Shannon here: Medieval Epic High Fantasy author, Janalyn Voigt shares her romantic destination, plus a chance to win a PDFdownload or mobi file copy of her book, DawnSinger. Comment on this post to get your name in the drawing. Deadline: July 28th, 11:59 pm, central time. Here’s Janalyn:
While writing DawnSinger, book one of my epic fantasy trilogy, Tales of Faeraven, I dreamed up a castle that would be Torindan, high hold of Faeraven, and then came upon pictures of Leeds Castle that resembled the stronghold of my imaginings. Shae, the heroine of DawnSinger, enters a confusing world when she journeys to Torindan, where all is not as it seems. Not dissimilarly, Leeds Castle, as home to queens and kings of England for nearly three centuries, garnered its share of romantic and political intrigue.
The castle was first built in stone after the Norman Conquest in 1119. It transferred to the British Crown in 1278. In 1552 a succession of wealthy families took ownership of the castle until it was donated in 1974 to the Leeds Castle Foundation, a charitable trust set up to maintain it as a “living castle.” Leeds Castle and its idyllic 500-acre setting are now open to the public. The nearly-1,000-year-old building is a treasure trove of antiques and a place redolent of history.
Leeds was described by noted historian, Lord Conway, as the loveliest castle in the world. It is located in the heart of the Kent countryside in a picturesque valley of the River Len. Visitors enjoy a variety of activities, from falconry to hot air balloon rides.
In addition to the castle itself, visitors to Leeds can also explore:
The Maze: The visitor who persists to the center of this maze, built with 2,400 yew trees about twenty-four years ago, is rewarded with a panoramic view. Staff members positioned above the maze help guide the lost.
The Aviary: Over 100 species of rare and beautiful birds inhabit the outdoor aviary.
The Dog Collar Museum & Gift Shop: Those who enjoy historical trivia will find the Dog Collar Museum, with its large collection from five centuries of pooches, fascinating.
Culpeper Garden: Box hedges bordering lovely, scented flower beds in a gorgeous English garden that offers opportunities for holding hands with your sweetheart.
Restaurant & Shops:– The castle vineyard More than 8,000 bottles of wine are produced each year from the castle vineyard. Award-winning Leeds Castle wines are sold exclusively in the castle restaurant and shops.
Many weddings are held at Leeds Castle. It’s also the perfect spot for a romantic vacation. To learn more about Leeds Castle, visit: http://www.leeds-castle.com/land.php.
About Janalyn: Janalyn Voigt’s unique blend of adventure, romance, suspense, and fantasy creates worlds of beauty and danger for readers. Beginning with DawnSinger, her epic fantasy series, Tales of Faeraven, carries the reader into a land only imagined in dreams.
Janalyn also writes western romance novels, and will publish in that genre under Janalyn Irene Voigt. She is represented by Barbara Scott of Wordserve Literary. She serves as a literary judge for several national contests and is an active book reviewer. Her memberships include ACFW and NCWA.
About the book: The High Queen is dying… At the royal summons, Shae mounts a wingabeast and soars through the air to the high hold of Faeraven, where all is not as it seems. Visions warn her of danger, and a dark soul touches hers in the night. When she encounters an attractive but disturbing musician, her wayward heart awakens. But then there is Kai, a guardian of Faeraven and of Shae. Secrets bind him to her, and her safety lies at the center of every decision he makes. On a desperate journey fraught with peril and the unknown, they battle warlike garns, waevens, ferocious raptors, and the wraiths of their own regrets. Yet, they must endure the campaign long enough to release the DawnKing—and the salvation he offers—into a divided land. To prevail, each must learn that sometimes victory comes only through surrender. Purchase: http://amzn.to/M9kKeG.
Come back August 30th for Janet Bly (Steven Bly’s widow)!