Highlighting Historical Romance welcomes Oberon Wonch whose novel, A Knight of Her Own, was released today.
You’ve likely heard of the Battle of Hastings on October 14, 1066, in which William, Duke of Normandy, and his invading army defeated the Anglo-Saxons, killed their king, and took the throne of England. What you might not know, however, is that the English did not surrender that day.
Throughout England, native magnates continued to defend their strongholds against William, boldly proclaiming the last remaining Anglo-Saxon heir to the throne as their king. However, one by one they fell to the Norman war machine, and though the realm had not entirely come under William’s control, he was crowned at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066.
The following three years saw numerous uprisings by the English nobles who had been allowed to retain their holdings in return for fealty to William, as well as by dispossessed Englishmen who had gone to ground in the fens or found refuge in the Scottish royal court.
In the northern reaches, which once comprised the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria, the turmoil was arguably the most bitter. The area already bore a long history of independence from the rest of England, strife with the Scots, and a love-hate relationship with Norse and Danish Vikings. So you can imagine how the Northumbrians took William’s attempts at dominating them. That is, not very well.
However, William needed Northumbria as a strong defense against Scotland. So when his successive picks for Earl of Northumbria were either killed or turned against him, when the Northumbrians allied with the proclaimed Anglo-Saxon king and the Vikings waiting just offshore, William paid the Vikings to go away and then launched a swift and brutal suppression of the entire region. Known as the Harrying of the North, his winter-long campaign of slaughter, torching, and starving of the inhabitants was medieval “shock and awe,” designed to decisively impose his will, demonstrate punishment for non-compliance, and obliterate the rebels’ means of sustaining themselves.
Though historians debate the realistic extent of this pillaging in so short a time, the campaign proved effective, and the devastation was immense. Seventeen years later, the Domesday Book, William’s estate-by-estate reckoning of England’s (and therefore his) wealth, noted only “waste” for all the territory beyond the Humber Estuary. Norman lords had to re-settle the area, establishing new towns, farms, and abbeys for decades to come.
It is into this landscape I’ve placed my characters in A Knight of Her Own, the second book of my Rogues of Rouen series. Isabel of Wulflandt is a girl on her own against the world, craving revenge for her father’s brutal murder but not knowing how to go about it, with a brother and sister to worry about and a desperate people needing help. When an enigmatic knight named Drogo LaForce captures her with plans of his own, a new hope enters the picture and a love she never expected enters her heart. I hope you enjoy this story of romance, adventure, and intrigue as Isabel and Drogo work together to bring down a malevolent foe.
Is he her enemy or her hero?
Sir Drogo LaForce has spent a lifetime chasing the family honor and wealth denied him by his bastard birth. A clever scheme to uncloak a traitor against the Crown finally promises to win him everything he desires…
Lady Isabel has been in hiding ever since an evil Norman lord killed her father and usurped her English lands. But her plot to avenge her father and free her people is threatened when a mysterious Norman knight abducts her with plans to use her for espionage.
Drogo’s fascinating captive is nothing like he anticipated. Outspoken but innocent, Isabel reluctantly submits to Drogo’s tutoring in the spymaster’s craft, as well as the art of making love. But their potent attraction nearly leads to disaster. In the end they must decide between their dueling appetites for riches and revenge…or love.
Oberon Wonch has escaped into books for as long as she can remember. Penning her own stories from an early age, she later earned a degree in World Literature while studying several languages—all in order to learn what makes a tale endure the ages, but really just to read more books. Her very favorite stories—both to read and write—are those that celebrate the happily-ever-after.
An avid gardener and armchair archaeologist, she grew up in northeast Ohio but now lives in Indiana with her college sweetheart husband and two very joyful little dogs. She enjoys connecting with readers. Contact her through her website at www.oberonwonch.com or follow her on Twitter @OberonWonch and on Facebook @oberon.wonch.author.