... to my imaginings of another time. Even though my characters’ stories are set in the past, they seem as real to me as my own family. I intend for my books to be an escape and a balm for the turmoil and horrors of our own era. The underlying theme is love, connection and family, as well a deep belief in the sacredness of the earth and nature and the triumph of good over evil and joy over despair. If we believe, we can make it real.
I love the energy and life of the Middle Ages: majestic castles, crowded, chaotic cities, a wild and beautiful countryside dotted with picturesque villages. People back then were exactly like us, although life was much harsher and more demanding and death was ever-present. I imagine that everyone lived their lives more intensely then and all the familiar human emotions of love, hate, ambition and desire were magnified. People had fewer choices and the stakes were so much higher. Especially for women.
Whether you were a peasant or a princess, life was hard for women in medieval times. Merely surviving was a challenge. They seldom had a say in who they married or how they lived their lives. But medieval women still fell in love, had families and fought to be happy and to care for those who were dear to them.
My medieval heroines face the same restrictions and limitations as the rest of the women of their world, but they rise above them and take charge of their lives. And they find men who admire and love them for who they are. Heroes who are strong and noble and chivalrous, daring, brave and true. The heroines of my Medieval Ladies series live up to that buzzward of our time: they are empowered.
Nicola, the heroine of LADY OF STEEL, is beautiful, refined, well-educated and superbly competent. But she is married off to a brutal and twisted man who cares nothing for her. He only wants an heir to secure his hold on her lands. And since he perversely finds Nicola too repulsive to bed, he sends another man to accomplish the task.
Fawkes de Cressy is bold and ambitious. But he doesn’t really have a purpose in life. Not until he spends one hour in bed with Nicola and falls in love. From then on he is driven by one goal: to make a name for himself as a knight and acquire the power and wealth necessary to rescue his fantasy-woman-come-to-life, Lady Nicola.
Of course, things don’t go smoothly in fiction, any more than they do in real life. So Fawkes’s and Nicola’s path to love and happiness is fraught and difficult, but also I hope, adventurous and thrilling. Enjoy!