Medieval Monday ~ Judith Sterling’s Soul of the Wolf

I love this cover! Greetings, gods and goddesses. Please welcome Judith Sterling to the forest.  Born in that sauna called Florida, Judith craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. This wanderlust combines with Judith’s love of history and passion for the paranormal to infuse everything she writes. Did I mention how much I love the cover? Here is the hero and heroine’s first encounter from her #MedievalRomance, Soul of the Wolf.

She hesitated and listened.  The man spoke.  The bird uttered a series of notes as though chuckling.  The man spoke again.

She frowned.  Were they conversing?  Absurd.  Perhaps the man recited poetry.  If so, what bird on earth would respond to it?

Whether verse or vernacular, the language was foreign.  ’Twas likely the Saxon tongue.

There was nothing to do but obey her curiosity.  She took a deep breath and crept to the hill’s peak.

Follow along next week at Jenna Jaxon’s blog.

BLURB:  A Norman loyalist, Lady Jocelyn bristles when ordered to marry Wulfstan, a Saxon sorcerer. She nurses a painful secret and would rather bathe in a cesspit than be pawed by such a man…until her lifelong dream of motherhood rears its head.

A man of magic and mystery, Wulfstan has no time for wedded bliss. He fears that consummating their marriage will bind their souls and wrench his focus from the ancient riddle his dying mother begged him to solve. He’s a lone wolf, salving old wounds with endless work. But Jocelyn stirs him as no woman ever has.

Their attraction is undeniable. Their fates are intertwined. Together, they must face their demons and bring light to a troubled land.

BUY LINKS:

Buy at The Wild Rose Press

Buy at Amazon

Buy at Barnes and Noble

Medieval Monday ~ Mask of the Highlander

The goddess has heard the cries for more: more story, more character, more detail. More. More. More. In response, the first five stories in the Gods of the Highlands saga is going away. That’s right, as of September 1st, publication will cease. But never fear, the goddess will not stay hidden for long. Mask of the Highlander, the prequel to the series, will be re-released with 35, 000 words of new material. Included is a prologue that sheds light on why the goddess Arduinna hid Ioeannan away in the Highlands, the catalyst that sets the saga in motion. This full-length novel heralds the rebirth of of the entire series, with a new edition being released every other month between now and Summer 2018. Subscribers to my newsletter received the prologue in its entirety. Not a subscriber? You can sign up here. For now, here is a sneak peak.

The Ardennes Forest – a thousand years after the birth of the Son

Arduinna emerged from the trees for the first time in four hundred years. She had not seen Demona in at least a dozen millennia and curiosity had gotten the better of her. Why would the wife of Borvo, the god of warm springs, summon her? They were not friends, not even in the old days, when the entire pantheon had lived a carefree existence, foolishly believing humans would worship them forever. Arduinna had at first feigned disinterest but she could no more lie to herself than she could the small contingent of fairies that flitted around her like annoying little mosquitoes.

She sauntered through what remained of the village, towering over the few humans she passed. Most of them kept their eyes downcast. Others, bolder, gaped openly, waving their hands before them to make a sign that had been in existence long before it came to symbolize the sacrifice made by the Son.

She chuckled. Humans would be pagans until the end of time.

Sign up for my newsletter to read the full prologue and be entered to win an Amazon gift certificate and be one of the first to get word of the release of the NEW Mask of the Highlander.

Medieval Monday ~ Why Mary Morgan Writes Medieval Romance

Happy Memorial Day! School is out, and I’m looking forward to spending the summer being a writer. So it’s fitting that today I’m hosting one of my best friends, fellow writer 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. Read further to hear the journey that led her to writing romances set in the Middle Ages.

I’ve often been asked this question, “Why Medieval romance? Why not Regency, Victorian, or Western?” In truth, I love them all, but my heart belongs to one. It started when my fingers opened a book about the great Irish King, Brian Boru (941-1014A.D.). His story is legendary, especially with the people of Ireland. King Brian led the Irish to the peak of their Golden Age—from poetry, arts, saints, and scholars. A spark ignited within my soul for more.

I sought out tales of knights in shining armor and folk heroes, delving into a life teeming with richness, though at times harsh and violent. Yet, it wasn’t until I devoured the history of Brian Boru that I became immersed in medieval life. From there, I treasured tales of life in castles, traveling on horseback, studying foods and herbs. My list is endless and always growing on medieval ways. Yes, there are even days when I long to travel back in time and explore the history, lore, and beliefs.

Therefore, when it came time to pen my own stories, it only made sense for me to place them all in a medieval setting. One might say I live vicariously through my characters. It’s a love affair with all things medieval.

For more about my stories, please visit my book page: http://www.marymorganauthor.com/books

Bio: Award-winning 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.

#MedievalMonday ~ Mary Morgan

I’ve made some wonderful friends since I hooked up with this fabulous group of Medieval Romance Writers. Today I’m visited by an author who is near and dear to my heart, 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. Here is an excerpt from one of my all-time favorite books, Dragon Knight’s Shield.

EXCERPT: “Stop!” shrieked Lachlan. “She will die if ye take another step. Drop your weapons and kneel on the ground.”

Angus had no choice, so he dropped to the ground. “Do as he commands,” he ordered his brothers. The blood pounded in his head, watching as tears slipped down Deirdre’s face. Did he not swear to protect her? Where was his honor, as the stench of fire filled his being and Lachlan’s words continued to mock him?

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog with my excerpt #9 http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

BLURB: Angus MacKay, leader of the Dragon Knights, failed his brothers and his clan upon the death of his sister. Now he must fight the darkness of despair tempting his soul. Back on Scottish soil, he comes face to face with Deirdre who can wield a sword as mightily as his warriors, and takes her captive. Yet, with each passing day, the fire dragon inside him roars to claim the one woman fate has destined for him.

Famed mystery writer, Deirdre Flanagan, is unprepared for the next chapter in her life. On a vacation to Scotland, she steps through the mists and enters into a skirmish alongside a Highlander. However, the fight has only begun, and now she must battle Angus as well as evil in order to claim the love of this Dragon Knight.

Will their love be powerful enough to shield them from danger, or burn them to ashes?

BUY LINKS:  Amazon Barnes Noble Kobo Apple iBooks

#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

Sexy Saturday ~ Wrath of the Fire God

I hope your weekend is off to a great start. If you’re in the mood for a Hot Historical Romance, I have an excerpt from my debut, Wrath of the Fire God. Here’s a teaser.

Wrath of the Fire God CoverEXCERPT: Aemilia found Marcus pacing her room. He had pulled the coverlet from the bed and wrapped it around his waist, hiding his nudity. When she walked in, he dropped it, thank the gods, and rushed over, grabbing both of her hands. The panicked look in his eyes frightened her.

“You must listen to me,” he said. The little lump at the front of his throat twitched. “You are in danger. We must flee before – ”

“Shhh.” She brushed disheveled waves of hair from his brow and cupped his cheek against her palm. Rising up on her tiptoes, she pressed her lips to his.

Fire! Lightning! Minerva’s tit! Had a kiss ever affected her like that? While the kiss turned her insides to porridge and made it impossible to draw breath, it seemed to have the opposite effect on him. He calmed, but only slightly. When she pulled away, he stared at her with a tormented expression. Not the reaction she hoped for.

Why was he so worried? What was this doom he spoke of? “Did you eat?” She moved to inspect the tray of food she had brought in earlier.

It remained untouched.

She picked up the tray with one hand and took his in the other. “Come. You’ll feel better after you’ve eaten and had a bath.”

Marcus reached for the coverlet, but she pulled him away with a grin. “You will not need that. The garden room is just outside my door.”

Despite her reassurance, he hesitated, peering out into the garden. His jaw dropped at the sight of the larger than life marble statue of the goddess. His gaze scanned the perimeter. She tried to see the garden as though for the first time.

Bees zigzagged from one blossom to another. Every possible shade of green was represented in the abundance of plants growing there. She inhaled the scent of flowers. A bench sat at one end, surrounded by lush foliage.

Beautiful. Tranquil.

Seeing no one, Marcus reluctantly let her lead him outside and into the adjacent room that took up this corner of their house. Steam rose from the pool of water, creating a swirling mist inside the garden room. Her hair curled about her face like snakes on Medusa’s head. Luticia had strewn herbs across the surface of the water. The scent of sage and fennel permeated the thick air.

She led Marcus across the mosaic floor to the steps leading down into the pool and set the food tray on the edge. Despite his anxiety, he lowered himself to the bench built around the walls and looked up at her. Gentle waves rose to his chest, lapping softly against the muscles there, as he disturbed the pool.

She licked her lips, watching sun rays from the skylight overhead hit the water and make waves of light that rippled over his tanned skin. He looked better than she thought he would. And vulnerable in a way that tugged at her heart.

Pulling in her stomach and thus insuring her breasts rose and fell as she breathed, she loosened the belt at her waist and slipped her tunic over her shoulders.

Marcus rewarded her with a sharp gasp as the snow white garment slid down her body and pooled at her feet. She stood still, savoring the power she felt as he admired her. At her advancing age, she had to work harder to maintain her tight body. But the look on Marcus’ face made all her efforts worthwhile.

She watched his face as she walked to the steps and descended into the steaming pool. Before the water even covered the tops of her thighs, her auburn curls began to swirl around on the surface. She had never cut it. She loved the luxurious feel of it down her back. And what man could resist the seductive power of a lustrous mane.

By the time she stepped onto the floor of the pool, the water reached her waist. She walked toward him, her movements as languid as the ripples on the surface of the water. He barely seemed to breathe as she drew closer. Resting her knees on the bench on either side of his thighs, she straddled him. He encircled her waist with rough, calloused hands, the hands of a man who worked hard, a strong man.

She closed her eyes, draped her arms over his broad shoulders and allowed a quiet moan to escape her lips as she leaned toward him. She had always loved a strong man, regardless of Mother’s philosophy.

He accepted her kiss, sliding his hands up her back, twisting his fingers in her hair and desperately crushing her lips to his. The instant their lips met, she ignited; burning with hunger she prayed would not go unsatisfied. Shocked at the raw heat lancing through her body, she drew back. Her eyes searched his. He felt it, too. She recognized desire smoldering there. It made the fire within her burn even stronger.

But something else lurked behind those golden eyes. Not fear, exactly. It reminded her of a fallen gladiator, awaiting the crowd’s decision, his fate the whim of the spectators surrounding him. Life or death. The decision no longer his.

Marcus pulled her lips back to his, kissed her as though she alone held his fate.

Her decision came without question.

BLURB: Marcus Valente, a twenty-first century volcanologist, was collecting data near the crater of the volcano when a tremor knocked him to the ground and sent him rolling down the side. When Aemilia rescues him, he gets his first sight of the city. A glittering, thriving Pompeii and not the two thousand-year-old ruins he expects. Marcus decides he must be in a bizarre dream, one where Mount Vesuvius has yet to erupt. He soon discovers that the most famous volcanic eruption in history is less than twenty-four hours away.

Aemilia Nautius would never have guessed that fleeing for her life could be so exciting. The volcano Vesuvius cannot compare to the inferno about to erupt within her. Especially when the man who comes to her rescue is hotter than the Fire God himself.

BUY LINKS: Amazon ~ B&N

Medieval Monday ~ Lucan

We have a new theme and a new format for Medieval Monday. For the next few months, you’ll be treated to ongoing excerpts as you hop from one blog to another each week. Each of the Medieval Monday authors will post their excerpts today, then introduce you to some new authors in the posts that follow. If you’d like to get a glimpse (and a head start) on each of these fabulous Medieval Romances, you can follow the links at the bottom. Here is the first installment of my excerpt from Lucan.

Lucan_200x300EXCERPT: These men looked different than the others. Darker, more sinister. Power radiated from them that had been absent in the first wave of attackers. One of them looked familiar.

Lucan drew his brows together, confusion making him hesitate. “Fergus?” he breathed. He looked like Angus’ brother, but younger. “I saw ye die, by my own hand.”

This version of Fergus grinned, a gesture so purely evil, Màili gasped behind him. “Demon spawn,” she murmured.

Follow along next week by checking out Ruth A. Casie’s blog with excerpt #2 http://ruthacasie.blogspot.com/

BLURB: Neala Comyn, wife of a powerful laird, wants to end the pain and suffering of an abusive marriage. She is a woman without hope, believing God has forsaken her. When she is kidnapped by a rival laird who claims to be a god himself, her faith is further shaken. Could Lucan Munro be the salvation she has prayed for? Or will her sins condemn her to eternal damnation?

Lucan Munro, has the power of a Celtic god. He can conjure his heart’s desire from thin air. But can he save the woman he loves from a demon hell-bent on claiming her soul?

BUY LINKSClick Here

Check out all the Medieval Monday authors:

Lane McFarland ~ Rue Allyn ~ Sherry Ewing ~ Jenna Jaxon ~ Elisabeth Hobbes ~ Ashley York ~ Mary Morgan ~ Barbara Bettis ~ Laurel O’Donnell ~ Cathy MacRae ~ Ruth A. Casie