Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Saving Moirra's Heart .... The Prologue

Below is the prologue to Saving Moirra's Heart. I'm almost done!! Just finishing up the last chapter, then the epilogue. I promise NO CLIFF HANGERS!

Alysander woke at dawn with Moirra’s bottom snuggled into his groin. ’Twas surely heaven on earth to wake with her in his arms and not have to lie or pretend anymore. Tenderly, with an arm wrapped protectively around her stomach, he pulled her closer, doing his best not to disturb her slumber.   Yesterday had been an exhausting one, what with the wolves that had attacked Muriale and Orabilis and the fire that destroyed their little home. 
The air in the barn was crisp and smelled of straw and lavender — his wife’s favorite scent. He inhaled deeply with the intent to calm his ardor. It was a mistake. Though they had made love twice last night, having her so close to him and knowing he no longer had to hide his feelings for her, well, that just made him want her all the more. As much as he wanted to roll her over and kiss every square inch of her body, he decided to let her sleep. Knowing that they had long days ahead, she would need her rest. 
His heart felt much lighter now that their daughters knew the truth. Aye, they were his daughters now, no matter what blood might run through their veins and he’d defy anyone to tell him different. His daughters were in the loft, undoubtedly still asleep in the makeshift quarters. Alysander looked forward to rebuilding the cottage and getting everyone out of the barn. On top of having to build a new cottage, they would also need to begin the harvest in a few days. 
For the tiniest moment, he thought of reaching out to his father for help, but quickly dismissed the idea. Nay, his father would be of no help to him, for he still blamed the death of his favorite son on his least favorite son — Alysander. He had no doubt the man would let him starve to death before he lifted a finger to help him. He also knew it wouldn’t matter one bit that he had turned his life around, had married, and was now the proud father of four beautiful girls. 
With a sigh of resignation, he pulled the blankets up around his wife’s shoulders, and quietly rolled away. He pulled on tunic and trews, laced up his boots, and stepped away from the bed. He had taken no more than two steps away when he caught sight of Orabilis. The child was curled into a ball on the pallet next to Wulver, with one hand resting on the dog’s neck. Aye, she was a stubborn child but he could not blame her for wanting to care for the dog that had saved her life, as well as her sister’s.
He stepped out of the room, found a spare blanket amongst items people had left the night before. Carefully, he draped it over Orabilis and breathed a sigh of relief when Wulver lifted his head and looked at him. He sent a silent prayer up to God before leaving the barn. 

Smoke from their destroyed cottage still lingered in the crisp morning air. Morning dew immediately formed on his skin making him shiver. For now, the fire pit Moirra used to do laundry would have to suffice as a makeshift kitchen. Soon, Alysander had a nice fire going and water heating. 
He was able to find a few cooking pots inside the rubble of the burned out cottage. After scouring them thoroughly, they were as good as new. Going through some of the foodstuffs neighbors had thoughtfully brought to them last night, he set about making breakfast for his women. The smell of eggs and sausage frying made its way to the barn and he soon heard the women within shuffling around and readying themselves for the day ahead.
Moirra appeared in the doorway of the barn, looking every bit as beautiful as Aphrodite herself. Her hair was mussed and fell down her back in loose waves, still looking quite sleepy as she yawned and pulled her shawl around her shoulders. Her eyes searched the yard, and when they fell upon Alysander, a most brilliant smile came to her face. His heart slammed against his chest, his manhood twitched and his mouth went dry. God’s teeth the woman is magnificent. 
“Good morn to ye, husband,” she said as she crossed the yard, the smile growing with each step she took. 
Alysander swallowed hard as he fought the urge to take her back inside and make love to her again and again.
“Good morn—” his voice caught in his throat. He cleared it and tried again. “Good morn to ye, wife,” he said with a smile. 
Moirra came to him and wrapped her arms around his waist. “I didna like wakin’ up alone,” she said against his chest. He placed a gentle kiss on the top of her head and returned her hug.
“But I did like wakin’ up to the smell of eggs and sausage,” she said as she pulled away. Looking into his eyes, she continued to smile. God above, he would never tire of looking at that smile.
“I do believe I told ye once that I know how to cook,” he reminded her. 
“Aye, and ye do yer own laundry as well,” she said playfully. “A man who cooks and cleans without complaint makes me heart go all aflutter. And it makes me want to take ye back up to the loft and have my way with ye.”
He swallowed again and was about to tell her she could do that anytime she wished when the sound of approaching horses drew his attention away. 

Instinct warned that ’twasn’t a social call that brought the five mounted men into Moirra’s yard. The two whoresons who had tried to attack Mariote, along with three men Alysander had never seen before, came bounding down the small incline and pulled their horses to a stop.
Alysander heard Moirra’s gasp as she stood behind him. It was quickly followed by a flurry of activity inside the barn. Alysander could only assume the girls were either taking up arms or were planning to hide. Knowing him as they did, he imagined it was the former. 
A thin man, very much resembling a weasel with unusually large ears, brought his horse to within a few feet of Moirra’s door. His gray brown beard hung to the middle of his chest, while his hair was cut very close to his scalp. A hawkish nose sat between a pair of beady eyes. The hair on Alysander’s nape stood up. Instantly, he did not like the man who stared down at him as if Alysander were some disgusting creature. 
“I see ye hidin’, Moirra Wilgart,” the man said, looking and sounding perturbed. 
Moirra huffed and came to stand beside Alysander. “Me name is Moirra McCallum.”
The man huffed derisively and shook his head. “Be this yer latest victim?” he asked, referring to Alysander. 
Moirra started to give the man a piece of her mind, but Alysander stopped her by placing a hand on her shoulder. “Who are ye?” 
“I be Moirra’s brother-in-law, Almer Wilgart.”
“Ye are no’ me brother-in-law,” Moirra ground out. 
“Ye were married to me brother,” Almer said through gritted teeth.
“Nay! I was no’. ’Twas a handfastin’ and ye ken it as well as anyone else.” She looked then to Alysander. “This is the Sheriff of Glenkirby, and aye, he is Delmar Wilgart’s brother.” 
Alysander never took an eye from any of the men. He gave a slight nod as if he understood completely — which he did not — before asking why they were here. 
“I’ve come to arrest Moirra for the murder of me brother, Delmar Wilgart.”

You can pre-order your copy of Saving Moirra's Heart at Amazon and iBooks for only 99 cents. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Medieval Tales of Romance

Four tales of medieval romance from four best selling historical romance authors. Four tales of passion from when honor ruled. Enjoy the great value of this boxed set while it lasts!

MEDIEVAL TALES OF ROMANCE contains these four novels:

When Malcolm du Monde, Lord of Warwick, reluctantly comes to court to find a biddable bride, he expects to woo her, wed and bed her, and be back home in a month. But when he crosses paths with his childhood friend, the fiery-haired (and tempered) Lady Judith, who is now a favorite of the Queen and quite popular at court, Malcolm's plans go awry.
And when Judith finds herself caught in a dangerous battle between the king and the Queen, she has no one to turn to but Malcolm.

HE is the handsome, brawny, charming youngest son of a Sassenach-loving Highland clan. SHE is a woman in hiding as a young man - a weapons champion, bent on vengeance against the Fitzhugh. The only thing worse than being forced to squire for a member of the hated Fitzhugh...is falling in love with him.

In this exciting medieval romance, the French lady knight known as the Angel of Death wages a battle of wills and desires against her dreaded enemy -- the English warrior known as the Prince of Darkness.

She'd won Findley's McKenna's heart without trying and he can only pray for a chance to win hers. But how can Maggy put her trust in a man she barely knows. A madman kidnaps one of her sons and together, Findley and Maggy will stop at nothing to bring the boy home.

With Dreams Only Of You: The Legend of the Theodosia Sword

One family. One Legend. One chance to reverse the tides of fortune.

Welcome to a multi-genre collection unlike any other historical romance collection. Six of the top authors in their respective genres bring you this powerhouse collection, WITH DREAMS ONLY OF YOU. Join the de Reyne family as they grapple with a family legend that follows them through centuries of hope, heartache, adventure, and romance in seven amazing segments:

Roman Scotland - The origins of the Theodosia Sword.
Medieval England - The legend begins.
The Scottish Highlands - The legend takes a twist.
Tudor England - A new dimension to the legend.
Georgian Era - The legend upon the high seas.
Regency England - The legend has new life.
Contemporary Times - The legend concludes.

Seven unique and powerful stories take the legend of the gladius, the Theodosia Sword, through the ages. Discover how each era of the family finds their own love, peace, and happiness. The sword that can tear them apart is also the one that binds them.

One family. One legend. One chance to reverse the tides of fortune... will each generation of the family take that chance?
With Dreams Only Of You: The Legend of the Theodosia Sword
Pre-Order at Amazon
Pre-Order at iBooks

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Things I learned on my recent mini vacation

I. AM. HOME.  It was a lovely trip, but next time, I think I'll fly instead of drive.

I learned a lot about myself and my family, as well as the east coast, whilst on my min-vacation. I'll take this moment to share a few of those exciting, thrilling facts.

  1. My brother David is far more patient than I am. Who knew?
  2. Out of the three of us (brother David, brother Dan, and me) David is the most sane. I know, it surprised the hell out of me, too!
  3. My grandson has got to be the most well behaved 4-year old on the planet. No melt downs, no tantrums, nothing, until the last two hours of the trip home. Wait, that was me melting down, whining, and having a tantrum. My bad.
  4. There is a significant difference between Apple Maps and Google Maps. Google Maps wins, hands down. If Apple Maps says it will be a two hour drive, double that for all the idiotic side streets she will take you down. Seriously, from Delaware to New Jersey, we drove side roads for half the trip. THEN Apple Maps wanted to dump me back into Philadelphia. Why??? Thank God daughter had Google Maps and the patience of Job. She got us the hell out of Cherry Hill, NJ and to Booktrader in Hamilton, NJ before I had an aneurysm. Did I mention I'm not a good traveler? 
  5. My daughter Emilee is growing up. I forget that far too often. She's beautiful, smart and feisty. I forget that she is a mother now and all grown up. Still, she is my baby and always will be. I was so glad that I finally got to take her to see the ocean and New York City.
  6. My future sister-in-law, Tammy, is adorable and her driving skills blew my mind. Someone in NASCAR really needs to give this girl a ride. Seriously.  Don't believe me? Ask her to take you on Delaware's 'Autobahn' sometime. 30 seconds in and you'll know exactly what I mean.
  7. I no longer travel well. In the future, if a trip looks like it would take more than 6 hours in a car, I shall fly. I don't do well on 18 hour car rids. Not well. At. All. 
  8. I'm an ugly person when sleep deprived. I have submitted formal letters of apology to my brother and daughter. My grandson however, thought it was quite funny that Grandma said 'naughty words', so he doesn't get a letter of apology. He gets a hug. And a pony for being such a good kid.
  9.  The east coast of our country is breathtakingly beautiful. If you ever get the chance to drive through the Allegheny Mountains -- by choice or on accident like I did -- take it! I saw the most beautiful country by accident. I think the only reason brother David didn't strangle me was because we were traveling down the side of the aforementioned Allegheny Mountains. I think it was his first near-death experience and had I erred by so much as an inch ... 'nuff said. 
  10. Vinegar on french fries. Just typing the words makes my mouth water. I have a case of malt vinegar on its way here. Don't think I'll ever be able to put catsup on french fries ever again.
  11. Ocean City, Maryland was amazing! 
  12. The best day of my life that I ever spent with my brothers, was Sunday, May 17, 2015 in Ocean City Maryland. No matter how old I get, I'll never forget that day.
  13. A sausage biscuit in Delaware is significantly different than a sausage biscuit in Illinois. In Illinois, it is a biscuit (usually buttermilk) with a breakfast sausage patty, scrambled eggs, and a slice of 'orange' American cheese. In Delaware it is two Kielbasa sausage links tucked between a fried egg and white American cheese on a Kaiser roll. Still yummy, but totally different. Helen's Diner is cash only. 
  14. Before Saturday, I did not know it was illegal to pump your own gas in the state of New Jersey. 
  15. Before Saturday, I also did not know there existed a city where you could not under any circumstance make a left turn going down the main drag. Yes. New Jersey again. 
  16. I have the best readers and street team, bar none. I had a wonderful time in New Jersey at Booktrader. If you live near Hamilton, New Jersey, you have to visit this awesome bookstore! Ask for Joan. She is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet! If Joan's not there, Barb can help you and she is just as nice!
  17. People in New Jersey don't buy just one or two books. They buy every book you wrote. In all series. Blew. My. Mind. 
  18. In Delaware, it is perfectly acceptable for a police officer to stand along side any road and point at you to pull over. He needs no radar gun, no probable cause. He points, you pull over. It is as simple as that. I find that quite odd.
  19. The nicest people I've ever met in my life all work at Harrah's Casino and Racetrack in Chester, PA. Seriously, these people were awesome! They thought it was a travesty that I'd never had a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, so they hooked me up.
  20. I like Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. Especially the ones you get in Philly!
  21. New York City is big. Even bigger than my Midwest, right-brain could imagine. I found a K-Mart across the street from Madison Square Garden. Blew. My. Mind. 4 stories tall. My mom would have loved that!
  22. The best General Tsoa's chicken on the planet can be found at Gingers Chinese Restaurant in New York City. Not sure of address. It was a few blocks from Penn Station. 
  23. Author Tarah Scott is even more amazing in person than she is on FB. Love her to pieces! 
  24. I enjoyed riding the train from New Jersey to New York, as did my four-year old grandson. If I did live out east, I'd take the train wherever I had to go. It was much nicer than I thought it would be.
  25. The best ice-cream on the planet can be found at Dumser's in Ocean City, Maryland. It doesn't matter what flavor you choose, it is delicious. I recommend their Italian lemon ice or the orange swirl.
  26. It is next to impossible to get a coke product at restaurants in Delaware. After a day, my daughter and I were starting to look for black market Coca Cola dealers. "Psst, dude, can you hook a girl up with a caffeine free diet coke?" I swear it was easier to find black tar heroin. 
  27. My brother David has the most wicked sense of humor. 
  28. I like east coast pizza better than Midwest pizza. 
  29. The bug population passed, say, Indiana, is significantly less, than here in Illinois. We had to wash the windshield twice before we got out of Indiana. Did not have to wash it again until we hit Indiana on way home. Another odd fact. 
  31. I have the most amazing family. My brothers, my kids, my grandkids, my husband ... I am one blessed woman. I knew that before, I sincerely did, but this trip just cemented that belief. 
  32. We all miss my mom. This was one trip she would have enjoyed. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Readers Vote for RONE's

Its that time of year again! Rone Voting.
What is a RONE? RONE stands for Reward of Novel Excellence, from InD'Tale Magazine. Its kind of like winning a Grammy! ;o)
The first round of voting started a few weeks ago. In round one, readers vote for their favorite novels in several different categories, from YA to Fantasy and Sci-Fi to Mysteries and Historicals.
The top six vote-getters in each category will then move on the the second round of judging. Winners will be announced at the InD'Scribe Conference that will take place in Palm Springs, California in September. 
This week -- Week Five -- you can vote for your favorite Historical novel. 
Frederick's Queen has been nominated for the Historical: Pre-Medieval Category! It is so exciting and nerve wracking at the same time! It is a huge honor just to make it to this first round. But I can’t move on to the second round without your help.
Voting in this round ends May 17, 2015. 
To vote, visit the InD’Tale Magazine website. You will also find a complete list of rules and more information. 
There are lots of great novels to vote for this week. One of the nice things about being an indie author is that we authors do support one another. Some of my dearest friends are up in the same category as Fredrick's Queen, so I know the choices this year won't be easy. So vote from your heart. ;o) Just making it through this round will be an honor. 
The competition this year is fierce! It is such an honor to be included amongst my author sisters. 
Thank you all for your support!!