This week I’m pleased to introduce you to fellow Michigander Rue Allyn. Rue is a member of my local RWA chapter and is a fellow educator. Like Jeff, our resident hound, she’s a military veteran, having served in the US Navy. She’s here to share her newest title, Knight Defender, the third in her Knight Chronicles series from Crimson Romance. But before we show you the book, let’s learn a little more about Rue:
PK: What do you do when you’re not writing?
RA: When not writing I travel, read, plant flowers (I don’t call that gardening. All I do is stick ‘em in the ground and pray they grow.), read, play FB games, read, tend to the ‘business’ of writing, read, spend time with my DH and cat, read . . . I think you get the picture.
PK: Yes, I have a lot of interests, too – but I’m sure my gardening skills are weaker than yours! What would your fans be surprised to know about you?
RA: I suspect a lot would surprise my fans, but let’s start with I’m hearing impaired.
PK: Definitely a surprise to me, since I don’t remember it hindering you at MMRWA meetings! What’s your idea of an ideal vacation?
RA: My ideal vacation requires a beach, palm trees, a hammock, balmy breezes, a buff cabana boy to bring me fruity drinks and all the books I could want.
PK: Mmmm, that sounds glorious. How did you choose the genre you write in?
RA: I tried several and discovered that my voice is best suited to historical romance.
PK: What inspired you to write your first book?
RA: I wrote a very long, very boring dissertation and figured if I could do that, I could write something shorter and much more fun.
PK: Ha! I’ll have to agree with you – writing romance is much more fun than working on a dissertation. Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
RA: Being able to stick with it. I honestly believe that unless an author is very lucky getting published is harder, more work and takes greater faith than getting a PhD.
PK: And since you’ve done both, you can make that comparison! What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
RA: This book stinks, or words to that effect, especially when no reason is given.
PK: I agree. Not having a reason makes the criticism harder to stomach. What has been the best compliment?
RA: I loved this book, especially when accompanied by an explanation.
PK: Those words would be music to any author’s ears. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
RA: Write and keep writing. By the way, if you look up ‘author’ in just about any dictionary you will not find the word ‘published’ as a required part of the definition.
PK: So true. What is your favorite period in history to write about?
RA: I actually have two favorite periods. The European Middle Ages (400 – 1500 AD) and the American ‘Gilded Age (roughly 1865 – 1900, especially the American West). While these two time periods are very different in terms of technology and availability of education, to me, they are very similar in spirit, the ability for the individual to determine his or her own fate, and the influence of religious and patriotic ideologies. For me, the heroes and heroines of these periods epitomize the best of the human spirit confronted with the greatest challenges. It isn’t that other periods in history don’t provide similar circumstances and characters, but rather that, in my opinion, the middle ages and the gilded age provide the best examples and thus the best opportunities to create great stories.
Blurb for Knight Defender:
Sent alone to Scotland to wed a wild scot and serve the needs of her father and her king, Lady Jessamyn plots to escape the marriage and make the life she wants. In Scotland she finds not the wild boorish monster she imagined but a Knight Defender who would claim her heart, if she will only give up her dreams.
Baron Raeb MacKai is done allowing himself and everyone he loves to live in poverty and despair. His betrothal to a wealthy English heiress will solve a decade of problems. He will do everything necessary to defend his home and his country, but can he defend his heart?
Excerpt from Knight Defender:
Mid-April 1295, the northwest coast of Scotland
“Unhand me.” She pushed against the massive chest and writhed in the arms cradling her.
He gathered her closer, mashing her cheek against him.
For an instant, his blazing gray eyes held her spellbound as tightly as his strength gripped her body. Unable to look away, she shivered, but not with cold. The odor of damp wool and man nearly drowned her. All sound faded away save her own harsh breathing.
“Ho, ho!” His chuckle was impossible to miss.
Continue reading at http://rueallyn.com/2hKDexcerpt.html.
I enjoy reading about most historical eras, but in the past I’ve been disappointed by stories that depict women from the Middle Ages, especially noble women, as the stereotypical damsels-in-distress. The women in Knight Defender, by contrast, are strong, intelligent, and resourceful, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. Lady Jessamyn was the perfect match for Raeb MacKai, though they both had to suffer greatly on the road to that discovery. Raeb’s sisters are also fascinating characters, and I want to learn more about them. After reading this story, I want to go back and read the previous books in this series.