A handful of historical authors brave the wilds of unusual settings, times, and characters to create distinctive, exciting novels just outside of the mainstream. Join us as we chronicle the trials and rewards of our quest - from research and writing to publication and establishing lasting careers.
This week, we're welcoming author Gwendoline Ewinswith her latest historical romance title set in the early 19th century,Drums. Join us on Sunday, when the author will offer a free copy of the book to a lucky blog visitor. Here's the blurb:
They come from different worlds, yet fate brings them together on the deck of a sailing ship anchored beside a spectacular tropical lagoon - then drums on the shore beat out a warning. **An Excerpt from Drums**
The time for feasting was over. Huge
amounts of food had been consumed or spirited away in banana leaves, now the
drums primed the guests for the appearance of dancers.
Within minutes Guy Richmond was caught in
the dancers’ erotic spell, summoning a wry smile even as he fidgeted to ease
the tightness of his crotch.
Grass skirts hung temptingly low on hips,
swaying gently to reveal long legs and more than a suggestion of buttocks. Hips
swivelled to the tempo of the drums. Navels demanded attention. Breasts were
exposed in a glorious assortment of shapes and sizes to fit the dream of any
man. Graceful arms were adorned with sweet-smelling gardenia.
Guy shared a good-natured grin with a
young Adonis who had been eyeing a particular wahine with lascivious intent.
Sialosi had befriended Guy from the first and probably dreamt of accompanying
him when he finally packed up his botanical specimens and moved on.
The grin faded as Guy’s glance rested on
the man close by, equally honoured by being seated on a woven mat not far from
the chief - and similarly aroused if the contortions of his face were anything
to go by. Guy had taken the Reverend Jeremiah Howard in dislike during their
first brief interchange, instinctively distrusting him regardless of his showy
humility and earnest manners.
The tempo of the drums quickened and the
new bride stepped out of the shadows into dazzling sun.
Arms high above her head, nipples
puckered, Malama removed a lei of fragrant frangipani from around her neck and
held it in front of her as she boldly approached the chief to adorn him. She
had shared the chief’s fare for more than a month: now she reveled in his
public declaration of satisfaction with her.
They were a handsome, bronze-skinned pair
- the stuff of faery tales. Somewhere along the line a dollop of Asian blood
had been added to her Polynesian ancestry, making her almond-eyed and
delicate-looking. The chief was strong, intelligent and pure Polynesian, Samoan
pedigree unmistakable in his broad six-foot frame. Eyes narrowed, he accepted
the lei and ran his large fingers caressingly over fragile blossoms, causing
sighs of appreciation from the spectators that turned into yells of approval
when he jumped up and crouched against her gyrating hips, his arousal just a
breath away from her backside.
A strangled wheeze came from beside Guy.
Thinking – hoping Howard was having an apoplectic fit, Guy swung his head round
to check and found he wasn’t, though the man’s skin had mottled and his eyes were
bulging like onions.
“Pretty girl, isn’t she?” Guy asked
impishly. “A good dancer too, don’t you think?”
Howard spluttered and struggled to get
himself under control, his mouth opening and closing until he eventually
regained the ability to speak. “Devil’s work,” he declared as if he truly
The drumbeat slowed and became
languorous. The boisterous crowd was entranced and quietened as the golden
couple danced an erotic dance that mimicked the act of love.
Few noticed Guy slip away a little later,
making no attempt to answer the invitation in the eyes of several wahine. Early
on in his years in the islands he’d decided not to become involved with any
Polynesian beauties but deal with sexual release himself. The alternative was
to risk little Richmonds all over the place. The possibility of catching the
pox - though slim - didn’t appeal either. Far more enticing was the possibility
of making a discovery of the orchid kind, and he was convinced the conditions
on this island were ripe for it.
Gwendoline Ewins is the author of Drums and other works of historical romance, set in Polynesia and New South Wales in the early 19th century.