Archive for February 3rd, 2012

One way or another, real life characters always seem to find their way into my historical romances. And no matter how small their role, just by the fact that they’re interacting with my fictional hero or heroine means that in a manner, no matter how small, I’m rewriting history. Literary licence or literary nightmare? Granted, sometimes it’s a slippery slope, and most times I wonder why I do this to myself. But there are just so many wonderful characters in medieval Scotland that I simply cannot resist.


Take Johnnie Armstrong, a villainous border lad with friends in high places. A wild scoundrel who invented black rent (the forerunner to modern day blackmail) and ruled the Scottish border roost until King James had him and his merry men hung.


Take Mary, Queen of Scots, a beautiful queen who simply fell in love with the wrong guy. Her life reads like ten different romance plots thrown into one…heartbreak, a failed marriage, house arrest, kidnapping, pride, prejudice, murder and mayhem, forced marriage, betrayal, and finally, beheaded by order of her cousin, Queen Elizabeth.


And then take my hero, Arran Kerr, aka The Devil of Jedburgh and totally fictional (I promise). He is a Kerr, though, a clan famous for their left-handed sword fighting. I couldn’t resist playing around with the family trait a little and my heroine, Breghan, has her own theory on that…



“’Tis said you roam the bogs at night to prey upon the souls of restless children,” Breghan said daringly.

“Cross your heart, lass,” he returned. “The priests would have that only God and the devil may lay claim to a soul.”

She could see by the light in his eyes that he was more amused than angry and gave him back the source of that particular rumour. “The Kerrs fight left-handed because the devil rides heavy on their right shoulder.”

The gleam slowly faded from his eyes until he was looking at her with dark, mesmerising intensity. He took her hand in his and placed it on his right shoulder. “Tell me,” he said softly, “what does the devil feel like?”



Hounded by rumours since birth, most of them true, Arran Kerr is a devilish Scotsman with honour bred into his blood and a sense of humour to boot. How could I not have him fighting such an utter black-guard as Johnnie Armstrong and saving such a romantic queen? I had to change dates and faces and deaths to get this lot into the same story, but that’s the fun of being a fictional writer—being allowed to take liberties with small discrepancies.


But you tell me, do you enjoy recognising well-known characters in historical stories or do you prefer the entire cast to be fictional? I love hearing all points of views, so please leave a comment and I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of The Devil of Jedburgh to a commenter.


Website: www.clairerobyns.com

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Raised on rumours of The Devil of Jedburgh, Breghan McAllen doesn’t want an arranged marriage to the beast. The arrogant border laird is not the romantic, sophisticated husband Breghan dreams of—despite the heat he stirs within her.

In need of an heir, Arran has finally agreed to take a wife, but when he sees Breghan’s fragile beauty, he’s furious. He will not risk the life of another maiden by getting her with child. Lust prompts him to offer a compromise: necessary precautions, and handfasting for a year and a day, after which Breghan will be free. For a chance to control her own future, Breghan makes a deal with the Devil.

Passion quickly turns to love, but Arran still has no intention of keeping the lass, or making her a mother. He loves her too much to lose her. But when a treasonous plot threatens queen and country, Breghan has to prove only she is woman enough to stand by his side.




*Giveaway sponsored by the author

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