I must confess I prefer summer to winter. Long, lazy days sitting under a shady tree, a long, cold drink in one hand, and a short, hot book in the other. Or laying on a beach, a long, cold drink in one hand, and a short, hot book in the other. Or— Well I guess you can imagine what I like to do on vacation. The week I spent in Hawaii one year is engraved on my mind and heart as The Best Vacation Evah.
Summer is such a sexy season. All those half-naked men on the beach, sweaty muscles gleaming in the sun. All those shirtless construction workers on the roadsides, sweaty muscles gleaming in the sun. Shirtless men playing ball in the park. Men in short shorts with delicious, muscular thighs. Everywhere you look is inspiration for an erotic romance writer in summer. YUM.
Winter just doesn’t have the same appeal. Sure shoveling snow off the walk gets men sweaty, but they don’t exactly take off their shirts to go shovel snow. Unfortunately. And all those bulky clothes. Who knows what anyone looks like underneath them. No, winter is definitely Inspiration Fail.
So then I guess it’s kind of weird that my new medieval series of books is focused on winter. Sure some of the stories begin in summer. But the heart of the stories, what they’re really about, is what will happen come winter. Back then, the only store to get your next meal from was roaming around in the forest wearing hooves and horns, and you had to catch it, not buy it. As for vegetables and grain, the only way to get them was strictly grow it yourself. So the growing season was fundamental to living for the rest of the year.
What if there are people fighting in the land and you can’t sow your crops? What if men steal your harvested crops? What if there’s or a bad season and your crops don’t grow? What if there’s an evil, self-centered ruler who doesn’t care about the people?
And what about the women? Back in medieval days a woman was a possession. She had no legal rights to land or wealth or even food.
I began by writing a story about Lady Elinor, who is left alone to care for her family’s castle, people, and lands when her father and two brothers are killed in battle. But the story wouldn’t end. Her new husband’s cousin arrived needing protection. Lord Jeffrey refused to be defeated…
And then, when I thought I was done, I remembered all those stories about Robin Hood, and knew there was still one more hero needing his happy-ever-after.
All four books in the medieval ménage series, Elinor’s Stronghold are out now. The story begins with Elinor in Pillaging Elinor’s Castle.
Lady Elinor’s father and two brothers are killed in battle, and Lord Rhys loses his demesne. To protect her people Elinor decides she will marry Lord Rhys, but only if he agrees the Captain of the Guard, Hammond, will share their bed and the decision making from now on. They agree and seal their contract in blood. Rhys and his people move into the stronghold.
After the wedding they begin to plan for how to survive the attack that will inevitably come. The stronghold is a wealthy one, and many will consider it an easy target with its lord and his sons dead. They also have to blend the two households together and prepare for the coming winter. At night Hammond and Rhys work hard in bed, learning to share Elinor, finding out what pleases her best, and arousing each other to new heights along the way.
About the Author: Berengaria is a multi-published author of erotic romance: contemporary, paranormal (magic, ghosts, vampires, fairies, dragons, and werewolves), futuristic, medieval, and Regency-set historical. She loves to read all different kinds of romance so that is what she writes: one man/one woman; two women; two men; two men/one woman; three men, two women/one man, three men/one woman…. Whatever the characters need for their very hot happily-ever-after, Berengaria makes sure they get it.
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