Awards for A Knight’s Vengeance:
* Finalist, Historical Category, Georgia Romance Writers’ 2007 Maggie Awards for Published Romance Novelists
* Second Place, Historical Category, Lake Country Romance Writers’ 2007 Barclay Gold Contest
* Third Place, Historical Category, Volusia Romance Writers’ 2007 Laurel Wreath Contest
Title: Knight’s Vengeance, book 1 of Knight’s series
Author: Catherine Kean
Genre: Historical Romance (Medieval)
Story Setting: Moydenshire, England, 1192
Published By: Catherine Kean (November 17, 2013)
About the Story: Official blurb
Geoffrey de Lanceau is a knight, the son of the man who once ruled Wode. His noble sire died, however, branded as a traitor. But never will Geoffrey believe his father betrayed their king, and swears vengeance against the man who brought his sire down in a siege to take over Wode.
Lady Elizabeth Brackendale dreamed of marrying for love, but is promised by her father to a lecherous old baron. Then she is abducted and held for ransom by a scarred, tormented rogue who turns out to be the very knight who has sworn vengeance against her father.
The threads of deception sewn eighteen years ago bind the past and present. Only by Geoffrey and Elizabeth championing their forbidden love can the truth – and the lies — be revealed about a knight’s vengeance.
Review: Geoffrey de Lanceau was a knight fraught with anger and the need to revenge what he knew was done wrongly to his sire. As a boy of eight, he watched his father die of a sword thrust to his chest. Lord Brackendale was responsible.
Geoffrey knew his father had not been a traitor to the king. He was innocent. However, he didn’t have proof. So for 18 years he carried with him the need for revenge, even after being wounded very nearly mortally in the Crusades. This need for revenge embitters Geoffrey making him willing to do anything to get it. So when the opportunity confronts him, meeting Lord Brackendale’s daughter, he plots to abduct her—knowing that she is his Achilles’ heel.
Geoffrey must have vengeance, but while seeking it finds himself attracted and bemused by Lord Brackendale’s daughter. He couldn’t understand how this man could have such a decent daughter. We watch him work through his internal conflict, to revenge his father by killing the father of someone he is beginning to love. Through the story Elizabeth and he talk about their lost parents. In all he continues the need of vengeance, but doesn’t want to lose the love that Elizabeth offers. A quandary indeed.
Elizabeth is an extremely lovable character along with her grumpy maid servant. The maid adds humor and wisdom to the story. Elizabeth’s a strong woman, yet compassionate and wise beyond her years. It is with great satisfaction that the reader follows their struggle of not wanting to love each other—after all they are enemies—and the pleasure of finding the other’s soul mate.
Catherine Kean wrote a thoroughly engaging story with a complex set of moral conflicts which the protagonists have to work through. Her characters were well-developed, both protagonists and antagonists. The pace of the plot didn’t leave any ‘down time’ in the story and therefore kept me enjoying this medieval adventure to the end. The dialog and story-telling were beautifully blended. It was an easy story to read and enjoy.
As in all good series she left the reader with a few important loose ends that need to be explored in the coming book at the same time gratified us with a happy ever after ending, as we historical romance lovers want.
Catherine’s Writing Journey
Q & A (taken from her website http://www.catherinekean.com)
It took me many years of submitting to editors and agents, entering writing contests, and perseverance to get published. So, if you’re an aspiring writer wondering if you’ll ever see your book in print, don’t give up!
Below, I’ve posted my responses to some of the questions I’ve been asked. Enjoy!
When did you start writing?
Well, actually, I’ve been writing practically since I could hold a crayon. My parents have illustrated stories of mine, tucked away in their home, that I penned when I was four or five years old. I believe one of my first “literary masterpieces” involved a family of ducks.
I wrote my first novella at age 12, and first full length book at 16, just after I graduated from Alberni District Secondary School in Port Alberni, B.C., Canada. My first novel was a young adult time travel/fantasy. I still have it. I dug it out of my filing cabinet a few months ago and read some of it, and discovered it was essentially a romance. Gosh, even back then, I was a romance writer!
I read many romance novels before I decided to write my own. I loved being drawn back into history, to be immersed in a fascinating time period very different to contemporary times. I adored the way certain, very talented romance writers made each word shimmer like jewels. I decided to try writing a romance myself. I challenged myself, if you will, to see if I could do it.
My first attempt was a short contemporary with an antique dealer hero (Yes, I know–*rolling eyes*). I started it in 1992, after getting married and moving from Canada to Florida. I didn’t know anyone in Florida apart from my husband, and longed for a creative outlet. It was the perfect opportunity to write.
It took me about twelve months to write 60,000 words and, to be perfectly honest, it was pretty awful! But, it was also my first attempt at writing a romance novel and I learned a lot about developing characters, story arc, and all those other important novel-writing details as I penned the book from start to finish.
That manuscript is permanently shelved now. There may be elements I can draw out of it for a future novel, but most of it I regard as a learning exercise.
The Middle Ages is a fascinating time in history. When I do research for my novels, I often get lost in the intriguing details of how people lived, dressed, what they ate, how they interacted, etc.
I’m a true romantic at heart in that I adore tales of knights in shining armor rescuing damsels in distress, besieging castles in the name of justice and honor, sacrificing personal ambitions to wed the women they love. I incorporate all of these ideas into my own stories.
Do you write just historical romances, or do you write other genres too?
I also write contemporaries and paranormals. My romantic comedy Lucky Girl is currently being marketed to publishers by my agent.
I also write historical short stories. My medieval Lady Roselyn’s Champion was published in the August, 2004 issue of Wax Romantic Online Romance Fiction Magazine. In 2005, my short story entitled The Nettle Bracelet, won romance review magazine Affaire de Coeur’s 9th Annual Short Story Contest.
Which of your books was the first to sell?
The fifth novel I wrote, Dance of Desire, was the first one I sold. It was released in mass market paperback by Medallion Press in March 2005.
It was originally published with two gorgeous cover designs, thanks to a cover-voting contest Medallion Press ran for about seven weeks on its website. The results were tied pretty well through the whole contest. So, Medallion Press decided to please everyone and print both covers for the first print run—a wonderful idea!
I’m really thrilled that Dance of Desire was the launch title of the company’s Sapphire Jewel Imprint mass market historical romance line.
Do you have an agent?
Yes! Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary Agency.
I didn’t have an agent, though, for most of the time I was writing. When Medallion Press offered me the contract for Dance of Desire, I contacted Michelle—my top choice of agent—who handled the contract for me.
How long did it take you to get published?
Many years! This is also true for most of the authors I know.
As I mentioned previously, I wrote my first novel in 1992. A few months later, I returned to the work force and didn’t have time to write. With us both employed, my husband and I were able to save enough to buy our first house and some new furniture. We celebrated our move into our brand new, custom built home with a huge house-warming party and champagne! The following spring, I discovered I was pregnant.
I quit my job when I was seven months into my pregnancy. My husband and I both felt that to provide the best, most nurturing environment for our much-anticipated baby, I’d become a stay-at-home mom. I don’t regret that decision in the least. Being a mother is one of the most incredible, special experiences. Every day, I am grateful for my beautiful, healthy, intelligent daughter who was born five weeks premature. You’d never know it, though, to see her now.
Only when my daughter was nine months old did I feel I could devote time to writing again. I started writing during her nap times. This time, I penned a medieval. That book was A Knight’s Vengeance. It went through at least five intensive rewrites, though—some portions of the book seven or eight revisions–before it gelled into the version Medallion Press bought in the fall of 2004.
More sales followed. A Knight’s Persuasion, my sixth novel published by Medallion Press, was released in May 2010.
How many rejections did you receive before you were published?
Seriously, I have files full of them. I’ve saved most of them for my own interest.
What was the best rejection letter you ever received?
A personalized letter pointing out the areas where the agent felt my manuscript needed to be improved. Feedback like that from an industry professional is “gold.”
What was the worst?
A grainy, almost illegible, photocopied form rejection letter, which looked so terrible, my husband raised an eyebrow and said, “If this agency thinks this is professional, you don’t want them representing you.” Very true.