An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse by Alexa Aston

One of the lines I like most from movie history is, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” uttered by Marlon Brando in the classic film The Godfather.

The speaker is Don Corleone, godfather to Johnny Fontane. A film executive has refused to give Fontane a part in his film, and Fontane is complaining bitterly to his godfather, thinking nothing can be done. Once the don promises to “make him an offer he can’t refuse,” audiences couldn’t imagine what Corleone could possibly do to change the mind of the head of a movie studio who’d been adamant that Fontane wouldn’t appear in his film.

Well…it was the severed head . . . of the exec’s very expensive racehorse—left in his bed. Yikes!

Afterward, Johnny gets the part. After all, no one says no to Don Corleone.

Not that Kathryn Le Veque could be compared to Don Corleone, but this bestselling, award-winning Queen of Medieval Romance recently made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. When Kathryn comes calling, you sit up straighter. You’re on your best behavior. And you want to please her. She is the best at what she does, not only entertaining masses of readers but helping mentor authors. I am blessed to be one of those authors she has nurtured, and I am the richer for her suggestions and guidance.

 

So what was Kathryn offering? Well, something that scared the pants off of me!

She is an author who has teamed with Amazon to create one of their Kindle Worlds. Her series about the de Wolfes are at the center of this Kindle World, and Kathryn invites select authors to write in her world. You may write about one of William de Wolfe’s ancestors or descendants. You can contribute a paranormal, a western, a contemporary—the sky’s the limit!

When Kathryn asked me to come play in her world, I was honored and yet frightened. Kindle Worlds focuses strictly on novellas—and I’d never written one before. How was I supposed to pack an entire story into 20,000-40,000 words? Frankly, I didn’t know if I could do. But when Le Grande Dame Le Veque comes calling, my answer will always be a resounding YES!

I promptly read two novellas by authors I like, just to get a feel for how a shorter romance could play out. I frantically sent my editor an email, begging for advice. He gave me some wonderful tips—which he’ll tell you that I proceeded to ignore (but I printed them out and promise him that I’ll use them someday!).

I decided my novella would involve the great-granddaughter of William de Wolfe, and that she would meet a man from my de Montfort clan. Together, these two would become the parents of Geoffrey de Montfort, the hero of my Knights of Honor series. His love story with Merryn Mantel is told in Word of Honor, and Geoffrey and Merryn make appearances throughout all ten books in this series. The wonderful Dar Albert, who’s designed every cover in the series, was on board for this novella/prequel, as well.

The World of De Wolfe Pack will launch January 26 on Amazon. I’m so pleased to have been invited to contribute a novella that joins two powerful families in England, the de Wolfes and the de Montforts. And now that I’ve written one, who knows? More may be in my future!

Look for Rise of De Wolfe at the end of next month. Here’s the blurb to tease your interest:

1321 A.D. – After her brother’s death at the Battle of Bannockburn, Elia de Wolfe is sent to the royal court to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Isabella. The granddaughter of Patrick de Wolfe, known as Nighthawk, and great-granddaughter of William de Wolfe, the Wolfe of the North, Elia is fiercely proud of her heritage and yearns to return to her home after years of fostering with the queen. When she learns her father is determined to keep her far from the border troubles with Scotland, Elia makes plans to return home.

Ferand de Montfort lost his young wife and son in childbirth and seeks a new bride—this time, one of his own choosing. He travels to London and is captivated by Elia de Wolfe, a spirited and intelligent woman. Elia convinces Ferand to escort her home, understanding she will be in his debt. Ferand hopes collecting that debt will include making Elia his wife.

Elia’s increasing reluctance to reach home springs from her growing attraction to Ferand. She is torn between remaining loyal to her family and losing her opportunity for true love.

Join Ferand and Elia on their journey across England as they find love and unite two great English families, the de Montforts and de Wolfes, in this exciting prequel to The Knights of Honor medieval romance series.

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.

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