Please welcome Marcie Kremer to the virtual offices today! Marcie is here to chat about her new historical romance Torch in the Forest. Check out what she has to say.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Marcie Kremer] Writer, reader, wife, lover of medieval history and quirky puns
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Torch in the Forest?
[Marcie Kremer] Eighteen-year-old widow Eleanor of Strathcombe is stunned to realize she has a powerful attraction to Hugh of Wykeham, the arrogant, neighboring lord returned from the Crusade, who not only asks for the hand of her younger sister in marriage – but feuds with her over the control of their forest boundaries, because poachers are running rampant. As she struggles to keep control of her forests and find the poachers, unsettling feelings confront her when she deals with Hugh, feelings she never felt in her brief, loveless marriage — feelings she tries to fight, because she knows Hugh to be a cold, harsh man who may have murdered his faithless wife in revenge — and who trusts no woman. When she finds herself in the midst of a net of intrigue and lies, how can she find the conspirators, save herself and her sister, and battle her feelings for Hugh?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Marcie Kremer] TORCH IN THE FOREST is completely the fault of my DH! He knows how I love medieval history and romance, so he suggested I write one of my own! I had to learn how to write a romance novel, which is an art itself. Because I majored in medieval history, I already knew in what era I wanted the story to take place. I had been reading about the Law of the Forest for a long time and I was fascinated by the intrigue, power struggles, and danger that went along with it, so I decided that would be a great jumping-off place for a plot. Character-wise, I’ve always admired Eleanor of Acquitaine, a strong, intelligent woman far ahead of her time, so that’s whom I patterned Eleanor after, but, of course, she becomes her own person in TORCH. Lord Hugh is my favorite kind of male character, strong, ruthless, but with a hidden soft side that he refuses to let others see, but, somehow, Eleanor finds out…. For suspense and drama, there are a lot of plot twists involving marriage proposals, the intrigue and bribery surrounding the poaching, and the passionate yearnings Eleanor and Hugh have for each other. For the research, I pulled a lot of books off my shelf and went to the internet to read transcripts of assizes, and it was so entertaining to read what people got incensed about and arrested for in 1272!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Eleanor?
[Marcie Kremer] Strong, intelligent, and loyal.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Hugh had a theme song, what would it be?
[Marcie Kremer] Rascal Flatts’s "God Bless the Broken Road That Led Me Straight to You." Really!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Eleanor is never without.
[Marcie Kremer] Eleanor is never without her family motto of ‘Honor et Fides,’ because it was bred into her and means everything to her: honor and loyalty. All she has to do is convince Hugh she is for real. He, of course, doesn’t believe any woman is capable of being honest and loyal, so Eleanor has her work cut out for her!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Hugh’s pockets?
[Marcie Kremer] First, there are no pockets in 1272 but, he would never carry money, since he’s a lord and has no need of it; his steward and marshall handle all of that. Also, you’d never find him with a letter of apology, because he knows he’s never wrong (ah, but just you wait, Lord Hugh!), and you’d never find Hugh with a rose for Eleanor, because he thinks of her as a trusting ninny, whose younger sister he asks to marry so he can get an heir. Little does he know what is going to take place in the forest—or in the buttery!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Eleanor’s greatest regret?
[Marcie Kremer] Eleanor’s greatest regret is probably not kissing Hugh sooner than she does, because it’s driving her crazy with intense, passionate dreams at night and haunting visions in the daytime.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Marcie Kremer] I love listening to music before (not during!) I write, and Purcell’s trumpet voluntaries (think Princess Diana’s wedding) and opera are great for setting the ambiance I need to put myself back in 1272. Just having a notebook near me is a creative influence, because those lined, blank pages are just begging for words to be written on them.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Marcie Kremer] In order to write, I need a sharpened pencil (goodness, yes, for first drafts and revision notes – always!), my laptop, and quiet! Then I can watch the characters take on lives of their own, and, as William Faulkner wrote, "All I have to do run along behind them as fast as I can and write down everything they say and do."
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Marcie Kremer] I absolutely loved WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel. How I wish I’d written it! I have the second in her trilogy, BRING UP THE BODIES on my TBR list.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Marcie Kremer] When I was very young and living in Europe, my parents gave me a copy of OUR ISLAND STORY by H.E. Marshall, a history of England in the form of a collection of stories about the English kings and queens. I was fascinated by the intrigue and passion, and, because I saw castles on a daily basis, it all seemed so real to me, and I wanted to read more about them! I know, such a geek!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Marcie Kremer] I love reading, of course, (I’m never without a book or two!), and traveling with my DH and visiting friends all over the world. Just put me in front of a castle and I’m happy!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Marcie Kremer] They can visit my blog at www.marciekremerromance.wordpress.com and follow me on Twitter at @MarcieKremer1 and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/MarcieKremer. They can email me at marciekremer (at) gmail.com I’m also on Goodreads and LibraryThing, of course! I love hearing from readers! Please stop by!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can purchase Torch in the Forest from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below
About the book:
Eighteen-year-old widow Eleanor of Strathcombe is stunned to realize she has a powerful attraction to Hugh of Wykeham, the arrogant, neighboring lord returned from the Crusade. But he wants to marry her sister, and when he learns that poachers are running rampant he blames her and feuds with her over the control of their forest boundaries.
As she struggles to keep control of her forests and find the poachers, unsettling feelings confront her when she deals with Hugh, feelings she never felt in her brief, loveless marriage — feelings she tries to fight, because she knows Hugh to be a cold, harsh man who may have murdered his faithless wife in revenge — and who trusts no woman.
When she finds herself in the midst of a net of intrigue and lies, how will she find the courage to capture the conspirators, save herself and her sister, and overcome her feelings for Hugh?