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***THIS BOOK IS A FAN EXTRA. It was written as a character study/backstory, but because it includes so many Welsh Blades characters that fans love, it was shared for a limited time with newsletter subscribers. It is not necessary to read this before Desire Lines.***
She was born to nothing, lost everything, and survived to reinvent herself. Meet Nan, a serving girl in the court of King Edward I until she becomes the subject of a powerful lord's unwanted attention.
To save herself from a cruel fate, she makes a formidable ally, only to become entangled in the machinations of scheming nobles. When she decides to do whatever she must to protect herself, her life will never be the same.
This is an installment in the Welsh Blades series featuring the heroine of Desire Lines. It contains spoilers for The King's Man and Fair, Bright, and Terrible.
My Unofficial Summary of the Book
This is a quick read, very easy breezy, and in it you’ll get to spend a little time with Gwenllian and Ranulf and Robert and Eluned and a bunch of other old friends from the first two Welsh Blades books - while also getting to know the heroine of the third book. It is not a Romance novel, but there is some secondary romance action going on - because I apparently have to make people kiss, it’s like in my genes, I guess?
If you don’t want to read it, you will not be lost when you pick up Welsh Blades 3. Promise.
If you are new to the Welsh Blades world, you might get confused at the cast of characters and you will encounter spoilers for books 1 & 2, but you can probably enjoy it anyway!
This actually started out as, like, Notes On A Character Backstory, just for myself, because she appeared in my head after finishing Fair, Bright, and Terrible, and immediately began talking to me, telling me her whole life story. So I thought it’d be just a fun 2-3 page thing for myself, to get all of her chattering out of my head. Then I thought it’d be a short story – or no, I thought, a novella - and then I looked up and it was novel-length. It was quite a ride.
It was completely an experiment and it has a very different tone and feel than any of my other novels. It’s very casual-feeling, though it’s set firmly in the 13th century. It’s the only time I’ve ever written fiction in first person. And it’s the fastest I’ve ever written anything (like 6 weeks, it was nuts) because it felt insanely easy. That’s because I didn’t stop to do a ton of research or carefully structure the narrative - and I found first-person to be just shockingly easy to write. I had fun just blurting it all out, frankly.
A note to fellow writers: Writing this was incredibly refreshing to my creative brain. I really recommend, if you’re burned out or struggling, to just try something very different to you, as this was for me. Something that makes you think the whole time “I have literally no clue what I’m doing, but I guess I’m doing it?” I wasn’t necessarily burned out or anything, but there was something so energizing about this. Being that clueless and having a constant refrain of “heck if I know what I’m doing, or if I’ll finish it, or where it ends, or if I’ll ever let anyone read it” in my head was like simulating my first time writing anything. It all felt new. It was pretty joyful. Highly recommended.