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The girls at WGR are thrilled to welcome author Carrie Lofty to our site today. Carrie, thanks so much for granting us an interview.

1.) Please tell us a little bit about your upcoming release, Scoundrel’s Kiss.

Scoundrel’s Kiss is the stand-alone sequel to my Robin Hood-themed debut, What a Scoundrel Wants. When last we saw Ada of Keyworth, she’d just been rescued from the Sheriff of Nottingham and had seriously burnt bridges with her family. She and a young admirer, Jacob ben Asher, head off to Spain together. But she’s haunted by the unlawful and sickening torture she endured and turns to opium for relief…

Gavriel de Marqueda is a warrior on the verge of taking his vows with the Order of Santiago. Before he can do so, he must pass one final test: save Ada from herself. He’s vowed obedience, nonviolence, and chastity, but Ada refuses to be held against her will, even for her own good, and vows to use every possible resource to thwart Gavriel’s offer of aid.

2.) Tell us, do you ever base your characters on real people?

My inspiration for the villainous characters is Scoundrel’s Kiss was Pedro Fernandez de Castro, a Leonese nobleman who, because of a grudge against his two royal cousins—both of whom were kings—sided with the Moors at a pivotal battle called Alarcos. He was exiled to North Africa and died there in 1214. But everyone else in this particular romance came from my own imagination!

3.) When writing a novel, what comes first for you, characters, setting, or plot?

I always begin with the setting. I get an idea of where I want the tale to take place—somewhere cold, warm, exotic, familiar. From there I learn my characters. Are the foreigners to this setting I’ve chosen? Raised there? Just passing through? Once I feel that I know them inside and out, the plot comes last. When I arrive at that stage in the process of telling the story, I’m a complete panster!

4.) What is the most challenging part of novel writing? The most rewarding part?

The most challenging part for me is the first draft. I have to get the characters and their romance out of my head and onto the page. The stamina required to trudge through the messy, hideous first attempt is immense. After that, it’s all about revisions and making it shiny and pretty. I love that part! Revisions are very rewarding because it’s the time when I really get to see—on the page—the story that’s been in my head for ages!

5.) Describe for us your favorite place to write.

It changes, actually. I wrote Scoundrel’s Kiss in a local coffee shop that has since closed. I’m also quite fond of my local library’s upstairs reading section, which overlooks a lovely park. And after a recent procedure on my foot, I’ve spent a great deal of time working from my couch. The only place I rarely sit down to write is my computer! Too many distractions!

6.) Say Scoundrel’s Kiss was scheduled to be made into a major motion picture. Who would play the parts of Ada and Gavriel?

I don’t know his name, but Gavriel has always been the model I used in my web trailer–and he sounds like Richard Armitage from “North and South”! Ada would definitely be played by Eva Green, who played Vespa Lind in Casino Royale. She’s smart, brittle, aggressive, sexy, and a little unhinged.

7.) What is your favorite season and why?

Winter. Absolutely. I love the days growing shorter, the holidays, and even the snow. That probably has something to do with the fact that I live in a condo and someone else shovels the snow!

8.) I noticed on your website that you have two small daughters. How do you balance motherhood and writing?

It was harder a few years ago when they were at home or in pre-school. Now that they’re both in school fulltime, I have a good 5-6 hours a day to work. Funny, though, that I still have trouble finding time for mopping…

9.) I also noticed you spent some time in England. What was that like?

I lived in England for roughly ten months, during my junior year of college. It was a fantastic, transformative experience. Not only did I get to really dig deep into English culture by spending so many months there, visiting everything from tourist attractions and historical landmarks to nightclubs and family-run pubs, but I met my husband too. His family took me in as one of their own, and now we return every other year with our daughters.

10.) Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

I recently had some fantastic news. The trilogy of apocalyptic paranormal romances I’ve co-written with Ann Aguirre will be published by Penguin. We’re writing under the pseudonym Ellen Connor, and you can read more about our books here: http://ellenconnor.com

11.) Thanks again for joining us today, Carrie. Before we let you go, please tell our readers where they can find out all the latest CL news! 

Website: http://www.carrielofty.com

Blog: http://lovelysalome.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/carrielofty

Unusual Historicals, the blog I founded in 2006 and managed: http://unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com

 

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pendragon21The House of Pendragon: Book II, The Recruit

By Debra A. Kemp

Amber Quill Press 2007

Historical

Buy Link: http://amberquill.com/Recruit.html 

Author website: http://www.myspace.com/debrakemp

 

After reading Debra A. Kemps’s first Pendragon book, (The Firebrand) I wanted to read the sequel right away. Unfortunately life got in the way and the book was put on hold for a few days. Once I had a whole day to indulge myself, I got comfortable on the sofa with my soft, comfy throw and a glass of iced tea. I began the first paragraph a little warily, wondering if I could possibly love this book as much as the first. I needn’t have worried, Ms. Kemp did not disappoint.

 

Freed from slavery and coming to Camelot, as King Arthur’s daughter, is quite an adjustment for Lin and her foster brother Dafydd. Released from the brutal uncertainties of his life as a slave, Dafydd settles in and happily begins training for his life long dream of being a bard. Lin’s adjustment is harder. Although Arthur is thrilled at his daughter’s return and offers love and warmth, Queen Gwenhwfar’s reception is cold and distant. What Lin desires most is her mother’s love and approval—the Queen only wants Lin to conform to the monotonous life of royalty and accept the duties of a princess, including an arranged marriage. With Prince Modred’s rape and abuse still fresh, the last thing Lin wants is a husband.

 

Hurt by her mother’s coldness and unable to accept the life Gwenhwfar plans for her, Lin’s headstrong rebelliousness resurfaces, bringing harsh punishment from the Queen. Deciding there’s no hope of reconciliation with her mother, Lin goes to Arthur and requests permission to train as a royal soldier. Having passed the initial test to be accepted as a trainee, Lin is warned she will be given no consideration for her rank or sex during training. Haunted by her past and meeting resistance at every turn, will Lin’s indelible, fighting spirit finally be tamed or will she become a princess worthy to be Arthur’s heir?

 

Being a modern woman, I love Lin’s stubborn resistance to a life planned by everyone but herself. In The Firebrand we meet and get to know Lin, as an orphaned slave with a death wish, and the heart warming love between her and her foster brother. In The House of Pendragon: Book II, The Recruit we see Lin grow, mature and come into her own. She learns when and where to fight her battles against cruelty and barbarism. But fight them she does, even against the father she’s come to love and respect. I was impressed with Ms. Kemp’s impeccable writing and gifted storytelling, as she seamlessly weaves this gripping tale from one book to the next. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that the author will honor us in the future with a new Pendragon book. I feel an intense attachment to these characters and would love to read more of their story.

 

If you haven’t read Pendragon: Book I, The Firebrand, I suggest you start with that one. My review of it is listed in categories in the sidebar under book reviews – historical.

 

Willow

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