Tuesday Book Club: Alexa Aston’s Code of Honor
A big welcome to Alexa Aston, my guest on this week’s Tuesday Book Club.
As you might know by now (and I’m certainly not tired of saying it), my Roman-era romantic suspense Dark Heart is soon to be published by Dragonblade and I’m thrilled to introduce one of my stablemates Alexa Aston who writes the most swoon-worthy Medieval romances.
Her latest title Code of Honor released today (28 March).
What were you like at school?
I was always a good student, but I had a tendency to talk too much!
What inspired you to write?
I don’t remember a time that I didn’t want to write. I think I came out of the womb wanting to tell stories. I used to gather my stuffed animals and dolls before I could even read or write and have them act out stories I made up.
Which writers inspire you?
I love to emulate writers who tell strong stories and having complex characters. Some of my favorites include Mary Balogh, Amanda Quick, Kathryn Le Veque, Steve Berry, and David Baldacci.
What inspired you to write this story?
This is the 3rd book in my Knights of Honor series. All the books can be read as standalone medieval romances. I wanted to tell the story of a boy who was a little bit of a misfit when he was younger, but thanks to the time two older boys (Geoffrey and Raynor, the adult heroes in Books 1&2) spent helping him reach his potential, this young boy grew into a talented, dedicated knight. Michael had to grow up very quickly and learn to be brave and stand on his own at a young age.
How much research do you do?
It depends upon the book I’m writing. For this series, I have researched the reign of Edward III thoroughly. For this particular book, I had to become familiar and comfortable with how horses give birth. Elysande, my heroine, loves horses more than she does people. In this book, Michael will meet Elysande for the first time when he helps her deliver a foal. The research proved quite interesting for this romance!
Can you give us a blurb to let us know what the story is about?
1365 A.D. – After the Earl of Sandbourne banishes his supposedly unfaithful wife to a convent, his young son Michael swears never to set foot on the family’s estate until after his father’s death. Michael will then claim his title as the new earl and restore his beloved mother to a place of honor.
Fifteen years pass, and the now-knighted Sir Michael Devereux serves Lord Geoffrey de Montfort at Kinwick Castle. He accompanies the nobleman and his family to a wedding, where Michael unknowingly falls in love with the bride before he even knows her identity.
Lady Elysande Le Cler is angry that her usually indulgent father went against her wishes and betrothed her to a stranger prior to his death. Now as her wedding day approaches, dread fills her—until she meets a dashing stranger who helps her deliver a foal. Elysande loses her heart to this knight, frustrated that they can never be together.
Join Michael and Elysande as they find fate has other plans in store for them.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Michael has been on his own since he was eight years old, a boy who never had his father’s love and was someone who feared horses—and life. When he bonds with Elysande as they help her favorite mare give birth to a foal, he believes he’s found a chance for love—and conquered his fears.
What books are you reading at present?
I’m reading the 2nd in Mary Balogh’s “Someone” series, Someone to Hold. I also recently met Eloisa James and picked up her latest, Seven Minutes in Heaven. I loved visiting briefly with her and getting an autographed copy of her newest release.
What writing project are you working on next?
I am deep into writing my Knights of Honor series, which features different members of the de Montfort family. Books 4 & 5 come out in June and October of 2017, and the remaining 5 books will be out in 2018.
Tell us something unique about you that they wouldn’t guess from just looking at your photograph?
I taught high school for many years and am crazy about Game of Thrones, dark chocolate, and sports—watching them—not playing. I don’t have an athletic bone in my body!
What is your favourite book and why?
I read To Kill a Mockingbird every year. I think the descriptions are some of the loveliest ever written.
What is your favourite quote?
Especially being a writer, I can relate to Lao Tzu’s, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Each new book is terrifying to start, but getting that first word, first sentence, and first chapter down on paper begins the magic each time.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
- Amazon Author Page:https://www.amazon.com/author/alexaaston
- Newsletter Sign-Up: http://madmimi.com/signups/422152/join
- Book Links for Code of Honor:
Would you like to share an excerpt from your book?
Yes – This is Michael & Elysande’s first kiss:
Michael’s touch sent a shock through her. A low humming seemed to vibrate between them.
“I know you feel what’s between us,” he said, his voice low, the yearning unmistakable.
“Aye,” she replied, her breath shallow and rapid.
He gave her a crooked smile. “We are but strangers, yet I feel I’ve known you for a lifetime.”
Elysande’s eyes welled with tears. “But we have no future, Michael.”
His hands tightened on her elbows. “I don’t know how I’ll live through each day to come not having you by my side.” His hands slid up her arms to her shoulders. His fingers caressed her neck.
Elysande boldly told him, “I’ve never been kissed, Michael. ‘Twould be my fondest wish for you to be the first man to do so. I would like to hold that memory in my heart for all time.”
He hesitated. She knew if he were a knight of her uncle’s that he must be the most honorable of men. He wouldn’t act in an unchivalrous manner.
But she wanted him. Here. Now. If she did not have his kiss, she might wither and die.
So Elysande took charge like a knight riding into battle.
Their lips met. Hot desire, something she’d never known, raced through her limbs, dissolving her bones. Michael’s arms enfolded her, drawing her near. His tongue slid along the seam of her lips, teasing her, opening them for an adventure she had yet to experience. Then his tongue thrust into her mouth, dancing with hers, dueling, possessing her with a heat that spread throughout her body. Every sense came alive.
Elysande’s fingers pushed deeper into his hair as his hands roamed her back and slipped to her buttocks. He squeezed them, pulling her against him. She felt his manhood, hard against her, frightening her and yet bringing a sense of wonderment. She aroused these feelings in him. He caused her to burn with want of him.
Again and again his kisses branded her. His lips moved to her throat, burning a hot trail to the swell of her breast. His stubble scraped the tender flesh as his hand cupped her breast. It swelled, filling his palm. Elysande thought she might go up in flames and burn the stables to the ground, so great was the heat generated between them.
Suddenly, it ended. Michael’s mouth was gone. His hands fell to his side. A winter’s cold seemed to embrace her now that his warmth had fled.
“Michael?” she asked, not knowing how to form any word beyond his name.
He cradled her face, stroking his thumbs against her cheeks.
“You’re perfection, my love. My one true love. My sweet Elysande.” His last words were but a whisper.
She heard the strong emotion in them, causing his voice to go low and thick.
He kissed her once again, hard and swift, then pulled away.
“God forgive me,” he muttered and stormed from the stall.
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