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Today, author Barbara Bettis visits us with an excerpt from her medieval romance, Silverhawk. Please leave her a comment and let her know what you think of the excerpt.
Blurb: He’s everything a proper lady should never want; she’s everything a bastard mercenary can never have.
Sir Giles has come to England to kill his father, who seduced and betrayed his mother. First, however, he’ll seek sweet revenge—kidnap the old lord’s new betrothed. But when Giles uncovers a plot against King Richard, he faces a dilemma: take the lady or track the traitors. What’s a good mercenary to do? Both, of course.
Lady Emelin has had enough. Abandoned in a convent by her brother, she finally has a chance for home and family. Yet now she’s been abducted. Her kidnapper may be the image of her dream knight, but she won’t allow him to spoil this betrothal. Her only solution: escape
Rescuing the intrepid lady—while hunting traitors—is a challenge Giles couldn’t anticipate. But the greatest challenge to Giles and Emelin is the fire blazing between them.
Excerpt: Here is Lady Emelin’s first meeting with her brother since he confined her to a convent five years earlier. Now he’s betrothed her to someone without her knowledge.
Ortha had just finished braiding Emelin’s hair when the door burst open. Sir Garley strode in, his bulk filling the space. He jerked his head, and Ortha slipped into the passageway. Emelin shot to her feet, chin raised. The long forgotten fear nibbled at her heart, but she refused to show it.
He loomed closer, looked over the borrowed gown she wore, and picked up a braid. Lips curled in a snarl, he gave it a hard yank before he dropped it. “Too bad we can’t do something about that color.”
Blood-shot eyes narrowed. He grabbed her chin between his forefinger and thumb and forced up her head. She tried to pull away from the stench of his breath, but he pinched harder. “Don’t do anything else to spoil this arrangement.” His voice grated like rusty steel. “I need the payment Langley made for you. I will not return it.”
Garley gave her head a final shake. “Do not interfere in my plans,” he repeated.
Emelin jerked back. Rebellion overpowered the hurt, and she spoke without thought. Again. “Or what? You’ll immure me in a convent? I believe we’ve done that already.”
Garley’s slap caught the side of the face, sent her staggering onto the bed. “Keep your mouth shut.” His voice held no trace of emotion as he strode to the door. “At least until after the wedding. Then you’re his problem. Just remember, there’ll never be a place for you at Compton. Give the old man a son, and you’ll want for nothing. Fight him and you may find yourself back at the convent—if you’re lucky.”
Amazon has surprised me by running a 99 cent sale for Silverhawk.
Aside from being a terrific story teller, a veteran, and a friend, Kayelle Allen is one of the most generous, hard-working people I know. Please welcome her to Author Travels and let her know how much you enjoy her visit by leaving a comment. Also, leave a note for an active duty soldier, sailor, airman, or marine. I’ll make certain the notes get to the right service member. Now, here’s Kayelle to tell you a little about herself and her newest book, Bringer of Chaos.
First, I’d like to thank Rue Allyn for the opportunity to share what being a veteran means to me. Opening her blog to fellow RomVets (female veterans who write romance) is an action I wholeheartedly support. I have a similar program on Romance Lives Forever, my guest blog, on Veteran’s Day every year.
When I joined the US Navy back in 1973, I was a single woman. I had lived in the Las Vegas metro area since I was twelve years old. There were few jobs that didn’t relate to one or more parts of the gaming or hospitality industries. I wanted more. To find it, I entered the military. When I was transferred to a training base in Memphis, I had no idea that I’d meet my future husband. We’ve been together ever since.
The one thing I’d like others to know about being a veteran is that when you raise your right hand and swear to uphold the constitution of the United States, you are doing more than serving your country. You are embarking on a journey that will change you forever.
When I joined, I had no idea how much risk I was undertaking. It’s only years later that I’ve come to understand how much I laid on the line to protect my country. When you’re in the midst of a situation, you are too busy dealing with the details to look around and grasp the significance of each action. That comes later, after the smoke has cleared and you have time to think about it.
I was never in combat, and I was put into no life-threatening situations. However, because I was on active duty, I agreed to be willing to go. That willingness came out of my desire to serve. I was twelve when President John F Kennedy was assassinated. His death had a profound effect on my life. I had heard him speak in person only a few months prior. My parents had been big supporters of his campaign. When he died, I swore not to ask what my country could do for me, but to ask what I could do for my country. When the opportunity to join the military came, that was my chance to fulfill my oath. I have never looked back with regret.
Bringer of Chaos: the Origin of Pietas is military science fiction set in the far future. Two enemy warriors: one human, one immortal. Different in belief, alike in spirit, marooned together on an alien world. Traitors took everything. Except their honor.
Excerpt Amazon Print
About Kayelle Allen
Kayelle is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr. She writes in multiple genres and non-fiction. She is founder of the author-mentoring group Marketing for Romance Writers, manages the successful Romance Lives Forever blog, and is a member of RomVets. Kayelle is married, has three grown children, and five grandchildren.
Join Kayelle’s Romance Lives Forever Reader Group and you’ll get sneak peeks of new books, plus find out about special contests just for members. Want other options to know when a book is released? Join AuthorAlarms and get one email when a new book is out. Follow Kayelle on Amazon. Visit her homeworld, or follow on Twitter and Facebook.
During the months of May, June and July, the Author Travels blog will be honoring U. S. military veterans. All of these vets are authors (some published, some not), but they are my sisters in arms and visiting with them to learn about their life journeys is the best way I know to say thank you to some very special people. Please welcome our first veteran visiting author, Diana Cosby (USN Ret.).
Thank you so much, Rue, for having me as a guest on the Author Travels blog.
You are most welcome, Diana, and thank you for answering questions about your life and careers for our readers.
Q: What moved you to enlist in the Navy and stay until retirement?
A: With my dad retiring from the Navy, I grew up a military brat, which meant continual moves during my youth; I’m currently on move #34. As I neared graduation, I wanted to continue to see the world, and I joined the Navy as a meteorologist/oceanographer. I enjoyed the travel, meeting so many incredible people, and forecasting weather, so I decided to make the Navy a career.
Q: Would you recommend enlisting to high school graduates today? Why or why not?
A: I believe a tour in the military should be a venue considered by anyone preparing to graduate. In addition to exposure to different cultures along with travel, military training provides a solid decision making foundation that will serve a person throughout their life.
Q: While living in Europe you acquired an interest in the middle ages. What place or part of European life sparked that interest?
A: I had the sincere pleasure of a tour in Rota, Spain. The culture, and people, and rich history were incredible, and it’s one of my all-time places to have lived. My interest in the middle ages was sparked by a combination of my experience while living in Spain along with traveling through Western Europe.
Q: Are you bothered by ‘inaccuracies’ in historical fiction (or any other type of fiction)? Or do you concur with those who claim, ‘Accuracy is unimportant in fiction’?
A: When I write my Scottish medieval romantic suspense, I work hard to ensure any historical events mentioned are true to the best of my ability.
Q: You are very involved in a number of charitable causes including The National Trust for Scotland, Habitat for Humanity, the Semper Fi Fund, Homes for Our Troops, and The Navy SEAL Foundation. You are definitely leading by example. Please tell us about one of your favorite charities and how we could get involved.
A: Giving back is important to me, and I’m honored to share that I’ve joined with Habitat For Humanity for, Diana Cosby’s Romance Reader’s Build A Habitat For Humanity Home. This fundraiser is an amazing opportunity for romance readers to join together to give a deserving family more than just a home, but provide a foundation on which to start their future and build their dreams.
Goal: Raise $55,000 to build a Habitat For Humanity Home. Now—$7,600!
Exciting news: We’re only $6260 away from having enough to build two bedrooms and a bathroom!
*Note: All donations, Paypal or via mail, go directly to the Grayson County, TX. Habitat For Humanity. Please note on your donation: ‘For the Romance Readers HFH House.’
Q: Do you think fictional characters should be involved in similar efforts? How might that enhance or detract from a reader’s enjoyment of a romance?
A: As I tend to write trilogy’s or series, often secondary characters will have their own book, or a hero in one story will appear in as a secondary character in a later novel
Q: Please tell us about your most recently released book, how we can purchase it, and how we can leave a review.
A: Fascinated by the Knights Templars, I was thrilled at the opportunity to write The Forbidden Series. After hundreds of years, many questions remain of where the Templars fled, what treasure they took, and how were so many valiant knights able to disappear without a trace? In The Forbidden Series, I weave my character’s journey, where they face challenges, and in the end fall in love, around these questions and more.
A Knight Templar, Sir Stephan MacQuistan desires no bride, only vengeance for a family lost and a legacy stolen. A profound twist of fate tears apart the brotherhood he loves, but offers him an opportunity to reclaim his legacy – Avalon Castle. Except to procure his childhood home along with a place to store Templar treasures, he must wed the unsuspecting daughter of the man who killed his family. To settle old scores, Stephan agrees while aware Katherine is but a pawn in a dangerous game, not a woman he will ever love.
*Reviews are always deeply appreciated, and your comments can be left where you purchase my story.
Thank you very much for taking the time to participate in my 3 month thank you to the military veterans.
Rue, thank you for inviting me as your guest. I thank you for your service to our country. And, another thanks to your readers for stopping by. Take care, and I wish each of you the very best.
Diana Cosby, AGC(AW), USN Ret.
International Best-Selling Author
Forbidden Series: Book #1 Forbidden Legacy — 16 August 2016
About Diana Cosby:
A retired Navy Chief, Diana Cosby is an international bestselling author of Scottish medieval romantic suspense. Books in her award-winning MacGruder Brothers series are translated in five languages. Diana has spoken at the Library of Congress, Lady Jane’s Salon in NYC, and appeared in Woman’s Day, on USA Today’s romance blog, “Happy Ever After,” MSN.com, Atlantic County Women Magazine, and Texoma Living Magazine.
After her career in the Navy, Diana dove into her passion – writing romance novels. With 34 moves behind her, she was anxious to create characters who reflected the amazing cultures and people she’s met throughout the world. With the release of the third book in The Oath Trilogy and the e Box Set of the MacGruder Brothers series, she is now preparing for the release of the first book in The Forbidden Series, Forbidden Legacy, on 16 August 2016!
Diana looks forward to the years of writing ahead and meeting the amazing people who will share this journey.
“The Jewel of Sol”
“The Gateway to the Star World Colonies”
In the vacuum of space far from Earth, beyond the colonized Centauri Star System, between the feared Dethramossan Territory and the mineral-rich Empire of Triangulum Australe, hovers Kifel Space Station, guardian of a galactic portal (a star gate jump point).
Kifel is also a city, a commercial port, a pseudo pleasure palace, and a military fortress. The space station is the gateway for thousands of maritime space traders and colonists seeking their fortunes and a new way of life. But some say the station is a taskmaster to the crews that man and maintain her.
In truth, there are a million stories to tell of those beings, human and aliens, who pass through the portals and walk the labyrinths of Kifel Space Station.
The above was jotted down in 1993, when I first conceived Kifel Space Station for a short story. Over the years, and several short stories and novels later, I ended up with a three-ring binder for all things Kifel that included: the history of why, who, and how the station was built, sketches of deck layouts and compartments (which are crude because I’m no artist), the personnel requirements, the caste system of jumpsuit colors used by workers on the station, and whole lot more.
That binder is my “bible” that keeps things consistent when I write a new story. And, yes, new stories sometimes add things to Kifel or makes me rethink areas. The binder also allows me to update the oldest stories so they are consistent with the published ones.
A writer is told to write what they know, but that’s difficult when you’re writing about the future and outer space. Yet, there is a trick a writer can use to extrapolate a future that seems believable to a reader. That trick is to base the future world, in this case, a space station, on what currently exists or will exist in the near future. To get an idea of the size and look of Kifel, I did research. I extrapolated data from cargo container shipping yards (and how much room they needed to store, stack, and move containers about). From city layouts, I got various ideas of infrastructure. Cruise ship layouts showed me how compact compartments were and how many quarters could fit in a given area. Then there were the waste management-recycling facilities, hospital-emergency care facilities, hydroponic farming, and a whole lot more. The results kept making the space station bigger and bigger. I even took a look at the Star Trek technical manuals (the ones done by real engineers), but I did not use them for designs, only verification that what I was doing was feasible, realistic, believable.
As to the shape of Kifel Space Station, I knew from my engineering husband that circles were most efficient in space and so Kifel ended up being a circle divided into twelve pie-shaped wedges, with a center core through which energy (power, etc.) flowed. Beacons, communications dishes-antennas, scanners, etc. were necessary and went at the top and bottom of the station. Other communication and scanning devices were also needed about the landing-departure decks and for the military.
Then I started from the top and went down a sheet of paper listing one item per line that represented appropriate footage. For the massive warehousing and freight decks, I put in additional lines proportioned for their heights. When I was done, a pattern had formed on the page of an elongated “diamond” – like a kite.
I could envision that “diamond” glittering with all its exterior lights as it spun in the blackness of space to maintain its gravity— like a diamond in the sky.
And thus was born the phrase “The Jewel of Sol.” Sol being a poetic term for Earth’s star, the sun.
A lot of romance writers gloss over setting details in their futuristic/sci-fi worlds because the plot of the lovers journey is more important. However, a writer should take the time to look at, sketch out, and find the little things that bring their setting to life for the reader so the reader suspends disbelief.
Like Marlee and Deacon, when you read HEARTS AKILTER, you’ll feel right at home on Kifel Space Station.
Love, vengeance, attempted murder, and a bomb…No reason to panic.
When a medical robot insists he’s having a heart attack, Marlee Evans, a pragmatic maintenance technician, has every reason to panic. There’s a bomb inside him. Since Marlee can’t risk the bomber discovering she’s found the device, her only option is to kidnap Deacon Black, an unflappable bomb expert, and secretly convince him to disarm it. Things go slightly awry when Deacon sets a trap for someone who is trying to kill him, and inadvertently captures Marlee instead. Instantly intrigued by her refreshingly forthright and gutsy attitude, he’s smitten. Unfortunately for Deacon, Marlee recently hardened her heart and swore off men, especially handsome ones with boy-next-door grins. But as Marlee and Deacon attempt to identify and prevent the bomber from detonating the device, they discover that love may be the most explosive force of all.
All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/1GvpqqT
The Wild Rose Press: http://bit.ly/1HDhwAT
About Catherine E. McLean
Besides Catherine being a wife and mother, she has ridden and exhibited Morgan Sport Horses. She’s an avid clothing and costume designer, an award-winning amateur photographer, a 4-H leader, and a Red Hatter who loves bling.
She lives on a farm nestled in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains of Western Pennsylvania. In the quiet of the countryside, she writes fantasy, futuristic, and paranormal stories where a reader can escape to other worlds for adventure and romance.
Her short stories have appeared in hard-copy and online anthologies and magazines. Besides having two novels published, soon to be released is her lighthearted fantasy/sci-fi romance HEARTS AKILTER. Catherine also gives writing workshops, both online and in-person. A schedule is posted at http://www.writerscheatsheets.com/workshops.html
Catherine’s website for writers is http://www.WritersCheatSheets.com and she blogs at http://writerscheatsheets.blogspot.com/
Hub Website: http://www.CatherineEmclean.com
Connect with Catherine at: http://www.catherineemclean.com/contact-me.html
Or on social media:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I64GqK
My dream man came to me last night. Enfolding me in warmth and masculine strength, he laid his lips against my neck just below my ear and whispered, “Let’s escape to Nicaragua.”
“I don’t smoke,” I replied sleepily [I’m dreaming remember, ‘dream man’.]
I felt him smile as he nibbled the tender flesh of my earlobe, his breath gently caressing my cheek. Delightful shivers cascaded along my nerves.
“Silly Princess. Not nicotine, Nicaragua. Nicotine is an addictive substance found in tobacco. Nicaragua is a country in Central America.” He kissed his way from my ear to my shoulder.
“Mmmmm.” I stretched and rolled onto my back, bringing my front very pleasantly into full contact with his front. “Make love to me,” I purred. “Then you can tell me all about it while I’m in a most excellent state of mind.”
Quite some time later, after I regained my breath and my senses, I murmured. “Where is it you want us to go and why?”
“I want our next destination to be Nicaragua, my sweet.”
“Hmmm.” I still drifted on a cloud of physical satisfaction. “Why?”
“For the adventure of course.”
“Of course.” My cloud floated close to the ground and dissipated in a mist of practicality. I opened my eyes and gazed at my beloved. [Yes my dream man is real, but he still comes to me in my dreams—and a lot of other times too.] With a name like Traveler, I’m always ready for adventure, but even I won’t select a destination out of thin air [or in this case, vivid dreaming].”
“Oh,” he tossed out as if he hadn’t planned to seduce me into agreeing with him all along. “If you must have a reason, how about the fact that we both hate Michigan winters. We’ve been talking for a long time about moving. I’ve done a little research, and Nicaragua is one of the countries that appeals to me for its climate, culture and impact on our economic situation.”
[Sigh! I may be Princess Traveler, but that doesn’t mean I’m rich, certainly not as rich as I’d like to be, which is wealthy beyond my dreams.] “All excellent reasons.” [I want my dream man to know I support him.] However, I have concerns about bugs, language barriers, cuisine and accommodations. I need to be certain that what Nicaragua has to offer as a home base will suit my royal wishes. “Give me a few days to do some research of my own, then we’ll talk.”
“I knew you’d agree.” Dream man kissed my nose then proceeded to kiss a few other places and take advantage of the fact that we were still in bed with no commitments that day to anyone other than ourselves. What ensued turned out to be several interesting committed acts, but those have nothing to do with this particular adventure.
I’ll give an update in a couple of days when we know for certain that we’ll embark on a journey to Nicaragua. I’ll also let you know what I learned. Meanwhile, if you’ve got a question about my proposed destination, or would simply like to share your thoughts, please leave a comment.