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Elf Princess Warrior Release Day!

Elf Princess Warrior high res

Happy birthday, Elf Princess Warrior! Congratulations on your arrival into the world of fantasy romance. I feel sure you will take an important place in my stable of romance books. Your creation was not without hurdles.

Heroine Gwaethe, you made yourself known in The Elf King’s Lady. My muse revealed to me an elven princess, sitting high on a  mountain, several years ago. Since then, she has led me to your story- that of a brave elven woman who stands up for her people and the cause of peace.

But Gwaethe needed someone to support her in her quest and that help came in the form of two men- her half-brother Kain Jazara and human army commander Jacques Vorasava. Kain is a true alpha hero and had his story told in The Elf King’s Lady. The course of his life changed in that book and he was faced with a difficult choice in Elf Princess Warrior.

Jacques Vorasava experienced instant chemistry with Gwaethe when they first met and now, six months later, they are thrown together again. Can they find their way to a life together? Or will their differences be too great to overcome?

The writing of this story was not easy. Around one third of the way in, I got distracted with writing The Master and the Sorceress. Lady Katrine just would not let me go until I gave her her own story. Once I had her happily settled, I returned to finish Elf Princess Warrior. I hope you enjoy this take of mixed race love and conflict.

Happy release day, Elf Princess Warrior! If you would like to get my book at a massive discount, you can purchase it for the next 7 days only for $0.99  US.

Here are the links:

AMAZON ; AMAZON AU ; KOBO ; IBOOKS ; SMASHWORDS

I can’t wait to hear what you think of Gwaethe and Jacques and their road to love.

Here’s the blurb:

Caught up in a vicious civil war, elven princess Gwaethe Arenil is desperate to save her peace-loving faction and reunite her people. Help presents itself in the form of Captain Jacques Vorasava, the dashing human Brightcastle commander. But does Jacques’s aid come with more dangers than Gwaethe can accept, both for her people and her heart?

As the threat from the enemy elven faction forces them to work together, conflicts between their cultures push them apart. In a land of polarized opinion and intolerance, can Jacques and Gwaethe forge a new reality where their love can be accepted?

This story continues themes and characters from The Elf King’s Lady.

Speaking of Elf King’s Lady, I’ve secured a 50% discount for my readers for my two Pan Macmillan titles, Elf King and The Lord and the Mermaid. This will be active until mid- January. The heroine of Elf Princess Warrior, Gwaethe, is an important secondary character in Elf King’s Lady and I wanted readers to have the chance to read it on special. The Lord and the Mermaid is a fabulous retelling of The Little Mermaid and its heroine, Meri, pops up in The Lady and the Pirate.

I’ve also 50% discounted my self- published titles until mid-January. Just click on the above links and my Brightcastle Saga and Wildecoast Saga books will be easy to find.

Keep reading to check out the first scene of Elf Princess Warrior…

Gwaethe cursed as her cousin Isiloe helped her through the door and onto the kitchen chair. Pain, from the arrow head in her thigh, made her suck in a deep breath, and she sat battling waves of darkness that tried to drag her into oblivion. The deserted hunting lodge had been a gift from her elven Gods. Her insides curled with shame that she should need this refuge at all; a hunting lodge built by humans in their quest for game and glory.
     The mission had started so promisingly. She had led the party of a dozen elves south from Selinore, her home in the northern mountains, to discover traitor High Prince Faenwelar’s hideout. It was meant only to be a scouting mission but, at dawn this morning, they had been ambushed by elves from Faenwelar’s faction, the Sis Lenweri. Six of her party had been killed, leaving her, Isiloe and five others who barely escaped with their lives. Isiloe was the only one not injured.
     “Bite on this,” Isiloe said, handing her a hunting knife.
     Gwaethe bit down on the wooden handle as Isiloe dug the arrow head from her thigh. Pain shot straight to her stomach. She leaned to the side and hurled until her belly ached.
     “Hold still!” Isiloe hissed, shoving a moistened cloth at her. It felt cool on her forehead, and she panted away the agony washing over her in waves.
     “There, it is out. I will flush the wound and bind it. You will live.” Isiloe placed her hand on Gwaethe’s shoulder and squeezed. Despite the abrupt tone, her cousin loved her and was her staunchest supporter. Gwaethe didn’t like to think what she would have done without her this last year.
     Leaving Gwaethe with a mixture of hovard leaf for the pain, Isiloe went in search of the rest of the band who had spread out through the other rooms of the lodge. Gwaethe breathed deeply, sipping the medicine and distracting herself with her surroundings. There was a large fireplace with wood stacked ready for a blaze and four hooks for hanging pans. The walls were carved oak and quite beautiful, the table and chairs made from the same timber. Cooking utensils hung from the wall beside the fireplace, the glow of their copper drawing her eye. If this was the style of the kitchen, the rest of the lodge must be magnificent.
     Gwaethe tried to stand, but the tiniest movement sent pain spiraling down her leg and sweat broke out on her brow. Much good she would be to the others now! How could she have been so stupid as to walk straight into the Sis Lenweri trap? She chewed on a strand of her long, dark hair as her thoughts flew to the skirmish they had just survived.
     Isiloe returned, standing in the doorway of the kitchen, her face grey with exhaustion. “They will all live. Your wound is the most serious. We will return home and heal, and next time Faenwelar will not catch us unawares.”
     “I must mobilize the others,” Gwaethe said. “You take Lomari and rouse our people. Tell them to meet me here in a week. I need a party of at least fifty, perhaps more.”
     Isiloe snorted. “I am not leaving your side. If I had not been with you today, you would now lie dead.”
     Anger swept through Gwaethe. “I think you overstate the situation, cousin, and underestimate my talent for survival.”
     Isiloe raised her pale brows. She was small compared to most of the elven race but could never be called delicate. Her fair hair and blue eyes set her apart from other elves, where dark hair and eyes dominated. “I won’t leave without you. That wound needs weeks to heal, not a patch and back on the road. And you cannot make good plans without consultation. We must return home.”
     “I am battle leader, so I will decide strategy, with or without consultation. I can do that as well here as anywhere.” Gwaethe frowned as she thought about the one person she would give anything to speak to; her half-brother Kain. He had been the human army general until six months ago, but now he was a free agent. Well, not free exactly. He would inherit her elven kingdom if he ever acknowledged his heritage. Instead, he was making his nest with his wife, Alique, wasting his time while Gwaethe fought to bring about the fall of Faenwelar and unite the elven people. Perhaps she should try again to contact him through the ring and bracelet. Tonight.
     “You are thinking of him again,” Isiloe said. “You get that look every time. When are you going to admit Kain cares nothing for us?”
     “He cares,” Gwaethe replied, “but it is hard for him. He must come to terms with the fact he and I share a father who was an elven king. I lived that reality, but to Kain it is just a story. One day he will feel it, and then he will step into his role.”
Isiloe snorted. “We don’t need him. We don’t need any human; any man. You and I are more than capable of leading the Lenweri.”
     “Tell that to those who follow Faenwelar, to the traditionalists amongst our own society. Even Mother would vote against me.”
     Isiloe frowned. “One day, perhaps, it will not be the case. If that day is to come, you and I must make it so, cousin.”
     Gwaethe smiled. “There is nothing I would like better, Isiloe, but it will not happen overnight. Kain is the first step. We need him. I need him.” The last was whispered as Gwaethe’s determination was replaced by doubt. The sounds of horses outside caught her attention.
     Isiloe was already at the window, peeking through a crack in the shutters.          “Kingdom soldiers,” she said. “Thirty of them; armed.” She turned to Gwaethe. “Do we fight?”
     Gwaethe drew a deep breath, her thoughts chaotic, unwilling to believe they should face more danger so soon. She shook her head. “We must talk first. Find out who they are. Tell the others to hide. At least some may escape to raise the alarm if we are taken.”
     Isiloe slipped through the door. Gwaethe gripped the edge of the table and tried to rise. Her head spun and pain shot from the wound. She froze and took a shuddering breath. She could not even defend herself in this condition! What if the wound was even more serious than Isiloe had said? She had no more time to ponder as the door slammed open. A dark figure appeared. A man in the spotless uniform of a Kingdom captain.
     Her heart beat faster, and it wasn’t fear this time. She knew him! As her gaze swept over the smooth lines of his face – the muscular ridges of his form barely hidden by his uniform – her body heated as it had done only once in the past. Once, six months ago, this man had been on her side, had fought beside her against Faenwelar. But would it be the case this time?
     “Gwaethe Arenil,” he said, sweeping a graceful bow, “well met.”
     She took another shuddering breath before she could speak. “Captain Vorasava. I would rise but I fear I am unable to.”
     Concern chased the arrogant light from his eyes as he took in the blood-soaked bandage around her left thigh. He snapped his fingers, and a stocky young soldier, with brown hair and eyes, appeared. “Corporal Exmund, fetch the medical bag and see to Princess Gwaethe’s injury.”
     Exmund left but returned moments later with a bulging leather satchel. He fixed his eyes on Gwaethe but made no move toward her. The young man cleared his throat and straightened his tunic with his spare hand. “Captain?” he said, licking his lips, “are you sure?”
     Vorasava tore his eyes from Gwaethe and turned to Exmund. “What do you mean, lad? I asked you to tend this lady’s wound. Is there something unclear in my request?”
     Exmund snapped up straight, eyes directly ahead. “No sir,” he said. “Right away, sir.”
     The young medic knelt beside Gwaethe. “If I may?”
     Gwaethe nodded, and Exmund began to gently unwrap the wound.
     “I need to cut away these leggings.” Exmund produced a knife, ready to strip the clothing from her leg, but Gwaethe grasped his wrist.
     “No. Tend the wound as it is.” She helped widen the hole made by the arrow head, exposing the jagged puncture without revealing any more of the brown skin of her thigh than was necessary. Exmund packed the hole with a poultice and gently bound it. All the while, she burned under Vorasava’s gaze. What was he thinking? That she was a stinking elf? That he would like to be on his way?
     Perhaps not. Vorasava was one of the few humans who had treated her as an equal, but was it just inherent politeness disguising his true feelings? Humans thought they were above elves when, really, they were interlopers in these lands. Her people had been here since time began; since the trees were young. But Gwaethe believed in peace, and she would live that way, as would her Lenweri. There was plenty of land for all.
     “What are you doing here, Princess?” Vorasava asked.
     Gwaethe raised her head. “I could ask you the same.”
     “Ah, but I am not trespassing in your hunting lodge.”
     “Your lodge?” She looked around the kitchen, trying to come to terms with Vorasava in this room.
     “My lodge. I occasionally have to coax a grumpy bear from the woodshed, but I hardly expected an elven princess to have taken up residence.”
     “Believe me, Captain, I am only passing through. But for this injury, I would not have had to use your home.”
     He shrugged. “Be my guest.”
     He stuck his head out the door and shouted orders to his men then turned back to Gwaethe. “My sergeant and I and young Exmund will bunk in here while the others can use the stable. Where are the rest of your band?”
     She shook her head. What could she say? The others would be found soon enough. It seemed she must trust him for now. “We are only seven. We lost six in a skirmish with Faenwelar’s elves.”
     Isiloe appeared at the inside door. “I knew you couldn’t resist telling this human everything, cousin.” She glared at Vorasava. “Gwaethe is always too trusting.”
Gwaethe closed her eyes, drawing a deep breath. She didn’t want to cope with Isiloe’s belligerence right now.
     “Lady Isiloe,” Vorasava said, inclining his head, “I will take Princess Gwaethe where she can be more comfortable, then perhaps you could show me to the rest of your people.”
     “If you must address me, human,” Isiloe said, “you will call me Ramar, or Captain. Anything else is highly inappropriate on a mission.”
     Vorasava raised an eyebrow at Isiloe then scooped Gwaethe up from the chair. Pain smashed through her body at the sudden movement. She bit her lip to stop from crying out as he strode with her through to the bedrooms. Somehow, he managed to open a door with her in his arms, and she was soon laid gently on a huge bed covered with bearskin.
     “My bedroom,” he said. “I killed that bear myself.” He turned to a wardrobe and pulled a thick blanket from the top shelves, placing it over her.
     Isiloe growled from the doorway. “Always the killing,” she said. “Are you not able to live in harmony with nature? Lenweri only kill creatures when needed for food or hides.”
     Gwaethe couldn’t have cared less at that moment, battling as she was with pain and nausea, and not a little fear if she was being honest; fear of her wound and of the powerful man who stood gazing down upon her.
     He treated Isiloe as he would a buzzing fly. “Fetch my man, Ramar,” he snapped, still not looking at her. “Tell him to attend me here.”
     Gwaethe held her breath, waiting for Isiloe’s angry response to being ordered about.
     Isiloe drew herself up. “Fetch him yourself, human,” she said. “I was not born to run after you.” She left the room, the door closing after her with a sharp click.
Vorasava appeared to barely notice. He took Gwaethe’s wrist, frowning. “You’ve lost a lot of blood, Princess. Your heart is racing, your hands cold.”
     She couldn’t look away from his strong fingers on her skin. She tingled all over and wanton thoughts came unbidden; thoughts of bare skin, sweat and his mouth on her breasts. She shook her head and might have fainted if she were not already lying down. I must be delirious! Yes, that is the reason for these thoughts. Indeed, when she tried to focus on his face, it was fuzzy, indistinct.
     Trying to push all contemplation of his lips aside, she gathered her wits and met his eyes. “I will be fine with some rest, Captain.” Yes, that was much more appropriate for her standing as battle leader and princess.
     “Nonsense,” he said. “You need careful nursing. I wish now I had brought my doctor with me, but he is getting a little too old for these outings.”
     “Why do you even care?” she asked without thinking.
     “How can you ask that? We are bound by our past, our shared status as warriors on the same side. Of course I will do all I can to help you.”
     “And that is all?”
     Vorasava’s gaze fell from hers, his jaw tightening. “That’s a lot, Princess. Rest, and I will ensure Exmund gets you something for the pain.”

I hope you enjoy Elf Princess Warrior!

Until next week!

Happy reading x

 

 

 

Elf Princess Warrior Release Date Set- Part 3

Elf Princess Warrior high res

In only a few short days, my newest book baby, Elf Princess Warrior, will take its first faltering steps into the world. The release date is January 14th! Australians will be one of the first to download, which is only fair since Australia is my country of origin. If you would like to get my book at a massive discount, pre-order now for $0.99  US.

Here are the links:

AMAZON ; AMAZON AU ; KOBO ; IBOOKS ; SMASHWORDS

As often happens, when writing The Elf King’s Lady, a secondary character cried out for her own book. That character was Princess Gwaethe Arenil, daughter of the murdered elven King Orionkael. Between the princess and Captain Jacques Vorasava there was instant chemistry. However, I wasn’t certain their love story would see the light of day. There was just too much pushing them apart. Besides the external and internal conflicts affecting the characters, I wasn’t sure I could pull off an inter-racial love story in a fantasy setting. I guess readers will be the judge of my success or otherwise.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of Gwaethe and Jacques and their road to love.

Here’s the blurb:

Caught up in a vicious civil war, elven princess Gwaethe Arenil is desperate to save her peace-loving faction and reunite her people. Help presents itself in the form of Captain Jacques Vorasava, the dashing human Brightcastle commander. But does Jacques’s aid come with more dangers than Gwaethe can accept, both for her people and her heart?

As the threat from the enemy elven faction forces them to work together, conflicts between their cultures push them apart. In a land of polarized opinion and intolerance, can Jacques and Gwaethe forge a new reality where their love can be accepted?

This story continues themes and characters from The Elf King’s Lady.

Speaking of Elf King’s Lady, I’ve secured a 50% discount for my readers for my two Pan Macmillan titles, Elf King and The Lord and the Mermaid. This will be active until mid- January. The heroine of Elf Princess Warrior, Gwaethe, is an important secondary character in Elf King’s Lady and I wanted readers to have the chance to read it on special. The Lord and the Mermaid is a fabulous retelling of The Little Mermaid and its heroine, Meri, pops up in The Lady and the Pirate.

I’ve also 50% discounted my self- published titles until mid-January. Just click on the above links and my Brightcastle Saga and Wildecoast Saga books will be easy to find.

Keep reading to check out the first scene of Elf Princess Warrior…

Gwaethe cursed as her cousin Isiloe helped her through the door and onto the kitchen chair. Pain, from the arrow head in her thigh, made her suck in a deep breath, and she sat battling waves of darkness that tried to drag her into oblivion. The deserted hunting lodge had been a gift from her elven Gods. Her insides curled with shame that she should need this refuge at all; a hunting lodge built by humans in their quest for game and glory.
     The mission had started so promisingly. She had led the party of a dozen elves south from Selinore, her home in the northern mountains, to discover traitor High Prince Faenwelar’s hideout. It was meant only to be a scouting mission but, at dawn this morning, they had been ambushed by elves from Faenwelar’s faction, the Sis Lenweri. Six of her party had been killed, leaving her, Isiloe and five others who barely escaped with their lives. Isiloe was the only one not injured.
     “Bite on this,” Isiloe said, handing her a hunting knife.
     Gwaethe bit down on the wooden handle as Isiloe dug the arrow head from her thigh. Pain shot straight to her stomach. She leaned to the side and hurled until her belly ached.
     “Hold still!” Isiloe hissed, shoving a moistened cloth at her. It felt cool on her forehead, and she panted away the agony washing over her in waves.
     “There, it is out. I will flush the wound and bind it. You will live.” Isiloe placed her hand on Gwaethe’s shoulder and squeezed. Despite the abrupt tone, her cousin loved her and was her staunchest supporter. Gwaethe didn’t like to think what she would have done without her this last year.
     Leaving Gwaethe with a mixture of hovard leaf for the pain, Isiloe went in search of the rest of the band who had spread out through the other rooms of the lodge. Gwaethe breathed deeply, sipping the medicine and distracting herself with her surroundings. There was a large fireplace with wood stacked ready for a blaze and four hooks for hanging pans. The walls were carved oak and quite beautiful, the table and chairs made from the same timber. Cooking utensils hung from the wall beside the fireplace, the glow of their copper drawing her eye. If this was the style of the kitchen, the rest of the lodge must be magnificent.
     Gwaethe tried to stand, but the tiniest movement sent pain spiraling down her leg and sweat broke out on her brow. Much good she would be to the others now! How could she have been so stupid as to walk straight into the Sis Lenweri trap? She chewed on a strand of her long, dark hair as her thoughts flew to the skirmish they had just survived.
     Isiloe returned, standing in the doorway of the kitchen, her face grey with exhaustion. “They will all live. Your wound is the most serious. We will return home and heal, and next time Faenwelar will not catch us unawares.”
     “I must mobilize the others,” Gwaethe said. “You take Lomari and rouse our people. Tell them to meet me here in a week. I need a party of at least fifty, perhaps more.”
     Isiloe snorted. “I am not leaving your side. If I had not been with you today, you would now lie dead.”
     Anger swept through Gwaethe. “I think you overstate the situation, cousin, and underestimate my talent for survival.”
     Isiloe raised her pale brows. She was small compared to most of the elven race but could never be called delicate. Her fair hair and blue eyes set her apart from other elves, where dark hair and eyes dominated. “I won’t leave without you. That wound needs weeks to heal, not a patch and back on the road. And you cannot make good plans without consultation. We must return home.”
     “I am battle leader, so I will decide strategy, with or without consultation. I can do that as well here as anywhere.” Gwaethe frowned as she thought about the one person she would give anything to speak to; her half-brother Kain. He had been the human army general until six months ago, but now he was a free agent. Well, not free exactly. He would inherit her elven kingdom if he ever acknowledged his heritage. Instead, he was making his nest with his wife, Alique, wasting his time while Gwaethe fought to bring about the fall of Faenwelar and unite the elven people. Perhaps she should try again to contact him through the ring and bracelet. Tonight.
     “You are thinking of him again,” Isiloe said. “You get that look every time. When are you going to admit Kain cares nothing for us?”
     “He cares,” Gwaethe replied, “but it is hard for him. He must come to terms with the fact he and I share a father who was an elven king. I lived that reality, but to Kain it is just a story. One day he will feel it, and then he will step into his role.”
Isiloe snorted. “We don’t need him. We don’t need any human; any man. You and I are more than capable of leading the Lenweri.”
     “Tell that to those who follow Faenwelar, to the traditionalists amongst our own society. Even Mother would vote against me.”
     Isiloe frowned. “One day, perhaps, it will not be the case. If that day is to come, you and I must make it so, cousin.”
     Gwaethe smiled. “There is nothing I would like better, Isiloe, but it will not happen overnight. Kain is the first step. We need him. I need him.” The last was whispered as Gwaethe’s determination was replaced by doubt. The sounds of horses outside caught her attention.
     Isiloe was already at the window, peeking through a crack in the shutters.          “Kingdom soldiers,” she said. “Thirty of them; armed.” She turned to Gwaethe. “Do we fight?”
     Gwaethe drew a deep breath, her thoughts chaotic, unwilling to believe they should face more danger so soon. She shook her head. “We must talk first. Find out who they are. Tell the others to hide. At least some may escape to raise the alarm if we are taken.”
     Isiloe slipped through the door. Gwaethe gripped the edge of the table and tried to rise. Her head spun and pain shot from the wound. She froze and took a shuddering breath. She could not even defend herself in this condition! What if the wound was even more serious than Isiloe had said? She had no more time to ponder as the door slammed open. A dark figure appeared. A man in the spotless uniform of a Kingdom captain.
     Her heart beat faster, and it wasn’t fear this time. She knew him! As her gaze swept over the smooth lines of his face – the muscular ridges of his form barely hidden by his uniform – her body heated as it had done only once in the past. Once, six months ago, this man had been on her side, had fought beside her against Faenwelar. But would it be the case this time?
     “Gwaethe Arenil,” he said, sweeping a graceful bow, “well met.”
     She took another shuddering breath before she could speak. “Captain Vorasava. I would rise but I fear I am unable to.”
     Concern chased the arrogant light from his eyes as he took in the blood-soaked bandage around her left thigh. He snapped his fingers, and a stocky young soldier, with brown hair and eyes, appeared. “Corporal Exmund, fetch the medical bag and see to Princess Gwaethe’s injury.”
     Exmund left but returned moments later with a bulging leather satchel. He fixed his eyes on Gwaethe but made no move toward her. The young man cleared his throat and straightened his tunic with his spare hand. “Captain?” he said, licking his lips, “are you sure?”
     Vorasava tore his eyes from Gwaethe and turned to Exmund. “What do you mean, lad? I asked you to tend this lady’s wound. Is there something unclear in my request?”
     Exmund snapped up straight, eyes directly ahead. “No sir,” he said. “Right away, sir.”
     The young medic knelt beside Gwaethe. “If I may?”
     Gwaethe nodded, and Exmund began to gently unwrap the wound.
     “I need to cut away these leggings.” Exmund produced a knife, ready to strip the clothing from her leg, but Gwaethe grasped his wrist.
     “No. Tend the wound as it is.” She helped widen the hole made by the arrow head, exposing the jagged puncture without revealing any more of the brown skin of her thigh than was necessary. Exmund packed the hole with a poultice and gently bound it. All the while, she burned under Vorasava’s gaze. What was he thinking? That she was a stinking elf? That he would like to be on his way?
     Perhaps not. Vorasava was one of the few humans who had treated her as an equal, but was it just inherent politeness disguising his true feelings? Humans thought they were above elves when, really, they were interlopers in these lands. Her people had been here since time began; since the trees were young. But Gwaethe believed in peace, and she would live that way, as would her Lenweri. There was plenty of land for all.
     “What are you doing here, Princess?” Vorasava asked.
     Gwaethe raised her head. “I could ask you the same.”
     “Ah, but I am not trespassing in your hunting lodge.”
     “Your lodge?” She looked around the kitchen, trying to come to terms with Vorasava in this room.
     “My lodge. I occasionally have to coax a grumpy bear from the woodshed, but I hardly expected an elven princess to have taken up residence.”
     “Believe me, Captain, I am only passing through. But for this injury, I would not have had to use your home.”
     He shrugged. “Be my guest.”
     He stuck his head out the door and shouted orders to his men then turned back to Gwaethe. “My sergeant and I and young Exmund will bunk in here while the others can use the stable. Where are the rest of your band?”
     She shook her head. What could she say? The others would be found soon enough. It seemed she must trust him for now. “We are only seven. We lost six in a skirmish with Faenwelar’s elves.”
     Isiloe appeared at the inside door. “I knew you couldn’t resist telling this human everything, cousin.” She glared at Vorasava. “Gwaethe is always too trusting.”
Gwaethe closed her eyes, drawing a deep breath. She didn’t want to cope with Isiloe’s belligerence right now.
     “Lady Isiloe,” Vorasava said, inclining his head, “I will take Princess Gwaethe where she can be more comfortable, then perhaps you could show me to the rest of your people.”
     “If you must address me, human,” Isiloe said, “you will call me Ramar, or Captain. Anything else is highly inappropriate on a mission.”
     Vorasava raised an eyebrow at Isiloe then scooped Gwaethe up from the chair. Pain smashed through her body at the sudden movement. She bit her lip to stop from crying out as he strode with her through to the bedrooms. Somehow, he managed to open a door with her in his arms, and she was soon laid gently on a huge bed covered with bearskin.
     “My bedroom,” he said. “I killed that bear myself.” He turned to a wardrobe and pulled a thick blanket from the top shelves, placing it over her.
     Isiloe growled from the doorway. “Always the killing,” she said. “Are you not able to live in harmony with nature? Lenweri only kill creatures when needed for food or hides.”
     Gwaethe couldn’t have cared less at that moment, battling as she was with pain and nausea, and not a little fear if she was being honest; fear of her wound and of the powerful man who stood gazing down upon her.
     He treated Isiloe as he would a buzzing fly. “Fetch my man, Ramar,” he snapped, still not looking at her. “Tell him to attend me here.”
     Gwaethe held her breath, waiting for Isiloe’s angry response to being ordered about.
     Isiloe drew herself up. “Fetch him yourself, human,” she said. “I was not born to run after you.” She left the room, the door closing after her with a sharp click.
Vorasava appeared to barely notice. He took Gwaethe’s wrist, frowning. “You’ve lost a lot of blood, Princess. Your heart is racing, your hands cold.”
     She couldn’t look away from his strong fingers on her skin. She tingled all over and wanton thoughts came unbidden; thoughts of bare skin, sweat and his mouth on her breasts. She shook her head and might have fainted if she were not already lying down. I must be delirious! Yes, that is the reason for these thoughts. Indeed, when she tried to focus on his face, it was fuzzy, indistinct.
     Trying to push all contemplation of his lips aside, she gathered her wits and met his eyes. “I will be fine with some rest, Captain.” Yes, that was much more appropriate for her standing as battle leader and princess.
     “Nonsense,” he said. “You need careful nursing. I wish now I had brought my doctor with me, but he is getting a little too old for these outings.”
     “Why do you even care?” she asked without thinking.
     “How can you ask that? We are bound by our past, our shared status as warriors on the same side. Of course I will do all I can to help you.”
     “And that is all?”
     Vorasava’s gaze fell from hers, his jaw tightening. “That’s a lot, Princess. Rest, and I will ensure Exmund gets you something for the pain.”

I hope you enjoy Elf Princess Warrior!

Until next week!

Happy reading x

 

 

 

Elf Princess Warrior Release Date Set- Part 2

Elf Princess Warrior high res

I’m ecstatic to announce the release date for Elf Princess Warrior is January 14th! I know, its a long time to wait to read it, but you can take action now and secure a massive discount on the ebook by pre-ordering it at $0.99 US.

Here are the links:

AMAZON ; AMAZON AU ; KOBO ; IBOOKS ; SMASHWORDS

As often happens, when writing The Elf King’s Lady, a secondary character cried out for her own book. That character was Princess Gwaethe Arenil, daughter of the murdered elven King Orionkael. Between the princess and Captain Jacques Vorasava there was instant chemistry. However, I wasn’t certain their love story would see the light of day. There was just too much pushing them apart. Besides the external and internal conflicts affecting the characters, I wasn’t sure I could pull off an inter-racial love story in a fantasy setting. I guess readers will be the judge of my success or otherwise.

Besides the stunning hero and heroine, readers will reconnect with Gwaethe’s cousin Isiloe and new character Exmund Tomel who is Jacques’s right-hand man. If you want a good example of two secondary characters who are not going anywhere, it’s these two, especially Isiloe. She’s trouble with a capital T and I would love for her to find her perfect match. I’m just not sure there is anyone who could handle her!

As well as endearing secondary characters, readers will recognise old favourites including, Ramon Zorba and his wife Princess Benae, now Stewards of Brightcastle (ex The Lady’s Choice); Vard Anton, the dangerous and tormented shape-shifter (ex Princess Avenger and Princess in Exile) and Kain Jazara and his wife Alique Zorba (ex Elf King’s Lady). 

I can’t wait to hear what you think of Gwaethe and Jacques and their road to love.

Here’s the blurb:

Caught up in a vicious civil war, elven princess Gwaethe Arenil is desperate to save her peace-loving faction and reunite her people. Help presents itself in the form of Captain Jacques Vorasava, the dashing human Brightcastle commander. But does Jacques’s aid come with more dangers than Gwaethe can accept, both for her people and her heart?

As the threat from the enemy elven faction forces them to work together, conflicts between their cultures push them apart. In a land of polarized opinion and intolerance, can Jacques and Gwaethe forge a new reality where their love can be accepted?

This story continues themes and characters from The Elf King’s Lady.

Speaking of Elf King’s Lady, I’ve secured a 50% discount for my readers for my two Pan Macmillan titles, Elf King and The Lord and the Mermaid. This will be active over the next month until mid- January. The heroine of Elf Princess Warrior, Gwaethe, is an important secondary character in Elf King’s Lady and I wanted readers to have the chance to read it on special. The Lord and the Mermaid is a fabulous retelling of The Little Mermaid and its heroine, Meri, pops up in The Lady and the Pirate.

Just when you thought Christmas couldn’t get merrier, I’ve also 50% discounted my self- published titles until mid-January. Just click on the above links and my Brightcastle Saga and Wildecoast Saga books will be easy to find.

Stay tuned each week until release day. I’ll have some more info about how Elf Princess Warrior came into being and early chapter previews.

Until next week!

Happy reading x

 

 

 

Elf Princess Warrior Release Date Set!

Elf Princess Warrior high res

I’m ecstatic to announce the release date for Elf Princess Warrior is January 14th! I know, its a long time to wait to read it, but you can take action now and secure a massive discount on the ebook by pre-ordering it at $0.99 US.

Here are the links:

AMAZON ; AMAZON AU ; KOBO ; IBOOKS ; SMASHWORDS

Here’s the blurb:

Caught up in a vicious civil war, elven princess Gwaethe Arenil is desperate to save her peace-loving faction and reunite her people. Help presents itself in the form of Captain Jacques Vorasava, the dashing human Brightcastle commander. But does Jacques’s aid come with more dangers than Gwaethe can accept, both for her people and her heart?

As the threat from the enemy elven faction forces them to work together, conflicts between their cultures push them apart. In a land of polarized opinion and intolerance, can Jacques and Gwaethe forge a new reality where their love can be accepted?

This story continues themes and characters from The Elf King’s Lady.

Speaking of Elf King’s Lady, I’ve secured a 50% discount for my readers for my two Pan Macmillan titles, Elf King and The Lord and the Mermaid. This will be active over the next month until mid- January. The heroine of Elf Princess Warrior, Gwaethe, is an important secondary character in Elf King’s Lady and I wanted readers to have the chance to read it on special. The Lord and the Mermaid is a fabulous retelling of The Little Mermaid and its heroine, Meri, pops up in The Lady and the Pirate.

Just when you thought Christmas couldn’t get merrier, I’ve also 50% discounted my self- published titles until mid-January. Just click on the above links and my Brightcastle Saga and Wildecoast Saga books will be easy to find.

Stay tuned each week until release day. I’ll have some extra info about how Elf Princess Warrior came into being and early chapter previews.

Until next week!

Happy reading x

 

 

 

Guest Author- Elizabeth Ellen Carter

EECarter3Joining me today is historical romance author, Elizabeth Ellen Carter. Elizabeth is a local Brisbane author who has just released the third instalment in her Heart of the Corsairs Series, Shadow of the Corsairs!

Welcome Elizabeth and congratulations on your new release.

Thanks Bernadette, it’s great to be here.
Can you tell me what you love about historical romance stories?

Historical romances bring important events of our past to life. And, when well done, give an insight into how people lived in times past. I think that a great understanding and appreciation of history is absolutely vital because understanding history is all about understanding ourselves.
Whether we know it or not, we have a strong connection with the past – in fact it is built into our very DNA!
So, to live in another time or participate in historical events through the lens of a well-researched and well written historical novel is an accessible way to reconnect with our pasts.

What gave you the idea for this story? The series?

I came across an article about the pirates of the Barbary Coast which connected the dots between some of the events we’re witnessing in more recent times. For instance, the reason why France colonised North Africa in 1830 was to finally put an end to the slave trade in that region.
Between 1650 and 1830 between 800,000 and 1.25 million Europeans, some as far away as Iceland were abducted and sold into slavery.
The more I read about the Ottoman Empire and its slaving past the more I wanted to tell a story about how slavery affects individuals. Every main character in the Heart of the Corsairs series has been touched – directly or indirectly by the brutal and predatory tactics of the Barbary Coast slavers.

shadow-of-the-corsairs-cover

Let’s take a moment discover what Shadow of the Corsairs is all about- here’s the blurb:

The Past Casts a Shadow Over a Second Chance For Love….

Palermo, 1810

Morwena Gambino is struggling to keep her family’s business going against mounting troubles. Her widowed father, once shrewd, is now increasingly forgetful, letting debts mount and disavowing his sons. Morwena runs the shop behind his back, forced to hide her enterprise not only from her father but also her bitter older brother.

In Tunisia, Tewodros “Jonathan” Afua is struggling to stay alive. Once an Ethiopian prince, he is a captive of the corsairs who slaughtered his wife and children. When a US naval bombardment provides an opening for escape, Jonathan falls in with a seemingly deranged English pirate. Aboard Kit Hardacre’s rundown ship with its ragtag crew, Jonathan learns the real reason he was taken by slavers.

Reluctantly joining Hardacre’s crew, he meets Morwena in Palermo. The fiery young Sicilian woman is the opposite of his quiet reserve, but he is attracted to her despite mourning for his late wife. As he and Morwena grow closer, it emerges that they have something in common – secret betrayal by those close to them – and they must count what they’re willing to risk for a future together.

*****

Read all three books in the Heart of the Corsair series:

Captive of the Corsairs
Revenge of the Corsairs
Shadow of the Corsairs

*****

Historical fiction usually necessitates quite a deal of research. Was there any travel involved in preparing for this book and where did you go?

I would love to travel for research, but my budget doesn’t stretch that far! I had to content myself reading historical references and university articles on the subject – and spending a bit of time looking at beautiful photographs of Sicily, Tunisia, Libya, Turkey and Ethiopia.

A pirate is one of the secondary characters, did you take to the high seas before writing it?

I wish! One interesting thing I did discover was they don’t have notable tides in the Mediterranean – only a few centimetres difference between high and low tide. That wasn’t something which had occurred to me!

Do you have any historical hobbies?

I love museums, antiques fairs and historical architecture – it’s like a gift from the past that we can enjoy today.

What is your favourite genre to read?

I love reading history, historical fiction, historical romance, mystery, and the classics.

What’s next for Elizabeth Ellen Carter?

I’ve started a new series! The overarching hero of the Heart of the Corsairs series has proved to be so popular that I’m reaching back into his past. Kit believes himself to be an orphan. What he doesn’t know is his father is still alive – so what happened to separate them? That will be answered in the first book of The King’s Rogues series called Live And Let Spy.

*****

EECarter4Elizabeth Ellen Carter is an award-winning historical romance writer who pens richly detailed historical romantic adventures. A former newspaper journalist, Carter ran an award-winning PR agency for 12 years. The author lives in Australia with her husband and two cats.

You can find Elizabeth here:

• Web: http://eecarter.com
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElizabethEllenCarter
• Newsletter: http://eecarter.com/index.php/homepage/book-club/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/EECarterAuthor
• Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/eecarterauthor/
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elizabeth_ellen_carter/
• YouTube Trailers: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=elizabeth+ellen+carter

 

 

Cover Reveal!

Sorceress front cover (1)

This might be my best cover yet! Not long now until The Master and the Sorceress is released. Here is the cover and below is the blurb.

The Master and the Sorceress

Desperate sorceress, Katrine Aranati, no longer knows how to deal with the woman she has become. She runs headlong into a man whose heart’s desire is order and control. James Tomel, master jeweler, is outwardly a pillar of society but he hides more than one dangerous secret.

When they are thrown together on a trip to Brightcastle, fierce creatures from legend pursue them but even more dangerous are the feelings swirling between them. When their hearts and bodies come together, one will flee while the other demands an accounting. Can they find common ground where their love will flourish or will secrets and betrayal kill all hope of a life together?

Find out if love and chaos can defeat order and control in the fourth exciting instalment of the Wildecoast Saga.

 

It’s been over a year since I released The Lady and the Pirate on Valentine’s Day 2017.  In that book, readers were intrigued by Katrine, the younger sister of the heroine, Esta. At times she threatened to take over the story. Well, now she has her own story and we get to find out what motivates her and the caliber of man who might be up to the task of being her hero.

I don’t have a release date yet but as soon as I do, it will be posted here and pre-orders will open. I hope you love the cover as much as I do!

In the meantime, if you like shape-shifter heroes, please click on the image below and check out these free books.

Shifter promo image

Until next time, happy reading

Bernadette x

 

Destiny 2018

cropped-bernadette-rowley-author-shot-resizeIt’s a month since I made my New Year’s resolutions and I thought we could compare notes on how we are going. I’ll refresh you:

I will write more / procrastinate less– just the fact that I have put this out there is keeping me honest with this resolution. It has helped that I’ve been editing which I find easy to do at all times of the day and night.

I will release two new books this year– the first of these, The Master and the Sorceress, is with my editor now and my designer is working on the cover for both print and ebook. This motivated me to write the back cover blurb this morning.

Start the next book– I will follow through on this once The Master and the Sorceress is released but I’m already tossing around ideas. If something enticing pops up, I can get started sooner! The muse is an amazing creature when you get her thinking.

Market my titles so I can earn enough to support my writing habit– I’m concentrating fiercely on this and tackling it from all directions. I’ve had some encouraging approaches from readers, I’m building a street team for my next release and planning the logistics of that launch

Mark out of 10? I would give myself a 7/10- I think I can improve over the next month in the procrastination department.

8319234 - beautiful young brunette woman  on a horseback

8319234 – beautiful young brunette woman on a horseback

Exciting news! There is a better than even chance that this image will form the basis of the cover for The Master and the Sorceress. The model is just how I envisaged Katrine Aranati and the horse is perfect for Demon, too.

 

 

How would you rate your New Year resolution progress? It’s okay if you haven’t accomplished much- there’s still eleven months to go. Perhaps you need to sit down and map out how you will achieve your goals? Or maybe adjust them to make them more achievable. If you need extra help, tell someone about your goals so they can keep you accountable.

If you’re looking to pick up a free copy of my book Princess Avenger, I now have a page where you can do just that.

Or if you’d rather use this Book Cave Innovations promotion, you can pick Princess Avenger up FREE here

Innovation share 5.jpg

Until next time, happy reading and don’t forget to leave a review!

Bernadette x

The Lady’s Choice FREE!

The Lady's Choice Cover- newThis lovely lady is feeling like she has been forgotten. Yes! I’m talking about my second book, The Lady’s Choice. She’s normally $2.99 but if you sign up to my newsletter HERE I’ll send you The Lady’s Choice ebook FREE. With Princess Avenger already FREE, there has never been a better time to check out  my stories. Read on to find the teasers for these books.

The Lady’s Choice

Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba? Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.

I’ll tell you a secret. The Lady’s Choice is my favourite of all my stories. I’m very attached to the heroine, Benae, and I think it’s because she has such a close relationship to her horse. She reminds me of myself as a young woman. If you enjoy my stories, please leave a rating and a brief review at your favourite ebook retailer.

Princess Avenger Ebook coverPrincess Avenger

Passionate Princess Alecia sets out to avenge the slaying of her first love. Captain Vard Anton is dealing with his own dark secrets. When he is appointed Alecia’s protector, both find it hard to ignore the chemistry between them. Can Alecia resist the enigmatic Vard while trying to exact revenge? Will their fatal attraction ultimately lead to tragedy or can love unite Alecia and Vard forever?

Some of you will already have read these books or signed up to my newsletter and I thank you for your support. Stay tuned for more news and offers in the future.

Until next time

4 weeks until The Elf King’s Lady!

0515 The Elf King's Lady_FinalActually it’s less than four weeks as this is late! Last week’s winner was Pam and her favourite hero, described in five words was: Blonde tall blue eyed hero.

That is certainly one of the stereotypical heroes and a favourite with many. My favourite is more like General Kain Jazara from The Elf King’s Lady or Captain Vard Anton from Princess Avenger– tall, dark, brooding and mysterious; a man not easy to get close to but one who is loyal once he falls in love.

This week, to mark four weeks from release of The Elf King’s Lady, I want to shift the focus to the girls. Please describe in four words, your ideal heroine. The winner can select any one of my books for their very own.

Until next week…

This Writing Life

The Lord and the Mermaid coverIs there anything better than telling a story to the world? No, there is not!

I thought I’d put some thoughts down about my writing life. It’s a wonderful mix of left brain/right brain, love/hate, drive/ procrastination, confidence/despair. A writer’s life holds such contradictions, it’s no wonder we fear for our sanity.

But a writing life is wonderful. There is nothing better than escaping into one’s own world, in fact, I live there most of the time. Creating a character from our imagination and then having them surprise us with their actions or words is such a joy. For, though readers like to imagine a writer has control of all aspects of their manuscript, this isn’t the case. Once let loose on the page, our imagination and characters can and do make amazing things happen.

The Lady's Choice Cover- newAt the moment, the right side of my brain is taking a back seat to the left- yes, I’m editing. I love this part of the process where you get to file off all the rough edges and see your word sculpture taking shape. It’s a multistep process. For example, The Elf King’s Lady, which I’m working on at the moment, was edited multiple times by myself before it was sent to my editor. She has come back with suggested changes which I’m currently working on. Once this is complete, the manuscript will move to another editor and then her suggestions will be sent back to me for another revision. There will be another edit after that and more work for me to do but by then I will almost have the finished product.

With at least four books to be released this year, I’ve been editing all year and the pressure is mounting within to write another story. I have three ideas in mind, involving my world for which there are now two series: my self-published Brightcastle Saga and Momentum’s Wildecoast Saga. Momentum’s will obviously be the focus. Lucky I have Brightcastle Saga Book 2 already written and-you guessed it- awaiting another edit!

Princess Avenger Ebook coverSounds busy but I pace myself. I have to. All writers have another life and most have other jobs. Almost all have children or grandchildren to care for (other than their book babies).

I hope that gives an insight into my writing life though I really haven’t touched on the agony of actually writing the story yet. That would be a whole blog series! Perhaps I can look at that later in the year and get some other writers to help.

In the meantime, happy reading- you’d better enjoy it because now you know how much blood sweat and tears goes into a book.