Kinfairlie Knights Coming in Audio

Kinfairlie Knights, a digital bundle of three medieval Scottish first-in-series romances by Claire Delacroix

My boxed set Kinfairlie Knights is available at retailers again. This popular bundle includes three series-starters set in the medieval realm of Kinfairlie and Ravensmuir: The Rogue, The Beauty Bride and The Renegade’s Heart. You can buy it at digital portals, or directly from me at a better price. (Look in the Store.)

Why is it back? Because there will be an audiobook boxed set of Kinfairlie Knights available soon. Stay tuned!

Pre-orders for Los campeones de Santa Eufemia

I’ve set up pre-orders at some of the portals for the next three books in this series as they’re being translated right now. How exciting! Bartholomew’s story will be available in March; Fergus’ story will be available in April; Duncan’s story will be available in May. The first two books are available now. Just click through on the cover for more details on each one.

The Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, in Spanish

Los Campeones de Santa Eufemia sigue a un grupo de caballeros a quienes se les ha confiado un tesoro en Jerusalén que ellos deben entregar de manera segura a París.  En el camino encuentran aventuras y peligros, además de romance.  Dado que las historias se superponen y se construyen unas sobre otras, deben leerse en orden.

El tablero de Pinterest de la serie está aquí.

The Crusader's Bride, book one of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, in Spanish
The Crusader's Heart, book two of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, in its Spanish edition
The Crusader's Kiss, book three of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, in its Spanish edition
The Crusader's Vow, book four of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, in its Spanish edition
The Crusader's Handfast, book five of the Champions of St. Euphemia series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, in its Spanish edition

Coming in 2021

This year is going to be a busy one! Here’s what I can tell you now about upcoming releases.

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

I have two new books on the schedule for this year: The Wolf & the Witch, which is the first book in a new trilogy called Blood Brothers, will be published in the spring. One Knight’s Desire, which is the third book in the Rogues & Angels series of medieval romances will be published in the fall.

I’ll also have two audiobooks published this year, both of which will be narrated by Tim Campbell: The Wolf & the Witch will be available in audio in the spring (in my attempt to move closer to simultaneous audio release). The Runaway Bride will be released in audio in the fall (in my attempt to catch up on audio editions for books that are already available). I’m excited to be moving back into audio again, and I love Tim’s recording of The Mercenary’s Bride. He has such a wonderful voice and a talent for bringing the story to life.

There will also be two new boxed sets. Stolen Brides will be published in February at a discounted price of 99cents for release. There will be another new bundle in the summer, but that’s all I’ll tell you about that right now. 😉

Stolen Brides Boxed Set, including four Beauty-and-the-Beast medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

I’ve had a lot of translations in the works, and they’ll start popping up this month. In German, you’ll see more of the Jewels of Kinfairlie this year, as well as the launch of the Champions of St. Euphemia. In Portuguese, we’ll complete the Jewels of Kinfairlie. In Italian, we’ll start the True Love Brides. In Spanish, we’ll see the Champions of St. Euphemia series completed and maybe even more.

Will there be even more? It’s possible. I’ll keep you posted.

2020 in Review

There have been a lot of graphics in my feed on Facebook of authors sharing the books they published in 2020. It’s inspiring to see everyone’s accomplishments, so I did a graphic of my own.

Deborah Cooke and Claire Delacroix's 2020 releases

Pearl Beyond Price is a teensy bit of a cheat, as it was published in the last week of 2019. (I felt badly that “Claire” had no new releases in 2020.) I published the All’s Fair boxed set, but it was composed of previously published content, which doesn’t count for this graphic.

The Mercenary's Bride, book one of the Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix, in audio

Claire also had new translations published in 2020, including The Beauty Bride in Portuguese and German, The Rose Red Bride and The Snow White Bride in Italian, and The Ballad of Rosamunde in Portuguese. I have the Spanish translation of The Crusader’s Bride but it won’t appear in stores until 2021. Claire also had a new audiobook, The Mercenary’s Bride, recorded by Tim Campbell.

The first two books shown here, Pearl Beyond Price and Just One Fake Date, were revisions and rewrites. I’ve learned that these take me longer than just writing a new book, so won’t be rushing to do any more of them. (Even though I have more Claire Delacroix books from Harlequin Historicals, they all need that kind of revision. I’m going to leave them alone for the time being.)

Stolen Brides, a boxed set of four medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

Another project that consumed a lot of time was repackaging books. I repackaged The Champions of St. Euphemia series, as well as Flatiron Five Fitness and Flatiron Five Tattoo. I’ll take a break from that job in 2021, too!

The obvious question is: What’s coming in 2021?

When I was traditionally published, the schedule was made a year in advance of publication and books were delivered, formatted, etc., about six months before publication. I’m trying to get back to that place without leaving too many gaps in my schedule. It’ll take me a couple of years, but I’m making progress. The big challenge with publishing is that I like to alternate between sub-genres and worlds. I think it’s necessary to my creative process, so that means that the publication of series will stretch out over time.

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

So far in 2021, I have two historical romances scheduled for publication, The Wolf & the Witch and One Knight’s Desire. I have two books scheduled for audiobook production: The Wolf & the Witch and The Runaway Bride. Both will be recorded by Tim Campbell. I already have a number of translations scheduled for delivery and publication in 2021: The Rose Red Bride in German, The Rose Red Bride and The Snow White Bride in Portuguese, The Ballad of Rosamunde and The Renegade’s Heart in Italian, and The Crusader’s Bride in German, too. The rest of the Champions of St. Euphemia series will be translated into Spanish, too. (As mentioned above, The Crusader’s Bride in Spanish is being published now.) Many of these translation teams will continue the series with the next book after they deliver the one currently in the works. Claire has a new boxed set coming in February, Stolen Brides, and will have a second boxed set published some time during the summer.

One Knight's Desire, book three of the Rogues & Angels series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix

For my contemporary romances, Just One Silver Fox is scheduled already for 2021. I plan to publish Annika and Thom’s story—which is becoming longer than I’d initially expected, no surprise to any of you in that!—but won’t set a publication date for that until it’s done. I have another secret Flatiron Five project in the works, but it’s too soon to talk about that. 🙂 Of course, there’s the F5F spin-off series in Harte’s Harbor, too, but I’d like to be able to schedule the first three on a fairly rapid release, with the books being done. Ha. I’m thinking that series will likely be a 2022 launch.

For my paranormal romances, there’s nothing officially booked at this time. I’m hoping to publish the next DragonFate novel, possibly next summer, and am working on the next Incendium story, Wyvern’s Wizard. (The issue with Wyvern’s Wizard is that I suspect four princesses are going to weigh in and entangle their storylines with Peri’s, so it’s not a case of getting one book written—it’s a case of getting four books written.) I’m still having various characters weigh in about their story needing to be told next. Once The Wolf & the Witch is done, I’ll make a decision and dive in.

In the meantime, there are promotions to schedule and all the rest of the jobs that come with indie-publishing. I’m hoping to have a very productive 2021, and this is my plan at the moment. I have the spreadsheets to show for it!

A Fifteenth Century Dress

One of the things going on behind the scenes here is the translation of many of my books into other languages. This is a really interesting exercise: I love seeing the covers translated and also the discussions with my translation teams. One team in particular sends me questions to make sure they get the details right. This can require a bit of detective work on my end, since we’re starting translations with the Jewels of Kinfairlie series, which I wrote in 2005. Sometimes I just don’t remember! I thought I would share one of my recent investigations with you, when I went looking for a 15th century dress.

The Rose Red Bride, #2 of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval Scottish romances by Claire Delacroix

The translators are working on The Rose Red Bride, and wanted more explanation about Vivienne’s dress. Here’s what it says in the book:

“Her finest chemise of sheer linen was an obvious choice, as she wished to impress her fairy lover with her finery. It was cut full and gathered at the neck on a drawstring, as was typical, but was distinguished by sleeves fitted from elbow to wrist and secured with dozens of tiny buttons made of shell.

It was no small feat to don the chemise without the aid of one of her sisters or their maid, but Vivienne managed the deed.

She then donned her favorite kirtle, also a gift from Rosamunde, which was wrought of silk woven in two shades of emerald. The sleeves were slit from the shoulders to reveal the chemise and trailed to the ground, while the hem pooled upon the floor. The hem and neckline and sleeve edges were all graced with intricate golden embroidery. The men in her family had called it a most impractical garment, while her sisters openly coveted it.”

Illustration from The Chronicle of Western Fashion by John Peacock

It sounded to me as if I’d been inspired by a specific dress, so I went looking in my library for the source. I found it in The Chronicle of Western Fashion, by John Peacock, a book of illustrations I’ve had for a long time.

It’s labelled as being the outfit of an Italian lady from 1410. If you look closely, you can see the buttons along the sleeve of the ochre chemise, from elbow to wrist.

I did wonder whether I could find more detail, though, and kept looking.

In Medieval Costume in England and France by Mary G. Houston, I found the image below. It looks like the same dress but the woman is illustrated with three other people.

Illustration from Medieval Costume in England and France by Mary G. Houston

One of the interesting things about medieval costume is that there aren’t that many sources, and the sources are a bit different than you might expect. Queens and kings carved onto cathedrals, for example, or depicted in marginalia of manuscripts or woven into tapestries will usually be dressed in the style of the times of the artist and not of their actual era. An illustration of Noah at the flood could show 13th century court dress very well.

This line drawing was inspired by an image in the Très Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry, a 15th century book of hours filled with miniature paintings. Books of prayer are also a great source of social history details, including clothing styles.

This is the painting for April from the Très Riches Heures, which shows fruit trees in bloom in a walled garden, maidens picking flowers, men fishing and a couple pledging their troth. It’s just what you might expect to happen in April in the northern hemisphere. You’ll recognize the woman in blue as the inspiration for the drawings, and for Vivienne’s dress.

April from the Tres Riches Heures of the Duc de Berry

This image is from a website called Digital Medievalist. You can see it in more detail, here.

Here’s the Wiki on the Très Riches Heures, too, which is a comparatively large book of hours. It measures about 8″ by 12″ but many books of hours are tiny, only four inches or so in each dimension. The detail in them is incredible! If you’re ever at the Cloisters in New York, they have a collection of books of hours and there are always a few on display. You can also see selected pages from the books of hours in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum (which owns the Cloisters) on this page of search results.

The Rose Red Bride, book two of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series of medieval romances by Claire Delacroix, German edition

So, I found Vivienne’s 15th century dress, and now the translators know what the sleeves look like.

The German edition of The Rose Red Bride – which will be called die rosenrote Braut – should be available in January.