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Category Archives: By Right of Blood

Introducing Thomas Fylbrigge

Continuing with the introduction of the characters in my book:

I’d like to introduce you to Thomas Fylbrigge, Earl of Aberdoir and, if he has his way, the successor and future Duke of Stonehaven. There is a lot I could say, but I feel it better to allow Thomas to speak for himself. Thus, I turn over the floor him. . .

~~~

Welcome, come, sit. My door is always open and the drawing room always prepared for company. I’m glad you could come. I have a splendid vintage to share with you, bottled in the north of France by monks of all people. Here, I’ll pour.

I have been worried that the rumors and gossip on the street would keep you from visiting me. I’m pleased to find that you are open minded, and not so easily swayed by the wagging tongues of those chittering twits in the town who like to spit their venom on my reputation. To listen to them you would believe me to be the very devil incarnate, rather than their benefactor and employer. Do I not pay them their fair share each counting day? Do they bother to thank me for keeping the granary stocked and their flocks and fields protected from marauders from the south? They certainly have no complaint with the products that come from the distillery.

But all this is not enough. They beseech me to lower their taxes, as if that were mine to do. I only require the tribute necessary to keep the town from earning the scrutiny of the crown. How much harsher would their lives be if James himself came through demanding the tribute be paid to him directly — in blood rather than gold. Do they not see that it is I who keeps their skin safely secured to their bones?

But why should the townsfolk respect me as their sovereign when my own father regards me as a ‘secondary’ son. Me! Secondary to the mewling thing in the cradle upstairs. Am I not still the eldest? Any court in the land would side with me as the eldest for the inheritance that should have been mine. How could my father saddle me with the responsibility to not only share the family fortune with this newborn interloper, but to actually take on the role of father to it! I’d sooner send him to a nunnery to be raised as a eunuch. But alas, I shall honor my father’s dying wish and see to child as if he were my own.

But then, what will become of my own? I do have a true son of my loins after all. Should he too be denied his rightful tribute and place in my father’s line of succession, just to honor a dying — and daft — man’s wish? He should be the beneficiary of the dynasty I shall begin and not the dishonored nephew of the pretend heir to the Fylbrigge lineage.

Ah, but it is what it is, and for now I shall see that the whelp is safe and warm and cared for. For now. I have time. There are more pressing matters for me to occupy my mind; how shall I divide the territories of Stonehaven when that dukedom becomes my own, for instance.

More wine?

~~~~

To get to know Thomas a little better, you’ll have to read By Right of Blood. Available for Kindle and in trade paperback from Amazon.com.

Enjoy,

Lorrieann

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2012 in By Right of Blood

 

Laurel May McCary

Today, I’d like you to meet one very near and dear to me. Her name is Laurel, and though she’s just a slip of a girl, she is far from weak — or meek. This evening we seem to have caught her in the middle of an important encounter. We can just sit quietly and listen. I’m sure she won’t mind.

~~~

Oh, hello. I just came by to feed Lucy, and put my feet up for a little while. I dinnae realize I had company. Oh, please dinnae give me that look. I’m only jestin’. Of course I know YOU are always there, even when you’re being so quiet I think you’ve abandoned me.

No, I’m not going to be more careful! Not because I’m being careless, but because I am already being as careful as I can be. Elinor worries far too much. If she would only listen for a moment, she’d know that I am fully ready, willing and capable of teaching Will some of more. . . mystical lessons. After all, she is the one who taught them to me isn’t she. So why is it not right that I teach Will? She trusts him as well as she trusts me, or she would not have started the lessons to begin with.

There, now, Lucy. Some nice turnip shoots for you. My goodness, you certainly eat a lot for a wee mouse.

Aye, I’m paying attention. I told you, I came in to feed Lucy. She cannae very well feed herself. What did you want to tell me?

Me?

But I’m simply Laurel. I’m not anyone’s savior, especially his! He’s a nobleman, and I’m . . . just Laurel May McCary, maiden servant to the house of Stonehaven. I dinnae have the power to put anyone onto their proper journey. You must be daft.

NO, forgive me. Of course I didn’t mean. . . I know you are not. . .but me? I know we share lessons but. . . could you mean that I should be teaching him the mystical lessons?

Elinor will never approve.

You have?

She already knows?

Which charm would you have me cast then? And what shall you ask me to give in tribute for your blessing?

Lucy? My little. . .

So mote it be, Mother.

~ ~ ~

If you’d like to know what the task that was given to Laurel by “Mother”, you’ll need to read By Right of Blood. Check it out in the Amazon.com Kindle store, and on Smashwords.com.

Thank you for reading,

Lorrieann

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in By Right of Blood

 

Sean Wilbrun

William Fybrigge is the main character of the story but he does not occupy his world alone, of course. One of the many who populate the world of Drumoak Castle, in my fictional rendering of Stonehaven, Scotland at the turn of the 17th century is William’s closest friend and confidant, Sean Douglas Wilbrun. Without further ado, I give you Sir Sean.

* * *

Looking back on that day I have to laugh. Not that it was particularly funny, but because I was so young yet thought I was a man just because Lord Edward clapped my shoulder with the rusted blade of my second-hand sword. Lord Edward had a way to make the humble feel noble; always a kind and encouraging word to all who served him. But make no mistake, he was the Duke and my sovereign, and I was bound by an oath of fealty to serve him with my very life — though I was proud and honored to do so.

I was willing and ready to die in the service of my duke if called upon to do so, so the humor lies in the task I was given on that first day of my knighthood. I was not called upon to prove my manhood, or my loyalty, but to play nurse to a child who was sent to the castle for fostering. I say child, for that is what I saw when I found him for the first time cowering under the straw in the barn. He had the look of a fawn lost among wolves rather than the son of a nobleman — which is what he truly was. This lad came from one of the richest earls of Lord Edward’s duchy and yet he cowered, clad in tattered, filthy garments, all eyes and — I know it sounds harsh — but without the common sense God gave a rock.

The lad was terrified! Of what? Drumoak? Lord Edward? Aye! He was afeared of the very place that would prove to be his salvation in time. And upon my first day as a guard to the duke, I was asked to look after him — to remain a child myself for just a little longer, to better engage the lad.

I was reluctant, but an order is an order. I had no idea that day would be the beginning of a life long friendship and bond. It did not take long for me to come to know the lad, and see there was far more behind those wide eyes than fear. I learned more than I could ever dream just standing with him, watching him, guiding him (or was he guiding me all that time?)

I served the duke with my honor as I had vowed — but my loyalty would be to my friend from there forward.

Thank you, Sean. I look forward to the rest of your story. It can be read in By Right of Blood, available at Amazon.com and other online booksellers.

Good night,

Lorrieann

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in By Right of Blood

 

Introducing William Fylbrigge

As part of the promotion of By Right of Blood, I have the pleasure of being a guest blogger for several reviewers and book related blog sites in and about the internet. I will be sharing my guest blogs here a couple of days after they’ve been released on the other sites.

This entry was published May 13, 2012 on Rosa Sophia’s review site. Rosa is a professional editor and author. Her latest novel, Taking 1960, was published in August 2010 by Oaklight Publishing.

~~~~~~~~~

My name is Lorrieann Russell. I have the great pleasure to introduce you to William Fylbrigge, late of Drumoak Castle, Stonehaven, Scotland, who has joined me today to tell you a little bit about himself. One thing that you should know about Mr. Fylbrigge; he is a work of fiction, and so happens to be the main character in my newly re-released novel, By Right of Blood. Who better to tell you about his story than the man himself? So without further nonsense, I will turn the floor over to him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been part of this castle so long, I could rightly claim not to recall the time before I arrived; though if the truth is told, perhaps I remember it all too well. How well I recall growing up in my father’s manor, Fylbrigge Hall in Aberdoir, and how well I recall my daily prayers and pleas to any god who would choose to hear, to free me from its walls. Though it was not my father who I longed to be free of — him, I never knew, being orphaned in my infancy — but my older brother, Thomas, who stepped into the role of father to me. Thomas, who had enjoyed the status of sole heir to our father’s fortune; until I was born, of course. Thomas and his wife, Bryndah (I still shudder at the thought of her) became my ‘parents’ though loving, they were not.

My own dear mother was lost to me, you see. She drew her last breath, just as I drew my first. It was a blessing from the Lady Goddess that I was suckled by a nurse named Rebecca. I loved Rebecca as a child loves a mother, trusting her to keep me warm, fed and protected against the Bryndah’s raging temper. How well I recall the many times I hid within the folds of Rebecca’s skirt to escape Bryndah’s lash or a scratch from her talon-like fingernails. Indeed Rebecca protected me too well, for her own well being. I have missed her all these years, and a night does not pass when I do not see her face, wet with tears, imploring me to “run, little one” . . . before the flame engulfed her.

I was six then. I would spend the next six years being reared on monster tales of a man who ate his rivals and dressed himself in leather made of the skin of those who dared speak against him. His name was Edward of Stonehaven, and he was Bryndah’s father. I believed every word she told me. After all, she was a demoness in my eyes — the vilest of the vile — how much worse, then, was the man who sired her?

I was twelve when my nightmare became reality and I was tossed into a carriage and taken to Drumoak. My fate, she assured me, that Lord Edward would use my bones for quills and my skin for his bed curtains. I believed her.

I was a fool.

That is where my story begins, my arrival in Stonehaven in the summer of my twelfth year. I consider that to be the true year of my birth as it was at Drumoak that my life truly began. Nothing before then really matters. I am here, and this is where I will stay — for a while.

~ ~ ~

William is tired now, and has asked to be excused. If you’d like to read more of his story, please get a copy of By Right of Blood, available at Amazon.com and other online booksellers.

Good night,

Lorrieann

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in By Right of Blood

 

It’s a Whole New Start

I hit a milestone this week with the re-release of my novel By Right of Blood, formerly published under the title By Right of Will.

Formerly? What does that mean? It means, like most business deals in the 21st century, the original publication was done under a contract. The publisher agreed to publish my book, market it, promote it, and keep it on their catalog for two years. Sadly, the only part of that promise they kept was to keep it on their catalog for two years, and then as soon as that term expired, cut it from their listings, sending my book to the publishing purgatory known as OOP; Out Of Print. They never did do any marketing or promoting, and indeed, I am in dispute over the number of copies they owe me a royalty for. When they did send royalty it was through a third party who took a fee on the transaction, and I had no recourse as it was the only way they would send. They even made me change the title of the book because there was another book in their catalog that had the world ‘blood’ in the title. Needless to say, all these factors together, and the unceremonious way they informed me “times up, you’re out of print” deflated any elation I felt for actually writing and getting the book published in the first place. The final insult was when they made me buy the leftover stock — that would have sold if they’d done their job promoting. In short, the whole experience left me with little or no confidence in the publishing industry.

Notice I did not mention the name of the publisher. I’m trying to take the high road there. (But if you want to know, go to Amazon and search for By Right of Will by Lorrieann Russell — they seemed to have forgotten to take it down off Amazon — you will see the publisher information. BUT DON’T BUY IT! I wouldn’t want them making another dime off me, even by mistake.)

So, what makes this dip into the publishing waters different? Plenty!

For starters, I’ve reclaimed the original title. The book has had a scrubbing up, and fresh layout. I have a publisher I can get on the phone when I need to, and a publicist who is actually publicizing! Edin Road Press is a new startup, independent publisher. So far, they have a small catalog, and until now it has been 100% ebook. Mine will be the first one offered up on paperback (at the end of the month). Small potatoes? No way! In the first 24 hours after the release of the ebook, I had already surpassed the number of sales the former publisher actually reported to me — not how many they actually DID sell, just how many they told me about.

Independent publishing is the way to go for any writer who wants complete creative control over their work. I was able to do the cover art the way I wanted it, do the interior the way I wanted it, and write in a genre that isn’t pigeon holed into a mass market cookie cutter mold. I don’t happen to want to write about vampires thankyouverymuch. The indy press gives me the freedom to explore cross genre, write as long or short as I wish, and be true to my own style. And I’m getting some kick-ass publicity to boot!

I may never sell a million copies. That’s really not my goal. But I’m selling far more than I would be on my own. Independent Press is the way to go.

So the book is now out on the Amazon Kindle bookstore, soon to be available on iTunes as well. Be sure you get the right one.

The paper edition will be published May 29.

 

Happy reading!

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in By Right of Blood