Goodreads Ask-An-Author

I’m signed up for the Ask An Author feature at Goodreads, as of this week. If you have a question, pop on over and ask it. (Although most of you who visit my blog would probably just ask me here, if there was something you wanted to know.)

This link will take you to my GR author page, and you can see the Ask An Author feature in the right column. You have to have a Goodreads account to use the feature, but it’s free.

Oopsie on The Warrior’s Prize

The Warrior's Prize, a medieval romance by Claire Delacroix and book #4 in the True Love Brides SeriesAnd so, I have erred. Somehow when I was uploading the final version of The Warrior’s Prize, I managed to put it on sale at iBooks. The pre-orders began to deliver today. If you only buy books once they’re live for sale, it’s right here.

This isn’t an epic issue—it just means that you will get an early Christmas present from me!—but it does trash my beautifully synchronized release date.

Because the book has been up for pre-order at Amazon, I have limited options in making it available to you earlier than the 29th. The 21st is the soonest date, so those of you who have pre-ordered it there will have it delivered that day. Here’s the Amazon link.

The on sale date for both KOBO and All Romance eBooks is now December 21.

There was no pre-order at B&N so I’ll just go and publish it there. It will probably take a day or two to be processed and made available for sale.

The trade paperback edition is in its final proofing. It will be available from Createspace first, then will perk through to Amazon and other portals.

ARGH – and yes, Merry Christmas!

Guest Blog Post at StoryFinds

Recently, a group of writers were talking about selling content directly to readers, and I mentioned that I had opened an online store. Renee Fields at Storyfinds was intrigued and asked me to write a guest post about the store—and my reasons for setting it up—for their Insight blog.

The post is live today, so come on over and say hello. Here’s the permalink.

Reader Letter from The Warrior’s Prize

The Warrior's Prize, a medieval romance by Claire Delacroix and book #4 in the True Love Brides SeriesDear Reader;

And so we come to Elizabeth’s story, the final book in my True Love Brides series and probably the one most requested from readers. This book is a little bit different from previous linked books I’ve written: although the majority of events in this book occur after those in The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, there is some overlap. Elizabeth and Rafael’s story begins when they meet, which is right before the climax of Malcolm and Catriona’s story. I wanted the book to stand alone, though, so you’ll see some of those scenes presented again here, but done a little differently. I had a wonderful time writing Elizabeth’s story—and helping Rafael to challenge her expectations—and I hope you enjoy reading it.

This brings us to the end of The True Love Brides series, which carried on the stories of the eight siblings at Kinfairlie first introduced in The Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy. We have, however, only had the stories of seven of the brothers and sisters, a fact which many of you have noticed. It’s no spoiler to let you know that Ross is left without a partner or a true love at the end of Elizabeth’s story. We haven’t heard much from him in recent books. He has been at Inverfyre, completing his training in the service of his uncle, the Hawk of Inverfyre. If you take a peek at the family tree for Ravensmuir and Inverfyre on my website or download it from my online store, you’ll see a little bit more of what the Hawk and Aileen have been up to since the telling of their story in The Warrior. Married in 1409 (the same year as Elizabeth’s birth) they hosted a family gathering at Midsummer after their vows were exchanged. This gathering was where we first met Roland, Catherine and their eight children from Kinfairlie. Roland and the Hawk were cousins and milk-brothers (which meant they shared a wet nurse) so the Hawk’s five children with Aileen are second cousins of the family at Kinfairlie we’ve come to know so well. We’re talking a little break from the family now, to give Ross and the other children at Inverfyre a few years to grow up, then I will launch another medieval series set in the Highlands and Inverfyre. Ross won’t be the only one to have his story told in that series!

In the meantime, I wanted to return to my medieval roots, so to speak, and write a series of linked romances set during the Crusades. My first published book, The Romance of the Rose, was set in the 13th century, in France and the Latin Kingdoms, as the heroine went on a pilgrimage and the hero served with the Templars. My upcoming series, The Champions of Saint Euphemia, is set during the twelfth century, when the Latin Kingdoms were diminished by the Muslim leader Saladin. This series of medieval romances follows three knights and a squire, as they leave the Holy Land to return home to Europe, having accepted an errand from the Templars. Gaston, the hero of the first book, believed he would be a Templar for the duration of his life: he’s served fifteen years with the order when he learns that his older brother has died, making him unexpectedly heir to their family holding. He accepts a request to deliver a package to Paris for the order, believing that doing so is a trifle he can readily fulfill on the way home. Another Templar knight, Wulfgar, is ordered to accompany Gaston to defend the party en route, which was the mission of the Knights Templar. A third knight, Fergus, has completed his term of service and is returning home to Scotland to wed, as previously arranged. Gaston’s squire accompanies him, as does the lady Gaston hastily weds before his departure. The small party soon learns that Gaston has been entrusted with a treasure beyond price, and that someone—in their party or in pursuit—will stop at nothing to possess it. Each of these four stories is a medieval romance in itself and features one of the men in the company, but the mission undertaken by the knights evolves over the course of the linked books. Again, there are overlapping story elements, with some key scenes told in several points of view, but the chronology of the adventure begins in Gaston’s book and ends with the last book in the series. I’m really enjoying the challenge of writing these stories, and I hope you join me on this quest. There is an excerpt from Gaston’s book, The Crusader’s Bride, at the back of this one. The Crusader’s Bride will be available in May 2015 and there are pre-order links available now at some portals.

I am also working through the Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie books to create audio editions, with the plan of ultimately having audio available for the entire series. It’s a time-consuming process, but quite an interesting one. Right now, The Rogue and The Beauty Bride are available in audio, with The Rose Red Bride in production and The Snow White Bride and The Ballad of Rosamunde to follow. Please check my website for more details if you like audio books.

Until next time, I hope you are well and have plenty of good books to read.

All my best,

The Crusader’s Bride Cover Reveal

The Champions of Saint Euphemia is a new medieval romance series, launching in May 2015, with book #1, The Crusader’s Bride.The Crusader's Bride, first in a new series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixA company of Templar knights, chosen by the Grand Master of the Temple in Jerusalem to deliver a sealed trunk to the Temple in Paris. A group of pilgrims seeking the protection of the Templars to return home as the Muslims prepare to besiege the city. A mysterious treasure that someone will even kill to possess…

Gaston battled for duty and honor—until his new wife tempted him to fight for her love.

Gaston has had his fill of war and the Latin Kingdoms when he learns that he has inherited his father’s estate in France. He accepts one last quest for the Templars, the order he has served for fifteen years, and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he now has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage catches his eye, he believes he can see matters solved to their mutual convenience.

But Ysmaine is more than a pilgrim enduring bad luck. She has buried two husbands in rapid succession, both of whom died on her nuptial night, and believes herself cursed. Accepting the offer of this gruff knight seems doomed to result in his demise, but Gaston is dismissive of her warnings and Ysmaine finds herself quickly wed again—this time to a man who is not only vital, but determined to remain alive.

Neither of them realize that Gaston’s errand is one of peril, for the package contains the treasure of the Templars—and some soul, either in their party or pursuing it, is intent upon claiming the prize for his or her own, regardless of the cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them?

The Crusader’s Bride is available for pre-order at a discounted price at these portals:
Buy at iBooks Buy at KOBO

You can also download a free EPUB excerpt from my store (one that’s longer than the one here on the website), right here.

Knitting Christmas Ornaments

I haven’t posted much about knitting lately, even though Fridays are just for knitting posts. I’m finishing a sweater for Mr. Math and should be able to show it to you soon. This week, though, I was seduced by a quick holiday project: knitting Christmas ornaments.

Actually, you knit a covering for a styrofoam ball. The results look like this:

Knitted Christmas OrnamentsThe pattern is called Balls Up! and it’s available as a free Ravelry download. It calls fro a 7cm polystyrene or styrofoam ball, but I found some at the dollar store that were 6.3 cm. I went down a needle size and everything worked out just fine.

Mine are in the order they were knitted, from left to right. The first one is leftovers of a handpainted Collinette Jitterbug sock yarn and is just plain. There’s something about this colorway that just looks festive to me—I knit Celestine out of it a few years ago.

The second is in a loose ball of yarn which I think might be Rowan Tapestry (it has a slow graduation). I added a snowflake in purl stitches to the middle band of this one and some beads—the truth is that I should have used one or the other. The beads were hard to put on the yarn, because it’s a loosely spun single ply, although they are pretty.

The third is from ends of another color of handpainted Collinette Jitterbug sock yarn—I have a feeling this colour was called Monet—and I knit seed stitch on the central band of that one.

The fourth is in sock yarn and my only fair isle attempt with snowflakes in the middle band. My plan was to put a bead in the middle of each one, but I forgot that the bead ends up on the row below when you use the crochet hook method. Next time I’ll get it right.

I would have knit more, because they are fun, but I got distracted. I’d picked up some Crazy Zauberball sock yarn to try it in ornaments and decided I just liked it too much. The colorway is the green, #2136 Lenz (scroll down.) I cast on a pair of socks on those same needles, so they’ll be tucked into that project for a while. I think I’m going to knit knee socks with it, so I’ll need a second ball.

I’m convinced that, one of these days, I’ll knit some of the mini sweaters that are Chrismas ornaments. Here is one set of free patterns on the Berroco site and here’s another set of teeny sweaters. I think they’re so cute!

Have you ever knitted any Christmas ornaments?