For five pounds sterling, the injured convict was Cassie’s. But Cole Braden’s wounds healed, and as his muscled chest bronzed from the sun, Cassie realized Cole was far more dangerous than his papers had indicated—for he could steal her breath with a glance, or lay siege to her senses with a touch.
“I expect you to show my friend just how grateful you are. Your willingness is everything.”
With those harsh words, the hated Sassanach earl decided Bríghid's fate: Her body and her virginity were to be offered to a stranger in exchange for her brother’s life. But the handsome man she faced in the darkened bedchamber was not at all the monster she expected.
RIDE THE FIRE
Widowed and alone on the frontier, Elspeth Stewart will do whatever it takes to protect herself and her unborn child from the dangers of the wilderness and of men. So when a stranger wanders onto Bethie’s land, wounded and needing her aid, she takes no risks, tying him to the bed and hiding his weapons before ministering to his injuries.
Click on any of the covers to read more about each novel!
The Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy represents my first three books, and perhaps for that reason is very dear to my heart. Not as closely tied together as the MacKinnon's Rangers Trilogy, the books nevertheless feature generations of a single family. Set in the 1730s to 1760s, the stories span a period of great change in the American Colonies and the American South, from a time when small to middle-sized farms dominated the landscape to the era of land barons and growing plantations. It's also a period when colonists gradually came to see themselves as Americans, distinct from their English cousins, though English all the same.
The English side of my family arrived in Jamestown in 1610—the second wave of ships to come from England - so writing about this region was a lot of fun for me personally. But it was also fascinating when I was able to stretch northward to Fort Pitt for Ride the Fire, which is set during the siege of Fort Pitt during a summer of deadly violence known as Pontiac's Rebellion. Working with actual soldiers' diaries from that siege, I was able to reconstruct much of the day-to-day struggles of life at Fort Pitt for my hero, Nicholas, and heroine, Bethie, to experience.
Those who've read the "author's cut" of Carnal Gift will notice discrepancies between Carnal Gift and Ride the Fire. The version of Carnal Gift that was first published had a hundred pages cut in order to meet the original publisher's maximum page length. The entire Nicholas plotline was removed from that book. In the midst of writing Ride the Fire at the time, I adjusted Ride the Fire accordingly.
When I got the rights back to Carnal Gift, I decided to self-publish the story as I had written it—a much better version of the story, in my opinion. Only when I sat down to work on edits of the manuscript to Ride the Fire for this reissue did I realize that the version of Carnal Gift that is currently available is now out of sync with Ride the Fire. In Carnal Gift, Nicholas is taken captive after the battle at Fort Necessity in 1754 where Jamie Blakewell, the hero from Carnal Gift, is also present. In Ride the Fire, Jamie isn't present, and Nicholas is taken in 1756. In both stories, Nicholas is captured in the same way and suffers the same torment. Only the timeline and the issue of Jamie's presence is different.
I considered revising Ride the Fire to bring it into alignment with Carnal Gift, but when I considered what that would entail, I realized the best thing I could do is to leave the story intact. I believe readers now have the best versions of both novels. And isn't that what readers truly deserve?
And although there are only three books about this family at this point, I do very much want to expand the trilogy by two to a quintogy. Stay tuned...