I’m thrilled to announce that both versions (one inspirational, one not) of my medieval romance novel At His Command release today! And I’m excited to join my first Marketing for Romance Writers Book Hooks blog hop. Finally, I’m honored that Madeline Hunter interviewed me for today’s USAToday’s HEA Romance Unlaced blog about hot or not historicals.
England 1453: King Henry VI sends Sir Nicholas Gray to protect the recently widowed Lady Amice Winfield from undesirable suitors. Though Nicholas intrigues her, she yearns to run Castle Rising without a man’s control.
Nicholas has no interest in marriage, but can’t deny he’s attracted to Amice. He’s surprised to finally find in Castle Rising a place he feels at home. A kiss sparks desire neither can ignore, yet serving opposing factions seeking to govern England threatens to pull them apart.
At court, the king and queen reject Amice’s pleas and choose a new husband for her, a highly-ranked lord who’ll provide connections and coin for the king’s depleted coffers that Nicholas cannot. How can she follow the king’s command when she’s a scribe for his rival? How can she marry another man when she’s falling in love with Nicholas?
If you’re so inclined, purchase the Historical Romance Version (some love scenes, no faith element) here.
Norfolk, England — April 1453
Sir Nicholas Grey’s scout leaned forward in his saddle, holding up two fingers to let the others know two horses approached. Nicholas heard only the slight jangling of harnesses blended with wind rattling through the trees, but relied on his scout’s uncanny ability to hear what no one else could.
He and his eight men sat alert, deep enough in the forest to avoid being seen while maintaining a clear view of the road through leafless branches. Nine armed men could frighten travelers. ‘Twas best to let them pass.
Each man watched, each horse sinking deeper into chilling mire as a mud-covered, black palfrey plodded over the rise in the road, its long mane whipping in the frigid winds.
“No rider,” Martin, the scout, murmured.
“Look again,” Nicholas replied.
England 1453: Sir Nicholas Gray planned to go on a pilgrimage after fighting the French, but King Henry VI sends him to protect the recently widowed Lady Amice Winfield from undesirable suitors. Though Nicholas intrigues her, Amice yearns to run Castle Rising without a man’s control. Mutual interest and affection grows, yet serving opposing factions seeking to rule England threatens to pull them apart.
At court, the king and queen reject Amice’s pleas and choose a new husband, a highly-ranked lord who’ll provide political connections and coin for the king’s depleted coffers that Nicholas cannot. How can she follow the king’s command when she’s a scribe for his rival, who she believes should rule? How can she marry another man when she’s falling in love with Nicholas?
If you’re so inclined, purchase the Inspirational Version (mild/sweet with a faith element) here.
At first he too thought the horse was riderless. Now he could see a woman collapsed on the animal’s back. Her black hair draped down its withers, mingling with the horse’s mane. The palfrey placed each step as if trying not to jostle its burden.
Another horse, a brown rouncey ridden by a thin, balding man, galloped after the palfrey. A look of triumph brightened the man’s face as he spotted the horse ahead of him. He bent forward, extending his hand. Fingers like talons grasped the woman’s tangled hair.
“Mine!” he cried.
Jill Hughey says
Wow, I've considered sensual and sweet versions of the same book, but never thought of going all the way to inspirational. Let us know how it goes!
Ruth Kaufman says
Jill, I know of a few authors who've done that. One was a man…I think his first name was Lee. I don't know of anyone else who has done what I'm doing. I will let you know. Thanks for being interested.
Lyndi Lamont says
What a brilliant idea, Ruth! I've already told a friend about what you've done. Hope it goes well for you. And welcome to Book Hooks!
Linda McLaughlin aka Lyndi Lamont
Michelle Howard says
The teaser ended on a cliffhanger 🙂 Loved that. Welcome to your first hook blog. (although I'm still new as well) LOL.
Ruth Kaufman says
Thanks, Michelle! And welcome to you, too!
Ruth Kaufman says
Thank you, Lyndi! It'll be interesting to see what happens. And I've already been asked if I'm going to do the same thing with my next book….
Kitty Bucholtz says
Hi Ruth, what an interesting idea! My friend Lyndi Lamont told me what you're doing. I just started a conversation with my entire RWA chapter on when to leave in "God stuff" (if you're so inclined), and when to take it out. I write superhero urban fantasy where the main characters are Christians. (Christians like me who enjoy sex with their spouse and occasionally swear, so not within CBA guidelines.) I'm also pitching a YA paranormal set in the angel-demon war arena with a girl who will play a major role. Most companies don't take inspirational, or don't allow inspirationals to be outside CBA guidelines, so I was wondering aloud if I could or would even want to not have "God stuff" in such a story. I'd love to talk to you more about this stuff, now or after you've had time to gauge consumers' reactions. Just let me know. 🙂 I'm really excited to see someone trying to figure this out!
Ruth Kaufman says
Kitty, thank you for your comment. I'd be happy to talk to you.
The Inspirational version does have a couple of what I think are non-CBA things that are period…such as the H/H drinking wine, one of the most popular drinks of their time.
This version of the book, though, is mild/sweet (though I'm not sure if all readers appreciate the term sweet. There's a Twitter discussion about that.)