Monday, 1 July 2019

Christmas in July - 3 Medieval and Ancient World Romance Novels

It's Christmas in July time and I have several romance novels that are set at or around Christmas.

Flavia's Secret, my romance set in Roman Britain and Roman Bath, has its climax during the Saturnalia, the ancient world version of Christmas. You can read more here.

Dare Celtic slave Flavia trust her Roman master Marcus?
In the Roman city of Aquae Sulis (modern Bath), Celtic slave Flavia longs to be free. Her mistress’ death brings a threat to Flavia’s dream: Valeria’s heir Marcus, a handsome, dangerous Roman officer. Flavia is drawn to Marcus but she has a deadly secret to hide and many enemies.

Just 99cents or 99p, free to read with Kindle Unlimited
Amazon UK          Amazon Com

Also in Audio and Large print.













My sweet medieval historical romance, SIR CONRAD AND THE CHRISTMAS TREASURE, is up and out. You can read it for free with Kindle Unlimited.

On Amazon. Com here
And Amazon UK here

In print at Amazon.com here
And in print at Amazon UK here

SIR CONRAD AND THE CHRISTMAS TREASURE Amazon Com USA

Amazon UK

TO READ WITH KINDLE UNLIMITED



What is the true treasure of Christmas?

Maggie’s younger brother, Michael, is kidnapped by outlaws, and it’s up to her to rescue him. Appealing to Sir Conrad, the grim steward of the northern English high lands, is the very last thing she wants to do. With the very real possibility that the outlaws know of Michael’s talent—the ability to open any lock, to reveal any treasure—Maggie races against time to find him before his usefulness to the outlaws is ended.

Sir Conrad desires Maggie from the minute he sees her—she makes him feel alive again—and that has not happened since the death of his wife. Though he hasn’t known Maggie before, a strange feeling of familiarity nags, and he agrees to aid the beautiful peasant girl in this quest of finding her brother.

Joining forces, Maggie and Sir Conrad form a tenuous bond. When an assassin attacks Maggie, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit, and Conrad realizes that even Maggie doesn’t know the power she holds. But Conrad not only must keep Maggie safe, he must thwart the dangerous devices of his spiteful older brother, Richard, who has lately returned from crusade.

As love blossoms, Maggie and Conrad must protect one another. Evil is all around them, and doubt is a cruel enemy. Will their faith in each other keep them united? In the world of dangerous courtly intrigue, who is saving whom? Love is all that matters…but can that be enough?


A Knight's Captive - a novel that also has it's climax at Christmas-time

It’s 1066, a year of strange comets and portents, harsh battles, dying kings and Norman and Viking invaders. Compelled to go on pilgrimage in a restive northern England, war-worn Breton knight Marc de Sens knows his first obligation is to his three orphaned nieces. But then he encounters the stunning blonde beauty Sunniva and his life changes forever.

I
Thrust together by betrayal, Marc and Sunniva must find a way to survive these turbulent times, but both hold dark and deadly secrets and trust between them is slow to grow. What happens when their tentative truce is shattered? Will Marc be held captive by his past? Will Sunniva become his willing prisoner? And will they find a way to find love and free themselves?


(Previously published by Kensington Publishing, New York, in 2009. Nominated for the ‘Romantic Times’ Reviewers’ Choice Best Historical Novels Award, 2009.)


Amazon Com 99 cents
Amazon UK 99p


Thursday, 6 June 2019

One Midsummer's Knight - Boxed set of Medieval Romance Novellas

Who dares to seek love on a Midsummer’s Eve when the Otherworldly veil is thin, and anything can happen? Magic runs high, and passions flare on this special night made for taking chances. For this is the night when ritual fires burn bright and invite lovers to consummate the promise of their love—and anything can happen! 

In this wonderful boxed set of medieval tales, ONE MIDSUMMER’S KNIGHT holds the key in each story to a “happy ever after” ending! Step into a realm of adventure and magic with these four spellbinding tales of daring, chance, and love with ONE MIDSUMMER’S KNIGHT!

UNICORN SUMMER—LINDSAY TOWNSEND: When the faery queen casts a spell on a knight to change him into a unicorn, there seems to be no hope for him—except the stronger magic of true love!

MIDSUMMER’S PROMISE—KEENA KINCAID: Can a mercenary find his heart’s home with a beautiful healer? Her brother, a seer, says they are not for each other—but can their love change fate?

A FAIR BARGAIN—MELISSA JARVIS: When a maiden trades her own future happiness for that of her sister, it seems all is lost to her—until an Otherworld prince comes to her rescue and seals a different kind of bargain—made of unexpected and forbidden love.

A MISTY KNIGHT--CYNTHIA BREEDING: Can a daring knight’s love bring happiness to a beautiful woman who others call a witch? He must find a way to rescue the stubborn lass before she is killed, but can he do it as a human?

This collection is edited and selected by Cheryl Pierson  for Prairie Rose Publications 


Amazon USA


Amazon UK

Here's an excerpt from my story "Unicorn Summer"


He was bored of eating grass. Unicorn, who had once possessed another name, another form, shook his golden mane and flicked his long black tail in displeasure.
Fairies dress in flowers and sing with the nightingales, cows dispute on where to find the best green forage, horses love to play chase the shadows over the rolling hills and snort tales of adventure to each other. Even chickens banter with dust sprites. Why do I lack such lively speech? Why am I not content?
Unicorn scraped his pale horn on the bare earth and galloped to the edge of the pool. He might have asked “Why am I alone?” Sometimes, in dreams, he heard a woman telling him it was all a punishment, for his pride and cruelty, though when Unicorn woke, he could never remember what his sin had been.
He whickered softly and stared at his reflection in the water. What does it matter that my eyelashes are as long and sparkling as frosted spiders’ webs? What does it matter if my eyes are sometimes blue, often grey, and can spot each tremble of the ash leaves before they fall? Why, with all my flowing beauty, am I solitary?
Who am I? Who was I?                                                                                                          
The rippling spring held no answers but there was something submerged in the deep pool, beyond Unicorn’s hazy reflection. A floating streamer of mane—no, this was hair, human hair—drifted up towards the surface.
What does brown hair floating underwater mean?
Unicorn snorted and stamped the ground. Part of his aching mind knew this mystery should not be beyond him. It was no puzzle at all, even if the long hair was as shiny and lush as the ripe acorns he liked to chew and it clung to the pond’s edge like bladderwrack.
No! Unicorn twisted his neck and bit down on his own flank. The pain shrank down the world and his senses and all at once he understood—There was a body in the pool.
Even as he plunged his head underwater and struggled to grip the hair with his teeth, a pair of flailing hands shot up out of the green-blue murk and grabbed his spiral horn. Unicorn planted his hooves in the churned earth and shuffled backwards. The weight made his head hurt and his shoulders burn but he did not shake the shivering fingers off. One slow step after another he pulled himself and his burden free of the pool.
A final sharp crack as the body broke through and Unicorn could shift much faster, nimbly dragging the figure into a springy soft bank of herbs. The body coughed, rolled onto its stomach and shook like a wet dog, only this was no hound.
A woman, Unicorn realised, and I have rescued her. He tossed his head in a preen, but resisted the impulse to charge off over the hills in a victory gallop.
The woman might need him again.
He settled beside her, careful to keep his sharp horn away from her trembling limbs, and covered her with his black tail. Sleep, he willed her, content as he had not been for an age when she shuffled into his warm side and his sharp ears caught a dainty snore.
When she wakes, I will know her name. But she might ask for his and how could he answer? He glanced at his polished hooves and thought of a way.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Midsummer Magic - novels and stories. Some Midsummer Excerpts.

Sarmatia is a bull leaper. Fearn is a northern king. Do they have a future together?


BRONZE LIGHTNING 



Midsummer Excerpt.

Above their heads the air grew thicker, the sun heavy through a skein of clouds. Even for a northern summer, the day seemed long.
'Is this an afternoon without an evening?' Sarmatia asked Laerimmer. 'The sun's still high.'
'It's close to midsummer,' replied the Kingmaker. 'Soon, we'll celebrate the solstice on the Sacred Hill.'
'Not this year, thanks to Sarmatia,' put in Anoi spitefully.
There was a loud crack of thunder following her words and after that a heavy silence. Time stretched on. Finally, harsh as the call of a buzzard, came a horn blast, and from different directions, several answering notes.
'Fearn has reached the Beaver River,' said Laerimmer. 'Now the others will wait for him to lead them here.'
Sarmatia's heart quickened. She wet her lips, an act not missed by Anoi.
'Do you think that will help you?' she asked, scornfully. 'Fearn was with me this morning, as he should have been last year, when Waroch died.'

Midsummer is for feasting, bonfires, charms and lovers. Midsummer Maid in 

A Knight's Choice and Other Romances.

 Amazon com Amazon UK  Amazon Canada


Midsummer Excerpt
The village smith glanced up, dice in hand, and Haakon grinned at the man's guilty expression. "The priest will know nothing from me," he mouthed, aware that serious bets were being laid and lost. He turned about to find Clare again, his mood soaring like the skylarks as he saw her, still blessing the land, still safe.
            Later, he planned to walk with her to the stream at the bottom of the hill and float a midsummer candle across the water, bearing a wish for their joining. For now, there was pleasure enough in feasting his eyes on her trim figure and her pretty face. She was far enough away for him to stare at her frankly, and he took the chance to do so.
            Were I a unicorn of the wildwoods, I would come to lay my head in your lap, he thought, wishing he were the stitchwort, daises, and white campion she was scattering, or better yet, the marigolds tucked within her bodice, a golden glow between her breasts. Her long, loose hair had strands of marigold in it and for the rest was as brown and glossy as hazelnuts. Her face was tanned, tinged with rose, with a narrow nose and a full mouth, and her wide, dreaming eyes were spaces to lose himself in. Today she was dressed in white, a simple, long shift, loose and unbelted, a linen thing that should have been as plain as a shroud, but on Clare, animated by Clare, the gown seemed to sparkle. The chalky white of her dress set off the rich brown of her hair and her flawless lightly-bronzed skin. Even at this distance, half a field away or more, he saw how the cloth caressed her subtle curves, her tender breasts and rounded rump, and his throat choked with desire. 

This collection also includes details and an excerpt from my Prairie Rose Publications Romance Novel, Dark Maiden.



My novella "Unicorn Summer" is part of the One Midsummer's Knight boxed set.


Midsummer Excerpt

As custom demanded, she was robed in a plain gown of undyed linen, with a tiny iron brooch that had been her mother’s as her only jewellery. Cool grass, damp and sparkling with dew, stroked her ankles. Ahead, the eastern sky showed pink, a promise of heat and good weather to come.
“Come, you fey of water, of earth, of fire, grant me my wish in payment of my flowers,” Ffion mouthed, aware she must walk to the hill-top in silence. How else would she hear the saints and spirits? Last midsummer her father’s steady breath and peaceful, wordless contentment had matched her own as they strolled together, now the empty space beside her was an aching void.
Please save him, she silently begged, as she cast another posy into a tiny, hidden spring that welled up from the bright green grass, hoping some force would hear her tumbling thoughts. He deserves life and a son, one who will not care that Sir Bors could cut off the Faircrest land from the rest of this realm of England. Lord Tancred has been a good steward.
She stopped herself from protesting aloud that Sir Bors, if he married her, could only do worse.  “Save us,” she said steadily, and bent to unlace her shoes to ford the stream.
Intent on her sacred task, Ffion stepped into the swift-flowing spate, shoes in one hand, the hem of her linen gown in the other. The sweet chill of the water snatched the breath from her lungs and for an instant she almost stumbled.
Her rocking on the smooth stones saved her. A stinking shadow raked along her flank and she heard Sir Bors curse.
“Hell’s bells, wench, keep still!”
He should not be here. Only a Firefall can walk the bounds. Only a Firefall can enter this river. Fast on her indignation came fear. He means to catch me!

Sunday, 2 June 2019

Holiday Photos

My husband and I have been away last week at a place near Bridlington. I remembered Bridlington, and Sewerby as seaside places I used to visit as a child and decided to go back. Here are some photos from our visit.

I remember these massive monkey puzzle trees at Sewerby Park (now part of Sewerby Hall Gardens). They are still imposing!














Bridlington from Fraisthorpe beach. It's a lovely place to walk and a favourite of dog-walkers, very unspoilt.








Rudston Church and standing stone. You can read about both here.

The churchyard is also the burial place of the author Winifred Holtby, who wrote  "South Riding."






Sewerby Hall and the little train that goes over the cliff tops. I remember it being a different colour.




A final photo of the sea, with typical skyscape:

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Historical and Holiday Romances, 99p or 99 cents. Read free with Kindle Umlimited



Historical Romantic Suspense & Ancient World Mystery


BRONZE LIGHTNING 



The power was growing, drawing in his body like a strong fire. The Sky God was in him, throwing a deeper burr in his voice. 'It's time you learned what kind of king you have.'
'O, Mother,' whispered Laerimmer, his features grayer than the sleet, 'he's a storm bringer. That's his kingly power.' He sank to his knees and covered his face.





Epic Historical Fiction set in Ancient Egypt

BLUE GOLD 

Two Pharaohs, Many Gods, One Kingdom—Who Wins?


Ruling Upper Egypt from Thebes, Pharaoh Sekenenre has many enemies. Aweserre, whose grandfather seized the crown of Lower Egypt. Kamose and Ahhotpe, his son and daughter, who plot to rule in his place. And, most dangerous, the storm-god Set. 


UK 99p https://amzn.to/2H1BUUt                     

Historical Novel Review http://bit.ly/2tTxfeu

The guards put her with the whores, the drunkards, the killers




Historical Romance set in Roman Britain

FLAVIA’S SECRET 



Dare Celtic slave Flavia trust her Roman master Marcus?

In the Roman city of Aquae Sulis (modern Bath), Celtic slave Flavia longs to be free. Her mistress’ death brings a threat to Flavia’s dream: Valeria’s heir Marcus, a handsome, dangerous Roman officer. Flavia is drawn to Marcus but she has a deadly secret to hide and many enemies.



A SECRET TREASURE.  


                               
On the beautiful Greek Island of Rhodes on the eve of war, love and danger mingle.

When in the 1930s pretty, passionate Eve Burnett meets the dark, intriguing Julio Falcone, she is torn. As a man, Julio is powerfully attractive, but as a policeman in Italian-occupied Rhodes, he is bound to be a Fascist. Her brother David is connected to the Greek partisans fighting to liberate the island and Eve realises that she may be forced to choose between the man she loves and the safety of her family.




HOLIDAY IN BOLOGNA 

A holiday romance or something more?




When Heidi Manelli arrives outside the Italian villa in Bologna, she encounters charismatic Stefano. Is their developing relationship a holiday romance or something deeper? Is her holiday in Bologna going to change her life forever?

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

"A Knight's Choice and Other Romances" 6 short, sweet romances for perfect feel-good reading

Just in time for Valentine's Day...

A Knight's Choice and Other Romances



Six wonderfully sweet medieval short romances in a single anthology. Perfect feel-good reading!


A Knight’s Choice—Morwenna must marry to satisfy her family’s ambitions. Her choice is one of two brothers, but which?
Midsummer Maid—The romance and magic of Midsummer works for everyone—including a beautiful dairymaid and a less-than-handsome woodsman.
The Philosopher and the Herbalist—A light-hearted Not-Beauty and Not-Beast tale, with a romantic twist.
The Bridal House—Alis is reluctant to marry. Her betrothed presents her a beautiful bridal house that might help her see matters in a happier light.
The Seal of Odin—A dark tale of romance set during the age of the Vikings and early Christianity. Sometimes, love is found where we least expect it.
Ugly Meg—Once pretty, now scarred, Meg lives and works in seclusion in Bath—but other jealous guild members are plotting against her.  Will fellow carpenter Matthew Warden come to her aid? If so, what will be his price?
Available from Prairie Rose Publications for pre-order, and free to read with Kindle Unlimited.

Here's an excerpt from one of the novellas.

“Do you think it will work?”
Recognising his father’s voice, he flattened himself
against the wall, where the shadows were deepest. Just
as he was about to berate his own misguided, suspicious
instincts, step back into the flickering torch-light and
greet the pair, his brother replied.
“We keep the whispers alive that my dearest brother
is little more than half a wolf, with worth only for
fighting.”
Is he right? In the heat of battle, he knew he was a
beast. Shame quickly smothered the rage he felt at his
brother’s casual admission of rumour-mongering.
“Folk will believe it, especially when he rides to war
in wolf pelts and rarely takes hostages,” his father
gruffly acknowledged, “though the witan liked what he
did, rescuing your dam. I did, too.”
Thank God above. At least that affection of father’s for my
mother is something.
“Yes, yes,” sounding sulky, as he always did when
thwarted, his brother waved that off. “Now, the Lady
Morwenna—”
A pretty name. Pressing his limbs even harder against
the stones, ignoring the flare of pain in his wounded side,
he wished he could prick his ears and listen more closely.
“The alliance with her father and kin will be useful,”
his father remarked. “The De Charnys are near-brutal
fighters like your brother.”
“But I do not want to be married forever to the girl!
You know how the herald described her, ‘Slight and
scarcely fair-skinned’—which means she is skinny and
dark! I would rather lie with a moor!”
Slight can also mean delicate, bewitching, but my brother
refuses to see it.
“My son, not all wenches can be as delectable as your
Agnes.”
“Agnes has born me boys, strapping hearty souls.
That creature will not give me spit.”
“The lord has not yet chosen between you and your
brother. My council insist that the pair of you travel to
your betrothed’s kingdom, to escort her back here with
all state.”
“Oh, please! As if any would choose him, whatever
state he shows. And if it be up to the girl, well, no
contest.”
So sure of his charms! But then he does have a way with
women.
“No,” his brother continued, speaking carelessly,
certain, at this early hour and in this quiet part of the
castle, that no one would overhear, “I will have the girl,
bed her a few times, make a rumour she is barren and
send her packing, back to her kin. That, or arrange an
accident.”
“And marry Agnes, pass her sons as legitimate?”
“My boys, old man. Yes, to the rest, since you will not
let me wed my mistress now.”
“We need the De Charny alliance, my son. Though we
bear the same name as William Marshal, we do not yet
have the renown, or the lands.”
“I know!” Grumbling, his brother stalked on, their
father trailing only a step behind.
And now I know what they think of me, how they plan to
use me, and plot to destroy another. Not while I live and
breathe, no.
Somehow, however much it goes against my nature, I must
learn how to charm and court, and quickly. And fight the wolf
within myself.

Also on Amazon com

Amazon UK 


Amazon Canada


This collection also includes details and an excerpt from my Prairie Rose Publications Romance Novel, Dark Maiden.


I hope you enjoy these!

Lindsay Townsend