Medieval Monday with Sherry Ewing

It’s time for another Medieval Monday! Our theme is “Villains”.

I’m excited to share the third excerpt of this blog hop which is from Sherry Ewing’s book, A KNIGHT TO CALL HER OWN. At the end of the post, you will see where to go on the following Monday to find out what happens next.

Website: https://sherryewing.wordpress.com/blog/

Excerpt: 

“Well? What are you waiting for? Return to camp!” Abruptly, he turned her around so she sat more securely atop his lap, and she let out a gasp of outrage at the intimacy of her situation with her captor. She dared not squirm, given her current position, for sitting side saddle had her at a disadvantage. At least with her facing on an angle, she did not have to look upon his wretched face if she so chose. Ignoring him would be easy.

They covered the ground quickly and surely much faster than when Lynet had fled on foot. When she saw their campsite, she became instantly aware she, in truth, had not gone as far as she had hoped. ’Twas not hard to miss that his men had been busy during her brief respite from her unwanted reality. Already they were breaking up camp and putting out the fire to continue their journey north.

Buy Links: Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iBooks  Kobo

Follow along next week by checking out Bambi Lynn’s blog with excerpt #4 at https://bambilynnblog.wordpress.com/

Welcome, Patty Taylor!

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

What better way to celebrate than with my sweet friend and very talented author, Patty Taylor. Patty is visiting today with wonderful pictures of inspiration for her Highlander Magick Series. Take a look below for an excerpt that will have you wanting to read more!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Good Morning! I’m excited to be here and wish to thank my dear friend, Lane, for inviting me to her lovely site.

I enjoy centering my adventures in various places like Scotland’s mystical Isle of Skye, the magical Glens of Antrim in Northern Ireland and the secluded wilderness of Alaska – where fairies, brownies, shape-shifters and mythical creatures come to life.

Dunluce Castle

 

Dunvegan Castle – home of the Fairy Flag in Isle of Skye

The person who influenced me the most to pursue my writing, was my beloved Mother, Evelyn V. Taylor. Her own story of how she came to live in the United States and became a citizen of this country has always inspired me. Born and raised in County Down, Northern Ireland, she served in the British Army during WWII where she met and fell in love with my tall and handsome Daddy, a US Sergeant. Soon after they were married, she crossed the ocean by ship by herself, to wait the arrival of my Daddy’s return to the states. I’ll always admire her strength and courage for beginning a new adventure in a strange country with no family of her own, to start a life with the man she fell in love with and raise a family.  And with the discovery of my father having American Indian heritage, both cultures have made a huge impact on my imagination.

My Mum, Evelyn Taylor

I write fantasy/paranormal romance with a wee bit of magical lore woven into all my stories. I “love animals”, and enjoy spinning exotic fibers on my spinning wheels where I’ve blended my beloved Samoyeds (dogs) undercoats with alpaca, sheep and even Angora wool. I’m hoping one day for the opportunity to get my hands on some white wolf undercoat (or any wolf’s undercoat), but that’s another story . . .

Scrabo Tower, N. Ireland

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Today I thought I’d share a wee bit about my Highlander Magick Series

 

Mortal Magick is a time travel romance which begins in modern day Thurmont Maryland, and whisks the reader back in time to 18th century Isle of Skye, Scotland. A real beauty and the beast kind of story . . .

When an immortal Highlander falls in love with a human witch, “Mortal Magick” soon casts a spell of its own.

 Doomed for eternity to wander nights as half man and half creature, rugged Highlander, Duncan McCord, discovers his curse is the least of his problems when he sets out for a cure and rescues the beauty determined to help tame his beast. When a reluctant witch, Keara, gets whisked back to 18th century mystical Isle of Skye to learn lessons in magic, she faces the true test of love when she meets the man beyond her wildest dreams burdened with dark secrets from his past.  Forced together to journey through an enchanted country filled with mythical creatures and magical lore, will they survive in a world where evil sorcery reigns, or will a shocking twist of fate tear them centuries apart?

You can find Mortal Magick here: Amazon

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Sea Wolf Magick is the 2nd book in this series. If you like wolf shapeshifters and mythical creatures – I hope you enjoy the second adventure where true love is put to the test through time

When a seafaring Highlander Lycan rescues a cursed witch from the clutches of evil, a magical voyage fueled by fire and ice ignites more than just passion across the high seas.

Quinn McCord’s alpha wolf instincts compel him to search for others of his kind and offer safe haven on board his nautical home, The Sea Wolf.  His priorities are tested when sorcery lures him to a savage trap, and fate forces him to choose between his cravings for an irresistible witch, and his vast love of the sea.

Headstrong healer, Beth McMasters, uses her 21st century skills to help others, after returning to her rightful Scottish birthplace in 1797. While determined to remain single and restore her family’s good name, surges of unquenchable fiery passion and disturbing images cause grave doubts of her promise, and her future.  Rescued by the handsome Captain Quinn, who resembles the imaginary rugged Highlander sketched by her sister, Beth struggles with the cruel twist of fate when she learns her curse can destroy the only man she’s ever fallen in love with.

Will Quinn and Beth’s bond for each other be powerful enough to keep them together and find a cure for her curse before they run out of time, or will the truth of their legacy tear them apart? With the help of a miniature dragon, a crew of wolf shifters, trolls, and other mythical creatures, they journey across the Mystical Isle of Skye, to enchanting Iceland . . . for another adventure filled with magick and mayhem.

You can find Sea Wolf Magick here: Amazon

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I wanted to include a wee excerpt from one of the books, and finally decided to share a clip from Mortal Magick’s – Griselda’s Dungeon Scene – hope you enjoy!

“A frigid draft blew through an open window, imprisoned with cobwebs and thick bars. Goosebumps pricked her arms. A tapered light flickered in the corner of the room. A lone, thick candle sat perched on top of a stool. She peered around the eerie chamber searching for any signs of a blanket. Still shaken, she made her way to the seat splattered with gobs of melted wax and grabbed the only source of light. Taking short steps, using her other hand as a shield, protecting the flame from the increasing wind; she moved around her jail in search of a door.

By the Goddess!I’m stuck inside a dungeon! Now she knew how wild animals must feel trapped inside a cage. Like a brutal fist shoved in her face, the cold hand of reality struck her. She had to get out of here. Now.

She raced to the stool, seized it between her shaking fingers and carried it beneath the window to stand on. Her trembling hands grasped the thick, callous bars. Fighting back the surge of tears ready to burst, she took in a few deep breaths of fresh sea air. She tried concentrating on the moonlight reflecting off the ocean, far below.

The sun was already beginning to set. There would be a full moon tonight. The image of her mighty highlander filled her head. Bewitched from dark shadows of night fall, Duncan’s handsome face would soon change, revealing the beastly image. She realized, she’d desperately fallen in love with the beast as well as the human.”

The muscles in her chest tightened. Her heart fluttered while warm spasms of energy tingled up and down her limbs. Duncan was near. She felt him. He was headed straight for a trap. And she was the bait. She needed to escape and warn him before it was too late.

With nothing but miles of emptiness in sight, the roaring wind hurled splashing waves against the dismal cliff walls.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

 I had fun writing this scene, especially after looking inside a Castle dungeon.  Don’t worry – Keara escapes – with a wee it of help, of course . . . .  you’ll need to read Mortal Magick to find out how she got there in the first place and what happens next . . .

I love to hear from my readers and find out what they think of my stories! Please feel free to drop by my website and blog to say hello – or find me on Facebook at the links listed below. I look forward to hearing from you!

http://www.pattytaylorauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/PattyTaylorAuthor/

Heartfelt thanks once again to my gracious host and dear friend, Lane McFarland, for having me here today, and to all of you who took the time to stop by to hear about my stories, and leave your comments. I hope you’ll enjoy reading my new Highlander Magick Series!

 

 

 

 

The third book in the series is called “Dragon-Fae Magick”. I love dragons – and this one is already gearing up for lots more excitement!

Please make sure to leave a comment for a chance to have your name drawn on Friday evening for a free Kindle ebook copy of either Mortal Magick or Sea Wolf Magick!   Bye for now . . .

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you so much for visiting, Patty! I hope you have a very HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

 

Medieval Monday with Rue Allyn

It’s time for another Medieval Monday! Our theme is “Villains”.

I’m excited to share the second excerpt of this blog hop which is from Rue Allyn’s book, KNIGHT ERRANT. At the end of the post, you will see where to go on the following Monday to find out what happens next.

WEBSITE URL:   http://RUEALLYN.COM

BLOG URL: https://authortravels.com/

EXCERPT from KNIGHT ERRANT

She sighed again and continued to pace the room—ten steps long and five wide. If only she had something useful to occupy her time. Her thoughts showed an alarming tendency to drift to memories of Robert clothed in moonlight. She recalled too well the smooth slabs of muscle that formed his chest and arms. The arrow of moon silvered hair that danced downward and beneath the top of his breeches. The shadowed planes of his face and the soft curve of his lips. Longing, fresh and impossible, tugged at her belly.

A hard rapping at the door sent the memories flying. She counted, listening carefully. ’Twas neither the number nor pattern that Robert said he would use on his return. She was to keep the door locked until she heard his signal.

Follow along next week by checking out Bambi Lynn’s blog for excerpt # 3 https://bambilynnblog.wordpress.com

Thank you for sharing this excerpt, Rue!

Medieval Monday with Lane McFarland

It’s time for another Medieval Monday! Our theme is “Villains”.

Each Monday until May 1st, I will add short excerpts from some of my favorite authors’ books. At the end of the post, you will see where to find out what happens next on the following Monday. This will be a fun hop that will give you a peek at some wonderful books and very talented authors. I hope you enjoy it!

I’m starting out with an excerpt from third book in my daughters’ series, Lindsey.

WEBSITE URL:   WWW.LANEMCFARLAND.COM

EXCERPT FROM LINDSEY BY LANE MCFARLAND

Northumberland, England

August 1299

Lindsey MacDougall descended into the dark pit of hell. The stench of excrement and death struck her, but she resisted the urge to gag on the wretched fumes of brutality. Fearful tremors racked her body. She had made it thus far and prayed she could continue.

She glanced over her shoulder at the enemy soldiers standing guard on either side of the door she’d just passed through. Swords strapped to their sides, they watched her every move with steely eyes. Few outsiders were allowed in Collins’s dungeon. The men would not hesitate to sound the alarm if they grew suspicious of her and the reason for her visit.

Howls of anguish and despair drifted from below, and she envisioned Satan himself wielding instruments of torture. She gripped the worn stair railing with one hand, her large healer’s basket in the other, and eased her foot onto the next step, then the next. Cold air swirled up from the dark cavernous hole. Flames sputtered from torches secured in brackets lining the dank dungeon, monstrous shadows dancing up from the black abyss.

 

Follow along next week by checking out Bambi Lynn’s blog with excerpt #2 https://bambilynnblog.wordpress.com/

 

BLURB:

The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall Series

Set in late thirteenth century Scotland, this series tells the stories of Laird Alastair MacDougall’s four independent and oftentimes, headstrong daughters coming of age in a country fraught with war and feuds amongst rival clans. Follow his daughters as their lives become intertwined with four fierce, rebel highland warriors bent on eradicating the English soldiers from their homeland.

Lindsey

Who said life was fair? Certainly not Lindsey MacDougall. She rebels at a world dominated by men. Dressed in lad’s clothing, she manages her father’s stables, caring for, breeding and selling horses. Unwavering on performing her duty to the rebellion, Lindsey throws caution to the wind and secretly delivers missives behind enemy lines to the Scottish warriors.

Logan Ross uses his happy-go-lucky smile to warm the hearts of many willing lasses, but it also masks his pain—the pain of his birth. As a bastard son, he is unacceptable for any Laird’s daughter, including the spirited Lindsey MacDougall. However, she haunts his dreams. Determined to prove his worth, he throws himself into the middle of the rebellion, leading men into mortal danger.

After helping Logan escape from a brutal English dungeon, Lindsey fights her traitorous attraction to the virile highland warrior, vowing never to lose her heart to any man.

BUY LINK: AMAZON

Medieval Monday with Bambi Lynn!

It’s time for another Medieval Monday. This month’s theme is “Celebrating Nature”.

I’m thrilled to share a wonderful excerpt in Bambi Lynn’s, Mask of the Highlander!

Mask_of_the_Highlander_Bambi_LynExcerpt:

It was late afternoon by the time they arrived at the dilapidated cottage. The door was nearly impossible to find amidst the overgrowth, even to one who knew where it was. Ty halted his stallion nearby and helped Kenna down from her own horse.

She eyed him with the suspicion that had been growing steadily since they passed the first village. She had made no comment as they skirted the ramshackle huts, but her cheery prattle had diminished considerably. By the time they passed the second, she had clammed up like a mute and said nary a word. Since leaving the third village behind them, she had made no effort to hide her uncertainty.

Ty would have found her wariness endearing had he not known the source, but at least she did not cower from him in fear. The hate and loathing she had shown at his homecoming was gone, leaving only doubt and caution. He could not be more proud than to have a wife of such strength as Kenna Cleary Vass.

She stood there, looking back and forth from him to the hidden door. “What are we doing here?”

Her voice trembled. Ty ached to soothe her concerns, but nothing he could say would accomplish that. Soon enough she would trust him, and if not sooner, then later.

He smiled and jerked his head toward the mass of brambles that hid the cottage. “I have something for you…inside.” He reached through the brush and pushed the door open. Without waiting, he went inside and began lighting candles. By the time she joined him, the room was bathed in a soft glow that revealed a hideaway very different from the one they had visited the last time.

Kenna stopped just inside the threshold, a gasp of surprise the only sound in the small cottage. Ty busied himself starting a fire in the hearth, giving her time to look around. He squatted before the fire, staring at the growing flames. He ached to see her face, to know if she was pleased with what he had done.

He tensed when he felt her behind him. His body was already so hard for her. His craving surprised him at times. He was like a man starved, and she the only sustenance that could satisfy him. His skin tingled when she placed her hand on his shoulder.

“You did this?”

He stood, towering over her and filling the small room. “Lá breithe shona dhuit,” he whispered.

She frowned at the phrase. “It’s my birthday?” He nodded. She looked around with newfound surprise. “And all this…is for me?”

‘All this’ was a complete transformation of the sanctuary she had escaped to as a child. Gone were the few pieces of broken furniture, the cobwebs, the decades of dirt and neglect. The place had been scoured until nary a ball of dust remained, even the tiny window allowed in a scant amount of the remaining sunlight. The decrepit furniture had been replaced with a table, two short stools and a bed frame, a fresh inviting tick nestled inside. A bundle of primroses filled a vase in the middle of the table, filling the room with a spicy, comforting fragrance that reminded Ty of spring.

He smiled down at her. “I suppose fairies must have fixed the place up since the last time ye were here.” He took her hand and lifted it to his mouth, pressing a soft kiss to her palm. “D’ye like it, then?”

Tears sparkled on her lashes, and he could tell she had trouble speaking. He almost laughed. That must be a first. She laid her palm against his cheek, smoothing the patch that covered his eye and staring deep into the other one.

“No one has ever done anything like this for me. Thank you.”

He cocked his eyebrow at her, pressing her with his most devilish grin. “I hope ye have some other way of showin’ yer thanks?”

 

BLURB

Kenna dreads her husband’s homecoming like the plague. The man she married is vile and cruel. She has prayed every day of his absence he would be killed in the fighting, freeing her from a life of brutal torment and a loveless marriage. But the man on her doorstep has changed. This man is kind, gentle and sparks a fire in her she never felt in the early days of her marriage.

Ty is returning home after years fighting in France. He yearns for the arms of his beautiful wife and to finally meet the daughter he has never known. But can Kenna forgive the man she married and love the man he has become?

 

BUY LINKS

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Apple

Kobo

Nook

Scribd

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Medieval Monday with Cathy MacRae!

It’s time for another Medieval Monday. This month’s theme is “Celebrating Nature”.

I’m thrilled to share a wonderful excerpt in Cathy MacRae’s, The Highlander’s French Bride!

TheHighlandersFrenchBride_high+resExcerpt:

Seagulls shrieked as they circled overhead. The promise of spring was in the warm breezes and the green grasses. Young boys hurried after their wooly charges as the sheep eagerly sought the new fodder, tiny lambs tottering behind their dams on shaky new legs across the rocky landscape.

Brother Padraig clasped Kinnon’s shoulder. “My friend, ye are doing the right thing. Some serve in the world by preaching the Gospel, and a few give themselves over to God in solitude and silence with constant prayer and penance.” He smiled. “Yet others are called to married love, mayhap bringing new life into the world. I pray ye find whom ye seek, but there are always places to tend the poor and needy in this world. Ye need not take vows to help God.”

Kinnon gripped the monk’s upper arm, conveying his thanks in the strengthening grip, the earnestness of his gaze. “I have no words powerful enough to thank ye, Brother. Ye have given me much to contemplate, and have healed more than my poor body.”

“Rest is a balm for the soul and healing for the body,” Brother Padraig quipped. “I will take good care of wee Angus. `Tis a good thing ye decided to leave him here. After these past months without battling the rats for the last of the winter stores, I fear we would have had an uprising amongst the monks had ye insisted he go with ye.” He grinned. “Take care, my friend. If possible, I would hear word of yer travels.”

Kinnon stared deep into the monk’s kind eyes, hesitant to bring himself to the moment of parting. But the gentle thumping of the waves against the boat’s waiting hull reminded him the time to tarry was over.

Ranald’s men-at-arms met him as the boat docked on Mull, a horse saddled and waiting for him. Kinnon greeted them warmly, wondering at the sense of freedom stealing over him. It had begun as a flash of clarity the moment he’d resolved to search for Melisende. At first he wasn’t sure if he simply needed to be certain she and her sister had survived and were doing well, or if he truly longed to be with Melisende again. But the idea that she could have married in the years they’d been apart struck his chest with a peculiar agony that was a curious mix of anticipation and fear. The thought of another man holding her, loving her, being the center of her life, sent strong jolts of alarm through him.

It was then he realized he had to find her—for himself, not so he could worry less, but so he could care more.

Blurb:

Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his worth by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the atrocities visited by fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.

Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.

Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.

Buy Link: Amazon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Medieval Monday with Ruth A. Casie!

It’s time for another Medieval Monday. This month’s theme is “Celebrating Nature”.

I’m thrilled to share a wonderful excerpt in Ruth A. Casie’s, The Guardian’s Witch !

RuthACasie_The+Guardians+WitchExcerpt:

The berries Lisbeth had gathered tumbled forgotten from her hands. A tremor touched her lips while the vision slammed behind her eyes. She didn’t doubt the vision’s truth. Sometimes a bright light, warm and comforting, accompanied the vision; other times the wind howled, cold and disturbing. Today, panic clearly filled the air.

She spun around trying to pinpoint a direction and abruptly stopped. Facing south, she licked her lips nervously and tasted the sweetness of fresh water. A rushing sound burst in her ears. The river. Her head snapped east toward the river path and she ran. As she careened down the narrow trail, the outstretched branches tugged at her dress, pulled off her shawl and clawed at her face and arms. She took no notice. The cadence of her footfalls beat out a mantra, not him, not him, not him. She rushed on faster, mumbling enchanted words under her breath.

She exploded out of the forest and stood on the riverbank as the bridge gave way, sending the horse and rider plunging into the angry current. Swiftly the horse surfaced and headed for shore with an empty saddle. She stood on the bank, still mumbling as she scanned the river until she glimpsed a clear red aura shining deep in its middle. Her relief was momentary when the blackness began to creep in. There wasn’t much time.

Quickly she pulled off her heavy dress and, wearing only her chemise, dove into the river. Save him was her only thought. Down she plunged kicking hard against the current. The usually clear water, now choked with mud, churned with debris. She screamed the words in her head and made her demands. In response, the current slowed and as the mud began to settle, a lifeless hand beckoned to her from below.

Desperate to reach him, she kicked hard toward the deep river bottom. She was a strong swimmer and reached him quickly. She pulled on his arm but he didn’t budge. Something pinned him in place. She dropped his hand and pulled herself around him. The murky water made it difficult for her to see what held him. She resorted to running her hand over every inch of his body to locate what kept him captive. Her lungs burned. She needed to surface but she pressed on.

Frantically her hands felt their way along his leg until she found his foot caught in the debris. She shoved the timber away. The exertion cost her precious time and air. With one hand she grabbed his shirt collar and kicked off the bottom. With her free arm she reached for the surface. She didn’t take her eyes off him.

The higher she got, the more the water cleared. The wild current fought to get free of her restraint. She didn’t think. She focused on getting Alex out of the water.

The hand holding Alex’s collar cramped, sending spasms of pain up her arm. She did not let go. The last of her breath spent, her lungs screamed for fresh air. She forced herself not to breathe. She was certain she would break free of the water soon. Alex’s weight pulled at her. She wasn’t making any progress. If she didn’t do something quickly they would be back on the bottom. She glanced up. The light was brighter. She was close now. She held her legs together and undulated like a graceful giant fish. Once again her free arm reached hard and pulled the water out of her way. One last hard kick and she exploded into the air as if propelled from underneath. Alex floated face down next to her.

She gulped for air, exhausted. There was no time to waste. She held on to him as the current pulled them toward the rapids and the steep falls beyond. She turned him onto his back and swam for shore. She dragged the large knight onto the bank where his warhorse stood snorting and stomping. Worn out but thankful, she collapsed next to Alex gasping for air. Her hand was on his chest.

He didn’t stir. She fixed her eyes on his chest but she didn’t see any movement. She scanned his face. A small trickle of water escaped his mouth.

She rolled him on his side and pounded on his back. Nothing. She pounded again. More water trickled out of his mouth. She reached inside his wet shirt. No heartbeat.

She kept the building panic at bay. Think. Calmness overcame her. She rolled him onto his back and knelt above him. She placed her mouth over his and gave him her breath. She’d given her breath before, when the blacksmith’s wife gave birth and the baby didn’t breathe. That day she had tried everything but nothing worked. She wanted to move the baby’s chest, just one breath. In desperation she breathed for the child. It worked then. It had to work now.

She felt the tingle at her lips and a dizzying current raced through her. She closed her eyes and gave him another breath. Her hand pressed hard against this chest. She searched for a heartbeat, the rise and fall of his chest, anything to indicate he lived.

He shuddered with a shallow breath. Reassured, she felt a faint but steady beat and sank back on her heels. She observed the deadly gray pallor on his face retreat. His arms twitched as they came to life. His face contorted in a spasm as he choked to clear his lungs. He pushed himself up coughing out the last of the river sludge and sucked in large quantities of air.

Relief surged through her. She rose, retrieved her dress lying in a pool of sunlight, and quickly slipped it on. She calmed the restless warhorse with her gentle touch and whispered words. When she ventured a glance at the knight, she found herself staring into his compelling gray eyes. His gaze was riveted on her face. A fresh spasm of coughing took him, and she turned to leave.

“Wait.” He struggled to get the word out.

She stopped and took a deep breath.

He shook his head. His eyelids slid closed and he fell onto his back. He was asleep before his head touched the ground.

Excerpt:

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

Buy Links: Amazon, BN, Kobo, iBooks

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Medieval Monday with Jenna Jaxon!

It’s time for another Medieval Monday. This month’s theme is “Celebrating Nature”.

I’m thrilled to share a wonderful excerpt in Jenna Jaxon’s, TIME ENOUGH TO LOVE!

Jenna_Jaxon_TimeEnoughToLoveExcerpt: 

Snipping the stems of a sweetly-scented pale lavender Apothecary’s rose, she started when a shadow fell over the flower in her hand. She looked up to find Thomas standing before her, smiling at her basketful of blooms.

“You wish to take a part of Knowlton’s Keep with us when we leave, my lady?”

Her answering smile masked the strange thumping that became the beat of her heart. “I hope you approve, my lord. I would dry the petals and use them to remind us of home while we journey so far from it.”

“Of course, my sweet. Whate’er your heart desires is yours.” He took a dark pink blossom from her and held it to his nose. “Sweet.” The warm brown eyes held her blue ones. “Thank you.”

Alyse stared at him, uncertain what he meant. “I beg pardon, my lord?”

He placed the rose in her basket. “’Tis what the dark pink color means. In the language of flowers. Thank you. At least,” he grinned at her, “according to my mother that is what it means. I am not sure how she came by this knowledge.”

Curious idea. “What do the others mean?”

He drew her arm through his and led her to a bush with snowy-white double blooms. “This is the Cheshire rose. The white blooms stand for purity.”

Alyse bent to smell the delicate scent. “I suppose that would be expected.”

Thomas took her shears and snipped the bloom, adding it to her basket. “Purity, for a pure heart.”

Beside the Cheshire grew a large bush of clear pink blooms. “And this?” She could not contain her eagerness. The names and meanings of the roses had stirred up the banked embers in her soul. Or perhaps the nearness of Thomas’s masculine body excited other, more passionate yearnings. Suddenly, the feel of his arm in hers filled her senses.

What was happening? Why this sudden lift in spirits?

She had been more melancholy of late, ever since Thomas had abandoned her bed. But it made no sense.

Did she not still love Geoffrey, heart and soul?

The thought sobered her. The sharp pang of sorrow that always stabbed her heart at the thought of him had dulled. Was she coming to regard Thomas as her husband and long for him as such?

“This is my favorite.” He clipped another pink bloom and held it under her nose. “What do you smell?”

Puzzled, she sniffed the showy pink blossom, but he moved the stem and leaves for her to smell instead. A wonderful scent assailed her, but one she did not associate with roses.

“Apples?”

A smile lit his face as he placed an entire stem of the flowers, leaves and all, into her basket.

“But what is it called?”

“Eglantine or Sweet Briar Rose.” He looked down at his thumb where a fat drop of blood welled. “The latter is probably the more apt name.” He smiled ruefully.

Seeing his glance, she took his hand and, without thinking, raised the injured thumb to her lips. She gently kissed the drop away, and he gasped. Their gazes met, his frankly searching hers for an answer.

Blurb:

When Lady Alyse de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best friend.

From the first, Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them, Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in love with her himself.

As the three courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

Buy TIME ENOUGH TO LOVE at Amazon!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Medieval Monday with Barbara Bettis!

It’s time for another Medieval Monday. This month’s theme is “Celebrating Nature”.

I’m thrilled to share a wonderful excerpt in Barbara Bettis’, SILVERHAWK!

Silverhawk_BarbExcerpt:

(Lady Emelin has chosen a stormy night to launch an escape from her tempting kidnapper, Sir Giles)

She shivered against the increasing cold and hunched forward to search the path ahead. Why hadn’t she thought to bring one of the blankets? Clouds scudded across the sky. Still she urged the horse onward. She had come too far to turn back now.

Had Silverhawk regained consciousness? Discovered her absence? Imagine the surprise, when he awoke alone. She’d shown him she was not helpless. Satisfaction lightened the oppression she was feeling—from the approaching storm; that had to explain the growing dread.

Then, carried on bursts of wind, came voices. At last. She’d found them. She straightened, the discomfort of the cold and riding bareback forgotten as she urged the mare forward. Onward down the trail she rode. Once she called out, “Lord Osbert, Garley, I’m here.” No answer came.

In the distance, thunder rumbled, and white light knifed across the ominous sky. Please, not rain. Surely the good Lord wouldn’t be so cruel. Her throat constricted. She gulped. She would not panic.

Concentrate on deep breaths. If only her heart would stop clamoring to get out. A cold, fat drop struck, followed by two more, a dozen. Then the downpour hit.

A jagged streak snapped in front of her. A rolling crash shook the earth. The mare tossed its head, danced aside. Emelin murmured, petted the animal’s neck in an attempt to calm it. But at the next sharp crack, it reared, and shot down the path.

Fisting the reins, she clung to its mane as the mount veered through the underbrush, away from the sharp zigzags of light. Branches struck her face, snatched at her skirts, nearly dragged her off. How she managed to keep her seat, she didn’t know. All she could think was, Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.

At last the mare slowed. Emelin squinted through wet eyes, reached out to knock aside a soggy branch, dripping leaves. Finally, the animal stopped, blowing hard, trembling. Emelin shook.

Breath came in gasps. Her mind could not form a coherent thought as cold wetness dripped from her hair to ooze down her back. The frightened flight of the horse had carried her far from the path. She was hopelessly lost.

All around, wind-whipped shadows dipped, lunged forward, then back. Another spear of lightning wrenched into a nearby tree. Her shout of surprise was swallowed in the earth-shaking roar that followed. The winded mare only shook harder.

Could they survive this nightmare?

Then through the rain-drenched night a huge black object hurtled up, rearing as it just missed her. Emelin screamed.

The monster swung around. Wet black tentacles wrapped around her, dragged her off the exhausted mare. She tried to struggle, but the iron hold wouldn’t allow it.

At last her feet touched ground, and the tentacles embraced her until she couldn’t breathe. It took a moment for the roar to dissolve into understandable words. “Are you hurt? Are you hurt? Tell me if you’re hurt.”

Silverhawk.

Her arms flew around his waist and she nodded against his soaked tunic. Thank God, thank

God. She was safe.

Blurb:

He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

You can buy SILVERHAWK here: Amazon

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Medieval Monday with Mary Morgan!

It’s time for another Medieval Monday. This month’s theme is “Celebrating Nature”.

I’m thrilled to share a wonderful excerpt in Mary Morgan’s, DRAGON KNIGHT’S MEDALLION!

DragonKnightMedallion_EXCERPT:
Some of the men and women were already dancing around the fire. She laughed when she spied Betsy twirling around.

Betsy waved her over. “Come dance with us.”

Aileen held up her hand in protest. “Oh, no…I’m fine just watching.” Turning blindly, she stumbled into Brian.

“May I have this dance, Lady Aileen?” he asked.

“I really shouldn’t, Brian.” He looked so dejected she decided to throw caution to the wind. “You know what? I haven’t danced in ages. I think I will take that dance.”

“I would be honored,” he said proudly, holding out his hand.

Aileen swallowed the last of her wine, before putting the cup on a log. Taking his hand, she gathered her dress and joined the others.

In no time at all, she found herself being swept away with the contagious merriment. Letting her shields slip just a bit, she relished the gaiety—twirling and singing. When Brian would gather her close, she would move away, spinning in a circle. On and on, around the inferno, laughter peeling out.

She felt young and carefree.

***
Stephen had gathered some food from Betha as he intended to be away all night. She and Donal had pleaded with him to join in the feasting, but he waved them off rather rudely. He wanted no part of the festivities.

Almost colliding with a couple, he swore softly. Placing the food across Grian, he shifted hesitantly. It was then he spotted…her.

His hand froze on the leather sack. Sweet Mother! What was she doing? And dressed like that? She was a Goddess of the flame. He watched as she was swung up into the air by none other than Brian. Then the man dared to slide her down against him.

Dark fury burst somewhere deep inside Stephen. “I’m going to kill him,” he rasped out.

The blood roared in his head, as he stormed across the open field, never hearing those who greeted him in passing—one hand held firm against his sword. He slowed his pace and Stephen waited as any warrior would. Let the enemy show himself, he thought.

When their dancing brought them nearer to him, he darted in front blocking their path.

They never saw him coming.

Aileen’s back slammed into his chest, and his arms grasped her instantly in a firm grip. “Hey, ouch!” She tried to move, but he held her solid against his body.

Brian skidded to a halt. “Greetings, Sir Stephen.” He went to grab for Aileen’s hand, when Stephen let out a growl of warning.

“What is your problem? Did you just growl?” demanded Aileen. She tried to pry herself loose, but he continued to hold her firm.

“Mine,” he snarled.

Instantly, Brian’s face went white. “Thank ye for the dance, Lady Aileen,” Brian
clipped out. Giving Stephen a curt nod, he stomped away.

“Bloody. God. Damn. Hell,” Aileen snapped.

Stephen released her, only spinning her around to face him. Something primal within him tore loose. He tried to reason with himself that this was insanity, though his mind and body wouldn’t yield. His gaze dropped to those lips—lips he had fantasized about for weeks.

“Aileen,” he choked out before his mouth took hers in a plundering kiss. His lips moved over hers devouring their softness. The kiss became urgent, pleading in its need. His tongue sought hers, and the dance of desire seared their bodies. Raw passion took over his anger, and she opened fully, drawing him against her body. She took her hands and wrapped them around his head, threading her fingers in his locks and pulling him in deeper. Never in all of his life had he felt so right in someone’s arms.

When he broke from the kiss, his breathing was labored. Her eyes were dark with desire for him, and he shook with such need, it frightened him.

“By the hounds,” he uttered hoarsely. In one swift move, he picked her up. Carrying her to his horse, he ignored the hoots and remarks coming from the crowd. Placing her on Grian, he swung around in back, taking off through a large group of oak trees with only one clear thought in mind.

BLURB:

To right a wrong, two souls are brought together only to shatter when they are torn apart by the deeds of an evil druid.

Dragon Knight, Stephen MacKay’s powers are altered after the death of his sister. Now he is plagued with visions that threaten to destroy his soul. When Aileen Kerrigan falls through a time tunnel, he vows to keep her safe, despite the fact the beautiful but head-strong half-blooded fae could be the death of him.

When Aileen finds out her dad is a Fenian Warrior, she flees to a nearby ruin. Armed with the medallion her mother gave her, and a matching one belonging to a long dead knight, she is flung into the past and finds a handsome but surly warrior who is on a quest. Now it seems her future could be entwined with his, if she doesn’t kill him first.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon      Barnes & Noble      Apple iBooks      The Wild Rose Press      Kobo

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~