Sunday, March 29, 2015

We all need another hero... Meet Jonathan Thornton





I love all my heroes... but Jonathan Thornton, the hero of BY THE SWORD, was my first love and we were together for a long time before BY THE SWORD was published. (You can read the story of how I came to write BY THE SWORD HERE).

I think in my mind I always pictured him as a sort of angsty loner. If he had been a contemporary hero he would dress in leathers and ride a dark motor bike... however he exists in the seventeenth century so he dons his battered and beloved wide brimmed hat and rides off on his handsome grey horse... leaving a trail of disaster in his wake!


I am writing the third book in the GUARDIANS OF THE CROWN series at the moment and it is fun revisiting him, as an older and more settled man. Watch out for EXILES' RETURN in December!

I thought it would be fun to do a "Character Interview" with my tall, dark, handsome and brooding hero of BY THE SWORD... 

Interview with Sir Jonathan Thornton Bt. at Seven Ways Hall, Worcestershire, May 1660

JT: Are we on?

AS: Let me adjust that microphone…going live…  Sir Jonathan Thornton, welcome. It’s 1660 and London is buzzing with the news that the King is to be restored to the throne. As a loyal supporter of the royalist cause how do you feel about that?

JT : Well, delighted, of course. It’s been a hard time for those of us who remained loyal to the King.

AS: In what way?

JT: Our estates have been subject to heavy fines and the continual threat of sequestration. As an outlaw, had I inherited Seven Ways on my grandfather’s death, the entire estate would have been forfeit.

AS: But didn’t your grandfather find a solution to that problem?

JT: He did. The old fox left it to my young cousin, Tom Ashley, but even the Ashley family’s parliamentary connections couldn’t entirely prevent the privations of the last few years. Of course, my marriage to his mother didn’t help much either.

AS: There were those of us who were surprised at your decision to settle down with Kate. You had, how can I put it, a wild youth?

JT: I can’t deny that I was the cause of my parent’s despair on more than one occasion. My mother , god rest her, never recovered from that troop of Parliamentary horse trampling her garden and ruining her orchard. Of course I look back now and regret that I never really made peace with my parents before they died.

AS: Any other regrets?

JT: Of course I have regrets. I’ve always had a tendency to act with my heart rather than my head and people I care about have got hurt in the process, badly hurt. Thank heavens for the wisdom of age and the love of a good woman to knock some sense into me.

AS: I presume you are talking about Kate?

JT: Of course.

AS: And how did you meet Kate?

JT: It was back in 1650... when I first saw her working in the garden at Seven Ways. I’ll never forget it. She wore an old, shabby gown and a battered straw hat. I thought I’d never seen a woman look quite so lovely. At the time I had a price on my head and no intention of falling in love. That’s what I mean about my heart ruling the head. Talk about a doomed relationship.

AS: But you managed to overcome the problems?

JT: We did, but our happiness came at a price. If you have a little time to spare, let me tell you the story….

BY THE SWORD is available now from all good ebook retailers... go to Escape Publishing for a complete list or click this link 
By The Sword (Guardians of the Crown Book 1)

From 30 March to 3 April BY THE SWORD will be ON TOUR... with a $25 Amazon gift Voucher on offer.  For a complete list of all the sites and a chance to join the Rafflecopter contest... CLICK HERE





Sunday, February 1, 2015

Be Swept Through Time With HH Author Tamara Gill



The day has finally arrived where our beautiful boxed set of time travel treasures goes live across the world. The SWEPT THROUGH TIME romance collection is sure to satisfy lovers of historical and time travel romance. Buy your copy today from all good eretailers today for only 99c!




Bridge Over Time by New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Brenda Hiatt
 
A switch in time!

Busy socialite Kathryn Monroe visits her parents in South Carolina only to find herself unexpectedly transported to 1825. Forced to step into the shoes of a near-identical ancestress, she is desperate to get back — until she falls for the very man her counterpart most wanted to avoid.

Catherine Prescott wants nothing more than freedom—from rules and from the prospect of an unwanted marriage. When she abruptly finds herself in 2013, it seems all of her dreams have come true, especially when she finds her soulmate in a man her counterpart never cared for.
 
The Tartan MP3 Player by bestselling & award winning author C.A. Szarek
 
She never believed in magic…

Claire McGowan, Scotophile and historical romance novel addict, finally saves up enough to visit Scotland. She gets sucked back to the seventeenth century while running on the beach.

He knows with certainty magic exists...
The Fae have taken his brother. Duncan MacLeod finds a bonnie naked and confused lass. He’s convinced Claire arrived in 1672 through the Faery Stones—a magical portal he’s been scouring the lands for over the past six months. Duncan promises to help Claire get home, even though his desire to have her wars with his vow.

Torn between familiarity of the present and what she wants in the past, can Claire help Duncan find his brother and get back to the future?
 
A Tumble Through Time by USA Today bestselling author Callie Hutton
 
While waiting for a hearing that will reinstate her law enforcement career, Anna Devlin, a recently jilted bounty hunter encounters a Native American woman who sends her back in time to Denton, Kansas—the year 1870.

Battling his own inner demons from the past, the last thing town marshal, Wesley Shannon, needs is an attraction to this mysterious woman with strange clothing, an odd way of speaking, and a propensity for getting into trouble.

Can Wes keep Anna out of harm’s way, or will his unwanted desire for the beguiling beauty distract him from doing his job and get them both killed?
 
Highland Sorcerer by Clover Autrey
 
Charity Greves has the gift of healing. So when a naked bleeding Highlander materializes out of the air into her kitchen, she does what any rational free-thinking herbalist under the same circumstances would do--she heals him. She didn’t expect to be drawn back to the 13th Century where a dangerous whacked-out witch holds the handsome Highlander captive. Nor is she prepared to be drawn so strongly to him that she’ll do whatever it takes to save him.

Imprisoned by the witch, Toren Limont the High Sorcerer and Protector of the Fae’s magic, uses the last of his magical reserves to go forward in time and find a healer the witch doesn’t have any influence over. He merely seeks the small respite a healing can give him in order to continue to withstand the witch’s tortures long enough for his clan and siblings to flee.

Until Charity falls with him through time as either his salvation or his entire clan’s downfall.
 
Smooch by Laura Marie Altom
 
Once upon a time in the not so distant future . . .

There was a beautiful scientist determined to capture her every dream. Money. Fame. And most importantly–finally earning her father’s respect. All Lucy Gordon must do is discover a new frog species. Then, miraculously, that frog finds her. Consumed with joy, she kisses the little guy.

And… Poof!

By magic, her frog is replaced by a wholly naked, wholly medieval, bad-boy prince claiming she's saved him from an amphibian eternity. But Lucy doesn't want a prince. She wants her frog–her dreams. At least until the prince returns her kiss with spellbinding intensity.
 
Ridgeway by Louise Clark
 
When Jaclyn Sinclair researches the Fenian Invasion of 1866, a little known incident in US and Canadian history, strange things start happening, until she is flung back in time to the day the invasion began. Taken prisoner, she is questioned by Sean O’Dell, one of the invading Fenians. Now she’s stuck in 1866, in the middle of a historical event she knows far too much about, being interrogated by one of the most gorgeous men she’s ever met….Uh-oh.
 
Defiant Surrender by bestselling author Tamara Gill
 
Unlucky in love, Maddie St. Clair hides behind an antique store and her mudlarking hobby. That is until she finds a medieval ring that throws her back to 1102 Cumberland and into the life of Lady Madeline Vincent, heiress to Norman lands and about to be married to an autocratic Baron, William Dowell, nine hundred years her senior.

Lord William Dowell protects his own. Usually, from his closest neighbor and long standing foe the Baron of Aimecourt. Forced to marry his dead enemy’s daughter, Lady Madeline, by King’s decree, he hides his growing respect for his wife behind a wanton mistress. Yet when Madeline’s life is threatened, William’s loyalty to his kin is tested by the astonishing desire that flares between them. Not to mention the love that Madeline ignites that would last an eternity. If fate will allow . . .




Happy Reading!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chivalry and Medieval Romance - Regan Walker

Medieval romance has been around for centuries. The love story of King Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere, as memorialized in Lancelot, le Chevalier de la Charrette, an Old French poem, written in the 12th century, and Wagner's composition of Tristan und Isolde are classics we never tire of. And, many of us read Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, set in 12th century England, when we were in school. It might surprise you to know that romance writing developed in Britain after the Norman Conquest and flourished right through the Middle Ages.


Why do we love to read about that time when knights battled for their king and ladies swooned at their victories? Perhaps it is the notion of chivalry, a valuing of womanhood and virtues such as truth, honor and valor. A knight who rises to duty, and the maiden who would take her place at his side. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, he describes a knight as being distinguished in truth, honor, generosity and courtesy, who is both wise and modest. A nobility of spirit, not just a nobility of title and lands.

In the eleventh century, knights were the social elite. They were the sons of wealthy landowning families, and they ruled the countryside by force. The knights who followed William to England were often younger sons, hoping to gain lands by their sword.

Knowing of the raping and pillaging that occurred in England after the Conquest, I wondered, what happened to notions of chivalry? So in doing my research for my new medieval romance, The Red Wolf’s Prize, one of the things that I wanted to look at was this question.

Since clergy played a part in knighting a man, by blessing his sword, chivalry definitely had religious aspects. However, the clergy required knights to vow to only protect the weak, such as widows, orphans, children, and of course, the church. The hundreds of knights who left Normandy with William in October of 1066 stopped at the church at Dives-sur-Mer, Normandy where they said mass before setting sail to invade England. You can see the list of knights here: http://www.robertsewell.ca/dives.html. If you’ve read The Red Wolf’s Prize, you will recognize some of the names, as they are characters in my story.
Pope Alexander III

Though the Church opposed war in general, it was forced to deal with it, in the end tolerating it, even sanctioning “righteous” wars. Hence, Pope Alexander II gave his blessing and his sanction to William’s invasion of England. But the faith of the knights whose swords the Church blessed did not, in all cases, behave as they should.

 The Code of Chivalry spoke of living one’s life not only to defend Crown and Country but to live in a manner worthy of respect and honor, to protect the innocent and to respect women. However, knights rose in the eyes of their sovereign based on how ruthless and successful they were in battle. Hence, the Red Wolf, the hero in my story, gains a reputation for being invincible while fighting at William’s side. It is not hard to see how such men might be tempted to step over the line and take advantage of the conquered. Many did. Thus, while the knights might pay respect to highborn ladies, not all of them afforded the same respect to servants, peasant women and other men’s wives, especially in the midst of war. A maiden of low birth might fear an armed knight as much or more than another man.


Beginning in the 11th Century, love became an essential part of the Code of Chivalry, expressed in social life, and literature. Knighthood became more than a matter of war and feudal dependence; it became romantic. The tournament was a main part of the lives of knights, and the laws and customs of the tournament were inseparable from the love of ladies. Much of the knight’s leisure time was spent in hunting, and the practice field, but also in music, and exercising gallantry and poetry. The chivalric literature, whether its note was that of love or of deeds of arms, shows that the laws of gallantry were as important as those of military honor.


One can hope that chivalry ultimately encouraged a nobility of spirit. In The Red Wolf’s Prize, for perhaps a different reason, the Red Wolf tolerated no acts of rape among his men, though not all of William the Conqueror’s knights behaved so nobly.

RED WOLF'S PRIZE


HE WOULD NOT BE DENIED HIS PRIZE 

Sir Renaud de Pierrepont, the Norman knight known as the Red Wolf for the beast he slayed with his bare hands, hoped to gain lands with his sword. A year after the Conquest, King William rewards his favored knight with Talisand, the lands of an English thegn slain at Hastings, and orders him to wed Lady Serena, the heiress that goes with them. 


SHE WOULD LOVE HIM AGAINST HER WILL 


Serena wants nothing to do with the fierce warrior to whom she has been unwillingly given, the knight who may have killed her father. When she learns the Red Wolf is coming to claim her, she dyes her flaxen hair brown and flees, disguised as a servant, determined to one day regain her lands. But her escape goes awry and she is brought back to live among her people, though not unnoticed by the new Norman lord. 


Deprived of his promised bride, the Red Wolf turns his attention to the comely servant girl hoping to woo her to his bed. But the wench resists, claiming she hates all Normans.
As the passion between them rises, Serena wonders, can she deny the Norman her body? Or her heart? 

About Regan Walker

As a child Regan Walker loved to write stories, particularly about adventure-loving girls, but by the time she got to college more serious pursuits took priority. One of her professors encouraged her to pursue the profession of law, which she did. Years of serving clients in private practice and several stints in high levels of government gave her a love of international travel and a feel for the demands of the “Crown” on its subjects. Hence her romance novels often involve a demanding Prince Regent who thinks of his subjects as his private talent pool.
Regan lives in San Diego with her golden retriever, Link, whom she says inspires her every day to relax and smell the roses. You can find out more about Regan on her website:  www.reganwalkerauthor.com

With The Red Wolf's Prize (Medieval Warriors Book 1) , which is set in England a few years before the Conquest. she has moved from her beloved nineteenth century to the pre Medieval period

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cover Reveal ~ SLUMBER by Cassandra Dean



The Tailor has been tasked to find the princess...
Upon decree from his king, Sebastian, Tailor to the entire kingdom of Dormiraa, embarks on the mission to fetch the Princess Thalia home, her seven year Royal Tour over. He didn't expect to find her working with clockwork and gears, encased within a coffin of glass. He did not expect the sight of her wild black hair to set his heart to pound, or the flash of her dark eyes would heat his blood. He did not expect he would want her so badly, not when he could never have her.
 
The princess must become the Queen...
Thalia has always known she must return to the capital to prepare for the throne. She did not expect her father to send the Tailor to fetch her, or that this man with his extravagant clothes and subtle cosmetics would intrigue her so well. There was something about him, something that spoke of danger and secrets, even as his wicked mouth and knowing eyes made her yearn.
 
However, not everyone desires the princess's return. When they are attacked, they can only turn to each other. Will they overcome status and secrets to discover a love for all time?
 
 
Beyond Fairytales
Fantasy Romance
Coming soon
 

Excerpt:

The discordant note of a missed strike rose from the coffin, followed by a terse mutter. By the Maiden, was the princess cursing?
 
A sudden, terrible thought occurred. Was it the princess? Surely she wouldn’t curse as if she was a dockworker Maybe his source had lied about the gear worker being the lost princess. Maybe this wasn’t her at all, and he would spend another three months trying to find the erstwhile royal.
 
No. If it killed him, this would be her. He was not going to waste any more time on this.
 
So decided, he intoned, “Princess,” in the clear, strong voice he used to quell conversation.
 
The woman in the coffin—the princess, damn his eyes—started, and a loud clang split the air, immediately followed by one of those deliciously vulgar curses. Pulling out of the coffin, she glared at him.
 
His breath strangled in his throat. Heat stormed through him, his cock hardening in his too-thin breeches.
 
Thrice-damned god, but she was arresting.
 
Wild ebony hair escaped from the band holding it back while furious black eyes pilloried him, full lips pursed in displeasure. Her worker’s clothes revealed more of her form than they should, the homespun shirt opened to the middle of her breast bone. The undyed fabric seemed too rough for such fine skin, the dull off-white hue a contrast with her dusky flesh. The brown leather harness of her trade nipped in her waist and cupped her breasts, while trousers outlined full hips and long legs, the latter encased in knee-high boots of soft brown leather capped with steel.
 
Quite insanely, he wanted to taste the damp skin revealed by her shirt.
 
“What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.
 
She had to be the princess. Only royalty could deal such a stare.
 
“Doing?” he said.
 
She folded her arms beneath her breasts. He tried not to notice how her action plumped her flesh deliciously through the leather. “Do not come into a workroom and startle a gear worker, especially if she’s wielding tools that could harm her, the object she works on, and your fat head once she recovers herself.”
 
“My apologies, Princess.” He offered his most charming smile and ignored how the darkening of her scowl made him harder. “I am the tailor, and I have been sent to fetch you home.”
 
~~~~
 
About Cassandra :
 
Cassandra Dean is a best-selling, multi-published author of historical and fantasy romance. Her latest novel, SILK & SCORN, is part of her popular Silk Series, featuring Victorian Era lawyers and their happily ever after. Her next novel, SLUMBER, will be available soon from Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales, and features Cassandra’s take on Sleeping Beauty.
 
Cassandra is proud to call South Australia her home, where she regularly cheers on her AFL football team and creates her next tale.
 
Visit Cassandra’s website at http://cassandradean.com
Join Cassandra’s mailing list at http://eepurl.com/kzesP
Follow Cassandra on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraDean
and on Twitter @authorCassDean
Contact Cassandra at cassandra@cassandradean.com