Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bambi Lynn: Living Among Medieval Manors Inspired Her


I'm so happy to welcome Bambi Lynn to Medieval Monday to share with us what compels her to turn her story-telling talents to medieval romance.

Why I Write Medieval Romance
by Bambi Lynn


My first introduction to Romance novels came from Rosemary Rogers’ Sweet Savage Love. I devoured that book again and again and any other book I could find that was like it. Imagine my thrill to discover Jude Deveraux’s Velvet series. Set in the Middle Ages, I got lost in the time period and never wanted to return. 

By then, I was living Belgium, where the shells of Medieval manors surrounded me. One of my favorites was Beersel Castle. Beersel Castle, about five miles from my house in Gages, is in ruins. The grounds were open to the public, free, and seldom visited by tourists. So naturally when I started writing my first book, I set it in that castle. I had the unique opportunity of going there any time I wanted to sit in the courtyard or one of the rooms I’d cleared of cobwebs and write my masterpiece. 

Oftentimes, I was the only one there and could explore to my heart’s content. That first book has never seen the light of day, but what fun I had writing it—not to mention all the things I learned. Now I live in Alabama. There are no Medieval castles here, but there is a park nearby that looks remarkably like Middle Earth. Luckily, I have a writing room in my barn that my fabulous husband designed and decorated to look like a room in a Medieval castle. Inspiration at its finest! I hope you enjoy reading my Medieval Romances as much as I love writing them.

Bio:
Bambi Lynn graduated from the University of Maryland European Division with bachelor’s degrees in English and History. She writes Historical and Contemporary Paranormal Romances.

Yes, Bambi is her real name.

Bambi grew up on a farm in South Georgia. Her high school was very small with a graduating class of less than 100 people. Shortly after high school, she met my wonderful husband who took her to Belgium, where a three-year tour turned into fifteen. While living in Europe, she nurtured her love of all things medieval. Bambi often gets homesick for Belgium, but with the world wide web, she’s home with the click of a mouse. She now lives with her husband and son in the deep South. When not plugging away at her keyboard, Bambi teaches World History. She loves to ride her big, black Tennessee Walker, Jamaica. She and her husband each have a Harley to go with their collection of classic cars and hot rods.

Link:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Why Does Ashley York Write Medievals?

I'm so lucky to host my good friend Ashley York today as Medieval Monday authors continue reveal what draws them to the genre.

Thanks for being here, Ashley. 

Why I Love Writing Medieval:

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




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Love Highlanders? Here's a New Book, New Series from Lane McFarland



I am thrilled to welcome my good friend Lane McFarland for a special appearance at the Book Corner today. Lane is celebrating a brand new release, TO SUPPORT A KING, the first in an exciting series called THE TURNBERRY LEGACY. You'll recall Lane's first series, the popular Daughters of Alastair Macdougall. Welcome Lane!

Thank you so much for having me today!

Tell us a little about you and your new book.
I’m a historical romance book junkie. I love to throw my imagination into years gone by, research dark periods of strife and violence, justice and quests for freedom, and dream of what it might have been like to have lived and survived during these hostile periods.
My THE TURNBERRY LEGACY series begins in October 1301, a time of unrest between Scotland and England. It has been such fun to research this period and imagine living amongst the clans. Here is a little about the series and the first book:
The Turnberry Legacy Series
At the turn of the fourteenth century, danger abounds with Scotland’s leadership in flux. Amidst rumors of King Edward reinstating John Balliol to the throne, Robert the Bruce commands his most trusted men to resurrect The Turnberry Bond, a pact specifying loyal Scots and Irish nobles band together in resistance against all adversaries. Follow the rebel warriors fighting for the rightful king of Scotland and their struggle with honor and love as their lives become intertwined with the brave women who challenge them.
To Support a King ~ Book One
Plagued by atrocities he committed against innocent victims while pursuing his father’s killers, Laird Mangus MacAndrew pledged to defend and provide for his clan. But his leadership is tested when two of his ships are attacked and his crews massacred. Desperate to fulfill his obligation to protect the clan, Mangus agrees to help reinstate The Turnberry Bond. His mission—garner support for the Bruce and avenge the deaths of his men.
The MacAndrew clan provides Catriona Butler something her Irish home could not, a safe haven. But when she receives a missive her brother is imprisoned and will be executed unless acceptable éraic can be obtained, she must return to her homeland.

Mangus agrees to take Catriona to Ireland and vows she will not become a distraction, but he longs to be near her. Catriona witnesses Mangus’s fierce anger and grows distrustful. After a life of suffering her father’s vicious temper, she is skeptical of anyone with a penchant for violence. She attempts to keep her distance, but her traitorous heart pulls her in Mangus’s direction.

With the fate of the kingdom on his shoulders, will Mangus reunite the men of The Turnberry Bond? Can he pursue vengeance against his enemies without taking more innocent lives? And can Catriona free her brother and grow to trust Mangus, staying true to her heart?

How about an Excerpt from TO SUPPORT A KING?

Catriona looked forward to the merriment of supper. On the dreariest of days, the MacAndrew clan cheered her soul and gave her a glimpse of how happy life could be.
Rather than the usual roar of conversations, loud guffaws, and shouts, a low hum permeated the crowded room. If she had to guess, she would venture to say the entire clan had assembled and were either sitting at the long trestle tables or standing, lining the walls.
Catriona leaned into Morna and whispered, “Tis most strange, the subdued atmosphere.”
“Aye. They await Mangus.”
She peered at Morna. “I donnae understand.”
“He asked the clan to gather.” The corners of her friend’s mouth drooped. “I suspect it concerns the loss of his ships and men.”
The laird’s words floated through her mind. We’ve recently suffered an attack. I cannae risk sending out my crew.
The hum quieted. Upon the raised dais, MacAndrew stood behind the table and faced the expectant clan. Morna and Catriona stopped at the back of the room in respect for the laird.
“By now ye have all heard the news about the Treasa and the Dìlseachd.”
Gasps and cries resounded.
“What whoresons did this?” Maddock’s gruff voice rose above the din.
“Kill the curs!” Glendon yelled.
Clansmen pounded the tables and everyone shouted at the same time, the roar deafening. Iver’s flushed face grimaced with his bellow. He shook his fist, the aggressive move uncharacteristic.
“Let’s go after them,” Michael shouted and nudged his brother.
Tavin, who was forever jovial, stood stoic, his arms crossing his chest. “I’m ready,” he hollered.
Laird MacAndrew held up a hand and waited until the outrage settled. Powerful legs braced apart, he crossed his arms and scanned the crowd. His gaze rested on Catriona. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Morna study her, but Catriona could not look away. Finally, he continued to consider the rest of the group.
“All ships remain ashore until I determine what happened.” He spoke in a resounding voice. “We sail tomorrow afternoon to root out the responsible curs. As I told the grieving families, I will find the hell-spawn who did this and make them pay.”
Men, women, and children jumped and shouted cheers and praise for Laird MacAndrew. His head tilted back slightly as he viewed the cheering crowd. When he sat at the table, the clan resumed the usual boisterous conversation with an occasional shout of triumph over the whoresons.
Morna tugged Catriona’s sleeve. “Come, let’s have something to eat.”
Catriona followed her friend, staying close to Morna’s back as she weaved between raucous clansmen and servants bearing trays laden with platters of roasted venison and pork. The aroma beckoned her to pinch a small piece as the women passed. Her hand rose, but she thought better of it. She felt his eyes on her.
Like a bee drawn to nectar, she glanced at the dais.
The corner of the laird’s mouth rose in the slightest smile.
She paused. Her heartbeat raced at his inspection, the rake of his regard across her body. A flush spread over her cheeks. A tightening started between her legs. Ashamed of her brazen reaction, she hurried to catch Morna. She had best leave soon lest she lose sight of her objective.
Kinnon needed her.
~~~
You work in the technical, data oriented word of IT and software programs. What made you decide to write fiction, and specifically, romance?
My background is in accounting and operation systems management. I worked as a financial systems analyst for a large corporation for many years, but left that life to sell financial software. During the day, I travel around the country giving presentations and demonstrations of my company’s solution, but at night in my hotel room, sitting on the airplane, or while waiting for my team at Starbucks you’ll find me writing.

Kathleen Woodiwiss introduced me to historical romance when I was a young teenager. I have been hooked ever since. The Flame and the Flower, The Wolf and the Dove, and Ashes in the Wind will always hold a special place in my heart.

Why did I choose romance? Because I love it! Stories run rampant through my head. I’m constantly pulling out my phone to jot down ideas for books, characters, or scenes. What a wonderful stress reliever to escape into worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings.

You are an active member of the Romance Writers of America. How has your membership influenced your writing career? Are you a member of other writing organizations?
Six years ago, I dipped my toe in the writing world with Romance Writers of America. Through that membership, I joined romance writers’ organizations Hearts Through History, Celtic Hearts, and From the Heart. I served as Treasurer of Hearts Through History for a couple years and became actively involved in the chapter. It was during that time when I joined the critique group. I met some amazing authors who have become good friends. They have helped me tremendously! I wouldn’t be writing if it wasn’t for their wonderful support and encouragement.
How did you decide to write about Medieval Scotland rather than another romance era/genre?
I like most any kind of romance novel, but my heart has always been drawn to the medieval period, particularly in Scotland, Ireland, and England. That said, I plan to write stories spanning the early Middle Ages through the American Civil War. While my 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. All my stories revolve around human struggles, sacrifices survivors are forced to make, and their resilience to live and thrive.

You’ll find my books follow different series. I love to read stories that continue through secondary characters. As a matter of fact, the books I’m currently writing branch off from my first series, The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall. Throughout Cameron, Heather, Lindsey, and Elsbeth, you will meet colorful individuals whose stories beg to be told. To Support A King tells the story of Laird Mangus MacAndrew, who was first introduced in Lindsey, and he showed up again in Elsbeth.

Escaping into a world of brawny Highland warriors and feisty lasses as they fight for independence, stories of daring pirates, raiding Vikings, and valiant knights, transports me to an era filled with strife and hardships only to be overcome by everlasting love.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Throwing my imagination into years gone by, researching dark periods of strife and violence, justice and quests for freedom, and dreaming of what it might have been like to live and survive during these hostile periods have been the most fascinating aspects of writing historical romance.

Doune Castle. photo by Lane McFarland
My Daughters of Alastair MacDougall series begins in May 1297, a time of unrest between Scotland and England. My new series, The Turnberry Legacy picks up right after Elsbeth’s story ends in 1301. It has been such fun to research this period and imagine living amongst the clans.
Readers love your strong female heroines. Tell us a bit about their personalities.
I have always admired strong women who can take care of themselves, fight for what they believe in, and who don’t give a whit about social norms. But women’s femininity and their softer side are equally important. My female heroines have a mixture of both. They are independent, but their hearts are complete with their beloved heroes.

Where can readers find you?
I love to hear from readers! Here is my email address: mcfarland.lane@gmail.com
Website:  http://lanemcfarland.com
FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/LaneMcFarlandAuthor
Twitter:  @LaneMcFarland

Where can readers find your books? Here is my author page. You’ll find my books listed on Amazon.

Thank you for sharing your debut week with us, Lane. Please come back soon.
Thank you for having me!


About the Author:

Although I’ve always loved to write, no one could’ve convinced me that someday, I would become a bestselling author. It’s truly a dream come true.

Starting out as an accountant in line with the rest of the corporate echelons struggling up the proverbial ladder, I soon realized the long nights and numerous weekends of closing books and reporting financial results no longer appealed. So, I 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. I needed a release and found that with my face buried in historical romance books, I could escape to worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings. Today, I am fortunate to have found my true passion in writing of spirited heroines and to-die-for-heroes and the romantic love stories between them.


 @LaneMcFarland @choirlady76


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Monday, May 8, 2017

All About the Author: Cathy MacRae on Medieval Monday



For the next few weeks, Medieval Monday will feature something special. Usually the Medieval Monday authors share excerpts from various of their romance novels. But now we will present a closer look at the authors, themselves. 
 
Each week, I'll feature a different author's biography and a look at why each of them (us) writes in this era. Today, I welcome Cathy MacRae.

Why I write Medieval Romance

Cathy MacRae

Romance in a Kilt

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.

Bio: 
 
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