Please welcome today’s Guest Author — Laura Strickland
A KNIGHT IN SHERWOOD FOREST
Most of us are familiar with the legend of Robin Hood. It’s filled with daring rescues, valiant acts of courage and defiance of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s unjust laws. It pits the Saxon peasantry against their Norman overlords in a classic battle of good versus evil – evil in this case being represented unabashedly by the Normans.
When I began Daughter of Sherwood, the first book of my Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy, I accepted that premise whole. Not wishing to reinterpret the original legend, I set my tale well after Robin’s death and focused on the Saxons’ continued fight, led by Robin’s daughter, Wren. My Norman characters displayed all the cruelty and arrogance you might expect.
But when it came time to write the second book of the Trilogy – my new release, Champion of Sherwood – I began to wonder. My characters are rarely just “characters” to me. Once I birth them, they tend to take up personalities, opinions and even lives of their own. They write – or, in the case of the illiterate, tell – their own stories and are rarely simplistic or one-dimensional. This made me see that the line between black and white – or Norman and Saxon – might not be as clear as it first seemed.
What if, I asked myself, I introduced into my Sherwood a sympathetic Norman figure, one capable of bridging the distance between Norman and Saxon, perhaps for the sake of love? What if, through him, we were able to see the vulnerabilities, heart and human kindness usually reserved only for the “good” guys? Thus was born Gareth de Vavasour, a young knight just proven and on his way to his first post in Nottingham –nephew to the Sheriff of Nottingham, no less. Captured by outlaws, wounded and held for ransom, Gareth has no reason to think kindly of those who hold him, yet something in the gentleness of the young Saxon healer, Linnet, touches him on a level too profound for him to comprehend.
The path to happiness is rarely easy for star-crossed lovers (otherwise, we’d find more than a few romance books awfully boring) and Gareth must prove himself many times before he wins his prize. But when he declares he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the woman he loves, he discovers that sometimes the spirits of Sherwood choose to defend an unexpected hero.
What do you think? Do you like a story with an unexpected hero? Do you believe an assumed enemy can redeem himself? Gareth and I invite you to Sherwood, to see for yourself!
Champion of Sherwood blurb:
When Gareth de Vavasour, nephew of the Sheriff of Nottingham, is captured by the outlaws of Sherwood Forest and held for ransom, he knows he will be fortunate to escape with his life. Amid the magic and danger that surround him, he soon realizes his true peril lies in the beautiful dark eyes of Linnet, the Saxon healer sent to tend his wounds.
Granddaughter of Robin Hood, Linnet has always known she is destined to become a guardian of Sherwood Forest, along with her sister and a close childhood companion. She believes her life well settled until the arrival of Gareth. Then all her loyalties are tested even as her heart is forced to choose between love and the ties of duty, while Sherwood declares its own champion.
Buy link Amazon:
Author’s web page: www.laurastricklandbooks.com
Thanks Laura for joining us today and sharing about your fascinating story.
6 thoughts on “Guest Author Monday”
Leanne, thanks so much for having me here today! It’s always a pleasure.
I love the idea of an unexpected hero and the social conflict that may engender. What an excellent concept! Yes, I’ve always viewed the Normans as the bad guys, too, and like your “what if” question. Best wishes with your release!
Looks like you have another winning book, Laura. I enjoyed the first one so much I’m looking forward to reading this one! Congrats. :):)
I always find it fascinating when the bad guy can be redeemed. It makes for a very interesting challenge and for me, I’m always fighting for the “bad” guy, saying, “Please find a way to give him a story.” Thanks for sharing and I’m definitely looking forward to reading this book.
I love the conflict you’ve set up in this story. I can’t wait to read it.
Thanks so much to everyone for the valuable feedback and input!