Thunder on the Moor
by Andrea Matthews
GENRE: historical time travel romance
Maggie Armstrong grew up enchanted by her father’s tales of blood feuds and border raids. In fact, she could have easily fallen for the man portrayed in one particular image in his portrait collection. Yet when her father reveals he was himself an infamous Border reiver, she finds it a bit far-fetched—to say the least—especially when he announces his plans to return to his sixteenth-century Scottish home with her in tow.
Suspecting it’s just his way of getting her to accompany him on yet another archaeological dig, Maggie agrees to the expedition, only to find herself transported four hundred and fifty years into the past. Though a bit disoriented at first, she discovers her father’s world to be every bit as exciting as his stories, particularly when she’s introduced to Ian Rutherford, the charming son of a neighboring laird. However, when her uncle announces her betrothal to Ian, Maggie’s twentieth-century sensibilities are outraged. She hardly even knows the man. But a refusal of his affections could ignite a blood feud.
Maggie’s worlds are colliding. Though she’s found the family she always wanted, the sixteenth century is a dangerous place. Betrayal, treachery, and a tragic murder have her questioning whether she should remain or try to make her way back to her own time.
To make matters worse, tensions escalate when she stumbles across Bonnie Will Foster, the dashing young man in her father’s portrait collection, only to learn he is a dreaded Englishman. But could he be the hero she’s always dreamed him to be? Or will his need for revenge against Ian shatter more than her heart?
Welcome Andrea Matthews! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Is Thunder on the Moor a single title, or part of a series?
Thunder on the Moor is book one in an ongoing series, which so far consists of three books: Thunder on the Moor, Ride with the Moonlight, and Shake Loose the Border.
What were your inspirations for the story?
I was doing some research into my husband’s family tree when a friend gave me a book entitled Steel Bonnets by George MacDonald Fraser. Our surname, Foster (Andrea Matthews is my pen name) was listed as one of the infamous border reiver names, and being my husband was from the north of England, they thought I’d find it interesting. I did, so intriguing in fact I wrote a book involving those very reivers.
Please share your setting for Thunder on the Moor. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Thunder on the Moor is set on the Border region between England and Scotland in the sixteenth century. I have had the opportunity to visit the area and found it beautiful, with rolling hills and mist-covered hilltops. That’s what I loved the most. I could just imagine these rugged men riding across the moors in the leather jacks and steel bonnets.
When did the writing bug first bite?
First grade. Seriously! I wrote my first book, which was a picture book on holidays, written and illustrated by me. It received an F. The teacher didn’t even display it and told my mother that it wasn’t up to the standard of the other students. My mother, and first fan, promptly told the teacher that she was under the impression that the students were meant to do their own work, and that she was sure if the other students had, like I had, their work wouldn’t be up to my standard. Go Mom! She kept that book for years.
Who are your favorite authors, books/series?
Jane Austen (Yes, I’m still in love with Mr. Darcy), Victoria Thompson, G. K. Brady, Nancy Herriman, Chloe Holliday, Sabrina Flynn, J K Rowling (as Robert Galbraith as well), Katherine Lowry Logan, Nancy Scanlon, Elizabeth St. John . . . The list is extremely long as I tend to read between forty and fifty books a year, usually in binges between writing my own.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Victoria Thompson, Katherine Lowry Logan, Nancy Scanlon, Susanna Gregory, and probably James Patterson to start out with. How many can I have?
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I’ve been working on my genealogy since I was twelve and enjoy it immensely, so it’s one of the things I look forward to doing when I take a break.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
This is going to sound really weird, but I saw two slugs mating once. At least, I think that’s what they were doing?
What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?
Believe in yourself and keep working at your craft. And in the words of Winston Churchill, “Never give in.”
Hurrying up the turnpike steps, she passed by one of the few decent-sized windows and froze. She could see over the barmekin wall from here, and her eyes fixed on the rugged men who bore down upon them from the southwest. With a flaming spear signaling their lawful approach, the band of angry horseman sallied forth, trumpet blasting and sleuth hounds barking at their heels.
The glint of sunlight hitting a sword caught her attention, and she squinted to see better, cursing herself for not sneaking a pair of binoculars along on the journey. She uttered a quick prayer, hoping it might be Dylan or her uncle, but she couldn’t tell, not at this distance.
Biting her lip, she focused on the figure who came closer to the barmekin wall with each stride of his horse. How angry he looked in his plated jack with his pike held high. And yet something about him unleashed an entire flock of butterflies within her stomach and sent shivers down her spine so intense they caused her knees to quiver.
It’s him! The late afternoon light illuminated his face, and though she couldn’t really distinguish his features enough to identify him, somehow she knew. The heat rose in her cheeks, and she fanned herself, determined to retain her composure.
Full disclaimer: I read the book, however, I didn’t love it like I thought I would. There were some passages (Chapter 18) that are disturbing and I almost didn’t finish it. Time Travel books are catnip for me, however, this is a 3 book series featuring the same characters and I like a book to be finished. This one is not. Some people like to follow characters and typically I do, too. That said, let me tell you what I do like about the book.
Ms. Matthews knows her history. The book is thoroughly researched, and it shows. Plus, it’s time travel in Scotland. Major points for me. The plot itself is great and the characters are phenomenal. Dialogue is spot on and no worries if you don’t “get” a word or phrase. There is a glossary at the back of the book. Trust me, I needed the glossary. LOL! Maggie’s dad is great and I would follow him anywhere, but you need to know that time travel isn’t a secret. Sometimes the romance, while engaging, feels forced. I can’t give it away in the review, but if you read the book, you will understand. A bit on the spicy side, but unnecessary. Again, read the book and you will get it.
This is Ms. Matthews’ debut novel, and it’s a good one; just not a great one. I might binge-read the complete series once it is finished. I will be checking out her other series, The Cross of Ciaran. Nothing beats a good Irish romance with time travel elements.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen-hundred-year-old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.
Buy Link: Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Thunder-Moor-Andrea-Matthews-ebook/dp/B07ZS7V3TB
Andrea Matthews Historical and Paranormal Romance – Website – https://andrea-matthews.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/AMatthewsAuthor
Instagram – www.instagram.com/andreamatthewshistoricromance
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Andrea Matthews will be awarding an Ebook copy of books 2 and 3 in the series to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.