Sunday 29 November 2015

Tuesday 24 November 2015

A Perfect Christmas Read - One Christmas Knight - Out Today

ONE CHRISTMAS KNIGHT, an anthology of medieval novellas, is now out at Amazon. There are seven wonderful historical romances here, by various authors, all set around Yule and Christmas.

Here's a blurb for each of  the stories, plus the blurb and an excerpt from mine.


Sir Rhys de Valyer, on his way to Scotland to join his liege, Julian Challon, becomes lost in a blinding snowstorm. But this is only the start of his troubles. In a brutal ambush, he and his men are attacked and left for dead. Rhys only escapes the horrible fate due to his trusted steed, who manages to drag him away from the battle. Fearing death’s approach, he never expects a beautiful snow angel to come to his rescue.
After being cast out by her family for being the bastard child of a Selkie, Annys Bràigheach has made her life in the sanctuary of Rowenwood Forest, far away from the world. In spite of her acceptance of the solitary life, her heart still yearns for more. To her surprise, after making a Yuletide wish, she discovers a handsome knight, clinging desperately to his horse, half-frozen with two arrows piercing his body. Her healing skills may save him, but can she reach his heart?
Magic can happen at Yuletide if only you can believe….


When Meryk the Outlaw finds a badly beaten woman beside the road, he almost rides on. With a price on his head and a winter storm raging, even a short delay could cost him everything. But when he discovers she’s ready to give birth, he takes the risk and vows to protect her.
Ada of Bew doesn’t want the outlaw’s help—much less his protection—but she has no choice. Unable to run any farther and ready to give birth, she must place her faith in this stranger…or die at the hands of the men who want to kill her unborn son.
In the struggle against the cold and would-be kings, Meryk and Ada discover love is the most unexpected gift of all, but will they survive long enough to claim it?


Sir Hugh Tarrant returns home from war with a limp from an enemy's sword and a hole in his heart from the death of his beloved. Lady Margaret Dillon is filled with anger at the man she believes deserted her sister. On a stormy Christmas Eve night filled with danger, fate throws them together and makes unexpected allies of them. Will passion ignite as a result...or will they survive to find out?


Annalisa has lost everything to her uncle. Taking sanctuary in a convent for safety, she yearns to go back and reclaim her rightful place. When she discovers a seriously wounded man, she realizes that he might be the one who can help her.
Jack wakes up in a convent, wounded and fearing for his own sanity. The last thing he remembers is a firefight in the Middle East, and the pain of being shot. Waking up centuries in the past is not what he expects—but Jack has his own code of honor, and when Annalisa asks for his help, there’s no way he can turn her down.
With the help of Mother Albrade, a nun who has powerful visions and knowledge of the future, Jack and Annalisa begin a journey of discovery and bravery that just might change both their lives—or end them.


Cursed by a bitter enchantress in ancient times to wander the earth as an immortal, Jurian Locke is bound by both love and magic to answer his beloved's need in times of danger.
Into each new life, his soulmate is born, unaware she is tied to him by magic, unknowing that a threat to her life will send forth a summons to a man she doesn't know.
Drawn together in dangerous times—his eternal love is her single chance at life. His curse, the only time he can be with the woman who possesses his heart.
Her call reaches him, this time, in 1328 at a Yuletide tournament for King Edward III.


To save her family’s fortunes, Lady Alisoun must wed an elderly earl the day after Christmas. But in the chapel on Christmas Eve, her heart collides with that of an elegant, mysterious stranger. Is he…one of King John’s spies?
Raised in a monastery, Lord Kitt has no experience with love, but finds his heart lost to a lovely lady. Yet he cannot succumb, for the day after Christmas, he must marry a woman he has never met.


Ambitious and arrogant, the young knight Sir Baldwin returns to his family’s lands and estate at Brigthorpe to face disaster. The pestilence has struck, destroying his parents and all his family save for a young half-brother, Martin, whom Baldwin does not wish to acknowledge because Martin is the bastard child of a serf. Baldwin needs to learn kindness and how to be a lord–and quickly.
Into this hopeless situation comes Sofia, a young woman who can see glimpses of spirits, of the restless dead. These revenants are very restless around Sir Baldwin.
Somehow, Baldwin and Sofia must work together, to make a true Christmas for the survivors of Brigthorpe and the Christmas ghosts. Can they do so in time—or will the gulf of class and custom make any love between them impossible?

For sale here at Amazon here 

And at my author Amazon page here

For sale at Amazon UK here

Excerpt from Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts.

One Christmas Knight

Sir Baldwin and the Christmas Ghosts

Lindsay Townsend

December, North of England, 1369

“I can help you with your ghosts, sir.”
For an instant, no longer than a single beat of his heart, Sir Baldwin of Brigthorpe was too startled to answer. That a stranger had entered the manor and he had not heard any approach was disconcerting, that the said stranger could sense the spirits that accosted him every night was disturbing. Not that he let such unworthy, serf-like feelings show on his face. He was a knight—courage and power were his.
“Sir? Do you wish for my help?”
He would have ignored his own peasants if any had dared to keep questioning him, especially one certain grizzling boy, but courtesy to strangers had been ground into him. Reluctantly, he fashioned some reply. “I do not think anyone can aid me. There are too many ghosts.”
I should not have admitted that. Mother of Almighty God, I must be wearier than I thought.
Scowling, Sir Baldwin swept the last of the rotted floor strewing into the fire-pit in the great hall and watched the stinking mess smoke and slowly burn. His back and shoulders ached worse than after a sword practise but he forced himself to straighten and relax. He had not been physically attacked yet and doubted he would be. There are few left alive to try. The ghosts were another matter. There are so many...

Reminded of his losses afresh, the grief sharp as broken glass within him, Baldwin looked at the dais. A swift glance reassured him that the brat was still asleep on the platform, snuggled down in his own long winter cloak. Last year I would never have given a cotter bastard any of my clothes, even though we are akin. Frowning anew, he flicked the broom from hand to hand and raised his head. “How did you come here?”

Lindsay Townsend

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Post-War Issues

When World War II ended there was a feeling of anti-climax, as if the bright blue, sun-filled sky had clouded over, leaving a feeling of uncertainty about the future. A grey chill seemed to hang over everything. But then the country was in a mess, near bankrupt. There were bombed areas and rubble everywhere, homes lost or wrecked, many empty shops and huge bomb craters everywhere.

Women had become much more hardened and independent, having worked hard jobs usually occupied by men, spending endless sleepless nights in shelters fearing they could be killed. And suffering years of anguish worrying over the fate of their loved ones in the war.

When the fighting men returned, these problems were not always taken into account, the husband too beset by his own problems. Women lost their jobs, expected to concentrate on being a wife and mother again by creating a family and home. Housework did take much more time in those days, of course. Even so, many of them resented this change in their lives. They were also urged to no longer wear plain looking suits, trousers or overalls, but to be bright and pretty females again.

She might also have to cope with a shell-shocked or injured husband, outbursts of violence, depression or infidelity. A soldier having been trained to kill was not always the same civilised a person he’d once been. He could be far too accustomed to giving orders and inflicting punishment in order to achieve his aim, for him to show much patience for her. Or he might feel in desperate need for peace and quiet and hardly move or speak.

Many men suffered from sleepwalking, nightmares, or shouting in their sleep. Settling back into Civvy street was not easy, nor was finding a home and employment. He might be missing his pals, decide she’s grown old and become bored with her. Lives had changed and relationships were often badly affected, not least because couples had seen little of each other as leave generally were quite short, and many men had gone overseas. Even letters were often late and much of them blacked out. Whatever his reaction to the traumas he’d suffered, she would largely be the one left to cope. There was little in the way of counselling or assistance.

Cathie is remarkably patient with her fiancé, perhaps a little too kind and vulnerable. She does her best to help by listening to the advice given out over the radio and from the WVS. But then finds there is a price to pay.

Christmas is approaching and Cathie Morgan is awaiting the return of her beloved fiancé, Alexander Ramsay. But she has a secret that she’s anxious to share with him. One that could change everything between them. Her sister has died and she wants to adopt her son. 

When the truth is finally revealed, Alex immediately calls off the wedding, claiming that the baby is actually Cathie’s, causing all of Cathie’s fears to be realised. As Cathie battles to reassure Alex of her fidelity, she must also juggle the care of the baby and their home. 

But then Alex crosses the line with a deceit that is unforgivable, leaving Cathie to muster the courage to forge a life for her and her nephew alone. Will Cathie ever be able to trust another man again and as peace begins to settle will she ever be able to call a house a home… 

Published 17 November by Mira books.

Read an extract:

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Wednesday 4 November 2015

“Are you come to kill me, or help me?”

Blurb: In 1543 Harry Wharton is caught up in a reivers' cattle raid and left for dead. Alina hides him, but her father threatens to kill him and subsequent events force her into a life-changing decision. An exciting historical romance set in the Anglo-Scottish borders in Tudor days.

“Are you come to kill me, or help me?”
At the sound of the croaky, laboured voice, she dropped his cap and jerked backwards. Her heart loosed a single mighty thump against her chest wall. Poised to rise and flee, she hesitated when the man made no effort to move. She frowned. He hadn’t sounded like Harry at all. His eyes were open, but only as mere slits. Careful to stay out of reach of his arm, she bent low to peer into his face.
She prodded his shoulder. “Harry?”
His eyes had closed again.
“Sir? Sir?”
His lids lifted, but only half-way. “Yes?”
Alina shuffled to one side, so he did not have to adjust his line of vision to see her. “What are you doing here?”
His lids closed once more. “My head…hurts.”
“You have a swelling. There.”
She whipped her finger back from his brow. “I’m sorry. I did not mean to cause pain.”
One of his eyes opened to the merest slit and regarded her with displeasure. “My horse has a gentler touch than you, madam.”
“Well!” Affronted, Alina could think of nothing to say.
“No,” he said. “Since you ask, I am not well.”
“I didn’t ask.”
“Then you should have done.” He closed his eyes again.
Alina stared at him. His name was Harry Scott, and because of that, hurt or not, her father would kill him. But Harry had saved her from the bull, so she owed him something. She couldn’t walk away and leave him.
Yesterday the intensity of his gaze made her heart flutter.
Today he behaved as if she were a stranger.
Birdsong flooded from the branches above. Dragon dozed in the sunshine. The stranger’s horse moved a pace or two out into the meadow and continued to graze. Could she keep him hidden? Father might return at any moment. She turned back to the prone figure.
“Can you walk?”
His dark brows drew in towards his nose while he considered the matter. “I doubt it.”
“I can’t shift you on my own.”
“No need. Just let me be. Sleep…would be…good.” His voice slurred on the words and his eyes closed.
Alina leaned over and shook his arm. “You can’t sleep here. Someone will find you, and then it will be all over. There was a raid last night, and Father will think you were a part of it.” He took no notice, so she shook him again and raised her voice. “Do you want to die today?”
He groaned, and his hand lifted, fingers splayed, to stop her rough shaking. “Enough, I am awake.”
She sat back on her heels and surveyed him. “I hope you are not too heavy, Harry.”
His fingers clenched on the fabric of her skirt. “You know me?” His voice was sharper, demanding. “You know my name? Wait. Help me sit up.”
It was the kind of flippant reply she gave Lionel when he tried his new found authority on her. Lionel didn’t like it when she stood up to him, but she was the elder and had no intention of being brow beaten by her brother. Harry, however, was unmoved. He stared at the damp hem of her brown skirt as if fascinated by it.
“You are correct,” he said. “I am sorry. Would you please help me sit up? I shall do my best to assist.” Resigned amusement flavoured his apology.
Lionel never reacted like this. Alina made no move to help the man at her feet, but studied the lines of his face and remembered the oddness of his remark. “What do you mean when you ask if I know your name?”
“For God’s sake, woman! Help me!”
“How do I know you won’t attack me?”
He groaned. “By the Rood! How will I manage to attack you when I can’t sit up? You could fell me with a hazel twig at the moment.” Frustrated resignation rang through his voice.
“Can you turn over? It will be easier if you are on your back.”
“I can but try.” His mouth lifted in a crooked smile.
She observed his careful sequence of movements with a critical eye. Each limb seemed sound, and when he rolled over and stared at the spreading canopy of green leaves above him, she could not help but gasp, for his eyes glowed like sapphires in the soft light beneath the tree. Her heart gave an odd little jerk.
“Where are you?”
“Here.” She moved closer, confident he would not hurt her. “Can’t you see me?”
“I can now you’ve moved.” His eyes flickered and squinted as he struggled to focus on her. “What lovely eyes you have. I hope they are kind eyes. If I move my head it makes me dizzy, so just now I prefer not to, if you don’t mind.”
“Then how am I to move you?”