Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Black Lion Tours: "Vain: The Execution Series" by Jill Hughey Book Blast

Today we welcome author Jill Hughey and her book "VAIN"  an amazing  historical romance.

Book Synopsis
Lily had her life planned, neat and tidy as thread on a spindle, until her mother died and her father snipped at the seams of her future by abandoning Lily in their shop. A nobleman unexpectedly gives her hope when he brings fabric for a special garment. Lily survives on his first payment, and immerses herself in sewing and embroidering an incomparable garment for him, as her tidy plan continues to unravel.
Theophilus, Lord of Ribeauville, takes his responsibility to his townspeople seriously and, therefore, does not dally with local women. Desire wars with duty when Lily glances up at him while adjusting the hem on his Easter tunic. As her deteriorating circumstances push them together, Theo and Lily learn that the path to his heart just might be through his wardrobe, though the exquisite outfit she creates is the only part of her that fits in his precarious aristocratic world.

“I absolutely loved the story!” – Gina Ardito, Excellence in Editing
“Great character development.” – JeanSquires, beta reader

Quick Facts
Release Date: March 14, 2013.
Genre: Romance, historical, medieval
Formats: Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, iTunes, Kobo



“Please,” she choked, turning to stare at a loom against the wall. “If I leave I can never come back, can I? I will never live here again. My mother!” she cried.
He pulled her against him, letting her tears wet the ugly yellow fabric at his shoulder. The luxury of such comfort and strength surrounding her, even for the minute she allowed it, burned into every piece of her that touched him. She had been alone for so long, and the realization of how acutely lonely she had been nearly drowned her.
She pulled away, mortified and confused by the strange combination of alarm and rightness his embrace evoked. She wiped viciously at her face. Of all people to weep on. Now her humiliation was complete.
He watched her as she composed her emotions again. “Our parents leave us. That is part of every person’s life, if we do not leave them first.” He sighed. “I can see you had a happy childhood here. You tried, Lily. You have tried every way you can to preserve your way of life. Quite frankly, I have, too. There is nothing more we can do except remove you from Riculf’s path.”
She huffed out a breath of disbelief then turned in a complete circle to survey the workshop. “Must I leave all the tools?”
“I do not know the particulars of the agreement. Since I have a vested interest in seeing my tunic made before Easter, let us say you will bring whatever you need to complete it. Can I help you gather your things?”
“Oh, no,” she gasped, horrified at the idea of him picking through her meager belongings. “I will collect everything and walk to your house later.” Much, much later, after she had shed her tears of goodbye and after darkness fell, when, hopefully, no one would witness her shame firsthand.
“Leaving you here, alone, defeats the purpose of my trip. Besides, I have a cart outside.”
“A cart!”
“Yes, a cart. Now, start packing. Gusta will have dinner ready,” he advised, as though Lily were a welcomed houseguest instead of an adult orphan. Mentioning Gusta removed any hope of discretion. The housekeeper never revealed any of her lord’s personal details, but other tidbits were fed to informants who, in turn, kept Gusta up to date on local gossip. Lily’s ride on Theophilus’s cart would probably surprise very few people. In fact, the streets might be lined with spectators waiting to see her pass.
“I brought some sacks. Let me fetch them.”
Lily took the assortment of bags from him at the door, hoping he would take the hint to give her some privacy while she gathered her things. He retreated.
The living quarters were surprisingly easy to empty. Her tiny larder of food fit in one bag. Her complete wardrobe loaded two more. She blinked away tears as she tucked the patchwork lovingly in with her clothing. She took her bedding, even rolling up the hay filled mattress, more as a point of protest than anything else.
She grabbed another sack to methodically ransack the workroom, taking one of everything they had duplicates of. Riculf would never know there had been two shears, extra needles stashed on the top shelf, or empty spindles in a box in the corner. As she filled another bag, she noticed the full sacks she’d stacked by the door had already disappeared. She folded her lord’s tunic and all the extra cloth then wrapped it in the flax in which it had arrived.
Theo cooled his heels by the cart, listening for her approach with each bulging sack and depressed by the task of gathering Lily’s meager belongings. He almost questioned her need for the mattress, then decided he liked the idea of Riculf finding a stripped cot where he had expected his unpaid laborer to sleep. The parcel of familiar flax made his hands itch with longing to unwrap her work. He had seen enough draped over her table to excite him. As anticipated, the gold embroidery set the burgundy off perfectly. But now was not the time to admire a piece of clothing.
A peculiar gurgling caught his attention. Another sound like a hiccup drew him toward the door. Lily stood at the loom, her hand lovingly caressing a frame that stood about her height.
She wept.
Theo had vague memories of his visits to the tailor throughout the years. Someone had always been sitting at the loom, though he had paid scant attention. My mother! Lily had said. Little had Theo known that the woman in the shadows had been the cord lashing the family together. He thought, not for the first time, if Willis walked up to him, he would happily stick his spata in the man’s belly and let him bleed out in the street. As far as he could tell, the man would be as useful to Lily dead as he was alive.
Just as the violent thought erupted in his mind, Lily collected herself again. She reached up to pick at a spot at the end of the left rail, working diligently until Theo’s curiosity overwhelmed him. “What are you doing?” he asked.
She did not even turn. “This peg comes loose sometimes and lets the loom get floppy. It is hard to notice at first until you see the weave is uneven.”
“You are making certain the peg is tight?”
Lily glanced over her shoulder, her gray eyes glittering with more than tears. “Perhaps you should wait outside again,” she advised before returning to her sabotage. “There, I am done anyway,” she added as she brushed off her hands.
He could not stop a chuckle. Lily had proven herself to be dignified and self-contained in every challenge she’d confronted. This little flash of devilment intrigued him. The girl had spirit. “I do not expect it will provide any consolation,” he remarked, “but I admire how you have conducted yourself the past few weeks. In the last few minutes, too.” Her pale, drained face could have been carved from marble. If her hair was as dark as those angled eyebrows, it would be striking against her skin.
“Thank you, my lord,” she intoned stiffly. “You have been very kind.” She turned to leave, stopping only once, at the door, where she gripped the frame and looked back one last time at the only home she’d ever known, now abandoned in the space of a half hour.

The Author
Jill Hughey has loved historical romance since sneaking peeks at her mother’s library years ago. She has enjoyed writing just as long.  She prides herself on deep character development, and settings that take her readers on long, satisfying journeys to places they have probably never been in a book before.
Jill lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. Her hobby is singing lessons, in which she studies classical soprano and some lighthearted works.
Learn more about the author at: http://jillhughey.blogspot.com


Tour Schedule 
April 2: Black Lion Tour Blog: Introduction.

April 4: 
Love in a Book: Review and Top Ten List.
             Kimberly Lewis Blog: Guest Post.

April 6: Bunny's Reviews Blog: Guest Post.

April 7: A Novel Idea Live: Live Interview.

April 8: 
Deal Sharing Aunt: Review and Guest Post.
             A Novel Idea Live Blog: Promo

April 12: My Devotional Thoughts: Review and Guest Post. 

April 13: Tina's Book Reviews: Guest Post. 

April 15: Pure Jonel: Review and Guest Post. 

April 16: A Book Lover's Library: Guest Post. 

April 17: Black Lion Tour Blog: Wrap-up.


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