Welcome to today’s Inspiration Award winner, J. R. Tomlin, who writes historical fiction set in fourteenth century Scotland.  Thanks so much for stopping by!


Someone recently asked me what I would write if I were to write the book of my heart. I said I had written it.  It was A Kingdom’s Cost.

Why?  There is a very old story in Scotland about a man named Sir James, Lord of Douglas. When the great king, Robert the Bruce, lay dying, he called his faithful friend and lieutenant Sir James Douglas to him. ‘Good Sir James’ the Scots called him. The English called him ‘the Black Douglas’. The king bade him to remove his heart from his body and to carry it on crusade, in penance for the king’s sins.

In Spain, the Douglas and his men, fighting the Moors on their way to the Holy Lands, were cut off from the main Spanish force. Sir James started to lead his men back, fighting their way through, but one of his men fell behind, so Sir James turned back. There, still bearing the heart of his king, Sir James was cut down.

But you see, the story started thirty years before that in France, where a young boy, his home seized by the English, his father dead in the Tower of London, swore that he would regain what was rightfully his.  What was rightfully Scotland’s.  Against incalculable odds.  Against one of the greatest armies and greatest kings in English history.

The Black Douglas and a kingdom’s cost. A story that had to be told.

The blurb:  Eighteen-year-old James Douglas can only watch, helpless, as the Scottish freedom fighter, William Wallace, is hanged, drawn, and quartered. Even under the heel of a brutal English conqueror, James’s blood-drenched homeland may still have one hope for freedom, the rightful king of the Scots, Robert the Bruce. James swears fealty to the man he believes can lead the fight against English tyranny.

The Bruce is soon a fugitive, king in name and nothing more. Scotland is occupied, the Scottish resistance crushed. Only James believes their cause is not lost. With driving determination, he blazes a path in blood and violence, in cunning and ruthlessness as he wages a guerrilla war to restore Scotland’s freedom. James knows he risks sharing Wallace’s fate, but what he truly fears is that he has become as merciless as the conqueror he fights.

Available at Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/56538   

Amazon UK:  http://tinyurl.com/3ek5n7z    Amazon:  http://tinyurl.com/3tokntq