Thursday, August 27, 2009

Knights of the Bruce

Today we welcome Scottish historical author Gerri Russell back to the Lair. Next month is the official launch of her new series about the Scottish Knights Templar with volume one, To Tempt A Knight. Which has a very tempting cover, as you'll see. I've read the first part of this book, which has dynamic action and heart-wrenching romance, and I can't wait to finish it. Gerri will tell us what inspired the series and give us a peek inside the book. Welcome, Gerri!

I’m thrilled to be back in the lair with so many of my favorite people to celebrate the release of my new book, To Tempt a Knight. This book starts a new series for me based on a group of men in Scottish history that were know as Robert the Bruce’s special guard. These men were the best of the best, specially-trained in the military arts, and handpicked by the Bruce himself.

Anyone familiar with 14th century Scottish history knows that the reign of Robert the Bruce was anything but peaceful. The English were a constant threat to Scottish lands and their way of life. The Bruce had wanted desperately during his lifetime to go on crusade to the Holy Land. Some theorize that it was a way for him to make peace within himself over the slaying by his supporters of John Comyn, his rival for the throne of Scotland. The incident led to the excommunication of the Bruce from the Catholic Church.

As the king’s life neared its end, he called on his men to grant him one last favor. After he died, he asked that his heart be removed from his chest and taken on Crusade to the Holy Land for burial in the church of the Holy Sepulchre. Faithful to their king, they cut the king’s heart out at his death, placed it in a specially designed cylindrical vessel, and in the spring of 1330, the Bruce’s inner circle of knights, supported by twenty-six squires and a retinue of men, set off on a Crusade from Scotland for Jerusalem, fighting the infidel along the way through enemy territory.

On the morning of August 25th, 1330, the Scottish knights joined King Alfonso of Castile in a battle that was intended to crush the Kingdom of Granada, which was held by the Moors at that time. A false battle cry sent the Scottish knights into battle before they had adequate reinforcements. They were outnumbered a hundred to one. And even with the heart of the king on their side, they were doomed to failure. The knights were crushed by the Moors, and their mission failed. Five of the ten knights died, along with hundreds of foot soldiers.

When I read about the devastation Robert the Bruce’s knights suffered, I knew I had to write the stories of these knights. What would it be like to lose everything—their friends, their family (they gave them up to be Templars), their purpose, their confidence, and their faith? In the series I explore how three of these men recovered from that kind of devastation.

Of course, we all know it takes the help of a good woman, despite the fact they’ve all taken vows of chastity, to get them back on track. Here’s a snippet of some of that recovery from the pages of To Tempt a Knight.

A primitive jolt of desire rocked William as he gazed down at Siobhan. Sweet Mary, he groaned silently. The blood pounded in his veins and quickened in his loins to a point he had never experienced before. He’d lost himself all right. He’d lost himself, body and soul, in the feel of her body next to his.

Firelight flickered across her red hair and gilded the softness of her alabaster skin. When had the sun vanished from the sky? He hadn’t noticed light or dark, nothing but the woman who stood not two paces from him.

He wanted to reach out to her, to shatter the tension between them and end this madness. Surely, once he tasted her, his senses would return to normal and they could move forward with their journey.

His thoughts stopped him. You’re a monk. And with that designation comes certain responsibilities. William clenched his jaw, fighting desire. He had dedicated himself to something other than the concerns of mortal men.

He felt very mortal at the moment, and vulnerable to the desires of men. Suddenly, the question he usually asked himself in times of great fear sprung forward in his mind. What’s the worst that can happen?

William clung to the question like a lifeline. The worst might be that he’d want more than a sampling of what Siobhan had to offer. The worst might be that he’d be forced to recant his vows, to leave the Templars, to take up a secular life. Or worse yet, that God might turn his back on him.

Never had he been so tempted to turn away from his vows. He took a step closer, reminding himself that God would forgive his failings. He forgave all men their imperfections. William swallowed roughly as he moved closer. Her delicate fragrance filled his senses. Forbidden or not, he wanted her.

“Siobhan,” he whispered her name. He could feel the warmth of her against his chest, yet they did not touch. He lifted the end of her damp plait where it hung across her shoulder and curled it around his finger. Slowly, slowly, he increased the pull. Not hurting her, simply drawing her forward until her hips touched his.

He toyed with the single strand of hair at the end of her plait that she’d used to hold the whole tight. His thumb brushed the end backwards and forward until it gave under his gentle caress.

He could not stop the low groan that came from his chest when the ends of her hair came free. He worked the plait apart, higher and higher. “You should let your hair go free.” He kept his manner light, but he couldn’t hide the desire that deepened his tone.

A shiver moved through her as he continued. With each fraction of an inch he moved up the length of her hair, unplaiting it, he drew her closer. Her breasts brushed his chest. He brought the fall of her hair up to his mouth. He brushed the silken texture against his lips.

He let it fall back against her neck and followed it down, pressing the softest of kisses to her hair and the flesh of her shoulder beneath. Her skin was exquisitely soft, and he lingered there, unable to pull away.

She shuddered at the contact. “William, we should not,” she whispered.

“I know.” His body pulsed and ached as he shifted his gaze from her to the pool beyond them. Mist crept across the moonlit waters and a whisper of a gentle breeze chased through the silver-backed leaves overhead. “Everything in my head says nay, but you here in my arms feels right.” His voice was shaking, and shivers ran down his limbs.

She pulled him closer.

He buried his face in her hair and drew in the soft scent of heather that lingered there. He felt the curve of her body against his. All the blood in his body ran erotic, beating with longing, with the need to not just take her, but possess her as his own.

She wanted that too, he could feel it in the beat of her heart against his chest, feel the ripening of her breasts where they pressed against him.

Being near her without possessing her was pure hell. The emotions that drove them to this moment, the force of their passion was a gift given freely by the Maker above. They had every right to explore that gift. He was only a man, and man was flawed. He knew what his sins were. He knew what his judgment would be. And he found he didn’t care what it cost him.

He wanted to lose himself, to put an end to his self-imposed isolation with the woman in his arms. He was always alone, had wanted to be alone, until she came along. He held her tighter. “Tell me if you want to stop,” he breathed as the flame inside him burned ever brighter. He would use that fire within himself to incite her, to please her, and make a world where only he and Siobhan existed as they became one flesh.


I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek inside To Tempt a Knight as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you.

Now it’s your turn. What kind of hero captures your heart? Is there a particular hero that stayed in your thoughts and your heart long after the book was over?

One commenter will receive a copy of To Tempt a Knight.

110 comments:

flchen1 said...

Heroes? Mmm!

flchen1 said...

Wow, that was quite an excerpt, Gerri! I'm definitely looking forward to reading William's story!

As for a hero to capture my heart? One who's committed to doing the right thing, who's also open to changing course and/or admitting he's wrong if that should be the case, one who's steadfast and ideally got a sense of humor :) I prefer heroes (and heroines) to have some flaws though--don't want someone too perfect, but someone who can recognize his own strengths and weaknesses and is willing to take some risks.

One memorable hero is Larson Jennings in Tamera Alexander's Rekindled--he's scarred now because of an accident and is trying to woo his wife anew.

Michelle said...

great excerpt! HOT!! i wish it went on... i can't wait for the book (fingers crossed I win it)! A hero that captures my heart: kind, loyal, and understanding but also human (I'm not really fond of heroes that are too perfect). I like them tall, manly and handsome too of course (it is a fantasy hero after all).

Have a great rest of the week everyone!!
Michelle (countesschelle@aol.com)

Gerri Russell said...

flchen1,

Thanks for stopping by! I, too, love a man who can admit he's wrong.

And I love the book suggestion! One of my favorite storylines is a hero and heroine falling in love all over again. So poignant.

Gerri Russell said...

Michelle--

You described the perfect man!

Blodeuedd said...

He sure sounded nice :D
Hm, there are so many, but those that do stay in my mind are those loving and gentle one. Those who love when all hope is lost (ok now I am just quoting Austen). But the sweet ones, that makes my heart ache and go awwww

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, AGAIN???!!! You and Lime will be pistols at dawn if this continues! Or perhaps pistols at rooster crow?

Gerri, lovely, lovely Gerri! Wonderful to have you back in the lair. The new books sound fantastic. Och, aye, you canna beat a Scotsman, can ye?

Sorry to flap my kilt and run but I've got a book due on 1st Sept. Was lovely to see you, albeit briefly, in DC!

Jane said...

Hi Gerri,
Congrats on the new release. Your Scottish Knights Templar series sounds intriguing. I love heroes that are strong but tender. One of my favorites is Gabriel MacBain from Julie Garwood's "Saving Grace." All this talk of the Scottish made me think of him.

Congrats on the GR, Fedora.

Helen said...

Congrats Fedora

Gerri
This series sounds fabulous it is a long time since I have read about the Templar Knights Mary Reed McCall did a great series on them and I loved them so I know I am going to love these they have been added to my must get list.

As for a favourite heros there have been many and I don't think I could list them all. All of them at sometime pop into my thoughts

Thanks for inviting Gerri back Nancy.

Have Fun
Helen

Emmanuelle said...

One of my favorite hero is Jamie Fraser. I love his devotion, his rightousness, his honor... he really stayed in my mind long after reading the books (sure there are 5 HUGE books so it's also probably why...).

Deb Marlowe said...

Hi Gerri!

Oh, your new Templar series sounds wonderful! You must be having a great time with these guys--talk about instant conflict--a vow of Chastity will give you that!

I'm with Emmanuelle--I'm a Jamie Fraser fan from way back, probably because we've had the chance to get to know him so well over the series--more to love! Cole from Liz Carlyle's A Woman Scorned is a favorite too--gotta love the vicar hero! He's always seemed like such a well-rounded character to me--patient and kind, but masculine--and tough when he needs to be.

RachieG said...

FANTASTIC excerpt. :)

Hmm...I guess one of my favorite heores is "Wrath" from the J.R. Ward series. The King of Vampires...with a ton of baggage, but there is just something utterly scrumptious about him!

rachie2004 @ yahoo (dot) c0m

Nancy said...

Fedora, congrats on taking home the rooster!

I like heroes and heroines with flaws, too. Perfect people have no room to grow. If the hero and heroine don't grow and change, then the relationship doesn't have as much impact.

Nancy said...

Hi, Michelle--

I'm with you on the perfection thing. I also like heroes who are tall. I'm tall, so that appeals to me.

Nancy said...

Blodeuedd, I like gentle heroes, too. If a hero isn't gentle, the story doesn't have soft moments between the clashes. A gentle hero can take are of the people around him in more ways than one who's purely alpha with no tender side.

Nancy said...

Anna, glad you could pop in. With September 1 drawing closer, I guess you're really under the gun. Good luck with it!

Nancy said...

Jane, I think Saving Grace has a lot of fans around here. I know Julie G. has many, many fans among the banditas and our buddies.

Nancy said...

Hi, Helen--based on the part of To Tempt a Knight I read so far, I do think this series will be fabulous. Templars were big a while back and then faded out. I wonder if The da Vinci Code had anything to do with bringing them back to the fore in the publishing industry. The ones in Gerri's book are certainly going to do their part for Templar popularity--fabulous guys!

Nancy said...

Emanuelle, Jamie has a big fan following in the Lair. Many people who hang here love those books.

Nancy said...

Hi, Deb--

Another Jamie fan! I'm with you on the patient, kind, and tough. It's a great recipe for a hero. Liz Carlyle does wonderful guys, doesn't she?

Nancy said...

Rachie, J.R. Ward is on my TBR list. She has a big contingent of fans around here, too.

That really is a smokin' excerpt, isn't it?

Laurie said...

One of my all time favorite heroes was Willaim Wallace in Braveheart. Closely followed by Lt. John Dunbar, friend of Indians and wolves in Dances with Wolves by Michael Blake. Shogun by James Clavell with Blackthorne an English ship pilot who becomes involved in the struggle as two opposing men sceme to gain the title of Shogun.
Finally, Nora Robert's Roarke!! A rich, sexy hero!!

Gerri Russell said...

Anna,

Good luck with your deadline! You can do it!

Nancy said...

Hi, Laurie--

Those are all terrific heroes. I've read only the first few J.D. Robb books, but I can see why you like Roarke so much!

Gerri Russell said...

Jane and Helen,

Thanks for stopping by. I agree wholeheartedly that a hero should be strong, yet tender . . . aren't those the men we marry?!

Gerri Russell said...

Emmanuelle and Deb, I just interviewed Diana Gabaldon for an article in RT magazine. Can you believe she has written about Jamie Fraser for over 700,000 pages? That's strong characterization. Her seventh book in the Outlander series comes out Sept. 22.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Gerri! That was some excerpt! Wow! I'll be picking that book up, pronto.

As for heros I love, I have a thing for the uber-sophisticated urban shark. You know the kind--killer suit, corporate tycoon, lots of polish & savoir-faire...and a big ol' soft spot for a goofy heroine. The kind of guy who's always ruthlessly effective & no-nonsense, right up until he falls in love. And then he has to confront his inner geek. That's always a fascinating unraveling. And I love it.

EilisFlynn said...

Ooh, a hero who knows there's no hope, but must persevere. A man who remembers how to be a boy (but not wishing to remain that way. A hero who knows that the woman he loves was half of a whole before they met ... and now, is part of a whole. Love the excerpt, Gerri, and good luck! (Can't be at your book signing, and I'm so disappointed, because I really wanted to see the Seattle Knights perform!)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Like flchen said..... wow! I love Scottish heroes and I have to confess that a lot of the heroes stay with me a while after the book is finished. Some of my favorite heroes is Mary Balogh's Wulfric Bedwyn, Lisa Kleypas' Sebastian from the Devil in Winter, Sigimor Cameron from Hannah Howell's Highland Conqueror, and last but certainly not least is Gavrael McIllioch from Karen Marie Moning's To Tame a Highland Warrior. Yeah, I know, I can't pick just one and there are actually more running around in my brain but it is really kind of pleasant having heroes running around in there...... LOL

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Gerri -

Just wanted to drop in and wave. Love the book cover and the excerpt. This really sounds like an emotionally compelling series. I'll be looking for it on the bookshelves.

Gerri Russell said...

Susan,

Loved your description of the saavy shark! And your inner geek comment made me laugh. So true!

Gerri Russell said...

Eilis, You have me practically swooning here! Great descriptions.

I'll miss you at the launch! Check my website at www.GerriRussell.net on Sept 2 for pictures, videos and more.

For those of you not in the Seattle/Bellevue area, the Seattle Knights are coming to the downtown Bellevue Barnes & Noble to help me launch To Tempt a Knight. They'll be doing a live performance right in the middle of the store. Men in chainmail . . . that makes ~my~ heart beat a little faster.

Joan said...

Oh. My. Word.

That excerpt was FANTASTIC!!!!

I suddenly have an urge to try and plait my chin length hair...

Gerri, what a great story...unique...and Scottish all in one, LOL.

As to heroes....Zarek from Sherri Kenyon's DarkHunters, Adam Black from Karen Marie Moning Immortal Highlander and most of Nora's guys.

jo robertson said...

Welcome back to the Lair, Gerri! What a great excerpt, can't wait to read this new series. That period in history is so interesting.

~Drew said...

Ok, I am sold.
That was a long,delicious excerpt!
While I am not real big on Medieval, If it has a Scotsman, in a kilt...I am there.

I just finished Sophia James "The Border Lord" last week and I am still thinking about him! (The Laird hero)
He is forced by King David to marry an Englishwoman, (for land, peace etc) and she is somewhat plain, stutters and has a wee skin condition!
But he falls for her anyway! Such a handsome, honorable man, to look past her outward defects or flaws.

Definitely adding your book to my 'get-it' list. Thank you for sharing Gerri!

Gerri Russell said...

Joan, I've seen people plait hair shorter than yours. It's amazing the kind of weaving that can be done. Then one just needs to find a handsome hero to "undo" the "do".
:-)

Gerri Russell said...

Jo and Drew, I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. The fact that the hero had taken a vow of chastity and truly intended to live by it made this book so much fun to write. Temptation is a terrible thing . . .

Louisa Cornell said...

That was one HAWT excerpt, Gerri ! I can't wait to read this one! I love romance novels with some basis in actual history. You've tapped into a great event and group of men in history and I can't wait to see what you do with it.

Heroes who overcome diversity (even of their own making) appeal to me.

Christian from Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm comes to mind. He fights his way back from a stroke and the one thing he holds onto is that this one woman can help him. He out manuevers his family and the legal system and eventually the religious beliefs that hold her prisoner to achieve true happiness.

Syndham Butler in Mary Balogh's Simply Love is another favorite of mine. He is an artist and goes to war to prove he is every bit as much a man as his brother. He pays a terrible price and assumes he will be alone the rest of his life. In spite of his handicaps he wins the girl AND manages to go back to his first love art.

I guess for me, bravery in battle is great, but the courage to remake yourself and to stick to your honor in the face of society's censure is a true sign of heroism.

Another of my favorite heroes is Anna Campbell's Kylemore. I realize that some people might not see it that way, but he was willing to do whatever it took to win Soraya, even when he didn't know why he truly wanted her. He refused to give up. Gotta love a man like that!

Nancy said...

Gerri--700,000 pages? Really? Wow! That's a lot of pages. I confess to not having read that series, but I'm thinking Jamie must be a very complex character to sustain that much development.

Nancy said...

Susan, your urban shark sounds wonderful. I love that phrase. It's so cool!

Nancy said...

Eilis wrote: A hero who knows that the woman he loves was half of a whole before they met ... and now, is part of a whole.

What a fabulous description! I'd like to see the Seattle Knights (I asked Gerri if they were a baseball team. She laughed and explained. There's a Knights baseball team in NC, and of course the one in the Redford movie). That sounds like a fabulous extra for a signing.

Nancy said...

Hi, Dianna--It's hard to pick a favorite hero, isn't it? As soon as I pick one, I think, "oh, but what about him? Or him?" Then I'm grumpy and confused until I finally just say, "oh, the heck with it" and pick several. *g*

One of my all-time favorite heroes is Atticus Finch, especially as embodied by the late Gregory Peck. Atticus is intelligent, articulate, quiet, brave, resolute, tender with his children--and a crack shot. (Atticus lives between the pages of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, for those who don't know him.)

But no kilt.

Nancy said...

Hi, Donna--You're still caving, aren't you? Glad you could surface, and good luck with the pages.

Nancy said...

JT, maybe Demetrius could help you with that plait? Or Bran, fresh from his recent contest triumphs, might have some energy to work off . . .

Zarek is one of my favorite Dark-Hunters even though I spent a big chunk of his book wanting to shake him and say, "Be nice to her already! Do you, like, WANT to die?"

Nancy said...

Hey, Jo! Periods of upheaval are interesting generally, I think, and this one certainly qualifies.

Nancy said...

Hi, Drew--I do love medievals, and The Border Lord hero sounds wonderful!

Nancy said...

Hi, Louisa--I also have a weakness for books woven around actual events.

You wrote: I guess for me, bravery in battle is great, but the courage to remake yourself and to stick to your honor in the face of society's censure is a true sign of heroism.

I couldn't agree more.

Joan said...

"Be nice to her already! Do you, like, WANT to die?"

Yes...he did, Nancy.

That's what makes a hero's salvation so intriguing..with the right woman's love he'll want to live again

Minna said...

One of my favorite heroes is Roarke from in Death series.

catslady said...

I am one of those readers that sees the word Scott and I'm sold. I love the history and a time so different from our own. Men who put honor first in all aspects of their lives (sigh). I really enjoyed your excerpt and just know I'm going to love your book.

Nancy said...

Diving into philosophical territory, Joan, I don't think Zarek did want to die, as in actually desiring that, so much as he didn't feel that he had much to live for.

And finding that something, of course, changed him. Though not to pure sweetness and light. That would have been really annoying. He's still abrasive, just with a softer side.

Nancy said...

Hi, Minna--

Roarke has lots of fans. And he really is seriously cool. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Catslady--Honor is a concept often observed in the breach anymore, it sometimes seems. Its importance is one of the things I like about medievals, too.

Scottish knights, chain mail, and swords. What's not to love?

Gerri Russell said...

Lousia,

I feel the same way. I'm a softy for a man who must overcome great odds to discover the "hero" within. Excellent book suggestions.

Gerri Russell said...

Catslady, Honor is so important in the medieval period, especially in Scotland. That ideal plays a huge role in my hero's conflict in To Tempt a Knight. William feels he's lost all honor--to his people, the Church, himself. His is truly a journey back from the brink.

PJ said...

Hi Gerri! It was lovely meeting you in DC. Wow! That's one terrific excerpt. I can't wait to read this book. I adore medievals, especially ones set in Scotland.

I like my heroes alpha on the outside but, for the right woman, soft and caring on the inside. Like Jane, I love Gabriel MacBain from Julie Garwood's Saving Grace. He's foremost in my mind right now because I just turned in a blog about his heroine, Johanna for "favorite heroines" week over at RNTV.

Sure wish I could be there for your B&N launch. I hope someone takes lots of photos!

Gerri, do you know yet how many books will be in this series and how long will we have to wait between books?

Barbara Monajem said...

Hi, Gerri! I'm looking forward to reading about your Templars.

I'm another Jamie fan, and I also like many of Georgette Heyer's heroes... Raoul in The Conqueror springs to mind, as does swashbuckling Nick Beauvallet.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Nancy said...
(Atticus lives between the pages of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, for those who don't know him.)

And he has a totally cool name don't you think??

chey said...

A hero I remember is Diana Gabaldon's Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series.

chey said...

A hero I remember is Diana Gabaldon's Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series.

Becke Davis said...

Welcome, Gerri - loved the excerpt!

What do I like in a hero? Well, I like the bad boys, the guys with a sense of humor, the one who got away. My critique partner likes anything with hair on his chest and a kilt :), and I do see her point! (Why do the cover artists think we only like hairless chests?)

I used to like modern heroes, but I've recently taken a fancy to rakes, dukes and devilish men from the past.

Gerri Russell said...

PJ,

Right now, there are three books planned for the series along with a Christmas antology. But if the books do well . . .

The next book, Seducing the Knight, comes out in May 2010. Followed by The Bethrothal, a Christmas anthology in October 2010with Mary Balogh and Trish Albright. Then A Knight to Desire, that is slotted for Spring of 2011.

Thanks for asking!

Gerri Russell said...

Barbara and Chey--

Looks like Jamie Fraser has a lot of fans here!

Nancy said...

PJ, I wish I could be there for that launch, too. Guys in chain mail with weaponry. And books all around. What a fun night!

I'm hoping medievals are going to expand their market a little. I love the medieval period, and I'm deeply distressed that one of my favorite medievals, Christina Dodd's Candle in the Window has been repackaged with a Regency cover. That just seems wrong to me.

Nancy said...

Hi, Barbara--I love Raoul in The Conqueror, too. And Worth in Regency Buck. And Alverstoke in Fredericka and Hugo in The Unknown Ajax, and--well, you get the picture.

But I wish Heyer had done more medievals. I prefer the medieval period to the Georgian.

Nancy said...

Dianna wrote, of Atticus Finch: And he has a totally cool name don't you think??

I do, indeed. :-)

Nancy said...

Hi, Chey--lots of Jamie fans here today! :-)

Nancy said...

Becke wrote: I've recently taken a fancy to rakes, dukes and devilish men from the past.

It occurs to me maybe that modern bad boys are just rakes and devilish men in modern dress. What do you think?

In the chest hair and bad boy hero trivia department--did you know that guys used to have to shave their chests if they were going to be shirtless on TV? I think I remember reading that about original Star Trek, that William Shatner had to shave his chest hair. Kirk was a bit of a rake, and his current incarnation is a bad boy, too.

Shatner and Nimoy are both going to be at DragonCon. I foresee ginormus lines stretching into the next galaxy.

Nancy said...

Gerri, jmho, but I think they need to bump that third book forward!

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Geri! Can't wait to read your book! I'm a sucker for a man in a kilt, which is probably why Jamie Fraser ranks as one of my favorite heroes. Also KMM's MacKelters....yummmy!

But I must say that Roarke is about as perfect as they come. He is the perfect match for Eve. She's my favorite heroine in my blog at RNTV today.

Pat Cochran said...

Hello to Gerri and Nancy,

That's a great excerpt!

My hero is a combination beta and alpha person who happens to have
lived in my home with me for 48
years. Strong and tough when he
needs to be, yet gentle with me,
our children and especially the
grandchildren.I cherish the times
when he cradles one of the babies
as he or she falls asleep.

Pat Cochran

MsHellion said...

I love that time period in history. (Anything between 1290-1350 Scotland is awesome.) This sounds like a great set of books! Huzzah!

A hero who captured my heart? The Earl of Mayne from Pleasure for Pleasure. A reformed rake--witty, dear, and devastatingly gorgeous.

But I'm a sucker for the hero who is wounded, even just a little. (Even Mayne was a little wounded.)

Pat Cochran said...

Forgot to add a fictional hero:
All of Stephanie Lauren's Cynster
men and all of Anna Campbell's
heroes.

Pat Cochran

Beth said...

Welcome back to the lair, Gerri! Wonderful excerpt and I love reading the history behind your idea for the series *g* To Tempt a Knight sounds fabulous!

Like Fo I have to run but wanted to pop in and say "hello" :-)

flchen1 said...

Oh, Nancy, Atticus is a good one!

And Gerri, that's one of my favorite themes, too--a second-chance kind of thing :)

Anna, best wishes for that deadline :)

Nancy said...

Hi, Gannon--Jamie and Roarke both have a big following here today. Will have to nip over and check our your blog on heroines, too.

Nancy said...

Hi, Pat--your perfect hero sounds great. Congratulations on your 48 years together!

Nancy said...

Hi, Beth--you're caving, too, aren't you? Seems like a big chunk of the lair's in the cave these days.

Nancy said...

Fedora, I like second chances, too.

Gerri Russell said...

Pat,

What a great image--a man with a sleeping baby in his arms. That melts my heart.

Gerri Russell said...

Nancy,

Dragon Con sounds like it will be amazing fun this year, crowds or no crowds.

Joan said...

What a great image--a man with a sleeping baby in his arms. That melts my heart.

We have a picture of my Daddy holding me, only 4 months old....

Except HE has his eyes closed and I'm wide awake...took me YEARS to figure out it was staged LOL

Nancy said...

Gerri wrote: Dragon Con sounds like it will be amazing fun this year, crowds or no crowds.

I'm sure it will be, thanks. And people who write historical romances with hints of mysticism and destiny and are married to people who love SFF should go to it.

Just sayin' . . .

Nancy said...

Joan, I wouldn't have figured that photo was staged, either. And staged or not, it's sweet.

April said...

Great post.

Nancy said...

Hi, April--thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked Gerri's post.

Lynz Pickles said...

What kind of hero captures your heart?

The one from the excerpt. I SERIOUSLY need to read this book.

For me, heroes really only stick in my head/heart if something's off. I've read about many amazing, wonderful heroes... and promptly forgotten them. Sure, some stand out, but that's more because the whole book is special than anything. If a hero is special, and his heroine is the right match for him, I finish the book a happy girl, and don't think about them again because I know they'll be happy together. And if the match is right, he doesn't stick in my heart, because he's totally taken and that's why he's awesome.

When I don't like a hero or something about the whole book bothers me, that's when a hero sticks in my head, and if I don't think the heroine's good enough for him, he sticks in my heart. In the latter case, I want him to choose someone worthy of him (*cough*me*cough*) and in the former, I either hate him or the twists the story took. Either way, something gets under my skin and won't let me forget him.

April Rickard said...

One of my favorite heroes is from Tami Hoag's Lucky's Lady. Lucky is a big, strong bayou boy, but he secretly paints as a way to work out his emotions.

Not entering the contest, though - I've actually already read To Tempt a Knight and LOVED it! Can't wait for the launch party, Gerri!

(shout out to another April!!)

Nancy said...

Lynz, I know that Gerri will love that comment. She should be back in a little while.

I know what you mean about needing to feel the h/h are right for each other. I tend to be satisfied, then, as well. I don't think about them that much anymore. Although I have to say, if a conflict really grabs me, I do think about that and about the h/h in conjunction withit.

Nancy said...

Hi, April. I really wish I could come to that party. It sounds as though it's going to be amazing. And I envy you having already finished the book!

Joan said...

And staged or not, it's sweet.

There is a cuter, sweeter one, NOT staged.

Daddy's lying on the hall floor trying to fix a vent and I'm oh, 6 mos. old and crawling up his legs peering up at him like "Whatcha doin' Daddy? Huh? Huh?"

I LOVE that picture

Nancy said...

Joan wrote: "Whatcha doin' Daddy? Huh? Huh?"

I laughed out loud at that, Joan. Every dad I know has had to deal with that at one point or another.

Gerri Russell said...

Joan,

Love it! I thought for sure you were going to say that you got up on his back and pretended he was your pony . . . it's that what daddy's are for? Maybe that came after the picture. :-)

April Rickard said...

I understand, Nancy. I would envy me too. :) But, a bit sad it's over - I'll definitely read To Tempt a Knight a second time!

Gerri Russell said...

Lynz,

You made my day!

I'm intrigued by your comment about perfect hero and heroine matches linger, but not for long because they are right for each other and go off and have a nice life. I really like that! Thanks for sharing.

Gerri Russell said...

April and April,

So glad you could stop by!

Nancy said...

April wrote: I understand, Nancy. I would envy me too.

*G* I like your style.

Lynz Pickles said...

Gerry said: You made my day!

Aw, shucks! Look, my ego's getting so large that it almost doesn't fit in the room with me! Hmm, maybe it'll shrink if I excercise it...

Nancy said: Although I have to say, if a conflict really grabs me, I do think about that and about the h/h in conjunction withit.

For me, conflict is a tricky, tricky thing, especially external conflict. Character-driven conflict just plays into the "are they really right for each other?" thing, but external conflict can be really good or really bad. I do like stories in which external forces put the characters together and keep them there, but at a certain point I get a bit dubious about whether they're really in love or not. I mentioned Anne Stuart's Black Ice in the villains post the other day, and it's actually the perfect example of what I'm trying to say. The external conflict was one of the two things which stuck in my head in a negative way after reading it. (The other being the fact that he refused to call what he did to her rape; I thought it was and I would've respected him so much more if he would've just owned up to it.)

Anyway, what bugged me was that the characters were thrown together in SUCH an extreme situation. I can buy them falling in love during it. They were totally stressed out, and his strengths fit her weaknesses the way she needed them to, just as her weaknesses fit his strengths the way he needed them to. But I have a hard time believing a couple who got together in those circumstances would be able to stay in love after everything calmed down and the settled into "normal" life. I question how permanent their HEA can really be. (So basically, conflict's kind of like characters for me. I remember the bad and happily forget the good. I think.)

In happier news, I figured out how to get the RSS feed for the Lair without having a button to click on the main page, yay! It took me forever, but psssssh, I'm still awesome.

Lynz Pickles said...

Shoot, I spelled that wrong. Should've been "Gerri said" - bad tired Lynz!

Nancy said...

Lynz wrote about whether a couple could: stay in love after everything calmed down and the settled into "normal" life.

That's a good question. I do think there has to be enough between them in the way of little things and common outlook to be a basis for normal interaction.

Congrats on figuring out the RSS feed. I'm diving into Facebook tomorrow.

Lynz Pickles said...

Nancy said: I do think there has to be enough between them in the way of little things and common outlook to be a basis for normal interaction.

I think that pretty much sums up the basics of what I want from every book - I'd rather read about two characters who can get along than two characters who can't stand each other except during sex but magically fall in love - but what I need from books driven by external conflict, and from books featuring whirlwind romances in order to believe they're in love. I can get past the characters not knowing too many details about each other that way.

And when you solve the external conflict at a whirlwind speed, I think limiting the characters' love to being about little things and common outlook is necessary to the plot. In her recent Dear Author review of Storm Watch, Jane mentioned wanting to shake the characters because they were chatting and kissing when they should've been resolving the situation, and that's the exact feeling I've had before. The characters shouldn't have time to chat; the should be busy saving the world/the nation/her sister's cousin-in-law's daughter's cat. It's such a tricky balance to achieve - they've got to fall in love, but they also can't know too much about each other.

Unless, of course, they're both spies who've studied huge dossiers of information about each other. But they wouldn't be good spies if that much information about them was available, and who wants to read about bad spies anyway? Not I.

Virginia said...

Hmmm, sorry I thought I posted earlier, I must have got sidetracked. One hero that stands out for me was Harry Pye from Elizabeth Hoyts The Leopard Prince, I am not sure why he has stayed with me so long. Then again Rhett Butler has always been with me.

Nancy said...

Lynz, it really can be a tricky balance to achieve. I haven't read that book, but you make a good point.

Nancy said...

Virginia, I agree that Rhett Butler is a classic hero. And a rake who reformed. :-)

Gerri Russell said...

Lynz,

No worries about the name. It happens all the time. :-)

You made some ~very~ good points about conflict. Have you ever considered doing a seminar about conflicts that work? You'd be a hit!

Gerri Russell said...

Virginia,

Great hero suggestions! The reformed rake is another favorite hero of mine, Rhett Butler is the classic example.

Gerri Russell said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by and helping me to celebrate the launch of my new release, To Tempt a Knight. There were so many great book suggestions today, as well as many fabulous heros mentioned.

Thank you, Nancy for hosting me, and I truly appreciate all the lovely comments from everyone.

Best to all of you in your endeavors, whatever they may be.

--Gerri

ddurance said...

The hero in Night Magic by Charlotte Vale Allen has stayed with me. It's just an amazing story.

Deidre

Mari said...

My favorite type of hero is one that starts out really tough and hardened but softens up for the right lady. Sorry but I am not a huge fan of the Betas!

chey said...

Great excerpt!
The hero I never forgot is Diana Gabaldon's Jamie Fraser from the Outlander series.