Monday, April 29, 2019

Medieval Monday with Ruth A. Casie - Full Excerpt

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.

Deception and family honor are at stake – so is her heart.

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?
Amazon  Free for KU Subscribers or $0.99
As promised, here is the entire excerpt with the final part of the scene from The Pirate’s Jewel. I love Wesley and Darla. So did some others who left Amazon reviews…
Fast and furious this story whips you into the Pirate world, black flags 🏴 are raised and tempers flare, who Will come out if this on top.” ~ M.Whitworth, Amazon
“Ruth A. Casie has written a masterful mystery full of magic, dragons, jewels, pirates and romance. This is an amazing read! ~ BMichaels, Amazon
Complete Excerpt:
Wesley stayed tucked in the shadows within earshot and watched Maxwell delight in Lord Ewan’s pleased reaction.
“It looks heavy. It will be slow in the water,” Lord Ewan said.
“Yes, it is heavier than the birlinn, but the benefits more than compensate for the weight,” Maxwell said as they boarded the ship and stood on the deck at the top of the gangplank.
 “The Black Opal approached us at the Point. When we shifted the rudder to avoid a collision, we lost the wind, but by adjusting the mainsail and using the lateen, we caught the wind, circled the pirates, and sailed into the channel. The Black Opal’s sheet was limp. They had to use their oars,” Maxwell said.
“Luck?” Lord Ewan’s left eyebrow raised a bit.
“No. Skill. Wesley Mills was aboard. He’s captained cogs in Europe and has learned his craft well,” Maxwell said. “When our Leo was struck down, he wasted no time and stepped in. With Richards at the sail, the two made a good team. We were lucky to have him with us.”
Wesley’s breath caught. What was this? Maxwell gave him free passage and high praise.
“You have a good idea here. Let’s talk when you return. I’ve given you as many men as I can spare. My main force is two or three weeks from home,” Lord Ewan said.
“Come this way, m’lord. I’d like to show you my castle.” The two men walked to the stern of the ship.
Wesley made his way back to Richards and helped roll the last of the barrels up the gangplank.
Richards mopped his brow and looked at the sky.
“I’ll make sure there is no other cargo lingering on the dock while you lash down the barrels, then I’ll rouse the men in the tavern. From the looks of the sky and building wind, you’ll want to leave as soon as possible.” Wesley hurried down the gangplank.
He made his way between the crates where he could still see and hear what was happening. It would be better for everyone if Lord Ewan didn’t catch sight of him.
The two men came out of the aft-castle.
“You know we have enjoyed having Darla with us,” Lord Ewan said. Maxwell walked him to the wagon.
“She insists on coming home with me. I hate to disappoint her,” Maxwell said.
Lord Ewan laughed. “You and I are two of a kind, not wanting to upset our daughters. I will have an escort available by the end of the week to bring her home. I expect you to be back for the wedding with your prize gem, to keep my daughter happy.”
Maxwell looked up and down the dock and pathway. Lord Ewan mirrored his movements.
“What are we looking for?” Lord Ewan asked.
“Not what, who,” Maxwell said. “Darla. It’s not like her to give up so easily.”
* * *
Darla, with her small satchel in hand, stood in the shadows of the ship and waited for Lord Ewan to leave. She let out a nervous breath. This was her last chance to speak to her father. She couldn’t fail.
Lost in her thoughts, the seemingly magical appearance of a man near the hull startled her. Although he walked in the shadows and she was unable to see his face, his height and build spoke for itself.
The docks by the castle were safe, but at night a woman of her breeding would never wander by the ships. Tonight, it was a calculated decision, maybe not a good one. That didn’t matter now. What was done was done. Aware of her predicament, she remained alert and kept her eye on him. As he moved past her she recognized the man’s familiar stride.
“Magnus,” she called. The man kept walking.
“Magnus,” she said more urgently. The shadow turned and faced her.
“You’re …you’re not Magnus.” Caught off guard, the face was familiar, but not the man.
“No, a pity that I’m not.”
“My apologies.” She craned her head for a view of the gangplank. “You appeared to have the features…in the shadows…I thought you were Lady Maria’s fiancĂ©.”
“Oh, you’re meeting her fiancĂ©—”
“No, no, no,” she said growing more agitated by the minute. She snapped her head around as the sound of the horse’s hooves and the wagon on the cobblestones leaving the dock reached her ears. She gasped and shuffled back a step stumbling on the edge of the dock.
With lightning speed, the stranger grabbed her arm and pulled her to his chest before she tumbled into the water.
Darla stared up into overpowering gray eyes that seemed to see right through her. His ruggedly handsome face was familiar, but she couldn’t place from where. She lowered her head and looked away. Crushed against his chest, she felt his hard muscles under her hand. For a moment, she couldn’t move, she didn’t want to. A heady sensation wrapped her in a daze like dream. A shiver across her shoulders cleared her mind and she caught her wits.
“I’m sorry.” She stepped away fidgeting with her skirt, glad she’d worn her sturdy brown wool. Any of her other dresses would not have survived. She looked at his hand on her elbow then at him.
“It’s dark. And the shadows can be deceiving. I’ve seen many a seaman take a false step and land in the water.” He let her go. The warmth of his touch lingered when he removed his hand. For a moment her fingers ached with a need to touch him. An overwhelming desire rushed through her veins before the heady feeling subsided as quickly as it started.
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered into a drawing for a free digital copy of THE MAXWELL GHOST. The winner will be announced here next Monday, May 6,
The Maxwell Ghost – Part of the Stelton Legacy
Their destinies are intertwined with hidden passions and a love that will last for eternity.
The Maxwell’s Caerlaverock Castle, on the Scottish border is in an uproar. Traitors, deception, murders and ghosts run rampant. The crops have failed and the granaries set ablaze. Rumors fly when servants Evan and his bride-to-be, Angel are found murdered and Evan’s ghost haunts the castle. Did Evan kill Angel then take his own life? Sonia, a young cook is sure everyone has it wrong. The ghost haunts the castle seeking justice. She will move heaven and earth to get to the truth, but she is helpless.
Laura Reynolds travels from England to her cousin, The Maxwell’s castle to put Evan’s ghost to rest. She has one week to complete the task or Evan’s ghost is doomed to haunt the castle forever. The Maxwell, while he loves his cousin, doubts her sorceress ways and has more important issues at hand, a traitor in their midst.
Jamie Maxwell Collins has finished his service to The Maxwell and eager for his promised farm. While long-time friends with Laura, he has little patience for her sorcery, but in order to get his farm The Maxwell requires Jamie protect and help her. Will Sonia’s information tip the scales and help them find the true murderer and bring justice to Evan and Angel? Will Sonia’s insight help Laura and Jamie realize their destinies are intertwined with hidden passions? All is in jeopardy when Laura becomes the murderer’s next target. Jamie will find he needs more than ghostly assistance to save Laura and realize they have a love that will last for eternity.


Romance Reader said...

Sounds interesting book!

Ruth A Casie said...

It was fun to write. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.