Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today!
When I started writing Conquest of the Heart, I wanted a book that was very different. Conquest books are usually about the conquering Norman hero taking over some poor Englishwoman's estate and she has to marry him to protect her land and people.
In this clash of cultures, I turned things around. My hero, Ranulf, is a Saxon. One of the conquered. In order to keep his estate, he has to marry King William's ward, Madeline.
These two people from different countries, different people, with different customs, laws, and dress, have to find a way to trust and love each other. It isn't always easy, but there's a lot of humor in this book, in spite of being set in a dark and violent time. For one thing, the hero is a virgin, and it is Madeline who must lead the way! How she throws out her lures and how he is finally ensnared is just one of the topsy-turvy things I did in this book.
Conquest of the Heart
Her people conquered his country. How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?
In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?
Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in?
He let his gaze travel back to his bride walking stiffly, reluctantly, toward him. For once, Ranulf felt speech was beyond him. She was so much more than he had expected. So beautiful. So clean. She glittered like a bright jewel in a dung heap. For Etherby, no matter how much he loved it, was not much better than one right now.
If only he could say to this magnificent woman, "Go away. Come back in a year. Give me time to build the castle the king has ordered, tear down this rotting hall, teach cleanliness to servants to whom filth is a way of life. Then you won't have to grit your teeth and square our shoulders as if going into battle as you come to wed me." But it was already too late. She was here. The wedding was now. And he felt as randy as a billy goat.
He would begin building the king's castle immediately. The work would distract him from Lady Madeline's seductive lure. She would find no treason with which to fill the king's ears, and, like his mother's attitude toward his father, he was sure the lady would be glad not to have him in her bower, not the way he felt now, the things he wanted to do to her.
Buy links for Conquest of the Heart
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1IWkXSq
Michele Stegman has always loved history and she lives it every day. She spins, weaves, makes her own soap and bread, and lives in a 175 year old log cabin with her husband, Ron, who is the basis for all her heroes.
You can contact Michele on her website:
or on her Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/MicheleStegmanAuthor.