You all know about the upcoming Christmas anthology, The Nutcracker Reimagined, but you might not know the work of all the authors involved in the project. I thought it would be fun to do some virtual introductions.
I’m Deborah Cooke and I also write historical romances as Claire Delacroix. Mostly, they’re medieval romances because that’s my favorite historical era. My characters often tell stories because I’m fascinated by why people choose one story over another. These might be folk tales or fairy tales. They also could be chansons, like those sung by the troubadours. Invariably, they reveal something about the character telling the story.
A good example of that is my medieval romance, The Beauty Bride. Rhys is a gruff warrior and an outlaw, a man who needs a bride but knows nothing about courting a woman’s favor. He thinks having a wife (and getting a son) is a simple matter of marrying a woman and consummating the marriage. Madeline, who is less than impressed that her new husband refuses to confide in her at all, soon helps Rhys to realize that it isn’t going to be that simple. Intent on convincing her to stay with him but not knowing how to charm her, Rhys tells her stories instead. Madeline quickly realizes that each story told by Rhys reveals a little bit more of his secrets. When Rhys’ past catches up with the pair, he’s determined to deal with it himself and save Madeline–by then, Madeline isn’t nearly so ready to lose the husband she’s come to love. The Beauty Bride is a free read and a good way to give my books a try.
My story in The Nutcracker Reimagined is The Mercenary’s Bride and it features another warrior and knight. Quentin was sent away from Inverfyre for defying the command of the laird himself, the Hawk of Inverfyre. I like that he couldn’t resist the temptation of teaching the laird’s daughter the arts of war, that her request trumped her father’s command. 🙂 Quentin was determined to earn the means to ask for Mhairi’s hand in marriage (he thinks a warrior maiden will suit him perfectly as a wife) but everything comes awry at the beginning of this story when he is robbed and left for dead in Spain. He blames the Hawk for his situation and vows to somehow return to Inverfyre to avenge himself and his loss. His innate honor hasn’t deserted him, though—he foils a plot to kill the Hawk’s lady wife, acting on instinct, and is invited into Inverfyre as a guest. Mhairi’s kiss dismisses the last of his bitterness, reminding him of the man he used to be—and convincing him to become that man again. He undertakes a plan to rid the forests of Inverfyre of the rebels hunting the Hawk and his kin, never imagining that he will win the sweetest prize of all. At Christmas.
The Mercenary’s Bride is book #1 of my new series of Scottish medieval romances called the Brides of Inverfyre. It will be available first in the Nutcracker collection—which will be available for just 30 days and is priced at 99 cents—along with nine other Christmas romance novellas. After that, it will be available in its own edition.
The Nutcracker Reimagined is specially priced at just 99 cents and is available for pre-order now. It will deliver on October 19 and be available only for 30 days.