Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A KNIGHTLY CHALLENGE in ONE HOT KNIGHT





















Today I am featuring Cynthia Breeding's story, 
"A Knightly Challenge"
in the Prairie Rose Publications anthology
One Hot Knight

 Book Description:



Come join us for a medieval collection of wonderful romantic tales that take place during the hottest part of the year with ONE HOT KNIGHT! This unusual offering of summertime stories set between the medieval times of 1100-1300, of hot nights and even hotter knights, will keep you reading long past bedtime.

You’ll be entranced with these five tales of knights and their ladies from some of today’s top medieval authors, as well as some rising stars in this up-and-coming genre.

 ONE HOT KNIGHT is sure to bring you hours of enjoyment as you read on to find out how these knights and ladies will find their very own "happily-ever-after" endings at this very “hottest” time of year!


-o0o-

In Lindsay Townsend’s A GATHERING OF HERBS, a father is betrayed by one son while the other tries to save him. Can Solomon defeat his wicked brother and also win beautiful Agnes, the woman he loves—or will he have to make a choice?

There’s something odd about Cianna Mackenzie—but she meets her match in Deborah Macgillivray’s GAMBIT, CHECK, AND MATE. Cianna strikes a bargain with powerful Iain Sinclair that she never intends to uphold. But how else can she save her people? Now, how will she save herself?

Scottish-born Brenna Montgomerie plays a deadly game of deception in Cynthia Breeding’s A KNIGHTLY CHALLENGE. When she’s found out, can she dare hope that a handsome English knight will show her mercy—and love?

With the help of the mysterious Esteban Montero, beautiful hostage Sophia Corbolini escapes her captors. Now, she must decide if she trusts him enough to put her fate in his hands through binding marriage vows. NORTH STAR by Angela Raines pits family members against one another as a new, true love shines bright.

A young woman’s life is changed forever in an instant in A QUIET NIGHT AT THE HAPPY MONK by Keena Kincaid. The Happy Monk tavern is everything to Johanna—home and livelihood. When the king sets his sights on her property in the midst of an uprising, Johanna must flee with her sometime lover, Giric—who happens to be a spy. How can she give up everything for love?    
 
Purchase Links for One Hot Knight:



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 Featuring:

A Knightly Challenge by Cynthia Breeding

Excerpt:

Her nape began to tingle just as she heard the first footfall behind her.  Then another.  And a snicker.  Brenna straightened her shoulders.  Irvine still had a large contingent of English foot soldiers encamped between the village and the castle, but she hadn’t noticed any near the market.  She tried to quicken her pace.  The footsteps came closer.  Sliding a hand down her thigh, she remembered that her sgian-dubh was not strapped to her calf, thanks again to Lord Percy.  She was at the edge of town, only the stables remained before the road cleared the quarter mile to the castle gates.  She was a fast runner, thanks to the many times she’d raced with her brother, but—
          A rough hand grabbed her arm, spinning her around.  Her arisaidh slipped off her shoulders, the apples falling to the ground.  Two men leered at her, one with several teeth missing. The other had a scarred face and crooked nose.  The stench of ale nearly over-powered her.  Her deceased husband—she found it hard to bless his black soul—became a monster when he drank.  Although the marriage had been short, Brenna acquired enough bruises not to want such an encounter again.  She tried to jerk her arm away, but the gap-toothed one just clamped tighter.  Showing fear would do no good, she knew.  Taking a deep breath, she glared at him.   
          “Take your hand off me.”
          He laughed and turned to his friend.  “I think we’ve got a little spit-fire, eh?”
          “Let’s find out,” Crooked-nose said, “the stable there is a good place for a tumble. We can each have a turn.”   He reached over to run a finger along the neckline of her gown.  Brenna swatted his hand away, then turned to bring her knee into contact with her captor’s codpiece, but he quickly sidestepped her, his eyes narrowing.  “If you like it rough, we can oblige.”
          “I don’t believe the lady is interested,” a deep voice said from the stable doorway.
          Brenna nearly gaped as a tall man emerged from the shadows, dressed entirely in black from his breeks to his leine and brat.  Even his hair was black, glistening nearly blue in the bright afternoon sun and falling loosely to his broad shoulders. He had the muscled build of a Highlander, but his accent was English.  He wore no armor.  He certainly was no foot soldier, but the knights all stayed at the castle, and she hadn’t seen him there. 
          He moved toward them with the easy grace of a wolf stalking its prey and, as he advanced, she could see his eyes were the same golden color as a wolf’s too.  A little shiver went down her spine.
          The stranger stopped several paces away and tossed his cape back over one shoulder, leaving the handle of his sword exposed.
          “Unhand her,” he said quietly, his tone brooking no nonsense.
          For a moment, her captor hesitated and then he stepped back.
          “We were just going to have a little fun.”
          “That would be for the lady to decide.”  The dark-haired stranger’s whisky-colored eyes flicked to Brenna once and then back to the two men.  “I suggest you get back to camp and stay there.”   

 The scar-faced one stood his ground.  “We don’t have to take orders from you. Besides,” he added as he looked to his friend, “there’s two of us and only one of you—“
          The stranger’s sword hissed out of its scabbard, the point coming to rest just below the man’s chin.
“Are you sure you do not wish to return to camp?”  Golden eyes bore through the man as the sword pricked his throat, allowing a drop of blood to dribble down.  “That is, while you still can?”
The man’s face turned white, making the reddened scars stand out in profusion as he quickly backed away.  His friend grabbed his arm.
“Let’s get out of here.”
“An excellent decision,” the stranger said, watching as they loped off, trying not to run.  He sheathed his sword in one fluid motion and turned toward Brenna, his tawny gaze taking in her riotous curls, traveling slowly down her face, lingering for perhaps a bit too long at her neckline and then sweeping down the length of her gown.
The August sun suddenly felt too warm.  His look was bold as though he could see right through her woolen sark and her chemise to her naked flesh.  She became aware of how massive and powerful his arms and shoulders were—and that she was quite alone with him.
“I owe ye thanks,” she said, trying to keep her voice steady.
He inclined his head.  “Why were you out here by yourself without another servant?”
“Tis but a wee walk—”  Brenna stopped.  He thought she was a servant?  She probably looked it since her hair had come undone and she wore one of her plainest dresses.  Not to mention the scruffy boots, since the road was mud.  Should she inform him that she was the daughter of the laird?   Better to give nothing away.  She affected a contrite expression.  “I dinna think to be in danger.  I do thank ye again.” 
His look intensified as he stepped toward her and leaned over. Brenna had a fleeting thought that he would extract his thanks with a kiss and her heart fluttered. Odd.  No man had ever elicited that kind of response from her before.  Usually she kept her distance, yet something made her step closer to this man, as if mesmerized.   
Instinctively, she raised her face, but he merely took her arisaidh and adjusted it over her shoulders, his hands brushing against her slightly.  A tingle slid down her arms.  He stepped back, a corner of his mouth twitching as though he were trying not to laugh.  Brenna felt her face grow warm.  She had all but made a fool of herself, almost asking for a kiss.  As if she hadn’t learned that kisses led to other things that were unpleasant. 


About Cynthia Breeding:



          I wrote my first novella at age eleven about a young girl who was horse-crazy (just like me!).  I found that manuscript when I was cleaning out my mother’s house in 2013.  Interestingly, the plot was intact enough that, with revision, I turned it into a young adult/coming-of-age novel, Nostalgia Road, for Highland Press.
          The Arthurian legends have always intrigued me and, as a high school English teacher, they were part of the sophomore curriculum.  After doing approximately three years of research in the non-fiction area of King Arthur, I wrote a series of Camelot books:  Camelot’s Destiny, Fate of Camelot, Camelot’s Enchantment and Prelude to Camelot.
          My first trip to Scotland in 2010 sealed my fate.  I absolutely fell in love with the country and its history, particularly the era of Robert the Bruce and that of the Sinclairs of Roslin who, legend has it, aided the Knight Templar as they escaped from France.
 
Connect with Cynthia Breeding:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

To see all of Cynthia’s books on Amazon, CLICK HERE and type Cynthia Breeding in the search box.
 

4 comments:

  1. What a terrific excerpt, Cynthia. I can't wait to settle down with this stunning collection. The cover alone steals my heart. Best of luck to you and to all the other talented authors in this collection!

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  2. Wow, the excerpt really caught you and pulled you in. Best to you on your career, may it continue to bring you happiness. Doris

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  3. Cynthia, I truly enjoyed this tale of yours. You had me on pins and needles wondering how in the heck there could be a happy ending! Just an excellent read!

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  4. This is an excellent, varied anthology. I've tweeted this blog. Thanks for sharing!

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