Monday, 14 April 2014

Exposure or Assassination! (?) - Meet my Main Character/s

Fellow FB friend, Marilyn Watson, invited moi to partake in the fun of a blog/tag, which entails a questionnaire for a WIP (work in progress). The instigator of the on-going blog/tag is Debra Browne. I am posting this early as I'll not be around on the 16th April. 
So here goes, and being a rebel 'n' all I've plumped for a Series novel.


1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

Ans) Fictional characters are my preference, no messing. After all, fictional beings require creative godlike input from their stepping to the page all innocent and carefree, and of course, totally unaware that a momentous event is set to rock or shatter their lives. Thus I created the Royal Series. It spans the years of the English Civil Wars and beyond (1644 – 1689), in which the households of Axebury Hall and Loxton House take centre stage.

The main characters are Anna Lady Maitcliffe and Morton Viscount Axebury.

The Gantry and Thornton families respectively take up arms and fight for King and Country. Well, not all, and there comes the rub of individual thinking. All my novels have love and romance as a central theme and I don't shy away from explicit love scenes and or violence: the latter, though, in moderation. 

Axebury Hall.

Both families are bonded by far distant ancestral links dating back to a Knight Crusader. The key to the series is the friendship between two young men and a girl who are essentially torn apart by war and divided loyalties. The two families are thus ripped asunder from within as time and war march ever onward, and so the saga begins.

Loxton House
2) When and where is the story set?

Book 1 is set in Somerset involving ongoing tussles to secure - at the time - the second most important port in England (Bristol). Throughout the period of the English Civil Wars, opposing factions were treading and retreading across the hills and levels of Somerset and farther afield.

Glastonbury Tor
The George Hotel Glastonbury
Formerly known as The Pilgrims' Rest.
3) What should we know about him/her?

The hero Morton Viscount Axebury refuses a captaincy in a Cavalier Regiment of Horse, and instead rebels by taking up the cause of Parliament. Morton’s motivation bears no religious bent but he is a young man of noted moral beliefs. He despises the profligacy of the royal court at the expense of the people, who  are forced to pay higher taxes and increased tythes. As time passes life inevitably teaches him that change is not always as one had hoped for.

4) What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Banished from Axebury Estate and as good as disinherited, Morton suffers the loss of Anna, whom he adores. Prior sworn to uphold her status as that of his father’s young ward he has always treated her akin to that of a sister. When she later becomes betrothed to his father, life as a soldier serves merely to kill the pain of losing the love of his life, and hell is waiting around every corner when he dares to step back onto Axebury land as a Parliamentarian Captain of Horse.
Equally, for Anna, life is bitter sweet when she is sure her heart’s desire has perished. Untimely deaths, though, can tear a heart in two. Thus the path ahead is fraught not only with danger but emotional turmoil. Anna, having already suffered the loss of her parents, she would not wish such pain on others. Nothing though, has prepared her for living with the enemy: a man she loves but cannot forgive.  

5) What is the personal goal of the character?

For the hero: the abolition of the divine rite of King Charles I to rule without accountability to Parliament, the very King who defies and denies Parliamentary democracy as the elected voice of the people.

For the heroine: she dreams of peace not war, love not hate, but she’s young, self-centred, and despairs of men who war and fight and achieve nothing but carnage, pillage and plunder. And yet, love and hate are strong bedfellows in the emotional stakes and while war takes it tally in death, Anna learns that selfless love comes at a price she must pay for past mistakes. I will add there is a happy ending for Anna and Morton, though not without pain and heartache. But, with the death of a king and his son in exile, how long before Charles II will challenge the right of Cromwell to rule over England?

6) Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

By Loyalty Divided

7) When can we expect the book to be published?

The book is already published in Paperback and Kindle version.
Book 2 and book 3 are also published.

The blurb:
A 17th century story of Undying Love and Scandalous Seduction. All set against the backdrop of the English Civil Wars 1642 -1649. Co-starring Charles Prince of Wales (Charles II) and Prince Rupert.
Orphaned at royal court, Anna Lady Maitcliffe has embraced freedom from courtly restraint whilst residing at Axebury Hall Estate. Wilful and impulsive she wins hearts with ease, but Viscount Axebury duly rejects her romantic overtures, not once but twice and for good reason. Civil War is marching across England and he will soon be regarded as the enemy.
Distraught by his rejection she turns to another for solace, an older suitor whom she trusts above all others. Seduced by her feminine wiles, Lord Gantry's overt desire to possess her soon gives rise to new meaning of amour. Nonetheless she is trapped in a loveless betrothal. Fate suddenly intervenes and throws her and the viscount together, but hell lies before them and claims terrible dues in payment for their undying love for each other.



Anna had set out from Axebury Hall at dawn, and it was now late into evening. With one stop for food and wine at a small alehouse at around midday, darkness had now descended and the lights of Glastonbury town seeming ever distant. The only sound on the still night air was that of horse’ irons on stone and jingle of curb chains on mouthpieces and clanging of swords in steel scabbards. It felt strange yet reassuring to have a military escort consisting one rider to the fore leading the way, one alongside and two guarding against attack from the rear.
   In Thomas Thornton’s letter he had warned of scoundrels and vagabonds along the highways and byways, and had made mention of lone riders robbed recently in daylight and others attacked by night on the Glastonbury Way. Her safe conduct under military escort was, and at present still his to command, and she is willingly riding in company with Roundhead soldiers: Thomas their senior officer.
   She had never thought Thomas would agree to Morton’s plan of saving him from the fate of a dungeon or worse, and although at first reluctant in extreme he had finally caved and sworn allegiance to the Army of Parliament. In some respects it was all rather sad. For he was obliged to strip his Royalist attire from his body and cast all to a fire: every semblance of his former life a bed of ashes.
   But if not for Thomas she might have remained ignorant of Morton’s fate, and all she could do was pray he had not perished in the time Joseph and the troop had taken to reach Axebury Hall. Having always feared bad news, the sickness befallen Morton she thought cruel and unjust, because he was a good, honest and honourable man. It might already be too late, but she hoped not. She truly desired to make amends, and to exact forgiveness from him for all the hurt and scorn she had cast his way. Was it selfish of her to seek clemency?

 Amazon UK       Amazon US

A Prequel to the Royal Series  

Toast of Clifton - Book 2

Royal Secrets Book 3

To come in the Royal Series:

Love & Rebellion book 4


Lady of the Tower book 5


Thanks for stopping by. Please visit five authors who will follow me with posts about their main characters (tomorrow) on the 17th April.

My fellow tagees are all authors of 17th century novels: a truly swashbuckling era.