The Raided Heart by Jennifer C Wilson #Extract #Giveaway
I am delighted to be hosting an extract from the historical romance, The Raided Heart, by Jennifer C Wilson, today. There is also a great Worldwide Giveaway. Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post.
First, here's a little about the book:
Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?
Now, here's a big welcome to Jennifer on the blog today.
Hello, and thank you so much for hosting an excerpt of The Raided Heart on your blog today – I hope your readers enjoy it!
In this scene, Will encounters Alexander Gray for the first time since childhood; a difficult thing when this is the man who caused you such heartache…
The Raided Heart, Excerpt Two
Will was the first to see Alexander Gray, at the head of his own retinue, riding into the village, coming along the road in the opposite direction to the men of Long Ridge. Despite the ongoing communications between Robert and Alexander, the two men had only met briefly once so far, and Will, thankfully, hadn’t been present. It was over a decade since he had encountered the man, but he hadn’t changed one bit. He seemed, fittingly, to be entirely dark, from his shoulder-length black hair, the black material of his outfit, and even a jet-black horse: entirely at odds with the Mathers brothers’ appearance, in blue and brown jackets over white shirts, their dark-brown hair kept shorter, neater, making their relationship even more obvious, drawing attention to their almost-identical noses, and the blue-grey eyes, the same as Meg’s.
For a moment, Will paused, almost pulled back on Patience’s reins, then realised that would make him stand out more than if he just carried on as expected. After all, there was no reason to suggest Gray would recognise him, or even remember the incident which had been burned into Will’s memory for almost half his lifetime.
The raiding of his family’s village, the destruction of his home, the murder of his parents. He could still hear their screams.
Seeing Gray brought it all back, piercing through his mind as though it had happened only yesterday. At least Cecily would be spared the shock of it. If Gray ever came to Long Ridge, Will and Tom would make sure Cecily was pre-warned, and knew what was coming. But that was in the future. At this moment, Will had to pull himself together and keep control of his temper. He couldn’t afford to do anything to disrupt Robert’s plans, even if those plans did include the monster who had killed his family.
“Gray!” It was Judd who spoke first, calling their distant neighbour over to their group.
“Mathers, what are you here for? Mixed up in this stupid fight business too? I hope your men weren’t amongst the brawlers?”
“No, not ours, Judd is a witness only,” Robert answered for them both, as the two brothers turned and steadied their horses. “You?”
“A misjudged accusation states that one of my own, Hal, was part of the fight. I’m here to convince them otherwise.” Alexander’s fist tightened on the hilt of his sword. “It should be easy enough. I presume you didn’t see Hal Robson as part of the pack, Judd?”
Will watched as Judd paused for a moment, glancing subtly at Robert. Almost imperceptibly, the leader of Long Ridge shrugged. Will kept his eye on the older brother. An Englishman with a Scottish name, he was as one with Hal, the randomness of the borders bringing Scots and English far closer than some would like. But that, it seemed, was where the similarity ended. Judd believed in fairness and honour, even if it was only amongst thieves.
“I remember clearly what I saw that day, Gray. But luckily for your man, if he was there, he wasn’t in my eye line.”
“And what of your other men?”
“I was on my own that day. I had ridden into town on personal business; there was nobody with me.”
Gray nodded, seemingly satisfied with the outcome. Or this one at least. “Excellent. Let us hope everyone else is as agreeable.”
Will kept his head down as the Cliffside men rode on past, glad to be insignificant enough not to be noticed. He was just another youngster, riding in the middle of the pack. There was no reason for Gray to single him out.
“Was Hal there?” Robert was asking Judd, as soon as Gray was out of hearing.
Judd shook his head. “He wasn’t in the brawl as far as I saw. But he was in Hexham that day, that’s for sure. I just hope for their sake that any other witnesses agree with Gray, or their life won’t be worth living.”
The two brothers watched as Gray paused again in the distance, having encountered another group arriving along the street. They winced at the sound of metal on metal, as swords were drawn.
About the Author
Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press. She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.
You can read my review of The Last Plantagenet? here
Thanks to Jennifer and to Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources for the extract and a place on the tour.
To win 2 x e-copies of The Last Plantagenet? (Open Internationally) just follow the link below and good luck!
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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