Here's the downloadable wallpaper that you can get off my Web site. You might be able to download it here, too, if you click on it. Not sure...
So now we return to interviews with our heroes. Today we speak with Jamie Blakewell, the hero from Carnal Gift. You gave me the questions, and I passed them along to him. If you have anything you'd like to discuss with him, go ahead an post additional questions or statements and I'll make sure he gets them.
Without further ado...
An Interview with Jamie Blakewell
Q: What did you think when you realized that Sheff was giving you an innocent woman as a sexual gift?
At first, I could not believe that he would do such a thing. One hears stories, of course, of lords who use the maids of their households in such a fashion, but one hopes such tales are merely that — stories told to horrify and amuse. Of course, I was enraged for her sake, enraged that he could take a young and innocent woman from her kin and give her over to a stranger to be used so cruelly. I thank Providence that I was his guest that not, and not another.
Q: Did Sheff show any sign of the cruel man he would become when you were both studying at Oxford?
He was never a man to show pity for the sorrows of others. His compassion was given to those most like him — nobility, gentry and his friends. He debauched more than his share of young maids in that time, earning my disapprobation on that account. But he did not yet have the & etc., which later destroyed his mind, giving him over to his basest, most cruel nature. He was my friend but because of Bríghid, he became my greatest enemy.
Q: Jamie, do you have a hard time reigning in Brígid’s Irish temper even after several years of wedded bliss? And did the children inherit it and or their mother’s Irish Accent?
Aye, my wife has a temper, but she does not show it often. When she does, I know just the way to soothe her.
Those months in Ireland were long and hard. She feared for her brothers and for herself. So much was uncertain and ever obstacle against them. We’ve three sons — Ciarán, Nicholas, and Seamus — and two little girls — Maura and Catriona — all with my wife’s dark hair. The girls have their mother’s temper and are the very likeness of her. Ciarán, I fear, has his Uncle Ruaidhrí’s temper, while Nicholas much resembles his mild-mannered Uncle Fionn, and Seamus, the youngest and my namesake, takes after his father. My wife is young yet, so there will surely be more children.
Q: Was there ever a moment that you questioned, even if only for a moment, whether or not it was truly worth converting your religion just to be with Bríghid?
Nay. Once I realized that I loved her, I never doubted that a life with Bríghid would be worth any sacrifice or travail. I worried only what consequence there might be for my family. But Virginia is far removed from the Penal Laws of Britain, and though there are many who disdain Catholics, few would dare to say so to my face, given my family’s standing. If becoming Catholic made it possible for me to take Bríghid to wife, then I was willing to become the Pope’s most loyal subject.
Q: Does your family accept your new faith and your wife?
’Tis a family tradition to marry outside the confines set by society. Alec, my brother-by-marriage, took Cassie, my sister, to wife, though she, as the daughter of a middling plantation owner and not a wealthy one, was not, as the wags of London no doubt discussed at length, of his “quality.” To be sure, my marriage to Bríghid is more unconventional than his to Cassie, and certainly the question of religion is at the heart of it. But I would not allow my new faith to become my hindrance, nor would my family stand to see me suffer on that account. They have accepted me and my wife — and my wife’s family — with open arms.
Stef had some questions for you, Jamie. She lives in France.
Should i answer in French?
Er... Nay, English will suffice (thank goodness!)
Aye, I see that. ’Twas hard for Bríghid and her brother to leave their homeland. There is no place in the world like Ireland. We've not been back. ’Twas too treacherous at first, with the matter of Sheff's death and the fire hanging over us, and then Bríghid was with child. Though she wishes to see Eire again, I'll not risk her nor any one of our children on that perilous voyage. When the little ones are older, we shall make the long voyage so that they can see the land where their ancestors once reigned as kings. Bríghid speaks only Gaelic to them, so they know the language. With Fionn and Muirin nearby, they are able to share tales of the home they all miss. And then there's the music — Irish music that all of us have come to love. So although I know my wife is homesick, she also has a home she has come to love and kin when grows weary of her Sassanach husband.