Medieval Monday:FREE Today–The Outcast Highlander from R. L. Syme

On Medieval Monday, I’m happy to welcome USA Today Bestselling Author R. L. Syme who has a wonderful gift for everyone–THE OUTCAST HIGHLANDER. Just follow the link she’s given, below, and you can get your gift copy! FREE.

Today’s Betrayal excerpt is from that book, which is the first in the Highland Renegade series.

“Bring them forward.” The fat
man reached across his table and picked up a charred leg of some animal. Broc
had never seen a sheriff eat in court before and hoped this was a sign of his
gluttony. Men with deep desires always had a price.
The front guards stepped aside
and Elizabeth walked between them, leaving Broc in their midst. With his broad
sword strapped to his back, it wouldn’t have taken him long to cut through them
if he’d had to. Most of them were boys, even compared to his own years, but
more importantly, they were not well-fed nor well-trained. The soldiers were in
use elsewhere and those who remained filled what boots they could.
They would be quick fodder if
someone threatened Elizabeth.
“My lord and sheriff.”
Elizabeth’s voice wavered, but she executed a perfect curtsey, staying near the
floor until he bade her rise.
Until he got a good eyeful of
her spilling décolletage, more like. Broc shuffled uneasily. She played a
dangerous game.
“Rise, lady.” The sheriff
burped and set down the leg of fowl. A wild turkey, by the look of it. Large,
browned skin, dripping with fatty juices. He licked his lips like the lecherous
fool he was and leaned over the table. With a smile, he followed her rise.
“I’m here to beg you for the
release of my husband, Lord Andrew de Moray, Twelfth Viscount of Avoch and
Strathaven, servant to the king.”
Broc held his laugh in. Servant to which king? The sheriff would
assume Edward, who had taken the rule
of Scotland along with England. But when Andrew said it, he meant Robert Bruce,
whom he considered to be the true King of Scotland.
The sheriff only leered at
Elizabeth and grinned. “I’ve heard of your coming, lady. I trust you were safe,
even with your company.”
“I am safe.” Elizabeth turned
to the dungeon door and cringed visibly. “I’ve heard of my husband’s capture
and impending doom. I wish to bargain for his life.”
“And what did you bring to
Elizabeth straightened and
lifted her chin. This was at least not the posture of a woman who planned to
prostitute herself for her husband. For that much, Broc relaxed.
“I have a suit of armor made
by Spanish monks in the 11th century for my lord’s father.”
The sheriff pulled a knife
from his side pocket and began to pick his teeth. “Yes?”
“And enough gold and silver to
fill three chests, but I’m sure I could get more.”
He kept picking his teeth,
flicking pieces off the blade to toss at various courtiers. Each one looked
disgusted at the act, but smiled in return. He had these men well-trained
“You’ll have to do better than
“My lord is wise, as always.”
Elizabeth turned to Broccin and a hint of regret passed across her face.
She was about to offer herself.
Broc’s hand went immediately
to the hilt of his sword, but before he could draw, ten long spears had come
down around him. Each tip was so close to his neck, if he moved in any one
direction, he would be a dead man.
“I have as my captive, the
leader of the renegade group of Highland warriors that have been falsely raiding
and plundering in my husband’s good name.” Elizabeth sank into another curtsey.
“As a token of my good fellowship, rather than having him killed upon capture,
I offer him to you in exchange for my husband’s release and the clearing of his
good name.”
Broc couldn’t breathe. If
there hadn’t been ten sharp edges within striking distance of his throat, he
would have pushed forward and demanded she speak sense.
Beneath the spears, a boy
snuck forward and twisted rope around Broc’s hands. Suddenly, the knot was so
tight, he couldn’t move at all. The spears raised and one of the guards pulled
his sword from its sheath, and tossed it forward.
The long weapon slid all the
way through the circle of guards, almost to Elizabeth’s side, and she glanced
back in her curtsey. Broc met her eyes and seethed, but her countenance did not
“They call themselves the Mac Ri Albannach.” Elizabeth
over-pronounced the Gaelic like a true English, then returned to the refined,
long tones of the court. “Sons of the Rightful King.”
Broc snorted. They did no such thing—they didn’t need to
call themselves anything.
But to the English, there was nothing more
fearsome than an organized group of rebel warriors from the unknown mountains.
He struggled against his bonds and one of the spears sliced into his shoulder.
The cut was deep and the hot,
thick blood flowed down his back in double time.
“I hear tell there’s a real
man behind this legendary Highlander who raids English strongholds and beheads
shire magistrates.” The fat sheriff stood and walked around the table.
“I had friends at Carlisle.”
The fat man spat from outside the circle of armed guards. “Friends who were
killed by some band of rebels, intent on savagery and filth.”
He pulled Elizabeth to her
feet. “And yet you captured this man? How do you intend to prove it was him and
not your husband who led these raids?”
“Ask them.”
The sheriff called out. “Bring
the raider out.”
From the corner of the room, a
man in chains was pushed forward. Broc’s heart sank. The man they’d assumed
dead, Tearny MacDonnogh, was almost no better off than if they had indeed
killed him. His once muscular frame was now emaciated, with skin hanging from
his arms. He was bare to the waist and the scars of beatings reminded Broc of
just how long it had been since they had been to Berwick.
“Is this the man who led you
at Carlisle?” the sheriff asked. “And is he leading the Mac Ri Albannach?”
Tearney’s greasy, matted hair
swung around his face as he nodded. His eyes were half-closed and his mouth
hung open, but he managed to make his affirmation known.
The sheriff cackled and threw
Elizabeth to the ground. “I’ll be knighted for this for certain.”
With broad gestures, he
pointed to Tearny and then the dungeon door. “Release both of them to her care,
as we agreed. And take this one down to the bowels. I want the smithy to make
him special chains with double-thick cast and no slack.”
He took his captain of the
guard by the throat. “And by God, he had better be who she says he is, or it’s
going to be your head on a silver plate instead of mine.”
“He’s the man, my lord.” The
captain scratched at his throat where the fat hands had gripped him. “He bears
the marks from Lord Hobble’s double-bladed Arabian weapon. I saw the scars on
his arm.”
Broc swallowed. He did bear
such a scar, and he had been the one to kill the perverted English lord in the
battle of Carlisle, but only because the man had nearly killed Andrew and was
about to disembowel him when Broc discovered and beheaded the man.
He was outnumbered, his weapon
lost to him, bound, and soon to be imprisoned. Fighting back now would only
mean Andrew’s certain continued imprisonment and possible death. At least if he
kept quiet like a captive, he could know Andrew was free. Even if it meant he
would rot in the dungeon himself.
The Outcast Highlander begins
the Highland Renegades series of medieval romance novels by USA Today bestselling author R.L. Syme
(also writing as Becca Boyd). Please visit today to get The Outcast
for FREE! Happy reading!

Nearing End of 99 Cent Sale

The Heart of the Phoenix is nearing the end of its 99 cent sale. Today its featured on Free and Discounted Kindle Books, – and

 Here’s the direct link to Amazon:

Some call him a ruthless mercenary; she calls him the
knight of her heart. 

Lady Evelynn’s childhood hero is
home—bitter, hard, tempting as sin. And haunted by secrets.
A now-grown
Evie offers friendship, but Sir Stephen’s cruel rejection crushes her, and she
resolves to forget him. Yet when an unexpected war throws them together, she
finds love isn’t so easy to dismiss. If only the king hadn’t betrothed her to

Can be cruel                                                                                                                                          
Stephen lives a double life while he seeks the treacherous outlaws who murdered
his friends. Driven by revenge, he thinks his heart is closed to love. His
childhood shadow, Lady Evie, unexpectedly challenges that belief. He rebuffs
her, but he can’t forget her, although he knows she’s to wed the king’s

And deadly                                                                                                                                        
his drive for vengeance leads to Evie’s kidnapping, Stephen must choose between
retribution and the love he’s denied too long. Surely King John will see
reason. Convict the murderers; convince the king. Simple. Until a startling
revelation threatens everything.

Ashley York Launches THE SEVENTH SON

I’m thrilled to welcome my friend Ashely York with her latest medieval THE SEVENTH SON, which launched Wednesday. It’s the latest exciting addition to her bestselling Conquest-era series.

I’ve nearly finished reading the book and I can definitely recommend it!

So sit back and enjoy a sampling of Tadhg and Tisa’s story.

Drogheda, Ireland 1076 

The sixth son bears a curse as certain as the seventh son bears a
blessing. When Tadhg MacNaughton’s betrothed is ripped from his arms and
married to another, he believes the legend is true.

Tisa O’Brien’s life slams into a downward spiral at the news she is
no longer betrothed to the love of her life but to the tanist of a
warring, prideful clan with dangerous political aspirations—the Meic
Lochlainn. She faces her destiny with all the strength and dignity of
her Irish heritage despite dealing with a husband who resents her,
fighting off the lustful advances of her father-in-law, Aodh, and
longing for the husband of her heart.

Tadhg MacNaughton makes a deal with the devil to ensure the survival
of his clan as he is commanded to fight with Aodh who envisions himself
the new Brian Boru, High King of Eire. Up close and personal, Tadhg must
witness his true love’s marriage and remain silent even as it rips him
apart. When a sinister plot to over thrown King William of England led
by the exiled Leofrid Godwin and Clan Meic Lochlainn comes to light,
Tadhg is faced with saving his clan or endangering his sister and her
Norman husband.

An Irish beauty and a warrior betrayed—doomed in love from the start or does fate have something else in store for them?

swallowed, unable to move. The one sound had been so familiar. He’d come home
to demons haunting his waking hours. He forced himself to turn toward the open
door. His body tensed in preparation, his mind struggling to dismiss the
burgeoning hope of seeing Tisa standing there in the doorway.

hair was pulled back, her eyes sparkling with life. A cluster of herbs
overflowed a small basket she held to her breast. And her feet were bare.
do ye here?” Tadhg asked.
dropped her head and walked past to put the basket on the only table in his
small room. His room.
are ye in my home?” His tone was hard.
gaze shifted to the pallet. It hadn’t been his own longings that left her scent
in his bed. She’d lain there. Lain there as he’d dreamed of her laying there
far too often. Had she lain there alone? He turned back to her.
is yer husband?”
will be here anon. I was to wait for him with Thomasina and Sean.”
chest tightened. He couldn’t take a full breath. He strode to the door. “I
will find another place.” He grabbed the small sack he’d dropped upon
entering and left.
Please.” Tisa followed him out.
refused to turn toward her. He did not need to see her again. “‘Tis not a
problem, Tisa. Ye and yer husband may continue to stay here. I will find
another place.”
have not—my husband dinna—”
whipped around to face her. “What? Yer husband dinna what? What do ye have
to tell me? What pain do ye wish to inflict on me now?” His eyes dropped
to her waist. All thoughts ceased save one. She could be with child.
“There is no need for words here.”
eyes never left his face but she did not reply.
He held up his hand to stop her from following. “I will find another
Buy Link:
Aside from
two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud
life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which
brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents
and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes
to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants
from the past.
favorite past time? Sessions like the one at McKinnon’s Irish Pub every
Wednesday night from 7:30 – 10:00 led by the lovely Jeanne Freeman.

with her online at:


Twitter: @ashleyyork1066
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