Elements of Chemistry: Heat Blitz

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Heat
by Penny Reid
Hypothesis #2

Publication Date: April 30, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Romance

Tour: Heat by Penny Reid

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Elements of Chemistry: HEAT is part 2 of a 3 part series (65k word novel) and ends in a cliffhanger.

**Blurb contains spoilers if you haven’t read Elements of Chemistry: ATTRACTION**

Four days left.
Private beach (…and boat).
Not so invisible girl.
And maybe less of a jerk-faced bully than originally thought.
What’s the worst (or the best) that could happen?

Kaitlyn is finding life outside of the science cabinet of obscurity to be quite illuminating …and so are her pants.

When things heat up between Kaitlyn Parker and Martin—previously known as the jerk-faced bully—Sandeke, she places her trust in the one person she never thought capable of earning it, let alone keeping it safe. Fortunately or unfortunately for Kaitlyn, where she gives her trust she can’t help but also give her heart.

But how will the world beyond the sanctuary of their newfound connection react to their relationship? Soon senators, chinless billionaires, and elements beyond Martin and Kaitlyn’s control want to weigh in on the young couple’s future.

Navigating the chaotic inferno of new love might be more than Kaitlyn bargained for, and much, much more than her trust—or her heart—can handle.

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About Penny Reid

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SEX! It all started with sex, between my parents. Personally I don’t like thinking about it, but whatever works for you is a-ok with me. No judgment. The sex happened in California and much of my life also occurred in that state until I moved from the land of nuts (almonds), wine, silicon… boobs, and heavy traffic to the southeast US. Like most writers I like to write, but let’s get back to sex. Eventually I married and gave birth to 2 small people-children (boy-6, girl-4 as of this writing).

By day I’m a biomedical researcher with focus on rare diseases. By night I’m a knitter, sewer, lino block carver, fabric printer, soap maker, and general crafter. By the wee hours of the morning or when I’m intoxicated I love to listen to the voices in my head and let them tell me stories. I hope you enjoy their stories.

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Unsurprisingly Complicated Release Day Blitz

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Claudia Burgoa
Unsurprisingly Complicated
4/30/2015

About the Book

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The lies between my parents and I came to light and now I’m working on a new life for myself. Along the way, I have my trusty superhero, Mason, to lean on when I have a hard time standing or when my crazy ex-boyfriend continues to feel he has a claim on me.

Porter has trouble understanding that there hasn’t been an ‘us’ for more than three years plus all the issues he had brought upon himself. My father was right, drugs do kill. My other concern is the growing feelings I am having regarding Mason. There’s something between us I want to explore but I keep getting mixed signals. Here, I thought that after telling my parents about my lies and having their full support, things wouldn’t be as complicated as they are.

Mason

My parents divorced before I even made my entrance into this world. My father has been obsessed with that love for years while my mother searches for love in all the wrong places. I don’t want a place to call home or a girl I can claim as mine. Except… Ainsley Janine –better known as ‘Nine’—has some special power that makes me question my preferences. The more I try to stay away from her, the more she pulls me closer.

Exploring the possibilities of having something steady in my life isn’t a problem; it’s the long term that worries me. In addition to that, the scumbag she dated years ago keeps popping up everywhere we go. If I could use my license to kill, maybe I can stop worrying about one thing and concentrate on what to do with the green eyed girl who keeps me awake most nights.

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Excerpt

“Are you sure this is okay with you?

“Yes, Mason Bradley.” This is the tenth time he has asked me the question.

“Did you use sex to distract me?”

I clamp my lips together and refuse to answer the question. I wasn’t going to, but he gave me the perfect idea when I was desperate to make a point that his mother had to stay with me.

Of course, now I’m chewing my lip because Mrs. Reality knocks me down with full force. My boyfriend’s mother is staying with me. Not just any woman—his mother. She’s going to judge me, hate me, and, what else do mothers do?

“Does she know about me?”

“No.” He takes his eyes off the road for a second.

My hands slam against my face.

“Of course she knows about you. She’s known about you since you were little, Nine.”

“I don’t mean that way.” I toss my head against the seat and roll my eyes.

“Girlfriend. I mean, I am your girl right?”

“Oh, that detail. You are?”

I groan like a wounded bear.

“It’s a joke. Damn, you get feisty when you’re nervous. Take it easy. Yes, she knows and she’s aware that you and I are dating. You hold the girlfriend title, the girl who tamed me, my other half, the one who holds the key to my cell and that’s why I stick around.”

I suck on my lip as I gift him with my deep, hard glare of ‘die’. “You’re not funny.”

“Oh, I am.” He laughs as I burn with panic, fear, and unamused anger.

My entire body is shaking at the prospect of having the woman in my house for however long she’s staying here.

“How long is she staying?” I’m trying to figure out my schedule for the next few days.

“She didn’t say.” A response that won’t help me with the jitters eating the insides of my stomach or with planning.

Ugh, I put myself into this situation. Great.

“Stop,” he orders. “I’m the only one allowed to nibble those lips. They’re mine.”

He takes my hand and kisses the inside of my wrist. Then his finger caresses my skin soothing the knotted nerves.

“She’s going to like you.”

Not love me? My world is in danger of crumbling as I learn that winning over his mom may be a bigger challenge that I originally thought.

“Oh, God!” I finally let the excruciating panic out.

“What is she going to think about me?” The question comes out of my subconscious. “That we’re going too fast. I mean, you’re practically living in my house, which I love. Each day a new pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and some other item finds a spot in my closet. Scott, your sports car, lives next to Eleanor. Tucker stays at my parents’.”

“Huh, you just noticed?” He kisses my hand again. “To clarify, I’m not living with you. There are a few items I have around to make things simpler when I stay overnight. That brings me to another issue. Stop naming my stuff. It’s a car, not Scott; a truck, not Tucker.” He pats the dashboard.

“Ready?” he taps my nose with his free hand. “Stamp on that pretty smile of yours. That, ‘I’m about to die’ look isn’t flattering. Here they are.”

Mason parks the car in front of a couple. Mr. and Mrs. Daugherty wait for us outside the terminal with their luggage. Mason’s stepfather is only a few inches taller than his wife, bald but with handsome features.

“Wait here,” Mason orders.

Mason’s mom is an inch or two taller than me, maybe five-seven. Porcelain skin with dark almond-shaped eyes and fine, soft features. Dark hair and a smooth complexion, just like I remember her from childhood.

Due to airport restrictions, within seconds Mason shoves their luggage in the trunk and helps his mom into the car as his stepfather did not offer.

“Mother, meet Ainsley Colthurst-Decker, better known as Nine or the girl I casually date.” He used the dorky jokester voice. I narrowed my eyes at him. “My lovely girlfriend. I’m not sure if you remember her. Nine, Mom.”

 

About the Author

claudia burgoaBorn on the mystical day of October 30th in the not so mystical lands of Mexico City, Claudia grew up with a childhood that resembled a caffeine-injected soap opera. Seventeen years ago she ventured to the lands of her techie husband—a.k.a. the U.S.—with their offspring to start a new adventure.

She now lives in Colorado working as a CFO for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, said nerd husband, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.

Connect with the Author

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The Closer You Get Cover Reveal

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Book Title: The Closer You Get (A Fidelity Novel)
Author: Carter Ashby
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 21, 2015
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions

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Book Blurb

If there’s one thing Rye Holcomb hates, it’s small, tight-knit towns with high virtues and zero tolerance for outsiders. Fidelity is just such a town. And Rye is just such an outsider. So when he and his brother, Cash, take jobs in Fidelity, Rye decides not to get too comfortable. Which is why he is avoiding some rather confusing feelings for his new boss, Cora McKay.

Cora was born, raised, and baptized in Fidelity. She owns a thriving construction business, has a close circle of friends, and is the breadwinner for her mother and four sisters. The one thing she lacks is a sex life, something she’s never longed for until now. One conversation with Rye sparks her sexual awakening, and, in spite of his reputation as a man-whore, Cora can’t resist giving in to his advances.

As Rye enjoys initiating his virgin employer, and Cash experiences a relationship with a man for the first time in his life, they begin to think of Fidelity as home. But small towns have brought them trouble in the past, and it appears Fidelity holds trouble for their future. Can their newfound relationships be enough to overcome a past that relentlessly follows them? Can two men who have been burned by love learn to trust again?

excerpt

He didn’t repeat himself. He hadn’t meant for the words to come out loud. What he asked instead was worse. “Why didn’t you wanna come fishing last night?”

For a moment, surprise and confusion clouded her eyes. She gave her head a little shake and said, “I believe I’ve answered that question. I prefer to keep my work life and social life separate.”

“In a town this size? Is that realistic?”

“It’s worked so far.”

“You were friends with Sam.”

“Sam didn’t flippantly screw every interested party who came his way.”

It wasn’t a literal punch to the gut, but Rye fell back a step anyway. “I’m just…” What? Lonely? Desperate? How was he supposed to finish that sentence?

“Listen, you should go,” she said. “The preacher’s heading this way.”

He blew out a breath, not at all sure of where he was standing. “If that’s the only thing you don’t like about me, we could still be friends. Nothing inappropriate about fishing together.”

“It sounds to me like we have very different definitions of fishing, and I have absolutely no desire to roll around on the river bank with you, Rye.”

That one hurt even worse. He shrugged, hoping the hurt didn’t show in his eyes. “Doesn’t have to be the river bank. We can roll around anywhere you want.”

Cora drew herself up tall, rolling her shoulders back. “Your employment history reads a lot like a rap sheet. Are you sure you want to add ‘sexually harassing your boss’ to the list of misdeeds?”

That was enough for him. The walls came right back up. He plugged the hole in that dam, no longer interested in entertaining someone else’s ideas of right and wrong. “Fuck it. Plenty of fish in the sea. Sorry for bothering you, Mrs. McKay.” He turned on his heel and left.

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Meet the Author

Carter Ashby is a hardworking housewife and homeschool mother by day, and a romance reader and writer by night. She lives in rural Missouri with her husband, three children, and two dogs.

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Dream Girl Book Tour

DREAM GIRL

by S.J. Lomas

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About the Book

For Christine, dreams have never meant much. Until she meets Gabriel. Everyone thinks Christine should stay away from her new coworker at the library-thanks to his bad reputation-but when her dreams grow more vivid and she becomes entangled in a dangerous dream world with Gabriel every night, she can’t stay away. Soon it’s clear there is far more to dreams than Christine ever imagined, and now she’s on the path to making the biggest, and strangest, decision of her life.

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Excerpt

I walked down a moonlit street. It smelled like smoldering autumn leaves but there was no chill in the air. Wind slowly blew through the trees and made their leaves whisper. Everything else was quiet.

The wind curled around me, but this time it brought a few drops of rain with it. Glancing at the sky, I noticed clouds gathering over the moon. It dawned on me that I should get back home and go to bed. I looked around and, for the first time, realized I wasn’t in my neighborhood. This neighborhood resembled a set from a musical rather than a real street. The houses were big and imposing, like something from My Fair Lady. At any moment, I expected to see Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn strolling toward me. The thought of wandering through an old movie scene, alone, at night caused cold goose bumps to rise on my arms. Keep it together, Christine. I tried to stay reasonable.

Was it safer to go back the way I’d come or keep going into unknown territory? I didn’t remember going for a walk anyway. Basically, turning back was no different than continuing on. I took another quick scan of the street to see if anyone else was out. Nothing stirred. Even the wind had deserted me.

I tried to grab hold of my courage. There had to be a logical explanation for this and it wasn’t like I could have wandered too far from home. I decided my best bet was to turn around and go the way I’d apparently come. Maybe something would look familiar eventually and I’d be snuggled in my bed soon.

I turned and the wind rushed past my ears. “Christine,” it sighed, producing the effect of ice water dripping down my spine. The voice was soft, but I had not imagined it.

What Others are Saying

“Told in very short chapters with alternating points-of-view, Dream Girl tells an enticing story of friendship, adventure, and determining one’s path in life.” – Randy-Lynne Wach, Review for San Francisco Book Review

“This part-adventure/part-romance will keep readers on the edge of their seats while trying to figure out where it all will end. This will appeal to fans of the Abandon series by Meg Cabot.” – Deborah L. Dubois, Voice of Youth Advocates, (VOYA)

About the Author

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S.J. Lomas is a cheerful Michigan native who writes strange and somewhat dark stories. She is a wife, mother, librarian, and definitely a dreamer.

Connect with the Author

Website * Goodreads * Facebook

Twitter: @SJLomasAuthor

 

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S.J. Lomas will reward a $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter.

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Leather and Lace Book Tour

Leather and Lace

A Tempered Steel Novel

By Maggie Adams

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Sam Coalson, ex-Navy Seal, has returned to Grafton for the wedding of his brother. After being run out of town fifteen years ago for a crime he didn’t commit, he’s determined to claim what is rightfully his and take on anyone crazy enough to try and stop him.

Angel Devereaux is smart, sexy and definitely on Sam’s blacklist. After siding with Sam’s enemy fifteen years ago, Angel can’t help but wonder what if….what if Sam had never left? What if he could forgive her now? She had her reasons, but he won’t listen. So enough with words, sometimes action is exactly what’s called for.

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“Well, if it isn’t the Angel of Mercy. Have you come to administer to the weak and injured? I’m afraid you’re a little too late. Everyone’s been patched up. Of course you can always kiss the boo-boos, can’t you?” Sam drawled as he shifted position on the railing.

Angel felt a blush heat her cheeks at his words and started to turn away. This was obviously a mistake. She was getting nowhere with him. She saw him wince as he moved and she turned back. “Were you really hurt?”

“Yeah, I’m in a lot of pain. Do you think you can help me?” he drawled as he passed his hand across his brow.

Angel immediately became solicitous. “Where are you hurt?” She ran up the front porch steps. She looked him over, searching for injury.

“Here.” Sam smiled and pointed to his groin. She could see his erection tenting his jeans. “Still want to help?”

Angel stiffened in outrage. “You bast…”

“Tsk, tsk, tsk. Careful there, Angel baby, you wouldn’t want to tarnish that halo, would you?” He hefted himself off the railing and came to stand next to her.

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Book One – Whistlin’ Dixie

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Hi! I’m Maggie Adams. I live near St. Louis, MO with my high school sweetheart, Ned, (married thirty years) and my wonderful kids, Katie (Kyle) and Ross (Valerie). My life is like a walking, talking sitcom from I Love Lucy, but I love it, although people do tend to keep their distance from me! Writing has always been my dream, with reading my favorite hobby. I try to include a little bit of my life in everything I write, so when you read my books, keep your eyes wide open – I’m in there somewhere! Happy reading!

For more about me and my books, contact me at https://www.maggieadamsbooks.com

And you can find me here as well: Facebook, Goodreads, TSU, Amazon, and Twitter.

Lift4Autism MegaGiveaway Week 4

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The last week of LIFT is here! What an amazing ride the last month has been, raising awareness, acceptance and action on behalf of families living with Autism.

And if you missed the LIFT t-shirts, there’s still a chance! Reserve yours in our “round two” LIFT order today! Don’t be left out when we have LIFT selfie day!

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This week’s MegaGiveaway highlights and benefits Autism Speaks, the largest Autism organization in the world, fighting for research, legislation and services for ASD families.

And our LIFT “anchor” authors, bringing it home this last week with amazing prizes:

A. Meredith Walters

Angie McKeon

Claudia Burgoa

Cora Brent

D. Kelly

Elizabeth Kelly

Freya Barker

Gypsy Rae Choszer

Jacinda Buchmann

Kemmie Michaels

Kennedy Ryan

Laurelin Paige

S.C. Stephens

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Wild Heat Release Day Blitz

Wild Heat

by Lucy Monroe

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Sometimes old flames are the hottest of all . . .
In the quaint little town of Cailkirn, Alaska, it’s impossible to keep a secret, especially one as juicy as the unexpected return of Kitty Grant. Tack MacKinnon remembers her wild red curls and even wilder spirit—and still feels the sting from when she shattered his heart in college. But there’s a pain in Kitty’s gorgeous eyes that guts him to the core and Tack is determined to do whatever it takes to see the woman he still loves smile again—even if it means taking on her demons as his own.
After fleeing an abusive ex-husband, Kitty decides that the best way to heal her broken heart is to come back home. But she gets a whole new shock when she sees how undeniably sexy Tack has become. More handsome, more muscular, more charming—more everything—he’s impossible to resist. Before she knows it, they’re reigniting sparks that could set the whole state of Alaska on fire. Yet trust doesn’t come easy to Kitty anymore, and as things heat up between her and Tack, she can’t help but wonder if one of them is going to get burned . . .


With more than 7 million copies of her books in print worldwide, award winning and USA Today bestseller Lucy Monroe has published over 60 books and had her stories translated for sale all over the world.  While she writes multiple subgenres of romance, all of her books are sexy, deeply emotional and adhere to the concept that love will conquer all.  A passionate devotee of romance, she adores sharing her love for the genre with her readers.
Author Media Links:
Her Official Website http://lucymonroe.com

 


Seeker Release Day Blitz

 
✢ ✢ ✢ The Seeker NOW AVAILABLE! ✢ ✢ ✢
(Book One of the Seeker Series)
by authors Amy Reece
 
Genre: YA/Paranormal/Romance/Suspense 
 
 
 
✢ SYNOPSIS 
Ally Moran has always just known about things—things she shouldn’t really be able to know… 

Suddenly when she starts having vivid visions about a former friend who is in desperate trouble, the adults in her life think she might hold the key to an ancient mystery. 

Jack Ruiz has a troubled past, but is trying to make a fresh start at a new high school… 

He just wants to keep his head down and graduate, hopefully before he turns 20. The last thing he needs is to get involved with a feisty redhead and her psychic visions. 

While Jack valiantly attempts to keep Ally at arm’s length, she is equally determined to be a part of his life. Who will win this battle of wills? 

More importantly… 

Can this unlikely couple work together to find answers to Ally’s visions before someone gets killed?
The Seeker is Book One is a Series
✢ ✢ ✢ One Click Your Copy NOW ✢ ✢ ✢
 
Amy Reece
Amy Reece lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and family. She loves to read and travel and has an unhealthy addiction to dogs. She loves wine and friends, in that order. Stay tuned for the rest of The Seeker Series, coming Summer and Fall 2015
 
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Gypsy Release Blitz

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Grayson “Gypsy” Gabor loves the ladies. As a matter of fact, the more the merrier. Life is good. That is until a mishap with a sexy-as-hell redhead leaves them mated. The eldest of vampires, Vlad Tepes, gives him a choice: Keep her or give her up for all eternity to his one-time best friend, Anton.

Tamera Cantrell sets her sights on the Vice President of the Sons of Sangue, Gypsy. But after a night gone wrong, she finds herself caught between one vampire who hates her and one who adores her. Now Tamera’s only got three short months to prove to the one who despises her that he can’t live without her.

Add in one Mexican Cartel, a vindictive primordial vampire, and a rival MC out for blood, and Gypsy has his hands full with club business. When Tamera’s life becomes endangered, Gypsy must act quick or chance losing her forever.

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** SONS OF SANGUE SERIES **

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VIPER (SONS OF SANGUE, BOOK 1)

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HAWK (SONS OF SANGUE, BOOK 2)

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button About the author

A daydreamer at heart, Patricia A. Rasey, resides in her native town in Northwest Ohio with her husband, Mark, and her lovable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Todd.

Ms. Rasey is a three-time recipient of the Word Weaving Award for Literary Excellence and a three-time winner of the prestigious RIO Award Of Excellence. She is also a three-time EPPIE finalist and was a 2001 nominee for Romantic Times Magazine’s Best Electronic Book. Additionally, Twilight Obsessions and Twilight Visions, two anthologies she was a part of, was nominated for the PEARL, the Paranormal Excellence Award in Romantic Literature, in the Best Anthology category. Her short story, In The Mind of Darkness won the P&E 2002 Horror short story category.

When not behind her computer, you can find Patricia working, reading, watching movies or MMA. She also enjoys spending her free time at the river camping with her husband and two sons. Ms. Rasey is currently a third degree Black Belt in American Freestyle Karate.

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His Captive Princess Release Day Blitz

 

His Captive Princess
by Sandra Jones
Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Release Date: April 28, 2015

 

 

Earned respect is sweet, but deserved revenge is even sweeter.

Warren de Tracy was assured the Welsh village of Dinefwr would be an easy conquest, as would the widow of its fallen prince. Wedding her will appease the locals and win the respect of his liege, the usurper King Stephen.

Instead, Warren is ambushed, taken prisoner by a hooded Welshwoman with skin that glows like moonlight. If he must die at her hands, at least his honorable death will silence the whispers of disloyalty hanging over his name.

Princess Eleri has never seen a knight as stoic—and as eager to die—as Warren. She’d love to oblige the bastard, but something in his ocean-blue eyes stays her hand. Plus, suspicion nags at her, for the arrows that wounded him and killed his men are Norman, not Welsh.

A ghostly prophecy portends danger that thrusts the enemies closer together, where hate explodes into passion that won’t allow Eleri to surrender Warren to her vengeful clan. But returning him to his king breaks more than it mends…and for Warren, retaliation will be sweet, indeed.

 

 

Copyright © 2015 Sandra Jones

All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publicationCantref Mawr, Deheubarth, Wales, Winter 1136 A.D.

Warren de Tracy had led battles on two different continents against formidable enemies of the Church and his Norman kings, and for his efforts he’d won spurs, a barony, more than a few scars and a complete lack of fear, which had served him well. Ironically, of all his venerable foes, a lowly dog killed him.

He watched the speckled greyhound resting on its dead master’s chest, growling low at him, the stranger in its territory. The mongrel had already betrayed his Welsh owner’s hiding spot in the dense thicket by protectively snarling at one of Warren’s mounted knights. Then his hotheaded young soldier had wheeled back for the rebel enemy without caution, earning him a fatal arrow to the heart.

Making perhaps the worst tactical error of his life, Warren had followed to check on his fallen man. The dog, far from done, howled over its master’s fate, thus calling attention to Warren’s presence, too. That was when an arrow from God-only-knew-where in the surrounding woods took him by surprise, its force unseating him. Quick and efficient, these archers were so stealthy he’d never seen their faces.

Now left to travel afoot with a useless sword arm, Warren collapsed at the base of an ancient yew a few yards away from the two bodies. He stripped off his gloves and snapped the arrow’s wooden shaft in half, leaving the barb lodged in his muscle. Ice-hot pain exploded through his chest.

Sang Dieu!” He cradled his throbbing arm and waited, head swimming and shoulder bleeding, as the voices from the skirmish went silent.

All five of his men were dead. He felt it in his bones. Soon he would join them, but not nearly soon enough.

Ever since King Henry had died earlier that year, the Welsh princes had led revolts trying to take back lands they had lost in the Norman invasion. King Stephen, the new usurper, had ordered Warren to claim the Welsh Deheubarth camp of Dinefwr for Warren’s own. All Warren had ever wanted was to gain the respect of his liege. King Stephen had also told Warren to take one of the Welsh princesses for a bride, which, along with promises of clemency and protection, would surely appease the locals. Furthermore, his liege had suggested, the widow of one of the recently fallen princes would be “receptive” to the offer.

How wrong the king had been.

If only Warren had known there would be a rebel spy waiting upon the shore when they landed. Now the entire conroi was dead as a result.

At least none of Warren’s brothers had been with him this time. He could die without more shame hanging over his head. His half-brother would live to look after their little sister. With Warren dying honorably in battle, there would be no more questions of his loyalty, no more whispers of treason.

The dead soldier’s quick end was a blessing compared to Warren’s wound. The arrow in his shoulder wouldn’t budge, proving it was a ruthless Norman barb, probably stolen from one of Warren’s men, and the broken shaft offered no purchase with which to maneuver it. Each time he touched the splintered wood, a burst of fire spread through his chest. His heavy sword was meant for hacking bone, not useful for quickening his death, but perhaps he could knock himself unconscious while he waited for the arms of everlasting rest.

He leaned against the tree and battered the back of his skull, but the beating only made his head ache and his vision blur. The agony of his shoulder remained.

He closed his eyes before the reeling made him vomit.

Despite the absence of wind, the nearby trees rustled softly. Warren cracked an eye open. A hooded rebel stood near De Gouin’s body. As silently as the first, another dark-hooded figure dropped from the branches above. Dressed in deerskin chausses and heavy tunics, they studied the soldier’s corpse. Bon sang!Welsh rebels. Or Cymreig, as they called themselves. The smaller one nudged the dead knight’s arm with a booted foot. Bows resting casually on their backs, the pair hadn’t seemed to notice Warren.

His left hand tightened around the sword’s hilt. One good throw would fell one of the lightweight bastards, but he had no way of fending off the other.

As if sensing Warren’s intentions, the greyhound’s growl deepened, and it glanced uncertainly between Warren and the rebels. The archers were still too far away to hear, too absorbed in retrieving his soldier’s weapons, but the dog might change that. His barking would bring them around, turning their attention to Warren. He couldn’t let that happen. He was ready to die but not to be shamefully taken alive as a hostage for the local chieftain, where he would surely find unimaginable tortures.

He adjusted his grip on the sword in his left hand. His arm shook from the loss of blood.

The beast hunkered over his master’s body, putting more of its belly on top of the man’s chest. Caesar, Warren’s own trained mastiff, would do the same. Now staring into this animal’s brown eyes, he saw unwavering loyalty and trust, so like Caesar’s.

The greyhound licked the dead Welshman’s face, and the sight put a knot in Warren’s throat. He’d never harmed an animal before, nor would he this day.

Before the wary tension in his muscles could relax, the dog woofed in his direction.

Damned traitor!

The enemies swiveled around. Assessing the situation, they drew their swords.

In Warren’s foggy vision, the two swarmed toward him like sylvan elves, multiplying as yet more rebels fell from the tree, at least a half-dozen of his enemies.

The first pair stood over him with weapons extended, while the newcomers surrounded their own fallen warrior and his canine.

Gorthwr fud.” The one who’d kicked De Gouin spoke at him in a puzzle of confusing sounds, but the sneered tone was perfectly clear. More puzzling than the guttural language Warren had been trying to decipher since arriving on the Glamorgan shore a few days ago was the fact that the rebel’s voice was female, low and husky. The accented tones would be interesting, he reckoned, if they weren’t so full of hate.

He blinked hard to clear the cobwebs in his vision. A pale oval shape loomed before him, and soon he focused on a pair of dark golden eyes in a face with skin that seemed to glow as if lit by moonlight. She dropped her hood for a better look at him, revealing wild plaits of flaming red hair, which dangled around her perfect face.

 

 

 

 

Sandra is the author of historical romances, including the River Rogues series, set in frontier America. With more than 20 years working as a bookseller and then a librarian, she found her true calling in writing. Always looking for the next story to tell, she makes her home on a river in the Ozark Mountains. When not working on her next book, she enjoys doing genealogy research (she’s a descendant of a Norman knight), playing cook for her husband and being the servant to her old grumpy tomcat. She has two sons in college and loves sharing lengthy discussions about the books they read. Sandra also loves hearing from her readers.