Highlighting Historical Romance: Jan Scarbrough’s My Lord Raven
Writing My Lord Raven was a labor of love. It took a long time with many starts, stops, and twists along the way. I fell in love with medieval history and romance in high school with authors Thomas B. Costain and Anya Seton. Later the romance genre made medieval heroines popular. I’m thinking of the Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss.
I first became interested in the location for My Lord Raven when I found a book in the library—Shropshire: A Memoir of the English Countryside by Ellis Peters and Roy Morgan. The pictures brought the area alive for me. Another book that formed the basis for my novel was The Lordship of England: Royal Wardships and Marriage in English Society and Politics 1217-1327 by Scott L. Waugh. In that book, I learned about the right of refusal of an arranged marriage, because “in the eyes of the Church, consent was the essential criterion for a valid marriage.”
During high school, I read Thomas B. Costain’s historical series about the Plantagenet family. For my research, I found The Three Edwards online and ordered the used paperback book to refresh my memory. Arms & Armor of the Medieval Knight: An Illustrated History of Weaponry in the Middle Ages by David Edge and John Miles Paddock proved invaluable when describing my hero’s armor.
Over the years, I spent much money buying research books. You should see my library! You must remember I started this quest for background information just as the Internet became available. I don’t have time here to list every book in my library. However, here are two newer books I found that are just fun. One is The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer. Read it and you’ll get a good idea about real life back then.
Finally, this book is an eye-opener—especially for authors: Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders by Susanne Alleyn. LOL! “But the simplest thing to remember about women’s underwear in past eras is this: They probably weren’t wearing any.” See what I mean! Makes sense, though, if you stop and think about it.
Writing historical romance is fun, but it is a huge responsibility. I want to get my books as correct as possible and still bring the reader a good story. Maybe that’s why I’ve only written one medieval romance to date.
About the Book
My Lord Raven: Knights of the Royal Household
To protect what little family she has left, Lady Catrin Fitzalan switches places with her cousin when King Edward orders the pious girl to wed his royal champion, a vicious knight called the King’s Raven. Rumors abound that this savage is responsible for the deaths of Lady Catrin’s father and brother. How can she allow her sweet cousin to wed a murderer?
Bran ap Madog, bastard son of a Welsh prince, has devoted his life to serving the English king. His badge is the raven, a creature that feeds off rotting spoils, just as Bran feeds off the spoils of war. Now he wants a reward for his service: a wealthy wife and the land and power she can bring him.
But there’s another side to the rapacious black birds Bran has chosen for his badge. Social and family-oriented, ravens mate for life. Which gives them something Bran never had—a family, a sense of belonging, and a rightful place in the world. Bran has fought for everything he’s ever had. But his last battle, with his new wife, may cost him the one thing he isn’t prepared to lose: his heart.
Available for Preorder: http://www.janscarbrough.com/books/my-lord-raven-2/
Release: February 25, 2017
About the Author
Jan Scarbrough is the author of two popular Bluegrass series, writing heartwarming contemporary romances about home and family, single moms and children, and if the plot allows, about another passion—horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books and the excitement of a Bluegrass horse race or a competitive horse show.
With author Maddie James, Jan has written the Montana McKenna series, the story of the family of James McKenna, a Montana rancher whose death changes the lives of his wife and children.
Leaving her contemporary voice behind, Jan has written paranormal gothic romances: Tangled Memories, a Romance Writers of America (RWA) Golden Heart finalist, and Timeless. Her newest book, My Lord Raven is a medieval story of honor and betrayal.
A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. Today she self-publishes her books with the help of her husband.
2 thoughts on “A Labor of Love”
Hi, Jan! Thanks so much for this post. You’ve given me lots of good reading material to go after. Research is most of the fun! Your book sounds fantastic, and as a fellow lover of the medieval era, I can’t wait to read it!
Thanks for stopping by, Oberon! I hope you have fun with the books I mention.