Monday, December 24, 2018

Medieval Monday Blog Hop with Ruth A. Casie

Today is the last day of our blog hop. It’s been fun sharing excerpts from stories written by my friends. I hope you’ve enjoyed them as much as I have. Also, there's a holiday surprise for you at the end of the post.
Here is the entire scene from my story, The Guardian’s Witch. I love Alex and Lisbeth.
An Amazon review… [Ruth has] woven an extraordinary story of a brave knight, a beautiful heroine, a King, a mystery crest, visions and a white must. Oh mercy! What more do you need??? Absolutely nothing! Don't miss this journey!!
Complete Excerpt:
“Jamie,” Tom called. “We captured six English. They were tracking Alex.”
Jamie and Alex sat in the main room of the hunting lodge. They looked up from a large parchment map on the table.
“Your brothers?” Jamie waved his hand at the six men accompanied by highland guards.
“Yes, I thought they would follow.” Alex left the table to welcome them.
“Alex.” Cameron came forward. “With the carnage we passed on the trail, we arrived at the conclusion you’ve made at least one friend here. We thought about going back but we knew we would upset Mother if we arrived without you.” He slapped Alex on the back and put his arm around him. At close look, there were heavy lines on his brother’s face and the laughter was gone from his voice. “What goes here? You gave us a fright. When we left, Mother and Father were in deep conversation with Edward.”
All his brothers now gathered around him. They stood behind him like an impenetrable wall. Just being with them gave him strength. “Jamie, these are my brothers Geoffrey, Bennett, Damian, Edwin, Fayne and Cameron.”
Alex waited while the Scotsman evaluated his brothers. He knew together the seven of them could be a bit intimidating. But nothing intimidated Jamie.
“You didn’t tell me you traveled with a private army.”
Alex gave Jamie a wide smile. “I hope they get to know you and your men as I do, but right now, Jamie, tell them what your man found.”
The brothers relaxed and found places to sit. Alex noted how easily they seemed to fit in with Jamie’s men. He also noted they didn’t let their guard down.
“Mitchell has detained the king’s protectors and their men in a dungeon in Ravencroft. He holds them prisoner and has them believing they’re being held and ransomed by us,” said Jamie. “He plans to liberate the men and organize them and their followers in a march on Scotland.”
“Does he think he can simply walk into Edinburgh and the Scots will hand over their throne?” asked one of the Stelton men.
“Without a king on our throne and the Scots in disarray, he does,” said Jamie.
“Does he know about the king’s involvement with Scotland?” Bennett spoke up.
“You mean about Edward arbitrating the selection of the next rightful king? I don’t think Mitchell cares. He has been planning this intrigue for some time.” Jamie rubbed his chin.
“He’s accused you of treason,” Cameron said to Alex, “while all along he’s the criminal.”
“How so?” asked Jamie.
“Mitchell’s interfering and undermining the king’s strategy in Scotland. That is treason,” stated Cameron.
“If we free his prisoners and bring them back to Glen Kirk, the king will attest he hasn’t been negotiating a ransom. We can expose Mitchell and his plan,” offered Alex.
“Alex, if Mitchell marches on Scotland with anything that resembles an army he will surely start a war. He may think he can saunter in and take our throne. No matter his secret weapon. That will never happen.” said Jamie.
“Secret weapon? Does he have a secret weapon?” asked Cameron.
“No. He thinks he needs Glen Kirk and Lisbeth to take the throne,” said Jamie.
“Jamie, tell me about Lisbeth, her sister, her parents. There must be something to give us some clue why Mitchell thinks he needs the castle and Lisbeth,” said Alex.
An early winter breeze blew outside but the men didn’t notice, until the glint of something in the tree caught Alex’s attention. He straightened up. “Jamie, tell me about the charms she puts about.”
“Lisbeth uses them to encourage peace and tranquility.”
“What about her visions?” asked Alex.
“Laura told me she’s had them ever since she can remember.”
“What does she do to bring them on?”
“Nothing. Laura told me they just happen. Lisbeth was born with a thin sheath of skin covering her face. She’s grown to be an exceptional healer, and she is plagued with visions.”
Alex felt like the wind was knocked out of him. “A caul. And she’ll bear kings.”
Everyone turned to him.
“Caul? I don’t understand,” said Cameron.
“According to the legend, caul bearers, people born with a shimmering veil over their face, are great healers and are gifted with foresight, a way of knowing the outcome of things before they happen.” He turned to Jamie. “Her visions.” He looked at the men. “And they bear kings. That’s why he needs her. He doesn’t want to be king. He wants to sire kings and manipulate the throne that way. He doesn’t need her. He needs her child.”
“She’s safe as long as she stays at Glen Kirk. He wouldn’t dare do anything with the king there,” said Edwin.
“I wouldn’t think he would do anything to the king’s protectors, but that didn’t stop him,” Alex stated. “We must free those men and get back to Glen Kirk. Only they can testify to Mitchell’s plot.”
“All we have to do is storm Ravencroft, a well-fortified holding, free the protectors, and bring them back to Glen Kirk. Any idea how we do that?” asked Damian.
“My man was there. He’ll take us.” Jamie pointed to Tom. “We can make our plan on the way.”
“Lead on,” said Alex as they headed for their horses.
Don’t forget, commenters each week will be entered into a drawing for a free digital copy of THE GUARDIAN’S WITCH.
The Guardian’s Witch – Book 1 of the Stelton Legacy
Will he come in time or must she trust in her magic and risk exposure as a witch to save them both?
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.

An Extra Holiday Present!

If you'd like to read about Wesley and Darla, Lisbeth's parents, keep your eyes open for The Pirate's Jewel releasing February 12, 2019.

Their story is part of the Pirates of Britannia series and a cross-over to The Stelton Legacy series.

Wesley Reynolds will do anything to avenge his family’s banishment from Dundhragon Castle even throw in with the notorious pirate, MacAlpin. His plan, ruin Lord Ewan’s trading network. He has a more devious plan for his father’s ‘best friend,’ the man who abandoned them at the eleventh hour. He’ll ruin the man’s most precious jewel, his daughter Darla. Wesley’s so close to ruining the trade network and succeeding he can almost taste it, but revenge is not nearly as sweet as Darla’s kisses.
Darla Maxwell, beloved by her parents has no prospects of marriage. Her father and Lord Ewan search to find her the right husband. Darla’s special gifts are frightening to many. She has visions that often come true. The murky image of a man haunts her, she’s sure it’s Lord Ewan’s soon-to-be son-in-law, but the vision morphs when she meets Wesley. The meaning couldn’t be any clearer to her, her destiny lies with Wesley.
When revelations surface indicating Wesley has been deceived and his revenge misplaced. Will he find the truth of what really happened to his family in time to stop the pirates? Will Darla ever forgive him? Will he ever forgive himself?

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