Please make welcome a sister Rose (from the The Wild Rose Press), Helen C. Johannes! We're celebrating her new release, Lord of Druemarwin! The Tavern is serving ale, hot cider, and plum tarts, so get comfy and let's hear what Helen has to say...
Congratulations, Helen! Delighted you could join us today. I'll start by asking one of my favorite questions: Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?
I usually start creative work mid-morning and continue in the afternoon after lunch.
Interesting, Helen. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?
A novella in the Crown of Tolem world, concurrent with Lord of Druemarwin. Since I created such a wide world and large cast in book one, The Prince of Val-Feyridge, I’m following a plot thread based on one of author Elizabeth Peters’ (Amelia Peabody series) maxims: Never kill off a good villain if there’s a chance he/she can be redeemed—or allowed to wreak more havoc.
Fascinating about your villain. I recall a conversation with my editor when she realized I was carrying they villain (definitely not redeemable) throughout my series. She told me, "Do not back your villain into a corner. He/She could become boring or predictable." What inspired you to write this book/series?
I grew up on fairy tales, so all of my books have at their heart a fairy tale connection. Lord of Druemarwin is my Princess and the Pea meets Game of Thrones story. As for the Crown of Tolem series, the divisiveness—ethnic, religious, geographical, etc.—in the world inspired me to write stories in which a people divided can find a way to come together, can overcome their petty differences and unite for a cause.
I love a good fairy tale story, too! What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?
My purple knit fingerless gloves. They cover me from knuckles to above the wrist, and they keep my hands functioning no matter what the weather. They’re not just favorites; they’re a necessity in northern climes.
I need a pair of those, Helen! You’ve been given a golden ticket to time travel into the past. Whom would you meet and why?
JRR Tolkien. His Lord of the Rings set the bar for heroic fantasy. I’d love to take tea with him and pick his brain.
Now for some fun questions. Do you prefer...
Champagne or Beer? Moscato white wine, actually.
Southern drawl or Scottish burr? Scottish, Irish, Welsh...you get the idea.
Kilt or Leather pants? Jeans, even though I write men in tunic and breeches.
First romance you read? Irish Thoroughbred by Nora Roberts: the horse story made me pick it up, but the romance hooked me on the genre.
Print book or e-reader? Both, whichever is available or handy at the time.
Wishing you all the best with Lord of Druemarwin!
Backcover blurb from Lord of Druemarwin
Lady Raell can fight, ride, and argue politics as well as her brothers. Only being mistress of her father's household keeps her in skirts. In Naed, the new Lord of Druemarwin, she has found devotion, a kindred spirit, and a marriage promise. But when a forgotten and unwanted betrothal comes to light, she has no choice but to run.
Amidst sweeping revolution, Naed must rally his people, fend off assassination attempts, and fight against claims he's a traitor. Then he discovers everything about his lineage and family is a lie. And his beloved belongs to another.
With lives and a kingdom at stake, Raell and Naed must find a way to protect the innocent and save their love.
Sneak preview from Lord of Druemarwin
“Raell, now is not the time—”
Aye, it wasn’t. They stood in torchlight on an open parapet while assassins stalked them, but this might be her only chance to reach him across that precipice he’d thrown up between them, to secure the future they were meant to share.
“Does my honor mean naught? When weighed with D’nalian honor, is mine lesser because ‘tis a woman’s honor? Or because ‘tis a Tolemak’s honor? Be honest and tell me that.”
The world had gone silent; Raell could hear nothing over the rush of blood in her ears, the terrible heavy beats of her heart while she waited, dizzy with fear, breathless with longing, for the man she loved to respond with a word, a look, even a blink. Even a shift of his gaze she’d take as a sign he’d at least heard, mayhap begun to consider—
“Yes, be honest, Lord Naed,” said a voice she’d heard but once, a voice that raised all the fine hairs on her body and made her innards contract into a cold, tight knot. “Tell us both how much honor means to a bastard who’s betrayed his countrymen and his blood.”
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Meet the Author
Helen C. Johannes writes award-winning fantasy romance inspired by the fairy tales she grew up reading and the amazing historical places she’s visited in England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. She writes tales of adventure and romance in fully realized worlds sprung from pure imagination and a lifelong interest in history, culture, and literature. Warriors on horseback, women who refuse to sit idly at home, and passion that cannot be denied or outrun—that’s what readers will find in her books.
Connect with Helen here:
Contact email: email@example.com