Sunday, September 25, 2022

 What's on deck for Fall?

I have so much going on, and if you join my newsletter, you'll see more regularly! 

First, want to meet me in person and buy signed copies?

I'll be at two events this fall:

Saturday Oct 1, 2022 -- The Historical Romance Retreat, Westgate Hotel, San Diego

Friday, Nov 18, 2022 -- RAVE booksigning at the Bally's Hotel, Las Vegas

If you are in the area, come by and say hi, get a selfie with me, get some fun bookish swag, and buy some signed books!

In addition to grabbing The Maiden of the Woods, be sure to check out all my upcoming books:

What books are releasing this fall and winter?

Here is what I have tentatively scheduled:

Christmas in the Glen -- The Glen Highland Romance short

Highland Breath -- book 2 in the Glen Coe Highlanders Romance

Book 4 in my fairy tale series

Then the next two books in my Historical Fevered Series: 

The Highlander's Scarred Heart books 2 and 3 


To keep up with me, check out my socials and my patreon:

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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

 Maiden of the Woods Pre-Release Excerpt:

Something else in the wood caught her attention, and she marched deeper into the trees with conviction. Then he saw it, and again he smiled despite himself.

Cherries. She must have a sweet tooth.

Suddenly, every sound in the woods fell away. Kiera must have noticed it as well, because she stopped collecting her fruit and turned her head around, looking for the source of the noise, then started back toward the glen. Right toward Cormac. He ducked behind a tree.

That’s why he didn’t see the Romans when they first came upon her. It wasn’t until he heard the depraved words of one of the soldiers that he crept around the tree and gripped his spear.

One of the red-throated soldiers had his hand on Kiera’s arm. Irrational fury unlike anything he had ever experienced surged in Cormac’s chest.

Thunder cracked at his back as he took aim and released his spear, then charged through the brush. The fallen man’s sword laid near Kiera’s feet. In a smooth movement, he reached low as he ran and swept the sword up as he slid in front of Kiera. Then he bounded onto his feet in a low crouch, shielding Kiera with his body.

The third Roman had drawn his sword and was charging on them, his face a grotesque mask of anger. He brought his sword in a hard arc over Cormac’s head, but Cormac twisted around on his heels and swept his blade against the Roman’s leather armor. With Cormac’s lowered angle, the blade’s edge slipped under the leather and sliced through the Roman’s belly with ease. The Roman gurgled blood from between his lips, dropped his sword, and moved his hands to his stomach as if to hold his innards inside. Then he crumpled to his side.

Cormac focused his attention on the remaining soldier as he rose upright. Thunder cracked again and rain began to fall, striking the leaves in a heavy patter that steadily grew louder. Cormac wiped his dripping hair off his face and leapt over the fallen soldier to the first Roman who had finally managed to stand.

Even at his full height, the Roman wasn’t as tall as a Cormac. Though he held his sword before him with a measure of confidence, the man’s eyes betrayed him. Alone, without his other soldiers, facing a wild Caledonii barbarian, and the doubt in his eyes showed. Cormac grinned, the rain plastering his hair against his cheeks, and inhaled his chest to appear larger. He would make this Roman regret coming to the Caledonii land, regret threatening a Caledonii woman.

“Show me what ye have, Roman snake,” Cormac taunted as he whirled his sword in arcing circles with ease.

The Roman roared and swung his sword in a cross strike.

Typical, Cormac thought as he dodged the swing. These Romans were nothing if not predictable in their battle movements.

Cormac waited until the Roman’s swing moved past him, then brought his sword around so it swept across the Roman’s red-scarfed neck.

Stupid Romans. Did they not realize their scarves targeted the most susceptible area of their bodies not covered in armor? Fools.

The soldier’s head flopped on his neck as Cormac spun around. As a final insult, Cormac kicked the man’s back, and he toppled forward in a pool of his own blood that the rain washed into the dirt.

Then Cormac raised his eyes to Kiera.

Pre-order your copy here today!

 

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Sunday, September 18, 2022

 Christmas in the Glen Except

As we are getting ready for the holidays, I've been busy working on a holiday book for my Glen Highland Romance series. It is a throw back to our lovely character Dawn in the Warrior of the Glen. She's a woman who is content finding her passions where she may -- finding a man to marry is not at the top of her wish list. 

Or is it? Has her desires in life changed without her realizing it? Or has the series of secret gifts she's received for the 12 days of Christmas made her realize what it is to care about someone. 

And is that someone really Drummond Fraser? Or does someone else hold her heart?

The rough excerpt:

The kitchen door and its beckoning warmth was in arms length, and just as Dawn reached out a shivering hand to wrest the latch open, and hoping it wasn’t frozen in place, she saw a twinkling in the snow next to the door. Half buried and sure to be covered all the way with the snow fall expected that night.
Dawn flicked her eyes up the smooth stone wall of the keep. Had it fallen from somewhere? It must have been there only recently, otherwise it would have been buried in the snow completely. Releasing the door latch with a measure of reticence, Dawn squatted in the snow to get a better look at the mysterious item.
It was a small bronzed thistle brooch, small, and when she lifted it from the snow, it was stuck in a swatch of black and red plaid which had been completely buried by the snow. She held the pinned fabric gently, as if it might break in her hand somehow, and cast her gaze around the ice-locked gardens. In the afternoon light, dim as it was from the cloudy skies and forthcoming snowfall, few shadows fell and the snowy landscape was clear. Only a few brave birds twittering in the trees and herself.
Did someone drop it as they entered the kitchens? Dawn turned the fabric over in her hands. From the look of the fabric and how it was pinned, it didn’t appear to be part of someone’s clothing. Rather, it seemed like the fabric was present just to support the brooch so it might not have become completely lost in the snow.
To Dawn, the brooch and plaid appeared almost to be a gift.
But who would leave a gift out here by the kitchens? Who was the intended recipient? 

Coming soon!

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Saturday, September 17, 2022


The Maiden of the Woods Pre-Order bonus gift pack!

Have you ordered The Maiden of the Woods yet? Or are you planning on it? If you have, just send a screen shot of your pre-order receipt on Amazon for a free digital book swag pack! You can also earn this pack if you ask for your library to order the book!
What do you get?
  • A short digital ebook The Warrior of the Caledoni
  • a digital, printable ebook journal
  • digital, printable bookmarks
Whoa! What an amazing promo pack! Just for ordering a 99c book?
 
Put you name, your email, and an screenshot/image of your pre-order receipt or notice below, and keep an eye open on your inbox.
 
This offer ends on Sept 27, 2022, so take advantage now! And be sure to share with all your bookish friends! 
 
If you can't login because you don't have a google account, simply email me the information to mddalrympleauthor@gmail.com!

 

Sunday, September 04, 2022

 The Maiden of the Woods Excerpt:

Kiera glanced around the colorful woods as she delicately snapped berries from their stems. The leaves had lost much of their verdigris and were now multi-hued in oranges, yellows, and brown. In a few short weeks, she was certain, the woods surrounding Kilsyth would be bathed in the autumnal colors. A deeper red caught her eye — cherries hung in tight clusters on a tree farther in the woods. Oh, the sweet taste of ripe cherries! What a perfect treat for the upcoming feast!

The bushes grabbed at her skirts as she snaked past the branches and made her way to the cherry tree. As she moved, the sounds of the wood faded, and  the birds’ chatter abruptly ceased. At first, she thought she had disturbed them with her presence, that she had been too noisy.

Then something else caught her ear.

Kiera gripped her basket and scanned the trees, trying to see through the brush and leaves. That something else, it was a sound that did not belong in the wood. It was a rustling made by heavy foot treads. The sky had darkened a bit more and her basket was nearly full. She had lost track of time and where she was. Has she moved too far to the south? She might not know who else was in this wood, but she was not waiting to find out.

Holding tight to her basket, she ran as best she could through the thorny bushes that scraped her legs and tugged at her skirts. The open glen was a few steps ahead —

Then she was yanked backward by her hair, stumbling to catch herself before she slammed into the ground and lost her berries. Shock hindered her for a moment as she tried to figure out what had just happened.

And who else was in the wood.

She need not have guessed. From their rough language and clanging armor, she didn’t have to raise her eyes to know it was the Romans.

Her stomach sunk to her feet. She had grown complacent, believing that this close to her village, she was safe.

Instead, she was alone, caught by leering Romans with the destruction of the Caledonii on their mind.

This was not going to end well for her.

Pre-order your copy here today! 

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Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Chapter 1 from the Roman of the North

 

While Ru's daughters are busy getting their stories written, I had an inspiration for a side story to include with the series. Look for the Roman of the North coming later this year: 

(Rough Draft) Chapter 1:

The clanging sound of swords and armor echoed between the green hills that cast long shadows on the narrow glen and darkened the lush trees.
Antonius shivered under his tunic as a breeze kicked up, rustling the leaves and chilling him to the bone. Even in high summer, this brutal remote land in the barbarian northern never warmed. Antonius missed the hot, arid summers of Rome, and the dark haired Mera who had promised to wait for him. She spoke the words with her mouth, but the lie rested in her eyes. She was too beautiful to wait for a poor legionnaire, especially with the butcher’s son, Marcus, chasing her heels at the forum market.
Memories of his time back in the outskirts of Rome warmed him little. As the third son of a poor market vendor selling cheap trinkets, what options did he have? None, but to join the Roman Legion in their call to send an Eagle standard to combat the northern barbarians. Now, instead of sleeping on a pallet, sweating in the Roman summer heat and dreaming of Mera, he was freezing on a military pallet, dreaming of his next meal.
Antonius’ legs pimpled under the cool breeze, and he again wished that he might wear his bracae pants under his tunic. The guard commander permitted it in the winter, when snow encased this land like a bad senator’s wig, but when leaves and grass sprouted under a pale summer sun? Never. Tunic and sandals only.
So instead, Antonius shivered as he walked, marching through yet another set of foothill near his fort, searching for the gods knew what. His commander had instructed them to keep their eyes open.
Open for what? That he didn’t tell them.
All he knew was his centuria troupe was marching north of the wall, a place off limits, according to the loose terms of the Caledonii peace treaty.
Antonius didn’t care.He hated this place. He hated these barbaric Caledonii. He hated this assignment in the far north away from the warmth of home.
In his estimation, they should just burn it all down and let the gods figure it out.
A plop of chilled rain splashed on his nose, just under the nose guard of his helmet.
He clenched his jaw.
This cold forsaken place, it probably won’t even burn, anyway. 

 ***

He wasn’t the only one grumbling, thankfully. Perhaps if the commander heard enough of them grumbling, he’d turn them around, south to the wall. If they were lucky, they might make it back in time for the evening meal.
The only redeeming aspect to that prospect was that it would be warm, even if it was only thin gruel and bread.
At least it’d be warm gruel.
Lost in his thoughts, his mind didn’t quite register the movement on the far side of the glen until the movement brightened. Antonius slowed his march and focused his eyes. The glen was narrow and ended in a thick tree line at the base of a stony hill. Bright red and a rich blue shifted in the trees.
Then the man and two young women emerged, and his entire centuria stopped, the halt of their clanging armor almost louder than the sound itself.
They were close enough to the trio for Antonius to register the shock on their faces.
The Roman army was somewhere they weren’t supposed to be.
Maybe a lone set of Caledonii was what Antonius was supposed to keep an eye open for.
They stared at each other for the space of several heartbeats, before several Roman soldiers broke rank and rushed the trio. The Caledonii man threw the spear he held before turning to run into the trees with the two women. The spear bounced off a soldier’s shield and was flung to the side like an irritating bug.
“Halt!” a stern, powerful voice carried in the air, and the few soldier who had broken rank immediately stopped, keeping their eyes on the tree line.
“Fall in!” the voice commanded, and those errant soldiers returned to their places.
The Prefect had instructed the lower ranks to keep their distance from any locals as established by the treaty.
Not that the Romans had abided by that treaty at all.
The men fell in. Antonius, however, didn’t focus on the rank and file in front of him. Something about those people, their shockingly bright hair, their muscular, barely covered bodies marked with red and blue tattoos in odd swirls. Their coloring wasn’t what caught his attention the most.
No, it was the fierce gaze of the shorter woman, the one with the wild shock of hair the color of an Alban sunset.
She didn’t turn as quickly as her two companions. Rather she kept her gaze riveted on the armor-clad men, as though she was challenging them to face her.
Antonius chewed at his lip, hiding a smile.
Gumption, his mother called that look, that trait. Gumption, the will to stand up in the face of something dire, to challenge authority.
Antonius never had the gumption, not the type his mother spoke of so highly.
The marching resumed its steady cadence, turning back in a south-easterly direction.