logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: puyb
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-29 11:00
Blog Tour with Excerpt! Miss Management (The Anderson Family #2) Traci Highland!

 

 

Title: MISS MANAGEMENT
Author: Traci Highland
Publisher: Cheshire Lane Press
Pages: 215
Genre: Romantic Comedy

 

 

BOOK BLURB:

 

Mags has gotten herself in a ton of trouble: she's lost her job, any hope for references, and she's going to run out of money.... fast.

 

Yeah, sure, it may be her fault for punching her boss, but the jerk totally had it coming.  

 

Nobody listens to her until she reaches her boiling point, and by then, well, she’ll admit that there’s no stopping Mr. Fist To The Face.

 

Now her years of hard work as a speech therapist are about to go down the drain unless she can find some way to salvage her career. So when her Aunt Elise calls to say that she has a job for her, it’s not like she can say no, even if the job is up in the wilds of Vermont.  

 

Between stuffed moose, sloppy dogs and sexy men, Vermont proves to be a lot more interesting than she expected. But when she uncovers a scheme that would put her new employers’ livelihood in jeopardy, more than just hydrangea bushes are about to get squashed.

 

 

Add to your shelves at –

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40726714-miss-management

 

BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/miss-management-anderson-family-series-book-2-by-traci-highland

 

 

 

Miss Management is the 2nd book in the Anderson Family Series –

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B07FD5NZZV/ref=dp_st_1717866840

 

 

0 Miss Camp
1 Miss Behave
2 Miss Management

 

 


AVAILABLE in print or ebook at –

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Management-Anderson-Family-Book-ebook/dp/B07F66C6QH/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

 

 

Aunt Elise’s house, a tidy little Victorian painted white with blue shutters and a red door, looks like a gingerbread house about to collapse. Sure, it’s clean or whatever. But it’s old and sinking on one side. She invited me for lunch after I got back from the bank yesterday, and after a night spent drinking beer and trolling through online job postings, and then spending the morning drinking coffee and trolling through more job listings, the invitation to drive on out into the Berkshires and have an excuse to see the sun is actually kind of nice. The Berkshires is about as far as I can drive at any given time, given, well, anyway. It’s nice to get out.

 

I knock and Elise opens the door. “What the hell is that in the driveway? I didn’t recognize it.”

 

“It’s my Prius, Elise. I’ve been driving it for four years now.”

 

“What happened to the pick-up truck? I thought you liked to drive pick-ups.”

 

“I crashed that pick-up, Aunt Elise.” She furrows her brow. “It was on the news, remember? I sort of accidentally ran over a mailbox. And some hedges. And an arbor.”

 

“Oh yes, the mistress’, right? Now I remember.”

 

“One of the mistresses.” My husband of the time had many. But I had been friends with Shawna. “I hit some black ice.”

 

She harrumphs.

 

The police also harrumphed when I told them about the black ice, as I recall.

“I always hoped you were a lesbian, you know. With that truck.”

 

“Not all lesbians have trucks.”

 

“No, but the fun ones do. Have you met Sharon and Hazel down the block? Lovely couple. Hazel drives a truck and—“

 

“Can I come in? It’s starting to rain.”

 

She pulls the door back further and ushers me inside. The house is a tea-party nightmare. Shelves filled with teapots and chubby figurines pucker up at the flowered wallpaper in the hallway. The rug of the adjacent living room is the color of cotton candy and I swear my stomach growls every time I see it.

 

I brush the plaques of inspirational sayings out of the way as I hang up my coat on the coat rack.

 

She stomps like a thin Godzilla back to the kitchen, causing the house to shudder and clink in alarm. “You’re in luck, I just made some chicken salad.”

 

“Sounds great.” I follow her into the kitchen and sit at the table with a sigh.

 

“I have a job for you.”

 

“Is that door still crooked? I thought for sure that tightening the hinges would do the trick.”

 

“No, I mean a real job.” Elise places a colorful bowl down in the middle of the table and glares. Sealing her lips with some sort of judgmental superglue, she waits.

 

Oh, right. The hands. I go over to the sink and wash my hands. She’s got this thing about germs. Betty and I used to mess with her when we came over, going over to the sink and putting our hands together so that she would wash one of my hands and I would wash one of hers and then we’d wait to see if Elise would notice that we each still had one dirty hand.

 

She did.

 

Always.

 

As twins, Betty and I were convinced that we were supposed to be born with some kind of twin-specific super-power, but really the only thing we were consistently good at was making our baby sister Piper laugh so hard that milk would shoot out of her nose.

 

That was another trick that Aunt Elise didn’t find to be particularly endearing.

After I dry my hands and grab the loaf of bread out of the breadbox, I say, “All right, so what kind of job are we talking about? And please don’t mention the one in the woodchuck town.”

 

“What do you have against woodchucks?”

 

“Sweet Romany Halls! I don’t have anything against woodchucks, I don’t can’t

work in a town that worships vermin, that’s all.”

 

“Fine. But please don’t take Romany’s name in vain.”

 

Romany Halls is a professional wrestler that Aunt Elise has a crush on. One night when I was over doing some repair work for her I heard her swearing at the television set. And I mean full-on swearing. Aunt Elise never swears, at least not that I’ve ever heard. As I walked into the guest bedroom to make sure she was okay, I realized that she not only was watching television in her guest bedroom, which was odd, but that the walls of the bedroom were covered in posters of one very muscled wrestler wearing not-so-many articles of clothing. It was like an homage to all that was masculine and spandexy.

 

Whenever it’s just the two of us, I feel obligated to tease her about her crush and her shrine to the glory that is Romany Halls. Me? I don’t so much dig the guys with eye makeup thing. But Elise, well, Elise seemed to like them big, oiled up, and wearing nothing more than colorful underwear.

 

“So this job?” I grab a spoon and scoop out the chicken salad.

 

“It’s for a friend of mine, actually. Very nice. Her name is Eve and she needs help with Mansfield.”

 

“Mansfield? That’s quite a name. What happen, did he have a stroke? Car accident? Cancer?”

 

“I don’t know. But she has put out several ads in the paper and everyone who shows up to check on Mansfield apparently refuses to treat him.”

 

“Refuses to treat him? That’s horrible. Why doesn’t she take him to a clinic? If he’s rehabbing, a facility is probably better equipped than her house.”

 

“She says that he can’t travel to a clinic. He must be in pretty bad shape.”

 

“Have you ever met him?”

 

“No, I know Eve from college. She comes down sometimes, and I’ve met her grandson a few times. Lovely boy. But I haven’t met Mansfield.”

 

“Is she nearby? Can I pop over there today and see what’s going on?” I really need a job.

 

“She’s up in Vermont. But last time I spoke with her on the phone she mentioned that she has a guest cottage you can stay in when you come. I guess she has a lot of land.”

 

“Wait—you already told her I would go?”

 

“Of course you’ll go.”

 

“You know that time you asked me to tell you when you were overstepping some boundaries? Consider them overstepped.”

 

She takes a bite of her sandwich, her eyes demanding from over the top of her bread.

 

I chew my bite of sandwich, taking time in savoring the flavors of Aunt Elise’s chicken salad, just to make her sweat for a bit. I close my eyes, exaggerating the chew.

 

When I open them again her eyes are no less stern as she wipes the side of her mouth with a hot pink napkin.

 

Damn. She’s not sweating this at all, is she? Not even a little bit.
“Fine. I’ll go. This is a paid job, right?”

 

“Good. And yes, of course, provided you don’t walk away like those others.”

 

“Speech pathologists don’t usually make house-calls. I’d imagine that the other folks just tried to convince your friend to take Mansfield to a proper rehab facility.”

“Try not to be so judgmental before you even get there.”

 

“I’m not being judgmental.” Maybe a little. “He should be where he can get the best care, and that’s not always at home.”

 

“Eve and I went to Smith together, Mags. I’ve known her for years and years. Trust me, if she’s determined that the best place for him to be is at home with her, then she’s right. Period.”

 

“When did you tell Eve I’d be there?”

 

“Tomorrow. It’s going to be a great job for you. You’ll see.”

 

Tomorrow. Of course.

 

 


Traci Highland writes funny books for sassy ladies. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has a Master’s from Quinnipiac University. She uses this education to write books, bake cakes, garden and make homemade jams. Her children say she’s bossy, her husband says she’s high-maintenance, but the dog thinks she’s perfect.

 

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

 

Website - http://www.tracihighland.com/

 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/TraciHighland

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/TraciHighland/

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/profile/traci-highland

 

 


HOSTED BY

 

 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-24 11:00
Blog Tour with Excerpt! The Cozy Corgi Mysteries (Books 1-8) Mildred Abbott!

 

 

About the Series:

 

 

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/series/221761-cozy-corgi-mysteries

 


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B078HQR5R8/ref=dp_st_1973449293

 

 

The Cozy Corgy Series by Mildred Abbott

 

 


Title: CRUEL CANDY (Book 1)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 282
Genre: Cozy Mystery

 


Estes Park, Colorado: picturesque mountains, charming shops, delightful bakeries, a cozy bookstore… and murder.

 

Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, move to Estes Park to hit the Reset button on life. Fred is about to open her dream bookshop, and the only challenges she anticipates are adjusting to small-town life, tourists, and living close to her loveable mother, Phyllis, and hippy stepfather, Barry.

 

When Fred steps into her soon-to-be-bookshop for the first time, she expects dustbunnies and spiders… not the dead body in the upstairs kitchen. The local police have an easy suspect—Barry.

 

Determined to prove quirky Barry innocent of murder, Fred puts on her detective hat, and with Watson by her side, she explores her new town and gets acquainted with her fellow shopkeepers. Could one of her friendly neighbors be the real culprit? And what would be the motive for killing the owner of the Sinful Bites candy store? The secrets Fred discover put her at odds with the local police sergeant and threaten her cozy future in Estes.

 

With snow falling outside, all Fred wants to do is curl up by the fire with a good book and Watson snuggled at her feet. But before she can begin her new life and put her plans for her bookshop into action, Fred and Watson have a mystery to solve…

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36630473-cruel-candy

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/cruel-candy-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-1-by-mildred-abbott

 

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077XMYWNQ/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i1

 

 

 


Book Excerpt:

 

One

 

“Oh, Watson, what have I gotten us into?” I stared at the shop through the safety of my car window. It was smaller than I remembered. I leaned forward, bumping my forehead on the glass. Fairly tall, though, at least two storeys. With the dark-stained log siding and forest-green trim and shutters, it looked like a log cabin had been sandwiched between the other stores of Estes Park.

 

And it was mine.

 

The thought ushered in a wave of excitement. A tingle of nausea too, but more excitement than anything. At least that was what I told myself.


The death grip I had on the steering wheel of my Mini Cooper said otherwise. I tore my gaze away and turned a forced smile toward the passenger seat. I needed to be brave for Watson.

 

He arched a brow lazily at me, not bothering to lift his head from his curled-up position. Managing to pull one of my hands free from the steering wheel, I slipped the car into Park, then scratched behind his pointed fox-like ears.

 

“We’re here. It’s been a long day, and you’ve been a great copilot.” A grumpy copilot, but that was normal for Watson. A quality that probably wouldn’t be as endearing if he wasn’t so stinking cute. “I’d say you deserve a treat. What do you think?”

 

At what was unquestionably his favorite word, Watson bounded to a standing position and began bouncing on his two front legs. His stubby corgi legs didn’t make him that much taller, though the bouncing helped.

 

“And this is why we work, you and me. Food is king, behind books, of course.” I snagged a dog bone out of the glove compartment, started to request for Watson to sit first—demands never worked—then decided it wasn’t worth the effort, and held it out to him. Despite his voracious appetite, which even a shark would envy, Watson avoided removing my fingers and made short work of the snack.

 

After a couple of minutes, Watson cocked that judgmental brow of his once more. His thoughts were clear: The prolonged staring is creepy, lady. But I’ll forgive you for another treat.

 

He had a point. I was putting off the inevitable. Which was silly. I was excited, happy. Time to launch into an adventure.

 

I turned toward the shop again, took a breath, and opened the car door. Here goes nothing.

 

My knees popped as I stepped onto the sidewalk, and I sucked in a breath at the tweak in my back. I supposed a drive halfway across the country was a reasonable excuse, even if I was still two years away from forty. I glanced back at Watson, who had curled back into a ball.

 

“Seriously? The ten-hour nap wasn’t enough?”

 

After a few more seconds of glaring, Watson acquiesced, stood, and stretched. He raised his knobbed-tail of a butt in the air, just letting me know he was still in charge, and then leisurely crossed the console and hopped out beside me.

 

“Thanks for joining me, your highness.” I shut the car door and looked up at the shop. It seemed a little larger once I stood in front of it. It would be charming. My gaze flicked to the sign above the door that read Heads and Tails. Would being the operative word. Who knew what horrors lay behind the papered-over windows. I’d never envisioned a behind-the-scenes look at a taxidermy business, but it seemed I hadn’t been aware of a lot about my future. Well, whatever. If it was too horrible, I’d just pay one of those junk companies to come in and haul everything away.

That thought brought a sense of relief, but then another swept it away. I was thinking like a city girl. I doubted a town the size of Estes Park had a junk-removal business.

 

And again, I decided, whatever.

 

I had a feeling I was going to be saying that a lot.

 

Movement caught my eye from the store window to the left of my shop. Before I could make out a figure, I was captured by the crimson script over the glass, Sinful Bites.

 

Perfect. Some fortification would be needed in the very likely chance I was getting ready to walk into a store filled with petrified dead animals. I veered off to the left, giving a quick pat to my thigh. “Come on, Watson. Mama deserves a—” I almost said treat. “—reward too.”

 

A pleasant chime sounded as I opened the door to Sinful Bites and allowed Watson to waddle through. I cast a quick glance around. The store was done in my favorite colors—the walls, cabinets, and displays all in various shades of rich earth tones. It felt homey, comfortable. Exactly what I would be going for when I redid the god-awful taxidermy shop.

 

That boded well for my relationship with my neighbor.

 

A woman with short, spiraling brunette hair looked up in surprise from behind the cash register. Her brown gaze glanced at me in confusion, then moved to the front door, and back.

 

I offered a hesitant smile, feeling like I’d messed up somehow. “Everything okay?”


“Yes!” The woman smiled back, wide and bright. “I’m so sorry. We just closed. I could’ve sworn I locked the door,” she said, her tone apologetic.

 

“Oh. Well, I can come back another time.” Despite myself, I couldn’t keep my gaze from traveling over the gleaming cases filled with candy.


“Not at all! My fault for not locking the door, and I haven’t started putting things away yet, so I insist.” Another smile.

 

“Thank you. I promise I’ll be quick.” I moved closer to the cases, unsure if I would be able to keep that promise. Though slightly picked over, the display was magnificent. Gleaming fruit tarts in golden brown crusts, hand-size brownies filled with nuts, caramel, and chunks of candy. Fudge of every flavor, truffles of various shapes and colors, and chocolate. So much chocolate that I was suddenly aware I’d smelled it since I walked in the door. No wonder I felt at home. Chocolates done in nearly every imaginable way—almond bark and turtles, covering pretzels, marzipan and nougat.

 

Heaven, I decided. I’d died and gone to heaven. I managed to tear my gaze away from the smorgasbord of delights and look at the woman. “I think I’m in love.”

The woman chuckled good-naturedly and held out her hand. “I’m Katie. Always nice to meet someone who appreciates dessert more than cardio.”

 

I stiffened for a heartbeat, wondering if I should be insulted. But at the twinkling of Katie’s eyes, I couldn’t help but laugh. I felt an instant kinship with the woman.

“Yes, I’ll take dessert any day over fitting into a size eight. Though my real weakness is carbs, not candy. Give me a hot loaf of fresh bread and I can die a happy woman.” I took Katie’s hand.


“Me too, actually. I might work in a candy shop, but bread is what I do best.”

“Then I am definitely glad to meet you, Katie.” I released her grip and gestured down to Watson, who stared up at me, salivating. “My little corgi friend is Watson, and I’m—”

 

“I’m telling you, Lois, if you would just use actual sugar in your baking instead of all the stupid substitutions—” Two elderly women walked through the back door of the shop, cutting me off. They both halted at the sight of Watson and me. The blonde cast a quick glare at Katie. “I thought we closed.”

 

Katie flushed. “I apparently didn’t lock the door. Sorry. But I believe—” It seemed she was searching for my name. “—our friend here is in need of some chocolate.”

The blonde looked at me and cast another glare down at Watson, but by the time she met my gaze once more, her smile was wide, even if it didn’t reach her eyes.

“Well, of course! You’ve come to the right place. Sinful Bites has the best chocolate in town.”

 

The other woman’s eyes narrowed, but she didn’t say anything.


Katie cleared her throat, cutting the brief tension that had filled the place. “Do you know what you’d like? If you’re not sure, I can get you a sample.”

 

Getting-to-know-you time was most definitely over. Which was doubly sad, as at any other time I would’ve taken Katie up on the offer of samples. Under the inspection of the blonde, however, I didn’t dare. “You know, I just drove into town, and I really should get home. Why don’t you give me an assortment of the ones you like best.” Chances were high such a thing would end up being more expensive than I’d intended to spend on candy, but since I was going to be neighbors with the shop, it was clear I needed to put my best foot forward as quickly as possible.

 

“Home?” The third woman finally spoke. “Do you live here? You must be new in town. I don’t think I’ve seen you around.”

 

“I just moved in. Quite literally, in fact.” I smiled at the woman, who seemed nicer than the blonde. “I’ve visited several times. I have family who live here.” I nodded at Katie as I spoke, trying to include her again and continue the introductions. “I’m Fred, and this is Watson. We just made the long drive from Kansas City to Colorado. This was our first stop in town.”

 

The woman gave a chuckle. “Fred? I don’t believe I’ve ever met a woman named Fred.” She gestured to herself and the blonde. “I’m Lois Garble, and this is my sister, Opal. Opal owns this candy shop, and I own the one two doors down, Healthy Delights.”

 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.” Sisters? The two women definitely didn’t look like sisters. Although, now that I thought about it, they had the same features. It was only everything else that was different. Lois had naturally graying hair, a clean and wrinkled face, and she wore a plain cotton dress. Opal had dyed, highly stylized blonde hair, copious amounts of makeup, a brightly colored dress, and tons of jewelry. “My true name is Winifred Page, but everyone calls me Fred.”

“Well, I think that is simply adorable. And it suits you.” Lois shrugged playfully.

“Like I said, I’ve never met a woman named Fred, but if I could imagine one, she’d have beautiful auburn hair just like yours. I’ve always thought Opal would look ravishing in that color.” She cast a sidelong glance toward her sister’s coiffed blonde hairdo.

 

Opal didn’t comment about becoming a redhead. “Page? Your last name is Page, and you have family in town? I don’t remember a family with that name.”

 

I nodded, though for some reason I was tempted to lie. “Yes. My mother grew up here. Phyllis Oswald, though now she’s Phyllis Adams.”

 

Both Katie and Lois seemed to take a step back, but Opal didn’t budge, instead folding her arms over her ample bosom. Any semblance of welcome or friendliness vanished, not that there’d been much from Opal. “I thought I’d heard your name before.” If looks could kill. “So that means you’re the one taking over Sid’s taxidermy shop.”

 

Again, lying seemed the intelligent thing to do. “Yes. Though I won’t be doing taxidermy. I’m going to be changing it to a bookshop. It’s going to be called the Cozy—”

 

“I’m sorry, but we’re closed.” Opal sniffed, nostrils flared. “And for future reference, I don’t allow dogs in my business.”

 

I halted, unsure what to say. One of the things I’d always liked about the town was Estes Park’s dog-friendly nature. I started to glance at Katie and then thought better of it. The last thing I wanted to do was get the shopgirl in trouble. I gestured back toward the door. “Sorry for….” What was I sorry for exactly? “Watson and I will just be going.”

 

Lois gave a loud good-natured laugh and swatted playfully at Opal, which Opal avoided with a glare. “Please forgive my sister. It’s her intake of sugar and butter and things the good Lord never intended us to eat. It makes her cranky.” She managed to deliver the line with a cheerful air, making it sound more like an endearing quality than an insult. Lois headed around the counter and slipped a birdlike arm through mine.

 

“You come with me. I’ll get you some sweets that are natural and nourishing, and I have homemade dog-bone biscuits.” She looked down at Watson, then back at me. “I didn’t notice. How adorable. He’s a redhead like you.” Without waiting for a response, she looked back down once more. “What do you say… Watson, was it? Do you want a treat?”

 

Watson bounced on his two front paws again at the word, causing Lois to chuckle. The only thing I really wanted to do at that point was get away, but Watson’s reaction settled it. Plus, how could I deny the woman without seeming rude?

I allowed myself to be led toward the front door and cast a glance back, offering a quick smile to Katie and a final apologetic grimace to Opal.

 

Lois led me out of the shop, around the front of Heads and Tails, then pulled out her keys to usher me into Healthy Delights. “Sorry, I already shut the place down, but I’ll get you an assortment of things from the back. Give me one second, dear.” She flicked on the lights and then headed through the back door to disappear with a small wave.

 

The tingle of nausea rose again. My shop sat directly between these two sisters.

Lois seemed sweet enough, but Lord knew what I was getting myself into with these two. Pushing the thought away, I spared a glance at Lois’s store. It was the exact same layout as Opal’s, just flipped, but the similarities stopped there. Where Opal’s candy shop felt cozy, warm, and friendly—despite the woman herself—Lois’s was done in a garish combination of pastel colors, sickeningly sweet pinks, and yellows. My stomach gurgled.

 

Watson didn’t seem to notice. He chuffed and looked up at me.

“Your treat is coming. Calm down.” I shook my finger at him. “And I blame you for pulling me into this.”

 

He chuffed again, and this time bounded so his paws landed on my foot, clearly telling me to shut up and get on with the treat giving.

 

“You’re ridiculous.” As if watching a car crash, I looked back at the shop. It didn’t make any sense at all. How could the sister who owned the cozy and delicious-smelling candy shop be so irritable, while the one who designed the monstrosity that looked like Easter on speed was the kind one?

 

Before the color palette had a chance to permanently scar my corneas, Lois returned with a large brown bag in one hand and a massive dog bone in the other. “I’m sorry I have to rush. I’d love to get to know you and your precious pup, but Opal and I have dinner plans, and I don’t want to keep her waiting.” She thrust the bag into my grip. “For future reference, I make everything Opal does, just a healthy, all-natural version. It’s fun to mix and match.”

 

I forced a smile. I hadn’t been able to identify what smell seemed to linger in the air, but it wasn’t pleasant. If the desserts were edible, I’d be shocked. “Thank you. I appreciate your kindness. I’m sorry if I did anything to offend—”

 

Lois waved me off, whipping the dog bone in the air, a large crumb flying across the room. In a rare show of speed, Watson zoomed away in pursuit. Lois didn’t seem to notice. “Never you mind. That’s just how Opal is. You see, she and I were hoping to purchase the taxidermy shop after Sid passed, but your mother wouldn’t consider selling. Said her daughter was taking it over.” Though her chipper tone didn’t fade, Lois’s smile did, a touch. “I won’t hold that against you, dear.” Another hand pat. “But if you decide you want to sell, we’d appreciate it if you would let us know.” Leaning closer, her voice dropped to a whisper.

 

“Lots of people move to Estes Park, captured by its beauty and charm, only to discover they feel a little trapped in the mountains and constricted by small-town life. Chances are it will happen to you too. Of course, I hope not, but”—and yet another pat—“when it does, remember my sister and me.”

 

I opened my mouth to respond, but was utterly at a loss for words.

Words didn’t seem to be required. Lois wrapped her arm around my shoulders, which was no small feat, considering I was several inches taller than the woman, and led me toward the door. She shoved what was left of the dog bone at me. “This is made from peanut butter I ground myself, and organic grains. They are five dollars apiece, but this one’s on the house.” She opened the door for me and stood aside. “Welcome to town, Fred.”

 

“Thank you, Lois.” I clutched the paper bag and waggled the dog bone in Watson’s direction, capturing his attention. “Come on, buddy. Let’s go.” Watson tore off from where he’d been sniffing in the back corner of the shop. I nodded my thanks to Lois once more, then walked to the car. I changed my mind a few paces away from my burnt-orange Mini Cooper. Turning around, I headed back toward the front door of the taxidermy shop. I’d been so excited to see inside, to get lost in the planning of what my bookstore would look like, that I had driven straight here when we got into town.

 

After locking her front door, Lois crossed in front of Heads and Tails, gave a final friendly wave, and disappeared into Sinful Bites once more.

 

Pushing the odd sisters out of my mind, I addressed Watson as we stopped at the front door. “I’m sure you’ll love all the smells you’re going to find in there, but just remember, if we come across a dead animal and I scream, you’re forbidden from telling anyone. If you do, there won’t be any treats for a week.”

 

Watson gave a quick, sharp bark.

 

“Crap. I said treat, didn’t I?” At the repeated word, Watson resumed bouncing, his dark brown eyes wild with excitement and looking like a deranged bunny.

 

I couldn’t help but chuckle as I lifted what was left of the dog bone. “Luckily, we have one. You can get it as soon we’re inside.”

 

I paused at the lockbox hanging from the door handle, then set the bag of healthy candy—what a thought that was—at my feet. Catching my reflection in the window, the paper behind the glass causing it to act nearly as effectively as a mirror, I couldn’t help but scowl. My hair was a complete mess, and a sheen of light caught the gleam from dog hair. I glanced down at my peasant blouse. Life with a corgi meant I was in constant need of a lint roller, but after the day in the car, things had gotten to a nearly ludicrous level. To make matters worse, I gave my brown broomstick skirt a flick with my wrist and sent a fresh wave of dog hair spiraling around me. Wonderful. So much for putting my best foot forward.

Meeting three of my neighbors while looking like I was part corgi myself.

 

Well, whatever. Too late to be helped now. Besides, it wasn’t like I’d ever actually be dog-hair-free anyway. Pushing the concern away, I pulled out my cell and scrolled through text messages from my mother until I came across the lockbox code. I punched in the four digits and gave a yank. There was no click and the lock didn’t budge. Clearing it, I tried again. Same reaction. I checked the text, confirming I had the numbers right, then tried a third time. When I was still denied, I tapped my mother’s name and lifted the phone to my ear.

 

It rang several times, then finally clicked to a message saying my mother’s voice mail was full and could no longer accept messages. What else was new? I tried the lockbox one final time. For a moment, I considered breaking the window on the front door and reaching in. It was my shop, after all.

 

What a way to start a new adventure, breaking and entering. Patience had never been a virtue I fostered, but letting out a resigned huff that sounded more like a corgi than a woman, I stuffed my cell back into my pocket. “Looks like we’re thwarted at the moment, Watson.”


Retrieving the paper bag, I led us back to the car, held the door for Watson to hop in, then followed.

 

I’d been so ecstatic about opening the bookshop, I hadn’t even considered who my neighbors might be. Being directly between Lois and Opal was going to be….

Well, I was afraid I didn’t have a word for exactly what that was going to be. I doubted it would be all that pleasant.

 

Watson chuffed.

 

“You feel it too, don’t you, boy? Who knows what we’re going to have to face with those two. At least we have each other.”


He let out a long pitiful whine.

 

“Aww, look at you being all empathetic. What’s gotten into—”

 

I realized Watson’s frantic gaze was focused on my hand, not looking deep into my eyes and sharing a moment. “Oh, I forgot.” I handed him what remained of the all-natural dog biscuit with a sigh.

 


Title: TRAITOROUS TOYS (Book 2)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 2278
Genre: Cozy Mystery


It’s Christmas in Estes Park, Colorado: cozy fires, twinkling lights, soft snowfall, and… murder.

 

The winter holidays in charming Estes Park lulls Winifred Page and her corgi, Watson, into thoughts of spiced chai and gingerbread as they settle into their new home. Fred’s dream bookshop is becoming a reality, and with Christmas only days away, her only concerns are spending time with family, enforcing Watson’s diet, and finding the perfect gifts.

 

The toy store beckons Fred and her friend Katie, who dash in out of the cold, during a shopping spree to discover handmade toys, cuddly stuffed animals… and a dying man on the floor.

 

When Katie’s desperate attempts to save the man ends in her being taken in for his murder, Fred once again dons her detective hat. She puts aside her Christmas list and—with Watson sniffing around—begins a list of suspects. But as quickly as clues point to one person, new discoveries shift the spotlight to another.

 

With Katie’s freedom in the balance, Fred has little time to think about gifts or to enjoy the holiday lights and music. A killer is on the loose, one who became violent in a picture-perfect Christmas toy shop, and Fred and Watson can’t begin to predict what might happen next…

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37556915-traitorous-toys

 


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/traitorous-toys-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-2-by-mildred-abbott

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:


Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078GCQC46/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

 

 

 


Title: BICKERING BIRDS (Book 3)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 280
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Rocky Mountain National Park has it all: rugged peaks, pine-scented forests, enchanting bird-watching locations, and… murder.

 

The Cozy Corgi bookshop finally opens, and Winifred Page and her headstrong corgi, Watson, are ready to welcome their first patrons. With her new best friend, Katie, creating heavenly pastries in the bakery on the top floor of the store, Fred’s dreams are all coming together in delicious and unexpected ways.

 

When Katie caters a meeting of the Feathered Friends Brigade and drags Fred along, they expect nothing more than loquacious chatter about birds as they endeavor to build a professional relationship with the owner of the wild bird shop.

Fred and Katie are quickly roped into a moonlight snowshoeing hike in hopes of spotting a rare owl. While the endangered bird proves elusive… the murdered man in the snow is hard to miss.

 

Fred’s growing relationship with Sergeant Wexler hits a snag when he forbids her from donning her sleuth hat yet again. But Fred is a lot like her corgi—she doesn’t like being told what to do, even if it puts an end to a possible romance.

 

As Fred and Watson delve into the lives of the ornithological club members, the tangled birds’ nest of an investigation makes Fred wonder if she should have left this one to the police. But when feathers begin to fly, Fred has no choice but to flush out a killer…


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38193271-bickering-birds

 


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/bickering-birds-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-3-by-mildred-abbott

 

 

ORDER YOUR COPY:


Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0798LMPHP/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

 

 

Title: SAVAGE SOURDOUGH (Book 4)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 296
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Opening the Cozy Corgi in Estes Park is a dream come true: small-town charm, fresh-baked bread, hours by the fire reading mysteries, and… murder.

 

For Winifred Page and her devoted corgi, Watson, the puzzle pieces of life are falling into place as they settle into their home in the Colorado mountains. Surrounded by family and friends, Fred begins to relax into the charm and beauty of being the owner of a bookshop and bakery.

 

The buzz of possible romance—though Fred wasn’t looking for a relationship—has quieted as one of her suitors is no longer a viable option while the other has moved into the friend zone. But all thoughts of romance, wanted or not, fly out the window when Fred finds a dead body in the Cozy Corgi bakery… again.

 

Things get stickier when Fred’s main suspect turns out to be a family member of one of the local police officers—the one who already despises Fred and her little dog.

 

Determined not to let past grievances cloud her judgment, Fred tips her detective hat and pokes deeper into the murder investigation. But in a mystery that becomes smoke and mirrors, nothing is as it seems.

 

The revelations Fred unveils threaten not only her picture-perfect world but her very life….

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38189937-savage-sourdough

 


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/savage-sourdough-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-4-by-mildred-abbott

 

 


ORDER YOUR COPY:

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079Y9H8MG/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

 


Title: SCORNFUL SCONES (Book 5)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 302
Genre: Cozy Mystery


With summer approaching, Estes Park is abuzz with flowers, baking, tourists, and… murder.

 

Tourist season is about to begin, and the lovely weather has Winifred Page and her corgi sidekick, Watson, leaving the comfort of the Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery to reluctantly attend a celebration at the Black Bear Roaster coffee shop. But a chill of uncertainty settles over Fred when a choking death doesn’t seem so accidental—despite the dry, hazardous scones.

 

As Fred and Police Sergeant Branson Wexler rekindle a possible romance, Fred shares her suspicions. But is she seeing murder at every turn? Learning to trust her gut feelings, Fred risks the ire of the coffee shop owner to investigate not one, but two, deaths.

 

As suspects and motives abound, old resentments are uncovered, and Fred and Watson build new friendships even as they follow the crumbs to find clues to a killer.

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38712413-scornful-scones

 


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/scornful-scones-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-5-by-mildred-abbott

 


ORDER YOUR COPY:

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CPL9MH7/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

 

Title: CHAOTIC CORGIS (Book 6)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 213
Genre: Cozy Mystery


At the height of the summer season, Estes Park explodes with people, wildlife, fireworks, and… murder.

 

The Cozy Corgi Bookshop and Bakery is buzzing with tourists, and Winifred Page and her quirky corgi, Watson, celebrate the Fourth of July picnicking with family and friends—of the human and four-legged variety. As summer blooms with romance for Fred and Sergeant Branson Wexler, murder lurks around the corner.

 

With a friend’s life in danger, Fred and Watson doggedly pursue the investigation, even as Fred finds herself once again at odds with the police department. But caring for two chaotic corgis while navigating emotions from the past in the midst of solving a mystery might be too much, and Fred hits a roadblock.

 

As relationships are tested and secrets exposed, Fred might lose more than one person she loves…

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40610758-chaotic-corgis

 


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/chaotic-corgis-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-6-by-mildred-abbott

 


ORDER YOUR COPY:

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DXSB1MM/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 


Title: QUARRELSOME QUARTZ (Book 7)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 340
Genre: Cozy Mystery


A New Age conference comes to Estes Park, Colorado, bringing a cacophony of tie-dye, crystals, and murder…

 

As summer draws to a close, the Spirit, Health, and Heart Conference arrives, just in time for Winifred’s sisters to open their store next to the Cozy Corgi Bookshop.

To Fred’s surprise, Chakras turns out to be a beautiful addition to the delightful mountain town. The shop even has a room so pleasing in its crystal tranquility that Fred’s corgi, Watson, approves—and hardly anything impresses him.

 

But not everyone is charmed by the crystals, tarot readings, and messages of personal enlightenment. When a famous spiritualist is found dead, Chakras and the entire town is plunged into a conflict that touches the lives of those closest to Fred.

 

Although she is hesitant to become involved, it is simply not in the cards for Fred to sit out the investigation. As she and Watson embark on a journey that forces them to take a look into the darker shadows of Estes Park, Fred soon finds herself digging into the secrets of those she loves…

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40626217-quarrelsome-quartz

 


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/quarrelsome-quartz-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-7-by-mildred-abbott

 


ORDER YOUR COPY:

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FZVN8N4/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

 


Title: WICKED WILDLIFE (Book 8)
Author: Mildred Abbott
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications LLC
Pages: 217
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Poaching becomes an ever more pervasive problem within the National Park. When Fred discovers a body, of the human variety, while on a hike, she and Watson are pulled into another mystery. Over the days that follow, everything in Fred’s world gets turned on its head and the secrets that are revealed shake her to her core.

 


Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41566724-wicked-wildlife

 


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/wicked-wildlife-cozy-corgi-mysteries-book-8-by-mildred-abbott

 

 


ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon – http://bit.ly/WickedWildlifeCozyCorgi

 

 


Malevolent Magic (Cozy Corgi Mystery #9) Preorder:

 

Coming - November 30, 2018

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HR2VX3X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=1538103456&sr=8-1&keywords=mildred+abbott+malevolent+magic

 

 


Reading the Cozy Corgi series is pretty much all you need to know about Mildred. In real life, she’s obsessed with everything she writes about: Corgis, Books, Cozy Mountain Towns, and Baked Goods. She’s not obsessed with murder, however. At least not at her own hands (nor paid for… no contract killing here). But since childhood, starting with Nancy Drew, trying to figure out who-dun-it has played a formative role in her personality. Having Fred and Watson stroll into her mind was a touch of kismet.

 

 

Website Address: http://www.mildredabbott.com


Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/MAcozymystery


Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/MildredAbbottAuthor/


Facebook Secret Club Address: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Mildredabbottscozymysteryclub/


Instagram address: https://www.instagram.com/mildredabbott/


Audible Address for audiobooks: https://www.audible.com/author/Mildred-Abbott/B077XMB42Y?ref=a_search_c3_lAuthor_1_1_1&pf_rd_p=e81b7c27-6880-467a-b5a7-13cef5d729fe&pf_rd_r=JXVP9RK55YFX52PC7V3D&


BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/authors/mildred-abbott

 

 

HOSTED BY:

 

 

 

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-10-19 11:00
Blog Tour with Excerpt! The Water is Wide (The Blue Bells of Scotland #3) Laura Vosika!

 

 

Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Laura Vosika’s THE WATER IS WIDE (Book 3 of The Blue Bells Chronicles) Virtual Book Tour October 1 – December 14 2018!

 

Title: THE WATER IS WIDE
Author: Laura Vosika
Publisher: Gabriel’s Horn Press
Pages: 451
Genre: Time Travel/Historical Fiction

 

 

BOOK BLURB:

 

 

After his failure to escape back to his own time, Shawn is sent with Niall on the Bruce’s business. They criss-cross Scotland and northern England, working for the Bruce and James Douglas, as they seek ways to get Shawn home to Amy and his own time.

 

Returning from the Bruce’s business, to Glenmirril, Shawn finally meets the mysterious Christina. Despite his vow to finally be faithful to Amy, his feelings for Christina grow.

 

In modern Scotland, having already told Angus she’s pregnant, Amy must now tell him Shawn is alive and well—in medieval Scotland. Together, they seek a way to bring him back across time.

 

They are pursued by Simon Beaumont, esteemed knight in the service of King Edward, has also passed between times. Having learned that Amy’s son will kill him—he seeks to kill the infant James first.

 

The book concludes with MacDougall’s attack on Glenmirril, Amy and Angus’s race to be there and Shawn’s attempt to reach the mysterious tower through the battling armies.

 

 

Author's Book Page -

 

http://www.bluebellstrilogy.com/Books.php#TheWaterisWide

 

 

Watch the Trailer:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1z7mHo-OxQ&list=PL1M7umb_F_hIUIeqM5z8oeaX4mGrj1afB&index=3

 

 

 

 

Add to your shelves -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13498120-the-water-is-wide

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-water-is-wide-the-blue-bells-trilogy-book-3-by-laura-vosika

 

 

The Water is Wide is the 3rd book in The Blue Bells of Scotland Trilogy -

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/series/93431-blue-bells-trilogy

 

Author - http://www.bluebellstrilogy.com/Books.php

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BL4LW67?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

Includes -


1 Blue Bells of Scotland
2 The Minstral Boy
3 The Water is Wide
4 Westering Home
5 The Battle is O'er

 

 

 

The Water is Wide is avialable in print or ebook -

 

Amazon - https://amzn.to/2ujdj3Z

 

 

 

 

As the shadows lengthened, Shawn cleared his throat. “Any thoughts on where to spend the night? Is there a Holiday Inn around here?”

 

“There’s no inn of any sort.”

 

“Yeah, and that’s a problem,” Shawn said, “because last time I slept in the great outdoors, a wolf climbed into bed with me, and it didn’t really end well for either of us.” He rubbed his thigh, where a long scar would forever remind him of the night.

“You did well.” Niall cocked a grin at him. “It almost makes me glad to have you at my side, despite your infernal complaining.” The sky over the leafy canopy grew grayer as they climbed another hill.

 

“I haven’t complained for half an hour, and considering I’m stuck with you, that’s pretty impressive.” An owl hooted, low and mournful. “I’m pretty sure that knocks a couple months off any Purgatory time I’d racked up.” The river crackled, cold water splashing against thin ice on the edges, beside them.

 

“Any time?” Niall chortled, a candle against the darkening wood. “You’ll be fortunate to get as high as Purgatory, and if you do, you’ve racked up so much time there, they’ll have to kick the rest of them straight into Heaven to make room for all the Purgatory you need!”

 

“I don’t think it works like....” Shawn stopped at the top of the hill, staring at the sight before them. “Holy ruins, Batman. What is that?”

 

Niall and his pony halted by his side. The animal tossed its head, and nuzzled Niall’s arm. Before them stretched a wide expanse of broken stone walls, stone buildings with mouths and eyes gaping wide in the twilight, on either side of a long road. One vast length of wall held numerous niches. Thirty yards away, crumbling walls enclosed rows of short, stout, stone posts. Beyond it, a stairway led down into a dark maw. Bushes sprang from cracks. Trees grew in and among the abandoned structures. Shadows stretched everywhere, as the sun sank, sending fiery orange and pink rays down the center road, lighting the mist that swirled along it.

 

“That,” said Niall with a smile, “is our inn. God provides.” He touched his heels to his pony, starting down the gentle slope.

 

Shawn coughed loudly. “Uh, yeah, He sure does. The question is what has He provided? What is this place?”

 

“A Roman fort.” Niall led his pony down the center path, the remains rising on either side. A bird called somewhere in the trees.

 

“The Roamin’ in.” Shawn used English for the last two words. “God has a sense of humor.”

 

Niall smiled, pointing to the stairs leading down. “There. ’Tis indoors.”

 

“It’s a pun,” Shawn clarified. “It’s a whole lot funnier if you see it spelled out.”

 

“No doubt,” Niall agreed. “Shall we gather firewood? Keep any more wolves from climbing in bed with you?”

 

“Yes, let’s. And what keeps away the ghosts of the Roman legionnaires? Or their victims?”

 

“One sight of your face ought to scare any spirits back to the underworld.”

 

“If that doesn’t work,” said Shawn, “your pathetic attempts at music will.”

 

“Perhaps you could brag of your exploits with women.” Niall grinned. “Even Hades is better than having to listen to that.”

 

Shawn laughed. “You’re jealous.”

 

They picked their way over the darkening path strewn with stones. In the trees above, an owl hooted.

 

“What happens tomorrow?” Shawn nodded at the limping pony.

 

Niall’s mouth was taut. “We hope he’s better. If not, we let him rest, and spend the time learning to play the lute. We’ve shelter, walls and a roof, which is more than we expected.”

 

They stopped before their intended room. Shawn sighed. It would do no good to stay in the open, but the stone structure, with its empty eyes and stone stairs descending into darkness, was hardly welcoming.

 

“We’ll need wood,” Niall said. They tethered the ponies to a tree springing up near the ruin, left the lute beside them, and set out to gather branches.

 

The sky was now deep blue, the ruins cloaked in shadow. A wolf howled in the distance. The air grew chillier as they worked, till a night among ghosts looked inviting, even homey, as long as it was warm. They piled the kindling on the lowest step outside their chosen abode, where it would warm the room, but send its smoke up into the sky. Niall scraped flint, and soon, they had flickering light by which to eat their hard bread and berries. Shawn settled back, content with his stomach less than empty, and pulled out the lute. He adjusted a couple tuning pegs, tried a few chords, and began one of the songs he’d played on guitar. Niall relaxed against another wall, watching his fingers, humming along. “Let me try,” he said at last. Shawn handed it over, giving instruction as Niall leaned over the strings, working his fingers into unfamiliar positions for chords, and picking out melodies.

 

Outside, a pony whickered. Niall and Shawn froze, looking to the doorway, where they could see only black night beyond the glowing fire. Niall laid the lute down gently. “We've been careless,” he said softly. They reached for their knives.

 

“I’m kind of hoping it’s only a ghost,” Shawn whispered back. The familiar tingle of adrenaline began, a tremoring of the nerves in his arms. His muscles tightened. “Do we wait for whoever it is to come in?”

 

Niall shook his head. “And wait for a whole army to come in on us? If I’m to die tonight, ’twill be fighting for my life.” He rose, back against the wall, and inched around till he stood pressed by the doorway, where the fire crackled. On the other side, Shawn did the same, his heart pounding hard. Niall pointed to his chest, then to Shawn, and held up fingers in a silent count: One. Two. Three.

 

He sprang over the small flames, into the night. Shawn leapt behind him, knife ready, heart beating triple time, nerves screaming! The fire threw shadows across the pony, who balked against his tether. Shawn saw nothing. But he heard the crack of a twig just beyond the light. He and Niall lunged. The single crack grew into a panicked flurry of rustling leaves, cracking twigs, branches snapping back in their faces as they gave chase. Shawn ducked and swerved, saw Niall ahead, veered, and suddenly, there was a pile of arms, legs. He dropped his knife.

 

“Get down!” Niall roared. Shawn threw himself to the ground, hands over his head.

 

All became silent for a heartbeat...two.

 

Then the forest erupted with sound!

 

“I didn’t mean you!” Niall said indignantly.

 

“I’ve done naught, Milord! Don’t kill me!”

 

Then Niall was laughing, great gusty roars of merriment. “Shawn, get up! You’re hiding from a boy!”

 

“Don’t kill me! I can help you! I can help your hobin, Milord!”

 

Shawn inched his hand from over his eyes to see the dark shape of Niall sitting astride a boy who managed to flounder, fight, and cower, all at once, while protesting. He climbed irritably to his feet. “You said get down!”

 

“I meant him.”

 

“You staged this because your lute-playing sucks!” Shawn threw back into the night. “You needed a distraction.”

 

“Thank goodness at least you can play a lute, because the way you fight, a mouse would have gotten the better of us!”

 

The boy looked back and forth between them. He stopped struggling. “Milord?”

 

Shawn realized both their faces were showing. He recoiled into shadow. Niall climbed to his feet, his knife at the ready. “Get up.”

 

“He’s just a boy,” Shawn sighed. “Put your knife away.”

 

“Aren’t we sending boys to war?” Niall asked. “What makes you think a boy can’t kill?”

 

Shawn had no answer. He could think only of the boys to whom he’d taught trombone, so many years ago in the future—boys in sports jerseys, with trimmed hair, worrying about who to ask to prom. This boy stood before them in tatters. He wrapped his arms around his skinny body. His hair hung past his shoulders. Clarence. His father’s killer, as he’d last seen him, flashed through Shawn’s mind. Yes, boys could kill. He didn’t want to believe this one would. He just didn’t want any more ugliness in his world.

 

“What’s your name?” Niall demanded.

 

“I have none,” the boy said.

 

“No name? How can you have no name?”

 

The boy shrugged. “My parents died long ago, my mother in childbirth, and my father in battle. A farrier found me and took me in. He didn’t know my name.”

 

“Surely he called you something?”

 

“Red.” The boy’s shivering increased.

 

“Niall,” Shawn said.

 

Niall pressed the boy, ignoring Shawn. “And why are you not with him now?”

“He was....” Red’s teeth clacked together. He clenched them tight, rubbing his hands up and down his arms, and tried again. “He was killed when the soldiers came through. I ran into the forest and hid. They were afraid to follow me into the ruins.”

 

“Niall, he’s cold.”

 

Niall’s knife remained pointed at the boy. “Which soldiers?”

 

“They were English, Milord. Meaning no offense, Milord.” His teeth clattered again. “If you’re English.”

 

“Niall!” Shawn stepped forward, his anger growing. “He’s just a kid! He’s about to....”

 

Before he finished, the boy collapsed. Shawn was under him, catching his sagging body before it hit the ground.

 

 

Laura Vosika is a writer, poet, and musician. Her time travel series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, set in modern and medieval Scotland, has garnered praise and comparisons to writers as diverse as Diana Gabaldon and Dostoevsky. Her poetry has been published in The Moccasin and The Martin Lake Journal 2017.

 

She has been featured in newspapers, on radio, and TV, has spoken for regional book events, and hosted the radio program Books and Brews. She currently teaches writing at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

 

As a musician, Laura has performed as on trombone, flute, and harp, in orchestras, and big bands. She lives in Brooklyn park with 5 of her 9 children, 3 cats, and an Irish Wolfhound.

 

Her latest book is the time travel/historical fiction, The Water is Wide.

 

 

Website - http://www.bluebellschronicles.com/

 

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author

 

Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/lauravosika

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3057598.Laura_Vosika

 

 

 

HOSTED BY:

 

 



Pump Up Your Books -
http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-09-28 11:00
Blog Tour with Excerpt & Review! Taking Control: Rick's Story (Love In Control #2) Morgan Malone!

 

 

About the Book:

 

Title: TAKING CONTROL: RICK’S STORY
Author: Morgan Malone
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 170
Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

 

BOOK BLURB:


Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

 

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

 

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

 

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?

 

 

Scars from the past play a big part is heartwarming contemporary romance with strong, compelling characters that grabs readers’ attention and ensures that they want to know the story and as they get to know the story, the readers can’t help but admire them for the past, their courage and their strength. The relationship between Rick and Britt is sweet but full of emotional turmoil that tugs at heartstrings and a past full of strength, courage and some dark turbulence due to their time in the service that that adds to the heart jerking emotional atmosphere of the story, while the chemistry between the two is undeniable these issues have them holding back from each other. Readers can’t help but become caught up in the story as Rick and Britt both try to overcome the past that haunts them and they face dark secrets that threatens destroy the fragile trust between them. The plot is steady paced with an adorable dog that helps this couple reach for their happily ever after.

 

 


Add to your shelves at –

 

Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40590496-taking-control

 

BookBub - https://www.bookbub.com/books/taking-control-rick-s-story-by-morgan-malone

 

 

Taking Control: Rick’s Story is the 2nd book in the Love in Control series –

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DXZ4XQQ?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

which includes –


1 Out of Control: Kat's Story

 

 

AVAILABLE in print or ebook at

 

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FG9LSQ9/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taking-control-morgan-malone/1128935792?ean=9781717351449

 

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/taking-control-rick-s-story

 

iBooks - https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/taking-control-ricks-story/id1400572588?_bbid=10184597&mt=11

 

 

He stood before the French doors to the deck, with a large mug of steaming black brew cradled in his hands, letting its warmth take away some of the chill that had surrounded him for the last several months. I’m freezing. And it’s not the air-conditioning. It’s my damn frozen heart. Rick pushed the doors open, letting the heat of the sun and the smell of the ocean sweep into his house. He stepped outside, breathing deep, relaxing just a little. Yeah. This is what I need. A summer at the Shore, a few projects, and plenty of quiet—then I’ll be back to my old self. Chuckling as he mentally reminded himself of just how “old” his self was, Rick raised the cup to take a long sip of coffee.


He saw the figure emerging from the waves almost directly in front of his cottage at the same moment he heard the loud barking of a nearby dog.

 

What the hell?
She was a modern-day Botticelli’s Venus, with the waves foaming around her legs. Long, long legs, lean and tan, disappeared into a bright blue bikini bottom, just visible under the blue and white swim T-shirt that covered a long, muscular torso. Her arms were raised, her hands brushed back sodden strands of platinum blond hair. A swim mask dangled from her left elbow, dropping down into her hand as she lowered her arms. When she stepped from the surf, the woman gave an all-over body shake, drops of ocean water flying off her, glistening for an instant like diamonds in the early morning sun. Then she dropped to her knees so suddenly that Rick lurched forward, splashing coffee as he looked down for a place to leave the heavy mug before he rushed to her aid.

 

He needn’t have bothered. From the deck of the cottage to his left, a huge yellow dog was bounding down the wooden stairs two at a time in a mad dash to the woman. She stretched out her arms to the animal just before the happy hound collided into her, rolling her into the sand. The woman’s laugh floated on the ocean breeze. Rick straightened, still grasping his cup of coffee and stepped back into the shadows cast over his deck by the second-floor balcony. From his vantage point, he watched the woman ruffle the dog’s fur, the animal prancing and shaking in spasms of pure pleasure. When had he ever experienced such unfettered joy? Rick couldn’t remember. A long, long time ago…maybe.

 

Who was she? The owners of the cottage next door were an older couple who spent half the year in Florida and half the year on the Shore. Could she be a granddaughter or niece? Or had the couple decided to rent this year? Rick made a mental note to contact his property manager who handled many of the shore homes and make inquiries. He had not planned on having to deal with a stranger; he just wanted some peace and quiet.


The woman and dog were walking up from the water’s edge. Rick eased toward the open doors of his living room, thinking to disappear into the shadows. He just didn’t feel like an early morning encounter with anyone, certainly not the mermaid with those incredible legs who was ambling slowly in his general direction. He stopped suddenly when something caught the corner of his eye. A glint of sunlight on metal. He reached for his pistol, but his waistband was empty. Damn. What is that woman doing with a diving knife strapped to her right bicep? Who the hell is she?

 


ABOUT MORGAN MALONE

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

 

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

 

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

 

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.

 

 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

 

Website - http://morganmaloneauthor.com/

 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/mmaloneauthor

 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/MorganMaloneAuthor/?ref=aynt_homepage_panel

 

 

 

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-09-20 11:00
Blog Tour with Excerpt! A Highland Emerald (Highland Treasures #3) Brenda B. Taylor!

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

Title: A HIGHLAND EMERALD
Author: Brenda Taylor
Publisher: Bethabara Press
Pages: 268
Genre: Scottish Historical Romance

 


BOOK BLURB:


Aine MacLean is forced into an arranged marriage with Sir William, Chief of Clan Munro, yet her heart belongs to a handsome young warrior in her father’s guard. She must leave Durant Castle, the home of her birth on the Isle of Mull, and travel across Scotland in a perilous journey to her husband’s home on Cromarty Firth.

William agrees to a year and day of handfasting, giving Aine an opportunity to accept him and his clan. He promises her the protection of Clan Munro, however, Aine experiences kidnapping, pirates, and almost loses her life in the River Moriston. She doubts the sincerity of William’s promises and decides to return to Durant Castle when the handfasting ends. William determines to win Aine’s heart.

Will the brave knight triumph in his fight for the bonnie lass?

 

A Highland Emerald is the third book in the award-winning Highland Treasures series. The novel tells the story of Aine MacLean and William Munro and is the prequel to A Highland Pearl.

 

 

Add A Highland Emerald to your shelves at:

 

Goodreads –
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36207443-a-highland-emerald

 


BookBub – https://www.bookbub.com/books/a-highland-emerald-highland-treasures-book-3-by-brenda-b-taylor

 

 


A Highland Emerald is the 3rd book in the Highland Treasures series –

 

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/series/140606-highland-treasures


Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07G8FHJN5?ref=series_rw_dp_labf

 

 

which includes –

 

1 A Highland Pearl
2 A Highland Ruby
3 A Highland Emerald
4 A Highland Bride

 

 

 

in print or ebook at –

 

Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/Highland-Emerald-Treasures-Book-ebook/dp/B073N1VD4V/

 

B&N - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-highland-emerald-brenda-b-taylor/1126682551?ean=2940158821653

 

 


Chapter One

Isle of Mull

 

Isle of Mull

Scotland, 1486 A.D.

 

 

My father sat on his usual chair in front of the crackling fire, staring at the flames with dim eyes, a fur robe wrapped around his broad shoulders, the deerhound curled at his feet.

 

“Where are you going, Aine?” he asked with his back turned toward the stone, spiral staircase where I stood. “Come, sit with me for awhile.”

 

I pushed the arisaid from my shoulders, letting it drop to the floor, then stepped over the wrap, making my way to the stool where my mother's embroidery frame stood. I took a seat and watched the flames.

 

Without turning his head, my father, Lachlan Og MacLean, eighth Chief of Clan MacLean and fourth Laird of Durant Castle, asked, “Where are you going?”

“How did you ken 'twas I?”

 

He never ceased to amaze me with his uncanny knowledge of events around him although his eyes, so dimmed by injury, saw very little.

 

“I heard the rustle of your skirts.” Da extended his hand for me, so I rose and hugged his neck. He smiled, embracing my arms. “And I ken your scent, lass. ’Tis so like your mither's. You use the same scented soap as she.”

 

“Aye, but from so far away and with the smell of burning wood and dog in your nostrils?”

 

“Your odor is a different pleasantry among the usual burning wood and dog. It stands out in my memory as does the pleasant odor of your mither.”

 

He smiled broadly, showing still straight, white teeth beneath a greying beard. I could almost feel his penetrating gaze upon me as in the days before a battle injury took his sight.

 

He asked, “Where are you going this dreary night?”

 

“Here, Da. To sit beside you and talk of the feast on the morrow.”

 

“Don't try to deceive me, lass. I heard the sound of your arisaid dropping to the floor. You are planning a tryst, I feel certain.”

 

His dimmed gaze pierced through to the depths of my soul.

 

“I could see the turn of your head toward him each time he spoke at the eve’s meal.” A line formed between my father’s brows and a shadow darkened his face. “You are to marry the Munro.”

 

“I dinna love William Munro.” My voice began to rise, and I struggled to control the cry climbing from the depths of my heart. “I wanna marry him, Da. You promised I could wed for love, not convenience.”

 

The cry emerged from my lips. I buried my head on his shoulder and sobbed.

Da rose, grabbed my hand and pulled me to face him, wrapping his powerful arms around my shoulders. He stroked my hair and planted a kiss atop my head. Disturbed, the great dog stood.

 

My heart ached to please Da, I loved him so. His tender embrace brought back memories of my childhood when he comforted me after a fall or some aggravation caused by my three older brothers. We stood for a long time.

 

He gently pushed me away, looking into my eyes and planting a kiss on my forehead. “I only want the best for you, sweetling. You’re my heart, you ken. I dinna wish to leave this world without you being in the care of a good mon. The Munro is a good mon.” He hesitated then added, “With wealth and title.”

 

I looked into his faded blue eyes that once shone with the brilliance of the azure sky on a sunny day. He could only see the outline of my face whilst standing close, now. “If you truly desire the best for me, you'll let me marry the love of my heart, not some bloat because of his title. Titles mean naught to me, Da.” Tears streamed from my eyes, wetting my cheeks. I pulled away from his grasp, swiping at the wetness with a sleeve.


“The Munro is a good mon and a fierce warrior. ’Tis nae better for a husband. He’ll be here on the morrow. We’ll have a feast to celebrate your marriage.”

 

“He’s old. I’m only eighteen summers. I shan’t attend.” Sometimes the stubbornness of my nature overtook good sense. I knew not to speak to my father in such a manner.


He also possessed an immovable streak, and his word overruled my desires.

“He’s no’ old, Aine. A few years your senior, but no’ old by any means. When he’s my age, then he’ll be old.”

 

I continued to sniff, wetting the front of his léine.

 

“All right, Aine. If that’s the way this game is to be played. You'll be watched until after the celebration and you depart with the Munro.”

 

The words spewed from Da’s mouth. A sinister, dark shadow cloaked his face. Muscles twitched in his jaws and his hands clenched in tight fists. I stepped back. He abruptly turned, making his way up the stone steps to the upper story bed chambers, feeling the wall for security. When his foot struck the arisaid I’d dropped on the stair, he reached down, seized the garment, flung it with a vehemence I rarely witnessed from him, and continued up the staircase. The large dog followed at his heels. Not knowing what to do, I grabbed the arisaid, wrapped it closely around my shoulders, pulled the hood over my head, then ran toward the door of the great hall. Ellic waited in the garden. I wanted to be near him, feel his embrace, and listen to the sweet words he would whisper in my ear.

 

I pulled on the large oaken door, reinforced with bands of iron, and stepped into the damp, grey air of gloaming. The large figure of Da’s luchd-taighe, Sion MacLean, filled the portal when I tried to close the door. He put up a massive arm, keeping the door from closing. I stared at him, and he back at me.

 

“Did Da send you to watch me?” I asked the huge brute.

 

“Aye,” he answered, stepping out of the keep, but leaving the door open.

“I’m going to meet Ellic Garvie, in case you are wondering. He waits for me in the stables, so be sure to report my tryst to Da. He kens, anyway.”

 

Ellic Garvie, one of the warriors in Da’s slaugh and a member of his luchd-taighe, held an attraction for me and I for him. I turned on my heels.

 

Sion grabbed my arm, jerking me toward the door. “You're no’ going to the stables this eve.”

 

I tried to jerk my arm from his powerful grasp, but he held tightly whilst pulling me toward the door.

 

Pushing me inside, he said with a hiss, “Stay put, lass, or Laird MacLean will lock you in your room.”

 

I didn’t answer, only returned his gaze. The big oaf. The door closed in my face, and I heard him walk away. Giving the guard time to leave the keep’s vicinity and enter the outer bailey housing the stables, I carefully opened the large door to squeeze through so only a slit of light shone on the cobblestones, closed the door, then made my way to the garden enclosure beside the keep. Upon entering the garden, I glanced back to make certain no one followed, then took the rose-lined garden path to the very end. Ellic’s dark form emerged from the shadow of an apple tree beside the stone wall. I rushed into his strong, powerful arms. He pulled me close, and I buried my head on his chest. Tears fell from my eyes, wetting his jacket.


Ellic held me away, my eyes met his in the last light of gloaming. Their dark color grew darker and ominous as his lips brushed mine with a tender caress. I could not help but respond. The kiss grew harder, more passionate until he broke away, holding both my arms.

 

His ale-tainted breath fanned my face. “I love you, Aine. You must come with me to Oban. My aunt works at Dunollie Castle as the lady’s maid. We’ll be married there and I can join the slaugh of MacDougall and perhaps become part of his luchd-taighe. The Laird of Lorne provides well for his people.”

 

My voice hitched remembering Da’s words. “I canna. Da is having me watched now. The Munro is arriving on the morrow for our marriage ceremony.”

He looked around. “Where is your guard?”

 

“I sent him to the stables looking for you, but I feel certain he will come here soon.” His lips hushed my words, taking my breath away. I turned my head from his and snuggled into his broad chest, feeling the prickly wool of the great plaide draped over his shoulder on my cheek. “I love you so,” I whispered.

 

He took my chin, raising my face to his. “Then come with me tonight.”

 

Suddenly, a vision of my life wed to William Munro flashed through my mind. He was an older man and lived a long distance from Durant Castle, my home. I wanted a young, powerful warrior like Ellic. Da may disinherit me and no longer call me his daughter, but my heart could do naught else.

 

“Aye. I will come with you. Tell me the way.”

 

“Who is your guard?” He stepped back, rubbing his chin in deep thought.

“The brute, Sion. He will ne’er let me slip by him to meet you.”

 

Ellic grew silent, then backed to the stone wall, pulling me with him and gathering me into his arms. We kissed as a full moon rose in the east, casting white, silvery light into the garden. His brown hair glisten in the moonbeams. Ellic was the most handsome of Da’s guards. The thought of leaving him to marry another twisted the inner most part of me into a tight knot. I knew at that moment, I could never marry the Munro.

 

“Sion will drink and make merry along with the others at the feast. He’ll sleep instead of watch at your door, then you can slip out and meet me by the postern gate.”

 

“What of the guards at the postern gate? Da will have extra posted during the festivities with so many warriors inside getting drunk.”

 

“Fret no’, my men and I will take care of the guards. A birlinn is ready to take us across the Straight of Mull to Dunollie.”

 

The thought of leaving with Ellic made my heart thump until I felt certain he could hear its beating.

 

“Now go. Sion will find us soon, and you shouldn’t be seen with me.”

He gave me one last lingering kiss, then pushed me toward the garden gate. I hastened down the path, glancing back for one last look at my love, but he was gone. The bright moon lit the pathway out of the garden. I emerged, but did not see Sion in the bailey. Suddenly, a large hand grasped my arm, pulling me along toward the keep. I tried to jerk free, but could not escape the clutches of the powerful guard.

 

“So you sent me on a wild goose chase to the stables whilst you kept the tryst in the garden. Laird MacLean will be anxious to hear all about it.” He pulled harder.

“Stop you big oaf! I’m no’ a sack of barley to be dragged about.” I wrestled, yanking at his grasp once more and tried not to budge from the spot, but he kept pulling until I stumbled.

 

We reached the keep’s entrance. He pinned me in front of him, using both hands to open the heavy door, then pushed me through the portal. I tripped on the threshold and fell to the stone floor, bruising my hands and knees. Sion grabbed my arm, helped me up, and pulled me to the spiral staircase. Several of the luchd-taighe milled around the great hall. Some glanced our way, but said nothing. They never interfered with another’s orders. I saw none of my family. Sion followed me up the stairs then to my bed chamber. Opening the door, he pushed me through.

“I’ll send for Breda to care for you, for you'll no’ be coming out until the feast on the morrow.” He stood, eyes stormy. “I’m sorry you fell. I dinna mean to push so hard, but what I do and tell you is for your own good. The laird is determined to keep you away from Garvie or whomever you're meeting.” We continued to stare at each other. Determination rose like bile in my throat. “Do you understand, m’lady?”

 

“Where are my brothers? They’ll no’ let this unfair treatment continue. I wish to speak to Gillian.”

 

“Sir Gillian is telling Garvie of the laird’s wishes. Since the mon is a member of the MacLean’s guards, he’ll be allowed to stay and enjoy your marriage feast. Make nae mistake, m’lady, he will be watched.”

 

The door slammed closed, and my face burned with rage. Where are my brothers and my mother? They would never allow such rough treatment inflicted on my person. Surely, they would come to my rescue if they knew. Surely. I flung myself onto the bed, sobbing. My tears wet the coverlet, so I sat up on the side of the feather mattress, reached for a hand kertch on the small table, and blew my nose. Removing the arisaid and flinging it to the floor, I examined my bruised hands, then pulled up my heavy skirt to look at my knees. A small cut bled on one knee, but they were mostly scrapped and blue. I dabbed at the cut with the hand kertch.

A knock sounded. “Who is it?” I rose and rushed to bar the door if necessary. Sion was not coming back into my room.

 

“’Tis Breda, Lady Aine. I’ve come to help you prepare for bed,” the maid called through the door.

 

“Come,” I answered with a sob.

 

The door opened slowly. Breda entered and observed my cut, bruised knees. She searched my eyes, hers filled with anxiety. “I’ll fetch the healer, Lady Aine. That cut should be cared for.”

 

“Nae, Breda. Washing with a clean cloth is all that’s needed.” I dabbed at the blood. “Rinse this in the basin, then wash the cut again. It’ll be much better with the cleansing.”

 

Breda poured water from the pitcher into the bowl, then rinsed the cloth. She brought it back and began to rub on the cut knee. The cold water felt good and stopped the bleeding. She rinsed the rag then washed the cut once more.

Handing me the cloth, she said, “I’ll empty this bowl and fetch more water. Are you certain you dinna wish for me to call the healer?”

 

“Nae. Bring my mither, and if you see my brothers, send them also.” I needed their broad, understanding shoulders to cry on. My brothers usually took my part in any squabble I had with Da and Mam. Da complained they spoiled me ’til rotten, which in truth they did. One major problem my siblings’ overprotectiveness afforded was their interference with beaus and suitors. No man was good enough for their young sister, and Da encouraged this attitude.

 

The large oak door opened with a bang. My brother, Young Lachlan, strode to the bedside and pushed Breda aside, examining my knee. He took both my hands, turned them over, then looked into my questioning eyes.

 

“I’ll speak to Da about Sion,” he said with shards of light glinting in his eyes.

 

“Nae. Please dinna make matters worse with my father. These are naught but scratches.” I didn’t want my brothers interfering in my relationship with Ellic. They probably knew about our courtship since they knew all the comings and goings in Durant Castle. My brothers were Da’s eyes and ears now.

 

“You ken the Munro is coming to finalize the marriage contract.” Lachie dropped my hands, lifting my chin to search my eyes. “What are your feelings on the matter, Aine?”

 

“I care no’ to meet the mon, much less marry him. He’ll take me away to that godforsaken place on the other side of Scotland he calls Ferindonald.” Tears brimmed my eyes. “Away from my family and home. Away from you, Lachie. I dinna care if he’s titled. I’ll no’ go with him.”

 

“I’ll speak to Da this eve, before the Munro arrives. You're a bonnie woman, Aine. Surely he can find a suitor closer to Durant.”

 

I buried my head in his wool plaide and wept, wetting the garment.

He stroked my hair for a long while, then pushed me away and planted a kiss on my forehead. “Take care of your wounds, now.”

 

Lachie turned on his heels with his sword clanking in the scabbard buckled around his waist. Breda began washing the cut on my knee again. She was a good caretaker and I planned to keep her with me wherever I may go, especially if the object of my journey happened to be Fàrdach Castle on the Cromarty Firth.

 

Mother pushed past Lachie in the doorway. He addressed her, then moved on. She rushed to me, taking the wet cloth from Breda and wiping the wound on my knee. She examined the cut, then turned to the maid and told her to fetch, Màdra, the healer. I tried to tell Mother I did not need the healer, but she would not listen.

“You may get blood on your night shift and bed linens. The cut needs a bandage and the scrapes need plantain salve.” She searched my eyes. “Perhaps willow bark tea for pain, also.”

 

“Mam,” I protested. “The wounds are small. I dinna need willow bark tea or anything else.”

 

Mother told Breda to fetch the healer anyway. The maid left, gently closing the door whilst Mam took a clean shift from the trunk at the foot of the bed and told me to stand. She assisted with the laces of my kirtle, then took the garment over my head. She did the same for the blouse, and hung both from a peg on the opposite wall. I grabbed the shift from the bed and put it on. Although a fire blazed in the fireplace, the air felt cold on my body. I moved closer to the fire. A knock sounded on the door. Mother answered, then Breda and Màdra entered the room. Breda held a mug.

 

I sat in a small upholstered chair beside the fire whilst mother took the other. Màdra quickly examined my hands, opened her leather healer’s bag and withdrew a small glass container of salve. She spread the cool balm over the scrapes and bruises on my hands with nimble fingers, then raised my shift and examined the cut on my knee. Shaking her head, she wiped the seeping blood away with a clean cloth, smeared plantain salve on the cut, then placed a linen square over the wound, tying it in place with another, larger strip of linen.

 

Màdra searched my eyes, then motioned for Breda to hand me the mug. “I can tell by your eyes, you’re in some pain, m’lady. Please drink the willow bark tea.”

I looked at Mother who nodded. I could not fight the three of them, so taking the mug from Breda, I drank the bitter tea. The nasty brew would help me sleep and get the rest required to resist the demands of my father. I rose and walked toward the bed. Breda placed the mug with the remainder of the tea on the bedside table, pulled back the bedcovers, tucked the coverlet under my chin, then pulled the fur blanket on top of me.

 

Mother stood beside the bed, brushed the hair from my face, and kissed my forehead. “Don’t hesitate to drink the remainder of the tea if you wake and feel pain.”

 

I hated being treated like a bairn. “Mither, I am fine. Please stop treating me like a bairn.”

 

“You'll always be my wee lassie, Aine. No matter how old you are.” She took Breda’s arm, and the three women left my room.

 

I lay in bed searching the plastered ceiling, thinking of Ellic, and waiting for the potion to take effect on my wakefulness. Mayhap I should do as he asked and slip away with him in the birlinn to Dunollie Castle then beyond. Someplace unknown to my family where we could live in peace the rest of our lives. Maybe I would do just that.

 


ABOUT BRENDA B. TAYLOR


The desire to write historical fiction has long been a passion with Brenda B. Taylor. Since elementary school, she has written stories in her spare time. Brenda earned three degrees: a BSE from Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas; a MEd from Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas; and an EdD from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas; then worked as a teacher and administrator in the Texas Public School system. Only after retirement could she fulfill the dream of publication.


Brenda and her husband make their home in beautiful East Texas where they enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, and working in Bethabara Faith Ministry, Inc. She crafts stories about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people in her favorite place overlooking bird feeders, bird houses, and a variety of blooming trees and flowers. She sincerely thanks all who purchase and read her books. Her desire is that the message in each book will touch the heart of the reader as it did hers in the writing.


Her latest book is the Scottish Historical Romance A Highland Emerald.

 

Author Contact Information:

 

Historical Heartbeats
http://www.brendabtaylor.com

 

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/authorbrendabtaylor

 

Twitter
http://www.twitter.com/rayburnlady

 

Amazon Author's Page
http://amzn.to/2hSKCXt

 

BookBub Author Page
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/brenda-b-taylor

 

Pinterest
https://www.pinterest.com/rayburnlady/

 

Goodreads
http://www.goodreads.com/brendataylor

 

Tumblr
http://www.tumblr.com/rayburnlady

 

Google +
https://plus.google.com/u/0/104377029337086788786/posts/p/pub

 

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?