All posts by elisabethhobbes

I grew up in York where I spent most of my teenage years looking for a handsome Roman or Viking to sweep me off my feet. Inspired by this I studied Classics, History and English to A-level then read History and Art History at university before venturing into the world of teaching. My writing career began when I entered Harlequin's So You think You Can Write contest in 2013 and finished in third place overall. As a result I was offered my first contract with Harlequin historical. These days I hold down jobs as a teacher and mum. When I'm not writing, I spend a lot of my spare time reading and have become something of a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book! I'm less successful at vacuuming ditto and would like to publically apologise to my husband for the dust. Aside from writing, my hobbies include skiing, Arabic dance, fencing and exploring dreadful tourist attractions, none of which has made it into a story yet. I love historical fiction and have a fondness for dark haired, bearded heroes. I live in Cheshire with my husband, two young children and two cats with ridiculous names. My first book, Falling for Her Captor, was published by Harlequin Mills&Boon in October 2014 and my second, A Wager for the Widow, is due out in July 2015. You can find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ElisabethHobbes?ref=hl and Twitter https://twitter.com/ElisabethHobbes

Medieval Monday with Cathy MacRae

I’m excited to share an excerpt from Cathy and DD MacRae’s August release The Highlander’s Viking Bride.  Isn’t this cover fabulous!

the-highlanders-viking-bride high res

Everyone in the keep knew guests had arrived—rumored to be the hated MacGerrys. Her father would likely use the opportunity to dangle her as bait again for some sort of alliance, her hand in marriage as part of the bargain. She grimaced. The MacGerry laird was as old as her sire—as were all the men her da had presented as prospective husbands.

“I willnae marry a man thrice my age. Why does he keep bringing such old relics about, Freki? Has the man not made the acquaintance of anyone younger than two score?”

Her companion did not answer.

Blurb:

Calder MacGerry, laird of an impoverished clan, has resolved to end the bitter feud between the MacGerrys and Sinclairs. He jumps at Laird Sinclair’s offer of marriage to his only daughter, Katja, to seal the agreement between their clans—only to get more than he bargained for.

Katja’s chance to escape her father’s harsh treatment appears to be too good to be true. But becoming Lady of a clan that despises her because she’s a Sinclair, doesn’t make her life any easier. When the attacks turn deadly, she fights her way out, making a dangerous passage to the Shetland Isles for refuge with her Viking family.

Calder and Katja’s marriage, built on mistrust, rushes quickly into disaster. As Calder seeks to repair the damage, Katja discovers not another enemy, but a husband who pledges a new beginning.

The next excerpt of Cathy’s story will be on Ruth A. Casie’s blog http://ruthacasie.blogspot.co.uk but if you can’t wait to find out what happens you can get hold of a copy here:

Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B0728HWJRY

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940157486617

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-highlander-s-viking-bride

 

You can find the next instalment of Redeeming the Rogue Knight on Cathy’s blog here

 

Redeeming the Rogue Knight – free sample!

There’s less than a week to go until the print version of Redeeming the Rogue Knight is released.  If you can’t wait to get hold of your own copy you can read the opening chapter here.

RTRK NA cover.jpg
Or if you’d rather just go ahead and preorder you can do that here
Happy reading!

Medieval Monday Laurel O’Donnell’s First Encounter

With me today I have Laurel O’Donnell with an excerpt from her book, The Angel and The Prince

angel prince

 

She ignored his comment and stepped back, the mist swirling around her body like a cape.  She quickly regained her composure and her blue eyes swept him without a hint of emotion.  “So,” she murmured, “you are the Prince of Darkness.”

He stared hard into her eyes as if he were reading her mind.

Ryen watched the emotions play over his face: recognition, disbelief, and then furious anger.

His eyes widened with incredulity.  “The Angel of Death?  A woman?”

“You have heard the legends –?”

“Unchain me this instant!”

 

Follow along next week at Ashley York’s website – www.ashleyyorkauthor.com

Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a signed copy of The Angel and the Prince!

 

The blurb:

In this exciting medieval romance, the French lady knight known as the Angel of Death wages a battle of wills and desires against her dreaded enemy — the English warrior known as the Prince of Darkness. 

Ryen De Bouriez is a French warrior, dedicated to protecting her country against the hated English. In place of glittering ball gowns, she wears shining armor. Instead of practicing the gentler arts, she wields a sword. Those who whisper her name in fear and awe call her the Angel of Death. 

Bryce Princeton is the Prince of Darkness, an English knight sent by his king to find and destroy their most hated adversary — the Angel of Death. Little does he know that his enemy is no man at all, but a beautiful woman who will challenge his heart and honor at every turn.

Forced to choose between love and honor, the Angel and the Prince wage a battle of wills that challenges everything they have ever believed in.

 

Here’s the buy links if you can’t wait until next week’s excerpt –

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Angel-Prince-Laurel-ODonnell-ebook/dp/B004LGTR1M/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

 

The return of Medieval Monday

Next week we’re starting a new round of Medieval Monday with the fabulous theme of ‘First Encounter’.  Each week I’ll be featuring a snippet from a different Medieval romance and telling you where to go for the next instalment in that story.

How do the heroes and heroines meet?  Is it love at first sight? Instant hate? Sparks flying or hearts thumping?

I’m kicking off today with an excerpt from Redeeming the Rogue Knight.  The story will continue on Jenna Jaxon’s blog on August 7th and I’ll be featuring the first instalment of her story here so make sure to check out both blogs.

For now, here is the first part of the meeting between Roger and Lucy.

Two men pushed their way inside. One had his arm slung around the other’s shoulder and was being supported. He staggered as he walked, moaning softly and his tangled black hair obscured his face. The second man’s head was bowed under the strain of bearing his companion who was taller and broader.

Lucy gritted her teeth.

‘I don’t want drunks at this time of night.’

‘He isn’t drunk, he’s hurt,’ the supporting man wheezed. He raised his head and Lucy gave a cry of surprise at the face she had not seen since he declared his intention to fight with King Edward’s army in France.

‘Thomas? Is it really you?’

Lucy started forward, but her brother drew a short sword from beneath his cloak and brandished it. Lucy gave a squeak of alarm at the sight of her younger brother with such a fierce expression which ill suited his kind face. Thomas was an amiable dolt and to see him acting so fiercely was disconcerting.

 

RTRK NA cover

 

Redeeming the Rogue Knight is released in print on August 24th and ebook on September 1st.  You can preorder a copy here viewBook.at/RogueKnight

 

 

Medieval Monday

I hope you’ve all enjoyed meeting the authors who take part in Medieval Monday and discovering why we love the period so much.  We’re taking a break while we organise a new round of exciting excerpts to be starting in August.  Look out for the next theme which we’ll be announcing soon.

I don’t want to leave you with nothing to read so I thought I’d share an excerpt from The Blacksmith’s Wife where we see the brothers together for the first time along with Joanna, the heroine who marries Hal.  If you want to know what happens to Roger and who he finds happiness with you’ll have to wait until August to read his story in Redeeming the Rogue Knight

Dany brothers NA covers.

Sir Roger frowned. ‘What are you doing in the camp? I did not expect to see you until tonight at the earliest.’ His face relaxed into a smile as he drew her arm under his and led her back towards his tent, regaling her with an account of the tournament she had just witnessed. She pushed her thoughts of the stranger to the back of her mind.

Sir Roger pushed back the curtain covering his tent doorway and ushered Joanna inside. He tossed his page a coin.

‘Go buy yourself some sweetmeats.’

The boy ambled off, leaving them alone. Sir Roger pulled Joanna to him, his hands at either side of her waist.

‘I’m surprised at you coming here alone.’ His voice was stern but the glint in his eye told Joanna he was far from disapproving. His eyes took on a hungry expression. ‘You’re usually so modest, too.’

Joanna glanced at the doorway but Sir Roger did not appear to notice her uneasiness. He lunged to kiss her. His lips scraped against hers and his hands began to slide from her waist downwards to spread across her hips. Joanna stiffened. This was the first time they had been completely alone and Sir Roger’s behaviour was more forceful than she had expected. The guards’ mocking words whispered in Joanna’s mind.

She wriggled from Sir Roger’s arms.  ‘I brought you a gift,’ she said hastily to hide her unease. She rummaged into her bag until she produced a cloth-wrapped bundle.

Sir Roger unwrapped it eagerly, revealing an ornately decorated belt buckle.  ‘Your uncle made this?’ he asked, holding it to the light.

Joanna nodded and rubbed her fingers lovingly over the incised leaves. ‘Though I chased the pattern myself.’

Sir Roger took her hands and drew her close. ‘It’s beautiful. You’ll be a worthy heir to your uncle’s business.’

Joanna blushed with pleasure at the compliment but laughed. ‘His heir? Not I. He has a son now. But of course, it’s been months since you were in York. You wouldn’t know my aunt’s child was a boy.’

‘What good fortune for your uncle,’ Roger said.

‘Perhaps you might congratulate him in person tonight and speak to him about other matters,’ Joanna began shyly.

‘That could be time I spend in your company instead,’ Sir Roger murmured. ‘There’s no rush, is there?’ His hands began moving over her body, one down towards her buttocks, the other sliding towards her breast. He kissed her, his tongue attempting to part her lips. Joanna’s brow wrinkled. This was the very limit of acceptable behaviour before they were married. She began to shift away from his reach, turning so she stood between him and the doorway.

A cold draught blew around her neck and a deep, familiar voice spoke.

‘Roger, it strikes me…’

Sir Roger released her abruptly and stepped back. Joanna turned slowly around to face the speaker, heart sinking as she saw who stood behind her.

The man she had met before stood in the doorway, his hands outstretched in apology. ‘I’m sorry. I saw your boy wandering off. I didn’t know you would have company.’

He did not sound contrite in the least. When his eyes fell on Joanna they held her gaze and his lips twitched. Sir Roger gave a long sigh of annoyance. Joanna’s eyes flickered from man to man.

‘Mistress Sollers, permit me to introduce my brother, Henry Danby,’ Sir Roger said in a clipped tone.

Joanna’s jaw dropped. ‘You never told me you had a brother!’ she said.

‘Half-brother,’ the man said curtly, glancing at Sir Roger.

‘Did I never mention Hal?’ Roger said carelessly. ‘I suppose not. He’s been travelling around the country. Our paths have barely crossed in the past three years,’

Joanna stared in wonder from Sir Roger to his brother and back again. Conscious she was staring at the new arrival, Joanna curtsied. ‘Good day to you, Sir Henry.’

‘Just Hal if you please. I’m no sir.’

‘Hal and I share the same father but we have different mothers,’ Sir Roger explained.

Half-brothers. That made sense. They were too close in age to make any other explanation possible.

‘What Roger means is I’m a bastard,’ Henry added with a humourless smile. He lifted his jaw and crossed his arms, as though daring Joanna to confront him. ‘Though my father did me the kindness of acknowledging me as his. Many would not.’

Taken aback at the harshness of his voice, Joanna stared at him. When they had met before he had seemed good-humoured, for all his mocking words, but his sudden fierceness was unnerving. His brow was knotted and his eyes dark. For a moment silence hung awkwardly between them as all three stood motionless saying nothing.

Side by side the brothers were not so alike after all. They were of equal height and stature and both had hair the colour of a crow’s wing but Sir Roger’s was swept back and tied neatly at his nape. He wore a short, neatly trimmed beard while his brother’s hair fell forward in careless tangles to a jaw rough with stubble.

The resemblance was strongest about the eyes: deep brown, flecked with green and ringed with long lashes set into faces tanned from a life spent outside.

The Blacksmith’s Wife  is available now and Redeeming the Rogue Knight  can be preordered.

Medieval Monday Introducing Ashley York

For my final author on Medieval Monday I’d like to introduce Ashley York to explain why she loves writing Medieval Romance.

Ashley York graphic

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!

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

Ashley is my final guest.  Come back next week to discover our exciting new theme.

Medieval Monday with Mary Morgan

It’s alliteration week here as I’ve got Mary Morgan joining me for Medieval Monday to tell us why she likes writing Medieval romance.

I’ve often been asked this question, “Why Medieval romance? Why not Regency, Victorian, or Western?” In truth, I love them all, but my heart belongs to one. It started when my fingers opened a book about the great Irish King, Brian Boru (941-1014A.D.). His story is legendary, especially with the people of Ireland. King Brian led the Irish to the peak of their Golden Age—from poetry, arts, saints, and scholars. A spark ignited within my soul for more.

I sought out tales of knights in shining armor and folk heroes, delving into a life teeming with richness, though at times harsh and violent. Yet, it wasn’t until I devoured the history of Brian Boru that I became immersed in medieval life. From there, I treasured tales of life in castles, traveling on horseback, studying foods and herbs. My list is endless and always growing on medieval ways. Yes, there are even days when I long to travel back in time and explore the history, lore, and beliefs.

Therefore, when it came time to pen my own stories, it only made sense for me to place them all in a medieval setting. One might say I live vicariously through my characters. It’s a love affair with all things medieval.  

 

For more about my stories, please visit my book page: http://www.marymorganauthor.com/books

Mary Morgan graphic

Author Bio:

Award-winning Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan, resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return.
Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling–writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories.

 

 

Medieval Monday- Introducing Barbara Bettis

We;come back to another Medieval Monday.  Here with me today is Barbara Bettis to tell us why she loves writing Medievals.

Barbara Bettis graphic

I’m not sure what calls to me so strongly from the Middle Ages, but whatever it is, has done so my entire life. I think it may be rooted in the stories I devoured when I first started reading. Myths, folk stories from different cultures, tales of Knights of the Round Table, they all captured my imagination. It was a different, fascinating world where anything was possible—in theory. Throughout school, history was a favorite subject, and I loved to delve into the events—and lives of the people—of the past. 

As I did so, I recognized that the knightly tales of derring do from my childhood were set amidst times of turmoil, deprivation of the many and reward of the few. I usually root for the underdog, so when my studies introduced me to mercenaries and the bad reputation many of them enjoyed (and they probably did enjoy them), I immediately thought, “But they all must not have been bad. What of the ones who fought to better themselves and didn’t practice cruelty?” 

Life was not easy for most people. In the eyes of society at that time, bettering oneself usually meant acquiring land. Few folks had the means or opportunity to do so. Later in the Medieval period, landed-society’s restrictions didn’t allow for commoners to aspire to knighthood, except for very limited exceptions. But in the earlier days, it wasn’t all that unusual for a commoner to rise by reason of bravery, strength, and audacity. All but one of my stories have featured such mercenaries who strive to better themselves by acquiring power and land. 

All my stories feature strong women, not at all the norm of the period. Yet discoveries tell us there were more strong women than we realize, although most of them were wed or in the church. I imbue my heroines with strength of character given the times in which they lived.

I love creating the stories of strong heroines we women would like to be and of heroes we’d love to live for.

More about Barbara

Barbara Bettis grew up in the rural Midwest, where reading was a reward for chores well done. So you can bet she did her chores well—and fast. She loved history and English. She’d intended to major in English, but when she arrived at her small, Liberal Arts college, one of the European history professors was on a Rhodes Scholarship. Once she met the English professors, she defected.

Thus, she received her BA in English with a strong minor in history and her Master’s in English. After working as a newspaper reporter and editor, Barb returned to college and taught English and journalism, later earning a doctorate in Higher Education with an emphasis in journalism.

After her husband died, some former students lured her into their critique group, where she began writing fiction. A trip to Scotland and England solidified her love of the Isles (the small tour group set up a ‘Barb’s Castle Alert’ on their train journeys). Her earlier fascination with the Middle Ages led her into her medieval stories, where she’s been roaming around ever since.

Now that she’s retired from teaching, her ambition is to write an angst-ridden, tortured hero set in the High Middle Ages, but somehow her guys end up with inappropriate senses of humor. Perhaps in the future…

Visit Barbara at http://www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com