Thursday, March 27, 2014

Blog Tour Guest Post: A King Ensnared by J.R. Tomlin

Please join me in welcoming J. R. Tomlin to Let Them Read Books! J. R. is on a blog tour with her latest Scottish historical fiction novel, A King Ensnared. She's here today talking about the one book that has influenced her the most. Read on, and enter to win your own copy of A King Ensnared!

History. I grew up reading it, fiction and non-fiction, and loving it. I was trying to think, as I thought about writing a guest post, what books had influenced me most. I struggled with that because I love so many books. But the one that influenced me as a writer and a person? I think it is Victor Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame.

No doubt I will never write any novel so romantic, not that is a romance in the modern sense, but a book so much about love and its sometimes tragic consequences. And yet, I think my novels are often about love, just not necessarily romantic love.

After all, we do love many things and have many kinds of love. Whether its love of our friends and family, love of our nation, love of an idea. Or sometimes romantic love comes into it too. I cried through much of Hunchback of Notre Dame the first time I read it. As I experienced  Frollo turning to black magic in an attempt to force La Esmeralda to love him; Phoebus merely selfishly infatuated by La Esmeralda's beauty and passion, trying to seduce her; and Quasimodo going to any length, committing any self-sacrificing act, to save her. The beautiful, tragic end of the novel taught me that love does not overcome all of life's obstacles, but even so remains even beyond death.

In a way, I try to bring that to my novels. As Sir James Douglas follows his beloved king to death and beyond, as King James in A King Ensnared sacrifices his freedom for the Scotland he was torn away from as a child, I try to write about both the beauty and the tragedy that intertwine when people love greatly.

From the Back Cover of A King Ensnared:

On the dangerous stage of medieval Scotland, one man–in an English dungeon–stands between the Scots and anarchy.

Robert III, King of the Scots, is dead, and Scotland in 1406 is balanced on a knife’s edge. As he eyes the throne, King Robert’s ruthless half-brother, the Duke of Albany, has already murdered one prince and readies to kill young James Stewart, prince and heir to the crown.

James flees Scotland and his murderous uncle. Captured and imprisoned by the English, he grows to be a man of contradictions, a poet yet a knight, a dreamer yet fiercely driven. Hardened by his years in the Tower of London and haunted by his brother’s brutal murder, James is determined to find some way to recover his crown and end his uncle’s misrule. But the only way may be to betray Scotland and everything he believes in.

This giveaway is closed and the winner has been selected.
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Leave a comment on this post with your email address for a chance to win a paperback copy of A King Ensnared!

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada and ends at 11:59pm Thursday, April 10, 2014. Winner will be selected at random. Thanks, and good luck!

About the Author:

J. R. Tomlin is the author of five historical novels: A King Ensnared, Freedom’s Sword, A Kingdom’s Cost, Countenance of War, and Not for Glory. She has also co-authored several fantasies with C. R. Daems: Blood Duty, Talon of the Unnamed Goddess, The Shadow Ryana, The Shadow Gypsy, and Women of Power.
She has close ties with Scotland since her father was a native Scot, and she spent substantial time in Edinburgh whilst growing up. Her historical novels are set in Scotland. You can trace her love of that nation to the stories of the Bruce and the Good Sir James her grandmother read her when she was small and to her hillwalking through the Cairngorms where the granite hills have a gorgeous red glow under the setting sun. Later, her writing was influenced by the work of authors such as Alexander Dumas, Victor Hugo and of G.R.R. Tolkien.
For more information visit J.R. Tomlin’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.
A King Ensnared is on a blog tour!


  1. In the past couple of years I've read historical fiction about Wm. Wallace and a trilogy about Robert the Bruce. I am now enamored by Scottish history. This novel is on my wish list, and I'd love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway.

    1. Scotland has such a rich and romantic history. I love to read about it too!

  2. Thanks for this fascinating feature. This historical is intriguing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. I have historical fiction authors to thank for a more comprehensive view of Scotland's history. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. I don't know very much about this time period in Scottish history. I would love to read this book to learn more. Sounds like an intriguing story.

    tmrtini at gmail (dot) com

  5. Looks like a great way to learn about Scottish History!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Would love to read more Scottish Historical Fiction! Thanks for the giveaway!


  7. a definite 'add' to my Wish List!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

  8. Yet another Scot, who flees his country and ends up imprisoned in the Tower for years! No wonder Scotland wants to separate from the UK.Thank you for the giveaway and a chance to learn more about the country of my ancestors.

  9. I hadn't seen this book before, but it certainly looks right up my alley. Nice review.

  10. I discovered Scottish ancestry (I had to go very far back) I never had a clue existed recently through some ongoing research on my family tree. I am excited to now have something of a personal link to this rich history (especially for fictional purposes)! Thank you for another great review and opportunity to win...

    If I win, please contact me at: shamy at post dot harvard dot edu

    Thank you.


  11. I want to read more Scottish history!


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