Sunday, 4 August 2019

The Snow Bride. Medieval Historical Romance. She is Beauty, but is he the Beast?

'The Snow Bride' - Medieval Historical Romance - New Excerpt

Here's a new excerpt from my medieval historical romance, The Snow Bride. The hero and heroine are in a tower belonging to their enemy, the necromancer.

Excerpt:

Making torches, lighting them, took some little time. Magnus could sense Elfrida’s tension and almost see her fears tearing at her like the harpies preyed on their hapless victims in the old tales that he had heard around campfires in Outremer. She stayed within the tower, calling encouragement to Christina and praying aloud, “To cleanse this space,” she told him. She did not attempt to move farther than the few steps they had come from the threshold, for which he was grateful.
“Your sister must be sleeping deeply,” he said when she fell silent and despondent after no replies. “It is the time of winter dark and solid slumber.”
“Or she is drugged,” Elfrida answered.
 Once he spotted her gazing at him, a cool, farsighted, assessing stare. Where he considered pits and traps, she concerned herself with magical dangers. He knew she felt responsible for his safety, a strange and queer reversal of nature to him, but one he accepted that he could not shake her from.
All will be better with more light, he told himself, fending off a vague feeling of being watched.
Baldwin finally brought two spitting torches. Magnus told the youth to keep up and took a torch from him. “Do you stay here?” he asked Elfrida.
She shook her head—he had not expected otherwise—and he put her between himself and Baldwin. Leading the way, Magnus began to pick a careful path across the nails and snares and wooden stakes, walking steadily and lifting his feet high. All the while, puffing like a small, furious dragon at his back, he could hear Elfrida and sense her taut, barely reined-in impatience. She fairly bristled with it. Not far and all will be well, he wanted to say to comfort her, but he said nothing, for they had reached the stairs, and it might not be true.
Gray, narrow, worn, and unlit, the stairs were also slimy on certain treads. Spilled oil or melted candle wax? he speculated, calling out softly in the old tongue and his own dialect, so Baldwin would know, “Grease, here, step over.” He did not lower his torch. Some things were best left as a mystery.
“Christina, you are safe, beloved. Walter is waiting for you, and all is prepared for your return.”
Elfrida was becoming more urgent and desperate in her wishes. He longed to shield her from this trial but knew it was impossible.
She is a warrior of magic, besides, and a warrior always faces things. She would never forgive me if I kept her out of this.
Yet it was so ponderous, step after step, climbing in the dark, with the stair walls and roof feeling to close in around them, pressing down and choking...
Unless that is just me. Since early youth he had loathed shut-in places, which was why in any siege he had always volunteered for any digging or mining. Now the disgusting, spineless fears of his boyhood shook down the backs of his legs.
If Christina is dead, will Elfrida blame me? No, she will not..
He trod on an object that cracked and slithered beneath his peg foot. He checked the cry bubbling in his throat and kicked the unknown thing away, down the stairs. He heard it flopping into the darkness and vowed to burn the whole tower with fire once they were done.
If Christina is dead or alive, will Elfrida return to her village? Will she want to stay there? Ask her, man, and find out!
He was wary of asking and at the same time eager to ask. As much as Elfrida wanted to see her sister, he wanted to know her mind.
It is my future. Have the stakes ever been so high?
He ran up three more steps and reached the first floor. The staircase continued higher, but now there was a tiny, cramped passageway, again unlit, and at its end, a door.
A blue door, he realized, hearing Elfrida’s gasp of recognition. He spun about and gripped her shoulder tightly, in a gesture of warning and support, then let her go.
He reached out and touched the door with his stump. Elfrida said nothing, did not try to stop him, but he glanced at her for confirmation.
She nodded, her own hands clenched in tight fists, her face unreadable.
“Baldwin.” He handed the lad his torch and set his shoulder to the door, drawing out his knife—better a knife than a sword in such close quarters.
Surprise was impossible, for if there was a guard, he must have heard their plodding trail, so Magnus called a final warning.
“Release your prisoners unharmed and you shall not be injured or killed. Yield now.”
He pushed on the stout wood, astonished to find the door unlocked, and entered.


* * * *

The Snow Bride
She is Beauty, but is he the Beast?

From Amazon here
Amazon UK here
Free with Kindle Umlimited.
Part 1 of The Knight and the Witch Series.
Also a sequel, 'A Summer Bewitchment,' coming soon

Lindsay Townsend

Saturday, 13 July 2019

"Oceans Away" - contemporary romance by Skye McNeil. Blurb and Excerpt



Blurb:

Adopted as an infant, Ireland Leighton grew up in the heart of the Midwest. After inheriting millions from her biological parents, she is determined to help others any way she can. The only string is a business engagement with another millionaire. Ireland returns to Iowa years later to plan her brother’s tropical wedding. The festivities would be easier if her sexy ex-boyfriend stayed out of reach and her future wasn’t already planned.
Time suppressed his feelings for the girl next door, but Gideon Taggart isn’t about to let Ireland escape again. Farmer by day, veterinarian by choice, his second chance with his first love is far from easy. He soon discovers that no matter how much he loves Ireland, she’ll always choose her family over a future with him.
Oceans Away is book two in Skye McNeil’s stand-alone contemporary romance series, Atlas. Each book contains a millionaire to envy, snort-worthy comedy, and visits to many beautiful cities in the world. Yes, all of that, plus each novel ends with a fabulous HEA.


Oceans Away Excerpt, Skye McNeil
“So, who’s this Toby guy again?” Gideon interrupted, still standing next to her.
“He’s my personal assistant.”
Gideon crossed his arms over his chest. “Mmhmm, and what exactly does he assist you with?”
Ireland held in a smug grin. He looked too cute with his eyes narrowed. “Aw, is somebody jealous?”
He straightened. “No.”
Teasing him was much too easy. “That’s too bad.” She fanned herself dramatically. “He’s just my type too.”
“So am I.”
Ireland laughed and cocked her head to the right. “Who says you’re my type? Just because we dated doesn’t mean you’re my type anymore.”
Gideon stepped closer and he lowered his voice. “If your reaction from the kiss the other day—”
“It was just a kiss.”
He didn’t budge, but his eyes showed her statement wounded him. “Then do it again.”
“Wh-what?”
“Kiss me again,” he dared.
Ireland’s stance wobbled. “Why would I do that?”
Gideon smirked, the act sexier than any other she’d seen on him before. “To prove you like kissing me. Oh, and that I’m still your type, whether or not you want to admit it.”
Ireland stared into his eyes, digesting his words at the terrifying truth. She had liked kissing him the other day. She’d always liked kissing him. Locking lips with Gideon wasn’t a problem. Falling for him was. She couldn’t afford to do it again, no matter how badly she wanted to.
He leaned toward her, but only to grab a napkin from the table before the breeze threw it to the grass. She heard her sharp intake of breath and realized she’d hoped he was leaning in to brush his lips to hers.
Gideon chuckled and winked. “Don’t fight it, darlin’,” he said, then took a seat next to Zavier.





Skye McNeil
Author of Romantic Suspense & Contemporary Romance novels that are smart, sexy, and sassy.

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Christmas in July. 3 Historical Romances set at Christmas

It's Christmas in July time and I have several romance novels that are set at or around Christmas.

Flavia's Secret, my romance set in Roman Britain and Roman Bath, has its climax during the Saturnalia, the ancient world version of Christmas. You can read more here.

Dare Celtic slave Flavia trust her Roman master Marcus?
In the Roman city of Aquae Sulis (modern Bath), Celtic slave Flavia longs to be free. Her mistress’ death brings a threat to Flavia’s dream: Valeria’s heir Marcus, a handsome, dangerous Roman officer. Flavia is drawn to Marcus but she has a deadly secret to hide and many enemies.

Just 99cents or 99p, free to read with Kindle Unlimited
Amazon UK          Amazon Com

Also in Audio and Large print.













My sweet medieval historical romance, SIR CONRAD AND THE CHRISTMAS TREASURE, is up and out. You can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.

On Amazon. Com here
And Amazon UK here

In print at Amazon.com here
And in print at Amazon UK here

SIR CONRAD AND THE CHRISTMAS TREASURE Amazon Com USA

Amazon UK

TO READ WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED



What is the true treasure of Christmas?

Maggie’s younger brother, Michael, is kidnapped by outlaws, and it’s up to her to rescue him. Appealing to Sir Conrad, the grim steward of the northern English high lands, is the very last thing she wants to do. With the very real possibility that the outlaws know of Michael’s talent—the ability to open any lock, to reveal any treasure—Maggie races against time to find him before his usefulness to the outlaws is ended.

Sir Conrad desires Maggie from the minute he sees her—she makes him feel alive again—and that has not happened since the death of his wife. Though he hasn’t known Maggie before, a strange feeling of familiarity nags, and he agrees to aid the beautiful peasant girl in this quest of finding her brother.

Joining forces, Maggie and Sir Conrad form a tenuous bond. When an assassin attacks Maggie, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit, and Conrad realizes that even Maggie doesn’t know the power she holds. But Conrad not only must keep Maggie safe, he must thwart the dangerous devices of his spiteful older brother, Richard, who has lately returned from crusade.

As love blossoms, Maggie and Conrad must protect one another. Evil is all around them, and doubt is a cruel enemy. Will their faith in each other keep them united? In the world of dangerous courtly intrigue, who is saving whom? Love is all that matters…but can that be enough?


A Knight's Captive - a novel that also has it's climax at Christmas-time

It’s 1066, a year of strange comets and portents, harsh battles, dying kings and Norman and Viking invaders. Compelled to go on pilgrimage in a restive northern England, war-worn Breton knight Marc de Sens knows his first obligation is to his three orphaned nieces. But then he encounters the stunning blonde beauty Sunniva and his life changes forever.

I
Thrust together by betrayal, Marc and Sunniva must find a way to survive these turbulent times, but both hold dark and deadly secrets and trust between them is slow to grow. What happens when their tentative truce is shattered? Will Marc be held captive by his past? Will Sunniva become his willing prisoner? And will they find a way to find love and free themselves?


(Previously published by Kensington Publishing, New York, in 2009. Nominated for the ‘Romantic Times’ Reviewers’ Choice Best Historical Novels Award, 2009.)


Amazon Com 99 cents
Amazon UK 99p


Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Review of "Friday's Child" by Rosemary Morris



Since the day her oldest sister entered society, Lady Elizabeth, the Earl of Saunton’s sister, imagined the pleasures of her first London Season, during which she expected to meet her future husband. Unfortunately, when she is old enough to make her debut, no member of her immediate family is available to chaperone her in London, so she accepts her Great-Aunt Augusta’s offer to bring her out in Cheltenham. 

Elizabeth looks forward to living at Augusta’s grand house near the lively, popular town where people drink mineral water at pump houses and enjoy the social life. Determined to be the perfect debutante, she cannot imagine creating a scandal, so it is fortunate that she cannot foresee the future. Modest, loving and giving Elizabeth is blessed with beauty and a fortune, which attracts suitors. It would not be surprising if her ‘head is turned’ by admirers but she is not a flirt. 

From the moment she sees Mr Yates she sets her heart on him. At the same time, she is not attracted to her brother’s friend with an exotic background, and amber eyes like a tiger’s which unnerve her. Both gentlemen made their fortunes when they served in the East India Company, but will they lead her into trouble, be right for Elizabeth and will one of them be the perfect match for her?

Amazon UK   Amazon USA

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2854044208

5 stars

Engaging heroine, darkly passionate hero

Elizabeth, the heroine of this historical romance, matches the description of the novel's title. Loving and giving, she is excited to take part in her first season in Cheltenham. Determined and outspoken, aware of the world outside her own privileged background, she is also keen on social justice and the rights of others.

She is however only eighteen and still rather shielded from the word's vices. Innocent and passionate, she hope to be courted by the handsome, smoothly charming Geoffrey Yates, although her family appear to prefer Sir Victor, a former soldier, recently returned from India and of mixed Indian-Anglo heritage.

Sir Victor makes a compelling, darkly passionate and original protagonist, one with a delightful relationship with his interesting grandfather and a strongly protective nature, as shown in his dealings with the kidnapped child Mary-Jane and Elizabeth herself. In her way, Elizabeth is his foil, ardent and truly brave, kind and sensitive.

There are some well-loved tropes in this novel - the demanding, elderly chaperone, the insidious fortune hunters, the delights and perils of the social season. There is also a different, refreshing look at wider issues - anti-Catholic prejudice, gipsies, Indian nabobs, Hindu beliefs and a mixed-race hero.

A sweet romance with an exciting climax and a beautiful ending. 



Lindsay Townsend, historical romance:
at lindsaytownsend.co.uk or follow me on