Knights & Squires
Hi, I’m Elin. Many thanks to The Novel Approach for allowing me to post here today in celebration of my new release. A Taste of Copper is a historicalish story with a medievalish setting.
The story concerns the troubled relationship between a loyal squire and his master, a grumpy and unappreciative knight, and was inspired by the Black Knight scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
What, I wondered, would it be like to be in the service of someone with that kind of reckless bravery? A man who had promised to guard a bridge and who wouldn’t step aside for anyone. A man who, when faced with a king and his army would shrug and say “I don’t care, you’re still not crossing my bridge.” What would it be like to love a man like that, against all hope or reason?
Medieval knights were like a combination of a modern Formula 1 driver and a champion heavy weight boxer or Premier League footballer. Most were well born, but usually second or third sons who would have to earn their own living. They started their training in the knightly art at a very young age – 7 or 8 – being accustomed to arms and armour and the care of horses. They would often be sent away from home to work in another noble household as a page, carrying messages, serving at table and generally making themselves useful when they weren’t training. If they showed promise they would be allocated to a knight to be one of his team of squires and the knight would act as a mentor.
In the medieval period everyone owed service – fealty – to someone higher up the social ladder. Only a rich lord could afford to equip a knight with armour, the dozen horses he would need to function successfully and the squires, servants and grooms to look after him. This meant that the knight could be called upon to display his prowess on the tourney ground or risk his life in battle at his lord’s command.
Is there any promise that you have kept that you wish you’d never made?
Your master has the field for today, but his name, whatever it might be, is without honour.
Olivier the squire worships the Black Knight and takes a fierce joy in his prowess as he defends a bridge against all comers. Olivier only wishes that his master loved him as much in return instead of treating him as a servant and occasional plaything.
Then word comes that the King desires to cross the bridge. With an army approaching, a bright eyed archer enticing him to desert and the first cracks beginning to show in the Black Knight’s gruff demeanour, Olivier is left wondering if his honour is worth more than a chance for happiness.
Excerpt: Maheris glanced down Olivier’s body, studying his state of arousal and his lips tightened. “See to your needs, then get on with your work,” Maheris said with a peremptory flick of his hand.
“Yes, sir,” Olivier whispered. Aching, he stumbled outside and turned his face up to the sky, letting the icy wind cool his flushed cheeks. Brows knotted, fists clenched, he willed away his frustration and disappointment. To want what he most ardently desired from Maheris was a sin, a black sin. He could tell himself that as much as he liked, but his heart told him otherwise. But he wouldn’t waste his time playing with himself—such childish activities did not befit a man. Hard work would take his mind off his aching cods.
Connect with Elin: Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman fort! She reckons that’s a pretty cool job. It certainly provides more than enough inspiration for her writing.
“The button from a military jacket found in an orchard, a 16th century Venetian coin found between the cobbles of a Welsh street, a carnelian from a Roman signet ring – one can’t handle them without wondering who lost them, how much they regretted it and what kind of disaster was sparked off by the loss.”
Although Elin usually writes on historical subjects, she has also written contemporary and historical paranormals, science fiction, crime and a Western, none of which have, as yet, been published. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow.
The Giveaway: A $15 Gift Card for All Romance eBooks or Amazon