Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie‏

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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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.

1. How did you come up with the idea for The Guardian’s Witch?

I was reading an article about overcoming your greatest fears when those you love are in jeopardy. The premise resonated with me and I was soon plotting the story.

2. How long did it take you to write The Guardian’s Witch?
It took me about five months from start to copy edits.

3. How much research did you conduct for The Guardian’s Witch and what was the most interesting thing you did while conducting your research?
It seems that at every scene there was something to research. I found myself researching how long it would take on horseback from London to the Scottish border and then I never used the information. I also researched witchcraft and second site.

I also researched King James and his interaction with the Scottish lords when the Scottish throne was left empty. It became a pivotal point in my story.

4. Why did you decide to write historical fantasy?
I’ve always been drawn to the past. I find it intriguing, enlightening, and oh so romantic. The brutality of the ancients’ raiding villages to capture wives, the sub servant treatment of women, and the custom of arranged marriages for property, monetary and political alliances are all historically noted. Put that against the code of chivalry and you get a great conflict.

Today’s courting rituals are rooted in medieval chivalry and it was the medieval area that saw the rise of romance in literature and stage productions. Even people who lived in the Middle Ages had their fantasies. I choose to build my stories on their interpretations.

5. Have you had any "ah ha" moments as a writer?
When I started to review my writing and could see the POV changes. I let out a loud whoop that brought my husband running. Head hopping? I can see it! He had no idea what I was talking about. He just shook his head and went back to his office.

The point is I got it. Once I really understood POV I found it a challenge to figure out ways to make the point of view work and I enjoyed writing more.

I also found that I can’t worry about POV when I write the first draft. I needed to get the story all down first. Once it’s written I go over the story for plot and pacing. Then I read it for POV. I love it when a plan comes together!

6. Why did you decide to become an author?
I have always enjoyed telling stories, but I kept them in my head. I would read a story and fantasize about a follow up. But I never thought to write it down or become an author.

A friend of mine told me she was writing a book and I offered to help, edit, be a beta reader, anything. We decided to write a romance series based on the story in her head and the one in mine. We sat down and helped each other outline our stories, talked about the characters, and had a great time being creative. She was training for the New York marathon and doing the college tour thing with her daughter. She just didn’t have time to write. I went on to finish my story.

Once I found that creative outlet I couldn’t stop.

7. If you weren't writing, what would you be doing?
I’d still be making up stories. I don’t think that will ever go away. But if I wasn’t writing I’d have to find another creative outlet. There are all kinds of crafty things I like to do. My favorites are counted cross stitch and scrapbooking. I’d like to learn more about stamping and maybe even quilling.

I also enjoy traveling. I’ve been very fortunate in my day job. I was a product manager for a large financial institution and went around the world doing training seminars and assisting sales on sales calls. There are several places I’d like to go back and visit.

8. How does your family feel about your career as a romance writer?
They’ve always known me to be an avid reader. I think they were surprised that I was writing a novel and even more so when I told them it was a romance. However, I hear them talking about my book to their friends and proudly introduce me as a published author.

When I came back from vacation and bumped into some of their friends in our town, they congratulated me on the audio book. My kids had tweeted their peeps!

9. What books can we expect to see in the near future?
I hope to turn The Guardian’s Witch into a series. Alex is the seventh son of the seventh son. His brothers are dying to tell their story. Each of the brothers is cursed with one of the deadly sins. They must overcome their sin in order to break the family curse. Alex’ sin is pride.

There is also a sequel to Knight of Runes. The working title is Knight of Rapture. Our villain is still at large and must be handled for once and for all. He forces Arik’s hand by tricking Rebeka to return the 21st century. Only Arik can save her but she has no memory of him or their time together. Can he make her fall in love with him again? Will she fight by his side to defeat Bran? Will she return with him to the 17th century?

10. What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story?
I want my readers to read lush sensitive tales about women awakening into their power and the men who deserve them.

11. What was the defining moment that you considered yourself an author?
When I signed my first contract. That’s when it all became very real for me.

12. What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done?
I took belly dancing classes to find my inner goddess. We were a giggling gaggle of women but once we got on the dance floor we were in a different world. It freed the spirit and let you soar.

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