Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
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This season our authors have put together some exciting excerpts from their hero and heroine's first encounter. Did they start off on a happy note? Or will they have to overcome a disastrous first impression?
Follow us for the next 12 weeks and find out! Leave a comment each week to enter to win an ebook copy of The Highlander's Welsh Bride. See each author's blog for details.
The Highlander’s Welsh Bride
It was over. Prince Llywelyn was dead, his soldiers fleeing before King Edward’s army. Carys, a distant cousin to the prince, herself a princess of Wales, had picked up arms alongside her husband more than a year ago. Now homeless, her husband buried beneath the good Welsh soil, she seeks shelter in the north, far from the reach of Longshanks’s men. Carys and Wales would never be the same again.
It was time. Birk MacLean has been ordered to take a bride and produce an heir. He grows weary of the lasses paraded before him, women of delicate nature and selfish motives. He desires a wife strong enough to help lead one of the most powerful clans in Western Scotland.
One like the Welsh woman sitting in his dungeon, arrested for poaching MacLean deer.
Can Birk convince Carys marriage to him is preferable to a hangman’s noose? And will the heard-headed Scot be worthy of a Princess of Wales?
From the towering Welsh mountains to the storm-swept Scottish coast comes a tale of betrayal and loss, deceit and passion. An epic tale of honor and the redeeming power of love.
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I'll start this round of Medieval Monday off with the first part of my excerpt from The Highlander's Welsh Bride.
Caught poaching deer on MacLean land, our heroine isn't very happy.
The heavy wooden door slammed shut. Carys peered about the stone chamber. Aside from a pallet on the floor and a bucket in a far corner, the room was empty. Air blew crisp through an arrow-slit, much too narrow to consider an escape route. She rubbed her arms in an attempt to erase the feel of strong hands manacling them, then, unable to help herself, tested the door. It was securely latched.
“Ffwl!” she spat. Fool. Caught doing nothing more than providing food to hungry people.
She stormed about the cramped space, her boots thudding across the wooden floor. “MacLean deer! MacLean people!” she snarled, targeting the absent laird. “Twmffat!” Idiot.
* * *
Part #2 of this excerpt can be found next week on Jenna Jaxon’s blog: http://jennajaxon.wordpress.com
DD & I are so excited to bring you this book! Release date is December 27, 2018, and for a limited time, you can preorder your ebook for only $2.99!
Click here: Amazon
The Highlander's Welsh Bride is officially finished. (And don't you just love this cover?!)
It has been a labor of love, though I'll have to admit to shaking my head more than once as spell-check cranked out its version of Carys, Terwyn, Llywelyn, and scores of other Welsh names and words. It had no idea what hit it.
And when I started this book, neither did I.
DD dreamed up the hero and heroine, the timeline (DD loves using historical turning points), and the plot high points, then tossed it in my lap and said, "Let's see what you can do with this." (I think I saw a smirk--but perhaps it was merely challenge). DD kept up with the fight scenes (they're as real as possible, y'all), and disagreed whenever I wrote Carys as 'too soft'. I think you'll agree she is deserving of 'Hardy Heroine' status.
OK. So, a year later (with pauses for 2 novellas that 'had' to be written), here it is. Currently with beta readers and one over-worked editor, we believe The Highlander's Welsh Bride will release shortly after Christmas.
Here's where it's about to get fun.
This book has a novella's worth of notes to help keep the story on track with history--and all that other cool stuff called 'research'. I'm going to share a bit with you between now and the book's release so you can join in and anticipate Carys and Birk's story.
Today I'd like to share a Welsh folk song Carys sings as a lullaby to three children she's 'adopted' (2 by marriage, 1 by circumstance). It's called Dacw 'Nghariad (link here: YouTube)
The words and translation are on the YouTube page. I thought the melody was lovely.
I'd love it if you shared a favorite lullaby in the comments below.
Check back later for another bit from Carys and Birk's story. It might be a battle, it might be a maelstrom, it might be something to melt your heart. You just never know.
I'm deep into wrapping up the next story in the Hardy Heroines series, and suddenly realized I needed to do a bit of research.
This series has really tested my historical knowledge, and this particular story involves the Battle of Orewin Bridge (Wales) and the state of affairs in both England and Scotland.
In 1283/4, England and Scotland were pretty much in accord. Edward Longshanks was too involved with supressing the Welsh to pay much attention to the Scots. Scotland had signed the Treaty of Perth seventeen years earlier, so they weren't butting heads with Norway any longer, and Alexander III had married his daughter Margaret to King Eric of Norway.
Things were fairly quiet at Morvern--until Birk met Carys.
That's our current book, The Highlander's Welsh Bride.
And today's research was on cursing like a Viking. I kid you not. There is more than one blog/website for that. Apparently Vikings had some pretty awful curses, ones that allowed the cursed one free shot at killing the person who spoke the curse. We're not going there.
At some point in this book, our hero Birk does something that makes his ma really angry with him. She's Hanna from The Highlander's Norse Bride, and falls into her Norse roots for a really good shot at her son.
Any idea what a 'raven-starver' is?
It's pretty cool to follow the reasoning behind this curse. Ravens were an integral part of Norse legend. They were large birds, uncannily intelligent, and carrion-feeders. Imagine being only moments away from battle and seeing the ravens gathering around the battlefield. They know what is about to happen. They seemed to have the knowledge of who would die and live--perhaps they spoke with the Valkyries and therefore had the power of gods?
The men and women who bravely went to battle stood a good chance of dying--and feeding the crows. Someone who was cowardly and chose not to fight would not end the day as carrion and feed the crows. Such a person was a raven-starver.
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