Tag Archives: inspiration

Historical Romance Inspiration: Clave Castle in The Earls Entanglement

On a vacation to England last summer, one of the highlights was a visit to Bamburgh Castle, the inspiration for Kenshire Castle, the seat of the Casier and now Waryn family in the Border Series historical romance. A highlight of that trip, Bamburgh was both a stranger and a friend. Having toured it virtually many times before, I knew the layout well. But seeing stone walls on a computer pales in comparison to the real thing, and the first time I saw the beach where Sara and Geoffrey have their first intimate moment, I was nearly brought to tears.

Leaving Bamburgh, our driver lamented that we did not have time to visit Lindisfarne. “Besides,” he said, “the tide will make driving impossible, and that is really the best way to get there.” As it turned out, Lindisfarne is an island, accessible by land only during low tide or by boat.

historical romance setting

Photo Credit: Chris Combe

Fascinated, I remembered this unique castle when it came time to search for inspiration for our hero’s inheritance in ‘The Earl’s Entanglement.” The idea of Garrick and Emma ‘stuck’ together during high tide was too enticing to ignore. A bit more digging uncovered another English castle accessible only during low tide. Unlike Lindisfarne, raided by Vikings in the 9th century and later becoming a monastery, St. Michael’s Mount offered additional images inside the castle since it is still used as a residence to this day. Clave Castle, a mashup of both Lindisfarne on the east coast and St. Michael’s Mount on the west, is the perfect romantic setting for a forbidden historical romance about an earl in two countries who falls for a beautiful Englishwoman nearly the same time as he prepares to marry another.

Find out what happens when the tide turns Clave into an island while our hero makes the decision between following his heart or loosing his inheritance and maybe even starting a war. The Earl’s Entanglement is coming to Amazon and Kindle Unlimited on February 22, 2019. Get a new release notice and put it on your Goodreads TBR list to be notified of the special launch price.

New Release Notice: Inspiration for Border Series Book 4, ‘The Scot’s Secret’

They say never to write a cliffhanger in romance. So at the end of The Chief’s Maiden, because the fate of Toren’s new squire ‘Alfred’ is unknown, I braced for the backlash. Although not a main character, ‘Alfred’ (aka Lady Clara) appeared in enough scenes to make readers wonder what happened to her. And while I did receive questions about him/her, readers patiently waited for The Scot’s Secret to learn about Clara’s secret identity.

When Toren and Juliette bring Lady Clara to Dunmure in Scotland, the reader knows fireworks will fly as she squires for Toren’s younger brother Alex. But as Alex uncovers more and more of her past, and as passions flare, Alex and Clara are forced apart by the same reasons that forced her into the disguise.

When I began to write this fourth installment of the Border Series books, I’d already known about Clara’s past. Putting her in Alex’s care created an immediate conflict, but I’d underestimated the challenge of writing a love story with the heroine in disguise. A build-up of sexual tension throughout the book is a hallmark of the series, but suddenly I was unable to write such scenes with Clara still in disguise.

On the other hand, I fell in love with Alex whose inspiration was none other than the very handsome Chris Hemsworth. Every Border Series book begins with a Pinterest inspiration board, and this book inspiration was no different. You can even see the castle layout of Brockburg on the Pinterest page which helps me to envision characters moving from place to place throughout the story.

As always, The Scot’s Secret launched to a special release-week price, and today is its last day at $2.99. If you do pick it up, please let me know here, via social media and/or on Amazon what you think. The feedback I receive from readers has been tremendously helpful as future Border Series books are born.

For more behind-the-scenes, subscribe to become a CM Insider and get the newly released chapter upgrade to the story. If you are already an insider, head to the bonus page or wait for the email with a link to grab the new bonus.