Black Friday is here and we’re discussing the season with Leanna Renee Hieber’s Lord Denbury from The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart.
For Natalie Stewart, a normal life has never seemed so far away. Her only solace, Lord Jonathan Denbury, is wanted for murder. To clear his name, Denbury must return to England and assume the role of his demon doppelganger. But Natalie begins to doubt his true motives, especially as a new gentleman begins whispering in her ear. Natalie and Denbury may be able to visit each other in their dreams, but they can’t escape the darkening shadows. Amid spontaneous explosions, friends turned enemies and dangerous secrets revealed, there’s still a demon who has Natalie’s scent, and someone is trying to resurrect the ultimate evil.
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a copy of The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart.
Lord Denbury Goes Shopping
A distressingly handsome young man stares nervously at you, dear reader. Waves of black hair fall around an elegantly featured face, a mixture of hard and sensual lines. He is dressed in a beautiful black frock coat, a fine dark blue brocade vest and a light blue silk cravat that brings out the shocking, piercing blue of his eyes.
“Greetings. My name is Jonathon Whitby, Lord Denbury, and you, dear reader, may wonder why I am nervous,” the young man says in a fine, lilting, upper-class London accent. “I am nervous because today I time travel from my current year of 1880 into your present world. And while I shall remain here in New York City where I currently reside, I imagine the same city might be somewhat unrecognizable between my time and yours. I have been sent on a mission by my authoress on this retail day you call “Black Friday” to procure a gift for my best friend, actor and eccentric Nathaniel Veil, that my authoress Ms. Hieber has introduced into the next tale of my adventures, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart.
“My authoress insists that I visit her favourite store, GOTHIC RENAISSANCE, in Manhattan, saying what better place to go on Black Friday than where “Goths” like her shop? Now I don’t know what a “Goth” is, unless you mean the conquering tribe the Visigoths, or if that’s a nickname for fans of Gothic novels, but not only does she claim to be “Goth” but that Nathaniel is one too, considering he leads a tribe of delightfully eccentric kindred spirits who dress all in black and recite a good bit of Edgar Allan Poe and love a good Vampire story- here my authoress puts special stress on good and hisses something about “sparkling”.” He shrugs. “So please say a prayer for me that I’ll be deposited safely before the store’s front doors and arrive back to my timeline in one piece and bearing a gift for my best friend.”
He closes his eyes and with a pop, he is transported beneath a black awning next to a large gargoyle on 4th Avenue in Manhattan, just south of Union Square. Stepping inside, bells jingle and his ice-blue eyes widen at the assault of sensations foreign to a Victorian soul. Ms. Hieber awaits him inside and enjoys watching a Victorian English Lord see fishnet, spiked boots and vinyl for the first time.
First, Lord Denbury is taken by the bright flare of electric lights, secondly, he is overwhelmed by driving music with a dark, intense, layered, electronic sound entirely foreign to him, thirdly, shopkeepers showing fair amounts of skin, tattoos and the occasional glitter of metal on their face in a manner he’s never seen and lastly; he is utterly fascinated by the clothes.
He takes in the wide range of sporting and fine clothing, a teeming array of fierce and beautiful things throughout the store. One tall wall is taken up with what looks like ladies’ blouses and undergarments, seeing that the lengths of some of the skirts are perilously short to be considered outer-wear. Shirts, dresses and pants of marvelous fabrics the likes of which he has never seen capture his fancy. He notices a common theme, that while colour is splashed liberally throughout the store in accents and bold pieces, the base of most of the clothes is black. He recognizes that while much of the clothing is like an artist’s abstraction of things he is familiar with, his Victorian aesthetic, styles he recognizes, inspire much of the pieces in the store. This pleases him greatly.
His authoress proudly approaches the register and chats with the lovely folk who run the shop and always take very good care of her, before leading Lord Denbury into the room filled with corsets. He gulps and blushes.
“Leanna,” he murmurs. “I shouldn’t be seeing these. Undergarments.”
She explains that in this day and age she wears all hers on the outside. He stares at her in horror that changes to admiration that changes to another blush as she waggles her eyebrows at him.
She gestures to another part of the store with long flowing coats for gentlemen and they settle on a fantastic black velvet brocade piece, a grand pirate coat, for Nathaniel. “Oh how dramatic!” he exclaims. “Nathaniel will love it!”
“I know,” Leanna replies with a laugh. “I created him, darling.”
Lord Denbury turns back to you, dear reader, with a dimpled grin, he is such a gamesome, sporting soul, bobbing his head just slightly to a song that his authoress explains is a cover of a Depeche Mode classic. Stealthily he buys a beautiful floral patterned purple corset for his love, Miss Natalie Stewart, trying to do so as if no one is watching. But everyone is. And his blush is quite endearing.
Finally, after heartily thanking the staff and carrying large black bags of fine fabrics, Denbury turns again to you, dear reader, and strides towards the door.
“If you come to New York City,” he offers congenially, “do come to our favourite store. And on Black Friday I hope you’ll hug a local Goth. I also can’t wait for you to meet my best friend Nathaniel and all his Gothic followers in the next installment of the Magic Most Foul saga. Cheers!”
Lord Denbury and his authoress wave to you, dear reader, and hope you’ll enjoy their tales as much as they’ve enjoyed time-traveling with you.
Meet Leanna Renee Hieber!
Author, actress and playwright, Leanna grew up in rural Ohio, graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She adapted 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have been produced around the country. She is a 4 time Prism Award winner for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy, or Paranormal Romance. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, first in the “Strangely Beautiful” saga won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book) and is currently in development as a musical theatre production. Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, begins a Gothic paranormal saga set in 1880 New York City is a finalist in the 2012 Daphne du Maurier awards for excellence in Mystery/Romantic Suspense. The sequel, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, has recently released and she is currently working on her new Gaslamp Fantasy saga for Tor/Macmillan, THE ETERNA FILES, coming 2014. A character from THE ETERNA FILES is featured in her short story included in QUEEN VICTORIA’S BOOK OF SPELLS (Tor, 3/13)
Want to purchase Leanna’s novels?
Magic Most Foul
Please help spread the word: Tweet: Celebrate the madness with 32 authors while #giveaways ensue during #BlackFriday (Nov23-Dec24) http://tinyurl.com/LEBlackFriday2012 #paranormal #fantasy
Thank you Leanna for taking part in Literary Escapism’s Black Friday!
Leanna is giving away a copy of The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: What store would you take Lord Denbury to upon his visit to 2012 in order to buy a gift for Nathaniel? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered. (US/CA only)
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
All Black Friday contests will remain open until December 31st at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have. Have you checked out the other Black Friday contests yet? Check out the Master List to see all the Black Friday giveaways
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.