Monday, 20 November 2017

"The Gift" Novella in the "One Yuletide Knight" anthology. Excerpt and blurb by Beverly Wells

As part of the series of excerpts from the "One Yuletide Knight" anthology, today we have Beverly Wells and her apt Christmas novella "The Gift". Here's a blurb:

Blurb 
Sir Geoffrey Eton, captain of Sir Royce’s regiment is a hardened, gruff warrior. All his life he served England, protected others, and trained men. Tavern wenches satisfied his occasional needs. There simply was no necessity for a wife. Orphan, Heather Douglas grew up in an abbey in Scotland, loving life. When she joins her best friend at the Scotland castle granted to Royce, she brings her smiles and laughter. She also brings her flawed leg, her stubbornness and determination. Will her bright smile and charm be the weapons to finally take down the mighty warrior Geoffrey’s resistance?     

Here’s an excerpt from THE GIFT that will hopefully tickle your fancy. Enjoy!

“He will no’ harm me. We be the best of friends as long as I bring him a wee bit of apple ever’ day. He loves it when I pet or cuddle him too, he does.” Disregarding his words, she reached up to pat his muzzle and cheek. Thank the good Lord, Darktonian remained a statue. Geoff thought he might swallow his tongue at her blatant disregard for her safety and his order. 
 Pet or cuddle? Lord grant me strength not to strangle the irresponsible, foolish woman.
“He is a warhorse, trained to bite, strike with his hooves and batter or ram to
kill. You are foolish to think otherwise.” His bellow shook the rafters. “He could remove your head in one split second if he felt like it. Now step back so I may approach. Now!”  She would suffer much more than her lopsided limp if the horse became skittish. He fought to gain his senses, to protect the foolish woman. He took a deep breath and bellowed, “Darktonian hold!”
The horse instantly responded, arching his neck which pulled him back away from her. He held perfectly still to the command. “Step back away from him.”
Expecting her to follow the curt order as if she was one of his men he captained, he planned to approach her and give her a harsh reprimand for endangering herself so foolishly. Instead, she turned her head, graced him with a wide smile and followed it with a husky chuckle.
He felt like an oaf, an ignorant oaf, yet she needed to understand the danger of her coddling such a temperamental, huge beast. He sighed in relief as she took several uneven steps back. He also noted how her lips tightened and her glare threatened to cook him to a charred cinder if she had any witchy powers in her control.


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Saturday, 18 November 2017

"Five Yules" by Keena Kincaid. Excerpt from the ONE YULETIDE KNIGHT anthology


Five Yules by Keena Kincaid. A novella in the "One Yuletide Knight" Medieval Christmas Romance
Collection.

BLURB

Waleran de Marche promised he wouldn’t marry her, but it was a promise he couldn’t keep. Cateline de Armiens has the land and coin he needs to distance himself from his father and the coming war in England.

Cate is through with broken promises and betrayal. When Wal vows to keep her safe and secure, she ignores his promise and welcomes his departure on a royal errand. In his absence, she creates a home without him, and finds his return each Yule an annoyance, not a joyful homecoming.

But when the king’s enemy takes her hostage, she will learn just how far her husband will go to keep his word to protect her—but will he reach her in time to save her life and their marriage or will this be their last Yule?


EXCERPT

Clutching the bundle close, Cate walked toward the ramp. Her heart felt as if it dragged a plow. She didn’t want to go. Couldn’t go. Once she stepped onto that ship, she would be gone. Lost forever. Papa was dying, and he’d die alone if she left.
She stopped, swallowed a sob, turned back. The soldier stood in her way.
“Keep going.” His eyes were an unnaturally clear, bright blue that reminded her of a summer sky when it peaks between clouds at dusk.
“I cannot.” She looked down the road. At the end of it was her father’s donjon. There would be a warm fire in the hearth, music, and stew made from last night’s roast beef. “My father—”
“Did this for you.” He put his hands on her shoulders, turned her around. “Go.”
At first, shock stilled her tongue. He’d touched her. He had no right to lay hands on her! “Lâche-moi!”
“I will unhand you when you go.”
“I order—”
“Servants do not order me,” he said as he marched her up the ramp. “I order them. Now, move.”
She whirled to glare at him. “I am the daughter of James de Armiens, the niece of Robert of Beaumont and betrothed to Richard of Brinklow. I may be masquerading as a servant, but I am not one. Who are you to speak to me thus?”
“Move on, Wal!” someone shouted behind them. “We have horses to load.”
Wall was a good name for the man who blocked her path. He was as obtuse as he was large.
He smirked down at her. “You may be daughter and niece, as you claim, but Brinklow died last summer, so you are no one’s betrothed. Now move. You have work to do.”




Thursday, 16 November 2017

"A Marriage Made in Hell"/"A Wish Under a Yuletide Moon". 2 novellas in ONE YULETIDE KNIGHT




ONE YULETIDE KNIGHT  is part of several Black Friday deals offered by Praire Rose Publications. For Friday November 17 this title is just 99cents!

Deborah's novella, "A Marriage Made in Hell" is the lead in this Yule/Christmas anthology. Here is the blurb for her story, and an excerpt.

Blurb

Essence of the game is deception...

When her half-sister refuses to marry the powerful earl of Hellborne, Greyson de Verre, Lesslyn de Sancerre sees the chance to have a life, a home and a husband of her own, so she agrees to take her sister's place.  Her sister, in turn, is off to elope with the man she has fallen in love with.  Everything appears fated in this pact the two women seal.  What seemed like a logical solution at the time soon becomes a battle to keep ahead of the lies.  Lesslyn quickly learns plots and schemes are easily concocted, but realities arising from the falsehoods are a different matter altogether.  Especially, when she is quickly falling in love with Greyson de Verre...her husband to be. 
Commanded to wed by royal decree...

When Edward Plantagenet demands you must marry, you have little options...or do you?  King Edward has commanded that the earl of Hellborne must marry the heiress of Sancerre.  After all a bargain is a bargain—even if the earl views the coming marriage with disdain.  Only, the enigmatic lord of Hellborne needs must wed on Yuletide...so wed he shall...no matter what.   
Even if it is a Marriage Made in Hell. . .


Excerpt


Lesslyn stared, her eyes traveling up the long, strong thighs, encased in soft leathern hose, exposed since he wore no surcoat.  The short black habergeon only came to his narrow hips.  Growing lightheaded, the whole incident was taking on a bizarre dream quality.  She tried to swallow, as she stared up at his muscular legs.  If it were a fantasy, then it must be one born of her darkest desires.  How ironic to meet her bridegroom in such a fashion.
He leaned down and locked his hands behind the small of her back.  “Can you link your arms around my neck?”
She was too weak to nod again, instead, she just did as he asked.
He lifted her, until Lesslyn was on her feet––and pressed up against him!  Her body was flush against his very masculine frame; heat off him rolled over her in a wave.  So flooded with the sense of this man, her heart slammed against her ribs.  The unusual, luring scent of his skin was surprisingly intoxicating.  Lesslyn leaned into him, reveling in the tantalizing fragrance.
“Your breath will come.  Trust me.”  His head dipped closer so he could whisper in her ear.  “You might pass out.  Never fear, I shall catch you and keep you safe.”
Lesslyn felt faint, her legs rubbery.  She started to sway.  Suddenly, air returned and she could draw breath again.  Still dizzy, her legs buckled, but as he promised he caught her and held her close.
“See, I told two truths.  Your breath came back and I did not allow you to fall.”  He gave a grin that nearly stopped her heart.
Lesslyn wheezed, her throat still burning.
“Breathe slowly.  Keep your breaths shallow.  Soon, all will be normal.” 
Lesslyn tried to offer him a reassuring smile, but her body was focused on blessed air.  She had never understood the necessary function, or how something so natural could be taken from you.  Instead, she gave him a small nod, and lowered her eyes, unable to meet his penetrating stare.
The fear was subsiding, only to be replaced by other powerful emotions.  She was aware of this man, on a level that had never touched her before.  Aware she was offering him a life of lies.  It made her ashamed.
He kissed her cheek, ever so faintly, the touch so light she could almost believe she imagined it.  The moment was spoiled as a chunk of snow fell high from the tree, hitting them both.  Hellborne laughed.  It was a deep, rumbling sound that suddenly made her feel happy.
His eyes narrowed and he tilted her head back, his brow flexing into a frown as he checked her forehead.  His thumb faintly brushed over the sore spot.  “You grow a lump.  Did he hit you?”  He turned his head, watching as they led the man past.  If eyes had the power to kill, the enemy warrior would drop to his death on the spot. 
She swallowed hard to push words out.  “Nay...horse...knocked me off.”
The attacker looked worried.  “I was no’ goin’ to harm her.  Wanted the beast, ’tis all...to get away...she stabbed me, she did.”  He raised his bleeding lower arm to show the wound.
“Not harm her?  You forget I blocked your swing as you stood over her.  She was knocked breathless, unable to move.  What?  You lifted your sword against a woman who was flat on her back?”  Fury rode on every word Hellborne spoke.
One of the knights guarding the man held up the knife.  “Your lady is a fighter, I’d say.”
Greyson stepped away from her, though he kept his left hand on her back.  “Knave, want to save your life?  Tell me under whose banner you fought?  Why did you attack this party?”
The man glanced from Hellborne, then to Lesslyn, and then back, buying time before he answered.  Resignation finally lit his eyes.  “No banner, my lord.  We were paid coin—I know not who.  I canno’ give you a name even if I wanted to.”
“What were your orders?
“Just to attack the party and take the woman,” he replied.  At the darkening of Hellborne’s face, he quickly tacked on.  “The command was no’ to harm a hair on her head.  Just take her.”
Hellborne barked, “Take her where?”
“Again, I know not.”
Hellborne held out his right hand for his sword, and his squire quickly passed it to him.  

Deborah Macgillivray - links
Dragons of Challon series – Sisters of Colford Hall series
  



Dawn Thompson is another author in the ONE YULETIDE KNIGHT anthology with her novella, "A Wish Under a Yuletide Moon."

Here is a blurb for Dawn, and an Excerpt.


Blurb

It was under the cold Yuletide moon when Garlon Trivelyan, Knight of the Realm, heard the sirens keen—just before the ship hit Land’s End shoals.  As the galley broke apart, he felt something keeping him afloat in the icy waters, nudging him toward shore.  He suddenly found himself on the beach, his arm deeply wounded.  His blood black under the silver moonlight.  Garlon knew he was dying so he made a wish to live, never remotely believing that final request could be answered.  Too late he recalled the warning: be careful for what you wish.
Annalee, the goddess of the wishing well, heard the mortal’s plea—and answered it.  Now Garlon Trevilyan was trapped in the land of the Fae on the night of Yule, where magic could save a dying man’s life.  But at what price?

Dawn Thompson weaves a spell of wishes granted and the dark consequences of myths and legends, of Auld Gods, Centaurs, Selkies and the strongest power of all—Love.



Excerpt

“I...I...”  Garlon could scarcely form words.  “Who are you?”
            “You may call me Analee.  You called upon the goddess Annis, and I answered.  I am the handmaiden of this well.”
Suddenly, the pain in his arm ceased.  Mayhap he was dreaming?
“If the full moon waxes at Yuletide, I am permitted to rise from the pool and take a lover—if he pays the proper tribute.  You gifted me with a sigil ring of gold.  I accept this.”
Surely, this was naught but a night visitation.  Or he had died in the wreck, and this was his torment.  She leaned to him and brushed her cool lips across his.  Strangely, it didn’t feel like a dream.  He could taste the moisture from her mouth.  He hungered for more, desire suddenly roaring through his blood with fire.
“Have I died, then?” he finally asked.
“Nay, I have healed your arm.  You shall live Garlon Trivelyan,” she said
“How do you know my name?”
“I know much, Knight of the Realm,” she returned.  “I have healed you, saved your life.  I have chosen you.  Only, you must come to me of your free will.  I will not compel you to be my lover.”
Overhead, the Yuletide moon peeked out from behind the clouds, the silvery beams almost clinging to her womanly perfection.
As dreams go, this one was surely born of his deepest desires.  Never had he seen a woman so beautiful.
“Arise, Sir Knight,” she said, holding out her hand to him.




Dawn Thompson
Authors Central – Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001ILOCEK
 


Thursday, 3 August 2017

The Andalucian Nights trilogy - Details and Giveaway by Hannah Fielding

The Andalucían Nights trilogy by Hannah Fielding


The award-winning epic Andalucían Nights Trilogy sweeps the reader from the wild landscapes of Spain in the 1950s, through a history of dangerous liaisons and revenge dramas, to a modern world of undercover missions and buried secrets. Romantic, exotic and deeply compelling, and featuring a memorable cast of characters, including a passionate young gypsy, a troubled young writer and an estranged family, The Andalucían Nights Trilogy is a romantic treat waiting to be discovered.

 

Hannah Fielding bio

Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean.
Hannah is a multi-award-winning novelist, and to date she has published five novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; The Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’, set in Italy; and the Andalusian Nights Trilogy Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy – her fieriest novels yet, set in sunny, sultry Spain.

Hannah is offering a giveaway on Rafflecopter (you can also find a link to this on her own blog: