In a world where folk are either common or noble, Temric FitzHenry, bastard of Graistan, is neither and both. If only he had met his equal, Philippa of Lindurst--also a bastard raised to noble expectations--before she had married. Then he discovers the abuse Philippa endures and his heart demands he steal her from her husband. As he does, he promises she'll never know pain with him.
Philippa cherishes each day she spends with Temric, even though she knows their love is the deepest of sins. Although Temric has hidden them well, Philippa knows their time together cannot last, that her husband will someday find them and they will pay the ultimate price for what they've done. On that day, Philippa must find the courage to defy death and reach for the happiness that is her true legacy.
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While I was writing Winter's Heat I never really conceived I'd be writing a series. After all, my ex-father-in-law had previously informed me that I had a better chance of making a killing on Wall Street than I did of ever selling a book. But then that first book sold, and the publisher asked for more. Luckily for me I'd fallen hard for Temric, Rannulf's half-brother. I wanted to know why he was refusing to accept the name his father had offered him and he, being Temric, was refusing to tell me. Moreover, I knew Temric's mother lived in a prosperous Medieval city and since I'd already seen how a baron lived I needed to explore something different. But how and what sort of story was there in him?
Warning: Woo-Woo stuff follows. (Cue the Twilight Zone theme.)
Then one night I woke up and there was a ghostly figure standing in the doorway to my bedroom. This wasn't the first time this had happened to me. My mother's side of the family has a legacy of psychic ability that goes back some sixteen generations, and I seem to be the repository of it in this generation. Still, no matter how often it happens I'm always a little freaked. I mean, how do they find me?
Anyway, she was a girl of about twelve. Her story flashed through my mind. She'd lived in a Medieval keep of some kind as a servant or the child of a tradesman until she was killed by some high ranking soldier, possibly the lord of the place. She was in his way and he struck out while wearing a metal glove, and the impact killed her.
As I came into her awareness I knew instantly what I was going to do with her and her story. Her personality was the perfect wife for Temric. It all clicked together from there: the story of abuse, which was tolerated if not accepted in that time period, the idea of bastardy and inheritance, the strange concepts of relationships imposed by the Catholic Church at the time, and a ghost.
I was ten before I realized the cosmos played a terrible joke on me. I was in the wrong century! While everyone else studied computers and listened to rock music, I wrote a history assignment in Egyptian hieroglyphics and spent endless hours designing ball gowns for Marie Antoinette. I taught myself what every true lady must know: how to sew a fine seam (by hand), to embroider skillfully, and to play an instrument (piano, and nothing later than Beethoven, thank you). I did my best to fit in with the rest of modern society, running two property management companies and inventing an electric lock, only to realize happiness for me meant historical research. Now, writing is my time machine and words recreate the vitality of eras where I feel more at home. Not only do I experience the drama of their time, but I do so with indoor plumbing. Enjoy!
Denise lives with her husband on a soon-to-be farm in Northern Arizona along with various cats, chickens and one dog. You can follow their exploits on her blog: Living with the Other Ed.
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Book Description Berkley, 1994. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110451405072
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Book Description Topaz, 1996. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0451405072