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Guest Post and Giveaway: Secrets of Sherwood by Laura Strickland, Author of Champion of Sherwood

Friday, March 07, 2014

Today, I'm featuring a guest post from author Laura Strickland. In the following, also find a promo on Champion of Sherwood, book 2 of The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy, the author bio and links.

I hosted a promo on book 1, Daughter of Sherwood, a while back. If you're interested, you can check it out HERE.

Laura Strickland will be awarding a $25 Gift Certificate to The Wild Rose Press to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Secrets of Sherwood

There are places that, I believe, loom large in the collective, historical memory: Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, the library at Alexandria, Machu Picchu, Holy Tibet, Easter Island, and Stonehenge, to name but a few.  Speak one of these names, and your listener has an immediate sense of identification, wonder, and mystery.  Myth and legends abound in such places, endemic as the beginning of time. Our ancestors knew of them, and we will never forget.

Such locations often hide secrets, which is part of what makes them so endlessly fascinating. Who can’t imagine finding an as-yet-undiscovered tomb full of treasures at Giza, or a buried relic at Stonehenge that explains the builders’ intentions?  Were those stones truly raised by Merlin, as many insist?  Was magic involved?

When I began writing my Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy, I realized Sherwood Forest surely qualified as one of these special places full of legend and invested with romance.  I knew I wanted the Sherwood I presented to be a magical world containing the spirits of those who had lived, fought and loved there – including Robin Hood, himself. The first book of the Trilogy, Daughter of Sherwood, introduced Wren – raised never knowing she was Robin’s daughter – to the deep sentient magic of the place, and she claimed it for her own.

But when it came time to begin work on book two, Champion of Sherwood, I wondered just how far I could extend the magic. What if I introduced a character not of Robin’s blood or related to any of his men – would he, too, be able to sense the enchantment that dwelt in the greenwood? And so was created Gareth de Vavasour, a young knight newly proven, nephew to the Sheriff of Nottingham, and born enemy to the outlaws who carried the fight against Norman tyranny. 

One of the secrets of my Sherwood is that what’s loved can never be lost. It is love that nurtures, grows and fortifies the magic that dwells there, and it’s by love that it endures.  When Gareth comes to Sherwood and gives his heart to Robin’s granddaughter, Linnet, love becomes his strength. When he’s asked to give his life for her also, he doesn’t hesitate.  What true champion would?

I hope you’ll decide to take a walk with Gareth in Sherwood and discover a place that may long live on in your memory. I assure you, enchantment still lingers there!

Champion of Sherwood
(The Guardians of Sherwood Trilogy #2)
Laura Strickland

When Gareth de Vavasour, nephew of the Sheriff of Nottingham, is captured by the outlaws of Sherwood Forest and held for ransom, he knows he will be fortunate to escape with his life. Amid the magic and danger that surround him, he soon realizes his true peril lies in the beautiful dark eyes of Linnet, the Saxon healer sent to tend his wounds.

Granddaughter of Robin Hood, Linnet has always known she is destined to become a guardian of Sherwood Forest, along with her sister and a close childhood companion. She believes her life well settled until the arrival of Gareth. Then all her loyalties are tested even as her heart is forced to choose between love and the ties of duty, while Sherwood declares its own champion.


An Excerpt from Champion of Sherwood:

“Kiss me.”

The demand curled through Linnet’s mind and senses, soft and persuasive as a sigh. It called to something inside her and caused her to part her lips receptively.

Supple, long-fingered hands captured her face. A mouth descended on hers and all life narrowed to one sensation: the heat and delight of it, the flooding need and the answered yearning. His weight came down on her body and with it more heat. She felt her spirit expand and then open to accept him and take him in.

She wound her arms about his neck in order to draw him closer. Her fingertips found delight in the smooth muscle of his shoulders and the softness of his hair. He tasted like warm, summer mead, and her flesh leaped for him. She could feel every part of his body now, vital and strong.

“Linnet, wake up.”

Her eyes flew open but the dream did not fade. She was used to waking all of a piece with no confusion, but now the vision lingered and clung to her, made unreality of the morning light that drifted down through green leaves, and her sister’s face that hovered above her.

Oh, by all that was holy, it had been nothing but a dream. Lark scowled at her. “What is amiss with you? You never sleep so long. We are nearly ready to leave. Pa says tend the swine before we get to moving.”

“Must you call him that?” Long-fingered hands, lithe strength... The heady taste of him still lingered on Linnet’s lips. Why would she dream thus of a virtual stranger? She so rarely dreamt at all.

About the Author:

Born and raised in Western New York, Laura Strickland has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Though her imagination frequently takes her to far off places, she is usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. Currently she is at work on the third book of the Guardians of Sherwood series.

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(Note: I received the above promo+giveaway info from Goddess Fish Promotions. ~Punya)


Laura Strickland said...

Thank you so much for inviting me here today! It's a real pleasure!

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Elise-Maria Barton said...

I loved the guest post today; I have always thought that certain places contained the magic of their history just on the periphery. This is why I love haunting old churches, cathedrals and castles; it's like I can hear the voices of the past speak to me. Thanks for sharing.


Laura Strickland said...

Elisa-Maria, I agree with you completely -- there are whispers of the past that linger in locations such as castles and old houses, and especially places of worship, I think. Thanks so much for following my tour!

Punya said...

@Goddess Fish, you're welcome. x

Glad to be hosting you again Ms. Strickland. :)

Punya said...

Elise-Maria, thanks for stopping by. :)

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