Wednesday, May 13, 2009
IMHO Welcomes Medieval Romance Author Catherine Kean!
Catherine Kean, a fellow Medallion Press author, writes medieval historical romances featuring headstrong heroines and emotionally-tormented alpha male heroes. She penned her first novella at age twelve, and first full-length manuscript at sixteen, not long after she graduated from Alberni District Secondary School in Port Alberni, B.C., Canada. After completing a B.A., Double Major (First Class), in English and History from the University of Victoria, B.C., she was accepted into the prestigious, post-graduate Works of Art Course run by Sotheby’s auctioneers in London, England, where she studied centuries of history, antiques and fine art, no doubt preparing for her eventual career as a writer. She worked in Canada for several years as an antique and fine art appraiser, which inspired some unique ideas for her novels.
Prior to her first publishing contract with Medallion Press, her manuscripts finaled in thirty contests, including Georgia Romance Writers’ 2003 and 2004 Unpublished Maggie Awards. The fifth novel she wrote, Dance of Desire, was the first book she sold. It was released by Medallion Press in March 2005. Her latest is A Knight’s Temptation, the third book in her Knights series. Catherine will put a signed copy of A Knight’s Temptation in the “Mother May I?” gift basket today.
Romantic Times BOOKreviews rated Temptation 4 Stars, and said, “Kean presents plenty of romance, adventure and action . . .” Coffeetime Romance says “filled with stunning descriptions, hilarious events, remarkable emotions, and unforgettable characters, this novel will have you pleading for more . . .”
Catherine’s published novels have won numerous awards and she’s been named a "Rising Star of Publishing" by loveromancesandmore.com. She lives in Florida with her Knight-in-Shining-Armor husband and daughter.
IMHO: Welcome, Catherine, and tell us about your “Dark Knight in Shining Armor.”
CK: I adore creating heroes. The leading men in my medieval romances don chain mail armor, wield swords, and live by the code of chivalry. While my handsome heroes like to appear to be in control of every situation, inwardly, they’re seething with torment. They’re men with flaws and emotional bruises. Not just because I, as Lady Author, can dish about their angst. :-) But because the more darkly complex my heroes are, the more conflict I can evoke between them and my heroines. That makes for unique characters and interesting plots.
One such man is aspiring knight Aldwin Treynarde, hero of my current release A Knight’s Temptation, Book 3 of my Knight’s Series. Readers of the first book, A Knight’s Vengeance, met Aldwin as an idealistic squire. He was manipulated into shooting Geoffrey de Lanceau with a crossbow bolt (a climactic moment in Vengeance). When Aldwin learned he’d almost murdered a man who deserved to be Moydenshire’s lord, he was mortified. Shame has haunted Aldwin ever since, especially as his parents, resenting the dishonor brought upon their noble family, told him never to return home. As penance for the shooting, Aldwin swore allegiance to de Lanceau for the rest of his life and strives to excel for his lord.
Aldwin, however, hates himself for his misdeed. That self-loathing runs deep, for it roots back to a childhood game in which he almost caused the death of a friend’s eight-year-old sister. The girl—my book’s heroine Lady Leona Ransley—survived. Aldwin believes she perished, and all because of his stupidity.
As A Knight’s Temptation opens, Aldwin’s determined to complete the mission de Lanceau assigned him—to retrieve a valuable stolen pendant before de Lanceau’s enemies get hold of it, sell it, and use the money to start a rebellion. He’s proud to be given the important duty. Part of him, though, hopes that by succeeding, he’ll achieve his lifelong dream: knighthood. Then, his name will be spoken with honor. Then, he’ll respect himself.
He steps into a tavern’s back room for a prearranged meeting, expecting a trap. He doesn’t anticipate Leona, who has the pendant to exchange for the reward. Aldwin doesn’t recognize the secretive beauty before him, but Leona definitely recalls him. Anger and hatred boil inside her, even as she sees he’s very different to the reckless, grinning boy she knew. What forged him into a man who raises goose bumps on her arms, but still, she finds so intriguing?
When Aldwin takes her captive to take her to de Lanceau for questioning, and they must outwit murderous enemies, she learns all that’s wounded him. When, despite the painful past between them, they fall in love, Aldwin is forced to confront the anguish in his soul. He finds not only forgiveness, but the honor he has always craved. It’s a dramatic, exciting journey that, I hope, will leave my readers cheering. Because to me, there’s nothing more romantic than when a dark hero is redeemed by his lady’s love.
IMHO: Sigh…so romantic…
Thank you so much for telling us about your dark knight in shining armor, Catherine! And readers, be sure to leave a comment for Catherine in order to be eligible to win the “Mother May I?” gift basket (remember, you’ll need to visit our guests’ posts this month each Wednesday and leave a comment for at least two of the authors in order to be eligible to win the basket. The more comments you leave, the better the chance of winning). Tell Catherine if you believe a past tragedy can make a dark hero stronger, and why?