Thank you so much Mrs. N for inviting me onto your blog.
Ruth, how long have you been writing romance? Would you say it has always been your calling?
I’ve been writing romance since 2010. I was an avid reader and hadn’t planned to write a book. A friend was writing a romance and I asked to help her. One thing led to another and we decided we would each write a story and create a series. She was busy with college hunting with her daughter and training for the NY marathon so writing went on the back burner for her. I embraced it and continued. The book was published in 2011.
Has writing always been my calling? Not writing but storytelling. When I told my older sister that I had written and published a book she said she wasn’t surprised. I always had a story. She’s fifteen years older than me. One time I got her to wear a cowboy hat and boots while I played Dale Evans (I know, I’m really dating myself here) and charged around on my tricycle.
Your Druid Knight series seems like something any historical romance and paranormal romance lover will enjoy. Can you tell us about it?
There are several underlying themes in the stories: trust, family and acceptance. The first two stories are about Rebeka and Arik.
In Knight or Runes: Rebeka Tyler never thought herself a warrior, renown authority on medieval and renaissance studies, yes, a martial arts amateur, absolutely, a warrior, definitely not. Tossed into the 17th century, she’s plunged into the midst of a struggle between two druid masters. While she tries to decode the ancient runes and unearth a family secret in order to return she physically fights for her life against the dark druid, Bran, and struggles emotionally with the druid knight, Lord Arik, and the truth about their past. Neither Rebeka nor Arik can succeed by themselves they must partner in order to win. But it will cost her dearly, her heart.
In Knight of Rapture Rebeka is tricked to return to the 21st century: For months Lord Arik has been trying to find the precise spell to rescue his wife, Rebeka, but the druid knight will soon discover that reaching her four hundred years in the future is the easiest part of his quest.
Bran, the dark druid, follows Arik across the centuries, tireless in his quest for revenge. He’ll force Arik to make a choice, return to save his beloved family and home or stay in the 21st century and save Rebeka. He can’t save them both.
Rebeka Tyler has no recollection of where she’s been the past five months. On top of that, ownership of her home, Fayne Manor, is called into question. When accidents begin to happen it looks more and more like she is the target. Further complicating things is the strange man who conveniently appears wherever trouble brews—watching her, perhaps even….protecting her? Or is he a deliberate attempt to distract her? Rebeka can only be sure of one thing—her family name and manor have survived for over eleven centuries. She won’t let them fall… in any century.
As an added treat, I wrote, The Druid Knights Tale – a Short Story. Here you’ll find out about Rebeka and Arik’s parents.
Do you have a day job outside of writing romance? If so, can you tell us about it?
I worked for almost thirty years at JPMorgan in a variety of areas for their global treasury products (checks and money transfers): product management, project management, marketing and communication. I retired four years ago. I was looking forward to writing full time and I haven’t been disappointed.
I spend the day writing, editing, researching, and/or promoting my books.
You’ve just won a free all-expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world; where would you go and why?
I’ve been very fortunate. I travelled around the world for the bank and have been in many wonderful places. My dream is to follow my family roots back to ‘the old country,’ Russia and find out more about both my mother’s and father’s families.
In your Druid Knight books, time travel plays an important part in the plot. If you could time travel to any-when or anywhere, when/where would you go? Why?
I’m in love with medieval England and Scotland. I’ve researched and read about the period and the places. My stories are set in Avebury and the England-Scotland border. Today’s courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry. This is the era where romance saw its rise in literature and the stage.
Do you have any advice for romance authors just starting out in the industry?
I think the best advice I can give any author is the best way to promote your book is to write the next one.
As a special treat, Ruth has given us three new excerpts to devour. Enjoy! – Mrs. N
Excerpt: Knight of Runes
Rebeka stood taller, planted her staff on the ground in a quiet but emphatic fashion and stared squarely into his eyes. “I can take care of myself thank you very much.”
Arik shifted his attention to her, taking a moment to observe her in fully. He was used to facing men eye-to-eye. Most were intimidated and unable to hold his stare. He gave her his fiercest look, expecting her to look away, and was stunned to find her staring back at him in the same manner. Arrogant, he thought to himself. But there was also a spark of something he couldn’t pinpoint, an instant chemistry of recognition and challenge. He quickly hid his feelings, a practiced talent.
She wasn’t as adept. He saw the recognition in her eyes before she won control of her reaction. She registered confusion, a sense of disbelief, and white-hot anger.
She probably came up to his shoulder. He marveled how the gold and copper flecks in her mahogany hair reflected in the sun. Although her hair was bound up, wisps fell in gentle waves, framing her oval face. He thought her skin looked soft to touch and was vibrant and healthy even through the bruises. Her mouth was full and inviting, her white teeth perfectly straight. But it was her deep-set eyes—an extraordinary shade of violet shot through with flecks of silver—that held his attention. He saw intelligence in them, and passion. The intelligence was a surprise. The passion, well, he stirred that in many women.
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Excerpt: Knight of Rapture
“The day appears promising.” Rebeka’s voice brought a smile to his lips. She tugged her shawl closer around her shoulders. “M’lord.” Soft puffs of breath surrounded her mouth. There was indeed a chill in the morning air. She gave him his discarded shirt and waited while he shrugged into it before handing him his ale.
“Yes. It will be a good day.” It was always a good day when it began with her at his side. “Almost as good as last night.” They drove each other mad with their verbal banter and soft touches yesterday until she surrendered to him. His reward was to tease her until she yielded last night. Who knew who would yield today? Either way they both won.
Her gaze slid from his chest to his face. Her searing expression brought back the warmth of their passionate evening. Her flushed skin was her silent response.
He returned his gaze to the valley pretending to be interested in the smoke now rising from a distant chimney. He turned his attention back to her.
Faith, how he loved sparring with her.
Out of the corner of his eye he caught her blank stare. But the challenge was given and he understood it had been accepted. With a long pull on his ale he returned his attention to the curling smudge in the sky and like a game of chess waited for her to make the next move.
She rose on tip toes and bathed his ear with her soft breath. “But not as good as tonight will be,” she whispered. “We celebrate Samhain tonight.”
He set the tankard on the wide stone railing before the ale sloshed over its rim.
“Happy thoughts for the day, husband.” She laid her hand on his chest and bent to kiss his cheek.
He caught her around her waist and brought her face to his. How he adored the passion in her violet eyes. They asked for more. He answered with a searing kiss and teased her mouth open with his tongue. She didn’t protest. Instead she moved closer molding her body into his, fitting like a key in a lock. Encouraged, his tongue swept her mouth and he reveled at the sweet taste. When he released her she stood in the crook of his arm, her head on his chest with his cheek resting on her hair. Quiet and content, he savored the last few moments while the sun rose over the edge of the hill.
The sound of footsteps from the Great Hall interrupted them. “Arik? Ah, here you are.” Logan, his younger brother peeked out the terrace door. “Are you ready to leave? The sun rose hours ago. I thought we’d breakfast with the men and start maneuvers today.” Logan gave Rebeka a devilish nod. He casually filched Arik’s forgotten tankard and took a deep swallow.
Arik observed the bottom of the sun clear the eastern hill. “Hours?” He shook his head and let out a snort. Threading his fingers through Rebeka’s he gave them a tender squeeze. He had wanted more time with her. He always wanted more time with her. But for now their game was over, at least until tonight. “Hours,” Arik muttered while he released her then took the tankard out of Logan’s hand. “And get your own ale. Better yet, get yourself a wife to bring it to you,” he told Logan in feigned aggravation before he drained the tankard dry.
“Ah, but where will I find one like Rebeka?” Another nod for his sister-in-law. Rebeka bobbed a quick curtsey and tried not to laugh.
Find one like Rebeka, indeed. There was no one like her, but good sense told him Logan would find a love of his own. He earned that. A cool morning breeze stirred the bottom of Rebeka’s thin night dress and she shivered.
“Go inside before you catch your death,” Arik whispered in her ear. She nodded and scooted into the house.
“Maneuvers today?” Arik glanced at Logan and observed his pleasure turn to concern. “The winter’s coming. We should make sure the farms are prepared, there’s enough food stored, and the necessary repairs have been made before the snow.” He had hoped the calm that his valiant soldiers fought to achieve in August would last longer. “There’s still more to teach Rebeka. She’s not ready to face Bran.”
“She came through the portal to return to you. She’s strong. We need her skills to defeat Bran. We can’t do it without her.” Logan didn’t hide his impatience. “Yet you haven’t taught her about Dark Magick. Instead you hide it from her. And I know why.” Arik almost sneered at Logan. This was an old argument. Logan would have had him start her training after their wedding night.
“You’re afraid she won’t be able to control it, that she’ll become like Bran. Don’t you see she’s made of stronger stuff?” Arik waved him off. He stepped away to put space between them. But space wouldn’t help.
Who did he fool, certainly not Logan. Arik glanced at his brother and recognized his silent strength. The only fool here was him. He couldn’t continue with this idyllic illusion. Logan was right. He had been delaying teaching her. He knew Dark Magick would test her, change her. And he wanted her just the way she was.
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Excerpt: Druid Knight Tales
Dead. Maximilian glared at the wilted mistletoe in disbelief. He poked and prodded the plant. It lay there tired and limp. He had cared for the sacred plant for a year. The Ancestors had trusted him to follow their orders. Find a wife—a soul mate. How difficult could it be? All he needed to do was visit the eligible women and choose one. He slammed his fist onto the rough oak table and bellowed his anger to the empty room. Dishes skidded and crashed to the floor. The lifeless shrub didn’t move. It didn’t change. It sat where he’d put it—robust and healthy—the night before. Now the crumpled brown leaves and withered white berries silently screamed his failure.
He could think of no reason why it hadn’t survived. He kept staring at the shriveled plant expecting—no, commanding—it to spring to life. It didn’t. He raked his hand through his hair. Everything he’d worked and trained for over the years was lost. He closed his eyes and traveled to that quiet place deep in his mind where he drew his inner strength. One deep breath, then another. His pounding heart took on a more natural rhythm. The reality of his situation hung on his shoulders like an ox’s yoke.
“What’s happened? I heard a loud crash.” Doward rushed into the cottage and scanned the debris on the floor.
Max didn’t trust his voice. He shot the druid councilman a look and pointed to the plant on the table. He registered Doward’s unreadable expression and let out a quiet snort. Perhaps that was best. He was grateful his mentor didn’t show his disappointment. Doward, too, had warned him.
“One year.” Max tipped up his chin and struck a congenial tone. “I’ll wager no other Grand Master was forced to relinquish his position after only one year.” He turned away, not wanting to see his close friend’s disappointment.
“Well,” Doward said. “There was Elgon in the year sixty.”
Max’s head popped up. He hadn’t expected Doward to respond. The question had been rhetorical.
“You appear to have forgotten your elementary history lessons.” Doward stood shaking an old, crooked finger at him.
Max’s mouth opened and closed like a beached fish gasping for air. Only Doward had the nerve, the audacity, to reprimand him. Doward and the Ancestors. He couldn’t forget the Ancestors. They had the ultimate power over him.
“Yes, but the Roman invaders killed Elgon at Anglesey.” Max’s distraction was momentary. He leaned on the table and looked Doward in the eye. “They did not depose him because he couldn’t find his soul mate and give her the sacred mistletoe before it died.” He straightened, stepped to the cottage door, and stared out at the day but didn’t appreciate its sunshine or enjoy the invigorating coolness of the December morning. He turned to Doward. “It simply proves the council made the wrong choice.”
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Ruth is on her third career. Previously a speech-therapist and international bank product/ marketing manager, her favorite job is writing time-travel romance. She is a USA Today bestselling author of time travel romances about strong women and the men who deserve them. Though new to romance, Ruth jumped in with both feet. Her RWA credentials include: past president and past conference chair of NJRWA, past treasurer of RWA-NYC, and National Conference Workshop Committee Chair. When not writing, wait – she’s always writing. She and awesome husband are empty-nesters live in Teaneck, NJ where she transformed her daughter’s bedroom into her executive office.
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