Medieval Monday ~ Unbidden

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Today on Medieval Monday, I’m featuring Unbidden, Book One in Jill Hughey’s Evolution Series which will take you to the rarely explored medieval world of Charlemagne’s Empire where aristocrats, warriors, merchants and servants find love in the most unexpected places! If you like swoon-worthy yet mildly flawed heroes and independent not-too-perfect heroines, then step in to a Jill Hughey Romance.

 

BLURB

Rochelle of Alda, a feisty Frank noblewoman, expects to continue her industrious life managing her family’s estate. When her emperor summons her to the palace to meet the skilled soldier she is required to marry, Rochelle engages in a battle for independence from David of Bavaria. As her own deceptions multiply, she suspects another of also plotting against their marriage. To her surprise, and too late, David’s passion and patience begin to win her heart. Can their love survive the tangled web of her schemes and the secret adversary David refuses to see?

In this excerpt of David and Rochelle’s first meeting, David has arrived to take Rochelle to the palace for the betrothal, and is dismayed to learn her mother has told her nothing about it.

EXCERPT

David turned his head as the noise from the door escalated, unsure what he expected to enter his life. Given her mother’s shocking hair, he didn’t hold his hopes too high for the girl’s appearance, no matter what Theo said. The need for deception to even get her to Aix did not indicate a particularly biddable personality. Based on the increasingly violent rattling from the latch, she couldn’t even open doors for herself.

He was about to climb the steps to offer assistance when the door finally wrenched open, releasing a storm of muttering about city workmanship and rotten carpentry carried in a whirlwind of deep blue linen. She all but flung herself onto the narrow staircase. Not exactly light of foot nor entirely graceful, she rushed down the stairs, noticing his presence in time to abruptly stop on the bottom step.

She stared at him.

From across the room he could feel the chill of cold caution. Even so, his concern about her looks evaporated. She stood taller than her mother, clear skinned, with eyes of a soft green. The gold circlet on her head held her veil neatly in place, covering what it was intended to cover. An unexpected desire to see the color of her hair shot through him. He could only approximate it from her eyebrows:  not quite brown, but certainly not red either. And her female attributes remained a mystery to him as well, hidden under layers of varying shades of blue, though a heavy gold girdle studded with aquamarines suggested narrow hips.

“Mother?” she queried.

David reluctantly turned to Marian, who, it appeared, had been watching him stare at her daughter. A small smile quirked her lips. Her tightly clasped hands now lay on her chest as if in prayer. She did not find her voice until David cleared his throat expectantly.

“Rochelle!” she said too loudly. “Theophilus, the gentleman who has helped us so much, sent this burly young man to escort ye to yer audience with the emperor. He is called David. A Bavarian, no less!”

David raised his brow at her rather obtuse explanation of his role in the upcoming event. Marian gave him a slight warning shake of her head. Well, if the woman hadn’t the courage to tell this girl the truth of the matter, he certainly did. He didn’t know much about getting along with women, but he guessed that starting his marriage with deception – and necessarily short-lived deception at that – could not be wise.

As he opened his mouth to explain exactly who he was, Rochelle spoke, “I do not see why I need an escort. I found the palace yesterday.”  She lowered herself off the last step and strode toward him with a confident swing of her arms. “But if Theophilus wants to share his guard, so be it.”

Marian bobbed her head. “It was quite thoughtful of him.”

David held up a hand. “I am not Theo’s guard. And did you just suggest you were wandering about the city yesterday, alone?”

Rochelle studied him assessingly. Yes, assessingly was the only word for it and, God help him, she was lovely up close. Her not brown, not red brows arched over green eyes flecked with hazel. A dusting of freckles decorated a thin nose that flared pertly at the nostrils. Her soft pink lips were slightly parted exposing straight teeth.

“Not alone. Our servant, Gilbert, was with me.”

“Gilbert, the bag of bones who opened the door?” David scoffed. “He could not keep a street rat away much less a pack of thieves. From this day forth, you will not leave here without an able-bodied man at your side.”  She smelled nice.

Rochelle placed her hands on her hips, pleasantly outlining a slim waist beneath her clothing. “What has given you the idea you can make pronouncements such as that to me?  I will go where I wish, when I wish, escorted or not, as I wish!”  Her chest heaved a bit and there were breasts under that tunic, he could tell, and damn it when was the last time he’d lain with a woman?  He mentally bridled himself. First, betrothal. Betrothal was the task set before him today. It was time to attend to that task.

He stepped forward, purposely crowding her and letting his hard gaze bore into her fiery eyes, daring her to challenge him. “I will tell you what gives me the right –“

Marian made a strangled sound before finding her words. “Ye should be going!  It will not do to be late to the palace.”

Rochelle eyed first him, then Marian, before backing away to grasp her mother’s hands. “Mother, I do wish you would reconsider. Certainly the nobles have forgotten your circumstances by now. Father would want you to have the honor of meeting Charlemagne’s son.”

Marian laughed a bit shrilly. “No, that is no place for me. Ye shall have the glory today, daughter. Here is your cloak.”  She kept babbling as she closed the gold and aquamarine clasp at the neckline of the pale blue garment. “David will keep you safe. Do as he says, my dear. He is in charge of you today. And possibly tomorrow.”

Rochelle chortled. “Mother, do not be ridiculous. This will be over in an hour or two and then we are going home!  Home, where I also do not require an escort!”  She fixed David with a significant look before she walked to the door, wrenched it open with relative ease, and stepped onto the street without him.

 
BUY LINKS ~
For more about Jill Hughey visit her website at www.jillhughey.com. Subscribe to her occasional newsletter at www.jillhughey.com/contact.
MedMon

 

Next week on Medieval Monday, Jenna Jaxon.

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Quote for the Week of September 28, 2014

Autumn in the park

Autumn in the park

 

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

–Albert Camus 

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Medieval Monday ~ Viking Fire

Medieval Monday – VIKING FIRE by Andrea R. Cooper ~

Historical romance with a touch of magic! 

 roses2In 856 CE, Ireland is a land of myth, magic, and blood. Viking raiders have fought the Irish for over half a century. Rival Irish clans promise only betrayal and carnage.

Kaireen, daughter of Laird Liannon, is suddenly forced into an arranged marriage with her sworn enemy, a Viking. She refuses to submit. With no mention of love, only land and the protection of her clan, she endeavors to get her betrothed banished from her country. Will love find its way around her stubborn heart?

Bram, the Viking, finds himself without future or inheritance as a younger son in his family. A marriage to the Laird’s daughter would grant him land if he swears fidelity and if his men will fight along with the Liannons against any foe—Irish or Viking. However, the Laird’s feisty daughter only holds animosity for him and his kind. Is marriage worth the battle scars of such a relentless opponent?

With the blame for a rival laird’s death treacherously set against the Liannons, Kaireen and Bram must find a way to lay aside their differences as an unforeseen darkness sends death snapping at their heels.

Excerpt: 

“I renounce Father for this.” Kaireen threw the elderberry gown.

“Shame on you and your children for speaking such.” Her handmaid, Elva, gathered the damask and then dusted off the rushes. “It’s a wonder one of the clim has not scolded you from your hearth for such talk.”

“No, curse Father for a fool.” She plopped on her bed and a goose feather floated away. With a huff, she leaned against the oak headboard. Red curtains puffed like a robin’s chest around oak poles supporting her wooden canopy.

Her bare feet brushed against the stone floor.

“You know your da arranged a marriage within a season.” Elva smirked.

Kaireen shook her head. “To another land holder,” and waved a hand in disgust, “not t-this heathen. Twice they raided our land in the last month alone. Now father wants me as wife to one of them?” She clenched her fists. “No, I will not marry this Viking.”

Elva smiled, reminding Kaireen of the rumors of her handmaid’s uncanny foresight.

Whispers of Elva making strange things happen and often blamed as the cause of

Kaireen’s stubborn refusal to behave as a laird’s daughter should.

“You’ve not seen him yet.” Elva wiggled her brows.

“So?” Kaireen shrugged. “I would like to never see him.”

“Well then, would you not like to know if you have a handsome husband or not?” She waited for her response, but Kaireen scowled. Elva chuckled. “I would rather get a good look at him now than the morning after.”

Kaireen’s ears heated. “I am not marrying.” She shook her head for emphasis. “So there will be no morning, nor night, nor wedding.”

“If he is handsome, I may fight you for him.” Elva smiled, deepening the wrinkles around her eyes.

“Welcome to him either way.” Kaireen laughed.

Viking Fire Book Trailer:

Viking Fire Amazon: http://goo.gl/71VAsf

Viking Fire B & N: http://goo.gl/EvBxwf

Viking Fire iTunes: http://goo.gl/fQuKBd


MedMonJill Hughey will be visiting next week on Medieval Monday!

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Highlander Giveaway Hop!

Highlander Giveaway Hop! 

HighlanderGiveawayHop_2014

I’m excited to be part of the Highlander Giveaway Hop! Celebrating Highlanders from the past, present and future. 

I will be giving away two e-books of DRAGON KNIGHT’S SWORD to two lucky people. Since I’m a huge fan of the series, Highlander, starring Adrian Paul, I thought I would make this fun…

To enter my giveaway, tell me what actor you would like to see as the next Highlander. 

And don’t forget to HOP on over to these author’s blogs for some Highlander fun! 

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Special Announcement and Interview on Faith V. Smith’s Blog!

I’m sharing some exciting news about DRAGON KNIGHT’S MEDALLION along with an interview on Faith V. Smith’s blog today! 

Here is the link: http://faithvsmith.blogspot.com/

Hope to see you there! 

 

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Medieval Monday ~ The Saxon Bride

Welcome to Medieval Monday and my first guest,  Ashley York! Her story will sweep you away to a past filled with adventure…and this isn’t the only book. When you’re finished with the excerpt, check out her website.

Historical Romance writer Ashley York loves history and intrigue. Her latest book, The Saxon Bride, is the first in her Norman Conquest Series. Here is a little about the book:

In war torn England the battle lines between Saxon and Norman are clearly drawn. The Saxons must fight for everything they have in the hopes of winning their country back from the Normans who are determined to break their resistance.

Rowena Godwinson, the sole remaining member of the defeated royal family, stands proudly against the Normans that would trample them underfoot but her nobility and grace make her an ideal pawn in the Norman King William’s play for power with the Saxon people. When he decrees she marry a powerful Norman knight, her subjugation appears to be complete. The handsome soldier with the kind brown eyes and gentle touch is a threat to her determination to defy the interlopers. Can she hold firm to her Saxon heritage and refuse to give in to his advances?

John of Normandy wants only to prove himself worthy of the king’s trust. He is rewarded for his service and loyalty with land, titles and a Saxon beauty for a bride. John balks at the marriage, driven by the secret guilt of knowing Rowena’s father died at his sword. However, John’s reluctance is soon replaced by a burning desire to please this woman and win her over as well as her people.

As their people look to them for guidance and peace, can John and Rowena find a love that unites all of England?

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Excerpt from The Saxon Bride:

Pacing the small area like a confined animal, she finally paused to look out the window. The dreary day reflected her feelings, rain threatening at any moment. “Do you know when my husband will be returning?”

“I am back now.”

John stood in the doorway handsomely dressed as befit the new Lord of Essex. Rowena’s breath caught in her throat. She looked away before the immense pleasure she felt at his return showed on her face.

Joan quickly gathered her sewing and removed herself from the room, closing the door behind her.

“Will you attend me, my lady?”

Rowena went to him and helped him remove his surcoat before seeing to the heavier chainmail. He smelled of horses and leather. Manly. Rowena tried not to close her eyes as she drank in the intoxicating smell of him. Why would a dirty, sweaty man make her feel so light headed? She stepped away when she realized why, the chainmail slipping forward off his arms. His hooded eyes told her that he knew what she was feeling.

“Is there a problem?” His deep voice seemed to reverberate through her body.

Quickly putting the heavy material down, she headed to the door. “I will order a bath for you.”

“Wait.”

Rowena froze with her hand on the latch and heard him coming toward her. He stood close behind, his breath soft against her cheek.

“Yes?” Be done with this. Her body yearned for his arms to pull her against him, to feel his kiss again. She licked her lips.

“Why are you leaving in such a hurry?” His hand lightly touched the side of her head as he spoke, pushing her hair away from her face. He leaned in closer to her exposed ear. A responding shiver ran down her body. “Are you afraid of me?”

She backed up to the door with a thud and faced him. Her pulse was racing as she lied. “No, my lord. Methinks you have a rather strong odor about you and I would have you take a bath before the evening meal.”

John backed away quickly, his eyes flying open. “I am sorry if I offend you. Please see to the bath.”

Rowena felt only slightly guilty when he turned away from her, standing like a lost little boy in the middle of the room.

Buy link:  The Saxon Bride  available now.

Ashley York loves to hear from her fans. Visit her at ashleyyorkauthor@gmail.com, FacebookTwitter, and her website www.ashleyyorkauthor.com

Next week on Medieval Monday my guest is Andrea Cooper. 

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Quote for the Week of September 14, 2014

Keep calm and take me to Scotland

 

“A day to come seems longer than a year that’s gone.”

–Scottish proverb 

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WINNER! Dragon Knight’s Medallion Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

Giveaway Goodies

Giveaway Goodies

Congratulations to…

DAWN MORSE

Please email your mailing address to: moirarose415@yahoo.com

Thanks with love to everyone who left comments regarding the cover for DRAGON KNIGHT’S MEDALLION. I was overjoyed by your excitement for the second book in this series. 

Stay tuned for news on a release date!

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Dragon Knight’s Medallion Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

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I’m so happy to reveal the cover for DRAGON KNIGHT’S MEDALLION! Nothing like a gorgeous cover to wrap around a beautiful romance story, and I loved writing this one. 

This is Stephen MacKay’s story–the third eldest brother. His power is the element of water and visions. After the death of his sister, he fled to Arbroath Abbey and wanted nothing to do with his pagan past.

Aileen Kerrigan will change everything he believes…

Here is the blurb for DRAGON KNIGHT’S MEDALLION:

To right a wrong, two souls are brought together only to shatter when they are torn apart by the deeds of an evil druid.

Dragon Knight, Stephen MacKay’s powers are altered after the death of his sister. Now he is plagued with visions that threaten to destroy his soul. When Aileen Kerrigan falls through a time tunnel, he vows to keep her safe, despite the fact the beautiful but head-strong half-blooded fae could be the death of him.

When Aileen finds out her dad is a Fenian Warrior, she flees to a nearby ruin. Armed with the medallion her mother gave her, and a matching one belonging to a long dead knight, she is flung into the past and finds a handsome but surly warrior who is on a quest. Now it seems her future could be entwined with his, if she doesn’t kill him first.

I love parties, so I’m doing a giveaway! All you need to do is leave a comment telling me your thoughts on my new cover. The winner will receive a signed copy of DRAGON KNIGHT’S SWORD; a Scotland tote; a beautiful Celtic bookmark designed by the lovely Nicole Laverdure, and some swag. 

Giveaway Goodies

Giveaway Goodies

 

I’ll announce the winner on Saturday morning. Giveaway is open to U.S. and international.

I will let you know the moment I hear a release date, too.   

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Medieval Monday ~ Dragon Knight’s Sword

MedMonToday starts Medieval Monday! Follow me each Monday as I post a new medieval author and their book(s). I’m starting off with my own, DRAGON KNIGHT’S SWORD.

Here’s hoping that you’ll find someone new to add to your TBR list!

Next week’s medieval author: Ashley York

 

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Duncan Mackay will do anything to lift the curse from his family – even forfeit his own life. But his plans change when he encounters the woman from his dreams, literally. She is from the future, somehow has his lost sword, and can talk to the Dragon that is able to lift his family’s curse.

Brigid O’Neill has spent her life listening to the mythological legends from Ireland and Scotland. So, when an ancient sword lands at her doorstep and she starts dreaming of a rugged Highlander, she drops everything and takes on a quest that will alter everything she believes.

Before their journey ends, not only will Duncan and Brigid battle an ancient curse, they must also find the courage to believe in the destiny that brought them together.

Excerpt:

He stood next to the waterfall. Beads of water glistened from his dark locks.

Brigid watched as they trailed down his chiseled torso, traveling down to where his tartan was wrapped low on his waist. The wind whipped at the folds of his plaid, the power coiling within and around him, as mystical as the land he stood on.

“Ancient warrior,” she uttered softly.

When she looked up into his eyes, they smoldered with desire, and it startled her. A sensual shiver ran through her, wanting to be crushed within his embrace. The raw desire to be in this man’s arms, touching and tasting him, was so potent, she could feel her heart hammering inside her chest.

He tilted his head to the side, as if studying his prey.

Brigid didn’t know if she should run or step into his massive arms.

He took a step toward her, and her pulse quickened. The very air around her seemed electrified. He then took another…and another, until he stood
merely inches in front of her.

Her breathing became labored, as he bent his head leaning close to her ear. She was engulfed in a sensual haze wanting his lips to touch her anywhere and put an end to her torture. His mouth was so close, she could feel a dark lock of his hair against her cheek, and she shuddered.

“Bring me back my sword,” he growled into her ear.

Brigid’s eyes flew open, clutching the sheets as the last fragments of her dream faded.

 

Buy Links:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, TWRP – The Wild Rose Press

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