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Barbara Bettis is with us today sharing about her latest medieval romance release. We know I have a soft spot for medieval books!
Thanks for hosting me on your blog today, Jean. Glad you have a moment to catch your breath after you’ve released three books so closely together. I’m hoping to ramp up the speed of my future ones. :)
Tell me about For This Knight Only.
This book, Roark and Alyss’s story, was a long time coming. It’s actually the first novel I wrote, but like many first books, it spent a good long while figuratively under the bed. In reality, it was tucked in a folder on my desktop—a sadly over-long historical that I used to joke contained everything but the kitchen sink. I learned a lot from that first version, and I came away with loads of advice on how Not to write a book. (Thank goodness for a sense of humor.)
That sounds like some of my first books (on a writable CD somewhere…). So this was your first written but not published. What came after you shoved this one in a folder?
My next three novels involved Alyss’s acquaintances and family in some way—brother, sister, friends. But I never completely got away from that first one because I loved the plot and I had absolutely come to love the characters. They just didn’t want to stay in the background.
This one refused to stay hidden.
Finally, I liberated the manuscript from its folder and started editing…and revising, which included lots of rewriting. And I cut some 15,000 words and at least two sub-plots from the original.
The result is one of my very favorite books. I still adore Roark and Alyss, even the villain, Paxton. I had such fun with all of them, I may have written ‘The End,” but they’ll always be close to my heart.
Thanks for featuring them here.
He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him. If only either had a choice. It’s a marriage only love can save.
Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.
Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.
But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.
A deeper look into For This Knight Only…
What would it take to persuade her to marry him? A sudden pain burst between his legs, and he gasped, eyes blurry. The little hell-cat kneed him. Even though chain mail deflected some of the impact, he used every bit of his willpower to remain standing.
Apparently persuasion took more than a kiss.
He drew a steadying breath. “You don’t understand, my lady. You will be my wife before
the sun sets. It was your brother’s dying wish. It was my pledge to a comrade.”
By God, he’d begun to believe it himself.
Alyss met him toe to toe. “This morning I had never seen you, and by tonight, you
think I will marry you?”
Her head tilted back and she glared into his eyes. “Were you, perhaps, wounded in the head during a fight? Have you lost your senses as well as your hearing? How do you propose to force me to the altar? With your army?”
With an exaggerated look around, she nodded at Alain. “Ah, yes. There it is. Impressive to be sure.”
Turning from Roark, she said, “Sir Baldwin, see that these two knights are outside
the gates by sundown. Call every man in the garrison to help, if need be. I want them gone.”
Head high as if confident her word would be enforced immediately, she strode to the
Frowning, Sir Baldwin started forward. Roark lifted a hand to halt him. He glanced at
Alain, then back to Alyss. “One moment, my lady. Hear me out.”
She continued to walk, but everyone in the hall had no trouble hearing her. “Unless you
intend to apologize, you can say nothing that will interest me.”
Roark had known this would not be easy, but he had expected the female to at least listen to reason.
An obedient, well-behaved lady is how Sir Godfrey described her. An excellent housekeeper, but
helpless to defend herself if her menfolk were all dead. Obedient, well-behaved. Helpless.
That Lady Alyss wasn’t this Lady Alyss.