#MedievalMonday ~ Barbara Bettis

Greetings, gods and goddesses! We’re back with a brand new season of the #MedievalMondayHop. From now through October, our common theme will center around the hero and heroine’s first encounter. This week, my guest is Barbara Bettis. Barbara has been visiting Arduinna’s Forest since our Medieval Monday group was founded. Today she is offering us a sneak peak at her Medieval Romance, The Lady of the Forest. How fitting!!!  

“Jamie, please get my bag. I’ll see to his injuries while we wait.”

“Didn’t the lord order him killed?”

The youth was right. Sir Mortimer promised death to the man he sought. But Kate had yet to learn the offender’s crime.

“If the new master of Stonehill wants anyone dead, he can do it himself.” The words were sharper than she’d intended, and Jamie fixed her with a worried gaze.

Follow along next week at Cathy MacRae’s:  http://www.cathymacraeauthor.com/bits-n-bobs-author-blog. Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win an e-copy of The Lady of the Forest.

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  TWRP

Medieval Monday ~ Why Barbara Bettis Writes Medieval Romance

My guest today for Medieval Monday is award-winning author Barbara Bettis. Barbara 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. Read along to find out why she loves writing Medieval Romance.

I’m not sure what calls to me so strongly from the Middle Ages, but whatever it is, has done so my entire life. I think it may be rooted in the stories I devoured when I first started reading. Myths, folk stories from different cultures, tales of Knights of the Round Table, they all captured my imagination. It was a different, fascinating world where anything was possible—in theory. Throughout school, history was a favorite subject, and I loved to delve into the events—and lives of the people—of the past.

As I did so, I recognized that the knightly tales of derring do from my childhood were set amidst times of turmoil, deprivation of the many and reward of the few. I usually root for the underdog, so when my studies introduced me to mercenaries and the bad reputation many of them enjoyed (and they probably did enjoy them), I immediately thought, “But they all must not have been bad. What of the ones who fought to better themselves and didn’t practice cruelty?”

Life was not easy for most people. In the eyes of society at that time, bettering oneself usually meant acquiring land. Few folks had the means or opportunity to do so. Later in the Medieval period, landed-society’s restrictions didn’t allow for commoners to aspire to knighthood, except for very limited exceptions. But in the earlier days, it wasn’t all that unusual for a commoner to rise by reason of bravery, strength, and audacity. All but one of my stories have featured such mercenaries who strive to better themselves by acquiring power and land.

All my stories feature strong women, not at all the norm of the period. Yet discoveries tell us there were more strong women than we realize, although most of them were wed or in the church. I imbue my heroines with strength of character given the times in which they lived.

I love creating the stories of strong heroines we women would like to be and of heroes we’d love to live for.

Bio: Barbara Bettis grew up in the rural Midwest, where reading was a reward for chores well done. So you can bet she did her chores well—and fast. She loved history and English. She’d intended to major in English, but when she arrived at her small, Liberal Arts college, one of the European history professors was on a Rhodes Scholarship. Once she met the English professors, she defected.

Thus, she received her BA in English with a strong minor in history and her Master’s in English. After working as a newspaper reporter and editor, Barb returned to college and taught English and journalism, later earning a doctorate in Higher Education with an emphasis in journalism.

After her husband died, some former students lured her into their critique group, where she began writing fiction. A trip to Scotland and England solidified her love of the Isles (the small tour group set up a ‘Barb’s Castle Alert’ on their train journeys). Her earlier fascination with the Middle Ages led her into her medieval stories, where she’s been roaming around ever since.

Now that she’s retired from teaching, her ambition is to write an angst-ridden, tortured hero set in the High Middle Ages, but somehow her guys end up with inappropriate senses of humor. Perhaps in the future…. www.barbarabettis.blogspot.com

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 http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

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

Medieval Monday ~ Barbara Bettis

I’m so excited to have award-winning author, Barbara Bettis, hanging out with me today for Medieval Monday. Barbara has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist 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.

barbara-bettisEXCERPT: In this excerpt, Henry has interrupted the wedding celebration at Stonehill Castle to challenge Mortimer’s right to marry Kate.

[Henry and his two friends] stalked into the hall where the lord held forth at the high table before the household left for the chapel. Kate sat at his right, the priest at his left.

“Sir Mortimer.” Henry’s voice boomed above the din. “Stand and answer my challenge.”

Mortimer lifted his head. “Lord Henry. Sit, break your fast before I wed my lady.” His oily tone did not match his hard set of jaw and narrowed eyes.

Henry ignored the words and continued across the floor. Mortimer rose but before he could speak, Henry leaped onto the dais.

“You have no right to demand Lady Katherine in marriage.” It took all Henry’s determination not to glance at Kate.

“I have an order from the king, granting me this holding and the lady as my bride.”

“I say the order does not exist.” A murmur rose from the people seated at the lower tables. Calling the lord a liar meant a fight. But no sounds arose of benches scraping back. Perhaps the soldiers awaited a signal. Henry stepped closer. “Produce this writ. Let me examine the seal.”

Dull red moved up Mortimer’s neck; his nostrils flared.

Henry sucked in a breath of satisfaction. He had him now. “You cannot. The people of Stonehill have been mistreated and their lady driven into hiding in fear for her life. You’ve lied and cheated, and you’ve taken part in a treasonous attempt to overthrow one of the king’s barons.”

He hadn’t known what to expect from Mortimer, but it wasn’t the self-satisfied upturn of the man’s mouth. Dread scraped a cold trail along Henry’s spine.

“You may be another baron and a pet of the king,” Mortimer said, “but that don’t make you always right, and that don’t keep you from facing a fight when you accuse an honest man of wrongdoing.”

He motioned to the priest, who stood and withdrew a section of parchment from a leather satchel beside him on the bench. It contained no seals.

Henry clenched his teeth. Why in the devil’s own hell hadn’t he considered the priest as the knight’s accomplice?

The churchman opened the document and at a nod from Mortimer, read. “Sir Mortimer of Corbeau, in gratitude for service, is granted the holding of Stonehill in Nottinghamshire…”

A loud buzzing in Henry’s ears blotted the words that followed. Satan’s backside! The writ existed. The parchment was stained and tattered, not the official document often used to dispense favors, but he’d seen Richard direct a clerk to scratch out such awards after a battle. They were rough and hurried, yet they carried the weight of the king’s power.

And they always carried his seal.

Where was the seal for this order?

BUY LINKS:

AMAZON TWRP

Medieval Monday ~ Barbara Bettis

I couldn’t be more excited to celebrate with my friend Barbara Bettis. Barbara, an award-winning author, has a brand new book out! The Lady of the Forest just released a few days ago. Here is your opportunity to get a jump start on some fantastic reading.  Take a peek at at the following excerpt and click on the link to read the entire book.

barbara-bettisEXERPT:

“Tell Kate to take no chances until I return.” From the downturn of Jamie’s mouth, Henry gathered how well she’d follow such advice.

“Hold.” Jamie trotted forward. “Guards patrol along here ever’ day. Don’t know if they been by yet, but you stay just inside the trees. There’s a path runs along the road. Won’t nobody see you. The crossroad’s on further, a bit.”

“My thanks, again.” Henry pinned him with a stern gaze. “Have a care for yourself.”

Before the youth clambered back into the trees, he flashed his jaunty grin. This time, the smile contained a trace of sadness.

Kate’s problems remained on Henry’s mind as he rode, but without all the facts, he couldn’t devise a plan of action. Of his own circumstance, he suspected Sir Mortimer played a double game, although why he pretended to believe Paxton was Henry remained unclear. Perhaps he sought power by supporting a usurper. More than likely, he played a waiting game, to see which outcome presented more opportunity.

Travel through the brushy roadside leveled into a slow, monotonous lull, during which he devised a variety of options for dealing with Paxton. His mind grappled with one of those plans when a disturbance, a sound, alerted him.

He reined in his mount and listened. Silence. It came again. A series of faint, sharp bird calls. Only a bird called Jamie could emit such a frantic warble. An emergency, indeed, to have sent the youth after him.

Henry urged the gelding around and started back. A score of steps later, the calls sounded from just ahead. Movement to his right sent him in that direction. The boy came into view, stepping carefully onto an almost-bare tree limb.

“What’s wrong?” Concern turned Henry’s tone sharp as Jamie jumped to the ground.

“I feared—I’d not catch you.”  Tight lines etched the youngster’s face. “It’s Cade and Oscar. They’re following.”

Henry swung down beside him. “Have they been harmed?”

Jamie hung his head and gasped for breath, hands on his knees. “Nah. But awful ole Hawise… she saw Cade leaving…and sent up a shout. Said the lad that…freed Oscar…were the dead Lady of Stonehill. You gots to help ’em.”

“How far back are they?” As he spoke, he took the boy’s arm to help him sit.

“A ways. I ran ahead to catch you.” He heaved in a lung-full of air and blew it out, then flattened

a hand to his chest. “For awhile I thought my heart would get here a’fore me.”

Kneeling, Henry ruffled the boy’s hair. “You did well. Stay here and rest while I go for them. Are Sir Mortimer’s men following?”

Oscar nodded, his unruly curls flopping into his eyes. “But they’re going the wrong way for now. Cade took the south road ’till she could double back without ’em knowing.”

“How could they not see her?”

The boy snorted. “She knows shortcuts better’n any old guard that don’t gets off his behind. And Sir Mort never bothered to learn nothing about the land nor the tenants since he come. He only cares what he can pry out of ’em.”

He gulped another breath. “See, Maddie caught up to me in the woods. She could leave, ’cause nobody never pays attention to a kitchen helper. I waited at the hut ’till Cade got there.”

Henry’s heart thudded at the thought of Kate being chased by soldiers. “Is she unharmed?”

“Said so, didn’t I?”

The boy’s spirit was bouncing back. He’d be fine. But Cade…Kate. He hoped they were near. “Do they have horses?”

Jamie nodded. “Cade had’em hid. They’ll be slowed down in the woods. That’s why I came after you.”

“You did the right thing. I’ll find her—“

“Cade said stay here, they’d come to you. If you gets lost in the forest, we’d have to go looking.”

True. He hated to admit it, but traipsing through unfamiliar countryside might cost unnecessary time. Inactivity grated on his nerves, but he had little choice. He paced a circle around the tree Jamie leaned against until restlessness became too much. Bedamned to an unknown landscape. Kate might be in trouble.

“I’m going back,” he announced.

“No need.” Jamie nodded toward the trees. “They’re coming.”

Two figures on horseback broke through the underbrush, but Henry saw only the blood splashed down the front of Kate’s tunic.

BLURB:

He must find a traitor; 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’s not 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 LINKhttp://amzn.to/2czF6Fl

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!

Medieval Monday ~ Barbara Bettis

I’m coming to you today from beautiful St. Thomas. Luckily, my friend award-winning author Barbara Bettis is here to keep you entertained. Barbara has always loved history and English. As a college freshman, she briefly considered becoming an archeologist 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, Silverhawk.

Barbara BettisEXCERPT: (Lady Emelin has chosen a stormy night to launch an escape from her tempting kidnapper, Sir Giles)

She shivered against the increasing cold and hunched forward to search the path ahead. Why hadn’t she thought to bring one of the blankets? Clouds scudded across the sky. Still she urged the horse onward. She had come too far to turn back now.

Had Silverhawk regained consciousness? Discovered her absence? Imagine the surprise, when he awoke alone. She’d shown him she was not helpless. Satisfaction lightened the oppression she was feeling—from the approaching storm; that had to explain the growing dread.

Then, carried on bursts of wind, came voices. At last. She’d found them. She straightened, the discomfort of the cold and riding bareback forgotten as she urged the mare forward. Onward down the trail she rode. Once she called out, “Lord Osbert, Garley, I’m here.” No answer came.

In the distance, thunder rumbled, and white light knifed across the ominous sky. Please, not rain. Surely the good Lord wouldn’t be so cruel. Her throat constricted. She gulped. She would not panic.

Concentrate on deep breaths. If only her heart would stop clamoring to get out. A cold, fat drop struck, followed by two more, a dozen. Then the downpour hit.

A jagged streak snapped in front of her. A rolling crash shook the earth. The mare tossed its head, danced aside. Emelin murmured, petted the animal’s neck in an attempt to calm it. But at the next sharp crack, it reared, and shot down the path.

Fisting the reins, she clung to its mane as the mount veered through the underbrush, away from the sharp zigzags of light. Branches struck her face, snatched at her skirts, nearly dragged her off. How she managed to keep her seat, she didn’t know. All she could think was, Don’t fall. Don’t fall. Don’t fall.

At last the mare slowed. Emelin squinted through wet eyes, reached out to knock aside a soggy branch, dripping leaves. Finally, the animal stopped, blowing hard, trembling. Emelin shook.

Breath came in gasps. Her mind could not form a coherent thought as cold wetness dripped from her hair to ooze down her back. The frightened flight of the horse had carried her far from the path. She was hopelessly lost.

All around, wind-whipped shadows dipped, lunged forward, then back. Another spear of lightning wrenched into a nearby tree. Her shout of surprise was swallowed in the earth-shaking roar that followed. The winded mare only shook harder.

Could they survive this nightmare?

Then through the rain-drenched night a huge black object hurtled up, rearing as it just missed her. Emelin screamed.

The monster swung around. Wet black tentacles wrapped around her, dragged her off the exhausted mare. She tried to struggle, but the iron hold wouldn’t allow it.

At last her feet touched ground, and the tentacles embraced her until she couldn’t breathe. It took a moment for the roar to dissolve into understandable words. “Are you hurt? Are you hurt? Tell me if you’re hurt.”

Silverhawk.

Her arms flew around his waist and she nodded against his soaked tunic. Thank God, thank God. She was safe.

BLOG:

He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.

Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape.

Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate.  But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them. For he’s everything a proper lady should never want, and she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Silverhawk-Barbara-Bettis-ebook/dp/B015QIK9CE?ie=UTF8&keywords=silverhawk&qid=1464742126&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1