Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
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.
From Sandra Jones we have a Medieval Welsh romance-
HIS CAPTIVE PRINCESS
Earned respect is sweet…but deserved revenge is sweeter.
Warren de Tracy was assured the Welsh village of Dinefwr would be an easy conquest, as would the widow of its fallen prince. Wedding her will appease the locals and win the respect of his liege, the usurper King Stephen.
Instead, Warren is ambushed, taken prisoner by a hooded Welshwoman with skin that glows like moonlight. If he must die at her hands, at least his honorable death will silence the whispers of disloyalty hanging over his name.
Princess Eleri has never seen a knight as stoic—and as eager to die—as Warren. She’d love to oblige the bastard, but something in his ocean-blue eyes stays her hand. Plus, suspicion nags at her, for the arrows that wounded him and killed his men are Norman, not Welsh.
A ghostly prophecy portends danger that thrusts the enemies closer together, where hate explodes into passion that won’t allow Eleri to surrender Warren to her vengeful clan. But returning him to his king breaks more than it mends…and for Warren, retaliation will be sweet, indeed.
Contains a Norman warrior with a thirst for justice, a Welsh rebel princess with second sight and a steady bow hand, magical prophecies, and a plot of royal proportions.
“‘Your Highness’?” Warren jerked in astonishment, pulling against his bonds. The ropes chafed his raw skin, sending a fresh wave of pain down his arms. “You’re of royal blood?”
She leaned over him, reaching for his bonds. “Hush! In addition to your arrow wound, I trow your tongue has healed as well these past days. It would behoove you to use it less and just be grateful you’re alive.”
Her breasts hovered inches above his face. In fact, if he lifted his head, he could bury his face between them. What would she do, this spirited wench, if he chose to do so? He would’ve enjoyed finding out if circumstances had been different. “I’d rather be dead than be a prisoner. But first...I’ll kiss your feet if you’d scratch my nose.”
She made a choking noise in her throat that almost sounded like amusement.
He felt a tug at his ropes and the friction of a knife. By the saints, she was freeing him. He couldn’t allow it.
Air stung his raw skin as soon as one of his wrists came loose. With his one arm still useless in its restraints, he shot out his free hand and clutched her forearm. Using all his strength, he turned her over beneath him, wedging her between his torso and the bed. Nose to nose, he could make out her eyes gone wide with shock in the darkness. “No!” he growled. “Do not let me leave here alive.”
Suddenly, her warrior was upon him and his knife back against Warren’s throat. “Get off the princess, you cur!”
The woman’s blade touched his chest plate. She could dispatch him with ease. Her arms were strong and lean. Her body was far from frail, and he recalled her skillful defeat of his conroi. She twisted beneath his pelvis defensively, and the grinding of her soft mound awoke his sex. Shame heated his cheeks at his sudden need and dark desires. This one time, he would allow himself to speak his mind. “If you release me, Princess, I’ll go to Kidwelly and inform my commanders what has befallen my five men at the hands of you and your people. The king will strike at the subjects of Cantref Mawr with vengeance such as you’ve never known.”
Her expression shifted from stark panic to slow derision as her saucy lips curved up at one corner. “You think I don’t know what you’re capable of?” Her eyes flashed downward meaningfully, and he knew she’d noted the turn of his wicked thoughts. “You want to have your way with me. To tear my clothing from my body and part my legs. But you know nothing of my people, Norman. You haven’t even bothered to learn the language—” she broke off, slurring in Welsh at her vassal.
The burly guard grabbed Warren’s bandaged shoulder, twisting it back until bile climbed in his throat. “Umpff!” While he convulsed in pain, the woman slipped loose and turned him on his back, pinning his groin beneath two very sharp knees. He hissed through his teeth, “Par les saints!”
If he’d been successful in his mission, this devil-wench would’ve been his bride?
“You are my prisoner, knight.” She planted the flat of her hand against his neck, leaving no doubt of her desire for domination as her angry pulse drummed against his skin. “I am the Princess of Deheubarth, widow of Prince Owain ap Daffyd, murdered by your Norman peers. It will be my pleasure keeping you alive. We’re taking you to those who will do with you what they will. I care not. Until then, you are my dog. My captive. My slave. And you will obey."
Buy Links: (Samhain store) https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5407/his-captive-princess
(Barnes & Noble) http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/his-captive-princess-sandra-jones/1121228851?ean=9781619224452
(All Romance) https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-hiscaptiveprincess-1748538-161.html
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