Feature Friday with Glynnis Campbell
Welcome Glynnis Campbell! So happy to have you on the Feature Friday blog today.
GLYNNIS CAMPBELL is a USA Today bestselling author of swashbuckling action-adventure romance. She’s the wife of a rock star, and the mother of two young adults, but she’s also been a ballerina, a typographer, a film composer, a piano player, a singer in an all-girl rock band, and a voice in those violent video games you will not let your kids play. She does her best writing on cruise ships, in Scottish castles, on her husband’s tour bus, and at home in her sunny southern California garden. Glynnis loves to play medieval matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where the bold heroes have endearing flaws, the women are stronger than they look, the land is lush and untamed, and chivalry is alive and well!
The MEDIEVAL OUTLAWS Series-Rogues, rapscallions, knaves, scoundrels, hellions, scallywags, blackguards, outcasts, and firebrands. They may be villains, but they’re irresistible, and sometimes the right hero can steal their hearts and help them mend their wicked ways.
DANGER’S KISS, Book 1
A thief by trade, Desirée of Canterbury can squirm out of any tight spot with a wink and a smile … until she meets her match in Nicholas Grimshaw, the most feared lawman in the shire. After Nicholas is forced to execute her guardian, he is honor-bound to care for Desirée. But Desirée may be the death of him yet, disrupting his orderly life until he does not know whether to kiss her or kill her. Just when she decides to let him make an honest woman of her, a ruthless enemy rears its ugly head, and Desirée and Nicholas must use all their wiles to escape danger, cheat death, and save their newfound love.
Q&A with Glynnis:
- What is your favorite thing about this book?
I started DANGER’S KISS on a dare. I wanted to see if I could write a book where the hero was a medieval executioner. It seemed impossible, but that was half the fun. I wanted to create a truly dark character, but one with a sympathetic side, a man who prided himself on doling out swift and merciful death.
That was how it started. That isn’t how it ended up. In my research, I discovered that executioners were anonymous and often transient, which didn’t work in my story.
Instead, my hero, Nicholas Grimshaw, is the strong arm of the law, a shire-reeve who administers justice and oversees executions. Like the Sheriff of Nottingham, he is loathed by many. But unlike Robin Hood’s nemesis, Nicholas is fair, honest, stern but kindhearted.
Then, because I love a challenge, I decided to pit him against a thieving heroine. Desirée Kabayn is a female version of The Artful Dodger, an orphan and a pickpocket who’s been raised by an outlaw…the outlaw that Nicholas has just been forced to hang.
My favorite thing was trying to find a way for Nicholas and Desirée to work past all that conflict, fall in love, and find a happily ever after.
- If your book becomes a movie, who would play the hero and heroine?
I actually do mentally “cast” all my books. I get a kick out of playing medieval matchmaker! It’s easier to have a living, breathing person to reflect on as I’m writing, and I keep bunches of photos nearby to peruse. When I wrote DANGER’S KISS, I imagined Angelina Jolie as Desirée—beautiful, mischievous, passionate, and a little wicked. For Nicholas, I envisioned Adrian Paul from “Highlander”—a dark and dangerous swordsman with a quick wit and a soft heart.
- What are you working on next?
I’m writing Book 3 of my Medieval Outlaws series, PLEASURE’S PRIZE. For this series, I wanted to set a book in each of the four Celtic countries. DANGER’S KISS is set in England, PASSION’S EXILE is set in Scotland, and I plan to write a prequel novella set in Wales. PLEASURE’S PRIZE is my first book ever set in Ireland!
The heroine, Temair O’Keeffe, is a chieftain’s daughter who foils her father’s greed by joining a band of masked outlaws who rob from the rich and give to the poor. The hero, Sir Ryland de Ware, is the powerful English knight who’s come at the king’s command to claim her hand. Their first encounter—a hand-to-hand battle in the woods—occurs when they’re both too stubborn to yield the right of way.
He spotted Desirée at once, by the light of a moonbeam filtering through the shutters. She was asleep, luxuriously sprawled across the coverlet like a cat with a belly full of cream, commandeering his pallet as if her spindly frame required every inch of it.
“Oh, nay, you don’t,” he murmured. He might feel sorry for the orphaned lass, but he wasn’t about to let her usurp his bed. “Desirée,” he called.
She didn’t move.
Still no reply.
He drew closer, not close enough that she could swing out with a stray fist and clip him on the jaw, but close enough to be heard.
She still didn’t stir, but Azrael, tucked behind one of her knees, lifted his head.
Nicholas frowned. There was something tied around the cat’s neck. Something distinctly feminine.
“God’s eyes! What have you done to my cat?”
That woke her. She rose on her elbows, her eyes glazed, her mouth making sleepy smacks. “What?”
“What did you do to Azrael?”
She glanced down at the cat, as if trying to recall. Then her lips curved up in a smile that was pure mischief. “He thinks it’s pretty,” she said, crooning, “doesn’t he, Snowflake?”
Nicholas seized Azrael, who yowled once in complaint, and immediately untied the silly bow, dropping it atop the coverlet.
Desirée shrugged off his actions and snuggled back down under the blankets. “Did you get my list?” she murmured.
He gave Azrael a consoling pat and set him down again on the pallet. “Your list? You mean that nonsense about lavender and beeswax candles? Do you know how much saffron costs?”
“Come, Nicky, you can’t expect me to keep your house properly if I don’t have the required supplies.”
“I seem to have done fine before without them. And stop calling me Nicky.”
“What would you prefer? Your Majesty?”
Nicholas exhaled on a growl, trying to recall why he’d felt sorry for the pesky imp. “I’ve bought another pallet. I’ve placed it beside the fire.”
“Mm, good,” she purred. “I’d hate to think of you getting cold in the night.”
He blinked. The audacity of the naughty wench was amazing. Unable to think of a fitting verbal response, he decided to let his actions speak for him. He threw back the covers and, ignoring her indignant shrieks, scooped her up into his arms.
“Unhand me, sirrah!”
“You’re not sleeping in my bed.” He started toward the door.
“But I was there first!”
“’Tis my bed.”
“You weren’t using it.” She actually wedged her limbs in the doorway, trying to prevent his exit.
“Well, I’m going to use it now.”
He didn’t feel like arguing the absurdity of a tiny lass expropriating his huge bed while he lay cramped on a small pallet by the fire.
“The only way you’re sleeping in that bed,” he whispered wickedly, “is if you’re sharing it with me.”
- If you had to live in another country, where would you go? Why there?
Scotland! The scenery is breathtaking and the people are delightful.
- What one thing about you would surprise your readers?
I used to be a recording artist on CBS Records.
- What’s your favorite animal? Can you tell us why?
Red panda, because they’re adorable. (I call them puppycats.)
- Please share a few things from your “Bucket List.”
Conduct an orchestra, see the northern lights, swim with a manatee.
- Name three books from childhood that affected you the most.
“King Arthur” by Howard Pyle, “Half Magic” by Edward Eager, “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle.