Medieval Monday – Ashley York

As Medieval Mondays continue, this week you will find the next snippet from my newest book (available now for pre-order), A Wee Highland Predicament  on Ashley York’s blog.

Below you’ll find a snippet from Ashley’s, Eyes of the Seer, book two in The Derbfine Series.


“I can bring ye more.” The lass stood before him still. “Ye look to be done in.”

Marcán was not about to get into a discussion with a slave. He preferred to stay away from them in general. “I do not believe Philip wanted ye to tarry here.”

With a nod, she turned about just as the door to the roundhouse swung open. Like a cool breath of refreshing air, Astrid came toward him. She noticed the other woman, surprise evident, and seemed to assess her as they crossed paths.


In ancient Ireland, men and women take to the legends for answers. Different-colored eyes are the mark of a Seer, it is said, and those who can see the future are in league with the devil. They cannot be suffered to live.

He wishes to prove himself…

Marcán of Clonascara bears the bloodline of Brian Boru, the legendary high king, and his prowess as a warrior has earned him great respect. But he was born with different-colored eyes, and there are some who would have him suffer a Seer’s fate. His fiercest adversary is Beibhinn, mother to Diarmuid, his close friend and king, and Astrid, the woman who holds his heart. If Astrid ever showed him any interest, he would fight Beibhinn and any army to wed her.

She is desperate to escape…

Astrid is sick of her mother’s belittling, but her brother is in no hurry to see her married, so she decides to see to her own match-making. The man she approaches quickly reveals his lack of honor, but her overbearing mother pushes her to wed him anyway. When Astrid discovers Marcán’s love for her, she realizes that what she wants has been in front of her all along. True happiness awaits them, but only if they can put a stop to her mother’s plans.

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Please join Ashley for the continuing excerpt next week at Laurel O’Donnell’s blog.

Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win!



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Medieval Monday – Laurel O’Donnell

As I said last week, today starts a 14 week series of lovely moments from some of your favorite medieval authors. This week you will find a snippet from my newest book (available now for pre-order), A Wee Highland Predicament  on Laurel O’Donnell’s blog.

Below you’ll find a snippet from Laurel’s, A Knight With Grace.

O_Donnell, Laurel- A Knight with Grace (final) 800 px @ 72 dpi low res

William stared into Grace’s wide eyes. Through his groggy sleep, he had heard movement and reacted instinctively, grabbing his sword. He dropped the blade, horrified. “Grace.” He leaned forward, taking her face in his hands. “Are you hurt? Did I–?” He inspected her neck, running his hand over her smooth skin to ensure there was no blood, no mark.


Lady Grace Willoughby defies her father’s orders to marry Sir William de Tracy and escapes with a friend. She has no intention of wedding a cursed man, a man ostracized from the church, a man who would only doom any future children they might have to the fires of Hell. She prays for a knight to rescue her.

Excommunicated and outcast for a horrible crime in his past, Sir William de Tracy searches for forgiveness. Marriage has never crossed his mind until Lord Willoughby commissions him to retrieve his fleeing daughter and honor the dying wish of his father by marrying Grace.

But things are not as they seem. And when an assassin tries to kill Grace, William must choose between his soul and the woman he has come to love. Can William and Grace overcome their past and find the redemption and love both are so desperately seeking?

Buy Link – A Knight With Grace

Please join Laurel for the continuing excerpt next week at Elisabeth Hobbes’s blog.

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Medieval Mondays are back!

Starting this Monday, January 29, 2018, a new series of Medieval Mondays start.

If you love medieval romance join me as fourteen authors of medieval romance (Laurel O’Donnell, Ashley York, Mary Morgan, Barbara Bettis, Cathy MacRae, Ruth A. Casie, Bambi Lynn, Lane McFarland, Judith Sterling Marshall, Sherry Ewing, Elisabeth Hobbes, Jenna Jaxson, Jenni Fletcher, and me 🙂 ) share snippets from one of their books, in a serialized fashion.

If you stop by each blog, every Monday, and leave a comment, you will be entered for a chance to win a variety of prizes to be awarded at the end of the tour.

My snippets will be from my new Highland Romance, A Wee Highland Predicament, which will be released on March 6, 2018. For those of you who have been asking for Ailsa’s story, this is it.

HighlandPredicament revise

Sometimes a bad boy can be a good man.

Lucas Grant’s brother is going to be furious. Lucas was supposed to secure a betrothal with a wealthy heiress to save his clan from financial ruin. But after meeting her, he cannot marry the detestable woman.

As he flees Edinburgh to escape her, he happens upon six men who are holding a lovely Highland lass captive. He can’t just leave her to whatever fate awaits, so he rescues her.

Well, perhaps rescue isn’t the right word…

When he learns the feisty lass he stumbled upon is Ailsa MacLennan, he sees another way to help his clan. He’s going to hold her for ransom.

But when she steals his heart, what will the ransom be?

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Medieval Monday’s – The Final Installment

If you’ve been following along for the last 14 weeks, you have met thirteen authors via serial snippets describing a hero and heroine’s first significant encounter. My contribution was one of the first scenes between Tomas MacIan and Vida Ruthven from Highland Redemption.

The full scene is presented below–with the ending. Remember, leave a comment for a chance to win a free e-copy of any of my books. Winners will be announced later this week.

Tomas took the pawn from her hand. “White goes first, make your move.”

Initially he was distracted, thinking of Moyna. She appeared to recognize him. That she didn’t acknowledge it was good. He would have to try and find a way to talk with her. But after the first few less than well thought out moves, Tomas realized he had to focus while playing chess with Vida. He also thought he might have an inkling why no one, especially her father, would play with her—they didn’t like to lose. She was exceedingly good and he lost the first game in minutes.

“Ah, Vida, I made the classic mistake of underestimating my foe. Will ye allow me to redeem myself?”

She gave him a heart-stopping smile. “Of course. I’d love to play another game.”

This time he was prepared and paid closer attention.

Perhaps trying to distract him, she asked lots of questions about the Highlands, his home, and Clan Carr. He did his best to answer without telling too many lies.

“Tomas, tell me, is it usual for men to name their horses?”

“That’s an odd question, why do you ask?”

“I just heard once that seasoned warriors don’t name their horses, but you called your horse Duff.”

“I don’t know if it’s usual everywhere, but the warriors I know name their horses. A horse is not a piece of equipment. It is a living creation of God, and in battle, an extension of oneself. I’ve heard some men name their swords. It seems much more reasonable to me for them to name a beast they depend on.”

“Oh, I agree. I can’t imagine not having a name for my horse.”

“Do you have a horse?” asked Tomas.

Her face lit up. “Yes. A black mare. I named her Mab, after the fairy queen.”

“Really?” Tomas was shocked. “I named my first pony Mab.”

“You’re teasing me.”

“Nay, I’m serious. An older girl in the clan had told me fairy stories and Mab was always in them.”

“What an odd coincidence. I’ve never heard of another horse named Mab. Even when I named her, some of my more superstitious clansmen warned me that I might be tempting the fairies to work some mischief.”

Tomas laughed, “I never thought about that. I just really liked the name when I was a wee lad.” His grin broadened as another memory came to him.

“What amuses you so?”

“I was just remembering that I liked the name so much, I wanted my parents to name my baby sister Mab.”

She laughed and Tomas delighted in the sound. It enveloped him in a sweet warmth.

“How many brothers and sisters do you have?”

Damn. Tomas had inadvertently revealed more than he wished anyone at Cotharach to know. He’d have to tread carefully. “I have two brothers and a sister.”

“Older or younger?”

“All younger.”

“Are any of them married? Do you have nieces and nephews who are pining for Uncle Tomas? For that matter, are you married?”

“Nay, I’m not married and neither are any of them. They’re all much younger. My youngest brother is twelve. My sister’s the oldest of them and she’s but eighteen.”

“My age. Exactly how much older are you?”

He chuckled. He had answered this battery of questions before. Young women at court, anxious to find husbands were no less obvious. “I’m twenty-six, my lady.”

“Eight years between you and your next oldest sibling. My goodness.”

“I was adopted.”

“Oh, I see.”

“And your father? Is he one of Laird Carr’s guardsmen?”

“Nay.” Tomas said no more. A discussion about his parents was best avoided and the easiest way to do that was to change the subject. “Who taught ye to play chess?”

She smiled sadly. “My mother started to teach me when I was a very little girl. I learned how the pieces moved and captured other pieces. Before she died, we played some. But mostly I loved just playing with the pieces like they were dolls. I imagined them to be two royal families, with lots of children.” Vida smiled and blushed. “Mama would play that with me too sometimes. I thought it would be fun to live in a big family.”

“Do ye not have cousins?” Tomas knew full well she did—but she might not know that.

“I have cousins in my mother’s family. We visited them some when she was alive, but not since then.”

“And yer father?”

“He had an older brother who died.”

“What about his children?”

“My uncle didn’t have any children. At least, I don’t think he did. None that lived anyway. If he’d had children, my papa wouldn’t have become laird.”

Tomas scowled. By all the angels, Ruthven never told her about Katherine.

“Is something wrong?”

He shook his head, forcing a smile. “Nay, lass, I’m just trying to figure out how to get out of the corner ye’ve boxed me into. Ye didn’t learn to play chess like this by pretending the pieces were dolls. Did yer da continue yer lessons?”

“Nay. Well, I suppose in a way he did. He wanted me to learn how to read and write and do sums. So, he had our priest teach me.” A warm smile spread across her face. “Father James, was wonderful. He taught me so much more than just those basic skills, including chess. He died when I was ten and it was nearly as painful as when mama died.” She sighed. “But he was elderly and in his last year he’d become very frail. He said he was ready for the angels to lead him into paradise.”

Tomas remembered Father James. He was exceedingly kind and Lady Katherine had adored him. Tomas had known he must have surely passed away by now, but his heart ached a little anyway. Almost without thinking, he made the sign of the cross and said a silent prayer for his soul.

Vida had a slightly bemused look on her face. “That was kind of you.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Saying a prayer for the soul of a stranger. It was kind.”

A stranger. Right. Tomas had to be more careful. “I…uh…I have known priests who were dear to me. And I suppose it never hurts to pray for the soul of a priest.”

“Nay, I don’t suppose it does. But it was kind of you anyway.”

They played in silence for a few minutes. He realized she was only three moves from checkmate and he had no way of preventing it. Then, to his surprise, she made a move that killed her chance at checkmate and created an opening for him to win. He’d seen enough of her skill so far to know she’d thrown the game intentionally.

He frowned at her, irritated. “Don’t do that.”

“What?” Her tone was innocent, but her eyes told a different story.

“Put that piece back and make the move ye’d intended to make.”

“I…I…don’t know what you mean.”

His eyes narrowed, as his irritation shifted slowly to anger. “Don’t pretend ye don’t know what ye just did. Make the correct move. Now.”

Her eyes grew suspiciously bright and she blinked as if trying to hold back tears. She looked down, quickly and replayed the move.

He hadn’t intended to make her cry. But her pretending to lose was not only insulting to him, it demeaned her. One of her hands rested on the table and he covered it with his. “Lass, ye’re an extremely skilled chess player. Truly one of the best I’ve ever encountered. Don’t belittle that by intentionally losing.”

“I’m sorry. It’s just…I…most people…”

He suspected he knew what she was trying to say. He reached out, putting a finger under her chin, tilting her head up so he could look into her eyes. “I don’t need to win to enjoy the game. I’m sorry you’ve played with people who do.”

She swallowed hard and nodded.

The game ended quickly, but she didn’t meet his eyes when she said checkmate.

He knocked over his king, conceding the win. “Vida, ye’re a worthy opponent. Especially for one whose tutelage ended when ye were ten.”

Her smile returned. “My tutelage didn’t end when I was ten. Father James was a smart man and a reasonably good chess player, but Father Michael is a master of the game and, frankly, ruthless.”

“So, he’s the only one who can best ye?”

She laughed outright, the warmth of it filling him again. “Aye, occasionally, but he doesn’t best me very often. You, however, are every bit as skilled.”

“Thank ye, my lady.”

“You agreed to call me Vida.”

“Well then, thank you, Vida. I look forward to our next match.”

Her eyes widened in surprise. “Really? You’ll play with me again?”

He grinned.

She blushed. “Stop it. You know what I mean. You’ll play chess with me again?”

“Of course, I will. It never pays to sit back and think one knows everything. The only way I will continue to improve my chess game is to play with people who can best me.”

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Medieval Monday’s – Nicole Locke

We are continuing with our medieval first encounters. This week you will find another snippet from Highland Redemption on Nicole Locke’s website.

Below is a snippet from Nicole’s, Her Christmas Knight.


The seal. She had the seal.

How could she have forgotten the game? How long had she been held by Hugh, staring at him as if she…as if she wanted to see him again? Embarrassment did more than warm her skin this time. This time she knew she turned red. Something she couldn’t control. But what she could control was what she did about it.

Putting as much coldness into her features as possible, she looked up. He wasn’t there. The crowd had surrounded her and was pushing her forward. Digging her heels into the flooring, she struggled against the crowd until they suddenly opened before her. With a last push she was released into a small opening.

She righted herself, running one hand down her crumpled dress, and turned to glare at the courtiers—but a glint of red and gold at the corner of her eye shocked her into stillness.

Disbelieving, she turned towards the red and gold of the King’s throne. It wasn’t empty. Instead there was a very tall, very thin bearded man reposing on the ornately carved chair.

Fighting the instinct to hide, she dropped in a deep curtsey. King Edward had returned to the Tower of London and he was staring right at her.


A knight to protect her—this Yuletide 

By order of the English king, Alice of Swaffham searches London nobility for the traitor dealing information to the Scots. Little does she know that the mysterious spy she seeks is the man she once loved and thought she’d lost forever…

If Hugh of Shoebury felt unworthy of Alice before, as the Half-Thistle spy he can never claim her heart. Now he must fight to keep not only his dark secrets—and Alice—safe from a vengeful king…but also his burning longing for her at bay!

 Buy Links:



Continue to follow along as Nicole goes on to Laurel O’Donnell’s blog next week. And be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win a prize at the end of the tour.

The tour ends next week so be sure to read the conclusion to Nicole’s excerpt on her website and check back here for the final installment from Highland Redemption.


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Medieval Mondays – Jenna Jaxson

We are continuing with our medieval first encounters. This week you will find another snippet from Highland Redemption on Jenna Jaxson’s website.

Below is a snippet from Jenna’s, Betrothal.


In a daze, she watched Geoffrey wrench his lips from her hand and stand, eyes widened as if amazed. His brows furrowed a moment then he spoke to the king. “May I ask, Your Majesty, when the banns will be read? I am sorely pressed to begin my repentance.”

The king chuckled. “You are impatient, Sir Geoffrey, but with such beauty before you, I well understand your desire for haste. The first banns will be read this Sunday, and a fortnight hence you shall be husband and wife. Now take the maid back to her table lest you devour her with your eyes.”


The heart can choose, but can it also change?

Lady Alyse de Courcy has fallen in love with Lord Braeton, a nobleman in King Edward III’s court and a man to whom she has barely spoken. Fate, however, has decreed her betrothal to his best friend, Sir Geoffrey Longford—a handsome and imposing knight, yet hardly the man she wants to wed.

When Sir Geoffrey is bound in betrothal by his father, he could not have expected the beautiful stranger to win his heart the moment they meet. But Alyse’s infatuation with his friend casts doubt on whether she can ever return his regard and their wedding day is fast approaching…  Will he have time enough to win her love?

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Continue to follow along as Jenna goes on to Laurel O’Donnell’s blog next week. And be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win a prize at the end of the tour.

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Medieval Mondays – Elisabeth Hobbes

We are continuing with our medieval first encounters. This week you will find another snippet from Highland Redemption on Elisabeth Hobbes’s website.

Below is a snippet from Elisabeth’s, Redeeming the Rogue Knight (The Danby Brothers, book 2).


Thomas began to fumble at his neck, but the man pushed his hand aside.

‘Not you, Thomas. You go tend to the horses. Dove, you can do it.’

Lucy knelt by the bed and tried to do as he asked, but when she attempted to ease the cloak from his back, it stuck fast around the shaft of the arrow. The man gave a gasp of pain as she tugged. Lucy let go, realising the arrow had gone through all the layers of clothing. Something moved in the corner of her eye. Thomas was pointing a dagger at her face. His hand shook and the expression of fear in his eyes made him almost unrecognisable.

‘Cut it free,’ Thomas said, pushing the dagger into her hand. ‘Remove all the clothing you can. When I return, we remove the arrow.’



The spy who sought refuge…

When injured spy Sir Roger Danby comes asking for shelter at her inn, Lucy Carew is wary. He may be strikingly handsome, but the disgraced single mother has learnt the hard way with men like him. Against her better judgement, she gives him refuge.

Sir Roger has never been at the mercy of a woman before, and he’s never met one as mysterious and bewitching as Lucy. He hasn’t come looking for redemption, but Lucy is a woman who could reach in and touch his closely guarded heart…

Buy Link:

Continue to follow along as Elisabeth goes on to Laurel O’Donnell’s blog next week. And be sure to leave a comment below for a chance to win a prize at the end of the tour.

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