Friday, November 24, 2017

Black Friday Book Bonanza!

Congratulations to our three winners!

  • Melinda A
  • James C
  • Wendy

Thank you all for entering! Have a wonderful holiday.

Happy Black Friday! While you’re recuperating from eating, watching football and buying gifts (and I hope books), my family and I are celebrating Thanksgiving. Yes, on Friday. It’s a decision I made with the kids. They go to their in-laws on Thursday and they come to us on Friday… and stay until Sunday.

Our son Ari and his girlfriend Kate live in Boston. They come home for the weekend and since everyone wants to spend time with them, our daughters Staci and Cori and their families move back home for a family weekend even though they live thirty minutes away.

By the time they come here they’ve had their fill of turkey. I get to serve something more creative… Okay, the truth is the family insists on the same menu every year. No surprises. The year I swapped out the green beans for Brussel sprouts almost led to an uprising. They decided I’m allowed to add but not take away the beef brisket, leg of lamb, sweet potato soufflĂ©, noodle pudding or mulled apple cider. Cori has added her signature dish, butternut squash soup. Staci makes garlic mashed potatoes. Kate brings the apple pie and cookies. Everyone arrives early and helps in the kitchen.

Thank goodness they all come with their own plastic containers to take the left overs when they leave. I’ve been known to make extra portions so no one leaves empty handed.

We spend lots of time watching movies, playing games and eating. Last year Staci’s children Olivia and Alex decided to entertain us with air guitars and karaoke.  This year we have a new addition. Caylee, Cori and Chris’ new baby has joined the family.

It continues for the weekend. After our Sunday brunch we divy up the left overs and everyone packs up. Cori, Chris and Caylee will need to get home in time for a nap. Staci has lesson plans to write and needs to get the Olivia and Alex ready for school. Ari and Kate start their trek back to Boston.

It’ll quiet after they all leave, but I’ll have just enough time to get online and order everyone’s holiday presents. We only have three weeks before the kids will be back and we can do it all over again for Hanukkah/Christmas. Maybe I’ll change up the menu and make chicken or salmon. Nah, why change a good thing. It’s perfect just the way it is.

To celebrate the holiday, I'm giving away a free ebook of my story, Happily Ever After to three lucky winners. Click to enter for your chance to win.

Happy Holiday everyone!

Here is a list of all the authors participating in this blog hop. Please stop by their blog.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Medieval Monday Blog Hop - Last Chance to Enter Contest

Here it is your last chance to enter our giveaway for this blog hop. Just leave a comment on any of the participating author’s threads and you will be entered in the running for a giveaway of all the ebook’s in this round’s theme. Winners will be announced November 20th.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s snippet. Here is a list of all the blog links for all our authors. Please leave a comment on each author's blog. Happy reading and enjoy!

Lane McFarland

Elisabeth Hobbes

Nicole Locke

Monday, November 6, 2017

Medieval Monday Blog Hop ~ Ruth A. Casie

Here it is the final excerpt for our Medieval Monday First Encounter snippets and your last chance to enter our giveaway. Just leave a comment on any of the participating author’s threads and you will be entered in the running for a giveaway of all the ebook’s in this round’s theme. Winners will be announced in a few days.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading everyone’s snippet. Don’t forget to leave a comment below. Happy reading and enjoy!
Excerpt – First Encounter – The Guardian’s Witch
“There aren’t many left in service. The king’s protectors scared them away.” Ann gave the linen a final tug.
“You mean the rumors of the curse.” Bryce’s voice held a bitter edge of cynicism.
“No, not because of the rumors, which are ridiculous, but because over the last two years no one in this castle has cared about the village or the people,” she dipped her head toward Alex. “Except for him.” 
“Bryce?” Alex’s whispered words went unheard. Exhausted and in pain, he fought to open his eyes, to no avail. He would not surrender control. Instead he struggled to take in bits and pieces of the conversation.
Barely able to stay awake, Alex glimpsed Bryce turn a curious eye to him. Bryce shook his head and gave Ann his attention. “He’ll not be happy having her minister to him.”
“Lord Mitchell, she may be his last hope.”
Alex caught the worry in her voice. He gritted his teeth and remained motionless. He could feel it building. He braced for another wave of pain that would sweep over him.
“Why, Ann, you’re fond of the man and still you bring in the witch? She’s exiled herself to the old hunting lodge. Best she stays there.” The words hung in the room. “But I suppose she won’t be there much longer.”
Alex knew from experience the hostile glare that accompanied the sound in Bryce’s voice.
“M’lord, I know your feelings about the girl. I don’t understand. I remember the way you followed each other around when you were children. We both know she’s no witch.”
“Then explain her unusual power with herbs and tonics.”
“She’s no different than her mother, rest her soul. She too was a gifted healer. That doesn’t make either of them witches. Didn’t Lady Darla help you when you broke your arm so badly everyone thought it had to be cut off?”
Alex could feel the anger rolling off Bryce but he couldn’t dwell on it. He knew more than saw his close friend flex the fist of his sword arm. A sudden pinch of pain and he stiffened himself for another surge of agony.
Ann hovered over him. “His fever worsens. He’ll not last the night.”
The worry in Ann’s voice compelled Alex to fight through the cobwebs and remain alert.
“I’m surprised he’s lasted this long.” Bryce whispered. “What will I tell the king?”
The slap of riding gloves against Bryce’s thigh startled Alex.
“I told Alex the thieving Scots couldn’t be trusted. I’d lead the English against them myself if the king would bring up his men from Wales.”
Suffering the incessant pain was useless. He had to take command. Concentrate. He needed to concentrate. Little by little he fought to control his body. His eyes fluttered opened. He was unprepared for the assault of light streaming in from the window. He raised his hand to shield them and gathered his wits amidst his aching head.
Ann rushed, pulled the shutters closed to darken the room and returned to his side.
A cool cloth touched his feverish forehead. He silently thanked the angel. With his eyes closed, he relaxed and let the soothing cloth take him to a tranquil place. A few more minutes and he would try again.
A gentle knock brought him back to the present. The hinge creaked and a cool breeze danced across his damp face. Thankfully, the pain subsided enough for him to pry open his eyes again. Lisbeth glided silently into the room. Her long brown cloak billowed out around her and gave the eerie appearance she floated on air. Through narrow slits he detected her shadow approach. A fresh scent seeped into the stale room. He sniffed the familiar light evergreen mixed with mint, rosemary and spicy floral scent. Lavender. She handed Ann her small healing kit and cloak. In his dazed state he could still make out the outline of her black mourning dress next to him.
Something primal and compelling kept Alex conscious. He was always aware when she was near. Her soft lilting murmur drove the buzzing from his head. The ache eased into a dull roar. Everything was a struggle, staying awake, keeping his eyes open. Faith, breathing was an effort. He squinted and worked hard to take in the scene. There were a few minutes left before the light once again would be unbearable. He needed to rest his eyes, but not right now. He forced himself to stay in command of his senses.
“Good day, Lisbeth. I’ll leave you to your patient.” Bryce’s voice was courteous yet arrogant.
Mine. The whispered thought rang in his head. The very idea startled him.
Lisbeth looked at Bryce. “Good day, Bryce.” Alex heard the touch of sadness in her voice. Then all was quiet.
The flexing fist at Bryce’s side was not lost on Alex. Neither was Bryce’s discomfort at Lisbeth’s silence and steady stare.
“Ann, send word when … I will need to tell the king,” Bryce mumbled. The door closed behind him.
“You can wash up here.”
Lisbeth stepped quietly to the porcelain basin placed on the battle chest between the window and hearth. She cracked open the shutter.
Alex heard the clatter of the basin and splatter of water hitting the cobbled stones on the ground outside his window.
“John told me about the ambush in the forest.” Lisbeth spoke softly to Ann as she returned the basin to the campaign chest.
He closed his eyes and willed his sluggish body to respond. He grabbed on to anything that would kept him in the moment, the splash of water refilling the basin, the crackle of the fire and snap of clean linen.
“The attack came within sight of the tower,” said Ann. “His big blade caught the last of the sun. The flash alerted the tower guard and he sent the men out. Prime, bless the beast’s heart, raised the alarm with Lord Alex’s soldiers who followed on the trail.”
Lisbeth took the linen Ann offered.
“He was dazed but awake when the men brought him in. John helped get him out of his clothes, examined every inch of him, cleaned and dressed his wounds. His lordship was troubled and restless. He kept mumbling about someone behind him. He couldn’t understand who attacked him or why.
He wanted no meal but had an awful thirst. He drank several tankards of ale and fell asleep.”
Her hands dry, Lisbeth gave the linen back to Ann and stepped to Alex’s bedside.
“In the morning he didn’t break the fast nor attend practice. He never misses practice. His captain attempted to rouse him but he found Lord Alex with a fever. No one could wake him. That was two days ago.”
“You should have called me sooner.” Lisbeth’s eyes remained on Alex. “John told me none of his injuries were serious enough to make him this ill.” His dark wavy hair was plastered to his head except for a stray lock that fell over his forehead giving him a boyish appearance. Lisbeth reached under the blanket and threaded her fingers through the soft hair on his torso to rest her hand on his bare chest. A sense of unease gnawed at her. She pushed her doubts aside for the moment and concentrated on the man. His breathing was shallow and slow but his heartbeat was strong. With her other hand she reached to lift his eyelid.
Alex’s eyes flew open. He captured her hand in midair. His gripe was like a vise. Eyes like silver lightning pinned her in place.
She tilted her head and looked at his hand grasping hers. A tingling sensation sent a dizzying current from his grasp all the way up her arm. The room took on a golden haze. Her earlier unrest morphed into a shiver that raced up her spine. A fleeting image of him crushing her in his embrace skittered across her mind.
His soft breath heated something deep inside her when he brought his face closer to hers. Her heart thundered with anticipation. His firm lips kissed her eyelids and advanced to her ear. Mine, he whispered. A delicious shudder pulsed through her body. He marched on to her lips and coaxed them open. His spicy scent swept over her. He captured his prize and swept in with his tongue in victory. Forever echoed in her head.
She blinked and the haze vanished. A jumble of confused thoughts and feelings assaulted her. Once again she stared into his magnetic eyes. Her lips throbbed with hunger for his. She dropped her lashes to hide her confusion. A dream? A wish? She’d never had such visions. She gave herself a shake to rid herself of the final images.
Back Cover Copy
England, 1290
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 own 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.
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Thanks to everyone who stopped by.