A conversation with Historical Romance author,
Hi Ruth, for my readers who may not be familiar with your work, could you share a little about yourself?
Absolutely! I’m Ruth Kaufman, author of six novels and a novella, and one audiobook (I voiced the female characters). I’m also an actor, primarily on-camera and voiceovers.
An author and an actor — how fabulous! I was wondering if you could tells us about the inspiration behind your wonderful trilogy — The Wars of the Roses Brides?
I’d been reading historical romance for years, and pondered writing my own. One day, the first scene for the first book popped into my head, and I was off! After I finished the first book, I decided to try something a little different when creating a series…the trilogy is connected by the underlying history, which I think shows how the times my characters lived in affected choices, decisions and actions. Each book also stands alone.
The Wars of the Roses Brides sounds amazing. Did you find it a challenge to research this period in history?
Finding the level of detail I wanted was a challenge. You can’t just say, for example, “They ate a meal.” You want to share what they ate, or wore. To incorporate as much historical accuracy as possible, I reviewed many sources. For years I’d been collecting books on 15th Century England, which helped, but I also spent a lot of time at Chicago’s Newberry Library, and for my second book was able to look at a hard-to-find book at The Art Institute.
There are many books about late medieval England. Can you tell us three things that set your trilogy apart?
1) Actually, I haven’t found as many during the reign of Henry VI or even Edward IV as I’ve seen in other time periods. I don’t know of any dealing with Henry VI’s illness and how that impacted the country and its people, which is what my first book is about.
2) I’d like to think the way I incorporate actual historical detail and events into the story is somewhat different. I like to have my characters take part in actual events. In my first book, the hero is in a battle. Fortunately, I found a couple of good, detailed descriptions of what happened that day. And I actually visited Castle Rising, where the heroine lives…and the designer was able to use it on the cover.
3) I think my heroines do unusual things for their time. One is a scribe for the queen (and also the king’s rival for the throne), one is a glazenwright (stained-glass designer) and the third plans a bride tournament.
Castle Rising is very beautiful. Your trilogy sounds amazing. I love the fact that one of your heroines is a glazenwright! So what is next on your agenda?
I’m finishing my second novella for WolfeBane Publishing, My Rebel, My Love, set in 13th Century England.
That sounds amazing as well. Thank you for coming onto the blog today, would you mind telling us a little more about your fabulous trilogy — The Wars of the Roses Brides?
Of course. This trilogy contains three acclaimed full-length medievals set in England during what we now call the Wars of the Roses:
At His Command
Can she defy her king for love?
What’s a lady to do when the king commands her to wed How can she follow the king's command when she's a scribe for his rival? How can she marry another man when she's falling in love with Nicholas?
Follow Your Heart
A glazenwright needs help to save her glass-painting studio from ruin. A knight trying to regain his family’s estates needs an heir. When irresistible attraction makes their marriage of convenience inconvenient, will his dangerous secrets keep them from following their hearts?
The Bride Tournament
So she doesn’t have to marry the new earl, Lady Eleanor de la Tour holds a bride tournament to find him a better bride. Who will win his hand in marriage...and his love?
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At His Command — Excerpt & Giveaway
Sir Nicholas Grey’s scout leaned forward in his saddle, holding up two fingers to let the others know two horses approached. Nicholas heard only the slight jangling of harnesses blended with wind rattling through the trees, but relied on his scout’s uncanny ability to hear what no one else could.
He and his eight men sat alert, deep enough in the forest to avoid being seen while maintaining a clear view of the road through leafless branches. Nine armed men could frighten travelers. ‘Twas best to let them pass.
Each man watched, each horse sinking deeper into chilling mire as a mud-covered, black palfrey plodded over the rise in the road, its long mane whipping in the frigid winds.
“No rider,” Martin, the scout, murmured.
“Look again,” Nicholas replied. At first he too had thought the horse was riderless. Now he could see a woman collapsed on the animal’s back. Her dark hair draped down its flank, mingling with the horse’s mane. The palfrey placed each step as if trying not to jostle its burden.
Another horse, this one a brown rouncey ridden by a thin, balding man, galloped after the palfrey. A look of triumph brightened the man’s face as he spotted the horse ahead of him. He bent forward, extending his hand. Fingers like talons grasped the woman’s tangled hair.
“Mine!” he cried.
* * *
Amice Winfield jerked awake. Agony forced her head back, allowing her to see the man who gripped her hair as though he’d perish if he let go.
She screamed. Arrows of fear pierced her as she clawed at his fingers. Her horse bolted, leaving her dangling from Harry’s hand by a small clump of hair. The long strands held for a few seconds, then tore from her head.
Pain seared her scalp. She dropped into a puddle. Stunned by her fall and her stinging head, Amice could only stare at her tormentor while freezing water soaked her clothes. How she hated him. How she regretted her desperate flight from home. But what other choice did she have?
Harry gaped at the dark tresses hanging from his hand. He threw them to the ground as she struggled to rise. Panic gripped her as his hostile glare changed to a slow, confident smile.
“There’s nowhere to run. I’ll catch you if it’s the last thing I do,” he vowed. He leapt off his horse.
Amice tugged her sodden skirts, trying to haul them out of the puddle. Where was her mount? Too far away to reach without being caught, weighted down as she was. Sprays of water flew as she heaved her skirts over her arm. Heart racing, she ran for the trees. A branch snagged her. With a cry of frustration, she pulled the wet wool until it wrenched free.
Ignoring twigs tearing at her skin and icy mud that sucked away one of her shoes, she forged ahead. She gasped for air as she plunged into a tiny clearing, then came to an abrupt halt at the sight of a group of mounted men. Slimy hair slapped her face and clung to her cheek.
Panting, cold air stinging her throat, she sought a path to escape the strangers. Alarm coursed through her. She focused on the man at the head of the group. Anxiety and uncertainty warred within her though she sensed an almost tangible power emanating from him. The wind tossed his chin-length black hair as he stared down with a stern expression.
Will he help me? Am I better off with him or...? Before Amice could decide, branches snapped behind her. Harry ran into the clearing.
Competition Now Closed.
Competition Now Closed.
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Ruth Kaufman’s Wars of the Roses Brides trilogy (AT HIS COMMAND, FOLLOW YOUR HEART and THE BRIDE TOURNAMENT) reached #1 historical romance on Amazon in the US, Canada and Australia. Her romantic comedy MY LIFE AS A STAR is the standalone prequel to MY LIFE AS AN EXTRA. Accolades include 2016 Booksellers' Best Award double winner (Best Historical and Best First Book) and Romance Writers of America® Golden Heart® winner.
Ruth is also an on-camera and voiceover talent with a J.D. and a Master's in Radio/TV. Credits include independent feature films, short films, web series, national TV commercials and thousands of voiceovers. She presents workshops for authors and actors and is a comedic storyteller.
Connect with Ruth: Website • Facebook • Facebook: Ruth Kaufman Actor & Author • Twitter • Instagram • Amazon Author Page.