I’m happy to welcome Best Selling Author Laurel McDonnell as my first Medieval Monday guest. She’s featuring a look at her marvelous Christmas tale, A Knight Before Christmas.


Blamed by her father for her twin sister’s death on Christmas Eve, Lady Eve Chandos agrees to marry a man she does not love to please him and appease his years of wrath. Betrayed by his brother at an early age, Sir Gabriel Bedford decides it is time to make amends and attends his brother’s marriage, but he is unprepared for the beauty Lady Eve has grown into and the attraction that quickly sparks between them.

As Christmas approaches, can Eve and Gabriel find the happiness they seek, or will the secrets of their past doom them to remain apart forever?

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Eve’s mouth dropped. Her mother always had time for the children, making certain that as a child she played with all of them. Her father had grown cynical and pompous after her mother passed. Eve closed her mouth. “Yes, Father.” But she had no intention of following his advice. 

“You have guests waiting in the Great Hall to celebrate your marriage. Spend your time with the nobles.” He strolled down the hallway.

Eve watched him go, longing for a different time. Longing for the time when he would look at her with tenderness, when he would carry she and Eden on his shoulders, proudly. She longed for that father. “Father!”

He paused and turned to her. 

She wanted… what? What did she want from him? To tell him to love her again? To tell him about Eden, that she was happy, that she visited with her sister? He would only become angry. She shook her head. “I was thinking of mother is all.”

Please continue reading the excerpt from A Knight Before Christmas next week at Ashley York’s website

Here’s where you can find my excerpts throughout the round.

Nov. 25:

Dec. 2    

Dec. 9    

Dec. 16  

Dec. 23  

Dec. 30  

Jan. 6     

Jan. 13   

Jan. 20   

Jan. 27   

MEDIEVAL MONDAY: Celebrate with for this knight only

WELCOME BACK TO MEDIEVAL MONDAY. Our new theme is Celebrations. Each author in this three month exchange has selected a large excerpt from her featured book. That large excerpt is broken down into snippets that are featured each week on fellow Medieval Monday authors’ blogs.

We will begin and end the exchange with a segment featuring our own books. To Begin: Here’s For This Knight Only.

This excerpt leads up to Roark and Alyss’s wedding. To set the scene. Sir Roark has come to Chauvere Castle with word that Lady Alyss’s brother, who was killed while protecting the King Richard, had asked Roark to marry Alyss in order to protect her, Chauvere, and its people. Alyss is suspicious of Sir Roark’s claim, and he must use all the techniques he can think of to persuade her.

Here’s a reminder of what’s at stake for both Roark and Alyss.


He’ll do anything for land, even marry her; she’ll do anything for her people, except marry him.  If only either had a choice. It’s a marriage only love can save.

Sir Roark will do anything to gain land, even beguile an unwilling lady into marriage. He knows she’s much better off with a man to take control of her besieged castle, to say nothing of her desirable person. But it isn’t long before he discovers that, although her eyes sparkle like sunlight on sea waves, her stubbornness alone could have defeated Saladin.   

Lady Alyss is determined to hold her family’s castle, protect her people, and preserve her freedom— until her brother’s dying wish binds her to a stranger. Still, she’ll allow no rugged, over-confident, appealing knight to usurp her authority, even if she must wed him. Especially since he thinks a lady’s duties begin and end with directing servants. Alyss has a few surprises for her new all-too-tempting lord.

But when a common enemy threatens everything, Roark and Alyss face a startling revelation. Without love, neither land nor freedom matters.

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A few tables pushed up against the wall were being set with pitchers of ale and platters of meat pasties. The servants’ talk quieted as he walked to the center of the room and looked around. Roark spied the female who had attended Lady Alyss earlier.

 He motioned to her. “What are you called, girl?” 

“Rose,” she answered, eyes lowered.

“Well, Rose, go and tell your lady that I await her.” He turned to Father Eudo. “Are you ready?” 

The priest looked at Roark for a long moment before he nodded once.

They did not talk while they waited. Muffled sounds drifted down from the solar, then a heavy door slammed. The maid reappeared, a sly look on her face. 

“Milady said you could wait until doomsday. Sir Roark.” The courtesy title was added begrudgingly.  From somewhere among the servants came muffled laughter. Roark set his jaw and headed for the stairway. When he reached the solar, he lifted a foot and kicked open the door. 

      To see what effect his entry has on Alyss, follow next week at Laurel O’Donnell’s blog:

Welcome Wednesday: Delsora Lowe and The Rancher Needs A wife

Help me welcome today’s guest, Delsora Lowe, who has just released the second in her Cowboys of Mineral Springs series, THE RANCHER NEEDS A WIFE, a delightful contemporary Western.

So glad you’re here today, Delsora. I love the sound of this series. Please tell us about Carter’s story.

I am excited to announce the release of book two of the Cowboys of Mineral Springs, The Rancher Needs a Wife. One question an author most often hears is where do you get your ideas? Your Inspiration?

Book one, The Prince’s Son, and the entire series was inspired by my daughter’s employment as a ski instructor for young children of the wealthy and famous in the Aspen, Colorado area. The idea for the prince came from her stories about a Middle Eastern prince who owned a ranch in the area. I originally wrote a very short story on these two, the ski instructor and the prince, as the hero and heroine. The idea stuck, and the next thing I knew I had written an entire novel.

The heroine’s brother played a big part in book one, so, even though I had not planned to write a series, I now have six so far and ideas for more. Carter Peters is the hero in The Rancher Needs a Wife. Carter was the impetus behind writing a series. As I was having trouble figuring out what made my prince act the way he does, I realized he was a lot like the heroine’s brother. No wonder they clashed in book one.

The sheriff, Quil, who played a minor role in book one, is Carter’s best friend and blood brother, who was adopted by the Peters’ family as a young boy when he lost his parents. Quil plays the confidant role in Carter’s story and will have his own book next year. So stay tuned.

Both book three and four are written. I hope to release each in 2020. Books five and six are in very rough draft forms, so who knows when those will release. I guess I better get busy.

The inspiration for my cover of The Rancher Needs a Wife, came from my daughter’s photo taken while hiking in Colorado. When I showed it to my cover artist, CoversbyKaren, she loved it. So part of the photo was used as the background of the newest cover.

The Rancher Needs A Wife


WANTED: Workaholic cowboy needs hardy woman to manage household and motley family. “Girly” widows, with small children, who sell naughty lingerie need not apply.

Overprotective big brother and ranch owner, Carter Peters, draws the short straw at a contrived family meeting to buy his stepmom’s sixtieth birthday present. He never imagines while on the present-buying quest he’ll get zapped with cupid’s arrow by a feisty southern belle, single mom, and lingerie shop owner who is so wrong for him and has off-limits written all over her. He has no time for romance—he has a ranch to run and a father who, despite being “retired,” can’t help micro-manage. Dad insists Carter’s new-fangled ways won’t work.

Lynette Mercer wants nothing to do with the tall, sexy, and slightly bashful cowboy who walks through her door. Okay, maybe just a little. They could be friends. After all, she’s vowed not to date until her four-year old reaches the ripe age of thirty-six. She’s recovering from the death of her husband in a marriage turned bad, and starting a new business.

With new friends and Carter’s family determined to marry him off, neither stand a chance against cupid or a town full of caring folks.

The Rancher Needs A Wife


She finished a dance with Rocky, a cowboy who had grown up on the ranch with Mitch Peters. He left her breathless as he twirled her around the floor in a lively two-step that she finally gotten the hang of.

“My, oh my, you have some fancy foot-work.”

The older man blushed. “Thank you, ma’am. I ‘preciate the dance.”

“I’m tuckered out.” She fanned her face with her hand. “I’m going to duck out for a breath of air. Thank you again, Rocky.”

She drifted through the wide doorway, regaining a bit of energy once the cool air hit her warm body. She headed toward the edge of the large yard leading to the ranch house. The music dimmed. Dusk settled around her.

When she reached the green lawn, she turned and looked back toward the barn. Soft light spilled from the open doors, picking up the glint of pebbles scattered over the dirt drive. The thin line of gray-blue sky outlined the surrounding mountain tops and blended into midnight black above her head.

She arched her back and swept her hair up in one hand to cool off her neck while she took in the breathtaking display of twinkling stars. The full moon shoved its way free of a drifting cloud to shine bright, casting shadows across the rugged landscape.

The crisp air and slight breeze brushed over her to dry the perspiration after her exertion on the dance floor. A shiver zipped through her, the night chill in contrast to the heated barn full of moving bodies and pulsing music.

“You cold?”

Out of the shadows near the barn came the deep voice she’d longed to hear all night.

She turned toward the wide expanse of barn silhouetted against the moonlight. Carter sauntered from the shadows, removing his light-weight jacket.

He stopped inches away, his presence sucking the air from her lungs, and draped his jacket around her shoulders. The scent of pine and leather and Carter wafted up to surround her.

Oh, lordy. She wanted to swoon.

“Hey.” She was sure the barn cat had captured her tongue. Foolish really.

In the distance, a night bird called.


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~ cottages to cabins ~ keep the home fires burning ~

Delsora Lowe writes small town sweet romances and contemporary westerns from the mountains of Colorado to the shores of Maine.

Author of the Starlight Grille series, Serenity Harbor Maine novellas, and the Cowboys of Mineral Springs series, Lowe has also authored short romances for Woman’s World magazine.

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