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Friday, April 23, 2021

Reclaiming Ryda by Rachel Rossano 💕 Guest Post, Book Tour & Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Medieval Fantasy Romance)

Rydaria lives as a prisoner in a tower library. Captured as a child, her past is a mystery. Maintaining the literary treasures within her care, she studies the world through books that give her a glimpse of the freedom she craves.

A scribe by trade, Crispin has devoted the last three years of his life seeking the lost heir of Avalene. He travels to Worthenave’s famed library in hopes of finding the key. Instead, he discovers a new mystery, a beautiful librarian who is locked in with her books every night.

As the days pass, Crispin must choose. Rydaria’s precarious situation is deteriorating. Meanwhile, his duty demands he leave before the Duke of Worthenave uncovers his quest. Still, the scribe can’t bring himself to abandon the captive in the library tower, even if it costs him his mission.

Inspired by Rapunzel and East of the Sun West of the Moon

What inspired you to write this book?

Reclaiming Ryda began with wondering about what would make Rapunzel’s extended stay in isolation tolerable. I am a lover of books, and the idea of being able to spend hours and hours alone in a library sounded like bliss. Even in the post COVID world, I still think that. Ryda’s role as a captive librarian was born.

In the medieval period, which is the inspiration for my world-building, books are only in possession of the church and the fabulously rich. Which lead me to make her a captive of a nefarious duke intent on eventually manipulating her parents, whom she doesn’t remember.

The rest followed from there.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

While writing Reclaiming Ryda, I thoroughly enjoyed researching bookbinding in the medieval period, one of my hero's occupations. Also, exploring the kinds of books included in a medieval library turned out to be great fun. However, most of all, I enjoyed revisiting characters from the first book in the series and introducing characters who will appear later in the series.

How did you come up with the title for this novel?

Ryda, the heroine of Reclaiming Ryda, spends most of the book reclaiming her freedom, family, and herself with Crispin's help.

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I usually start with a concept or characters and develop the idea from there, keeping notes and brainstorming over multiple sessions. Usually, I begin by focusing on world-building, character-building, and relationship-building. After reaching a point where I have a good feel for the world, crisis points, and the characters, I do some high-level events plotting. Then, once I have planned about two-thirds of the book, I sometimes let things sit for a bit. Or, I might begin writing. As I write, I tweak, replot, or adjust as needed.

What made you want to become an author, and do you feel it was the right decision?

I began writing in earnest when I was still a teen. Still, I didn’t consider becoming an author until the year I graduated college. That was when I realized I wanted to publish my work. My primary motivation was sharing my stories with the world. I write because I love the process, and earning a bit by publishing is a perk. I never regret my decision. Some aspects of the job aren’t as pleasant as others, but I love being an author.


Distantly the noon bells sounded as I lifted the first of the scrolls into place. Hoping that the stranger would leave for his meal, I continued to replace the scrolls until at least a score of minutes had passed. The last one slid home with satisfying ease. Dusting myself off a bit, I descended to the first floor to check if my meal had arrived. 

It had.

Only one meal, the standard shavings of meat, a small loaf of bread, a pot of salted butter, and a bit of yellow cheese, lay on a tray at one end of the table. The jug of ale and a wooden cup sat next to the food.

The stranger still lingered. His satchel lay half-empty next to a mess of supplies and logbooks, scratch paper, and empty ink bottles covering the other half of the table. Pens in varying states of decay or disrepair were scattered about as though someone had sought a functional implement in haste and found them all lacking. Then, all of it had been shoved toward the end of the table to make room for the tray and such. The delivery boy had shown his customary lack of concern for anything beyond his task.

“Just push anything that is in the way aside.” The stranger himself stood next to the shelves where I had directed him, bent over the oldest log on the shelves.

“There is plenty of room, thank you,” I replied as I set about breaking the loaf into pieces. “Did you take your meal in the great hall?”

“I am well enough for now, thank you.” He didn’t look up from his perusal of the ledger.

From all I had read, large men seemed to require vast quantities of food. I glanced at the invader. He definitely fit the definition of large, but he didn’t have the manner of a warrior. I had seen many of those from my window perch and at my tower’s gate over the years. Though, I would definitely not consider him flabby or soft either.

As I considered the best descriptors for him, he lifted his gaze from the ledger and met my gaze. One golden-brown eyebrow rose in a silent question.

“You do not have the appearance of a man who skips meals regularly.”

“True, I don’t usually, but this is an exception.” He gestured to the laden shelves around us. “I have no way of knowing I will be allowed in again tomorrow.”

I shrugged. “I suspect you will. Worthenave likes showing off his collection, and admirers cannot fully appreciate it in only a single survey.”

“I prefer not to risk it.” His attention returned to the page.

Breaking my bread into two hunks, I opened up one of the linen napkins on the tray. Spreading it out, I set the bread hunk, half the cheese, and the meat shavings on it. I then folded the linen so that the food wouldn’t fall out.

Delivering the bundle took a bit more bravery, but I forced myself to act before I thought on it over much.

“To hold you until the evening meal,” I explained as I dropped it on the open shelf near his elbow. I returned to the table to focus on my own meal. 

For a few moments, I feared he would reject it, or worse, take offense that I had not believed him. Only the sounds of him eating put me at ease enough to devour my own meal efficiently. As I cleared away the remnants, he approached and dropped the crumpled napkin on top of the pile.

“Thank you.”


After her father uproots the family to the northern duchy of Brackenhurst, Grace Eldon and her four younger sisters struggle with a new life of hardship. Desperate to keep a roof over their heads amid mounting debts, she and her youngest sister seek employment in the Duke of Brackenhurst's household despite fearsome rumors.

Scarred and maimed from a terrible fire Silas Isling, Duke of Brackenhurst, buries himself in his work to avoid the stares of pity and fear. When one of the new maids shows no fear at his appearance, he is intrigued. That is until his meddling steward gives her the task of cleaning Silas' bookroom. It is a most unwelcome disruption since he prefers to be alone.

While a thief plagues his castle, an old nemesis reappears, and enemies invade in the guise of guests. Amidst the distractions and chaos, Grace brings some unexpected order. Once convinced his scars had stolen all hope for love, Silas finds his life forever changed by the quiet maid. Could she love a scarred Duke?

A reimagining of Beauty and the Beast


Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.


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