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Friday, July 11, 2014

{Blog Tour} THE DUEL FOR CONSUELO by Claudia H Long -- with excerpt!

Title: The Duel for Consuelo
Author: Claudia H Long
Series: Josefina's Sin, The Next Generation
Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
Publisher: Booktrope
Release Date: June 15 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Travel back in time to 1711 in colonial Mexico, where the terrors of the Inquisition are slowly receding before the tide of the Enlightenment. Not receding fast enough, though, for Consuelo. She's caught between two men, two religions, and two ruthless inquisitors who are hanging on to their lasts shreds of power.

THE DUEL FOR CONSUELO brings us to 1711 in colonial Mexico. Consuelo, an accomplished herbalist and daughter of a mayor, is privy to the darkest family secret possible while the Inquisition still holds fast to its waning dominance. Her ailing mother is a practicing "Secret Jew", descendent of Conversos, or Jews who converted in Spain at the point of a sword. Her father is desperate to prevent the discovery of this secret as it will mean certain torture and possible death of his family.
Juan Carlos Castillo, the white-blond son of wealthy landowners, has a few secrets of his own. His love for Consuelo has moved into forbidden territory, and he watches as his friend and rival, Leandro Almidon of Spain, woos Consuelo with his sharp wit and promises of social and financial security.
The times are turbulent. The Enlightenment is slowly penetrating the darkness of Spain and its colony, and new thinkers are questioning everything, from religion to science, to the mingling of the castes and races. With new thinking secrets are bared and the Inquisition makes a final grasp at power.  Consuelo finds herself fighting for her mother's life, her own future, and her right to love.

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Author Information

Claudia H. Long grew up in Mexico City and moved to the United States when she was eleven. She wrote her senior thesis at Harvard University on the feminism of Sor Juana INS De La Cruz, and revived her passion for her when she wrote Josefina's Sin. She lives and practices law in Northern California with her husband. They have two grown children. She is currently at work on her next novel, set in eighteenth century Mexico.

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Huge double doors fronted the building and one of the young men opened them, bowing her through. She took a breath and stepped across the threshold into a dark hall. Her eyes took a moment to adjust, and she made out wall hangings to the right, a set of tall windows, and an enormous staircase leading up from the left. 
A grey-haired nun sat at a desk in the front of a grand hall, just inside the door. "Good evening, Señorita Costa. Bienvenida. Abelardo will show you to your room. Abelardo!" A young man about her age approached. "Take Señorita Costa to the nuns' wing." 
He raised his eyebrows and looked her up and down insolently. "Come, sweetheart. Let's go to your new home." Consuelo stared at him. No one had ever spoken to her that way. "I don't think you will mind the nuns, they're not too bad with girls of quality. And quality is what you are." 
"Mind your words," she answered sharply. How dare he? She looked over at the nun at the desk, hoping for intercession. The old woman adjusted the monocle she was using to see the visitor's book she held in front of her, but said nothing. 
"Oh, come on, darlin'. Don't go all prim and proper on me. You mustn't have been so high and mighty when your boyfriend came around at night, huh? I can see how a piece like you could get in trouble, a long tall drink of tart lemonade!" 
Finally the nun interceded. "Abelardo, that's enough. I am sorry, Señorita. Abelardo, take Señorita Costa to the nuns' wing now, and not another word out of you." 
"Yes, sister," Abelardo said, not the least bit meekly. "This way, my lady." 
Consuelo lifted her chin and turned to follow him. They passed the tall windows, and the grand entry, open and cavernous, gave way to a smaller, stone paved hallway, with tapestries hanging on the whitewashed walls. There was a drifting aroma of candle wax and powder. They walked in silence past a set of tall double doors that stood open to a room with a pianoforte and comfortable looking chairs. "The music room," Abelardo said, gesturing to the piano. The next set of doors, even larger, was closed. "The library," Abelardo said. "More books than any one body should read." They made another turn and the appetizing smell of tortillas wafted by. Consuelo's stomach growled and she realized how hungry she was. She had consumed nothing but the cup of chocolate at the inn since breakfast. 
"Got to feed the tummy, eh? Or are you still at the upchuck phase?" "Silence, Abelardo," she said, as if to a barking dog. He laughed. "You'll get plenty to eat, that's for sure. These sisters know all about eating for two. Soon you'll be waddling down the halls, unable to find your embroidery needle under your big belly!" 
At last they came to a curtain. "Hello, good sisters!" he called. "I've got your latest sinner!" 
"Oh my goodness, Abelardo, you fool. Shut your mouth and get back to the gate. I am so sorry," said a voice on the other side of the curtain. A hand reached around and opened the drape. A tiny woman, perhaps as high as Consuelo's elbow, with a grey veil and habit, looked up at her. "Señorita Costa?" 
"Come in, my dear. Get out of here, fool!" she said to Abelardo. He winked at Consuelo and turned away. "Come in here," she repeated to Consuelo. "Ignore him, he's an absolute boor. Brought up by a footman from the era of the former Marqués. There's no dismissing him, he's a family servant, but he's a vulgar piece of work. I am sorry he was on gate duty when you arrived. But now you're here. Let's make you welcome." 

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