Jenna Jaxon Launches Conflict Theme on Medieval Monday

Today begins a new theme for Medieval Monday–Conflict. And there’s no better way to introduce it than with this dramatic, cliff-hanger from Jenna Jaxon’s TIME ENOUGH TO LOVE.  Hold on!
EXCERPT:
Both knights
had broken two lances on the torso—their scores were even. In order to win, one
would need to either break a lance on the helm or unhorse their opponent.
Either feat was possible, but highly improbable, given the lateness of the day
and the weariness of the jousters. The best outcome would be for one lance to
miss, giving the knight to break a lance victory. Another possibility was a
draw if both men broke their lances on the torso. A draw would mean no victor;
the debt of honor satisfied without a forfeit. That outcome might be best, but
she could not help thinking in that case there would have been a great deal of
effort wasted for nothing.
Geoffrey
nodded slightly within his helm, as though acknowledging a strategy confirmed.
Though the decision was unknown to her, she prayed it would make him the clear
winner of the match.
In an
instant, Geoffrey streaked down the lists. Alyse gasped at the ferocity with
which Saracen raced toward his adversary. Lord Braeton drove his horse fiercely
as well, but did not seem to reach the black steed’s breakneck speed.
Moments
before the collision, Geoffrey angled his weapon upward slightly, aiming again
for the helm and its additional points. Her heart flew into her throat. Should
his lance glance off, as it had earlier, she would certainly be leading the
first dance with Lord Braeton this evening. That prospect no longer held any
delight for her, not after the physical pain this match must have cost
Geoffrey—and Lord Braeton—and the mental anguish it had cost her. Had she not
seemed so enthralled with the earl, mayhap the challenge would never have been
issued. Or would not have been so avidly pursued by Geoffrey. If one of them
were injured, it could surely be laid at her feet.
Geoffrey must win. He must.
The impact
devastated both knights. Thomas’s lance splintered dramatically along
Geoffrey’s right shoulder, twisting him around in the saddle and almost
unseating him.
Geoffrey’s
lance found its mark in the dead center of Thomas’s helm, snapping his head
back with the force of the blow. An immediate cry of pain erupted from his
helmet. Alyse bolted from her seat, raced out of the berfrois and onto the
field.
* * * *
Thomas managed
to pull his horse to a stop, and his squires ran to assist him as he dropped to
the ground. Almost as quickly, Geoffrey leaped from his horse, cursing as he
ran toward his friend.
’Tis my fault if he dies. I was angered
at him. Christ, why did I not aim elsewhere and try to unseat him?
Geoffrey
could barely hold still as his squire removed his helmet. “Thomas! Thomas!”
Men had
lowered his friend to the ground, where he lay motionless.
Dear God! The splinters—
He stared in
horror at the long wooden slivers poking out of Thomas’s visor.
Sweet Jesu, have mercy. Holy Mary,
mother of God, have mercy
.
He fell to
his knees beside him, afraid to touch him lest he drive the fragments deeper.
“Fetch the
surgeon!” Geoffrey threw the command over his shoulder, his attention fixed on
the still body. “Thomas.” He couldn’t be dead.
 BLURB:
When Lady Alyse
de Courcy is betrothed to Sir Geoffrey Longford, she has no choice but to make
the best of a bad bargain. The hulking knight is far from her ideal man, and
although he does possess some wit and charm, he is no match for the sinfully
sensual man she secretly admires, Thomas, Earl of Braeton, her betrothed’s best
friend. 
From the first,
Sir Geoffrey finds himself smitten by Lady Alyse, and, despite her infatuation
with his friend, vows to win her love. When Geoffrey puts his mind to wooing
Alyse, he is delighted to find her succumbing to his seduction. But when cruel circumstances separate them,
Geoffrey must watch helplessly as Thomas steps in to protect Alyse—and falls in
love with her himself.
As the three
courtiers accompany Princess Joanna to her wedding in Spain, they run headlong
into the Black Plague. With her world plunged into chaos, Alyse struggles with
her feelings for both the men she loves. But which love will survive?

Medieval Monday: Betrayal-Or Was It? DRAGON KNIGHT’S AXE, Mary Morgan

Medieval Monday’s Betrayal theme ends this week, and I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting way to bid it goodby than with an excerpt from my friend Mary Morgan’s exciting DRAGON KNIGHT’S AXE.
EXCERPT:
Panic gripped Fiona. Something wasn’t right. Why would he leave her? She
thought he cared with all the time they’d spent together. “Why in the hell did
Alastair leave?” she choked out holding back the scream.
“He didn’t want to watch you die. Each day that passed took you further
away. There was nothing he or any of us could do,” replied Brigid.
Her voice quivered. “Got it….umm…he abandoned me.”
Brigid sighed. “I believe he cared for you so much, he could not stand
to watch you leave him.”
Fiona’s tone turned bitter as she clutched the furs. “When you care for
someone, you stay with them until the very end. No matter what happens. What?
Did he say good-bye, kiss me, and then just walk out of here? I hope to God our
paths never cross again.”
“Do you really mean that, Fiona?” asked Aileen in a soft voice.
Closing her eyes, she didn’t want to look at either of the women. Her
head throbbed, and her heart weighed heavy knowing that the only man she would
ever love had walked away from her.
“Please leave,” she murmured.
When the door closed, she finally opened her eyes. She refused to let
the tears fall, so she bit her lip and swallowed. Digging her hands into the
furs, she kept trying to breathe. Everywhere she looked there was something
that reminded her of Alastair. The plaid he had given her to stay warm, a sgian
dubh
for protection, and glancing around the room slowly, her eyes caught
sight of something on the chair by the head of the bed.
Squeezing her eyes shut, she counted to ten. Yet, when she opened them,
there was no denying it any longer and sadness engulfed her. As she tried to
reach for the object, her vision became clouded, the tears streaming down her
face, as she was unable to hold them back.
Grasping the chess piece, she clutched it to her chest. “Why,
Alastair
?” Sobbing uncontrollably, she realized that he had given her the
Dragon King as his parting gift to her.
And Fiona’s heart shattered completely.
BLURB:
Alastair MacKay, a battled-scarred Dragon Knight flees to the
sea to separate himself from his fae-given power connecting him to the land.
But it is on land that he rescues a woman from a slave trader in Ireland. It is
through Fiona he steps back inadvertently into a world filled with magic—taking
on the role of protector and at the same time leading him on a journey to
confront his greatest regret and fears. 

Research assistant, Fiona O’Quinlan loves
translating ancient artifacts at Trinity College. When she falls asleep on an
archeological dig, she awakens in another time. She soon discovers a Dragon
Knight’s relic has been entrusted into her care. Determined to return the
artifact to the Great Glen, Fiona is unprepared for the danger ahead—losing her
heart and soul to Alastair “Beast” MacKay. 

Will their love be strong enough to soothe the
beast and heal the man? Or will Death swing its axe, leaving them lost for all
eternity?

Buy Links:

Medieval Monday: Ashley York’s THE SEVENTH SON

Today’s treat on Medieval Monday is from my friend, Ashley York’s, terrific THE SEVENTH SON. In this excerpt from the newly released romance, the heroine, Tia, learns of a betrayal that will change her destiny.

EXCERPT:

“Tisa. Yer betrothal to the MacNaughton has been severed. Ye’ll marry into the Meic Lochlainn clan of Inishowen. They’ll be here in two days time.”

The
pain in her chest intensified with every word he spoke, like nails hammering
into her heart, but her brain refused to understand his meaning beyond his
first statement.

Your betrothal to the MacNaughton has been
severed.

Her
betrothal to Tadhg? They’d been betrothed forever. They grew up knowing they
would one day be wed. Tadhg was all she wanted in a husband.

Her
father’s eyes never wavered from her face. Surely he measured her reaction as
if he cared.

“Ronan
came here to make the agreement on their behalf. He has been a great help to
our clan.”

The
kind eyes seemed familiar but no. Those would have been the eyes of her father
that loved her. A father that wanted her to be happy. A father that wanted her
settled nearby. This? This was a man that cared nothing for her. A man that
would rip away her future dreams of happiness. A man that would send her away
from him. A man that would give her to strangers. Strangers that saw her as
nothing more than…breeding stock.

No.
She was more than that. She would not stand here and be handed off to a
stranger and not even a word of protest.

“Why?”
Damn her eyes. The tears swelled and her father became a blurry figure.
“How?”

He
looked away. “The MacNaughton broke our agreement.”

Her
jaw dropped. A slap to the face would have hurt less. “No!”

“After
Moira died, Padraig sent word he would not see his son married to an
O’Brien.”

“And
ye did not think to tell me this?”

Her
head reeled with the implications.

“And
Moira? Tadhg’s mother is dead?” Her breath hitched. Moira had been like a
mother to her. “When was she buried? I wish to pay my resp—”

“Ye
will not! Padraig would not allow us to come. None of us.” Her father
finally faced her. “We are no longer welcome on his land. He wants nothing
to do with us.”

“Nothing
to do with us? They are our kinsmen.”

“No
longer.”

“Ye
canna just let him cut us off like this.”

“I
was given little choice in the matter.”

“Then
go to him! Beg his forgiveness for whatever you have done!”

“I
have done nothing wrong! ‘Twas Padraig’s doing. He chose to give me no reason.
I will abide by his decree.”

Tisa’s
mind struggled to make sense of what her father was saying. There must be
something he was not saying. “Why would Padraig treat us like this?”

He
looked past her. “It matters not. What does matter is that the O’Neill
threatens us to the west.”

“When
will Seamus and Ian return?” Her only unwed brothers had been away going
on two years now.

Her
father’s eyes rounded in pain. “I dinna wish to upset ye but yer brothers
will not be returning. They died in battle against the O’Neill.”

Tisa
cried out. “When?”

“We
received the news spring last.”

“Again
ye decide to keep this from me? Do ye think I am a child? If that is the way of
it, ’tis because my own father kept me from the truths in life, shielding me as
if I would break.”

“Ye
brothers went against my wishes. My anger was at them, not ye.”

“Be
angry then. Be sad. Be devastated! But dunna keep me from the truth.”

“A
great loss.” Her father closed his eyes against the pain.

Her
own heart cried out. They were much older than her as were her sisters. The
MacNaughton’s were closer in age and felt more like family. Brighit was like
her own little sister.

“I
must make decisions that ye may not wish to abide by—but ye will. The O’Neill
will not back down. We need an alliance with a strong clan. I need men I can
count on, who will fight with me against them.”

“The MacNau—”

“They
will not fight for us now. ‘Tis not their land that is threatened.” He
shouted the words, his nostrils flaring. “They have broken our agreement,
daughter. We are defenseless. Ronan was good enough to make a new alliance for
us.”

“At
what cost to us?” Tisa knew the answer as soon as she asked the question.
The way Ronan had looked at her, assessing her worth as a mate.

“You
will marry their tanist.”

“So
I am to be exchanged for the promise of protection?”

“Ye
will have a place of prominence in their clan.”

“I
do not care about prominence! I want the life I had always been promised. The
life I was raised for.”

“That
life is gone, Tisa. This is the life ye will have.”

“I
do not accept this…betrayal.”

“Ye
have no choice.”

 

BLURB:    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 married 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 throw 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?

Buy at:

http://www.amazon.com/Seventh-Son-Norman-Conquest-Book-ebook/dp/B01BZ36LS0/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1460317849&sr=1-3&keywords=the+seventh+son

 

 
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