Desperate to avoid a forced marriage to Sir Gilliam FitzHenry, the man she claims killed her father, Nicola of Ashby stages a daring escape attempt. To no avail, even though she uses all the warrior's skills she learned at her father's knee, including wielding her sword with deadly effect against a pack of thieves. She cannot elude this knight who is as much her match as her mate.
A fourth son, Gilliam FitzHenry had no hope of ever having his own home or a wife in his arms until he besieged Ashby and claimed its folk as his own. With winter approaching he must take Nicola as his wife and return her to her place as Ashby's lady if his home and folk are to survive the hungry season. Once he's done this, he dared to dream he might one day make this deadly and dangerous woman a wife in more than name only, a task that will demand every bit of his natural talent for taming wild creatures.
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After writing about life in a Medieval castle (Winter's Heat), then life in a Medieval town (Summer's Storm) it only made sense to take a look at a Medieval manor. These small holdings were the backbone of the country. Lucky for me that after two books my publisher still wanted more. Even luckier, I still had two more FitzHenry brothers to explore. Thus Spring's Fury was born.
I chose to write about Gilliam first because I hadn't yet even seen Geoffrey in my imagination although I was aware of him. Although I hadn't done it on purpose, Gilliam reminded me of my second son Justin. Like Gilliam, Justin was then a curly-haired blond (his hair has darkened since but is still just as curly), and a very big man. Let me just say that when Justin went to freshman orientation at high school, the football coach made a beeline for him and nearly got down on his knees to beg Justin to join the team. Justin, who now wears a 53 jacket, refused.
What I had yet to discover back then was that Justin has Asperger's Syndrome, or high functioning Autism. Oh, we knew something was quite right, like how he walked as a child: step, step, step, turn; step, step, step, turn. Or the way he'd take a silver pen and move it back and forth in front of his eyes for minutes at a time to calm himself. But, he was verbal and very, very, very bright. He started his first business at fourteen, teaching people how to use their computers. No surprise that he is now a highly successful computer programmer.
I didn't know any of that back when Gilliam's story occurred to me so I let myself imagine what Justin's life might have been like if he'd lived in the Twelfth Century.
I hope you enjoy it!
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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