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Monday, February 13, 2012

Milady? Yes, but our Lady, too!

Think medieval times when honorable men must do what is required of them. Thomas Lancaster, a widower with bad memories of marriage and a young son he barely knows, is a hardened knight loyal to his king. In reward for his efforts fighting in the Crusades, King Edward gives him Middlemound Castle to hold for the crown. But he must marry the beautiful young widow of the castle's previous lord.

Lady Gloriana Stewart suffered brutally in her first marriage and has no desire to marry again. She has no choice and must protect her people and obey her king. All she wants is for her new husband to give her a baby. Thomas refuses to even consider it. Complicating the situation is Sir Rowan Montgomery, Thomas's first knight, friend, and lover. Complicating the problem even more, Gloriana has feelings for both her new husband and for Rowan.

Thomas stood next to River Ure while his horse lapped water beside him. He looked out over the valley leading to Middlemound Castle. A faint breeze swept over him carrying the scents of sweet clover from the patches bursting with flowers nearby. Along with it, he drew in the heavy smells of sweat. His own and that of Rowan, who stood quietly a few feet away. He imagined all of his men—including his new men—smelled equally as unpleasant after these last long days of travelling.

“I suppose we should all bathe in the river before we head toward Middlemound.” He said the words without hazarding a look at his first knight. He dared not think about the roughly handsome man being naked anywhere near him as long as his other men were nearby. Even the mere thought of Rowan in all his hard-muscled glory, naked, had Thomas’s cock showing interest.

Understanding the problem, Rowan said, “Aye, I’m sure everyone there would appreciate not smelling the stink of our many days on the road.” He turned to head back to where they’d camped last night. “I’ll pass the word.” He hesitated before walking away. “I’ll go into the river farther upstream.”

As he heard his friend move off, Thomas felt the strain of arousal slip away as well. He and Rowan had discovered an appreciation for one another quite by accident almost half a year back. An appreciation that had quickly led to some of the hottest sex he could ever remember experiencing. At first Thomas had been shocked, not sickened or appalled, just surprised. He’d always loved being with women, quite lusted after them actually. He had a hearty appetite for sex and he’d never had any complaints from his more-than-willing bed partners. Yet he’d never been drawn toward a man before that time with Rowan. He still wasn’t drawn toward other men. Only Rowan fired up his need to make love to a man.

Any kind of romantic relationship can be tricky. Creating a story that combines two people with unique personalities, histories, preferences, and different views on life is complicated. Adding a third person to the mix makes it even more complicated. Then adding to that the historical elements from another time period and it can be a writer’s nightmare…or great pleasure. I very much enjoyed dealing with all of this while writing Their Lady Gloriana.

In writing a ménage a trois story, the author must carefully weave together the facets of interaction of three complex characters. The reader must be convinced to care about each of the characters and that each of the characters, in turn, cares about one another.

The following are excerpts showing how I set up each of the three main characters’ backgrounds, their mindset prior to the forming of the ménage relationship.

(Lady Gloriana’s life changing moment)
“Lord Middlemound will not be returning, my lady. He died over a month ago in the battles.” Relief filled her instead of sadness. But that was wrong. She would beg forgiveness for such an awful sin in her prayers later. Gerald caught her attention once more and said with clear unhappiness, “King Edward has decreed that you will marry Lord Montrose upon his arrival at Middlemound. He is travelling here with his men and with Lord Middlemound’s men.”

(Thomas, Lord Montrose’s life changing moment)
It still surprised him that Edward had commanded he marry Geoffrey Stewart’s widow. He’d met Stewart on more than one occasion at court and disliked him. He’d distrusted the man even more on the battlefields in Tunis. His death did not bother Thomas at all. But being ordered to wed the man’s young widow did. … He and Lady Middlemound need only be agreeable in bed together to please him. He would not seek out relief from maids or find a mistress. … Although he’d tried to convince his first to take over Montrose castle from him, Rowan refused. He’d also refused to accept a holding of his own offered to him by Edward. Rowan wanted only to become Thomas’s first in command at Middlemound. He didn’t want to leave Thomas. While Thomas was certain there could be problems ahead, he was grateful for the man’s loyalty both as a soldier and as a lover. For if Gloriana Stewart couldn’t fully satisfy his hungers in bed, at least Rowan could.

(Rowan, Sir Rowan’s life changing moment)
He wasn’t sure what he wanted, other than to stay here for a while. He’d been on his own longer than Thomas. As the bastard son of the Duke of Remington, he’d been a thorn in the powerful duke’s side. He’d been acknowledged but never accepted by the duke’s wife or his family with her. So he’d left where he’d been fostered at eight by his father and found another castle and lord to take him on. The lord had been hard on him, but he’d learned much and had become the seasoned warrior he was because of him. He’d drifted around from battle to battle, from castle to castle. He’d been a favored warrior by Edward for several years and more so after he and Thomas had joined together, fighting side by side. Being with Thomas was as close to settling down as he’d ever come. He wasn’t ready to give up their friendship.

Their Lady Gloriana involved not only the intricate drawing together of these three individuals into a ménage relationship, but also the continuation of a male/male relationship that had developed first. This was not a story only about a woman having sex with two hardened medieval warriors. And it is not a story about the intense sex between the two men. It is a story about three people learning to trust each other, finding peace with one another in a dark and difficult time.

 Starla Kaye


  1. Thanks for having me here again. I look forward to answering any comments.

  2. I would ask a question but I'm getting up to get my credit card! Their Lady Gloriana is right up my alley.

    I like reading the characters' background, too. When you were writing this, did you create their backgrounds, first, in order to develop the characters or did the backgrounds evolve as you were writing?

    Are you planning to write a sequel?

    Tracey D

  3. I've written/published almost 50 novels and novellas to date, with another possible 12 coming out in 2012. Each set of characters is dear to me, but I fell in love with Thomas and especially Rowan and will always love them. There was just something special about these men and the difficult time they lived in.

    When I create characters, I come up with a basic sense of what they look like (I'm very visual and find some kind of pictures), determine what will be their basic personality and come up with a name that fits it (names are very important to me), and some of their background. But a lot of all of that changes as I start writing. I've learned over my years of writing to let the characters tell their story, let them reveal to me what makes them who they are. Many times the story takes a turn I never would have expected when I started it. If I tried to force the storyline or the characters to do things I wanted, the readers would feel it...and I feel it. Not good.

    Yes, I'm planning a sequel, hopefully for this Christmas time: For the Love of Rowan. I already have several chapters done. In some ways this is a much tougher story to write. Rowan's background is pretty heavy and he is my most passionate man in many ways. They story has to be worthy of him. And Thomas and Gloriana will, of course, be a big part of his story.

  4. This story sounds so interesting. I already like Thomas and I'm curious what draws him to Rowan so intensely. Thanks for sharing the excerpt with us.

  5. Thanks for commenting. You'll have to read the story to experience the strength of their attraction, their need for each other.