Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#RomanticTravel to Italy ~ #regency #excerpt Pirate's Debt @#!/katherinelbone


Please welcome Katherine Bone who will share a fall romantic travel idea with us.

 Ahoy, Lady Kathleen! It’s great to be sharing one of my FAVorite #RomanticTravel destinations with you and your readers today. Thanks for having me aboard!

There’s nothing more romantic than traveling to Italy! One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited was La Maddalena, Sardinia. As a young 24 year old, the ferry ride from the mainland to the island of La Maddalena was a huge thrill. One the island, I’d never seen clearer or bluer water. La Maddalena was/is a romantic paradise sure to please lovers of all kinds.



For you readers out there who prefer pumpkin picking and football (I live in Alabama after all), my latest release offers an epic escape to Cornwall!

The Pirate’s Debt, Regent’s Revenge book 2




Lady Chloe Walsingham is an enthusiastic gothic romance reader and hopeless romantic focused solely on finding her perfect hero. She also happens to have a penchant for getting into trouble. So when the man she loves disappears after a scandalous duel, she decides to follow him to the ends of the Earth. To do so, however, Chloe must evade her brother, an infamous revenue man, and board a ship bound for Penzance. And nothing in her beloved books can prepare her for the harsh realities of wreckers who ply the coast.

After his father destroyed the lives of countless innocent people, Basil Halford, Earl of Markwick is willing to do anything to earn back his honor. Betrayed by his blood and his reputation ruined, Markwick answers the request of a well-heeled duke and dons the Black Regent’s mask to repay the debt. His task? Rescuing a young woman who is chasing down a ghost of a man.

But a pirate has plenty of enemies, and Markwick isn’t any different. No matter how diligent a captain he may be, sailing to Lady Chloe’s rescue involves risking not only the Regent’s legacy but the last thing he can afford to lose…his heart.





Amazon           Nook           Kobo           Apple



~ Excerpt ~



Markwick stiffened. Blackmoor’s reasons for enlisting Markwick’s help were triggered by love for his wife. Markwick’s sense of responsibility went deeper, to a place he’d never allowed himself to go out of respect for Walsingham. While it was true that Chloe had exceeded many levels of Markwick’s patience when she was younger, since his engagement to Prudence, she’d shown herself to be intelligent, talented, loyal, and a most beloved sister and friend. She was also enamored by the Black Regent, which put his identity at even greater risk.

What could he do? How far was he willing to go to bring Chloe home safe and sound?

“For the duchess’s sake,” he began, “I will do my best to find Chloe. You have my word.”

“Remember, her willful head is in the clouds. That, dear friend, makes her dangerous. If she spies her brother, she will most likely flee to avoid facing his ire. But if you find her . . . well, that is a trap well laid.”

“Surely you place too much—”

“I’ve promised my wife that you will find her before Walsingham does.”

Markwick bowed. “I shall strive to earn your confidence.”

He gazed at the missive in Blackmoor’s hand once more, suspecting something else was responsible for the duke’s persistence that Markwick should be the one to locate Chloe. “What’s in the letter?”

Blackmoor handed him the missive, then strode to the door. “Have a care for your soul, Markwick. While the Fury demands forte, females rein a tempest of emotions sure to drown better men.”

Markwick straightened. “Aye, sir,” he said, gazing down at the note.

The screen door slammed. When he looked up again, Blackmoor was gone.

Markwick opened the note, then leaned back on the desk. His jaw slackened at the words on the page.



My dearest friend,



I ask you one question: is a body unhappy about another unless she is in love? I fear we both know the answer to that now, and a gentle violence thrills my soul as I share with you that I intend to sail with the tide. I cannot face the snares and wiles of this world without love to recommend me. Therefore, I beseech you to keep my secret, for you are the only one I trust.



Markwick has disappeared. As you are no longer betrothed, I am finally at liberty to confess to you that I love him. I have always loved him, and I cannot bear for him to suffer alone. Sources close to my brother inform me that a man fitting Markwick’s description has been seen in Torquay. Therefore, I’ve attained passage for myself and my maid aboard the Valerian.



Do not be alarmed for my person or harden your heart against me. Dry your earnest tears. My virtuous intentions steer me toward a higher destiny.



Resourcefully yours,

Chloe Walsingham



Markwick shut his gaping mouth, then crumpled the letter in his hand.

It couldn’t be true. Blackmoor was right? Chloe loved him? How was that possible? Why? Until now, he had always perceived her attention as infatuation because he’d been the only man her brother allowed around her.

He dropped the foolscap and swiped his fingers through his hair. If he failed to rescue Chloe from another one of her outlandish adventures, Prudence would blame him. Which meant Blackmoor would blame him. Not to mention Chloe’s brother. If Walsingham found out Markwick had known where Chloe was bound and hadn’t alerted him, the bond between friends would be severed for good, making his stint as the Black Regent even more perilous. If anything happened to her, Walsingham would not rest until Markwick was hunted down. That endangered the Regent’s whole design. And a dead Regent could not help the people of Cornwall and Devon.

Markwick hopped forward and yanked open the cabin’s screen door.

Pye stood there, just outside the door, waiting. “What be your orders, Cap’n?”

Had Blackmoor ordered the one-legged pirate to stand there? “Notify the crew that we have a target in our sights. We make way with the tide.”

“Aye, sir.” The salty pirate grinned. “As soon as I’d seen the ol’ cap’n, I knew we’d have us an adventure ahead.”

“Spare me your excitement,” Markwick grumbled. “This adventure may very well lead to my bloody end.”

Katherine Bone



National best-selling historical romance author Katherine Bone has been passionate about history since she had the opportunity to travel to various Army bases, castles, battlegrounds, and cathedrals as an Army brat turned officer’s wife. Who knew that an Army wife’s passion for romance novels would lead to pirates? Certainly not her rogue, whose Alma Mater’s adage is “Go Army. Beat Navy!” Now enjoying the best of both worlds, Katherine lives with her rogue in the south where she writes about rogues, rebels, and rakes—aka pirates, lords, captains, duty, honor, and country—and the happily-ever-afters that every alpha male and damsel deserve.



Ports of Call:













Hard Social Media Links, if needed:




















Hard buy links, if needed:












Monday, September 26, 2016

#RomanticTravel to La Ville Lumière + Seeking Hope @JMMaurer1


Welcome to my blog, J.M. Maurer! I'm letting readers in on a little secret.  J.M. Maurer's fall romantic idea is to travel to La Ville Lumière which is Paris, the city of lights.
Can you tell us about your trilogy, J.M.?

In the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, we meet Jessica Winters. She is determined to dig her way out from under the dark clouds of depression and once again find the light of life, love, and happiness. With help from Dr. Matthew Moi, a psychiatrist/sex therapist who has been secretly in love with her for years, she finds herself living again. But with someone out to get Jessica, Matthew pledges to stop at nothing to protect the love of his life. In time, he seizes an opportunity for a safe haven at his family home in France. With their wedding on the horizon, will he get Jess to safety in time? Will things end tragically, or will their journey to The City of Light be more than romantic?


 Wouldn't Paris be perfect for romantic travel!



Blurb for Seeking Hope (Emerging From Darkness Trilogy Book 3), contemporary romance 18+



I’d been given promises in the past, all of which were broken.

Inevitably, they broke me.

I wouldn’t let those broken promises stop me from believing in new ones, though.

I couldn’t.



Matthew Moi was different.

His dimpled smile and witty sexual banter has held me spellbound since day one.

Falling in love with him came easy.

Marrying him—a dream come true.



Now, he wants something I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for.

As I struggle, he faithfully remains at my side.

Through it all, his protective nature shields me from an evil I didn’t see coming.



Together, we have it all—love, passion, trust.

Apart, the possibilities are endless, even death.



Seeking Hope is the final book in the Emerging From Darkness trilogy, and as such, is not intended to be a standalone. The trilogy reads as: Seeking Love, Seeking Redemption, & Seeking Hope.



Follow Jessica and Matthew’s captivating and steamy love story from the beginning—start the trilogy today!





Excerpt:



Late September



For the first time in a long time, I had an itch to do something ridiculous—two things, in fact. One was the reason I was sitting in the back of a musty old van. The other might just be the solution to my Holly problem.

At least I hoped so, because while my mind should have been racing with thoughts of my upcoming wedding, it wasn’t. Instead, I was thinking of my best friend. Problem was, no matter how I launched my plan to help Holly move beyond her commitment issue with Burdick, it wasn’t going to go over well. And the more I thought about her, the more I dreaded the growing possibility of a headache. I’d just gotten over a nasty headache and was now attempting to shake off the likelihood of another when the van rolled to a stop and the driver’s voice muttered in the distance.

“We’re here.”

Okay, Jess. You’ve got your plan and it’s a good one.

I was about to remind myself to stick to said plan when the driver hopped out and moved to my side of the van, his open door ushering in a blast of autumn air that chilled my skin. I shivered and scooted to the edge of my seat, waiting for what was to come next. The shrill of metal sliding over metal pierced my ears as the door slid open, and rough skin wrapped a secure hold on my wrist. This was it.

“End of the line.” His gruff tone registered somewhere between the brief time it took him to pull me out and when his tall, burly features came into full view. He snickered as I pulled the hem of my pullover down and worked to smooth it out. Judging by the way his eyes scanned up my body, I presumed his outburst had everything to do with my appearance. After all, this was the first time I’d pieced together an outfit for such an outdoorsy occasion. Eventually, he calmed and took my hand, turning it palm up. “You don’t want to forget this.”

Instinctively, my fingers clasped a tight grip around the cold steel as I stood, staring down at the black metal, hoping I’d do it right. I’d never held a gun before. They all made me nervous. Fact was, with a gun in the wrong hands, things could quickly turn ugly.

I knew all about ugly.

Drawing my attention his way, the driver stretched a tattooed arm, pointed a finger, and then offered his last words of advice. “Never give up.”

I swallowed back a lump of fear, absorbing a deeper meaning of the phrase, and took off running. For what seemed like forever, I ran up and down hills, climbed over a few sizeable rocks, jumped a tiny brook, and pushed forward until I needed to recharge and bring my thoughts back into focus.

At best guess, I’d been in the woods for several hours, alternating between steady jogs in the direction I was supposed to go and quick respites to catch my breath. I wasn’t sure exactly where I was, but as far as I could see, there was nothing but dense forest—and me. Panting, I leaned against a tree and listened to the rustle of withered leaves moving with the breeze.

One thing was comforting: I hadn’t run into anyone. Yet.

Crack.





Buy links:



Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HQU6B22



Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seeking-hope-jm-maurer/1123600085?ean=2940152945317



Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/seeking-hope-1








Bio:



J.M. Maurer started working as a registered nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where she cared for critically ill children, transported them from outlying hospitals, and even picked up overtime hours treating patients of all ages while inside a hyperbaric chamber. Holding a Bachelor's degree in nursing, she loves to write about strong characters and their struggles in life.



When not writing, you can find her spending time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, or attempting most any sport. She resides in Chicago with her husband and son.



Social Media Links:















Amazon Author Page: bit.ly/AmznJMMaurer

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#Tirgearr #paranormal #romance TOUCHED by @abbeymacmunn


 Welcome author Abbey MacMunn and her fantasy romance novel,

TOUCHED

Abbey MacMunn


Tirgearr Publishing





Buy links:









Blurb:          



When inquisitive antique dealer Cami Wilson learns she’s the revered offspring of an immortal mother and a mortal father, it’s not just her hybrid status that has her all flustered. The title comes with her very own super-sexy guardian.

Jaded immortal Joseph Carlisle has only one thing on his mind; his sworn duty to protect the hybrid from those who wish her harm. Anything else would be complicated. That is until they meet. 

Chemistry sizzles between them but there’s a problem—the hybrid’s curse. Cami’s touch, skin to skin, proves near fatal to her and all immortals, Joseph included.

But the fated lovers discover her curse is the least of their concerns when a friend’s deadly betrayal threatens to tear them apart forever.







Excerpt:



Cami Wilson shoved her things back into her pockets, including the curious brooch that started this craziness, and walked back into the pub.

Joseph and Daniel sat in a secluded area not far from the blazing fire.

She’d have to be blind not to notice the two brothers were seriously hot. Both had the type of ripped, muscular bodies most women drooled over, evident now they had removed their coats, but Joseph… oh boy, Joseph intrigued her. The wall of reserve he used as a shield and the ‘stay away’ warning in his eyes ought to be enough to make her wary, but there was something about Joseph that excited and frightened her at the same time. The moody attitude, together with the hint of sorrow and loneliness reflected in those amazing, glacier-blue eyes made her curious to know what was going on behind them. What he strived so hard to conceal.

Cami slipped out of her coat and hung it on the back of the chair, aware two sets of eyes watched her every move. Again her appearance bothered her. She’d dressed in tight jeans, a tad snug over her rounded, too-big backside, and a knitted cardigan with a hole in the armpit.

Why did they have to be so ridiculously good looking?

She sat opposite them, aimed for unflustered but suspected her burning cheeks gave her insecurities away.

She glanced at the roaring fire and took her cardigan off, revealing a fitted, short-sleeve blouse which accentuated her slim waist but showed more cleavage than she was comfortable with. Not that she had much of a cleavage. She took a breath. Okay, Cami, stop worrying about what you look like and just come straight out with it.

Shoulders squared, she slapped her palms on the table and fired a round of questions with the tenacity of an interrogator—or at least she intended to sound like one. ‘Who are you? Who is trying to kill me? What do you know about my brooch? And what the hell are immortals and guardians?’



Author Bio:

Abbey MacMunn writes paranormal, fantasy and sci fi romance. She lives in Hampshire, UK with her husband and their four children. She is a proud member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

When she’s not writing, she likes to watch films and TV shows – anything from rom-coms to superheroes to science fiction movies.


Contact links:








Monday, September 19, 2016

#RomanticTravel Fall Beauty along #NatchezTrace #Giveaway @pat_preston


Welcome to my blog, Patricia Preston. Please share your tip for fall romantic trave


I love autumn and the Natchez Trace in Tennessee has provided me with plenty of

inspiration for the fictional setting, Lafayette Falls, that I’m using in my contemporary romances for Lyrical Shine. The drive is leisurely and stunning along the Trace in the fall. This is a national parkway so there are no stores, gas stations, power lines or commercial traffic on the Trace. It is steeped with history along with pastoral beauty. Great for photographers.




So if you want to get out on a pretty fall day for a drive and a picnic, check out these places.

Rock Creek. You can skip across the creek on square rocks. Fall Hollow is a lovely waterfall. I used it as a model for the waterfall in my book. It is an easy walk from the roadside. Jackson Fall is a larger waterfall and a longer hike from the road. There is also a portion of the original Trace that you can hike. This is the path Jackson’s army took on the way home from the Battle of New Orleans. One of my favorite overlooks is Baker’s Bluff which features a working 19-century farm. To learn more about all the sightseeing stops along the Trace, go to https://www.nps.gov/natr/index.htm     




I’m celebrating the coming of fall and the release of my first book in my new contemporary romance series by giving away a batch of my Kindle ebooks and a $20 Amazon gift card. You can enter by leaving a comment and email on this blog and extra entries by going to my Giveaway post on my blog: http://patricia-preston.blogspot.com/2016/08/celebrating-new-release-monthbatch-of.html  Drawing will be on Sept 30th. Winner notified via email.





One Week in Paradise Blurb:



IT STARTED WITH A FLING...

Six years ago, Dr. Marla Grant gave into temptation with a gorgeous man. Now the medical director of Lafayette Falls Community Clinic and a single mom to a little girl, Marla finds herself in a dilemma when the funding for the community clinic is threatened by none other than the powerful man of her long-ago fling and unsuspecting father of her child...

Carson Blackwell has never forgotten bright, beautiful Marla. When he discovers that she works at the clinic his grandmother's foundation sponsors, it's the perfect opportunity to end to his ongoing infatuation and use his leverage to cement a new business deal. He needs a fake girlfriend for one week in Hawaii, and Marla is just the woman for the job. It's a win-win situation, until they realize the attraction between them isn't feigned, and the heat has never died down. Only the secrets they're both keeping stand in the way of a future together and a love that could last a lifetime.



Excerpt: 



She picked up the letter opener. Her heart palpitated in sheer terror as she slid the opener under the flap of the envelope. With the envelope open, she peeped inside to see one folded sheet of stationery.

After six years, what could he possibly have to say?

She pictured him, standing beside a black truck in the drive of Royal Oaks, an old estate belonging to his grandmother. She recalled the date. June twenty-eighth. The day they had said goodbye had been a warm, blustery day in Tennessee. A summer storm was heading toward the rolling hills near Nashville.

The wind made a mess of Carson’s unruly dark hair. His dark blue eyes were hidden by a pair of mirrored lens aviators, and his alpha-male physique tested the seams of his polo shirt.

“If I’m ever back in town, I’ll look you up,” he promised as their casual affair came to an inevitable end. For three weeks, they had been together and finally, the time had come for them to go their separate ways. She hadn’t realized it would be so difficult.

“Sure.” She forced a smile of goodwill. After all, they weren’t parting in anger, or in love for that matter. And it was unlikely that she would ever see him again.

“I had a great time,” she confessed boldly. She’d loved every minute of their brief, steamy affair. Talk about a summer break to remember. She grinned.

He gave her cheek a stroke. “You’ll make a great doctor.”

“You think so?”

“Yeah.” He grinned. “You certainly know all there is to know about male anatomy.”

“Yours, at least.” She laughed. Then she hopped up on her toes and gave him a quick kiss. “Goodbye, Carson Blackwell.”

She stepped away from him. Now was the time to face what was ahead. A grueling three-year residency. There would be no more time for long summer nights, tangled sheets, and sighs against swollen lips. She walked toward her small, sturdy hatchback. Before she opened the driver’s door, she looked up and met his gaze.

“Goodbye,” he called.

At that moment, she’d had an odd sensation in her chest that her life was never going to be the same. Then she laughed at her silliness. A summer fling with a guy just passing through was not something that changed your life. For her, completing her residency would be the life changer.

She had watched Carson drive off into the sunset.

Never to be seen or heard from again until now.

Why now?




Buy Links:







Author Bio:

Patricia Preston writes mainstream romances where love matters most. You are her reader if you like fun, passionate, feel-good reads. Must haves in her writing cave include sweet tea and epic music. Besides writing, she loves music, history, clearance sales, and anything containing chocolate. Her dream-come-true would be a townhouse in the French Quarter. She never misses Supernatural or the Walking Dead. She is repped by the Seymour Agency and currently working on a contemporary romance series, Love Heals All, for Lyrical Shine imprint of Kensington Books.  



Author Links:






Wednesday, September 14, 2016

#RomanticTravel to the Grand Canyon, CEO's Widow @AuthorTinaGayle


Welcome, Tina Gayle. Can you share a romantic travel idea with us?

One of my favorite romantic trips is to Vegas. We had plenty of time to shop, people watch and visit the sites. Also what topped the trip off was taking a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. Having never been up in a helicopter before this along was a treat. The trip to the canyon and back was awesome too.
Thanks, Tina. What an amazing photo from the helicopter.

 Today I have the spotlight on Book 4 of the Executives' Wives' Club series.



CEO’s Widow 




Genre: Contemporary Romance with strong women fiction elements

Four women...
One fatal car wreck...
Everyone's lives changed...




CEO’s Widow

URL to cover: http://www.tinagayle.net/CEOsWidow.jpg

Blurb:

After surviving the grief from her husband’s death, Marianne Clark has built a new life with the help of the other Executive Wives. She plans to enjoy grandchildren and friends until her doctor tells her he found a lump in her breast. Her world turned upside down. She re-evaluates her priorities and decides she will grab hold of life with both hands.

Knox Turner lost his first wife to cancer. He’s determined not to let Marianne face this challenge alone.

Can this couple face the trials ahead and build a future together?


Excerpt:

“What about you and Knox? Is Travis and Lyndsey’s relationship still causing problems between you two?”

In response to Brie’s questions, Marianne lifted her gaze, uncertain how to explain the true reason for not caring to become involved with Knox.

“He seemed determined today to put an end to the stand-off,” Sylvia inserted, her tone reflecting her amusement of the moment.

Brie captured Marianne’s gaze and slow shook her head. “You’re still not over Jack, are you?”

Jen swiveled her head, first to Brie, then back around to stare at Marianne. “Oh, no, that can’t be.”

“Awe shit,” Sylvia muttered and turned in her chair.

All eyes locked on her. Marianne dropped her chin and fought for something to say to ease her friends’ concern.

“I knew it, you assume because you’re interested in Knox you’re somehow being unfaithful to Jack.” Sylvia clasped her hand around Marianne’s forearm. “Well, you’re not. Jack would understand. Hell, if he were in your shoes, he’d have already remarried.”



Buy Links:
Available at Amazon Worldwide exclusively:

Newsletter:
If you would like to sign up to be an exclusive member of Tina’s List simple visit:
You'll receive a free short story – “My Future StepBrother.” This story leads you right into the story of the CEO’s Widow.
URL to cover: http://www.tinagayle.net//BannerforTinaFreeBook.jpg
Author Bio:
Tina Gayle loves writing and is currently working on finishing her Family Tree series, a contemporary paranormal suspense series.
When not writing, she enjoys spending time with my family and traveling around the country. She hasn't hit every state, but she hopes to someday. You might also catch her on the golf course with her husband of 30 years.

Also, you can read the first chapter of any of her books by visiting her website or download an exclusive story "My Future Step Brother" and join her special friend's list. All on her website www.tinagayle.net


#romantictravel over a rainbow MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING by Kimbra Kasch

Please welcome Kimbra Kasch who will share her idea for fall romantic travel.
For one of my favorite authors, Kimbra Kasch, traveling is a time to relax and enjoy the sights and, if you’re lucky enough to have someone to share the moments with, don’t ruin them with putting pressure on your partner for unattainable outcomes.

Remember traveling is a lot like life, never put too high of an expectation on the outcome and you will never be disappointed.

Plus, make sure you pencil in a few romantic stops, such as an old church, a peaceful cemetery or a picturesque park. And you never know what you might find, just walking down the street. You just might see a rainbow.

Welcome to my blog, Kimbra Kasch! Can you tell us about your book?


Theirs was a romance that threatened two kingdoms.

MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING is the secret Denmark never shares...until now.


BLURB

Travel across oceans, continents and countries to discover the story of legendary Viking hero, Holger Danske, and his magical romance with King Arthur’s half-sister in Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking
This is the story of two warriors who never thought they’d find love, especially on the battlefield, yet standing poised against each other Morgaine and Holger face an attraction more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than all the powers of Merlin.

EXCERPT OF MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING

FOREWORD

This is an old story told from a totally different perspective. This is a Viking’s tale.
MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING is a legendary romance filled with honorable Knights from King Arthur’s Round Table, Salacious Pirates, and Brutal Vikings. This is the retelling of the romance between King Arthur’s half-sister, Morgaine Le Fay, and her epic lover, the Viking Prince of Denmark and heir to King Geoffrey’s throne, Holger Danske. And though you might think you know these characters from the British stories, this tale comes from an entirely different point of view. The Viking perspective.
Everyone knows of Excalibur and King Arthur but few know of his brother-in-law, the Danish Viking Prince and warrior Holger Danske or his sword Cortana. MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING is a mature Young Adult retelling of folk-lore legend and Danish leader, Holger Danske, and his magical romance with the sorceress Princess Morgaine Le Fay.
They met on a battlefield, poised against each other, but their attraction was more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than Merlin, yet theirs is a tale more tragic than Romeo and Juliet.
Weaving the stories from English, French and Danish together this is one slice from the rich tapestry of tales that have come together throughout time and history.
While most everyone who searches for tales of the middle ages and seeks out stories of Knights and battles, castles and magical swords, they will only find the stories of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. Yet, it is only with the help of the Viking warrior Holger Danske of Denmark and Charles the Great (a.k.a Charlemagne of France) that King Arthur beat back the Saxons and retained leadership of Camelot.
Amidst these battles and legends, Morgaine Le Fay is worthy of her own stand-alone stories for she was such a strong woman everyone believed her to be a sorceress or more than human. Some said she was half fairy because she rode with the men in battle and was more than willing to take enormous risks for the men she loved.
Some believe she was the most powerful sorceress in all of history, having tutored under the guidance of Merlin and quickly surpassing his abilities. But it is her tragic love story with the Danish Prince that forms this first story in the Viking Series: MORGAINE LE FAY AND THE VIKING.
Morgaine’s true love, the Viking Norse leader and legendary warrior, is immortalized in stone in the dungeons of Hamlet’s Castle on the shore that sits between the sound of Denmark and Sweden.
But there is much more to this tale than a simple love story.
King Arthur received his magical sword, Excalibur, from the Norse Goddess, also known as The Lady of the Lake but Excalibur was not the only magical sword she ever relinquished to mortal hands. She gave just such a magical sword to the Danish Prince, Holger, and one to the French King, Charlemagne. Together these three heroic men joined forces to fight side by side. Britain, France and Scandinavia battled back the invading Saxons.
I am married to a Dane who was born and raised in Denmark, and have visited the Castle of Kronborg in Helsingør, Denmark and viewed the statue Holger Danske in the casemates. I have also visited both England and France and tried to stay true to the themes of all three legends, (from Denmark-Holger Danske, England-King Arthur, and France-Charlemagne), while weaving them together. However, I have taken artistic liberties with language and in dramatizing the tale of The Viking Princess.
There is an entire world full of rich stories about epic battles that go far beyond King Arthur’s realm and other countries hold their legendary heroes in this same high regard. This is one such story.



FIRST SIGHT

Morgaine’s head was held high, her back straight, with her chin jutted forward, as she rode like a warrior into battle. Covered in shiny mail, she sat upon her lively white steed, much like a nobleman, but no one could be mistaken. One glance and anyone could see simply by looking at her, this was a fine lady, with skin as smooth as silk and clear as a summer day, her russet curls plaited and twined around her head, forming a crown of braids befitting a high-born princess.
Raising her hand to shield her eyes from the harsh morning light, she turned toward the mountains, searching for a sign. Something. Anything.
Nothing was there. Still she sat, waiting.
It was after sunset when the shadows finally shifted across the horizon. That’s when she noticed the dark silhouettes of men. Not peasants. These were broad-backed warriors on horseback, sitting outlined against the blood-red moon. They were moving closer, nearer to battle.
Arthur did not want his sister on the front lines. “You should be in the background working your magic,” he insisted, hoping she would heed his pleas.
She threw her head up in defiance and gave a little snort. “Never,” she insisted.
His voice took on an authoritative tone. “I am the King,” he reminded her with a frown etched over his face. She turned to grin at him, “Did you think I could forget?”
With a heavy sigh, he went on, “It is not as a King that I am asking, but as your brother. I cannot bear the thought of you being hurt for me. I want you in the background, not on the forefront of battle.”
She shook her head, and then reached across the gap between them. She ran her palm over his cheek. “Do not waste your worry. You know, death holds no fear for me.”
“Perhaps,” he nodded. “But there are worse things than death. Please sister, if only for my sake, move to the back and do not separate yourself from us—I beg of you.” He tried to convince her not to ride forward from the front lines, but she wouldn’t listen.
“Do not even think of it,” she said, with that familiar look of determination in her eyes and the stubborn tone Arthur had become so acquainted with. Pulling back on her reins, she danced her horse around him. “I am a symbol for the men to look upon. I must move about for all to see.”
And no matter how much he wanted to deny it, they both knew she was right. Sitting out in front of the knights, she made an unforgettable impression.
“But you can inspire from anywhere, it need not be the frontline,” he insisted.
She shook her head, disregarding his warning as she rode ahead to act as the King’s guard over her brother. Sitting proud and tall, she fully intended to protect him from the onslaught that was about to begin. Arthur was transfixed. She was more beautiful than ever. An angel blanketed in shadows but edged in starlight, no man on the battlefield would ever forget her face.
She felt the fire burning inside her belly. The cry of war rising up into her heart, she wanted nothing more than to ride.
As the men moved nearer, she raised her hand, stopping Arthur’s men—holding them back, “Wait for my signal,” she called out, “Steady!” Finally reaching up over her head, she dropped her sword across her body as the moonlight glistened on the shiny steel, blinding the men riding toward them into battle.
Morgaine let out a laugh that echoed over the field as she galloped forward, and then immediately she swung her mare away from the men. Standing out alone and off to the side, she was a vision…
Suddenly time stood still. She was frozen, as a warrior on their frontline came into view. His arm raised up over his head, sword in hand, he led the charge against her, against Arthur, and against all the people of Camelot. He was a brute of a man and her attention was riveted.
There was no turning away; he was all she saw, all she noticed. Opening his mouth, he let out a roar as he rode straight toward her, this man with the golden mane.
The moonlight shimmered down on him. His browned skin glistened and his hair gleamed like an autumn jewel beneath the starlight. Suddenly she was reminded of hot summer days and amber pebbles washed up on the white sandy shores. Fascinated, she was spellbound by his glowing skin beneath the fading evening sun.
She was mesmerized.
Shaking her head to clear the fog inside her mind, she readied herself for his blow. Raising her shield, she steeled herself.
He was a giant among men, with ten times the form of any god she could imagine.
Was it possible? Was this an illusion? Could he be real?
His sapphire eyes found hers, locking on her lilac orbs, and a blinding heat struck her like a bolt of lightning. She could not turn away. His sword raised high in the air, his shield barely covering his broad chest, she stared at his form. A rush of fire raced through her, as she sat still watching this man ride with such a majestic carriage.
Giddy and out of breath, her heart beat faster than she could ever recall.
What was happening here? What magic was this? She wondered at her own body, feeling dizzy as a young maiden at her first games. Someone must have cast a spell. She turned her head, searching for the Viking sorcerer performing this magic.
There was none.
She had never had this reaction to any man. No. Morgaine had never had this reaction to anyone.
Her breath caught in her chest, and she could barely breathe. The air was trapped inside her throat, choking her. She had to cough to force the air back into her lungs.
This man could not be human. He was either a devil or a demon, she was sure of it and yet he had signaled his men into the battle before he veered off to the side, riding straight toward the sorceress with the flaming locks. His mouth was open as he let out a warrior chant she had never heard before.
Another spell, she told herself, an incantation—perhaps the same one he cast upon the knights and warriors.
She turned to her side, to see how her men were holding up under this magic.
It could not be.
His words had no effect on them. They were not under his spell. Their swords were unsheathed, raised, and ready to do battle. The knight beside her let out a thunderous cry, spurring his horse faster, as they rode past her into the throng of bare-chested men with the horns upon their heads.
Her steed moved forward, but she did nothing more than hold on to the reins as her mare carried her into the field of battle and straight toward the magic man. She was unprepared, mesmerized, and out of control…
Opposite each other they rode, one toward the other. She saw him motion to his men to continue riding forward as he veered further off to the side…to make his way straight toward her.
In a matter of moments, he was upon her. Sweeping up beside her like the blast of a storm, he stole her breath away. His thickly muscled arm snaked out away from his body, striking before she could do a thing or even before she realized what had happened. But there was no pain. It was not with a thrust of his sword that he struck, it was only his arm. Quickly twisting, he shifted his weight to make room for her. His powerful arm wrapped around her waist, grabbing her with the strength of the ocean’s tide, he pulled her toward him.
Morgaine sat motionless as a statue in the garden; she offered no resistance. Instead, she simply slid sideways from her horse onto his. It happened in one swift motion.
Pressing his palm flat against her belly, he held her in place, tightly nestled in front of him. She felt the warmth of his breath on her neck, caressing her face. Her hands fell limp to her side, accidently brushing against the hot flesh of his thigh. His skin burned beneath her fingertips.
The heat rose from her hands to her chest, and a small gasp escaped her lips as she let her hands rest upon his thickly muscled leg. He chuckled low in his throat and she knew he understood the effect he was having on her senses.
Pressing his firm rippled chest into her back, she felt something she had never felt before…lust.
She could do nothing to resist him. Leaning back, she drank in the strong, musky scent of him and felt her head spin. He held her steady and still.
Another mesmerizing potion, she thought, his spicy scent must be the mixture of a wizard’s tonic, worn to hypnotize his enemies.
Unable to fight the strength of his powerful magic, she succumbed. His tantalizing aroma made her want nothing more than to be with him, alone.




Visit me at www.kimbrakasch.com






         



Book Title: Morgaine Le Fay and the Viking
                   (click above for buy link)

Author Name: Kimbra Kasch



Author Location: Portland, Oregon



Name of series and book number in series: The Viking Series – Book 1



Genre: Young Adult Romance



Publisher: Midnight Frost/Crimson Frost










Author Bio:



Hi everyone! I'm a romance writer who grew up in a family with 9 kids and only 1 t.v. so I spent my days reading and, later, writing. I love books. . .maybe because I never got to pick t.v. shows we watched. But I’d run home after school to catch the last fifteen minutes of Dark Shadows...

 I still love to run...or at my age, maybe I should say wogging (a cross between walking and jogging). Here in Portland, I love Halloween themed runs - where people don costumes and run. It's a lot of fun...and I know those two words don't always go together: fun...and...run. But it is.

 And, with all those Halloween themed runs, I guess Dark Shadows had more of an influence than some people might think. Even today my favorite author is Stephen King. My all-time favorite book is Salem's Lot.

 Favorite romance novels are The Hunger Games...okay, I know, it's a survival book but it's really all about romance. Then there were the series: Twilight, Fifty Shades, and more but I also love paranormal, Horror and even light books like Dewey the Small Town Library Cat... Mainly, I just love to read. . . and write.

 I've just had my first novel published and am looking to share it with the world. It's a story I was inspired to write after visiting Hamlet's Castle and seeing an enormous Viking statue down in the tunnels next to the dungeons.

Sorry to be so long-winded but did I say I love to write? ...and talk and...knit, and sew, and bake... I could go on but I'll close by saying, I hope you’ll stop in on my site and I can tell you I have a couple other stories you should check out: How about a story about a Demonic Tattoo artist in Portland, Oregon: Demon’s Ink? Or, how about a love story? Of course we all know love is risky, but in The Cats of Cullaby Creek it’s dangerous….