Please welcome fellow Romance Weekly author, Sarah Hegger! She is on the blog today to answer a few questions, talk a little bit about herself, and the inspiration behind her debut release.
Thank you, Katherine, for having me on your blog to talk about my debut release, The Bride Gift.
1. What is your latest book about?
The Bride Gift is about a young woman, Helena of Lystanwold, trying to control her own destiny in medieval England. Not an easy task, given the times she lives in. She has everything planned out to suit herself, when her guardian uncle climbs through the window with a ready-made husband. The ‘husband’ is Guy of Helston, a renowned warrior and exactly the sort of man Helena swore she would never marry. Power struggles ensure basically from this point onwards. I toss in all the other good stuff like sword fights, evil villains, kings and war.
2. What is the inspiration behind your book?
It all started with the idea of a medieval knight. They had such a lot of power over everyone around them. I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind to see what would happen if such a knight was forced to climb the walls of his own castle to get to his wife.
3. What’s your favorite scene in your book? Can you describe the scene?
It happens toward the front of the book and I had real fun writing it. Guy is her husband and Helena is lying in bed waiting for him to appear and demand his conjugal rights. She’s doing her best not to jump out of her skin, or the casement, with nerves. Guy comes in and … (I don’t think I should tell you any more)
4. Imagine you are trapped on a deserted island. Which character would you prefer to be stuck with, and why?
Guy of Helston, because he is quiet and capable and a man a girl can rely on.
5. What makes your book stand out from all the others on the market?
Wow! Good question.
There are a lot of Scottish medievals on the market and that’s great because who can resist a man in a kilt. The Bride Gift is set in England and more reminiscent of the older medievals written by Johanna Lindsay, Madeline Hunter and Theresa Medeiros.
I add a little twist to history to suit my plot.
6. What do you want to resonate with readers when they read “The End”?
The love story, because that’s what The Bride Gift is. Both Helena and Guy come into the story with such strong expectations and prejudices. In the end, they both have to learn to give a bit to gain a whole lot.
1. Coffee or chocolate? You can only choose one! Coffee
2. Favorite movie or TV show? Vikings
3. Book that made you laugh hysterically, shed tears, or want to change the world? Jayne Eyre
4. If you could write in any other genre, what would it be? Why? I would love to write Science Fiction/Fantasy with lots and lots of dragons and because it’s my second favorite genre to read.
5. What was the first romance novel you ever read? Arabella by Georgette Heyer
6. What do you think is the most important element a book needs to be successful? Characters that you care about and invest in.
7. How can readers connect with you and learn more about your writing?
I really love to hear from readers and can be reached at any and all of the following places.
It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.
Determined to control her own destiny, willful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior Guy of Helston is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.
This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.
Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.
The men had practiced in the yards since early morning. Now, they streamed into the hall, filthy, sweat stained, and bellowing for food. Helena stiffened her spine. They would not treat her hall as if it were a rough camp.
“Sir Guy,” her voice rang across the expanse.
His face was streaked with perspiration, his tunic hanging haphazardly from one meaty shoulder. His bare chest gleamed from his exertions.
The butterflies were back inside her and flinging themselves about. Helena tightened her resolve. This wouldn’t do.
She swept from the dais toward them. Around Guy, his men went silent and fell away.
They would not come to her table filthy and stinking of sweat. This was her keep.
“The meal will wait until you have had time to prepare yourselves.” She spoke to their leader, but let her glance drift over the rowdy lot.
Their eyes slid shamefaced to the floor. They looked like a collection of overgrown, rebuked boys.
A small smile tugged at her mouth. She suppressed it harshly.
“Hah?” Sir Guy grunted at her.
Helena gritted her teeth. The man was able to speak. She’d seen as much around his men, but for her he could do nothing more than, ‘hah?’
“Tell me, Sir Guy,” she lisped sweetly, “was that ‘Aye, my lady’ or ‘Nay, my lady’ or, mayhap, it was aught else entirely?”
Guy went absolutely still before her. One corner of his mouth turned up slightly. Helena’s pulse fluttered against the side of her neck in reaction.
She couldn’t read the expression turning his eyes near silver, but her pulse kicked rapidly in response.
He lunged toward her, deadly swift. She squealed as his hands closed on her hips and lifted her into the air, as if she weighed no more than thistledown. Good Lord, he is strong. A small thrill chased through her innards. Her hands clung to his forearms convulsively. The feel of his skin beneath her hands was hot as the sensation of touching him swept up her arms.
“As you will, my lady,” he rumbled.
Around them, the hall broke into raucous yells and whistles. Helena’s face flamed with heat.
He lowered her closer, his mouth hard and swift on hers before he placed her back to the floor. His men cheered and stamped their feet.
Helena’s lips tingled where he’d touched them. She raised her fingertips to her mouth. Then jerked her hand away, irked by her own reaction and unable to still her pounding heart.
“Will you attend me as I bathe?” he drawled, smooth as silk.
She tried to regain her composure, but her blood rushed through her ears and her knees knocked together beneath her bliaut. She raised her chin.
“Geoffrey will attend you.” She wouldn’t let him see how he had completely overset her.
Guy merely grinned at her, a great, unabashed beam of nonsense that prodded at her to respond.
She turned her shoulder on him instead. “The rest of you may wash in the barracks,” she groused at the grinning bunch of louts. “Merry will bring cloths.”
They turned as one and stormed for the screens.
Helena wished she could follow them. Guy’s kiss, his touch still lingered. But the hall was looking to her. She put a bright smile on her face. She would act as if naught had happened.
The Bride Gift is available now Amazon.
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.
She currently lives in Draper, Utah, with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
I love to hear from readers and you can find me at any of the places below.