Spring is here and villains are in the air. For today’s Medieval Monday, I’m thrilled to be hosting my good friend – Barbara Bettis. Barbara has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archaeologist until she realized there would likely be bugs and snakes involved. And math. She now lives in Missouri, where by day she’s a mild-mannered English teacher, and by night she’s an intrepid plotter of tales featuring heroines to die for—and heroes to live for. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Lady of the Forest.
EXCERPT: A horrified gasp came from those in the hall, followed by silence. Then a deep murmur began from the occupants of the hall. Ulah rushed to the downed figure, the soldier guarding her frozen in place by surprise.
“Damn you, you old witch. Back. ” Mortimer jabbed the sword again, the tip catching the healer in the shoulder. Kate cried out and started for Ulah but an armed guard stopped her.
Angry outbursts joined the hum of voices. From the occasional words Henry caught, many of Mortimer’s soldiers deplored the murder of a churchman, humble though he might be. But the outcries at the attack on the old healer held a different edge: disbelief and outrage, likely from men who’d been among Stonehill’s original garrison. Along one wall at the side, where the kitchen workers huddled, Maude the cook sobbed.
Surprise washed over Mortimer’s face. Had he realized he’d gone too far? The knight glared about him. At first Henry thought him confused, uncertain. Then the man’s glance collided with Henry’s and hatred leapt from Mortimer’s eyes.
Not frantic, not wild, his actions were cold with fury.
BLURB: He must pursue his enemy; she must protect her people. Can their love survive the duties that drive them apart?
When her elderly husband dies, Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry isn’t an enemy, he’s the brother of her childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by duty.
Henry of Chauvere has found the one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past catches her.
When a daring rescue compels Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty didn’t drive them apart.