The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple is the kind of book that just needed to be written, despite our already tight schedule. The idea first came to us when we watched a documentary about highwaymen, but we promised ourselves to wait. And then we went to Cornwall for a month, and initial plans collapsed. As we walked through the woods, watching the lush nature and the old stone cottages peppered on both sides of a valley where we were staying, the characters and story steadily came to us. Our aim was to write a historical book that provides as much excitement as readers learned to expect from our contemporary romance.
RELEASE DATE: 7th February 2017
If you want to see our inspiration photos for this book, check out the ‘Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple’ Pinterest board: https://uk.pinterest.com/KAMerikan/the-black-sheep-and-the-rotten-apple/
The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple is our baby. It’s been a year since we started working on this book, and to celebrate its release, we’re organizing a quiz for readers who follow The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple blog tour. Answers to all questions will be provided in the blog posts, and we will then randomly pick the lucky winners. You can win:
- a signed paperback of The Black Sheep and the Rotten Apple + a selection of Cornish treats (main prize – for one person)
- 3 ebooks of choice from our backlist + a surprise treat from Cornwall (will go to 3 more people)
For a chance to win, follow the instructions in blog posts and solve the quiz, which will be published on our website on 1st February 2017. Please, send answers to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Black Sheep Quiz’ in the subject line of the email.
Winners will be randomly chosen from readers who sent us correct answers by 17th February 2017.
“How does one start a relationship with another man when it is forbidden?”
“One needs to decide that the other man is worth dying for.”
Sir Evan Penhart. Baronet. Highwayman. Scoundrel.
Julian Reece. Writer. Wastrel. Penniless.
No one forces Julian Reece to marry. Not his father, not his brother. No one.
When he is thrust into a carriage heading for London to meet his future bride, his way out comes in the form of an imposing highwayman, riding a horse as black as night. Julian makes a deal with the criminal, but what he doesn’t expect is that despite the title of baronet, the robber turns out to be no gentleman.
Sir Evan Penhart is pushed into crime out of desperation, but the pact with a pretty, young merchant’s son turns out to have disastrous consequences. Not only is Evan left broke, but worse yet, Julian opens up a Pandora’s box of passions that are dark, needy, and too wild to tame. With no way to lock them back in, rash decisions and greedy desire lead to a tide that wrecks everything in its way.
But Julian might actually like all the sinful, carnal passion unleashed on him. How can he admit this though, even to himself, when a taste of the forbidden fruit could have him end up with a noose around his neck? And with highway robbery being a hanging offense and the local constable on their back, Julian could lose Evan before he can decide anything about the nature of his desires.
Length: ~140,000 words (standalone novel)
Genre: Dark romance, historical
Julian had no choice but to look at Evan undressing in front of the bathtub. After all, for some inexplicable reason Evan demanded they use only one room out of the many that the manor surely consisted of. Taking baths in one’s bedroom was nothing out of the ordinary, but with all the other furniture piled up in the same location, hardly any walking space remained. Julian had visited houses of the less fortunate in the past, but their cottages, so much smaller than this single room, only contained necessities when Evan kept his brother’s things that he never used.
And since Evan would bathe here, where else was Julian to look if they talked every now and then? Nothing odd about a fellow seeing another naked. Nothing genteel about it either, but Evan was a barbarian anyway.
Last night, Julian hadn’t seen all that much of Evan, but now that his host removed the tar-stained clothes, the planes of his broad, strong back and thick, steady thighs were a testament to the man’s strength, the same that allowed him to handle Julian with such ease.
Julian browsed through the trunk full of Peter’s unused clothes, but as he was touching the fabrics, his gaze kept straying across the room, where Evan stood in front of the fireplace in his naked glory. The flames made the copper sides of the tub turn into liquid fire, so unlike the tan skin of Evan’s shoulders, which only absorbed the hot blaze.
Julian swallowed, touching silk breeches against his face when Evan chose to step into the hot water. There was something casual about his nakedness, yet nothing ordinary. When he stood inside the tub, chest gleaming with dark hair, legs slightly spread and presenting all of his flesh without an ounce of shyness, Julian found himself captivated by the uninhibited nature of the display.
Evan let out a long breath once he sat in the water, and Julian regretted that the herculean body wasn’t on show anymore. Maybe it was the harmonious way Evan was built that made it so pleasant for the eyes. Even the gooseflesh that dotted Evan’s skin from the chill could not mar his beauty. As a lover of antiquity, Julian always found enjoyment in admiring the handiwork of classical artists and their love for perfect bodies, so why would appreciating Evan’s physique be so different? As all things, the man was the work of God and Nature.
“You surprise me,” Julian said, slowly opening the button at the top of his banyan. Evan looked his way, and as he stretched inside the tub, the lower part of his arm gleamed with wetness, beckoning Julian to stare. “It’s almost as if nakedness is your natural state. Maybe you did play with the fairies in your younger years.”
Evan stalled, but his intense gaze settled on Julian, even more fiery with the blaze behind him. “Nakedness is everyone’s natural state.”
Julian smiled, approaching the bed with a whole bundle of Peter’s clothes, but his eyes were firmly trained on Evan. It was a thrill to see him watching Julian back. “You are so very right. I reckon the modern man forgot all about it.”
K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.
They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.
More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:
K.A. Merikan’s author page: http://kamerikan.com
02/01 THE QUIZ
02/06 We Three Queens
02/07 Boy Meets Boy Reviews
02/08 Prism Book Alliance
02/09 The Novel Approach
02/09 Joyfully Jay
02/10 The Zipper Rippers
02/10 The Book Bella
02/11 Divine Magazine
02/12 Bayou Book Junkie