Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Bride for a Champion - New Excerpt. Medieval Historical Romance by Lindsay Townsend

Here is a new excerpt from my medieval novella, Bride for a Champion. In it, Simon and Alice are
talking in the garden, wondering how to find and recover Alice's younger sister Henrietta, who is missing.


Still kneeling back on her heels, Alice punched the grass. “Exactly!”

Though her words and gesture were brave, he saw her tremble slightly. “Have you heard any word of your sister since Henrietta’s last letter?”

She nodded. “A man came from the king last month, with a scribe, to consider adding my name to a list of heiresses. At least, he said he was from the king,” she added doubtfully.

Simon felt a chill of suspicion. “Go on.”

“He mentioned my sister, said he had seen her at Christmas at the court of the old queen. I asked him about Edward.”

“You asked, rather than your father?”

She flushed and stared at a daisy to avoid looking at him. “Father would not speak of Henrietta. He said she was dead to him. I spoke to the herald alone.”

There was a tense silence between them, filled by the droning of a bumblebee. Staggered by what she had just admitted, Simon wondered what he would have done, had he been in her place. For Henry Martinswood to cast Henrietta aside was more than harsh, it was cruel.

After a moment, Alice sighed and went on. “The king’s man, if he was such, claimed he knew nothing of any Edward, but he half-smiled as he said it. I think he does know more, but he left the same day. A small, stocky man, with a smiling mouth and mean eyes. Sir Bohemond de Lyonesse.”

“That name I recognize, even from Constantinople!” Simon cracked his fists together, a sudden fizz of excitement coursing through his veins. “All Bohemonds are ambitious and he is no different, but soft as a copper spoon. King’s man or not, he will hang around the royal court still as such men always do. I will find him, persuade him to say more. I know de Lyonesse’s haunts of old, where he will have gone to ground.”

Her face began to drain of color again as she lifted her head to face him. “Do you think this Edward and Bohemond somehow acted together?”

“I have a name and a man to go after, which is all that matters.” Simon spoke heartily, although he suspected she might be right. Still, he did not want to alarm her any more, since she was already as pale as parchment. He changed the subject slightly.

“You say King John has a list of heiresses?”

“The king takes great notice of any wards or heiresses who might come into his care if or when their parents are dead.”

He looked at her still, wary face, guessed she disliked the King’s obsession, but dismissed it from his mind. No matter, since we are to be wed.

“Why not appeal to the king to find your sister?”

She gave an energetic shake of her head. “I think his terms would be too high. Besides—”

“You hope to avoid scandal and discover her first.”

Alice stared at the daisy again. “Of course.”

“And yet you see a man like Bohemond de Lyonesse alone, unattended, after all that has happened?”
He had been thinking of Greek maids, closely sequestered, that was the trouble, and he spoke again without thought. The instant the words were out he regretted them, but it was too late.

“No!” She was already on her feet, spitting her denial. “You gull me into a confidence, into speaking with you freely and then you scold! That is unfair!”

As Alice spoke she was moving, but so was he. When she stumbled at the very start of her headlong dash back up the garden, he caught her, clutching her tight. He was afraid for an instant that she would fall flat on her face in her haste to escape him.

She squirmed in his grip, as fast and furious as an angry falcon bobbing and bating on a hunter’s wrist, struggling with its jesses. “Release me, raptor!”

The insult burned him—he who had seen so many women raped and murdered at the fall of Constantinople and been unable to save them. “I am none such,” he began, through gritted teeth, breaking off as he felt her attempting to unwind his fingers off her waist.

Almost as if she sensed his attention she stopped at once and looked straight into his face, her eyes as bright as eastern jade. “If you were a true gentleman, you would let me go.”

“I am a mercenary.”

Without a flicker, she returned, “As a Christian, you should not treat me so rudely.”

What did she know of what one Christian might do to another? But he would not back down. If he was to marry this salamander then she must learn, and the lesson would begin now, whether he stank of horse or not.

He tightened his grip around her narrow waist, crossing his hands in the small of her back. As he inhaled her lavender scent and felt her lissome body mold against his, he was dimly aware of her standing up on her tip-toes. Before he realized what she was about, she had kissed him first.

He was so startled by the sudden tender sweetness of her mouth that he sighed, bringing a hand up now to smooth a tendril of her hair away from her sun-warmed cheek. She tasted of sugar cone and honey and, he fancied, cherries, although that might only be wishful thinking.

Her kiss went on, slow and sure, an instant of gentleness when he had known few such moments in his life, glowing in his mind like a rare flower or book. Her eyes were closed as she gave herself in her kiss and he closed his eyes, too, relishing the contact where their breaths mingled and their lips touched and touched and touched…

“Women can also kiss,” she murmured.

“I know.” He enjoyed the quiver her mouth made against his as they conversed in this unusual fashion. “Is this because you like me, or because you wish to be first?”

He felt rather than heard her laugh. “Too late for you to discover,” she teased. She started to step back, float off like a scrap of thistledown, but he was a fighter with a warrior’s swiftness and reactions and he gathered her back before she was gone. “I do not think so,” he answered, and he kissed her again.

* * * *

Alice fought herself. She strove to remember her sister, to escape from this heady world of sensation, where she felt higher than the clouds. She had anticipated Simon’s kiss and intercepted it, bested it, but now she was losing. He had trapped her when she had expected to escape. Time and the world had stopped for her while she hung in his arms.

Foolish! Her mind raged, but how could she have known? She had never kissed a man before, not as couples kiss.

His tanned nose bumped lightly against hers and she felt him smile. Simon had not kissed often before, she sensed that and was pleased, but she had no chance to consider why that should be so, because his kiss deepened.

His mouth and tongue eased her mouth apart, feathering and caressing the tender, sensitive insides of her lips. He smelled of horses and dust, from travel, and his own musk and warm leather—a scent she would now recognize forever as his. His big, sword-callused palms were flat across her back, hugging and holding, but not presuming, not fingering lower. He respects me, she thought, bringing her arms about his middle, her breath stopping as he lifted her right off her feet.

“Sir, a messenger for you! Sir?”

Simon growled something in Greek, his grip tightening on her a moment before he set her back lightly on the path. “More later, eh?” he murmured, touching her shoulder. Then he bowed, turned and ran back toward the steps and the tanned blond messenger, calling, “What news, Alexios?”

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

KMN Books: St. Patrick's Day Magic Brings Us 99 cent Books! @...



St. Patrick's Day Scroll
Time Travel to Medieval Ireland where the grass is always greener...
Echo of Time_KarenMichelleNutt_medium 
ECHO OF TIME

A short Irish paranormal time travel romance 
Kendra
O’Reilly felt a connection with the Blarney Castle as if the echoes of
the past could still be heard. The guide tells her a story about the
Blarney Stone being the ancient Lia Fáil, one of the magical gifts from
the god-like race, the Tuatha Dé Danann. To wish upon it, one will see
where his or her destiny lies. Kendra wishes to find her one true love.
She never thought she’d be whisked back to fifteen-century Ireland to
find him.


Cian MacCarthy, the Lord of Blarney not only possesses the gift of
Irish eloquence but he also has visions of the future. He’s waited for
Kendra’s arrival, knowing she is his soul mate. Now all he has to do is
convince her she belongs at his side.



Ebook: Amazon /Amazon UK /Barnes and Noble /Smashwords /iBooks



 
If you're looking for a Full Length Tale-  Lost in the Mist of Time (Time-Travel Tale)

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LOST IN THE MIST OF TIME


Aislinn
Hennessy pens tales of courage, loyalty, and true love, but her heroes
of old are pure fantasy—figments of her imagination. She long ago gave
up thinking a knight in shining armor would sweep her off her feet, but
then she never expected to run him off the road either.


Sir Dougray Fitzpatrick has buried one wife and vows to never love again—but destiny has other plans for this 16th
century Irish Lord. During a battle, a mist separates Dougray from his
men and casts him into the future. Dougray must return to Dunhaven and
to his century, but Aislinn follows him into the mist, leaving him no
choice, but to take her home with him.


Conspiracies, feuds and unexpected violence are commonplace threats,
but along the way, Aislinn and Dougray discover a surprise neither one
expects: a chance for love even when they're Lost in the Mist of Time.



Available at: Amazon Kindle


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Adryanna,
a Lathe Sith, mourns the death of her recently mated sister, but she
finds solace in the most unlikely place—in the arms of Bram, an Oiche
Sith. She should fear him, loathe his existence, but instead she longs
for their twilight embraces. Bram admires Adryanna’s strength and wishes
only to protect her, even if it’s from him.


If Bram cannot find a way for Adryanna to survive the blooding ritual
the romance is doomed. They seek help from Sheerin, Bram’s cousin, who
believes he’s found a way for the Lathe Sith to survive, but others in
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The Mac Tíre clan are an ancient werewolf clan from Ireland. Their traditions hold fast, but Grayson dares to cross the line...

Moon Shifter   

MOON SHIFTER



It is forbidden for a moon shifter of the Mac Tíre clan to change a
human and save them from death. Grayson Quinn, the alpha of the pack
ignores the ancient rule when Sydney Carlisle, his fiancée is ravaged by
one of his own kind.



Sydney believes she is a monster, a werewolf. She flees before
Grayson can help her adjust, but Grayson must find her. Sydney’s body is
still changing and the were-lust will drive her crazy if not sated. He
has until the full moon to help her tame the wolf inside and convince
her she’s his soul mate. If he fails, he loses her forever.



Sydney still craves Grayson’s touch, but can her heart forgive him for making her one of the Mac Tíre?



Available at Wild Rose Press / All Romance Ebooks /Kindle


Filigree

Friday, 13 March 2015

Breathe You In - OUT TODAY


My novel Breathe You In has been re-launched by my publisher Totally Bound and includes a whole new chapter! This novel is set in beautiful Northamptonshire, England and was named a USA Today Recommended Read of 2014.

Althorn Estate - Northampton home of Princess Diana.



Blurb

Soul-aching desire was only the first layer of emotion around a secret I had to keep for all of time.

If the road to heaven starts in hell, then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline, he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.

I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even on the nights our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy—because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.

Emotions tangled with bliss and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him, and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.

Publisher's Note: This book was previously self-published. It has been expanded, revised and re-edited for release with Totally Bound Publishing. 

Silverstone Racetrack - Northampton is home to the British Grand Prix



Available from Totally Bound and all good ebook retailers




Find out all the gossip on my exclusive Totally Bound interview and if you like a party please join me on Facebook at 5 p.m. GMT on Saturday the 14th of March. There'll be contests, gossip and sexy fun!



Wednesday, 11 February 2015

'Sebastian the Alchemist and His Captive' on Amazon & Other sellers

Sebastian the Alchemist and His Captive

Medieval Captives 1

Linday Townsend

OUT NOW FROM AMAZON AND OTHER SELLERS

AMAZON COM 

AMAZON UK

BARNES & NOBLE 

KOBO

APPLE



He takes her for hate. Will he keep her for love?

Sebastian, lord of the tower in the northern high lands, is a proud, bitter man with a dark past. An alchemist and a warrior, he has had lovers but knows he is ugly—experience and betrayal have taught him that. When Melissa, the beautiful, neglected daughter of two old enemies, falls into his possessive hands he is determined to hold her. Why?


As one of the detested and defeated Felix family, Melissa must cling to her courage when she is claimed as a war-prize by the tall, grim Sebastian. Expecting torture and ravishment, she finds instead a peace and sanctuary that she has never known. Treated with kindness for the first time in her life, Melissa begins to blossom.


But there are secrets and old betrayals between them. Sebastian’s abiding jealousy is not easily quelled, especially when someone at the tower seeks to destroy his growing love with Melissa…


A BookStrand Mainstream Romance.


STORY EXCERPT:

Sebastian settled back in his chair. He still had many petitions to read and tomorrow he would fight a duel, with mace and daggers, but for the rest of the evening…Yes, he could grant himself the time, the indulgence. Ignoring the dull ache in his lower back, he stretched his long arms above his head.


“Robert.” He spoke quietly to the gangling chestnut-headed squire patrolling by the door. “Send the girl to me. Then get some rest before you fall over.” The youth had only lately recovered from a fever and even in the firelight looked as pale as the falling snow outside.


“I will sleep when you do, my lord.” Robert gave a brief, jerky bow and slipped from the stone chamber, his rapid footsteps fading in the vastness of the tower. Sebastian returned to his reading, making notes on the parchment, listening to the spit of the flames, and waiting. What will she be like? He had only caught a glimpse yesterday, when he had claimed her as his prize. The child of an old enemy and my first, unrequited love. What have her people told her about me?


The door swung open, slowly at first and then in a rush, as if whoever was entering was determined not to be cowed. Headstrong, just like her mother. Amused, Sebastian rested the tip of his writing quill on the tabletop to watch an energetic, vivid figure hasten into the chamber.


“Idonotcarewhatyoudotome, butdonothurtmypeople…”


Sebastian raised the quill and the spate of words instantly stopped. “Closer,” he commanded, when the creature remained still, glancing behind her at the closing door. “Look at me, girl.”


She took a step forward this time, halting exactly in the shadows cast between the torches and firelight so that her face and form remained hidden. Arrogant and stubborn, just like her father. A whip of irritation cracked down his spine.


“Artos, guard,” he ordered the black wolf he had saved as a cub from a hunter’s trap. Artos yawned, stretched himself up from the rug by the fire, and trotted to the threshold. With widening eyes the girl studied the wolf as it began a steady pacing back and forth before the entrance.


“He is not my familiar, if that is what you are thinking.”


“Your shadow, then.” The girl swung round to face him. Her voice was low, cracking a little from nerves or disuse. “He is handsome.”Unlike you. The unspoken words filled the chamber like the apple-wood smoke.


Sebastian pushed back his chair and strode toward his captive, circling his prize as she stood stiffly at attention, her head held perfectly straight, her hands clenched by her sides, half-hidden in her once gaudy, now tattered, green and gold robes. In the shifting alliances of these lush and rugged highlands her kindred had backed the wrong overlord and lost. In the scramble afterward between the northern princelings for booty and lands, Sebastian had been able to take the girl, claim her by right of revenge. Revenge. What a monster she must think me, this dainty youngster, to make her pay for ancient hurts her father wreaked on me, for the old betrayals of her mother. Does she even know that pitiful tale?


He circled her again, sensing her quiver as he loomed. She was a brunette, but there all similarity between them ended. Where he was tall and lean and intense, large-jointed and craggy, precise from years of deliberate, often hard-won control, this tiny girl shimmered like a flame. Where his hair was black, dull and fine as silk, hanging straight to his broad shoulders, hers was the color of brimstone and treacle, long, heavy ropes of shining curling waves, sunset brown shot through with chestnut. Her father’s coloring, and wasn’t Baldwin always aware of his good looks? As for her mother in her—Sebastian halted before the girl and, with a long finger, tipped up her chin, glimpsing a pair of bright brown eyes in a freckled, delicate face. The child shifted, lowering her head in a gesture of apparent submission. The shape of her eyes are the same as Rosemond’s, but not the color. Her mother had blue eyes and gold hair and smiled like a Madonna, all the better to beguile men.


“Like but not like,” Sebastian murmured, releasing his grip and continuing his prowl. The girl was easily a head shorter than himself, small and thin, where Rosemond had been tall and stately. “How old are you?”


“Eighteen.” The bright eyes fixed on his and a spark of heat tingled from his chest to his groin in response. He saw her blush and wondered if she had also sensed the spark. “Eighteen, Sir Sebastian.”


He scowled at her address, disliking the arrogant assumption behind it that only knights had value. Just like her father. “I am no knight, girl, remember that,” he barked. She trembled and he could not decide if that was due to fear or revulsion. Watching the pretty glow drop from her face like a fallen ribbon, he decided it was both.


Irritated and a little ashamed with his behavior, he closed his eyes, desperately trying to entomb his own past within himself. “Who would care for such a lanky thing as you?” His mother had first told him that. “Sallow, dark, possessive,” a previous lover or two had complained, before each one had parted with him due to his jealousy. “An ugly, crook-nosed brute...” Sebastian remembered that description only too clearly, the taunts “ugly” and “crook-nose” following him throughout his service as a page, then squire, before he had turned his back on the cruel, glittering world of chivalry. And who had first called him ugly and crook-nosed? Baldwin of course, this girl’s father, jibing and taunting, bullying and tormenting, setting on him with his friends and cronies, four, five, six against one. Sebastian had stomached that but then worse followed—he had heard Rosemond agreeing with Baldwin, the pair laughing together, laughing at him. After all I did for her and tried to do for her, after I helped her, after I told her I loved her.


Strange after all these years that it should still ache so much, as if an anvil had been hurled into his chest. Fighting the despair, Sebastian growled like Artos and shook his head to clear it. Here he was, aged three and thirty, still re-fighting old battles, old hurts. I am pathetic.


He opened his eyes, relaxing his grip on the quill before he shattered it.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Guest blog - Sharon Black: 'Going Against Type'

BLURB:

Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite as sure as she seems. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends, surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV.

Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist and sophisticated man-about-town. The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking – and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain and shallow women.
Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but is soon drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist The Squire – and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just whom the opponent is...

When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake, than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings.

When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?

#GoingAgainstType

Amazon.com: http://ow.ly/Dmcqs http://amzn.to/1yqt0l5
Tirgearr Publishing: http://tirpub.com/gatype http://amzn.to/1zjr0fT  



EXCERPT:


‘You look great,’ Helen said.
‘You sure? I was just going to wear those black jeans. Thing is, I distinctly gave Derry the impression that I enjoyed fashion.’
‘Well, maybe if he’d given you a little more notice!’
‘Oh Helen, don’t start. He explained he got the tickets late and wasn’t pressuring me...’
‘Hmm, well so long as he’s not playing games. Don’t let him away with that.’
Charlotte rolled her eyes.
‘I'm serious,’ Helen said, ‘there’s a reason he’s in his mid-thirties and not in a long term relationship. Don’t let him mess you about.’
‘Relax, there’s no danger of that,’ Charlotte laughed. ‘I need a bit of fun in my life at the moment. I've no intention of falling heavily for this guy.’
Helen winked.
‘So you’re just using him for sex!’
‘Helen!’ Charlotte started to laugh. They both jumped when the doorbell rang.
‘I’ll get it,’ Helen offered, ‘you don’t want to look too eager!’
Charlotte started to hiccup.
‘Oh my God, Helen! Have you been learning off The Rules?’
‘If I’d been doing that, I’d have sorted my own love life out by now! Helen left Charlotte’s bedroom door open and a few moments later, she heard Derry’s deep voice in the hall, and Helen laughing.
She came downstairs. Derry stood in the hall, casually elegant in a dark suit and tailored shirt. He smiled broadly.
‘You look beautiful.’
Charlotte hiccupped loudly. Derry raised an amused eyebrow.
‘Um, sorry, I’m sure they’ll stop in a minute.’ Charlotte flushed. Okay Charlotte, stay calm. It’s only a second date. Derry escorted her to his car and opened the passenger door.
‘Have you seen this play before?’ Derry asked as he slid in behind the wheel.
‘No. Actually, I haven’t been to the theatre in ages,’ Charlotte confessed. ‘Sports journalist, remember? A hooligan who can spell.’

Friday, 30 January 2015

Walking in Wales by Lily Harlem

Many of my friends and readers know that I love living in Wales. I'm not Welsh but the people and the land have adopted me after so many years of being in it's gentle embrace. One of the things I adore is walking with my dogs. Mr H prefers to run but occasionally he slows down a pace and we head off to the mountains to enjoy the views. Here are some pictures taken in the Brecon Beacons. We didn't have snow in our valley but once we went up a few hundred feet there was plenty, and most of it unspoilt as this is a deserted part of the National Park - you're most likely to see military as they use its desolate, isolated landscape for survival training.


Track leading to the mountains


Sign for the Taff Trail


Summit


Our walk got pretty steep and the snow deep but it was worth it for the views


Half way up!


Mr H just disappearing over the top


View from the top


Waterfalls


Back at ground level and looking forward to a glass of wine in front of the fire!



Tuesday, 27 January 2015

FREE! The Novice by Harlem Dae


The Novice, Book 1 in the Sexy as Hell trilogy is FREE on Amazon for a few days only. It's erotic romance - BDSM - and based in London.




Find out more about Harlem Dae on the website.


Bargain BDSM Boxed Set