Originally posted on To Be Honest…: ?? Here comes the fictional bride and groom! For Romance week, we’ve invited ourselves back to the book weddings that made us swoon, smile, laugh, and cry. From intimate candlelit ceremonies to blowout bashes, these are the ceremonies—and receptions!—we wished we had been invited to in real life.? My…
Latest Book Title: I UNLOVE YOU
Author: Matthew Turner
Genre: Coming-of-Age, New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2015
BLURB OF LATEST BOOK – I UNLOVE YOU:
My name is Ausdylan Elvis Ashford, a twenty-two-year-old who leads a rather perfect life. With a steady job straight out of university, a charismatic best friend I’m in a band with, and a girlfriend I’ve loved since the moment I first gazed upon, I couldn’t ask for more. Until my perfect girlfriend, B, changed both of our lives forever.
It began with the words, “I’m pregnant,” and the realisation I’d soon guide a new life into this world. Embarking on my own journey of self-discovery, I found new meaning in love, living, friendship, and family. This should have become the greatest love story of all, but I assure you it isn’t.
Sometimes true love and unbreakable trust is built upon lies and deceit. Sometimes those you know better than anyone turn out to be strangers you don’t know at all. My name is Aus, and this is my (un)love story. . .
I was completely overtaken by this novel that I finished it in one sitting. I rarely finish a book in one sitting but I found myself needing to know what’s next! I found the characters to be really wise beyond their years and that’s all down to Mr. Turner. He pulls you in and you can’t help but care about them. Without giving anything away, the novel starts out with a declaration from the main character about hating his one true love and from there, you take a journey with him. A journey of the almost perfect relationship, all the while knowing something is going to go terribly wrong. I spent 2/3rds of the novel waiting for the other shoe to drop. When it does, all I can say is WOW! Read it! I think you’ll absolutely love I UNLOVE YOU, I did!
I UNLOVE YOU EXCERPT:
NOVEMBER 15TH – A BATHROOM FLOOR:
Beatrice Butterworth is a bitch. That’s how the dream ends, me shouting and falling into a dark and eerie abyss. My eyes shoot open, and for a few seconds I’m at peace. There is no pain. There is no despair. There are no lies or deceit. There’s nothing but a soothing, calming, numbing nothingness, until everything turns against me and transforms into torture.
“Urghhh,” I groan, my head throbbing and throat dry.
I close my eyes, light’s burden’s too great. My mind continues its unstable spin. Clenching my fists, I try and force my hands to my face, but I’m unable to move. I’m too heavy, far too heavy, as if something or somebody sits on my chest. What can I remember? What the hell happened? Where on earth am I?
The last thing I recall is standing outside of work, catching my breath after storming out of Tony’s office. Did I really say all those things to him? Did I tell him to sit down and shut up whilst I stood in his office? I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t have…only, I did. I remember it. I remember the white room and his drained face. It doesn’t seem real, but it is.
“What the hell?” I whisper, each word whistling through my cracked lips.
Blinking, I open my eyes long enough to explore the strange place where I lay: blue and grey tiles reach up to a cracked ceiling; an extractor fan vibrates in the corner, covered in dirt and murk; and a patch of green mould encircling a brown centre. I appear to be in a bathroom, and a rather grim one at that.
I take a deep breath and focus my thoughts, but all I do is disturb my fragile stomach. I hurt, all over. Not just aches and pains of muscles and tendons, but a throbbing surge running up my left arm. I tap my right fingers against the hard, tiled floor, and run my nails along its surface to my thigh and onto my frozen skin.
I hadn’t realised until now, but I’m cold; numb, even. Running my hand up and down my right side, all I find are boxer shorts, as damp and cold as my skin. “What the hell happened?” I mumble, using all my strength to roll on to my side.
The pain running up my left arm intensifies, the pounding in my head gets heavier, the rumble in my stomach an unbearable tumble. “What have you done?” I mumble again, struggling up into a sitting position and evaluating the chaos around me.
Two fallen and finished bottles of cheap whisky lay to my right, and a half-eaten burger to my left. All alone in this bare bathroom, I’m surrounded by a toilet and a sink, a cracked mirror above it. No towels, pictures, or semblance of life. No toilet roll, toothbrushes or shower. Just me and my mess, and a pile of vomit inches from my hand.
“Oh, God,” I say, edging away from it.
I search the area for my clothes, but find nothing on the floor except the empty bottles and discarded burger. Cuts and bruises cover my knees and shins, and a discoloured purple patch, consumes half my left arm. At least that answers the mystery behind my throbbing pain, although how it came to be remains a riddle.
Closing my eyes, I focus and think, but all I remember is standing outside the office. I suppose I drank, but how much? I’ve suffered through horrendous hangovers before, but never like this. This isn’t me. I don’t do this. Neither do I confront my boss the way I did.
I’m not sure who I am anymore. I may not remember last night, but I remember everything else. All those moments I wish I couldn’t. All those times I wish were different.
Heaving myself onto my knees, I struggle to my feet and stumble towards the chipped and broken sink. Head spinning and body swaying, I cling to the porcelain with all my might.
“Shit,” I sigh, starring at the apparent man looking back: red-eyed, with puffy cheeks, bruised forehead and grazed chin. My hair loops around itself into knotted strands. My nose, blue and tender, even larger and more crooked than usual. Despite feeling frozen and shivering, I drip with sweat. I have chapped lips and cracked skin, and patchy stubble breaking through the surface.
“You did it, B,” I say, my eyes welling like they have so often of late. “You’ve broken me. You did this. I loved you and trusted you so much, but you’ve broken me.” I shake my head and wipe away the tears bulging in the corner of my eyes. “I hate you, B. I hate you.”
Matthew Turner is an English author who writes gritty coming-of-age stories about love and life as an early twenty-something. His latest novel, I Unlove You, follows his previous books, Tick to the Tock and Beyond Parallel. You can learn more about his stories and general day dreaming at turndog.co/books, where he opens up the entire writing process to avid readers and fellow writers like you.
Join his band of merry misfits and be part of an adventure that few writers share. Learn more at tdog.co/iunloveyou where you can download his latest novel for free.
King Arthur is my favorite subject and I write academic articles and books about the Arthurian Legends. Today’s quote happens to be by an author who wrote Arthurian fiction! Hope you enjoy!
I know all about endings. It is beginnings that elude me.
Marion Zimmer Bradley (born June 3, 1930) wrote her first novel at the age of 17. The Forest House, a prequel to her landmark Mists of Avalon series, was published after her death.
All My Best,
Jill M Roberts
TITLE – Liberty, second edion AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee
GENRE – Historical Romance (ancient Rome) PUBLICATION DATE – Dec. 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 462 pages/118K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown
BOOK INFO – hp://kimiversonheadlee.blogspot.com/p/liberty.html
They hailed her “Liberty,” but she was free only to obey—or die.
Betrayed by her father and sold as payment of a Roman tax debt to fight in Londinium’s arena, gladiatrix-slave Rhyddes feels like a wild beast in a gilded cage. Celc warrior blood flows in her veins, but Roman masters own her body. She clings to her vow that no man shall claim her soul, though Marcus Calpurnius Aquila, son of the Roman governor, makes her yearn for a love she believes impossible.
Groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps and trapped in a polically advantageous betrothal, Aquila prefers the purity of combat on the amphitheater sands to the sinister intrigues of imperial polics, and the raw power and athlec grace of the flame-haired Libertas to the adoring deference of Rome’s noblewomen.
When a plot to overthrow Caesar ensnares them as pawns in the dark design, Aquila must choose between the Celc slave who has won his heart and the empire to which they both owe allegiance. Knowing the opposite of obedience is death, the only liberty
￼offered to any slave, Rhyddes must embrace her arena name—and the love of a man willing to sacrifice everything to forge a future with her.
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FINGERS CRAMPING AND shoulders aching from having wielded the pitchfork all day, Rhyddes ferch Rudd tossed another load of hay onto the wagon. Sweat trickled down her back, making the lash marks sng. Marks inflicted by her father, Rudd, the day before because eighteen summers of anguish had goaded her into speaking her mind.
Physical pain couldn’t compare with the ache wringing her heart.
She slid a glance toward the author of her mood. He stood a few paces away, leaning upon his pitchfork’s handle in the loaded wagon’s shade to escape the July heat as he conversed with her oldest brother, Eoghan. She couldn’t discern their words, but their camaraderie spoke volumes her envy didn’t want to hear.
Her father’s gaze met hers, and he lowered his eyebrows. “Back to work, Rhyddes!” On Rudd’s lips, her name sounded like an insult.
In a sense, it was.
Her name in the Celc tongue meant “freedom,” but the horse hitched to the hay wagon enjoyed more freedom than she did. Her tribe, the Votadini, had been conquered by the thieving Romans, who demanded provisions for their troops, fodder for their mounts, women for their beds, and coin to fill the purses of every Roman who wasn’t a soldier.
If those condions weren’t bad enough, for all the kindness her father had demonstrated during her first two decades, Rhyddes may as well have been born a slave.
She scooped up more hay. Resentment-fired anger sent wisps flying everywhere, much of it sailing over the wagon rather than landing upon it.
“Hey, mind what you’re doing!”
Owen, her closest brother in age and in spirit, emerged from the wagon’s far side, hay prickling his hair and tunic like a porcupine. Rhyddes couldn’t suppress her laugh. “’Tis an improvement. Just wait ll the village lasses see you.”
“Village lasses, hah!” Sporng a wicked grin, Owen snatched up a golden fisul, flung it at her, and dived for her legs.
They landed in the fragrant hay and began vying for the upper hand, cackling like a pair of witless hens. When Owen thought he’d prevailed, Rhyddes twisted and rolled from underneath him. Her fresh welts stung, but she refused to let that deter her. He lost his balance and fell backward. She pounced, planng a knee on his chest and pinning his wrists to the ground over his head.
Victory’s sweetness lasted but a moment. Fingers dug into her shoulders, and she felt herself hauled to her feet and spun around. Owen’s face contorted to chagrin as he scrambled up.
“Didn’t get enough of the lash yestermorn, eh, girl?” Rudd, his broad hands clamped around her upper arms, gave her a teeth-raling shake.
When she didn’t respond, he released her and rounded on Owen. “As for you—”
“Da, please, no!” Rhyddes stopped herself. Well she knew the fulity of pleading with Rudd. Sll, for Owen’s sake, she had to try. Her father’s scowl dared her to connue. She swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. “’Twas not Owen’s fault. I—” Sweat freshened the sng on her back, and she winced. “The fault is naught but mine.”
“Aye, that I can well believe.” Rudd grasped each sibling by an arm and strode across the hayfield toward the family’s lodge. “Owen can watch you take his lashes as well as yours. We’ll see if that won’t mend his ways.” The thin linen of her ankle-length tunic failed to shield her from his fingers, which had to be leaving bruises. Rhyddes gried her teeth. Rudd seemed disappointed. “I doubt anything in this world or the next will make you mend yours.”
“You don’t want me to change. You’d lose your excuse to beat me.” Sheer impernence, she knew, but she no longer cared.
“I need no excuses, girl.”
The back of his hand collided with her cheek. Pain splintered into a thousand needles across her face. She reeled and dropped to her hands and knees, her hair obscuring her vision in a copper cascade. Hay pricked her palms. Owen would have helped her rise, but their father restrained him. Owen blistered the ground with his glare, not daring to direct it at Rudd for fear of earning the same punishment.
Not that Rhyddes could blame him.
Rudd yanked her up, cocked a fist… and froze. “Raiders!”
Rhyddes whirled about. Picts were charging from the north to converge upon their selement, the bale cries growing louder under the merciless aernoon sun. One of the storage buildings had already been set ablaze, its roof thatch marring the sky with thick black smoke.
Rudd shed his shock and sprinted for the living compound, calling his children by name to help him defend their home: Eoghan, Ian, Bloeddwyn, Arden, Dinas, Gwydion, Owen.
Every child except Rhyddes.
She ran to the wagon, unhitched the horse, found her pitchfork, scrambled onto the animal’s back, and kicked him into a jolng canter. The stench of smoke strengthened with each stride. Her mount pinned back his ears and wrestled her for control of the bit, but she bent the frightened horse to her will. She understood how he felt.
As they loped past the cow byre, a Pict leaped at them, knocking Rhyddes from the horse’s back. The ground jarred the pitchfork from her grasp. The horse galloped toward the pastures as Rhyddes fumbled for her dagger. Although her brothers had taught her how to wield it in a fight, unl now she’d used it only to ease dying animals from this
But the accursed blade wouldn’t come free of the hilt.
Sword alo, the Pict closed on her.
Time distorted, assaulng Rhyddes with her aacker’s every detail: lime-spiked hair, weird blue symbols smothering the face and arms, long sharp sword, ebony leather boots and leggings, breastplate tooled to fit female curves . . .
The warrior-woman’s sword began its descent.
From the corner of her eye Rhyddes saw her pitchfork. Grunng, she rolled toward it, praying to avoid her aacker’s blow.
Her le arm stung where the sword grazed it, but she snagged her pitchfork and scrambled to her feet. Unexpected eagerness flooded her veins.
As the Pict freed her weapon from where it had embedded in the ground, Rhyddes aimed the pitchfork and lunged. The nes hooked the warrior-woman’s sword, and Rhyddes twisted with all her strength. The Pict yelped as the sword ripped from her hand to go flying over the sty’s fence. Squealing in alarm, the sow lumbered for cover, trying to wedge her bulk under the trough.
With a savage scream, the warrior-woman whipped out a dagger and charged. Rhyddes reversed the pitchfork and jammed its bu into the Pict’s gut, under the breastplate’s boom edge, robbing her of breath. She reversed it again and caught the raider under the chin with the pitchfork’s nes. As the woman staggered backward, flailing her arms and flashing the red punctures that marred her white neck, Rhyddes struck hard and knocked her down.
The warrior-woman looked heavier by at least two stone, but Rhyddes pinned her chest with her knee. She dropped the pitchfork and grasped her dagger, yanking it free. Grabbing a fisul of limed hair, she wrestled the woman’s head to one side to expose her neck.
The Pict bucked and twisted, trying to break Rhyddes’s grip. ’Twas not much different than wrestling a fever-mad calf.
Rhyddes’s de slice ended the threat.
Blood spurted from the woman’s neck in sickening pulses.
Rhyddes stood, panng, her stomach churning with the magnitude of what she’d done. ’Twas no suffering animal she’d killed—and it could have been her lying there, pumping her lifeblood into the mud.
Bile seared her throat, making her gag. Pain lanced her stomach. Bent double, she retched out the remains of her morning meal, spaering the corpse.
Aer sping out the last bier mouthful and wiping her lips with the back of her hand, she drew a deep breath and straightened. As she turned a slow circle, her senses taking in the sights and sounds and stench of the devastaon surrounding her, she wished she had not prevailed.
The news grew worse as she sprinted toward the lodge.
Of her seven brothers, the Picts had le Ian and Gwydion dead, her father and Owen wounded, the lodge and three outbuildings torched. She ran a fingerp over the crusted blood of her scratch, and she couldn’t suppress a surge of guilt.
Mayhap, she thought through the blinding tears as she ran to help what was le of her family, ’twould have been beer had she died in the Pict’s stead.
The surviving raiders were galloping toward the tree line with half the cale. The remaining stock lay sffening in the fields, already aracng carrion birds.
Three days later, the disaster aracted scavengers of an altogether different sort.
Liberty is a captivating novel with so many variables that make it a true masterpiece. Our main character Rhyddes, which translates to mean Freedom daughter of Red (thus Liberty), is sold off to the Romans due to a tax debt. Here she must fight in the Gladiator arena. Fortunately Rhyddes fights well, it’s that ancient Celtic warrior blood that runs through her veins that makes her fierce. Although Rhyddes is plagued with captivation and yearning for the Roman governor’s son, Aquila. He too is irresistibly drawn to Rhyddes and vows to renounce his wealth and power for her. The charm of this novel kept me intrigued from the start. The savagery, ferocity coupled with the longing and purity of true love makes Liberty a captivating must read!
I am Rhyddes ferch Rudd, which in your tongue means Freedom daughter of Red. The blood of ancient Celc warriors flows in my veins, though I am a farmer’s daughter by the circumstance of my birth. My life spans much of the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, one of a very few men ever to claim that tle who did not abuse his power for personal gain—but I care not who rules and who dies in this gods-cursed empire.
More than anything—even more than my freedom—I yearn to be my lover Aquila’s equal. As a foreign slave in an empire where cizenship stands paramount, where an arena fighter such as I can only be considered the equal of other gladiators, actors, undertakers, and whores, this goal seems impossibly remote. Although Aquila is the son of a powerful Roman, he has declared that he would renounce his aristocrac status, wealth, and power for me, but I cannot in good conscience allow him to destroy himself on my account.
And yet the gods have granted the impossible to other mortals. I pray that I am worthy to receive such a boon from them, for surely divine assistance is the only way for Aquila and I to bridge the vast social chasm that separates us from enjoying a future together.
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the laer having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century—seem to be scking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seale nave (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from “the other Washington”) and a direct descendent of tweneth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romanc yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the me being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creang her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.
– 5 e-copies of Liberty – 10 note cards
– 1 autographed print copy of Liberty
Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.
May 20, 1915: On this day, esteemed English novelist E.M. Forster got the chicken pox. Upon hearing the news, his friend D.H. Lawrence wrote, “I was wondering what happened to you.”
All My Best,
Jill M Roberts
TITLE – Morning’s Journey
SERIES – The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, book 2
AUTHOR – Kim Iverson Headlee
GENRE – Myths, Legends, Historical, Spiritual, Romance
PUBLICATION DATE – 2013
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 439 pages/140K words
PUBLISHER – Pendragon Cove Press
COVER ARTIST – Natasha Brown
In a violent age when enemies besiege Brydein and alliances shift as swiftly as the wind, stand two remarkable leaders: the Caledonian warrior-queen Gyanhumara and her consort, Arthur the Pendragon. Their fiery love is tempered only by their conviction to forge unity between their disparate peoples. Arthur and Gyan must create an impenetrable front to protect Brydein and Caledonia from land-lusting Saxons and the marauding Angli raiders who may be massing forces in the east, near Arthur’s sister and those he has sworn to protect.
But their biggest threat is an enemy within: Urien, Arthur’s rival and the man Gyan was treaty-bound to marry until she broke that promise for Arthur’s love. When Urien becomes chieftain of his clan, his increase in wealth and power is matched only by the magnitude of his hatred of Arthur and Gyan—and his threat to their infant son.
Morning’s Journey, sequel to the critically acclaimed Dawnflight, propels the reader from the heights of triumph to the depths of despair, through the struggles of some of the most fascinating characters in all of Arthurian literature. Those struggles are exacerbated by the characters’ own flawed choices. Gyan and Arthur must learn that while extending forgiveness to others may be difficult, forgiveness of self is the most excruciating—yet ultimately the most healing—step of the entire journey.
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EXCERPT: Chapter 1
THE CLASH OF arms resounds in the torchlit corridor. Blood oozes where leather has yielded to the bite of steel, yet both sweating, panting warriors refuse to relent.
Her heart thundering, Gyan grips her sword’s hilt, desperate to help the man she loves. Caledonach law forbids it.
Urien makes a low lunge. As Arthur tries to whirl clear, the blade tears a gash in his shield-side thigh. The injured leg collapses, and Arthur drops to one knee. Crowing triumphantly, Urien raises his sword for the deathblow.
Devil take the law!
Gyan springs to block the stroke. Its force jars her arms and twists the hilt in her grasp. She barely holds on through the searing pain.
Urien slips past her guard to slice at her brooch. The gold dragon clatters to the floor. Her cloak slithers to her ankles, fouling her stance. As she tries to kick free, Urien grabs her braid, jerks up her head, and kisses her, hard. Shock loosens her grip. Her sword falls. She thrashes and writhes, but he holds her fast, smirking lewdly.
“You are mine, Pictish whore.”
Urien’s breath reeks of ale and evil promises. She spits in his face. He slaps her. She reels backward, her cheek burning. He grabs her forearms and yanks her close.
“Artyr, help me!”
Her spirits plummet. Weaponless, she can do nothing—wait. A glint catches her eye.
When Urien kisses her again, she surrenders. He grunts his pleasure, redoubling the force of the kiss. Slowly, she works her hands over his chest until her left hand touches cold bronze on his shoulder. She snatches the brooch and rips it free, hoping to stab him with the pin.
Her elation vanishes with her balance as her tangled cloak thwarts her plans. Face contorted with rage, Urien lunges and catches her wrist. She grits her teeth as his fingers dig in to make her drop the brooch. Pain shoots up her arm. She pushes away. Together, they fall—
Gyan gasped and sat bolt upright, pulse hammering. Sweat plastered her hair to her head, which felt like the ball in an all-night game of buill-coise. Bed linens ensnared her legs.
Fingers grazed her shoulder. She recoiled and cocked a fist. Her consort ducked behind his hand. “Easy, Gyan!” She relaxed, and he wrapped his arm about her. “What’s wrong?”
She pressed the heels of her hands to her eyes. “A dream,” she replied, hoping that for once he’d be satisfied with a vague answer.
She sighed. “It was the fight—and yet not the fight.” Gently, she traced the thin red line at the base of his neck where she’d scratched him with Caleberyllus to seal his Oath of Fealty to her and to her clan. But dreams cared naught for oaths. “This time, Urien won.”
Arthur grimaced. “That’s no dream.” He hugged her, and she burrowed into his embrace. “I’d call it a nightmare.”
“Ha.” She bent forward to disengage the linens from her feet. The unyielding fabric ignited her ire. She pounded the straw-stuffed mattress, furious at Urien and even more furious at herself for allowing him to creep into her wedding chamber, if only in spirit. “Why must that cù-puc keep coming between us?” She gazed at the table where Braonshaffir, named for the egg-size sapphire that crowned its hilt, lay sheathed inside its etched bronze scabbard beside Caleberyllus. Indulging in the fantasy of her new sword shearing through Urien’s neck, she bared her teeth in a fierce grin. “Just let him cross me openly, and by the One God, I’ll settle this matter!”
Arthur’s warm sigh ruffled her hair. Together they righted the linens, but when she would have risen, he clasped her hands and regarded her earnestly. “I can’t afford to lose either of you.”
She looked at those hands, young and yet already scarred and callused by years of war: hands that cradled the future of Breatein. “I know.” Briefly, she squeezed his hands, hoping to convey her desire to help him forge unity among his people, the Breatanaich, as well as with Caledonaich, her countrymen.
One legion soldier in five called the northwestern Breatanach territory of Dailriata home, and one in three of those men hailed from Urien’s own Clan Móran. In a duel between Gyan and Urien, Arthur’s Dailriatanach alliance would die regardless of the victor.
If politics ever failed to constrain the Urien of the waking world, however, she couldn’t guarantee that diplomacy would govern her response.
She averted her gaze again to the table where their arms and adornments lay. Their dragon cloak-pins sparked a memory. Something else had been odd about that dream, but its details had receded like the morning tide. She couldn’t decide whether to be troubled or relieved.
Closing her eyes, she inhaled deeply, trying to purge Urien map Dumarec from her mind. Moist pressure against her lips announced her consort’s plans. She welcomed his kiss and deepened it. He ran his fingers through her unbraided hair, following the tresses down her neck and over her breasts. Her nipples firmed under his touch. She arched back, and he kissed his way down to one breast, then the other, drawing the nipples forth even farther and awakening the exquisite ache in her banasròn.
The swelling shaft of sunlight heralded a reminder of their duties.
“The cavalry games will be starting soon, mo laochan.” No other man had earned the Caledonaiche endearment from her, and none ever would. Her “little champion” bore her down onto the pillows, and his lips interrupted any other comment she might have made. As they explored the curve of her throat, she whispered, “We must make an appearance.”
“We will, Gyan.” His fingertips teased her banasròn, discovering its damp readiness. “Eventually.”
She stilled his hand. He looked at her, puzzled.
Being àrd-banoigin obligated her to ensure her clan’s future by bearing heirs, but was she ready to abandon the warrior’s path and devote her life to a bairn? She gave a mental shrug. A swift calculation assured her that her courses would return soon, leaving the question to be faced another day. Smiling, she began caressing one of the reasons he’d earned “laochan” as an endearment.
He cupped her face and kissed her, urgency for both of them soaring on the wings of desire. His thigh rubbed hers with slow, firm strokes. Gyanhumara nic Hymar, Chieftainess of Clan Argyll of Caledon, yielded to her consort’s unspoken command. She opened to him, and he plunged her into their sacred realm of mind-blanking bliss.
Whenever Arthur map Uther, Pendragon of Breatein, issued an order, on the battlefield or off, only a fool disobeyed.
BOOK TRAILER (with older cover by Jennifer Doneske)
From Legion Headquarters in Caer Lugubalion, Brydein, I send you greetings.
I put pen to parchment in honor of my wife, Gyan—formally, Chieftainess Gyanhumara nic Hymar of Clan Argyll of Caledonia. We have been married a few short months, just since the calends of July, and we met each other for the first time only three months before that. Yet I feel so closely bonded with her in heart, soul, and mind that it seems as if I have known her my entire life.
If you were to ask me what first caught my attention about this remarkable woman, I would have to confess it was her exotic beauty. Her brilliant copper hair, sea-green eyes, berry lips, the wild blue doves winging across her forearm all beckoned to me to learn more about her. Since I knew her to be a warrior—though untried in battle at the time of our meeting—I had expected her to act aloof, cold, haughty, arrogant. From the moment my hand gripped her arm in welcome, I knew she was none of those things.
And I think I knew—on some level, at least, if not overtly—that my heart stood in grave danger of declaring its undying allegiance to her even as I realized that to do while she remained betrothed to Urien might plunge our lands into another war.
Fortunately for both our peoples, Gyan proved herself a canny diplomat and hid her feelings about me until the time was right for both of us to declare our love.
Problems remain, of course. Though together Gyan and I defeated the Scots and bought peace from that quarter for a season, the Saxon and Angli kings remain a looming threat. Urien stands to become chieftain of his clan, and may God deliver us all from that day. And I cannot shake the disturbing thought that, should Gyan and I have children, they might fall victim to treachery from without—or within.
But I also have deep abiding faith in that which makes us strongest: our love for each other, and the love of our God, our families, our clans, and our friends. Against an alliance of that nature no power in heaven or on earth stands a chance.
Arturus Aurelius Vetarus, Dux Britanniarum
Also called by many Arthur the Pendragon
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins — the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century — seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from “the other Washington”) and a direct descendent of 20th-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press.
– 5 e-copies of Morning’s Journey
– 10 note cards
– 1 autographed print copy of Morning’s Journey
All My Best,
Jill M Roberts
Burdens are for shoulders strong enough to carry them.
May 3, 1937: Margaret Mitchell won the Pulizter Prize for Fiction for Gone with the Wind 78 years ago today. She first began writing the novel while recovering from an ankle injury.
All My Best,
Jill M Roberts
The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear.
April 25, 1719: Robinson Crusoe was published 296 years ago today. The first edition credited the novel’s narrator, Crusoe, as the author, leading early readers to believe the story of survival actually happened.
All My Best,
Jill M Roberts
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity or registering wrongs.
Charlotte Bronte (born April 21, 1816) shared a lot in common with her romantic heroine, Jane Eyre. Both women took governess positions in private homes and fell in love with married men.
All My Best,
Jill M Roberts
Such an amazing read and performance. A truthful account of one’s life told with poetic ease. For a moment I could’ve been reading Of Human Bondage. This book will become a classic for future generations. A nice surprise, sehr gut!