Historical romance should be about more than just the central love story. It should also bring the period to life and, if possible, interweave real historical figures and events into the plot.
I do a lot of research for my novels set in 7th century Anglo-Saxon England, and the gems I discover are often the driving force for the stories. There's nothing more satisfying than bringing history to life.
In NIGHTFALL TILL DAYBREAK I interweave the tragedy of Sigeberht of the East Angles into the love story.
Sigeberht was the exiled stepson of the famous East Anglian King, Raedwald. After years exiled in Gaul, he returned to Britannia to take back the throne for his family; after a usurper killed his half-brother, Eorpwald, and made himself king. However, Sigeberht's decision had grave ramifications. He hated his life back in Britannia, and the role he had forged for himself. Eventually, he shunned his responsibilities as ruler, in favor of a life of religious contemplation - but when the Mercians marched on the East Angles, he was forced onto the battlefield. A man of conviction, Sigeberht went into battle refusing to bear arms - only a wooden staff. Of course, he died.
With history like this - who needs fiction! A quote from NIGHTFALL TILL DAYBREAK, which encapsulates Sigeberht's conflict, is below. I hope you enjoy it.
Monday, 30 June 2014
Sunday, 22 June 2014
The Breaking Dawn
THE KINGDOM OF MERCIA
The first novel in an exciting new historical romance series, set in Anglo-Saxon England. From Jayne Castel, the author of the genre-breaking KINGDOM OF THE EAST ANGLES series. Ten years after THE DEEPENING NIGHT ends, another adventure begins...
Available on Amazon in late 2014!
You cannot fight fate
641 A.D., Kingdom of Mercia - Britannia
Merwenna, a young Mercian woman, travels to Tamworth in search of her betrothed. She is naive and wary of the world beyond her remote village - but she is determined to know what has happened to the young man who blindly followed his king to war...
Dylan, an arrogant Welsh prince, has helped the Mercia gain victory. Unfortunately, glory turns to ashes when it dawns on him that he has sacrificed his men for nothing...
He is but a pawn in King Penda of Mercia's game of thrones.
The king returns to Tamworth, where Merwenna grieves for the man she has lost. A guest in Penda's Great Tower, Dylan's relationship with the Mercian king quickly sours. Events soon take a turn there is no way back from...
From the moment they meet Merwenna and Dylan's paths are intertwined.
They believe they understand the world, and their places in it...
They think they know what is worth living, and dying, for...
Yet the adventure that lies ahead will teach them that love is not at all what they thought - and that some battles are not worth winning.
Sunday, 8 June 2014
Still waiting to find out if NIGHTFALL TILL DAYBREAK has reached the semi-finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (Romance Category) - just a few more days as the results will be out on 13 June!
In the meantime, my Publishers Weekly review (which all quarter-finalists receive) is out. Last year's (DARK UNDER THE COVER OF NIGHT also reach the quarter finals) was a real stinker - but thankfully this year's reviewer loved NIGHTFALL TILL DAYBREAK!
Frankly, I've never received such a glowing review.
In this round, the Publishers Weekly reviewers had to read the whole book and review it. Hope this bodes well, although as the numbers now drop from 100 per category to 5 - the chances are slim. Will still be biting my nails down to the quick though!
Here is the PUBLISHERS WEEKLY review:
Historical romance takes on a new dimension in this novel set in a different period, the early 600s A.D. Young Freya enjoys her life of isolation deep in the woods of Britannia with her mother -- until they are both summoned to the side of the usurper king. Taken hostage, Freya must navigate her new life as a young woman thrust into the role of slave, first to the pretender to the throne, and then to the rightful heir, King Sigeberht. Along the journey, she encounters Aiden, commander of Sigeberht’s armies and incorrigible flirt. The pair grow alongside each other as significant changes impact their lives, drawing them to each other and away from those they love, and deeper into the territorial and religious wars plaguing the land. Filled with stark, compelling details about the atrocities of battle, the masterful storytelling flows naturally from one scene to the next. History comes alive in each breathtaking detail for a fully immersive experience. Character development is excellent and the author brings them to life on the page.
If this review has piqued your interest, you can read an excerpt on Amazon.
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