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Book Recommendation| Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit by Carrie Hayes #historicalfiction

Title Naked Truth or Equality, the Forbidden Fruit

Author Carrie Hayes

Genre Historical Fiction

Publisher HTPH Press

Book Blurb

Following the Civil War, from Washington Heights to Washington DC, comes a true American Herstory. Filled with Intrigue, Lust and Betrayal, this is the fight for sexual rights.

“Divisiveness. Chutzpah. Seduction. Politics. Oppression. Spirituality. Gender relations. Betrayal. Healers -vs- scam artists. Fortitude. Dismay. Against-all-odds battles. Fighting the good fight. Just like the plight of humanity today, the historical and excellently well-crafted novel, NAKED TRUTH: OR EQUALITY THE FORBIDDEN FRUIT by Carrie Hayes has it all. ***** Indie Reader


Hyde Park, January 1869

Floor to ceiling books run the length of the room and are accessible by means of a ladder. Two winged chairs face the fireplace, their backs to the rest of the library, in the center of which is a round table with a large bowl of oranges. Whistling under her breath, Tennessee begins to search the Roosevelt collection and climbs a few rungs up the ladder.

“Ah, Miss Claflin, fancy you’re being a reader.” He does have the same voice as the

Commodore. She turns to face William Vanderbilt. If she descends the ladder, he will loom over and put her at a disadvantage. She descends two rungs and puts herself at his eye level.

“Yes, I always strive to learn things should the opportunity lend itself.”

“Really, to what end, pray?”

“Well, if I learn enough, perhaps I might become a writer.”

At this, he throws back his head and laughs. With some dismay, she observes it’s very much like his father’s laugh.

Wiping at his eyes and nose with his handkerchief, he answers. “Miss Claflin, are you familiar with psychology?”

“Please, enlighten me.” Tennessee smiles, noting how Cornelius Vanderbilt’s jaw is chiseled and strong, while his son William has lambchop sideburns to augment a weak chin.

“It’s a science concerned with one’s character. Once you’ve acquainted yourself with

psychology, you’ll discover that the nature of your association with my father indicates you have a licentious susceptibility. Whilst you may refrain from the expression thereof, it is nevertheless in your character and is immutable, making you forever enslaved thereof as well. A very unfortunate position from which a woman, such as yourself, might struggle to be a writer, Miss Claflin.”

“I so wish you’d call me Tennie, as your father has insisted that I do call you Billy.”

His nonsense is impossible to follow, so she says again, “Billy.”

Does he recognize her from the street outside the apothecary?

“Ah yes, Tennie.” He clears his throat. “So, as to your becoming a writer and whether my father might support you in such endeavors, I have it on good authority, he doesn’t give much thought to you doing anything other than seeing to his comfort. That’s certainly the consensus of my sisters.”

She waits for him to leave, but he makes no sign of moving, so she says, “I must continue in my search for a book. Heaven forbid someone mistake me for being an illiterate from Red Light Lizzie’s.”

She catches the faint glimmer of recognition on William Vanderbilt’s face. “Perhaps I’ll read something to do with psychology. Billy.”

Tennessee turns to face the bookcase and climbs a few rungs so her bustle will be at his eye level. She moves her backside just so, wiggling it for good measure. She looks over her shoulder at him. “Oh! Excuse me, I thought you were gone.”

Having been caught in the act, the scarlet William Vanderbilt beats a hasty retreat.

“HA!” Another male voice laughs. Oh, no, she realizes someone else had been in the room.

Slowly, she turns around. The ginger-haired man from the balloon stands up from the winged chair.

“He is such a horse’s ass!” he exclaims.

Unnerved, Tennessee wonders why her heart seems to be fluttering. The ginger haired man had not been present at lunch nor the previous day. He adds, “Well, I’ll say this. There’s nothing worse than the repressed lust of a God-fearing bully, what.”

“That’s quite true.” Tennessee descends the ladder.

“You want to write?” He hands her a large magazine. “Give this a gander.”

“I am afraid I do not know—”

“James Gordon Bennett.” He bows. Now her heart is hammering. She can sense that his is, too. She says nothing.

James Gordon Bennett straightens himself up and adds softly, “Junior.” He helps himself to an orange, then bites into it through the skin. He says, “If you want to make someone like Billy Vanderbilt feel it in the balls, just write about him. That’s how you get them.”

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Author Biography

Over the years, Carrie has tried a lot of things. She’s sold vacuum cleaners, annuities and sofas. She’s lived at the beach and she lived in Europe. She’s taught school and worked in film. For a while, she was an aspiring librarian, but she fell in love and threw her life away instead. Back in the States, she started over, and met an architect who said, “Why don’t you become a kitchen designer?” So, she did.

Eventually she designed interiors, too. And all that time, she was reading. What mattered was having something to read. Slowly, she realized her craving for books sprang from her need to know how things would turn out. Because in real life, you don’t know how things will turn out. But if you write it, you do. Naked Truth or Equality the Forbidden Fruit is her first book.

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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Aug 26, 2020

Thank you, Carrie, for sharing your book with us. It sounds like such an intriguing read. I had to thumb wrestle MR N to read/review it. lol!

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