Actually, yes, I did. The Scots, particularly on the Border, are a stubborn, independent, hard-headed, ornery, freedom loving lot. My kind of folks! In fact, my next book will be set on the Scottish border, too. What do you like least about this period? I'm very familiar with the 14th century by now, so again it was the location, not the era that challenged me. In my last few books, I'd incorporated various trappings of educated royalty: art, music, dance, university studies. Life was rough on the Scots Borders.
Art and 'culture' were scarce.
But that actually lead me to some character development, as my heroine longed for the kind of culture and comfort that she would find, she thought, by marrying a French knight. Not the hero! Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn't already know? I had no idea how pervasive falconry was until I started studying it.
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Falconry, or hawking, is the sport of hunting with trained birds of prey. Its origins are ancient and despite having written four medieval romances, I had not realized that between the 12th and the 17th centuries, virtually every noble and even some non-noblemen would have hunted as a matter of course. The sport and the birds became a strong theme in the book, symbolic both of her emotional state and of the developing relationship. And while I began by feeling quite clever for using it as a simile for the love story, I quickly discovered I was not the first to think of it.
Much of the art of the period uses the falcon in just this contest. My story is not a 'taming of the shrew' premise, but it made me feel better to know I had chosen a metaphor that indeed applied to love, as well as sport. Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around? The life cycle of the falcon! Because it was such a thematic arc for the story, I had to know when falcons mated, how long it took for the eggs to hatch, when the chicks first flew and how they were trained to hunt with humansthat cycle set the framework for the story.
The illustration of hawking here dates from the same era as my story. Any gaffs or mea culpas you want to fess up to before readers get their hands on the book? I know I always seem to find one after the book has gone to press. Well, not randomly. I thought I knew what I was doing.
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But when the copy editor questioned my usage and my editor pointed out the confusion, I had an eleventh hour fire drill to go through the manuscript and correct or change my various and inconsistent usage. Please don't email to tell me I missed one! Thanks for being with us.
Copyright , W. Blythe Gifford. Cover copyright , Harlequin Enterprises. Blythe Gifford is known for medieval tales of characters born on the wrong side of the royal blanket. Cover Art used by arrangement with Harlequin Enterprises Limited. All rights reserved. Copyright Available in Spanish for Kindle. The Inglis army might be far away, but the Inglis border was not. That was her last thought before he rose out of the fog, a golden man on a black horse, like a spirit emerging from the mist. A man without a banner. A man without allegiance. The hound barked, once, then growled, as if cowed.
The man's eyes grabbed hers. Blue they were, shading as a sky does in summer from pale to deepest azure. And behind the blue, something hot, like the sun. Like fire. Any words she might have said stuck in her throat. Next to her, Euphemia gasped, then giggled.
The girl was hopeless. They'd be lucky to get her married before she was with child. Her cheeks burned. Beside her, young Angus drew his dagger, the only weapon he was allowed.
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Where was his own squire? An army could hide behind him in this mist. Her fault. She had ridden out alone and unarmed and put them all at risk.
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It held the burr of the land closer to the sea, but there was something else about it, difficult to place. Yet over the hill, in the next valley, each family's speech was different. He might be a Robson from the other side of the hill, scouting for one last raid before the spring, or loyal to one of the Teviotdale men who had thrown their lot with Edward.
She winced. She wanted to impress the visiting French knight, not embarrass him. Even a bastard bore his father's arms, but this man carried no clue to his birth. No device on his shield, no surcoat. Just that unkempt armor that, without a squire's care, had darkened with rust spots.
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No arms, no squire. Not of birth noble enough for true knighthood then. Clare touched her fingers to the bird's soft breast feathers, seeking to calm them both. His slow smile never wavered. She should not be talking to such a man at all. We have more enemies than friends.
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He flexed his hand as if it itched to reach for his sword. But in this small, Scottish village, he confronts a woman who challenges everything Tormented by her innocence As leader of his clan, Black Rob Brunson has earned every dark syllable of his name. But, having taken hostage his enemy's daughter in a fierce act of rebellion, he is tormented by feelings of guilt and torn apart with Ill-suited to court life, she must confr Word in the Royal Court has spread that the wild Scottish borders are too unruly.
Upon the King's command, John Brunson must return home… Once part of a powerful border clan, John has not set eyes on the Brunson stone tower in years. With failur A rebel without a country, he has darkness in his soul. Clare Carr, daughter of a Scottish border lord, can recite the laws of chivalry, and knows G To live the life of independence she craves, Jane de Weston disguises herself as a young man.
She doesn't foresee her attraction to Duncan, who stirs unknown but delightful sensations in her highly receptive, very feminine bod He is a man of secrets When a mysterious, seductive trader arrives at her door, noblewoman Katrine de Gravere reluctantly agrees to give him shelter. The payment--enough wool to keep her precious looms filled. She is a woman of lies Sleepin Lady Solay's eyes met those of a hard-edged man. His implacable gaze sliced through her and, for an instant, she forgot everything else.
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