Amanda Forester Guest Blog, author of The Highlander’s Sword
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Olympic Style Coverage of a Medieval Joust
I love the Olympics. I’ve been glued to the couch since the games began cheering on the athletes in these crazy winter games. Since I write about medieval Scotland, I wondered how modern day sports casters would call a medieval joust? The following is the joust scene from my debut book, THE HIGHLANDER’S SWORD, with the added commentary and interviews from modern day sports casters.
Bob: Welcome everyone to the Olympic jousting field outside Dundaff Castle, Scotland, in the year 1347. It’s a bright sunny afternoon for a competition, with a brisk breeze flapping the colorful banners. On one side of the field we have the Golden Knight. He is a bit of mystery, is he not Mary?
Mary: That’s right, Bob. Not much is known about him other than he is representing France in the competition and he is wearing some fabulous golden armor.
Bob: On the other side of the field, representing Scotland, we have Sir Padyn MacLaren. He has fought extensively against the English; no one can question his work ethic in preparing for these games. He recently married Lady Aila Graham who is the heiress of Dundaff castle, so he is the local favorite, is he not?
Mary: Right again, Bob. I’m here on the Scot side as Padyn MacLaren is preparing for the joust. MacLaren, as you prepare to face The Golden Knight, knowing that the odds are not in your favor, what are your thoughts at this moment?
MacLaren: I’m thinking a lassie like ye shoud’na be betting. Watch yer head now.
Mary: Oh! Sorry, had to duck there as they brought out the lance. They are now attaching a sharp metal tip to the end of the lance. Can you tell us what that’s for?
MacLaren: Death. This be a joust of war. If ye’ll excuse me.
Mary: And with that Padyn MacLaren takes his place on his horse.
Bob: Thank you for that report Mary. My producers are now telling me that a “joust of war” is a competition in which the opponents fight to the death. Wait… death? Have I got that right? Yes, I have confirmation now; they will be fighting to the death. Back to Mary for the call from the field.
Mary: It’s quite a festive atmosphere out here Bob. Spectators are lining the field, cheering as the competitors take their places. And they’re off! Both riders spur their mounts to top speed. I have to mention that this course has been hastily made and there is no tilt or barrier to keep these two from crashing into each other. Both men are standing in their stirrups, leveling their lances and oh! MacLaren takes a hard hit to the head. He’s going to feel that one in the morning. MacLaren is returning rather slowly to his position. Let’s listen in as he confers with his coach, Sir Chaumont.
Chaumont: I thought you were supposed to hit him, not the other way around.
MacLaren: Thanks for setting me to rights. I shall attempt this new strategy.
Mary: And the athletes are back in their positions, ready for the next pass. Here they go! Racing again down the field, they are both showing fine form. This is where the training kicks in. And, oh, no! MacLaren is hit! Looks like he took a hard hit to the shoulder. I don’t like the looks of this, Bob. His arm is hanging limp. I think this injury may prove serious.
Bob: And there ends his Olympic dream.
Mary: Wait, I’ve just got word MacLaren will continue to compete. MacLaren, you’ve just suffered a serious injury and yet you’re planning on continuing. What is going through your mind right now?
MacLaren: I fear the question o’ who is better at this sport will no’ be answered in my favor.
Mary: As you prepare for almost certain doom in these, your last few moments on earth, is there any message you would like to leave your clan? Your new widow?
MacLaren: Widow? Aila a widow? Nay! I’ll no’ go down wi’out a fight. She’ll ne’er have any man but me!
Mary: And MacLaren is now mounting back up to prepare for his last pass, looking more determined than I’ve ever seen him. What a brave competitor, Bob.
Bob: Surely he must embody the spirit of these Olympics.
Mary: The riders are off again, racing toward each other at top speeds. What’s this? I can’t believe it! MacLaren has veered in front of the Golden Knight. He’s holding his lance out sideways… oh! He’s knocked the Golden Knight off his horse! Unbelievable Bob!
Bob: The Golden Knight is looking for a call from the referee. This may be a brilliant tactical move by MacLaren, but it’s hardly good sportsmanship. And no, the Golden Knight is not going to get the call. Apparently in a joust of war, anything goes.
Mary: The competitors will now face each other on foot with swords.
Bob: We need to break away now to bring you Viking ice dancing. Stay tuned for more on the jousting event, or better yet, buy a copy of THE HIGHLANDER’S SWORD to see how it ends! Also, you may be interested in seeing some video clips about the book; vote for the one you like best and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free book. And now to Jim for an interview with the flamboyant but always a crowd pleaser, Johann Weir.
Scottish Highlands romance is a perennial favorite, especially when it’s as intriguing and sexy as The Highlander’s Sword. Set against the backdrop of the rugged Scottish Highlands and the tumultuous 14th century, Lady Aila Graham is destined for the convent until her brother’s death leaves her an heiress and her father hastily arranges a marriage for her with a Highland warrior she’s never met. Misunderstandings between the battle-hardened knight and his lady are exploited by their enemies and threaten the entire clan. Only by throwing caution to the winds and forging a powerful bond together can they rout a traitor and save their people—and their love—from destruction.…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Forester holds a PhD in psychology and worked for many years in academia before discovering that writing historical romance novels was way more fun. She lives in the Pacific Northwest outside Tacoma, Washington with her husband, two energetic children, and one lazy dog. You can visit her at www.amandaforester.com.
*Thanks to the wonderful Danielle at Sourcebooks I’m thrilled to offer 2 copies of THE HIGHLANDER’S SWORD to two lucky commenters. Giveaway is open to the US and Canada only please. And trust me you do NOT want to miss this book, it’s awesome!!!*