The Siege of Caerlaverock

At the end of The Wolf & the Witch (and the beginning of The Hunter & the Heiress), Elizabeth has been seized by two men seeking the bounty that will be paid by her betrothed, Calum Moffatt, upon her delivery to him at Caerlaverock castle. Amaury pursues this small party from Kilderrick, with the squire Oliver, intent upon defending Elizabeth. We know that she fled this arranged marriage, but Amaury doesn’t know that part of her story yet.

Today, I thought we’d take a look at Caerlaverock castle, which is built on a site that has been fortified for centuries. There was a Roman fort on Ward Law Hill and a British hill fort around 950 AD. The site allowed a view over Solway Firth. The name Caerlaverock appears in 1160 when the lands were granted to the Cistercian monks of Holm Cultram Abbey in Cumbria (across the firth). They held and rented lands in Galloway and used stone from there to built their abbey, but their grasp on these holdings steadily eroded. Interestingly, they were attacked by Scots, including Robert the Bruce in 1319, despite the fact that his father was buried in the chapel.

Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Castle, Dumfries, Scotland

The lands of Caerlaverock were granted to Sir John Maxwell in 1220 by King Alexander II, sealing its association with the Maxwell clan. Sir John Maxwell began construction on the first castle, which was square in shape with a moat, in the 1220’s. That castle and site was abandoned (possibly incomplete) in favor of a rise some 200 feet to the north, where the triangular moated castle was built by Sir Aylmer Maxwell—it was complete in 1271.

Caerlaverock Castle
Caerlaverock Castle

In this image, you can see the curtain walls that survive from the 14th century and the view over the Solway Firth. It’s likely that the walls were built from the stone excavated to dig the moat. The keep is also surrounded by earthworks. There are 17th century additions inside the walls called the Nithsdale Lodging.

Here’s the website for Caerlaverock Castle from Historic Environment Scotland.

What is interesting for my story is that the castle was besieged in July 1300 by King Edward I of England with an army of knights. Ultimately the castle was compelled to surrender, but there was a poem composed in Old French, called the Siege of Caerlaverock (or the Roll of Caerlaverock) which lists the attending knights, their credentials and standards, as well as describing the battle itself. 87 knights accompanied Edward to this battle, so it’s quite a list.

It starts like this:

In chronicles of great monasteries
It is found that King Edward the Third,[1]
In the year one thousand three hundred
Of grace, on the day of Saint John,
Was at Carlisle, and held a great court,
And commanded that in a short time
All his men should prepare themselves,
To go together with him
Against his enemies the Scots.
Before the appointed day
The whole host summoned was ready;
And the King with his great household
Immediately set forward against the Scots,
Not in coats and surcoats,
But on powerful and costly chargers,
In order that they might not be taken by surprise,
Well and securely armed.
There was many a rich caparison
Embroidered on silks and satins;
Many a beautiful pennon fixed on a lance;
And many a banner displayed.
And afar off was the noise heard
Of the neighing of horses;
Mountains and valleys were everywhere
Covered with sumpter horses and waggons,
With provisions, and the train
Of the tents and pavilions.
And the days were fine and long,
So they proceeded by short journies,
Arranged in four squadrons;
The which I will describe to you,
That I will not pass one over.
First I will tell you of the companions,
All their arms and names,
Especially of the bannerets,
If you will listen how.

Henry the good Earl of Lincoln,
Who embraces and loves valour,
And holds i sovereign in his heart,
Leading the first squadron,
Had a banner of yellow silk
With a purple lion rampant

(That first footnote notes that the chronicler believed Edward I to be the third Edward who had reigned over England, counting Edward the Elder and Edward the Confessor.)

In this era, the use of insignia was comparatively new and unregulated. There were already certain elements associated with royal families – fleur-de-lis for the French king, or on azure, three leopards rampant for the English king, gold on gules, and ermine for the Kings of Brittany – but many knights simply chose their colors. An incident like this one described later in the poem was thus possible:

Brian le Fitz Alan, saw I,
full of courtesy and honour,
barry gold and gules
displaying in a very splendid banner. 
this the same as Hugh Pointz carried —
difference there was none at all —
which was cause of strife between them,
and a marvel to men all.

Oops.

Here‘s the Wikisource of the poem, from which I took the first excerpt as it’s in the public domain. Some of the poem is presented in a side-by-side translation from the Old French to English, and there are some illustrations of the standards.

Here‘s an English translation of the text with illustrations of all the described standards at the Heraldry Society. The second excerpt came from there.

This is a fascinating chronicle for its detail, but also, in terms of story, I’m sure Amaury is familiar with it. He has a love of pageantry and heraldry, given his history of jousting in tournaments. He’s attended royal courts and heard the troubadours sing, and this poem recounting deeds of knightly valor, would certainly be one he’d find appealing. It’s evocative of the life he expected to life, and also the one Elizabeth abandoned for the sake of having her own choice. Amaury had an insignia, but of course, he was disavowed by Gaston de Vries, the man he believed to be his father, at Jean le Beau’s funeral at the beginning of The Wolf & the Witch. He had been hoping to ride to Paris to tourney (check on a stallion and a noble maiden), so I have to think he had all his trappings with him. He would have packed them away, not discarded them, because of their cost. At Caerlaverock, he will have use for them again – which means I had to design his insignia.


The Hunter & the Heiress is the second book in my Blood Brothers series and will be published in January 2022.

The Hunter & the Heiress, book two of the Blood Brothers series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix

Nothing could be further from Amaury de Vries’ expectations than being compelled to join a company of mercenaries in the wilds of Scotland, much less one led by his notorious half-brother. He chafes to return to his former life of privilege and knows a wealthy bride will allow him to regain his stolen legacy. Elizabeth is a prize unexpected—beautiful and an heiress—and when she is abducted by barbarians, Amaury’s path is clear. He may not be the sole contender for the lady’s hand, but he knows himself to be the best one—and he will use whatever means necessary to seal his triumphant claim.

All Elizabeth D’Acron desires is to wed for love, but her inheritance has made her both a pawn and a prize. Caught between warring chieftains, her defiance blossoms—she chooses instead to flee with Amaury and make a marriage of convenience, hoping her trust in the gallant knight is not misplaced. She does not expect the beguiling fire awakened by Amaury’s touch, much less his unexpected conquest of her heart, and she dares to hope that true love has found a way.

But Elizabeth’s legacy is not so readily claimed—when Amaury’s plan is revealed, she is shattered to learn that her chivalrous husband is no different from other men. Recognizing that the true prize is his lady wife, Amaury rejoins the company of mercenaries and leads the battl to ensure Elizabeth’s freedom, whatever the cost to himself. Can these two lovers overcome the wounds of the past to build a future together? Or will the secret behind Elizabeth’s inheritance destroy any such hope forever?

Coming in January 2022!


The Hunter & the Heiress will ba availble in wide distribution for one week after publication, then it will be exclusive to Amazon and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited.


Pre-order available at some portals:


The Hunter & the Heiress, book two of the Blood Brothers series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, audio edition

The Hunter & the Heiress will also be available in an audio edition, narrated by Tim Campbell.

The Brides of North Barrows Boxed Set

The Brides of North Barrows series will be available in a series bundle next summer, in both ebook and trade paperback – and the pre-order is up now. Look at this gorgeous cover! As soon as I saw it, I knew that could be Sophia and Lucien at Castle Keyvnor.


The Brides of North Barrows Boxed Set including all four Regency romance novellas by Claire Delacroix

The Brides of North Barrows Boxed Set includes all four Regency romance novellas in the Brides of North Barrows series by Claire Delacroix. In this series, two orphaned sisters are inspired to make love matches and dream of future happiness.

In Something Wicked This Way Comes, Sophia is disguised as the governess of Daphne and Eurydice when she meets Lucien again, the man who broke her heart, and he sees through her charade. She dreams of a second chance at love, but Lucien has made a deal with a demon to see her avenged and the demon will collect his due on All Hallow’s Eve—can they join forces to break the curse and win a future together?

In A Duke by Any Other Name, Daphne is on the way to Christmas wedding and dreams of her own nuptials. When she encounters a foppish duke, she’s determined to make the most of a rare opportunity. But there’s much more to Alexander than meets the eye, and Daphne is the one to pierce his disguise. Will the beguiling maiden jeopardize his mission for the crown, or will they corner the jewel thief together?

In A Baron for All Seasons, Anthea accepts her brother Alexander’s invitation to leave Scotland for London to organize his wedding to Daphne. She hasn’t visited town since she was accused of theft, but discovers that Rupert, her brother’s friend, has been working valiantly to clear her name. They join forces to locate the last missing gem, and their love blossoms. Anthea would wed Rupert for love, but he has no inheritance and won’t ask her to live with less—will these two star-crossed lovers find a way to be together?

In A Most Inconvenient Earl, Eurydice is convinced that a practical match will suit her best. She resolves to wed a wealthy rogue and let him do as he will in town while she writes in his country house. Alexander’s friend Sebastian is the ideal choice, so she proposes to him. Sebastian is astonished and intrigued by this unconventional offer and accepts out of curiosity. The couple elope and flee to London, finding adventure, romance and love along the way. But can a smitten Sebastian convince Eurydice to make their marriage of convenience into a real one?

The Brides of North Barrows Boxed Set includes four Regency romance novellas, brimming with disguises and mistaken identities, hidden heirs, second chances and a marriage of convenience that becomes so much more. Join Daphne and Eurydice for romance, intrigue and love forevermore!

Available August 2022

Pre-order available at some portals.


This bundle will also be available in a trade paperback edition.

First Knights is 99¢

From November 20 – 27, my four-book boxed set, First Knights, is discounted from $9.99 to just 99 cents! Don’t miss this chance to try four series starters and medieval romances.


FYI, I learned something this past weekend, btw, which will affect this deal if you live outside of the US. I used a feature called a Kindle Countdown Deal to change the price automatically on this book on schedule. I didn’t realize that a KCD only works on Amazon.com and only displays to shoppers who live in the US. So, I will discount this book again but internationally in December, to coincide with the next Knights & Rogues newsletter. That way, everyone can take advantage of the special. I apologize for my mistake. I had no idea!


First Knights, a digital bundle of four medieval romance series starters by Claire Delacroix

First Knights includes four medieval romance series starters from the Queen of Medieval Romance, Claire Delacroix. Be swept away to a realm of pageantry and chivalry, where each knight competes for his lady’s favor, each lady knows her heart’s desire—and love conquers all. Included in this digital bundle are four first-in-series medieval romances: One Knight Enchanted, The Princess, The Beauty Bride and The Crusader’s Bride.

In One Knight Enchanted—book #1 of the Rogues & Angels series—Annelise seeks refuge at a keep when she is separated from her party and pursued by hungry wolves. The price of admission is marriage to its mysterious lord, and she agrees—only to find herself in a luxurious palace, and seduced by her secretive spouse. Her new husband believes he is doomed, but Annelise knows that love can conquer all. Can she save her husband from the curse placed upon him, or will breaking her promise to him cost any chance to win his wary heart?

In The Princess—book #1 of the Bride Quest series—Brianna is obliged to choose one of three brothers as her husband. Instead, she challenges them, vowing to wed the one who brings her a gift that makes her laugh. She has no intention of laughing at all, but one brother, Luc, declines to follow her whim. Sparks fly between the willful princess and the disillusioned knight after his brothers depart, and from this battle of wills, an unexpected love dawns. When the other knights return, will Luc take up his sword again to defend the maiden who has claimed his heart, or will Brianna be compelled to wed another?

First Knights, a digital bundle of four medieval romance series starters by Claire Delacroix

In The Beauty Bride—book #1 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series—Madeline flees her arranged marriage to the notorious outlaw Rhys FitzHenry, only to be pursued and seduced by her stubborn betrothed. Is she just a possession to this man who wants a son above all else, or can she capture his love for her own? Why does Rhys tell her so many stories, and what do they reveal about her enigmatic husband’s hidden heart?

In The Crusader’s Bride—book #1 of the Champions of St. Euphemia series—the widow Ysmaine makes a marriage of convenience, accepting the offer of a Templar knight in Jerusalem who is leaving the order to return to France. When their party is attacked, Ysmaine learns that Gaston carries a secret treasure in trust for the Templars, Ysmaine knows that her new husband’s survival may depend upon her assistance—and that this man of honor has stolen her heart. Can she persuade him of the merit of love and trust before it’s too late?

The First Knights digital boxed set includes four thrilling series starters by Claire Delacroix, bursting with medieval romance, adventure, suspense, and love everlasting. Be swept away to Claire’s medieval world in this introduction to four of her medieval romance series today!

The Highlander’s Curse in Spanish

Annelise and Garrett’s story is now available in a Spanish edition!


Él estaba marginado y solo, hasta que ella le dio la bienvenida en su corazón…

Privado de su herencia y agobiado por el legado de su sangre Hada, Garrett MacLachlan cree que está condenado a ser un paria para siempre, hasta que conoce a Annelise de Kinfairlie, una gentil doncella con el poder de convertir su maldición en un regalo.  ¿Garrett podrá reclamar su legado robado con Annelise a su lado?  Si Annelise desafía a su familia a perseguir el amor verdadero, ¿será eso suficiente para curar a Garrett?  E incluso si triunfan sobre enemigos mortales, ¿exigirán las Hadas un precio que ninguno de ellos pudiera pagar?


Esta es una traducción al español neutral de América Latina.


La maldición del Highlander está también disponible en inglés como audiolibro.


The Wolf & the Witch into Kindle Unlimited

The Wolf & the Witch was enrolled in Kindle Unlimited this morning through February. If you’re a KU subscriber, you can read Maximilian and Alys’ story free!


The Wolf & the Witch, book one of the Blood Brothers trilogy of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix

Denied his rightful legacy, Maximilian de Vries devised a plan to avenge himself upon his father and see his own future secured. Allied with his two half-brothers, he descends upon ancient and mysterious Kilderrick, determined to seize the keep once promised to him, regardless of the price. A woman rumored to be a witch is the sole one bold enough to defy him but Maximilian has a solution—he will take her to wife, whether she be willing or nay, and seal his claim.

But this powerful warrior has yet to match wits with Alys Armstrong, a maiden with a thirst for vengeance and a fury that might exceed his own. Alys has no intention of capitulating to the proud and powerful rogue who stole everything from her—no matter how seductive his touch might be—and she does not share his compulsion to fight fair.

Bitter enemies from the outset, Maximilian and Alys’ match is a battle of wills. When passion flares, will either of them be able to resist temptation? And when Kilderrick itself is in peril, will they join forces to save the holding they each prize—and the unexpected love they value above all else?


Five star review for The Wolf & the Witch, book one of the Blood Brothers series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix

Here’s a blog post about my inspiration for Kilderrick.


Here’s a blog post about William II de Soulis, inspiration for Robert Armstrong.


Here’s a blog post about 14th century mercenaries
– like Maximilian, Jean le Beau and Rafael.


Here’s a blog post about King Robert II of Scotland,
the reigning monarch during this series.


Here’s a blog post about “poppy powder”.


Five star review for The Wolf & the Witch, book one of the Blood Brothers series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix

The Wolf & the Witch is exclusive to Amazon and enrolled in Kindle Unlimited through February 2022.


Buy the ebook: