Welcome back to Medieval Monday! It’s hard to believe, but this is the final week of our “First Kiss” round. Last but certainly not least is bestselling author Jenna Jaxon’s Betrayal, the second book in her Time Enough to Love series. Isn’t the cover lovely?
For those following my excerpt from Return of the Raven, the final snippet is on Jenna’s blog. Remember, you’ll find links to all of the participating authors’ snippets atMedieval Romance Lovers on Facebook. (#MedMonSpring21)
Now, let’s enjoy Jenna’s last snippet:
“Nay, Alyse. Had I a sister, I would not kiss her in such a manner.” He chuckled then grinned at her. “However, as we do not yet live as brother and sister, I believed an un-brotherly kiss would be acceptable.”
Alyse paused, wavering, then shook her head. “My lord, I pray you test me not in this manner. Give me leave a while to act with only sisterly affection.”
With a sigh, Thomas good-naturedly kissed her hand. “Aye, gentle Alyse, I will bide my time,” he sent her a quick, devilish grin, “for now.”
After a night of passion with her betrothed, Sir Geoffrey Longford, Lady Alyse de Courcy is eagerly looking forward to her wedding. But when Geoffrey is forced to marry another, a heartbroken and possibly pregnant Alyse finds herself in her own private hell. She must either gamble with her reputation or marry someone she does not love.
A reputed connoisseur of women, Thomas, Lord Braeton, has dallied with many ladies of King Edward’s court, although he has favored none. However, as Geoffrey’s best friend, Thomas has sworn to serve and protect Alyse, an oath now sorely tested when he agrees to marry her—in name only—to guard her reputation. Yet, as they grow closer, and Thomas discovers Alyse’s sweet but spirited nature, he comes to desire a marriage in truth.
Can he overcome her memory of Geoffrey, or is Thomas doomed to burn with passion for a woman he can never possess?
Here’s something you can really sink your teeth into! (Yes, I went there. Forgive me.) Bloodborn, the first book in Sydney Winward’s vampire romance series, is currently on sale for 99 cents. This book is waiting patiently on my nightstand, and I can’t wait to read it. The story:
Adam Degore’s need to find a cure for vampirism drives him to ensnare a vampire, but the creature he captures is Dracula’s daughter. Worse yet, he’s drawn to her—a monster he’s vowed to kill.
Despite her father’s wishes, Willow chooses to live among humans instead of the vampire conclave where she would be safe. She wants a life filled with more than shadows. Being captured by a human, not to mention falling in love with one, is not part of her plan.
With vampires and blood hunters closing in on their chosen prey, Adam and Willow need to trust one another. But will that trust come in time for them to survive and find a future together?
A peek between the pages:
“How could you?” she gasped, taking another step backward, but to back up much further would result in falling over the edge of the cliff and into the holy waters below. However, he was blocking her escape, a menacing sword close to penetrating her skin. Any false move would result in an iron sword through her heart. “How could you take me here?”
“I couldn’t tell you,” he answered, his voice thick with emotion. “It’s the only way. It’s the last thing I could do. For Zachariah.”
She felt numb. After everything that had happened between them, he still meant to kill her? But he was her mate. Mates were supposed to look after one another.
“Don’t do this,” she whispered, taking yet another step backward but stopping in her tracks when the roaring of the falls crashed into her ears like the loud toll of a bell signaling a vampire getting burned at the stake.
She would meet the same fate, except the only audience she would have was Adam and it was holy water instead of fire. She didn’t know which was worse. “I care for you, Adam. I want you to give me a chance.”
“I don’t have a choice. I need my brother back. He’s the only family I have left.”
Wonderful news! Return of the Raven received a Crowned Heart of Excellence from In’Dtale Magazine! Here’s a little of the review:
“A magical time traveling love story that takes the reader on a journey from the past to the present…The author has done a great job in describing both time periods, including the language and how the characters dress and behave…If you are a fan of time travel romance, then this series is a must read!”
Woohoo! Such a great way to end the series. To read the whole review, go here.
For anyone unfamiliar with the story, here’s the gist of it:
Margaret, Lady Ravenwood, is trapped in a loveless marriage and firmly entrenched in the medieval world. Along comes Griffin Nightshade, a historian from the future whose soul resonates with hers. He persuades her to return with him to the 1950s, but heeding her heart means courting danger from a curse that could spell her doom.
Haunted by his parents’ sudden deaths, Griffin knows all too well the pain born of love lost. He guards his emotions, but Margaret delves deep and goes straight to the soul. She’s hard to resist…and harder to set free.
The heart’s desire and history’s demands don’t always agree. Yet true love is eternal.
If interest becomes an impulse to buy, here are the links:
I’m excited to welcome two sister Roses (published by The Wild Rose Press), Desiree Holt and Liz Crowe! We’re spotlighting their new release, Numbers Game, and Liz is here to talk about the co-writing conundrum. Take it away, Liz!
Desiree has always been one of my writing heroes. She’s the sort of established, successful author who never begrudges a newbie question or need for advice. I’ve known her since we both were writing for Decadent Publishing and got to meet her when she visited Ann Arbor for a football game.
We also share a love of sports, and have been known to go off on a tangent or two talking about college football and basketball. When I helped raise money for my kids’ high school athletic fund by inviting the Harbaugh brothers to speak at a dinner, I made sure to get a signed commemorative football and send it to her.
When I got the wild idea that we should write a sports-themed romance together, I wasn’t sure that she’d want to do it, but luckily for me she jumped at the opportunity. Given that we are both busy, it took us about a year to get our thoughts coalesced around the novel that is now NUMBERS GAME, available from Wild Rose Press. We wrote in a literal back and forth—she wrote our heroine’s perspective and I wrote the hero’s. We ran into a few issues, mainly with names which took a bit to sort out but once we did, we managed to write it between us over the course of about six months.
I learned so much writing with her, which is always my goal as an author—to learn, grow, and get better with every book and every editor and every publisher I work with. I hope you enjoy reading our second chance romance NUMBERS GAME as much as we enjoyed writing it!
A little more about Numbers Game:
Former pro football player and coach Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher fumbled his career and marriage. Now divorced and ready to tackle his future, he has an opportunity to redeem himself as coach of his college alma mater’s football team. But how can he can turn the team’s losing streak around and keep the secret of his downfall buried when the school agrees to a documentary that will allow a lovely journalist to dig her way into his past…and into his heart?
Olivia Grant’s ex-husband almost wrecked her journalism career while he definitely did a number on her self-esteem. The documentary on Duncan Hatcher is the perfect way to rebuild both. As a freshman in college, she’d had a crush on the senior football hero, but he hadn’t known she existed. She never expects the sparks that fly between them as they work on the project nor the struggles they must face if they both want to win.
A peek between the pages:
Hatch winced at the memory of how goofy he must have sounded to the lovely woman he was going to be having a fair bit of contact with this season. Olivia Grant was, without a doubt, beautiful, not to mention sexy as hell. She was a natural reporter, putting him at ease, even in the face of his high-school-ish reaction to her at first. But dear Lord, the crap he’d said? That shit about her being “better than she thought” at the race? And “looking for a foot in the door”? He’d sounded about as slick as the grandpas he’d been named for.
He groaned and pressed his forehead to the leather blotter on his new desk. After his divorce, he’d made a point not to notice women, something that was a bit of a self-imposed penalty. But there was no not noticing Olivia. Her soft, dark blonde hair that kept dropping over one of her deep green eyes as she’d look down at her notes, then back up at him. That smile, and those full, barely lip-sticked lips. And there was no denying she had a body that would be hard to shake out of his brain. Scott had told him she used to play soccer here, a few years behind him as an undergrad. How he’d not known her… Granted, he hadn’t been a big partier then, kept mostly to himself and his close group of friends and, as always, focused on the game.
But damn. He’d missed out on something then, without a doubt. He felt his face flush red and his entire body begin to react in ways that didn’t really serve him well as a fully grown man, with plenty of experience under his belt, so to speak.
Thankfully, she’d left before he could embarrass himself any more.
Home. Shower. Beer. Stare at a string of old movies on the giant television screen. Anything to get the lovely Olivia Grant and all her many attributes out of his head. She was, after all, the media. And everyone knew how he felt about the media.
It was get-a-grip time—on all parts of himself.
This was his chance at redemption. The opportunity was a godsend, considering the sorry state he’d left his life in on the west coast, and he didn’t intend to do anything to screw it up. He couldn’t afford to get distracted by a single thing. But how the hell was he going to do that when Olivia Grant might prove to be the biggest distraction of all?
USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and contemporary on a variety of heat levels up to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.
Sign up for her newsletter and receive a free book!
More about Liz:
Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville living in Central Illinois. She’s spent her time as a three-continent expat trailing spouse, mom of three, real estate agent, brewery owner and bar manager, and is currently a social media consultant and humane society development director, in addition to being an award-winning author. With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, inside fictional television stations and successful real estate offices, and even in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are compelling and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, at times frustrate, and always linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
Calling all bookaholics! Check out this giveaway tailored just for you. Win autographed print books, e-books, audiobook codes, and Amazon gift cards. My medieval romance Soul of the Wolf is one of the prizes.
For a list of all the prizes, look here. If there’s a particular book or prize you’d like to win, be sure to say which one when you enter here. Good luck, everyone!
If the above photo of Killarney, Ireland speaks to your heart, we’re kindred spirits. If you’re reading my Guardians of Erin series, which takes place there, I’ve got good news: I finally finished the fourth and final book, The Spear Alight, and turned it in to my editor. Woohoo!
Amazon still has The Cauldron Stirred, the first book in the series, on sale for 99 cents. The next two–The Stone Awakened and The Sword Unsheathed--are available for free on Booksprout for a limited time.Reviews are much appreciated!
Check out The Stone Awakenedhere!For The Sword Unsheathed, click here!
That’s all the news for the moment. Hope you’re having a good week! 🙂
Welcome back to Medieval Monday! Our “First Kiss” theme continues, and this week, Sherry Ewing is here with To Follow My Heart, the third book in her time travel romance series, The Knights of Berwyck, A Quest Through Time.
For those following my excerpt from Return of the Raven, you can find Snippet #12 on Sherry’s blog. Remember, you’ll find links to all the participating authors’ snippets atMedieval Romance Lovers on Facebook. (#MedMonSpring21)
Now, let’s enjoy Sherry’s twelfth snippet:
Her eyes begged him in silence to change his mind, but he could not take the chance of putting her in danger. With one last look at her, he made his way to the door and yanked the offensive portal open before speaking his mind.
After a gut wrenching break up with her fiancé, Jenna Sinclair heads to the coast to do a little soul searching. To say everything is subject to change is putting it mildly. Her world is not only turned upside down, but pretty much torn asunder when she is pulled through a time gate on the beach beneath the Cliff House and transported more than eight hundred years into the past.
Fletcher Monroe, captain of the garrison knights at Berwyck Castle, has wasted too much time pining for a woman who will never be his. When he finally decides to move on with his life and focus on his duties, he is suddenly confronted with a woman who magically appears at his feet. This could either be the best thing that has ever happened to him or another cursed event in a string of many. He soon finds he is wildly attracted to her, but she’s scared to death of him – not a very encouraging beginning.
From the shores of California to twelfth century England and back again, Jenna and Fletcher must find a way to reconcile their two different worlds before Time forever tears them apart.
Welcome back to Medieval Monday! Our “First Kiss” theme continues, and this week, USA Today bestselling author Ruth A. Casie is here with Knight of Runes. Don’t you love the cover?
For those following my excerpt from Return of the Raven, you can find Snippet #11 on Ruth’s blog. Remember, you’ll find links to all the participating authors’ snippets atMedieval Romance Lovers on Facebook. (#MedMonSpring21)
Now, let’s enjoy Ruth’s eleventh snippet:
She stared at him.
“‘Her lips suck forth my soul; see where it flies! Come, give me my soul again.’”
“You surprise me, quoting Christopher Marlowe,” she whispered so softly he could barely hear. “I wouldn’t think you a romantic.”
“It seems there is much about me you don’t know.” He raised one eyebrow with a flourish that made her giggle.
When Lord Arik, a druid knight, finds Rebeka Tyler wandering his lands without protection, he swears to keep her safe. But Rebeka can take care of herself. When Arik sees her clash with a group of attackers using a strange fighting style, he’s intrigued.
Rebeka is no ordinary seventeenth-century woman—she’s travelled back from the year 2011, and she desperately wants to return to her own time. She poses as a scholar sent by the king to find out what’s killing Arik’s land. But as she works to decode the ancient runes that are the key to solving this mystery and sending her home, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic and powerful Arik.
As Arik and Rebeka fall in love, someone in Arik’s household schemes to keep them apart, and a dark druid with a grudge prepares his revenge. Soon Rebeka will have to decide whether to return to the future or trust Arik with the secret of her time travel and her heart.
Say hello to Kimberly Baer! She’s a talented sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press), and her new release, Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal, has received some great reviews. Let’s learn how an unusual house inspired this middle-grade novel. Take it away, Kimberly!
I used to work in the downtown area of a small city. My parking lot was several blocks from my office, so I had a pleasant trek to look forward to twice a day. (Unless it was raining. Or snowing. Or really windy. Or really, really hot. Then it wasn’t so pleasant.) My route included a street with a row of old houses that had been converted into businesses—dental offices, accounting firms, insurance agencies, and the like. Smack-dab in the middle of that row was a single residential house, complete with a front porch swing and a small, grassy yard. For whatever reason, it had never been repurposed as a business.
I used to wonder about the occupants. Why would they choose to live in a business district? Were they as rebellious as their house? What would it be like to grow up there? Eventually, a story took shape. I pictured a pre-teen girl in the starring role. I imagined the challenges she would face growing up with office workers for neighbors instead of families. And at some point I thought, what if her house wasn’t downtown? What if it was in the middle of a shopping mall?
Bingo. That was the twist that launched Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal. I mean, what kid wouldn’t love living in a shopping mall? I thought this would make a really fun setting for a middle-grade mystery novel.
I guess just about anything can spark a story—a daydream, a night dream, a newscast. A person, an experience. And, yes, even a kooky old house that doesn’t fit in with its neighbors!
A little more about Mall Girl Meets the Shadow Vandal:
“A lively, jaunty mystery with a terrific cast of characters.” – Kirkus Reviews
Chloe Lamont doesn’t live in a neighborhood, like most kids. Her house is in the middle of the mall. And now someone is stealing items from her house and using them to vandalize stores. Who is trying to frame her? And how are they getting into the house?
Desperate to catch the real vandal and clear her name, Chloe seeks help from the kids in her Mystery Reading Group at school. While searching for clues, the Mystery Groupers make an astounding discovery. And then things get really crazy…
A peek between the pages:
I hate getting up early, so it’s a blessed relief when Saturday morning rolls around and I get to sleep in.
Then I wake up and find out there’s been another egging.
Mom tells me about it when she comes home at lunchtime. This time Maynard’s Shoes was the victim. A bunch of shoes on display out front got hit. Like last time, the police think the crime took place in the middle of the night.
“How many—” I begin.
“Eight. They used eight eggs.”
We eye each other uneasily. Outside the living room window, a lady says contemptuously, “She acts like she’s the first woman on earth to ever have a baby.”
Mom turns abruptly and heads into the kitchen. I’m right behind her. We park ourselves in front of the refrigerator.
“I bought a new carton on Thursday,” she says, twisting her opal ring around and around on her pinkie. “I haven’t used any eggs at all. If you haven’t either, there should still be a full dozen.”
“I haven’t used any,” I tell her.
She takes a deep breath and tugs open the refrigerator door. She has the grim demeanor of a fourteenth-century villager about to open a vampire’s coffin. She takes out the egg carton and places it on the counter. Gingerly, she lifts the lid.
There are four eggs inside, crowded together at the left end of the carton. The rest of the carton looks starkly empty, like eight tiny bird’s nests emptied of occupants.
“Oh!” Mom clamps a hand over her mouth. “How can this be?”
I can only stare at the carton in silence, dazed by the undeniable truth. Somebody is taking our eggs and using them to attack mall stores. I just don’t know who or how or why.
Mom is looking desperately at me. “Did you drop the carton and maybe break some? It’s okay—I won’t be mad.”
“I didn’t break any eggs. I haven’t touched the carton.”
She paces around the kitchen, taking short, quick steps because it’s a tiny room. “I don’t understand. What’s going on?”
“Somebody’s stealing our eggs,” I say, and that impossible truth sounds even more impossible spoken aloud. “Did you lock all the doors and windows last night? Did you bolt the doors?”
“Of course. Do you still double-check them before you go to bed?”
“Always.” It’s something we’re both paranoid about. The mall is a creepy place at night when nobody’s around. “Were the doors still bolted this morning when you got up?”
“Maybe the person came down the chimney,” I say. “Like some kind of evil Santa Claus.”
She takes a moment to think that over. “That would be difficult, to say the least. Going back up would be even harder. And it doesn’t explain how they got into the mall after hours. Besides, why would somebody break into our house just to steal eggs? If they’re going to go to all the trouble of breaking in, why not steal our computer or my jewelry, or—or—” She gestures toward a jar on the kitchen counter. “—the grocery money?”
Mom always makes sure there’s cash on hand in case I need to run to Shop and Save. The jar is in plain sight. I can see the green bills curled inside, two twenties and a ten.
She’s staring at me expectantly, waiting for more theories about how eight eggs just walked out of our refrigerator. But I’m out of ideas.
“That’s it. No more eggs for us,” my mother says fiercely. “I’m just not going to buy them anymore. If we want eggs, we’ll go out to breakfast.”
“Fine by me,” I say.
She pulls out a chair and plops down at the table. “Jack Caldwell will be saying we’re the prime suspects again. After all, we had opportunity.”
“But not motive,” I say, sitting down across from her. “Maynard’s Shoes isn’t your rival. You don’t sell shoes.” I gnaw at a jagged edge of my thumbnail. “This has happened twice now. Don’t you think we should tell the police?”
“No!” she says immediately. Then, with a sigh, “I don’t know. Maybe.”
“Look, it’s not like we’re guilty,” I remind her. “We’ll just tell the truth and let the police figure things out. That’s what they do.”
A group of teenage girls giggle outside the kitchen window. A relentlessly crying baby goes by. A lady says, “Whatever happened with that friend of yours who found the nest of opossums in her sock drawer?”
Mom is hunched over the table. She says, in a thin voice, “I’m just afraid if the police find out how much you hate living here, they’ll think you’re the one doing the eggings. To get us evicted.”
I’m so flabbergasted, I’m speechless. For a few seconds, anyway. “I can’t believe you would even say that! You think I’m doing the eggings?”
“Not me. But the police might.”
“Oh, so now you’re playing devil’s advocate. Like Jack Caldwell.”
I know what “playing devil’s advocate” means because I looked it up after Jack said it, after Ram tried to say it. It means “taking the opposing viewpoint for the sake of argument.”
“I’m just trying to think like the police. Trying to consider all the possibilities.”
“Oh, yeah?” I stand up, shoving my chair away. “Well, I know I didn’t do the eggings, and you said nobody could have broken into our house. So that leaves you. You must be the guilty party. How’s that for a possibility?”
And I stomp through the living room and storm out the front door.