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Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Fun Friday Welcomes Lilly Gayle

Book Fun Friday Welcome's Lilly Gayle
 Come join in on a little historical romance fun from the Wild Rose Press bunch!
 Author Bio:
Lilly Gayle is a wife, mother of two grown daughters, a new grandmother, and a breast cancer
survivor. She lives in North Carolina with her husband. When not working as an x-ray technologist and mammographer, Lilly writes paranormal and historical romances. She has six books in print and is the editor of Heartline, the newsletter for her local RWA chapter, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers.

About Slightly Noble:
The book is set in a time when commoners were moving up the social ladder and The Bastardy Laws made it nearly impossible for an unwed mother to keep her child. Many were murdered outright and others were "farmed" out to older women or couples who agreed to take in unwanted children for a price. These children were often starved and neglected while others were murdered outright. One of the most famous "baby farmers" of the Victorian era was Amelia Dyer. She was also one of the most prolific serial killers in England.
For a mere five pounds, she would take in a child with the promise of finding a loving home for the infant. Often times, she would pose as the adopting mother, anxious to raise a little one as her own. The children were never placed in permanent homes, and over her thirty-year career as a "baby farmer," she is believed to have killed no less than eight and possibly as many as 400 infants.
Dyer was arrested on April 4th, 1896 for the murder of four-month-old Doris Marmon. Dyer's defense attorney tried claiming she was insane, as she had spent some time in insane asylums, but Mrs. Dyer soon confessed that Doris Marmon was not the only infant in the Thames.

“You’ll know all mine by the tape around their necks,” she said.

It took the jury just five minutes to convict her, and on June 10, 1896, Amelia Dyer was hanged at Newgate Prison.

Despite the fact that Slightly Noble is set in 1865 rather than 1896, I took some creative license using Amelia Dyer's name in the story. Since Mrs. Dyer’s career as a baby farmer spanned thirty years, she could have been actively acquiring babies as early as 1865. And despite her arrest and six month sentence occurring in 1879, I mention it in Slightly Noble because the dates were close enough to fit the sub-plot of my story. I also wanted to emphasize how dire my heroine, Abby’s, situation was since she is pregnant and unwed during a time in history when women had few choices, and Bastardy laws limited those choices even more.

Book Logline: An American privateer turned viscount weds a pregnant unwed commoner.
Tagline: American privateer, Captain Jack isn't really an American, but heir to a viscountcy, and Abby is a pregnant, unwed commoner who just might make him the perfect noble wife.

American privateer, Captain Jack isn't really an American, but heir to a viscountcy. When his father dies, he leaves everything not entailed with the estate to his worthless cousin. Jack's only hope of inheriting his mother's ancestral home and honoring her dying wish is to marry and produce an heir before his thirty-fifth birthday—in five months. And he doesn't have a single prospect.

Pregnant and unwed, Abigail Halsey is sent by her father to an Anglican convent until he can find a family to adopt his grandchild or a husband for his daughter. Abby has other plans, but they go awry when she goes into labor early and her rescuer, a pirate captain turned lord, insists on marrying her.

Is Jack too much like his jealous, unforgiving father? Can Abby overcome her fear of men and have a real marriage? Or will she never be anything more than the unwanted wife of a Slightly Noble Viscount?

She raised her chin. “I am a commoner, but as
you have guessed, my father was accepted in certain
social circles. Accepted, but not always welcomed.”

“Well, you will be welcomed now, Abby. You are
a viscountess.” His voice softened, but his eyes shone
with disappointment. Was it because he had hoped she
would confide in him? Or because she had confessed
her humble origins?

Pride stiffened her spine. “I am more than just a
viscountess. I am a wife and mother, and if I am to be a
good wife, at some point, I must act like a wife.” This
meant running a household, not living on a ship. She
did not want to argue or have him ask more questions
about her past, but she could not bear living aboard ship

He started, his expression surprised. Then a slow
smile spread over his face, and his eyes burned as if he
had a fever. He leaned over the table, his face mere
inches from hers. “A real wife sleeps in her husband’s

Abby’s breath hitched. Her pulse jumped. Oh dear!
He had taken her meaning all wrong. Heat rushed to her
cheeks, and her flesh tingled. “What I meant...That is, I
should be running your household.”

“We live on a ship.” He leaned back in his chair.
He still smiled, but it was now more humorous

She shivered, unable to suppress a brief surge of
longing. What would it be like to kiss that hard mouth?
To feel his lips pressed against hers?

Dear Lord! What is wrong with me?

YouTube Video Link:

Contact Lilly Here:

<a href="">Lilly’s Website </a>| <a href="">Blog </a>| <a href="">Facebook </a>| <a href="">Twitter </a>| <a">Amazon</a>


  1. Thanks for having me today, Celia. For those who read historical romance, do you prefer romances that contain very little history? Or do you like historical facts sprinkled throughout the book to help set the scene?

  2. I like historical facts sprinkled throughout. Didn't know about baby farmers, and have a better understanding of stories that discuss illegitimate children. Thanks for the info!

    1. I'd never heard of Baby Farmers either until I read about them in a book my daughters and husband gave me for Christmas one year. The Chronicle of Crime is filled with news clippings from some of the most notorious crimes in history. Needless to say, it's come in handy when doing historical research.

  3. What an interesting bit of history! As my mom would say, "I never knowed!" Glad we live in the times we do!

  4. Since Baby Farmers came into prominence after the time period I write in I have never delved into the history surrounding them. Great blog post, Lilly, and very informative.

  5. Excellent excerpt, Lilly. You're such an expressive writer, I felt like I was in Abby's skin.

  6. What a wonderful conversation we have going on. I'm so glad to have you Lilly on Book Fun Friday.
    To answer your question....I am not a history buff, by nature, but there are particular eras of interest. As for romance, I like the history sprinkled throughout the book but I am particularly interested in detailed settings as the characters experience them. The furnishings, the dress, the towns, the shopping, etc.

  7. Details are always more interesting when filtered through the main character/s' POV