Ever heard the saying behind every great man is a strong woman? I have, countless times, and I have to tell you, as a writer of historical fiction who spends a great deal of her time researching celebrated men from the past, I almost always discover that behind the renowned ruler, king, laird, prince, president, stood, you guessed it, a woman made of steel. Not literally, of course, but you get my drift.
Elizabeth de Burgh, the heroine of my newest release, OUTLAW KING, was an inordinately strong woman. I’ll even go so far as to say that without her, Robert the Bruce, may have never been crowned King of Scotland. If you’ve never heard the name, Elizabeth de Burgh, I’m not surprised. Women, especially in the past, did not get the recognition they deserved for their contribution to the man’s success.
As I was researching for OUTLAW KING, I discovered that at one time, Robert the Bruce was especially downtrodden after a particular battle, and he was on the verge of giving up. It was Elizabeth de Burgh who basically gave him a pep talk and reminded him that he was meant to be king and to free his people from the tyrannical rule of the King of England. Elizabeth was not only an apparently great motivator, but she was the goddaughter of the King of England, who was Robert the Bruce’s greatest enemy. I cannot imagine the tightrope Elizabeth had to walk between her godfather and her husband. She did, of course, ultimately throw her lot in completely with Robert, and in doing so, she became an enemy of King Edward as well. The things we women do for love!
Elizabeth is but one of many women I have read about who helped make a man into the leader he was. Did you know that Ghenghis Khan was driven to become a fearless leader by his love Borte? Ever heard of Napoleon? He credited his wife Josephine with instilling in him the confidence to become the man he was. Can you recall from your history lessons a man named Alexander the Great? Psst… his kingdom encompassed Greece to North Africa through Asia to India. Guess who molded Alexander into the ruler he was and then held down the fort in Greece when he went off to conquer the rest of the world – his mom Olympias!
I could go on, but you probably have a limited amount of time! If you love stories that have a strong heroine at their center who is paired with an equally strong man, I think you might want to check out OUTLAW KING! You can read the blurb below.
She’s the weapon intended to destroy him. He’s the key to her freedom.
Dark days have come to Scotland, and fierce warrior Robert the Bruce would do anything to release his country from English rule—and not just because he’s the rightful heir to the Scottish throne. As the bloody war rages on, enemies on both sides of the fight surround him, and Robert must dance a dangerous line between truth and deception. One misstep could topple his nation and cost him his life, yet one woman tempts him—and threatens his mission—as no other ever has.
Elizabeth de Burgh longs for freedom in a time when women have none. So when she finds herself ordered by her ruthless father and her godfather, the King of England, to seduce the leader of the Scottish rebellion and reveal his secrets, she yearns to fight back against their cruel plot. But they threaten to kill her beloved cousin, leaving her no choice but to comply. As she grows close to Robert and the mask that hides the man who would be king is peeled away, she cannot imagine aiding in the destruction of the noble Scot bent on liberating his people.
Bound by duty and honor but ensnared by passion, Robert and Elizabeth must determine if they are each other’s biggest threat or greatest source of strength. And moreover, they must decide how much they are willing to risk for the one thing neither ever imagined they’d find with the other—extraordinary, boundless love.
USA Today Bestselling Author Julie Johnstone is the author of twenty-two books. She writes historical romance in the Regency and Medieval periods. When not sitting at her desk typing, you can find Julie at the gym, chauffeuring her kids, travelling, reading, listening to music, or simply enjoying time with her friends. Julie loves to hear from her readers! Connect with her on any of the social media sites listed below.