Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Today on Medieval Monday I am hosting the first book in The Highlander's Bride series, The Highlander's Accidental Bride..
Set in the Scottish Highlands in 1375, it began with a feud, a royal order, and a kidnapping.
Chaos reigns between the Scott and Barde clans in 14th century Scotland. To end the generations-long feud, King Robert II of Scotland decrees Eaden, Laird Scott, and Lady Miriam Barde wed with all haste. When marriage negotiations break down, King Robert threatens Eaden with the loss of his lands and title. Forced to take matters into his own hands, the laird kidnaps his bride, only to find the young woman he mistakenly drags to his marriage bed is not Laird Barde’s daughter, but her lady companion.
Mary Marsh fights for her freedom from the laird and the unwanted marriage, refusing to accept her new life as Lady Scott. Realizing his error, Laird Scott develops an attachment to the feisty young woman he has accidentally married. Can he win her heart and convince her she is more than just a ‘duty’ to him? Or will the bond forged between the lady’s companion and the laird be destroyed by secrets and the feud that will not be laid to rest?
* * *
King Robert sighed. “So ye married the wrong lass and she wants to go home,” he summarized with a frown.
“And the Lady Miriam has run off and married Du Melville’s youngest son, leaving us without an alliance between yer clans?”
“I thought ye had this well in hand,” King Robert groused.
Eaden, fully aware the king was no more pleased to sort this mess out than he was, silently cursed all stubborn men and women who couldn’t simply do as they were told. Of course, he had to admit his assessment probably included the majority of King Robert’s subjects.
“So. Will ye let her go back to Bellecourt?”
“Nay,” Eaden replied evenly.
King Robert straightened from his resigned slouch in his chair and stared at Eaden, amusement lighting his eyes.
“If I remember correctly, ye were no’ happy with the marriage to begin with. I am to assume ye’ve changed yer mind, then?”
Eaden narrowed his eyes but did not answer.
“She’s uncommonly beautiful, perhaps?” King Robert prompted.
Eaden refused to respond.
“Passably good-looking, then?”
Eaden took a deep, fortifying breath. “She’s aye lovely,” he allowed.
“She’s knocked ye on yer arse!” King Robert exclaimed with accuracy and triumphant humor.
The look Eaden gave his king was anything but humorous, but the king continued, undeterred. “So ye mean to keep her.” He stroked his chin thoughtfully. “And she wants to leave.” He cocked his head to one side. “And yer well-known charm that had ladies vying for the title of ‘wife’ of this handsome, wealthy earl, who may or may no’ have his lands at the end of this day, isnae working?”
Eaden ignored the threat, but his scowl must have given the king the answer he sought. “So, if the lass doesnae want wealth, or prestige, or the much-touted delights of yer bed—what does she want?”
Eaden’s face turned dark and foreboding as he gritted out the truth. “A divorce.”
* * *
The Highlander's Accidental Bride is available from Amazon.
Find Cathy MacRae on facebook, Twitter @CMacRaeAuthor and watch for upcoming books and fun stuff on her blogs at cathymacraeauthor.com
Neva Brown is back on Thursday's Threads with her contemporary romance, A Pretty Penny.
Wealthy, arrogant Clayton Brandt knows well the costs of a woman. Not until Penelope (Penny) Jones comes into his life does he know the value of a woman.
Anger at Clayton, her new boss, causes Penny to snap out of the lethargy she’s experienced after seeing her husband killed. She puts to use all her innate abilities, learned skills, and intuitiveness to cope with the overbearing Clayton and the women in his life. Penny, in time, knows she loves him, but will not become one of his women—not on his terms.
On her terms, they marry only to be parted by federal agents before they leave their wedding reception. The ensuing intrigue, danger, and antics of Clayton’s ex-wife play a part in Penny being in eminent peril.
Even after their love survives all this, it is once again threatened by a letter from a vindictive woman who is dead. The letter devastates Clayton and crushes his hopes for happiness.
How Clayton and Penny find their happy-ever-after is a breath-holding adventure at times and a breathtaking love story at other times.
Today on Medieval Monday, I am featuring Unbidden, Book One in Jill Hughey’s Evolution Series which will take you to the rarely explored medieval world of Charlemagne’s Empire where aristocrats, warriors, merchants and servants find love in the most unexpected places! If you like swoon-worthy yet mildly flawed heroes and independent not-too-perfect heroines, then step in to a Jill Hughey Romance.
Rochelle of Alda, a feisty Frank noblewoman, expects to continue her industrious life managing her family’s estate. When her emperor summons her to the palace to meet the skilled soldier she is required to marry, Rochelle engages in a battle for independence from David of Bavaria. As her own deceptions multiply, she suspects another of also plotting against their marriage. To her surprise, and too late, David’s passion and patience begin to win her heart. Can their love survive the tangled web of her schemes and the secret adversary David refuses to see?
* * *
In this excerpt of David and Rochelle’s first meeting, David has arrived to take Rochelle to the palace for the betrothal, and is dismayed to learn her mother has told her nothing about it.
David turned his head as the noise from the door escalated, unsure what he expected to enter his life. Given her mother’s shocking hair, he didn’t hold his hopes too high for the girl’s appearance, no matter what Theo said. The need for deception to even get her to Aix did not indicate a particularly biddable personality. Based on the increasingly violent rattling from the latch, she couldn’t even open doors for herself.
He was about to climb the steps to offer assistance when the door finally wrenched open, releasing a storm of muttering about city workmanship and rotten carpentry carried in a whirlwind of deep blue linen. She all but flung herself onto the narrow staircase. Not exactly light of foot nor entirely graceful, she rushed down the stairs, noticing his presence in time to abruptly stop on the bottom step.
She stared at him.
From across the room he could feel the chill of cold caution. Even so, his concern about her looks evaporated. She stood taller than her mother, clear skinned, with eyes of a soft green. The gold circlet on her head held her veil neatly in place, covering what it was intended to cover. An unexpected desire to see the color of her hair shot through him. He could only approximate it from her eyebrows: not quite brown, but certainly not red either. And her female attributes remained a mystery to him as well, hidden under layers of varying shades of blue, though a heavy gold girdle studded with aquamarines suggested narrow hips.
“Mother?” she queried.
David reluctantly turned to Marian, who, it appeared, had been watching him stare at her daughter. A small smile quirked her lips. Her tightly clasped hands now lay on her chest as if in prayer. She did not find her voice until David cleared his throat expectantly.
“Rochelle!” she said too loudly. “Theophilus, the gentleman who has helped us so much, sent this burly young man to escort ye to yer audience with the emperor. He is called David. A Bavarian, no less!”
David raised his brow at her rather obtuse explanation of his role in the upcoming event. Marian gave him a slight warning shake of her head. Well, if the woman hadn’t the courage to tell this girl the truth of the matter, he certainly did. He didn’t know much about getting along with women, but he guessed that starting his marriage with deception – and necessarily short-lived deception at that – could not be wise.
As he opened his mouth to explain exactly who he was, Rochelle spoke, “I do not see why I need an escort. I found the palace yesterday.” She lowered herself off the last step and strode toward him with a confident swing of her arms. “But if Theophilus wants to share his guard, so be it.”
Marian bobbed her head. “It was quite thoughtful of him.”
David held up a hand. “I am not Theo’s guard. And did you just suggest you were wandering about the city yesterday, alone?”
Rochelle studied him assessingly. Yes, assessingly was the only word for it and, God help him, she was lovely up close. Her not brown, not red brows arched over green eyes flecked with hazel. A dusting of freckles decorated a thin nose that flared pertly at the nostrils. Her soft pink lips were slightly parted exposing straight teeth.
“Not alone. Our servant, Gilbert, was with me.”
“Gilbert, the bag of bones who opened the door?” David scoffed. “He could not keep a street rat away much less a pack of thieves. From this day forth, you will not leave here without an able-bodied man at your side.” She smelled nice.
Rochelle placed her hands on her hips, pleasantly outlining a slim waist beneath her clothing. “What has given you the idea you can make pronouncements such as that to me? I will go where I wish, when I wish, escorted or not, as I wish!” Her chest heaved a bit and there were breasts under that tunic, he could tell, and damn it when was the last time he’d lain with a woman? He mentally bridled himself. First, betrothal. Betrothal was the task set before him today. It was time to attend to that task.
He stepped forward, purposely crowding her and letting his hard gaze bore into her fiery eyes, daring her to challenge him. “I will tell you what gives me the right –“
Marian made a strangled sound before finding her words. “Ye should be going! It will not do to be late to the palace.”
Rochelle eyed first him, then Marian, before backing away to grasp her mother’s hands. “Mother, I do wish you would reconsider. Certainly the nobles have forgotten your circumstances by now. Father would want you to have the honor of meeting Charlemagne’s son.”
Marian laughed a bit shrilly. “No, that is no place for me. Ye shall have the glory today, daughter. Here is your cloak.” She kept babbling as she closed the gold and aquamarine clasp at the neckline of the pale blue garment. “David will keep you safe. Do as he says, my dear. He is in charge of you today. And possibly tomorrow.”
Rochelle chortled. “Mother, do not be ridiculous. This will be over in an hour or two and then we are going home! Home, where I also do not require an escort!” She fixed David with a significant look before she walked to the door, wrenched it open with relative ease, and stepped onto the street without him.
END OF EXCERPT
Amazon – http://viewbook.at/unbidden
In Print at CreateSpace https://www.createspace.com/3733078
iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/unbidden-evolution-series/id803456753?uo=4″ target=”itunes_store”>
For more about Jill Hughey visit her website at www.jillhughey.com. Subscribe to her occasional newsletter at www.jillhughey.com/contact.
* * *
I hope you are enjoying Medieval Mondays. Feel free to tweet about us using #MedievalMonday. Next week's author is Ashley York.
TITLE: The Turning Stone Chronicles
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
HEAT LEVEL: Sensual
Three ancient Celtic families. A magical Bloodstone that enables the wearers to shape shift. A charge to use the stone’s power to benefit mankind, and a battle, that is going on even today, to control the world. Can the Secret Society of shape shifters called the Turning Stone Society heal itself and bring peace to our world?
Find out in The Series The Turning Stone Chronicles
Excerpt from book one of the chronicles titled “The Promised One” currently available in eBook and paperback on Amazon at: http://t.co/yW59QqvkLh
* * *
I know it’s been years since you’ve heard from me, not since my brother’s murder, but Alexi’s time has come. I tried to shield her from the destiny, teaching her only the basics of the ring and waiting until she was an adult to start any training. I didn’t want to push her, but now she is developing skills I’ve not taught her. I need someone from the Council to come and assess her, and I can’t think of anyone I trust more than the man I fought beside in so many battles. After making such a mess of Sylvia, I don’t trust my judgment. I need an advocate on the Council and your advice. If you agree with my assessment, I want to present Alexi to the Council this coming Samhain. Please come as soon as possible…
The letter’s date and postmark indicated Baron had written the letter about two weeks prior to his death. Prickles crept over her arms. My time? Present me to the Council? Sylvia’s comment about the Promised One came back to her. Had Baron sent for Eli because of the great destiny he always insisted she had? Alexi closed the door and rested her forehead against the solid surface. Life was already too complicated. She didn’t need this.
* * *
Excerpt from book two of The Turning Stone Chronicles titled “Blood Brothers” coming this fall from Soul Mate Publishing.
The telephone jangling pulled Delaney Ramsey out of a deep sleep. Moving the digital clock on the nightstand closer to her, she squinted at the bright green numbers. Three a.m. She fumbled for the receiver.
“If you’re calling at this ungodly hour, someone better be dead,” she mumbled into the phone.
“Delaney, ’tis Eli McCraigen.”
Sitting up, she pulled the duvet cover with her. Why was the Keeper of the Stone calling her? “What’s wrong, Eli?”
“Dinna worry yerself. ’Tis good news.”
Slumping against the headboard, she yawned, the adrenalin draining away with his words. “If it’s such good news, why couldn’t you wait until tomorrow?”
“I need ye tae call a special meeting o’ the council before they get away from the city.”
“Nay, only the senior council. I’ve a new Promised One tae present.”
“Why wasn’t he presented last night at Samhain?”
“He hadnae committed tae the cause, and he dinna have a ring until minutes before midnight.”
“This is highly irregular, Eli. I don’t know if I can get the council to agree.”
“Ye have tae. He’s a verra special man.”
“A Promised One who hasn’t even had his ring more than a few hours. That’s unheard of. How can you expect someone like that to pass even one proof test?”
“He’s already shown me two--and they’re not the paltry tests most Promised Ones have failed. He has the elusive, legendary powers, and he did them using the power of other shifters’ rings.”
She snapped awake. “Other shifters’ rings? Whose?”
“Mine, Alexi Jordan’s and Sylvia Jordan’s.”
Delaney switched the light on, knocking her reading glasses to the floor with the motion. Great. She’d just bought them. Leaning over the edge of the bed, she retrieved the glasses and put them on. “Sylvia Jordan Riley?”
“’Tis that what the she-witch is calling herself now?”
“Seems so. Her name has come across my desk in her official capacity with Homeland Security.”
“That’s the other thing I need from ye. Sylvia’s butting intae Rhys’ and Alexi’s jobs and personal lives. I’m pretty certain she knows what he is, too. I need reinforcements.”
In all the years she’d known Eli, he’d never asked for assistance. And he comes to me now. At the worst possible time. “I’m honored you’d think of me, but I can’t do more than call the council for you. Ask one of them to get your reinforcements.”
“Fine, the council can arrange that, but I need ye on a more personal mission.”
“I’m in the middle of something very important and time consuming. I can’t help.”
“Dinna ye know who’s asking ye, lassie?”
She knew all right. The most powerful man in the entire Turning Stone Society. She was crazy to even consider refusing him. Her position on the council rested on his say so. However, finding her daughter meant more to her than anything else. “Normally I’d be willing to die for you, Eli, but--”
“Let’s pray dying won’t be what we’ll be needing. But I could be putting ye in a verra dangerous position.”
That did it. No way could she help if it might cost her life. Not now. Not until she found Lila. “I’m sorry. I can’t.”
“I need ye, Delaney. Come tae University Hospital and see me. I’m in ER.”
“ER? Are you all right?”
“We had a little run-in with a panther.”
* * *
LINKS for C.D. Hersh
Amazon buy link for The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles): http://t.co/yW59QqvkLh
Social Media Info:
Soul Mate Publishing: http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/C.-D.-Hersh/e/B00DV5L7ZI
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