Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Welcome to Medieval Monday! We've taken a few weeks off this summer, but are back with the popular 'Snippet' segment of our blog hop.
Today, Sherry Ewing and I are sharing snippets from our featured books, showcasing the hero and heroine's first encounter.
You can find my post on Sherry's blog here.Be sure to follow along each week as we trade snippets and unveil that ever-important first meeting.
From Sherry's novel, For All of Ever, The Knights of Berwyk; A Quest Through Time Novel (Book 1):
Riorden raised his hand and halted his group’s progress along the beach. They had pushed their steeds hard this morn as they galloped along the strand, but that is not what had caused him to stop their return to Bamburgh. There, against the backdrop of the castle, was the woman who had appeared to him yester eve. The very same woman from his dream, and the one he had seen in both the passageway and the Great Hall. Her clothing was unchanged, but he could not, for the life of him, explain her odd garments.
Aiden came abreast of Riorden’s horse with a question upon his visage. “Is something amiss?”
Sometimes to find your future, you must look to the past…
Katherine Wakefield has dreamed and written of her knight in shining armor all her life. Never finding a man to measure up to the one of her imagination, she and her three closest friends take a dream vacation to England. Yet, strange things begin happening while visiting Bamburgh Castle, but how could they have known they’d find themselves thrown back more than eight hundred years into the past?
Riorden de Deveraux travels to Bamburgh answering the summons of King Henry II knowing his past life is about to catch up with him. But nothing prepares him for the beautiful vision of a strangely clad ghost who first appears in his chamber, let alone the fact he begins having a conversation with her.
Centuries are keeping them apart until Time gives them a chance at finding love. But there are obstacles threatening the fragile bit of hope that Riorden and Katherine can remain together. Will the past of one consume what their future may hold, or will Time take the decision from them and hurtle Katherine forward to where she truly belongs?
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1zoF0pl
Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/1Iis7D5
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/18UOvm8
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1xB3jLv
Sherry's next lines will be on Jenna Jaxon's blog next week! http://www.jennajaxon.wordpress.com.
You'll find me next week at Barbara Bettis' blog: www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com. Hope to see you there!
5/1/2017 0 Comments
Today brings the villain theme and blog hop to an end. Here is the excerpt in its entirety from The Highlander's French Bride.
Sometimes betrayal is closer than you think.
“Come with me to settle the child,” Lucienne ordered as she lifted her daughter to her hip. With misgivings, Melisende followed her sister up the narrow stairs. Arielle’s large dark eyes stared at her over her mother’s shoulder, and Melisende wrinkled her nose at her in a friendly way. Arielle ducked her head.
Lucienne set Arielle down and ushered her inside the room with a small push of her hand. The little girl stepped inside the room, fingers fisted tight in her mother’s skirt. Lucienne brushed her hand away. “You are wrinkling my gown, ma petite. Haven’t I told you not to rumple my clothes?”
Arielle dropped her gaze then lifted it slightly to stare at Melisende. Her heart breaking to see the results of her sister’s callous behavior, Melisende gave the child a tender smile. An answering one tugged at Arielle’s lips.
“She is not muette, she is shy,” Lucienne declared, irritation coloring her voice. “Say bonjour to Tante Melisende, Arielle.”
“Bonjour,” the little girl whispered with a quick glance to her mother.
“Bonjour, Arielle,” Melisende replied. “Comment vas-tu?”
“She speaks Italian more fluently than French,” Lucienne informed her. She rifled through the pile of clothes, snatching a tiny gown from the jumble.
“Oh, I see,” Melisende said, thoughtfully. She gave Arielle a kind smile. “I suppose if I’d been born in Italy, I would, too.”
Arielle’s gaze slid away and Melisende stepped closer to the bed and picked up a small gown to fold. “How bad is it, Lucienne?” she murmured.
“I brought her back for you to raise.”
Melisende cast her a startled look. “You cannot be serious.”
Lucienne bent to unlace Arielle’s gown. “You mean, why would I trust you with my child after you failed so miserably with me?”
“Lucienne! That is not what I mean at all. How can you think of giving up your child?”
Tugging the travel gown over the little girl’s head, Lucienne quickly replaced it with a thin undergown with a plain drawstring at the neck. “There. Hop into bed. It is time you were asleep.”
Obediently, Arielle climbed onto the thin mattress as her mother pulled back the blanket. Lucienne tucked her in and placed a quick kiss to her forehead. “Someone will come for you in the morning.”
Melisende could scarcely believe her ears. There had always been stories or nursery songs for Lucienne as a child. Did Lucienne not remember? She acts as though she can scarcely be bothered by her daughter.
Lucienne motioned her to the far side of the room near an open window. “I am not a good mother. I want to go to parties and wear pretty dresses. Not read bedtime stories and worry about stains on my gowns.”
“But Lucienne, if you are in such difficulty, you will not have these things to worry over as you cannot afford them. You can stay here and—”
“With Oncle Ramon?” Lucienne gave a harsh laugh. “He barely tolerated me the last time I was here.”
“He is family. He will not turn you away,” Melisende declared, though she rather doubted the extent of his goodwill.
“You think not?” Lucienne waved a hand dismissively. “No matter. I have grown accustomed to court life, and I intend to return.”
“But how? If you have no money . . .”
“There is a system. I do not linger long after a party, but the houses are large and an extra guest or two is rarely noticed for a few days. There is always the next weekend retreat.”
“How will you receive invitations as a divorced woman?”
“That is hardly a problem,” Lucienne drawled, her world-weary voice sending chills along Melisende’s spine. Her sister’s eyebrows lifted and a deprecating half-smile pulled at one side of her mouth.
“As poor a mother as I may be, I do not wish to raise my daughter in such a world as I live in. She is old enough to interest some men who are fascinated by young girls. In my position, I would not be able to deny them.”
Melisende’s eyes widened in horror. “She is scarcely three years old! Please tell me . . .” She could not say the words, and her hand flew to her throat, attempting to relieve a choking sensation.
Lucienne shook her head. “Non. But it would be only a matter of time. I have seen the looks.”
“Lucienne, you do not have to go back.”
“Eh bien? And where would I live? With you and your new husband?” She scowled. “You are such a saint, Melisende. Everyone likes you, everyone has a kind word for you. Do you know what it is like to depend on the next person’s grace for an invitation to their home for a few days, for you do not have one of your own? To laugh and pretend `tis a new stain on your gown so your hostess will offer something of hers? To know if no invitations arrive, you will sleep on the street?”
Melisende raised her hands to embrace her sister. “Lucienne, stop! You can live with us.”
Lucienne waved her away. “Non.”
Melisende’s arms fell to her sides. “Why would you go back to such a life?”
“To the parties,” Lucienne answered, “and the gowns of fabrics so fantastic they make you cry from the sheer pleasure of them. Laces so delicate they can scarcely withstand the needle. Embroidery so fine it takes four seamstresses a week just to produce one sleeve.” Her eyes closed and rapture lit her face. “The men so courteous, so eager to woo me. Dancing, stealing kisses behind the fountain. They tell me how beautiful I am, how much they desire me.”
She opened her eyes, settling her gaze on Melisende’s shocked face.
“Once Raul began annulment proceedings, their interest increased a hundredfold. I will have no lack of sponsors once I return.”
“That is a shameful way to live, and you know it, Lucienne.” Tears burned in Melisende’s eyes. “How can you do this to yourself?” She swept a hand toward the bed. “To her?”
The scorn returned to Lucienne’s face, casting ugly shadows beneath her high cheeks. “You think you know what is right for me. That I should be exactly like you, drowning behind a polite façade. You believe everything is perfect in your little world with your adorable new husband who loves you?” Her eyes narrowed as she slid her gaze to Arielle. “Have you not wondered why she looks like him?”
Melisende immediately looked at the child asleep on the bed. Her dark hair spilled across the pillow like a shadow in the dimly lit room. She glanced back at her sister. “Why do you say that? I think she looks just like you.”
“She has my nose and eyes, oui. But her dark hair comes from her father.”
“Raul,” Melisende asserted.
Lucienne slanted her sister a look. “Non. From your oh-so-sweet husband.”
Melisende’s gaze bounced from Lucienne back to the child. Lucienne’s parting words so many years ago loosed themselves from the depths of her mind. What do you think went on whilst he slept in our house—only me and him? He would be unable to look you in the eye if you knew everything that happened.
She shook her head. Non! It is impossible to think of it! He has already assured me there was nothing between himself and Lucienne. But her heart grew cold in her breast.
Lucienne strolled to the bed and stroked her daughter’s hair. “She looks so much like me. But she has Kinnon’s hair.” Her smile set an arrow in Melisende’s heart.
Brushing aside her doubts, Melisende stepped forward. “Do not be absurd, Lucienne. Her hair is much like mine, and Raul’s is dark as well.”
Lucienne tossed her head. “You do not seem to recall Arielle was born early—or so I told Raul.”
“Lucienne, did you have relations with someone whilst we lived in Randon?” Melisende demanded. “Did you marry Raul knowing you were already enceinte?”
Lucienne sent her a mocking look. “You would love to believe that, wouldn’t you? To keep your lover innocent of the deed.”
“I do not believe you,” Melisende replied firmly, against the reservations that gnawed at her.
Lucienne’s eyebrows raised, a lofty smile taunting Melisende. “Yet you see the resemblance, non? No matter what you tell yourself, you will always know there is the possibility. We spent an entire week together, unchaperoned. You know how insatiable he is, n’ai-je pas raison?” Her eyes glittered. “No matter what you try to believe, you will always wonder if he shared his body with me first.”
Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his worth by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the atrocities visited by fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.
Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.
Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover nothing more than a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.
Buy link: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B018OHXKHK
It's week #11 in our blog hop. Today's treat is from The Lady of the Forest by Barbara Bettis.
THE LADY OF THE FOREST, Lord Henry and Lady Katherine’s story, has two villains. One, Sir Mortimer, is armed with a royal command to wed Kate and assume control of her holding. Kate and Henry have searched for ways to challenge the order, but time is running out. Henry finally faces Mortimer the day the ceremony is to take place.
Henry fought for control. A quick move now could be fatal to Kate. He didn’t much care about his own future if anything happened to her. “Harm her and you die here.”
Eyes wide, Kate clasped trembling fists to her throat. Then one hand drifted to her gown’s neckline.
Henry edged toward them, and Mortimer swung Kate around before him. Not taking his
eyes from the desperate knight, Henry said, “Is this the way you fought in battles, cowering behind women?”
He chanced another step. “Is this how you bested de Mohet? From behind? Like a coward? You took the king’s order from him and what, had it recopied with your name? That’s why the seals are missing, isn’t it?”
Follow the action next week by visiting Laurel O’Donnell’s blog: http://www.laurel-odonnell.com/blog.html
He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?
When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn't an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.
Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate's past catches her.
When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.
Buy links: AMAZON TWRP
From Mary Morgan's Dragon Knights Trilogy we find this week's excerpt as Angus battles the villain.
Angus will risk everything to save Dierdre.
“Are ye mad?” hissed Duncan.
Ignoring his brother’s outburst, Angus kept his focus on Deirdre, willing her to remain strong.
“’Tis mine!” Lachlan lowered his blade.
Angus nodded once to Deirdre. She understood his meaning and with her good arm, she swung and punched Lachlan in the face. However, the effort caught her off balance causing her to slip and fall.
* * *
Follow along next week by checking out Laure O'Donnell's blog with my excerpt #11 http://www.laurel-odonnell.com/blog.html
Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him.
Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.
Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?
Amazon Barnes Noble Kobo Apple iBooks
Ashley York is with us this week to share the continuing excerpt from The Gentle Knight.
What must Brighit face on the long journey to her life at the priory?
The bald man did as ordered, placing them upon the tables. He sat beside Cole who had already chosen the other table for himself. Ivan stood by the door, shuffling his feet and skulking like a child who'd lost the cat he'd been torturing.
Peter wanted him out of his sight.
"Ivan, sit with your men or be gone from the room."
The innkeeper reappeared with a well-browned pheasant, speared with a knife, on a wooden platter. This time he was followed by a gray-haired woman, probably his wife. She carried a tray of dark bread and offered the upper crust to Peter. Her head bowed slightly.
* * *
Follow along with excerpt #10 next week on Laurel O'Donnell's blog
BLURB: Brighit MacNaughton is an obedient daughter following her father's death bed decree that she take her vows and become the virginal bride of Christ. The hired men seeing her to the Priory at Tanshelf are more interested in the building resentment against the English king than her safety. But when the handsome Norman knight offers his protection against the lecherous mercenaries, he sparks her passion with his gentle touch and smoldering looks of desire, reminding her of dreams best forgotten. Can one night with him quench the intense need in her or will it cause the fire to burn out of control?
Peter of Normandy is a trusted knight of King William, sent north to subdue the unrest and rumblings of revolt at York. Giving aid to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he is quickly overcome with the need to possess her. With a body meant for a man's pleasure and an unrelenting stubbornness to follow her father's wishes, he struggles against giving her what she wants if it can only be for one night. Will one night of passion prove to be enough or will it unleash an insatiable need that makes him never want to let her go?
BUY LINKS: Amazon
It's week 8 in our Medieval Blog hop, and that means Elisabeth Hobbes is here to share the next excerpt from her book, The Saxon Outlaw's Revenge.
Following a failed uprising, Constance Arnaud is forced to watch the execution of Saxon rebels at the hands of her brother-in-law, Norman nobleman, Robert de Coudray.
Is this the end for Aelric?
The soldiers seized hold of Aelric, who cried out and struggled as they dragged him towards his father. Constance’s stomach twisted as if someone had taken a stick and wound it through her guts, coiling it tight.
The words left her mouth before she could stop herself. She realised she had pushed herself to her feet.
What do you think you’re doing, girl?’ Robert rounded on Constance, his face knotted with fury far greater than he had shown to the condemned men or the boy. The blood in her veins turned to ice, but she could feel her face flushing. The eyes of everyone in the square were on her.
‘Set him free,’ Constance said.
* * *
Can Robert’s heart be softened? Laurel O’Donnell shares next Monday’s excerpt at http://www.laurel-odonnell.com/blog.html
Blurb from Knight Errant:
At the mercy of her enemy!
Abducted by Saxon outlaws, Constance Arnaud comes face to face with Aelric, a Saxon boy she once loved. He’s now her enemy, but Constance must reach out to this rebel and persuade him to save her life as she once saved his…
Aelric is determined to seek vengeance on the Normans who destroyed his family. Believing Constance deserted him, he can never trust her again. Yet, as they are thrown together and their longing for each other reignites, will Aelric discover that love is stronger than revenge?
This week's villain certainly has his own agenda and cares little or nothing for the heroine's heart.
Read on for an excerpt from Jenna Jaxon's book, Beleagurered.
Etienne glowered at Geoffrey. “After the affront Seigneur Longford père dealt my house, I was determined you would never wed an Englishman.”
Geoffrey held his ground and stared down the older man. “Just because you did not sanction the marriage, Seigneur de Courcy, does not make it invalid. King Edward himself acted in loco parentis in giving permission for Lady Alyse to wed Lord Braeton. Vows were spoken, and the marriage was consummated.” Alyse ducked her head and looked away. “Their marriage was legally binding. She is a free woman.”
“Then I refuse to release her dowry unless she marries as I say.”
Next week you'll find Jenna at Laurel O’Donnell’s blog. http://www.laurel-odonnell.com/blog.html
* * *
When death holds sway in the world, can even the greatest love survive?
Finally in France, Alyse and Thomas’s passion for one another continues to smolder hot and deep—until one fateful encounter changes everything.
During a formal banquet, Alyse must share an intimate dance her first love. His searing touch proves Alyse’s desire for him is as strong as when they first met. Tormented by this revelation, Alyse is bitterly torn between the love of her life and her love for her husband.
Into this agonizing situation, the disaster of the Black Death rears its head. Alyse, Thomas and Geoffrey must try to save the princess from the ravening disease but at a dire cost to themselves. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with her feelings for both of the men she loves. But which love will survive?
Amazon Buy Link for Beleaguered: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LR5WDKC
Welcome to week 6 in our medieval villain hop!
Today I have Sherry Ewing to share a look at the payment for a job ill-done in this excerpt from her book, A Knight to Call My Own.
Lachlan spat into the dirt afore making his way to her horse. He removed the straps of leather from her reach, but continued to glare angrily as his brother’s retreating back. She supposed with the reins firmly held in the grip of a disgruntled man, such an act resolved any further temptation she may have had on her part to pursue another useless attempt to flee her captors... at least for now.
’Twas well she had listened to her inner voice of reason, instead of acting on her chance to leave her abductor far behind. She had a horrible feeling pass through her when she saw Calum reached for a dagger from the back of his belt. He came afore the man whose lapse in judgment had allowed Lynet to, however briefly, escape.
“Me laird, I─”
The soldier’s words got no further, as Calum raised his arm and slit the man’s throat. A look of disbelief swept briefly across the man’s face afore his eyes went blank. Calum carelessly wiped his dirk on the man’s tunic, giving him a slight push.
* * *
Follow along next week by checking out Laurel O’Donnell’s blog with excerpt #7 at http://www.laurel-odonnell.com/blog.html
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Thanks for joining me today for excerpt #5 in our Villain-themed blog hop.
Rue Allyn is with me to share from her book, Knight Errant.
The heroine has avoided one trap. Is the danger past?
Juliana waited longer and longer still. She heard the city bells strike midday. Then more footsteps retreated from her door. She had avoided a trap. Robert would be proud of her.
Feeling a bit silly now that the danger was past, she took the dagger in one hand the key in the other hand and walked to the door.
She turned the key and stepped back.
The door flew open, banging against the wall. A priest strode inside. Another man, a giant, followed him. Angry at their invasion, she drew herself up ready to send them away.
Then the priest lowered his hood.
“Basti!” Juliana gasped and hid the dagger in the sleeve of her shirt. Fear threatened to swamp her anger. She must not let him see her fright. She firmed her stance, determined to resist him at all costs.
* * *
Add a comment and let me know what you think. Follow along next week by checking out Laurel O’Donnell’s blog for excerpt # 6 http://www.laurel-odonnell.com/blog.html
Blurb from Knight Errant:
If Sir Robert Clarwyn can't find a way to compel Lady Juliana Verault to return to England, he'll lose any chance of regaining his family lands and redeeming his heritage. Yet Juliana must complete her mission to improve her gender's future in the church. With danger and intrigue mounting, Robert and Juliana must rely on each other and risk everything … including their hearts.
BUY LINKS: Amazon B & N iTunes Crimson Romance
It's week four at our Medieval Blog Hop, and the excerpt today is from Lane McFarland's book, Lindsey.
The enemy soldiers straightened, their attention focused on her. A burly guard advanced, his dark eyes narrowing. “Who the hell are you? Where’s Cora?”
Another man circled her. He stroked her mud-crusted hair, then squeezed the padding on her bottom. She inwardly flinched and moved out of his reach. Dirty cur.
“Och, the old healer be feelin’ poorly,” Lindsey answered. “I’m ‘ere to fix up the master’s prisoners fer ‘er. Hear tell they be taking them to stand trial, and Master Collins wants ‘em looking guid, their injuries healed.”
She faced the groping man and offered her basket to him while struggling with the overwhelming urge to slam it into his filthy face.
Follow along next week by checking out Laurel O’Donnell's blog with excerpt #5 http://www.laurel-odonnell.com/blog.html
The Daughters of Alastair MacDougall Series
Set in late thirteenth century Scotland, this series tells the stories of Laird Alastair MacDougall’s four independent and oftentimes, headstrong daughters coming of age in a country fraught with war and feuds amongst rival clans. Follow his daughters as their lives become intertwined with four fierce, rebel highland warriors bent on eradicating the English soldiers from their homeland.
Who said life was fair? Certainly not Lindsey MacDougall. She rebels at a world dominated by men. Dressed in lad’s clothing, she manages her father’s stables, caring for, breeding and selling horses. Unwavering on performing her duty to the rebellion, Lindsey throws caution to the wind and secretly delivers missives behind enemy lines to the Scottish warriors.
Logan Ross uses his happy-go-lucky smile to warm the hearts of many willing lasses, but it also masks his pain—the pain of his birth. As a bastard son, he is unacceptable for any Laird’s daughter, including the spirited Lindsey MacDougall. However, she haunts his dreams. Determined to prove his worth, he throws himself into the middle of the rebellion, leading men into mortal danger.
After helping Logan escape from a brutal English dungeon, Lindsey fights her traitorous attraction to the virile highland warrior, vowing never to lose her heart to any man.
BUY LINKS: AMAZON
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