One Knight’s Return

One Knight’s Return, a new medieval romance release from my alter-ego, Claire Delacroix, is now available.

One Knight's Return, #2 of the Rogues & Angels series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixKnight and crusader Quinn de Sayerne vowed never to return home while his villainous father drew breath. Twenty years after his departure, he is notified of his father’s death and summoned by his liege lord to claim his family holding. But his overlord has a stipulation: Quinn must wed Melissande, the beauteous heiress of neighboring Annossy. Quinn hoped to make a match based on more than mutual animosity, but he is resolved to win the heart of his lady wife, at any cost.

Melissande cannot believe that her liege lord has not only compelled her to break an old betrothal but wed her to a ruffian—and granted the seal of Annossy to him, despite her expertise. It is the dream of Quinn’s father brought to fruition, for the holdings will be merged just as he long schemed. But her overlord cannot be defied and she finds herself the chattel of this rough knight, despite her every protest.

Can Quinn win his lady’s reluctant heart? Or is he doomed to lose Melissande forever when her betrothed returns?

An earlier version of this story was published as My Lady’s Champion. What’s different? Ha. Pretty much everything – except Quinn, who I still adore. 🙂 The book has been completely revised, and there are new scenes linking the company of Rogues & Angels to the story. Tulley has a niece now, too.

Download a free sample from BookFunnel

Buy One Knight’s Return in ebook:
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Books2Read Universal Link

Buy One Knight’s Return in print:
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An Irresistible Invitation

This is the second post in our blog series behind the scenes at the Haunting of Castle Keyvnor. Today’s post is from me, writing as Claire Delacroix in this Regency romance collection.

Be sure to read the first post in this series, from Ava Stone.
The Haunting of Castle Keyvnor, a Regency romance collection

I love Regency romances. There’s something wonderful about the combination of sexual tension and witty dialogue that makes Regency romances a restorative read. When I’m writing, I never read books by other authors in the same genre or subgenre as my work-in-process—since I don’t write Regencies, Regency romance has become the romance sub-genre I read the most.

bestselling author Deborah Cooke, also writing as Claire DelacroixIt’s probably only natural that I’ve always cherished the idea of writing a Regency romance. The thing is that I wouldn’t be able to write about a duke and debutante, or a fake rake, or use many of the usual tropes featuring the ton. (I would have fun with an opinionate dowager, though.) I’m interested in the other corners of Regency society, with the underworld and the common people, with tradespeople and foreigners, with colonies and criminals, with upstairs and downstairs and the places where worlds collide. After many attempts to share my fascination with these elements with editors and many (many) story proposals that were turned down flat (sometimes with shudders of horror), I gave it up and carried on with my medieval romances.

Maybe Regency romance and I were destined to admire each other from afar, like star-crossed lovers. 🙂

The thing with indie publishing, of course, is that an author doesn’t have to build consensus to publish a book. My other love is historical romance with paranormal elements. I was told by editors that my True Love Brides series was unmarketable, as well, even though it continued the story from the Jewels of Kinfairlie. Pitting the happily-ever-afters of four siblings against the dark powers of the Fae made those books too odd for publishers. The first thing I did after I went indie was write and publish those four medieval paranormal romances. They might be odd, and they might be niche reads, but I’m quite pleased with the results. That experience made me think again about the Regency romances I wanted to write. Still, the specifics of the period were a little daunting—I admit that titles and forms of address confuse me completely and that stopped me from further story development. I knew I would need help.

So, you could say that when Ava Stone contacted me and asked if I’d like to participate in a collection of Regency novellas set in a haunted castle in Cornwall, I was ripe for the plucking. When she said my characters could be anyone I liked—and actually created a new spur of the family tree for my hero, Lucien de Roye, who has lost his title and his lands—I was nearly there. When I confessed my terror of messing up titles and forms of address, she laughed and said she’d proofread the story for me. The offer was completely irresistible and the result is Something Wicked This Way Comes. Lucien is a gambler with nothing left to lose, because he’s already wagered his soul to a demon. He had a good reason to do that, though, as he wanted to restore Sophia’s stolen legacy to her. Sophia is in hiding from an ardent suitor, the one who wanted her for her father’s fortune, but she’s not nobly born. She grew up in the Caribbean on a fictional island called St. Maurice which she’ll always consider to be home. Lucien grew up in St. Domingue, until his father lost his sugar plantation there. Both of them know more than a little about Voudo.

I hope you enjoy my first Regency romance, although it may be a little unconventional. I had a wonderful time concocting this story, and thank Ava for her corrections and suggestions.

Deborah Cooke sold her first book in 1992, a medieval romance that was published under the pseudonym Claire Delacroix. Since then, she has published over fifty romances in a wide variety of sub-genres, under the names Claire Delacroix, Claire Cross and Deborah Cooke. Her medieval romance The Beauty, part of her popular Bride Quest series, was her first book to land on the New York Times list of bestselling books. In 2009, she was the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library, and in 2012, she was honored to received the Romance Writers of America’s Mentor of the Year award. She currently writes medieval romance as Claire Delacroix, as well as paranormal romance and contemporary romance as Deborah Cooke. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, and is on the RWA Honor Roll.

You can subscribe to Deborah’s monthly newsletter here. Find her on Facebook as Deborah Cooke here, and on Facebook as Claire Delacroix here. Follow her on Twitter here and check out her boards on Pinterest here.

Or you can just scroll down and subscribe to this blog of hers. 🙂


Spellbound, a Regency romance anthology by Claire Delacroix, Jane Charles and Claudia DainSomething Wicked This Way Comes by Claire Delacroix
Seven years ago, Sophia Brisbane lost everything—her father, her brother, her family fortune—but worse, was rejected by the man she loved. She’s determined not to yearn for the past and its pleasures—until she encounters Lucien de Roye again. Although he knew Sophia could never be his own, Lucien vowed to retrieve her squandered inheritance—even wagering his very soul to a demon. When Sophia learns what he has done, no force on heaven or earth will convince her to let him pay the demon’s due, no matter what the cost to herself.

Read an excerpt from Something Wicked This Way Comes here on my website or download the entire prologue free from my online store in either EPUB or MOBI.

Spellbound goes on sale September 20. Pre-order your copy at these portals:

Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at Kobo Buy at GooglePlay

Visiting Anna Markland

Anna Markland is another Canadian author who writes medieval romance, and also another member of the Queens of Medieval Romance group on Facebook. I’m delighted to be putting my Claire Delacroix hat on today (it has a wonderful plume) to visit Anna’s blog today, to talk about the appeal of a medieval Christmas, and The Warrior’s Prize.

Here’s the permalink to my guest post.

Come on over to say hello! If you comment on my post there, you could win a signed trade paperback copy of The Warrior’s Prize.

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

A New Scottish Medieval Romance Boxed Set

Highland Heroes, a digital boxed set of Scottish medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

Given the success of our multi-author boxed set, Border Brotherhood, I thought I’d pull together another boxed set of my own Scottish medieval romances.

Be swept away by the romance and enchantment of the Scottish Highlands!

Three complete medieval Scottish romances from New York Times’ Bestselling Author Claire Delacroix. In The Beauty, part of Claire’s Bride Quest II trilogy, a maiden pledged to the convent heals the heart of a crusading knight returned home to find his legacy stolen. In The Rose Red Bride, part of Claire’s Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy, a damsel seeking adventure and romance is abducted, but only she can see the valor her captor would hide from the world. In The Warrior, part of Claire’s Rogues of Ravensmuir trilogy, a daughter considered undesirable is chosen by a dangerous knight of dark repute to be his bride, only to be haunted by dreams of their shared past.

Three wounded champions, each more honorable than he believes, each destined to be healed by a lady who steals his shielded heart.

Highland Heroes will go on sale November 24, and is available for pre-order at Amazon and KOBO. It will be available at Apple for pre-order soon, too. The pre-order is discounted for this one, so don’t miss the special price!

Interview with Ashley Klanac

As many of you know, my medieval romance The Rogue is now available in an audio edition. This was the first time one of my books had an audio edition. I found the process so interesting that I thought you might like to see behind the scenes a bit. Today, we’re lucky to have Ashley Klanac as a guest – Ashley narrated the audio edition of The Rogue. I’m sure you’ll love her performance as Ysabella as much as I do.

Hi Ashley and welcome!

DC: I was very much impressed by the complexity of an audio production. Not only did you give different voices and inflections to all of the characters, but you portrayed the change in Ysabella’s attitude over the course of the book. It’s less of a reading than a performance. How do you prepare for recording an audio book?

Ashley Klanac, narrator of the audio edition of Claire Delacroix's medieval romance, The Rogue.Thank you so much! That means a lot to me coming straight from the author. The trajectory of Ysabella’s journey had a natural build and there was a lot in the text. A lot of my preparation is getting out of my head and relying on exactly what is on the page, there is a lot already built in. For me, it was about working each sentence and punctuation for what it is. I read the text beforehand and do a lot of marking on the page. Underling certain words, highlighting dialogues so that I can keep straight who is actually speaking and cuing myself for any shifts in the dynamic of the story. I also do a lot of researching and making sure I’m pronouncing things correctly and understanding the history behind a lot of the references in the book.

DC: By the time I finished reviewing the final audio files, I was dreaming of Ysabella, speaking to me in your voice! Did you become immersed in the project as you’re working on it?

That’s such a cool question. I really did. I had a very similar experience while working on it. My inner monologue was in Ysabella’s dialect for weeks (which I loved). I was in constant evaluation of my dialect work even outside the studio because I felt the more secondhand it was for me, the more authentic it would be in the recording. She’s also such a fiercely dynamic woman and her personal experience is so potent and exciting, how could I not take her with me on occasion? I remember feeling like it was the last day of school when I completed the audio.

DC: As a writer, I find it impossible to work on multiple projects simultaneously. I need to be lost in the world of the book to write the next part of it. Can you record multiple projects, or do you need a similar focus?

I actually just started production on two new books by the same author. While I feel like I can be a master of multitasking in my life, I do feel like I have to take my work on my books one book at a time. Like in your previous question about being immersed, I want to be 100% present and really honor that character’s story that is being told and allow myself, to borrow a phrase, “to get lost”.

DC: How exactly is an audio book recorded?

I get to go to a fancy recording studio in Brooklyn, I self record and edit. Then the genius ladies and gentlemen of the production company mix and master everything at the end. I sit in one of the little booths by myself and record, it’s heaven.

DC: I saw an interview with Helena Bonham-Carter once about her role in voicing a character in an animated film. She was pregnant at the time (I think it might have been The Corpse Bride) and she commented on how much she enjoyed being able to perform without any concern for her appearance. Do you dress down to record audio? Or do you dress in a way that helps your performance?

I LOVE The Corpse Bride, HBC’s work is amazing in it. I do enjoy wearing whatever I want, especially since I audition for theatre and on-camera often and it’s wonderful to be able to do my thing without having to put much energy into my appearance! That being said, looking my best makes me feel really good so depending on my day/schedule, I’ll still put myself together. I think it informs my performance and energy which I always want to be en pointe, so I do whatever helps that. I do like to be comfy though, I like to strike a balance.

DC: Are there particular kinds of books that you prefer to record in audio?

Honestly, I just love narrating stories, but if I could choose, I really love the books that allow me to go way outside of myself and do lots of different accents and voices. The Rogue definitely satisfied that craving for me! My dream is to do cartoons and animation, so I love the stuff that is a departure from my normal voice.

DC: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I come from an awesome, loving, ambitious family who is so incredibly supportive. I’ve been an extreme extrovert since the day I was born, goofy personality and sense of humor—I devoured episodes of Saturday Night Live, stand up comedy, show tunes, and cartoons as a child. They were always applauding and encouraging me to do more.  I would hold pretend interviews on a tape recorder with various celebrities of the 90’s and random voices I would create in which I, of course, voiced all roles. I played piano as a kid but quit at 13 to play all the sports and extracurriculars that were available to me. I didn’t really fully get into performing until high school. I was into choir and things like that but it wasn’t until my sophomore year, I auditioned for Once Upon a Mattress and was cast as the Queen. I quit the softball team have had an insatiable need for performing ever since.

I studied Acting in the School of Drama at The University of Oklahoma. I had a fabulous experience there where I had the opportunity of playing some amazing female powerhouses, a few with dialects. It was there that I really feel like I dove into the nuts and bolts of voice work. My Voice and Diction professor, Rena Cook, really gave me the platform I’d always wanted to really, “geek out” over the academic side of voice work, onstage and in a recording studio.

DC: What drew you to audio books?

Hopefully I don’t sound too much like a broken record, but I just love using my voice. I have always had an affinity for it, even before I was introduced to performing. It’s probably the first thing I ever realized I was good at. The vocal work is one of the largest parts of my process when performing on stage. People’s voices, the sound, the cadence & vocal pattern—it’s the first thing I notice about a person. I feel like so much of our personalities and history is infused into our speech patterns. I love capturing it and telling stories.

DC: Do you have any new audio projects in the works?

I am currently working on The Fine Art of Being Quiet and The Maze, both written by Charity Tahmaseb.

DC: Where can people find out more about you and your recordings?

You can hear more on my website, ashleyklanac.com as well as on Brickshop Audio’s narrator page!

DC: And finally, the inevitable question for all guests on my blog. I’m an avid knitter, so I need to know – do you have any hobbies or pastimes? Could you tell us about them?

One of my favorite hobbies is boxing, I got into it about 5 years ago, dropped a lot of weight doing it, but it’s just so much fun. I’m kind of a jock at heart,  I definitely prefer team sports and group fitness over working out or running alone. Again, the extrovert in me. My other focus is on my wellness business, Access Your Health, in which I specialize in women’s health. I really believe in preventing rather than treating disease with diet, exercise, and proper supplementation. I love inspiring people (in my generation especially) to be proactive rather than reactive in regards to their health, but making it fun and enjoyable! I’ve overcome some of my own health troubles over the years with natural nutrition so it is a major passion of mine. I’m always trying to learn as much as I can! I love connecting and hearing people’s stories and finding ways to help. If that interests you as well, please feel free to contact me for a free health assessment. My contact information is on my website.

DC: Thanks Ashley for taking the time to answer my questions.

Thank you so much!

The Rogue by Claire Delacroix audio edition
If you’d like to hear Ashley’s depiction of Ysabella, please listen to the free audio sample from The Rogue, available now at Amazon, Audible and Apple.

The Frost Maiden’s Kiss

The Frost Maiden's Kiss, a medieval romance and third book in the True Love Brides series by Claire DelacroixThe Frost Maiden’s Kiss, a medieval romance and book #3 in my True Love Brides Series, is available today!

The incredible thing I realized last week was that Malcolm and Catriona’s story is my 50th full length book published. Wow. I guess I’ve been doing this for a while. 🙂

Without further ado, then, here are the deets:

She enchanted him with a kiss—but winning her love would demand all he possessed.

After eight years abroad, Malcolm returns to Scotland with a fortune, a companion even more hardened than he and a determination to restore his inherited holding. But when that companion falls into peril, Malcolm seizes the chance to repay an old debt, trading his own soul for that of his doomed comrade. Knowing his days are limited and determined to leave a legacy of merit, Malcolm rebuilds Ravensmuir with all haste, though he fears he will never have an heir.

A night of violence has left Catriona with no home and no faith in the honor of men. She expects little good from a visit to her lady’s brother, Laird of Ravensmuir, a known mercenary. But the handsome laird challenges her expectations with his courtesy, his allure—and his unexpected proposal. Knowing it is her sole chance to ensure her child’s future, Catriona dares to accept Malcolm’s hand. She soon realizes that this warrior fights a battle of his own and that she holds the key to his salvation. Little does she realize her past is in hot pursuit, seeking to destroy all she holds dear—including the laird who has thawed the frost of her reluctant heart.

Buy at Amazon Buy at All Romance eBooksBuy at iBooks kobo Buy at Createspace Buy at B&N

You can read an excerpt on the book page, right here.

The Renegade’s Heart on Sale!

The Renegade's Heart, book #1 of the True Love Brides Series of Scottish medieval romances, by Claire DelacroixAs you all know, The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, which is book #3 in my Claire Delacroix True Love Brides series of Scottish medieval romances, goes on sale Tuesday, August 26. In order to get you all caught up with the story, this weekend, the digital edition of The Renegade’s Heart, which is the first book in the same series is on sale for just 99 cents US (or equivalent) at Amazon, Apple iBooks, B&N Nook and KOBO.

August Reader Contest

Another month and another reader contest!

The Frost Maiden's Kiss, a medieval romance and third book in the True Love Brides series by Claire DelacroixYou’ve probably guessed that this month’s contest is for a signed trade paperback copy of The Frost Maiden’s Kiss, my medieval romance due out at the end of this month. For a chance to win, all you have to do is comment on this post (if you haven’t commented on this blog before, your comment will go to moderation and have to wait on me.) As usual, the contest is open internationally and, as usual, for every 25 entries, I’ll add another prize.

Good luck, everyone!

Edited to add – Wow. 105 entries meant FOUR prizes this month. Thanks to all who entered and congrats to the winners. Now, it’s time for the September reader contest!