Medieval Monday ~ Lane McFarland

Welcome to Arduinna’s Forest, gods and goddesses. For today’s episode of #MedievalMonday, I’m thrilled to have Lane McFarland as my special guest. Lane is a southern girl living on top of a mountain in North Georgia, and she’s most happy when surrounded by family and friends. If she is not writing, you can find her hiking with her husband, or fiddling around in her flower and vegetable gardens, feeding the birds and watching black bears and deer.  She writes about spirited heroines and to-die-for-heroes and the romantic love stories between them. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, Elspeth.

Large men shrouded in darkness appeared just beyond the landing. One man stepped forward. His fur-cloaked shoulders spanned the width of the door, and his piercing dark eyes peered over a thick woolen cloth wrapped around his face. He pushed the hood from his head. Snow and ice covered him from his shaggy hair to his rugged boots, and the hilt of a sword protruded over his back, another dangling from his hip.

He’s a warrior.

Check out next week’s excerpt at Ruth Cassie’s blog!

BLURB: Elsbeth MacDougall recoils at the violent Scottish rebellion and the bleak plight of orphans. Vowing to protect the homeless, she embarks on a journey to Scone and sets her course to become a nun, sheltering children from the cruelties of war. But when Brandon McLeod arrives at the Abby, he shakes her convictions and stirs provoking emotions she buried long ago.

After English soldiers murder his family, Brandon McLeod determines a course of revenge and leads numerous clans in Scotland’s fight for freedom. Bent on the annihilation of English oppression, he is resolved to a life of solitude, vowing never to marry and chance the pain of losing loved ones again. However, that was before he met the enchanting Elsbeth.

BUY LINK:  Amazon

#MedievalMonday ~ Barbara Bettis

Greetings, gods and goddesses! We’re back with a brand new season of the #MedievalMondayHop. From now through October, our common theme will center around the hero and heroine’s first encounter. This week, my guest is Barbara Bettis. Barbara has been visiting Arduinna’s Forest since our Medieval Monday group was founded. Today she is offering us a sneak peak at her Medieval Romance, The Lady of the Forest. How fitting!!!  

“Jamie, please get my bag. I’ll see to his injuries while we wait.”

“Didn’t the lord order him killed?”

The youth was right. Sir Mortimer promised death to the man he sought. But Kate had yet to learn the offender’s crime.

“If the new master of Stonehill wants anyone dead, he can do it himself.” The words were sharper than she’d intended, and Jamie fixed her with a worried gaze.

Follow along next week at Cathy MacRae’s:  http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com/bits-n-bobs-author-blog. Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win an e-copy of The Lady of the Forest.

BLURBHe must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?

When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.

Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past catches her.

When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.

BUY LINKS:    AMAZON  TWRP

Medieval Monday ~ Mask of the Highlander

The goddess has heard the cries for more: more story, more character, more detail. More. More. More. In response, the first five stories in the Gods of the Highlands saga is going away. That’s right, as of September 1st, publication will cease. But never fear, the goddess will not stay hidden for long. Mask of the Highlander, the prequel to the series, will be re-released with 35, 000 words of new material. Included is a prologue that sheds light on why the goddess Arduinna hid Ioeannan away in the Highlands, the catalyst that sets the saga in motion. This full-length novel heralds the rebirth of of the entire series, with a new edition being released every other month between now and Summer 2018. Subscribers to my newsletter received the prologue in its entirety. Not a subscriber? You can sign up here. For now, here is a sneak peak.

The Ardennes Forest – a thousand years after the birth of the Son

Arduinna emerged from the trees for the first time in four hundred years. She had not seen Demona in at least a dozen millennia and curiosity had gotten the better of her. Why would the wife of Borvo, the god of warm springs, summon her? They were not friends, not even in the old days, when the entire pantheon had lived a carefree existence, foolishly believing humans would worship them forever. Arduinna had at first feigned disinterest but she could no more lie to herself than she could the small contingent of fairies that flitted around her like annoying little mosquitoes.

She sauntered through what remained of the village, towering over the few humans she passed. Most of them kept their eyes downcast. Others, bolder, gaped openly, waving their hands before them to make a sign that had been in existence long before it came to symbolize the sacrifice made by the Son.

She chuckled. Humans would be pagans until the end of time.

Sign up for my newsletter to read the full prologue and be entered to win an Amazon gift certificate and be one of the first to get word of the release of the NEW Mask of the Highlander.

Medieval Monday ~ Why Cathy MacRae Writes #Medieval #Romance

I am excited to have one of my oldest friends, Cathy MacRae, taking a stroll through the forest today.  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. 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. Read on to find out why she love writing Medieval Romances.

Welcome to my world of Medieval Romance! I have always been drawn to historical romance, and love re-reading some of the first books that welcomed me to that special time and place. Books by Kathleen Woodiwiss and Judith McNaught still hold much-loved places on my bookshelves right alongside more current favorites. They are a whirlwind of drama, passion, and promise, where trust is everything, and sometimes love develops in the most unusual places.

I am intrigued by history. The what-ifs and whys; the research into the actions of a few people who set the course for many. You will find often gritty history coloring the background of all of my stories.

My books in the Medieval Era are a blend of high drama and romance set against a backdrop of treachery, hardship and duty. And in a time when women were stronger than history tells us, and marriage was rarely for sigh-worthy reasons, I find it fascinating to relate stories of relationships that blossom into love.

Cathy MacRae is an Amazon best-selling author whose stories feature strong heroes and feisty heroines set in the Highlands of Scotland. Her hobbies include gardening, photography, travel and cooking. Cathy lives on the sunny side of the Arbuckle Mountains with her wonderful husband, three dogs and a cat (who runs the house), and enjoys spending time with sweet granddaughters who are the heroines of her heart.
You can find Cathy MacRae’s books on her website at http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com

Medieval Monday ~ Why Judith Sterling Writes #Medieval #Romance

I’m so excited today to have a first time visitor to the forest, Judith Sterling. Judith’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts. Here’s what she has to say about writing Medieval Romance.

Some of the first romances I read as a teen were set in medieval England.  I loved the passion of the period—the High Middle Ages (11th – 13th centuries) in particular—and the lure of the British Isles.  Ultimately, that love led to a degree in history and a minor in British Studies.Some of the first romances I read as a teen were set in medieval England.  I loved the passion of the period—the High Middle Ages (11th – 13th centuries) in particular—and the lure of the British Isles.  Ultimately, that love led to a degree in history and a minor in British Studies.

During college and grad school, I studied in England, Scotland, and Sweden.  I jumped on every opportunity to explore castles, monasteries, and other medieval buildings throughout Europe.  The older the structure, the better!  In ruin after ruin, the whispers of the past seduced me.  I hear their voices still.  With any luck, they add a magical twist to the medieval romances I feel compelled to write and give my readers a world they’ll want to enter again and again.

BIO:  Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of Judith Sterling’s medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred, the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin, will be released soon.  Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies.

Visit Judith on Facebook @judithsterlingfiction.  You can find her books at https://judithmarshallauthor.com/my-books

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