Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guest Post: Nicole Zoltack, author of Champion of Valor with Giveaway

The Mystical Conch Shell of the Sea has been stolen, and it's up to Selliki, the selkie, to get it back. Selliki sets across the continent of Alethereia to find Arnhem, and Gabrael, the Mage she loves. Selliki knows no union between a selkie and a human have ever had a happy ending, but neither can ignore their feelings. Each night, they experience terrible, real dreams that show how doomed their love is.

The final war between Arnhem and Speica is threatening the entire world. Lucifer has aligned himself with Speica and wants nothing less than to bring about the Apocalypse before it's time. In the last batttle, cowardice is revealed, promises are broken, and many people die. Trolls fight icthyocentaurs, dwarves arm up against the Drow, angels against demons. Only one kingdom will prevail; that is, if the world doesn't end.

When we think of marriage, we first think of love. Two sides of the same coin.

But this was not the same way of thinking back in the Middle Ages.

Women had no choice in who they married. Oftentimes, they married a total stranger, a man they had never met before they walked down the aisle.

The idea of arranged marriages is foreign to some of us today, even though it is still common practice in some parts of the world today.

I already mentioned that women had no choice; however (typical male-dominated society), there were some cases in which the man could decide his bride.

Sometimes, love found the couple after they were married as backward as that sounds to us. Many times, even if they did not grow to love each other, lasting friendships bloomed.

Marriage was done at a young age – the girls as young as 12, the boys 17 – and for financial, practical, or dynastic reasons.

The feudal relationship between a knight and his liege lord was the model for courtly love as well as the code of chivalry. The knight swears the same obedience and loyalty to his courtly lady that he would his liege lord. This ideal is taken from bards’ songs and hardly ever practiced. After all, most knights would not be submissive to their lady! However, his love for her was a source for inspiration, for courage, and power, to do great deeds, in order to win her favor, to be good enough for her.

Oftentimes, the knight fell in love with a married lady. Remember, most marriages were not born out of love. Courtly love was a means for the knights to show their affection despite the marital state of the lady. The most famous instance of this occurrence is Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere.

Personally, as much as I love the Middle Ages, I'm so glad I can choose whom to love and I married a knight in his own right.

Is there a time period other than now that you would rather live in?

Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win some signed postcards and magnets. Each comment along the Kingdom of Arnhem Blog Tour gives you an entry for the grand prize: a copy of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem series - Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, and Champion of Valor.

For more about this author, please visit:

Nicole has always been fascinated with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. She devoured books about chivalry and knight, love and romance, she even had a Renaissance themed wedding.

Throughout her research, she wondered if there were any female knights, knowing how women were treated back then. To her surprise, she uncovered information about an entire order of female knights - the Order of the Hatchet in Catalonia. These brave women protected their town of Tortosa from Moor attack. Along with their new status, the women were exempted from taxes and preceded over men in public assemblies.

This inspired her to write about a young girl who wishes to become a knight, citing these brave women.

Currently, she is residing in Pennsylvania with her loving husband and two adorable sons. She is an Infinite World of Fantasy Author (IWOFA) and a member of Classic Romance Revival (CRR).

Her debut novel - WOMAN OF HONOR (Desert Breeze Publishing, April 2009) is the first in the Kingdom of Arnhem series, the story of the young would-be female knight. Book II - KNIGHT OF GLORY further explores the medieval fantasy land of Arnhem.

CHAMPION OF VALOR will be released May 1st, 2011.

She has also sold numerous short stories for inclusion in various anthologies including the print anthologies: Bloody Carnival, Mertales, Daily Bites of Flesh, and Daily Flash.

She loves writing, reading, horses, collecting swords, and going to the Pa Renaissance Faire (dressed in Renaissance garb, of course!).


Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Great post! And sounds like a great new series for me. :) Oh, I love going to the Rein Fair here in PA. :) My husband the first time thought I was crazy in taking him. But he found he really enjoyed it and we have gone back the last 2 years. Although I don't (or we) don't dress but I think that would be fun.

Thank you for the post!

Diana said...

Champion of Valor has very interesting and unique story. The post is very beautiful!
Thanks for the giveaway.

debbie said...

There were so many different things about that time period. It wasn't always a easy life. I think if I had my choice it would be to go back to the 1800's.
I would love to read your books.

Grace Fonseca said...

What a beautiful blog. I met you at BEA or Book Blogger Con. I really like the blog. New follower. Like the features & wallpapers.

Vivien said...

Thanks for hosting, I've been needing more info on this series. :)

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Margaret said...

This series sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway!


Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I'm with Nicole. For me, it would be to live in the Middle Ages...or the Renaissance. Would love to meet Leonardo Da Vinci! Thanks for the giveaway!


Stephanie said...

The series sounds exciting. I always enjoy an approaching apocalypse. In stories, of course.

As for life in the Middle Ages, I love going to Ren Faires but give me air conditioning and free speech any day. Besides, they didn't even really have turkey legs in Europe back then :)

katsrus said...

I can't imagine having to be in an arranged marriage. I do enjoy learning about that time period or watching movies about it. Don't think I would of wanted to live it though. This has been a fun and interesting blog tour Nicole.
Sue B

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