Medieval Monday ~ Why Ashley York Writes #Medieval Romance

Award-winning author Ashley York writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed. Whether it’s in the mysterious ring forts of Éire, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings, her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they all evoke strong emotional responses. Read on to find out why she loves writing Medieval Romance.

Where History takes a passionate turn says it all! My medieval stories take place in the 11th and 12th century, the High Middle Ages. I love the fact that survival was not guaranteed and life was not easy. Babies died, food was fought over, and enemies were everywhere. This lends itself to creating complex characters that live life to the fullest, seeking satisfaction in all their pursuits whether it be in warfare or love, while knowing how brief there time may be. That equals passion! The fact that they live in a Christian society adds restraint to their decisions while they struggle with the many things, seen and unseen, and their pagan past hovers over them like a storm cloud.

This is an amazing time period where universities were just coming into prominence, empires were being established, and human ingenuity was on the upswing. I write my characters without an eye toward the outcome of history. Just because we know William of Normandy will conquer the Kingdoms of England in 1066 doesn’t mean we have to act like the Saxons were ripe for an invasion. Just the opposite! Let’s extol their strength and unity and their proud, though diverse, heritage. Let’s not give the ending away!

BIO: Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.

Find all my books at: https://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/books

#MedievalMonday ~ Ashley York

Our romp through the Middle Ages continues, and this villain theme is proving to be very exciting. I mean, who doesn’t love a good villain? I’m joined this week by the sensational Ashley York. Ashley writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed. The complexity of her characters evoke strong emotional responses from the readers, whether good or evil. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Gentle Knight.

EXCERPT: Peter stared him down, unflinching. He wanted to reach down Ivan’s throat and rip his lungs up through his mouth. He wanted to rip his entrails out as well. He wanted to stab him right through his black heart.
Instead, he took Brighit’s trembling hand, placed it lightly on his forearm, and escorted her into the room. He brushed off a bench for Brighit to sit upon. “Please, rest here.”

Follow along for excerpt #8 at Ruth A. Casie’s Blog: http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

BLURB: Brighit MacNaughton is an obedient daughter following her father’s death bed decree that she take her vows and become the virginal bride of Christ. The hired men seeing her to the Priory at Tanshelf are more interested in the building resentment against the English king than her safety. But when the handsome Norman knight offers his protection against the lecherous mercenaries, he sparks her passion with his gentle touch and smoldering looks of desire, reminding her of dreams best forgotten. Can one night with him quench the intense need in her or will it cause the fire to burn out of control?

Peter of Normandy is a trusted knight of King William, sent north to subdue the unrest and rumblings of revolt at York. Giving aid to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he is quickly overcome with the need to possess her. With a body meant for a man’s pleasure and an unrelenting stubbornness to follow her father’s wishes, he struggles against giving her what she wants if it can only be for one night. Will one night of passion prove to be enough or will it unleash an insatiable need that makes him never want to let her go?

BUY LINK: Amazon

Medieval Monday ~ Ashley York

The celebration continues. The Yuletide is nigh. I’m excited to have the celebrated Ashley York join me today for Medieval Monday. Ashley writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Saxon Bride.

ashley-york EXCERPT:  John’s breath against Rowena’s neck sent a shiver down her spine. Knowing now how easily she could be distracted, she fought to keep her head. Those who’d been waiting for the new lord of the manor acknowledged him with some excitement when he entered, Rowena at his side. John accepted their respectful greetings as if he’d always been such a high ranking lord yet Joan had said he was only a knight.

“My lord,” a burly man with a ruddy complexion bowed overly long before them, causing his face to turn even redder. “Accept the greetings of a distant friend. I am Mort of Bedgrove near Aylesbury, at your service.”

“And what would that service be?” John paused beside the extravagantly dressed man. It was not a man Rowena had ever seen before. John’s mouth twitched with humor as he seemed to take in all the fine silk, silver bells and feather adornments in one glance.

The man bowed again before answering. “My lord…” Stepping closer, the man was a head shorter than John but he managed to look him directly in the face when he answered. “Whatever service that you might need.”

John’s humor fled. Rowena sensed a sudden tension between the two men. Their eyes were locked as if sizing each other up. His arm finally relaxed where her fingers lay lightly atop it. Smiling, he tipped his head in acknowledgment and continued on.

Finally reaching the far center wall, John and Rowena took their seats at the long table. It was covered with a clean cloth and adorned with small bunches of the last flowers from the garden. The scene was festive and Rowena’s own spirits seemed to lift as well. It was a time to celebrate. The long awaited lord had finally returned. There would be time later to find out what that would mean to her. For her people, it was time for celebration. A time for peace.

The meal was eaten with the new apple wine Rowena had chosen. The assortment of breads, meats and pies was plentiful. The mead and cider flowed without restraint. All seemed relaxed, happy even. At the tables grouped with eight and ten people each, there was an easy exchange as they talked amongst themselves and the noise level rose as the amount of drink increased. The Normans, however, sat off by themselves and spoke more quietly. They were soldiers after all. Rowena tried to squelch her uneasiness at this realization.

Wondering if John noticed the subdued behavior of his men, she was startled to find his gaze running over her body. Her own breath quickened. It felt as if he were actually touching her. The memory of his touch had left a lasting impression. He wet his lips before taking his goblet to his mouth, opening it right before the cold metal touched his lips. The movement along his throat as he drank mesmerized her. She found herself wanting to put her lips there, to taste him. She looked away. She could never be so bold.

Her response to his looks was quite disconcerting. She cleared her throat.”How do you find your manor after your long absence, my lord?”

John eyebrows shot up. She hadn’t meant to find fault…or maybe she did.

“I was taken aback to find you do not care for the stores and such. Is there a reason you refuse to act as is your right as my wife?”

Her mouth opened slightly at the lie. “My lord, I have been given no such leave. Your king replaced me as chatelaine on his first visit here.”

John searched her face before correcting her. “Our king.”

BLURB: Rowena Godwinson, a Saxon princess, refuses to go willingly into a forced marriage to one of King William’s most favored knights but her struggle against enemy occupation fades away in the pleasurable arms of her Norman husband. Will he bring her people to their knees in his attempt to please his liege lord? Or can she win him over to the Saxon’s side even while one of her own plots to overthrow the bastard king?

John of Normandy is a soldier made for battle, ingrained with chivalry and a deep sense of loyalty to his mentor and king. Serving his liege is reward enough. Neither a title nor a child bride will entice him to become an indolent lord. A chance encounter with an alluring beauty, however, releases all his pent up desires and unspoken needs. His young bride has become a passionate woman, tempting him beyond his endurance. Can he win her over before she learns the truth of her father’s death?

BUY LINKS:

Available in paperback and ecopy:   iTunes   Amazon   BarnesandNoble   KOBO

 

Medieval Monday ~ Ashley York

A big thank you to Ashley York for hanging out in the forest with me today for Medieval Monday. Ashley is a best selling author who writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Bruised Thistle.

ashley-yorkSeumas kept a fast pace through the night, traveling as if the devil himself were after him. His thoughts were morose, tortured by the screams of people murdered in the dark of night, a young man threatened at sword point to reveal the location of his hidden gold, Giles bending over the young girl. Atrocities no one should ever have witnessed. Atrocities he could not overcome.

By day, he rested. The memories made sleep impossible. He ate nothing and drove himself with only one thought in mind—revenge. Iseabail’s murder would be avenged.

It was near midnight when he finally saw her home. She was a woman of great wealth, and Seumas understood now why her uncle would have been so relentless in trying to acquire his brother’s estate. The castle walls were well-maintained. He would never be able to gain access. Retreating into the darkness of the woods, he pulled his tartan around him and slid down against a tree, keeping watch. His memories pressed down on him, drowning him with heavy thoughts of his revenge. The man would die slowly, in as much agony as Seumas could inflict upon him. Time became just another element, like the wind and the rain. He had lost all sense of it. Daylight came and went. And he waited.

The whinny of his horse woke him instantly. With eyes already adjusted to the dark, he scanned the road. A lone rider traveled toward him from the castle. A hiss escaped Seumas as he saw the way the man was dressed. His opulence was unmistakable.

What type of fool travels the roads at night so ripe for robbery?

Without a doubt, this pompous arse was Iseabail’s uncle.

He stayed hidden beneath the trees as the rider approached. He had worried as he planned out his revenge that he would not recognize their uncle. He almost laughed at the audacity of this man. The whoreson believed he could kill his niece, steal his brother’s lands, and go about his life as if he were a king? Tonight he would find out he was wrong. Seumas stepped out onto the path and waited to be seen.

“Hold.” Seumas held up his hand, demanding compliance.

“What is the meaning of this?” the man blustered as his horse shifted and turned at Seumas’s sudden appearance. “How dare you travel my roads in the middle of the night?”

Seumas bowed in mock respect. “M’lord, I beg yer pardon. Whose lands have I unknowingly trespassed on?”

The man tilted his head and squinted. “These are my lands. I am the MacNaughton.”

Seumas felt the air leave his lungs, to be replaced by rage. “John MacNaughton?”

“No, I am his brother, Henry.” Seumas slowly stepped toward the man, taking the horse’s reins. Henry was clearly not expecting that. “What are you up to?”

“I wish to speak to ye, sir, if ye would please dismount. I would have us speak as men.”

“What business have I with you, sir?” Henry tried to pull the horse back, away from Seumas, who held tightly and moved closer. “Why would you travel these roads at this time of night?”

“I would ask ye the same.” Seumas’s voice was barely above a whisper. “Will ye dismount?”

“I will not. Unhand my horse this instant.”

Seumas gave a sharp yank and the horse reared away, effectively unseating Henry, who fell to a heap on the ground.
Seumas stepped in closer until he towered over him, using his size to intimidate. “Ye will.”

He merely observed the man as he worked to right himself. The buffoon struggled with his cloak, mumbling and grunting as he tried to unwrap his large limbs. The horse skidded away from the bumbling oaf. The knife was a surprise. Henry pointed it at Seumas, the blade glistening even in the dark, all pretense of ineptness discarded.

He sneered. “What do you want from me? Tell me quick and I may allow you to live.”

“Are ye not the brave man?”

His sneer slipped, revealing his confusion. “What are you talking about? Get off my land.”

Seumas rounded on him, his brows arched high at the absurdity of the answer. “Yer land?”

Henry tipped his head as if assessing the true meaning of his obtuse question. Seumas sensed his bravado crumbling.

“I heard ye stole it from yer brother,” Seumas continued, standing with his arms akimbo. The man blanched. “Yea, I know quite a lot about ye.”

“What do you want with me?” Henry’s voice broke with his fear and his blade shivered in the moonlight. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Ah, Henry…” Seumas spoke as if to a child. “Ye were already in a bad way and now ye have made it even worse.”
“How so?” he said, his voice now quivering.

“Tell me.” Seumas moved in closer. The man’s dagger still trembled in his hand. “Is that the dagger ye used to run yer niece through?”

BUY LINKS: Kobo Amazon iTunes B&N

Medieval Monday ~ A Feast of Medieval Romance Authors

Do you love Medieval Romance? Ashley York has cultivated an entire group of spectacular authors who want to offer you a library of the romance fiction you crave.  Come back with us to a time where men were chivalrous and could wield a broad sword with the strength of a warrior. Here is a brief introduction to each of the Medieval Monday authors. Maybe your next favorite is among them.

Ashley YorkAshley York ~ Amazon Best Selling Author Ashley York writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed. The complexity of her characters evoke strong emotional responses from the readers, whether good or evil. The four books of the Norman Conquest series tell the tale of the fictional last Godwin bent on overthrowing King William I, finding support across northern England and as far west as Ireland. Far from the typical romance formulas, her stories are fresh and unpredictable but still finish with a satisfying HEA.

 

 

Cathy MacRaeCathy MacRae ~ Amazon best-selling author Cathy MacRae enjoys weaving tales of romance in the Highland mists. Her stories feature strong heroes and feisty heroines in pursuit of their happy-ever-afters in medieval Scotland.  When not writing, Cathy can be found curled up in a chair with a book or enjoying the outdoors with her corgis and maybe a German Shepherd or two. A member of RWA, NTRWA, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, she is currently working on another Highland romance novel and planning her next trip to Scotland.

 

 

Mary MorganMary Morgan ~ Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling—writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

 

 

Barbara BettisBarbara Bettis ~ Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archaeologist until she realized there likely would be bugs and snakes involved. And math. She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for.

 

 

 

 

Jenna JaxonJenna Jaxon ~ Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage. She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

 

 

Ruth A. Casie

Ruth A. Casie ~ Ruth A. Casie writes contemporary and historical fantasy romance for Carina Press, Harlequin and Timeless Scribes Publishing. Formerly from Brooklyn, New York, she lives in New Jersey with her very supportive husband Paul. When not writing you can find Ruth reading, cooking, doing Sudoku, or counted cross stitch. Ruth and Paul have three grown children and two grandchildren. They all thrive on spending time together. It’s certainly a lively dinner table and they wouldn’t change it for the world.

 

 

Lane McFarlandLane McFarland ~ Starting out as an accountant, Lane McFarland soon realized the long nights and numerous weekends of closing books and reporting financial results no longer appealed. So, she decided to hit the road selling financial software. Jumping from one high-pressured frying pan into the other, the stress of the road- warrior life and constant deadlines took its toll. She needed a release and found that in historical romance books, she could escape to worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings. Today, she has found her true passion in writing of spirited heroines and to-die-for-heroes and the romantic love stories between them.

Rue AllynRue Allyn ~ Author of historical and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard my first story. She studied literature for far too many years before discovering that writing stories was much more fun than writing about them. As an author, she gets to read the story before anyone else. She is happily married to her sweetheart of many, many years.

 

 

 

Bambi Lynn Head Shot 1…And Me! ~ Bambi Lynn graduated from the University of Maryland European Division with bachelor’s degrees in English and History. She writes Historical and Contemporary Paranormal Romance. What kind of Paranormal? Vampires? Werewolves? Ghosts? Her stories feature Celtic demi-gods, Highlanders with powers beyond mere humans, lost souls whose only salvation is the love of the right woman.

So check us out. You might find your next favorite author!

Medieval Monday ~ Ashley York

Happy 4th of July. Most people spend this holiday outdoors, so what better time to celebrate nature? And what better way than with a Medieval Romance? My guest this week is Ashley York. Ashley writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed. Here is an excerpt from her book, The Seventh Son.

Ashley YorkEXCERPT: The day Tisa arrived at her new home it was dark and stormy. They’d been keeping ahead of the impending rain the whole day. From the rise overlooking the sea, dark, angry clouds hugged the coastline, making it impossible to see the ocean. The sound of crashing waves pounding along the rocky shore made her stop. Her mount shifted beneath her as if wary as well. Darragh come up alongside and pointed out the little cluster of roundhouses nestled into the valley below.

“That is yer new home,” he said.

Several small buildings surrounded a larger longhouse in the center. It appeared quite peaceful despite the many barren trees no longer protecting it from the sea breezes.

“It looks peaceful.”

He snorted beside her. “Dunna be fooled. There is nothing about my father, including his clan, that is peaceful but ye’ve witnessed that yerself.”

His father had been relentless in keeping track of their whereabouts. He’d continued to impose on them, making lewd suggestions when they separated from the group at night. Tisa would almost believe she had become dulled by his comments. Almost.

“Darragh!” Aodh barked at his son. “See to the ships.”

Her husband sighed. “Father, I will see my bride settled before leaving her alone.”

Aodh laughed. A cruel laugh. The belittling laugh he often used with his son. “Afraid to leave her unprotected?”

Darragh turned to face the man that had come up behind him. “Aye, I will have her well protected before I venture off to see to yer ships.”

Aodh smiled at her. “But I’ve been so patient.”

“Then be patient about yer ships!”

Darragh took the reins of Tisa’s horse and led them both down the graceful hillside ahead of the others.

Tisa dared not breathe at this blatant show of disobedience. Once out of earshot, she whispered to her husband.
“Darragh, he is still not following.”

“I’ve shocked him into immobility.”

Blurb: Drogheda, Ireland 1075
The sixth son bears a curse as certain as the seventh son bears a blessing. When Tadhg MacNaughton’s betrothed is ripped from his arms and married to another, he believes the legend is true.

Tisa O’Brien’s life slams into a downward spiral at the news she is no longer betrothed to the love of her life but to the tanist of a warring, prideful clan with dangerous political aspirations, the Meic Lochlainn. She faces her destiny with all the strength and dignity of her Irish heritage despite dealing with a husband who resents her and meets his needs in the arms of others, fighting off the lustful advances of her father-in-law, Aodh, and longing for the husband of her heart.

Tadhg MacNaughton makes a deal with the devil to ensure the survival of his clan as he is commanded to fight for Aodh who envisions himself the new High King of Eire. Up close and personal, Tadhg must witness his true love’s marriage and remain silent even as it rips him apart. When a sinister plot to overthrow King William of England led by the exiled Leofrid Godwin and Clan Meic Lochlainn comes to light, Tadhg is faced with saving his clan or endangering his sister and her Norman husband.

An Irish beauty and a warrior betrayed, doomed in love from the start or does fate have something else in store for them?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon

Medieval Monday ~ Ashley York

The conflict continues! This week I’m joined by Ashley York. Ashley writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed.  Here is an excerpt from her new book,  The Seventh Son.

Ashley YorkEXCERPT:

What sounded like a bellow of rage brought immediate silence to all in the hall.

“Never!”

It was her father. She started toward the antechamber where the men had gone but Fergus held her fast. “Ye best not interfere.”

The men who had appeared deeply inebriated suddenly sobered, drawing their weapons, clearly unsure of where the danger lay. Doors slammed in the distance. Loud voices came closer. It was the Meic Lochlainn, not her father.

Fergus began to draw his sword but he was too late. The huge man closing in on her sank his dagger into the man’s chest without missing a step. The captain dropped to her feet.

“We need to see this consummated.” Aodh Meic Lochlainn replaced the bloodied blade and grabbed her by the arm, dragging her to the stairs.

Tisa looked behind her at Fergus, his blood spreading beneath him. She couldn’t speak. She couldn’t breathe. Her father came out of the anteroom. Darragh stood beside him.

“Father?” was all she could get out as she was dragged toward the stairs.

The crowd of strange men followed behind. She strained to find her father in the sea of heads but he was lost behind her.

“Nae. Stop. Where are ye taking me?” She pulled against the hurtful grip on her arm.

Darragh appeared on the other side of her and faced his father. “I will see to this, Father.”

“Are ye sure ye’re able to?” His words dripped with derision.

Tisa didn’t understand this interplay.

“Please,” she said. “My father.”

They continued moving to the top of the stairs.

“Release my wife!”

Darragh’s commanding tone brought a look of surprise from his father. They paused to face each other. His expression of surprise changed to one of respect. Tipping his head, he released his hold and raised his hand, palm out. Tisa rubbed at her arm.

“As ye will, my son. See to it then.” His jaw tightened, he moved in close, his eyes widened in warning. “Let. There. Be. No. Doubt!”

“None.”

BLURB:

Drogheda, Ireland 1076

The sixth son bears a curse as certain as the seventh son bears a blessing. When Tadhg MacNaughton’s betrothed is ripped from his arms and married to another, he believes the legend is true.

Tisa O’Brien’s life slams into a downward spiral at the news she is no longer betrothed to the love of her life but to the tanist of a warring, prideful clan with dangerous political aspirations, the Meic Lochlainn. She faces her destiny with all the strength and dignity of her Irish heritage despite dealing with a husband who resents her, fighting off the lustful advances of her father-in-law, Aodh, and longing for the husband of her heart.

Tadhg MacNaughton makes a deal with the devil to ensure the survival of his clan as he is commanded to fight for Aodh who envisions himself the new Brian Boru, High King of Eire. Up close and personal, Tadhg must witness his true love’s marriage and remain silent even as it rips him apart. When a sinister plot to over throw King William of England led by the exiled Leofrid Godwin and Clan Meic Lochlainn comes to light, Tadhg is faced with saving his clan or endangering his sister and her Norman husband.

An Irish beauty and a warrior betrayed, doomed in love from the start or does fate have something else in store for them?

BUY LINK:

Amazon