Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
I'm so excited to have my friend, USA-Today best-selling author Madeline Martin on my blog today!
I'm not sure where I want to start, lol! I love the cover she's sharing today, I love her new series, and I absolutely adore the post she's prepared. Always thoughtful, Madeline has put together some fun info about this series that made me grin so much!
How else to tweak my interest than to include pets?
Let's let Madeline tell you more. And at the end, leave a comment on your pet or one you know (or knew) for a chance to win a kindle copy of Marin's Promise! Winner announced May 31!
Madeline: One of the things I love so much about following Cathy MacRae on Instagram and FB are all the adorable pictures she posts of her German Shepherd, Rezso.
I absolutely looooove pets, but due to severe time constraints and family pet allergies, we can’t have any. Well, aside from fish (but given their lack of snuggle-ability, I don’t feel like they really count). To cope with this, I’ve started writing pets into my books, like the adorable kitten who gets trained to be a spy cat in the Mercenary Maidens series, or the affable dog my earl rescues from the streets in the Earl of Benton.
My upcoming series, the Borderland Ladies, is no different. Well, maybe a little different in that it’s set in the medieval era. And what kind of pets did they have back then? These are the kind of questions that I love to research.
Generally speaking, medieval pets served a purpose. Cats were there for catching vermin, dogs were there for guarding the home and aiding with hunting. Dogs of nobles were cared for very well with their straw bedding changed out once a day and their water refreshed twice daily. They were typically fed bran bread and meat. Considering most peasants did not eat meat more than once a week (if they were lucky) or once a month, these dogs ate better than many humans!
There were several main types of dogs used for hunting in the medieval days. The mastiff, which was similar to the mastiffs of today: large and powerful. These dogs were used to take down large prey as well as guard homes and were even brought into battle as war dogs. The greyhound, which was prized for its swiftness and used to take down smaller prey. Spaniels which were great for charging into the brush and flushing out birds for hunters to take down. Then there was the alaunt, a fierce and determined dog who could take down a bear on its own. These powerful dogs were mercurial and were known for sometimes attacking and even killing their owners and handlers.
There were always exceptions to utilitarian pet ownership, of course. Some animals were kept for spectacle and prestige, like the menageries held by royals that had beasts such as lions, elephants, cheetahs, etc. These poor beasts were unfortunately not often cared for properly and were placed in cages that were far too small.
Fortunately, there were pets that people loved as well. Though in times where good food was sold at a premium, one had to possess excessive resources to have a pet simply for companionship. Oftentimes nuns and monks would keep song birds or had cats and dogs useless for hunting, but wonderful for snuggling. The church did not feel they could ban such ownership of pets, but did ask the nuns and monks to engage in pet ownership lightly as food consumed by the animals could otherwise be eaten by humans.
Leave it to the excessively wealthy to go extravagant with their pet ownership. There are accounts of people owning animals like monkeys, squirrels and even badgers. No thanks on the badger! I’ve even read it was not uncommon for these animals to wear adorable little collars with bells affixed to them. Probably to know where they scamper off to (badger, I’m looking at you!).
I’ve had a lot of fun creating and love the pets in my Borderland Ladies series. Initially, I’d planned to give each of the five sisters a pet, but then it got a little overwhelming and I had to scale down. LOL. In Marin’s Promise, you’ll meet an adorable little black cat named Bixby who totally stole my heart (and I hope he steals yours too).
Here’s an excerpt from Marin’s Promise where the hero, Bran (a reiver), first seizes control of Werrick Castle:
“The reiver made an agreeable humming sound and strode forward, toward the keep. A black cat trotted from the stables and wound his way around the man’s feet. Fitting. Bixby always did have an affinity for rats.
Marin did not wish the little feline to be kicked by a man so brutal, and quickly stepped forward to shoo Bixby away. Before she could reach him, the reiver lifted the animal into his arms and scratched at the place Bixby liked best, right between his ears.
Very well. She would leave the rat-lover to the rat.”
Marin’s Promise released yesterday, May 28th
A LADY WHO WILL DEFEND HER FAMILY AND HER CASTLE...
Lady Marin Barrington, eldest of the Earl of Werrick's five daughters, is a born protector. Not only has she taken on the role of mistress of the castle and caregiver to her sisters upon their mother's death, she also acts in her father's stead while he is serving the king abroad. Dedicated and resolute, failure is never an option for her. So, when a reiver forces his way into the castle, Marin won't surrender easily and takes it upon herself to kill the usurper. Except plans go awry when passions are awoken and matters get complicated.
A MAN WHO MUST SUCCEED NO MATTER THE COST...
Bran Douglas's sister is going to be hanged, unless he agrees to take Werrick Castle. Ever a pawn in a rich man's game, Bran has no choice but to comply. He quickly discovers getting into the castle is the easy part. Dealing with its mistress, however, will take every ounce of cunning and determination he can muster, especially when she turns his blood to fire.
A PROMISE THAT CHANGES IT ALL...
In a game where desperation and love dictate the lives of many, a simple promise can change the tide of favor and open the door to pleasure and danger alike.
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Cathy: Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Madeline! Please come back soon with the other books in the series!
Readers, don't forget to comment below for a chance to win a kindle copy of Marin's Promise!
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Madeline Martin is a USA TODAY Bestselling author of historical romance novels filled with twists and turns, adventure, steamy romance, empowered heroines and the men who are strong enough to love them.
She lives a glitter-filled life in Jacksonville, Florida with her two daughters (known collectively as the minions) and a man so wonderful he's been dubbed Mr. Awesome. She does a weekly podcast with several author friends called History, Books and Wine that releases every Thursday to chat about their favorite topics.
Find her here:
Author website: www.MadelineMartin.com
Author Facebook page:
Author Twitter: @MadelineMMartin
Author Amazon Profile page:
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The Highlander's Welsh Bride is officially finished. (And don't you just love this cover?!)
It has been a labor of love, though I'll have to admit to shaking my head more than once as spell-check cranked out its version of Carys, Terwyn, Llywelyn, and scores of other Welsh names and words. It had no idea what hit it.
And when I started this book, neither did I.
DD dreamed up the hero and heroine, the timeline (DD loves using historical turning points), and the plot high points, then tossed it in my lap and said, "Let's see what you can do with this." (I think I saw a smirk--but perhaps it was merely challenge). DD kept up with the fight scenes (they're as real as possible, y'all), and disagreed whenever I wrote Carys as 'too soft'. I think you'll agree she is deserving of 'Hardy Heroine' status.
OK. So, a year later (with pauses for 2 novellas that 'had' to be written), here it is. Currently with beta readers and one over-worked editor, we believe The Highlander's Welsh Bride will release shortly after Christmas.
Here's where it's about to get fun.
This book has a novella's worth of notes to help keep the story on track with history--and all that other cool stuff called 'research'. I'm going to share a bit with you between now and the book's release so you can join in and anticipate Carys and Birk's story.
Today I'd like to share a Welsh folk song Carys sings as a lullaby to three children she's 'adopted' (2 by marriage, 1 by circumstance). It's called Dacw 'Nghariad (link here: YouTube)
The words and translation are on the YouTube page. I thought the melody was lovely.
I'd love it if you shared a favorite lullaby in the comments below.
Check back later for another bit from Carys and Birk's story. It might be a battle, it might be a maelstrom, it might be something to melt your heart. You just never know.
If you're expanding your Ghosts of Culloden Moor library, or if you've never read a GOCM book before, don't miss this opportunity to grab Patrick's and Malcolm's stories for only 99 cents each!
Here are the links:
Please spread the word!! Thank you!
Enjoy The Highlander's French Bride for FREE! (for a limited time)
Kinnon Macrory, determined to prove his worth on the battle fields of France.
Melisende de la Roche, desperate to support and protect herself and her sister on her farm near Châteauneuf-de-Randon.
War will bring them together, and treachery will separate them. But they will risk everything to find each other again.
Click here for your free copy: Amazon
That title is a mouthful! Let's just say 'WOW'! Here's an opportunity to win 40+ books from some of your very favorite authors, as well as a new EReader!
Contest runs Feb. 12 - 19, 2018.
Enter the contest by clicking here: http://bit.ly/romraiders-feb2018
When you're finished, leave a comment to let me know you’ve entered!
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