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Tag: Medieval Romance

Life in a Nunnery Just Isn’t What I Imagined

Parchment received from Olwen de Belleme, secondary character in My Lord Raven: Knights of the Royal Household

If you’ve read the story of my cousin Catrin and her truelove Sir Bran ap Madog, then you will know I was betrothed to Sir Bran. King Edward gave my hand in marriage to him, a knight of his household, for a job well done. But you will also know events transpired that caused my cousin to change places with me (we favor one another) and then fall in love with “The King’s Raven.

nunneryI, on the other hand, went to live in a convent near to my castle. It was my sanctuary, because, you see, when Catrin and I changed identities, I needed to find a place to hide.

Catrin has said I “possess a timid disposition.” ’Tis true. I couldn’t abide the thought of marrying such a vicious man as the king’s knight. Often as a child, when Catrin fostered at my castle, she had been the prod, encouraging me to stretch myself beyond my limits. But alas! Was not to be. My temperament is naturally sweet, serene, and pious.

That’s why I thought a life as a bride of Christ would suit me. Yet, I knew that dream to be a fool’s folly. King Edward would never let me take holy vows. Therefore, I hoped for a life inside the convent as a lay sister. Many gentlewomen in my time choose a secluded life as I desired.

nunneryI soon discovered the life of a nun is boring. We are gently born, not accustomed to menial tasks. We need our servants as much as we do in the world. A nunnery is a house of prayer, but it is also a community of domestics and others who depend upon the landholdings of the sacred house.

Many convents during my time may be poor, depending upon their locations, landholdings and finances. A nunnery may face all the temporal hardships of the day: plagues and pestilence, fires and floods, and attacks by Scots or Welsh marauders, lawless neighbors or enemies of the realm. Oft nuns are forced into begging for alms. ’Tis not a pretty sight to see a pious woman so reduced to poverty.

Furthermore, secular life may intrude upon the sacred. We are women, after all, and many enjoy colorful clothes and silken veils. We keep our pet dogs, entertain guests and, with our servants, travel outside the bounds of our cloistered world. I will not mention the depravities of some who stray from their vows. The bishop is always warning against such sins.

Did I say that holy life can be boring? Ah, yes. You see, the routine, the silence, the hardships can be born if you have a vocation for it. Being the pampered only child of a great lord, I soon discovered the communal life was not for me, however devout I had been. So now I await the king’s grace once more. He sends me another husband, a knight to take my father’s place and run the estates I have inherited. Is he sending me a helpmate, like Sir Bran is to my cousin Catrin? Or is he sending me an overlord—someone to rule me with a firm fist?
__________________________________________________

If you are interested in reading more about the medieval life of a nun, take a look at Medieval English Nunneries c. 1275 to 1535, by Eileen Power, Cambridge at the University Press, 1922, found at Amazon.com.

About the Book

nunneryMy Lord Raven:  Knights of the Royal Household

To protect what little family she has left, Lady Catrin Fitzalan switches places with her cousin when King Edward orders the pious girl to wed his royal champion, a vicious knight called the King’s Raven. Rumors abound that this savage is responsible for the deaths of Lady Catrin’s father and brother. How can she allow her sweet cousin to wed a murderer?

Bran ap Madog, bastard son of a Welsh prince, has devoted his life to serving the English king. His badge is the raven, a creature that feeds off rotting spoils, just as Bran feeds off the spoils of war. Now he wants a reward for his service: a wealthy wife and the land and power she can bring him.

But there’s another side to the rapacious black birds Bran has chosen for his badge. Social and family-oriented, ravens mate for life. Which gives them something Bran never had—a family, a sense of belonging, and a rightful place in the world. Bran has fought for everything he’s ever had. But his last battle, with his new wife, may cost him the one thing he isn’t prepared to lose: his heart.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2lojQ7S
iBooks: http://apple.co/2kFBLqH
Kobo: http://bit.ly/KoboMLR

About the Author

Jan Scarbrough is the author of two popular Bluegrass series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.
Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan has written paranormal gothic romances: Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist, and Timeless. Her newest book, My Lord Raven is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.

A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. Today she self-publishes her books with the help of her husband.

 

 

Shocking Revelations in a Lecture Hall

Mr. Clemens has rented a theater near Covent Garden for this event. To his delight, the placards posted around London seem to have brought out a huge crowd. We had to turn people away.

Good evening. This is an occasion for celebration. Standing here in the theater and looking out among you, I am reminded of which happened to me several years ago, when I had succeeded in writing one of my stories and my characters were as alive to me as…

(Mr. Clemens laughs and takes a seat in a large chair that’s set on stage with two chairs facing him. Behind the chairs are potted palms. Beneath them is a rich oriental carpet. The lights illuminate the setting. The rest of the stage is dark.)

Hang’d if I didn’t see those characters and speak to them. Well, tonight I have a treat for you. I’ve pulled a real coup. I’m about to interview the hero and heroine, Lord Alex, and Lady Lisbeth, of my dear friend Ruth A. Casie’s book, The Guardian’s Witch. I see you’re all ready and our guests have arrived. I’ll fill you in on their story when the interview is over.

[footsteps walking across the floor]

Samuel Clemens: (Facing the audience) Just as I promised, today’s guests are Lord Alex Stelton, the exceptional knight who put his life on the line for the woman he loves. Also here is his extraordinary wife, Lady Lisbeth. She too was willing to risk it all–to save the man she loves.

Alex Stelton is the seventh son of Lord and Lady Stelton. Alex’s father is also a seventh son, an oddity that arises in the Stelton family from time to time. Lady Lisbeth and her younger sister, Laura survives their parents Lord and Lady Reynolds who were lost to us in a terrible carriage accident and their brother, Richard. Richard died valiantly on the Welsh battlefield.

(Turning to his guests) Thank you both for taking time to talk to us today. The first question I have is for Lord Alex.

Alex: Please, call me Alex.

Samuel Clemens: Certainly. Alex, what was your first impression of Lisbeth?

Alex: I’m embarrassed to tell you.

Lisbeth: He avoided me for weeks.

Alex: (Taking Lisbeth’s hand.) That’s not quite correct. You made it perfectly clear that you wanted no part of me. As a matter of fact I got a very clear impression that you would’ve been quite happy if I had disappeared like the others the king sent to protect you.

Lisbeth: Well, what did you expect? You came marching into Glen Kirk all proud and self-important just like all the others.

Alex: (Raising an eyebrow to his wife.) Did I now?

Lisbeth: (A bit contrite.) Well, maybe not exactly like them. (She pulls her hand away from his and faces him.) How was I to know?

Samuel Clemens: (Cough.) How did this disagreement start?

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me for weeks.

Samuel Clemens: I beg your pardon. What didn’t Alex tell you for weeks? (Looking at Alex Mr. Clemens noticed him squirm, just a bit.)

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me we were married.

Samuel Clemens: Married? I don’t understand?

Alex: Wait a minute, Love. You didn’t exactly make it easy.

Lisbeth: Love— (She shot Alex a glance that could turn him into a pillar of salt.)

Alex: (Alex faced the Mr. Clemens) I won a bet with King James. If I held Lisbeth’s Glen Kirk Castle safe for one year it would be mine. Having an estate of my own has been a goal of mine for some time.

Lisbeth: (Foot tapping.)

Alex: (Rakes his hand through his hair.) After meeting my part of the bargain, I went to London to collect my winnings and ended proxy wed to Lady Lisbeth by order of the king.

Samuel Clemens: He what? And you didn’t tell her for weeks?

Lisbeth: (Folding her arms in front of her glaring at Alex.) Exactly.

Samuel Clemens: Perhaps we should move on. Lisbeth, I understand you come from a long line of healers and that you are quite gifted. My sources tell me you’ve used that gift to save Alex more than once.

Lisbeth: (A humbled look crosses her face.) Yes, I work hard to keep the people I love safe.

Samuel Clemens: (Shows Lisbeth a charm.) I understand you place these charms in the trees around Glen Kirk.

Alex: (Takes the charms out of Mr. Clemens’ hand.) My wife has a notion that the pretty bits shine and distract. (He gave Mr. Clemens a cold stare.)

Samuel Clemens: I understand there are rumors that your wife… [shuffle papers] uses incantations—

Alex: (Stands dragging Lisbeth with him.) This interview is over.

Samuel Clemens: (Obviously upset.) I’m sorry m’lord. I meant no disrespect to your wife or you. But sir, your wife’s special talents are common knowledge far and wide. It is to be honored sir, not reviled as some may think.

Alex: I clearly told your man that those questions were not to be asked.

Samuel Clemens: M’lord, Alex, this woman was ready to risk everything for you. She was in the midst of conjuring up the true criminal responsible for the treason for which you were accused. She was using her magic in front of the king and his court, all to protect you. Surely you know what a grave risk she was taking.

Alex: Don’t you think I know that. (Alex took his wife in his arms.) I cringe each time I think of how close she came to being judged a witch and the consequences that would have been metered out.

Lisbeth: Alex, (she pulls gently away from his embrace) come sit down. No harm was meant, surely you know that. (She pats his arm.)

Alex: (Regaining his composure.) I will not dwell on it, Lisbeth. I will protect you always.

Lisbeth: Yes, Alex. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But all here know who and what I am. There is no longer a need to hide that I am a witch.

Samuel Clemens: We have a little more time. Alex, I understand that your wife is very talented. Her dreams of the future appear to come true.

Alex: (He looks at his wife and does all he can to contain his smile.) My wife has many talents. Her dreams are–exceptional.

Lisbeth: Shhh Alex.(She leans close to him.) No one else will understand.

Alex: (Totally forgetting Mr. Clemens for the moment.) You call me into your dreams and we… Faith, (A smoldering look passes between them and he rakes his hand through his hair.) I want to spend the rest of my life in your dreams…

Samuel Clemens: Well, thank you both very much. (Pulling on his shirt collar.) A bit more information than I wanted. Is it warm in here? (Mr. Clemens turns to the audience) You can find out more about Lord Alex and Lady Lisbeth and what Lord Alex references in The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie.

Before we go any further, I’d like to acknowledge our stage crew for their commitment and fortitude to see this project to fruition. Many technologies had to be developed to make this happen and credit must be given where credit is deserved.

General Manager — Norma Leigh Lucid
Theater Manager — Helen Back
Maintenance Supervisors — Earl E. Bird and Ella Vada
Musical Supervisor — Kerry Oki
Lighting Engineers — Flint Sparks and Les Volt
Sound Crew — Mike Rafone and Constance Hum
Traffic Manager — Joy Rider
Legal Advisor — Sara Bellum
Researchers — Paige Turner and Rita Booke
Commissary Director — Jasmine Rice
Security Directors — Barry Cade and Anna Conda

Funded by donors Hy Price and his wonderful wife Lois Price

About The Guardian’s Witch

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

Available for Nook, iBook, KOBO or Kindle

Look for other stories in the Stelton Legacy Series

About the Author

RUTH A. CASIE is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure time-travel romance about strong empowered women and the men who deserve them, endearing flaws and all. Her Druid Knight novels have both finaled in the NJRW Golden Leaf contest. The Guardian’s Witch, part of the Stelton Legacy series was a Reader’s Crown Finalist. Ruth also writes contemporary romance in the Havenport series with enough action to keep you turning pages. Ruth lives in New Jersey with her husband, three empty bedrooms and a growing number of incomplete counted cross-stitch projects. Before she started writing time travel romance, she was a speech therapist, international bank product and marketing manager, but her favorite job is the one she’s doing now—writing time travel romance. For more information, please visit www.RuthACasie.com or visit her on Facebook, @RuthACasie, Twitter, @RuthACasie, or Pinterest RuthACasie.

Can Love Cross the Boundary of Time?

Landon entered White’s and asked for a drink. His dreams had been trying as of late, the mysterious lady who haunted his nights visiting him often and was beginning to invade his every thought. If he could only drink away her beauty, forget about it, make on with his life as if she did not exist…

With a start, he realized a man had sat beside him, his shoulders hunched, his face closed.

For whatever reason, perhaps because he felt a sudden kinship with the man whose eyes seemed to mirror the growing swell of emotions Landon himself felt, he cleared his throat. “Would you like a drink?” he asked.

“Ale,” the man said after a moment. “The stronger the better.”

Landon ordered one, and it wasn’t until they had shared several rounds without a word that the man felt moved to speak further.

“This be a strange place,” he remarked, glancing around.

Landon frowned. “Have you never been before?” White’s was a staple, where a man could enjoy drink and dice and cards and more.

“Never been to anywhere here,” the man muttered. He glanced around some more and then leaned in close. “Can you be… Who are you?”

“Landon Philamore.”

“A lord, I take it.”

Landon nodded. “And yourself?”

“Sir Gerald of Hanover.”

The man seemed to want to say more, and Landon waited, giving the man time to reason through his thoughts.

“Do you think,” Gerald said slowly, but then he halted.

“I think I great many things.” Landon would have smiled, but the man’s countenance bore too heavy a burden. “Tell me what ails you.”

“I do not think…” Gerald took a deep breath and then said in a rush, “I am not from this time.”

At once, Landon’s heart began to race. The lady from his dreams, the things she sometimes said, her mannerisms, her jokes… On more than one occasion, he suspected the same thing of her.

“I know I must sound daft,” Gerald continued.

“I think you need another drink,” Landon said.

At Gerald’s nod, Landon motioned for two more drinks.

“What is it that you miss most from your time?” Landon asked.

“You believe me?”

He shrugged. “It matters not what I believe. Your beliefs take priority.”

“I do not know what I belief, what I think, who I love.” Gerald stared glumly at his mug.

“Well, I believe that love can transcend anything. Even those from other lands… or other times.”

“Do you?” Gerald asked, the light of hope shining in his eyes for the first time since they began their conversation.

“Yes,” Landon said firmly, but whether he said it for Gerald’s sake or his own, he could not be certain…

Landon is the hero in The Test of Time, whereas Gerald is the hero in Love Before Honor.

ThetestoftimesmallKatia jumps at the chance to go to England with her best friend after Rose ditches her deadbeat boyfriend. While walking through the market, she spies a large mansion and recognizes the guy out front as her high school friend Tony. Just as they start to reconnect, Katia passes through times and lands in the arms of Lord Landon, who looks like Tony but certainly doesn’t act like him.

Soon, Katia learns that this 1815 is different from the one in history books. Trapped in a parallel world, Katia struggles to not fall for Landon but his charm proves too much for her. Just when she is about to confess her love for him, Katia travels through time yet again.

The course of love never did run smooth and if Katia can’t figure out and master the test of time, she’ll never see her friends again, or worse, never be reunited with Landon.

Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo ~ iBooks

Nicole is one of the Belles. You can learn more about her here.

Scandal and Murder in Eastbourne

the-mediaeval-walledMy Dear Mr. Clemons;

You would not know my name but suffice it to say that it is of little concern, as I wish to keep my family’s name protected. I shall therefore be writing under the assumed name of Miss Avamund and will henceforth be providing you with information, such as to be considered scandalous, from the city of Eastbourne where many of our prominent London citizens take in sea bathing. With that in mind, I present to you the following.

On or about 1 August of this year, a “Miss J”, a respected spinster of St. Aubyn’s Road, was seen with a certain man in her garden. That is not a scandal within itself but the man, a very big and strange-looking man, has lately been seen in her garden daily with “Miss J”. She always seems disturbed when he is near. Because my family lives within proximity of Miss J’s” home, I have seen this occurrence daily and, being curious, waited one day for “Miss J” to do her marketing before slipping into her garden and confronting the man. The story he tells is shocking, as I shall relay forth. After identifying myself politely, I asked of him the following:

Miss Avamund: Good sir, are you a relative of “Miss J”?

Man (identified himself only as ‘de Russe’): I am not, my lady.

MA: If you are not a relative, then why are you here? You do understand that the neighbors are whispering about your ‘visitations’ with “Miss J”. You threatened to ruin her reputation, sir.

DR: It is not my intention, my lady. Be it known that “Lady J” has been most helpful to me under… confusing circumstances.

MA: Confusing? May I inquire as to the nature of these circumstances, sir?

DR: It should not concern you.

MA: Please, sir, as I vow I shall not repeat what you tell me. My concern is for “Miss J”. She is a friend.

DR: Then I shall tell you the truth, since you are her friend. I still do not know how it happened, but the circumstances are this – Henry is my king. I was in battle at Ludgershall Castle in the midst of a driving rain storm when, in the course of battling an opponent, I fell backwards into the well. The blow to my head rendered me unconscious and when I managed to emerge, it was out of the well in “Lady J’s” garden. I do not know how I got here, by what devilry or dark magic, but all I want to do is return to my wife and time from whence I came. I do not belong here.

MA: You… you climbed out of “Miss J’s” well?

DR: I did, my lady.

MA: And you said that your king is Henry? But our ruler is young George!

DR: Henry of Bolingbroke is mine.

My Dearest Mr. Clemons, I did not believe him. I am sure he was quite mad.

Although I will admit that de Russe did not look like any man I have known, as he was quite large and his hands were terribly ruined, I will say most emphatically that I believe him to be “Miss J’s” lover. I told him so and shamed him and ran to tell my mother, who did not believe me until she, too, saw him in “Miss J’s” garden the next day. He was by the well and “Miss J” was with him. I fear that “Miss J” was weeping.

This is where the story becomes frightening – when my mother went to “Miss J’s” home to confront both her and her lover, “Miss J” informed my mother that de Russe had returned home to his wife. She said that he returned the way he came and would say no more. We, my mother and I, believe that not only did “Miss J” have a scandalous love affair with a married man, but that she killed her lover and disposed of the body! She is a murderess as well as an adulteress, but fear keeps us silent. That is why I have written to your paper, sir, to tell you of the terrible things that are happening in Eastbourne today.

Proper citizens beware!

With kindest regards,

Miss Avamund

5329322_lThe Iron Knight

KathrynLeVeque_TheIronKnight_800Read Lucien de Russe’s story in THE IRON KNIGHT, due to be released August 23, 2016 on Amazon. Time-travel to Regency England notwithstanding (or included), it’s a beautiful English Medieval Romance of an older knight and a widowed woman who both have a second chance at life. We will assume Lucien’s brief transportation 400 years into the future happens AFTER his story takes place – and it would make for a wonderful novella!

The Iron Knight on Amazon

Meet the author

KIMG_5743ATHRYN LE VEQUE is a USA TODAY Bestselling author, an Amazon All-Star author, and a #1 bestselling, award-winning, multi-published author in Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction. She has been featured in the NEW YORK TIMES and on USA TODAY’s HEA blog. In March 2015, Kathryn was the featured cover story for the March issue of InD’Tale Magazine, the premier Indie author magazine. She is also quintuple nominee (a record!) for the prestigious RONE awards for 2016.

On Amazon: https://goo.gl/zXhv5s
Facebook: https://goo.gl/bHir6s or @kathrynlevequenovels
Twitter @kathrynleveque
Website: www.kathrynleveque.com

Society’s darling is a spy, ancient scandal suggests

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Dear Readers,

Our correspondent in Scotland, Ms. Rue Allyn—a descendant of the estimable Geoffrey Chaucer—has uncovered correspondence dating from 1294 between Sir R. M, of the Scottish hinterlands and Sir R. C., ancestor of society’s darling, the current Baron Ravensmere. In July of 1294, Sir R. C., then a landless knight and herald to Edward I, was escorting the king’s cousin, Lady J. V. to her wedding when that knight married the lady instead.

Stories are told that the marriage was necessary, but given the king’s reputed ire over the incident we suspect that passion may have got the better of the noble knight and the virtuous (or perhaps not so) damsel. Regardless of the stories the marriage brought shame to the king and the Ravensmere family. We are surprised to learn that Sir R. C. kept his title and lands. Longshanks must have been in a very generous mood. His only punishment for this indiscrete marriage was to banish the couple to their holding in the north of England.

Such a scandalous marraige is bad enough, but the letters discovered by Miss Allyn reveal that Sir R. C. continued his betrayal of king and country by supporting Sir R. M. in his opposition to King Edward’s plans to invade Scotland several years before he actually did. The delay in the execution of Longshank’s invasion resulted in the delay of Scotland’s legal union with England by more than 400 years.

Needless to say, the revelation that spies and ravishers are the root of the tree from which the current Baron Ravensmere is sprung has cast doubts about his recent actions in France, especially with the escape of Boney from Elba following hard on the heels of the Baron’s departure from England, supposedly to take the waters at a Sicilian spa in Palermo. Since no one of any sense would travel to Palermo (being much too close to harbors sheltering Corsican pirates), one can only imagine the Baron does not care what anyone believes is his true purpose in visiting that forsaken island. We do hope that as Miss Allyn continues her researches for the novels plans to write she will share with us any tidbits she learns that may cast light on the actions of the ton.

S. Clemens

Author’s Note: The ‘scandal’ described by M. Clemens is a twisted interpretation of the events described in RONE nominated novel, Knight Errant. Please leave me a comment and let Miss Allyn know how you enjoyed her post.

KEcoverBlurb: If Sir Robert Clarwyn can’t find a way to compel Lady Juliana Verault to return to England, he’ll lose any chance of regaining his family lands and redeeming his heritage. Yet Juliana must complete her mission or endanger her gender’s future in the church. With danger and intrigue mounting, Robert and Juliana must rely on each other and risk everything … including their hearts.

Excerpt:  Here’s a link to an excerpt if you would like to read more from Knight Errant http://rueallyn.com/2f1KEexcerpt.html.

Buy Links:  Amazon   B & N   B-A-M   GoogleBooks   iTunes   Kobo   Crimson Romance

RueSOFTAbout Rue Allyn: Rue Allyn, the imaginary love child of an immortal Scottish knight and Margaret Mitchell, was abducted adopted at birth by a pair of professor experts in Child Development and Education. She loved the parents who raised her and tried very hard to please them by starting school at the age of two and receiving more than 30 years of formal education, culminating in a Ph. D. that led to a number of teaching positions at various universities.

Her destiny at birth was to be the most famous and talented Coloratura Soprano ever. Sadly, when she was abducted adopted that destiny fell to a woman named Julie Andrews. Rue’s creative impulses could not be denied. She searched long and hard in universities, in the US Navy, in retail sales and odd jobs to find release for her undeniable desire to sing out about romance that melts the heart. She watched old movies, read stories by Dante, Chaucer, Charlotte Bronte, Georgette Heyer, and even—unknown to Rue—her mother’s legendary Gone with the Wind. Not until she met the man of her dreams, her very own True and Perfect Knight, did she discover that while fate had stolen her singing voice, she could—in the traditions of Ovid, Homer, and the Beowulf poet—still sing her songs of heart melting romance by weaving them into stories about love, joy, and ecstasy in all ages.

When not writing, loving her spouse, or attending conferences, Rue travels the world and surfs the internet in search of background material and inspiration for her next heart melting romance. She loves to hear from readers, and you may contact her at contact@RueAllyn.com.  She can’t wait to hear from you.

Contact Rue: Amazon   FaceBook   @RueAllyn   Goodreads   Author Travels Blog   Website

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