So, I have a few super exciting A Wind from the Wilderness announcements to make.

First, I came up with a series name! This project has been known as Outremer for a number of years, but that was always more of a working title. From now on, the official series title is Watchers of Outremer.

Second, I am working with Jenny Zemanek of Seedlings Design Studio to produce the cover design. I'm super excited because Jenny is my favourite cover designer ever (if you don't know why, just go and look at her portfolio. What a visual feast!). I cannot wait to see what she comes up with - or to share it with you all!

Third, I am currently working like a navvy on preparing my manuscript for its date with its editor. I've hired editors before, but never such an experienced one, nor asked for such a rigorous edit. Lucy will be attacking everything from plot and character to word choice and punctuation, and again, I can't wait to see what an improvement she'll make to my story. 

Working as an indie author often means giving your work the editing and cover design you can afford, not the editing and cover design you dream about. I'm so grateful that I can give A Wind from the Wilderness the care I believe it deserves, and I want to thank everyone who has helped with this by buying, reading, and spreading the word about my books!


What I've been reading


Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted is a big, twisty fairy tale adventure for grown-ups. While there were some things I didn't appreciate so much about it, this Nebula Award-winning novel is beautifully written, atmospheric, and meaningful.


Discount ebooks


The Rakshasa's Bride has a gorgeous new cover - and it's on sale this week for just $0.99! 

Preeti Kamla has the evil eye. It’s the only explanation for the tragedy and disgrace besetting her once wealthy family. But when a handsome stranger in the village square tells her he has broken her curse, Preeti almost believes him.

Until a twist of fate whisks her away from everything she knows, and the gruesome Demon Rajah claims her as his bride. 

A rich and romantic retelling of Beauty and the Beast in the style of a Bollywood epic. Novella, approximately 18,000 words.



I spent yesterday afternoon devouring Rabia Gale's The Mourning Cloak - a wonderful fantasy novella with rich world-building and an action-packed plot. The best thing? You can get it on Amazon for just $0.99!

Kato Vorsok lost everything the day he was defeated at the gates of his enemy’s stronghold. Deserted by his god, estranged from his people and living in exile, he wants nothing to do with his old life.

Until the night he encounters a wounded mourning cloak, a demon who can walk through walls and spear a man's heart with a fingernail.

She knows who he is. She speaks his dead wife's name. And she needs his help.

Kato failed once. Can he fight again—and win?


Don't miss the big 99c book sale over at SFF Book Bonanza! There are dozens of books on sale.


The Covetous Princess


Last week, I shared the amazing real-life story of Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem. As I mentioned at the time, Melisende became queen because her father, Baldwin II, had no sons...just four remarkable daughters.


Baldwin's second daughter was Alice of Antioch. When she was just 16, Alice married the 18-year-old heir to the principality of Antioch, Bohemond II. 


But the marriage was not to last. Four years later, Bohemond was killed in battle and Alice's infant daughter, Constance, inherited the principality. Alice's father, as the king of the nearby kingdom of Jerusalem, was asked to govern Antioch as its regent. The 20-year-old Alice, however, had different ideas. Quickly, she seized control of the city and sent a messenger to the Turkish ruler of Aleppo, asking if she could make an alliance with him. She even offered to marry Constance to a Turkish prince!


Alice had supporters, but many of the nobles of Antioch remained faithful to Constance, the rightful princess. When King Baldwin arrived outside the city, they opened the gates to let him in and Alice was forced to give up Antioch and retire to her own cities of Latakia and Jabala.


The following year, King Baldwin died, leaving the throne of Jerusalem - and the regency of Antioch - to Alice's sister Melisende and brother-in-law, Fulk of Anjou. For Alice, this was another chance to get control of Antioch and she quickly retook the city, this time allying with two other Crusader states, the counties of Tripoli and Edessa.  Once again, King Fulk of Jerusalem had to march north  and oust her with the help of the Antiochene barons.

At this stage, some women would have given up. Not Alice. In 1135, still in her mid-twenties, Alice began negotiating a marriage for Constance with the heir to the Byzantine empire, Manuel Comnenus - regardless of the fact that the young princess was still underage. With Constance safely shipped off to Constantinople, the coast would be clear for Alice to rule Antioch in her place. Sensing the danger, the barons of Antioch came up with a plan.


Not long after, the dashing Western nobleman Raymond of Poitiers arrived in Antioch. At first, Alice was suspicious - why had no one told her he was coming? But the Patriarch (bishop) of Antioch quickly reassured her that the dashing Raymond had travelled east to marry the still young and wealthy Alice herself. Flattered, Alice prepared for the wedding. Once she was married to the capable and experienced Raymond, nothing would stop the pair of them from ruling Antioch.


Alice was in for a shock. Within days, her daughter Constance was kidnapped from the palace, rushed to the cathedral of Antioch and married to Raymond of Poitiers by the Patriarch himself. Through his marriage to the reigning princess, Raymond became prince of Antioch, and his military experience made him the clearly preferred choice as ruler. Humiliated, Alice had to retire to her own possessions, where she died (possibly of disappointment) within a few months.

Despite Alice's naked thirst for power, I find her story fascinating. Like many medieval women, she believed firmly in her own capabilities and saw no reason to quit a job she thought she was good at. Not only this, but she must have had significant support among the Antiochene nobles in order to make a bid for power in the first place. Medieval women often were far more liberated than we tend to imagine.


~Happy reading!
Suzannah Rowntree


Find my books online


Arthurian Fantasy

Even if the kingdom could be saved, is she the one to do it? Or is someone else the Pendragon's Heir?

Web Site

© 2017 MailUp Inc. All rights reserved

Copyright © 2018 Suzannah Rowntree, All rights reserved.


You are receiving this email because you signed up to Suzannah Rowntree's author mailing list.


Unsubscribe here

View web version