Creating Tension Without Using Gratuitous Violence: A HOSTAGE TO HERITAGE, Book Tour Stop 4

How far do crime fiction authors need to take violence in their stories to generate sufficient tension? Over on Mysteristas today, I have some ideas about getting the point across in a wartime setting without going overboard. Stop by and see if you agree with me.

A Hostage to Heritage just received its fourth five-star review on Amazon. “Ms. Adair truly deserves to be called the ‘Mistress of American Revolution historical fiction,’” says the reviewer. Oh, my. I’ll take that tiara. Thank you!

Remember these Goodreads giveaways this week:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Hostage To Heritage by Suzanne Adair

A Hostage To Heritage

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair

Regulated for Murder

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

**********

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The Unforgettable Hero: A HOSTAGE TO HERITAGE, Book Tour Stop 3

What makes the protagonist of a book or movie not just memorable but hauntingly unforgettable? Over on The Ladykillers today, I have some ideas about that. Stop by and see if you agree with me. Tell us who’s your favorite fictional hero.

Remember these Goodreads giveaways this week:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Hostage To Heritage by Suzanne Adair

A Hostage To Heritage

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair

Regulated for Murder

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

**********

Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

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Hurricanes, Redcoats, Skyping: A HOSTAGE TO HERITAGE, Book Tour Stop 2

I’m chatting with mystery author Beth Groundwater on her blog today about hurricanes, redcoats, and Skyping. Stop by and comment by Thursday night, and we’ll enter you in a drawing to win a copy of A Hostage to Heritage. Thanks!

Remember these Goodreads giveaways this week:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Hostage To Heritage by Suzanne Adair

A Hostage To Heritage

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair

Regulated for Murder

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

**********

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Release Day for A HOSTAGE TO HERITAGE, Book Tour Stop 1

A Hostage to Heritage book cover

It’s Release Day for A Hostage to Heritage! Huzzah! The book is available as a paperback and in multiple ebook formats (Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo).

A boy kidnapped for ransom. And a madman who didn’t bargain on Michael Stoddard’s tenacity.

Spring 1781. The American Revolution enters its seventh grueling year. In Wilmington, North Carolina, redcoat investigator Lieutenant Michael Stoddard expects to round up two miscreants before Lord Cornwallis’s army arrives for supplies. But his quarries’ trail crosses with that of a criminal who has abducted a high-profile English heir. Michael’s efforts to track down the boy plunge him into a twilight of terror from radical insurrectionists, whiskey smugglers, and snarled secrets out of his own past in Yorkshire.

Today is also Stop 1 of the A Hostage to Heritage blog tour. I’m a guest on Jean Henry Mead’s Mysterious Writers blog, talking about the creative process and where all those redcoats come from. Please stop by and say hello.

Remember these Goodreads giveaways this week:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Hostage To Heritage by Suzanne Adair

A Hostage To Heritage

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair

Regulated for Murder

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

**********

Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

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A HOSTAGE TO HERITAGE: the Blog Tour

A Hostage to Heritage book cover

Huzzah! Michael Stoddard rides again! Here’s the schedule of my blog tour stops for the upcoming release of A Hostage to Heritage. At each stop, you’ll find an essay or interview from me. The buzz is all about history, mystery, and writing.

Stop by, comment, and join the fun. Want to win a copy of A Hostage to Heritage? Among the blog stops are several book giveaways.

A huge thanks to all my blog hosts for their generosity!

Blog Tour Schedule

22 April 2013
Mysterious Writers

23 April 2013
Beth Groundwater

24 April 2013
The Ladykillers

25 April 2013
Mysteristas

26 April 2013
Jenny Milchman
Writers Who Kill

28 April 2013
Jungle Red Writers

29 April 2013
Suite T

1 May 2013
Getting Medieval

2 May 2013
The River Time

3 May 2013
Crime Fiction Collective

4 May 2013
Poe’s Deadly Daughters

6 May 2013
Historical Fiction eBooks

7 May 2013
That Thing I Said

Remember these Goodreads giveaways this week:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

A Hostage To Heritage by Suzanne Adair

A Hostage To Heritage

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Regulated for Murder by Suzanne Adair

Regulated for Murder

by Suzanne Adair

Giveaway ended April 26, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

**********

Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

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Read the First Chapter of A Hostage to Heritage, and Win!

A Hostage to Heritage, second title in the Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thriller series, will be released ~17 April 2013. Want a sneak peek at Chapter One now? Click on this link:
Download A Hostage to Heritage Chapter One.

In the March 2013 issue of Suzanne Adair News, look for ways to win a copy of A Hostage to Heritage. (Hint: Chapter One will help.) Check your Inbox today for the latest Suzanne Adair News. Also check your Spam folder, as the newsletter sometimes gets diverted there.

Not yet a subscriber of my free quarterly newsletter? Sign up using the simple form in the right sidebar of my blog or at the bottom of this post. You’ll receive opportunities for freebies, discounts, and special offers.

Thanks to all my loyal book and blog readers!

A Hostage to Heritage book cover

A boy kidnapped for ransom. And a madman who didn’t bargain on Michael Stoddard’s tenacity.

Spring 1781. The American Revolution enters its seventh grueling year. In Wilmington, North Carolina, redcoat investigator Lieutenant Michael Stoddard expects to round up two miscreants before Lord Cornwallis’s army arrives for supplies. But his quarries’ trail crosses with that of a criminal who has abducted a high-profile English heir. Michael’s efforts to track down the boy plunge him into a twilight of terror from radical insurrectionists, whiskey smugglers, and snarled secrets out of his own past in Yorkshire.

**********

Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

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Advance Promotion from AOBibliosphere for A Hostage to Heritage

A Hostage to Heritage book cover

Advance promotion for A Hostage to Heritage. What a nice gesture on the part of this book reviewer. Thanks!

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Cover Reveal for A Hostage to Heritage

A Hostage to Heritage, second title in the Michael Stoddard American Revolution Thrillers series, is scheduled for a 17 April 2013 release. Here are the cover image and book jacket description:

A Hostage to Heritage book cover

A boy kidnapped for ransom. And a madman who didn’t bargain on Michael Stoddard’s tenacity.

Spring 1781. The American Revolution enters its seventh grueling year. In Wilmington, North Carolina, redcoat investigator Lieutenant Michael Stoddard expects to round up two miscreants before Lord Cornwallis’s army arrives for supplies. But his quarries’ trail crosses with that of a criminal who has abducted a high-profile English heir. Michael’s efforts to track down the boy plunge him into a twilight of terror from radical insurrectionists, whiskey smugglers, and snarled secrets out of his own past in Yorkshire.

**********

Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

Enter your email address:

The Winner of Blood Lance

Warren Bull has won a copy of Blood Lance by Jeri Westerson. Congrats to Warren Bull!

Thanks to Jeri Westerson for showing us the fate of a man who lost knighthood status during the Plantagenet and Tudor eras. Thanks, also, to everyone who visited and commented on Relevant History last week. Watch for another Relevant History post, coming soon.

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Degradation of Knighthood

Jeri Westerson author photo

Relevant History welcomes Los Angeles native and award-winning author Jeri Westerson, who writes the critically acclaimed Crispin Guest Medieval Noir novels. Her brooding protagonist is Crispin Guest, a disgraced knight turned detective on the mean streets of fourteenth century London, running into thieves, kings, poets, and religious relics. When not writing, Jeri dabbles in gourmet cooking, drinks fine wines, eats cheap chocolate, and swoons over anything British. You can read more about Jeri’s books, watch a series book trailer, find discussion guides, and read Crispin’s blog on Jeri’s website.

*****

Once you’re knighted it’s permanent, right? Not necessarily so.

Under what circumstances would someone lose their knighthood? By the time my fifth book, Blood Lance, is set, my protagonist Crispin Guest had been degraded for about ten years and living with the consequences. He did commit a fairly heinous offense, that of treason, but for a very good cause.

Most often, when a knight or lord was handed the treason card, the lords didn’t bother degrading him. The knight in question would simply be executed in a most foul manner. In the words of the Scarecrow in the movie The Wizard of Oz, “They tore off my arms and threw them over there! And then they tore off my legs and threw them over there!” You get the picture. Crispin was lucky
enough to have a person in a pretty high place speak up for him and so he didn’t lose his life; only his wealth, lands, title and a smidgeon of his self-respect.

Because degradation of knighthood is such a rare event, there are only two recorded cases. The first was during the English War of the Roses where the Lancastrians went up against the Yorkists. In a rebellion against the Yorkist King Edward IV, Sir Ralph Grey allowed the Lancastrians to hold several fortresses in Scotland. Even when many other castles were taken, Grey held Bamborough. But after a siege, they surrendered it in June 1464. Grey was sentenced by the Constable of England to be degraded. His coat of arms was torn from his back and another with his arms reversed was put in its place. And then the Constable declared, “Then, Sir Ralph Grey, this shall be thy penance—thou shalt go upon thy feet to the town’s end, and there thou shalt be laid down and drawn to a scaffold made for thee, and thou shalt have thy head smitten off they body; thy body to be buried in the friary, thy head where it may please the king.”

As the Tinman would say, “That’s you all over.”

It was a little different in 1621. This time, it wasn’t a case of treason, but one of old-fashioned graft. Sir Giles Mompesson and Sir Francis Mitchell were tried before the House of Lords for the political offence of “exercising harsh monopolies over the licensing of inns and the manufacture of gold and silver thread.” Doesn’t sound horrible when put that way, but essentially, Mompesson dishonored the very notion of knighthood with his activities. Apparently, he was the go-to person for licensing inns, and he was supposed to be overseeing the manufacture of gold and silver thread and imprison those manufacturing said thread without a license. Instead, he ran a good trade in extortion on the goldsmiths of London and pulled a few fast ones conning taverns into putting up guests overnight and then fining them for running an inn without a license!

Mompesson was tried by the House of Commons, which referred it to the House of Lords where he was sentenced to quite a unique punishment. Not only was he to pay a £10,000 fine and lose his knighthood, but to show his full degradation, he was to be secured behind a horse and walk down the Strand in London with his face in the horse’s anus. And then be imprisoned for life. And in case that wasn’t enough, a few days later they came back with banishment for life.

This is what happened to Mitchell, as reported by the College of Arms: “Sir Francis’s sword and gilt spurs, being the ornaments of Knighthood, were taken from him, broken and defaced, thus indicating that the reputation he held thereby, together with the honourable title of Knight, should be no more used. One of the Knight Marshal’s men…cut the belt whereby the culprit’s sword hung, and so let it fall to the ground. Next the spurs were hewn off his heels and thrown, one one way, the other the other. After that, the Marshal’s attendant drew Mitchell’s sword from the scabbard and broke it over his head, doing with the fragments as with the spurs.” (Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms.)

Mompesson was banished and allowed to return to get his affairs in order and then banished again, but the slippery Mompesson managed to get back into the country and stay, retiring in Wiltshire till his death. Mitchell was imprisoned.

Crispin took his degradation very hard, and he still has a tough time reconciling his life on the Shambles of London to the resplendent life he used to have at court. But, of course, this only makes him a better detective, for unlike Mompesson, he took his honor very seriously and never more so than in the latest novel Blood Lance, where he is obliged to uphold the honor of an old friend, find a religious relic, and bring a murderer to justice.

*****

Jeri Westerson book cover

A big thanks to Jeri Westerson. She’ll give away the audiobook version of Blood Lance or a signed hardcover copy of Blood Lance (winner’s choice) to someone who contributes a comment on my blog this week. I’ll choose the winner from among those who comment by Sunday at 6 p.m. ET. Delivery is available within the U.S. only.

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Did you like what you read? Learn about downloads, discounts, and special offers from Relevant History authors and Suzanne Adair. Subscribe to Suzanne’s free newsletter.

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