Saturday, May 13, 2017

Guest Author, Madeline Hunter, Shares her Inspiration

My guest today is Madeline Hunter, author of twenty-nine historical romances. Over six million copies of her books are in print. She is a seven-time RITA finalist, and two-time RITA winner. Twenty-three of her books have been on the USA Today bestseller list, and she has also had titles on the New York Times print list, Publishers Weekly list, and the Waldenbooks paperback fiction list. 

She has received two "starred reviews" in Publishers Weekly, and Romantic Times has awarded twenty-two of her books 4 1/2 stars. 

Madeline has a Ph.D. in Art History, and she teaches at the college level. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons.

Today, Madeline brings us the story behind one of her Scottish historicals. And, just below this post, is my review of the book.

Be sure and comment and leave your email as Madeline is giving away a copy of her new release, The Most Dangerous Duke.
The Inspiration for Lord of a Thousand Nights

All kinds of things can inspire a story. It can be a character, a situation, even a setting seen while traveling. I have had all these things serve as the seeds of books. Only once, however, did I have a vision of a first scene come to me, so vividly that I had to write it down. I loved that scene after it was done, but I had no story to go with it! I then needed to invent a story that fit the scene. Here is how it happened. I saw a woman enter a medieval warrior’s tent, with the intention of killing him. By the time the scene is over, the tables have been turned and she is his captive. He then arranges for her to escape so he can follow her to the secret entrance to the castle he has under siege.

The basics of this scene derive the ancient story of Judith and Holofernes, from the ancient writings of the Apocrypha. Only in that story, she indeed kills him and saves her people. In mine, events take very different turns. She is Scottish widow, a scholar, and a virtuous woman who would die before she broke a promise or an oath. He is an English mercenary, a sensualist, and a rogue knight who can mesmerize women with his devastating smile.

The book that resulted is Lord of a Thousand Nights. That is the gorgeous hero’s nickname. The heroine finds that hilarious. Other knights are celebrated for their honor or bravery. This one is famous for his frequent fornication. Needless to say, there are many efforts on his part to make it one thousand and one nights after her.

Lord of a Thousand Nights is one of only two books I have written that are based in Scotland, and use Scottish characters and history (the other is Lord of Sin). It is set at the time of Edward III. It takes place on the southern border in the “contested lands”, where the heroine is “holding the fort” against the hero’s siege. 

He is in the employ of a lord fighting to reclaim his legacy from a Scottish laird who stole it. Ian, the hero, is indeed brave, almost reckless. He is also a bad boy and I had a wonderful time writing him. His history is less than stellar, and he believes he has done something in the past that is irredeemable.

This is one of my sexier stories. With that title I was sort of obligated to up the heat, right? I had forgotten how sexy until one of my friends reread it and emailed me a few questions regarding whether she was reading correctly that x and y had happened. Let us just say that Ian did not get his nickname for nothing.

The castle in question is not the main holding of the estate. It is an outlying property, and it is a tower house such as were built all over Scotland and northern England, especially in contested areas. 

Tall and stacked, they offered more security than a normal castle. The entrances at the time were up at least one level, making it harder to capture them. In times of war, the stairs to the entrance could be burned to offer more protection.

Tower castle

Ian is an inventor, without even knowing he is. He just solves problems. He hates that tower and all its stairs and inconveniences. As the story moves along, periodically he finds a way to make those multiple levels less of a burden with contraptions he builds. 

Scottish Borderlands

My medieval historicals remain among my favorite books. If you like action and intrigue along with hot romance, you may want to take a look at them on my Website.

Madeline’s next book, The Most Dangerous Duke in London, will be released on May 30. Comment to win a copy! And see the book on Madeline's website Here.

Name and title: Adam Penrose, Duke of Stratton. Affiliation: London’s elite Society of Decadent Dukes. Family history: Scandalous. Personality traits: Dark and brooding, with a thirst for revenge. Ideal romantic partner: A woman of means, with beauty and brains, willing to live with reckless abandon. Desire: Clara Cheswick, gorgeous daughter of his family’s sworn enemy.

Clara may be the woman Adam wants, but there’s one problem: she’s far more interested in publishing her women’s journal than getting married—especially to a man said to be dead-set on vengeance. Though, with her nose for a story, Clara wonders if his desire for justice is sincere—along with his incredibly unnerving intention to be her husband. If her weak-kneed response to his kiss is any indication, falling for Adam clearly comes with a cost. But who knew courting danger could be such exhilarating fun?


  1. Fantastic interview and blurb. Fornecation really.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Charlene. Do leave an email if you want to be in the drawing for the book!

    2. Yes, be sure to leave that email addy!

    3. My email is

  2. Thank you for sharing. I love the scene you described. Sounds like it was fun to write.

    1. It was tons of fun to writer. Acutally it wrote itself, and that so rarely happens!

    2. Tracey, thanks so much for leaving a comment. Do give us your email for the drawing for the book.

  3. What a great plot idea! Sounds terrific and I love the Lord's nickname. Looking forward to your new release.

    1. Thank you, Anne. It is both a fun and emotional book, which is sort of hard to balance. I hope you give it a try.

    2. Anne, leave us your email and you might win the book!

    3. Anne Carrole, you are the winner! Please message me (using the email symbol on the left sidebar) and tell me your email so Madeline can send you the book! Congratulations!

  4. Replies
    1. Joana, if you want to be considered in the drawing for Madeline's newest, leave your email.

  5. I love your novels. Have some of the old ones I need to revisit. This new book sounds intriguing Bec if the plot, sworn enemies fall in love?! That's I've got to read!

  6. i like to read this novels, it's wonderful. thanks for good review