English history


Every few weeks I must remind myself that one of the reasons I write this blog is to promote my books, long and short, especially my historical fiction Melaynie’s Masquerade. I’m offering a teaser about the first stirrings of romance between Melaynie, an English girl, and Bernardino, a Spaniard.  I published my book on Amazon as an Ebook. The link to Amazon is in the upper right of this page or follow the link which will also show the other small books I’ve written: http://amazon.com/author/victoriagiraud

My book is full of true adventure (Essentially, only my heroine and her family are fictional) and romance. I’ve even written a couple of sex scenes. After all, the 50 Shades books are all the rage!  Read below for a sample of the romance that develops:


With Drake’s humorous admonition to be careful with their guest, Melaynie carried a lantern to show Bernardino to his private tent at evening’s end.

In the light of a bright moon, whose rays poured through the wide opening of the small quarters, Bernardino found and immediately sat down on the portable cot. Tired from the day’s excitement and mellowed to the point of sleepiness by the wine, he languidly watched as the young captain’s boy placed the lantern on an empty cask, thinking as he watched of his young sister.  Why was he thinking of his sister; was it the way this young boy moved, or simply the beauty of youth?

He leaned back and began to remove his doublet, welcoming the cooler night air on his skin.  Remembering the music and the caress of the night breeze, he felt relaxed and sensual. Melaynie’s body and face were profiled in the moonlight.  What a lovely young boy, Bernardino reflected  as he studied the fine facial features and golden hair. He lazily watched the lantern’s flickering light, his feelings of arousal fanned by its glow. How agreeable it would have been to have a woman to love, an appropriate climax to a congenial evening.

Framed by the moonlight, the boy continued to stand, leaning toward the lantern, like a moth to the flame, his eyes mesmerized by the flame. From his angle lounging on the cot, Bernardino noticed the boy’s cream-colored shirt had flared outward as he stood there. The material was diaphanous enough that the lantern’s light revealed his naked chest. Bernardino smiled at the pretty picture it made, and then narrowed his eyes, looking again closely, as he sat up slowly, uncertain that what he saw was true.

The lantern had highlighted a pair of delicate breasts, whose outline was clear enough through the linen shirt. This was no boy; he saw the evidence. The breasts were small, but they were present. Had no one else in this English company noticed?  Men could be dense; he had seen how she had been treated as her costume defined her.  A turmoil of feelings assaulted him at this revelation, the excitement of the mystery of her only heightening his stimulated senses. He struggled to compose himself, to dampen his growing ardor, to quiet his racing mind.

Had he been intrigued because some instinct told him of her true gender?  Whatever the mystical reasons, she must not guess he had seen her secret. Searching his mind for clues, he quickly surmised her subterfuge had been well hidden until now and that she was probably older than he had supposed. What had caused this young woman to carry off this masquerade; was she possessed by some unusual traits, a woman who felt herself truly a man? Or was it simply an adventure she sought, a desire to break from the traditional female role in her society?  Did she feel he was a threat; was that why she had spilled the wine earlier? These turbulent thoughts raced through his mind in mere seconds.

Mel book cover 0


Melaynie’s Masquerade – a sample

In the beginning of this chapter, Melaynie has sailed from England pretending that she is a captain’s boy for Francis Drake.


As the sun rose early the next morning Drake’s ships were maneuvering rapidly over the gray-green waters of the choppy Channel. The early summer weather was unpredictable; flashes of sunlight alternated with blustery, sudden showers.  Strong winds and full sails left England but a memory and drove them into the open sea, its liquid surface waiting for them to carve their story upon it.

Life as a captain’s boy in those first weeks developed into a pattern of early rising, devotional services, meals, a great deal of fetch and carry for Drake and scarcely a minute to herself.  Melaynie found that the moments when she could look out upon the sea’s vastness, the sight of water to all horizons after a life of confinement in a small English town was awe-inspiring.

Only the weather, the shape and variety of clouds determined the look and feel of their lives now. It was frightening and at the same time opened her heart to the excitement of the uncertain future, to being part of and swept along by something that was far bigger than herself.

After the evening meal if she were on deck and Drake was properly satisfied, she loved to listen to the sailors’ music.  Several mariners played a wooden flute, a couple of them had brought a lute, and there was always someone to play an accompanying drum. The others knew how to sing popular ballads of the day.  There were some good strong voices among the crew and a few who loved to sing despite their lack of talent or decent harmony:

The roaring cannons then were plide,

And dub-a-dub went the drumme-a

The braying trumpets lowde they cride

To courage both all and some-a.


The sea ballad of John Dory, though not particularly cheerful since it concerned a traitorous Englishman revenged by a Cornishman two centuries before, seemed to suit most of the men. They gleefully sang the many verses ending:


The grappling-hooks were brought at length,

The browne bill and the sword-a,

John Dory at length, for all his strength,

Was clapt fast under board-a.


Evenings were an excellent time for relaxation except for the men on watch posted at the mainmast’s topcastle, high above the deck.  Besides the musically inclined, there were those who preferred cards and dice, and she had noticed a chess game or two.

Melaynie soon grew used to the motion of the ship as it rode the endless waves, sometimes smoothly, other times pitching and rolling, fighting the wind as the ship came about.  Melaynie’s body adjusted, automatically compensating for the ship’s tilt as she performed her duties on decks that were constantly in motion.

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