Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Protected by the Warrior

Allow me to do a little bragging!

Protected by the Warrior

And allow me to share this story with you!
When Clara became a midwife, she vowed to preserve life above all. She'll keep that vow, even if it means defying a Norman baron by hiding a Saxon slave and her child. Yet when the ruthless lord threatens Clara's village—and her life—she's forced to rely on another Norman to keep her safe. 
Kenneth D'Entremont is a soldier, one who takes lives instead of healing them. Clara despairs of finding any common ground with him. But when he begins guarding her, she learns to see him in a new light. His care and compassion make her feel safe…even loved. Can she bring herself to put her secrets, and her heart, under the protection of the warrior?

Here is an excerpt from a humorous part in the story.  (Where Kenneth has slipped and fallen.)

Clara gasped. She could see the moon reflected in Kenneth’s eyes, wide between his swift blinks of stunned shock. She hurried over to him. “Are you all right?”

He groaned as he tested each limb and found them all working. “Aye. I’m not badly hurt. What was that thing?”

“A cat, I think. At night, they slip into the village from the keep to prowl.” Then, ensuring that he could see her intense expression as clearly as possible in the moonlight, she leaned close and planted her hands on either side of his shoulders. “Since you are unhurt, allow me to continue our conversation. You may believe you have the wisdom of God at your disposal, sir, but rest assured, I believe the same. Only time will tell whose wisdom prevails, but I have the advantage. Only I know where Rowena is and I plan to keep it that way.”

When she realized her proximity, she pushed away from him, and watched, ready to help as he stood. “I also have the advantage of being able to awaken on the morrow without any aches and pains. But do not worry. I have an excellent tea should you require something to ease your soreness. And I’d be happy to make it for you.”

With that, she spun and marched into the hut, going straight through the small main room and into the tiny bedchamber.

Brindi bounced back onto the pallet and under the covers. “You should be asleep,” she told the girl sharply.

“You and Kenneth made a lot of noise. And I can’t sleep without you. You usually come to bed at the same time I do.”

“You were on your own for a month, Brindi.” But what she said was true when they were together. In Colchester, the days were busy, but the nights were quiet, each person still too concerned with staying out of the Norman soldiers’ ways. Sometimes, though, after Brindi had fallen asleep, Clara would slip out and visit Rowena. The trip into the woods was dangerous, but not too far. All she’d had to do was follow a small stream upward to its bend and step into the thicket a few feet. A small, man-made warren, probably used to hide a thief at one time, had been Rowena’s temporary home after the baby was born.

When Clara had discovered that she was to come to Little Dunmow, she’d moved Rowena to a hut she’d discovered, deep in the woods that skirted a small, nearly depleted peat bog. `Twas why Rowena was so reluctant to have a fire there, for sometimes a Saxon would pilfer the scraps of peat for fuel.

After that moment of silent thought, Brindi spoke. “Shouldn’t you pray for forgiveness for tripping Kenneth?”

“I did not trip him! A stray cat darted out of our garden and he slipped on the flagstones.”

“He could have died.”

Clara groaned. “No, he couldn’t have. People don’t die from falling, unless they are very old.”

“He could have hit his head and then died. You should have prayed for God to forgive you.”

“He didn’t die. He’s fine and `twas his slippery shoes on the wet stones that caused his fall, not me.”

“You made him jump up. You were arguing with him.”

“Like you are arguing with me?” Clara sighed. “I will pray, but sometimes we have to fight for what we believe in. And you shouldn’t have been listening at the door. Now go to sleep.”

Brindi didn’t answer. Shortly after, Kenneth entered and prepared the table to be his bed. Clara refused to surrender to her curiosity and peer through the hearth to see if he was limping. She’d find out in the morning if his fall had left any ill effects.

Still, Brindi was right about one thing. She should pray for forgiveness. For she surely had lost her temper with the man and hadn’t really felt sorry for his fall.

Lord, forgive me. Keep Rowena safe. Help me find the best place for her and the babe.

She huddled deeper into the bedclothes. But Kenneth’s occasional groans were too much for her curiosity. She twisted about and peered over the dying fire.

He was limping. And rubbing his head. Clara bit her lip. She should check him out. Her aunt had told her of one old man who’d fallen and cracked his head open, only to die in his sleep.

She should check his head and see if he had any broken bones.

She sat up, and Brindi opened her eyes.

“Get to sleep, Brindi.”

“Are you going to see if his brains are falling out?” the girl whispered.

“I’m sure his brains are fine. I will check him for broken bones. But if you don’t get to sleep right now, I will have you doing all the chores tomorrow.”

With that threat, Brindi flopped over on her side and fell silent. Clara pulled on her cyrtel and hastily tied up the belt and neck. Kenneth had already seen her hair, so her spare wimple wasn’t necessary. She shoved back the curtain and stepped into the light of the main room. “Let me see your head.”

Please check it out:


Not everyone likes Christmas books.

I may receive a small commission for some of the links below. For years, I didn't want to read Christmas books, nor did I want to w...