#MedievalMonday ~ Ashley York

Greetings, gods and goddesses. At last spring is here. My guest today is 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. Whether it’s in the mysterious ring forts of Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings, her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they’ll yank at your emotions and make it hard to put her books down. Today she shares with us an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, Eyes of the Seer.

It was usually Joan who saw to such things for Marcán. He was shown this deference as a sign of his value to the clan. An unmarried warrior was usually seen to by the king’s wife, but until now Diarmuid had had no wife, and the late king’s wife, Beibhinn, chose to ignore him.

The thought of Astrid helping him in his bath stiffened his prick in an instant. Followed by the realization that it would not be a good idea to allow her to touch him. The simple act of assisting in his bath could be his undoing; he wanted her that much.

The mere thought of the scent of her hair, the feel of her hands, her bosom innocently pressing against him was enough to banish his exhaustion. He was painfully hard with need for her. Standing, he turned away from the opening door. He needed to get out of this, or she would finally learn just how besotted he was with her. And she would not be happy.

Follow along next week by visiting www.lanemcfarland.com. 

BLURBIn ancient Ireland, men and women take to the legends for answers. Different-colored eyes are the mark of a Seer, it is said, and those who can see the future are in league with the devil. They cannot be suffered to live.

He wishes to prove himself…
Marcán of Clonascara bears the bloodline of Brian Boru, the legendary high king, and his prowess as a warrior has earned him great respect. But he was born with different-colored eyes, and there are some who would have him suffer a Seer’s fate. His fiercest adversary is Beibhinn, mother to Diarmuid, his close friend and king, and Astrid, the woman who holds his heart. If Astrid ever showed him any interest, he would fight Beibhinn and any army to wed her.

She is desperate to escape…
Astrid is sick of her mother’s belittling, but her brother is in no hurry to see her married, so she decides to see to her own match-making. The man she approaches quickly reveals his lack of honor, but her overbearing mother pushes her to wed him anyway. When Astrid discovers Marcán’s love for her, she realizes that what she wants has been in front of her all along. True happiness awaits them, but only if they can put a stop to her mother’s plans.

BUY LINKS:    Amazon  iTunes  KOBO  Barnes & Noble

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#MedievalMonday ~ Ashley York

The goddess is pleased to welcome Ashley York to the forest. It is always a pleasure to have her join us for peace and tranquility among the trees. 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. Whether it’s in the mysterious ring forts of Éire, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings, her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they all evoke strong emotional responses. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, Curse of the Healer.

Her breath caught, though his grip was not overly firm. They stood that way for a long moment—his head lowered to hers so they stood nose to nose, his broad chest brushing against her forearm in time with his heavy breathing.

His gaze dropped, to slowly follow up her length before settling again on her face.

That he continued to study her kept her fully watchful. His features relaxed, but she sensed mounting tension in him.

You can catch more of this great story next week on Lane McFarland’s blog.

BLURBAfter the death of Brian Boru in 1014, a legend arose of a healer so great she could raise a man from the dead, with a power so strong it could make any warrior the next high king of Éire…and to steal it away from her, he need only possess her. 

Fated to be a healer…

Aednat has spent her entire life training to be the great healer, knowing she must remain alone. When she meets Diarmuid, the intense attraction she feels toward him shakes her resolve to believe in such a legend. If she gives in to the passion he ignites in her, can she settle for being less?

Destined to be his…

Diarmuid of Clonascra is renowned for his bravery in battle. Only one thing daunts him: the prospect of taking a wife. The safest course would be to keep his distance from Aednat, the bold, headstrong healer who’s far too tempting for his peace of mind. But his overking orders him to protect her from a group of craven warriors intent on kidnapping her to steal her power.

What starts as duty for Diarmuid quickly transforms into something more. Aednat’s power might be at risk, but so is his closed-off heart.

BUY LINK: Amazon 

Medieval Monday ~ Why Ashley York Writes #Medieval Romance

Award-winning author Ashley York 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. Whether it’s in the mysterious ring forts of Éire, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings, her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they all evoke strong emotional responses. Read on to find out why she loves writing Medieval Romance.

Where History takes a passionate turn says it all! My medieval stories take place in the 11th and 12th century, the High Middle Ages. I love the fact that survival was not guaranteed and life was not easy. Babies died, food was fought over, and enemies were everywhere. This lends itself to creating complex characters that live life to the fullest, seeking satisfaction in all their pursuits whether it be in warfare or love, while knowing how brief there time may be. That equals passion! The fact that they live in a Christian society adds restraint to their decisions while they struggle with the many things, seen and unseen, and their pagan past hovers over them like a storm cloud.

This is an amazing time period where universities were just coming into prominence, empires were being established, and human ingenuity was on the upswing. I write my characters without an eye toward the outcome of history. Just because we know William of Normandy will conquer the Kingdoms of England in 1066 doesn’t mean we have to act like the Saxons were ripe for an invasion. Just the opposite! Let’s extol their strength and unity and their proud, though diverse, heritage. Let’s not give the ending away!

BIO: Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.

Find all my books at: https://www.ashleyyorkauthor.com/books

#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: http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

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

Medieval Monday ~ Ashley York

The celebration continues. The Yuletide is nigh. I’m excited to have the celebrated Ashley York join me today for Medieval Monday. 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. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Saxon Bride.

ashley-york EXCERPT:  John’s breath against Rowena’s neck sent a shiver down her spine. Knowing now how easily she could be distracted, she fought to keep her head. Those who’d been waiting for the new lord of the manor acknowledged him with some excitement when he entered, Rowena at his side. John accepted their respectful greetings as if he’d always been such a high ranking lord yet Joan had said he was only a knight.

“My lord,” a burly man with a ruddy complexion bowed overly long before them, causing his face to turn even redder. “Accept the greetings of a distant friend. I am Mort of Bedgrove near Aylesbury, at your service.”

“And what would that service be?” John paused beside the extravagantly dressed man. It was not a man Rowena had ever seen before. John’s mouth twitched with humor as he seemed to take in all the fine silk, silver bells and feather adornments in one glance.

The man bowed again before answering. “My lord…” Stepping closer, the man was a head shorter than John but he managed to look him directly in the face when he answered. “Whatever service that you might need.”

John’s humor fled. Rowena sensed a sudden tension between the two men. Their eyes were locked as if sizing each other up. His arm finally relaxed where her fingers lay lightly atop it. Smiling, he tipped his head in acknowledgment and continued on.

Finally reaching the far center wall, John and Rowena took their seats at the long table. It was covered with a clean cloth and adorned with small bunches of the last flowers from the garden. The scene was festive and Rowena’s own spirits seemed to lift as well. It was a time to celebrate. The long awaited lord had finally returned. There would be time later to find out what that would mean to her. For her people, it was time for celebration. A time for peace.

The meal was eaten with the new apple wine Rowena had chosen. The assortment of breads, meats and pies was plentiful. The mead and cider flowed without restraint. All seemed relaxed, happy even. At the tables grouped with eight and ten people each, there was an easy exchange as they talked amongst themselves and the noise level rose as the amount of drink increased. The Normans, however, sat off by themselves and spoke more quietly. They were soldiers after all. Rowena tried to squelch her uneasiness at this realization.

Wondering if John noticed the subdued behavior of his men, she was startled to find his gaze running over her body. Her own breath quickened. It felt as if he were actually touching her. The memory of his touch had left a lasting impression. He wet his lips before taking his goblet to his mouth, opening it right before the cold metal touched his lips. The movement along his throat as he drank mesmerized her. She found herself wanting to put her lips there, to taste him. She looked away. She could never be so bold.

Her response to his looks was quite disconcerting. She cleared her throat.”How do you find your manor after your long absence, my lord?”

John eyebrows shot up. She hadn’t meant to find fault…or maybe she did.

“I was taken aback to find you do not care for the stores and such. Is there a reason you refuse to act as is your right as my wife?”

Her mouth opened slightly at the lie. “My lord, I have been given no such leave. Your king replaced me as chatelaine on his first visit here.”

John searched her face before correcting her. “Our king.”

BLURB: Rowena Godwinson, a Saxon princess, refuses to go willingly into a forced marriage to one of King William’s most favored knights but her struggle against enemy occupation fades away in the pleasurable arms of her Norman husband. Will he bring her people to their knees in his attempt to please his liege lord? Or can she win him over to the Saxon’s side even while one of her own plots to overthrow the bastard king?

John of Normandy is a soldier made for battle, ingrained with chivalry and a deep sense of loyalty to his mentor and king. Serving his liege is reward enough. Neither a title nor a child bride will entice him to become an indolent lord. A chance encounter with an alluring beauty, however, releases all his pent up desires and unspoken needs. His young bride has become a passionate woman, tempting him beyond his endurance. Can he win her over before she learns the truth of her father’s death?

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Medieval Monday ~ Ashley York

A big thank you to Ashley York for hanging out in the forest with me today for Medieval Monday. Ashley is a best selling author who 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. Here is an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, The Bruised Thistle.

ashley-yorkSeumas kept a fast pace through the night, traveling as if the devil himself were after him. His thoughts were morose, tortured by the screams of people murdered in the dark of night, a young man threatened at sword point to reveal the location of his hidden gold, Giles bending over the young girl. Atrocities no one should ever have witnessed. Atrocities he could not overcome.

By day, he rested. The memories made sleep impossible. He ate nothing and drove himself with only one thought in mind—revenge. Iseabail’s murder would be avenged.

It was near midnight when he finally saw her home. She was a woman of great wealth, and Seumas understood now why her uncle would have been so relentless in trying to acquire his brother’s estate. The castle walls were well-maintained. He would never be able to gain access. Retreating into the darkness of the woods, he pulled his tartan around him and slid down against a tree, keeping watch. His memories pressed down on him, drowning him with heavy thoughts of his revenge. The man would die slowly, in as much agony as Seumas could inflict upon him. Time became just another element, like the wind and the rain. He had lost all sense of it. Daylight came and went. And he waited.

The whinny of his horse woke him instantly. With eyes already adjusted to the dark, he scanned the road. A lone rider traveled toward him from the castle. A hiss escaped Seumas as he saw the way the man was dressed. His opulence was unmistakable.

What type of fool travels the roads at night so ripe for robbery?

Without a doubt, this pompous arse was Iseabail’s uncle.

He stayed hidden beneath the trees as the rider approached. He had worried as he planned out his revenge that he would not recognize their uncle. He almost laughed at the audacity of this man. The whoreson believed he could kill his niece, steal his brother’s lands, and go about his life as if he were a king? Tonight he would find out he was wrong. Seumas stepped out onto the path and waited to be seen.

“Hold.” Seumas held up his hand, demanding compliance.

“What is the meaning of this?” the man blustered as his horse shifted and turned at Seumas’s sudden appearance. “How dare you travel my roads in the middle of the night?”

Seumas bowed in mock respect. “M’lord, I beg yer pardon. Whose lands have I unknowingly trespassed on?”

The man tilted his head and squinted. “These are my lands. I am the MacNaughton.”

Seumas felt the air leave his lungs, to be replaced by rage. “John MacNaughton?”

“No, I am his brother, Henry.” Seumas slowly stepped toward the man, taking the horse’s reins. Henry was clearly not expecting that. “What are you up to?”

“I wish to speak to ye, sir, if ye would please dismount. I would have us speak as men.”

“What business have I with you, sir?” Henry tried to pull the horse back, away from Seumas, who held tightly and moved closer. “Why would you travel these roads at this time of night?”

“I would ask ye the same.” Seumas’s voice was barely above a whisper. “Will ye dismount?”

“I will not. Unhand my horse this instant.”

Seumas gave a sharp yank and the horse reared away, effectively unseating Henry, who fell to a heap on the ground.
Seumas stepped in closer until he towered over him, using his size to intimidate. “Ye will.”

He merely observed the man as he worked to right himself. The buffoon struggled with his cloak, mumbling and grunting as he tried to unwrap his large limbs. The horse skidded away from the bumbling oaf. The knife was a surprise. Henry pointed it at Seumas, the blade glistening even in the dark, all pretense of ineptness discarded.

He sneered. “What do you want from me? Tell me quick and I may allow you to live.”

“Are ye not the brave man?”

His sneer slipped, revealing his confusion. “What are you talking about? Get off my land.”

Seumas rounded on him, his brows arched high at the absurdity of the answer. “Yer land?”

Henry tipped his head as if assessing the true meaning of his obtuse question. Seumas sensed his bravado crumbling.

“I heard ye stole it from yer brother,” Seumas continued, standing with his arms akimbo. The man blanched. “Yea, I know quite a lot about ye.”

“What do you want with me?” Henry’s voice broke with his fear and his blade shivered in the moonlight. “I have no idea what you are talking about.”

“Ah, Henry…” Seumas spoke as if to a child. “Ye were already in a bad way and now ye have made it even worse.”
“How so?” he said, his voice now quivering.

“Tell me.” Seumas moved in closer. The man’s dagger still trembled in his hand. “Is that the dagger ye used to run yer niece through?”

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Medieval Monday ~ A Feast of Medieval Romance Authors

Do you love Medieval Romance? Ashley York has cultivated an entire group of spectacular authors who want to offer you a library of the romance fiction you crave.  Come back with us to a time where men were chivalrous and could wield a broad sword with the strength of a warrior. Here is a brief introduction to each of the Medieval Monday authors. Maybe your next favorite is among them.

Ashley YorkAshley York ~ Amazon Best Selling Author Ashley York 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. The four books of the Norman Conquest series tell the tale of the fictional last Godwin bent on overthrowing King William I, finding support across northern England and as far west as Ireland. Far from the typical romance formulas, her stories are fresh and unpredictable but still finish with a satisfying HEA.

 

 

Cathy MacRaeCathy MacRae ~ Amazon best-selling author Cathy MacRae enjoys weaving tales of romance in the Highland mists. Her stories feature strong heroes and feisty heroines in pursuit of their happy-ever-afters in medieval Scotland.  When not writing, Cathy can be found curled up in a chair with a book or enjoying the outdoors with her corgis and maybe a German Shepherd or two. A member of RWA, NTRWA, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers, she is currently working on another Highland romance novel and planning her next trip to Scotland.

 

 

Mary MorganMary Morgan ~ Scottish paranormal romance author, Mary Morgan resides in Northern California, with her own knight in shining armor. However, during her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. 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.

 

 

Barbara BettisBarbara Bettis ~ Award-winning author Barbara Bettis has 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.

 

 

 

 

Jenna JaxonJenna Jaxon ~ Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. Jenna has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise. She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage. She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop.

 

 

Ruth A. Casie

Ruth A. Casie ~ Ruth A. Casie writes contemporary and historical fantasy romance for Carina Press, Harlequin and Timeless Scribes Publishing. Formerly from Brooklyn, New York, she lives in New Jersey with her very supportive husband Paul. When not writing you can find Ruth reading, cooking, doing Sudoku, or counted cross stitch. Ruth and Paul have three grown children and two grandchildren. They all thrive on spending time together. It’s certainly a lively dinner table and they wouldn’t change it for the world.

 

 

Lane McFarlandLane McFarland ~ Starting out as an accountant, Lane McFarland soon realized the long nights and numerous weekends of closing books and reporting financial results no longer appealed. So, she decided to hit the road selling financial software. Jumping from one high-pressured frying pan into the other, the stress of the road- warrior life and constant deadlines took its toll. She needed a release and found that in historical romance books, she could escape to worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings. Today, she has found her true passion in writing of spirited heroines and to-die-for-heroes and the romantic love stories between them.

Rue AllynRue Allyn ~ Author of historical and erotic romances, Rue Allyn fell in love with happily ever after the day she heard my first story. She studied literature for far too many years before discovering that writing stories was much more fun than writing about them. As an author, she gets to read the story before anyone else. She is happily married to her sweetheart of many, many years.

 

 

 

Bambi Lynn Head Shot 1…And Me! ~ Bambi Lynn graduated from the University of Maryland European Division with bachelor’s degrees in English and History. She writes Historical and Contemporary Paranormal Romance. What kind of Paranormal? Vampires? Werewolves? Ghosts? Her stories feature Celtic demi-gods, Highlanders with powers beyond mere humans, lost souls whose only salvation is the love of the right woman.

So check us out. You might find your next favorite author!