by Lauren Linwood
Let me tell you—they come from all over the place.
I can see a photograph of a person in a magazine and begin to picture them as a potential hero or heroine. I will read a news article about a murder and start thinking about the kind of killer behind it and what his motivation was. I might open a travel brochure in the mail and be able to see a castle set on that rolling green land.
For my newest medieval historical release, my inspiration came from . . . a TV documentary!
I’m a former history teacher, so I’m drawn to anything having to do with history. I read books by Steve Berry and Brad Meltzer, who incorporate historical aspects into their plots. I read biographies and autobiographies. I repeatedly watch movies such as Last of the Mohicans and Titanic. I set my DVR to record PBS’ The American Experience. Yes, I’ll admit it—even own it. I’m a history geek.
Last year, I viewed a documentary about American prisoners of war held in Vietnam. I thought about how long some of these POWs were gone and how hard it must have been for them to assimilate back into society when they returned. It also reminded me how tough it was on their families while these loved ones were missing from their lives—and how difficult it might be to put that family back together.
That is the premise behind Word of Honor—Knights of Valor Book 1. Geoffrey de Montfort marries Merryn Mantel and then disappears the day after their wedding.
For almost seven years . . .
Like many of you, I’m a Jane Austen fan. I especially love Elizabeth Bennet. Lizzy is intelligent, compassionate, loyal, witty, and feisty—everything I love in a heroine. Of course, she’s not perfect. Perfect is boring. Lizzy has a few (fixable) faults. She’s a great conversationalist, but her sharp tongue gets her into trouble. Her biggest flaw is judging people a little too hastily and harshly, which occurs when she first meets Mr. Darcy. It’s this mistaken impression she gets of him which leads her to reject his proposal of marriage the first time around.
Thank goodness our hero finds her interesting enough to hang around, hoping that he can change her mind. Lizzy gradually realizes that Darcy, besides being impossible handsome and wealthy, has something truly important to her. He possesses a noble character. She realizes her prejudice against him is undeserved. This was truly the only obstacle to finding lasting happiness with him, as she has fallen in love with him after seeing many instances of his good character in action. His feelings for her never change, but hers do an about face.
Romance writers try to give both their hero and heroine character flaws which they must overcome during the course of the novel and their growing relationship. In Word of Honor, I wanted to write as strong a heroine as Elizabeth Bennet. I hope I’ve done so with Merryn de Montfort.
Geoffrey returns to Merryn a changed man. The bond of love is still strong between them, but they have become very different people in their time apart. Merryn has taken on running Kinwick, the de Montfort family’s estate, and this once sweet, shy girl now wields authority as a mature woman. Putting this couple back together after so long a separation brought up some interesting conflict. Thank goodness I write romance, so after all of their difficulties, they do receive their happily ever after.
I was happy to grab inspiration from a TV documentary, though Word of Honor is set six hundred years before the Vietnam conflict occurred. The universal theme of separation between loved ones kicked off not only this medieval historical romance, but an entire series! Geoffrey and Merryn’s love story is the first in The Knights of Valor, and they will play a part (sometimes large, sometimes small) in other hero and heroines coming together and finding love.
Lauren’s historical novels focus on two of her favorite eras—medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. In her romantic suspense novels, contemporary heroes and heroines unite to defeat a strong antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with daily walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for MasterChef addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.
Connect with Lauren: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads
Lauren's Enchanting Historical Tale: Word of Honor
But her new husband vanishes the next day without a trace. Merryn grieves for almost seven years—and then Geoffrey returns to her—changed from the boy and man she knew and worshipped. This stranger refuses to reveal where he has been and why he stayed away for so long.
Will her husband’s silence create a rift too large to heal, or can Merryn and Geoffrey recapture the love they once shared?
Available Here: Amazon