I don’t know why, but I consider
Wales my spiritual homeland, and
when I set out to write my first romance, I knew it would be set there. I
discovered a historical 6th century king and used him as the hero in
The Dragon of the Island and a
follow-up book, Dragon’s Dream. Quite
a few years later I visited Wales
as part of a trip to Ireland
with my husband and son. We took the ferry across the Irish
Sea to Holyhead on the and got a
rental car. My husband intended to drive, but after a few terrifying blocks, he
realized he couldn’t adjust to driving on the wrong side of the road and the narrow streets. I ended up
driving and somehow never got us in a wreck. island
My favorite part of that visit was visiting an ancient passage grave called Bryn Celli Ddu. The 5,000-year-old grave is aligned to coincide with the rising sun on the longest day of the year. Despite being one of the most famous archeological sites in
it’s tucked away among several working farms. I featured Bryn Celli Ddu in my
historical fantasy The Silver Wheel,
which is set at the time of the Roman conquest of Britain.
My next trip to
Wales was a few years later with my
daughter. My biggest thrill on that trip was visiting Deganwy Hill, which was
the actual site of the stronghold of Maelgwn the Great, the heroic king in my
first book. We climbed to the top of the hill at sunset and enjoyed spectacular
views of the Welsh coast, including of ,
glowing in the last rays of sunlight. Conwy Castle
My third trip to
Wales was with my husband, and we
focused on seeing the countryside. Although we didn’t climb Snowdonia, we did
climb to the top of a nearby peak. For someone who lives in ,
which has an elevation of 6,200 feet, it wasn’t too difficult. Snowdonia,
although the highest peak in Cheyenne, Wyoming Britain
south the Scottish highlands, is only 3,560 feet. We climbed in classic Welsh
weather, but despite the mist and rain, it was thrilling to look out at the
rugged, wild landscape and imagine myself transported back in time.
My most recent visit to
Wales was my first solo trip
outside the U.S.
(One of my sisters was supposed to accompany me, but couldn’t because of a
family emergency.) Traveling alone I could do whatever I liked, including visiting
four castles in three days. I think I enjoyed
most of all. The views from the ramparts were spectacular. Conwy Castle
View from Deganwy Hill
Me on the ramparts of
Me on our mountain climb near Snowdonia
|Me at Bryn Celli Ddu|
Me at the base of Deganwy Hill
Title: Lady of Steel, Medieval Ladies #1
Author/pen name: Mary Gillgannon
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press,
Number of pages: 317
Word Count: 114,000
One rapturous hour sparks unforgettable passion between Lady Nicola and Fawkes de Cressy. But when Fawkes returns from Crusade, he finds Nicola enmeshed in a dark web of castle intrigue. Surrounded by enemies, the battle-hardened knight and the aloof, wary woman must rebuild the bond between them or a sinister plot will destroy them both.
The Wild Rose Press: https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/5499-lady-of-steel.html
iTunes: https://.apple.com/ /isbn9781509218349
Fawkes’s eyes flared with violent emotion. “You forget. I knew Mortimer. He tried more than once to kill me. I have no sympathy for him. None at all.”
Nicola let out her breath. Perhaps now they could begin again, and he would stop playing this game of cat and mouse with her. She nodded. “I’m very grateful you understand. I’d worried you might have heard tales of me, stories meant to portray me as wicked and manipulative.”
He watched her intently. “Aye, I have heard tales. ’Tis good you saw fit to reassure me. Perhaps now, perhaps we can…”
He let his words trail off and the atmosphere between them shifted. His dark eyes no longer seemed stern and implacable, but smoldered with frank sexual desire. The tension between them altered, erupting with blazing arousal. Fire started in her loins and spread outward, making her skin ache for his touch. She tilted her head, awaiting his kiss.
He hesitated, as if even now he feared to take this final step and give into what his body obviously desired. Observing his forbearance, she thought for the dozenth time of how different he was from Mortimer. Mortimer had been a slave to his emotions. This man sought control at all times.
But at last he brought his lips to hers. The blaze took them both.
Mary Gillgannon began writing historical romance soon after she discovered the genre. She loves how these stories allow her to portray the excitement and high stakes of past eras, yet focus on relationships and create a happy ending. She’s written seventeen novels, including romances set in the dark age, medieval and Regency time periods. She married her own hero many years ago and has two children. Now that they’re grown, she indulges her nurturing tendencies on five very spoiled cats and a moderately spoiled dog. When not writing or working—she’s been employed at the local public library for over twenty-seven years—she enjoys gardening, reading and travel.
Author website and social media links: