Revisiting Ravensmuir and Kinfairlie

The Runaway Bride, book #2 of the Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixOver the past few days, I’ve embarked on an unexpected adventure. I’ve been working on a series bible (or world guide) for Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie and Inverfyre. The plan was to compile what I’ve said about these places and characters before writing Ross’s book (The Runaway Bride) to make sure I don’t forget any important details. There are a LOT of details and it’s a much bigger exercise than anticipated. (I should have expected that, given how many books are set in that world, but there you go.)

The thing is that as I’ve been compiling details, I’ve found little gaps in the overall narrative. For example, in The Rogue, Ravensmuir is empty except for Ada and Arnulf when Ysabella arrives with Mavella, Tynan and Fitz. (Well, Merlyn is hiding there, but there are no more servants.) By the end of the book, Ada leaves, Berthe has arrived and Berthe’s parents come to be Merlyn’s seneschal and housekeeper. There’s no mention of men-at-arms or mercenaries hired to defend the keep, much less a captain of the guard. There needs to be one, and Berthe needs an HEA. In The Warrior, the Hawk has a company of loyal warriors and friends who follow him and aid in his quest. Where did he find them? I’m going to guess that he found some of them at Ravensmuir, in service to his uncle.

The Rogue, #1 of the Rogues of Ravensmuir series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixSimilarly, by the end of The Rogue, Mavella has married her true love Alasdair, who is Kinfairlie’s miller. Alasdair has adopted his cousin’s fifth son to give that boy a legacy and to give himself an heir. On the downloadable family tree, Mavella and Alasdair are listed as having five unnamed children, the oldest of which is a girl. I left off the cousin’s son, since he isn’t their child. The next time we hear of Kinfairlie’s miller is in The Snow White Bride, when the current miller’s son, Mathew, is encouraged by Alexander to court shy Ceara. Who is that miller? I think he must be Alasdair’s youngest son, which means I need to figure out what happened to the other ones, as well as name some peeps.

The Rose Red Bride, #2 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire DelacroixIn The Rose Red Bride, Alexander tells his sisters the story of the maiden who disappeared through the portal to the realm of the Fae, the one whose Fae suitor left behind a red rose made of ice as her bride price. This maiden was the beautiful daughter of the castellan who managed Kinfairlie keep after it was rebuilt by Merlyn and Ysabella but before Roland and Catherine took command of it. Anthony, the castellan at the beginning of The Beauty Bride is an older gentleman. Could this have been his daughter? What was her story? Where did she go and why? I always intended to write this story, but it’s been pushed aside for a while.

There’s also the story of Roland and Catherine. While we learn in The Beauty Bride that they drowned in 1420 in a shipwreck, they were still married for 25 years and had 8 children. I’m thinking they had a good marriage—plus they inspired a desire to marry for love in their daughters. Theirs must have been a love match. When and where did they meet? We know that Roland and the Hawk of Inverfyre were milk-brothers—when and where did that happen? Merlyn and Ysabella must have journeyed to Sicily, where Gawain and Eglantine were living after the siege of Inverfyre and where the Hawk was born. They must have gone during Ysabella’s second pregnancy or shortly thereafter, which makes sense given that Merlyn continued his trade in textiles from the east. I want to write Catherine and Roland’s story, too.

I haven’t even looked at the True Love Brides series, yet.

I’ve started Berthe’s story. My thinking is that these will be novellas or short stories, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t tend to write short and I know you all prefer longer stories anyway. I’m going to call this collection Kinfairlie Tales. You’ll find a page for it under the Ravensmuir tab, after the Brides of Inverfyre.

And here’s my question for you today: would you be interested in the world guide for Ravensmuir, Kinfairlie and Inverfyre? I’ll be compiling it for my own reference, but could publish it as well. What do you think?

The Crusader’s Bride is free

The Crusader's Bride, #1 of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThe Crusader’s Bride is free from today through the 26th at Amazon. The entire Champions of St. Euphemia series is enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a subscriber, you can continue the adventure free.

This book is also available in audio, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, and the audiobook is in wide distribution. There are links below, as well as an audio sample.

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

When the Templar knight Gaston learns that he has inherited his father’s estate in France, he accepts one last quest for the order and agrees to deliver a package to Paris on his way home. A practical man, Gaston knows he has need of a wife and an heir, so when a lovely widowed noblewoman on pilgrimage snares his gaze, 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 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 survive.

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 at any cost. In a company of strangers with secrets, do they dare to trust each other and the love that dawns between them?

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The Crusader's Bride, #1 of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix is also available in audioBuy Audio Book
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The Bride Quest I Boxed Set New Edition

The Bride Quest 1 Boxed Set by Claire Delacroix

Be swept away by the classic fairy tale medieval romance trilogy by the “Queen of Medieval Romance”! Three brothers set out on a Bride Quest at the behest of Princess Brianna and each find love of legendary power…

In The Princess, Brianna challenges three knights to compete for her hand, declaring that she will marry the one who brings her a gift that makes her laugh. She hopes to avoid the king’s dictate and marry for love, but Luc has no interest in surrendering to a beauty’s whim. He has abandoned his life as a knight and put down his sword forever—or so he thinks, until Brianna tempts him to fight for her love.

The Bride Quest 1 Boxed Set by Claire DelacroixIn The Damsel, Burke returns to Ireland in the hope of claiming the hand of Alys, the beauty who haunts his dreams. Consigned to the custody of her cruel relatives, Alys has lost hope in any happiness, but Burke lays siege to her assumptions with resolve, restoring both her faith and her love. But when the secrets of the past threaten the couple’s future, will their love be enough to defend them?

In The Heiress, Rowan takes his brothers’ challenge and vows to win the hand of the richest heiress in Ireland. There is no place for love in this charming rogue’s heart—until he finds himself buying a beautiful slave girl, one who provokes him into reconsidering all he knows to be true, and daring him to win her heart, if he can.

This digital boxed set includes all three medieval romances in the original Bride Quest trilogy: The Princess, The Damsel and The Heiress.

 

Get your copy of The Bride Quest I Boxed Set at:

Buy EPUB e-book from Deborah Buy MOBI e-book from Deborah Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

The Bride Quest continues with The Countess.

 

 

New Release Listing

Tanya's Promo

Tanya Anne Crosby has launched a new landing page featuring new releases and upcoming releases in historical romance. This is a pretty useful resource – you can just bookmark the page, then revisit it at intervals to see the updated listings. Books will disappear after their launch and new pre-orders will appear. Right now, One Knight Enchanted is listed there as it’s on pre-order for December 12.

Tanya will continue to do it as long as enough people are interested, so if you are interested, please hop on through to the landing page, bookmark it and visit again.

You’ll find the landing page right here.

 

New Audible Subscription Plan

The Beauty Bride by Claire Delacroix in audioHere’s another alternative for those of you who love audiobooks: Audible has just introduced a new subscription plan. Right now, it’s only for Romance. I think of it as KU for audibooks.

The audiobooks for the Jewels of Kinfairlie are enrolled in this program—The Beauty Bride, The Rose Red Bride, The Snow White Bride, and The Ballad of Rosamunde—and I’ll be adding the rest of my audiobooks to it later this month.

Here’s The Beauty Bride on Audible.

Learn more about this new option on the Audible website, right here.

Age of Romance and Chivalry

Age of Romance and Chivalry, a boxed set of historical romances

Welcome to a blockbuster boxed set of romance, intrigue, passion, and betrayal. Welcome to the AGE OF CHIVALRY AND ROMANCE!

Five of Historical Romance’s top authors have come together in a collection that is a must-have for your library. Ride the high seas… or walk the streets of Regency London… or travel the moors of Scotland… or experience the castles of Medieval England… in this set of romantic stories that will take you away to far-off places to dream a little dream of worlds past and present. This set includes:

The Fallen One by Kathryn Le Veque – A fallen knight and a desperate lady who needs him to lift his sword one last time. Will a man who was once the greatest knight in the realm reclaim his right?

The Crusader’s Bride by Claire Delacroix – Gaston leaves the order Templars in Jerusalem to take command of his family holding in France, vowing to deliver a package to Paris for his former brethen. Knowing that he needs a wife and heir, he chooses Ysmaine, a beautiful pilgrim in need of his assistance. But there is peril on the road from Jerusalem to Paris, and Gaston finds an ally where he least expects one – his resourceful lady wife.

You and No Other by Cynthia Wright – Bold and witty Thomas St. Briac is a trusted knight with a perfect life. His courage in battle is legendary, but is he brave enough to withstand one delicate maiden who seeks to carry off an impetuous masquerade in the royal court?

Eternally Bound by Eliza Knight – Lady Maxwell is about to be thrust upon many eager suitors at Queen Elizabeth’s court, but there is only one man who holds her interest–the very same thief she tries desperately to ignore. Lord Sebastien de Rayne intends to reposess his family’s ancient relics–the Theodosia sword and matching ring–stolen by Baron Dalston, even if it means seducing the lord’s only daughter, “Max,” into marriage. Will the power of the relics bind them together, or are they doomed to a life of misery? Or maybe, they might just fall in love….

Her Christmas Rogue by Christi Caldwell – Lady Winifred Grisham has been in love with her brother’s best friend Lord Trent Ballantine more years than she can remember. The only problem is, Trent is a notorious rogue who doesn’t dally with the respectable. Except, Winnie doesn’t want a dalliance–she wants his heart. Born to a miserable family, Lord Trent has found joy and comfort in the folds of his best friend’s family. Except, over the years he’s begun to notice something. Winnie who he’d always seen as another sister, is in fact something more–a captivating woman. Now, loving Winnie as he does, Trent knows she deserves more than a rogue in her life. With Winnie’s mother rushing her off to try and make a match at Lady Weston’s annual Christmastide house party, Winnie has but a few days to show Trent, that all she needs is his love. But then this is Christmas…when anything can happen!

Age of Romance and Chivalry, a digital boxed set of five historical romance novels

 

This exciting bundle is specially priced at 99cents and available only at Amazon. It’s also enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, so if you’re a subscriber, you can read it free!

Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Amazon.ca Buy at Amazon.co.uk Buy at Amazon.de

Christmas at Castle Keyvnor – Erica Monroe

Christmas at Castle Keyvnor, twelve linked Regency romance novellas

Today, my guest author is Erica Monroe, who has a Regency romance novella in Charmed at Christmas, one of the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies. Please welcome Erica!

Author Erica MonroeMy heroine Felicity Fields of THE DETERMINED DUCHESS (available in Charmed at Christmas) practices alchemy, a chemical and speculative philosophy that aimed at transmuting metals into their base elements. Much of alchemy focuses on transforming common substances into substances that have great value, like gold, as discussed below. While much of modern science can trace its roots back to alchemy, chemistry is probably the most notable, and in fact until the 1830’s scientists were oft called “chemists” or “natural philosophers,” regardless of what they studied. In fact, Isaac Newton’s alchemical papers have now been found and portions can be viewed online, as well as in museums.

Though alchemy has an ancient history that spans across several continents and centuries, by the Regency alchemy had fallen out of favor and was no longer viewed as a “real” science. Instead, scientific research moved more toward chemistry, galvanization, and astronomy. Alchemy began to be viewed as a form of witchcraft, and many scientists were in a hurry to distance themselves from being seen as pseudoscientists.

I had a lot of fun depicting the Regency disdain for alchemy. Felicity faces scorn on two fronts because not only is she a woman dabbing in subjects many thought were better left to men, but she is actively pursuing alchemical experiments that have now become taboo. Christy Carlyle and I got the idea that we’d both write scientists, but we’d have them at odds with each other. Septimus Locke, the hero of A LOVE FOR LADY WINTER, is pursuing galvanization, and he views Felicity’s attempts to recreate the Philosopher’s Stone as absurd and pointless. (You can read Christy’s excellent novella in Enchanted at Christmas.)

The Philosopher's Stone as pictured in Atalanta Fugiens Emblem 21The Philosopher’s Stone is perhaps the most famous and intriguing of alchemical works, and so when I wrote THE DETERMINED DUCHESS, I had to include it. To fans of Harry Potter, the Philosopher’s Stone probably sounds familiar. In J.K. Rowling’s HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE, she reinvents the work of famous alchemist Nicholas Flamel. (The British title of this book is indeed HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE, off of Flamel’s work). For many alchemists, the Philosopher’s Stone represented the ultimate triumph – not only on a scientific level, but also on a spiritual level. It was thought that if one was able to take the stone through the three stages of transmutation – Black Phase, White Phase, Red Phase—you’d be able to unlock the mysteries of the universe.

The alchemical symbol for the Philosopher's Stone, 17th centuryFelicity doesn’t care about using the stone to transform simple materials into gold. She’s after the Elixir of Life that one can supposedly make from the stone. The Elixir of Life has many interpretations throughout both Eastern and Western philosophy, but I chose to focus mostly on the work done by alchemists in Europe, as that is what Felicity would have had access to. The Elixir of Life is said to have granted Flamel and his wife eternal life, and it contained healing properties as well.

Because of the Elixir of Life’s special properties, Felicity hopes to use the stone to bring back her beloved guardian from the dead. (THE DETERMINED DUCHESS is my take on Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, make of that what you will). It was a challenge to balance Felicity’s alchemical experiments with her very real grief over her guardian’s death—science has always been her touchstone, so she sees it as a way to make sure that she is never abandoned again, and she thinks she owes her guardian a second chance at life.

Will she succeed? You’ll have to read CHARMED AT CHRISTMAS to find out. 😉

For more information on alchemy, you can check out my story board on Pinterest.

Erica Monroe is a USA Today Bestselling Author of dark, suspenseful historical romance. She was a finalist in the published historical category for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense, and her books have been recommended reads at Fresh Fiction, Smexy Books, SBTB, and All About Romance. When not writing, she is a chronic TV watcher, sci-fi junkie, and comic book fanatic. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. Visit Erica online at ericamonroe.com and sign up for her new release newsletter at: bit.ly/mlem4.

Charmed at Christmas, one of the Christmas at Castle Keyvnor anthologies of Regency romances, including one by Claire DelacroixCharmed at Christmas
includes Erica Monroe’s The Determined Duchess
After the death of her beloved guardian, Miss Felicity Fields is left alone with an uncertain future. But this blunt bluestocking has a secret: she’s determined to resurrect her guardian through the ancient art of alchemy. The last thing she needs is the return of Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe and rightful owner of her home on the wild coast of Cornwall. He stirs an unexpected passion within her, and Felicity has had enough change in her life.
When they were children, Nicholas never understood his aunt’s brilliant but unemotional ward, or her many scientific studies. Now, he’s determined to bring Felicity to London so that she may make a match within society–except he can’t stop thinking about her. But with the line between life and death blurred by Felicity’s experiments, can he convince her that she’s no longer alone, and her proper place is by his side?

Available September 26, 2017

Pre-order now at:

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Bad Boys Through History

Warriors & Bad Boys BookFunnel Promo

Kris Kennedy has organized a BookFunnel promotion featuring historical romances with bad boy heroes called Warriors & Bad Boys Through the Ages. It started on Friday the 8th and runs through the 15th. You’ll find The Beauty Bride among the selection of twelve books. Here’s your chance to find a new series or a new author!

The landing page is here. Happy browsing!

August Signed Book Giveaway

Last month’s print book giveaway was for a signed copy of The Countess in its new edition. Our winner was Marcelle Cole – she mentioned that on her move to Korea from the US, she watched the sun set over and over again. I thought that was a pretty cool detail.

The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixThis month, I’m celebrating the publication of The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest, in its new edition. I think the cover is just gorgeous! The giveaway is for a signed trade paperback copy with this new cover.

Remember that the digital edition of The Princess is discounted to 99 cents for the pre-order and first week on sale. Here’s your chance to start the Bride Quest at a special price!

Pre-order available at these portals:
Buy at iBooks Buy at Amazon.com Buy at Barnes&Noble Buy at GooglePlay Buy at Kobo

In The Princess, Brianna issues a challenge to the three suitors competing for her hand in marriage: she says she’ll marry the one who brings her a gift that makes her laugh. Did you ever challenge a suitor or make a special request of him/her? Did he (or she) surprise you? For your chance to win a signed print copy of The Princess from me, please tell me whether you’ve ever made a special request of a suitor (and even how it turned out!) in the comments below.

The contest is open to readers in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Ireland.

I’ll choose a winner on September 1. Good luck everyone!

Edited to add – our winner is Debra Shutters. Congrats to Debra and thanks to everyone else for entering.