I welcome fellow author MICHELLE STEGMAN to my blog today to talk about her latest release Conquest of the Heart.
I call Conquest of the Heart, "A light-hearted romp through the Dark Ages." The story is set during the Norman Conquest of England, a dark and violent time. But I just can't seem to write "dark." I love dark brooding heroes and serious romances with tragedy and heartbreak in them. But I can't seem to write it. Maybe because I prefer to look on the bright side of things. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the first thing I asked the doctor is if she knew any good breast cancer jokes. I needed to see the humorous side of even that.
Conquest of the Heart is serious, of course, but there's a lot of humor in it. I turned a lot of clichés around and I think that helped a bit with the humor. For example, the hero, Ranulf, is a virgin and is totally clueless when it comes to women. The heroine, Madeline, has to put out lures and set her traps to finally get him into her bed--many of which backfire.
Ranulf finds himself defeated time after time when he is training with one of his knights because he is distracted by Madeline. Although he's never been bested before, Madeline thinks he can't fight and worries about him every time he rides out the gate.
I tried to stay true to the times, of course, but I wanted Conquest of the Heart to be a fun read. I hope I've succeeded. I hope you think so, too.
Conquest of the Heart
Her people conquered his country. How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?
In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?
Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in?
He let his gaze travel back to his bride walking stiffly, reluctantly, toward him. For once, Ranulf felt speech was beyond him. She was so much more than he had expected. So beautiful. So clean. She glittered like a bright jewel in a dung heap. For Etherby, no matter how much he loved it, was not much better than one right now.
If only he could say to this magnificent woman, "Go away. Come back in a year. Give me time to build the castle the king has ordered, tear down this rotting hall, teach cleanliness to servants to whom filth is a way of life. Then you won't have to grit your teeth and square our shoulders as if going into battle as you come to wed me." But it was already too late. She was here. The wedding was now. And he felt as randy as a billy goat.
He would begin building the king's castle immediately. The work would distract him from Lady Madeline's seductive lure. She would find no treason with which to fill the king's ears, and, like his mother's attitude toward his father, he was sure the lady would be glad not to have him in her bower, not the way he felt now, the things he wanted to do to her.
Buy links for Conquest of the Heart
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1IWkXSq
You can contact Michele on her website, www.MicheleStegman.com, or on her Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/MicheleStegmanAuthor.