Welcome to Isolde Martyn, our April Author of the Month!
Isolde is a lady with an absolute passion for history and writing historical fiction is a wonderful way to share her enthusiasm.
Winning both a RITA-award (the romance equivalant of an Oscar) in the USA plus the mainstream ‘Romantic Novel of the Year Award’ in Australia for her debut novel The Maiden and the Unicorn was a tremendous thrill after years when ‘Life’ just got in the way of writing! Being married to a geologist, whose job took him away into the field a great deal, meant that for many years bringing up their two children always came first for her.
Isolde grew up in London and has a History Honours degree from the University of Exeter, UK, with a specialisation in Yorkist England, a lifelong passion. Falling into conversation with a post-graduate at a bus stop in Dorset, she somehow found herself moving to Perth, Western Australia, half a year later. She has since warned young women waiting at that particular bus stop that casual conversations can lead to a change of continents.
Since arriving in Australia, she has worked as a university history tutor, research assistant and archivist. Her other career has been editing and she was a Senior Book Editor with a major international publishing house before writing fiction full-time. She now divides her time between Sydney and the UK, and one of her delights is in being Vice-Chair of the Plantagent Society of Australia, which she co-founded with five other enthusiasts twelve years ago. And, by the way, Bus Stop Day is still an annual celebration!
Isolde’s latest novel, Troubadour, is out this month through Harlequin and all major retailers.
Can an unlikely alliance between a maidservant and a powerful lord save a city from destruction?
Forced to flee the English court after the lecherous King John attacks her, Adela, the queen’s hairbraider, finds employment in the entourage of Lady Alys. Alys is on her way to marry the Lord of Mirascon, a fiefdom in southern France. However, the south is under threat from Pope Innocent III’s military crusade against the heretics.
After trying in vain to rally his fellow lords against invasion, Richart, Vicomte de Mirascon, makes an alliance with King John. A political marriage to the Lady Alys – the king’s discarded mistress – will allow Richart to safeguard his people from a merciless land grab and cruel slaughter.
When the bridal party is ambushed, Adela is mistaken for her dead mistress by the people of Mirascon. Adela knows she must tell Richart that she is not his betrothed, but as she is dragged deeper into the deception, she is also powerfully drawn to the beleaguered man trying to protect his people and his culture. Adela is recognised by the dwarf Derwent, Richart’s English jester, who seems willing to keep her secret for the time being. Yet as suspicion builds up against her, paying with her life seems inevitable.
As the savage army marches south, can Richart and Adela overcome a web of deceit and treachery and evade the bonfires of the crusaders, or will their land of troubadours and tolerance be destroyed forever?
Set in the time of the Crusades, Isolde Martyn’s newest historical adventure has all the battle, action and romance of the Outlander series, plus the political intrigue and danger of a Philippa Gregory novel.