Friday, November 18
I occasionally play the lottery, I think it's my only hope of ever being rich. Not that that's really important to me...ya know, except for the practically unlimited book buying budget :) That would be FANTASTIC! And the need not to work, and possibly have more time to read the books purchased with the practically unlimited book buying budget.
While the idea of a lottery was not new to Medieval times, it wasn't quite as easy to play as it is today, so there weren't very many ways to gain wealth unexpectedly....except for maybe via ransom! Historical Romance author Amanda Forester is my guest today to share a bit about her medieval Highland romance, The Highlander's Heart where ransoming plays a major role in the plot of her story...in more ways than one. Read and enjoy!
Ransom: How to Get Rich Quick in Medieval Europe
You have heard of Robert the Bruce – right? He claimed the throne of Scotland and kicked some English butt at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. But what happened after that glorious battle? Did you know Robert had a son, David, who went on to rule Scotland for 42 years? Never heard of him? Most likely because he spent most of his days in English captivity, waiting to be ransomed.
Unlike battles today, the goal was often not to kill your enemy, it was to capture your opponent. Knights and nobles caught alive could be ransomed for a nice sum. A dead knight was worth nothing. Thus, there was a strong incentive to capture your opponent alive.
However, in the massive battles, how could you tell who was who? Here is where heraldry became important. Knights decorated themselves and their shields in bright colors so as not to be missed. These symbols were basically an announcement about their noble lineage, and an advertisement of their ransom potential. A brightly colored shield said, "Hey, don't kill me, I'm worth money!"
Chivalry rules guided the conduct of how someone was ransomed and how the "host" was supposed to treat their captive. Far from being locked in a dungeon, captured knights and nobles were treated as "guests". Captives, on the other hand, were honor bound not to run off, and sometimes were even allowed to return home to collect the ransom amount. However, they were expected to return if the ransom could not be raised.
In 1355, Scotland's King David had been held captive in England for ten years. He was tiring of captivity and was willing to make a deal with the Scottish throne. Nobles in Scotland, on the other hand, were ready to let England keep their long absent king, and clans jostled to claim power. This is the setting for my latest release, The Highlander's Heart. When Laird Campbell comes across Lady Isabelle, a lost English countess, he does the most natural thing and plans to ransom her back to her kin. All does not go according to plan, however, as it seems nobody ever told Lady Isabelle that she wasn't supposed to run away!
In the end, Isabelle decides she'd rather stay with her hunky Highlander (who wouldn't?) and Campbell decides the girl is far more valuable than the ransom. History did not give King David quite as happy an ending; he was eventually ransomed for 100,000 merks, but his ransom was never fully paid.
Lady Isabelle escapes her murderous English husband only to be abducted by a Highland warrior and held for ransom. Her determination to break free from captivity is exceeded only by the passion growing between her and the Highland Laird. David Campbell plans to hold Isabelle for ransom as an easy way to line his pockets and return her back where she belongs, but he is unprepared for a feisty English lass with a penchant for finding trouble. Caught between rival clans bent on claiming the throne of Scotland, Campbell must choose a side, and a bride. Standing on the brink of war, Isabelle may be his only hope to save his clan, and his heart.
Thanks Amanda for being my guest today, as well as all of the fun history info. See, you can read romance and learn a few things at the same time :) Who needs history books when you can read romance! I'm looking forward to learning more (*wink wink*) in Amanda's next book True Highland Spirit due to be released in March 2012 (I think it's her best cover yet).
If you'd like to learn more about author Amanda Forester and the Medieval Scottish Romances that she writes you can find her at her website www.amandaforester.com, her blog, on Facebook and Twitter.
To celebrate the release of The Highlander's Heart, Amanda's publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca would like to giveaway a print copy of the book to one lucky Musings follower. Here's how you can enter to win:
Ways to earn entries:
- Mandatory: Tell me this...what bits of history have you learned from reading romance? AND please leave some comment/question love for Amanda about her books, or the post. (good for 1 entry)
- Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
- If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
- Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
- You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment
Rules and disclaimers:
- This contest is open to US & Canadian addresses only. No PO Boxes.
- You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
- The contest will end on November 21st at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
- Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
- The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
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- Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
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