Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
Today on Medieval Monday I have Mary Morgan and her book, Dragon Knight's Sword.
Duncan Mackay will do anything to lift the curse from his family – even forfeit his own life. But his plans change when he encounters the woman from his dreams, literally. She is from the future, somehow has his lost sword, and can talk to the Dragon that is able to lift his family’s curse.
Brigid O’Neill has spent her life listening to the mythological legends from Ireland and Scotland. So, when an ancient sword lands at her doorstep and she starts dreaming of a rugged Highlander, she drops everything and takes on a quest that will alter everything she believes.
Before their journey ends, not only will Duncan and Brigid battle an ancient curse, they must also find the courage to believe in the destiny that brought them together.
He stood next to the waterfall. Beads of water glistened from his dark locks.
Brigid watched as they trailed down his chiseled torso, traveling down to where his tartan was wrapped low on his waist. The wind whipped at the folds of his plaid, the power coiling within and around him, as mystical as the land he stood on.
“Ancient warrior,” she uttered softly.
When she looked up into his eyes, they smoldered with desire, and it startled her. A sensual shiver ran through her, wanting to be crushed within his embrace. The raw desire to be in this man’s arms, touching and tasting him, was so potent, she could feel her heart hammering inside her chest.
He tilted his head to the side, as if studying his prey.
Brigid didn’t know if she should run or step into his massive arms.
He took a step toward her, and her pulse quickened. The very air around her seemed electrified. He then took another…and another, until he stood merely inches in front of her.
Her breathing became labored, as he bent his head leaning close to her ear. She was engulfed in a sensual haze wanting his lips to touch her anywhere and put an end to her torture. His mouth was so close, she could feel a dark lock of his hair against her cheek, and she shuddered.
“Bring me back my sword,” he growled into her ear.
Brigid’s eyes flew open, clutching the sheets as the last fragments of her dream faded.
* * *
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, TWRP – The Wild Rose Press
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#medievalmonday The Saxon Bride
Historical Romance writer Ashley York loves history and intrigue. Her latest book, The Saxon Bride, is the first in her Norman Conquest Series. Here is a little about the book:
In war torn England the battle lines between Saxon and Norman are clearly drawn. The Saxons must fight for everything they have in the hopes of winning their country back from the Normans who are determined to break their resistance.
Rowena Godwinson, the sole remaining member of the defeated royal family, stands proudly against the Normans that would trample them underfoot but her nobility and grace make her an ideal pawn in the Norman King William’s play for power with the Saxon people. When he decrees she marry a powerful Norman knight, her subjugation appears to be complete. The handsome soldier with the kind brown eyes and gentle touch is a threat to her determination to defy the interlopers. Can she hold firm to her Saxon heritage and refuse to give in to his advances?
John of Normandy wants only to prove himself worthy of the king’s trust. He is rewarded for his service and loyalty with land, titles and a Saxon beauty for a bride. John balks at the marriage, driven by the secret guilt of knowing Rowena’s father died at his sword. However, John’s reluctance is soon replaced by a burning desire to please this woman and win her over as well as her people.
As their people look to them for guidance and peace, can John and Rowena find a love that unites all of England?
Excerpt from The Saxon Bride:
Pacing the small area like a confined animal, she finally paused to look out the window. The dreary day reflected her feelings, rain threatening at any moment. “Do you know when my husband will be returning?”
“I am back now.”
John stood in the doorway handsomely dressed as befit the new Lord of Essex. Rowena’s breath caught in her throat. She looked away before the immense pleasure she felt at his return showed on her face.
Joan quickly gathered her sewing and removed herself from the room, closing the door behind her.
“Will you attend me, my lady?”
Rowena went to him and helped him remove his surcoat before seeing to the heavier chainmail. He smelled of horses and leather. Manly. Rowena tried not to close her eyes as she drank in the intoxicating smell of him. Why would a dirty, sweaty man make her feel so light headed? She stepped away when she realized why, the chainmail slipping forward off his arms. His hooded eyes told her that he knew what she was feeling.
“Is there a problem?” His deep voice seemed to reverberate through her body.
Quickly putting the heavy material down, she headed to the door. “I will order a bath for you.”
Rowena froze with her hand on the latch and heard him coming toward her. He stood close behind, his breath soft against her cheek.
“Yes?” Be done with this. Her body yearned for his arms to pull her against him, to feel his kiss again. She licked her lips.
“Why are you leaving in such a hurry?” His hand lightly touched the side of her head as he spoke, pushing her hair away from her face. He leaned in closer to her exposed ear. A responding shiver ran down her body. “Are you afraid of me?”
She backed up to the door with a thud and faced him. Her pulse was racing as she lied. “No, my lord. Methinks you have a rather strong odor about you and I would have you take a bath before the evening meal.”
John backed away quickly, his eyes flying open. “I am sorry if I offend you. Please see to the bath.”
Rowena felt only slightly guilty when he turned away from her, standing like a lost little boy in the middle of the room.
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Buy link: The Saxon Bride available now.
Ashley York loves to hear from her fans. Visit her at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook, Twitter: @Ashley1066York,, and her website www.ashleyyorkauthor.com
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.”
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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
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.
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I hope you are enjoying Medieval Mondays. Feel free to tweet about us using #MedievalMonday. Next week's author is Ashley York.
Beginning today, I will be co-hosting Medieval Mondays with other Medieval romance authors. This means you can get a peek at new authors and find out about upcoming books from authors you already love.
Be sure to check in each Monday!
So, let's start with my latest novel, The Highlander's Reluctant Bride. The setting is 1377 and King Robert II is on the throne of Scotland. Though relatively quiet at this point in his reign, the time is still fraught with peril from pirates roaming the western coastline and the English control of much of the Lothians and the border lands to the south. In the first book of the series, The Highlander's Accidental Bride, King Robert demands the end of a feud between two Highland clans. Though he allows his southern earls to engage in activities to regain their lands from the English, he has less tolerance for Highland clan feuds- especially when they are continually brought to his notice. In The Highlander's Reluctant Bride, the king responds to a plea for help against the pirates.
Book cover blurb, The Highlander's Reluctant Bride:
Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.
Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.
Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a 4-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?
* * *
“So, the king forced Eaden to wed,” she murmured. Her gaze caught Ranald’s. “What will he do to me?”
Ranald noted Riona’s sudden pallor, her gray eyes widening until they were naught but huge silver orbs glowing against her skin. Now was as good a time as any to tell her what King Robert intended for her, but he could not force the words.
“Ye are a laird’s daughter,” he reminded her. “And an heiress. Yer mother’s dower lands north of here are of great value to the king.”
“And I am of little worth, aye?” Riona flared.
“Nae. Ye are of great worth.”
“But a pawn to the king.”
Ranald sighed. This was not going as he planned. “We are all pawns in one way or another, Ree. The king willnae let ye stay on yer own. Ye are a ward of the crown, now.”
“So, he’ll marry me off to some rebellious laird he wants to drag over to his side, using me and my lands to hold him?”
“Nae. No’ so bad as all that.”
“Mayhap to a wealthy laird who’s all but doddering in his cups, hoping I’ll no’ breed an heir before he dies, giving title of the land to the king and my next husband?”
Ranald lifted an eyebrow. The lass was getting worked up over nothing. “Marriage, yes. Doddering auld man, no.”
Riona snapped her head to one side, a glower on her face. “Then, who?”
Ranald swallowed and offered a crooked smile.
* * *
Amazon Buy Link: www.amzn.com/B00J1PNPPC/
Please visit with me on my website: www.cathymacraeauthor.com
or on facebook_ Cathy MacRae or Cathy MacRae Author
I love to hear from readers!
Thanks for checking out this new series of posts! What is your favorite Medieval place/time?
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