Today I’d like to welcome to the blog a long time friend, author Barbara Bettis, for a little chat about herself and her newest release The Lady of the Forest. She’s also giving away a $5.00 gift certificate to someone who comments on this blog, so check out our interview and her excerpt, then leave a comment to win!
Okay, Barb, can you tell us a little bit about your new release.
THE LADY OF THE FOREST is Lord Henry and Lady Katherine’s story. Henry is Lady Evelynn’s brother, whom we met in my first book SILVERHAWK, and got to know better in the second, THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX. All my heroines are strong women, within the context of their time, of course. With Henry being a friend of King Richard and a heroic warrior in his own right, I thought the woman who finally won him should be independent as well as strong.
And what was your inspiration for this story?
I had become attached to Henry from the very beginning and wanted to tell his story. And it just seemed to flow from the activities in SILVERHAWK. So although this book is third written, it’s second in time sequence. It falls after the first, but by THOP, the two have been wed a few years.
How about your process for writing this book? Was this different or the same as other books you’ve written?
This is a novella—a full novella, 40,000 words—but surprisingly it followed the same path as the full length books. About half way through I hit a plot tangle and decided what I’d planned didn’t work out as I’d hoped. The first plotline would have taken me through a full-length book of 90,000 + words, and I was determined to keep it in novella form. So I revised the plot and rewrote. Plus, keeping it within the planned word count demanded I keep the action tight.
Goodness, I digressed from your question a little, but it’s all good, right?
Absolutely! 🙂 Do you have plans for a sequel to this The Lady of the Forest?
Not for this book, but I do have ideas for stories involving characters from the other books. Plus, I’ve been revising the very first book I wrote. It was my learning process, so to speak, and requires a good deal of work. It features Henry’s and Evie’s elder sister, Alyss, and Roark, the mercenary knight who sweeps into her life.
Now for some non-book related questions. Bwahaha!
What is the most exciting/daredevil thing you’ve ever done?
I wish I had tales of backpacking around Europe and facing down danger, but I don’t. I suppose one of the most harrowing experiences was a hot air balloon ride. A regional championship used to be held near the place I lived. In recognition of it, I was putting out a special edition of the newspaper I worked for. One morning during a race lift-off activities, I was talked into riding along in one of the competing balloons. I should mention that I have a fear of heights. When one is holding on for dear life with both hands, it’s hard to take pictures. Anyway to make a long story short, the balloon crash-landed into the side of a hill. I was shaken up and my sandals were dangling from my ankles by the time the basket came to a halt, but neither the pilot nor I was hurt much. (Surprisingly, neither was the camera.) That’s it for me. No skydiving in my future. Nor ballooning either 🙂
Oh, how I sympathize! A hot air balloon ride was on my bucket list until I realized it would probably make me kick the bucket!
So then what is your favorite amusement park ride?
The Merry Go-Round. (See story above for explanation.)
Do you prefer tea or coffee?
My cabinet’s full of both.
Would you get a French manicure or color (and if color, what color)?
Usually clear or muted translucent shimmery
If you had to choose, would you go to the beach or mountains?
Mountains in summer, beach in winter
Chocolate or vanilla?
Boxers, briefs or commando?
Ah, Shucks, my heroes all wear braies.
ROFL! So does my current one!
Blond, brunette or redhead? (preferred men’s hair color)
Would you rather skydive or scuba dive?
No thank you 🙂
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London?
My sentiments exactly!
And finally, what’s the one thing you would never do?
Keep a pet snake.
Yipes! Never even thought of that one, but I’m with you!
Now, let’s let everyone get a taste of your newest release, The Lady of the Forest.
He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?
When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.
Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past catches her.
When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.
He was a fine specimen of a knight. Pity he had to die.
Lady Katherine, late of Stonehill Castle, straddled a low-slung branch and watched the
intruder work toward her. Closer he came, guiding his black gelding in a careful walk as he searched the October leaves mounding the forest floor.
Late-afternoon sun reflected off his arm, and she bit back a curse. The traitor wore chain mail beneath his deep green surcoat. Of course. Why would her task be easy? At least his coif lay folded back to expose his head. She could strike there.
Sharp, thick bark bit through Kate’s rough hose. She ignored the discomfort and leaned forward for a better look. Another sunbeam touched the rider’s rich chestnut hair. A strand drooped across his forehead. He shoved it back with a ruthless jab, revealing a wide brow and strong nose.
From her vantage point, he looked to be a fearsome warrior. Pray God he didn’t glance up. The ancient oak’s few tenacious leaves didn’t provide nearly enough cover. But his attention never wavered. One step, then another brought him nearer.
She curled in her lips to cushion her teeth and gripped the knife between them. Breath by shallow, silent breath, she eased into a crouch. Balanced on her toes. Blanked her mind. And waited. He stopped. Right beneath her perch.
Kate slid the knife into her hand and jumped.
And you can get in touch with Barb here:
Visit me at: http://www.facebook.com/BarbaraBettisAuthor