As I mentioned yesterday, for today’s Wicked Wednesday I have with me my wonderful friend Kathye Quick. Kathye is a multi-published and award winning author who is also a fellow founder of the Liberty States Fiction Writers. When not writing romance, she writes speeches, letters and press releases for government officials. Kathye says “The trick is not to let the two cross!”
Kathye is sharing an excerpt with us from her latest release, CYNTHIA AND CONSTANTINE. If you leave a comment by midnight EST on Friday May 8th, you may be the lucky winner of a CALLING T-shirt!
So without further ado, here’s today’s Wicked Wednesday treat — CYNTHIA AND CONSTANTINE.
Lady Cynthia of Abertaine is trapped. Not only has her fiancé. Sir William Leyborne, not been back to the castle for over ten years, but she’s also not a titled Lady. Lord Simon of Cowell, a renegade warlord aligned with Mordred against Arthur and his Knights, has declared himself sovereign over Leyborne Castle and everything that once belonged to Sir William – including Cynthia. Sir Constantine, Knight of the Round Table, has come to the shire to give Cynthia the news that her fiancé has fallen in battle. With him is William’s oral will giving all he owns to Cynthia as though they had been wed. But when he finds Cynthia and discovers that the shire under the control of an evil warlord, he knows he cannot leave without first driving Simon and his soldiers from the land. Drawn together by an attraction older than time, Cynthia and Constantine soon discover that though a vow made by a knight’s honor has brought them together, it may just also cost them their lives.
Cynthia felt the blood race though her body. From her hiding place among the rows of trees lining the forest clearing, her blue eyes studied the soldiers packing camp and getting ready to move on. They would not see her. She wore a peasant’s tunic that came to her knees, green to blend into the bushes and trees shielding her, with dark brown leggings the color of rich bark. She’d tied the large shirt around her waist with a length of cord on which she had placed a small dagger for protection. A brown cowl covered her blond hair to complete the disguise.
Like a scout sent to evaluate the strength of an enemy before battle, she again scanned the area. The large tent in the center of the clearing had to be Simon’s.
She had been planning this since from moment she’d found out that Simon was taking out the hawk She knew what she had to do and prayed for the courage to do to.
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, summoning all her strength and courage. When she opened them, he was there, a mere hundred yards separating him from her. She watched him gesture to his soldiers with animated movements, clearly agitated. The soldiers rushed to comply with whatever command he had given them. Within moments, most had mounted their horses and sped away, leaving only five behind.
Simon took a step forward and surveyed the area, his gaze halting at the place where she hid. She smothered the gasp that rose in her throat and held her breath. Could he see her? She could hear her heartbeat thundering in her ears as she dared mot move for fear of discovery. Endless seconds passed as she stood perfectly still, waiting for either detection or deliverance. After what seemed like a lifetime, he turned and went back inside his tent.
Feeling her body release, she reaffirmed her decision and raised the bow set firmly in her left hand. Reaching back with her right, she removed an arrow from the quiver slung across her back. With a practiced hand, she set the arrow in place and pulled back on the string. Raising the bow to eye level, she touched the string to her cheek to center her aim and looked down the shaft of the arrow. From her vantage point, there was nothing between her and the entrance to the tent. The metal tip at the end was perfectly aimed at the center opening. Simon need only to appear once more.
Her arm quivered slightly as she waited. She knew what she was about to do was risky, but it was the only way she knew to really be free of him.
Then suddenly he was there, Lord Simon of Cowell, taking in what Cynthia hoped would be his last breath of air. She pulled the arrow tighter, her heartbeat rising. She need only let go when suddenly the bow was snatched from her hand from behind. The arrow once aimed straight and true at her adversary’s heart fell harmlessly to the ground. Before she could react, she felt a hand grab onto her arm.
“In the northern part of the kingdom, that would be murder, boy.” a distinctly male voice from behind her said.
Held nearly immobile by a powerful grip, Cynthia watched powerlessly as Simon mounted the horse that had been brought to him, heeled it into motion and ride away.
Angrily, she spun as much as the grasp allowed, confronting the man who had hindered her. “I had him in my sights! How dare you interfere with …” She stopped, her words cut as her gaze locked with the most incredible pair of brown eyes she had ever seen.
She stared, spellbound and open mouthed at their owner. Hair, the color of a field of wheat fell to his shoulders. His mouth was outlined with short, carefully groomed facial hair that drew her full attention to the sensual smile on his lips. Broad shoulders sat atop what appeared to be a brawny chest, the impression aided by the strength of his grip.
She felt the muscles in his arm encircling her waist flex and then release, the pleasant sensation sending a warmth through her. Never before had she allowed a man, especially such a handsome one, to be so close to her.
CYNTHIA AND CONSTANTINE
AVAILABLE FROM THE WILD ROSE PRES – www.thewildrosepress.com
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