Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Access to endless wealth, homes scattered around the world, and the chance to move amongst the world's most beautiful and powerful, all for one lucky lady.
Enzo knew hundreds of women willing to kill for the opportunity.
Carmella Moretti was not among them.
A feisty widow and a Templar knight? What could possibly go wrong?
How to Train Your Knight promises to be a fun Medieval romp! Check out the excerpt and blurb on this week's Thursday Threads.
Title: How to Train Your Knight
Author: Stella Marie Alden
Genre: Medieval Romance
Year of our Lord, 1276.
In the hours just before dawn, blasphemous curses echo throughout the stone manor. A knife clatters to the floor and a feisty young widow is bound, blindfolded, and led to the marriage alter. The king couldn’t possibly have sanctioned this farce of a marriage, could he? After all, she alone transformed a few mud huts and starving serfs into a flourishing town, never once hesitating to pay generous taxes to his royal kingdom. Abandon her beloved people to be ruled by her new husband, an ignorant Templar knight? Never!
A murderous witch for a wife? The Beast of Thornhill finds himself in the middle of either a cruel jest or an evil conspiracy. After returning from the Holy wars, he accepts endowment of a small parcel of land in return for saving King Edward’s life. But the reward comes with a warning regarding the estate’s mistress. Despite his insatiable attraction to the black-haired beauty, he allows her time to warm to him while observing her strange, forward-thinking ways. But when all is on the line, will he stand by her through the inquisition or will they both hang for her secrets?
Year of our Lord 1276
“By God, drag her down here! Naked if you must! Bread and water from now to eternity if you can’t!” Sir Marcus Blackwell slammed his fist on the well-worn table and the sound echoed back from every direction. Of all the bad luck. Forced into marriage with a foul-mouthed, murderous widow.
He clenched his teeth when the next bout of high-pitched screams and curses exploded from the floor above. Crashes, clanging, and banging followed. He cringed as the Lady Ann’s strident screaming rang throughout the stone manor and probably into the courtyard.
“He can’t steal my lands this easily. He’ll live just long enough to rue this day. I shall never, ever, turn my people over to a blood-thirsty, gold-grabbing beast. I’d rather be cursed to hell. Nay, verily, I’d rather marry the devil himself than see myself married to him.”
Beast? He’d strangle the minstrel who’d taken his sword’s moniker and baptized him with it instead. He was a holy crusader, deserving of respect, not an animal.
Crossing himself while counting to ten, he paced the dark hall lit by a single weak torch. Shadows danced across dark tapestries, beyond a hearth the size of two horses, and over enough tables to feed a small army. Thatch crunched under his boots, releasing a perfume of lavender and grasses. He stopped for a respite of blessed silence. What in God’s creation have I stepped into?
When the mayhem started up again, it was from his first-in-command, Thomas D’Agostine. “The devil take it, watch out. A knife!” A dagger fell upon stone with a metallic clatter.
“Damnation. The bitch nicked me.” The smack of a hand against skin, a female yelp of pain, then the battle paused momentarily.
“Enough!” The king’s command would be obeyed. Certainly, she’d have to understand that. He stood at the foot of the massive stone staircase and waited for the thundering echoes to cease before continuing at a lesser volume. Envisioning the vile creature, he shuddered. It was far too late to retreat now. He’d wanted the land and bedding the ancient hag was part of the bargain. “I said, do her no harm. Gag, bind, and blindfold the wench if you must. For the love of God, she’s but one woman.”
* * *
Buy links and social network links:
Thursday Threads turns to the late Georgian Era for The Perfect Duke by Dawn Ireland.
Title: The Perfect Duke
Genre: Historical Romance (Late Georgian Era)
Heat Level: Three out of Five
Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BT0NGOC
Back Cover Blurb:
Known as The Marble Duke amongst the Ton, Garret Weston, the Duke of Kendal sets himself apart from his peers. Nothing will hinder his guilt-driven attempt to become a perfect duke. Nothing that is, save the alluring and imaginative betrothed he’d thought dead. His intended believes-of all things-that she is a Vicar’s daughter. The “perfect” duke needs a “perfect” duchess, but how was he to discern her suitability? Employing her as a governess to his niece seemed like an ideal solution. But whose “suitability” is being tested? His betrothed refuses to see he is beyond redemption. And most grievous of all, she stirs his blood, making him forget what’s important.
Cara believes fairy tales really can come true, until she meets the unrelenting and arrogant Duke of Kendal. He looks like a Prince, but acts like a Beast. Why must he challenge her at every turn? Her greatest peril is her attraction to the vulnerable, seductive man behind the title. A match between them would be impossible. But can she show him, without losing her heart that “perfect” is in the eye of the beholder?
* * *
“The horse seems to know you.”
“He should. There was a time when I practically lived in the stable. Storm was my favorite.”
“I became a duke.”
He straightened and forced his features into a mask of indifference. “So, Rachel loves horses.” He turned to face Cara. “I can appreciate my niece’s fondness, but I can not allow her to frequent the stable.”
“It is not proper for young ladies of her station.”
“Garret, she’s a child.”
It was the first time she’d used his name, and somehow, Rachel visiting the horses didn’t seem like such a large request. “I will only allow it if she uses the passageway. At least I can keep the knowledge of her visits to a minimum. If you come with her, you will need to use the tunnel as well.”
She blushed and turned away. “I’m afraid.” She said it so quietly, he wasn’t sure he heard her.
“Afraid? Of what?”
“Dark, enclosed places. Even as a child, I fell asleep with a candle burning.” She faced him and gave a small smile. “Perhaps I’m afraid that a beast will gobble me up in the dark.”
“There are no beasts at Belcraven, Miss McClure. I would not allow anyone to hurt you.”
“Never.” He started toward her and stopped. Damn, it would be better if he didn’t get close to her. As he left the stable, her whisper followed him.
“Not even you?”
* * *
How to connect with Dawn:
The Perfect Duke
Come visit with me on Collette Cameron's blog today! I have an interview up along with some fun info on Highland Escape. I think the word 'GIVEAWAY' is involved! :-)
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