Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why the Middle Ages fascinate me

I'm Lindsay Townsend and I write historical romances set in the ancient world and the Middle Ages, especially the Middle Ages. Why then?

The Middle Ages covers a huge period of time in the western world, from AD 300 - the rise of the Roman emperor Constantine and the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire - until the 14th century. This gives lots of scope.

It was a time when religion played a crucial part in people’s lives. The clash of the spiritual and practical was very real. That clash is shown most clearly in the history of the Crusades, when men, women and even children left their homes to travel to the Near East to ‘win’ the holy city of Jerusalem. The motives of such people were mixed and varied, so that mix of emotions - the profound, the greedy, the opportunistic, the generous - fascinate me as a writer. I touch upon the impact that the Crusades and contact with the Arab world had on men and women in ‘A Knight’s Vow’.

The Middle Ages was a time very different to our own, with different beliefs: a pig could be put on trial for witchcraft, a man would be made to prove his innocence by clasping a red-hot iron bar, a woman would be told by the church that she was inferior to her husband and yet still be expected to defend his castle. Alchemy and chemistry were one and the same. The contrast in ideas between then and now fascinate me and I like to show them at work in my romances. In ‘A Knight’s Enchantment’ I have a woman alchemist and she uses her skills to help the hero save his brother.

This was the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine's court of love, of Geoffroi de Charny’s ‘A Knight’s Own Book of Chivalry’ - a how-to book for knights - and Christine de Pizan’s ‘City of Ladies’ - a defense by a woman writer of her own sex. It was a time of the Viking sagas, of troubadours and the chronicles, of many rich and varied sources of information. It was a time of jousts and tournaments, where ladies gave favours and knights vied for honour - jousts I describe in my ‘A Knight’s Enchantment’ and ‘To Touch The Knight’.

But the Black Death came, too, a plague - or series of plagues - that killed almost a third of Europe. The  survivors were traumatized but also had new chances to prosper, something I explore in ‘To Touch The Knight’.

The Middle Ages had many decisive battles that changed the course of history - Hastings, Agincourt, Poitiers, Crécy amongst them. I explore the changes the Battle of Hastings made in my ‘A Knight’s Captive’.

I write romances in which the history serves the hero and heroine and the impact of that history is shown through their lives. The Middle Ages gives me a wonderful backdrop for adventure, high stakes, courtly knights and beastly ones, generous ladies and cruel damsels, peril, good and horrible manners and amazing costumes.

I love the Middle Ages.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Magical Return Now Available

Happy Monday!

Are you in the mood for some magic?  For love both lost and found?  If so, my recently released paranormal, A Magical Return, just might appeal.

AMR is now available at Liquid SilverBooks, Amazon and All Romance Ebooks.


The Loss

Conleth “Cole” Douglas, warlock and vessel, needs a miracle.  A destructive force has taken hold of his town and it will take more than just he and his magical Other, Cole, to eradicate the Evil.  When an attempt to open his lover, Emterra, to their shared destiny fails, Conleth and Cole take extreme measures to stop the rising darkness.  Their only option: take it, and themselves, into another realm.

Emterra “Irene” Azzurra, untapped witch and vessel, has given up on finding her own happy-ever-after.  Devastated by the loss of her one and only love she becomes disinterested and remote, closed off from a life without Conleth.  Even her job as the mayor of the dying town of Douglasville, MO, fails to sustain her, until she gets a blast from the past…

The Return

He’s back, alive and whole, but he didn’t come alone.  The evil they’d hoped to contain in a distant realm has returned with him and is out to finish the job it started. There can be no failure this time, the now middle-aged, Emterra must accept her Other or doom the town to an agonizing death.

Skeptical of his sudden homecoming, Emterra is afraid to hope that his return could be true.  She balks at the idea of opening her heart to him again.  Especially when he looks like the same young Goth from ten years ago and tries to convince her she’s sharing skin with a magical being.   

Can Conleth prove his claims of magic and the Others to be true?  Can Emterra allow herself to believe in love and his wild claims?  Or will the returning Evil finally swallow this town and all its inhabitants into the deepest realms of hell.

May your day be filled with magic!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Palace of the Fountains available as a pre-order

My new romantic suspense title, Palace of the Fountains, is now ready to pre-order from Bookstrand at a discount until mid-August.

Here's the link.

Lindsay Townsend