Kim Iverson Headlee guests on my blog today to provide details about her upcoming, “Snow in July” as well as her top ten favorite TV shows of all time. Read on…
TITLE – Snow in July
AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee
GENRE – Young Adult Paranormal Historical Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – July 2014
LENTH (Pages/# Words) – 386 pages/94K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER DESIGNER – Natasha Brown
Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate’s Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people’s lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother. Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman…unless it snows in July.
Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman “squire.” But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.
BUY & TBR LINKS
AMAZON KINDLE US – AMAZON KINDLE CA – AMAZON KINDLE UK
AMAZON PAPERBACK – BARNES & NOBLES NOOK – BARNES & NOBLES PAPERBACK
SMASHWORDS – ITUNES – GOODREADS
FIFTEEN THOUSAND MEN and horses writhed across the valley below, appearing as toys in a children’s game.
Many might consider war a game, but Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre, knight of Normandy bound to the service of Duke William and commander of a unit in the cavalry reserves, did not number among their ranks.
Edward the Confessor, King of England via his Saxon father but Norman by his mother, was dead. This battle, raging near the coastal hamlet called Hastings, would decide the right of one man to wear the English crown: William the Norman, acknowledged by Pope Alexander to be Edward’s lawful successor; or Harold the Saxon, brother of Edward’s wife, the man alleged to be Edward’s deathbed choice.
Stroking his war horse’s glossy charcoal neck to calm her, Alain pondered Harold’s claim. It had to be true. This many men would not sacrifice their lives for a lie. Yet the vast majority of Harold’s supporters were Saxons harboring no wish to bear the Norman yoke. Perhaps such men might be desperate enough to fight for a lie that promised to restore Saxon rule.
A trumpet blared. He signaled his men forward, couched his lance, and spurred Chou to send her careening into the melee.
Harold’s shield wall, which had seemed impregnable, began to crumble under the onslaught of Alain’s unit, hastened by the desertion of men who no doubt decided they weren’t quite so willing to die. Their lord stood exposed just long enough for a Norman archer to sight his mark. Harold fell, screaming and clutching an arrow that protruded from one eye.
Harold’s supporters closed ranks around him, blocking Alain’s view and giving him more than enough to do as the Saxons redoubled their efforts to guard their lord’s body.
A familiar whirl of colors caught Alain’s attention. The saffron leopard prowling on a green field—Étienne! A Saxon knight, with a blue arm and fist blazing defiance across his gray shield, bore down upon Étienne with leveled lance. Étienne tumbled from his horse. He scrambled to his feet and retrieved his sword, putting it to good use on the Saxons surrounding him, although the knight who’d unhorsed him had already ridden in search of other targets.
Lance long since discarded and sword now rising and falling with fatal precision, Alain surged to reach his brother’s side. Protection of her youngest son had been their dying mother’s wish, and he had sworn on his own life to keep Étienne safe.
Before he could close the distance, another Saxon knight fought past Étienne’s guard to thrust a war-knife into his throat. Through the visor the knight’s eyes gleamed with startling, fathomless malice. Alain could only watch in stunned disbelief as he laid his hand upon Étienne’s chest for a few moments. Uttering a soul-freezing howl, the Saxon yanked out his seax and disappeared into the press with Étienne’s shield, denying Alain vengeance.
Shame and grief rent his heart asunder.
He had failed the two he loved most; failed them so utterly that he could never beg their forgiveness in this lifetime.
Pain slammed into his shoulder, toppling him from the saddle. Étienne’s body broke his fall. He tried to roll clear, but a spear through his chest pinned him to Étienne. His gut convulsed, and bile burned his throat. Blinding agony killed his struggle to free himself. Death’s stench invaded his nostrils.
He closed his eyes and waited for his final journey to begin.
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins — the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century — seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from “the other Washington”) and a direct descendent of 20th-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She also writes romantic historical fiction under the pseudonym “Kimberly Iverson.”
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – WEBSITE / BLOG – FACEBOOK
TWITTER – GOOGLE+ – PINTEREST
GOODREADS – SHELFARI – LINKEDIN – YOUTUBE CHANNEL
• 10 eBook Copies of Snow in July
• 10 Snow in July Notecards from the Author
• 10 Autographed copies (US residents only) of the print edition
via Goodreads (scheduled to run October 1-October 30)
CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GOODREADS GIVEAWAY
Author Kim Iverson Headlee Provides her Top Ten List
I don’t have much variance in my snacking—it’s either popcorn, chips (with or without regular or cheese salsa), or just about anything chocolate—so when given a choice between listing that “top ten” or my top ten favorite TV shows, I leaped upon the latter!
This list is given in the order in which they came to me. As a writer in general and a budding screenwriter in particular, I tend to favor shows that feature great writing and characters.
• Remington Steele (NBC, 10/1/82 – 4/17/87). It’s unfortunate that the premise of this show—a woman trying to make a name for herself in a male-dominated profession, so she invents a fictional boss—won’t “play” to today’s audiences. But as a woman who was recruited in 1977 to attend the previously all-male Air Force Academy, this show resonated with me from its very first episode. And oh, my goodness, Pierce Brosnan was so very easy on the eyes!
• Eureka (SyFy, 7/18/06 – 7/16/12). The classic “fish out of water” story with a brilliant, geeky spin, it featured a sheriff of above-average IQ but great street smarts being thrust into a think-tank town populated by adorable geniuses who excelled at getting themselves and their world into all sorts of fascinating trouble. Lordy, I wish such a town existed; I’d move there in a heartbeat. The fact that it was situated in my beloved Pacific Northwest was pure gravy.
• Big Bang Theory (CBS, 9/24/07 – present). My sister-in-law, of all people, pointed me to this show during its third season, amazed that I wasn’t already watching it, given my preference for geeky shows. My husband (who also enjoys geeky shows) & I were deep in the throes of his football coaching at the time—I was statistician for the varsity, JV, and middle school teams while he coached and scouted—but boy, are we both glad she brought it to our attention. There are times when it’s so funny, I almost forget to breathe!
• Elementary (CBS, 9/27/12 – present). Ever since I read my first book at the age of 3, I’ve been fascinated with tales that present new spins on old stories—and this fascination translates into every novel I write—so it was almost guaranteed that I would love this show. I say “almost” because they could have blown it with poor writing and characters. I am so very glad that they didn’t.
• Hawaii 5-0 (CBS reboot, 9/20/10 – present). Although the original show was cutting-edge for its day, and its episode runtime was 10 minutes longer than today’s version, probably eight of those 10 minutes each week featured scenes of McGarrett running to his car. Seriously. Look it up on Netflix, and tell me I’m wrong about that! For the record, some of the episodes in the new series are damn hard for me to watch—foster parents from hell, and that sort of thing—but the main-character interactions are a treat to watch, and the scenery is always gorgeous. The islands look great too. 😉
• Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (Paramount, 1/3/93 – 6/2/99). This is my favorite of all the Star Trek series incarnations, including the original series, which I remember watching with my parents when I was a kid. The reason DS9 doesn’t sit well with most fans is a large reason why I love the show: it is not a collection of instantly forgettable “Planet/Species du Jour” episodes. On Deep Space 9, the villains weren’t always villainous, and the heroes weren’t always heroic—in short, it was a very realistic portrayal of what life might be like in the crucible of the most cross-cultural situation imaginable.
• Babylon 5, seasons 2-4 (PTEN/TNT 2/22/93 – 11/25/98). I exclude season 1 because this show took most of that time to find its footing, though it contained enough brilliance in terms of the characters and their situations to keep me watching. The writing of season 5 suffered from having received a very late go-ahead by TNT, so the primary arc had to be wrapped up in season 4. It’s too bad that creator J. Michael Straczynski doesn’t have George Lucas’s proclivity (or ability) to rework previously released material; I would have loved to see JMS’s original vision for the main story arc.
• Monk (USA, 7/12/02 – 12/4/09). My husband and son cannot stand this show; my daughter and I love it. I cannot speak for her reasons, but for me, I enjoyed watching someone who is so very dysfunctional summon the courage to overcome his foibles and fears to get the job done. It is a process we struggle with every day, if we take the time to be honest with ourselves.
• Numb3rs (CBS, 1/23/05 – 3/12/10). Frankly, I’m amazed that this show lasted as long as it did. Intelligent shows (unless they’re outrageously funny too) tend to get lost in all the other blather with which the viewing public is bombarded 24-7. Numb3rs is another show, like Hawaii 5-0, that has a few episodes I will not rewatch, but it’s on my Top Ten because of its great wit and poignant heart.
• Home Improvement (ABC, 9/17/91 – 5/25/99). I came to this series midway through its run, for reasons I cannot recall other than the fact that I was a young mother at the time, in addition to being a career woman and writer, and was probably too busy to remember to turn it on every week. Once I started, though, I felt as if I had indeed come home, and it remains one of my go-to shows when I need comedy to take my mind off the day’s troubles. They just don’t make them like that anymore.
Thank you for this opportunity to share these classic broadcast favorites with your blog readers today!