Well, I've decided to dig out one of several completed historicals I wrote a good long time ago to revise and hope to publish next year.
Under the Hawkes' Wing is the quintessential tortured hero story. Lord Bravin Hawkes has seen some horrible things happen in his 29 years, and to understand some of them, one must be a little familiar with the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (1639-1651).
Those three kingdoms includes England, Scotland, and Ireland, and with each of those countries, there were different segments of wars which had their own names:
|Siege of Drogheda, Ireland|
aka Rape of Drogheda, 1649
The English Civil War (1642-1651)
The Bishops' Wars (1639-1645)
Scottish Civil War (1644-51)
Irish Confederate Wars (aka The Eleven Years' War 1642-1653)
The Cromwellian War (1649-1651)
By 1653 when it was all over and Charles II had returned to England from exile in France and reclaimed the throne (1660), several things had happened:
Execution of King Charles I (1649)
Exile of Charles II (1646)
Defeat of the Irish Confederates (1648)
Defeat of the Scottish Covenanters (1640)
English Parliament reduced to a Rump Parliament (1648 and 1659)
Establishment of the Republican Commonwealth, ruled by Oliver Cromwell (1653-1659)
Lord Protector 1653-1658
It was during this horrible time that people were forced to chose their allegiances -- side with the crown to save the monarchy and take on the title of Royalist, or Cavalier...or side with Cromwell and the Parliamentarians, or Roundheads...a term given for the very short hair member wore, which countered the long haired members of the monarchy. It seems that as an act of protest, when Charles II claimed the throne of England, he brought with him from France many of the court fashions, such as sumptuous fabrics and flamboyant costume, and longer hair and ostentatious wigs.
This is where my story comes in. The Hawkes family had had strong allies and connections with many people around England during the reign of Charles I. After his execution and a new parliament was established, those allies were forced to take sides. The Hawkes remained loyal to the crown, while many of their allies converted to Parliamentarians. Old ties and bonds were broken, promises and oaths dissolved, and those who had been closest to the family were now mortal enemies who often went to war between them.
Part of putting the family back together post-Civil War included taking a wife. It was encouraged by Charles II that Bravin take a bride from one of the family's former allies, as a means to recapture alliances and strengthen the nation under a new monarchy. It wasn't a love match, but they were making it work.
It was when his wife died in childbirth that her family went to Charles II with accusations of murder. While Bravin was cleared of murder, he decided to bury himself in work, his estates, and his family...trying to stay out of the political spotlight. He became a very hardened man of 29 when this story opens.
Three years after the death of his wife and child, just as Bravin has buried himself in things to help him forget the tragedy in his life, the body of a woman is found in the woods on his estate. Unconscious and alone, the only choice is to bring her home to Hawkeswing for care. When she wakes, they'll return her home.
For Becca, she has her own troubles. She has no memory of her past, but many worries about her future. She's a bright and intelligent woman, as it turns out, who's strong willed and knows her own mind. She recognizes that Bravin can put her out at any time, but sees gentleness and empathy in him. She knows he'll care for her forever, perhaps even find her a husband, should her memory never return. She needs to find a way to show her appreciation for all he's doing for her, and potentially will in the future, and with the help of his estranged family, she's sure to put a smile back on his face before she leaves Hawkeswing.
Of course, as love stories go, they will fall in love. But that's not the end of the story. Indeed, that's only the beginning. Where does her allegiance lie? Is her family Parliamentarian or Royalist? Do politics matter when love is involved? Will she ever get her memory back? Will she ever find her family to know any of these things?
You'll have to read the book! In the meantime, I've put up an excerpt if you care to read it. I'd love to hear your comments. Drop me a note on Facebook or Twitter and share your thoughts. Don't be shy. I love hearing from readers :-)
Have a great day!