It’s time for a new round of Medieval Monday! For this round, our theme is “First Encounter,” that moment when the hero and heroine first meet. Every Monday for the next 13 weeks, I’ll feature a snippet from a medieval romance and tell you where to find the next bit of the story.
My excerpt (broken into 13 snippets) is from the award-nominated Shadow of the Swan, the third of The Novels of Ravenwood, so it’s the first encounter of Sir Robert le Donjon and Lady Constance. If you comment on my snippets, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a signed print copy of the book. Without further ado, here’s the beginning of my characters’ first encounter:
Not twelve steps away was a table covered in red cloth that hung an inch shy of the ground. Bolts of fabric sat on top, but the clothier was nowhere in sight. ’Twould make the perfect hiding place.
Avoiding the gaggle of geese, she dashed to the table and crouched on the ground beneath it. The red, woolen fabric created the thinnest of barriers, but she was grateful for it. With any luck, Dominy would pass right by and never notice.
Two male voices came within earshot and grew louder as the men paused in front of the table. One sounded younger, belonging to a body of six- or seventeen years; the other voice was seasoned, yet soothing.
The latter spoke. “You have need of new cloth?”
“I see. You wouldn’t be trying to impress a certain handmaiden, would you?”
The younger man sighed. “Alice. How did you guess?”
“I have eyes, Guy.”
“And a nose like a hound, if I may say so.”
The man addressed as “sir”—a knight, perchance?—chuckled and slid the tip of his boot beneath the red fabric.
Dust swirled and tickled her nostrils. She fought a sneeze, but it exploded three seconds later.
The laughter ceased. “Did you hear something?”
“Aye, sir. A sneeze. It came from under there.”
Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a signed print copy of Shadow of the Swan, and follow along next week on Elisabeth Hobbes’s blog: https://elisabethhobbes.co.uk
A little more about the book:
Lady Constance de Bret was determined to be a nun, until shadows from the past eclipsed her present. Marriage is the safest option, but she insists on a spiritual union, in which physical intimacy is forbidden. Not so easy with a bridegroom who wields unparalleled charm! But a long-buried secret could taint his affection and cloak her in shadow forever.
Back from the Crusades, Sir Robert le Donjon craves a home of his own and children to inherit it. From the moment he meets Constance, he feels a mysterious bond between them. When she’s threatened, he vows to protect her and agrees to the spiritual marriage, with the hope of one day persuading her to enjoy a “real” one. She captivates him but opens old wounds and challenges everything he thought he believed.
Two souls in need of healing. Two hearts destined to beat as one.
Buy the book (which happens to be on sale for 99 cents at the moment):
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadow-of-the-swan-judith-sterling/1127751024?ean=2940158925597
See you next Monday!