#MedievalMonday ~ Judith Sterling

Six more weeks of winter. I’m not sure I can stand it. I love summer, partly because for the past twenty years I’ve taught school in my spare time. These days I long for summer. I only know one way to combat the winter blues and that’s with a good book. And what kind of book is better than a Medieval Romance? Today, Judith Sterling is visiting the forest. Judith’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. Today she is sharing an excerpt from her new release, Shadow of the Swan.

From the other high-backed chair, Robert eyed the pie that lay unprotected on the table between them. “Do you plan to eat that?”

A predator drawn to his prey. She shrugged. “I suppose not. Do you want it?”

“I thought you’d never ask.” He attacked the food.

Follow along next week at Jenna Jaxon’s blog: http://www.jennajaxon.wordpress.

BLURB: Lady Constance de Bret was determined to be a nun, until shadows from the past eclipsed her present.  Marriage is the safest option, but she insists on a spiritual union, in which physical intimacy is forbidden.  Not so easy with a bridegroom who wields unparalleled charm!  But a long-buried secret could taint his affection and cloak her in shadow forever.

Back from the Crusades, Sir Robert le Donjon craves a home of his own and children to inherit it.  From the moment he meets Constance, he feels a mysterious bond between them.  When she’s threatened, he vows to protect her and agrees to the spiritual marriage, with the hope of one day persuading her to enjoy a “real” one.  She captivates him but opens old wounds and challenges everything he thought he believed.

Two souls in need of healing.  Two hearts destined to beat as one.

BUY LINKS:   Amazon   B&N   Wild Rose Press


#Medieval Monday ~ Barbara Bettis

Medieval Monday is back! I’m so glad to be starting up again, sharing some classic favorite and hot new Medieval Romances. My guest this week is Barbara Bettis.  Barbara is an award-winning author who as always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archaeologist until she realized there likely would 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.

Kate secured the thick fabric to the bottom of the narrow window and set about lighting candles in the small cottage. A scratch at the door made her shield the flame of the stub she held.

“Come,” she called.

Jamie slid through, then shut the door quickly. “They got ’em.”

She placed the candle in a metal holder. “Were they hurt?”

“Naw. The knight went up on a horse, but Oscar and Sam’l were took back in the cart. I stopped by the kitchen later. Sir Mort be mad as fire, but he couldn’t do nothing to Sam’l, cause as how Sam’l’s the best smith around. But Oscar—” The boy stopped roaming about the small space and worried his lower lip with his teeth.

Follow along next week at https://www.cathymacraeauthor.com/bits-n-bobs-author-blog/. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance at an ebook of your choice from Barbara.

BLURB:  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 LINK:   Amazon

#ReadingResolution ~ A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

I’ve only become familiar with Stephen Hawking recently thanks to the television show The Big Bang Theory and the movie The Theory of Everything. I was very excited to start this layman’s guide to, well, everything sciency.  My first reaction: zzzzzzzzzzzzz.  I was about to toss it aside, since I could not understand anything anyway, but then decided I should at least give it more than nine pages.
So I continued reading and discovered that your brain really is a muscle. Work it more, it gets stronger. In this case, the more I read (and worked my brain) the more I understood. While some of it reads like jibberish, you can learn so many fascinating things if you keep going. For instance, did you know that ours is only one small galaxy among a hundred thousand million? Don’t you find that overwhelming? As it turned out, I skipped around to the chapters that really interest me, like the ones on black holes and wormholes, and time-travel. Definitely give this one a chance.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking ~ A landmark volume in science writing by one of the great minds of our time, Stephen Hawking’s book explores such profound questions as: How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending—or are there boundaries? Are there other dimensions in space? What will happen when it all ends?

Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the exotic realms of black holes and quarks, of antimatter and “arrows of time,” of the big bang and a bigger God—where the possibilities are wondrous and unexpected. With exciting images and profound imagination, Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation.

Get your copy of A Brief History of Time by clicking here.

Don’t miss next week’s review of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, by Dave Eggers.

And if you’d like to read any of my books, please visit my website at www.bambilynn.net

#MedievalMonday ~ The #Vikings by #Bambi Lynn

I can’t do it. I’ve tried. I have writer friends who are cranking out novels every couple of months. But I need more time. I feel productive if I can get a full-length novel out every six months. Most readers are voracious and are devouring books as fast as they come out. How to compete? Never fear. The Vikings are here!
That’s right. I LOVE Vikings. AND I love erotica (shhh ~ that’s a secret). So to feed my passion and keep my fans interested between books, I’ve started an erotic series of Viking shorts. These are quick reads: 25-40 pages. The first four are available now, and the final episode will be out in February. Episode I, Gunnar, is permanently #99cents and Episode IV, Thorleif, is on sale for a limited time. If you have half an hour or so, give one of them a try. But be warned: these stories are HOT, HOT, HOT!

Gunnar ~ Gunnar Sigurdsen needs a place for his band of Norsemen to hold up for the winter. An unguarded stronghold at the mouth of the Seine River is the perfect target.

Oliana du Fossé waits helplessly for her brute of husband to claim her. She doesn’t realize she is being seduced by an invader from the north until it is too late.

Will Gunnar and Oliana set aside their differences long enough to create a safe haven that just might last longer than a season?

Wulf ~ When her village is overrun by vicious barbarians from the north, Farin becomes a bed slave to the most savage of them all. Will her growing affection for her master’s friend get in the way of the revenge she has planned?

After losing his wife and infant son, Wulf let his friends convince him to give up the life of a simple farmer and become a raider under the leadership of Gunnar Sigurdsen. Now they’ve captured a stronghold in Francia, fat with treasure and slaves. One slave in particular, a haunting image of Wulf’s wife, threatens to drive a wedge between him and his friend, a breech he cannot afford.


Bron ~ After escaping the brutal tyrant who holds her under his boot, Leda’s newfound hope is shattered to discover her safe-haven to be nothing more than a den of brutal Norsemen, intent on conquering all of Francia and claiming its riches for their own. When she is offered as a bed slave to the fiercest Viking of them all, she despairs to realize freedom comes at a price.

Brondulf Adilson has struck terror into his enemies for as long as he can remember, to include the women who share his bed. Shunned for his frightful appearance, he doesn’t expect compliance from his new thrall and is resigned to forcing her to his will.

But the beauty he finds himself saddle with turns out to be anything but meek and compliant.

Thorleif ~ Thorleif Rolvsson has been captured by the enemy. The steel of the executioner’s axe is cold against the base of his skull. Will a single night of passion change his fate? Or will he dine with his sons in Valhalla?

The Queen of the Franks has needs. She believes God has sent the pagan Norseman at her feet to fulfill those needs. But can she claim the blessing she has prayed for without losing her heart?


BUY LINKSGunnar   Wulf   Bron   Thorleif   

#ReadingResolution ~ 1984 by George Orwell

English was my favorite class in high school. I majored in English in college. So I can’t believe I have never before read 1984. After getting through the first 156 pages, I realize why. As a romance writer, I’m all about the happy ending. Maybe that’s shallow, but I want my escapism (reading fiction) to take me to a new or better place, to uplift my spirits, and give me hope for the future. While I knew all along this book would not have the requisite happy ending, I never expected to hate it so much. My literary friends would be appalled.

In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.

Next week is A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking. Don’t miss it! And if you’d like to read any of MY books, please visit my website at www.bambilynn.net.

#MedievalMonday ~ The #Viking: Thorleif

Happy New Year, gods and goddesses. I hope you’ve had a wonderful, stress-free holiday season. My entire family came to my house for several days, and it was the most enjoyable Christmas we’ve had in a while. I managed to get many things done before 2017 wound down. One was a new episode in my Vikings erotica series. Episode IV, Thorleif, is now available for download. It’s #free on #KindleUnlimited and only #99cents to purchase for a limited time. Here is an excerpt.

Thorleif lifted his head, sensing a new level of humiliation. King Louis of Francia sat upon the raised dais just ahead. The most beautiful woman Thorleif had ever seen stood at the king’s shoulder. One dainty hand rested possessively on it. Straight, dark hair fell behind her rigid back, the rich color matching severe brows. Her hawk-like eyes drank in the prisoners as the parade slowed to a crawl. Her upturned nose flared with excitement. She licked her full, red lips, lips that promised a good lashing—one way or another. Her grip on Louis’ shoulder tightened visibly, making the king wince and adjust the rise in his breeches.

On his other side, the queen sat stiff-backed, perched on the edge of her ornate chair. She kept her eyes lowered, staring at the hands she held clasped in her lap. She was not as beautiful as the woman currently getting a rise from her husband, but she had a dark, exotic look Thorleif liked.

He stared at her mouth, his favorite part of a woman, whether it was spewing vile insults, whispering words of love, or sucking the skin off his c***. Her lips were dark as a plumb, without added color. The bottom one protruded slightly, probably moreso as she seemed most unhappy.

When his eyes traveled up to her eyes, he found her staring at him. She did not look away, but continued to hold his gaze as he drew closer. His balls constricted at the yearning he saw in those brown orbs. He understood that yearning, that desire to have something so badly you would suffer any risk. He did not need to know what it was she wanted. All that mattered was that, for a brief moment, he understood her, felt connected to her.

It was that connection that had always drawn him to a woman. And now, in what might be his final moments, he wanted to feel that one last time.

Get your copy of The Viking: Thorleif by clicking here.

BLURB: Thorleif Rolvsson has been captured by the enemy. The steel of the executioner’s axe is cold against the base of his skull. Will a single night of passion change his fate? Or will he dine with his sons in Valhalla?

The Queen of the Franks has needs. She believes God has sent the pagan Norseman at her feet to fulfill those needs. But can she claim the blessing she has prayed for without losing her heart?


#ReadingResolution with #Bambi Lynn

It’s that time of year, time for everyone to make plans for improving life. I always have the typical lose weight, write more, etc. I also try to come up with at least one that has more significance. This year, I have three.

The first is for my husband. I admit to a diet soda addiction. I’ve worked very hard over the years to convince myself and everyone else that since there is nothing in a diet soda (go ahead – read the nutrition information), it can’t possibly be bad for me. But I can’t lie to myself anymore. So resolution #1, no more diet soda (okay – I plan to have one a week). To help me get through this, I’m going to substitute with club soda as I’ve also tried to convince myself it’s the effervescence that I’m addicted to.

The second is to get in shape. I can’t make New Year’s Resolutions without that one. On my Christmas list, I asked for seasons 1-4 of the #Vikings series. I only have a DVD player (thanks to streaming innovations) in my workout room. So resolution #2 is to watch one episode of Vikings, starting at the beginning, while I work out, at least 4 episodes a week. Hopefully, by the time I finish all four seasons, I will be in Viking shape. I intend to log my progress on Instagram, if I can work up the courage to do that.

And finally, the third. Amazon has a list of the top 100 books you should read in a lifetime. I’m not disillusioned enough to think that I can read all 100 in a year, so resolution #3 is a two-year goal. The list is a variety of both fiction and nonfiction. Some I’ve read before, but most not. There are classics, children’s books, YA books, and popular fiction. Some I’ll have to force myself to read, like Catcher in the Rye. But hopefully, my advanced age will give me a new perspective, and I’ll be able to get through it. If you’re interested in following along, here is the alphabetical list. They aren’t ranked, so alphabetical it is. I’ve started reading #1, 1984 (for the first time, if you can believe that). Look for my post about it next Saturday, January 6.

  1. 1984,by George Orwell
  2. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking
  3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Geniusby Dave Eggers
  4. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldierby Ishmael Beah
  5. The Bad Beginning: Or, Orphans!by Lemony Snicket
  6. A Wrinkle in Timeby Madeleine L’Engle
  7. Selected Stories, 1968-1994by Alice Munro
  8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glassby Lewis Carroll
  9. All the President’s Menby Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
  10. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoirby Frank McCourt
  11. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaretby Judy Blume
  12. Bel Cantoby Ann Patchett
  13. Beloved,by Toni Morrison
  14. Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,by Christopher McDougall
  15. Breath, Eyes, Memory,by Edwidge Danticat
  16. Catch-22,by Joseph Heller
  17. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,by Roald Dahl
  18. Charlotte’s Web,by E.B. White
  19. Cutting for Stone,by Abraham Verghese
  20. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead,by Brené Brown
  21. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Book 1,by Jeff Kinney
  22. Dune,by Frank Herbert
  23. Fahrenheit 451,by Ray Bradbury
  24. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream,by Hunter S. Thompson
  25. Gone Girl,by Gillian Flynn
  26. Goodnight Moon,by Margaret Wise Brown
  27. Great Expectations,by Charles Dickens
  28. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies,by Jared Diamond, Ph.D.
  29. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,by J.K. Rowling
  30. In Cold Blood,by Truman Capote
  31. Interpreter of Maladies,by Jhumpa Lahiri
  32. Invisible Man,by Ralph Ellison
  33. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth,by Chris Ware
  34. Kitchen Confidential,by Anthony Bourdain
  35. Life After Life,by Kate Atkinson
  36. Little House on the Prairie,by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  37. Lolita,by Vladimir Nabokov
  38. Love in the Time of Choleraby Gabriel García Márquez
  39. Love Medicine,by Louise Erdrich
  40. Man’s Search for Meaningby Viktor E. Frankl
  41. Me Talk Pretty One Dayby David Sedaris
  42. Middlesex,by Jeffrey Eugenides
  43. Midnight’s Children,by Salman Rushdie
  44. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Gameby Michael Lewis
  45. Of Human Bondage,by W. Somerset Maugham
  46. On the Road,by Jack Kerouac
  47. Out of Africa,by Isak Dinesen
  48. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhoodby Marjane Satrapi
  49. Portnoy’s Complaintby Philip Roth
  50. Pride and Prejudice,by Jane Austen
  51. Silent Spring,by Rachel Carson
  52. Slaughterhouse-Five,by Kurt Vonnegut
  53. Teamof Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  54. The Age of Innocenceby Edith Wharton
  55. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay,by Michael Chabon
  56. The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley,by Malcolm X and Alex Haley
  57. The Book Thief,by Markus Zusak
  58. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,by Junot Díaz
  59. The Catcher in the Rye,by J.D. Salinger
  60. The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother,by James McBride
  61. The Correctionsby Jonathan Franzen
  62. The Devil in the White City,by Erik Larson
  63. The Diary of a Young Girl,by Anne Frank
  64. The Fault in Our Stars,by John Green
  65. The Giver,by Lois Lowry
  66. The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials,by Philip Pullman
  67. The Great Gatsby,by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  68. The Handmaid’s Taleby Margaret Atwood
  69. The House at Pooh Corner,by A. A. Milne
  70. The Hunger Games,by Suzanne Collins
  71. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,by Rebecca Skloot
  72. The Liars’ Club: A Memoir,by Mary Karr
  73. The Lightning Thief,by Rick Riordan
  74. The Little Princeby Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  75. The Long Goodbye,by Raymond Chandler
  76. The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11,by Lawrence Wright
  77. The Lord of the Rings,by J.R.R. Tolkien
  78. The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales,by Oliver Sacks
  79. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals,by Michael Pollan
  80. The Phantom Tollbooth,by Norton Juster
  81. The Poisonwood Bible,by Barbara Kingsolver
  82. The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New Yorkby Robert A. Caro
  83. The Right Stuffby Tom Wolfe
  84. The Road,by Cormac McCarthy
  85. The Secret Historyby Donna Tartt
  86. The Shiningby Stephen King
  87. The Stranger,by Albert Camus
  88. The Sun Also Rises,by Ernest Hemingway
  89. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
  90. The Very Hungry Caterpillar,by Eric Carle
  91. The Wind in the Willows,by Kenneth Grahame
  92. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,by Haruki Murakami
  93. The World According to Garp,by John Irving
  94. The Year of Magical Thinking,by Joan Didion
  95. Things Fall Apart,by Chinua Achebe
  96. To Kill a Mockingbirdby Harper Lee
  97. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,by Laura Hillenbrand
  98. Valley of the Dolls,by Jacqueline Susann
  99. Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems and Drawings of Shel Silverstein,by Shel Silverstein
  100. Where the Wild Things Are, byMaurice Sendak