Love is in the Air: New Historical Stories - The Melting Pot
Diversity is often missing from historical romances and historical stories in general. Commerce and trade, in addition to environmental changes, greatly influenced the migration of people across continents. In other words, people from all cultures traveled to other countries throughout history and some of them decided to stay where their adventures took them. In my travels to Europe, I was shocked (and proud) to see a painting of a Moor knight among the images of knights sworn to protect the crown in Prague Castle. It made me marvel at how many diverse historical characters are missing from the stories and textbooks used to teach history and culture.
Needless to say, I LOVE the inclusive stories that are hitting the print and ebook shelves! This month’s reads take us to a post Civil War American desert town and the foggy streets of London. Both stories feature characters whose secrets reveal they are more than initially perceived.
Let’s add some subtle hints of savory spices to The Melting Pot.
Beverly Jenkins delivers another fabulous Americana historical in her latest release, Forbidden. The hero, Rhine, is a mulatto passing as white in a mining town in the Nevada desert. Eddie Carmichael is a cook with dreams of running her own restaurant in California. In her quest to travel from Denver to San Francisco, a series of unfortunate events leaves her stranded and near death in the desert until Rhine and his business partner find her.
The chemistry between Eddie and Rhine sizzles on the page. The stakes are clearly explained and the stakes are high for both characters. I listened to the Audible version of this book during my daily walks. I’m sure the folks in my business park thought I was crazy as I laughed, cried, sighed, gasped, and ‘mm-hmmed’ my way through this story. There are several unexpected twists and turns.
I highly recommend this book. My understanding is that Forbidden may be the first book in a new series…I truly hope so, because there are definitely more interesting characters in this world with stories of their own.
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old West
Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he's always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.
Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won't risk her heart for him. As soon as she's saved enough money from her cooking, she'll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden . . .
KJ Charles creates a London with magic running through it veins in her Charm of Magpies series. Though there are several books in the series, you can pick up any of them and dive in without feeling lost or uninformed.
Ned Hall is a black businessman who deals in paper waste products throughout London. Crispin Tredarloe is an apprentice warlock studying illegal blood and bone magic. Their worlds collide when Ned unwittingly buys the papers from Crispin’s recently deceased teacher. The necromantic and life bringing magic written on the pages creates havoc in the local market where vendors use the recycled paper to wrap everything from flowers to fish.
Such magic comes with at a high price to the practitioner and Crispin finds himself on the wrong side of both magic law and his own best interests often. Ned has his own dash of magic and a strong dose of common sense to help Crispin through all his troubles.
A Queer Trade is a prequel to Rag and Bone. Both are fast reads that tackle the challenges and intricacies of an interracial male/male couple in historical London with accuracy, depth, and compassion.
Well done, KJ Charles…looks like I’m your newest fan!
A Queer Trade by KJ Charles
Apprentice magician Crispin Tredarloe returns to London to find his master dead, and his papers sold. Papers with secrets that could spell death. Crispin needs to get them back before anyone finds out what he's been doing, or what his magic can do.
Crispin tracks his quarry down to waste paper dealer Ned Hall. He needs help, and Ned can’t resist Crispin’s pleading—and appealing—looks. But can the waste-man and the magician prevent a disaster and save Crispin’s skin?
A 16,000 word story set in the Charm of Magpies world, and a prequel to the novel Rag and Bone (March 2016). This story was first published as part of the Charmed & Dangerous anthology.
Rag and Bone (A Charm of Magpies) by KJ Charles
It’s amazing what people throw away…
Crispin Tredarloe never meant to become a warlock. Freed from his treacherous master, he’s learning how to use his magical powers the right way. But it’s brutally hard work. Not everyone believes he’s a reformed character, and the strain is putting unbearable pressure on his secret relationship with waste-man Ned Hall.
Ned’s sick of magic. Sick of the trouble it brings, sick of its dangerous grip on Crispin and the miserable look it puts in his eyes, and sick of being afraid that a gentleman magician won’t want a street paper-seller forever—or even for much longer.
But something is stirring among London’s forgotten discards. An ancient evil is waking up and seeking its freedom. And when wild magic hits the rag-and-bottle shop where Ned lives, a panicked Crispin falls back onto bad habits. The embattled lovers must find a way to work together—or London could go up in flames.
This story is set in the world of the Charm of Magpies series.
Warning: Contains a warlock who needs to go straight (but isn’t), a waste-man running out of patience, blood magic, bad-tempered justiciars, and a pen with a mind of its own.
Columnist: C. Morgan Kennedy
I have a confession to make. I’m a time traveler. I love flinging myself into the future, then hurtling fast to an alternative past. In my usual time-space-dimension, I’m a mechanical engineer and business woman. So, I have a natural penchant for hover cars and steam or aether powered engines. Though I was born in the wrong era, I’m actually a child of the sixties – 1860, 1960, 2060.
My stories feature strong women, who know how to wield their minds like weapons. Their men are smart and often controlling….but, rest assured, my female leads give them a run for their money. They strive to follow their hearts and dreams for the betterment of themselves and their loved ones. Like my life, all of my stories feature a diverse cast of characters.
With my business partner, Therese Patrick, I work to demystify marketing principles for my author friends. Our first book, Author Marketing 101 Guide & Journal, was published by Gazebo Gardens Publishing and released in October 2013.
Steampunk, futurist, blerd, artist, author, and marketing maven…a real creative force of nature – that’s me in a nutshell.
Keep tabs on my adventures via my blog, Morgan’s Mix Tape, on my website: http://www.cmorgankennedy.com.