Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Blacksmith Photo by Nancy Lee Badger
Please enjoy these
first few pages from
my latest release,
My Reluctant Highlander...

...then scroll down to
Wick, North Sea
Scotland 1603
Skye Gunn could not breathe. She had barely sucked in one deep breath before water covered her head, and the strong current pulled her down into the icy depths of the ocean. Since she had escaped the battlements high above with her life, her current situation was ironic in a sick sort of way.
Fleeing one danger, only to tumble into another lethal situation, is not to be borne!
With her dress wrapped around her ankles, and rope binding her wrists, death was the obvious outcome.
Too bad I always do the least obvious.
The first surprise was that she had managed to escape from the dungeon. When her spell tore the hinges from the door of her cage, the joy that spread through her body lasted but a heartbeat. Angry shouts made her run through the castle prison and up the stone stairway.
When the guards gave chase, she ran faster. The sorcerer’s displeasure, evident in his raging curses, followed her as she climbed the steps to the highest level. Guards circled her. Cornered, she glared at the hooded form.
“Helen, ye must stay and join with me,” the sorcerer said, the wind and crashing waves nearly drowning out his voice.
“Who be Helen?”she had answered.
When the sorcerer raised his magical blackthorn staff, she did not wait for an answer. Her only foreseeable option was to jump from the tower.
The sorcerer and his minions gave me no choice.
After all, she was familiar with the castle the sorcerer had overthrown and claimed as his own. Castle Barrowmann belonged to HER!
Skye expected to die on the boulder-strewn beach below. She inhaled the salty tang of the ocean on the breeze, and prayed for a quick death. The crash of the waves prompted her decision. There was a chance they would sweep her broken body away, out of the sorcerer’s control.
I believe in second chances.
As she considered plummeting toward her death on the rocks at the base of the castle, and leapt to meet it, a huge foamy wave broke, cushioning her landing. She was euphoric for a moment, but happiness evaporated as the icy water swept over her, and dragged her out to sea.
Was she up? Or down? She opened her eyes, but the swirling water gave no sense of direction.
Her left foot hit something slimy and immovable. A rock wall? A wrecked fishing boat? The bottom of the ocean? Pushing away, she prayed she headed upward, but not back toward the castle. As her head broke the surface, relief washed over her along with salty spray. Sucking in much-needed air, she kicked her feet and rode the swells further from shore. She hoped she could make safe haven out of reach of the sorcerer’s archers.
Ping! The feathers of an arrow’s fletching disappeared beneath the surface, so close that water splashed her cheek. She had to escape, but if she followed the currents, she would end up alone in the middle of the North Sea. A gray sky dotted with wisps of orange-tinted clouds heralded the approach of night. She would soon be alone. In the dark. Not a good fit for someone like her.
You’re a social butterfly,” Haven had joked with her at a recent festival. She recalled looking around at the faces that stared at her as they walked by. Dozens of the Highland’s best warriors, draped in colorful plaids, had come to the valleys surrounding Keldurach to turn the caber, throw the hammer, and down as many pints of ale as their stomachs could handle. Their scandalous smiles and slobbering wolf calls were disgusting.
Even so, Skye lived up to her title as the laird’s sister and mingled with their guests. She teased the more demanding ones, but she knew her future…her brother planned to marry her off.
Want to read more? Check out the ebook available here:
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