We, at InfiniteCharacters.com, have on occasion, had the honor to host author Tamara Leigh. Today, Tamara has brought a friend, Lady Graeye Charwyck from the novel Lady of Eve. Please join me in welcoming her as she tells us about the journey God has set before her.
Tamara has also graciously offered one commenter a free ebook copy of her newest release, Lady of Eve (Amazon or Barnes and Noble). Include your email address below to enter by 5:00pm July 10, 2014.
Lady Graeye, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Graeye Charwyck. I am the daughter of Baron Edward Charwyck, and the half sister of Philip Charwyck whom readers will recognize as the shameless villain (nay, not all villains are shameless, so I must needs clarify this) of LADY AT ARMS. I was born with a stain upon the left side of my face that my father believed to be the mark of the devil. Thus, when my mother passed away when I was but seven winters aged, my superstitious father sent me away to the convent. There I remained, unloved and unacknowledged, for eleven years. On the day I was to be professed a nun—forsooth, much against my will—everything changed. Word came that my brother had died. As I was my father’s only hope for an heir, I was returned to Medland, and that is where my story truly begins. That is where I met—in most disconcerting circumstances of which a lady should not speak—Baron Gilbert Balmaine, my family’s greatest enemy.
Ah yes, I will not speak of those circumstances either … though I’ve already read about them.
Do you have a profession?
As already told—alas, perhaps I should have kept readers in suspense a bit longer—from the age of seven ‘til the age of eighteen, I was raised in the Church so that one day I might be professed a nun. But on the day of my “clothing,” I left that all behind that I might wed and provide my father with an heir for his demesne. Thus, I suppose my profession became that of “chattel”—the property of a man to be disposed of as he sees fit. But that is the way of things in the 12th century. I pray ‘tis not the same in the twenty-first.
As do I.
What is your favorite thing to do?
I so enjoy being out of doors. I am sure that is due to my early years when my mother and I spent much time outside, the better to avoid my father who always looked upon me with suspicion and disgust. My favorite place to visit with my mother was the beautiful waterfall upon the barony. There, when I knew happiness and love, I learned to swim. Regrettably, those times with my mother came to an abrupt end and my life turned in a direction over which I was given no control.
When did things change dramatically in your life?
I do get ahead of myself, do I not? I have had several dramatic changes in my life. As told, the first was when my mother passed away and the convent became my home. The second dramatic change was when I returned home to Medland as my father’s only hope for a male heir. Now the third… Ah, the third would be my chance meeting with Baron Gilbert Balmaine whose identity would not be revealed to me until it was much too late to prevent happening what did.
It seems others have impacted your circumstances to a great degree.
Who are the most important people in your life today, and why?
There are two people in my life whose influence have shaped and will shape me. The first is Mother Celia who has always been fond of me and whose kindness I cherished in a place where there was little kindness for one who bears the mark of the devil. The other person is Gilbert Balmaine who judges me for my impulsive, desperate act and believes I am no different from my brother. Most unfortunate, I care too much what he thinks of me. More unfortunate, my life is now entwined with his in such a way it seems only God can make right what I have made wrong.
I pray you see God’s goodness in this as He’s shown you a glimpse of it through Mother Cecelia.
Tell us about the current journey you are on.
It truly is a journey, especially in the sense that it is long and difficult. Of course, I can only blame myself for being upon this path. I never wished to be a nun, and to have that burden lifted from me only to have it cruelly resettled upon my shoulders made me think I was justified in doing what I did. Now all know of my sin, and I can but repent and pray for strength to not make the same mistake again. In my age, the term “Daughter of Eve” is an insult leveled against women to remind them of their sinful nature and inclination to tempt men into sin. But as I am a lady, Gilbert believes “Lady of Eve” is a better fit. He has much to learn about me, and he will since it appears he shall be my companion on this journey to forgiveness.
Hmmm. I wonder what Gilbert will learn about God as well.
What inspired you to change things in your life?
How do I answer this without giving away the tale? I believe the inspiration to change my life arose from the sin to which I have alluded. Yes, the sin. To deal with the repercussions, I had to accept responsibility for what I had done and be strong in the face of those who condemned me—not an easy thing to do or to be. Blessedly, my spirit that had been suppressed at the convent by novice mistress, Hermana, who believed I was of an evil bent, serves me well. Thus, though with great grudging I have allowed others to move me like a chess piece, I determined I would be no man’s pawn ever again. And ‘tis as it should be, for I have not only myself to consider now.
Ah, yes. God shows us Himself most powerfully through our weaknesses, does He not?
What things stand in the way of achieving your goal?
Many things—anger, pride, fear—but above all, Gilbert. I do not wish to feel for him. I do not wish to be tempted by him. I do not wish to hope where I should not. But I do. I can but pray that as God is changing me, he will also change the bitter heart that beats in Gilbert’s chest.
Does your faith affect who you are? How?
My faith does affect who I am, for it resides at my very center. Before I was sent to the convent, my mother nurtured my love for God and His son, and in all the years I was at the abbey, God was everywhere, especially in my loneliness. That fateful night, ‘tis true I turned my back on my faith, but it was there waiting for me when I came around again. Disturbed and disappointed, but there.
Thankfully for all of us, we serve a patient and present God.
What is the coolest, wackiest, most risk-taking thing you’ve ever done?
Though one cannot call it “cool” or “wacky,” “risk-taking” certainly fits. And once again, we return to that sin of mine and that fateful night. But I can say no more, and so I end this interview with a simple “Godspeed.”
Thank you again, Lady Graeye, for joining us today. I know this has been a difficult time for you. I pray you know God’s presence throughout this journey and am certain He will set things as they should be by readings end.
Tamara, where can we learn more about your novels on the internet?
The Kitchen Novelist Blog: www.tamaraleighauthor.wordpress.com
Ebooks are available at: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks Store, and Kobo Books
Audiobooks are available at: Amazon, Audible.com, and iTunes
Don’t forget to comment below to enter to win a free ebook copy of Lady of Eve. Include your email address by 5:00pm July 10, 2014.
LADY OF EVE
On the eve of her profession as a nun, Lady Graeye Charwyck is called home to Medland by the father who disavowed her years earlier for the “devil’s mark” she bears. Desperate to escape the convent, she agrees to wed a man she detests to provide an heir for her family’s holdings. But when the king declares the Charwyck lands forfeit and awards them to their enemy, Graeye once more finds herself discarded. Grieved by her father’s plans to return her to the convent, she yields to impulse and casts aside her virtue, only to discover that the knight with whom she sinned is the new lord of Medland.
Baron Gilbert Balmaine is a man nearly eaten through with desire to see the end of the Charwyck line for all the ills the family has visited upon his own. With the heir dead, the only remaining survivor too aged to beget another, and their lands forfeited for the atrocities committed against the Balmaines, light lies ahead—until Gilbert learns there is a daughter. And his world darkens further when he realizes she is the one who, on a starry night, tempted him past temptation. Certain she intended to trap him into marriage, he vows he will not rest until she is back within the walls of her abbey. Now if only he can forget her… If only that night did not have such far-reaching consequences…
Tamara Leigh holds a Masters Degree in Speech and Language Pathology. In 1993, she signed a 4-book contract with Bantam Books. Her first medieval romance, Warrior Bride, was released in 1994, followed by Virgin Bride, Pagan Bride, and Saxon Bride. Continuing to write for the general market, three more novels were published with HarperCollins and Dorchester and earned awards and spots on national bestseller lists.
In 2006, Tamara’s first inspirational contemporary romance, Stealing Adda, was released. In 2008, Perfecting Kate was optioned for a movie and Splitting Harriet won an ACFW “Book of the Year” award. Both books were released as audiobooks. In 2009, Faking Grace was nominated for ACFW “Book of the Year” and RITA awards. In 2010, Leaving Carolina was featured in Target stores’ “Emerging Authors: New, Notable, Red-Hot Reads” section. In 2011, Tamara wrapped up her “Southern Discomfort” series with the release of Restless in Carolina.
When not in the middle of being a wife, mother, and cookbook fiend, Tamara buries her nose in a good book—and her writer’s pen in ink. In 2012, she returned to the historical romance genre with Dreamspell, a medieval time travel romance. Shortly thereafter, she once more invited readers to join her in the middle ages with the Age of Faith series that includes The Unveiling, The Yielding, The Redeeming, The Kindling, and The Longing. Lady at Arms, the 1994 Bantam Books bestseller originally titled Warrior Bride, is the first of her early medieval romances to be rewritten as a “clean read.” The sequel, Lady of Eve, will be available Summer 2014.
Tamara lives near Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, sons, and a Doberman that bares its teeth not only to threaten the UPS man but to smile.
Connect with Tamara at her website www.tamaraleigh.com, her blog The Kitchen Novelist, Facebook, and Twitter. To be added to her mailing list for notification of new releases and special promotions, drop her an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other posts you might like: