Upcoming release: A Highland Captive – Excerpt

The countdown is on! 

Only four more days to go until A Highland Captive is let loose! I’m very excited, but also terrified. My first completely new release in nearly seven years. Gulp!

A Highland Captive is the second tale in my Highland Chronicles series set in the beautiful Scottish Highlands, a region I miss very much. Books in the series are standalone, but that doesn’t mean that characters within them may not feature in another story in future. Watch this space!

It’s already available on pre-order at Amazon, so if you fancy, feel free to grab it whilst it’s only 99p / 99c. On Sunday, the story will then magically appear on your Kindle, and you can dive straight in... I hope you'll enjoy it.



My beta-readers have helped me immensely in the final stages of preparation, and it now reads much better. My thanks goes to them. You know who you are!

But for now, enjoy the blurb, and an exclusive excerpt of the beginning of A Highland Captive.


The small island of Eorsa, seen from Mull, Scotland
Blurb:


1298
Scotland
Cailean MacDubhgaill, a knight from a small western island fighting for the Scottish cause, joins the battle at Falkirk but is wounded when he takes a blow to the thigh by an axe. Sir Eoín de Moray, uncle to his late friend, the former guardian, Andrew, helps him escape the carnage and takes him into a nearby forest, but is killed whilst fighting off pursuers.
Once Cailean has recovered from his injuries with the help of the healer Eithne, he rushes to de Moray’s manor on the northern shores of Loch Ness to convey the news to de Moray’s daughter, Isobel, but he is too late. He finds the manor burnt down, its people displaced, and Isobel abducted. Determined to honour the knight who had saved his life, he tracks Isobel down.
Finding herself taken away from her home against her will, to be married off to an English lord in service to King Edward I, Isobel de Moray ponders her fate when a nighttime raid on the mercenary camp sees her freed – only to fall into the hands of a strong-minded knight. The stranger takes her to his keep on the remote island of Eorsa, to keep her safe. 
But Isobel has other ideas…
~~~
Excerpt:


Falkirk
July 1298

The whirring sound grew louder and louder until it was cut off as screams echoed around the field of battle. Scores of arrows had hit their targets. Warriors and horses fell in agony at the impact of the latest round. Men stumbled over dying friends and strangers before they crouched once more, trying to cover themselves with their shields from the continuing onslaught of the longbows loosened by Lancastrian and Welsh soldiers on the far side. 
Cailean MacDubhgaill heard the next volley in the air, but he could not risk shifting his attention. Instead, he kept staring into the eyes of the English foot soldier, calculating the man’s next move. Half-hidden beneath the helmet, the cold, grey gaze pierced him like the slash he had just taken to the side of his right thigh from the man’s axe. A gargoyle grin marred the soldier’s face as he pulled back the weapon, raising it to strike again.
Cailean stumbled over the dead body of his horse, a lance sticking from the poor stallion’s chest. Blood pooled around the once strong neck. The whinnying sound echoed in his head, wrenching his heart. But there was no time to mourn his trusted companion of the last four years.
His mind went numb with the pain tearing through his body. The gash in his thigh burned. With much effort, he raised his shield to deflect another hit. And another. He thrust his sword towards his enemy, but the soldier, unhurt and swift in movement, easily avoided it. Cailean stumbled backwards, desperate not to give up, while his body screamed for rest. He clenched his teeth, ignoring it. The soldier’s swings were strong, and dropping his own shield meant certain death. If not from the mad man in front of him, the arrows from the damned longbows that rained over the field would no doubt catch him. How the Welsh would wage war – for Edward – and against their fellow Celts was beyond him!
His leg buckled beneath him as he tried to keep his foothold on the boggy ground. Warm blood seeped through his hose. His vision swam. Cailean slipped, propping up the fall with his right hand, knocking his sword from his grip. It landed just out of reach. He swore, raising his shield again.

The soldier’s grin widened. “Prepare to meet the devil!” He lifted his axe.
~~~

I hope you’ve enjoyed this wee teaser. I’ll be writing more about the Scottish Wars of Independence and Cailean, Isobel and other characters soon. Keep stopping by!




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