Friday, November 27, 2015

Straight Chatting From the Library: Naked by Eliza Redgold

11_2 naked VBT_TourBanner_Naked

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Eliza Redgold will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Why Lady Godiva for a book?

Not only we, the latest seed of Time,
…that in the flying of a wheel
Cry down the past, not only we, that prate
Of rights and wrongs, have loved the people well,
And loathed to see them overtax'd; but she
Did more, and underwent, and overcame,
The woman of a thousand summers back,
Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Godiva (1842)

Thanks for having me on your website. I thought I’d kick off with some Tennyson. Here’s why:

The legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry covered only by her long, flowing hair, has lasted for centuries. Her tale has been revived and romanticized over the centuries, especially during periods of change and liberation in women’s lives. It was in the Middle Ages during the age of courtly love, romance and chivalry, that Godiva’s story became legend. During this period romance was spreading like wildfire through the courts of Europe, flourishing in female-dominated courts in France like that of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter Marie of Champagne, thus giving rise to romance being dubbed ‘the first form of feminism’.

The next Godiva craze was in Victorian times when it gained vogue in the 19th century with the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers, and with poets such as Alfred, Lord Tennyson. This revival occurred just prior to the suffragette movement and even Queen Victoria was a fan – she gave a nude statue of Godiva to Prince Albert.

Today, at the ebb of second wave feminism and the turn of the tide towards the third wave, there’s renewed interest in Lady Godiva. Knowing how important Godiva has been through the ages, in NAKED I aimed to capture her as a romantic heroine and an inspiration to women. I hope I did!


11_2 naked MediaKit_BookCover_Naked We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don't know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva's ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for 'peeping Tom') and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax. Naked is an original version of Godiva's tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.


If the rider heard he made no sign. Clad in a silver helmet and armored in brown leather, he galloped under the arches, my warning ignored. His great black horse circled the courtyard, raising dust as he halted in front of the steps.

For a moment he didn’t move. Nor did I, except to tighten my fingers on the handle of my blade.

He lifted off his helmet.

A pair of piercing eyes met mine.

This is not Thurkill.

The knowledge flashed into my brain. The man in front of me was tall and strong. Many years younger than my father, perhaps thirty years of age, his face a tanned brown. His hair, tawny as an owl wing, fell to the studded collar of his armor, its leather stretched across his shoulders.

He spoke. “You are Godiva.”

Hawk high I lifted my head. “I am. Who are you? Why have you come to my lands?”

Dirt swirled in the air as his horse hoofed the ground. River deep turned his gaze as he took me in, lingering on the thick braid that fell over my shoulder to brush to my thigh.

“Well?” A flame flickered though me, hotter than fear. A flame I’d never known.

“Who are you?”


11_2 naked MediaKit_AuthorPic_NakedELIZA REDGOLD is an author, academic and unashamed romantic. She writes historical fiction (St Martin’s Press) and romance (Harlequin).

NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released internationally by St Martin’s Press New York in 2015. Her ‘Romance your Senses’ series of contemporary romances are published by Harlequin. They include Black Diamonds, Hide and Seek and Wild Flower. Eliza is also contracted to Harlequin Historical for two upcoming Victorian historical romances. Look out for Enticing Benedict Cole in November 2015.

Eliza Redgold is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.


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  1. I have enjoyed the tour and learning about your book. It sounds like a great read.

  2. Great posts, sounds like a fascinating read, thanks for sharing, I enjoyed following the tour and learning all Naked! Good Luck:

  3. This book sounds great and I would love to read it. ty.

  4. Great post, thanks for sharing the excerpt!

  5. I enjoy the book blurb, sounds really good. Entering under the name of Virginia