Monday, May 25, 2015

Viking Flame by Andrea Cooper #MedMonSpring

I've featured our guest author for today's Medieval Monday once before, but this book definitely deserves repeating! Read on for an excerpt of Viking Flame:


Viking Flame –

Prequel to Viking Fire by Andrea R. Cooper


Bram has agreed to marry an Irish nobleman’s daughter in exchange for land and his services fighting with the Laird Liannon’s clan against rival Irishmen. However, Bram’s intended does not stir his heart. Not like the Laird’s daughter, Kaireen. 

Somehow, he must not only convince the Laird to amend his marriage contract, but win the heart of the stubborn feisty Kaireen. 



Excerpt:
Near the beach, the man quit rowing and yanked out a knife.
Bram didn’t move. “You go against your Captain’s orders t—”
“You made it to shore. That’s all we’s promised.” He spat at Bram’s boots. “No one said anything about you living afterwards.” When he dove forward, Bram ducked to the side and snatched the sailor’s arm, pinning it to his side. When the sailor slung with his free arm, Bram increased the pressure until the man was on his knees.
“Cease, or I will break your arm.” If it wasn’t for his pledge to Morga, he’d have snapped the man’s arm already. Once his contract was signed with the Laird, then he’d be free to fight in Ireland—or at least against other Vikings and rival Irishmen. The man continued to struggle, “Or perhaps a leg as well? What will your Captain say if you return without your weapon and injured? Will he be merciful and allow you to recover or throw you to the sharks?”
“Heathen scum!” He twisted his body to escape Bram’s grip.
As he did, Bram snapped the man’s wrist backward and the first mate let out a howl before the blade came closer to Bram’s chest.
“Now, hand me the knife.” When the man glared at him, he increased pressure on the bent wrist. “Or this heathen might do worse so that not even the sharks would want you.”
The first mate gulped and released his hold of the knife.
Bram broke his hold and snatched the blade out of the air before it hit the water. “Tell your Captain, I will not forget his hospitality nor will any of my eight brothers.”
The man paled. “What brings you to our island? To rape our women and pillage our churches?”
“No.” Bram rose and tucked the small blade into his boot. “To find my bride.”

Buy Link - Amazon Only

Monday, May 18, 2015

Shadows of the Past by Carmen Stefanescu #MedMonSpring

I love introducing new medieval authors. Today we're spotlighting Carmen Stefanescu's latest: Shadows of the Past

Read on for an excerpt!



                      Shadows of the Past
                      Carmen Stefanescu

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

Genre: paranormal/light romance/light historical/light horror.
 Blurb
Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them.
The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment.
Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest?
A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.
The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love.

Buy Links: Wild Child Publishing
http://www.wildchildpublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=84&products_id=410
http://www.amazon.com/Shadows-of-the-Past-ebook/dp/B00AK2D9I8/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354874514&sr=1-15&keywords=shadows+of+the+past
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadows-of-the-past-carmen-stefanescu/1113910162?ean=2940015715026



Excerpt from Shadows of the Past

Andrew pulled her to his chest. "Do you regret you've come with me?"
Passion smothered Genevieve's doubt and guilt. "Never," she answered, aware of her body's response to his touch, and she succumbed to his embrace.
The moonlight bathed his face in silver light. Andrew lowered her wimple, and his fingers threaded into her curls. She swayed, enveloped by the dizzy sensation of drowning in the tumultuous ocean of his gaze. The tenderness of his touch raised in her the wish they had lived in another time and been simple, ordinary people. She longed to feel the warmth of his lips on hers. How much she'd have liked to live the rest of her life beside him and bear his children. A dream not likely to ever come true for her. Why not let the feeling lurking in the pit of her stomach take over and consume her whole being?
Aware of the track of her thoughts, she shifted uneasily, a hot flush warmed her cheeks. Drawing in a deep breath in spite of herself, calming the gnawing unease in her mind and the thought of Sister Dominica guessing she was the dough of a sinner, Genevieve repeated, "Never."
With her eyes closed and their bodies touching she became, for the very first time, simply a woman. She melted in his embrace in spite of the invisible vicious threat breathing around them. Aware they might never be alone again, she fought hard to silence the voice of conscience berating her.
"Oh, God. Please forgive me," Andrew muttered under his breath when he bowed his head to kiss her. Their lips met in a passionate first kiss.
                                                         . . . . . . . . .
Far in the forest, the sprightly stream’s clear waters sang their ancient song down the moss-covered banks. Reaching an old, crooked oak tree, bearing the seal of recent lightning damage, the waters trembled, turned muddy and the pale, distorted face of a woman emerged. Her raven black hair floated around her head, the long black tresses writhing and coiling on the waves, like snakes trying to pry free and attack. Her eyes flew open and a hideous grin stretched her lips. She blinked several times and gurgled a hoarse threat to someone known only to her, “You imagine you thwarted my plans even from beyond the grave, but you’re wrong. You shall hear from me. You shall all hear from me! Soon.”
Little by little, the waters of the river became an ugly shade of green, covered the ghastly face, and continued down to the green pastures in the valley while an ominous silence, harbinger of the woman’s spiteful threat, settled over the rugged mountain and its mysterious forest.



Monday, May 11, 2015

The Highlander's Outlaw Bride by Cathy MacRae #MedMonSpring


Today I'm delighted to share an excerpt from medieval author Cathy MacRae's latest, The Highlander's Outlaw Bride! 

I'm in love with the cover. Can't wait to read!

Thrust into the role of laird upon his father's unexpected death, Connor MacLaurey returns home to find his cousin has usurped his lands and title. Furthermore, his betrothed--a lass he barely knows and certainly did not agree to marry--is hunted by the sheriff, accused of stealing cattle. His plan is to petition the king for clemency for the foolish chit, break the betrothal, and take his castle back from his treacherous cousin. Marriage is not in his plans.
Brianna Douglas has no desire for marriage. Widowed young, berated daily for failing to give her first husband a child, and sent home in subsequent disgrace, she devotes her life to holding her family's land for her young brother as their sotted father drowns his sorrow in whisky over her mother's death. Raiders have hit her clan hard, and to save them, she finds herself betrothed to Laird MacLaurey's absent son to seal a pact of protection with the MacLaurey clan.
Forced into a marriage neither wants, it will take a king's edict and sacrifice from both to discover what love means. But can they accept their losses and learn from their mistakes before Brianna marries another?
Excerpt:
Her step quickened and she fled the room to the stairway leading to her chamber. An iron grip on her arm yanked her to a stop and she whirled to face him, his expression black with fury.
“Let go of me!” she hissed angrily.
Conn released her arm, but did not move away. “What do ye think ye are about? Are ye dead set on being hanged?”
“The king pardoned me.”
“Aye, for reiving. Disobedience to the king is treason and will also get ye hanged.”
Brianna eyed him narrowly, unable to quell her toe as it tapped the stone floor impatiently. “I dinnae want to marry.”
“Well, there will be none to wed ye from the gallows.” He loomed over her, his expression darker still. “And I could have refused ye for yer lack of respect.”
“Lack of respect? I said naught that is not on any other’s tongue, m’laird.”
“Ye know naught of me or my past year in France.”
“Enough to know I dinnae want to be shackled to a skirt-chaser like yerself. I dinnae want such disrespect in my marriage, either!”
Conn exhaled a long breath. “Why are ye so against this marriage?”
“Are ye daft? What is there to recommend it?”
“The reivers—“
“Have stripped my clan of their wealth.”
“Yer dowry is of no importance to me. However, I do find myself in need of an heir.”
Furious, Brianna tossed her head. “Ye would do better to find a woman ye know will give ye one. I have no desire to be that woman.”
“Is that so?” The soft tone of his voice did not match the fire she saw in his eyes. She shook off the frisson of longing before it woke the passion his voice ignited in her, and did not flinch as she spoke the lie.
“Aye.”


Monday, May 04, 2015

The Gentle Knight by Ashley York #MedMonSpring



Today we're spotlighting bestselling author Ashley York and her latest medieval romance: THE GENTLE KNIGHT.

I'll be grabbing this one!



THE GENTLE KNIGHT

A medieval soldier returns home to find his lover died in childbirth just as his own mother had. Believing he is cursed, Peter of Normandy turns from love. When he must give escort to an Irish princess more noble than many knights, he struggles with his decision to live a solitary life. Can he take the chance that his love won't be a death sentence and possibly make them stronger?

Padraig MacNaughton's death bed decree rips his daughter, Brighit, from the shelter of her protective clan in Ireland. Forced to take vows at a Priory in England, she finds herself in the hands of lecherous mercenaries with their own agendas. Dare she trust the Norman knight to see her safely to her new life as a nun? Even when she finds in him the fulfillment of all she's ever wanted?


Or will honor and duty eclipse their one chance for happiness?



EXCERPT

She had dreamed of him! All at once it came to her. He had taken her into his strong arms and held her tight against that hard body. Every muscle pressing into her. Then the touch of his warm lips sliding along her cheek to meet her mouth with a hungry kiss. Brighit had actually felt his lips on hers and that same heat swirled through her now.
She sighed. Yes. It was a very nice dream.
The shock of cold air accompanied with the sound of the curtain being dragged back had her eyes flying open. There in front of her was the man from the lake... the one in her very real dream. In the flash of a second, his eyes changed from wide with shock to a look she’d swear spoke of pleasure.
“And what is this?” He tipped his chin toward her, a knowing smile gracing his pleasing face.
Brighit covered herself. One arm across her breasts and one hand over her private parts. She felt like Eve posing in the Garden of Eden.
The sudden silence stole her breath away. She refused to confirm it but knew all eyes were on her.
“Do you mind?” Ivan’s voice cut through the awkward moment as he stood next to the carriage. He yanked the curtain from the fine-looking man’s hand, dropping it back in place. Brighit was again cocooned in darkness.
“Yours?” The man’s voice was low, resonating through her core. It was as appealing as his body.
She took a steadying breath, trying to calm her nerves enough to cover herself. She couldn’t have done a better job of calling attention to herself if she’d tried.
Just how many men were out there? How many men had seen her without so much as a stitch of clothing? She yanked the chemise down but it refused to cooperate. The sopping material bunched at her hips. She grabbed at her gown, her hands shaking with the rage coursing inside her.
That now familiar sound of fist-against-flesh cut through the silence.
An unfamiliar laugh. His laugh. A slight tremor responded through her insides.
“Mort,” the handsome man called to someone.
The indistinct image of a shorter man with a gaping mouth came to mind. “Yes, my lord?”
“I believe this man was about to take a terrible misstep with his fist. Does it seem to you these men have a certain…lack of knowledge?” he asked.
What arrogance!
Ivan’s angry face came to mind. She shivered. The handsome man did not know who he was dealing with.
“I would say that it does.” The shorter man was closer now.
“Mayhap some learning is required?”
“Do you believe it’s possible, my lord? Are they trainable?”
“They have a naked woman in a carriage while they fight out here over who will get her.”
She gasped, a soundless intake of air. Like a standard being dropped, the men talked at once. Tears threatened and a few leaked down her cheek. She wiped them away. She was only trying to clean herself not be fought over. Who was he to say such cruel things about her?
The morning had started out so promising. They’d had a nice time breaking their fast with very little interaction at all. Cole’s offer of extra water had come as a surprise but not one she wanted to miss.
Sudden silence. Brighit held her breath.
“And what would your name be?”
“I am called Ivan.”
“And this…young lady?”
This was just getting worse and worse. His words fairly dripped derision.
“Brighit.” She answered for herself albeit through a clenched jaw from within the carriage.
“Ireland? You’ve taken her from Ireland?”
Brighit was surprised at his ability to name where she’d come from. She wished she were still there... any place but here. This was infuriating. She could not go out there now. They may have imagined her naked and their occasional lustful glances assured her that they did. But to have them actually see her was beyond embarrassment. Embarrassment only increased by the fact that at least two of them weren’t even known to her.
“That I have.” Ivan’s smug voice drifted to her.
Whoreson!
“Please clothe yourself forthwith.”
He must be facing her now for he sounded very close. A warmth tingled up her spine. No! His voice may be low and quiet but there was nothing intimate about this situation. She struggled with the ties up the front of her dress.
“It’s what I’ve been trying to do.” Her irritation came through in her tone of voice. Good!
“And I wonder why you have not been successful thus far.” He had the nerve to sound irritated? “Just do it... and be quick about it.”
Arrogance oozed from the man!
“Yes, my lord.” She clipped her words, struggling with her wimple, and hoped her sarcasm carried through the curtain.
“Hurry up.”
“I am hurrying!” Her thick hair refused to cooperate but she was not about to go out there with so much as a single strand visible.
The man cleared his throat. Brighit would like to take a knife to it. He may be pleasant to look at but his manners lacked even the slightest courtesy.

Buy links:   Apple    Kobo    Amazon    Barnes and Noble