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Freya’s Folly

Gentle Reader:

The Teatime Tattler received this aged parchment yesterday. While we puzzle over its delivery to our office, we are pleased to know brazen wenches are not new in 1815.

S. Clemens


Freya peaked around the canvas of a tent to watch the English knight as he made his way through the crowd. She had first seen him leaving his own tent this morn and on impulse she asked a nearby squire for the knight’s name. Sir Charles de Grey, she had been told, and a small smile had lit her face upon hearing it while she began following him through camp.

Heart pounding, she continued to dodge people and other obstacles in her pursuit to stay near Sir Charles. She was unprepared when he suddenly turned as though he felt her presence. She quickly ducked behind another tent in the hopes he had not caught her following him. She could not say why she was so drawn to this handsome stranger but he had certainly held her interest from afar. No harm could come from a closer look, could it?

With her chest heaving at the near thought of being found out, she dared another look only to find him gone! She stepped from her hiding place in order to once more continue her search for him. She was unprepared when her arm was taken in a fierce grip. Forced backwards against the canvas that had obviously not provided any source of concealment, she stared into the eyes of the very person who had momentarily escaped her. He was taller up close than she expected for she barely reached to his chest. With his blond hair and vivid blue eyes, she almost sighed at how handsome he was now that he stood before her. And then he spoke, and her world crashed down around her.

“Why are you following me?” he asked in an amused tone. Before she could answer, he continued, much to her dismay. “If you are looking for a bit of sport, I do not have time to dally at the moment. Perchance later, although I must admit you are prettier than most of the wenches who meander about.” He took hold of her chin as though to examine her closer before he gave her a quick kiss upon her lips.

“H-how d-dare ye kiss me?” Freya sputtered.

He began fumbling at a leather pouch upon his belt. Drawing out a coin, he held out the meager offering for her to take. “For your troubles…”

A gasp escaped her. “Do ye ken who ye are speaking tae?”

A chuckle escaped him. “Given you have been dodging my every move this morn, I assumed you were one of the women camp followers who earn their way at such events. Was I mistaken?”

He thought her a whore! His insult stung even as she knew her brother Douglas would be mortified to learn she had been following the man in the first place. Swinging her arm to smack the smirk off his face, he easily caught her hand before pulling her closer. Her breath left her while she tried to think clearly.

She began to struggle in his arms. “Ye braying arse! I am Lady Freya of Berwyck,” she shouted. He let go of her so quickly she stumbled to right herself and not land in the dirt.

“As in the sister to Laird Douglas of Clan MacLaren?” A look passed across his features showing her that he was not pleased she was associated with her brother.

“Aye. I will tell him of yer insult tae me,” she hissed.

“Tell him anything you like but for your own sake, and mine, stay away from me. I have had all I can handle from a MacLaren for one day.”

Freya continued to stare at him while he stomp away and as she watched him go, she was uncertain if she was happy or sad at his leaving.

scottish

Freya and Charles are secondary characters in Belle Sherry Ewing’s latest release: To Love A Scottish Laird: De Wolfe Pack Connected World. This novella has become a prequel to Sherry’s debut novel If My Heart Can See You. It combines the worlds of Katheryn Le Veque’s De Wolfe Pack series and Sherry’s Knights of Berwyck.

Sometimes you really can fall in love at first sight…

Lady Catherine de Wolfe knows she must find a husband before her brother chooses one for her. A tournament to celebrate the wedding of the Duke of Normandy might be her answer. She does not expect to fall for a man after just one touch.

Laird Douglas MacLaren of Berwyck is invited to the tournament by the Duke of Normandy. He goes to ensure Berwyck’s safety once Henry takes the throne. He does not expect to become entranced by a woman who bumps into him.

Yet, nothing is ever quite that simple. Not everyone is happy with the union of this English lady and a Scottish laird. From the shores of France, to Berwyck Castle on the border between their countries, Douglas and Catherine must find their way to protect their newfound love.

Excerpt:

“You can let go of me now,” she said softly, not wanting to appear ungrateful for his help. His arms dropped to his sides, and she swore she felt a loss she had never experienced before.

“Aye, of course,” he said a little too gruffly. “Mayhap we should introduce ourselves since I all but caused ye tae fall.”

“’Twas hardly your fault,” Catherine said with a small smile. “I must apologize for my clumsiness.”

“No harm was done as long as ye were not injured.”

“Nay… I am well, as you can see for yourself.”

“Ye appear very well.” A grin split his lips. He gave a short bow. “I am Douglas of Clan MacLaren and laird of Berwyck Castle. And ye are…”

She curtsied. “Lady Catherine de Wolfe.”

His brow lifted, giving evidence of his surprise. “de Wolfe?”

Catherine raised her chin. “Aye. You have perchance heard of us?” she asked. Although proud of her heritage, ’twas sometimes an inconvenience when it came to men, their ambitions, and her dowry. Dowry? When had Lord Douglas become a possibility for her husband?

He chuckled. “I would have tae be living in a hole in the ground tae have not heard of the de Wolfe family.”

Buy it on Amazon or read it now with Kindle Unlimited.

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More about Sherry:

Sherry is proud to be one of the Bluestocking Belles. Sherry picked up her first historical romance when she was a teenager and has been hooked ever since. A bestselling author, she writes historical and time travel romances to awaken the soul one heart at a time. When not writing, she can be found in the San Francisco area at her day job as an Information Technology Specialist.

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The Importance of Being Norman

It seemed very real. Must have been the gin, or maybe the brandy, but I could swear I went home the long way round last night.

Via another century.

san-carlo-cicchetti-by-aldo-zilli-italian-restaurant-piccadilly-londonYou might laugh, but it was 1822 when I left the workroom, and it wasn’t 1822 any more when I turned onto Gillinghall Street.

That isn’t the point. What I remember most is the argument I overheard in Tazzi’s restaurant. You’ve never heard of it? It won’t open for nigh two hundred years, I tell you. I ducked in there to get away from the horseless carriages—great metal boxes that hurtled along with a great blast of noise.

It was a pleasant enough place. Service wasn’t that good mind you, and the décor was a rather peculiar mix of industrial and elegant. But my lucky silver crown got me anything on the menu, yes and a glass of that brandy I mentioned.

They serve Venetian tapas. Now I know what you’re going to say. You’ve heard of Spanish tapas, but never Italian. Neither had I until I went there.

Anyway, this couple, probably in their late twenties—or maybe he was a bit older—sat at the next table. He was out of breath when he arrived, as if he’d walked a fair distance. She’d been fidgeting before he got there, studying the menu as if she was going to be quizzed on it! She eventually ordered the asparagus salad with quail eggs and black truffles, and he had some sort of mini-pizza.

I don’t think they knew each other well. Both nervous. Maybe a first date. Attractive though, especially him with his thick, black hair. Spiffy-looking in a grey summer blazer and white slacks. No cravat; just a thin striped strip of fabric down the front of his crisp linen shirt. It should have looked absurd, but he carried off the combination of casual and formal. He was easily the most handsome man in the busy restaurant. I wasn’t the only woman who noticed him, I can tell you.

Funny thing. He was the spit and image of the Earl of Warenton. Marcus De Wolfe, one of those aristocratic types who can trace his line back to the Dark Ages! Not dressed the part, of course, but certainly as handsome as the earl. We used to dress his wife—what they can spend on a gown, the aristocracy!

How the other half lives, eh?

Come to think of it, this man and the young woman seemed to be discussing family trees. I got the feeling he’d hired her to do some research, and the pleasant conversation turned heated when he obviously didn’t agree with something she’d said.

It was too bad because they looked well suited to me, but she got up, threw down her napkin and left in a huff. He paid the bill and went after her, but she had a good head start, and she was mad!

Me? I finished my brandy, and then it was morning and I was here. It must have been the brandy. My lucky silver crown is gone, though.

Hungry Like De Wolfe

markland-coverBlaise de Wolfe risks losing De Wolfe Hall unless he can prove his pure Norman ancestry and be eligible for a substantial renovation grant from the “Sons of the Conquest”, an exclusive club.  He turns to family tree researcher Anne Smith, unaware of her Norman roots and consequent disdain for the male-only policies of the club. Sparks fly between them when she digs up some unexpected information about Blaise’s medieval ancestor, Gaetan de Wolfe.

Anne harbors other resentments. Widowed when her husband volunteers for a second tour with the British Army in Iraq, she is reluctant to embark on another relationship, though she is drawn to Blaise. He too is afraid to risk his heart after his fiancée dumps him upon learning his ancestral home is draining his bank account.

Two great medieval dynasties come together in this novella set in London in 2006— Le Veque’s De Wolfe Pack and  Markland’s Montbryce~FitzRam family. The world will never be the same.

EXCERPT:

Blaise gritted his teeth, cursing himself for a fool when Anne glared back angrily and thrust her fork into the remaining quail’s egg like Saint George slaying the proverbial dragon.

A man in his profession never blurted out a judgmental statement of that sort. His emotions had got the better of him. The last thing he wanted to do was alienate the first woman he’d been attracted to in years. Plus, he was financially dependent on her goodwill. “I apologise,” he muttered lamely.

She put down her knife and fork and stared at him. “Not that I have to justify my credentials to you, Mr. de Wolfe, but it happens that the Norman Conquest is my area of expertise. I too am a descendant of a knight who fought at Hastings, the first Earl of Ellesmere, and what’s more I can prove it.”

Once again his better judgement failed him. “With a name like Smith?” he scoffed.

She crumpled her napkin and threw it onto the table. “I’ve changed my mind about the tiramisu,” she said, pushing back her wheeled chair. “I trust you’ll get this?”

She was gone before he could retract his accusation.

Meet Anna Markland

Passion conquers whatever obstacles a hostile medieval world can throw in its path. My page-turning adventures have earned me a place on Amazon’s All-Star list.

Besides writing, I have two addictions-crosswords and genealogy, probably the reason I love research. I am a fool for cats. My husband is an entrepreneur who is fond of boasting he’s never had a job.

I live on Canada’s scenic west coast now, but I was born and raised in the UK and I love breathing life into the history of my homeland.

Escape with me to where romance began.

You can find me at my website and my Facebook page, Anna Markland Novels.

Tweet me @annamarkland, join me on Pinterest, or sign up for my newsletter.

Hungry Like De Wolfe is a Kindle Worlds novella based on Kathryn Le Veque’s Warwolfe (coming soon). It represents my first foray into contemporary romance, though as you have probably gathered it has heavy medieval overtones. I hope you enjoy meeting Anne and Blaise.

LINK: Amazon

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