23 August 2012

Excerpt Thursday: EL REY by Ginger Myrick

This week, we’re welcoming historical romance author Ginger Myrick, whose novel El REY, is a 16th century story of love set in the Iberian Peninsuala. Join us Sunday, when Ginger will be here to talk about the novel and offer a copy to a lucky winner. Here's the blurb:

Winner of the Rosetta Literary Contest 2012 from a field of worldwide submissions, the soul-stirring novelette, The Converso: A Tale From Renaissance Iberia, was adapted from a chapter in this stunning work of historical fiction by Ginger Myrick. Written in the the tradition of classic period romance from such authors as the Bronte sisters, Anya Seton, and Jean Plaidy, and set against the backdrop of 16th century Portugal and Spain at the dawn of the dynamic Age of Exploration, EL REY boasts an inspiring cast of courageous characters that will touch your heart and capture your imagination. At its core is the turbulent love story between Inez García and El Rey.

Inez is the outspoken, independent daughter of a wealthy merchant who fled the Spanish Inquisition and a domineering mother of English noble stock with secrets of her own. At a dinner party in his honor, she falls in love with El Rey, a dashing, charismatic sea captain with a golden voice who has spent his life expanding the Portuguese empire. He is nephew of the King of Portugal with blood ties to the illustrious royal houses of Castile’s Queen Isabella and England’s King Henry VIII.

Inez and El Rey strike up an immediate friendship and discover that they have much in common. Inez has spent her childhood in the shadow of her beautiful elder sister, Serafina, so when El Rey befriends her based on her own merits, she vows that she will never love another. Captivated by her spirited charm and mesmerized by her bewitching silver and gold eyes, El Rey promises to one day return and ask for Inez’s hand in marriage. Though misfortune, class prejudice, and El Rey’s foolish pride conspire to keep them apart, life’s disappointments only make Inez more determined to seek out the elusive happiness in which she has never stopped believing.

But it is much, much more than just a love story.

EL REY is a sweeping family saga worthy of Colleen McCullough or James Michener. Interwoven in the main body of the work are four meticulously researched narratives representative of the time. Spanning three continents and two centuries in the history of the warring kingdoms of medieval Portugal and Castile, the vignettes chronicle the heroic struggles of three families to overcome racial discrimination, murder, plague, war, and the Spanish Inquisition. Filled with food and travel, and tempered with humor, tenderness, and tragedy, this intriguing story tells the timeless tale of the triumph of true love and the resilience of the human spirit.

EL REY has something in it for everyone. You will laugh, and you will cry. No one who reads this book will remain unaffected.

**An Excerpt from EL REY**

As they stepped outside, they saw El Rey swinging down from his mount. He casually tossed the reins to a waiting groom, and as he flipped his hair back over his shoulder, his face was revealed. Striding toward them in his cool, self-assured manner was the most beautiful man Inez had ever seen. Her head swam, and she found it difficult to breathe. In an attempt to keep her pounding heart a secret, she dropped her gaze and inconspicuously inched behind her mother. From there she peeked out to get a better look.
Inez had expected ‘The King’ to be a giant of a man, but that was not the case. The confidence that radiated from him added to his stature, but in reality he was only slightly taller than the average man. His long tenure as a sea captain had left him well-muscled and broad-shouldered yet still slender. His hair fell to the middle of his back and was dark and glossy as a raven’s wing. The dark eyes that peered from his sculpted face sparkled with intelligence and humor, and their slight almond shape lent an exotic cast to his extraordinary visage. He had a prominent Roman nose, which on another might have been a distraction but on him was not uncomely and suited his face. As he drew closer, his face broke into a smile showing strong white teeth, and Inez had to catch her breath.
Senhor García,” began El Rey in Portuguese, bending slightly at the waist. “At last we meet, and what a pleasure it is. And this enchanting creature?” he asked, turning to Joanna. “Your daughter I presume?”
She giggled like a young girl as he bowed over her hand with a courtly flourish and grazed it with his lips. “Por favor, Señor,” she stressed in Castilian, “Your flattery is well-intended, but I am far past the age to believe it. Welcome to our home. May I present our daughter,” she said and pushed Inez to the fore.
Inez, feeling completely exposed, kept her head down and dropped a curtsey. “Pleased to meet you, Señor,” she mumbled. She tried but could not bring herself to look him in the face, fearing that if she did, he would read her thoughts.
Finally, to her relief her father said, “Well then, shall we go inside?”