24 April 2014


This week, we're pleased to welcome author and Unusual Historicals' contributor Ginger Myrick with her latest novel,  Insatiable: A Macabre History of France ~ L’Amour: Marie Antoinette. The novel is available NOW. Join us again on Sunday for an author interview, with more details about the story behind the story. The author will offer a free copy of Insatiable to a lucky blog visitor.  Be sure to leave your email address in the comments of today's post or Sunday's author interview for a chance to win. Winner(s) are contacted privately by email. Here's the blurb.

In 1770, fourteen-year-old Austrian archduchess, Maria Antonia, left her homeland to marry the most sought after prince in Europe. Upon stepping into France she became Dauphine Marie Antoinette and assumed a fairytale life would follow.

But being the Queen of France is not all masked balls, beautiful dresses, and extravagant living. There are horrifying and unnatural forces at work behind the scenes, a mysterious plague causing a sinister transformation in the residents of Paris. When Marie Antoinette learns the details, she is stunned to find out that France has kept the secret for over two hundred years, and now she will be burdened with one of her own.

Determined to be the obedient daughter of the iron-willed Holy Roman Empress, she agrees to fulfill her commitment to the French Crown, until she unexpectedly falls for the handsome Swedish count, Axel von Fersen. Torn between her husband and her true love, her duty and her desire, Marie Antoinette longs for the day when she can be free to choose her path and follow her heart.

**An Excerpt from Insatiable: A Macabre History of France 
~ L’Amour: Marie Antoinette**

November 1755
Vienna, Austria

The cries of a newborn rang through the wide marbled halls of the Hofburg Palace. It was the second day of November, the somber commemoration of Feast of All Souls—the Catholic Day of the Dead—an inauspicious time for the birth of a royal personage.
Francis Stephen stood gazing adoringly at the mother of his children and the beautiful little archduchess she had just produced. Although he bore the title of Holy Roman Emperor, and this was his fifteenth venture into the realm of fatherhood, he could not have been prouder had he been a simple farmer beholding his first child.
“She is small but lovely and utterly charming,” he smiled down at the baby.
“And destined for greatness,” the child’s mother agreed.
“But not yet. She is only just come into the world with seven other sisters ahead of her. For now, at least, can she not be allowed to be a simple little girl?”
Though she had just been through the ordeal of childbirth, Maria Theresa still managed to muster a look of hauteur. “A daughter of mine should never be allowed to forget her place.”
“It was worth a try,” Francis sighed then went on in a more serious tone. “But there is something I do not like about this day for her birth. It is too somber, too ominous for such a bright and dainty girl. I wish you had waited another few hours and produced her on the third instead.”
“And I would have preferred you to carry her then produce her at your own discretion, but alas, such things are beyond our control.”
“Touché, Madame,” he conceded. “Regardless, we should do what we can to give her a happy childhood. I feel the mark of destiny upon her and it weighs heavily, a dark looming presence that will taint any happiness she might hope to achieve.”
“Come, Dearest,” said the new mother. “I am the one who has just given birth, yet it is you who are experiencing the grim fantasies of postpartum. You are being far too sentimental. What is a daughter for if not to cement political alliances? Besides, it is my duty to do what best suits the Austrian people.”
Six months later, the validity of Maria Theresa’s statement was confirmed when the opportunity arose to ally Austria with its longtime adversary, France, the land of her husband’s birth. It was an unprecedented occasion and should have been cause for celebration, but Francis was not as delighted as his wife had anticipated. In fact, he looked quite distraught, so much so that she saw fit to comment.
“I would have thought you’d be pleased by this alliance,” she prodded carefully, “yet you look as if I’ve signed an order for the execution of your favorite hunter.” When he still had not responded, she reached out and placed her plump white hand gently on his sleeve. “What is it, my love? What has you so upset?”
Staring straight ahead without sparing his wife a glance, Francis answered in a strangely detached and oddly prophetic voice. “Since her birth, I have felt the shadow of death stalking my dear sweet Antoine. This alliance with France just feels like another step toward fulfilling her dark destiny.”
It was so haplessly stated that Maria Theresa did not even think to refute it. Instead, she tried to reason with him.
“You are overreacting, Francis. Nothing of the sort has occurred. This treaty is a simple agreement between nations against a common enemy. Besides, should France one day wish to solidify the union with a marriage, it would not happen for many, many years, and who is to say that it will fall to Antoine? Certainly France cannot be so very bad. After all, it produced you,” she added with an amused grunt filled with affection.
But Francis would not be cheered. “If you love me,” he began, knowing full well that she treasured him above anything in the world, “you will promise never to send her there. There are strange and macabre goings-on in France that should be kept from the eyes of the outside world, never to be exposed to the light of day. Promise me that she will not go.”
“I will do what I can,” she offered, mostly to pacify him and get him out of this morose train of thought, which was so unlike him.
She tried to put the incident aside and move the conversation to a different subject, but it had so unsettled her husband that the creeping sensation came over her that there must be some basis for his assertion. A cold finger of trepidation tiptoed down her spine, her scalp prickled, and the flesh on the nape of her neck crinkled into goose pimples. There arose within her the gnawing compulsion to learn the source of his disquiet, although an inner counsel screamed out for her to let it die.
Against her better judgement, in a voice barely above a whisper, she asked, “Francis, what are these things of which you speak? Why have you not mentioned them before?”
He turned to face her, and Maria Theresa was surprised to see the sheen of tears in his bright blue eyes. They typically held a contented expression with a touch of whimsy but were now utterly serious with no trace of their usual gaiety.
“Many years ago in my youth, I was sworn to silence as were the rest of my kin. But even if I were to betray my oath, the truth is so unthinkable that you would not believe me.” He turned his gaze from her, his tears brimming his eyes and streaming silently down his cheeks. He made no move to wipe them away, only prayed, “Perhaps she will be safe at Versailles.”

Ginger Myrick was born and raised in Southern California. She is a self-described wife, mother, animal lover, and avid reader. Along with the promotion for BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD, WORK OF ART, THE WELSH HEALER, and EL REY, she is currently putting the finishing touches on novel #5. She is a Christian who writes meticulously researched historical fiction with a ‘clean’ love story at the core. She hopes to persevere and show the reading community that a romance need not include graphic details to convey deep love and passion. Look for Insatiable: AMacabre History of France ~ L’Amour: Marie Antoinette live now at Amazon!