Welcome to the Fall Season of Medieval Monday. We begin the new theme of Travel with a look at one of our own books. Most novels deal with journeys of one kind or another–often more than one journey. This time Medieval Monday looks at events that take place during physical travel of our characters.
I’m excited to spotlight my upcoming release THE LADY OF THE FOREST, which is due out Oct.28! It’s a 40,000 word novella featuring Lord Henry and Lady Katherine’s story.
“Tell Kate to take no
chances until I return.” From the downturn of Jamie’s mouth, Henry gathered how
well she’d follow such advice.
“Hold.” Jamie trotted
forward. “Guards patrol along here ever’ day. Don’t know if they been by yet,
but you stay just inside the trees. There’s a path runs along the road. Won’t
nobody see you. The crossroad’s on further, a bit.”
“My thanks, again.”
Henry pinned him with a stern gaze. “Have a care for yourself.”
Before the youth
clambered back into the trees, he flashed his jaunty grin. This time, the smile
contained a trace of sadness.
remained on Henry’s mind as he rode, but without all the facts, he couldn’t
devise a plan of action. Of his own circumstance, he suspected Sir Mortimer
played a double game, although why he pretended to believe Paxton was Henry
remained unclear. Perhaps he sought power by supporting a usurper. More than
likely, he played a waiting game, to
see which outcome presented more opportunity.
Travel through the
brushy roadside leveled into a slow, monotonous lull, during which he devised a
variety of options for dealing with Paxton. His mind grappled with one of those
plans when a disturbance, a sound, alerted him.
He reined in his
mount and listened. Silence. It came again. A series of faint, sharp bird
calls. Only a bird called Jamie could emit such a frantic warble. An emergency,
indeed, to have sent the youth after him.
Henry urged the gelding
around and started back. A score of steps later, the calls sounded from just
ahead. Movement to his right sent him in that direction. The boy came into view,
stepping carefully onto an almost-bare tree limb.
Concern turned Henry’s tone sharp as Jamie jumped to the ground.
“I feared—I’d not
catch you.” Tight lines etched the
youngster’s face. “It’s Cade and Oscar. They’re following.”
Henry swung down
beside him. “Have they been harmed?”
Jamie hung his head
and gasped for breath, hands on his knees. “Nah. But awful ole Hawise… she saw
Cade leaving…and sent up a shout. Said the lad that…freed Oscar…were the dead
Lady of Stonehill. You gots to help ’em.”
“How far back are
they?” As he spoke, he took the boy’s arm to help him sit.
“A ways. I ran ahead
to catch you.” He heaved in a lung-full of air and blew it out, then flattened
a hand to his chest.
“For awhile I thought my heart would get here a’fore me.”
ruffled the boy’s hair. “You did well. Stay here and rest while I go for them.
Are Sir Mortimer’s men following?”
Oscar nodded, his
unruly curls flopping into his eyes. “But they’re going the wrong way for now.
Cade took the south road ’till she could double back without ’em knowing.”
“How could they not
The boy snorted. “She
knows shortcuts better’n any old guard that don’t gets off his behind. And Sir
Mort never bothered to learn nothing about the land nor the tenants since he
come. He only cares what he can pry out of ’em.”
He gulped another
breath. “See, Maddie caught up to me in the woods. She could leave, ’cause
nobody never pays attention to a kitchen helper. I waited at the hut ’till Cade
Henry’s heart thudded
at the thought of Kate being chased by soldiers. “Is she unharmed?”
“Said so, didn’t I?”
The boy’s spirit was
bouncing back. He’d be fine. But Cade…Kate. He hoped they were near. “Do they
Jamie nodded. “Cade
had’em hid. They’ll be slowed down in the woods. That’s why I came after you.”
“You did the right
thing. I’ll find her—“
“Cade said stay here,
they’d come to you. If you gets lost in the forest, we’d have to go looking.”
True. He hated to
admit it, but traipsing through unfamiliar countryside might cost unnecessary
time. Inactivity grated on his nerves, but he had little choice. He paced a
circle around the tree Jamie leaned against until restlessness became too much.
Bedamned to an unknown landscape. Kate might be in trouble.
“I’m going back,” he
“No need.” Jamie
nodded toward the trees. “They’re coming.”
Two figures on
horseback broke through the underbrush, but Henry saw only the blood splashed
down the front of Kate’s tunic.
He must find a traitor; she must protect her people. Can
their love survive the duties that drive them apart?
When her elderly husband dies,
Lady Katherine fakes her own death and disappears into the forest with others
escaping the brutish new lord. Determined to protect her people, she knocks the
wrong man senseless. But Lord Henry’s not an enemy, he’s the brother of her
childhood friend. Although his tender confidence tempts her, she’s bound by
Henry of Chauvere has found the
one lady he wants for his own, never mind she’s tied him hand and foot. When he learns the king
has ordered her to wed Stonehill’s ruthless new master, he insists Kate seek
haven with his sister. But she won’t desert her friends. Henry vows to solve
her problem, provided he catches a traitor before the threat from Kate’s past
When a daring rescue compels
Henry and Kate to join forces, their attraction grows into love. If only duty
didn’t drive them apart.