Contests…from Medieval Times to Presidential Elections by Lauren Linwood


Lauren Linwood saying (with a smile on her face), “Well, we survived! What? The 2016 presidential election!”

I taught US History for many years and will admit that I enjoy the time leading up to our country electing a new president. Of course, this recent election was a pretty crazy one. It reminded me of when Andrew Jackson ran for the presidency back in the 1820s, which was the talk of the town—and nation—while the mudslinging went on. I am glad this presidential race has ended. I hope our country is ready to move on in a positive manner and that supporters of each candidate can be gracious to one another and unite as Americans.

jacksonContests, such as our recent election, have been held throughout time. In my historical romances, I’ve written about many different contests, whether they involved dunking for apples (A Knight for Kallen) and shooting pistols (Written in the Cards—and my heroine Maggie won that contest!) to playing poker (A Game of Chance).

As an author, I even entered a few contests lately and came up with some nice results. Illusions of Death took 3rd place for romantic suspense in the International Digital Awards, while A Knight for Kallen was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for historical romance.

In my latest release Word of Honor—Book 1 in The Knights of Honor (under my alter ego’s name of Alexa Aston), contests play a huge role. My hero Geoffrey de Montfort accuses an enemy of treason and must engage in a trial by battle with him, a very physical contest for this era. If his opponent wins, he will be declared innocent and Geoffrey would be found guilty of perjury. If Geoffrey prevails, treason means that the other man will lose his life. The stakes are high, but my hero knows that he fights for his king and country.


Geoffrey also competes in a joust later in the book. Jousting was accomplished atop a knight’s horse. This one-on-one between warriors at a tournament tested the men’s skills and reflexes. By the 1300s, the era for this romance, jousting involved elaborate costuming and armor. Ladies would even give a token of their affection to a competing knight. The joust—and tournaments in general—became high entertainment and ended with prizes awarded and banquets of numerous courses, followed by dancing. I’m sure I’m in good company with the medieval romance readers out there when we think of Heath Ledger jousting and then dancing to David Bowie’s Golden Years in A Knight’s Tale!

knights-3One random commenter below will win a copy of Word of Honor. Here’s the blurb to entice you:

Become swept away in Alexa Aston’s new Knights of Honor, a medieval series set in the time of Edward III’s reign in England. At its heart are Geoffrey and Merryn, who will find lasting love in Word of Honor. This pair plays a part in each book of the series—sometimes small, sometimes large—as new couples come together to find passion and true love. Each romance focuses on honor and the code of chivalry that bound knights of this era.

1351 A.D. – Betrothed from a young age, Merryn Mantel and Geoffrey de Montfort are that rare couple—a love match. They spend five long years apart when Geoffrey leaves England to fight against the French. Geoffrey returns after the English victory at Poitiers, and he and Merryn wed. They spend one blissful night consummating their love, looking forward to a promising future together.

Yet Geoffrey vanishes the next day. Merryn is left lonely and confused as she clings to the hope that one day her husband will come back to her. Geoffrey finally returns almost seven years later. This new Geoffrey is a stranger to Merryn. He refuses to reveal where he has been and why he stayed away from the woman he loved.

Will her husband’s silence create a rift too large to heal, or can Geoffrey and Merryn recapture the love they once shared?

Join Geoffrey and Merryn as they fight for the love both have held in their hearts despite their years apart.


Word of Honor is only 99 cents and available exclusively at: Amazon


Follow Lauren Linwood:

As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones. Lauren’s historical novels focus on two of her favorite eras—medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the treasured gift of love. She also writes romantic suspense, where modern heroes and heroines unite to defeat a strong antagonist and discover a deep, abiding love during their journey. Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for House Hunters addicts—as soon as she finishes her next piece of dark chocolate.

6 Responses

  1. Victoria Vane

    Enjoyed your post. I, too, am glad the election is over. I’m beyond ready to move on! Your story sounds really great and the cover is also beautiful! 🙂

    • alexaaston

      I’m worn out by this election, Vicki! I’m ready for a little civility. Maybe if everyone read romance novels, the world would be a kinder place!

  2. Glenda

    Word of Honor sounds interesting. I do love the cover! I hope she makes him work to make up for the lost time. 😉 Also, add me to the list of people very happy the election is over. Lets hope people are able to move on and work together.