Bits 'n Bobs Author Blog
I hope you've enjoyed this round of evil villains from Medieval Monday. We've met all manner of characters determined to see our heroes and heroines fail. But strength, determination, and love will conquer the best (or worst) the villains throw at them.
But what will it cost them?
Below is the final excerpt from a scene where Birk and Carys are preparing to fight the pirates once again. This time they also face a giant maelstrom known as the corryvreckan, and the knowledge that their lives won't be the only forfeit should they lose the fight, but that of other innocents as well.
Carys has faced pirates twice before. Has her luck at last run out?
Birk turned to Captain Aklen. “Alert the crew. We have no option but to find wind and current to take us out of this strait. ’Tis too narrow and we could be too easily run aground.”
The captain sent him a shocked look. “Ye mean to sail between Jura and Scarba? The strait there is narrow as well and we sail a flood tide. The full moon was last night and the cauldron will be boiling.” He shook his head. “We could round Islay and head for the open sea, but their ship is fast and I dinnae know if we could outrun them. Mayhap we could aim for Crinan on the mainland instead. ’Tis not so far. There’s a port there and the bastards arenae likely to follow us.”
Birk disagreed. “This is a sturdy ship, but we must get out of these waters.” He stared at the Norse vessel gliding easily across the waves, maintaining a steady distance. “We will head into the Gulf of Corryvreckan—and hope the westerly wind fails.”
“He means to force the pirates to abandon the chase through the witch’s cauldron.” Hanna’s voice stretched thin, her face strained. “The langskip sits too high and they would be fools to challenge the whirlpool.”
“Why do ye fear it so?” Carys followed Hanna’s gaze—not to the following ship, carved dragon head riding high above the waves, but to the shore of Scarba as it slipped past, rocks at its base partly hidden by mist and sea spray.
“The tale is an old one,” Hanna said. “A prince of Norway loved a princess of Jura. Her father would only allow them to wed if the prince showed the skills and courage to anchor his ship within the fury of A’Cailleach for three days. ’Twas an impossible task, but he would not give in. To secure his ship against the witch’s wrath, he wove three ropes—one of hemp, one of
wool, and one from the hair of a maiden of pure virtue. He sailed alone into the maelstrom as the tide rose. His ship struggled against the pull of the whirlpool, and the first night, the woolen rope broke. The hempen rope fell apart the second
night, and the third night, to his horror, the rope woven from the hair of his less-than-virtuous princess also parted. His body washed ashore the next day, and he was buried in a cave nearby—as was his beloved who died of a broken heart not long after.”
“Am I to understand few ships make it through the corryvreckan?” Carys asked.
Hanna turned bleak eyes to her. “If the cailleach is angry, none may pass.”
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Join us again for our next round of Medieval Monday. Dates TBA.
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.
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 hard-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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Buy link: Amazon: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B07KNYTMPK
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