Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cave of the Red Horse

November Sale
RED MAGIC, Book 1 of the Magic Colours series: 
 $.99 at most e-book retailers:
The enigmatic, treacherous Rossmann shows Caterina a magical place, one that he has known since his childhood...

His tone was encouraging--and his light was receding--so, having no other choice, Caterina dropped to her knees and followed.  After a few twists and turns of scuffling, claustrophobic crawling after his outline, she saw him get to his feet.  When she reached the same spot, he extended a hand to help her up.             

The candle flickered. Caterina saw that they were at the bottom of a dripping, and, except for the dim candle light, utterly black, fissure.  Rossmann was turning, shining the candle on the walls, seeking and finally finding the mouth of yet another hole.    

"Inside of this one is what the old ones painted.  It's just as I told you the night Star dropped her foal.  You‑‑of all people‑‑must see."

"What?  I thought you were showing me an escape."          

"It's through here."  On hands and knees, neatly balancing the light, Rossmann disappeared again.      His enthusiasm for the tour they were making seemed high, innocent.  Cat swallowed back her fear, got down on her knees again and awkwardly followed him.   

After a blessedly short crawl, she found Rossmann and the light again.  He had already got to his feet and held the candle high.     

As soon as Cat looked up, she forgot her fear.  The walls of this tiny space were covered with paintings, paintings of animals.  The colors were bright and fresh, the execution spirited.    She recognized cattle, elk, deer and horses, but besides these more ordinary creatures, there were animals she'd never seen before.  One, very large, was bulky, furry and seemed to be sporting a trunk.  "An‑‑an‑‑elephant?"  She'd had to make a brief mental search to find the name of the creature.  "Here?  On these plains?"           

"Yes," Rossmann answered.  "So it seems.  It must have been much wetter then.  Elephants are very big, you know, eat very much."    

"Have you seen elephants, Herr Rossmann?"

  "Yes.  They are wise, perhaps the wisest of creatures, and they are very, very dangerous to their keepers."      

"Where did you see them?"   

His small bright eyes turned on her, dark and sardonic.  "In Africa," he said.      

"I thought these lands were your home place."        

"They are, but I've traveled." The mystery of Rossmann seemed never ending. 

Cat returned to studying the beauty and energy portrayed on the walls, tried to ignore the persistent unsettled feeling she'd had from the moment they'd entered the cave.        

Among, and sometimes atop, the gamboling animals were hand prints, spirals and squiggly lines.  In spite of the fresh, bright colors, Cat instinctively felt that this had been painted a very long time ago.

"This is the Cave of the Red Horse," said Rossmann.  "It's a place a woman with your gift should see."    

He raised the candle high and threw light upon a painting Cat hadn't noticed.  Almost directly overhead, a huge red  horse galloped.  A long legged foal was in full stretch, close by its mother's side.    

"Oh!  She's beautiful!" Cat exclaimed.    

After a moment, Rossmann's eyes lowered from contemplation of the ceiling. 

"Yes.  She's the guardian of the cave, the center of power.  Long ago a witch lived here.  It was said that if a man took her, he'd be a Lord with many sons, many cattle and horses.  If her magic resisted him, though, he must die..."      


Red Magic
$.99 / November (Ginger Simpson)


Friday, October 23, 2015

~Lord Goran Finds His Prey~

 Just .$.99 !
BOGO at Books We Love

Night came down upon the mountain. A cloud of stars floated around the peak.  He lifted his head and scented the air, and was able to taste it all—the people, their suppers, their horses, cattle, goats and chickens, dogs, and the pine forest beyond—so much life, going on everywhere. To learn so much with his nose was new and exhilarating, so he threw back his head. The wind, as if summoned, gusted, brisk and chill, ruffling his dark hair.
            Goran stood by the forest edge, by the tame little village, with its steep-roofed stone houses, the walls white with plaster and bright with decorative trim, all of which his night-time vision recognized. Something had urged him to come here, and hearing, he’d returned to seek it out. A dog began to bark, probably at his scent, first one and then others, in the persistent way of their kind. The noise annoyed him, but he knew that if any were loose and came to confront him, they would soon be cowering on the ground, displaying an attitude of profound, doggy submission. He sent a message into the air—SILENCE! After a few minutes, to his satisfaction, all the barking stopped.

            Houses backed onto the pasture land. Behind lay a wedge of forest. The Heldenberg lifted her stony head over it all. He understood that creatures near and far were alert, aware of his presence. From the houses, with their summer open windows, he heard snores, but there was already a faint suggestion of light to the east.

            What was it—what was it—that he needed to do?

            He went past a tidy garden, nicely cultivated, the whole plot angled toward the southern sun. There was a pile of straw at one end, and, from this pile, there came raucous snores. As he approached, he scented the rank sour smell of a drunk.

            And who should be lying there like a sleeping hog, but Thomas’ driver, wrapped up in the blanket that he’d seen the boy take for the exhausted horse earlier in the evening.

            Ah, yes! Exactly what he was looking for.

            With a leg on either side of the sleeper, he bent and seized the man by the throat with one clawed, muscular hand.
...The eyes opened, first blurred with confusion and sleep, and then, as he recognized what held him, filled with terror.


“Guess again!”

Goran hissed, then grinned widely, amused by his own joke. To speak clearly wasn’t easy, negotiating such a long tongue inside a mouthful of long, sharp teeth. He relaxed his grip just sufficiently to allow Herr Engle to get some air. He wanted to give him plenty of time to contemplate where he was, and to understand what, exactly, had seized him.

As soon as the man sucked in a breath, his large sweaty hands flew up and locked around Goran’s wrists. They were the hands of a teamster, powerful and leathery from years of driving, but defiance changed nothing.

Crouching, Goran simply squeezed the fat throat hard once again. Herr Engle’s bleary eyes bulged and his tongue began to protrude.

Inside his mind, he could hear the shrieked plea: STOP! 

But why?


Why? For you have none …

Goran sent the thought and then abruptly realized that he didn’t have to do this the way he’d killed the brigands. Such crude ripping and tearing would cause a fuss.


Besides, he still wasn’t particularly hungry. Certainly not for this beer-soaked flesh. 

Inside the man’s body, he spied the pulsing heart.
It was ever so busy, pounding, pounding, pounding in terror!

Gathering himself, Goran bowed his head against the hot, heaving chest, against the flailing arms, and pressed. He changed again, into a bull, a bull with a hated farmer trapped beneath his brow.

Down upon the ground, struggling, an enemy pinned between spreading horns…


Inside the chest, the red, fat-marbled muscle pumped like mad, keeping this worthless creature alive.

On his fore-knees, Goran pressed ever so hard. There was a harsh, pain-filled groan. Next, the sound of bones popping...

A little later, he, once more upon two legs, stood to admire his handiwork. The man no longer moved. No breath, no cries, no prayers, either aloud or within his mind. Satisfied, and feeling no further wish to remain so near to habitation, Goran turned and disappeared into the fragrant shadow of the dark mountain pines.


And for more Sunday Snippets, hop along to these talented Books We Love Writers: (Ginger Simpson)


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Rose's Curse

And for this week's Halloween snippet, here's a witchy hex from Roan Rose:

When I had time, I went into the fields, off and on for days after, searching for herbs of the season. At last, I found all that was needed to make a potion so deadly it would take down an ox. With great care I prepared, and then poured it into a brown glass bottle I’d tucked in the back of the medicine chest. Around the neck, as warning, I knotted black thread and a fragile bird’s bone.
This was for dear Hugh, if he ever came back.
Praying that I did not have to use it and end up hanged, I sat with my three-legged pot quite late during the next dark of the moon. I had carefully sewed a poppet, stuffing it with his hair from a brush and snips of cloth from a ragged sweat-stained shirt he'd left behind.

I wished him impotence. I wished the wound I'd given would fester. I wished the last of his hair from his head. I took my knife and slowly sawed away the legs at the knees, one at a time. I dug pins first into the eyes and then into the heart. Lastly, I spoke a little charm I’d made:

Black Lady freeze his soul

Black Lady eat him whole

May he burrow like a mole

May the Devil be his dole

Cold his flesh and damned his soul,

Down in Hell's nether hole.

The work, the charm, and the greasy flaming of the poppet as it burned, made me feel a great deal better...."

ROAN ROSE is available at:

And for more Sunday Snippets, hop along to these talented Books We Love Writers: (Ginger Simpson)


Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Gift from the Duke

Young Duke Richard of Gloucester has gone to his brother's court in London, as the rift between King Edward and the Earl of Warwick deepens. Daringly, Richard has presented his cousin Anne with a ring as a going-away present, but he's also left something for Rose...
"...It was several days before we were permitted to ride. As usual, True Thomas came to accompany us. He lifted Anne onto her Precious, and made certain the saddle was tight by surreptitiously punching the pony in the stomach. Precious coughed, stamped a back foot and glared, but she had a naughty trick of bloating her stomach, and this would let the saddle slip.

            I climbed from the mounting block onto the little strawberry pony, mine to ride with my mistress. Every time I did this, I wanted to pinch myself. Horseback was an experience a peasant rarely enjoyed. Horses were for the wealthy. Ox carts or "shanks mare" sufficed for my low kind.

            As I gathered up the reins and adjusted my seat, Thomas appeared at my side.

            "Gotten yourself up, have you?"

            Anne, in a hurry to escape the confines of Middleham bailey, had already started off.

            I began to say that I had been getting myself up for the last year, when I realized it was a ruse. Thomas had something in his hand, something he wanted me to take.

            "For you, Rosalba," he whispered softly, "from a young Lord who says he will miss you, too."

            I gazed in astonishment at an enameled white rose, a pendant strung on a fine strand of braided silver thread.

            "Thomas--" I began.

            "My Lord of Gloucester prays you will take special good care of Lady Anne," Thomas interjected. Then, with a wink and a knowing look, he added, "Further, the duke also says you are to understand that this is a gift and no wage."

For a "Downstairs" view of the romance of Richard of Gloucester and Anne Neville:
Amazon readers say:

..."If you are a fan of all things Richard III, as I am, don't pass this one up."
"...I loved the strength of this woman..."

"...Powerful Sense of Time and Place"

  "...Waldron certainly knows her history...Yet despite its accuracy ... Roan Rose is ultimately a book about character..." Meredith Whitford, Author of "Treason."

ROAN ROSE is available at:

And for more Sunday Snippets, hop along to these talented Books We Love Writers: (Ginger Simpson)



Saturday, October 3, 2015

For King Richard's Birthday

Born October 2, 1452, Richard was the fourth and last son of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and his wife Cecily Neville, during the last convulsions of The Wars of Roses. As  Duke of Gloucester, he was his elder brother's right hand man both before and after Edward became Edward IV. Richard was also the last Yorkist King and the last Plantagenet King of England. From the Battle of Bosworth field in 1485 until today, England would be ruled by foreign families: Welsh (Tudors), Scots (Stuarts) and German (Saxe-Coburg).
Shakespeare famously created the image of a deep-dyed villain in his play, Richard III. However, scholars and historians from the 17th Century onwards have posed their doubts about the truth of  "history as written by the victors" in what was essentially a long, ugly turf war for possession of Britain.
One thing even Richard's enemies never denied was his bravery. Here, in an excerpt from The Song of the Lady Bessiye, probably written by man who'd heard an account from an actual veteran of Bosworth, Richard is portrayed as unwilling to flee the field, even though his cause is lost.
....“Heere is thy horse at thy hand readye;
another day thou may thy worshipp win,
& for to raigne with royaltye,
to weare the crowne, and be our King.” —
he said, “give me my battell axe to my hand,
set the crowne of England on my head so hye!
for by Him that shaped both sea and Land,
King of England this day I will dye!
“one foote will I neuer flee
whilest the breath is my brest within!”
as he said, so did it bee;
if hee lost his life, he were the King...."
It all happened 500 years ago, but this long ago, mysterious~perhaps murderous~Richard still has a host of loyal followers. The Richard III Society (English and American) is broadly dedicated to the scholarly study of Later Medieval Britain, and, in particular, to those last tumultuous fifty years of the Wars of Roses .

Recently, this once obscure corner of English history has received much attention in a flood of historical novels, often from the POV of the royal protagonists. My own Roan Rose, written after a lifetime of imagining Richard and his cousin-wife, Anne Neville, is told from the view of a "body" servant, one who shares the sometimes terrifying ups and downs of her lady's experience. Rose, a farmer's child, picked up by a countess in much the same way we'd pick up a barnyard puppy, sees far more than her "betters" imagine. She's an intimate witness to--and sometimes a secret participant in--the personal lives and loves of those she serves. 

  5 Star Reviews at Amazon:

..."With an interesting twist at the end, Rose's story is sure to delight."
..."If you are a fan of all things Richard III, as I am, don't pass this one up."
"...I loved the strength of this woman..."

"...Powerful Sense of Time and Place"

"A 'Downstairs' view of the Houses of Neville and York, narrated by a devoted servant, Rose, whose life is irrevocably entangled with the lethal schemes of her '"betters'."

"...Waldron certainly knows her history...Yet despite its accuracy ... Roan Rose is ultimately a book about character..."

ROAN ROSE is available at:

And for more Sunday Snippets, hop along to these talented Books We Love Writers: (Ginger Simpson)