#MedievalMonday ~ The Highlander’s Welsh Bride by Cathy and DD MacRae

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! Welcome back to another round of Medieval Monday. Here you may discover new authors writing about love in our favorite time period. Our theme this time around is the bad guy. You know, that one character you love to hate. This week’s excerpt comes from Cathy MacRae and her writing partner DD MacRae. Cathy is a best-selling, award-winning author of Scottish historical romance and enjoys writing stories of happy-ever-afters featuring strong heroes and feisty heroines against the stirring backdrop of the Scottish Highlands. With more than 35 years of martial arts training and a deep love of history, DD draws on personal experience to shape characters and story lines. Today they share with us an excerpt from their #MedievalRomance, The Highlander’s Welsh Bride.

BLURB: It was over. Prince Llywelyn was dead, his soldiers fleeing before King Edward’s army. Carys, a distant cousin to the prince, herself a princess of Wales, had picked up arms alongside her husband more than a year ago. Now homeless, her husband buried beneath the good Welsh soil, she seeks shelter in the north, far from the reach of Longshanks’s men. Carys and Wales would never be the same again.

Birk MacLean has been ordered to take a bride and produce an heir. He grows weary of the lasses paraded before him, women of delicate nature and selfish motives. He desires a wife strong enough to help lead one of the most powerful clans in Western Scotland.

One like the Welsh woman sitting in his dungeon, arrested for poaching MacLean deer.

Can Birk convince Carys marriage to him is preferable to a hangman’s noose? And will the heard-headed Scot be worthy of a Princess of Wales?

From the towering Welsh mountains to the storm-swept Scottish coast comes a tale of betrayal and loss, deceit and passion. An epic tale of honor and the redeeming power of love.

BUY LINK:  AMAZON   

EXCERPT: A Welsh princess on the run from King Edward’s army, Carys finds herself embroiled with pirates pillaging the western coastline of Scotland. She has escaped their clutches twice before. Has her luck at last run out?

Children’s screams pierced the air as a spear landed in their midst. A slender ship, toothy dragon’s head carved into the bowsprit, battle shields bristling along the rail, loomed over them before plunging down into the next trough to sink beneath the Már’s bow.

Tully grabbed Eislyn and Abria. Sliding on the wet boards, he dragged them to the cabin. He struggled with the door, but before Carys could reach them, Hanna was at his side. Together they wrestled the door open and shoved the girls inside.

“Do ye know how to use this?” Hanna drew a dagger from a sheath at her waist.

Tully nodded.

She flipped the blade over and shoved the hilt at him. “Let no one cross this door who does not know ye by name.”

Follow the excerpt next week at Sherry Ewing’s blog: https://sherryewing.com/blog/

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook (kindle) of The Highlander’s Welsh Bride!

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#MedievalMonday ~ Mary Morgan

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! Today’s excerpt comes from 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. If you enjoy history, tortured heroes, and a wee bit of magic, then time-travel within the pages of her books. Today, she’s sharing an excerpt from her #MedievalRomance, A Highland Moon Enchantment.

She obeyed and stood slowly. Lifting her chin, she met his hard stare. “What now?”

By the hounds, he believed a warrior stood before him. However, the beauty challenging him with her words would not sway him. “Ye can give us your name and why ye put a blade to my back.”

“Ye, first.”

He tilted his head. “Desmond O’Quinlan, and the other man is Alastair MacKay.”

“The Dragon Knight?” she uttered in a shocked tone.

“Aye,” growled Alastair, keeping a firm grip on the druid’s arm.

Follow along next week on Sherry’s blog, and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of A Highland Moon Enchantment.

BLURB: You first met this warrior in Dragon Knight’s Axe, Order of the Dragon Knights, Book 3.

Irish warrior, Desmond O’Quinlan has never surrendered his heart to any woman. He has no wish to have his soul tortured by love. Yet, the moment he locks gazes with Ailsa, his fate is destined for an adventure he never fathomed. He may have battled alongside a Dragon Knight, but his greatest challenge will come from within his own heart.

Ailsa MacDuff, a warrior among her clan, has no desire to have a man chain her to a life of obedience. However, that is before she meets Desmond. The temptation to allow this warrior inside her heart is a risk she dares to take, but one that could lead to a future of emptiness and sorrow.

When betrayal looms from within, the battleground of love is no match for these two warriors. Can the power of a Highland full moon be strong enough to unite or destroy them?

BUYLINKS:   AMAZON   B&N   iBOOKS   KOBO

#MedievalMonday ~ Cathy MacRae

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! Today’s excerpt comes from Cathy MacRae. Cathy enjoys weaving tales of romance in the Highland mists. Her stories feature alpha heroes and strong heroines in pursuit of their happy-ever-afters in medieval Scotland. Today she’s shares with us a snippet from her Medieval Romance, The Highlander’s Welsh Bride.

A hint of metal glinted from his wrists and at the top of his boot, doubtless hidden sheaths with daggers. Carys’s fingers itched with the need to somehow gain one of the weapons.

And do what? Doubtless the man was an accomplished warrior. His light step and sure balance told her as much. Relieving him of one weapon left him at least two more, and likely others she had yet to discover.

Catch last week’s excerpt on Elisabeth Hobbes’ blog: https://elisabethhobbes.co.uk/

Follow Cathy to next week’s excerpt on Sherry Ewing’s blog: https://sherryewing.com/blog/

Blurb: It was over. Prince Llywelyn was dead, his soldiers fleeing before King Edward’s army. Carys, a distant cousin to the prince, herself a princess of Wales, had picked up arms alongside her husband more than a year ago. Now homeless, her husband buried beneath the good Welsh soil, she seeks shelter in the north, far from the reach of Longshanks’s men. Carys and Wales would never be the same again.

It was time. Birk MacLean has been ordered to take a bride and produce an heir. He grows weary of the lasses paraded before him, women of delicate nature and selfish motives. He desires a wife strong enough to help lead one of the most powerful clans in Western Scotland.

One like the Welsh woman sitting in his dungeon, arrested for poaching MacLean deer.

Can Birk convince Carys marriage to him is preferable to a hangman’s noose? And will the heard-headed Scot be worthy of a Princess of Wales?

From the towering Welsh mountains to the storm-swept Scottish coast comes a tale of betrayal and loss, deceit and passion. An epic tale of honor and the redeeming power of love.

BUY LINK:    AMAZON

#MedievalMonday ~ Lane McFarland

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! Today’s excerpt comes from Lane McFarland. Lane started out as an accountant in line with the rest of the corporate echelons struggling up the proverbial ladder, but soon realized the long nights and numerous weekends of closing books and reporting financial results no longer appealed. She needed a release and found that with her face buried in historical romance books, she could escape to worlds of intrigue with timeless love and happily-ever-after endings. Today, she writes her own books with spirited heroines and to-die-for-heroes and the romantic love stories between them. Read on for an excerpt from her #MedievalRomance, To Support A King.

A man stepped from the path.

Pulse pounding, she froze.

He advanced into the clearing. It was Laird MacAndrew. Relief poured over her. She would recognize the strapping man anywhere.

Follow along next week on Sherry Ewing’s blog at https://sherryewing.com/blog/, and  leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook of To Support A King.

Buy Link: Amazon

BlurbPlagued by atrocities he committed against innocent victims while pursuing his father’s killers, Laird Mangus MacAndrew pledged to defend and provide for his clan. But his leadership is tested when two of his ships are attacked and his crews massacred. Desperate to fulfill his obligation to protect the clan, Mangus agrees to help reinstate The Turnberry Bond. His mission—garner support for the Bruce and avenge the deaths of his men.

The MacAndrew clan provides Catriona Butler something her Irish home could not, a safe haven. But when she receives a missive her brother is imprisoned and will be executed unless acceptable éraic can be obtained, she must return to her homeland. Mangus agrees to take Catriona to Ireland and vows she will not become a distraction, but he longs to be near her. Catriona witnesses Mangus’s fierce anger and grows distrustful. After a life of suffering her father’s vicious temper, she is skeptical of anyone with a penchant for violence. She attempts to keep her distance, but her traitorous heart pulls her in Mangus’s direction.

With the fate of the kingdom on his shoulders, will Mangus reunite the men of The Turnberry Bond? Can he pursue vengeance against his enemies without taking more innocent lives? And can Catriona free her brother and grow to trust Mangus, staying true to her heart?        

 

#MedievalMonday ~ Mask of the Highlander

It’s our last round of Medieval Monday for this session. We will have a new theme and start up again in just a few weeks. In the interim, I’ll be plying you with more Medieval Romance to stock your TBR pile (or folder ;-). For this finale, I’m giving you the excerpt from Mask of the Highlander in its entirety.  Peace and Love, gods and goddesses!

Kenna stood rooted to the spot, just inside the door of her husband’s bed chamber. Little had changed. The hearth, cold and dark, gaped like the maw of Satan, large enough to consume any unsuspecting human who ventured too close. The bed to which he had bound her sat against the far wall. The blood-stained linens long since replaced. A trunk, where he kept his instruments of torture, stood at the foot, an ominous reminder of what lay in store for her.

Mrs. Dingwell cleaned the room regularly, but the air reeked of a mustiness brought on by disuse. There was an unearthly silence to the granite walls, hung with faded tapestries and notched with arrow slits at random intervals. A single window let in light from outside, but it was not enough to chase away the gloom. Or the memories.

Kenna choked back a sob. The last time she had been in this room, she had prayed for her own death. Now she pleaded silently for the Lord to strike Ty Vass dead where stood. She fantasized about stepping over his dead body, leaving it to whither and rot while she returned to her duties, running the household, raising her daughter, overseeing the welfare of the people she had come to love in the laird’s absence.

When that did not happen, she gave in to her debilitating fear and gave up trying to remain calm. She shook so hard, she worried her knees would give way. Just a few hours ago, she had been at peace, content in the belief that her husband would never return, and they could live out their days in peace. Oh, the difference in such a short time.

She yelped when his hands closed around her shoulders from behind. He gave them a gentle squeeze and rubbed his palms down her arms.

“Ye are trembling, lass.”

She was surprised by his gentleness. He almost seemed to be…comforting her. Indeed, his entire demeanor since arriving had hardly been what she expected. He had smiled more than once, a real smile. Not some sadistic grin that spoke of unvoiced threats, but a genuine smile that lit up his face and revealed a man glad to be home. He had tried to tousle Robby’s hair and had even teased Mrs. Dingwell. The housekeeper had actually blushed.

Kenna tried to relax, but found it impossible to do so. His touch did not threaten to leave marks, but worse was yet to come. She was sure of it. What game did he play at?

Unable to speak past the lump in her throat, all she could do was swallow hard and dig deep for any vestige of courage she could muster. She forced her thoughts to Isla. Kenna would suffer any torment to distract Ty from her existence. She would keep her secret as long as possible, trusting Mrs. Dingwell to keep her daughter out of sight.

“Why so afraid?” he asked. His continued stroking of her arms only increased her discomfort. He glanced around the room. “It does not seem so bad.”

His flippant dismissal of her distress infuriated her. Was he so daft as to think she had forgotten the abuse he meted out? She had survived more in three days that most women suffered in a lifetime, had lived through the suffering and pain and come out stronger. Kenna was struck with the sudden realization that she was no longer the weakling he left broken and battered five years ago. His brutal treatment of her body, and her survival of it, had given her a strength she had not realized she possessed until perhaps this very moment.

She jerked away from him, empowered—albeit frightfully so—by his surprise. She glared at him with the full might of a woman capable of commanding grown men to do her bidding, smart enough to run a large, complex household, and brave enough to protect those she loved. “Ye dare make light of the suffering ye inflicted?”

His dark brows drew together. Confusion crossed his features. Had he forgotten?

Impossible.

“Ye bound me to this very bed, brutally plowing through my maidenhead, laughing at my cries for mercy.”

Kenna’s chest rose and fell with the strength of her ardor. Further empowered by his silence, she continued her tirade. “For three days, I suffered at the hands of the very man who should have been my greatest champion, who instead treated me worse than the lowliest whore. Ye turned what should have been the happiest days of my life into a nightmare. I was a girl, an innocent.”

By now the muscle in his jaw twitched with gusto. His handsome features were clouded with fury. She ignored the warning in her head, and surged ahead. “Now ye return home, expecting your wife to greet you with open arms—and legs, no doubt—while ye callously belittle the torture ye inflicted in this very room.”

Shut up, shut up, shut up, a tiny voice screamed inside her head. You will only make it worse. But Kenna could not stop, despite the every-growing rage that seemed to render him speechless and the certainty that he would punish her for her insolence.

Perhaps she, too, had forgotten. Had her recollection faded over the years? Had she lived with such fear until now it was little more than a faded memory, its intensity diminished by time? She stood taller, squaring her shoulders and fixing him with a look of disdain that would make most men shuffle their feet and look away in shame.

His expression, however, did not reveal a man ashamed of his actions. Only a devil, enraged at being dressed down by a wisp of a lass and plotting the best ways to punish her.

Kenna clenched her fists at her sides, wishing she had a blade hidden in the folds of her smock. She glared at him, her eyes locked on his despite the murderous rage she saw there. “Do with me as ye will. It is yer right as my husband. But know this: I willna cower in fear of ye. Not again. I willna suffer yer abuse submissively. You will have to kill me this time.”

BLURB: Once she was afraid to touch him. Now she’s afraid to let go.

Forced to marry to avoid war between clans, Kenna Cleary endured three days of her new husband’s painful brutality before he rode off to battle the English. In the five years of his absence, she bore him a daughter, increased his holdings, and gained the love and respect of his people. Now he’s home. Must she and the clan learn to endure his cruelty once more?

Can an ancient Celtic god find peace in the mortal world?

The Laird of Domhnul has returned from war a changed man—moreso than his wife or clan can possibly know. Now the warrior faces a new battle, one for his wife’s heart, and his peoples’ trust. He must walk the knife’s edge of deception and danger, while proving he is no longer the cruel tyrant they came to know all too well.

But when his father embroils both them in a deadly plot, can the couple find a way to prevent war between the clans?

BUY LINK: Amazon

#MedievalMonday ~ Cathy and DD MacRae

Medieval Monday is my favorite day of the week. Today, I’m excited to have the super writing team of Cathy and DD MacRae. Cathy is an Amazon best-selling author who 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. Today they share with us an excerpt from their Medieval Romance, The Highlander’s Crusader Bride.

“The expectations should be ours and no one else’s,” Arbela pointed out. “What others think of us should not influence how we live our lives, or how we treat each other.”

“I had no expectation of bedding ye,” Caelen replied bluntly. “I will admit the thought crossed my mind, but I leave the matter to ye.”

Join Cathy and DD next week on Lane McFarland’s blog http://lanemcfarland.com/blog/ for the next excerpt from The Highlander’s Crusader Bride!

BLURB: Born in the Holy Land only a few years after the Third Crusade, half-Armenian, half-Scot Arbela MacLean is a true daughter of the desert, beautiful and untamed. Trained to be a warrior to avoid her gentle mother’s fate, Arbela has honed her skills with Turkish bow and arrow, sword and throwing darts—and dreads the day her father choses a man for her to marry. After more than thirty years in the Holy Land, Donal MacLean, Baron of Batroun, is recalled to Scotland, the last son available to take up leadership of clan MacLean. He brings with him knights, treasure, trade—and a daughter of marriageable age.

Caelen MacKern, known as the Bull of the Highlands, is cynical about women. His first marriage formed an alliance, and he did not grieve when his spoiled, immature bride passed away. He has agreed to marry again—against his better judgement—for the men, means and coin to recover from a devastating pestilence that all but wiped out his clan.

Though more than a little resentful at finding himself forced to remarry, Caelen’s proposal to Donal MacLean’s headstrong daughter nevertheless piques her interest. Each will receive what they want most from life—the ability to live as they please without interference from a meddling spouse. But their marriage of indifference will soon change to one of passion that neither Arbela nor Caelen could have predicted.

BUY LINKAmazon

#MedievalMonday ~ Mary Morgan

Greetings, gods and goddesses. I hope you are enjoying all the snippets on our Medieval Romance hop.  If you haven’t visited the other sites to follow along, you’re missing out. Be sure to click on the link underneath the excerpt to go to the next one and just keep going from there. Today my friend Mary Morgan is visiting the forest. Mary lives in California, with her own knight in shining armor. During her travels to Scotland, England, and Ireland, she left a part of her soul in one of these countries and vows to return. The worlds she creates in her mind are coming to life within her stories. Today she shares with us an excerpt from her Medieval Romance, A Highland Moon Enchantment.

Ailsa gasped and looked at her father.

Bran narrowed his eyes. “Why are ye showing disrespect to our hosts?”

“I merely asked a question,” replied the man.

“I have already shared the knowledge with your chieftain as to why the king is not present,” interjected Angus. “But since ye have not had a chance to speak with him, I will tell ye. The king is traveling onward to Arbroath Abbey to oversee the continuation of the building. We sent a messenger to tell him of the troubles with King John’s men. We thought it best if he did not venture to Urquhart.”

Follow along next week on Ruth A. Casie’s blog: https://www.RuthACasie.blogspot.com and leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of A HIGHLAND MOON ENCHANTMENT.

BLURBYou first met this warrior in Dragon Knight’s Axe, Order of the Dragon Knights, Book 3

Irish warrior, Desmond O’Quinlan has never surrendered his heart to any woman. He has no wish to have his soul tortured by love. Yet, the moment he locks gazes with Ailsa, his fate is destined for an adventure he never fathomed. He may have battled alongside a Dragon Knight, but his greatest challenge will come from within his own heart.

Ailsa MacDuff, a warrior among her clan, has no desire to have a man chain her to a life of obedience. However, that is before she meets Desmond. The temptation to allow this warrior inside her heart is a risk she dares to take, but one that could lead to a future of emptiness and sorrow.

When betrayal looms from within, the battleground of love is no match for these two warriors. Can the power of a Highland full moon be strong enough to unite or destroy them?

BUY LINKSAmazon  B&N  KOBO  iBOOKS