Wednesday 27 September 2023

Christmas Reading, Christmas Gift. Sweet Romance, Sir Conrad and the Christmas Treasure

 



Fancy a feel-good, sweet romance for a Christmas Read as the nights draw in? My sweet medieval historical romance, "Sir Conrad and the Christmas Treasure" is out as a Kindle, a Paperback and now as a Large Print. The Large Print version is out as a perfect Christmas Read and Christmas Gift.

KindleVersion 

                                        UK https://amazon.co.uk/dp/B07KW6K5RL/

Large Print Version:








Large Print Version:

England, 1192. When Maggie’s brother Michael is kidnapped by outlaws, she appeals to the grim Sir Conrad for help. The first time he sees her, Conrad is overwhelmed by Maggie’s beauty and courage. Yet what will it cost him to aid this peasant girl, who seems strangely familiar? Working together to find Michael, Maggie and Conrad discover more about each other – but some knowledge is dangerous. As Christmas approaches, will their love prevail?







Saturday 2 September 2023

Halloween Reads and Romances

Fancy a Spooky or Witchy Romance for Halloween? Please have a look at my Halloween Reads below.




Dark Maiden - A Diverse Medieval Paranormal Romance 

Ghosts, Revenants, Incubi, Vampires and Demons Haunt Medieval England, as Yolande and Geraint must use their Love to Survive.












The Snow Bride - A Medieval Beauty and the Beast Romance. First Novel in the Self-Contained Knight and the Witch Series.

She is Beauty but is he the Beast?

THE SNOW BRIDE (THE KNIGHT AND THE WITCH 1): USA https://amzn.to/2MZZan0         

UK https://amzn.to/2H1tYzY

EXCERPT https://bit.ly/2yV95Cb                        

Friday 30 June 2023

Read of a knight & a witch & their descendants in 3 wonderful romances! All #freeread with #KindleUnlimited & in #paperback!

Read of a knight & a witch & their descendants in 3 wonderful romances! All #freeread with #KindleUnlimited & in #paperback! 

She is Beauty, but is he the Beast?



THE SNOW BRIDE (THE KNIGHT AND THE WITCH 1): USA https://amzn.to/2MZZan0         

UK https://amzn.to/2H1tYzY

EXCERPT https://bit.ly/2yV95Cb                               

REVIEW https://bit.ly/38ynFzh




A SUMMER BEWITCHMENT (THE KNIGHT AND THE WITCH 2)

USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZTMNWZ9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=lindsay+townsend&qid=1572605630&rs=154606011&s=digital-text&sr=1-1

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZTMNWZ9/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=a+summer+bewitchment&qid=1572606494&s=digital-text&sr=1-1



THE MASTER COOK AND THE MAIDEN: USA https://amzn.to/3FsEhJm

UK https://amzn.to/3oDJ9EH

EXCERPT https://bit.ly/3oI9npx






Wednesday 17 May 2023

The Snow Bride - Medieval Historical Romance and Medieval Beauty And The Beast. Blurb, Links and Excerpts






THE SNOW BRIDE: πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έamzn.to/2MZZan0

πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ amzn.to/2H1tYzY



 
#HistoricalRomance - a passionate read, and full of suspense. Grab a copy of "The Snow Bride" now. #fiction #warrior #witch #romance #romantic #medieval #FREEReadKU

The Snow Bride

 

She is Beauty, but is he the Beast?

 

Book One of The Knight and the Witch

 

 

England, winter, 1131

 

Elfrida, spirited, caring and beautiful, is also alone. She is the witch of the woods and no man dares to ask for her hand in marriage until a beast comes stalking brides and steals away her sister. Desperate, the lovely Elfrida offers herself as a sacrifice, as bridal bait, and she is seized by a man with fearful scars. Is he the beast?

 

 

In the depths of a frozen midwinter, in the heart of the woodland, Sir Magnus, battle-hardened knight of the Crusades, searches ceaselessly for three missing brides, pitting his wits and weapons against a nameless stalker of the snowy forest. Disfigured and hideously scarred, Magnus has finished with love, he thinks, until he rescues a fourth 'bride', the beautiful, red-haired Elfrida, whose innocent touch ignites in him a fierce passion that satisfies his deepest yearnings and darkest desires.

 


 

Excerpt                                                             

 

 

Elfrida stirred sluggishly, unable to remember where she was. Her back ached, and the rest of her body burned. She opened her eyes and sat up with a jerk, thinking of Christina.

 

 

Her head felt to be bobbing like an acorn cup in a stream, and her vision swam. As she tried to swing her legs, her sense of dizzy falling increased, becoming worse as she closed her eyes. She lashed out in the darkness, her flailing hands and feet connecting with straw, dusty hay, and ancient pelts.

 

“Christina?” she hissed, listening intently and praying now that the monster had brought her to the same place it had taken her sister.

 

She heard nothing but her own breath, and when she held that, nothing at all.

 

“Christina?” Fearing to reach out in this blackness that was more than night and dreading what she might find, Elfrida forced herself to stretch her arms. She trailed her fingers out into the ghastly void, tracing the unseen world with trembling hands.

 

Her body shook more than her hands, but she ignored the shuddering of her limbs, closed her eyes like a blind man, and searched.

 

She lay on a pallet, she realized, full of crackling, dry grass. When she scented and tasted the air, there was no blood. She did not share the space with grisly corpses.

 

I am alone and unfettered. Now her heart had stopped thudding in her ears, she listened again, hearing no one else. Chanting a charm to see in the dark, she tried again to shift her feet.

 

Light spilled into her eyes like scalding milk as a door opened and a massive figure lurched across the threshold. Elfrida launched herself at freedom, hurling a fistful of straw at the looming beast and ducking out for the light.

 

She fell instead, her legs buckling, her last sight that of softly falling snow.

 

 

 

* * * *

 

 

 

Magnus gathered the woman before she pitched facedown into the snow, returning her swiftly to the rough bed within the hut. Her tiny, bird-boned form terrified him. Clutching her was like ripping a fragile wood anemone up from its roots.

 

And she had fought him, wind-flower or not. She had charged at him.

 

“I wish, lass, that you would listen to me. I am not the Forest Grendel, nor have wish to be, nor ever have been.”

 

Just as earlier, in the clearing where he had first come upon her, a brilliant shock of life and color in a white, dead world, the woman gave no sign of hearing. She was cold again, freezing, while in his arms she had steamed with fever. He tugged off his cloak and bundled her into it, then piled his firewood and kindling onto the bare hearth.

 

A few strikes of his flints and he had a fire. He set snow to melt in the helmet he was using as a cauldron. He swept more dusty hay up from the floor and, sneezing, packed it round the still little figure.

 

No beast on two or four legs would hunt tonight, so that was one worry less. Finding this lean-to hut in the forest had been a godsend, but it would be cold.

 

Magnus went back out into the snow and led his horse into the hut, spreading what feed he had brought with him. He kept the door shut with his saddle, rubbed the palfrey down with the bay’s own horse blanket, and looked about for a lantern.

 

There was none, just as there were no buckets, nor wooden bowls hanging from the eaves. But, abandoned as it surely had been, the place was well roofed, and no snow swirled in through the wood and wattle walls. Whistling, Magnus dug through his pack and found a flask of ale, some hard cheese, two wizened apples, and a chunk of dark rye bread. He spoke softly to his horse, then looked again at the woman.

 

She was breathing steadily now, and her lips and cheeks had more color. By the glittering, rising fire he saw her as he had first in the forest clearing, an elf-child of beauty and grace, a willing sacrifice to the monster. Kneeling beside her, he longed to stroke her vivid red hair and kiss the small dimple in her chin. In sleep she had the calm, flawless face of a Madonna of Outremer and the bright locks of a Magdalene.

 

He had guessed who she was—the witch of the three villages, the good witch driven to desperation. Coming upon her in that snowfield, tied between two trees like a crucified child of fairy, his temper had been a black storm against the villagers for sparing their skins by flaying hers. Then he had seen her face, recognized that wild, stark, sunken-cheeked grief, seen the loose bonds and the terrible “feast,” and had understood.

 

Another young woman has been taken by the beast, someone you love.

 

She—Elfrida, that was her name, he remembered it now—Elfrida was either very foolish or very powerful, to offer herself as bait.

 

Published August 15th by Prairie Rose Publications

FREE to read with Kindle Umlinted.

To buy on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VSHHX4N

 


 

Here’s another excerpt from THE SNOW BRIDE, showing Elfrida, a medieval witch and Magnus, a warrior. I deliberately wrote it so Elfrida was powerful in magic but not invulnerable. Hence her catching chicken-pox and being feverish as a result.

 

EXCERPT

 

Magnus was worried. The fire he had made should have brought his people. It was an old signal, well-known between them. His men should have reached the village by now—that had been the arrangement. They were bringing traps and provisions in covered wagons, and hunting dogs and horses. He had been impatient to start his pursuit of the Forest Grendel and so rode ahead, returning with the messenger until that final stretch when the man turned off to his home. He had ridden on alone, finding the wayside shrine.

But from then, all had gone awry. Instead of the monster, he had found an ailing witch, and the snowstorm had lost him more tracks and time.

Magnus shook his head, turning indulgent eyes to the small, still figure on the rough pallet. At least the little witch had slept through the night and day, snug and safe, and he had been able to make her a litter from woven branches. He would give his fire signal a little longer and then return Elfrida to her village. There he might find someone who could translate between them.

Perhaps she did have power, for even as he looked at her, she sat up, the hood of her cloak falling away, and stared at him in return. She said something, then repeated it, and he drew in a great gulp of cold air in sheer astonishment, then laughed.

“I know what you said!” He wanted to kiss her, spots and all.

He burst into a clumsy canter, dragging his peg leg a little and almost tumbling onto her bed. She caught him by the shoulders and tried to steady him but collapsed under his weight.

They finished in an untidy heap on the pallet, with Elfrida hissing by his ear, “Why have you done such a foolish thing as to burn all our fuel?”

He rolled off her, knocked snow off his front and beard, and said in return, “How did you know I would know the old speech, the old English?”

“I dream true, and I dreamed this.” She was blushing, though not, he realized quickly, from shyness.

“Why burn so wildly?” she burst out, clearly furious. “You have wasted it! All that good wood gone to ash!”

“My men know my sign and will come now the storm has gone.” He had not expected thanks or soft words, but he was not about to be scolded by this red-haired nag.

“That is your plan, Sir Magnus? To burn half the forest to alert your troops?”

“A wiser plan than yours, madam, setting yourself as bait. Or had your village left you hanging there, perhaps to nag the beast to death?”

Her face turned as scarlet as the fire. “So says any witless fool! ’Tis too easy a charge men make against women, any woman who thinks and acts for herself. And no man orders me!”

Magnus swallowed the snort of laughter filling up his throat. He doubted she saw any amusement in their finally being able to speak to each other only to quarrel. Had she been a man or a lad, he would have knocked her into the snow, then offered a drink of mead, but such rough fellowship was beyond him here.

“And how would you have fought off any knave, or worse, that found you?” he asked patiently. “You did not succeed with me.”

“There are better ways to vanquish a male than brute force. I knew what I was about!”

“Truly? You were biding your time? And the pox makes you alluring?”

“Says master gargoyle! My spots will pass!”

“Or did you plan to scatter a few herbs, perhaps?”

He thought he heard her clash her teeth together. “I did not plan my sickness, and I do not share my secrets! Had you not snatched me away, had you not interfered, I would know where the monster lives. I would have found my sister! I would be with her!” Her voice hitched, and a look of pain and dread crossed her face. “We would be together. Whatever happens, I would be with her.”

“This was Christina?”

“Is Christina, not was, never was! I know she lives!”

Magnus merely nodded, his temper cooling rapidly as he marked how her color had changed and her body shook. A desperate trap to recover a much-loved sister excused everything, to his way of thinking.

She called you a gargoyle! This piqued his vanity and pride.

But she does not think you the monster, Magnus reminded himself in a dazzled, shocked wonder, embracing that knowledge like a lover.

 

Published August 15th by Prairie Rose Publications

FREE to read with Kindle Umlinted.

To buy on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VSHHX4N

 


A FINAL EXCERPT:

 

“How are the spots? Itching yet?”

Elfrida gave a faint shudder. “Do not remind me.” Since stirring, she had been aware of her whole body tickling and burning. Mark’s idea of rolling in the snow might not be so bad.

“Walter told me that the village of Great Yarr has a bathhouse. Bathing in oatmeal will help you.”

She did not say that the village could afford to spare no foodstuffs and would not be distracted. She had tried to rush off in pursuit of the monster before and gained nothing, so now she would gather her strength and learn before she moved. “What did you call the beast? Forest Grendel? Is it known he lives in the forest?”

Magnus shook his head. “It is not known, but I do not think so now, or at least not outdoors. I have hunted wolf’s heads who have been outlawed and fled into woodland, and they always have camps and dens and food caches within the forest. I have found none of those hereabouts.”

“My dowsing caught no sign of any lair of his,” Elfrida agreed.

Magnus leaned forward, bracing himself with his injured arm. Elfrida forced herself not to stare at his stump, but to listen to him.

“Do you sense anything?” he asked softly.

“The night you came, I felt something approach.” She frowned, trying to put into words feelings and impressions that were as elusive as smoke. “A great purpose,” she said. “A need and urgent desire.”

Now Magnus was frowning. “Have you a charm or magic that will help?”

“Do you think I have not tried magic, charms, and incantations? My craft is not like a sword fight, where the blades are always true. If God does not will it—”

“I have been in enough fights where swords break.”

“Are your men good trackers?”

“They would not be with me, else.” If Magnus was startled by her determination to talk only of the beast, he gave no sign. “Tell me of your sister and her habits. Did she keep to the same paths and same tasks each day?”

“Yes and yes, but what else did Walter say? The old men have told me nothing!”

“No, they do not want the womenfolk to know anything, even you, I fear.” His kind eyes gleamed, as if he enjoyed her discomfiture. He had a small golden cross in his right eye, she noticed, shining amidst the warm brown.

A sparkle for the lasses, eh, Magnus?

To her further discomfiture, she realized he had asked her something. “Say again, please?”

“Would you like some food to go with your mead? There are the remains of mutton, dates and ginger, wine and mead and honey.” His brown eyes gleamed. “My men found it in the clearing where I found you. The mutton has been a bit chewed, but the rest is palatable, I think.”

“It is drugged!” Elfrida burst out. “I put”—she could not think of the old word and used her own language instead—“I put a sleeping draft in the wedding cakes and all.” She seized his arm, not caring that it was the one with the missing hand. “Do not eat it!”

“Sleeping draft?” He used her own words.

She yawned and feigned sleep, startled when he started to laugh.

“A wedding feast to send the groom to sleep! I like it!” He chuckled again and opened his left hand, where, to Elfrida’s horror, there was one of her own small wedding cakes.

 

Published August 15th by Prairie Rose Publications

FREE to read with Kindle Unlimited.

To buy on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VSHHX4N

 

 

Author Bio

 

Lindsay Townsend lives in Yorkshire, where she was born, and started writing stories at an early age. Always a voracious reader, she took a degree in medieval history and worked in a library for a while, then began to write full-time after marriage.

 

She is fascinated by the medieval and ancient world, especially medieval Britain, where she set her full length medieval romance novels A Knight's Vow, A Knight's Captive, A Knight's Enchantment and A Knight’s Prize, (first published by Kensington Zebra, now re-issued) and also  The Snow Bride, A Summer Bewitchment, and several novellas.  Lindsay is also intrigued by ancient Rome, Egypt, and Britain. Flavia’s Secret, a historical romance set in Roman Britain, was followed by two more ancient world historical romances, Blue Gold, set in ancient Egypt, and Bronze Lightning, set in Bronze Age Greece and the Ancient Britain of Stonehenge. All these ancient world historicals are just 99cents or 99p.

 

When not writing or researching her books, she enjoys walking, reading, cooking, music, going out with friends and long languid baths with scented candles (and perhaps chocolate).

 

Author page on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Lindsay-Townsend/e/B000API55C/

Twitter page https://twitter.com/lindsayromantic