Friday, December 2, 2016


Happy December! I'm going to bend the rules a little here today on Cowboy Kisses and go medieval on you. I write historic westerns, but one thing on my bucket list was to write a medieval romance. And I did it! I'm thrilled to see my first medieval in an anthology along with authors who are medievalists--and wait two more authors who exchanged Stetsons for shining armor.

I became curious about this when some of us authors at Prairie Rose Publications crossed over from westerns to medieval--all noting this is something we always wanted to do. I also note we have a number of authors living in Britain who write westerns. It got me thinking about the commonalities between the two genres.What draws authors to write about both the Old West and medieval Europe? Do they appeal to the same audience? In what ways are they similar?

Speaking for myself, most of my childhood fantasy play involved cowboys. My favorite toy when I was little was a pink bag filled of cowboys, horses, and Indians from the five and dime. I spent hours setting up scenes with them. I even slept with that pink bag.

I remember tenting my blanket to resemble a cave. In my early days the love story was between a cowboy and his horse. The cowboy hurt the horses feelings, and the horse ran away to live in a cave. But the bereft cowboy went out searching for his horse. They met up in the cave and had a tearful reunion where apologies were made and promises exchanged. My stories have become slightly more sophisticated since those days.

They're in love

I've always loved history especially that of the Old West and Medieval/Tudor England. To this day my family knows not to get between me and the TV if the History Channel is running Wild West Tech or the Battle of the Little Big Horn. I will knock them to the ground!

As a teen I devoured nonfiction books on the subject of the Old West and Native American history. Then I read the Sun in Splendour by Jean Plaidy, and oh, my, I was hooked. The War of Roses: the battle for power between the Plantagenets and the Tudors. The House of York vs the House of Tudor. It's a story filled with heroes, anti-heroes, epic battles, mysteries (what happened to the princes in the tower?), people of such character we're still talking about them-- and yes romance!

I said "Move over cowboys. Make way for knights in shining armor." I have to confess for years I wore a white rose pin in my lapel (team York), and I had a huge crush on Richard III (who may or may not have had his nephews murdered. People make mistakes). His body was recently discovered buried under a parking lot.                                                                                                                   
I spent my junior year of college in Great Britain and had the pleasure of visiting many, many castles. It gave me a thrill to see those buildings in person. If you have the chance to go to Ireland I recommend a stop at Bunratty Castle, which has been restored. We're so used to seeing gray stone walls and empty interiors, but at Bunratty you can see what castle-living was like back in the day with its whitewashed walls and furnishings. The attached folk park let's you see what life was like for the common people.

Similarly I got the same buzz the first time I traveled to the Southwest. I remember being in Tombstone and standing in the spot the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral took place, and then walking around Boot Hill and seeing the graves of people I'd read about--like the losers of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral.

After reflecting on it, I can see as a writer why I'm drawn to westerns as much as medieval stories. All the elements for a great story are there. Everything I can say which captured my interest about the War of the Roses can be said about the Old West: the characters, the stories, and the uniqueness of that time in our history.

So, readers, tell me do you read both western and medieval romances? What do you like about those genres?
If you're already a fan of medieval romances, or a western fan who wants to give it a shot, here is anthology for you. Eight stories set around Christmas by authors I can personally attest to.

Hear ye, hear ye! Looking for medieval romance? Tales of knights and their ladies abound in ONE WINTER KNIGHT, a wonderful collection of medieval holiday novellas for your reading pleasure! 

You’ll be held spellbound by this boxed set of captivating stories from some of today’s top medieval authors, as well as some rising stars in this up-and-coming genre. Lindsay Townsend, Deborah Macgillivray, Cynthia Breeding, Keena Kincaid, Cheryl Pierson, Beverly Wells, Patti Sherry-Crews, and Linda Carroll-Bradd have woven eight excellent Yuletide tales of love lost and found that are sure to keep you reading far into the night. Laced with holiday traditions and the excitement of a bold, dangerous era, Prairie Rose Publications is proud to offer yet another wonderful boxed set of medieval Christmas tales for your reading pleasure.
This collection of novellas makes a wonderful holiday gift for hours of entertaining reading—for others, or for yourself! These stories are certain to keep you enthralled as you read on to find out how these knights and ladies find their very own “happily-ever-after” endings ONE WINTER KNIGHT…


Renaissance Women said...

Patti, I write in both genres and do not find a issue with doing either one. My thought has always been, people are people, it's just the setting that's different.

Now, I do confess, I don't write standard Medieval. I tend to set my stories in less known areas during the same time period. So many stories, so little time.

Congratulations on venturing into the Medieval era, it's that much richer for your journey. Doris/writing as Angela Raines

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Thanks, Doris! You're so right. Human nature tends to stay the same especially in matters of love. I sure did have fun researching and writing medieval. Thanks for stopping by!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

I've always been fascinated with medievals (who doesn't love all that King Arthur lore) but I guess I'd rather read it than write it. :-) Sounds like a great collection!

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Hi, Kristy! I have to admit when I sat down to write my story I was terrified! Then for days I was plagued by doubt. But as Doris said people are people! And, yes, there are some great stories in this collection. Thanks for stopping by.

Andrea Downing said...

Reading this has just made me recall that at one stage I was convinced I was Queen Guinevere reincarnated!! But now I'm back to the West and truly entrenched there, about to head off to Tombstone myself. Your youthful story of the cowboy and his horse making-up (hopefully not making out) in the cave had me ROFL, but finding the humpbacked Richard III a love interest is plain weird--or very big-hearted of you Patti! LOL

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Ah, Richard. The heart wants what the heart wants. Unfortunately he was in love with his wife--also he's dead. Queen Guinevere. Hmmm. I can see that. You'll have fun in Tombstone. Be sure and go to Boot Hill. thanks for stopping by!

Cheryl Pierson said...

Patti, I think there are a lot of similarities in the "mindset" of the old western hero and the knights of old. The code of honor--whether real, mythical, or somewhere in between--it the biggest similarity, for me. Men were men, and they protected the ladies at all costs. They were honest, hard-working, and true to themselves. SIGH.

I wrote a short story that was a finalist in the Western Fictioneers Peacemaker awards a few years back called THE KEEPERS OF CAMELOT. It's one of my favorite stories I've ever written--it's not a romance, but is very different. The principal players of Camelot are dead, of course, but they wind up living a million lives, only catching glimpses of one another from time to time. It's Christmas. Arthur is on a stagecoach that gets chased by Indians and winds up at the stage station where Guinevere is married to the station master. The leader of the Indian raiding party? Well...I'll let you guess! LOL Even Merlin makes an appearance, and I tell you, I can't read that story even now without dissolving into tears at the end. That was my first medieval story.

The one I wrote for One Winter Knight is my second. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. This boxed set is really dear to my heart--so many excellent tales set during the Christmas season and all different heat levels, so there's something for everyone. I truly loved every single one of these stories!

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Hi, Cheryl! I agree with you. I was thinking chivalry is a common element.And really Alpha males!

I loved THE KEEPERS OF CAMELOT! I thought it was brilliant. You should talk to Andrea D in the above comment who thinks she's Guinevere reincarnated!

Yes, there is something for everyone in this set. Thank you for letting me be part of it. And I sure love that cover!

Beverly Wells author said...

Patti, so enjoyed your post. I too am so pleased to have been included in ONE WINTER KNIGHT as I've dreamed of writing a full length Medieval and have the outline for one. This got my juices going and I'm delighted to be included in this wonderful collection of terrific stories with some great authors. I too went to Ireland and Scotland and ran up to every parapet and down to each of the dungeons. I agree that the chivalry of knights equal the honorable cowboys--both might be tough, rough and a bit too bold and maybe even hard-headed at times, but they treat their ladies with respect and value their worth. Now I'll go back to writing another western--takes a few moments to switch mind set. Love them both. Wishing you a very happy holiday season.

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Well said, Bev! I glad you took the medieval plunge and that we ended up together in One Winter Knight. I'm wishing you all the best this season--and keep on writing for our reading pleasure. I'm back to contemporary myself. It's so much easier when your characters can pick up a cell phone!

Kaye Spencer said...

Cowboys in leather armor - Knights in shining armor. They share so many attributes, which is why I love them both. While I love medieval stories and especially everything "King Arthur", I don't know enough about the medieval period/life to write a story in this genre, so I'll stick to writing westerns and reading the medieval stories other authors write. *grin*

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Cowboys in leather armor. I like that image, Kaye! Writing either genre requires lots of research, but the medieval was more daunting, I have to say. It feels much more removed from my life and not only in terms of time. I was really scared to start my story. But, I suppose I was when I sat down to write my first western too. In both cases I read other books in those genres before I attempted to put pen to paper. Thanks for stopping by!And keep writing what you enjoy!

Deborah Macgillivray said...

I always thought Knight and Cowboys were cut from the same cloth!!

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Hi, Deborah! After reading One Hot Knight, I felt inspired to try a medieval story. What a great collection of stories. That I did write my medieval and ended up in an anthology with you was a dream come true! Yes, cut from the same cloth under the chain mail. thanks for stopping by.