Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: The Virgin and The Bull by Erato 💕 Fun Facts, Book Tour & Print Book Giveaway 💕 (Noir Romantic Suspense)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Virgin and The Bull by Erato 💕 Fun Facts, Book Tour & Print Book Giveaway 💕 (Noir Romantic Suspense)

Suicide, rape, murder — Love is a serpent more subtle than any of the field.

Twenty-three year old Charles Macgregor had everything going for him, so why did he choose to take his own life? As the Sheriff-Depute of Edinburgh reads through his collected letters, he uncovers a breathtaking story of femmes fatales, jealous rivals, and love gone violently awry.

An artful and intellectual thriller told with a noir style, The Virgin and the Bull shocks and startles with tense plot, lurid sex and vivid characters amidst a seductive and scary vision of Old England and Scotland. The frisson is out of this world when the fiery anatomist Macgregor risks life and limb to fulfill his desperate desire for the dangerously beautiful Constance Fawkes, pitted against her mad father and the more-than-meets-the-eye “virgin” priest, Francis Exenchester.

“Erato did a superb job… the pace is right on point… highly intriguing… It blows your mind.” - T. Renee, author of Hearts On Fire.

The characters in The Virgin and the Bull are all kind of Frankenstein’s monsters of people I’ve known and of characters in other books and films, some of which are my own. I had actually decided to write The Virgin and the Bull when recalling another book I’d written called In the Fire, which had in it a character named Richard Kensington. He was kind of a gloomy emo kid, but landed in a Georgian/Regency setting. I wanted to see some more of him, and so I began this book — which has a similar plot setup, even copies a couple passages from In the Fire — and established Charles Macgregor to be the new Richard Kensington.

I think I was only a few days into the writing before it became clear that Charles had a rather different personality from Richard. Even when the plot required they do the same actions, their manners and reasons for it were always just a little different. I suppose their beloved literary choices influence them a little. (My heroes seem to be book nerds much of the time. Are you surprised?) Like I said, I wanted to make a similar character to Richard Kensington, who had been a devout Werther fan, and he always carried the book with him. When I needed to give Charles Macgregor a beloved book of his own, I chose the poems of Robert Fergusson, which are already much less mopey than Goethe’s semi-autobiographical prose. That kind of shifted Macgregor right there from a mopey goth right out of a Tim Burton movie to more of a sentimental poet. He’s a little less emotional than Kensington; even when he hits peak outrage, he’s a bit more collected in his thoughts and more hesitant to act than Kensington would be in the same condition. So, in effect he was a failure in copy-catting that character, and became his own separate entity. Macgregor also has a lot more personality borrowed from men I have actually known… and I suppose in the end, really, he’s still more like me than like anyone else. It’s famously difficult for writers to not overlay a big piece of themselves on their characters, even when they wish to write somebody disagreeable or who behaves very unlike how they would.

The characters in Virgin and the Bull have been praised as “dynamic and interesting” — and one should hope, for they very much carry the story in this epistolary novel. The thrilling tale of love turned criminal is told in first-person by its cast, which consists primarily of:

Charles Macgregor - a handsome Scottish anatomist
Henry Macgregor - his brother
Constance Fawkes - a temptress, with a fondness for novels
Samuel Fawkes - a famous anatomist, father to Constance
Deborah Fawkes - Samuel’s wife
Francis Exenchester - rector at Mortlake, wealthy younger son of a noble family
The Sheriff-Depute, who signs his name H.A.

From Macgregor to Miss Fawkes, no date.

I was sent into the city today, by your kindly father, to procure some anatomy books at St. Paul’s Churchyard. I took the liberty to browse another bookshop, and procured for you this edition of the Vicar of Wakefield, which was one amongst the books that Werter mentioned. I hope you shall enjoy it.
Yours, Macgregor.

From Miss Fawkes to Macgregor, no date.

You mistake me if you believe that I can accept such a present from a gentleman, who lives in this house as one employed by my father. I return your book, with thanks for the kindly intentions of your offer; but I admonish you, do not forget your station and the divide between us. I am,
Constance Fawkes.

From Macgregor to Miss Fawkes, no date.

Please excuse the folly of a young man, who, being proffered an uncustomary opportunity to grow familiar with you, has proved himself to presume too much. We breakfast and dine together each day, we share stories and conversations around the evening fire, all very much as might a pair of cousins, or even siblings, and it is evident that I have thus presumed too close a bond of friendship between the two of us, that there was no reason to expect. I am so sorry for any distress I may have unwittingly brought about. However, I too must admonish you, on this one point: that I am no employee of your father. We are partners in science and equals in our business, although through his seniority I do offer him a certain deference which, I can certainly understand if it is mistaken for servitude, but in fact is nothing else but respect for his superior accomplishments.
I am most sorry for the trouble I have caused. To show that I maintain no hard feelings towards you, and to prevent an accidental discovery of this message which might lead it to the hands of the servants or some member of the household who might find its contents without context to be alarming or, worse, reason for scandal, I include it once again within the book, which is your own to keep if you will desire it; or you may return it to me once more and I will not fault you for any ingratitude, it is your decision.
Your humble house-guest, Charles Macgregor.

From Miss Fawkes to Macgregor, no date.

Dear Mr. Macgregor,
I do beg your pardon if I have offended you by the implication that you are my father’s lesser, indeed, I ought to have known that an inferior would not be given such freedom with the rest of the family. I also will apologize if my words may have seemed too sharp before, for the present of the book is very much appreciated. I shall keep it with me, as a token of our amends. I do consider us to be friends, and look forward to our continued talks over breakfast, and our merry exchanges by the fireside with the rest of the family, for you are a very clever man and the cheer that you bring us all cannot be too much commended. The entire family thinks so highly of you, that I should be ashamed to cause you any fear that we could mistrust or dislike you. I look forward to only the happiest of times with you, during your stay with us, and pray that you find no fault in my previous caution. Please, do not hesitate to speak to me when we are about the house, for we ought not be strangers when we dwell together so closely; and I am not being courted by anybody at this time, so you need fear no infringement in that regard. Speak to me at leisure, or leave any further correspondence you wish at my door — for there is nothing we have to be ashamed for.
Sincerely, Miss Fawkes.


Be taken to another ERA with ERATO.

Erato is a hispanic American author of historical fiction. Her stories are often set in the Georgian/Regency period, taking the characters past the traditional bonnets and balls into gritty cities, forced marriages and painful love affairs.

The name Erato belonged to one of the nine muses of Greek mythology: that who ruled love stories. No, it's not the same word as erOtic; literally Erato is "the Lovely," from Greek erastos "loved, beloved; lovely, charming." The author's own given name being that of a different muse, the name Erato was chosen as the nomme de plume that seemed especially fit for writing historical stories with a romantic theme, though she also writes historical novels without strong romantic elements. Her works are normally highly researched, subversive, and can tend toward humorous even when telling of tragedy.


Win a print copy of In The Fire (the predecessor to Virgin and the Bull)

Marriage is only till death.

The daughter of an eminent scientist, Jane Pitt falls for her father’s moody, thoughtful and Werther-obsessed assistant; but her father has other plans, and against her will forces her into a marriage with the pleasant but unappealing clergyman Francis Buckingham. Will she find some means of escape from this compelled marriage, or will she be forever barred from the man who has claim to her heart?

Unusual, sentimental, and often tragic, In The Fire tugs at the reader’s heartstrings, while its intriguing duo of leading men grip the reader into a strange and wonderfully unexpected Regency world.


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