Playing with History – Edward, The Black Prince

I did a blog post for the Naughty Literati on how I used (and abused) historical facts in the last of my Passions series of Medieval Historical Romances, Healing Passion.  You can read it here.

I talked about some of the liberties I’d taken with the history and personages of the times. Mostly with a real, historical character, Edward of Woodstock (1330-1376), son of Edward III, also known as the Black Prince.

I said I’d share a few interesting facts about The Black Prince in this post, so here goes.

  1. I had a chance to visit his tomb in Canterbury Cathedral.  It’s an impressive sarcophagus, and unusual in that most members of the royal family are buried in either Westminster Cathedral or on the grounds of Windsor Castle. But it was the prince’s own choice to be interred at Canterbury.  It made some sense since his wife was of Kentish origin.
  2. Although he was the oldest son and heir of Edward III, he never became king. He died about a year before his father did, probably of dysentery, likely contracted during one of his many campaigns on the continent. His son ruled later as Richard II.
  3. He was an exceptionally tall man for his time, standing about six foot four.
  4. His wife Joan, known as “the Fair Maid of Kent” had an incredibly tangled marital history. She’d been married twice before her marriage to the prince, although it’s questionable whether the second one was valid since her first husband was still living at the time.
  5. The traditional view of The Black Prince was that he was pretty vicious and tyrannical, but documents have recently come to light that call that judgement into question. He was certainly a good general with considerable aptitude for leadership and tactics.
  6. He actually spent most of his adult life on the continent, in what is now France, leading troops in battle and part of the time as the Prince of Aquitaine.
  7. No contemporary references refer to Edward as “The Black Prince.” That name doesn’t appear in the historical record until a couple of hundred years after his death and no one knows why he might have been so called.
  8. If you’ve seen the movie “A Knight’s Tale,” the prince that the hero jousts with when no one else will and who later saves him, is supposed to be Edward, the Black Prince.  (Note that he is shown in black clothing.)

Coming Next – A Very Different Story

Now that the Passions series of Medieval historical romances are all published, my next release will mark a major change of direction.  I go from well in the past to well in the future with CHECKMATE, a stand-alone novella. This is a wild ride without the domestic discipline or spanking scenarios of my other books, though it has plenty of kink!

It was originally published as part of the space pirates anthology titled PLEASURE RAIDERS, and then on its own. When my contract with the previous publisher expired I asked for and was granted the rights back to this one.

The cover is in development now and I hope to have it in a couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, here’s a fun blurb I wrote for it a while back:

Space pirates!  What’s not to love?  The novella CHECKMATE started out as part of an anthology called PLEASURE RAIDERS, released a few years ago by a publisher that is now defunct. With future technologies and galaxies and more to play with, I let my imagination run free. Space pirates with checkered pasts, well-guarded secrets, and uncertain futures? Check. Space bars and tavern fights? Check. Bizarre aliens with aggressive tendencies and strange laws? Check. A hero and heroine who are smart, strong, and capable? Check. Make them go through a series of public ‘games’ that test both their fighting and their sexual skills? Check. Finding love in the midst of all that? CHECKMATE.

You can read the first chapter here.

A juicier sneak peak will be coming in a few days.

All of the Passions Novels are Now Available

The last in the four-book series of Passions novels is now available.  Healing Passion released yesterday!

Re-release date June 1, 2017
Genre: Medieval historical, domestic discipline, BDSM
Length: Novel
Order eBook from:  Amazon    B&N    Kobo    iTunes

Read an Excerpt

Tag Line: The attraction between Lady Juliana and the king’s messenger, Sir Thomas Carlwick, is powerful, but he may not want her once he learns her devastating secret.

 

Short Blurb The king has charged Sir Thomas Carlwick with learning what became of Baron Groswick. No one has seen or heard from the man for more than a year. Thomas’ inquiries have so far turned up no sign of the Baron. When he goes to Groswick Keep, he gets a mixed reception. Young, lovely Lady Juliana welcomes him graciously, but that evening someone tries to kill him by firing a crossbow at him. Juliana apologizes and tends his injury. She also tells him she has no idea what happened to her husband, but she’s beginning to accept that he’s dead.

Thomas is attracted to Juliana, finding in her everything he’s wanted in a woman. Despite a past that was nearly destroyed by a woman’s lies, Thomas is ready to settle down again, and he believes Juliana is exactly what he’s looking for. As soon as he can prove Baron Groswick is dead, Juliana will be free to marry him.

But he may not want her anymore when he learns what really happened to Baron Groswick.

Dissecting the Covers for the Passions Series

Several readers have asked me about the gorgeous set of new covers for my Passions series. I’m so much happier with these covers than any of the ones they ever had in their previous incarnations.

I worked extensively with the cover designer to get exactly the look I wanted. We had several discussions over the “feel” of the design. She was incredibly patient, trying out various filigree border designs for the silver pieces at the top and bottom until we found just the right one. And then she tried out many shades of red to find the one that worked for me.

We agreed that my name should be in the same font and orientation she used on my Suburban Dominants series and the positioning of both the name and title would correlate. The font for the title though needed to look more historical, so she found one that had a very old English look.

That was the easy part. Finding the right images for the covers was a challenge. I must have looked at a gazillion stock photos to find just the ones I wanted. It isn’t easy to find stock photos of people in Medieval garb that don’t look too ridiculously fake, awkwardly posed or painfully inappropriate.

I went back and forth with the designer because not all of the pictures would work in the context of a cover. Some of them couldn’t be cropped to fit in the space, the model’s poses were wrong, or the colors clashed with the background. I didn’t like a lot of the models she suggested – they just didn’t seem right. We finally found three couples that worked well for the three novels and decided to go with just the armor and sword for the short story that leads off the series.

And the whip, of course. Sharp-sighted readers have noticed that there’s a whip in each of the covers. I wanted to convey somehow that these books contain BDSM, spanking, and domestic discipline as part of their theme.

There were compromises because of the limited number of models I found acceptable. The cover model of the knight on Ruling Passion has short blond hair, while Lord Jeoffrey’s hair is long. And the model on the cover of Binding Passion doesn’t have Philip’s curly hair, though we did find one with his neatly clipped beard.

Nonetheless, I’m more than happy with the way these covers came out.

Covers for the Passions Series

The Passions stories are a series of loosely related Medieval historical romances that include strong BDSM and Domestic Discipline themes. The heroes are alpha and dominant but the heroines are also strong women in their own right. The first in the series is a romantic short story. The others are full-length novels.

I wanted covers that would share some of the branding from my contemporary novels, but would have their own distinct look as well, something that would suggest historical with hints of BDSM and Domestic Discipline.  I think my cover designer outdid herself with these.

       

Time’s Running Out on This Great Contest

To celebrate the upcoming release of NAUGHTY FLAMES on December 1st, the Naughty Literati are giving away a 7″ Kindle Fire loaded with books by our fabulous authors including:

The Naughty Literati’s complete boxed-set collection
Alpha vs Alpha by Francesca Hawley
Charming the Masters by Katherine Kingston
Desire in Tartan by Suz deMello
Moonlight Danger by Tina Donahue
Taken by Nicole Austin
Terracotta Warriors by Berengaria Brown
The Pleasure Device by Regina Kammer
WindChance by Charlotte Boyett-Compo
WindWolf by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

There are many ways to enter, including a daily bonus entry, so come back every day to increase your chances of winning. Good luck and happy reading!

Contest begins November 16th and runs for two weeks.

Secret Santa Sir is available for Pre-order

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Secret Santa Sir is now available for pre-order at Amazon and Itunes.  Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and a few others are coming soon.

Just to whet your appetite, here’s one of the notes Maggie receives from her unusual Secret Santa:

On the first day of Christmas, my Master gave to me, an adventure for the holidays.

Maggie –

I’m thrilled that you’ve decided to go along with my proposal. I know it was a difficult decision for you. As I said before, you can stop this at any time if you’re not happy or comfortable with it.

I’m giving you safe words to use. If you say “Yellow light” at any time, it means you need a break or a breather. If you say, “Red light,” that means whatever we’re doing stops, right then and there, and we talk about it. I promise to respect your wishes if you use those words. For your safety, I’m enclosing an envelope that contains my name and plans. Please don’t open it, but put it in your desk at home. It’s your insurance that I won’t do anything to harm you.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s what I want you to do next.

Tonight I want you to go to the Redwood Hotel and present yourself at room 344 at precisely seven-thirty. Before you knock on the door, I want you to put on the enclosed. Put on the blindfold first, then wind the scarf around your head over the blindfold. There will be no peeking. Once you have those on, knock on the door. From then until you leave that room, you will follow all directions I give you.

If you have another commitment tonight and cannot make it, put a note in this bag and leave it on the corner of your desk this afternoon.

Otherwise I’ll see you tonight.

Your Secret Admirer