Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Blog Tour Guest Post: A Duel for Christmas by Rosanne E. Lortz

Please join me in welcoming Rosanne Lortz to Let Them Read Books! Roseanne is touring the blogosphere with her newest release, A Duel for Christmas, and I am thrilled to have her here to kick off the Christmas reading season with a guest post about using medieval history to inspire her stories. Read on and enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card!

After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.

The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington’s affections, only to be foiled by the lady’s own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.

This novel takes the medieval events surrounding the sinking of the White Ship and transposes them to Regency London. It is the third book in the Pevensey series, but can be read as a standalone.

When You Can’t Choose Just One
By Rosanne E. Lortz

Whenever we vacation on the Oregon Coast, we stop by the Tillamook Cheese Factory for a tour of the cheese processing plant, a taste of squeaky cheese curds, and a helping of Tillamook’s world-class ice cream. On a good day, the line at the ice cream counter is only twenty-five people long, and as I queue up to the counter, I have ample time to dither over which ice cream flavor is my favorite. But still, as I approach the counter, that sense of indecision inevitably returns—how can I choose just one?

As a historical novelist, sticking with just one favorite historical period has always been difficult for me. From an early age, I fell in love with the Middle Ages—the romance, the adventure, the pageantry, the people. I remember reading simple illustrated biographies of King Alfred and William the Conqueror at the age of six or seven and moving on later to chapter books like Rosemary Sutcliff’s Knight’s Fee and E.L. Konigsburg’s A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver. As a young teenager, my curiosity was piqued by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sir Nigel and The White Company, my imagination was captured by Howard Pyle’s Men of Iron, and my addiction was cemented by Anya Seton’s Katherine.

In college I continued my love of things medieval, writing my thesis on Thomas Becket’s stand against Henry II and examining how the chroniclers used typology to bring Scriptural connections into historical writings. But it was also in college that I fell in love with Georgette Heyer’s novels—the witty banter, the feisty romance, the lovingly rendered world of the “ton” and the fictional aristocracy of the British Regency. Cotillion and Friday’s Child will always be my favorite of the Heyer canon, but Devil’s Cub, The Grand Sophy, and Frederica each have their own charm.

Fast forward ten years. After exploring medieval settings with my first novels, I decided it was time to write a Regency murder mystery. But as much as I wanted to create smart, funny, and suspenseful romance, I was having trouble saying good-bye to my lords and ladies from the Middle Ages. An idea came: What if I took the characters and rough plotlines surrounding a medieval death and transposed them into a murder mystery set during the British Regency?

From this idea was born the Pevensey Mysteries. In the first book, To Wed an Heiress, I took the characters surrounding the Norman Conquest and transported them to a Regency manor house. William the Conqueror became William Hastings, a rich but pretentious tradesman who wants nothing more than to have his daughter marry into a title. I cued off of a promise recorded by one medieval chronicler (that Harold Godwinson—who had previously been hand-fasted to Edith Swan-Neck—agreed to give William the crown in return for marrying William’s daughter) and created a love triangle with an impoverished earl, a jilted beauty, and a haughty heiress. When a death occurs (no spoilers here!), a Bow Street Runner named Jacob Pevensey is called in to find the killer.

Blending medieval-inspired plots with a Regency setting turned out to be too much fun to stop with only one. And besides, Jacob Pevensey was insistent that he needed more cases to solve. My second Regency, The Duke’s Last Hunt, re-imagined the murder of King William Rufus in the New Forest, and my latest book, A Duel for Christmas, riffs off of the sinking of the White Ship and the resultant civil war in the twelfth century. With plots for at least two more Pevensey novels up my sleeve, it looks like my own personal blend of the Middle Ages and the Regency Era will keep me occupied for some time.

So the next time someone asks you what your favorite ice cream is, don’t be afraid to name a couple. Why choose a favorite when you can have more than one? (That’s why the double scoop was invented…)


About the Author:

Rosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mom to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.

Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, was released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.


A Duel for Christmas is on a blog tour!


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules:

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on October 9th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US addresses only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

A Duel for Christmas


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