A huge welcome to Sarah Hegger today. Sarah is one of the awesome authors responsible for the Romance Weekly blog I do each week, and she's just released her debut novel, The Bride Gift.
I had a chance to sit down with Sarah this week and ask her about her awesome historical romance. Why not take a look at our conversation!
Welcome Sarah! Can you tell us about “The Bride Gift” in two or three sentences? (I love this question because it forces us to get to the heart of the story.)
The Bride Gift is essentially about a woman trying to control her destiny in impossible circumstances. She finds her champion in just the sort of man she swore she would never marry. She learns that life does not always give you what you want, but with a bit of courage, you can get what you need.
Tell us a bit about your hero, Guy. Is there anyone you could compare him to?
Guy of Helston was a great character to write. Totally non-verbal, he’s big and bad and a total warrior on the surface. Beneath that is a man of honor and integrity who will do anything for those he loves. I suppose he is most like Wolverine from The X-Men.
Who would you cast to play him in the movie version?
It’s a bit predictable, but Hugh Jackman comes the closest.
Yum! Although I think your hero on the cover looks like Jake Gyllenhaal. What is it about him that stirs Helena, your heroine?
His sheer alpha maleness gets to her at first. And then she discovers the gentle man beneath that and she’s a goner.
What do you like best about your heroine?
I like the contrasts. Demure on the outside, but she has a mouth on her like a soldier. She looks like a damsel in distress, but has the heart of a true warrior.
Who would you cast to play her?
Kate Hudson, only with long, long, long hair.
Was there anything in this book that surprised you when you were writing it?
I’m such a planner that I don’t often get surprised by my books as I write them. But the ending, and I’m not going to give away too much. I had an entirely different idea planned, but Helena wouldn’t go there.
This is your first novel. Can you tell us a bit about how it came to life?
It started years ago as a novel called Forgotten Bride. I never managed to finish it and last year, I was clearing through old files and discovered it again. It has changed a lot from that first draft. In Forgotten Bride, Helena was just that. She was married at a young age to a man who put her in a castle and went on with his life. When he decided it was time to discover her again, Helena was not happy and barred him from his own castle. That was the seed and the rest of it germinated from there.
This is how it ended up:
It’s 1153 in the period dubbed ‘The Anarchy’, King Stephen and Empress Maud are not the only ones embroiled in a fierce battle of the sexes.
Determined to control her own destiny, willful Helena of Lystanwold has chosen just the husband to suit her purposes. But, when her banished guardian uncle attempts to secure her future and climbs through her bedroom window with a new husband by a proxy marriage, she understandably balks. Notorious warrior Guy of Helston is everything Helena swore she would never marry; a man who lives by the sword, like the man who murdered her sister.
This marriage finally brings Guy close to his lifetime dream of gaining lands and a title. He is not about to let his feisty bride stand in his way. A master strategist, Guy sets out to woo and conquer his lady.
Against a backdrop of vengeance, war and betrayal, Guy and Helena must learn to forge a united front or risk losing everything.
What’s the allure of the early 12th century for you?
I write both historical and contemporary. What I like about the historical writing is that fantasy element. There is something unashamedly romantic about knights and ladies. The reality was very different, but that’s why I write romance. I get to build the fantasy.
Who is Sarah Hegger and what can we expect next from you?
I have another medieval coming out in September this year called Sweet Bea. It’s the first in the Sir Arthur’s Legacy Series. Next year, my three contemporary novels, The Willow Park Romances, will hit the shelves. There is more detail on all of these on my website.
This is the official bio and it’s pretty much who I am.
Born British and raised in South Africa, Sarah Hegger suffers from an incurable case of wanderlust. Her match? A hot Canadian engineer, whose marriage proposal she accepted six short weeks after they first met. Together they’ve made homes in seven different cities across three different continents (and back again once or twice). If only it made her multilingual, but the best she can manage is idiosyncratic English, fluent Afrikaans, conversant Russian, pigeon Portuguese, even worse Zulu and enough French to get herself into trouble.
Mimicking her globe trotting adventures, Sarah’s career path began as a gainfully employed actress, drifted into public relations, settled a moment in advertising, and eventually took root in the fertile soil of her first love, writing. She also moonlights as a wife and mother.
She currently lives in Draper, Utah with her teenage daughters, two Golden Retrievers and aforementioned husband. Part footloose buccaneer, part quixotic observer of life, Sarah’s restless heart is most content when reading or writing books.
She is always delighted to hear from you. Sarah can be reached at any and all of the following places:
I’m a big fan of dialogue. Can you share a quick snippet of one of your favourite dialogue passages with us?
This passage is right in the first chapter and is how Helena discovers she is married.
Her shoulders slumped suddenly, as if the weight became too much to bear. All the fight seemed to rush out of her on a sigh. “I have been so worried about you. I thought you might be dead.”
Her voice quavered on that last sentence, and Guy’s guts tightened. Sweet Jesu. Please, no tears. He couldn’t abide the tears.
“There now, sweet Nell.” Roger lowered himself onto the bed beside her. He gathered the girl into his arms. “Whist now, Nell. All is not lost and I came as fast as I could. Hush now, sweeting.”
Guy shifted his weight, uncomfortable at witnessing such a private scene.
Her eyes flew to him. Her mouth dropped open. “Who are you?”
Guy would as lief be strung up by his toes than answer her question. This was Roger’s idea, not his.
“Er, Nell.” Roger drew back from her gently. “May I present Guy of Helston?”
“The ‘Scourge of Faringdon?’”
Guy clenched his fists. The name was like a curse he never escaped.
“Nell,” Roger admonished, “he does not like to be called such.”
“Then he should not have earned it,” the lady snapped. “What is he doing in my bedchamber?”
“He is your . . . husband.”
Where can we buy The Bride Gift?
The Bride Gift is available now on Amazon.
Thanks so much Sarah for stopping by! I can't wait to see your next book out in the world!