Medieval Monday ~ Why Mary Morgan Writes Medieval Romance

Happy Memorial Day! School is out, and I’m looking forward to spending the summer being a writer. So it’s fitting that today I’m hosting one of my best friends, fellow writer Mary Morgan. 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. Read further to hear the journey that led her to writing romances set in the Middle Ages.

I’ve often been asked this question, “Why Medieval romance? Why not Regency, Victorian, or Western?” In truth, I love them all, but my heart belongs to one. It started when my fingers opened a book about the great Irish King, Brian Boru (941-1014A.D.). His story is legendary, especially with the people of Ireland. King Brian led the Irish to the peak of their Golden Age—from poetry, arts, saints, and scholars. A spark ignited within my soul for more.

I sought out tales of knights in shining armor and folk heroes, delving into a life teeming with richness, though at times harsh and violent. Yet, it wasn’t until I devoured the history of Brian Boru that I became immersed in medieval life. From there, I treasured tales of life in castles, traveling on horseback, studying foods and herbs. My list is endless and always growing on medieval ways. Yes, there are even days when I long to travel back in time and explore the history, lore, and beliefs.

Therefore, when it came time to pen my own stories, it only made sense for me to place them all in a medieval setting. One might say I live vicariously through my characters. It’s a love affair with all things medieval.

For more about my stories, please visit my book page: http://www.marymorganauthor.com/books

Bio: Award-winning 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.

Medieval Monday ~ Why Barbara Bettis Writes Medieval Romance

My guest today for Medieval Monday is award-winning author Barbara Bettis. Barbara 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. Read along to find out why she loves writing Medieval Romance.

I’m not sure what calls to me so strongly from the Middle Ages, but whatever it is, has done so my entire life. I think it may be rooted in the stories I devoured when I first started reading. Myths, folk stories from different cultures, tales of Knights of the Round Table, they all captured my imagination. It was a different, fascinating world where anything was possible—in theory. Throughout school, history was a favorite subject, and I loved to delve into the events—and lives of the people—of the past.

As I did so, I recognized that the knightly tales of derring do from my childhood were set amidst times of turmoil, deprivation of the many and reward of the few. I usually root for the underdog, so when my studies introduced me to mercenaries and the bad reputation many of them enjoyed (and they probably did enjoy them), I immediately thought, “But they all must not have been bad. What of the ones who fought to better themselves and didn’t practice cruelty?”

Life was not easy for most people. In the eyes of society at that time, bettering oneself usually meant acquiring land. Few folks had the means or opportunity to do so. Later in the Medieval period, landed-society’s restrictions didn’t allow for commoners to aspire to knighthood, except for very limited exceptions. But in the earlier days, it wasn’t all that unusual for a commoner to rise by reason of bravery, strength, and audacity. All but one of my stories have featured such mercenaries who strive to better themselves by acquiring power and land.

All my stories feature strong women, not at all the norm of the period. Yet discoveries tell us there were more strong women than we realize, although most of them were wed or in the church. I imbue my heroines with strength of character given the times in which they lived.

I love creating the stories of strong heroines we women would like to be and of heroes we’d love to live for.

Bio: Barbara Bettis grew up in the rural Midwest, where reading was a reward for chores well done. So you can bet she did her chores well—and fast. She loved history and English. She’d intended to major in English, but when she arrived at her small, Liberal Arts college, one of the European history professors was on a Rhodes Scholarship. Once she met the English professors, she defected.

Thus, she received her BA in English with a strong minor in history and her Master’s in English. After working as a newspaper reporter and editor, Barb returned to college and taught English and journalism, later earning a doctorate in Higher Education with an emphasis in journalism.

After her husband died, some former students lured her into their critique group, where she began writing fiction. A trip to Scotland and England solidified her love of the Isles (the small tour group set up a ‘Barb’s Castle Alert’ on their train journeys). Her earlier fascination with the Middle Ages led her into her medieval stories, where she’s been roaming around ever since.

Now that she’s retired from teaching, her ambition is to write an angst-ridden, tortured hero set in the High Middle Ages, but somehow her guys end up with inappropriate senses of humor. Perhaps in the future…. www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com

Medieval Monday ~ Ruth A. Casie

We’re nearing the end of our Medieval Villain Hop. Only two episodes to go. Next week, we’ll be featuring our own books, so today is my final guest, at least for a few weeks. Please welcome Ruth A. Casie. Ruth is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Highlander’s English Woman.

EXCERPT: In a close clinch, Bryce muttered for Jamie’s ear only. Jamie pushed his tormentor away. Years of restraint from insults and attacks disappeared with the maliciously whispered words.

Bryce threw his punch. Jamie caught the left jab in his palm mid-strike. Alarm and panic flashed in Bryce’s eyes. The bully stared at Jamie’s hand holding his fist.

Jamie almost tore Bryce’s arm out of its socket as he pushed it aside and set his stance, one foot in front of the other.

For a moment Jamie thought to stop the madness, but the idea quickly died. Bryce had no idea what he let loose.

Follow along with excerpt #13 and the conclusion of this excerpt from THE HIGHLANDER’S ENGLISH WOMAN by Ruth A. Casie at her blog, www.RuthACasie.com.

BLURB: Laura Reynolds is in love with her long-time friend, Jamie Maxwell Collins. She adores his playful sense of humor, caring nature as well as his strong sense of family and honor.

Jamie lives across the border in Scotland. Outwardly carefree, he hides a dark secret. He can’t involve Laura in this deception. He can’t give her hope for a future together.

Laura stumbles upon Jamie’s secret. In her heart of hearts she knows Jamie is innocent. Their relationship in tatters and with no hope of reconciliation, she plays a deadly game to exonerate Jamie, she agrees to a political marriage. She has no idea the entire game has been orchestrated by her future husband, Jamie’s greatest enemy.

BUY LINKS:   Amazon

Medieval Monday ~ Cathy MacRae

I was there the day Cathy MacRae got “The Call”. It was an exciting day, to be sure. And how lucky are we that a publisher finally recognized this great talent and put her wonderful Medieval stories into print for all of us to enjoy! Cathy 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. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Highlander’s French Bride.

EXCERPT: “She has my nose and eyes, oui. But her dark hair comes from her father.”

“Raul,” Melisende asserted.

Lucienne slanted her sister a look. “Non. From your oh-so-sweet husband.”

Melisende’s gaze bounced from Lucienne back to the child. Lucienne’s parting words so many years ago loosed themselves from the depths of her mind. What do you think went on whilst he slept in our house—only me and him? He would be unable to look you in the eye if you knew everything that happened.

She shook her head. Non! It is impossible to think of it! He has already assured me there was nothing between himself and Lucienne. But her heart grew cold in her breast.

Follow along for the next excerpt on Ruth A. Casie’s Medieval Monday blog April 24!

BLURB: Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his worth by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the atrocities visited by fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.

Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.

Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover nothing more than a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon

#MedievalMonday ~ Mary Morgan

I’ve made some wonderful friends since I hooked up with this fabulous group of Medieval Romance Writers. Today I’m visited by an author who is near and dear to my heart, Mary Morgan.  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. Here is an excerpt from one of my all-time favorite books, Dragon Knight’s Shield.

EXCERPT: “Stop!” shrieked Lachlan. “She will die if ye take another step. Drop your weapons and kneel on the ground.”

Angus had no choice, so he dropped to the ground. “Do as he commands,” he ordered his brothers. The blood pounded in his head, watching as tears slipped down Deirdre’s face. Did he not swear to protect her? Where was his honor, as the stench of fire filled his being and Lachlan’s words continued to mock him?

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog with my excerpt #9 http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

BLURB: Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him.

Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.

Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon Barnes Noble Kobo Apple iBooks

Medieval Monday ~ Lane McFarland

Our villain theme continues. This week, Lane McFarland is joining me to celebrate Medieval Monday. Lane writes historical romance, spanning the early Middle Ages through the American Civil War. While her books are fiction, each one is based on historical facts, and you will often see known figures such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, or The Red Comyn make guest appearances. Her books revolve around human struggles, sacrifices survivors are forced to make, and their resilience to live and thrive. Here is an excerpt from her book, Lindsey.

Lane McFarlandEXCERPT: Nerves stretched taut, sweat dribbled down her temples. She prayed the moisture didn’t cause the ash-paste that disguised her face to slide onto the bodice of her scratchy woolen gown. However uncomfortable, she wanted the soldiers to be put off by her ungainly appearance.

She peered over the railing and let her eyes adjust to the dim light at the bottom of the stairs. Ominous looking corridors ran in four directions like spokes of a wheel, with three English soldiers positioned in the center, huddled around a wooden crate.

One guard threw down several cards on the makeshift table and roared while slapping the soldier next to him on the back.

Another tossed his cards on the discarded pile. “I’m out.”

A high-pitched scream followed by agonized moans sent chills slithering down her spine. What evils did the darkened corridors hold? An urge to run back up the stairs and escape the nightmarish scene nearly overcame her. Instead, she inhaled a fortifying breath and took another step down.

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog with excerpt #3 http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

BLURBThe Daughters of Alastair MacDougall Series ~ Set in late thirteenth century Scotland, this series tells the stories of Laird Alastair MacDougall’s four independent and oftentimes, headstrong daughters coming of age in a country fraught with war and feuds amongst rival clans. Follow his daughters as their lives become intertwined with four fierce, rebel highland warriors bent on eradicating the English soldiers from their homeland.

Lindsey ~ Who said life was fair? Certainly not Lindsey MacDougall. She rebels at a world dominated by men. Dressed in lad’s clothing, she manages her father’s stables, caring for, breeding and selling horses. Unwavering on performing her duty to the rebellion, Lindsey throws caution to the wind and secretly delivers missives behind enemy lines to the Scottish warriors.

Logan Ross uses his happy-go-lucky smile to warm the hearts of many willing lasses, but it also masks his pain—the pain of his birth. As a bastard son, he is unacceptable for any Laird’s daughter, including the spirited Lindsey MacDougall. However, she haunts his dreams. Determined to prove his worth, he throws himself into the middle of the rebellion, leading men into mortal danger.

After helping Logan escape from a brutal English dungeon, Lindsey fights her traitorous attraction to the virile highland warrior, vowing never to lose her heart to any man.

BUY LINK: Amazon

Medieval Monday ~ Lucan

We have a new theme and a new format for Medieval Monday. For the next few months, you’ll be treated to ongoing excerpts as you hop from one blog to another each week. Each of the Medieval Monday authors will post their excerpts today, then introduce you to some new authors in the posts that follow. If you’d like to get a glimpse (and a head start) on each of these fabulous Medieval Romances, you can follow the links at the bottom. Here is the first installment of my excerpt from Lucan.

Lucan_200x300EXCERPT: These men looked different than the others. Darker, more sinister. Power radiated from them that had been absent in the first wave of attackers. One of them looked familiar.

Lucan drew his brows together, confusion making him hesitate. “Fergus?” he breathed. He looked like Angus’ brother, but younger. “I saw ye die, by my own hand.”

This version of Fergus grinned, a gesture so purely evil, Màili gasped behind him. “Demon spawn,” she murmured.

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog with excerpt #2 http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

BLURB: Neala Comyn, wife of a powerful laird, wants to end the pain and suffering of an abusive marriage. She is a woman without hope, believing God has forsaken her. When she is kidnapped by a rival laird who claims to be a god himself, her faith is further shaken. Could Lucan Munro be the salvation she has prayed for? Or will her sins condemn her to eternal damnation?

Lucan Munro, has the power of a Celtic god. He can conjure his heart’s desire from thin air. But can he save the woman he loves from a demon hell-bent on claiming her soul?

BUY LINKSClick Here

Check out all the Medieval Monday authors:

Lane McFarland ~ Rue Allyn ~ Sherry Ewing ~ Jenna Jaxon ~ Elisabeth Hobbes ~ Ashley York ~ Mary Morgan ~ Barbara Bettis ~ Laurel O’Donnell ~ Cathy MacRae ~ Ruth A. Casie