Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Two people crash and clash, desire and despise...when his fire meets her silk.  
Fire & Silk is the story of a gruff, red-headed bachelor named Flann, son of an Irish king, and a fiery Iberian virgin named Mariana.
In this excerpt, Flann commits an act that will bind him to a naive yet headstrong woman, as she seeks his protective cover during a furious rainstorm.

The slight shift in wind told Flann that the rain would begin in a matter of minutes. He eyed the corner of the tarred cloth as he continued to play his bone whistle—more to confound and anger the woman than to extend the improvised melody. When he felt the first fine spray of rain on his face, he seized the corner of waterproof cloth nearest him and, in one sweeping motion, wrapped it around himself. Then he lay waiting for the real rain to fall.
He saw by the dancing fingers of fire that the woman was defenseless against the cold night—not a shawl, not a cloak or brat or any kind of wrap that might have kept her warm or dry. And yet she merely stepped closer to the fire, as though defying the heavens. Except for her last commanding words, she had apparently decided to stand there, soaked to the very bone, even after the rain had drowned his fire, cursing him and his peasant attitude.
Good! Tá go maith. Let her feel the cold arms of night and the loveless kiss of an autumn thunderstorm. He wrapped the cover tighter and pulled it over his head just as the rain began in earnest. From under the cloth, he clearly heard her anguished cry. “Oh, help me! ¡Ayúdame! Do something!”
Flann felt himself grinning in spite of his resolve to ignore her. He lifted the cloth and opened it wide like an eagle’s wing, inviting her inside. 
The woman, to her credit, did not hesitate coyly, drawing back from touching the body of a stranger. She dived for him and the protective covering, and as soon as he felt her all along the length of his body, he closed the cloth around both of them, one wing-like arm drawing her against him. They lay there cocooned while he breathed evenly and she gasped in a kind of throaty cough. Shush, shush, he crooned to her in his mind, and after a while her spasms of cold ceased and she was silent.
They were lying face-to-face, close as lovers. In the darkness, he could not see her face, but he felt her uneven breath on his cheeks and mouth. And then, unbidden, his body betrayed the fact that he had not been near a woman in several months.
“Oh!” she exclaimed, and in spite of the tightness of the cloth around them, she tried to turn away from his adamantine groin.
Deeply amused, Flann spoke for the first time. “Volo vobis vesperum, O great lady. As ye can see, there is scant room to roll about like a cork in a barrel. Lie still.”
“You…you are a cad and a scoundrel! Touch me not!”
Flann lapsed again into silence, still grinning, his urgent groin pressing into her silken dress—not by design but by necessity of their unusual encounter. Completely encased by the tarred cloth, he could feel the insistent rain pummeling them, almost laughing at them, daring them to change position. And so, he merely lay stretched out, one arm around her shoulders, enjoying this last night under the vast sky of his beloved Éire.
They lay immobile for half an hour, by his reckoning. He could feel that her shivering had ceased completely, and he knew that the warmth of his body was saving her from an agony of wet and cold. Her breath on his face was regular and easy, as though she had fallen asleep. And so, he shifted slightly, trying to ease the pressure on his groin by moving away from her.
Nolo tangere!” she hissed. Touch me not!
“Ye be a scourge and a nag and not in the least desirable to me. Do ye understand? Do ye know nothing of the ways of a man?”
“I know enough,” she whispered defiantly. “I know I would rather die than be ravished by a—a low criminal.”
“Ye’ll deem yourself fortunate to be touched by any man at all, your highness. For while your body is not repugnant, your attitude is. I have a mind to let ye loose to the wind and the rain. Believe me, I would sleep more soundly by meself.”
She began to struggle under the cover, and Flann held her even closer, suddenly reluctant to let her go. 

What really happened under the cover that night? The answer to that question tells the story of Fire & Silk.

Publisher: SirenBookStrand
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat rating: “Steamy”

Erin O’Quinn has also published a historical romance trilogy, The Dawn of Ireland, and an erotic M/M historical titled Warrior, Ride Hard. Please see the signature line below.

OQ Erin O’Quinn’s Gaelic blog:
Erin O’Quinn’s Manlove blog:
Storm Maker:
The Wakening Fire :
Captive Heart:
Fire & Silk:
Warrior, Ride Hard:


Erin OQuinn said...

Again, Lindsay Townsend, I extend heartfelt thanks for allowing me the space here to talk about FIRE & SILK.

I hugely enjoyed writing this book. The characters spoke loudly to me of their needs and desire; the places called to me as though I had been born there. I hope readers will let Flann and Mariana introduce themselves, starting with this excerpt "under cover of night" (the chapter title).

Slán, Erin O'Quinn

Franz said...

A week ago I told Erin that I am not a great fan of Romance novels. She challenged me to read this book and then repeat that statement. I can't resist a challenge. At the moment I am bit more than halfway through and already I find myself regretting that I made such a headstrong statement. Admittedly I am not completely comfortable with some of the more intimate segments. However, there is enough substance to this tale to overlook that. In her words I feel the sense of early Ireland. Through her descriptions I feel the harsh beauty of the land and its weather and appreciate the strength it took to thrive in that environment. With every page, I feel a desire growing within me to live in this place and pit myself against its power to see how I would fare. Thank you Erin for a stirring tale.

Erin OQuinn said...

Wow, Franz, you are a good writer and an insightful one too.

If you're halfway through, you haven't even gotten to the harshest of the weather--the area of Tyrconnell (now called Co. Donegal) with its bodacious lightning storms. But as you point out, the beauty of the land overcomes nature's challenges, and the reader learns why Flann loves his mountain and its waterfall.

Thank you not just for taking the time to visit this blog, but for being a good sport and accepting the challenge for a "manly man' to read a romance.

Slán, Erin