Today, I’m welcoming back Andrea Matthews to the blog, with her new book, Shake Loose the Border

I’m delighted to welcome back Andrea Matthews to the blog with a post about her new book, Shake Loose the Border. Find the previous blog posts here and here.

Excerpt

Maggie blinked as dawn broke that Saturday morning. She had survived the harrowing experience of the previous Thursday night and the tiring prenuptial feast of the night before and now looked forward to the start of a wonderful life with her new husband. He would always be there, guarding her, protecting her, but she had discovered an inner strength in herself as well. 

Today, however, was her wedding day, and Will’s sisters fussed around her like she was a fairy-tale princess. In fact, when they had finished, she was. Her long auburn hair fell down her back in gentle waves. Just as on the day of her handfast, braids had been plaited at her temples, woven with ribbons, and pulled back and tied at the nape of her neck. On her head was a floral crown of wildflowers, bound together with rosemary and ribbons of blue and green to represent both their families. They matched the swathbonds that encircled her waist and the bridal laces that hung from her satin sleeves. A number of ribbon garters were tied to her legs, and they too were the colors of choice. But the gown itself was of the deepest blue, decorated with small beads and delicate lace trim. The square neckline revealed only the slightest bit of her chemise so that her neck lay bare, except for the small string of ivory roses given to her by Will at their handfast, and her kirtle was of silver damask.  

Mary wore a dress of pale blue while Eleanor and little Peggy donned gowns of forest green, in keeping with Maggie’s colors. But Annie wore Betty’s wedding dress, which was the same beautiful shade of rose that colored Maggie’s nosegay and adorned her hair. The same soft shade that had filled her cheeks after Will first made love to her and would no doubt touch them anew when next they met. 

Annie smiled broadly as she tied the last ribbon to Maggie’s dress. “There! A more bonnie bride they’ve never seen in all of Tynedale, and to think ’tis to be wasted on that nae-account brother of mine.” 

“You don’t mean a word of that,” Maggie said with a grin, for it was no secret how close Annie and Will really were. 

“Ye’re right there. If ’twere no’ for our Will . . . ’Twas him what found me that morn, ye ken. I didna want him to touch me, I was that ashamed, but Will never gave up, talking to me, bringing me flowers, telling me how bonnie I looked, liar though he was. I never would have made it without him. When yer kin carried him off, nowt what happened to me seemed all that important anymore.” 

Maggie rested her hand on Annie’s. “Don’t ever let what Ian did to you make you think poorly of yourself. Turn it against him by letting it make you stronger.” 

“I am trying, though ’tis hard at times.” 

“You’re going to wear this dress someday soon, Annie.” 

“I hope so, though I’m no’ sure who ’twill be . . .” She looked around, making sure no one else was listening, though Maggie was fairly sure what she was about to say and equally certain it was common knowledge. “I do care a great deal for Dylan Hetherington, but I’m afeard I’m no’ alone there.” 

Maggie tried to conceal her smile, wondering if Dylan would ever confide his twentieth-century origins to the girl. “And have you spoken to him about it?” 

“A wee bit, and he says his heart belongs to none but me, yet he’s made nae promises either. I can hope, though, d’ye no’ think?” 

“I just don’t want you to be hurt if . . . Annie, I love Dylan dearly, and I do think he’s a good soul, one who can give a great deal of love. But he is still searching for something, and he is a bit of a . . .” 

“A rogue. Oh, I ken that right enough, but how’s a lass to win him if she’s afeard of rising to the fray? I’ll be all right, Maggie, for if he takes a liking to someone else, ’tis his loss, no’ mine.” 

Maggie smiled and hugged Annie warmly. The morning sun was just beginning to peek over the windowsill, and she could hear the sounds of preparation going on below. Biting her lip, she took a peek outside. Will was already there, and she listened intently to the sound of his voice. How she wanted to join him, but it wasn’t yet time, so she contented herself with gazing out across the dew-covered fells dreaming of the night to come.  

Here’s the blurb:

With Will and Maggie’s wedding just a week away, the last thing they need to stumble upon is Johnnie Hetherington’s dead body tied to a tree, especially one that’s so close to their cottage. Recognizing it as a sure sign that Johnnie has betrayed the family once too often, Sergeant Richie Carnaby gathers Will and his family together for questioning, though it seems obvious only a fool would kill a man on his own land. Then who did murder the rogue, and why?

Feeling confident it wasn’t any of the Fosters, Richie allows Will and Maggie’s wedding to proceed, but the couple has barely exchanged vows when the Armstrongs attack in force. Geordie is determined to rescue his niece from the clutches of Will Foster, whether she wants to go or not. And if he happens to make her a widow in the process, so be it. Will senses the danger and implores Dylan to get Maggie away to safety, no matter where — or when — that may be.

Though Maggie protests, Will assures her he will follow as soon as he is able. Yet how can that be possible when Dylan whisks her back to the twentieth century? Sharing her fears about Will, and unable to forget his own love, Annie, Dylan attempts to return to the past one last time despite his growing concerns over the disintegrating amulet stone. But will he make it in time to rescue Will, or will the villainous Ian Rutherford, who has already killed in cold blood once, win the ultimate battle and see Will and Maggie separated forever?

Trigger Warnings:

Sex and violence

Buy Links:

Available on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Amazon Link

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Meet the Author

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.

Connect with Andrea

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Follow the tour for Shake Loose the Border with The Coffee Pot Book Club

Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Ride with the Moonlight by Andrea Matthews

Today, I’m delighted to welcome back Andrea Matthews to the blog, to tell us about her new book, Ride with the Moonlight.

Your book, Ride with the Moonlight is the second in the series.  I always ask writers to share with me some of their historical research but hoped you could also explain whether this second book involved more or less research than the first? 

Ride with the Moonlight did actually involve more research than the first book in the series, simply because there was very little involving time travel in it. As a result, most of the book was firmly planted in the sixteenth century. In addition, where Thunder on the Moor was concerned with an overall research of the period— who the border reiver was and what their lives were like — Moonlight involved more detailed research aimed at specific aspects of life on the sixteenth century borders.

Was there something in particular that you did have to research which you hadn’t realised when you began writing it?

Since I always intended to write the book as a series, I did continue to employ many of the sources consulted for Book 1 when it came to the general atmosphere for Book 2, though given that Ride with the Moonlight would delve more into the border laws and the men who attempted to enforce them, I did find myself turning to The Lord Wardens of the Marches of Scotland and England, by Howard Pease much more for Book 2. Another source I found useful as I delved into a more in depth study the everyday life on the Border was Strongholds of the Border Reivers: Fortifications of the Anglo-Scottish Border 1296–1603 by Keith Durham. I tend to be more of a visual learner, so I was delighted to come across the website of Finola Finlay and Robert Harris entitled Roaring Water Journal. Although their illustrations and descriptions are of tower houses built in Ireland and their set up of the structures is a bit different, it did provide a wonderful depiction of a peel tower. 

There are some additional locations in Book 2 as well, so I needed to do a little more research regarding them. The characters venture away from the peel towers and spend some time in bastle houses and cottages, as well as the towns of Hexham, Bewcastle, Kershopefoot, and among the wilds of the Cheviots. Not only does the Historic Englandwebsite, https://historicengland.org.uk, have links to information on the historic buildings, such as the Moot Hall and Hexham Gaol, but The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings of Scotland has a number of brochures and booklets which cover such topics as 16th Century Outbuildings and Thatched Buildings in Scotland. This information was extremely helpful in researching various aspects that were covered in the book, from the scenes in the gaol to the time spent in Will and Maggie’s small cottage. There were other well documented websites that helped in my research as well, including one that was started by an organization entitled In Search of the Border Reivers, whose website, www.reivers.info contains a plethora of helpful information, including links to documents and other primary sources. 

For book 2, was there a go to research book you relied on (if you don’t mind sharing).

The Steel Bonnets by George MacDonald Fraser remained a foundational guide for the period, though I did find myself consulting The Lord Wardens of the Marches of Scotland and England, by Howard Pease and the Historic England website quite a bit for this book, as well as the other sources listed above.  

Will there be a third book, and do you think you will need to research something else for that?

There is a third book, which hopefully will be out the end of November, entitled Shake Loose the Border. Research is always an ongoing practice, and I am constantly looking for new books and websites to add to my bibliography. That being said, I did return to many of my original sources, to seek out specific facts or check some information. Steel Bonnets and the Lord Wardens mentioned above were heavily consulted once again, as was Forifications of the Ango-Scottish Border and www.reivers.info. Another book, I refer to from time to time is Border Raids and Reivers, by Robert Borland. Though it’s an older book I stumbled across on Project Gutenberg, it’s well done and informative and deals with some of the aspects I would be covering in all books of the series. As most of these books and websites deal with so many of the aspects of Border life, they have continued to be useful as the series moves on. 

Of course, as the story unfolds, I’m always on the lookout for little bits and pieces, small traditions and interesting customs that can enhance the story as well. In Book 2, for example, one such legend was about the cornflower. You’ll have to read the book to see what I mean, but it has to do with it’s color and whether or not a lass returns a lad’s love. It’s just a little side note woven into the story, but I think it’s a wonderful touch of authenticity. In Book 3, Will and Maggie are officially wed, so it was fun to research all the different wedding customs and traditions that were in place at the time too. One thing I always look for in a book or website is a documented source. Even if it is fiction, I try to make it as historically accurate as possible.

In the latter part of Book 3, there is also a trip back to the twentieth century, so my research there only had to return to 1988 and consisted mostly of more mundane things like bus schedules and the current state of technology.

To read more about my historical research, you can check out my website at www.andrea-matthews.com

Thank you so much for asking my questions, and sharing your research. I always think the subsequent books in a series will not require as much research, and I’m always wrong. Good luck with the new book and the entire series.

Here’s the blurb:

After rescuing sixteenth-century Border reiver Will Foster from certain death at her family’s hands, time traveler Maggie Armstrong finally admits her love for the handsome Englishman, though she can’t rid herself of the sinking suspicion that her Scottish kin are not about to let them live in peace. What she doesn’t expect is the danger that lurks on Will’s own side of the Border. When news of their plans to marry reaches the warden, he charges Will with March treason for trysting with a Scot. Will and Maggie attempt to escape by fleeing to the hills, but when Will is declared an outlaw and allowed to be killed on sight, they can no longer evade the authorities. Will is sentenced to hang, while Maggie is to be sent back to her family. Heartbroken, she has no choice but to return to Scotland, where her uncle continues to make plans for her to wed Ian Rutherford, the wicked Scotsman who she now realizes murdered her father in cold blood. With Will facing the gallows in England, and herself practically under house arrest in Scotland, she continues to resist her uncle’s plans, but her efforts are thwarted at every turn. Will’s family, however, is not about to stand by and watch their youngest lad executed simply because he’s lost his heart to a Scottish lass. A daring plan is set into motion, but will it be in time to save Will’s life and reunite the lovers? Or will Ian’s lies prompt Maggie’s family to ensure the bond between them is forever destroyed?

Trigger Warnings

Violence, sexual content.

Buy Links: 

This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon CAAmazon AU:

Meet the author

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Andrea

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

InstagramBookBubAmazon Author PageGoodreads: 

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Ride with the Moonlight blog tour with The Coffee Pot Book Club