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At least Milady’s Book-club was sort of hoping to. It was to be welcoming Faith Ashlinn. Yes, but not only was she delayed, she had the unfortunate tendency to misspell us on twitter. Now we look like this apparently……ewoks-endor


I do not know which one is me. Hopefully not the one with the pink scarf.

Anyway, after the lively discussion this week, Squire Jack pursuing the lovely Aimee across half of Fife, and Myrtle getting quite the wrong idea about what a cocktail was……after all the  lovely sights, Whitby Abbey, with its Dracula connection…saying nothing here that may offend a previous guest, who is Dracula’s neighbour, St. Andrew‘s Castle, not to mention the S. S. Discovery and the police cells,   we are here today in Visby. It conv2is the most amazing place on Gotland off the coast of Sweden. Once home to a nest of Baltic pirates would you believe? It is known as the city of roses and ruins. And we have, well it was supposed to be Christine Elaine Black here to talk to us about her book, Taurus. But it seems the man himself is here in her stead.

 Felicitations on seeing you in our little stopover today here in Visby, a most beautiful place, I confess to falling in love with.  Can you tell us something about your journey from your homeland? 
In ancient times we travel by horse or by boat. As the governor of Panua I’m the leader of a small nation that annoys the Romans. They hope to overrun my land and my duty is to stop that from happening. You may wish to join my cause. I can always use an extra crew to fend off the greedy Romans.  
Goodness. Taliana here is positively jumping, and I’m sure if you asked Flint nicely, he would be most happy to deal with the greedy Romans, while I meantime, could stay here. I trust Flint ’s pirate crew are making you welcome?
Flint’s crew are much like my own men, rough and ready for a fight. We’re always on the look out for a lovely wench or two. I’ve met this woman, Kallie, she claims to be the sister of the emperor, but I don’t trust her. She travels with a giant of a man and they want me to help them. I don’t mind but there has to be something in it for me. Flint will agree on that, I expect.
Kaliie? Well, maybe in that case I will be coming along…..  So long as there is a galley or ten in it for him, though I am not quite sure where I would put them.
Especially given this thoughtful gift.
 You ..er..took it apart stone by stone I take it?
What had to be done I am sure.
Now..em…Taurus,   you have seen all the ..er..furry members of the club. Can you tell us why they should each of them spend the week reading your book?
Read my book and you’ll learn why women are not to be taken lightly. Watch your back, Flint. You will be lulled into a false sense of security and then suddenly your world has crashed around you and the wench has run off without so much as a goodbye.   
 Goodness! Pray tell me this did not happen to you? Or perhaps you think I will leave this ship with you…..? Alas, I have not managed to persuade Flint to join our club. 
But mention wenches to Tibbs or Squire Jack and you can see their ears prick up… So I am sure they will like your story.
While I think I have cured Flint of eyeing other women, he is still a great one for eyeing everything else. He calls it booty. Is there anything I should do to disabuse him of helping himself to other people’s boats and their contents? I mean he keeps saying it is for me….
No need to disabuse yourself of booty. I like treasure and land as much as the next ‘ruler of a small nation’. We need money and a work force to do our bidding. I plan to rule Rome one day…it’s going to take a lot of booty.
Goodness! Mama’s kitchen
 most thoughtfully provided our fare today….,cak
largely because the pirates eschew the culinary arts for cutlass waving, drinking and frolicking on shore with wenches.  Do you have any tips for making them try at least to help my maid, Susan, in the galley? It is such a task and she gets quite fraught.
Capture a steward from a neighbouring country. I have a steward named Kristokus. He’s Greek and prepares the best food. Kallie eats a lot of food for a woman and my steward is kept busy.
 convI hope you don’t have to ever put her on the seven day diet. Visby is a lovely place,  what sites do you intend visiting here when you leave our ship? Provided of course, you first sign a disclaimer that you never saw me, or Flint ?
After looking over these walls and having a short walk round the town itself, I’m planning a trip to Egypt. It’s far across the great Mediterranean sea but I hear they have lots of gold, spices and tips on large building projects. I need a few monuments to celebrate my glorious rule.
Fury, you have been  a delightful distraction but I’m off to cause mayhem and destruction. 
Moi? A distraction in all this fur……As for causing mayhem….
 I thought I did that..
Taurus on behalf of CHRISTINE ELAINE BLACK
Blurb: Rebellious and strong-willed, Kalliassa flees a political betrothal arranged by her brother, the emperor of Rome. She runs to the one man capable of preventing the match — her brother’s sworn enemy. Unwittingly, she throws her fortunes into the hands of a man pledged to destroy Roman rule.

Taurus, proud Governor of Panua, would do anything to provoke the emperor, even ruin an imperial sister. But Kallie is like no woman he’s ever met, and she tests his strength of will and his solemn vow to end the reign of her family forever. Can true love overcome lust, lies, and deceit?

Excerpt:The parchment rolled out of Kallie’s hand and fell to the floor with a sharp oath directed at the author. How dare the emperor use her as a pawn in his game of politics! The love and trust she had placed in him as a small girl, watching from afar as their grandfather groomed him for greatness, shriveled in the brutal realization that he now ruled with complete disregard for his family. Marriage! To a man at least three times her age, ruler of a desert country, and with a harem of wives and concubines, no less. The only choice appeared to be swift action to avoid the imperial order. On unsteady legs she ran for the stables.The horses stamped impatiently, and Kallie glanced around for the boy normally on duty at this time of day. “Sergius, are you in here?” A rumble of laughter greeted her.“Should you not be dressed for dinner in fine ladylike attire?”Kallie squealed with delight. “Uncle Atticus! You have arrived at a most propitious moment.”

“Have I indeed.” Her uncle, in truth her father’s uncle, had taught all the children in the Gregorian household the most efficient and effective skills of survival in the roughest conditions. “And why are you dressed as a boy?”

“I’m running away.”

Atticus eyed her with skepticism. “From what?”

“Our esteemed emperor has ordered me to marry, and I won’t do it.”

“Hah,” Atticus grunted. “If you wait until after I eat and refresh my water supply, I’ll go with you.”

“But why? You will incur the wrath of my brother.”

“I have my reasons.” Atticus scratched his bushy beard, a twinkle lighting his dark eyes.

“Where can we hide from the entire Roman Empire?” Kallie mused.

“I know a place, but it will require cunning, and could be dangerous.” Her uncle chuckled with his usual good humor.

Kallie’s mind glowed at the possibility of escaping her brother’s reach. The great emperor, Caius Gregorian, would not be amused.


Christiine Elaine Black can be found here.