Positively Medieval--and Loving It!

I first met Barbara Bettis some years ago at an Ozarks Romance Authors meeting. Before their monthly gatherings, this group has a roundtable critique and Barbara had offered up a few pages of her WIP. I was bowled over by her singing prose and attention to historical detail. Now I’m thrilled to report that her first novel is now available!

But before we get to that, I’d like for you to get to know Barb. We sat down and had a little cyber-chat recently. Here’s your chance to listen in:

Barbara: Hi Mia. Thank you so much for having me here today to talk about books. One of my very favorite topics.

Mia: Mine too, but you’re delusional, m’dear, if you think I’ll let you skate by without talking about yourself a little too. So, if you could be anything but a writer what would you want to be?

egyptologistBarbara: I can’t think of anything I rather do, honestly, but as a college undergraduate, I did harbor a serious desire to be an archeologist and took several courses toward that end. One of my two favorite professors was an Egyptologist. (The other was an English professor, of course.)  I still love the study of ancient civilizations. That must reflect in the fact I write historicals. Although right now I write medievals, and am working on a Regency, ­ I enjoy all eras. I’m especially fascinated by the similarities of certain myths across civilizations. But I’ve been so fortunate. The careers I’ve had, I’ve enjoyed tremendously—journalism, teaching English, and writing fiction.

Mia: Ok, now we’ll get to the books.  What were your favorites growing up?

Barbara: No surprise—I read historicals predominantly. Not exclusively, of course. I had my ‘phases’: gothics, mysteries, sci-fi (Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein), mythology. And I remember Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden. When my uncle married, he gave me his westerns. I discovered another box of books he’d left at my grandmother’s and I called to ask if I could have those, too. He said if my mom didn’t mind. Mother wasn’t a reader, and she didn’t realize that the collection of Mickey Spillane thrillers probably wasn’t the best reading for a seventh grader. I learned a lot of new words that way. ;-)

One of the books I discovered in a library sale years ago has remained in my mind, Prince of Foxes, an old Samuel Shellabarger tale of the Italian Renaissance. The hero was the best—a peasant who hid his origins to work himself up to a position of authority with Cesare Borgia, then met the heroine and began his journey to redemption. Oh, and a maybe-villain turned sidekick. Great character. If it sounds like I didn’t watch a lot of TV—I didn’t. I’ve always preferred books.

Mia: Not into TV, huh? Ok, what movie from a book was so bad you wish they hadn’t made it?

Barbara: Actually, I saw the movie of Prince of Foxes on a classics late show ages ago. Tyrone Power played the hero—that’s how old it was. I don’t know if the movie was actually as incredibly bad as I remember, or if it was just that the actors didn’t match the descriptions in the book and the images I’d created in my mind.

Mia: I know just what you mean. I guess they made a movie of MM Kaye’s  The Far Pavilions, but you’d have to tie me to a chair and tape my eyes open to make me watch it. I KNOW it couldn’t live up to the book.

Now we’re going to play the lightning round in this little interview. Just say the first thing that pops into your head:

– Favorite Food?—Grilled salmon.

– Favorite Vacation Spot?—England

tv-copper02– Favorite TV Show?—Copper.

– Favorite Paranormal? (witch, vampire, zombie etc)—Non-lethal vampires.

– Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate?—Tea and coffee, dead heat.

– Favorite Fruit or Veggie?—Blueberries

– Favorite author?—Too many to list.

Mia: I can predict readers will have a new favorite once they try Barbara Bettis’ Silverhawk. Here’s the blurb:


Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them.

For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1bQX3td
This title will be available in other formats in November.

Mia: I downloaded it to my Kindle last night and can’t wait to dig in!

If you’d like to learn more about Barbara, please find her here:


Leave Barbara a comment or question and you’ll be entered in the random drawing. Two winners will be chosen: one to win Barbara’s Silverhawk and one will receive my medieval, Silk Dreams! I bet Barbara would welcome some questions about what life and love was like in Medieval times (or even in Ancient Eqypt!)

We look forward to hearing from YOU!

60 thoughts on “Positively Medieval–and Loving It!

  1. Toni Sue says:

    Fashionably late, as always. My father has another word for it, but I can’t repeat it in polite company. ;)

    Barbara, I have LOVED what I’ve read so far. I’m a hard core Medieval kinda gal, so I’m sure I’ll love every last word. Great interview!

  2. Barb Bettis says:

    Mia, thank you for a wonderful spot on your fantastic blog.

  3. Ashlyn Chase says:

    YAY! Someone else who likes non-lethal vampires.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      LOL, Ashlyn. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Can’t wait to read your book, Barb! You know I love medieval! Congratulations!!

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Yay, fellow medieval author. Your book is on my TBR list, you know. Thanks for the good wishes, and right back at you :)

  5. Carolyn Robertson says:

    Congratulations on your release. Great interview. Will be putting in my to read list.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Thank you for stopping by, Carolyn. I appreciate your good wishes.

  6. Lynn Cahoon says:

    Hey Barb – I loved the old sci fi too. I’ll be watching a movie (like I, Robot) and think, I know this story… hehehe.

    Beautiful cover! Beautiful author.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Ah, another night owl, Lynn. Thank you my friend. I’ve had experience with stories, too :)

    2. Barb Bettis says:

      Ah, another night owl, Lynn. Thank you my friend. I’ve had experience with stories, too :)

  7. Barb Bettis says:

    Thanks, Samantha. I’m so happy with that book cover, too. Appreciate your being here.

  8. Samantha H. says:

    Hi, Barb! I love the cover of your book.

  9. Cara Bristol says:

    Congratulations on your release. Great interview.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Thanks, Cara. Appreciate your dropping by.

  10. Hi, Barb! Hell On Wheels is one of my favorite shows, but I keep meaning to catch an episode of Copper.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      It’s always short on episode numbers, and it wasn’t on last night. As long as you don’t mind grittiness–and if you like Hell on Wheels, you don’t :)–you’ll like Copper. It’s usually on Sunday night on BBC America. Cheers :)

  11. A.M. Buxton says:

    Great, Barbra! I’ll have to check out both your book and The Princes of Foxes.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      I don’t know about mine, but you’ll absolutely love the other one :) Thanks, A.M.

  12. Diana Locke says:

    I’m not into Kindle, but I can hardly wait to have the book in hand. I know the story, and I love it. The phrasing is fresh and unique, and the story pulls you in from page one. Silverhawk is a keeper.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      You’ll get the very first print copy if there is one, my friend. It would never have gotten out if not for your critiques. Thank you.

  13. VJ Schultz says:

    Great interview. Wonderful title to your book and it sounds like a super read!

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      I appreciate the good words, VJ. And glad you like the title. Appreciate your stopping by.

  14. Lyn Horner says:

    Oh my gosh! Barb, we must be kindred spirits. I read Prince of Foxes years ago when in school and gave a book report on it. I think it was my first historical romance (that’s what it is in my opinion) and I fell in love. Absolutely adored the hero! A few years ago I spotted the book in a used bookstore and snapped it up. It sits proudly on my bookshelf and will stay there as long as I have anything to say about it.

    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: your book cover is gorgeous, and the title is so lyrical. Can’t wait to read Silverhawk!

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Thank you, Lyn. How wonderful to discover someone else who’s read–and loves–Prince of Foxes. Wasn’t Andrea the most luscious kind of hero? And Mario Belli a great kind-of-villainous-good-guy-sidekick?

      I consider it an historical and a romance, too, although I’m not sure there was even a kiss, let along anything else. We can’t use the dialogue tags they did back then, but everything else is still superb.

      Hope you like Giles and Emelin’s story, too.

  15. Nicole Laverdure says:

    Hi Mia and Barbara! Both your books look like marvellous stories to read! I love your blog Mia, I always discover new-to-me authors and their beautiful books. I would love to read and review one of them. Thank you. Keep on the good work!

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Hi Nicole. I agree totally about Mia’s books. All great reads. Thanks for the good words on mine, too. The first one is always kind of nerve wracking. Good luck on the giveaways.

  16. Jessica V. says:

    Is it just me or does Sir Giles look like Hugh Jackman? You did that on purpose didn’t you? ;) Dreamy. Can’t wait to read! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity, ladies!!

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Jessica what a good idea :) Actually, Richard Armitage’s was the picture on my bulletin board during this story. But Hugh Jackman would be an excellent choice, too. Good luck on the giveaway.

  17. Terri Garrett says:

    Really looking forward to reading this Barb. And when it comes to welcoming new writers, you don’t take a back seat to anyone. You’ve been very gracious to me – thank you for that.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Terri, You’re a terrific writer and I can’t wait for you to get back to that time travel :) Thanks for being here today.

  18. Lisa Wells says:

    Great interview. Love learning new things about you.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Thank for both comments, Lisa. You just posted twice so I wouldn’t feel bad, I know :) Hugs.

  19. Barbara, If I had it to ‘do over again’ (or better yet, had a chance at a second lifetime), I would definitely become an amateur archeologist (I say amateur because I’d be a writer, first!) As you say, those ancient civilizations are fascinating, which is why I set my stories in them.
    Looking forward to Silverhawk (it’s already on my ‘to buy’ list).
    Best of luck with sales.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Oh, Mairi, my Mercadier friend, so good to see you. We’d have fun investigating those ancient civilizations together. (Love your blog posts, BTW). So glad you stopped by.

  20. Barb Bettis says:

    Total agreement on Mia’s awesomeness. She gives great encouragement–and help–to writers. And thanks for the kind words, Ashley. They are most appreciated. That first book is one of the most nervewracking things possible, isn’t it?

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Well, that’s interesting. I don’t know how this got posted twice.

  21. Barb Bettis says:

    Total agreement on Mia’s awesomeness. She gives great encouragement–and help–to writers. And thanks for the kind words, Ashley. They are most appreciated. That first book is nervewracking things possible, aren’t they?

  22. Wonderful interview and I loved learning more about Barbara Bettis. Cannot wait to read Silverhawk and the cover is beautiful! Congratulatios on your debut novel, Barbara. And thank you, Mia; you are always awesome. ~ Ashley

  23. Linda says:

    I love the title “Silverhawk”. It sounds wonderfully romantic but I’m curious what connection it has to the story?

    I remember Nancy Drew books!

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Hi Linda. Well, Giles has…wait. I don’t want to give it away LOL. A nod the Nancy Drew mysteries. No matter what genre we write in, so many of us share that series from our childhood. Thanks for stopping by, Linda

  24. Ella Quinn says:

    Loved how she tricked you Barbara!! You’re book is on my Kindle waiting for me to finish my edits. Tweeted and shared on FB.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      I know. Tricky–she had only to ask. LOL. But after the season premier of Hell on Wheels, I don’t know but what Copper has a close rival. Neither are medieval, but they’re historical, right? Thanks for tweeting and sharing, Ella.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      How well you know me, Ella. I am the tricksy one.

  25. Great interview, Barb! I can’t wait to read this. I know just how wonderful it’s going to be.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Oh, Sara, you are so encouraging. You’ve got your own good news as far as writing goes. I loved your post on patience after publishing, by the way. Thanks for coming by today.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      One of the things I look for in an author is a fresh turn of phrase and beauty of language. Barb has both in spades.

  26. I’m reading Silverhawk now, and it’s wonderful. Fantastic attention to historical detail, as you said.

    I wanted to be an archaeologist too, Barb. Probably no surprise there!

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Nope, S.D., no surprise at all. LOL. That fantastic middle grade you’re polishing is a great example of mixing your expert knowledge of Egypt (ancient and modern) with a rip-roaring tale. I can’t wait for it to be out. Glad you stopped by.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      I just started the Amelia Peabody mystery series (which is why Barbara’s book is in the #2 slot at the moment in my Kindle) and it’s set in the late 19th century when the Brits and French were raiding Eqypt’s treasures. Fascinating.

      1. I read the first of those and really enjoyed it.

  27. Susan Keene says:

    Absolutely fascinating. I put it on my reading list. Thanks for the insight into Barbara. It is always nice to know about the author when reading a new book.

    1. Barb Bettis says:

      Susan, Thank you. Yes, we don’t get to share a lot of background info, even if we get to sit side-by-side at meetings.;) Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Mia Marlowe says:

      Hi Susan. So glad you could visit.

  28. Barb Bettis says:

    Hi Mia. You’re such a gracious hostess. I remember that first time we met. I had already read your first titles, and when you introduced yourself, I had a ‘fan girl’ moment. LOL. Since then, you’ve gone on to do even more wonderful books. Thank you so much for having me here.

    1. Mia says:

      My pleasure, Barb.

      Just wondering about the archeaology thing. Did you ever go on a dig?

      1. Barb Bettis says:

        No, I never got to go on one. My archeology/history professor had, though, and he shared so much with us all. He was a Rhodes Scholar–did his doctoral work on Howard Carter. So brilliant. And funny in a wonderfully dry way. On a field trip to a museum, we were all huddled around a glass-encased sarcophagus while he translated the hieroglyphics for us. Eventually, security guards came to investigate what this strange group was doing speaking this strange language. LOL He was the one who disillusioned me about the career, though, when he described the conditions on a dig and the fact that yes, indeed, one had to know math. There went my dreams.

        Oh, well, that was TMI on your question, Mia. But I still would love to go on a dig somewhere.

        1. Lynda Coker says:

          Next to daydreaming and writing, archeology would my dream pursuit. Except for the fact that I don’t like to sweat or dig. I also don’t like dirt, crawly things, and spooky surroundings. Other than that, I’d love the adventure and allure of making new discoveries.

          Enjoyed this post Mia and Barb, informative and fun.

          The Ocean Between by Lynda Coker

          1. Mia Marlowe says:

            Thanks for coming by, Lynda. Yes, if you don’t like sweat, dirt or spooky things, you probably shouldn’t be an archeologist. However, that’s the beauty of reading. You can slip on an archeologist’s life without the grit and still sleep in your own bed each night!

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