Monday, February 6, 2017

Beverly Wells' One Winter Knight

This week Wild Women Authors is pleased to have an long time friend join us. Beverly Wells is delighted to have The Chalice, her first attempt at writing medieval romance, become part of One Winter Knight, a recent boxed set released by Prairie Rose Publications. Though it’s after the holiday, we're certain these reads will keep you toasty throughout the coming winter months--or any time for that matter.

      She had loved her knight from afar, but could she now injure him to aid her mother? Might the quest for the chalice finally bring these two lonely, longing hearts together?

Royce Hayden is a fierce, bold, and brave knight, who has been granted Dillyglen Castle in the border region of Scotland after securing it for England. An heir to an earldom, he has wealth, values prestige, and is honor bound.

Ahna Murray is a strong, determined, yet loving and gentle Scot who can make a harp sing as well as an arrow from her bow. Her father, a merchant of salt, spices taught her hard work paid off. She heeded his words, yet found him a gambler, a drunkard, and a cheat until she and her mother are left penniless with his suicide the final shun.

When Royce and Ahna meet at a fair and tournament outside Ahna’s town of Selkirk, their mutual beguilement knows no bounds. Yet each knows their station in life deny any future. After two long years they find themselves once again faced with desire strong and true. And even more barriers between them.

First up is Ahna. Where are you from? Selkirk, Scotland
Tell us a bit about The Chalice. I thought I had found the love of my life two years ago. He ‘twas willing to overlook I be a Scots, but when my mother and I be shunned after my father’s many foul deeds, my handsome English knight chose his family and status over someone like me. Now I have vowed to capture the precious chalice that the very same knight transports. ‘Tis not for me I steal such a valuable piece, but for my sweet, ailing mother. My only regret is that I must let my arrow fly to wound him.
What did you think the first time you saw Royce Hayden? I thought he be a most handsome, bravest and dear mon on the earth. When his smile lit his eyes, my own heart quivered like a released bow string.
What was your second thought? He be so tall and muscular, yet his touch to my hand and then to my cheek be oh so gentle. My toes curled and I near swooned.
Did you feel it was love at first sight? Oh aye, though I dinna think he be paying much fancy to a Scots.
What do you like most about Royce? His valor.
How would you describe him? Dedicated, strong, brave, and a leader of men. Above all else he values his honor. Did I say he be verra handsome mon?
How would he describe you? At first, an unwanted dilemma, my being a Scots and a mere merchant’s daughter. But after talking and laughing about anything and everything he seemed to accept my heritage, even said I be pretty, quite witty and had a big heart. I…I think after my father’s first disgrace, he pitied my mother and me, and had more than a wee bit of reluctance to overlook I be my deceitful, selfish father’s daughter. But after father took his own life and the town shunned us, I be sad to say I believe he would say I be more than unworthy of even being a friend.
What made you decide to become a fletcher? From the time I could walk, I be fascinated with archery. I practiced from when I first could stand and pull a bowstring. For years I perfected my own fletches for better flight. The small fee the nuns pay me for helping at the abbey and teaching the children is no’ enough to put food on the table. ‘Twas because my ailing mother needs opium that I started selling my arrows.
What is your biggest fear? That my mother will no’ find the peace and comfort she deserves before she passes.
How do you relax? I adore playing the harp and can lose myself in my music.
Who is your favorite fictional character? ‘Tis sorry I be to say though I can read in several languages, my father never spent coin on fictional books. But at the abbey I did read a copy of The Lais of Marie de France. (Lais means poems in French). She be the illegitimate daughter of Geoffrey Plantagenet hence the half-sister of Henry II of England and ‘twas an abbess of the Abbey at Shaftesbury. Now she writes books of poems, full of love and courtliness, brave knights and aristocratic ladies, but most of them dinna end verra happy, not like a true romance should end, so I regret I have nae favorite character.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received? To always be myself, believe in myself and never be judgmental of others.
Thank you for spending time with us, Ahna. We'd love to speak with Beverly.
What movies or books have had an impact on your career as a writer? Golly, there are a gazillion so I’ll just say that any movie or book that is done well and moves me to laugh, cry, or maybe both, makes me think and appreciate life and love. And one that has a happy ending as all romances do. I do believe however, that Cinderella and The Diary of Anne Frank –I read both and saw the movies several times when young. Each have a special spot in my heart—Cinderella, because it’s a romance, had humor yet good conflict, and Anne Frank gripped me with the varied emotions and grab-your-seat scenes of suspense, plus her plight. I too try to bring those moving aspects to my writing.
What event in your private life were you able to bring to this story and how do you feel it impacted the novel? I love piano, but playing the Celtic harp takes me to the world beyond, my own little zone. In The Chalice, I hope Ahna shows how soothing and pleasant music can be for the player as well for others.
Tell us a bit about your publisher: how did you hear about them and what influenced your decision to submit to them? Though one of my dreams was to eventually write a Medieval, I love writing historical romance, especially those set in the American west during the eighteenth or nineteenth century. I had read several books by Prairie Rose Publications, searched the web and submitted [to them]. PRP has a wide selection of different genres and imprints and I was first pulled in because of their number of American westerns. Since then, besides my full length novels, I’ve ventured to write short stories in their Memories From Maple Street series (a collection of true shorts stories by different authors), plus sweet romantic novellas and anthologies. PRP has numerous genres and imprints from romance, westerns, contemporary, paranormal to YA, youth, inspirational and non-fiction, the list goes on. Working with the PRP publishers and editors, the entire staff and all the authors at PRP has been a joy ever since first submitting. We’re one happy and very helpful family.
What project[s] are you working on now? I set aside my historical American western to take a part in One Winter Knight. Now, I’m diligently back working on my The Deaconess Hires A Gunman [which is] set in the late 1800’s. I’m having so much fun with this one as there’s so much humor in it which I love to do anytime I can put a bunch in there. And the heroine’s dog, Cubby, better known as Lug Nut by the hero, just might steal the limelight—not really as there’s too much steam between the characters. Yet there’s a serious aspect as well of course, otherwise I wouldn’t have a good conflict for my hero, and this makes me wonder if I should make the title Justice Or Vengeance. Guess I’ll leave that one up to my editor.
What's up next for you? I have two finished western historical romances and a Royal Mounted Police with a female doctor from way back that I’d set aside and I need to bring them to life by tightening them up a bit and fine tuning. I also have a Civil War synopsis with several scenes that need attention. Then I just might venture in to doing the full length medieval novel that’s screaming to pop out of my head and onto the screen. I’ll most likely be doing some more novellas for the anthologies too. I’d written a western for the Fourth of July anthology last year, A Cowboy Celebration, and I have a spin off from it with two secondary characters that I’d love to do, so that may be coming up sooner than I think.

Bev was kind enough to bring an excerpt from The Chalice:
Her mind, again, questioned the logic of wounding the one who still held her heart. Could she really release the arrow? Cause him pain and grief? Her conscience badgered ‘twas a terrible unforgiveable sin. Desperation to aid her mother compelled the overwhelming necessity. Her heart wept for true love denied and so painfully lost so very long ago.
As the vehicle drew nearer, she laughed at how easy it be to predict Royce. He ‘twas a hulk of a man, brave and skilled in warfare, a proud knight of honor who battled from atop his powerful destrier, but be there a wagon or cart needs be driven, Royce resembled a youthful lad in his eagerness to play at the reins instead of a twenty-six year old warrior.
Spotting movement through the trees too far off in the distance to take aim, she inhaled slow and steady to battle back her persistent, nagging conscience. ‘Twas to her benefit the soft breeze held only a wee bit of chill and but a dusting of snow lay on the ground so she could avoid wearing heavier clothes over her woolen tunic that might encumber her. Her heart drummed in her throat in anticipation of her goal. Beads of sweat slickened her grip on her bow she held loosely at her side as she questioned the wisdom of what she was about to do.
Rich peat laced with fresh pine rose from beneath the thin white sheet to calm her nerves and help ease her tense muscles. The sun hung overhead. Her shot needed to be straight on and at approximately thirty yards give or take to fully penetrate his chain mail. Having left her water skin tied to Patience, she now wished she had it to quench her dry throat. She should be thankful no more snow had fallen. She flexed her shoulders, straightened and patiently waited to prepare at fifty. Closer, closer…now.
Ahna reached over her shoulder and pulled a two-feathered arrow from her leather-covered quiver. She planted her feet in a familiar broad stance, laid the nock of the arrow on the ox hide bowstring and pulled both back as the wagon came into view. Closer, almost there…waaait…
Whoosh!
One moment she stood poised as an expert archer. The next, a strong band of steel circled her neck to cut off her air. Helpless, her feet flew upward as she was toppled backward. She landed with such force her teeth rattled. As her jarred mind cleared, she realized ‘twas no’ hard-packed earth beneath pine needles prodding her bruised shoulder blades. ‘Twas her attacker’s muscled body equaled to hard rock.
Joggled senses recovered enough to feel a thick, muscular forearm encased in chain mail ease back a tad from her abraded neck. Blood trickled down her neck in warm rivulets to pool into her tunic’s neckline. Only then did she realize how chilled she had become, not only from the wet snow, but most likely from shock and almost losing consciousness.
Braving a small swallow before daring a deeper breath, her throat rebelled from the raw injury as if a hot poker had been thrust down her gullet. Though she questioned how she would fare against her assailant, she thanked God her neck had no’ been snapped in two. Now she needs must face penalty for becoming a misbegotten scoundrel. Oh, sweet Mother Mary please let them be merciful.
Before you go, Bev, tell our visitors where they can learn more about you and the stories you write:

The boxed set is available in print and eBook at: Amazon/Kindle, Nook, Wal-Mart and wherever books are sold.

29 comments:

  1. Kat, Thank you so very much for hosting me today. It's always such a pleasure to visit your blog. Hoping you enjoyed meeting Ahna. Wishing you the best.

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    1. you are most welcome, Bev
      you have from the beginning of our careers been of tremendous support to me.
      loved 'listening' to Ahna's voice
      Kat

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  2. Loved this. What a fun interview, Bev!! I've got the collection on my kindle and look forward to reading it. Cheers.

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    1. Kristy, thanks so much for stopping by and so glad you enjoyed Ahna's and my interview. It was so much fun writing this one. Have a great day.

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  3. Thanks for the link. I think this is the first time I've visited this particular blog--love the title "Wild Women Authors."
    So, I have now learned even more about you--I already knew what a good writer you are. Aren't you glad you connected with PRP--I hope to get something for submission with her soon..something new, since she only has some reprints of mine.
    One Winter's Knight seems to be selling very well--congratulations to all of you!

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    1. Celia, thank you so much for stopping over. And yes, I'm so thankful to have joined PRP. Fantastic covers, great editing, and so much support from everyone including all the authors. I've learned a wealth of knowledge and information in all aspects of writing and true friendships since joining PRP. I'm always learning from everyone sharing their expertise and knowledge. Since joining PRP I've expanded my writing from western America novels and have ventured into historical antholgies, short true stories, and now medieval. Gotta love it. I've always enjoyed being hosted and visiting others' posts on this Wild Women Authors. Again thanks for saying hi.

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    2. Celia--I hope you liked the blog well enough to come back again. We usually post new blogs each Monday.
      thanks for supporting Bev
      Kat

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  4. Bev, like all of your writing, this sounds like a fun read! Congrats and good luck with sales. I particularly like the idea of your heroine being a fletcher--what a creative idea! All the best!

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    1. Roz, so nice of you to stop and say hi. Glad you liked the fletcher part. This story was so much fun and hopefully it's a stepping stone to the long medieval I have notes on and that's just itching to find its way onto the computer. Wishing you the best in all your writing. I'm waiting for the third Bob book so get it to your publisher. We're all waiting.

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    2. HI, Roz
      great to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by in support of Bev. The fletcher idea was a good one. But I didn't know Bev plays the Celtic harp. Who knew!

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  5. Hi, Bev! I read and loved your story with its strong characters. You and I first got on friendly terms when I commented on a blog your book A Love So Strong was featured in. I noted how unique the story line was for a historical western. I have to say you continue on this way, finding novel elements as you did in this story with the archer/heroine--and I'm soooo intrigued by the Mounty book! When I first thought of trying my hand at medieval, I read what was out there. PRP's One Hot Knight set the bar high. When my story for One Winter Knight got picked up I was delighted to be in such company--and then I found out you were in it too!!!! Bonus. You are a masterful writer. Keep up the good work. Kat, thanks for featuring One Winter Knight.

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    1. Patti, I'm so tickled you enjoyed THE CHALICE as it means a lot coming from you. And I must send that compliment right back at you as I so enjoyed your story. I loved each one in ONE WINTER KNIGHT and I'll say it again, I was honored to be included with such top and talented medieval writers. Ah, the Mounty and female doctor that has sat on the shelf for too many years--I will dig it out in time as it's near and dear to my heart. I so appreciate you taking the time to stop by and say hi. Thanks and wishing you well. And I should say thanks for making ONE WINTER KNIGHT a great collection.

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    2. Patti
      thank so much for stopping by. It's always great to hear from you.
      Kat

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  6. Bev, Knowing you and your writing, I'm sure this will be a fantastic read. And congratulations for getting it in "One Winter Knight."

    I have a question or two about setting. How much research did you do to remain true to the time and how much is your own creation? (While it can be difficult to build your own world from scratch, no one can say you have it wrong.) Did you go back and add more of the setting after your first draft?

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    1. Oh Steven, I do soooo much research with each book whether medieval or western America, whatever. For years I read medical books as I was in the medical field and wasn't a reader for enjoyment. But after I fractured my back and was down for a bit I got into historical romance and I was hooked forever. Over those years I've picked up much info as to western states and info. and or medieval, etc.--but I always double check what I might think is right. Thank goodness for the internet as it's so much easier and quicker and yet I again search several different sites just to make I have it correct. Researching now is just so much fun. Oh and I did visit Scotland a few yrs. ago and that really helped me picture the country sides and feel its all the surroundings. When I write I throw a bunch of settings, sounds, scents, etc. in there. On my following drafts I refine, change and or add more. I usually end up doing anywhere from 3 to 6 drafts before I call it done. Thank you so very much for stopping by and commenting. I'm delighted. Wishing you the best.

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    2. Hi, Steven
      great questions. I'm glad Bev was here to respond in such detail. I hope you'll come back again! We're here most Mondays.
      Kat

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  7. I loved hearing Ahna's voice! Sounds like a thrilling story, and I can tell you researched the setting, culture, etc., thoroughly. Kudos!

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    1. Hi, Kate
      thanks for stopping by in support of Bev. Her stories are always so much fun no matter the genre or time in history.
      Kat

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    2. Kate, So happy you stopped by. I find the more research I do throughout writing a story, the more fun I have. Only problem is when I research I keep reading and reading and reading when really I have what I wanted and should get back to writing. This one was especially fun to do and I'll be thinking of doing the longer medieval novel. Wishing you a world of success with your mysteries and prior romances too. Gosh, life is so good.

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  8. Hi Bev! I always love your stories--always something different and new, especially with your heroines--and of course, Ahna is no exception! I have been out of pocket all day today, so am kind of late coming over, but oh boy, am I glad to learn about this blog of Kat's and how wonderful to be featured on it--LUCKY YOU! Loved the interview and learning more about you AND Ahna! We are so glad to have you with us at Prairie Rose Publications!

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    1. Cheryl, I'm so pleased you got to visit with your busy schedule. This is my my fantastic editor, ladies and gents. And you're not late. When I'm on this blog, it usually goes on for a few days. This is a delightful blog and I always enjoy being here. Kat is always so gracious in hosting so many people and does a great job setting these questions up. Kat and I have been writing chapter members for years besides being very good friends. I loved doing the character Ahna and finally dipping my toe into the medieval waters. Of course I never thought to write shorter stories either, so PRP and your support and encouragement has meant the world to me and given me the courage to expand my horizons. Thank you and everyone at PRP for a fun and fruitful venture. And wishing you much success with your new release BEYOND THE FIRE--looking forward to it--it's ordered and I can't wait for release day of Feb. 9th. sounds awesome.

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    2. Bev, thanks for your very kind words! And thanks for making us aware of Kat's blog! As I said, we are thrilled to have you with us at PRP--here's to many more wonderful stories!

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    3. HI, Cheryl
      it's rare to have a publisher/editor visit our blog when one of their authors is posting. I am so touched by your support of Bev. Please know the 'door' is always open to you and PRP authors.
      Kat

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  9. Bev, this sound like a great read. As one who enjoys historical fiction, I got a great flavor of Ahna in her replies to questions. Best of luck as you roll this out.

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    1. Rick, Glad so glad you liked the interview. I just can't say how much fun I had doing this one. I even drew from my archer days in college to now playing the harp. I could have lived back then (love castles and knights in shining armor and their ladies)easily and absolutely loved it. Of course, being a nurse for so many years, I'd have to had access to good clean water and soap. That would be a given. LOL.Being part Scot, I love that part too. Thanks so much for your kind words.

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    2. HI, Rick
      thanks so much for stopping by in support of Bev and the blog. I appreciate it very much.
      Kat

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    1. Keena, I'm so delighted you stopped by to say hi and that you enjoyed the Ahna's interview. As I've said many times, I feel very honored and thankful to have been included with all you seasoned and talented medieval authors. I learn from all of you. I relish reading medieval and enjoyed each and every one of the stories in ONE WINTER KNIGHT. Your BEYOND ALL ELSE was as always superb. I never wanted any of them to end. Wishing you much continued success in your writing and everyday.

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    2. Keena!!!
      long time no hear. How are you? It's great to hear from you after all these years. Please make time to visit the blog with your next release.
      all the best!
      Kat

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