RT Reviewer’s Choice Awards

Absolutely amazing! TAMING A WILD SCOT has been nominated for a RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award for First Historical Romance. It’s included among some fabulous titles and I am thrilled beyond belief.

Screenshot 2013-11-23 12.02

The winner will be announced at the RT convention in New Orleans in April. Alas, I won’t be there in person, but I sincerely wish all the nominees the best of luck.

You can see all the categories and nominees here.

Pre-Release Giveaway

TAMING A WILD SCOT hits the store shelves in two weeks!

If you love your heroes big, brawny and excellent with a sword, then I have just the ticket for you. Every Tuesday and Thursday from here to November 5th–my release day–I’m going to give away one copy of TAMING A WILD SCOT and one copy of another wonderful Scottish historical romance novel. That’s two books for one lucky winner and five chances to win!

The giveaways will take place on my Facebook author page. To enter the draw, all you need to do is hop over to my author page, Like it (if you haven’t already), and comment on that day’s giveaway post. On Wednesday/Friday mornings, I’ll draw a random name from the list of commenters and post the winner

Today, I’m giving away a copy of TAMING A WILD SCOT and a copy of THE CHIEF by Monica McCarty–the fabulous first novel in The Highland Guard series. So don’t miss out! Head on over and enter.

Pre-release giveaway 1 McCarty

More Reviewer Feedback

This week my publicist sent me a copy of the review of TAMING A WILD SCOT from Publishers Weekly. It very nearly brought me to tears. In a good way, lol. It seems a little unreal to get praise like this for my writing. I’m realistic enough to know not everyone will like my book–but in the meantime, I’m celebrating!

“Keats’s strong debut highlights the dangers of 1285 Scotland…Lyrical writing, well-researched but not overbearing historical detail, and a strong cast of characters will keep the reader engaged.”

You can read the whole review here: Details and Permalink

4 1/2 Stars from RT Book Reviews

Whew! The first big review is out of the way, and I’m thrilled to say TAMING A WILD SCOT got an awesome commentary from RT Book Reviews. The review will be published in their November edition, and here’s a bit of what reviewer Kathe Robin had to say:

She seamlessly weaves an unusual romance with the intrigues and power plays associated with the era, greatly enhancing the story’s emotional power.

:-)

So Excited!

It’s always a bit nerve wracking when your publisher starts sending your book out to other authors and reviewers for feedback. Even when you love your characters and can’t wait to share their adventures with readers, you bite your nails in anticipation of the first comments. I’m thrilled to say that one of my favorite Scottish historical authors, Monica McCarty, has responded with some lovely words about TAMING A WILD SCOT:

“Get ready for a rich, exciting new voice in Scottish historical romance! Rowan Keats captures all the passion and heart of the Highlands as she expertly weaves a wonderful tale of passion, intrigue, and love that you won’t want to put down. I’m already looking forward to the next book in what is sure to be a must-read series.”

The release of TAMING A WILD SCOT is only two months away now! Amazing.

ARC Giveaway

Do you enjoy reading books before they hit the store shelves? Do you love hot Highlander warriors? Then hop over to my Facebook page, where I’m giving away a pre-release copy of TAMING A WILD SCOT. If you comment on my FB posts between today and 6am EST August 1, 2013 you’ll be entered in the draw. Good luck!

***UPDATE: The winner of the ARC draw was Rhonda Kirby. Congratulations, Rhonda!!***

The Politics of Medieval Marriage

Thanks to Walt Disney and the many fairytale versions of life in a castle, many of us played princess or prince as children. Life in a castle was painted in a such a romantic and glamorous fashion that it held an irresistible lure. But real life princesses didn’t enjoy the life many of us imagine.

Yes, they had luxuries the common folk could not even dream of—fine clothes and jewels and sumptuous meals accompanied by imported wine—but they had very little freedom. Privacy was almost unheard of—they shared a bedroom with others, including their personal servants, and rarely went anywhere without those same servants in tow. And when it came to marriage, the notion of wedding the person you loved was a far-fetched dream. Marriages were the underpinnings of great alliances. Most princesses were married to whomever the king needed as an ally or to whomever he owed a heavy debt of gratitude.

The hit TV series Game of Thrones has made much of the importance of political marriage this season. Since the show takes place in a fantasy version of a medieval world, I thought this commentary was very  apropos:

In the world of 13th century Scotland, arranged marriages were very much the norm, especially for princesses. Most notable in the later part of the century was the marriage of Princess Margaret, the daughter of King Alexander III. Scotland had long endured conflict with the Vikings, and although King Alexander defeated the Norse at Largs in 1263, keeping peace with them was an important part of ensuring his country prospered. To that end, in 1281, at the age of 20, his daughter Margaret was shipped off to wed the 13 year old king of Norway, Eric II.

It was hardly the marriage of romance novels. Their age difference would have made it difficult to bond, and Margaret would have known little if any Norwegian. Imagine yourself married to a boy much younger than you, in a strange country where you cannot speak the language. And lest you think the marriage was platonic, Margaret gave birth less than two years later to a baby girl who became the Queen of Scotland upon King Alexander’s death in 1286. Sadly, Margaret died giving birth to that child, at the tender age of 22.

Times have certainly changed. In England, royal marriages are less about political maneuvering and more about love—as witnessed by the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Marriage Cambridge

My own parents married for love, so I prefer to write my medieval stories with less grim reality and more romance than the life led by real nobles in medieval times. Not entirely accurate perhaps, but definitely a sweeter read.