We’re starting another series in Spanish editions and will be publishing Spanish translations of the Jewels of Kinfairlie series next. First up (of course) is The Beauty Bride, available today.
Más apreciadas que el oro son las Joyas de Kinfairlie, y solo los más dignos pueden luchar por su amor… El señor de Kinfairlie tiene hermanas solteras, cada una de las cuales es una joya por derecho propio. Y él no tiene más remedio que verlas casarse a toda prisa.
El corazón de Lady Madeline no está a la venta… especialmente para un notorio forajido como Rhys FitzHenry. Sin embargo, la mano de Madeline se ha vendido, nada menos que a este guerrero cansado de la batalla con un precio por su cabeza. Una doncella más obediente podría ceder al mando del señor y aceptar dócilmente su destino, pero Madeline nunca ha sido obediente. Ella decide huir, aunque nunca cree que Rhys la perseguirá.
Ella no espera que este hombre reservado la corteje con historias fantásticas, y mucho menos que cada una de sus fascinantes historias revele una cicatriz en su alma protegida. Ella nunca imaginó que un hombre como Rhys podría poner en peligro su propio corazón al revelar tan poco de sus propios sentimientos. Cuando el pasado de Rhys amenaza su futuro, Madeline da un salto de fe. Ella se atreve a creerle inocente y arriesga su propia vida para perseguir una pasión más invaluable que la gema más rara.
Esta es una traducción al español neutral de América Latina.
La bella novia está también disponible en inglés como audiolibro.
I promised you another post about my inspiration for The Wolf & the Witch, but things got away from me. The last two months have been hectic, but I’m catching up.
In The Wolf & the Witch, the father of the heroine, Alys, was Robert Armstrong. He died when she was a child (no spoilers from me!) but had a reputation as a man who had made a deal with a demon. She reveals that he had lost a great deal before he died himself: her mother had died in childbirth, so he was a widower; he had made some poor decisions in administering his holding and household, so had no servants or villeins any longer; he had been robbed of all his wealth and his treasury was empty; and finally, he was reputed to have made a deal with a demon of the classic one-soul-for unlimited-power variety. (Why he would have been in such dire straits after making such a deal is another question altogether.) The ruin of Kilderrick is said to be haunted by a redcap goblin, which was Robert’s familiar – a detail that Alys uses to advantage to keep intruders away. In the course of the story, Alys realizes a few key truths about her father.
But the point of this post is to share my inspiration for Robert, which was William II de Soules. (I’ve already posted about Hermitage Castle being the inspiration for fictional Kilderrick.) William was a nobleman in the fourteenth century who held Hermitage castle and died in 1321. Like the fictional Robert, William had a considerable reputation, not all of which was true.
Let’s go back a bit. The first William de Soules was a Scottish nobleman granted the holding of Liddesdale by the Scottish king, and Butler of Scotland. His son, Nicholas de Soules, inherited the holding and the titles upon his father’s death around ???. When Margaret, the Maid of Norway, died in 1290, Nicholas was one of the contenders for the Scottish crown—the story was that his grandmother had been an illegitimate daughter of King Alexander II. His quest for the throne did not succeed and in 1296, he pledged homage to Edward I of England. He and his wife, Margaret Comyn, had two sons, William and John.
Nicholas’ son, William (II), was received into the peace of England by Edward I in 1304. He remained in the service of the English until Robert the Bruce’s victory at Bannockburn in 1314—then he changed his allegiance back to Scotland. He became Butler of Scotland, like his father and grandfather, but then, in 1320, was part of a plot challenging Robert the Bruce. It seems likely that the old idea of the de Soules line having a claim to the throne might have been behind this. The plot was found out and William arrested at Berwick. He confessed to his treason at the Black Parliament of 1320, but the king spared his life, making his considerable lands forfeit instead. William was imprisoned in Dumbarton Castle, where he died in 1321, leaving a daughter and heiress, Ermengarde.
The rumors about William are far more interesting! He was reputed to be a sorceror, tutored by the famous (dead) magician, Michael Scot. William could not be bound with ropes, injured by steel or killed by ordinary means because of his powers. He was large and cruel, seizing children for his blood rites and terrorizing both his vassals and his neighbors. He was said to have fortified his fortress, Hermitage Castle, against the king using supernatural means. (Even so, it wasn’t the castle that we recognize on that site: the castle that survives is a remnant of the fortification build by the Earl of Douglas after the holding was forfeited by Soules.) William’s abused vassals complained repeatedly to the king, Robert the Bruce, who is dismissive of their concerns in these stories, telling them “Boil him, if you please, but let me hear no more of him.”
And so, they do. The villagers have a chain forged to restrain the large and powerful William. He is taken forcibly to the Ninestang Ring and boiling him in molten lead. The story continues that Hermitage Castle sank into the ground after the passing of its lord, and that the keep is haunted still by William’s familiar, Robin Redcap.
There is a ballad about William called Lord Soulis composed by J. Leyden and included by Sir Walter Scott in his Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. (It’s in Volume IV). It ends like this:
At the Skelf-hill, the cauldron still The men of Liddesdale can show; And on the spot, where they boil’d the pot, The spreat and the deer-hair ne’er shall grow.
I didn’t have nearly enough fun with Robin Redcap in The Wolf & the Witch, but we’ll see more of him in The Scot & the Sorceress. I think Nyssa knows a lot more about goblins and hauntings than I do—and more than Murdoch would like to believe.
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.
The Mercenary’s Bride, book one of the Brides of Inverfyre series of medieval Scottish romances, is on sale this month for just 99 cents! Don’t forget that there’s a new audio edition of Quentin and Mhairi’s story, narrated by the fabulous Tim Campbell.
Robbed of his possessions, wounded and left for dead, Quentin de Montgomerie has lost everything except his love for Mhairi, the daughter of the Hawk of Inverfyre—and he knows who is to blame for his fate. He vows to return to Inverfyre and take his vengeance from the Hawk, but arrives to discover that the fierce maiden in possession of his heart has blossomed into a beauty, and that her kiss has the power to give him hope for the future again. Can Quentin prove himself to the Hawk and win Mhairi—or will she spurn him for being less than once he was?