Monday, 5 August 2019

The Snow Bride - Medieval Historical Romance Novel. First book in Knight & Witch Series

Up now for pre-order is one of my personal favourites, The Snow Bride, due out on August 15th from Prairie Rose Publications

Blurb  

She is Beauty, but is he the Beast?                                                                                                                                   

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.

It's up for order on Amazon Com and Amazon UK and free to read on Kindle Unlimited.

Read Chapter One here

Here is another excerpt to tempt you:

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.


This is Book One of The Knight and the Witch Series.
Lindsay Townsend

Saturday, 27 July 2019

THE DUKE'S PET - OUT NOW!



ABOUT

Penniless and with no prospects for marriage, twenty-one-year-old orphan Jemima Cooper has no choice but to take any work she can find, no matter how shameful. When she is sent by her employer to serve the Duke of Hillcrest, however, Jemima is surprised to discover that the handsome, eccentric nobleman intends to make her not merely his concubine but also his pet.

Within moments of her arrival at the duke's home, Jemima finds herself purring like a kitten as a collar is placed around her neck, and it isn't long before she is blushing crimson and trying to hide her helpless arousal as she is led through her new master's estate wearing nothing but a tail.

Though the duke soon proves more than ready to bare his beautiful pet's bottom and spank her firmly for any disobedience, his stern dominance only increases Jemima's need for him, and when he takes her in his arms and claims her properly it is better than she could have ever imagined. But will she always be just the duke's pet, or will he one day make her his bride?



Monday, 22 July 2019

Millie- new release!


The Marsh Saga Series! 
Set in the 1920s, this 4 book series is about three sisters, Millie, Prue, Cece Marsh and Prue's friend, Alice. WWI is over and the sisters are ready to spread their wings and embrace a new world.

Millie, sensible and ready to be a wife and mother, but nothing goes to plan.
Prue, wild and eager to explore the world as her grandmother did, but will it fulfil her as she hopes?
Cece, falls in love with a man who loves her sister. Will she get her happy ever after?
Widowed Alice is a modern woman in a man's world and is determined to make her business as good as any man's.
These strong independent women will face challenges and heartache, and alone they might tumble and fall. However, together, they are a force to be reckoned with! 

The first book is Millie.




Millie blurb

The Great War is over, and Millie is ready to leave her loving family home and be a wife to Jeremy who is everything she had hoped for.
Until…
Not long after their wedding, Millie discovers Jeremy is affected by shell shock and moving into his late father’s cold dark estate escalates the problem. Millie tries to help, but Jeremy grows more distant and befriends a homeless, wounded ex-soldier, Monty, who has secrets...
As Millie’s distrust of Monty grows, a rift is created between her and Jeremy and when he leaves to receive hospital treatment, she is left feeling abandoned. When her family is dealt a terrible loss, it is Millie who must be the strongest. However, just when she feels things couldn’t become worse, she suffers her own heartbreaking tragedy.
Grieving and alone, Millie wonders if her marriage can ever be mended, but she can’t give up without a fight.
Will a new home for her and Jeremy in a foreign country be the answer, or will the events of the past destroy everything she wished for? 


Available in Kindle and paperback: Amazon: viewbook.at/Millie


Friday, 19 July 2019

Forgotten Women in the Spanish Civil War

Before the Spanish Civil War, girls had a very poor education. Boys were permitted to stay on at school much longer, while for girls it was merely a means for learning domestic duties. It irritated Rosita and no doubt women in the real world that they were legally obliged to leave school at twelve, despite their love of education and desire for a career. Nor were women permitted to take a job outside the house without the permission of their father or husband.

But the war initially brought a change in status for women, as they wished to do their bit to help in support of their husbands. Many received their best education during the war years, assisted by Mujeres Libres, which did a great deal for the emancipation of women. This organisation didn’t do battle with men, but neither did it believe that women should be ruled by them. They claimed all women should be considered equal and have the same education and opportunities as men.

Women working in the war was not approved of by the Fascists, even if it was only doing the laundry for soldiers. Nor were they allowed to wear overalls or carry guns. Both left and right wing parties tended to dismiss women’s efforts as inappropriate, treating them more as sexual objects. They were expected to practise self-sacrifice and self-denial for their family, husband and the church. Some women tended to assume that the problems were more about class and economics, rather than gender. Others would deny they were feminists, nervous of endangering their efforts for equality and the fact they had no wish to be ruled by controlling men.

The problem was that if the authorities could not find the man they were seeking, they would arrest his wife or children simply for that reason. They hoped that threatening a man with that possibility could result in his surrender. Tragically, family differences could on occasions reveal where a fugitive was hiding. Women were often imprisoned for helping family and friends to escape. They could even be denounced by a neighbour, alleged friend, or family member.

After the war, they were returned to the kitchen, rather as was the case in the UK following both world wars. Women yet again felt cloistered, offered a very limited education and every effort was made to prevent them from attending university. They were even denied the right of divorce, contraception, abortion, or to open their own bank account. And no job was allowed once they were married. Laws were set up to ensure that women acted only as good wives and mothers. Fortunately, this anti-women attitude did eventually change, although it took some time. And the characters in this book are generally strong women, who very much do their bit to help, no matter what the risks involved.

Description 
It is 1936 and Spain is on the brink of civil war. Across Europe, young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to free their Spanish brethren from the grip of Fascism, leaving sisters and lovers at home. But not all women are content to be left behind. In Britain, Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, friends from opposite sides of the class divide, are determined to do what they can; in Spain, Rosita García Díaz, fiercely loyal to her family and country, cannot stand by and watch. Three brave women, inspired by patriotism, idealism, love and even revenge, dare to go into battle against tradition and oppression. 

Tying them all together is Jo, Libby’s granddaughter. Five decades later she travels to Spain hoping to make sense of a troubling letter hidden among her grandmother’s possessions. What she learns will change all of their lives forever.

Deceit, heartbreak, and a longstanding fear of reprisals must all be overcome if the deeds of the forgotten women are to be properly honoured.


Amazon Lake Union
Amazon UK  

Amazon US

Thursday, 18 July 2019

THE VIKINGS HAVE INVADED!


Don't miss the hottest boxed set hitting the shelves this summer!



Dare to enter our world

A horde of battle-hardened, ferocious Nordic warriors. 
A Pictish village at the mercy of its enemies. 
A harrowing bargain struck for nine fearful and reluctant brides. 

Delivered into Viking hands, claimed and conquered, each bride must accept that she belongs to her new master. 
But, as wedding nights bring surrender to duty, will fierce lovers also surrender their hearts?

The Highland wilderness is savage, life is perilous, and the future uncertain, but each Viking has sworn protection, and there are no lengths to which a man will not go to safeguard the woman he loves. 

Nine tales of suspense, seduction and adventure, told against the forbidding backdrop of medieval Scotland. 

Journey together with indomitable heroes and intrepid heroines, as they discover that the raging storms of fear and passion can transform into enduring devotion. 




Heat level: volcanic
Filled with action and suspense, these intensely passionate Viking historical romance stories feature scorching scenes of sexy sizzle.


Also on Kindle Unlimited

Friday, 5 July 2019

Soldiers in World War One

Their physical and mental stress was so strong at times that it blocked out their minds, filling them with fear, grim reality, tension, strain and anxiety whenever they approached a battle zone. They would fall into silence, asking themselves if they could cope with the dangers they were about to face. They always dreaded snipers, shell shock, infections and injuries, or to be damaged with shrapnel. It could make their mind go completely numb, particularly if they suffered the loss of a friend. Some could be walking wounded, or could only sleep on a groundsheet against the cold.

Infantry soldiers often knew very little about where they were or what was going on elsewhere. They lacked the facility of maps, news and information, relying on gossip and rumour. Food in Blighty was very much a problem. They might be given bacon and liver, brawn and kidneys, bread and dripping, but not too much food was available. They might have porridge with a few smashed army biscuits boiling in a mess tin with some water and sugar. Sometimes they were given a small drink of beer, and they would take a sip of rum and roll it on their tongue. Soldiers were also expected to keep their boots, caps, badges and buckles well-polished, and would hide them at night in case one of the other chaps might pinch them. Life was not easy, and they very much depended upon friends and letters from their family. It was a relief for them to be given a short break from the frontline when they were feeling worn out, perhaps to walk through the streets unthreatened by locals. Or to enjoy a performance.


Amazon Lake Union

UK

US


War might drain men of energy, but Cecily firmly believed that their minds and spirit needed nurturing. Her team gave regular performances in the camp and at local hospitals. It was not unusual for wounded men to be wheeled out of the wards and lie on stretchers in order to watch, having been treated or were simply waiting for the necessary care. They often happily accepted they could be soaked as rain beat down on them. Cecily would regularly sing and on one occasion, they performed a play. Because some couldn’t be moved, following a concert Cecily would visit the hospital and sing to patients in their beds, or to one alone if he was blind or dying. It was exhausting but moving, her team’s situation ripe with danger too. They performed popular songs, poetry, Shakespeare, comedy and gave a glimpse of ‘Blighty’ often to an audience of thousands. The soldiers were always overjoyed to be entertained.


Thursday, 4 July 2019

Summer Holiday Feel-Good Romances

Just in time for Summer Holidays..

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