Quote for the Week of July 24, 2016

Garden at Kensington Palace, England Photo by John Morgan

Garden at Kensington Palace, England
Photo by John Morgan

“Her path was paved with all the gems of the realm, but only the fire of the dragon could illuminate them.”

–Dragon Knight’s Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wild Rose Press Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop is still happening! If you haven’t had a chance, click here to start with my blog. I’m giving away a signed print copy of one of my books. In addition, enter for a chance to win a Kindle Fire! And don’t forget to hop on over to the many other authors’ blogs.

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Midsummer Magic on the Isle of Skye!

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Welcome to the Summer Treats and Reads Blog Hop! You’ll find many Wild Rose Press authors blogging about summertime. Each blog gives you a treat—a recipe, a special summer vacation spot, or a fantastic selection of books to read.

In addition, enter the Wild Rose Summer Treats and Reads contest to win the grand prize of a Kindle Fire! You can read posts and enter contests from July 22—July 30. Winners will be announced and notified the following week.

Many authors are offering additional prizes on their own blogs, so visit as many as you can. Hopefully, you’ll find a new author along the blog hop, too!

As a special summer treat, I’m giving away a signed print copy of one of my books. Just leave a comment about the post, and I’ll choose a random winner on Monday, August 1st.

*~*~*~*~

Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Photo by John Morgan

Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Photo by John Morgan

Of all my treasured summer memories, staying in Portree on the Isle of Skye has remained one of my favorites.

It was during my first visit to Scotland in June of 2000. We were fortunate to be there on Midsummer. I distinctly remember that the sun never fully left the sky that night, and I felt the magic of the land all around me. The breeze whispered across my skin as I looked across the water late in the evening. A sense of the past weaving its way to me in the present.

Wildflowers dotted the landscape and I had gathered some to put in a vase in our room during our stay there. Earlier in the day, a light shower spread across the land, but only briefly. Afterwards, a glorious rainbow appeared. This is what I wrote in my journal…

“It was as if the mists had showered down the colors upon the Highlands. The rainbow extended over two hills…mystical! A place of awe and beauty.”

Those summer memories are dear to my heart. Not only was it a fabulous family vacation, but it was the start of something wonderful. The Order of the Dragon Knights was born during my trip to Scotland. A magical summer, indeed!

As a special treat, I’ve included a recipe I’ve been making for years. I like to serve this during the summer months alongside burgers, steak, or chicken. During the summer, I’ll cook them in a pan on the stove, but in the cooler months, they’re great in the oven.

MIDSUMMER MUSHROOMS IN CREAM

 1 pound mushrooms (your choice)

2 tablespoons butter, melted (I use Irish Kerrygold)

1 cup cream

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (or more depending on your taste)

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean mushrooms. Place them in a single layer in a baking dish and drizzle the melted butter over them. Bake until soft, about five minutes. Pour cream over mushrooms and heat, but do not boil. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and season with salt and pepper.

If the weather is warm, I’ve often put them in a pan and cooked them gently.

Slainte!

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Don’t forget to hop on over to another Wild Rose Press author’s blog!

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Medieval Monday ~ Celebrating Nature: Mask of the Highlander by Bambi Lynn

MaskoftheHighlander_E_cover_200

Welcome to Medieval Monday and our ongoing theme of celebrating nature. My guest today is my good friend, Bambi Lynn! She’s sharing a beautiful excerpt from Mask of the Highlander. Enjoy!

Excerpt:

It was late afternoon by the time they arrived at the dilapidated cottage. The door was nearly impossible to find amidst the overgrowth, even to one who knew where it was. Ty halted his stallion nearby and helped Kenna down from her own horse.

She eyed him with the suspicion that had been growing steadily since they passed the first village. She had made no comment as they skirted the ramshackle huts, but her cheery prattle had diminished considerably. By the time they passed the second, she had clammed up like a mute and said nary a word. Since leaving the third village behind them, she had made no effort to hide her uncertainty.

Ty would have found her wariness endearing had he not known the source, but at least she did not cower from him in fear. The hate and loathing she had shown at his homecoming was gone, leaving only doubt and caution. He could not be more proud than to have a wife of such strength as Kenna Cleary Vass.

She stood there, looking back and forth from him to the hidden door. “What are we doing here?”

Her voice trembled. Ty ached to soothe her concerns, but nothing he could say would accomplish that. Soon enough she would trust him, and if not sooner, then later.

He smiled and jerked his head toward the mass of brambles that hid the cottage. “I have something for you…inside.” He reached through the brush and pushed the door open. Without waiting, he went inside and began lighting candles. By the time she joined him, the room was bathed in a soft glow that revealed a hideaway very different from the one they had visited the last time.

Kenna stopped just inside the threshold, a gasp of surprise the only sound in the small cottage. Ty busied himself starting a fire in the hearth, giving her time to look around. He squatted before the fire, staring at the growing flames. He ached to see her face, to know if she was pleased with what he had done.

He tensed when he felt her behind him. His body was already so hard for her. His craving surprised him at times. He was like a man starved, and she the only sustenance that could satisfy him. His skin tingled when she placed her hand on his shoulder.

“You did this?”

He stood, towering over her and filling the small room. “Lá breithe shona dhuit,” he whispered.

She frowned at the phrase. “It’s my birthday?” He nodded. She looked around with newfound surprise. “And all this…is for me?”

‘All this’ was a complete transformation of the sanctuary she had escaped to as a child. Gone were the few pieces of broken furniture, the cobwebs, the decades of dirt and neglect. The place had been scoured until nary a ball of dust remained, even the tiny window allowed in a scant amount of the remaining sunlight. The decrepit furniture had been replaced with a table, two short stools and a bed frame, a fresh inviting tick nestled inside. A bundle of primroses filled a vase in the middle of the table, filling the room with a spicy, comforting fragrance that reminded Ty of spring.

He smiled down at her. “I suppose fairies must have fixed the place up since the last time ye were here.” He took her hand and lifted it to his mouth, pressing a soft kiss to her palm. “D’ye like it, then?”

Tears sparkled on her lashes, and he could tell she had trouble speaking. He almost laughed. That must be a first. She laid her palm against his cheek, smoothing the patch that covered his eye and staring deep into the other one.

“No one has ever done anything like this for me. Thank you.”

He cocked his eyebrow at her, pressing her with his most devilish grin. “I hope ye have some other way of showin’ yer thanks?”

Blurb:

Kenna dreads her husband’s homecoming like the plague. The man she married is vile and cruel. She has prayed every day of his absence he would be killed in the fighting, freeing her from a life of brutal torment and a loveless marriage. But the man on her doorstep has changed. This man is kind, gentle and sparks a fire in her she never felt in the early days of her marriage.

Ty is returning home after years fighting in France. He yearns for the arms of his beautiful wife and to finally meet the daughter he has never known. But can Kenna forgive the man she married and love the man he has become?

Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Mask-Highlander-Gods-Highlands-Prequel-ebook/dp/B01D6W96OE/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mask-Highlander-Gods-Highlands-Prequel-ebook/dp/B01D6W96OE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1458561258&sr=8-5&keywords=bambi+lynn

Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/mask-of-the-highlander/id1095199574?mt=11

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/mask-of-the-highlander

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mask-of-the-highlander-bambi-lynn/1123562788;jsessionid=CE60A3595E440C0F72681CCDEADC70E8.prodny_store01-atgap08?ean=2940152818888

Scribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/305367079

My guest next week on Medieval Monday is Lane McFarland!

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Quote for the Week of July 17, 2016

Urquhart Castle, Scotland

Urquhart Castle, Scotland

I’m whisking you away to Scotland for the next four weeks. As some of you may know, whenever I have a new release, I post quotes each week from the new book.

From now until release day, the quotes will be from Dragon Knight’s Ring. Enjoy!

 

 

“The pages of your life mirror those in a book. Fill them with laughter, love, and joy, before your final chapter.” –Dragon Knight’s Ring

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Mary’s Tavern Recipes ~ Lemon Shortbread

Welcome to Mary's Tavern1!Welcome back to Mary’s Tavern! I know I’ve neglected to share some fabulous treats and dishes, but dinnae fear. I’m back!

In four weeks (and one day), Dragon Knight’s Ring will release into the world. I’m beginning to feel a sense of sadness, but trust me everyone, the Dragon Knights will nae vanish into the mists of the Highlands.

From now until the 12th of August, I will be celebrating this special and unique book–Adam and Meggie’s story.

DragonKnightsRing_w10768_750Just a reminder…Dragon Knight’s Ring is available (digital) for pre-order at a special discounted price of only $2.99! Grab your copy here!

Also, there is an excerpt with new pages added to my website. For a peek, click here!

Just another shout-out! If you would like to share one of your recipes in the tavern, please send me an email to: moirarose415@yahoo.com

 

 

Ceramic Shortbread Pan

Ceramic Shortbread Pan

Since Meggie loves to cook and bake, this special treat is one she is fond of and also in my home, too. I love shortbread and have been making these buttery treats for decades. You might want to make two batches, since once you’ve had a bite, you may want to grab another one. They’re great with tea or a “wee” dram.

 

 

 

Lemon Shortbread

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup powdered sugar

2 ½ teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 cup unsifted flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream the butter until it is light. Mix in the powdered sugar and lemon peel. Now mix in flour until just combined. Place dough on board and knead until smooth. Spray your shortbread pan (If you don’t have a ceramic shortbread pan, you can use a round can pan).

Firmly press the dough into your pan. Prick the entire surface with a fork, and bake the shortbread for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let the shortbread cool in its pan for about 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife and flip the pan over onto a wooden cutting board. Cut the shortbread into serving pieces while it is still warm.

 

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Medieval Monday ~ Celebrating Nature: The Guardian’s Witch by Ruth A. Casie

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Welcome to Medieval Monday! We’re celebrating nature and I have the wonderful Ruth A. Casie here with me today. She’s sharing an intense excerpt from her book, The Guardian’s Witch. (Psst…I love this cover!) Enjoy!

Excerpt: 

The berries Lisbeth had gathered tumbled forgotten from her hands. A tremor touched her lips while the vision slammed behind her eyes. She didn’t doubt the vision’s truth. Sometimes a bright light, warm and comforting, accompanied the vision; other times the wind howled, cold and disturbing. Today, panic clearly filled the air.

She spun around trying to pinpoint a direction and abruptly stopped. Facing south, she licked her lips nervously and tasted the sweetness of fresh water. A rushing sound burst in her ears. The river. Her head snapped east toward the river path and she ran. As she careened down the narrow trail, the outstretched branches tugged at her dress, pulled off her shawl and clawed at her face and arms. She took no notice. The cadence of her footfalls beat out a mantra, not him, not him, not him. She rushed on faster, mumbling enchanted words under her breath.

She exploded out of the forest and stood on the riverbank as the bridge gave way, sending the horse and rider plunging into the angry current. Swiftly the horse surfaced and headed for shore with an empty saddle. She stood on the bank, still mumbling as she scanned the river until she glimpsed a clear red aura shining deep in its middle. Her relief was momentary when the blackness began to creep in. There wasn’t much time.

Quickly she pulled off her heavy dress and, wearing only her chemise, dove into the river. Save him was her only thought. Down she plunged kicking hard against the current. The usually clear water, now choked with mud, churned with debris. She screamed the words in her head and made her demands. In response, the current slowed and as the mud began to settle, a lifeless hand beckoned to her from below.

Desperate to reach him, she kicked hard toward the deep river bottom. She was a strong swimmer and reached him quickly. She pulled on his arm but he didn’t budge. Something pinned him in place. She dropped his hand and pulled herself around him. The murky water made it difficult for her to see what held him. She resorted to running her hand over every inch of his body to locate what kept him captive. Her lungs burned. She needed to surface but she pressed on.

Frantically her hands felt their way along his leg until she found his foot caught in the debris. She shoved the timber away. The exertion cost her precious time and air. With one hand she grabbed his shirt collar and kicked off the bottom. With her free arm she reached for the surface. She didn’t take her eyes off him.

The higher she got, the more the water cleared. The wild current fought to get free of her restraint. She didn’t think. She focused on getting Alex out of the water.

The hand holding Alex’s collar cramped, sending spasms of pain up her arm. She did not let go. The last of her breath spent, her lungs screamed for fresh air. She forced herself not to breathe. She was certain she would break free of the water soon. Alex’s weight pulled at her. She wasn’t making any progress. If she didn’t do something quickly they would be back on the bottom. She glanced up. The light was brighter. She was close now. She held her legs together and undulated like a graceful giant fish. Once again her free arm reached hard and pulled the water out of her way. One last hard kick and she exploded into the air as if propelled from underneath. Alex floated face down next to her.

She gulped for air, exhausted. There was no time to waste. She held on to him as the current pulled them toward the rapids and the steep falls beyond. She turned him onto his back and swam for shore. She dragged the large knight onto the bank where his warhorse stood snorting and stomping. Worn out but thankful, she collapsed next to Alex gasping for air. Her hand was on his chest.

He didn’t stir. She fixed her eyes on his chest but she didn’t see any movement. She scanned his face. A small trickle of water escaped his mouth.

She rolled him on his side and pounded on his back. Nothing. She pounded again. More water trickled out of his mouth. She reached inside his wet shirt. No heartbeat.

She kept the building panic at bay. Think. Calmness overcame her. She rolled him onto his back and knelt above him. She placed her mouth over his and gave him her breath. She’d given her breath before, when the blacksmith’s wife gave birth and the baby didn’t breathe. That day she had tried everything but nothing worked. She wanted to move the baby’s chest, just one breath. In desperation she breathed for the child. It worked then. It had to work now.

She felt the tingle at her lips and a dizzying current raced through her. She closed her eyes and gave him another breath. Her hand pressed hard against this chest. She searched for a heartbeat, the rise and fall of his chest, anything to indicate he lived.

He shuddered with a shallow breath. Reassured, she felt a faint but steady beat and sank back on her heels. She observed the deadly gray pallor on his face retreat. His arms twitched as they came to life. His face contorted in a spasm as he choked to clear his lungs. He pushed himself up coughing out the last of the river sludge and sucked in large quantities of air.

Relief surged through her. She rose, retrieved her dress lying in a pool of sunlight, and quickly slipped it on. She calmed the restless warhorse with her gentle touch and whispered words. When she ventured a glance at the knight, she found herself staring into his compelling gray eyes. His gaze was riveted on her face. A fresh spasm of coughing took him, and she turned to leave.

“Wait.” He struggled to get the word out.

She stopped and took a deep breath.

He shook his head. His eyelids slid closed and he fell onto his back. He was asleep before his head touched the ground.

Blurb:

Lord Alex Stelton can’t resist a challenge, especially one with a prize like this: protect a castle on the Scottish border for a year, and it’s his. Desperate for land of his own, he’ll do anything to win the estate—even enter a proxy marriage to Lady Lisbeth Reynolds, the rumored witch who lives there.

Feared and scorned for her second sight, Lisbeth swore she’d never marry, but she is drawn to the handsome, confident Alex. She sees great love with him but fears what he would think of her gift and her visions of a traitor in their midst.

Despite his vow never to fall in love, Alex can’t get the alluring Lisbeth out of his mind and is driven to protect her when attacks begin on the border. But as her visions of danger intensify, Lisbeth knows it is she who must protect him. Realizing they’ll secure their future only by facing the threat together, she must choose between keeping her magic a secret and losing the man she loves.

Buy Links: Amazon, BN, Kobo, iBooks

My guest next week on Medieval Monday is Bambi Lynn! 

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Quote for the Week of July 10, 2016

Chester Cathedral, England Photo by John Morgan

Chester Cathedral, England
Photo by John Morgan

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”

–Emily Dickinson

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Spotlight Author Interview ~ Donna Simonetta

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Please make welcome the lovely Donna Simonetta to my blog today! I’m delighted that Donna could be here. She’s also a fellow Wild Rose Press “sister” author! We’re celebrating her brand new release, Angels Fly! This is one I’ve already added to my tbr list.

I’m serving Mimosas, fruit punch, and cranberry orange bread in the tavern today.

Grab your preference, get comfy, and let’s meet Donna…

MM: Thanks so much for visiting the tavern today, Donna. And congratulations on your new book! Describe a typical writing day. Are you a morning, afternoon, or night-owl writer?

DS: By nature, I am definitely a morning writer! The real world doesn’t always let it happen, but it’s when I prefer to write. In that period of time when I’m waking up­–drowsy, half-awake, half-asleep–a lot of knotty plotting issues come unraveled for me. I love it when I can get up, pour a cup of coffee, and get my now-clear ideas down on paper. Yes. Paper. I’m old-school, and I love to write my first draft out longhand. For me, it just flows better on ink to paper.

MM: I totally understand the paper, Donna. I keep a leather journal for each of my stories. Can you tell us about your current work-in-progress?

DS: My current work-in-progress is feeling a little abandoned as Angels Fly is being released. I, somewhat naively, didn’t realize how much of a writer’s time is spent on promotion. I have also just signed a contract for my second novel with the Wild Rose Press, and I expect to hear from my editor this week with revisions that will require my immediate attention. All of which is necessary work, but I love my WIP and cannot wait to get back to it! It’s a ghost story, set in Richmond, Virginia. My stories normally have some humor in them and a lot of heart, but this time I’m trying to weave in the sort of gothic romance that I loved to read when I was growing up. I’ve left my hero/heroine at a particularly scary point in the story, and I really need to rescue them and get them back to little romance fun! Maybe after our interview I can get them away from the angry spirit.

MM: You’ve sold me on the word, “ghost,” and I can hardly wait for this story! What inspires you when you’re writing?

DS: It’s hard to say what inspires me, as lots of different things can do the trick. Sometimes, an incident from my past might be the jumping off point for a story. Or it could be a snippet of a conversation that I overhear when I’m out that makes me wonder…hmm…what’s that all about, and then spin my own yarn about what’s happening. I’ve always had a really vivid imagination, and the ability to lose myself in a Walter Mitty-esque fantasy world. Thank goodness, I’ve finally found a career where those traits are assets and not liabilities!

MM: We, writers, constantly live in a world with so many stories stuffed inside our minds, so I was thrilled to find out I wasn’t alone. What’s your favorite item on your writing desk?

DS: I don’t actually work at a desk. I like to sit in a comfy chair, with my notebooks or laptop on a tray-like device that rests on the arms of the chair. I have a basket that holds all the papers related to my WIP on the floor by me, and a table next to me with all my necessary items. My husband calls it my ‘Command Center’. I guess my favorite item at my Command Center would be a pink owl-shaped eraser. I have to confess–I’m an owl nut, and have all sorts of owl-themed things around my house! I also have a certain type of pen I like to use when I’m writing, so it probably is a contender for favorite item. I like gel ink, in pretty colors. For the record, my current pen is purple.

MM: Wow! I’m smiling at your “Command Center” and wished we had a picture. Love owls, too. 😉 Now for the fun questions. Do you prefer…

Champagne or Beer? There’s a place for both! On a hot, summer’s day at a cookout, there’s nothing like a frosty beer. But I do love champagne – it’s so festive! And I prefer the old-fashioned champagne saucer to a flute-style glass. I’ve been happy to notice that the saucer style seems to be having a resurgence of late!

Southern drawl or Scottish burr? As my husband is a native Virginian, I have to go with Southern drawl. There’s a sort of slow, smooth, honey to it that can make a girl go weak in the knees.

Kilt or Leather pants? Definitely kilt.  Only a very limited number of men can carry off wearing leather pants, and I do have to say about those who can–yum! But every man looks dashing in a kilt. Plus, there’s the added benefit of the intrigue of pondering that eternal question–what is he wearing underneath his kilt?

Print book or e-reader? I read both. More so, my e-reader, but I love books in any form. My husband and I are both avid readers, and our home is overflowing with print books. The e-reader is a savior for me in that regard. Without it, we would have either had to move to a bigger house, or you’d be seeing us on the next episode of Hoarders!

I so enjoyed our visit, Donna! Wishing you all the best with Angels Fly! Now here’s sneak peak…

AngelsFly_w10335_750

Blurb:

Two years after her husband’s death, Kelly believes her romantic life is done. Until she reconnects with her girlhood crush on social media, and as fate would have it, he lives across the street.  James is over the whole true-love thing. His grasping ex-wife tore that belief out of him, when she left him for a rich, old man. Then he finds out his first love moved to San Diego too, and their attraction burns as hot as ever.

What they don’t know is that Fate didn’t bring them together, the Guardian Angel Corps did, led by two unlikely Cupids, Kelly’s late husband and Zane, a rough and tumble, 19th century cowboy. When a Fallen Angel decides to tear Kelly and James apart, cherubs and harps aren’t going to cut it, and Zane’s unique skills might be just what they need to get a second chance at their first love.

Excerpt:

James held Kelly’s hand as he walked her to her apartment building from his car. While they were still in shadows, before they reached the bright light of the entrance, James stopped and turned to face Kelly. He cupped her face in one of his big, rough hands and rested the other lightly on her waist. He traced her cheekbone with a feather light touch of his thumb, and Kelly couldn’t help but turn her face into his hand like a kitten. She did manage to stop herself before she purred, and was pretty darned proud of that achievement.

She felt his hand at her waist tighten, and he dropped his forehead down to rest against hers. When he spoke his voice was low and gruff with emotion.

“Tell me to leave right now, Kel, or all my good intentions to go slow this time are flying out the window, and I’m going to ask you to invite me up to your condo.”

Kelly’s voice was quiet. “I’m not ready for that yet.”

He left his forehead resting against hers, but rubbed his head slowly back and forth. “I know. I should just go, but I can’t bring myself to leave.”

Kelly swallowed, and extended an olive branch, since she wasn’t ready to call it a night yet either. “I think I’m ready for a kiss, though.”

He lifted his head away from hers, and the happiness and blatant hope in his voice made her smile. “Yeah? Really?”

“Yeah,” she replied and stood on the tips of her canvas deck shoes to bring her mouth closer to his.

James bent his head and pressed his lips gently to hers.

Her heart pounded and her blood heated in her veins. It had been such a long time since a man had kissed her—and this was James Flynn. Her first love. She snaked her arms up around his neck and pressed her body closer to his.

Oh boy, he wasn’t lying when he said he wanted to go back to her place. In this position she could feel the infamous Three H’s in evidence against her belly. This time, though, it didn’t make her want to run away from him. She wanted to grab his hand and drag him upstairs to have her wicked way with him.

James moved his hips sinuously and ground the Three H’s against her body. She loved the way he felt against her, so hard where she was soft. He deepened the kiss, and Kelly responded with enthusiasm, almost oblivious to the fact they were making out on a street corner like teenagers. She remained aware of their location, but as long as his warm, velvety tongue continued to mimic what she wanted the Three H’s to do a little lower on her body, she didn’t think she could bring herself to stop even if they were on the infield at PETCO Park.

He pulled away from her, but his breath was still a little ragged when he asked, “Can I see you tomorrow?”

Kelly slowly opened her eyes and blinked them in an owlish manner. What had she been about to do? Gah! One kiss from this man and she was acting like a hormonal teenager. She was grateful for his phenomenal display of self-control, because she was one step away from acting on her earlier impulse to drag him upstairs, and she wasn’t ready to take their relationship to that level yet.

If just one kiss in public had her feeling like this, it was not wise to go anywhere in private with James. Okay, in her defense it was a rock-em sock-em kind of kiss, but still. Acting like some kind of harlot wasn’t the way to be true to Michael’s memory.

*~*~*~

Buy Links:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Angels-Fly-Donna-Simonetta-ebook/dp/B01G46DQQ8/

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/angels-fly-donna-simonetta/1123842226?ean=2940158160998

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angels-Fly-Donna-Simonetta-ebook/dp/B01G46DQQ8/

The Wild Rose Press:

http://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/4409-angels-fly.html

More about the author:

After years working in the business world, my love of reading led me to get my MLS, and I currently work part-time in a school library, a job that allows me lots of time to explore my other love – writing romance! I live in Maryland, with my husband, who is my real-life romance hero. We both enjoy traveling to visit our far-flung family and friends, and spending time on the beach with an umbrella drink and a good book.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/donnasimonettaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/donna_simonetta

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Medieval Monday ~ Celebrating Nature: The Highlander’s French Bride by Cathy MacRae

TheHighlandersFrenchBride_high res

Welcome to Medieval Monday! We’re celebrating nature during these summertime months, and I have the lovely Cathy MacRae visiting today. She’s sharing a nature excerpt from her fabulous medieval romance, The Highlander’s French Bride! Enjoy!

Excerpt: 

Seagulls shrieked as they circled overhead. The promise of spring was in the warm breezes and the green grasses. Young boys hurried after their wooly charges as the sheep eagerly sought the new fodder, tiny lambs tottering behind their dams on shaky new legs across the rocky landscape.

Brother Padraig clasped Kinnon’s shoulder. “My friend, ye are doing the right thing. Some serve in the world by preaching the Gospel, and a few give themselves over to God in solitude and silence with constant prayer and penance.” He smiled. “Yet others are called to married love, mayhap bringing new life into the world. I pray ye find whom ye seek, but there are always places to tend the poor and needy in this world. Ye need not take vows to help God.”

Kinnon gripped the monk’s upper arm, conveying his thanks in the strengthening grip, the earnestness of his gaze. “I have no words powerful enough to thank ye, Brother. Ye have given me much to contemplate, and have healed more than my poor body.”

“Rest is a balm for the soul and healing for the body,” Brother Padraig quipped. “I will take good care of wee Angus. `Tis a good thing ye decided to leave him here. After these past months without battling the rats for the last of the winter stores, I fear we would have had an uprising amongst the monks had ye insisted he go with ye.” He grinned. “Take care, my friend. If possible, I would hear word of yer travels.”

Kinnon stared deep into the monk’s kind eyes, hesitant to bring himself to the moment of parting. But the gentle thumping of the waves against the boat’s waiting hull reminded him the time to tarry was over.

Ranald’s men-at-arms met him as the boat docked on Mull, a horse saddled and waiting for him. Kinnon greeted them warmly, wondering at the sense of freedom stealing over him. It had begun as a flash of clarity the moment he’d resolved to search for Melisende. At first he wasn’t sure if he simply needed to be certain she and her sister had survived and were doing well, or if he truly longed to be with Melisende again. But the idea that she could have married in the years they’d been apart struck his chest with a peculiar agony that was a curious mix of anticipation and fear. The thought of another man holding her, loving her, being the center of her life, sent strong jolts of alarm through him.

It was then he realized he had to find her—for himself, not so he could worry less, but so he could care more.

Blurb:

Heir to a lairdship, Kinnon Macrory is driven to prove his worth by fighting the English on the battlefields of France. His dreams of heroic valor are destroyed by the realities of war—the atrocities visited by fellow soldiers on the very people he is sworn to protect. Three years in a French prison for a crime he did not commit leave Kinnon longing for the one thing of beauty in his war-torn life—a young woman of great kindness and wisdom named Melisende.

Melisende de la Roche struggles to stay one step ahead of soldiers who would imprison her for helping an injured Scotsman wrongly accused of treason. She finds refuge in her uncle’s shop—until a chance encounter sends her fleeing into the unknown once again, haunted by the beguiling friendship with the troubled young Scotsman she is certain she will never see again.

Determined to find the woman of his dreams, Kinnon returns to France, only to discover a trail of clues to Melisende’s whereabouts. Their reunion will open the doors to passion, but half-truths and lies from the past could destroy the one thing they both are willing to fight for—each other.

*~*~*~

Buy Link:  Amazon

My guest next week on Medieval Monday is Ruth A. Casie! 

Also, have a safe and happy 4th of July! 

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Quote for the Week of July 3, 2016

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“Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

–John F. Kennedy 

 

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