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Thursday, June 26, 2014

ROAN ROSE ~~ An excerpt

Rosalba's Tale begins:


"Little Witch!" A slap always followed the malediction.  "Dost thou stare?"

            This was my father. He did not like children whose opinions showed in their eyes. Large dark eyes I had—my mother's eyes—and when I displeased him, he was not slow to punish the unbroken will he saw.

            I was born at the village of Aysgarth in the house of a stark yeoman farmer, Master Whitby. He was not pleased when my mother gave him a daughter, and then another and another, as if by the force of her own contrary will.

            Master Whitby acknowledged me, however, as he acknowledged my sisters. I was written down in the book at the Church of Our Lady as "Rosalba Whitby, legitimate, born to Master Raymond Whitby and his espoused wife, Roseanne."

            When I was old enough to hear the tale, my mother very kindly let me know matters stood otherwise. To learn I had been conceived in liberty and was not the get of that humorless, ham-fisted tyrant fills me, to this day, with satisfaction.
 Aysgarth lies on Wenslydale, north and west of the great Keep of Middleham. Here our peasant houses grew from the ground like mushrooms. The poorest were of turf, but the best homes, like the one in which I was born, rose upon a costly timber frame.
            Those hard packed earthen floors! In the East Wind time, rain slanted through the central smoke hole and pelted the fire of our hearth. I remember huddling close, thinking how the flames were like serpents, lowering their fiery heads and hissing whenever the drops landed. During the worst weather, the entire family, including Master Whitby's curly-pelted white cattle, sheltered with us...

ROAN ROSE may be purchased at:   http://amzn.com/149224158X
Juliet Waldron

Thursday, June 19, 2014

ANGEL'S FLIGHT/the quilt


Quilting had always given Angelica a feeling of strength and purpose. It was as if in the process of using scraps to create a whole cloth she was reborn, renewed. In the midst of this village of the damned, the familiar, beloved activity was like an anchor of purpose, of meaning.

It was all such a muddle. Beyond the immediate danger, there was Jack, his kisses and his passionate, insistent courting. No matter how she examined this development, and from whatever angle, there seemed to be no resolution. He was a Tory; she was a Patriot. To do this, to do that--or, more pointedly--not to do this or not to do that, seemed beyond her ability to reason.

"How is it, she muttered to herself, "that I could get into this mess, but not out?"

Her fingers, with minds of their own restlessly sorted through the heap of scraps and patches. What to do?

As she picked and sorted the pieces a vague shape began to form. A star! Rough, to be sure, but a star nonetheless. Here, a point in velvet, there, a center in the wool of an old cloak.

Ah! There was enough of the velvet to make the other points. Her fingers moved faster, coaxing out stray bits of burgundy velvet, arranging them around the small bottle green wool square.

Yes, she thought. It comes together, a piece at a time...

~~Juliet Waldron
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Thursday, June 12, 2014

BLACK MAGIC, an excerpt

From the beginning of BLACK MAGIC, a creature-filled sequel to RED MAGIC. Red Caterina's twins are all grown now, and this is the first of their stories, coming soon from Books We Love.


...Veronique of the golden eyes! How often he’d imaged her delight at the natural wonders along the way, the waterfalls, the tall, whispering pines, the black-tailed deer and golden meadows! How often he’d imagined her, warm and yielding in his arms...


Around his military companions, where news of her defection was already public property, he’d tried on a pose: “It’s only a woman! Plenty more of those in Vienna!” He’d hoped to bully himself out of lovesickness, but it didn’t seem to be working.


Goran remounted. Reining around, he started down the gravel lane which ran between a avenue of trees leading to the front entry of the manor. The von Hagen family might be a bit threadbare after the long decade of war, but he would have felt almost naked riding in on anything less than this fine stallion.


It was quiet, even when he passed the barn and open paddocks which had once bustled with activity, either with his father’s military company or farm business. During the war, through the terrible years of shortages, famine and plague, Heldenburg lodge had been short-staffed. Goran noticed the shuttered cottages behind the trees, one of them beginning a lonely collapse. How much needed to be tended to here, on the estate!


            He and Mina—twins--had spent much of their childhood happily in this secluded house. Today, however, instead of beauty, the snow-capped mountain leaning over the place now seemed a malicious presence. Looking up at the still icy peaks, he wondered if the evil had always been lurking there. His old sense of security and familiarity were lost. The mountain, whose moody beauty his parents had both loved so greatly, now seemed a sinister, violent presence. 


            A gray rubble scar sprawled across the upper pasture, clearly visible. Beneath tons of gray rock lay the body of his mother, Caterina. She and three others had been moving cattle out of the upper pastures when the rock and mud avalanche had caught them. It was the first time he’d been back since the tragedy, and he was surprised by the pain he felt--pain on top of pain--as old loss and grief combined with the new. Goran, although a brave and much decorated soldier, felt exhausted, defeated—finished before he’d even begun to live.
~~Juliet Waldron

Thursday, June 5, 2014



Riding to find her estranged husband who is at war in the East, Caterina is betrayed, captured and sold into a harem.

She still couldn't believe what she saw when she opened her eyes.


There was the same morning light, the same sun that shone on her at home, shining through the bars of a room that had become her cage.


Her past, the wild Heldenberg, her freedom—all of it, gone!


Lost to a chimera, a dream that she would ride to find her man, that this would prove her true, true love, this facing danger for him…and what had it brought? Nothing but death and destruction to those who had bent to the folly of her desire and will.


And Rossmann—that traitor!
He was everything Cvitjeto had said and more--who had encouraged her, who had ridden with her knee to knee, who had smiled and taught her from his store of knowledge, who had so completely gained her trust all through the lonely, fatal summer...  


~~Juliet Waldron
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