The Rogue, the first book set at my fictional medieval estate of Ravensmuir, is on sale this month for just 99cents. I thought we’d talk today about my inspiration for that holding.
In 1992, I visited Scotland for the first time and fell in love with it. What gorgeous inspiring countryside – and the castles were the best part of all. I toured a lot of them, most in ruins, but Tantallon left a very strong impression on me. It’s an old keep with a fascinating history. It also has a striking location.
The picture above shows Tantallon’s gates from the west, as you approach the keep. That high curtain wall defends the point, effectively sealing it off from attack. The North Sea is directly behind it, and in the distance to the left is an island called Bass Rock. I added a moat and a defensive hedge to Ravensmuir, as well as a flock of protective ravens – who just might communicate with the laird.
This second picture shows Tantallon from the sea side. You can see the defenses, the secured bailey, and what might be entrances to caves below. There was piracy along this coast and caves were used for hiding plunder. I decided that Merlyn’s father, Avery, would have taken one look at a ruined keep on a point much like this one and decided it was exactly what he needed to disguise his trade in religious relics.
You can see more of my inspiration for Ravensmuir on my Pinterest pages:
This month, my medieval romance and series starter, The Rogue, is discounted to just 99 cents. If you haven’t been seduced by Merlyn yet, this is the perfect opportunity!
Dear Reader: Seductive and mysterious, Merlyn was the laird of Ravensmuir—never had a man so stirred my body and soul. I gave myself to him—willingly, trustingly, passionately—and we soon wed. Then a horrible revelation emerged, shattering my innocence and my marriage… Five years later, Merlyn returned to my doorstep, desperate for my help. The scoundrel swore he was haunted by memories of me, that a treasure locked in Ravensmuir could clear his name. Yet I could not surrender to his will again. Now he is said to be murdered and Ravensmuir has fallen into my hands. But even as I cross the threshold of this cursed keep, I hear his whisper in the darkness, feel his caress in the night, and I know that Merlyn has told me but part of his tale. Should I do as is right and expose his lair? Or dare I trust my alluring but deceptive spouse—the rogue who destroyed my heart? —Ysabella
A Rhapsody Book Club Selection
A beguiling medieval romance from Delacroix…readers will devour this rich and compulsively readable tale.
Passion and intrigue test the boundaries of love and honor—The Rogue is medieval storytelling at its best!
Terry Garey, RITA award winning author of Dead Girls are Easy
An engaging tale of lost love found!
Merlyn is a delightfully charming rogue, Ysabella an admirable heroine, and the mystery just intriguing enough to keep you interested. Ms. Delacroix evokes the era, providing us with an accuate portrait and an enchanting tale—just what readers expect from this talented author.
One of my favorite tropes (maybe my VERY favorite one!) is Second Chance Romance. There’s little more appealing than being given a chance to do better, or to fix what went wrong in the past. When true love goes wrong, I love watching characters seize that second chance and work to make it right. These characters really earn their happily-ever-after. Plus, I like that they often have shared history or different memories (or interpretations) of the same event in the past. I enjoy watching them air their grievances, often while struggling against an attraction that won’t be denied. Here are a few of my own Second Chance Romances.
The Damsel, book two of my Bride Quest series, is a Cinderella story with a twist. Burke fell in love with Alys years before, and has regretted that he left her behind when her parents insisted on it. Haunted by his regrets, he returns to Alys, determined to win her heart for his own. Alys, however, believes she has a duty to her family and to follow their instructions—plus she’s not sure whether to trust Burke. His touch makes her forget everything she knows to be true, and it’s only sensible to fight against that kind of influence. Unfortunately for Alys’ plan, Burke’s passion and persistence is the very essence of temptation…
The Rogue is book one of my Rogues of Ravensmuir series. Sparks flew on the day that Ysabella and Merlyn first met and their mutual attraction was both powerful and immediate. How could she resist this handsome laird’s insistence that they wed? Ysabella was beguiled by Merlyn, until his secret was revealed and she fled their marriage. The book opens when he returns, five years later, to ask for her help. Someone is trying to kill him, a situation Ysabella can readily understand, and Merlyn is determined to convince his estranged wife to name the villain. “The fire still burns, chère,” he murmurs when he draws near, and it certainly does. If you haven’t been beguiled by Merlyn yet, the time has come. The Rogue is discounted to just 99cents for the month of January.
Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of my few Regency romances. It’s a novella and the first book in the Brides of North Barrows series. Lucien de Roye broke Sophia’s heart, yet when their paths cross again, she can’t help but respond to his presence. Her former life is a memory since her father’s passing, and fortunately, she’s in disguise, working as a governess—but Lucien isn’t fooled. He recognizes Sophia and is determined to make one thing right before the curse laid upon him claims his life. This is a bit of a ghost story, influenced by Lucien’s family holding, a sugar plantation in the West Indies, and Baron Samedi has a cameo.
The Warrior is book three of my Rogues of Ravensmuir series of medieval romances and has more of a fantasy element than the other books. The Hawk of Inverfyre is driven to reclaim his family estate from the rebels who stole it and means to secure the succession when he does. He needs a bride because he needs a son, and he doesn’t question his choice of Aileen, the overlooked daughter of an ally. He’s not a warrior inclined to negotiate and hasn’t much time: he abducts Aileen and weds her, never guessing that his touch awakens her dreams of their shared past, or that the bride that he seemingly chose by chance is his destined partner and true love. This is a reincarnation story, as well as a Beauty and the Beast story, and a favorite book of mine.
As you know by now, part of this feature is that at least one of the showcased books will be offered to newsletter subscribers at a discount. If you haven’t signed up for my monthly Knights & Rogues newsletter, this might be a good chance to do so.