Blythe Gifford introduces The Brunson Clan in Return Of The Border Warrior

Blythe Gifford Photo copyNicola here. Last year I was fortunate enough to spend a holiday in the Scottish Borders. It's a stunningly beautiful part of the UK with dramatic scenery and a tumultuous history. I remember thinking that you could not get a better setting for a historical series packed full of passion and adventure.  Then I heard about Blythe Gifford's new trilogy, set in the Borders during the Tudor era and I could not wait to get her to visit the Wenches and tell us all about it! 

Now it's over to Blythe:

First, thanks for
having me back.  Many books by the Word
Wenches sit on my keeper shelf, and it’s always an honor to share your corner
of cyberspace.

The occasion is the
launch of my new trilogy in the US and the UK. 
RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR,
Cover_ROTBW_lg a November release from Harlequin
Historical, is the first of three about the Brunson Clan, a family of Reivers
on the Scottish Borders during the early Tudor era.

Stubborn and strong,
the Brunsons are the most feared family on the turbulent Scottish Borders:  The family that will kneel to no one!

In Historical
Romanceland, where I live and work, Scottish Highlanders get all the glory, but
I find the Borders much more interesting. 
Whether there was a formal war or an uneasy peace, the Borders were, in
effect, a war zone for 300 years.

Constant war, along
with a bleak, hilly terrain ill-suited to settled agriculture, and inheritance
laws that split land into smaller and smaller parcels all combined to make it
difficult to keep body and soul together. 
To survive, the Reivers, a term applicable to both English and Scottish
families, “made a living” by stealing from one another, or, alternately, by
collecting “blackmail” from those who could pay to be left alone.

Loyal to family
above king, these folks had feuds that rivaled the famous Hatfields and
McCoys  They were beyond the law of
either government, and usually even beyond the reach of the special Border Laws
that were developed in a joint Anglo-Scots effort to bring order from the
chaos.

Marches_mapThe term “Borders,”
refers to an area encompassing both sides of the formal demarcation line.  It operated in many ways like a third
country with its own governmental districts, called Marches.  Wardens, think of them as sheriffs or
governors, were appointed for each March and the wardens of the Western
Scottish March and the Western English March, for example, were supposed to
work together to keep the peace and punish those who broke it.  Their success was marginal at best.

This was, in part,
because the inhabitants, north and south of the demarcation line, had more in
Reivers_raid_on_Gilnockie_Tower
common with each other than with the rest of their respective countrymen.  They were just as likely to make war on an
enemy family on their own side of the border and to ally with one on the opposite
side.  Borderers were fierce fighters,
but they fought on their own terms and there was many a story of cross-border
families calling their own truce in the middle of the kings’ battles.  In a desperate effort to try to “keep the
players straight,” the Border Laws prohibited marriage across country lines.

It worked about as
well as you might expect.

All this offered
story possibilities that were irresistible. 
So I hope my new trilogy, will introduce readers to a setting that has
it all:  strong men, bold women, and a
code of honor and loyalty unmatched in the realm.

The first book is
the story of John, the youngest son, who returns home after years of serving as
a “big brother” to the young Scottish king. 
John is a man with something to prove, both to himself and to his family.  As the only blue-eyed Brunson, he’s always
felt as if he didn’t belong.  Now, he no
longer wants to.  As soon as he enforces
the king’s command for peace, he plans to return to his life at court and leave
the valley of his birth for the last time.

But first, he must persuade
Cate Gilnock to release his family from their promise to avenge her father’s
death.  Cate is a woman fierce as a
warrior, but behind her eyes John senses vulnerability and secrets she refuses
to share.  Bit by bit, he falls in love
with her, and with each step, he is drawn back into the life he thought he had
left behind forever.  Because of Cate,
he discovers he is more like the rest of his family than he thought until,
finally, he must decide:  Is he truly a
Brunson?  Or is he the King’s man after
all?

CAPTIVE OF THE
BORDER LORD, January 2013, will tell the story of John’s sister, Bessie Brunson
and finally, Black Rob Brunson, oldest son and leader of the family, meets his
match in TAKEN BY THE BORDER REBEL, March 2013. 


Cover_ROTBW_lgBlythe is offering a
signed copy of RETURN OF THE BORDER WARRIOR to one lucky reader who comments on
today’s blog so don’t hesitate to post your questions, comments and thoughts!

Blythe’s website is
here and there is an extract from the book here. Thank you very much, Blythe, for visiting the Word Wenches today! 

Photo credits.  Cover used with permission.  Author photo by Jennifer Girard.

 

120 thoughts on “Blythe Gifford introduces The Brunson Clan in Return Of The Border Warrior”

  1. Apart from Regency, my fave historical romances are from Middle Ages and Reinassance. Thank you for suggesting this new author!

    Reply
  2. Apart from Regency, my fave historical romances are from Middle Ages and Reinassance. Thank you for suggesting this new author!

    Reply
  3. Apart from Regency, my fave historical romances are from Middle Ages and Reinassance. Thank you for suggesting this new author!

    Reply
  4. Apart from Regency, my fave historical romances are from Middle Ages and Reinassance. Thank you for suggesting this new author!

    Reply
  5. Apart from Regency, my fave historical romances are from Middle Ages and Reinassance. Thank you for suggesting this new author!

    Reply
  6. It is a beautiful cover, isn’t it, Debi, and I think the one for Captive of the Border Lord looks equally as pretty.
    I loved the extract too, Mrsajward. Very exciting!
    Carla, thank you for dropping by. I’m so pleased you have discovered Blythe’s books!

    Reply
  7. It is a beautiful cover, isn’t it, Debi, and I think the one for Captive of the Border Lord looks equally as pretty.
    I loved the extract too, Mrsajward. Very exciting!
    Carla, thank you for dropping by. I’m so pleased you have discovered Blythe’s books!

    Reply
  8. It is a beautiful cover, isn’t it, Debi, and I think the one for Captive of the Border Lord looks equally as pretty.
    I loved the extract too, Mrsajward. Very exciting!
    Carla, thank you for dropping by. I’m so pleased you have discovered Blythe’s books!

    Reply
  9. It is a beautiful cover, isn’t it, Debi, and I think the one for Captive of the Border Lord looks equally as pretty.
    I loved the extract too, Mrsajward. Very exciting!
    Carla, thank you for dropping by. I’m so pleased you have discovered Blythe’s books!

    Reply
  10. It is a beautiful cover, isn’t it, Debi, and I think the one for Captive of the Border Lord looks equally as pretty.
    I loved the extract too, Mrsajward. Very exciting!
    Carla, thank you for dropping by. I’m so pleased you have discovered Blythe’s books!

    Reply
  11. Blythe here, just waking up on my side of the pond! Thanks to Nicola for that lovely introduction. And to Debi, Mrsajward, and Carla for the kind words. The cover is something, isn’t it? And I do love this time period. Quite a change from Regency ballrooms, to be sure, but I mixed in a little court intrigue along the way…

    Reply
  12. Blythe here, just waking up on my side of the pond! Thanks to Nicola for that lovely introduction. And to Debi, Mrsajward, and Carla for the kind words. The cover is something, isn’t it? And I do love this time period. Quite a change from Regency ballrooms, to be sure, but I mixed in a little court intrigue along the way…

    Reply
  13. Blythe here, just waking up on my side of the pond! Thanks to Nicola for that lovely introduction. And to Debi, Mrsajward, and Carla for the kind words. The cover is something, isn’t it? And I do love this time period. Quite a change from Regency ballrooms, to be sure, but I mixed in a little court intrigue along the way…

    Reply
  14. Blythe here, just waking up on my side of the pond! Thanks to Nicola for that lovely introduction. And to Debi, Mrsajward, and Carla for the kind words. The cover is something, isn’t it? And I do love this time period. Quite a change from Regency ballrooms, to be sure, but I mixed in a little court intrigue along the way…

    Reply
  15. Blythe here, just waking up on my side of the pond! Thanks to Nicola for that lovely introduction. And to Debi, Mrsajward, and Carla for the kind words. The cover is something, isn’t it? And I do love this time period. Quite a change from Regency ballrooms, to be sure, but I mixed in a little court intrigue along the way…

    Reply
  16. Fascinating area of the country – i’ve walked Hadrian’s Wall – and giving rise to some fierce characters (my father was from there). Pacey extract – really enjoyed it. Makes me want to find out what happens…Joss

    Reply
  17. Fascinating area of the country – i’ve walked Hadrian’s Wall – and giving rise to some fierce characters (my father was from there). Pacey extract – really enjoyed it. Makes me want to find out what happens…Joss

    Reply
  18. Fascinating area of the country – i’ve walked Hadrian’s Wall – and giving rise to some fierce characters (my father was from there). Pacey extract – really enjoyed it. Makes me want to find out what happens…Joss

    Reply
  19. Fascinating area of the country – i’ve walked Hadrian’s Wall – and giving rise to some fierce characters (my father was from there). Pacey extract – really enjoyed it. Makes me want to find out what happens…Joss

    Reply
  20. Fascinating area of the country – i’ve walked Hadrian’s Wall – and giving rise to some fierce characters (my father was from there). Pacey extract – really enjoyed it. Makes me want to find out what happens…Joss

    Reply
  21. Oh, goodness, this sounds wonderful. It is absolutely my favorite type of read. I would love to visit Scotland some day. Thanks for the chance and great cover!

    Reply
  22. Oh, goodness, this sounds wonderful. It is absolutely my favorite type of read. I would love to visit Scotland some day. Thanks for the chance and great cover!

    Reply
  23. Oh, goodness, this sounds wonderful. It is absolutely my favorite type of read. I would love to visit Scotland some day. Thanks for the chance and great cover!

    Reply
  24. Oh, goodness, this sounds wonderful. It is absolutely my favorite type of read. I would love to visit Scotland some day. Thanks for the chance and great cover!

    Reply
  25. Oh, goodness, this sounds wonderful. It is absolutely my favorite type of read. I would love to visit Scotland some day. Thanks for the chance and great cover!

    Reply
  26. I think it is very interesting to write about this place and time. You are right that most Scottish historicals leave the border alone or the border is where the weakling bad guy lives. I am excited to see it portrayed differently.

    Reply
  27. I think it is very interesting to write about this place and time. You are right that most Scottish historicals leave the border alone or the border is where the weakling bad guy lives. I am excited to see it portrayed differently.

    Reply
  28. I think it is very interesting to write about this place and time. You are right that most Scottish historicals leave the border alone or the border is where the weakling bad guy lives. I am excited to see it portrayed differently.

    Reply
  29. I think it is very interesting to write about this place and time. You are right that most Scottish historicals leave the border alone or the border is where the weakling bad guy lives. I am excited to see it portrayed differently.

    Reply
  30. I think it is very interesting to write about this place and time. You are right that most Scottish historicals leave the border alone or the border is where the weakling bad guy lives. I am excited to see it portrayed differently.

    Reply
  31. Flchen, I loved writing about a family, too. Fun dynamics between siblings and their partners. Joss, glad you enjoyed the extract. It IS a fascinating area. Thank YOU, catslady. So glad you like the cover. Kate, must admit, I think the Borders are WAY more interesting than the Highlands.

    Reply
  32. Flchen, I loved writing about a family, too. Fun dynamics between siblings and their partners. Joss, glad you enjoyed the extract. It IS a fascinating area. Thank YOU, catslady. So glad you like the cover. Kate, must admit, I think the Borders are WAY more interesting than the Highlands.

    Reply
  33. Flchen, I loved writing about a family, too. Fun dynamics between siblings and their partners. Joss, glad you enjoyed the extract. It IS a fascinating area. Thank YOU, catslady. So glad you like the cover. Kate, must admit, I think the Borders are WAY more interesting than the Highlands.

    Reply
  34. Flchen, I loved writing about a family, too. Fun dynamics between siblings and their partners. Joss, glad you enjoyed the extract. It IS a fascinating area. Thank YOU, catslady. So glad you like the cover. Kate, must admit, I think the Borders are WAY more interesting than the Highlands.

    Reply
  35. Flchen, I loved writing about a family, too. Fun dynamics between siblings and their partners. Joss, glad you enjoyed the extract. It IS a fascinating area. Thank YOU, catslady. So glad you like the cover. Kate, must admit, I think the Borders are WAY more interesting than the Highlands.

    Reply
  36. Sounds interesting! I’ll be sure to check your books out, Blythe. There aren’t many books set in that time or place, and it’s always fun to come across something different.

    Reply
  37. Sounds interesting! I’ll be sure to check your books out, Blythe. There aren’t many books set in that time or place, and it’s always fun to come across something different.

    Reply
  38. Sounds interesting! I’ll be sure to check your books out, Blythe. There aren’t many books set in that time or place, and it’s always fun to come across something different.

    Reply
  39. Sounds interesting! I’ll be sure to check your books out, Blythe. There aren’t many books set in that time or place, and it’s always fun to come across something different.

    Reply
  40. Sounds interesting! I’ll be sure to check your books out, Blythe. There aren’t many books set in that time or place, and it’s always fun to come across something different.

    Reply
  41. I will take myself out of the running for a signed copy because I have one. I am loving this first story and the history you shared makes my reading even better. There’s some serious heat between John and Cate. I’m looking forward to book three Black Rob has my interest.

    Reply
  42. I will take myself out of the running for a signed copy because I have one. I am loving this first story and the history you shared makes my reading even better. There’s some serious heat between John and Cate. I’m looking forward to book three Black Rob has my interest.

    Reply
  43. I will take myself out of the running for a signed copy because I have one. I am loving this first story and the history you shared makes my reading even better. There’s some serious heat between John and Cate. I’m looking forward to book three Black Rob has my interest.

    Reply
  44. I will take myself out of the running for a signed copy because I have one. I am loving this first story and the history you shared makes my reading even better. There’s some serious heat between John and Cate. I’m looking forward to book three Black Rob has my interest.

    Reply
  45. I will take myself out of the running for a signed copy because I have one. I am loving this first story and the history you shared makes my reading even better. There’s some serious heat between John and Cate. I’m looking forward to book three Black Rob has my interest.

    Reply
  46. Hi Nicola and Blythe! Blythe, I love your books and the Brunsons sound like another very interesting and dangerous family. I have only read a few books that take place in the Scottish marshes and I thought they were very good. Thanks for an interesting history lesson. Loved your two covers and the extract painting.

    Reply
  47. Hi Nicola and Blythe! Blythe, I love your books and the Brunsons sound like another very interesting and dangerous family. I have only read a few books that take place in the Scottish marshes and I thought they were very good. Thanks for an interesting history lesson. Loved your two covers and the extract painting.

    Reply
  48. Hi Nicola and Blythe! Blythe, I love your books and the Brunsons sound like another very interesting and dangerous family. I have only read a few books that take place in the Scottish marshes and I thought they were very good. Thanks for an interesting history lesson. Loved your two covers and the extract painting.

    Reply
  49. Hi Nicola and Blythe! Blythe, I love your books and the Brunsons sound like another very interesting and dangerous family. I have only read a few books that take place in the Scottish marshes and I thought they were very good. Thanks for an interesting history lesson. Loved your two covers and the extract painting.

    Reply
  50. Hi Nicola and Blythe! Blythe, I love your books and the Brunsons sound like another very interesting and dangerous family. I have only read a few books that take place in the Scottish marshes and I thought they were very good. Thanks for an interesting history lesson. Loved your two covers and the extract painting.

    Reply
  51. Welcome to the Saturday crowd! Maureen and Betty, thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the books. Yasmine, Lynne, and Cathy, thanks for your kind words. It’s still a thrill to hear that people are reading and loving what I write!

    Reply
  52. Welcome to the Saturday crowd! Maureen and Betty, thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the books. Yasmine, Lynne, and Cathy, thanks for your kind words. It’s still a thrill to hear that people are reading and loving what I write!

    Reply
  53. Welcome to the Saturday crowd! Maureen and Betty, thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the books. Yasmine, Lynne, and Cathy, thanks for your kind words. It’s still a thrill to hear that people are reading and loving what I write!

    Reply
  54. Welcome to the Saturday crowd! Maureen and Betty, thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the books. Yasmine, Lynne, and Cathy, thanks for your kind words. It’s still a thrill to hear that people are reading and loving what I write!

    Reply
  55. Welcome to the Saturday crowd! Maureen and Betty, thanks for commenting and I hope you enjoy the books. Yasmine, Lynne, and Cathy, thanks for your kind words. It’s still a thrill to hear that people are reading and loving what I write!

    Reply
  56. The fight for control of the borders is always an exciting theme – always keeps me riveted to see how the story works out.

    Reply
  57. The fight for control of the borders is always an exciting theme – always keeps me riveted to see how the story works out.

    Reply
  58. The fight for control of the borders is always an exciting theme – always keeps me riveted to see how the story works out.

    Reply
  59. The fight for control of the borders is always an exciting theme – always keeps me riveted to see how the story works out.

    Reply
  60. The fight for control of the borders is always an exciting theme – always keeps me riveted to see how the story works out.

    Reply

Leave a Comment