bedding women was so strong sometimes that it was almost a curse. He prayed sometimes for it to go away. But mostly, when he had the chance, he took it.
It was the pie beckoning to him now.
Will found the color curious; it was somehow deeper and more mysterious than black, like a swath of a moonless night sky. He could lose himself in the color and flavor. He was careful not to spill a drop of the juicy treat; he could see that the baked berries would stain whatever they touched as indelibly as a compliment publicly offered, he grinned. These pious Virginians.
Hungry, yet? Grin.