Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Today is Release Day for Highland Escape!
The heroine, Anna Braxton, is not your typical young woman in 14th century Scotland--or England, for that matter. Here is what DD has to say about her.
DD MacRae: The inspiration of Anna was born of two things, my 35 years of love of martial arts and fascination with the Crusades. She is actually a composite of two women I used to train with. With the exception of her archery, the other skills are held by a combination of both of these ladies. I attempted to keep the weaponry and abilities authentic to the period. In Chinese martial arts, it was common to learn the art of healing along with, or before one learned to fight, hence Anna’s knowledge of acupuncture and other herbal healing. History tells us acupuncture goes back thousands of years.
The trick was to figure out a way to get Chinese martial arts and weaponry, along with healing arts, into medieval England, and the 9th Crusades provided the vehicle. During this period, the Silk Road, which was a means for many cultures and peoples to mingle, was dominated by the Mongols as they and the Muslim Mamluks fought for superiority in the region. When Edward (Longshanks), son of Henry III, came crusading after arriving too late to aid Louis IX of France in the capture of Tunis, he headed toward the Holy Land. Edward negotiated an alliance with the Mongols to fight the Mamluks in the region.
While seeing some success in places like Tripoli (modern day Lebanon and Syria) and Acre (Northern Israel), Edward withdrew due to pressing needs back home. The 9th Crusade wasn’t a loss per se, but rather the campaign ran out of steam as its principals were needed elsewhere.
The backstory for Highland Escape gives us Sir Everard Braxton, a English knight, who proved instrumental in the campaign in Tripoli and was in turn rewarded with a small barony in the borderlands. It was common for second sons who wouldn’t inherit and other knights to go on crusade for the opportunity to earn land and wealth in the Holy Land, or purchase land for themselves with the spoils back home. Some would say such a title and holding wasn’t much of a reward, as the borders were a dangerous and tumultuous place, particularly at this time. Longshanks would want men he knew to be loyal and strong at the border.
Having won victory at Tripoli, it wasn’t a stretch for Braxton to have freed Mamluk prisoners. Zhang was a bodyguard to a rich merchant who plied the Silk Road who met with a foul end. Attaching himself to Braxton in exchange for his freedom, Zhang provided the means of cultural transfer to the borders of Northern medieval England. His time in captivity would have changed his perspective on training, much like US POWs in Viet Nam changed how military training is done today. Anna and her brother Edrick became beneficiaries of his experience.
Braxton used diplomacy rather than war to keep the peace on his piece of the border by marrying the daughter of the local Scottish laird. While this made him a peacekeeper in his territory, it set up an impossible situation for his daughter, who was despised for her Scot’s blood south of the border, and for her English heritage north of it. This provided enough conflict for Anna to become someone other than a pampered English noblewoman.
We hope you enjoy Anna’s story and the rich history behind it.
All 4th Of July 99 Cents Abbotsford Adam Adam-a-highlander-romance Aidi Breed American-civil-war Andrea-r-cooper Angela-scavone Anne-b-cole Anthology April-holthaus Ashley York Australia Author Interview Bambi Lynn Barbara Bettis Berengaria-brown Best-seller Betrayal Black Watch Museum Blair-castle Blog Hop Book Deal Book Dogs Book Release Day Book Release Party Book Sale Book Series Books To Read After Outlander BookSweeps Border-collies Boxed-set Braemar-highland-games Brenda-stinnett Burke-and-hare Capercallie Carly-jordynn Carmen-stefanescu Carol-ann-moleti Carole-ann-moleti Caroline-warfield Castle Menzies Catherine-castle Cathy & DD MacRae Cathy Macrae Cd-hersh Ceci Giltenan Celebrations Celtic Cerian-herbert Character-interview Char-chaffin Chocolate Christmas Christmas Box Set Claire-gem Clava-cairns Collette-cameron Colley Collie Compuiter-woes Contemporary-mystery Contemporary Paranormal Contemporary-romance Contest Cover Reveal Creme-de-la-cover-contest Ct-green Culloden-battlefield Cynthia-owens Dawn-ireland Dd-macrae Debut Debut-author Dewars-distillery Direct-deposit Edinburgh Eilean-donan-castle Elisabeth Hobbes Elizabeth-preston Elizabeth-rose Elle-hill Excerpts Fantasy-historical Farleyer-lodge First First-kiss Flowers Food Forth-bridges France Free Book Free-books Freki Georgian Romance German-shepherd Get Lost In A Story Blog Interview Ghost Tour Gilda Gildas-story Giveaway Glen Ord Whisky Graveyards Guest Author Guest Blogger Halloween Hardy Heroines Highland Chocolatier Highlander Romance Highland Escape Highland Romance Historical Irish Historical-post Historical Romance HM Queen Elizabeth II Holiday Holiday Read Hot Historicals Hurricane Harvey Iain Burnett Indtale Jenna Jaxon Jenni Fletcher Jessica-jefferson Jill Hughey Judith Sterling Karen Lopp Katherine Bone Kathryn Le Veque Kindle World Lane McFarland Larynn Ford Laura Strickland Laurel O'donnell Lauren-linwood Leault-farm Legends-of-scotland Life-with-freki Linda-bennett-pennell Lochleven-castle Loch-ness Luxury-cruises Macleod Madeline Martin Madelyn-hill Maggie-mundy Mairi Norris Marilyn-baxter Mary-gillgannon Mary Morgan Meda-white Medieval Blog Hop Medieval Hop Medieval-monday-2015 Medieval Monday 2016 Medieval Monday 2017 Medievalmonday2018 Medieval Monday 2018 Medieval Monday 2019 Medieval-mondays Medieval-mystery Medieval Romance Meet-the-characters Meggan-connor Meggan-connors Mhairi's Yuletide Wish Military-romance Miriam-newman Neva-brown New Book Nicole Locke Night Owl Reviews Norman-conquest Nostalgia-romance Novella Paranormal Paranormal Romance Patricia-hudson Patrick Paty-jager Pirate Romance Pirates Post-civil-war Postcivil-war-western-romance Preorder Pre-order Prizes Puppy Rachel-sharpe R-b-austin Rb-austin Recipe Recipes Red-l-jameson Regency-romance Release-date Research Review Rl-syme Romance Romance Novels Romance On The High Seas Romantic-mystery Romantic Suspense Rone-award Rue Allyn Ruth A Casie Ruth-kaufman Sale Samantha-wyatt Samhain Sandra-harris Sandra-jones Sarah-hegger Sarah-hoss Sarah-woodbury Saranna-dewylde Scavenger Hunt Sci-fi-romance Scifi-romance Sc-mitchell Scotland Scotland-with-grace-2016 Scottish-crannog-centre Scottish Historical Scottish-regency Scottish Romance Sheep Sherrie-hansen Sherry Ewing Short-dog-press Sir-walter-scott Soul-mate-publishing Southern-romance Special Price Spermbanks Spring Steamships Stella-marie-alden St. Patrick's Day Sweet-romance Tam Tea Party And Books Teaser-tuesday Thankful The Ghosts Of Culloden Moor Series The Hardy Heroines Series The Hghlander's Accidental Bride The Highlander's Accidental Bride The Highlander's Bride Series The Highlander's Crusader Bride The Highlander's French Bride The Highlander's Norse Bride The Highlander's Outlaw Bride The Highlander's Reluctant Bride The Highlander's Tempestuous Bride The Highlander's Viking Bride The Highlander's Welsh Bride The Reading Cafe The Saint The Seventh Son The Twalve Days O Yuletide Thursday's Teaser Thursday's Threads Time Travel Tina Susedik Top Ten List Travel Twelve Days Of Christmas Uisge Beatha Urban Fantasy Urquart Castle Valentine Valentine's Day Victorian Romance Victoria Zak Vijaya Schartz Vikings Villains Viola Russell Wales Wareeze Woodson Water Kelpie Weeping Window Of Poppies Western Romance Whisky Winner Winners Women's Fiction World Of De Wolfe YA Fantasy