Monday, September 22, 2014

A visit from GEM SIVAD and an excerpt !

     First, let me say thank you for the opportunity to visit with you on Deanna’s Tidbits today.
     I’m Gem Sivad and I write historical romance novels. I think I do this to test the limits of my female characters. The history books are filled with the accomplishments of men but little is said about how women shaped the nation as well.
     In my Unlikely Gentlemen series I have encouraged my heroines to embrace progressive ideas and demonstrate their ability to think independently. I have no doubt such women were abundant in the early days of America’s history. 

     Cerise Fitzwilliam was a walk-on character in Outrageous Pride. For such a small part, she had a lot of impact on me as well as readers. I had so many questions about her after that book ended I wrote a novella to explain.
     I soon realized that in order to understand the adult Cerise, I had to investigate, Cherry, the younger girl. Amazingly, her story told itself and I discovered that when she was sixteen, and stranded behind enemy lines during the Civil War, she rescued a Confederate soldier. Her subsequent relationship with Jeb Carter changed the rest of her life.
     Cerise Amour, Unlikely Gentlemen 2.5, is their story.


     After a hasty Civil War marriage to Confederate soldier, Jeb Carter, Cherry Fitzwilliam finds herself abandoned among strangers; over the next twenty-five years she carefully constructs a life based on lies.
     Her neighbors and daughter believe she’s a widow who lost her husband in the war. But Jeb is alive and prosperous and Cherry’s one indulgence is a much anticipated monthly meeting with him that usually devolves into a shouting match.
     When Jeb Carter becomes ill, perhaps even dying, discord changes to despair and he asks her to be with him to the end. Avoiding the questions of family and friends, they leave Texas on a journey that takes them to a love they’ve long denied.


     It seemed to Cherry as if every fiber in her being trembled. And yet, her fingers were steady as she undressed Jeb. She needed to press her body against his, to touch his skin, to hold him tight. Her father was gone and tomorrow Jeb would leave too. But she had this moment. She had right now.
     “Have you done this before?” His voice was gruff as she removed his shirt and started unbuckling his belt.
     “Undressed you?” she asked and laughed softly. “A hundred times and more, soldier boy."
     “You know what I mean.”
     “You mean have I ever lain with a man?” she asked, feeling desperate. If she said yes, he’d think her a woman of loose morals. A no might cause him to quit what she’d started before it had really begun.
     He caught her hand, blocking her attempt to unbutton his pants. “Have you?”
     “Yes,” she said quickly.
     “All right,” he said, releasing her to continue. He didn’t ask who or when, thank heaven, but Cerise thought she heard a touch of disapproval or maybe it was disappointment in his tone.
     His manhood swelled beneath the buttons closing his trousers.
     When her fingers pressed against the rigid length, he groaned.
     “Did I hurt you?”
     It was dark in the tent and she couldn’t see his expression but she was sure this time she heard laughter in his voice.
     “My turn,” he said abruptly and took charge, making quick work of divesting her of her clothes until she lay naked under the blanket next to him.
     Suddenly he rose from beside her and she could hear him fumbling with something in the dark. “What are you doing?”
     Her only answer was the smell of sulfur and the snick of a match when he lit a candle and came back to stand over the cot. Before she knew what to expect, he tugged the blanket from her, exposing her bare body. 
     “Give it back,” she said and tried to grab the cover.
     “Nope. You’ve seen me. Now I’ll see you.”
     Instinctively, she threw one arm across her breasts and used her other hand to cover the soft nest of curls at the juncture of her thighs.
     Whether on purpose or accident, she couldn’t tell, the candle tipped, sending a drop of hot wax to splash on her stomach.
“Ouch.” Outraged, she sat up and blew the candle out. But not before he’d seen her pasty-pale skin, flat-chested upper form, and long, bony hipped torso below.  She was still scowling when he bent over the cot, and kissed the flesh of her belly.
     “Sorry,” he murmured against her skin. The brush of his lips sent a rush of heat sizzling through her that eclipsed the burn of the candle wax. 
     “You need to quit fooling around now,” she gasped, both embarrassed and aroused by his intimate attention. Instead of obeying her, he sat on the edge of the cot and continued to tickle her with butterfly kisses that trailed upward.
     She was shocked when he visited her nipples. After he’d licked and kissed each turgid nub, he pulled one into his mouth, alternately sucking on it, then teasing it with his teeth and tongue.
     Finally he continued his upward journey stopping to nibble her lips before deepening the kiss.
     Cherry writhed under his attentions. Her body needed, needed, needed… She pulled on his shoulders and he came fully onto the cot to lay over her.
     His chest pressed against her breasts, and he groaned again, rubbing against her, mixing his sweat with hers. He still wore his unbuttoned trousers. She parted her legs, liking the way it felt when he settled between her legs and the swell of his erection pressed against her mound.
     “Take these off,” she said and tugged at the waist of his pants.
     “Shhh…” He hushed her by covering her mouth with his. As his fingers delved between her parted legs, he stroked her folds, sending more hot waves of desire coursing through her.
     “Good,” he grunted. “You’re wet for me.” Sliding one finger through the entrance to her body, he stroked her there until her clenched muscles relaxed; and then he used two fingers, pushing deeper. She whimpered and gasped when his digits tore through the veil of her innocence. 
     “You lied to me,” he growled, his voice gravelly rough.
     “No I didn’t. I lay in the bed beside you when you were sick.” She didn’t pretend ignorance of his charge nor give him time to reflect on her answer. “Kiss me,” she ordered him.
     He didn’t resist when she pulled his mouth down to meet her lips. During the kiss, he resumed teasing her with his intimate invasion.
     She was ready to scream with frustration by the time he shed his pants and, naked this time, knelt between her thighs. Leaning on her elbows she peered at him, but because of the dark, the experience was really more about feeling what Jeb did than seeing what he might do.
     She braced herself, going rigid when he replaced his fingers with his shaft, fitting it to her entrance.
     “Easy sweetheart,” he murmured as he reached between them, making her wanton as he stroked the bundle of nerves at her apex.
     Her hips thrust upward following his touch. His own thrust carried him steadily through her channel until he was fully seated.
     The walls of her channel flexed and clenched, squeezing his manhood as if to hang onto it. She wanted him to do anything that would soothe the incredible tension building in her.
     He began a slow glide and withdrawal, his shaft moving in and out of her slick passage in an ever increasing rhythm.  When she thought she couldn’t stand another moment of the coiling need in her womb, a cataclysmic wave of pleasure flooded every nerve in her body.
     Jeb made that exquisite feeling happen for her twice more. When she sprawled beneath him, her body sated and her mind completely fuddled by sensation, he began thrusting into her with renewed vigor, continuing until he shuddered and she felt the hot pulse of his seed spill inside her.
     They slept in a tangle of limbs with Cherry’s head resting on his chest and his arm curved protectively around her body. When they woke at dawn, everything had changed.