Monday, September 2, 2019

Medieval Monday with Ruth A. Casie - Final Excerpt

This is the last excerpt of Medieval Monday. To put it all in context, here is the full scene. A guess at who wins the fist fight.

Here is the full excerpt!

The Highlander’s English Woman by Ruth A. Casie


Jamie turned to the family sitting around the hearth. Wesley slouched in his chair staring at the fire, grief still raw on his face. He had aged over the year. His gray hair thinned, his eyes rimmed red and dulled with pain.
“He’s been like this since we buried... the burial.” Laura, Richard’s sister, was next to him. “Father tires easily and stays locked up inside himself. Mother is the sole person who can reach him, although I have hope. Alex did make him laugh.”
Jamie’s focus turned to Laura, the younger of the two sisters. Laura and Lisbeth were alike from their slender, petite size bodies, long auburn hair, and large green eyes with a fan of thick lashes. The sisters may be similar in appearance, however, not in temperament. Lisbeth was the deep thinker. Laura was head strong and outspoken, the feistier defiant sister.
“How are you and Lisbeth faring?” He gazed back at Wesley.
“It’s a challenge keeping everyone’s spirits up. At times, I succeed.” She shrugged. “Other times, I fail miserably. Lisbeth stayed at the Keep for a while then left for the hunting lodge to be alone.”
Jamie turned to her. Her drawn ashen face disturbed him.
“The rain has stopped. Would you care to take some fresh air in the garden?” Jamie presented his arm. Laura answered by looping her arm through his and drew him out the door.
He went willingly. Her warmth chased away any lingering chill from his journey. She’s Richard’s little sister, a warning voice whispered in his head. He took a breath and led her to the garden door.
“I understand you’re skeptical of Lisbeth’s gift, but she told me she saw Richard’s death before Bryce carried... brought Richard home. Now, she blames herself for not taking action.” Laura sighed heavily. “Everyone blames themselves. Father shouldn’t have let him go, not that he could stop Richard. Mother should have seen this coming, not that she could. And Lisbeth...”
 “I understand all too well. I berated myself for not being with him, protecting his back.” They reached the stone porch.
Formal gardens sprawled before them with raised flower beds, neat hedges, and bare trellises waiting for next year’s roses. He waited with her in silence, willing her his strength.
“Is it wise for Lisbeth to be alone?” Jamie finally asked, and gazed past the lawn to the well-worn path on the other side of the garden gate.
“She’s not unaccompanied. John escorted her to the hunting lodge at Ann’s request, over Lisbeth’s heated protest.” She turned to him. “I haven’t thanked you for coming to us. I know The Maxwell has his demands and travel is a hardship.”
He stilled her trembling hand. Her brows creased in pain over eyes that stared off without seeing. He waited.
“I find it difficult to comprehend we’ll not see Richard again.” Laura’s voice choked and she shrugged with resignation despite tears that threatened at the edges of her eye.
“Me as well,” Jamie said. He had the same thoughts.
“How long are you staying with us?” Her question was reasonable but he dreaded answering.
“I return to Caerlaverock tomorrow.” He took a deep breath and saw a momentary flash of disappointment in her eyes.
“Then we best return to the others. They’ll want to spend time with you, too.” They moved on toward the hall.
“I have no words, nothing to say to comfort you.” He could barely get the words out.
“Your presence is enough.”
He held back a nervous smile. He visited to give the family comfort. Instead, she comforted him.
“How are my Maxwell cousins?” Laura asked. Jamie guided her toward the great hall.
“They are well when I last saw them.”
“You’ll let me know your decision, Wesley.”
Jamie brought Laura to a halt. An exasperated male voice drifted out of the great hall.
“I want to make the announcement as soon as possible. With Richard gone and Glen Kirk so close to the Scottish border, you need someone strong to hold back the devils.” Lord Bryce Mitchell of Ravencroft, the manse next to Glen Kirk, stood with Wesley and Darla.
Standing at the great hall entrance, Jamie stiffened when Laura’s pulse skittered into a panic beneath his fingertips. Jamie’s free hand covered hers until the beat settled into a normal rhythm. If Bryce couldn’t feel sympathetic toward the family, couldn’t he at least curb his speech?
“You didn’t waste any time getting here.” The rude remark directed toward Jamie raised his temper even more. The man’s baiting tactics hadn’t changed since they served Wesley as squires. Surely he wasn’t foolish to pick a fight with him, at least not here.
When they trained, Bryce took aim at him whenever possible, most often urged on by Reeve. Richard and the girls rallied to his defense, but Bryce’s intolerance of Jamie’s Scottish background stayed near the surface.
Bryce gasped for air, seething after having lost a foot race to him.
“You’re nothing. A filthy Scot beggar. Go back to your tribe of mongrels. You’re not fit to be here.” Bryce pushed him hard.
Jamie didn’t go down. Not satisfied, Bryce rushed at him again, this time with fists. Jamie ducked and backed off. Bryce kept up the assault.
Jamie didn’t care for bullies or being baited by them. He wouldn’t fight.
“Here, here Bryce. That’s enough.” Richard grabbed his neighbor’s arm but Bryce shook him off. Reeve pulled Richard back.
“Enjoy the spectacle. It’s time he learned his place,” Reeve said.
“Stay out of this,” Bryce screamed at Richard, then turned to Jamie. “Fight, or are you a puny coward, too?”
Jamie said nothing. He held his fists at his side and stepped back again.
The fight started in the yard, progressed to the field, and finished near the pond. A small group of people followed and urged Jamie to defend himself.
The next punch caught the Scotsman in the chest. He didn’t flinch.
“You should be lying on the ground by now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Jamie pulled up his arms to protect his face as best he could against the onslaught of punches. He didn’t retaliate.
His face cut and bloodied, he still didn’t strike back.
“Fight, damn you,” Bryce shouted and followed with a quick barrage of solid body punches.
He held his position and didn’t fight back.
In a close clinch, Bryce muttered for Jamie’s ear only. Jamie pushed his tormentor away. Years of restraint from insults and attacks disappeared with the maliciously whispered words.
Bryce threw his punch. Jamie caught the left jab in his palm mid-strike. Alarm and panic flashed in Bryce’s eyes. The bully stared at Jamie’s hand holding his fist.
Jamie almost tore Bryce’s arm out of its socket as he pushed it aside and set his stance, one foot in front of the other.
For a moment Jamie thought to stop the madness, but the idea quickly died. Bryce had no idea what he let loose.
Before Bryce threw his next punch, Jamie exploded with a rapid cannon volley of left jabs at Bryce’s jaw. Stunned, Bryce dropped his defenses.
Jamie’s right cross burst from his shoulder as he shifted from his back leg to his front, throwing all his weight into the swing. He caught Bryce squarely in the face. Blood exploded in an arc of fine spray as Bryce’s head snapped back. Droplets flew, the warm blood spattered across Jamie’s face.
Bryce’s head came forward. Jamie followed with a left uppercut and caught him under his chin. The solid strike lifted Bryce into the air, then sent him to the ground. To everyone’s amazement, Bryce laid unconscious at Jamie’s feet. No one said a word as he stood panting over the prone figure. Every ounce of him wanted to drag Bryce on his feet for another round. Instead, he marched away.

LAST CHANCE! Be sure to leave a comment for me to be in the running for my giveaway – an eCopy of The Highlander’s English Woman. A winner will be randomly selected and announced next week on Medieval Monday, September 9th.

Miss last week and a chance to comment? Check it out here: https://bambilynnblog.wordpress.org

The Highlander’s English Woman
 Laura Reynolds is in love with her long-time friend, Jamie Maxwell Collins. She adores his playful sense of humor, caring nature as well as his strong sense of family and honor.

Jamie lives across the border in Scotland. Outwardly carefree, he hides a dark secret. He can’t involve Laura in this deception. He can’t give her hope for a future together.
Laura stumbles upon Jamie’s secret. In her heart of hearts she knows Jamie is innocent. Their relationship in tatters and with no hope of reconciliation, she plays a deadly game to exonerate Jamie, she agrees to a political marriage. She has no idea the entire game has been orchestrated by her future husband, Jamie’s greatest enemy.
Buy Links: AmazonB&N | iBooks | Kobo

Monday, August 26, 2019

Medieval Monday with Mary Morgan - Excerpt #10

Welcome to Medieval Monday. Mary Morgan is our guest author today.
Magic and monsters fill this story. Can Adam protect Meggie and defeat the evil Lachlan?


Excerpt #10
She glanced at her brothers, each holding up their relic: Angus’s shield, Duncan’s sword, Stephen’s medallion, and Alastair’s axe.


Angus’s voice bellowed. “From the land of the Ancients. From the stars of the Fae. We, the Dragon Knights from the Order, keepers of the fire, storm, water, and land dragons, open the gate and call forth the beasts!”


The Earth trembled with a power the world had never seen before. Her brothers’ eyes mirrored the energy. It gathered, grew, and finally with a deafening roar, four dragons burst forth in a blinding light from their relics, scorching a trail in the inky blackness. Their tails twisted and snapped. She could hear the flapping of wings and gnashing of teeth. Fire burst free from all of them.

Follow along next week on Mary Morgan’s blog https://www.marymorganauthor.com/blog and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Dragon Knight’s Ring.




DRAGON KNIGHT’S RING, Order of the Dragon Knights, Book 5
Crusader, Adam MacFhearguis is on one last quest to the standing stones in Scotland where he seeks to bury the past. However, a silent prayer sends him to an unknown future and to his beloved Meggie. When he uncovers a shocking revelation, Adam questions everything about the woman he thought he knew and loved. He may have traveled the veil of ages, but time is now his enemy. 


Margaret MacKay lives a life in the future without the memories of her past—her death. When Adam arrives at her door confessing he knows her, she is confused and wary. With each passing day, she yearns to learn more from this stranger. Yet, when a truth is revealed, can she trust the man to unlock the chains from her mind and heart?


Will love free the bonds to unite the two lovers who were doomed centuries ago? Or will evil finally claim victory over the Dragon Knights? 


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Monday, August 19, 2019

Medieval Monday with Bambi Lynn - Excerpt #9

Welcome to Medieval Monday. Bambi Lynn is my guest author today.
Rape and pillage are at play here. Ah, Vikings play the villain here. 

Excerpt #9
“Can I count on you to serve me as you did my uncle?”

Rolf bowed his head so slightly, Kaylla almost did not notice. “I loved your uncle like a father. My loyalty does not waver.”

Boddi considered him. Strange that he would regard Rolf the same as she. Could he be trusted? 

“So be it. We march to Axning at cock’s crow.”

More than a handful of girls were ushered over for Boddi’s inspection. A few of them he sent away after a mere glance. “Too young.” Of those remaining, one was not just a maid, but an old maid. Udela had never caught the eye of a man. And for good reason. This day she had the bad luck to catch Boddi’s eye. “This one’s no maid.”


Click here to follow along next week by visiting Sherry Ewing.  https://sherryewing.com/blog/



The Valiant Viking
Can a foundering seaside village survive the onslaught of marauding Vikings bearing down on them? 


Desperate to save her village from a band of Norsemen sweeping down the coastline, Kaylla catches her first ray of hope when she discovers one of the pillaging heathens washed ashore. Perhaps they can use this captive to bargain for the safety of their village. Rolf Bloodhands, sole survivor of a traitorous attack on his king’s fleet, assures her that his kinsmen will not spare the easy conquest of their waning village for the life of one man. Instead he teaches them the basics of defense and combat with the meager weapons they have available. If they fail to stave off the invaders, the few villagers left will either be killed or enslaved.


With only two days to prepare for an invasion sure to decimate her village, Kaylla is shocked by her attraction to the hunky Norseman she has enslaved. Who knew fear of imminent death could drive an innocent woman to explore the oldest sins known to man.

Buy Link Amazon


Monday, August 12, 2019

Medieval Monday with Mary Gillgannon - Excerpt 8

Welcome to Medieval Monday, week eight. My guest author today is Mary Gillgannon.
Has Mortimer intercepted Fawkes message to Nicola? Or is treachery at foot and she has told her husband Mortimer of Fawkes attack? That matters little at the moment. Fawkes has challenged Mortimer.  

Excerpt #8
They both dismounted and handed off their horses, and then drew their swords. Mortimer moved toward Fawkes with a stealth and ease that belied his corpulent form. They circled and parried, assessing. Fawkes felt the battle fever surge through him. He’d waited nearly four years for this moment. Every man he’d killed, every opponent he’d struck down, had worn Mortimer’s ugly visage. 

Now, at last, he faced his true enemy. Mortimer had tried to murder him. He’d humiliated him and mocked him. Even worse, this man had hurt and debased Nicola.


Lady of Steel
One rapturous hour sparks unforgettable passion between Lady Nicola and Fawkes de Cressy. The memory of their time together enables Fawkes to survive the perils of the Crusades and gives Nicola the hope and strength to endure a brutal marriage. But when Fawkes returns three years later, he finds Nicola enmeshed in a dark web of castle intrigue. Fawkes has also been altered by the hardships and cruelties of war, and Nicola fears to trust him with her secrets or her heart. 


Surrounded by enemies, the battle-hardened knight and the aloof, wary woman must rebuild the bond between them. Only if they dare let the soul-stirring magic their bodies share grow into love can they escape the sinister plot that threatens to destroy them both.

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Medieval Monday with Ashley York - Excerpt #7

There isn't much time left. This is week seven of Medieval Monday. Today I'm hosting Ashley York.
A wedding celebration is not place to find out about a dead king. Just what does the intruder want?

Excerpt #7
Brighit started to shiver. Uncontrollably. She sought out her uncle in the crowd, but his expression revealed only mild curiosity.

“Yer hands are cold.” She started at Darragh’s words, at the sensation of his hand gripping her own. Without looking, she knew he watched her.


“I am fine.”


Daughter of the Overking - Book Three in The Warrior Kings series
A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder.

Trained as a warrior...

Brighit of Clonascra despises the trappings and demands of womanhood and is far more comfortable training for battle. Long held alliances require she set aside selfish dreams and take Darragh as her husband. The union intended to promote peace between the clans is interrupted by the shocking murder of a neighboring king and she quickly discovers there are far worse things than being wed.

Trained to be king...

Darragh of Drogheda has no wish to be king, but he is an obedient son and supports his father's plans. His marriage to Brighit, however, will be no hardship at all since he finds her most intriguing when she fights him at every turn. A she-warrior indeed. Her persistent dismissal of him merely blows the fire aflame and sets him down the path to discovery of all her most tightly held secrets—secrets that could cost him his life. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Medieval Monday with Barbara Bettis - Excerpt #6

Welcome to week six of Medieval Monday. Today I'm hosting Barbara Bettis.
Paxton, brave night is reporting on a battle to Prince John, who he seems to have interrupted at a particularly personal time. I really don't like this prince.

Excerpt # 6
Prince John’s pacing ended in front of Paxton, who wove slightly in pain and exhaustion. 
The prince pointed to a bench near the hearth. “Sit before you fall.” 

His mouth pursed, John stared at him. “And what does the king say of the matter?”

“In the confusion of fighting, he couldn’t see the attackers clearly. I suggested someone may have followed from Mainz, people unhappy with the terms of his ransom. The dead carried no identification, just as instructed. Richard is convinced they were outlaws on the prowl for rich travelers.”

To brush up on last week’s installment, visit me on Sherry Ewing’s blog and comment to be entering in a drawing for a free ebook. https://sherryewing.com/blog/
Follow along on Judith Sterling’s blog next week and comment to be entering in a drawing for a free ebook
For This Knight Only
He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him.  If only either had a choice. It’s a marriage only love can save.
Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.   

Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.

But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.


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Monday, July 22, 2019

Medieval Monday with Cathy MacRae - Excerpt 5

Welcome back to Medieval Monday. This is the fifth excerpt.
This excerpt finds Cary in quiet a pickle. A Welsh princess running from King Edward's army on a ship under attack by... is that Vikings? I can't wait to read more.

Excerpt #5


He glanced past her and found Carys at the bow, the Norse spear hefted familiarly in one hand, an instant away from being plunged back into the heart of the pirate ship. The deep gouge where it had struck the deck gleamed, a pale wound in the aged wood.
“Shite.”


Follow the excerpt next week to Judith Sterling’s blog: https://judithmarshallauthor.com/blog/
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook (kindle) of The Highlander’s Welsh Bride!

The Highlander’s Welsh Bride

It was over. Prince Llywelyn was dead, his soldiers fleeing before King Edward’s army. Carys, a distant cousin to the prince, herself a princess of Wales, had picked up arms alongside her husband more than a year ago. Now homeless, her husband buried beneath the good Welsh soil, she seeks shelter in the north, far from the reach of Longshanks’s men. Carys and Wales would never be the same again.
Birk MacLean has been ordered to take a bride and produce an heir. He grows weary of the lasses paraded before him, women of delicate nature and selfish motives. He desires a wife strong enough to help lead one of the most powerful clans in Western Scotland.
One like the Welsh woman sitting in his dungeon, arrested for poaching MacLean deer.
Can Birk convince Carys marriage to him is preferable to a hangman’s noose? And will the heard-headed Scot be worthy of a Princess of Wales?
From the towering Welsh mountains to the storm-swept Scottish coast comes a tale of betrayal and loss, deceit and passion. An epic tale of honor and the redeeming power of love.

Buy link: Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B07KNYTMPK

Monday, July 15, 2019

Medieval Monday with Judith Sterling - Excerpt #4

Welcome to the fourth week of Medieval Monday. Today I'm hosting Judith Sterling. 
I don't think Constance is at all happy to see the archdeacon. Hmmm... I don't think I like him either. Judge for yourself.

Excerpt #4

His beady eyes flared.  “Sacrilege!”
“Truth!”
“Women know naught of truth.”
Heat flooded through her.  “The Mother Prioress would be sorry to hear that.”
“She was sorry to learn of your leaving.”
Constance frowned.  “How do you know?”
“I overheard her conversation with the knight.  As soon as he mentioned Ravenwood, I knew I must visit my cousin.”
“When you’d only just arrived at St. Bartholomew’s?”
Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win digital copies of the first three books in The Novels of Ravenwood series, and follow along next week on Rue Allyn’s blog: https://www.rueallyn.com/blog/

Shadow of the Swan - The Novels of Ravenwood, Book 3
Lady Constance de Bret was determined to be a nun, until shadows from the past eclipsed her present. Marriage is the safest option, but she insists on a spiritual union, in which physical intimacy is forbidden. Not so easy with a bridegroom who wields unparalleled charm! But a long-buried secret could taint his affection and cloak her in shadow forever.
Back from the Crusades, Sir Robert le Donjon craves a home of his own and children to inherit it. From the moment he meets Constance, he feels a mysterious bond between them. When she’s threatened, he vows to protect her and agrees to the spiritual marriage, with the hope of one day persuading her to enjoy a “real” one. She captivates him but opens old wounds and challenges everything he thought he believed.
Two souls in need of healing. Two hearts destined to beat as one.


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Monday, July 8, 2019

Medieval Monday with Rue Allyn - Excerpt #3

This is the third week of our Medieval Monday. Today, I'm hosting Rue Allyn. An intrusion. She has a dagger up her sleeve. What will Julianna do next?

Excerpt #3
 “Antonio, search the room. I’m certain we will find evidence of her Beguine heresies.” Basti never broke eye contact with her the entire time. She couldn’t hold back one small shiver.

The man did as ordered.

It wouldn’t take long, she knew, before the oiled packets containing Angelina’s letters sewn into the lining of her cloak were discovered.
The sound of rending cloth proved Antonio’s efficiency. “Here, Fratello.”

Be sure to leave a comment for Rue to be in the running for her giveaway -- an eCopy of Knight Errant. A winner will be randomly selected and announced on Medieval Monday, September 9, 2019.



Knight Errant ~ Knight Chronicles Book 1

Set during the early days of the Inquisition, Sir Robert Clarwyn must find a way to compel Lady Juliana Verault to return to England, or he’ll lose any chance of regaining his family lands and redeeming his heritage. Yet Juliana must complete her mission to ensure a safe future for  her gender in the church. With danger and intrigue mounting, Robert and Juliana must rely on each other and risk everything … including their hearts.
Buy Links:

Amazon | Kobo | Smashwords | Apple Books