Friday, June 16, 2023

#HistoricalFiction author Jennifer C. Wilson shares her inspiration for her fabulous new novel, The Warriors’ Prize – #ScottishHistoricalFiction #BookSpotlight #TheCoffeePotBookClub @inkjunkie1984 @cathiedunn

The Warriors’ Prize

by Jennifer C. Wilson

⭐ Release Day Book Spotlight 

Publication Date: June 16th, 2023
Publisher: Ocelot Press
Pages: 242
Genre: Historical Romance

Stirling Castle, 1498
Visiting court for the first time since her father's death, Lady Avelina Gordon finds herself drawn to the handsome warrior, Sir Lachlan MacNair. But as a woman who has seen too many of her friends lose everything for 'love', she keeps her heart guarded.

Castle Berradane, 1502
Lady Avelina is unceremoniously told to expect her new husband within the month. The man in question: Sir Lachlan.

Lachlan arrives in Berradane carrying his own secret, and a determination to control his heart. As attraction builds between the couple, they find themselves under attack and fearful of a traitor in their midst.

Can the teamwork they've shown in adversity so far pull them through one final test, and will they find the strength to risk their hearts, as well as their lives?

The Warriors’ Prize is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

The inspiration behind The Warriors’ Prize

The Warriors’ Prize is the first full-length ‘new’ story I’ve written in a long time, and it felt great to dive into a new world. Well, a sort-of new world. We’re actually heading back to the world of the border reivers, the families along both sides of the Anglo-Scottish border, notorious for their thieving, raiding, and generally criminal behaviour. The perfect setting for a historical romance, wouldn’t you agree?

See, I know the image of the reivers as a set of ‘Robin Hood’ characters is wrong, of course I do (we have Sir Walter Scott partly to blame for that), but regardless of that knowledge, there’s something exciting and romantic about them, nonetheless.

These families were living on what many considered the edge of the world, a lawless, and ungovernable no-man’s land, which neither monarch was truly able to subdue until King James VI/I joined the English and Scottish crowns in 1603. Even the Wardens of the March put in place to impose March Law barely made a dent in their ruthlessness. It didn’t really help that most were as corrupt as the thieves and murderers they were supposed to be ruling over.

Despite all of this, ever since childhood, I’ve been drawn to them, the infamous families like the Robsons, Armstrongs, Charltons; even the Wilsons were active along the border in the ‘heyday’ of the 1400s and 1500s, when the reivers were at their strongest. When I moved to Hexham after university, and started editing what became The Raided Heart, I knew the setting wasn’t right, but living in a town with such strong connections to the reivers (there’s a reason England’s first purpose-built prison was built there in the 1330s!) brought all my memories and fascination back. Suddenly, setting the story in 1470s Northumberland seemed obvious.

For The Warriors’ Prize, I decided to cross the border, and head into Scotland. When I saw a call-out for ‘medieval heroes’ the character of Sir Lachlan MacNair sprang almost fully-formed into my mind. I knew he would be an active warrior, but unsurprisingly, he needed to have a heart of gold too, deep-down, especially when Lady Avelina Gordon was involved. I know there are plenty of battles and scenarios I could have placed Lachlan in, but really, he was never going to be anything other than a reiver.

There’s a sense of freedom writing about a group of people who lived essentially by their own rules (whether they should have been or not!). Although there ARE laws, through the rules of the hot (or cold) trod, there was a self-governing, however badly that went, thanks to the establishment of feuds which could last decades.

Being north of the border also meant I got to place my characters at a ball in the stunning Stirling Castle. They’re not there for long, but having finally visited Stirling a few years ago, I fell in love with the place, and knew I’d have to set something there at some point. As it happens, an important ‘off page’ event happens in Stirling, which has repercussions for Lachlan and Avelina, but Lachlan isn’t the only one there when it happens, and I’m excited to explore the stories of the other characters involved too at some stage.

I’m thrilled to bits to be bringing Lachlan and Avelina’s to life, and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Jennifer C. Wilson

Jennifer has been stalking dead monarchs since she was a child. It started with Mary, Queen of Scots, then moved onto Richard III. At least now it results in a story!

She won North Tyneside Libraries' Story Tyne short story competition in 2014 (no dead monarchs, but still not a cheerful read), and has been filling notebooks and hard-drives ever since. Her Kindred Spirits series, following the 'lives' of some very interesting ghostly communities, is published by Darkstroke, and her historical romances by Ocelot Press.

Jennifer is currently exploring some new ideas for historical romance, and hoping to visit Kindred Spirit friends old and new, north of the border...

Connect with Jennifer C. Wilson:

1 comment:

  1. That sounds so interesting! Can't wait to have a read of it. :-)