#Medieval Monday ~ 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

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#MedievalMonday ~ Ashley York

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! Today’s excerpt comes from Ashley York. Although she’s writing fiction, Ashley likes to incorporate authentic places, events, and people, embellishing the past. She uses real history but with an artistic flare. You’ll discover a world of fiction wrapped around historical people and events in her stories. Today she shares with us a snippet from her #MedievalRomance, Curse of the Healer.

Never had water tasted this cold and clean, and she closed her eyes to more fully enjoy its taste. In her mind she saw the brook, heard the birds in the trees overhead, and her skin tingled in response to the imaginary warm breeze. Something stirred low in her gut, and it was hard to catch her breath.

She wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and leveled her gaze at him. “My gallant hero. I thank ye.”

A slight smile tipped up his lips as he nodded to her. “Whatever ye need.”

The man settled himself beside her. She sighed and heard the sound come back to her as if from someone else.

Bending his knee up to his chest, he rested his arm on it, his other foot lay just short of touching her. A glance down showed him modestly covered. Keen disappointment rushed over her. When he smiled as if he’d read the direction of her thoughts, her face heated.

“And what are ye after out here, Aednat? Just finding mushrooms?”

For next week’s installment, please visit Sherry Ewing.

BLURB:  After 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.

BUYLINKS:   AMAZON

#MedievalMonday ~ Barbara Bettis

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! Today’s excerpt comes from Barbara Bettis. Barbara loves creating stories of other times and places, of heroines ‘to die for’ and heroes to live for. Today she shares with us an excerpt from her #MedievalRomance, The Lady of the Forest.

From the corner of his eye, Henry glimpsed the glimmer of metal.

A knife. He swiped toward the weapon as he drove his body to the left, opposite the
direction the weight pulled. A pair of slim but muscular legs twined around his waist, a slim but
strong arm snaked across his neck. The outline of a slight body pressed his back. What in blazes?

He stilled.

The weight shifted suddenly, and Henry, his glance searching for the knife, toppled to the
ground. He felt a searing blow to the head.

Damnation. He’d been brought down by a child.

Leave a comment for a book drawing at the end of the tour. Get next week’s installment by visiting Sherry Ewing. To review last week’s installment, please visit Elisabeth Hobbes

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.

BUYLINKSAMAZON   WALMART

#MedievalMonday ~ Judith Sterling

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! Welcome to another Medieval Monday. My guest today is Judith Sterling. Judith’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Her favorite themes include true love, destiny, healing, redemption, and finding the hidden magic which exists all around us. She loves to share that magic with readers and whisk them far away from their troubles, particularly to locations in the British Isles. Today she shares with us a snippet from her Medieval Romance, Shadow of the Swan.

Dominy’s hateful voice defiled the morning air. “Did a young lady in a gray tunic and short veil pass this way?”

She held her breath.

The older of her conspirators answered. “I saw no one matching that description. Guy?”

“Sir Robert speaks true. We saw no one.”

“You must have! She has long, brown hair and golden eyes. Even with the veil, you’d notice her.”

“I’m afraid we didn’t.” ’Twas the knight again. He sounded downright casual. “She sounds lovely, though. Someone close to you?”

The archdeacon hesitated. “No. Not close. She’s a postulant at St. Bartholomew’s.”

“Ah. Then perhaps you’ll find her there. Good morrow to you, Archdeacon.”

“Good morrow.” Dominy scuffled off. The geese complained, then fell silent.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Shadow of the Swan, and follow along next week by visiting Sherry Ewing.

For more information on Judith and her books, click here.

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.

BUYLINKS: AMAZON   B&N   iBOOKS   KOBO

#MedievalMonday ~ The #Vikings

Huzzah, Medieval Romance Lovers! My hiatus from Medieval Monday is over. Join me over the next several weeks for a parade of #knights from some the hottest Medieval Romance writers on the market.  Each week you’ll get a snippet from a different author. If you like it, you can follow along to get the full sample and perhaps discover someone new. I am honored to be part of this group. Today I’ll be kicking things off with an introduction to (or perhaps re-acquaintance of) my saga of Frankish invaders from the north: The Vikings of Normandy.

from THE VIKINGS OF NORMANDY

Scarred and unseemly, Brondulf Adilson becomes enraged at the first sign of scorn…or pity. He has struck terror into his enemies for as long as he can remember, as well as the women who share his bed. His friend Wulf finds it testing to support—and satisfy—two women and entreats Bron to take one of them off his hands. Now Bron finds himself saddled with a beauty who may just steal his heart.

For more information on Bambi and her books, click here.  Follow along next week by visiting Lane McFarland. 

BLURB: Five fierce invaders. Five innocent maids. One land to conquer.

When the Viking leader, Rollo, sets his sights on conquering Paris, he sends a band of his fiercest warriors to capture a stronghold to shelter the invaders through the winter. Collect all five episodes in one volume.

GUNNAR – Gunnar Sigurdsen finds an unguarded stronghold at the mouth of the Seine River is the perfect target. Oliana du Fossé waits helplessly for her brute of a husband to claim her.

WULF – Wulf contemplates his share of the spoils after capturing a stronghold in Francia, fat with treasure and slaves. Farin longs to escape her fate as bed slave to the most savage barbarian of them all.

BRON – Brondulf Adilson has struck terror into his enemies for as long as he can remember, as well as the women who share his bed. Now he finds himself saddled with a beauty who may just steal his heart.

THORLEIF – Thorleif Rolvsson has been captured by the enemy. The Queen of the Franks has needs. Will a single night of passion change his fate? Or will he dine with his sons in Valhalla?

MAGNUS – Magnus hasn’t the time or motivation to take a wife. Especially not one who will most likely try to slit his throat while he sleeps.

BUY LINK: Amazon

 

#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