11 Days: Invasion of Nefyn by Lizzie Ashworth
Hunky Warriors — who can resist?
Sexy romance stories are a perfect match with historical scenes and characters. Both take us far away from today and the daily grind of our lives. That’s what we expect from any entertainment media, and Hot Highlanders, Wild Warriors delivers the goods. What a great bunch of stories!
My inspiration for “Invasion of Nefyn” was triggered by reading historic novels by Bernard Cornwell. Details of daily life command just as much of the reader’s enjoyment as does the inner turmoil of the characters. Cornwell’s books are most assuredly not romances, but still thrilled me with glimpses of early England. He thoroughly researches locations, religion, and customs, and I love learning this way.
I’m also inspired by women, present and past, who face brutal challenges and stand their ground. It was a natural fit for me to write a strong woman in “Invasion of Nefyn.” Left alone to deal with moving the household while her warrior husband is off fighting the invading Saxons, Nefyn’s world is falling to ruin around her. There is no escape from the responsibilities or consequences of her choices, nor from the heartache every wife experiences when her loved one rides off to battle.
The concept for Nefyn’s story came easily. Hammering out believable details required some sweat equity. Readers need firm anchors in reality for the fiction to come to life. What would a Briton woman of the late 5th century wear? What would she prepare for lunch? When a fully-armed man slams into her humble cottage, what weapons would he carry?
I’ve posted several hunky men on our anthology’s Pinterest page, and other contributors to Hot Highlands and Wild Warriors have posted some great shots, too. Here’s one for inspiration.
I’d love to hear from you about which photo excites you the most!
Excerpt, “Invasion of Nefyn”:
The latch on the heavy cottage door rattled and Nefyn’s neck hair raised. She turned from her churning, thinking of the other villagers who, like her, had lingered in spite of the threat. Were they caught off guard? No shouts of warning rang out. But the Saxons sometimes appeared from the forest like silent ghosts.
Another rattle, and the door yielded to his shoulder. His eyes, black as winter night, locked on Nefyn. His round shield bore the image of a red dragon and a longsword glinted in his fist. Blood roared in her ears as she stood momentarily frozen in fear.
She had waited, loathe to remove the last of their belongings from the home of her family, the comfortable place where her children were born, where her beloved Bedwyr might return for a brief time and she could touch his face and know that he still lived. One more day, she promised herself, before she burdened the cow with bundles of bedclothes and meager portions of foodstuffs and drove her up into the mountains to join the others.
Luminous morning mist layered through the greening valley, and against that brightness, this man’s tall form loomed dark in the opening. Supple leather, marked with dents and scrapes of battle, clad his chest and loins. A baldric ornamented with gold medallions draped from his shoulder, a gold torque encircled his neck. Every inch of him bristled with menacing strength. After an instant frozen in his stare, Nefyn dropped the plunger into the half-churned butter and turned for her escape.
The whole of southern Britain bled. Whatever the people did, however well their strong men fought, the Saxons kept coming. By land, by sea, the horde of invaders drove west through the forests beyond the standing stones. Women, children, old and young died on their long knives and brutal axes. The bastards torched homes, stables screaming with livestock, whole villages.
Weary and scarred, the men of Briton stood to fight. They marched, fought, won, lost, fell back, regrouped, marched again. The rest of the people—women, children, the old and infirm—fled before the invaders like hares from burning fields.
Clearly she had tempted fate too long. This morning, postponing her departure yet another day, she had set a fresh stew over the firepit and turned to her tasks. Yet something of the day already pricked her nerves, whether the heat of summer or the long quiet wait for news. A premonition, she knew now.
His sword and shield clattered to the rough boards of the table and in two steps, his hands seized her, locking her breath in her lungs. Gooseflesh raced up her arms as he pulled her back against him. Iron muscled arms captured her waist and hips. In moments, he had torn away the cloak fastened at her shoulder and ripped open her linen robe, exposing her breasts to air.
“I mean to have you,” he rasped at her ear. “In every way.”
So many stories, so little time! Erotic romance stories of every time crowd my mind for attention. Historical romance—a hundred years ago or two thousand, each period has its own labyrinth of intriguing settings and richly complicated characters. Science fiction romance—fifty years from now or a thousand, can we really expect that the contradictions and primal needs of humans will change? Contemporary romance—whether rural backroads, city highrise, or mountain village, settings for present-day stories amplify and enhance the characters’ struggles. How can I decide?
For me, crafting stories is a full-time, pleasure-filled occupation. Check out my books and reviews at Amazon, Goodreads, or on my website. I blog there as well, with free short fiction full of sexy scenes you’ll enjoy! Keep up with my latest ideas at my Facebook page.
6 thoughts on “11 Days: Invasion of Nefyn by Lizzie Ashworth”
The excerpt left me wanting more! You know how to tease a mind Lizzie LOL Checked out the new pics on the Pinterest board and my fave is Gerard Butler pic from a movie I love and watched many times http://pinterest.com/pin/87116574017522186/
I can’t wait to get my hands on this anthology!
Great choices, Cara! Love Sean, love Gerard. Hard to get past the Highlander too. Thanks for sharing!
Love Gerard, Eniko! I think he’s one of the best heartthrobs of our times.
Love the set up and historical background included in the excerpt! If I must choose a pinup from the page, it would have to be The Highlander (Adrian Paul), but it was hard to choose him over Sir Sean Connery, or Gerard Butler… oh dear. Must we choose just one?
Ooh… exciting excerpt, Lizzie! Thanks for sharing some of your inspirations!
Thanks! Appreciate the comment!
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