Friday, December 9, 2016

Cathy MacRae Guests With The Highlander's Reluctant Bride

We have a treat today, a  special look a medieval wedding in the highlands in Cathy MacRae's The Highlander’s Reluctant Bride (book 2 in The Highlander’s Bride series).

At a nod from the priest, Riona stepped forward, and Eaden placed her hand in Ranald’s. She glanced at him from beneath lowered lashes, her heart racing wildly.

“Lady Caitriona, do ye come here of yer own free will and accord, without let or hindrance, free of all moral and legal encumbrance, to enter into this contract?”

Riona inhaled a deep breath. “Aye.”

The priest’s voice droned on, and she and Ranald murmured the correct responses, pledging their troth.

“Laird Scott, will ye have Gilda as yer daughter, to act as father and counsel, granting her all the attendant rights, privileges and responsibilities?”

Riona’s gaze flew to Ranald. This was not part of any wedding ceremony she’d ever attended. What was Ranald promising?

He squeezed her hand reassuringly and motioned for Gilda to approach. Placing his palm on the child’s shining head, he faced Riona, his gaze compelling her to listen to his words.

“Aye. I will offer all this in love and custom, giving her place in law alongside such other children as may arise from this union.”

Riona barely heard the challenge from the priest for any to speak who had just cause to oppose the marriage. Nor could she stop the tears spilling down her cheeks as she strove to breathe past the lump in her throat. Before their wedding guests and God, Ranald had pledged to give her daughter all the benefits of his own children, and to love and provide for her always.

Ranald leaned close, brushing the back of a hand over her damp cheek. “Dearling, will ye say yer vows?”

Abruptly Riona realized the priest was staring expectantly at her and she gathered her scattered thoughts. She handed her bouquet of heather to Gilda and faced Ranald, taking both of his hands in hers.

“Ye are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.” She lifted her gaze and found dark blue eyes burning into hers. “I give ye my body, that we two might be one. I give ye my spirit, ‘til our life shall be done.”

Determined to keep the Macrory clan’s holdings out of the clutches of the Lord of the Isles and marauding pirates, King Robert II sends his man, Lord Ranald Scott, to hold Scaurness Castle. There, Laird Macrory lays dying, awaiting word from his son who is missing on the battlefields of France. If the son is not found before the old laird dies, Ranald will take over as laird—and marry Laird Macrory’s headstrong daughter.

Lady Caitriona sees no reason she cannot rule the clan in her brother’s stead, and is bitterly disappointed with the king’s decision to send a man to oversee the castle and people. Not only is Ranald Scott only distantly related to the Macrory clan, but he was her childhood nemesis. She has little trust or like for him.

Her disappointment turns to panic when the king’s plan is completely revealed and she realizes she must wed Ranald. Pirates, treachery, and a four-year-old girl stand between her and Ranald’s chance at happiness. What will it take for them to learn to trust each other and find the love they both deserve?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Celebrate Release Day with Jenna Jaxon--and a Free Book

RELEASE DAY. I’m happy to welcome Jenna Jaxon with her brand new book Seduction at the Christmas Court which is released, yep, today!

To celebrate, she's giving away a copy of a book from her backlist. So don't forget to comment.

Congratulations, Jenna.
Please tell us a little about your book.

Christmas tidings of comfort, joy, and temptation
Alyse and Geoffrey, Lord and Lady Longford, have journeyed to the glittering Christmas Court of King Edward III in the year 1349 to wait upon the king and take part in some Yuletide merriment. However, when Geoffrey is suddenly called into the king’s service again, Alyse must remain at court, attending the queen and persuading her rebellious sister to accept an unwanted betrothal. When rumors of Geoffrey’s death arise, Alyse fends off an old suitor who wants to renew their friendship. But how long will he take “No” for an answer?
Sounds exciting. Is this book part of a series?
Yes, this is actually Book 5 of my Time Enough to Love series. The other titles are Betrothal, Betrayal, Beleaguered, and Beloveds
What draws you to this genre?
I love history! I always have. I grew up across the road from a Civil War battlefield and I think that had something to do with it. LOL So when I read romance, I naturally gravitated toward the historicals. Now I seldom read or write anything else.

What inspired you for this particular story?
I’d been wanting to return to my medieval world, and I had an idea that I wanted Alyse’s sister to have her own story. This is part of that story, but the focus is still on Alyse and Geoffrey. I knew this part of Pippa’s story would take place at the Christmas Court so I managed to weave the two stories together.

Was any character particularly stubborn in cooperating with you during the writing process?
Not really. They are all characters I’m familiar with and they talk to me pretty steadily.

If you had to describe this book as a color, what would that color be?
A rich, jeweled tone, ruby red

If you had to describe the book as a taste, what would it be?
Savory, hearty with meaty flavors

Is there a special place you like to write?
Nags Head, NC on writer’s retreat!

Do you have challenges with finding writing time?
Always.Between my more than full-time job and my very demanding family, days go by when I simply don’t have time to write. I need to be writing a book right now, but this release has thrown a monkey wrench into that.

What’s your next project?
And that segues perfectly into this question! I’ve got a contract for a full-length Regency for Kensington’s print line that’s due in June, so I’m determined to get the rough draft of that one done before the first of the year. Because I have another full-length novel due for Kensington/Lyrical’s ebook line in May! I foresee lots of writing in my immediate future!

Sounds like you’ve got a busy winter ahead of you. What one tip would you offer writers? The one I always offer, because it was given to me by my mentor, Judi McCoy, and it is the best advice a writer can follow: You can fix crap; you can’t fix nothing. So write!

Excellent advice. Before you go, give us a longer look at the new book. 

Happy to. Here you are:

Alyse stared in horror as Guy nonchalantly raised her hand to his lips. The skin seemed to shrink, as though it would crawl off her bones to escape his touch. She longed to snatch it away from the vile man however, mindful of the thousand eyes that marked her every movement, she instead gave him a coy look and a nod. “You are kind to remember me, Guy, now that you have my sister to wife. I doubted you would give me a glance in the wake of her beauty.”

Geoffrey moved closer to her, his hulking presence a subtle warning.

An she knew her husband, he was now sorely tempted to run Guy through with his sword. Thank God it lay safe in their chamber. “I give you good evening, Sir Guy. It has been long since last we met at my father’s house.” Remind him who had triumphed that evening and mayhap he’d keep his distance and his head.

“Too long, cherie. Perhaps now we are to be kindred, we will see much more of one another.” His gaze rested on her mouth and he licked his lips.

Bold villain. Alyse drew closer to Geoffrey. The man’s dark-eyed gaze would peel the clothes from her like the skin from an orange an she endured it much longer.

Face blackened in a scowl, Geoffrey bumped her side as he stepped between her and Guy. “My wife will enjoy her sister’s company as often as she likes while we are at court, Sir Guy. An you are in the room you may bear them company as well during the Christmastide. Should you journey to Longford after you are wed, of course, we will always open our home to you.” Her husband’s teeth clenched so tight his jaw creaked. He’d rejoice in Guy’s company when the last trump sounded.

“Pippa,” Alyse said, turning to her sister, sorry that she must bear witness to Guy’s disrespect. Pray God His Majesty never heard tell of this conversation. She grasped her sister’s hands, pulling the girl from Guy’s side. “’Twill only be a short time ‘ere we are gone from here. This feuding twixt Guy and Geoffrey will last only so long as we remain here. Once you are married—”
“Once I am married to him there will be no escape, Alyse.” Pippa’s voice, hard-edged, flat, and filled with anger, made her cringe. “I will be forever chained to a man who cares nothing for me, only for my sister.”

Amazon buy link:

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical romance in all time periods because passion is timeless.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She’s a theatre director when she’s not writing and lives in Virginia with her family, including two very vocal cats, Marmalade and Sugar.
Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as Vice-President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. She has three series available: The House of Pleasure, set in Georgian England, Handful of Hearts, set in Regency England, and Time Enough to Love, set in medieval England and France.
She currently writes to support her chocolate habit.

Find Jenna Jaxon online: