Thursday, 31 March 2016

Only 0.99 on Kindle - Limited time only - The Du Lac Chronicles

"...the intimacy in their relationship is tender, vulnerable and real, one of the best romantic relationships I've read..I loved, loved, loved this book and can't wait to read the next in the series..."
                                                                                                    M.M. Carter, Amazon Reviewer 

* Only 0.99 on Kindle - Limited time only *

A generation after Arthur Pendragon ruled, Briton lies fragmented into warring kingdoms and principalities.

“It is dangerous to become attached to a du Lac. He will break your heart, and you will not recover.” 

 So prophesies a wizened healer to Annis, daughter of King Cerdic of Wessex. If there is truth in the old crone’s words, they come far too late for Annis, who defies father, king, and country to save the man she loves.

Alden du Lac, once king of Cerniw, has nothing. Betrayed by Cerdic, Alden’s kingdom lies in rubble, his fort razed to the ground and his brother Merton missing, presumably dead. He has only one possession left worth saving: his heart. And to the horror of his few remaining allies, he gives that to the daughter of his enemy. They see Annis, at best, as a bargaining chip to avoid war with her powerful father. At worst, they see a Saxon whore with her claws in a broken, wounded king.

Alden has one hope: When you war with one du Lac, you war with them all. His brother Budic, King of Brittany, could offer the deposed young king sanctuary—but whether he will offer the same courtesy to Annis is far less certain.

Book Extract. 

"...I hear you surrendered,” he said, a faint hint of glee in his eyes.

Alden, who was still contemplating what Oeric had told him about his brother, looked up. “Good news travels fast.”

“As does bad.”

“It wasn’t something I wanted to do. I had no choice.”

“That is what they all say, isn’t it?” Oeric laughed. “And who is this fine-looking woman by your side?” Oeric turned his attention to Annis.

Annis raised her head reluctantly. She had never met King Oeric, although she had heard a lot about him, mainly about his skill as a warrior from her brother, who liked to talk about worthy opponents to anyone who cared to listen. His appearance surprised her. Oeric was an old man, older than her father was. His hair was a soft white, his face wrinkled. His eyes were watery and the colour of a foggy blue sky. His clothes were lavish and skilfully embroidered. He smiled a welcome, showing gaps in his mouth where his teeth had been knocked out. Alden was right; she could see he was mentally undressing her with his eyes. He made her feel sick.

“What is your name, my dear?” Even the way he spoke to her was lewd.


“Annis?” Oeric raised his bushy white eyebrows. “A pretty name for a pretty girl.” He licked his lips. “And what are you doing in the company of Lord du Lac?”

Alden had to stop himself from saying king. The slight on Oeric’s part hit its mark well.

Annis nervously glanced at Alden. “I am his wife,” she whispered, fearing the lie.

“His wife?” he whispered back and then he laughed, turning his attention away from her and back to Alden.

“You lose a kingdom, but have the time to find a wife. Where did you pick her up? The dungeons?” Those gathered in the hall laughed at their king’s jest. “What did you do, my dear? Was it something horrid?” he asked Annis, stepping closer to her.

Alden’s arm shot out and pulled her closer to him. “The where and why has nothing to do with you.” There was a warning in his tone that he meant for Oeric to hear.

“You speak to me like a King. You forget yourself,” Oeric said, his eyes blazing with anger. “You cannot speak to me as an equal anymore. Annis, Annis.” He rolled her name over his tongue. “Of Wessex?” he stated, his eyes widening. “You married his daughter?”

 * Only 0.99 on Kindle - Limited time only *
Where can I get my hands on a copy of this book?

  About the author
Born in Bath, England, Mary Anne Yarde grew up in the southwest of England, surrounded and influenced by centuries of history and mythology. Glastonbury—the fabled Isle of Avalon—was a mere fifteen-minute drive from her home, and tales of King Arthur and his knights were part of her childhood.

At nineteen, Yarde married her childhood sweetheart and began a bachelor of arts in history at Cardiff University, only to have her studies interrupted by the arrival of her first child. She would later return to higher education, studying equine science at Warwickshire College. Horses and history remain two of her major passions.

Yarde keeps busy raising four children and helping run a successful family business. She has many skills but has never mastered cooking—so if you ever drop by, she (and her family) would appreciate some tasty treats or a meal out!

Useful Links. 

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Guest Post - "Author's Inspirations." James Collins @JamesDomCollins

It is my pleasure to welcome Historical Fiction author, James Collins, on to the blog today to talk about the inspirations behind his latest novel...
 Sol Limitis - Book One Of The Frontier Trilogy.

367 AD 

A battle-hardened soldier is sent to the frozen north of Britannia on a personal mission from the Emperor. Conducting a desperate investigation from a hostile garrison on the crumbling frontier of Hadrian’s Wall, Atellus must struggle to survive in a wild and lawless land torn apart by the death throes of an over-stretched empire.

Where did the inspiration behind your book come from?

One of my favourite books is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy. A searing and brutal novel of America’s violent frontier, Blood Meridian follows the infamous Glanton Gang, a group of mercenary scalp-hunters working the US/Mexico border in the mid-C19th. It was this concept of the anti-Western which first piqued my curiosity and instigated a lengthy period of thought and research which culminated in my novel, Sol Limitis.

The key concept behind Sol Limitis was to re-create this type of revisionist Western in the frozen North of Britain; a novel which captured the extremes and brutalities of the period in a daunting and visceral manner, and which explored this notion of liminal space, investigated the concept of the Frontier and everything it entailed.

History is ripe with options for a setting for this sort of novel, but I chose a period I was already familiar with from my studies and work as an archaeologist: late Roman Britain. Even a small amount of research attested to lengthy periods of intrigue and action, hardship and depredations. The keystone notion of the Frontier was well-served by that most famous icon of the limit of romanitas: Hadrian’s Wall.

The concept of liminality, and its various permutations, drove the novel from then on: a physical front-line separating two ostensibly discrete and mutually hostile tribes (‘Romans’ and ‘Barbarians’); a cultural boundary distinguishing between two peoples; a temporal watershed marking the decline of Roman Britain and the rise of Tribal Britain; and an ethereal frontier separating Christianity from paganism. But perhaps the crux of this liminality resides in the blurring of all these boundaries: because of the physical, temporal and ideological location on the cusp of two extremes, the frontier exists as a place utterly distinct from either camp, drawing energy from both sides and maintaining its own distinct identity.

It was the concept of this lawless, broken hinterland that inspired me as the perfect setting for my novel.

The physical frontier in Sol Limitis is represented by Hadrian’s Wall, the huge stone and timber-built fortification which delineated the limit of Roman control. It existed as a rough militarised zone fortified by garrison towns and forts. The geographical area was defined by military authority, frequent violent clashes with hostile tribes, and its separation from more ‘civilised’ bastions of romanitas such as the larger towns further south.

There was eventual fall-out from this physical and ideological separation between the Wall and the seat of the Western Roman Empire (which at the time had moved from Rome to Treves, modern-day Trier): notably widespread poverty and corruption. The travails of the local populace – military and civilian – were likely to have been incessant, and the Wall itself served as a physical reminder of this hard life: a bastion of security and, concomitantly, danger, a constant brooding character sulking in the background.

The northern frontier of Roman Britain separated the two distinct factions of Rome and the ‘Barbarians’ beyond. Although there were multiple discrete tribes beyond the Wall, the period in which Sol Limitis is set is the prelude to the Great Conspiracy whereby the disparate tribes united to attack their common enemy: the Romano-British.

Despite this, it is likely that the liminal zone of the frontier was home to a confused assemblage of peoples on both sides of the Wall. Most of the limatanei (the Romano-British frontier soldiers) would have shared kinship and sensitivities with the northern tribes, and once the pay, food and support of the Roman infrastructure increasingly dried up as the C4th wore on, many must have queried where their true loyalties lay. Certainly we know that the areani (roving spies working for Rome beyond the frontier) betrayed their paymasters and aided the assault against the Romano-British, and it is likely that at least some forts along the Wall openly deserted their posts and allowed the tribes to pass through to lay waste to the Roman-held land beyond.

The temporal aspect of the frontier is represented by the blending of Roman Britain and Tribal Britain. In the mid to late C4th, Roman Britain was rapidly sliding beyond the reach of the empire. Depleted of military, wealth and resources, Britain was subject to increasingly dire circumstances whether from political and religious purges, escalating tribal insurrections or disease and poverty. Hindsight tells us that Rome finally abandoned Britain in AD410, marking the start of the so-called ‘Dark Ages’, a migration period whereby Britain, lacking focused unified resistance, succumbed to the pressure from invading tribes: Picts, Attacots and Scots from the north and Saxons, Jutes and Angles from the East. We see this liminal period of history as a time when the sol limitis (Sun of the Frontier) of Rome is waning and the stars of the great tribal leaders (precursors to the likes of Alaric and Vortigern) are in ascendance.

Celtic Christian culture has the concept of thin places, those liminal areas that straddle the border between the physical and the ethereal, linking earth and heaven, men and gods. The C4th northern frontier was at this point (since Constantius’s conversion earlier that century) attempting to be the border between Christianity and paganism. Although Christianity became embraced by increasingly hard-line emperors, these were often interspersed with rulers favourable of pagans, which led to a confused and troublesome mix. Roman culture had always been welcoming of new local religions and syncretism was its main tactic for centuries, as different religions were blended together and worshipped anew. 

Despite the best efforts of the Christian emperors, Britain still remained heavily pagan, and the closer to the northern frontier, the less hold Christianity had upon the common folk. Religion was important to soldiers, and the hard-pressed limitanei of Hadrian’s Wall had little else for comfort. As such it was a key area for ongoing pagan practices to Celtic gods such as Cernunnos and Belatu-Cadros, horned gods of the land: food, fertility, the elements, war and death. This period of history was ripe for such beliefs, and arguably the Romans did not share the same concept of reality as do we in the industrialised West: for them the gods may have been as real and tangible – and occasionally as hostile - as the enemies brandishing swords beyond the Wall. The boundary between reality and mythology would not have existed for them as it does for us, and this location so far from the larger towns and settlements of Britain would have only propagated the ubiquity of the localised gods and the rituals of the soldiers’ ancestors; practices no doubt shared by the tribes beyond the Wall who were not subject to the diktats of an incumbent emperor.

In summation, the prime inspiration for my novel Sol Limitis was the concept of the Frontier – in fact the book is the first part of a proposed body of work entitled The Frontier Trilogy. The spark was ignited by a fictional portrayal of the savagery and nihilism of the historical US borderlands, and the flames spread into a tale of a broken Rome in the frozen North. Although the themes covered are weighty (the oppressive weather, the violence, the poverty) they are all united by their liminal setting in a place teetering on the edge of a cultural precipice. 

The Frontier is extreme, it is an abutment against the hostile and unfamiliar, an impartial antagonist which will always, eventually, win; it is a man-made creation, a demarcation of the mind and a realisation of the self-imposed limits and predilections of a species which will always create conflict and division wherever it goes. The story of a frontier is the story of humanity in microcosm.
And for that reason, the concept of the frontier in fiction is a flame that will always be happily fanned.

 Where can I buy this fabulous book?

About the author.

James Collins is an author, editor, freelance journalist and recovering archaeologist. Born in Stoke on Trent in 1979, he studied archaeology at the University of Nottingham and went on to work as an archaeologist in the UK and abroad. Tired of wallowing in muddy holes for a living, he survived various unsavoury menial jobs before catching his breath in the construction and renewables industries for more years than was healthy. He is currently working towards being self-employed and to be able to get paid for doing what he loves: writing. James also plays and teaches classical guitar and spends most of his spare time studying the Daoist arts.

Useful Links.

Twitter: @JamesDomCollins

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Book Spotlight - Princess Adele's Dragon by Shirley McLain @ShirleyMcLain93

Today's featured book is Princess Adele's Dragon by Young Adult fantasy author, Shirley McLain.

Princess Adele lives with her brother, Robert, the King of Valdoria in the castle. There has been a monster terrorizing the Kingdom for months. The King has finally come to a decision on how to deal with the monster but the Princess can't agree with him. For the sake of the Kingdom Princess Adele decides she must be the one to kill the dragon. She couldn't live with herself if her brother went ahead with his plans. 

What Adele found on her quest changed her life and the lives of those around her. She was a strong young woman who knew what she wanted and would do whatever it took to get it.  Follow Princess Adele as she battles to save her home and her life.

 Let's delve closer into the book and look at an excerpt!

Princess Adele's face paled when she heard the words of her brother. Her large green eyes stared at his face as she spoke. "Robert, it's inhuman. You can't do that. If the child were yours, what would you be thinking?"
"Look, Adele, I didn't come to this decision without doing a lot of soul-searching. Do you not think I haven't run this through my mind a million times? I don't know any other way to keep our kingdom safe from that monster. The counselor told me it's worked in the past."
"I don't care what your mighty counselor said. You can't do this. There must be another way." Princess Adele turned from her brother, the King, leaving him standing in the room alone. Her plan must be executed before the full moon.
How such a monster threatens her beautiful home is almost too much to comprehend. If only Anthony was here. He'd know what would be needed to stop this unthinkable act. Tears rolled down Adele's cheeks as she thought of her beloved Anthony. She enjoyed the world one day, deep in despair the next. What happened? Why did he leave?
The Princess recovered her emotions and resolved to come up with another plan besides sacrificing a beautiful child to the creature. There ought to be another way. Arriving at her bedchamber, her lady’s maid waited for her.
As Adele entered her room, Miranda bowed "Your Highness", she said.
"How many times do I need to tell you, Miranda, you do not bow to me and call me "Your Highness" every time I enter the room when we're alone. We've been like sisters since the age of four."
"I know, Adele, but if I don't do it all the time, I may forget. If I call you, Adele in public His Majesty's ogre of a counselor will behead me or something worse."
"What's worse than having your head chopped off?" Adele asked.
"Made to marry a man I do not love." Miranda helped the Princess change into her sleeping gown to make her ready for bed.
"Robert has tried to marry me off too many times to count. Six years ago, before we married, Anthony ran away for some reason. "
"You don't believe that any more than I do, Adele," With a soft voice Miranda said, he loved you more than life, and it showed in everything word and action he made. Changing the subject, what did the King say?"
"He plans to go through with the sacrifice on the night of the full moon, which is in two weeks." Princess Adele's covered her face with her hands as tears began to flow. Her voice trembled as she spoke. "I can't sit here and do nothing. A child sacrifice is unconscionable to me."
"What can a girl of your small stature do against a dragon? Many Knights died fighting that dragon. I can see you dead before you even get to the lair."
Princess Adele climbed into bed. "You know I can do anything a man can. She stifled a yawn then said "Goodnight, my dear friend. I hope you sleep well,"
Miranda blew out the wick of the oil lamp and said, "Goodnight, Adele." She turned with a big smile on her face and walked to the door to her room. I know what she's going to do, and as soon as her death is confirmed, I'll console the King. I'm in a fantastic position now to put our plan into action. I will be Queen of Valdoria! She smiled as she blew out the light and settled into her bed.
The door to Miranda's room opened and closed without making a sound. She heard footsteps padding across the room. "Hello, my love," Miranda whispered as she joyfully fell into a pair of strong arms.
She walked down the aisle to her beloved, Anthony. When she got close enough to take his hand, she slid backward, having to begin the journey down the aisle all over again. Adele experienced the same nightmare about her Anthony when she fell into a deep sleep. Tossing and turning, Princess Adele unable to sleep any longer, sat up in the bed. In the blackness of her room, she reached a decision. I know what I must do.
Without stars, the night sky displayed no brightness, only blackness as pitch. Adele hurried as she dressed in the boy’s clothes hidden in the straw of her mattress. Her secrets remained her own. Her adventures out of the castle before the sun came up, on many occasions, was known only to her. This adventure would be no different.
Her father made sure both of his children received the same education which she gave thanks for many times. She could fight with a sword and ride a horse as well as her brother. She bested her brother in their formal schooling. He wanted to play instead of educating himself. Robert began to apply himself to his education not long before their parent’s death. Adele's impressive capabilities were known only to Robert. Her father wanted her skills kept a secret for the purpose of a surprise if she needed it. If something happened to her brother, Adele could run the kingdom.
If her quest failed, she would no longer be alive, and her brother would be alone. He would be the only one of the family left. Her parents, the King, and Queen died the previous year from the plague. She and her brother left the area until the crisis passed.
They returned home having no parents and the country, no King and Queen. Her nineteen-year-old brother became King and Lord Ashmore guided the new King in all decisions. They relied on Lord Ashmore as their father did, over the years.
In an inconspicuous manner, Adele walked down the long castle hallway to the secret exit that took her underground, straightway to the stables. She thought once again of her father and how he made sure she knew the secret entrance location. He told her no one knew about it except her, but if the need arose she could share it with her brother. So far, it remained her secret way out of the castle.
She lit a torch before entering the tunnel. She didn't like the darkness of the tunnel. The dampness didn't bother her at all, and it felt refreshing when the outside temperature got high.
The trap door opening in the stable storage room remained well hidden. She checked it every evening, so it remained unobstructed. At the bottom of the ladder, she pulled her sword from its storage area. She carried it as she climbed the ladder to the storage room.
After covering the floor with the rug to hide the entry, she made her way to Champion's stall. "Hello, my darling. Are you ready for a ride?" The stable hand saddled the horse. She put the mufflers on Champion's hooves so he wouldn't make any noise walking across the stones. Adele waited for the guards to walk to the other side of the parapet so she could escape the castle grounds unseen. She didn't wait long. When she felt it safe, she carefully walked Champion out the gate to the open field. Once on his back, she gave the horse his head and let him run across the field to the timber edge.

Where can I buy this fabulous book?

About the author
Shirley McLain makes her home in Sapulpa Oklahoma with her husband and their fur family of four dogs and three cats. She also has two grown children, six grandchildren and twin great-grand sons.  She has/is living a very full life.  She retired after working thirty-two years as a RN and then began a full time writing carrier. She and her husband enjoy their five-acre country home.  It is a perfect setting to let Shirley’s Muse work it’s magic. Shirley is an eclectic writer and has always enjoyed the writing process. Shortly after her retirement she woke up one morning with the thought that she was going to write a book. She didn’t stop writing until she’d finished her first book.  So far she has published four books which are now on Amazon.  Her goal is to bring as much enjoyment to her readers as deserve and want.
Useful links 

#BookReview - Song At Dawn by Jean Gill @writerjeangill #amreading

I had the very great pleasure of reviewing the Winner of the Global Ebook Award for Best Historical Fiction  Song at Dawn: 1150 in Provence (The Troubadours Quartet) by Jean Gill.

Let's take a look at the book... 

On the run from abuse, Estela wakes in a ditch with only her lute, her amazing voice, and a dagger hidden in her underskirt. Her talent finds a patron in Aliénor of Aquitaine and more than a music tutor in the Queen's finest troubadour and Commander of the Guard, Dragonetz los Pros.

Weary of war, Dragonetz uses Jewish money and Moorish expertise to build that most modern of inventions, a papermill, arousing the wrath of the Church. Their enemies gather, ready to light the political and religious powder-keg of medieval Narbonne.

Set in the period following the Second Crusade, Jean Gill's spellbinding romantic thrillers evoke medieval France with breathtaking accuracy. The characters leap off the page and include amazing women like Eleanor of Aquitaine and Ermengarda of Narbonne, who shaped history in battles and in bedchambers.


What did I think of the story?

Gill certainly knows how to weave a provocative tale of romance, plots, intrigue, treason and murder. 

Songs at Dawn is set, for the most part, in the French city of Narbonne during the 12th Century. The story whisks us away to the court of Queen Aliénor (Eleanor) of Aquitaine. But the crown does not rest easy on Aliénor head. She is unhappy in her marriage and, to make things worse, there is an assassin in the bosom of her court - the question is...who?

The story is primarily about a 16-year-old runaway, called Estela, who, due to being a very talented musician, ends up at the court of Aliénor. Estela continues her tuition under the dashing, and not forgetting very talented troubadour, as well as an exemplary loyal knight - Dragonetz.

Estela finds herself plunged to the forefront of court life, and not always for the better. Jealousy is rife and Estela is an innocent. She is soon the target for malicious gossip and spiteful pranks.  She also has the added misfortune of falling for her tutor. I thought Gill's portrayal of Estela was exemplary. She captured her innocence perfectly and she was a very believable 16-year-old.

Dragonetz, is the Queen's most loyal servant and he would do everything in his power to keep her safe. However, he is growing tired of court life and war. He wants to become a mill owner – he has very ambitious plans to make paper - he is, I guess you could say, something of a visionary. But the Queen must come first – he certainly has no time, or no right, to allow the feelings he has for his young protégée to become anything more than a fancy. The romance between Estela and Dragonetz is a slow build, but when they both finally admit to having feelings for each other, passion takes over and life will never be the same for either of them again.

Gill has obviously spent a great deal of time researching the era her story is set in and this comes across in the telling.  I enjoyed the story very much and it has reawakened my interest in Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Where can I get my FREE copy of this fabulous book?

About the author

Jean Gill is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with a big white dog, a scruffy black dog, a Nikon D700 and a man. For many years, she taught English in Wales and was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Carmarthenshire. She is mother or stepmother to five children so life was hectic.

Publications are varied, including prize-winning poetry and novels, military history, translated books on dog training, and a cookery book on goat cheese. With Scottish parents, an English birthplace and French residence, she can usually support the winning team on most sporting occasions.

Contact Jean at with comments or questions. You'll find a mix of her work, along with fun trivia about books, at Her photo portfolio is at and she blogs at

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Treasure of Gwenlais - character interview #YA #fantasy #romance @Mtmagee1013M

It is my very great pleasure to welcome back the Amazon Bestselling, Young Adult author, and a very dear friend, M.T.Magee, on to the blog today.  I had the pleasure of reviewing this book last year.  You can read the review here. We are going to have a bit of fun and interview one of her characters from her most beautiful historical fantasy, The Treasure of Gwenlais:The Reinfield Chronicles Book!

But first, let's take a look at the book....

Princess Laurel of Gwenlais, finds herself tragically and quickly thrust into a world of danger, so unlike the idyllic and sheltered life she has known. These dangers from an unknown enemy, also unexpectedly throw her into the arms of Caleb, the warrior Prince of Heathwin, the nearby kingdom in which Gwenlais has a tense alliance with. The more refined people of Gwenlais, find their neighbors and protectors of the West necessary, but consider them uncouth and sometimes barbaric. The long and bloody feud between Heathwin, and the mysterious, frightening, and misunderstood, race of beings, called the Rabkins, had finally reached an uneasy truce, by the hard fought and diligent efforts of Prince Caleb. This fragile agreement, was soon shattered by an attack from outside, that threaten both kingdoms of Gwenlais and Heathwin. Laurel and Caleb find themselves, not only fighting for the peace and existence of their kingdoms, but fighting for their new found love that is imperiled at every turn from a nameless enemy, and their own people as well. Laurel follows her calling, by beginning her training in the ancient healing arts of the Ollams. She soon finds that her skills may be needed to heal more than just the physical wounds of others, but also the wounds of the heart, long put upon by the people of both she and Caleb’s kingdoms by the mistrust and bigotries of either side. As they draw closer together, they discover just how far this unknown enemy, has gone to tear them apart from within. They must together, find a way to rise above old and long standing prejudices, and form a much stronger alliance in order to fight against the new enemy from outside of their borders, that threatens their very survival. 

This is the epic world of Rienfield. A domain filled with beauty, danger, amazing races and cultures. You will find the love and strong ties of family. As well as romance, humor, adventure and tragedy, while the people and beings of Rienfield, search for peace and truth in their way of life. 


Character Interview

1.    Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview. Firstly, could you introduce yourself? 

Caleb: Certainly darling. My name is Prince Caleb, oldest son of King Fergus and Queen Alana of Heathwin. Commander of the Sentinels and heir to the throne. I have recently turned thirty seasons. 

2.    If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

Caleb: I assume you mean in the world of Rienfield. Though I do enjoy visiting mo chailin milis home of Gwenlais several times each season, I will always call my kingdom of Heathwin home. The majestic mountains and mossy forest will always be closest to my heart.


3.    What would you consider to be your greatest strength?

     Caleb: That is a most thought provoking question. I would have to say my ability to take charge of most situations. I have worked very hard to become a leader for my people but also be approachable. I also strive to be an example to my younger brother Aiden and my many younger cousins.

4.    What is your biggest regret?

Caleb: I can very easily say, conceding to a Marriage Agreement with my first wife Morene. We did not love each other and only married because we were pressured by both of our fathers. Her hatred for the Rabkins, a race I have worked diligently to make peace with, caused her to commit a vicious act against one of their Kindreds. It caused much strife and bloodshed for our people. 

5.     Describe your perfect day. 

Caleb: Ah yes, a perfect day would entail spending it with mo stor Laurel. Riding through the countryside on horseback, perhaps taking her to the shops of Welstone. Or sitting in the back garden under the trellis reading her favorite poetry. She has told me quite often she loves my voice when I read to her.

 Now some silly questions!!

6.    Have you ever swum naked? 

Caleb: Why yes, darling many times. What an adorable cheeky lass you are to ask me this. We here in Heathwin are not ashamed or shy concerning our bodies as others might be. Swimming in the cool waters of Loch Tay growing up, we often swam naked. The men of our Clan still do in the early morning hours, each season we visit there. 

7.     What is your most embarrassing memory?

Caleb: Hmm. I have two actually, and they both involve my dear Laurel. The first is when she was 12 seasons and I was just entering my 22nd season and given the assignment of being responsible to bring back the harvest supplies from the kingdom of Gwenlais, where my beloved is from. I did not wish for her to accompany me and my group to go hunting. I had no desire to look after her, as she was always running about and never did as she was told. After telling her no, very calmly I might add, she proceeds to yell at me in front of the entire group telling me what an unjust brute I am and other insults. Of course everyone is laughing at this, which only makes me angrier, and I spanked her for it. It left me feeling terrible, because she has this uncanny ability to turn me into a pathetic sop. So I then bought her a new saddle and bridle for her new horse, I regained her favor at that point. Eight seasons later when bringing Laurel back to Heathwin, to formally meet the four Chieftains, before our wedding, she curses me out in front of them for laughing at her losing her temper at them for insulting and giving her beloved counselor a black eye. I was embarrassed to be sure, but also a bit amused. I find her quite adorable when she curses in the language of the Kedesh. Mo stor has quite the foul little mouth at times.

8.    Fine dining or a picnic? 

Caleb: As pleasant as fine dining can be I have to say I much prefer the casual charm of a picnic. There is something about eating out of doors in the fresh air that enhances one’s appetite. 

9.    What makes you angry?

Caleb: LOL! Probably more things that should.  I loathe slavers and raiders, and find smugglers to be equally deplorable. On a lighter note, I find mimes to be particularly irksome. I also do not like when one of my younger cousins sasses back or curses at me in front of others. I find the little urchins to be quite irritating when they do that on occasion.

10. If you could choose a magic power, what would it be? 

Caleb: There are those among my people that feel I already possess magic powers. After my ‘sharing’ with a young Rabkin as a boy, my abilities with vision and hearing were greatly enhanced. I am also the only human who has the ability to communicate with the Rabkins and also sense when they are about. So I would have to say these things are more than enough.
Thank you Prince Caleb for taking the time to answer my questions.

Caleb: The pleasure was all mine, darling. 

Book Extract 


Caleb politely but hurriedly took Laurel away from the talkative woman, and lead her to the edge of the Hall’s dance floor. Laurel looked at him smiling but puzzled at his behavior. She noticed Aiden and a pretty young woman he had been with most of the evening beginning to dance together, as well as other couples joining them. Laurel began to recognize the dance being of a sensuous and romantic nature, she blushed but watched in fascination, as the couples were moving slowly and gracefully together. Caleb watched her face as she looked at the couples dancing slowly, their bodies moving in perfect time, always touching, apart for only moments.

“Do you know this dance?” he asked her softly, his voice caressing her ear.

“I have seen it, but I have never been permitted to actually participate,” she answered, still watching in fascination.

“Would you like to?” Caleb asked her quietly, moving his hands to her waist again.
“I...I do not know how,” she whispered breathlessly, still watching completely captivated.

“I will show you. I know it very well,” Caleb whispered back seductively.

She looked up at him to find him smiling at her, his eyes glowing and penetrating, burning through her.

“Very well. I hope I do not embarrass you,” she said shyly, laughing nervously.

“I am not worried in the least,” Caleb said reassuringly.

Caleb took her hand and led her to the floor, as they stood in front of each other. Listening carefully to the melody, waiting for the next movement which happened in a moment’s time. Caleb pulled Laurel gently to him, their bodies flush against each other. Caleb moved his hand to her waist, placing her hand on his chest, he moved her forward having her follow him as if she were pushing him backward. She looked at him, her eyes wide and slightly startled, by the passionate nature of the movements the dance was evoking.  Caleb continued to look in her eyes, smiling warmly at her as she moved to keep up with him. She turned to look at the others around them, Caleb gently turned her face.

“Look at me love, only me. Imagine we are the only people here,” he said to her softly.  

He then gently turned her around several times until her back was to him.
He placed his arm around her waist placing her left arm about his neck as he gently lifted her off the floor and twirled her around as her gown swirled around them like a billow of smoke. He placed her down and turned her so she was facing him once again. He took her in his arms holding her closer than he ever had, having her place her arm over his shoulder holding her other hand in his placing it in the air, their arms supporting each other. He moved her across the dance floor in an effortless fluid motion. Twirling gracefully, Laurel felt there were times they were not touching the ground. The entire time her eyes never leaving his face as he had asked her. As the rhythm of the melody changed again he released her from his embrace and twirled her around several times again with his arm as he moved forward. He stopped abruptly as the tempo halted for a moment, only a single cymbal could be heard. He slowly bent her backward his hand resting on the small of her back, bringing his face down to her neck as she reached up and grasped the back of his neck for support. He then brought her back up to him quickly, making her catch breath, her eyes opened wide with surprise, as he continued to smile at her lovingly. Taking her in his arms again he repeated the dance by moving her gracefully across the floor. Once more the tempo changed as he placed her hand against his chest and his hand at her waist once more. Only this time she was ready for the next motion and moved with him unresistingly as he moved backward, drawing her with him.  Aiden watched them from across the floor and was intrigued by how quickly Laurel was able to follow and adjust to the constant changing of the music’s tempo. Caleb was patient and loving in his direction. 

They are really quite distracting, Aiden thought as he grinned watching them.
So much so, other couples also noticed them, slowly beginning to stop dancing to watch them move in perfect harmony with each other.

Caleb again twirled Laurel several times until she was facing away from him.  Laurel laid her head back against him. Closing her eyes as she placed her arm around his neck, her right arm over his as he placed it tightly around her waist. Caleb turned his face into her neck as he gently lifted her off the floor twirling her about again, the gown giving the illusion that they were enveloped in cloud of deep blue smoke. Caleb placed her gently down and turning Laurel once more to face him, took her in his arms holding her close to him resting his lips against her forehead. They held each other, eyes closed, moving slowly in perfect time with each other as the music’s tempo began to slowly wind down. Moving ever slowly until the music directed them to stop. They stood still for a moment listening to each other’s breathing. It was only until they heard the sound of applause did they open their eyes. Laurel and Caleb were both surprised to find it was for them. Laurel blushed her cheeks blazing. Caleb held her, smiling down at her. He softly kissed her forehead, before taking her hand and leading her off the floor, as she was smiling but overwhelmed by the attention they received.

Laurel could scarcely breathe as they walked together, her heart racing with the exhilaration she felt from the passionate dance.

Where can I buy this fabulous book?

A note from the author

The world I have created, comes from the inspiration of both my Scottish heritage and my husband’s Irish descent, with pride and respect for both cultures. The beauty of the Scottish Highlands, as well as the lush rolling meadows of Ireland, serve as a backdrop for the mythical realm of Rienfield. Many of the names of villages and towns that are used are actual names of towns and villages of Scotland and Ireland. They are used in direct correlation for what their rich past made them known for and is applied with loving respect for their history in the story. Many of the names of the characters are Irish, Scottish, or Gaelic, again showing my love and admiration for our heritages. The characters also speak Old Irish, from time to time, referring to it as ‘old speak.’ I hope you will find this as fascinating and beautiful as I did.

You will find the Kingdoms of Gwenlais and Heathwin filled with wonder, danger, adventure, romance, love of family as well as betrayal.
The people, races, and beings, will beckon you to return and visit, over and again, sharing in their joys, sorrows, tragedies and triumphs.
 So my friends, find your comfortable reading place, and immerse yourself in the lives of the warm, courageous, humorous, and sometimes frightening characters, which make up the world of Rienfield.

With warmest regards;

M.T. Magee