All three Archer books in one omnibus edition covering the years 1120 to 1125. “The Archer”: Down of his luck, bowmaker and veteran archer Will Archer returns to a scene of a chivalric act many years earlier, dreading to meet the woman who holds his heart. “The Archer’s Apprentice”: Robin Archer cannot help but follow his father in an act of chivalry for a Lady Elenor who needs his help in a race against time. “The Archer’s Lady”: the Archer’s family are tied into a plot to steal the throne of England, which brings the Lady Elinor back into their lives. Stories with engaging characters and plots set against the atmospheric landscape of Norman England. 624pp of action and adventure.
Targeted Age Group:: 14 and above
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The first story was a prize-winning novella written back in 2014 when I wanted to write a period piece involving an act of charity. I loved the characters and over five years completed a trilogy. Online demand is good for the first 2 stories, so I have sketched out 3 more books and a novella to take the characters through to the civil war between Stephen and Matilda.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
The plots and stories, plus additional characters blossomed from the 3 original characters, an absent world-weary "father" who was paid to marry on paper only a pregnant girl to legalise the child she bore in a rape; the girl herself grown to independent and wealthy womanhood, and the "son" of the marriage. That triangle and variations have been central to the series, deep characterisations, along with unexpected twists.
[from Book 1] It is a couple of minutes after I soap myself all over, the room growing dim in the early evening behind the bath curtain, despite the large glazed windows I espied earlier on two sides of the room, one to the street out front, the other towards the church atop the hill. I relax into the warm water and close my eyes. I open just one eye as another jug of hot water is quietly poured into the bath from behind my head, to maintain the comfortable tub temperature.
It must be the deaf and dumb old servant, come to minister to my aches and pains.
Then, surprisingly soft hands for such an old servant, begin to massage soap into my head, neck and shoulders, smoothing out the apprehensions, aches and pains that have built up during the long day on the road. I close both my eyes again and relax, giving myself up to the servant’s expert ministrations. Tomorrow, yes tomorrow I can confront Alwen and bluff my way through that we are but complete and utter strangers to one another. I can manage that, and thus still my beating heart, surely.
Then the old servant pads almost silently around to my front. My feet are gently pulled from the warm water one by one, first the right, then the left and the ache from the road through my worn out boots is rubbed out of my toes and the soles of my feet by a clearly firm but gentle-handed old retainer.
I stifle a groan as he grasps my painful left big toe and I open my eyes lazily to murmur my thanks to the old servant.
I sit up in shock, splashing waves of bath water in all directions!
“Dame Alwen!” I yell.
“William Bowman,” she says quite calmly in reply and smiles with a nod. The smile crinkles around her sparkling clear blue eyes, that I remember so well from my nightly dreams, looking directly into my shocked face, “Were you not relaxing comfortable when I washed your hair and feet, my lord?”
“I- I'm no lord, Ma’am, merely a travelling longbow trader and arrow fletcher,” I stutter, “I thought you were my appointed manservant come help me wash and dress.”
“I believe I am indeed your servant, sir, but I am clearly no man,” her gentle smile full of warmth, one of her small hands now resting on my knee, my foot having been wrenched from her gentle grip by the violence of my evasive action. Her beautiful blue eyes alive in the dancing candlelight, locked onto mine own.
“To me, Will, you will always be my lord,” she whispers.
I look down at the water, fortunately scummed by soap and the soil of the road, but my mind imagines the murky liquid to be far more translucent than it is, even in the early gloom of the evening, despite the flickering candle and fire flames, the dying sunlight and the partial shade afforded by the curtains.
“I am at a severe disadvantage of apparel, my lady,” I say rather unnecessarily, returning my eyes to gaze upon her angelic face. She appears not to have altered the focus of her perception while I looked away, her lovely eyes still steadily resting upon mine, a smile playful on her ripe full lips.
“There’s no need for shyness between us, William Bowman, latterly Will Fletcher, surely?” she says, her voice both warm as midsummer and soft as settling snow.
“No, of course there should be no embarrassment between … husband and wife, should there, William Archer?”
The cat is out of the bag. She knows me.
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