Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Guardian's Witch by Ruth A. Casie: Character Interview and Excerpt


The Guardian’s Witch

Interview with Lord Alex Stelton and his wife Lady Lisbeth

Today’s quests are Lord Alex Stelton, the exceptional knight who put his life on the line for the woman he loves. Also here is his extraordinary wife, Lady Lisbeth. She too risked it all to save the man she loves.

Alex Stelton is the seventh son of Lord and Lady Stelton. Alex’s father is also a seventh son, an oddity that emerges in the Stelton family from time to time. Lady Lisbeth and her younger sister, Laura survive their parents Lord and Lady Reynolds who were lost to us in a terrible carriage accident and their brother, Richard. Richard died valiantly on the Welsh battlefield.

Thank you both for taking time to talk to us today. The first question I have is for Lord Alex.

Alex: Please, call me Alex.

Interviewer: Certainly. Alex, what was your first impression of Lisbeth?

Alex: I’m embarrassed to tell you.

Lisbeth: He avoided me for weeks.

Alex: (Taking Lisbeth’s hand.) That’s not quite correct. You made it perfectly clear that you wanted no part of me. As a matter of fact I got a very clear impression that you would’ve been quite happy if I had disappeared like the others the king sent to protect you.

Lisbeth: Well, what did you expect? You came marching into Glen Kirk all proud and self-important just like all the others.

Alex: (Raising an eyebrow to his wife.) Did I now?

Lisbeth: (A bit contrite.) Well, maybe not exactly like them. (She pulls her hand away from his and faces him.) How was I to know?

Interviewer: (Cough.) How did this disagreement start?

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me for weeks.

Interviewer: I beg your pardon. What didn’t Alex tell you for weeks? (Looking at Alex the interviewer noticed him squirm, just a bit.)

Lisbeth: He didn’t tell me we were married.

Interviewer: Married? I don’t understand?

Alex: Wait a minute, Love. You didn’t exactly make it easy.

Lisbeth: Love— (She shot Alex a glance that could turn him into a pillar of salt.)

Alex: (Alex faced the interviewer) I won a bet with King James. If I held Lisbeth’s Glen Kirk Castle safe for one year it would be mine. Having an estate of my own has been a goal of mine for some time.

Lisbeth: (Foot tapping.)

Alex: (Rakes his hand through his hair.) After meeting my part of the bargain, I went to London to collect my winnings and ended proxy wed to Lady Lisbeth by order of the king.

Interviewer: He what? And you didn’t tell her for weeks?

Lisbeth: (Folding her arms in front of her glaring at Alex.) Exactly.

Interviewer: Perhaps we should move on. Lisbeth, I understand you come from a long line of healers and that you are quite gifted. My sources tell me you’ve used that gift to save Alex more than once.

Lisbeth: (A humbled look crosses her face.) Yes, I work hard to keep the people I love safe.

Interviewer: (Shows Lisbeth a charm.) I understand you place these charms in the trees around Glen Kirk.

Alex: (Takes the charms from the interviewer.) My wife has a notion that the pretty bits shine and distract. (He gave the interviewer a cold stare.)

Interviewer: I understand there are rumors that your wife… uses incantations—

Alex: (Stands dragging Lisbeth with him.) This interview is over.

Interviewer: (Obviously upset.) I’m sorry m’lord. I meant no disrespect to your wife or you. But sir, your wife’s special talents are common knowledge far and wide. It is to be honored sir, not reviled as some may think.

Alex: I clearly told your man that those questions were not to be asked.

Interviewer: Alex, this woman was ready to risk everything for you. She was in the midst of conjuring up the true criminal responsible for treason, using her magic in front of the king and his court, all to protect you. Surely you know what a grave risk she was taking.

Alex: Don’t you think I know that. I cringe each time I think of how close she came to being judged a witch and the consequences that would have been metered out.

Lisbeth: Alex, come sit down. No harm was meant, surely you know that. (She pats his arm.)  

Alex: (Regaining his composure.) I will not dwell on it, Lisbeth. I will protect you always.

Lisbeth: Yes, Alex. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But all here know who and what I am. There is no longer a need to hide that I am a witch.

Interviewer: We have a little more time. Alex, I understand that your wife is very talented. Her dreams of the future appear to come true.

Alex: (He looks at his wife and does all he can to contain his smile.) My wife has many talents. Her dreams are exceptional.

Lisbeth: Shhh Alex.(She leans close to him.) No one else will understand.

Alex: (Totally forgetting the interviewer for the moment.) You call me into your dreams and we… Faith, (A smoldering look passes between them and he rakes his hand through his hair.) I want to spend the rest of my life…

Interviewer: Well, I think I have enough for my story. Thank you both very much. I will tell my readers to read more about you in The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie available from Carina Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble July 1. (Pulling on his shirt collar.) Is it warm in here?

The Guardian’s Witch
Ruth A. Casie

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication: July 1, 2013

ISBN: 978142689577

ASIN: B00CC68G88

Number of pages: 360 pages

Word Count: 71,000

Cover Artist: Angela Waters - Millennium Promotions, Inc

Book Description:

England, 1290

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his own vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.


Excerpt- Chapter One
Northumberland, England, 1290 
“You won the wager with His Majesty,” said Lord Bryce Mitchell astride his Arabian. He cantered down the forest trail with Alex Stelton, the newly minted Lord of Glen Kirk Castle.
“The entire court placed odds on whether I would succeed.” The two men slowed their horses to a walk. Alex glanced at Bryce. “Did you lose much?” He refocused his attention on the trail ahead. “You should have put your coin on me. I only wager when I’m certain of the results.”
“After one year of holding the old stones against the Scots, he actually gifted the castle and his ward to you.” Bryce shook his head.
The ring of surprise in Bryce’s voice and evident disbelief on his face amused Alex. “His Majesty is a man of his word. Did you have any doubt?” asked Alex, his head cocked to the side with one eyebrow raised. His face split into a wide grin.
“About the king being a man of his word or of you holding off the Scots?” Bryce colored his smooth retort with a smirk.
The two friends looked at each other, exploded into laughter, and continued on until they reached the crossroads where they brought their horses to a halt. The tower of Glen Kirk Castle, bathed in the setting sun, peeked through the trees still some three miles to the north. Alex surveyed his new holding. His chest swelled with pride. Mine.
“Though Edward did make you pay.”
Alex was peeved by Bryce’s patronizing tone. He masked his emotions until they were as unreadable as stone.
“Yes, you could say that.” Alex tried his best dismissive tone. Best he forget the king’s retribution for now. There would be time enough to deal with it later.
“Could? Surely you knew if he lost the wager he would find some way to make you pay. He doesn’t lose gracefully at anything, but to actually marry you to his ward by proxy. I can still see the apoplectic look on your face.”
“Yes, Bryce— what about the look on my face?” demanded Alex. His voice sounded strident even to him.
Bryce turned all shades of purple trying to conceal his mirth but he said not one word more. Instead he diverted his attention and polished the gold clasp, embossed with the Mitchell coat of arms, on his cloak.
Alex bristled at being the center of anyone’s jest. He didn’t take it well from his brothers, although the six of them only teased to vex him. Even though he was the youngest, his brothers deferred to him. They knew his worth and, it appeared, so did the king.
His teeth clenched at the thought of his proxy wedding and his humiliation. He knew he had to take a wife. He had to make his own way in the world. The Stelton holdings were extensive but not enough to provide him with an income. He’d have done anything to prove himself worthy of a holding of his own. Maybe even marry. Perhaps even Lisbeth. He never thought he would marry on the whim of the king. He had tried to argue, but there was no arguing with Edward. Faith, the king all but patted him on his head and sent him off like a new page. A page. He raked his hand through his hair.
With a nod of his head, Bryce motioned toward Glen Kirk in the distance. “Marrying Lisbeth does secure your claim to Glen Kirk.”
Lisbeth. He had lived at Glen Kirk for a year and hardly saw her. The only way he knew she was near was the little charms she left or the serenity that surrounded them. She kept herself in the forsaken hunting lodge and managed to elude him at almost every turn.
On odd twinge of disappointment hung round him. She hadn’t been like that years ago when they encountered each other at court. She had laughed and didn’t have a care in the world. Four years later he wouldn’t have known it was her if she hadn’t presented herself at the castle. The impish girl had grown into a poised beauty. Dark hair fell in long waves down her back. Her slender body was punctuated with soft curves that couldn’t remain hidden by the black mourning gown. Large green eyes stared at him from under a fan of long dark lashes. Even with her dour expression her full lips tempted him. He moved uncomfortably in his saddle. How things change. How people change.
“You do know you’re the envy of everyone. Not because the king gave you Wesley’s treasured Glen Kirk or daughter.” Bryce turned serious. “You inherited Wesley’s brewer and ale recipe. That should give you some compensation. I understand it’s a long-held family secret. Wesley was all about family.”
Family. He let his mind wonder. It landed on memories of his early days at court with his parents and siblings. He enjoyed the candor and tumult around the table in their assigned apartment. How he would appreciate that safety and security today in the midst of a court filled with politics and intrigue.
“I intend to leverage our close friendship,” said Bryce, “I’ll sample each batch and make certain it retains its high standards.”
Alex grinned at his friend’s declaration. Lord Wesley and Lady Darla Reynolds had been close friends of his parents. They didn’t bring their daughters to court often but Richard, their son, was always with them and became close to the tight-knit band of Stelton boys. Richard’s death on the Welsh battlefields had been a shock to them all. He and Wesley had spent a good deal of time together consoling each other over a good many tankards of ale.
It was only a short time after Alex left for the Welsh Wars himself that he heard of Wesley and Darla’s fatal accident. He felt their loss deeply. Now in a twist of fate their beloved Glen Kirk and daughter were his.
“Have you sent word to her?” Bryce’s question hung heavy in the air.
Alex broke away from his musings. “No, I will tell her when the time comes.”
About the Author:
Ruth A. Casie is a seasoned professional with over twenty-five years of writing experience but not necessarily writing romances.  No, she’s been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation.  Over the past years, encouraged by her friends and family, she gave way to her inner muse, let her creative juices flow, and began writing a series of historical fantasies. She lives in Teaneck, New Jersey, with her husband. They have three grown children and two grand-children.
Discover strong men and empowered women as they face unexpected challenges. Watch their stories unfold as they encounter magic, danger, and passion. Join them as they race across the pages to places where love and time know no bounds. Ruth hopes they become your favorite adventures.
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emmakayebooks said...

Oh, my! It is hot in here. Loved the interview. So sweet how Alex wants to protect Lisbeth.

Can't wait for July 1st! I've preordered my copy.


Ruth A Casie said...


I'm so glad you liked it. I can't wait to read your Time for Love.

~ Ruth

Darcía Helle said...

Fantastic interview! I got a great sense of the characters. Definitely enticed me to read the book.

Ruth A Casie said...

@Darcia Helle

It was fun to write. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

opalbaker said...

Wow,you are good!!WOW.


I can't wait to read the rest of the book, hot !