On The Trail of Yesterday's Rose is the first of a series telling the story of Gaelynn Blackwood. The take begins in modern Vallejo, a moderate sized city just north of the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Gaelynn has grownup a loner, spending her time devoted to learning all she can about the medieval life and karate. She has no friends, for she is completely convinced she will be sent back in time to become a knight and fulfill a greater purpose.
Gaelynn does manage to get a few people on her side: her mother, her Karate teacher, and one of her brothers. Most of her family just indulges her 'wacky' ideas. When the time arrives and a spell cast out of a grimoire actually works, Gaelynn discovers all is not what it appears.
The land is not the place and time she expected. Her skills and training don't keep her out of trouble. The knights expectations are different - women don't fight, they stay home and take care of the household and family. No one trusts her when her story is full of holes. She is placed under the watchful eye of Sir Braeden du Faucione. Instead of accepting her situation, Gaelynn is resentful and becomes obstinate. She pushes every button Sir Faucione has, hoping she will be released to be her own woman.
When she disobeys orders, getting blamed for one man's injuries and causing her own horse to be put down, the resulting punishment is an eye-opener. Gaelynn resolves to do better. The friction between Gaelynn and Braeden turns to desire.
Sir Braeden du Faucione is in a hurry to get home. His brother, Gregory, dearly wants to be heir to the Barony over himself. Gregory has made multiple attempts to kill Braeden already, and Braeden has no doubts Gregory will try again during the long journey home from Livanya to Greycliff. Gaelynn decides to accompany them, having deduced that Greycliff has to be England, and it has to be better than the desert she landed in.
Along the way, they will face bad weather, kidnappers, assassins sent by Braeden's brother, and one amorous King bent on having Gaelynn for himself.
The Chronicles of Greycliff, along with the occasional short story are filled with many colorful characters. Here are some excerpts from previous posts to reintroduce you to a few of them...When you go to each of these profile links, there may be spoiler information on the book.
Walthen of Campo was born of humble origins. His father was a village blacksmith and his mother, born in the local area. Walthen was meant to be an apprentice to his father until the Goddess Chanxeri sent dreams to Walthen and his parents with a clear meaning: Walthen was to become one of her Priests. At the tender age of five, Walthen was turned over to the Priests of the closest Black Arrow Temple for training.
to read more about Walthen of Campo, click on this link
Sir Kevin of Faucione was born out of love, on the wrong side of the blanket. His sire, Sir Phillip, the Baron of Faucione fell in love with Kevin’s mother, Mary of Stagshead Village. Phillip brought Mary, along with Mary’s sister Cora and Cora’s husband Walter to a cottage built just for her outside of the village. A few years later, Mary gave Lord Phillip a daughter, Lucy. Phillip was a regular presence to his second family, teaching his son and daughter proper manners and etiquette. Phillip's wife, Lady Dierdre, the Baroness of Faucione, never knew of her husband's mistress.
To read more about Kevin, click on this link:
We first meet Sir Aumery of Faucione when he arrives with Sir Ranulf de Corbeau at the Temple of the Good Sisters of the Holy Trinity near the end of On the Trail of Yesterday’s Rose. Sir Aumery is known to Sir Braeden as a reliable man, trustworthy, and a solid knight to have beside him in a fight. Only Baron Phillip knows the truth about Aumery’s origins. As far as any of the other residents of the Faucione holdings know, Aumery is a penniless knight of dead parents. In truth, Aumery was disowned by his father, threatened with violence should he ever set foot on his birth lands again.
To read more about Sir Aumery, click on this link:
Sir Peter of Caroek is a deceptive man. He is related to Sir Walter of Caroek, a man Gaelynn decides is the Greycliff equivalent to Sir John Marshall, the father of Sir William Marshall - the famous English knight. Sir Caroek was in process of falling out of favor about the time Sir Braeden and his small party arrived at Karivane Castle. The Caroek family, manages to stay connected to the Royal family through carefully placed fosterings. As a young man, Peter swore an oath as a household knight to Braeden's father, Lord Phillip. As Phillip's confidence grew in Peter, he gave the young knight more duties to fulfill, including the occasional squire to train. One of those squires was Edward du Faucione.
To read more about Sir Peter, click on this link:
King Arken of Greycliff was seventeen years old when his father King Hadrell died of a serious illness. His mother, Dowager Queen Sareane insisted her son not wait until the age of majority (20), therefore making him the youngest prince crowned in Greycliff's history. Arken has two younger brothers, Prince Briac, the Duke of Stagrisvue, and Prince Faxon, the Duke of Nalavignon. Arken and his wife, Queen Reidun, have two sons. About the time Gaelynn arrives in Thaelia's World, Reidun dies from child bed fever. Finished mourning his wife, Arken develops a fancy for Sir Braeden's betrothed, a danger Braeden disregards until it is too late.
To read more about King Arken of Greycliff, click on this link:
Sir Edward du Faucione wants to break free of his follower role. Edward is the second son of Sir Joselin of Faucione, the hereditary Seneschal and holder of Sunderling Keep, and of Lady Annalin. Sir Joselin is a distant cousin of Braeden, and vassal to the Barony of Faucione. Edward’s fate was to become a household knight or join a temple as his older brother Lionel was designated heir in his father’s place. Edward was sent to Faucione to begin training as a squire to Sir Peter, where he was befriended by Gregory; the younger son of Baron Faucione.
To read more about Sir Edward du Faucione, click on this link:
The words of Captain Picard, "Make it so" fit Sir Ranulf de Corbeau. He is the second in command for Sir Braeden du Faucione, and stands ever ready to defend his future liege. Ranulf has been the best friend, and sworn man, to Braeden since they met as pages at Baron Wymerth's keep. He comes from a good family; he is the third son of an Earl. The family claims to have Haeveldt, the lover of the Goddess, Thaelia, as a ancestor. Ranulf was blooded at 15 years. Phaelyng raiders ambushed the hunting party, killing Ranulf's father, Ranulf in turn killed the responsible Phaelygman.
To read more about Sir Ranulf de Corbeau, click on this link:
Sir Braeden du Faucione (pronounced faw-CY-on) is his father's declared heir over his younger brother, Sir Gregory du Faucione. Braeden is sent by his father, Baron Phillip du Faucione to foster as a page, and ultimately staying to train as a squire, at the Keep of Sir Owen, the Baron of Wymerth. While at Wymerth, Braeden meets Ranulf de Corbeau. The two boys become fast friends. After earning their spurs, Ranulf swears allegiance to Braeden. Baron Wymerth's training program for squires is unique in Greycliff. The Lord trains selected boys for service to the Greycliff Crown in special skills, according to each boy's abilities. After earning their spurs, the special knights are forever at the beck and call of the King when a need of their unique skills can be of use.
To read more about Sir Braeden du Faucione, click on this link:
Gaelynn Blackwood is the heroine of the story. She was born in Vallejo, California, the youngest of five siblings to Reggie and Amelia Blackwood. Gaelynn's a loner, with no real friends. As long as any of her family can remember, Gaelynn has been convinced she was born in the wrong time. Of course, to the Blackwood family, the youngest child only has that idea in her head from surrounding herself with medieval books and movies. As Gaelynn, or Gael to her brothers and sister, reaches the age of sixteen when the book begins, she is 100% convinced she can not only go back in time to the medieval age, but she will become a knight when she gets there. Her brother Christopher thinks she is crazy. Gaelynn does join a SCA Guild, where she starts her squire training - and has her first love.
To read more about Gaelynn Blackwood, click on this link:
For the next series, more profiles will be added.
Stay safe out there!