I'm excited to tell you about my latest Regency short stories:
Regency Rescues: Three Short Sweet Romances.
Can three gentlemanly heroes save the women they love?
‘Gentleman to the Rescue’: Clarissa Lanstone has been dragged to the altar by her cousin to marry old Squire Barns. Will Captain Tom Whittlesea, the love of her life, arrive in time to save her?
‘An Officer and a Gentleman’: Marianne Chaseley receives the worst news a mother can hear. Can Major Oliver Hurst convince her to let him help her one last time?
‘A True Gentleman’: Lady Emma Blanche is trapped in a situation no woman should endure. Her husband’s valet, John Wright, knows he must help her, but can they escape Sir Henry Blanche?
Regency Rescues is due out on Mothers' Day and available for pre-order now.
24 Symbols: http://bit.ly/2q08UCw
Thank you to all the readers who have supported me over the years. As a way of thanking you, for the whole of February all of my books are available for 99c USD. You can grab your copies here:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2jBQMId
also available at Tolino, 24Symbols, Scribd & Inktera.
Best wishes, Isabella Hargreaves
910AD, a convent in Mercia in 'England'
Someone pounded on her cell door. “Wake up, Lady Eadlin! Wake up!”
Eadlin shook her head to clear her sleep-befuddled mind. “Cenric! What’s wrong?” Dread balled in her stomach.
She tugged her habit over her shift and wrenched the door open.
Cenric burst in. He held a sword and small knife. His face was grim, set into harsh furrows.
“Raiders, Lady Eadlin. You must flee at once. They’re in the village and heading this way.”
Now Eadlin could hear distant screams and shouting. The acrid smell of smoke floated on the night air.
Fingers of fear crept amongst her guts like ice spreading across a pond in winter. “I can’t leave the sisters. Can we defend ourselves?”
His jaw dropped. “Not against armed raiders.”
“Are they Vikings?” Her words were high-pitched and breathless.
“Probably.” His voice was severe.
Her heart pounded in terror. Oh God, not that! Eadlin pulled on her veil and boots then upended her reed mattress and took an ancient engraved dagger from beneath it.
The old warrior gestured at her with his sword. “You would prefer to die defending them?”
He grimaced in distaste. “Then get them into the chapel. It’s the strongest building.”
Eadlin ran out to beat on the doors of the nuns’ rooms yelling, “Vikings! Go to the chapel!”
The abbess, veil askew, joined her in shepherding the sisters into the stone building adjacent to their sleeping quarters. A few squat candles burnt on the altar, casting ghoulish shadows across the walls.
Fear haunted the abbess’ eyes, but her voice held its usual calm and commanding tone.
Cenric secured the door and stood ready with his sword. As he waited he pleaded, “Flee, Lady Eadlin, flee! There’s still time! It’s what your father would want you to do. Go while you can!”
Blood pounded loud in her ears. He was asking her to abandon these gentle women who took her in, to leave them defenceless. “I can’t, Cenric. There’s nowhere to go. This is my home, and this is my family now.”
Sounds of timber splintering and pottery breaking shattered the air. A dozen nuns huddled on their knees before the altar.
The abbess led them in prayer, “Domine, libera nos a furore normannorum….” Lord, save us from the fury of the northmen, but most, Eadlin saw, were distracted by the screaming and shouting coming from the village across the river and the noise outside the chapel door.
Some sobbed, and Sister Ælthgifu held a trembling novice in her arms.
The door to the chapel reverberated with the force of a shoulder or foot against it.
“Open the door or die!” yelled the attacker in English, his voice harsh and authoritative.
Surprised, Eadlin exchanged a glance with Cenric across the doorway.
Who were these attackers who spoke their language?
Were they the king’s men, come for her, or were they Vikings as Cenric had thought?
Neither she nor Cenric moved. Either way, danger stood beyond the door and would be in the chapel soon enough without their aiding it.
In seconds the cleaved door hung tattered from its hinges, and their attacker towered before them.
He was tall. Very tall.
His form filled the doorway.
Smoke and the sweet tang of blood clung to him. An iron helmet with nosepiece and a ragged blond beard hid all but his cold blue eyes, harsh cheeks, and bitter mouth.
Eadlin knew then-
#romance, #historicalromance, #Viking, #HistoricalFiction, #historical
Here's an excerpt from the third short story in Forbidden Valentines - 'George'.
I've posted excerpts from the first two stories on Facebook already see; https://www.facebook.com/IsabellaHargreavesBooks/.
“Stop tidying, George, and get to bed.”
“Oui, my lord.”
“Don’t ‘my lord me’. Come here.”
George banged around in the dressing room a little longer, closing wardrobe doors, before exiting to respond to James’s order. “Yes, my lord? Is there something more I can do for you this evening?” George raised an eyebrow.
James’s heart beat strongly in his chest. “Come here, I said.”
George stepped to him and waited with a look of enquiry.
“There is something you can do for me.” James tugged on the black stock at George’s neck. It fell open on the shirt.
George glanced down at the material then raised dark eyes to James with a questioning look and a half smile.
James pushed the black coat from George’s narrow shoulders. It fell unhindered to the floor. “Not going to pick that up, George?” he taunted.
“Non.” George watched him intently.
If you've read any of these books and enjoyed them, please leave a review on any of these sites:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1pk7UFG
Reviewing a book only needs to be a few words long or a star rating. I'm grateful for every single one!
P.S. If you're interested, an Isabella Hargreaves Readers' group has formed to discuss my books: https://www.facebook.com/groups/223984487953919/
#historicalfiction, #Historicalromance, #romance
If you're interested, a round-up of reviews from this week's book tour for All Quiet on the Western Plains can be found here: http://www.isabellahargreaves.com/news-and-events.html. The winner of a copy of the novella has been drawn. Congratulations if it was you!