Medieval Monday ~ Laurel O’Donnell

I love this time of year. Not only is everything green (my favorite color) but all around me starts Renaissance Festival season. I love the medieval flavor of a good fest, historical accuracy notwithstanding. Just the atmosphere takes me back. And so does a good Medieval Romance. Few people do those better than my guest for today’s Medieval Hop, Laurel O’Donnell. Laurel lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her five cats. She finds precious time every day to escape into the medieval world and bring her characters to life in her writing. Here is an excerpt from her award-winning book, Angel’s Assassin.

EXCERPT: “You knew she wasn’t dead because you brought her back to her father.” Roke stood before the flaming hearth, the firelight making him glow like some evil demon. “I will ask you one more time. Why did you come back to Castle Roke?”

He knew! Damn him to hell, he already knew! This was another game he was playing. “To kill you,” he said quietly. In the next moment, Damien had his sword out.

He heard the pounding footsteps of Cyclops before he could swing at Roke. He whirled, assessing the charging giant’s position in barely the time it took to blink, and let fly the dagger in his hand. It hit the one eyed man square in his remaining good eye and the big man dropped.

Damien spun back to finish Roke, but he was gone.

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog at

BLURB: Damien is an assassin, a man with no home and a tortured past. Sold into slavery as a young boy, he is trained to kill with cold calculation, without remorse. As a reward for his ruthless success, he is given a chance to earn his freedom from his cruel master. One last mission. One final person to slay…

Lady Aurora of Acquitaine is the epitome of purity and goodness, beloved by all her people. She lives her life trying to atone for her mother’s cruelty by being a fair and just ruler. Secretly she fears that one day her mother’s murderer will return for her.

When Damien enters Aurora’s life, tempting her with promises of dark passion and forbidden lust, he threatens to tear her peaceful world apart with shadowy secrets of his own.

Can Aurora’s light heal Damien’s dark spirit or will his evil consume her? The eternal battle of good versus evil, love versus hate, dark versus light, all come to a shattering climax in this historical romance set in medieval England.

BUY LINK:   Amazon

$1250 in Amazon Gift Cards Could be Yours!

We’re Treating Readers to a Spring Fling
Enter for the chance to win $1250 in Amazon Gift Cards!

Mega Gift Card Giveaway April 2-24
and Facebook Hop April 21-24

(Sponsored by the 77 authors listed below)

Constance Phillips • Debbie White • Tamara Lush • Nancy Segovia • Helen Smith • Stella Marie Alden • Alyson Hale • Shirley Hailstock • Dena Garson • Ava Bradley • Tamara Ferguson • Lynda Haviland • Eva Chase • Ashlee Price • Allyson R Abbott • Phoebe Rose • Ysa Arcangel • Tee Garner • Jennifer Allis Provost • Rachel Woods • Amelia James • Jacqueline Diamond • Marsha A. Moore • Siera London • Emily Leigh • Aileen Harkwood • Jenna Barwin • Tara Lain • Christa Paige • Cynthia A Clement • Marie Booth • Hope Welsh • Sarah Fischer • Marie Johnston • Anne Renwick • Brea Viragh • Gayle Parness • Trish McCallan • Aubrey Wynne • JD Monroe • Sharon Kay • Elizabeth Rose • H. D. Thomson • Amy Brent • Caitlyn Blue • Margo Bond Collins • Bokerah Brumley • Felicia Beasley • Amy L Gale • Olivia Wildenstein • Tracie E. Christian • Patricia M Jackson • Kristy Tate • Astrid Arditi • Lisa Mondello • Cassie Alexander • Lori L. Robinett • Amanda Uhl • Melissa Belle • Josie Riviera • Layla Messner • Bree Dahlia • Cherie Claire • Barbara Barrett • M. Black • Lizbeth Selvig • Cailin Briste • Mia Ford • Bambi Lynn • Roxanne Snopek • Stacy Gold • Alex Gordon • Kristine Smith • Marianna Baker • Greta Boris • Oliver Chase • Allison Gatta

One entry signs you up to each of the author’s newsletter. You can also earn extra entries by signing up for our newsletters early, before the giveaway ends on April 24 (don’t worry, you won’t be double subscribed).


Be sure to also join us for our Facebook Hop April 21-24, when we will have 77 gift cards for you to enter to win. That’s a gift card at every stop! Plus a bonus giveaway for the winner’s choice of an Amazon Echo Dot or Kindle Fire.

Medieval Monday ~ Barbara Bettis

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.

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog

BLURBHe 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.

BUY LINKS: Amazon   The Wild Rose Press

#MedievalMonday ~ Mary Morgan

I’ve made some wonderful friends since I hooked up with this fabulous group of Medieval Romance Writers. Today I’m visited by an author who is near and dear to my heart, Mary Morgan.  Mary’s passion for books started at an early age along with an overactive imagination. She spent far too much time daydreaming and was told quite often to remove her head from the clouds. It wasn’t until the closure of Borders Books where Mary worked that she found her true calling—writing romance. Now, the worlds she created in her mind are coming to life within her stories. Here is an excerpt from one of my all-time favorite books, Dragon Knight’s Shield.

EXCERPT: “Stop!” shrieked Lachlan. “She will die if ye take another step. Drop your weapons and kneel on the ground.”

Angus had no choice, so he dropped to the ground. “Do as he commands,” he ordered his brothers. The blood pounded in his head, watching as tears slipped down Deirdre’s face. Did he not swear to protect her? Where was his honor, as the stench of fire filled his being and Lachlan’s words continued to mock him?

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog with my excerpt #9

BLURB: Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him.

Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.

Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon Barnes Noble Kobo Apple iBooks

#MedievalMonday ~ Ashley York

Our romp through the Middle Ages continues, and this villain theme is proving to be very exciting. I mean, who doesn’t love a good villain? I’m joined this week by the sensational Ashley York. Ashley writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed. The complexity of her characters evoke strong emotional responses from the readers, whether good or evil. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Gentle Knight.

EXCERPT: Peter stared him down, unflinching. He wanted to reach down Ivan’s throat and rip his lungs up through his mouth. He wanted to rip his entrails out as well. He wanted to stab him right through his black heart.
Instead, he took Brighit’s trembling hand, placed it lightly on his forearm, and escorted her into the room. He brushed off a bench for Brighit to sit upon. “Please, rest here.”

Follow along for excerpt #8 at Ruth A. Casie’s Blog:

BLURB: Brighit MacNaughton is an obedient daughter following her father’s death bed decree that she take her vows and become the virginal bride of Christ. The hired men seeing her to the Priory at Tanshelf are more interested in the building resentment against the English king than her safety. But when the handsome Norman knight offers his protection against the lecherous mercenaries, he sparks her passion with his gentle touch and smoldering looks of desire, reminding her of dreams best forgotten. Can one night with him quench the intense need in her or will it cause the fire to burn out of control?

Peter of Normandy is a trusted knight of King William, sent north to subdue the unrest and rumblings of revolt at York. Giving aid to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he is quickly overcome with the need to possess her. With a body meant for a man’s pleasure and an unrelenting stubbornness to follow her father’s wishes, he struggles against giving her what she wants if it can only be for one night. Will one night of passion prove to be enough or will it unleash an insatiable need that makes him never want to let her go?

BUY LINK: Amazon

#SexySaturday ~ Serving My Viking Masters

Serena Starling has done it again. Finally, a 4th installment in her Viking Erotica series about an Irish beauty captured and kept as a slave by the Viking king, Barak. If you’re looking for a Happily Ever After, keep looking. But if hot sex with very, virile Vikings is your thing, look no further than this HOT series. Book 4 is titled, Passion’s Price and is now available on Amazon.

BLURB: Kira, the beautiful Irish bed slave of a powerful and possessive Viking king, realizes she and her lover Drengr will face a dire future if caught by Barek, her king and master. Crushing the massive warrior’s heart in order to spare his life, Kira resigns herself to an empty existence as a pleasure vessel for the king, and nothing more. Fate has another plan for Kira, however, as the ruthless king of a neighboring land plots with her master to trade her supple flesh as repayment for old debts. Will Kira be able to withstand the unflagging onslaught of lusty, strapping men as she is shared by Mogr and his twin sons? Finally given over to Mogr’s barbaric warband to take their pleasure as they please, the lovely bed slave fears for her life. Bound, gagged, and completely defenseless, Kira struggles helplessly against the assailment of hard, brawny warriors intent on using her body for their enjoyment. Will Kira’s former lover Drengr intercede to save her, or will his bitter heart urge him to join the depraved gang of men brawling for her tender flesh?

BUY LINK: Amazon

Write the Damn Book! #MFRWauthor

This is advice that I’ve heard over and over. “Put your butt in the chair and write.” “It’s the only way you’re going to finish.” “You can’t edit a blank page.” But how many times have I stared at the blinking cursor on the screen. That is until I realized I was a plotter. Since then, writer’s block has no place in my vocabulary.

I start a new project thinking and collecting ideas about my characters, their personalities, quirks, physical traits (if you’ve seen my book covers, you know my heroes’ physical traits follow a pattern 😉 ) as well as the main events that will happen in the story. I flesh out my heroines, the antagonist, the hero, the setting. Then I envision the big picture, starting with the end and generating ideas for the major turning points.







Finally, I sit down to put words on paper. I start with two charts I’ve developed over the years: Character profiles and the 6-Stage Plot structure. I take all the prewriting work I’ve done and plug it in, further developing the characters based on their archetype and thinking up scenes for each part of the story.

Once I have my plot (scene by scene), I start writing. I never have to think about what to write. I’ve already got it in there: Who’s pov? What is his or her goal, motivation, and conflict? How does it move the story forward? What emotional, physical, and sensory descriptions do I want to include? With this information I can crank out a first draft in just a couple of months (for a full-length novel). I have a word-count in mind per scene, and when I first write it, the scene is mostly action and comes out to about a third of the words I want. Before moving to the next scene, I flesh it out with the emotion and internal stuff that usually pushes me over my word-count goal.

I reread this first draft for spelling and grammar, making other adjustments as I see them. Then it’s off to my editor. If you’re just starting out or if you’ve suffered from writer’s block, I hope my process will spark some new ideas for you. All writers are different, but I’ve found that taking bits and pieces from others who’ve been through the same trials has helped me develop a process that works great for me. How will you develop yours?

For more information about my books, click here.

To sign up for my spam-free newsletter, click here. You will receive a complementary copy of one of my novellas and be entered to win my monthly giveaway.

If you’d like copies of my Character Profile and/or Plot Structure templates, shoot me an email  ( and I’ll be happy to forward those to you.

Next week’s topic will be My Greatest Strength. Follow along and check out the other authors on this hop for more ideas.