Monday, November 10, 2014

Thankful Author- Barbara Bettis

November 10, 2014
Featuring  Barbara Bettis

What I'm thankful for

What a great topic for a promo, and what could be more fitting?
I am thankful for my family, friends, and for the chance to tell my stories in whatever way I like. Sounds like a generic thankfulness, perhaps, but each is sincere. I am blessed, indeed. 

Welcome Barbara, tell me three words that describe yourself starting with A, B, and C.

A. Adventurous-At least in theory. I’d be happy to travel the world on my own, for instance. I’d have been on a wagon train west; I’d have ventured into places no one else had tried. With a caveat: No place ‘high’ and no mountain climbing. I have a long-standing fear of heights. So I suppose that label needs to have a big asterisk beside it J

B. Bashful-I’ve never gotten over being shy! Guess by now I never will!

C. Cheerful-Up to a point. I don’t go around with a grin pasted on my face from morn to night, but I do like to look at the positive side of most issues, and I think people should be able to laugh at themselves.

What are your three favorite things?

A. Grandchildren (and children, too, of course J) I have three teenage granddaughters, all within six months of the same age—now turning 15. Another granddaughter is 18. My youngest, a grandson, is 11. He recently went through a growth spurt, so I have no one left who wants to sit on my lap. So sad. Oh, and two ‘grown up’ grandsons. I love having them all together on holidays!

B. Friends. Without their support, encouragement, feedback, and most of all, shared laughter, writing would be nearly impossible.

C. Writing/reading (I fudged on getting these both in. J)

What for you is the best part of writing?

Typing ‘The End.’ Just kidding J. I love the process of discovery—plot, characters, development. Getting wrapped up in the story and characters, watching them come alive and find their happy ending.

What is the worst?

Getting stuck, when the story and action suddenly get stalled and no revelations come. Then I get up and walk around. Or jump in the car and drive. Plot issues have a way of becoming clear when I drive, oddly.     

Was there any particular inspiration for your characters or story?

I’ve always favored heroes on the ‘outside.’ Doing research on Richard I, I became fascinated by one of his right hand men, a mercenary named Mercadier. He seemed to demonstrate a great deal of loyalty and military aptitude for a knight in a profession supposedly populated with cruel, unfeeling, dishonorable fighters. And many undoubtedly were! (Mercadier, himself, may have been.) However, my heroes are mercenaries of honor and loyalty who have sold their swords for a good reason. Sir Stephen faced a tragedy as a young knight that gave him cause to stay away from home and form his band of knights seeking to overcome their own challenges. So far all of my heroes have, at some point, been mercenaries, looking for a home. Which they find, of course, in the heroine!

Will there be more books in your series, or can you tell us about any previous books?

I’m working on a novella that is Sir Henry and Lady Katherine’s story. He, however, has never been a mercenary. J Henry is Evelynn’s brother and was a character in my first book SILVERHAWK. That medieval romance featured a mercenary, Sir Giles, who was out to track down and kill his father, who left his mother before Giles was born. When he finds the old lord, his plan for revenge goes awry. Giles kidnaps the man’s young, new betrothed, Lady Emelin, then has to track down a traitor to the crown while he keeps Emelin from escaping. Of course they fall in love, Giles gives up his obsession with vengeance, and the traitor’s plan to start a war is foiled.
THE HEART OF THE PHOENIX features a group of dispossessed knights who have banded together as  The Brotherhood of the Phoenix to uncover a troop of renegade mercenaries responsible for robberies and murders. There may very well be books features various members of that group the Brotherhood.


Some call him a ruthless mercenary; she calls him the knight of her heart.

Lady Evelynn’s childhood hero is home—bitter, hard, tempting as sin. And haunted by secrets. A now-grown Evie offers friendship, but Sir Stephen's cruel rejection crushes her, and she resolves to forget him. Yet when an unexpected war throws them together, she finds love isn’t so easy to dismiss. If only the king hadn’t betrothed her to another.
Can be cruel 
Sir Stephen lives a double life while he seeks the treacherous outlaws who murdered his friends. Driven by revenge, he thinks his heart is closed to love. His childhood shadow, Lady Evie, unexpectedly challenges that belief. He rebuffs her, but he can’t forget her, although he knows she’s to wed the king’s favorite.
 And deadly
When his drive for vengeance leads to Evie’s kidnapping, Stephen must choose between retribution and the love he’s denied too long. Surely King John will see reason.Convict the murderers; convince the king. Simple. Until a startling revelation threatens everything.


Evie could tell Stephen was angry now by the way he glowered and roared in that whispery sort of way no one else could hear, but left her with no doubt of his displeasure.
“Your betrothed.” He bent and scooped her off the floor.
“What? What about him?”
“That’s the identity of the illustrious lord who’s sharing passage with us.”
“You’re drunk. And put me down. I’m perfectly capable of getting up on my own.”
“Be quiet. You have blood on your leg.”
“Of course I do. I tripped and fell trying to answer your pounding when you could easily have opened—” His words finally penetrated her throbbing head. “I’m bleeding?”
Oh, blast. The contents of her—empty—stomach churned. She attended the villagers’ hurts, bound the cuts and scrapes of servants and their children. The sight of their blood bothered her not a whit. But her own? Black spots danced at the corners of her vision, becoming larger and larger until she heard Stephen’s voice.
“Evie, Evie. What the hell?”
His voice echoed so far away. If she didn’t know better, she’d vow he sounded alarmed. Perhaps she’d close her eyes for a moment. As the ringing in her ears crescendoed, she recalled his words. Betrothed.
Her betrothed was on board?
Dear Lord, just let me die.


A former health insurance claims adjuster, a former journalist, a former journalism teacher, Barbara Bettis plans never to be a “former” author. Currently, she supports her writing habit as an adjunct English instructor at a community college near her home in Missouri.

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  1. Great interview! My vote is in for future books about Stephen's fellow knights. Macsen first, please!

  2. Used to live in KC. Also England which gets me sentimental to read your excerpts.

    1. Oh, I'd love to exchange information with you on England (and KC ;) Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Hi Barb,
    I'm also bashful / shy. I find doing the promotional side of writing to be the hardest part because it's difficult for me to put myself out there.
    I'm looking forward to reading "The Heart of the Phoenix."

    1. Thank you, Katherine. I'm the same way on promo. If you find a solution to our problem, let me know, please :) Hope you love Stephen and Evie's story.

  4. Oh, I loved this interview, blurb, and excerpt! So looking forward to reading this book!

    1. Thanks, Red! Writing about oneself in tough, isn't it ? I appreciate your being here!

  5. Barbara,
    Great post as always. I love where you say driving helps you figure out what to do when your story is stalled. That's exactly one of the things I do. I don't know how safe it is to veg out in La La Land when I'm behind 4,000 pounds of steel, but it works.

  6. Loved the interview and so happy that there will be more books, Barbara!