Sep 10

My Love of Medieval Romance by Petula Winmill

petulaI’m pleased to welcome another avid reader of medieval romance to my blog today. Petula is the kind of loyal reader authors prize. She also reviews books on Warrior Woman Winmill’s blog. Today she shares why she loves medieval romance and has also reviewed a book for us, Blood of the Red Rose by PJ Gray.

Thanks for having me as your guest, Anna. The first book I read in this genre was Velvet Song by Jude Deveraux, over 30 years ago. I went on to read just about anything I could get my hands on by her. My favourite was A Knight in Shining Armour, The humour of that book makes it an entertaining read for just about anyone. Unfortunately she has wandered away from the historicals I love so much .

The reason I like historical romance, and medieval in particular  is that I like to escape into a book. That era draws me. The people in those days had to be so strong, both in mind and body. The women had to use their brains to keep control of their lives and get the men to use their brawn to protect them. Sometimes even from those that rule the land. The history is far enough away that our authors can stretch the truth without us screaming ¨that´s not true¨. Mind you I have been known to tell an author that some of the animals they mentioned were not in England at that time. The horses they used also fascinate me. They must have been huge to carry the weight of a man in full armour, but they are nothing like our heavy horses of today. Their horses fought with them. The heavy horses of today are gentle giants.

As an English reader living in Spain for the last 26 years it used to be very difficult to get books to read. I had to rely on tourists to bring them over to read on holiday, who left them behind or donated them to our marvellous local library. We are lucky enough to have an English section, all donated paperbacks. Then a couple of years ago my darling son bought me a kindle, still the best gift I have ever received. Now no book is out of my reach. My first stop was Amazon´s e. books.. I just put medieval romance into the search and found so many new to me authors.

Kathryn Le Veque was one of the first I found. Her Dragonblade series quickly caught my attention. I have since read more than 20 of her books. Then I found Anna Markland´s Montbryce series. I think I have read ALL of hers. The way she describes the details of life in those times makes me wish I had a history teacher like her when I was at school. Catherine Kean , Kathryn Loch, Denise Domning and Hannah Howell are just some of the marvellous authors I have found so far in this genre. I have a lot of catching up to do. I try to put reviews up on Amazon, Goodreads and my own blog for the books I enjoy in an effort to help both the readers and the authors. Readers like me who may be looking for something new. Historical is new if you have never read it. The authors need the help to sell their books, so that they have the time to sit at a computer and write such amazing stories for our enjoyment.

When I was looking for a book to review for this piece It took me a while to find just the right one. I thought about reviewing an older one by an established author, but then I found one published just a short time ago by a ¨new¨ author.

I think that proves that the genre is very much alive and kicking. The book I have chosen is exactly the right combination of adventure, politics and romance. The book is  BLOOD OF THE RED ROSE  by P.J.GRAY.

PETULA REVIEWThis book is set during the War of the Roses, The characters are mostly real, but the author has added the heroine as an illegitimate daughter to The Earl of Warwick, Richard Neville. Sometimes called the King Maker.

Our hero is Edmund Beaufort known to his friends and family as Beau, a very loyal subject to the Lancastrian throne. He is in exile with Queen Marguerite and Prince Edward. He is a man with no doubts over where his loyalty lies. He is also very much in favour with the ladies. He has lost his father and older brother to the cause, but his younger brother is in exile with him. His job is to train the young Prince while his father is imprisoned.

Our heroine is Kathrine Neville, a daughter that Warwick brought into his wife´s household to be raised with her half sisters. She is very much the daughter of his heart. He doesn´t have to worry about finding her a husband that will help him in his political maneuvering. The Earl of Warwick has changed his alliance to the Lancastrian side of the war. He already has one daughter married to George, the Duke of Clarence, who is on the York side of the war. Then he manages to get his younger daughter married to the young Prince Edward.

The trials of the war on the loyalties of all concerned is shown in this story. The problems the main characters have trying to find time for themselves without damaging Kathrine´s reputation or upsetting a very volatile Queen. It´s an emotional journey. I cried all through the last few pages.

This book is a must for true medieval romance fans. FIVE STARS.

Thank you, Petula.



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  1. Petula Winmill

    Thank you Anna It was great fun to do this piece for you.

  2. Jacqueline Seewald

    Hi, Petula and Anna,

    What a lovely blog! We writers are constantly blogging and bemoaning lack of readership. It’s wonderful to have a reader write about preferences. I stopped by because I also love reading historical romance. I enjoy Medieval and Regency in particular. My only published historical romances are Tea Leaves and Tarot Cards and The Chevalier. Keep reading, Petula! Anna, keep blogging and writing!

    1. Petula Winmill

      Thank you Jacqueline, I do read paranormal as well, but am not a particular fan of the “ordinary” romances. I do hope you follow me either on my blog or f.b.. I don´t think I have seen any of your books but I will look.

  3. Rose Anderson

    I just loved this post. We rarely get a peek into a reader’s thoughts on our novels. Petula, your desire to escape into historicals is the same for me. Thanks for sharing, Petula and Anna.

    1. Petula Winmill

      Why stay in this world if you can escape to a better one now and again,. 🙂

  4. Ann Lethbridge

    Hi Petula, Thanks so much for talking about your experiences as a reader. As a Brit I can empathize with your comments about the animals, I have seen the odd porcupine or racoon in books and on tv too, but it is fun to spot.
    As authors, we all make errors of familiarity (we just take things for granted) and I really appreciate it when a reader lets me know I have made a slip. I too love medievals, though I haven’t written one yet, I love reading them. I will be sure to check out the Blood of the Red Rose, after your super review. Great to meet you here,
    Best wishes,

    1. Petula Winmill

      I sometimes feel a Little guilty If I tell an author they have made a mistake,I don´t want them to think I didn´t enjoy the book. Sincé speaking to a few authors now I know they really don´t get ofended.

  5. Gayle Callen

    Petula, what a lovely blog! Thank you so much for your explanation of why you love medieval romance. It’s been a few years since I’ve written them (the Victorian era has had a strong hold on my brain for a while) but you reminded me about what I’ve always loved about the time period–how the women had to be just as strong as the men! Thank you!

    1. Petula Winmill

      I tend to prefer to go back a little further than Victorian . May be I have the wrong Idea, but the women of that time seemed to let themselves get pushed under by the men.

      1. Gayle Callen

        I hope we can show strong women in every time period–or women who learn to find strength in themselves. But yes, it’s definitely harder in some historical time periods.

  6. Judy Baker

    Petula, I agree, I love to read historical books to escape into another time and place. Great Post.

    1. Petula Winmill

      Thank you Judy.

  7. Lana Williams

    Great interview, Petula! I loved A Knight in Shining Armour as well. Another one that really drew me to the medieval period was The Wolf and The Dove by Kathleen Woodiwiss. Thank you very much for taking the time to write reviews! It helps us so much! Looking forward to following your blog. 🙂

    1. Petula Winmill

      Hi Lana, Kathleen Woodwiss was another one I read alot years ago, and Roberta Gellis. I hope to see over on my blog.

  8. E. Ayers

    Petula, thanks for reviewing books that you enjoy. That’s the nicest thing you can do for an author.

    I got into historical romances by reading Roberta Gellis.

    1. Petula Winmill

      Always a great pleasure.

  9. Gayle Callen

    My first historical romance was SHANNA, by Kathleen Woodiwiss. A friend brought it to a slumber party back in high school, and I read all night. Before that, I’d mostly read scifi and fantasy, but I was blown away by the combination of history and an exciting love story. I’ve probably read that book 30 times…

    1. Petula Winmill

      I readthat one a long time ago also. I read Sci-Fi and Fantasy to. anything except the “ordinary” chick lit. or the authors that can´t write without peppering the book with foul language . That will make me stop Reading it.

  10. Melissa Keir

    I love hearing from readers about books they love. What a great post! Jude Deveraux was one of my first authors that I read and fell in love with. It’s fun to think back to those wonderful works that have stayed with you!

    1. Petula Winmill

      Hi Melissa, I know I have some of your books on my kindle , you have reminded me to dig them out.

  11. Petula Winmill

    Thank you everyone for the lovely comments. I always enjoy reviewing good books. I so want to tell everyone when I find something I loved. .I want others to read these books, because if we don´t get the Word out there the authors might not be able to get them published . The powers that be seem to think that Historical is old fashioned and not popular enough.
    I read a piece on Facebook by Jude Deveraux where she said her publishers told her not to write Historicals because they don´t sell. I think that if enough people talk about what they really enjoy Reading the ” Fashion” might change.

  12. Petula Winmill

    Thank you Anna for this opportunity to speak to your readers. I have enjoyed meeting them. Good luck with your latest book ROVER BOLD I am sure it will do well I loved it.
    Ps. don´t forget me whenever you want a review done for your next one. 🙂 x

  13. Sydney

    Another great reader post. I love to read what they have to say. Thanks, Anna, for bringing us Petula’s insight.

    1. Anna Markland

      It was my pleasure to host Petula.

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