Monthly Archives: July 2013

Tuesday Tales – Bargain

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Hi everyone and welcome to Tuesday Tales!  Today’s word prompt is “bargain”.  We are back with Miranda and Thatcher in The Thirteenth Knight.  Last week Miranda, dressed as Ewen the courtier, was caught by Sir William as she ventured through the forest.  Will she get free?  

Please make sure to check out the other blogs of my incredibly talented Tuesday Tales friends!!


Miranda swallowed hard.  Her voice trembled as she spoke.  “Sir William, it is I.  Ewen, the courtier, from the palace.”

William frowned at her as his grip loosened.  “Aye.  The lad who set us free.  What are you doing in these woods, Ewen?  It is dangerous.  And how did you find us in the first place?”

Miranda still couldn’t hide the tremor in her voice.  “I was searching the palace.  I found Brunon’s maps.  They led me to you.”

 She heard William curse beneath his breath.  The tall, strong knight let her go and cocked his head further into the woods.  “Come, Ewen.  You need to tell Thatcher what you found.”

 “Yes, my lord.”

 Miranda followed William deeper into the thick, dark forest.  At the moment that the branches above completely cut out the light of day she could see the glimmer of a bonfire ahead.  William held back a bramble of wild thorns for her to pass through.

 Thatcher looked up from the document he was studying with Thaddeus as the two of them stepped into the campsite.  Miranda’s heart thundered in her chest at the sight of him.  Her knees buckled.  His sapphire blue eyes made every nerve in her body purr.  She bit her lower lip wishing for just one kiss.  William’s voice disrupted her thoughts.

 “Thatcher, Ewen has brought news from the palace,” he announced.

 “Miranda?” he demanded.  She could hear the desperation in his voice.  He misses me.  It took every ounce of self control not to throw her arms around him.

 “No, my lord,” Miranda fought out.  “I have maps.  They led me here.”

 Thatcher crossed around the fire to her.  He held out his hand silently for the maps.  She pulled them free from her jacket and laid them in his hands.  He unrolled them and studied them, muttering a string of curses beneath his breath just as William did.

 “We are not safe, Thatcher.  Brunon can find us,” William warned.

 Thatcher stood over Miranda, dwarfing her small frame with his large, muscular one.  “Where did you find these, Ewen?

“It the knight’s wing of the palace.  Brunon has turned your bedchamber into a war room, Sir Thatcher.”

 “Was there anything else there?  Anything of importance?”

 “There were several purple crystals pulsating with light.  I don’t know what they are for.”

 She noticed his stature soften.  “And Lady Miranda?  Is she safe?”

 Miranda smiled.  “Yes, my lord.  She has hidden herself away from Brunon and only sees him when he demands her presence at meal time.”

 A look of relief flooded Thatcher’s face.  “Ewen, you need to make me this bargain.  Destroy any of these maps you find in my bedchamber.  Brunon cannot know where we are.  Study them beforehand so you know where to find us.  Report to us several times a week.  Find out what those crystals do.  And tell Miranda that I love her and please, please protect her.  Make me this bargain and I promise you we will end Brunon.”

Miranda’s heart was light at his confession of love.  She could barely speak.  “Aye.  I promise.  And I feel safe to tell you that she loves you too.  She misses you greatly.”

Thatcher’s smile shone brighter than the bonfire.  “Good.  Now go before night falls.  It is your only chance to get out of these woods safely.  Go.”

 Miranda stood rooted in her place for a moment staring at him, etching him into her memory.  Then she turned and stepped between the large trunks of the trees into the darkness of the forest.

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Welcome to the Secret Cravings Publishing Historical Romance Blog Hop!


Hello everyone and welcome to the Secret Cravings Publishing Historical Romance Blog Hop!!


I love, love, love to write medieval romance and my current release is my first one published, Queen of Savon.  It is the story of Cassandra, a sorceress, who is orphaned at a young age.  She is found by her grandfather, the sorcerer Malicar, who also serves as the king’s advisor.  She is brought up in the palace alongside two boys – the king’s son, Matthew and Victor, the young man chosen to be Matthew’s commander of the army.  However growing up in the palace comes at a price for Cassandra – she is forced to take a vow to serve Matthew as his advisor for the rest of her life without the chance of a husband and children of her own.  As the three of them grow up, Cassandra finds herself caught between the two men and her longing for her dream of a family.  She is forced to make a choice – to run away with a man she doesn’t love to have the life she dreams of or stay shackled to the man she loves with all her heart and soul but cannot have?

And for your viewing pleasure, click here for the Queen of Savon trailer! 

And for the Blog Hop I am giving away a copy of Queen of Savon and a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks (one of my weaknesses!) to one lucky commenter who tells me what their favorite part of the Medieval age is!  Is it the palaces?  Is it the swordplay?  Or is it the valiant, sexy knights??

I am excited to share a sample of Queen of Savon with you.  This part is actually my favorite!

Cassandra firmly capped the bottle of herbs with a cork and slipped the container in her bag. She marked her books, stacking one on top of the other. Glancing out the window, she watched as Matthew gently kissed Stephana before helping her into the carriage.

Sighing, she pulled herself away from the window to gather more herbs. She picked up her books and the bag of bottles. Then, she hobbled to the door and struggled to open it with her one free hand.

Cassandra jumped back, startled, as she discovered Matthew standing in the doorway. He clung to the doorframe as he stared at her.

“How may I serve, my lord?” she greeted as she awkwardly bowed to him.

“Where are you going?” he asked, barely audible.

“Home. I have much to do before I return in the morning and you leave for battle.”

Matthew paused. “I did not propose to Stephana.”

Cassandra set her items on a table nearby. “That was unwise, my lord.”

Matthew stared at her as he dug his fingernails into the wood of the frame. “Cassa, do not leave me like this.”

Cassandra swallowed as she heard the urgency in his voice. “Like what, my lord?”

“Like this—the formal address, the subservient nature. This.” Matthew stood up straight, taking a step to grip her arms in his hands.

“Tell me her name,” Matthew demanded.

“There is no one.”

“Tell me her name,” Matthew begged. “Tell me, and I will give her my heart and make her my bride. I swear this.”

Cassandra stared at him, tears filling her eyes. “What if she belongs to another man?” She looked away as the words she spoke seemed to crush him. He closed his eyes, fighting to defeat the truth, the truth he already must know. Capitalizing on his weakness, Cassandra pulled away. “I told you there is no one.”

He grasped her hand, pressing it to his heart. “No, my lady, I will win her. I will fight, and I will not stop until she is cradled in my arms. This I promise you. Do you hear me? This I promise you.”

Her tears burst their floodgates as she slipped her fingers from his. “I must go,” she stumbled out. “I have much to do. I must go.”

Cassandra scooped up her books then swept by Matthew and ran down the stairs. She cringed as she heard him call her name, his voice betraying his pain.

Cassandra could not sleep. She lay in her bed, staring at the ceiling of her room as the night passed by. As dawn brushed the sky, she pulled herself from her covers, dressed, and trudged her return to the palace.

In no time, she stood in the courtyard, the soldiers around her completely oblivious to her presence. She glanced up as Victor rode next to her. “Lock yourself in the tower. I will see you when I get back,” he instructed as he kissed her on the cheek.

“Stay safe,” she murmured.

Cassandra looked to the ground as Victor’s horse trotted away. Then, she raised her head as she heard hoof steps approach. Matthew wandered across the courtyard, leading his stallion behind him. His eyes, yearning and desperate, locked on her.

She shuddered as he approached, his stride determined as he wove his way around the soldiers scattered around the courtyard. He stopped, dropping the reins of his horse, when he reached her.

Without warning or care for decency, Matthew cupped Cassandra’s face in his hands drawing her lips to his and parting them in a soul-wrenching kiss. She clung to his arms as he tasted her, clearly searching for confession, answers—her love for him. As he pulled away, he whispered, “Lock yourself in. I could not live another day if anything happened to you.”

Matthew’s fingers caressed Cassandra’s skin once more before they slipped away to grasp his horse’s reins. He glanced at her over his shoulder before he disappeared behind the wall. Cassandra hugged herself tightly, her limbs shaking in uncertainty.

Collecting herself as much as possible, she wound her way to her tower blindly. Her thoughts were incoherent. Matthew? Victor? She rubbed her fingertips against her swollen lips. Both had made their feelings for her abundantly clear. And both were riding out to battle. Above all, the vows she had taken as a child dictated she could have neither of them.

Tears filled her eyes as she collapsed onto her cushion. The only thing she knew with clarity was that she needed to get her thoughts together. It wouldn’t be long before she would be joining them on the battlefield.

Don’t forget to check out the other Secret Cravings Authors blogs for more steamy, sexy Historical Romance!  Click the image below to return to the Secret Cravings blog to continue the Blog Hop!


Sweet Saturday Samples – Black Irish

 Happy Saturday, Everyone!!

My current sweet romance is Black Irish.  It is about Abbey, a children’s author from Iowa who gets her first big break.  However everything unravels for her when she travels to New York City to sign her contract and meets her illustrator, the sinfully sexy Irishman Sloan O’Riley.  Abbey, instantly attracted to Sloan, nearly bolts from her dream and runs home to her boyfriend.  Sloan, unwilling to let her go before he explores his sudden feelings for her, tells her a little white lie – he’s gay.  They work together and Abbey suddenly learns there is much more to her dark, sensual illustrator – something far more dangerous.

The excerpt I chose is right after Sloan learns he’s being deported since his visa has expired.  Abbey comes up with a creative solution for her “gay” illustrator – marry her.

The next morning, within twenty-four hours of Abbey’s “proposal,” Sloan paced the floor of the courthouse, the heels of his Italian leather boots clicking against the cocoa and bronze patterned marble. He stopped to glance at his watch.

Robert laughed at his best friend. “Why exactly didn’t you come here together?”

Sloan glared at him. “Abbey had to get dressed, style her hair, and apply her makeup. Plus, it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding.”

“Does that include fake ones?”

Sloan’s stare turned icy. “It isn’t fake.”

“When are you consummating your marriage, then?”

A sly grin crept across Sloan’s face. “Don’t you worry when I will consummate my marriage. It will happen soon enough.”

Sloan spun around, distracted by the sound of heels against the marble. He looked up to find Abbey discreetly sprinting across the courthouse floor with Gordon close behind. His breath caught in his throat at the sight of her. Her dress was white, the halter-top strap caressing the back of her neck. The empire waist peaked just below her breasts. A full, flowing skirt fell to just above her bare knees.

Her hair was pinned to the top of her head with ringlets of curls cascading alongside her face and down her back. A pair of white satin pumps skidded to a halt as she stood before him, breathless from her run.

“You’re beautiful,” he murmured in wonder.

“Thank you,” she gushed.

“Sloan,” Robert interrupted. “Judge Goldstein only has a fifteen minute window to fit you in today. You need to go now.”

Sloan sighed then took Abbey’s hand in his. “Of course. Let’s go.”


Sloan led Abbey through the corridors of the courthouse, followed by Robert and Gordon. Pushing open a dark-stained door with a frosted glass window, he motioned her in.

Inside sat a man huddled over a stack of papers on a desk of the same dark-stained wood as the door. His salt and pepper hair was combed over his balding head. The freshly pressed robe he wore draped down from his shoulders. He looked up at them through the spectacles on his nose then smiled and stood to greet them.

The justice shook Sloan’s hand emphatically as he quipped about some recent city legislation they had both been part of—legislation that Sloan’s influence had swung in Judge Goldstein’s favor. Abbey stared at Sloan, puzzled. She knew he had money. She knew he had an immense artistic talent. But he has political power too? What deep, dark secrets does he have?

Judge Goldstein turned back to his desk to retrieve a book then turned and faced them again. Abbey’s heart caught in her throat. This was it—her wedding day. True, it wasn’t a real wedding with the big, white dress, the five-tiered cake, and hundreds of guests. In fact, her soon-to-be husband was gay. But at the end of this, she would be Mrs. Sloan O’Riley. She glanced around the cold chambers then back to Sloan.

Instead of her heart clenching in regret, it fluttered rapidly in excitement. She wrapped her arm around his, hugging it to her. He looked down to her, his ice blue eyes shining brightly as he beamed at her. Then, he softly nudged her, turning her attention to the justice.

“Ms. Wright?” Judge Goldstein questioned.


”Do you take Mr. O’Riley as your husband?”

Abbey’s eyes shot from him to Sloan as she felt her face flush hot. She didn’t want to know what shade of red her cheeks now were. “I do.” she squeaked.

“And Sloan, do you take Ms. Wright as your wedded wife?”

Sloan’s gaze was soft and gentle. “Oh, yes. I absolutely do.”

“Do you have rings to exchange?”

Sloan reached into his slacks pocket. After a few moments of digging within the cloth, his hand returned with the simple gold bands. He gave the larger of the two to Abbey and kept the smaller for himself.

Abbey was oblivious to the justice’s words as she pushed the ring onto Sloan’s finger. She let go a tiny squeal of excitement as she watched him slide her band into place against one Michael had already given her. Sloan clasped her hand in his as he chuckled at her reaction.

“By the power invested in me by the State of New York, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride,” Judge Goldstein announced.

Her eyes locked onto Sloan’s mouth as he gathered her into his arms. She felt an ache deep in every nerve to know what his kiss would feel like. A wave of disappointment hit her. It will only be a quick peck. He is gay after all.

As Sloan’s lips engulfed hers, Abbey quickly discovered how wrong she was. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she sank into his kiss. She let out a sigh as he pried her mouth apart and dove deeper. His warm breath, the softness of his lips, the sensation of his large, powerful hands holding her close—it all made her dizzy and giddy at the same time. She clung to him as they finally parted.

Steadying her, Sloan smiled, a sweet, seductive glimmer sparkling in his eyes. “Shall we go to lunch to celebrate, Mrs. O’Riley?”

Abbey giggled. “Of course.”

They paraded arm in arm through the courthouse all the way to the curb, where Gordon had the Hummer waiting. Sloan opened the car door, waving both Gordon and Robert away, then offered his hand to Abbey. Once she was settled in her seat, Sloan climbed in beside her. He took the hand smoothing the white satin of her skirt and held it tight in his as they pulled into the busy downtown traffic.

“Thank you, Abigail, for doing this. I truly appreciate it.” Sloan moved this thumb in a soft caress.

“I’m glad to help. What’s next?”

“I’ll apply for my green card tomorrow. I have several business matters to attend to today.” He paused then pulled his hand free. “I almost forgot.”

Sloan pulled his suit coat open and reached into the inside pocket. He pulled free a white, finely woven envelope tied closed with a burgundy cord. “My wedding gift to you.”

“But I didn’t get you anything.”

“It doesn’t matter. Open it.”

Abbey unlaced the string from the envelope and opened it. She reached inside, pulling out a single ticket. Her eyes opened wide as she read the print on the paper. “Phantom of the Opera! For tonight!”

Sloan grinned proudly. “Front row. Orchestra.”

“How did you get this?”

Sloan’s smile grew deeper. “I have my ways.”

She threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tight. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

As Abbey pulled free from his embrace, she fought to control the disappointment on her face.

Sloan searched her face, his eyes filled with concern. “What is it, Abigail?”

“I’m sorry. I really love this,” she defended. “Thank you. But something this incredible…I was hoping to share it with someone.”

Sloan’s deep, sexy smirk returned. Abbey stared at his lips, the sensation of his kiss flooding her mind again. Shaking herself from her daze, she noticed Sloan pull his jacket open again to produce a second ticket.

“As I said, I have business to attend to today. I’ll meet you there in time for the show. Then we will get supper afterwards. That is, if that’s all right with you?”

Abbey let go a lovesick sigh as her euphoric smile returned. “That will be perfect.”

You can find Black Irish at Sweet Cravings PublishingAmazonBarnes and NobleAll Romance E-books and Bookstrand.

You can find me on FacebookGoodreadsTwitter, and my website!

And click here to get back to the Sweet Saturday Samples!!


Two more great reviews on Amazon for Black Irish!!



Just received two more great reviews on Amazon for Black Irish!  Click here and here to take a look!  

I’m on Whitney Ke’s Blog today!


I am on Whitney K-e‘s blog today talking about the Black Irish series – including Heartland (Black Irish #2)!! 

Click here to take a look!!

I Got Two More Five Star Reviews!!

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I received two more Five Star Reviews for Black  Irish!!

Click Here to read the one on Amazon.

And Click here to read the one on Goodreads!!


Tuesday Tales – Rural Road Picture Prompt

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It’s time for another Tuesday Tales!  This week we are working with a picture prompt.  I’ve chosen the one below.  This week we are again with Thatcher and Miranda in The Thirteenth Knight.  Don’t forget to stop by and check out the excerpts from my very talented friends at Tuesday Tales!!

dirt road

Miranda ran along the dirt road, the map firmly clenched in her fist.  The old, weathered wood fence bordering the road led the way to the forest.  She stopped breathless for a moment as she gazed into the clear blue sky.  It reminded her of Thatcher’s eyes.  The afternoon sun was descending into the horizon far quicker than she hoped.  She sighed disappointed.  She would have to make her visit to the camp brief so she could back to the palace before nightfall.  She might be dressed as a man but she would be no match if she were attacked by bandits.

She unrolled the map and studied it.  She glanced up at the road to get her bearings then her eyes descended back to the map.  She hoped against hope that the map was wrong, that the king and his knights were not camped where the parchment indicated.  She rolled it back up and continued her jog down the road.

Miranda slipped between two broken rails in the wood fence into the thick, dark wood where the map indicated.  Her heart thundered in terror.  These were the types of woods that the men of her village had frightened her with when they told their tales.  She startled at the hoot of an owl, at the rustle of an animal in the brush.  Miranda swallowed back the lump forming in her throat, steeled her courage and trudged on through the forest.

She screamed as a vice wrapped tightly around her bicep.  Whatever it was that took her captive spun her around.  Her breath locked in her throat as she touched noses with Sir William, one of Thaddeus’s knights.  His eyes bored into hers with a murderous heat.

“What business do you have in these woods?” he demanded.

Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs of the other Tuesday Tales’s writers!

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I got a Five Star Review from SSLY Blog!


I received a Five Star Review and a Recommended Read for Black Irish from the SSLY blog today!  Stop by and take a look!


The Cover for Heartland is HERE!! Plus – the Next Excerpt from Heartland

It’s here!!  It’s here!!  I am so in love with this cover!  I can’t wait until release day!


And to celebrate the Cover Reveal, here is the next excerpt from Heartland (Black Irish #2)…


Bartholomew grasped the manila file in his large hands as he took a deep breath and held it.  He really didn’t want to do this.  He slowly let his breath go as he pulled open the curtain shrouding this bay of the emergency room.

“Hey there, little fella,” Bartholomew half-heartedly greeted the freckled red head ten-year-old perched on the gurney.  The boy tucked his arm against his stomach like a broken wing.  “My name is Bartholomew.  I’m here to check your heart rate and your temperature.  What’s your name?”

“Austin,” the boy grumbled.

“Austin…” He led as he checked the forms in the folder.  He glanced up to the child’s mother.  Dressed in a tight fitting, navy business suit, the woman typed frantically on her phone ignoring him and her son.  He looked back to the boy.

“Franklin,” the boy huffed.

“And that’s what my papers say too so I’m in the right place.”  Bartholomew set the file on the nearby counter.  He picked up the blood pressure cuff.  “First, let’s start with your blood pressure.”

Bartholomew strode to the gurney, carefully wrapping the cuff around Austin’s good arm while doing his best to avoid the wounded limb.  He strapped the Velcro closed then pressed the cool metal of the stethoscope into the crook of Austin’s elbow.  He gently pumped air into the cuff as he listened intently for Austin’s pulse.

“Are you a doctor?” Austin demanded.

Bartholomew stared at the little boy startled.  He smiled.  “No.  I’m just here to get some information before the doctor sees you.”

“You’re a nurse?” Austin quizzed, suddenly confused.

Bartholomew swallowed hard.  Lord, this was difficult.  “Yes.”

“You can’t be.”

“Why do you say that?”

“You’re a boy.  You’re not a girl.”

“Boys can be nurses,” Bartholomew defended.

“No, they can’t,” Austin insisted.

Bartholomew shot a look at Austin’s mother, his blue eyes pleading for help.  It was no use.  The self-absorbed woman was more concerned with her smart phone than her child.  He tore free the cuff and dropped it back on the counter then scooped up the file.

“A doctor will be with you shortly,” he mumbled as he stepped past the curtain and far away from the precocious red-head.

He slid the boy’s chart into its slot then shuffled to the nurses’ station.  He leaned against the wall as he let go an exasperated sigh.  He looked down, studying the aqua blue smocks that covered his tall, sculpted body.  This whole job sucked.

Bartholomew’s head shot up at the sound of soft, sweet giggles.  His eyes met with a pair of ice blue ones framed by a cascade of ebony curls.

“Rough day so far?”  Maggie surmised.  She glided past Bartholomew, her small frame dressed in the same type of aqua blue scrubs.  She lifted herself onto one of the counter high clinic chairs as she eyed Bartholomew amused.

“You could say that,” he confessed.  “I don’t do well with kids.  I work well with adults.  The last time I dealt with a kid it didn’t work out well for me.”

“You could work at the gallery.”

Bartholomew shook his head.  “No.  Sloan has been more than generous to me.  I need to make my way on my own for a while.”

Maggie gently rubbed Bartholomew’s shoulder.  Her touch sent shivers through his body.  “I understand.”  She paused for a moment.  “Now that is a man I cannot see doing well with a child.”

“Who?” Bartholomew asked puzzled.

“My brother.  He is cold, clever, calculating.  I don’t know if he has ever been near a child.  Or if he knows how to care for one.  Or if he even has a warm spot in his heart for one.”

“He has a warm spot for Abbey.”

“Yes, but she also has things he wants.  One of which brought the conception of my future niece or nephew.”

True.  However, Sloan has been preparing for this baby more than Abbey.  And that woman is precious to him.  Any baby she would give him would be too.”

Bartholomew noticed the sudden silence between them.  He looked up at Maggie, staring deep into her eyes.  They sparkled in amazement at his words.  Her cheeks flushed pink.  Bartholomew smiled.  If Maggie thought what I said was romantic, do I have a shot with her?

Maggie broke the silence between them.  “Bartholomew, what you said at dinner about being in the Army.  The dishonorable discharge.  What happened?”

Bartholomew gazed at Maggie for a few moments more studying her, gauging his trust in her.  He picked up a stack of medical charts and sorted them.

“Nothing.  I don’t want to talk about it,” he muttered.

“You can trust me,” she pried.

“Maggie, I really don’t want to talk about it.”

They both turned as a voice boomed through the nurses’ station.  “Who treated Austin Franklin?”

Bartholomew’s eyes narrowed to slits as he inspected the man at the end of the hall.  He was roughly the same height and build as Bartholomew and relatively the same age.  The man had short cropped brown hair and deep brown eyes.  The shirt, tie and slacks under his white medical coat indicated one thing – doctor.  Bartholomew glanced at the women scattered around the station – some visibly swooning, some purring for attention, some whimpering over love lost.  Bartholomew raised his hand.

“I did,” he admitted.

The man strode across the room and slapped the chart against his chest.  “I want all his vitals, cowboy.  Go get them.”  He then turned to Maggie, smiling slyly at the ebony haired beauty.  He took her hand in his.  “And you are?”

“Maggie O’Riley,” Maggie croaked.  She flushed embarrassed at her voice.  Bartholomew saw the sudden dreamy look in her eyes.

“Pleased to meet you, Maggie.  I am Doctor Jackson Davis.  Can I take you to get a cup of coffee one of these days?  Your accent is intoxicating.”

Maggie giggled uncontrollably.  Bartholomew fought desperately to suppress the growl lodged in his throat.  Jackson straightened his stance and pointed towards the ER.  “Hey, cowboy.  Now,” he ordered.

Bartholomew snarled as he gripped the chart in his fist and stormed down the hall.

Tuesday Tales – Court

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Welcome again to another Tuesday Tales!  This week’s word prompt is “court”.  We are visiting Miranda and Thatcher again in The Thirteenth Knight.  Be sure to stop by the blogs of my talented friends of Tuesday Tales and see their take of the work “court”!


Miranda slipped through the corridors of the palace, desperately searching in each door and chamber she came to.  She whimpered as each quest came up empty.  She stomped her foot stubbornly.  She refused to give up hope.

She pressed herself against the wall as she approached the throne room.  The bodies of the dead guards had been removed and the blood spilt cleaned.  Now Brunon held mock court with his men and the lords that foolishly aligned themselves to him.  She scowled.  When Thaddeus took the throne again she would make sure those traitors were rightly punished.

She snuck past the throne room and continued down a corridor she had never ventured.  She stopped for a moment.  This corridor led to the bedchambers of Thaddeus’s thirteen knights.  While her uncle had been on the throne it would have been indecent for her to venture here.  Now that Brunon was in power, if it would save the kingdom she did not care what anyone thought.

She glanced from one room to the other finding still nothing.  Her eyes spied the final room at the end of the hall.  Even by the outside it was far smaller than the others.  She tiptoed to the doorway and stepped inside.

Her breath escaped her as she surveyed the room.  She wasn’t sure what amazed her more.  Amongst the meager furnishings she saw tokens of home, tokens that were dear to her.  To Thatcher.  She instinctively grasped a nearby linen shirt and buried her face in it to breathe in the smell of him.  Oh yes.  This was Thatcher’s room.

However, the tokens of home weren’t the only items in the room.  There were also maps of the surrounding area hammered into the wall with nails.  Each map was marked carefully with the location of Thaddeus and his knights’ encampments.  In the corner of the room next to the head of Thatcher’s bed was a large lavender crystal pulsing and glowing in an unnatural light.  Scattered throught the rest of the abode were smaller versions of the crystal also glowing and pulsing as the mother rock.  Miranda had no idea what dark magic the crystals produced.  If it took her last breath she would find out.

Miranda carefully inspected the maps on the wall for the most recently noted parchment and smiled.  She pried it from the wall, rolled it up and stuffed it inside the courtier’s embroidered coat she wore.  She then tucked Thatcher’s shirt alongside it.  She steeled her courage as she thought of the least guarded way out of the palace.  She spied outside the door for anyone approaching.  She silently ran down the corridor for the nearest door to the courtyard to make her escape.

Don’t forget to stop by and check out the other Tuesday Tales blogs!!

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