Petir takes a rough tumble in the Connecticut woods, but awakens in the middle of old England. His instinct to freak out is tempered by the arrival of a fair maiden wearing a bow...and arrow. Throwing caution to the wind, Petir decides he has nothing to lose by pursuing Maid Rianne. But when she is captured by the enemy, a geek with no ability to defend himself must find a way to rescue the fair maiden.
“Some water, if you please, mistress,” said Rianne to the florid woman behind the bar.
Mistress Nora handed over the requested water before recognizing Rianne’s grin. Anxiously, the bartender looked around for trouble.
“You should not be here, my lady,” Mistress Nora whispered. “The sheriff’s men are everywhere.”
“Aye, but I carry a message from your son,” intoned Rianne.
“A message from my—” Mistress Nora grimly placed her hands on her hips. “He is not watching the jousting tournament with Little John, I take it?”
“No. He has run away to the forest to join our merry band,” said Rianne. Checking for eavesdroppers, she delivered Christopher’s note.
Mistress Nora unrolled it and laughed. “Prithee, Mother and Father,” she read. “Allow us one night together in the forest. I will return forthwith on the morrow.” She sighed and leaned on the bar with her head in her hands. “Well, at least he spelled everything correctly.”
Rianne chuckled. “Mistress Molly will have him delivered forthwith today if that is your wish,” she assured the irate mother.
“What was that boy thinking?” Mistress Nora responded in frustration.
“What news, fair Rianne?” Allan Lee came up behind her, carrying a tray of dirty dishes.
“Our son has abandoned us for the forest.” Mistress Nora bleakly handed the note to her husband to read.
“The answer is yes,” he said after a moment.
I’m DEBORAH ANN DAVIS, and I write Quirky New/Young Adult Fiction with a Twist. I began writing when searching for inspiration for my 5th grade English Journal. Lo and behold, my world was full of funny tales just waiting to be told. It never occurred to me to pursue writing, not even when I discovered my flare for telling stories at college parties.
After a string of undergrad majors, I realized I could reach a captive audience EVERY DAY in the public school system. As you probably know, teenagers love to laugh, and what could be more entertaining than Biology, Earth Science, and Environmental Science? I jumped into teaching with both feet and loved it for 27 years. It came with an added bonus: Once teens know you like to laugh, they want to make you laugh. Go figure.
Twelve years after our first kiss, I reunited with, and married my childhood sweetheart. Together we coached our daughter's AAU Basketball Team, which swept States two years in a row. (Yay!) Then, for several years, our daughter and our money went to college.
During a particularly nasty bout of Lyme disease, I turned to Fitness to boost my Health, and to Writing to boost my Happiness. Currently, I am a healthy and happy Educational Speaker and a Certified Personal Trainer who loves to write.
We presently reside on a lovely lake in Connecticut. When I’m not writing novels for my Love of Fairs series, I enjoy dabbling with living a sustainable life, dancing, playing outside, and laughing really hard every day. I also promote increasing movement throughout your day as Wiggle Writer in my Merry Meddling blog at http://deborahanndavis.com/merry-meddling/ .
Social Media Links:
You can track my meddling on https://twitter.com/DeborahAnnDavis or
Deborah will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the you and comment; the more you comment the better your chances of winning.
Here's the link to the tour:
Agnes Randolph, the Countess of Dunbar is one of my favorite Scots. She’s also known as Black Agnes due to her dark hair and eyes. Her ordeal began in 1338 when William Montague, the Earl of Salisbury, lay siege to Dunbar Castle.
Agnes’ husband, Patrick, was away fighting the English on another front and it was left to Agnes to defend their home with only a few soldiers for help.
Salisbury, considered one of the great commanders of his day, thought he would have an easy victory against a lone woman, but he hadn’t counted on Agnes’ indomitable spirit, courage, and perseverance.
First, he catapulted Dunbar with boulders, destroying part of the battlement. Her response was to dress in her best gown, and with her ladies-in-waiting, and walk the fortifications. She dusted the broken walls as if there was nothing amiss, letting her enemy know she was not going to be intimidated.
Then he tried to force the gate with his battering ram. Lady Agnes had her men bring the largest boulder they could find (it was probably one that Salisbury had just thrown at them) and drop it onto the ram, thus squashing it. It is said she jeered at Salisbury’s men as they ran for their lives.
Salisbury even tried to bribe one of Agnes’ guards into opening the gate. He promised the man a fortune for betraying his mistress. The guard seemed to agree, but unbeknownst to Salisbury it was a trap. That night when he and a small group of English soldiers tried to sneak into the castle, the portcullis came down, springing the trap. Unfortunately, one of Salisbury’s men had gotten ahead of him while passing through the gate, and Agnes thinking the English commander would be in the lead, trapped the wrong man.
Salisbury was getting desperate. He tried to starve them out by putting boats in the surrounding water, forming a blockade. Without food and supplies life for Agnes and her people began to look bleak.
Help arrived in the shape of Sir Alexander Ramsey of Dalhousie, a Scottish knight. One dark night he sailed across the water, it’s thought he accessed the keep using a natural cavern built into the castle’s foundation. He delivered food and supplies to the besieged populace, relieving the famine. The next morning Agnes had a fresh loaf and some wine delivered to Salisbury with her compliments, letting him know that he could not break her.
In an act of desperation Salisbury brought Agnes’ brother, John Randolph, the Earl of Moray, as a prisoner to Dunbar. He informed Agnes that he would kill her brother if she didn’t submit. She didn’t surrender. She told Salisbury to go ahead and kill him because her brother had no children, and she would inherit his lands if he died.
It sounds heartless but you have to remember at the end of a siege the nobility were allowed to live, but the servants, peasants, and soldiers were all put to death. So there was a lot more riding on this than her brother’s life. By the way, John survived the ordeal and died in 1347.
The siege finally ended when Ramsey, under cover of darkness, maneuvered his men, across the water and into the castle. He joined forces with Agnes’ men and launched a surprise attack, through the main gate, scattering the English.
Black Agnes withheld and triumphed against a five-month siege. She did it using courage, persistence and shear stubbornness. But I think she was a woman ahead of her time. Surrender was not an option, and she understood that sometimes it’s more important to appear strong than to actually be strong.
Vanessa is with us today answering questions about... almost everything other than her books - Enjoy
What is something you’ve lied about?
I went to Korea with my mother last April and she snores. Badly. I believe she has sleep apnea because she woke herself up all the time from her snoring. And, she woke me up too. Actually, I never really fell asleep because I had to listen to the on and off snoring all week long. When I got home, I slept 14 hours straight. So I lied that her snoring didn't impact me because what could she do?
Who is the last person you hugged?
My 10 year old. He's a snuggler and I love it!
What are you reading now?
Daughter of the God King by Anne Cleeland. I love this book!
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
For Wildflowers of Montana, it wasn't too hard. I just listed out a variety of flowers and kept the ones that were either names often used or ones that could be used. For example, Pansy might work, but I didn't think it was that great. Thistle wouldn't have worked either.
Share your dream cast for your book.
Oh my. Since there are eight books in the series, that's going to be a long post! I'll switch it up a bit. I just saw on Facebook that someone put Henry Cavill as Gideon Cross from Sylvia Day's Crossfire series. He's the first actor that has been matched to play Gideon that I think will actually work. Gosh, Gideon in my head is sooooo hot and I think Henry Cavill could absolutely fill that role. In fact, I see Mr. Cavill in an entirely new light now.
Rose Lenox has grown up to be more comfortable on the back of a horse than wearing ribbons and bows like her seven adopted sisters. For years working the land was enough, but lately Rose finds herself wishing for something different. She wants her own ranch and freedom from her overwhelming and unorthodox family. Rose is determined to strike out on her own and forge her own path. Lenox neighbor, Chance Goodman, has watched Rose grow from a spitfire of a girl to a beautiful and fiery woman. For years he's waited patiently and watched her struggle to find her place in the world. When she leaves the Lenox ranch alone, determined to abandon her former life and to say good-bye to him, he knows the time has come to claim her. Letting her walk away isn't an option. Chance knows exactly what she needs...and he's going to give it to her. Follow the eight Lenox sisters through this historical erotic series that's as big and bold as the Montana Sky. The Wildflowers of Montana begins with Rose and her hot, Alpha cowboy
When handsome Jackson Reed comes home from the army, he catches the immediate attention of the seven Lenox daughters. But he only has eyes for one — beautiful Hyacinth Lenox. It's apparent that she notices him as well, so why is she doing everything she can to avoid him?
Hyacinth can't stop thinking about the sandy-haired newcomer, but while she longs for happiness with Jackson, she feels unworthy to marry him or anyone else. Guilt from a tragic childhood incident dogs her even into adulthood, leaving her to feel undeserving of Jackson's love.
But Jackson isn't a man so easily dissuaded. He's determined to rid Hyacinth of her pain and make her his wife. Can he heal her past hurt and awaken her to the carnal pleasures he wants just with her? He senses a great capacity for love and passion in this fair Lenox flower. Unlocking it will mean a battle of wills, but love is worth the fight.
Follow the eight Lenox sisters through this historical erotic series that's as big and bold as the Montana Sky. The Wildflowers of Montana continues with Hyacinth and her sharpshooting hero.
You can see more of Vanessa Vale's titles on her Amazon page
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
#1 Amazon Bestseller in Erotic Western and Historical Erotica
Who doesn't love the romance of the old West? Vanessa Vale takes the sensual appeal of rugged cowboys a step further with her bestselling books set in the Montana Territory. They are much more than just sexy historical westerns. By introducing sexual taboos into this otherwise traditional romantic setting, Vanessa has won the loyalty of a fan base that never knows quite what to expect with each new series.
"Montana Maidens" was the first to push the envelope with strong BDSM themes. "Montana Men" followed suit with softer themes but lots of deliciously graphic sex. "The Bridgewater Series" showcases ménage relationships because sometimes one hot cowboy isn't enough. No-holds-barred, graphic descriptions, strong storytelling, engaging characters and breathtaking landscapes all combine to make very naughty reads.
And as a resident of Wild Wild West, Vanessa Vale finds plenty of inspiration for her work, for who doesn't love a handsome cowboy?
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Vanessa will award a $50 Amazon or BN GC to one randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:
Isabel MacDuff, Countess of Buchan was a woman who followed her conscience and suffered the consequences. Her family line, the MacDuffs, had the hereditary right to crown the Kings of Scotland. So in 1306 when Robert Bruce killed his rival for the throne, Red Comyn, she defied her husband, stole his horse, and rode to Scone. The place where Scottish monarchs had been crowned since 838AD
On hearing of her arrival, The Bruce who had already been crowned, agreed to go through with the rite of enthronement a second time, so on March 27th 1306 Isabel crowned Robert I. You might be forgiven for thinking The Bruce was just placating a loyal follower, but I don’t think so. By royal decree a MacDuff had crowned the kings of Scotland since 1057. Being crowned by Isabel gave his claim to the throne a legitimacy it would have lacked otherwise.
In late 1306 Edward I captured her, along with Robert’s wife, sisters, and daughter. Her husband asked for her death, but Edward had other ideas. She was imprisoned, exposed to the elements, in a cage suspended from the outer walls of Berwick Castle, the object of public humiliation.
“As she did not strike with the sword, she shall not perish by the sword... let her be closely confined in an abode of stone and iron... let her be hung up out of doors in the open air at Berwick, that both in life and after her death, she may be a spectacle and eternal reproach to travellers.”
Edward I, King of England
I cannot even begin to imagine how cold she must have been in winter, or how she scared she must've been when the cage swayed in the wind? I also have to wonder if the inhabitants of Berwick pitied or scorned her.
She stayed in that cage for fours years until 1310, when she was sent to a Carmelite nunnery. By this time, Robert was making headway in his campaign against the English, and the women had become valuable as hostages. Accounts vary, but it seems that this is the last time she appears in the historical record. After the Battle of Bannockburn there was a hostage exchange, and the Bruce women were returned to Scotland. Isabel was not among them and it is believed she died in captivity. A sad fate for a woman who followed her conscience and crowned a king.
The Scottish Highlands of the middle Ages is the point where the European and Celtic cultures meet. The Highlands are a place of amazing natural beauty with mountains, glens, and lochs…and then there’s the rain. The western Highlands can receive nearly sixteen feet of rain per year.
With such a rugged environment you might expect the people to be isolated, but we know from clan histories that lairds and chiefs went on crusade, so they probably weren’t as secluded as you might think. There is evidence of trade between the Highlands, the Western Isles, Ireland, and England. And you would expect them to have used the rivers and lochs as their highways.
Everyone who belonged to a clan would go by the same last name. That does not mean they were related but rather that they identified with or were under the protection of a particular clan. For instance, if you were a McDonald and were in McNaughton territory you might use the name McNaughton for protection.
Archeologists and scholars believe that most of the clan-folk lived in townships where the population could be as high as a hundred and fifty people. They resided in timber frame homes known as creel houses. These structures had thatched roofs, and a turf outer wall. The interior would have been dark, with one small hearth, dirt floors and very little in the way of creature comforts. The door faced south to take advantage of the natural light. Creel houses were in use from the high middle ages until the eighteenth century.
The people of the clans were subsistence farmers, working tracks of land. They lived off the food they could grow, which included kale, oats, and bere, which is a type of barley. They picked nuts and berries, hunted, and fished. They also raised cattle for the chief. I'll post more about the food of the Highlanders in a few days.
The chiefs of this time had a closer kinship with their people than the lords in the south. Many of the laird's clan would have been related to him. In this period the highlands were an unsettled place where disputes, open war, and feuding were regular occurrences. Members of the clan worked the land and paid a small rent, in return their chief provided them with a safe haven in the event of an attack.
Compared to the rest of his clan the laird lived in relative luxury. He would have a castle, with a proper fireplace, a stone floor, tapestries, and a private bedchamber. He would probably have had chain mail, and armor too, remember some of them had travelled to the holy land, so they would have experienced the world beyond Scotland. Plus, he had a wealth of cattle and an army of kinsmen at his command.
Perhaps one of the reasons the clan system was successful for hundreds of years was because the chief didn’t own the land. It belonged to the clan. The position of chief was not hereditary; another man from the ruling class could replace him. This gave him an incentive to put the clan’s needs above his own.
“And man, whose heav'n-erected face
The smiles of love adorn
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!”
― Robert Burns
On 25th January we celebrate the life and works of Scottish poet Robbie Burns. This year I’ve decided to join in the celebration with a book sale.
My publisher, The Wild Rose Press has graciously agreed to put A Woman of Honour, set in the Scottish Highlands, on sale for $0.99 for two weeks starting today.
I’m also going to repost some of my blogs to give you an overview of medieval life and share stories about two of medieval Scotland’s most inspirational women.
Duncan Campbell wakes to discover he is imprisoned with a woman in his enemy's dungeon in the Highlands of Scotland. The disenchanted warrior hopes his last few moments on earth will be spent in the arms of the sweet-voiced Isabel. If only she will cooperate.
Isabel Douglas has no intention of obliging the crude captive. The penniless noblewoman considers herself too tall and thin to be desirable. She intends to become a nun. But first, disguised as a boy, she must deliver an important letter to Scotland's hero in hiding, King Robert the Bruce.
Together, the pair make a daring escape that plunges them into the bleak countryside in the middle of winter. In the struggle to survive, they learn the true strength of their feelings for each other. But when Duncan's animosity towards the king becomes evident, Isabel must decide between her heart and her country.
Mishaps and mayhem reign when old flames collide.
Available from Amazon
Hard-working Kate Clark opens a thriving coffee shop that quickly becomes the local hang-out for students and the community. Her one wish is to eventually buy out her sister’s share of the old Florida home they inherited. However, Violet is in desperate need of cash and has other plans.
Tappe Vanderberg, Kate’s childhood friend and high school sweetheart, has sold his lucrative internet security business to return to Little Heron Shores and fulfill his dreams of owning a marina. Now the handsome Dutch-born businessman is making waves with single women all over town—including loony, post mistress Eva May Poole who’s in search of husband number three.
But it’s Kate Clark who’s wreaking havoc with Tappe’s heart, not Eva May. Can he find a way to shake the dingbat post mistress and convince Kate to give him a second chance and the sweet kiss he remembers from an earlier time?
Tappe picked up the grimy jar of candy hearts. “No way! I can’t believe Fay saved your candy hearts.” He twisted off the lid and shook one into his hand.
“Neither can I. Don’t you dare put that into your mouth. Those candies are over a decade old!”
“So? Sugar doesn’t spoil.”
“Okay, go ahead. Eat it. Poison yourself. Why should I care?” Kate said drily. “Just don’t call me in the middle of the night.” With a shake of her head, she turned back to the stove, took out a cold plate from the freezer, and plopped a teaspoon of the liquid from the bubbling pot on it, then ran a finger through the mixture to see if the jam stayed parted and stable, refusing to run together. She removed the pot from the stove, set it on the table, and started filling the pint and half-pint jars.
“You don’t mean that.” He dropped the candy back into the jar, and came up behind her. He started nuzzling her on the side of her neck.
“Do you realize I’m working with hot liquids?” She tried to be stern as she squirmed away still holding the hot pot. She could never quite pull off reprimanding
Tappe, especially when he was on a roll. And he was on a roll.
“Not as hot as you are. Want to make out?”
Kate looked at him askance. “Now? Here? Are you sane?”
“Yes, I’m fairly lucid. But if your answer is a no to making out, then can I lick the pot instead?”
“If you promise to quit licking my neck.”
About the Author:
Judy Ann Davis began her career in writing as acopy and continuity writer for radio and television in Scranton, PA. She holds a degree in Journalism and Communications and has written for industry and education throughout her career.
Over a dozen of her short stories have appeared in various literary and small magazines, and anthologies, and have received numerous awards.
When Judy Ann is not behind a computer, you canfind her looking for anything humorous to make her laugh or swinging a golf club where the chuckles are
She is a member of Pennwriters, Inc. and Romance Writers of America, and lives with her husband in Central PA.
Judy's Contact Information:
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JudyAnnDavisAuthor/
The Wild Rose Press: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com
Amazon Author Page:
Newsletter FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/KeepingYouInSuspense
Congratulations to Rita Wray, the winner of my Goddess Fish Promotions Book tour.
Rita has just received a $30 Amazon egiftcard.
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who entered my giveaway and supported the book tour. I will leave the links up on my Appearances page in case you want to check out the great reviews of A Woman of Courage.
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? Personally, I don’t believe in resolutions. Mainly because I’ve never been able to keep them and it feels as if I’m breaking a promise to myself, which makes me feel bad inside.
But I have set goals
I plan to add five minutes of jogging to my walk every day. I will do this in minute intervals. Jog for a minute and then walk for a minute, then jog for a minute…and so on until I’ve done five minutes of jogging then I will continue to walk for the rest of my exercise time.
I also want to add some gut healthy foods to my diet. Please understand I’m not going to diet I just want to cultivate a healthy microbiome. Why? Because microbes help us digest food, harvest calories, provide us with energy, produce crucial vitamins, regulate appetite, and protect our immune system. This is a new approach to healthy eating spearheaded by Professor Tim Spector, author of the new book “The Diet Myth: The Real Science Behind What We Eat”
Professor Spector’s work (Yes, he has a super villain’s name.) was recently featured in a CBC documentary It Takes Guts.
Here are Tim Spector’s top ten foods for gut health:
Lastly, I plan to do more promos this year. This will be especially true in January, February and March. I’m planning giveaways, and sales to celebrate some special days, such as Robbie Burns day on 25th January, where we appreciate the Scots in all their glory. And what self respecting romance writer doesn’t celebrate Valentines Day 14th February with a giveaway. Finally, I have to do something special for St. Patrick’s Day.
So stay tuned for announcements.
What are your goals? I'd love to hear about them?
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful 2016.