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Saturday, December 26, 2015

YORKSHIRE WINTER--From Roan Rose-Sunday Snippet

Rose obeys Richard and Anne's command and marries Hugh. Now she's back at Middleham

Castle, but the Lord and Lady she loves more than any husband are not at home...

"It was odd to find myself at chores that for years had seemed the province of servants lower than I. I swept and hauled wood and water. Hugh was also out of practice at domestic tasks, and I heard him cursing like a madman as he worked on the broken shutters, but he did the heaviest lifting and was resourceful and good with his hands—far better than I. The bedstead and the trunks made their way upstairs to the dark, warm loft by the chimney. Hugh lifted me while I strung hanks of Sweet Annie, rosemary and lavender from the dusty rafters to sweeten the air.

            Out of doors it snowed. Wind howled. The towers of Middleham Castle appeared and disappeared magically behind slashing white. I was home again, but not in the way I had so long imagined.

            It was bitter to stand in the shadow of the great keep and find myself reduced to a humble cottager in the sparse northern village of a lord who was not presently at home.

            "Do not grieve," Hugh said, catching me at it one day. He patted me on the back.

            My first instinct was to pull away.

            "Oh, Rosie!" he scolded, gathering me patiently against the heat of his big chest. "That is no life for the likes of you and me, running like dogs whenever they call. We can make something of our own now. I tell you, lass, he said," rubbing my shoulders and settling me warmly against his gut, "for years I imagined I had a good life, but what does a young fool know? This is contentment, to be well-settled, to know where I'll rest my head at night, and who will rest beside me."
~~Juliet Waldron
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Middleham Castle, present day, by Bumblekite


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http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)

Saturday, December 19, 2015


Black Magic is the second part of a fantasy/historical series about an Austrian noble family. This book is about an Alpine Krampus and how he came to be "blessed" with the shape.  (This was not quite the "Welcome Home" he was expecting...

It truly was heaven, this high place! The Milky Way spread above, those shining rivulets of stars, cutting channels through the delta of night…

But Goran was freezing, too, so he pulled the greasy, odorous blanket closer. Alaric spared him an amused glance as he sat shivering.

“Unlike me, you have no need to ever be cold again, My Lord.”

The suggestion instantly took effect. Goran, looking down at his body, saw a shaggy pelt sprouting. Warmer, almost at once, he released the blanket.

“Ah! I see.”

“You will learn, My Lord. You will learn. Here, on Heldenberg, you can be any creature you desire or any shape you can imagine. You may even pick and choose.”

“You mean that this—thing—with the horns and the claws and fangs…” Goran raised his hand. Sure enough, as well as fur, it now sported a fine set of talons.

“Oh, yes, old Krampus! He has always been about these mountains, one way or another, so the old folks told me very long ago when I was a babe in arms. But what I mean is that you might choose to wear horns while still retaining the form of a handsome man. Do you understand?”


“So is Krampus the shape Zigmond preferred?”

“Yes. Zig purely loved terrifying folks, you know, and Krampus certainly is a fright. But you don’t have to do that.”

“It was —interesting—today, to be the steinbock. It—just happened.”


“Sometimes Krampus will come to you, now, because he’s a winter spirit, but not always.”

“Not always. Well, that's one good thing, at least.”


Saturday, December 12, 2015

An Unwanted Proposal~~ Genesee


     "Captain Dunbar," she whispered, gazing into his eyes, "Jean Desbrosses has proposed marriage."

     His breath drew in, hard and sharp, as if she'd struck a knife between his ribs.

     "Oh, Jenny," he whispered.

     "Cornelia says I would be a fool not to – and – and – I'm sure my Uncle Stephen will be very angry, maybe Grandfather van Cortlandt, too – if I refuse."

     "Do as your heart tells you, not your head. Don't let them force you, Jenny." He spoke softly, but she heard it loud and clear--a plea from his young heart.

     She lifted a hand, and, yearning, trembling, caressed his thin cheek. He caught her wrist, pressed his lips against the pulse beating there.

~~Juliet Waldron

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

GENESEE~~View from an Apple Tree

An excerpt from the opening chapter of Genesee, in which Jenny hides in the apple tree and sees Captain Dunbar for the first time: 


Jenny, peering down through the branches, saw a perfectly erect and slender young man of medium height. His fair skin and rosy cheeks gave him a china doll beauty.

     Many young officers defied regulation with flowing locks, but in this case the cut was military, shorn close to the head. Alexander Dunbar's coppery hair was curly, doing its best to defy the extremity that had been worked upon it. There was only one nod to fashion, a thin braided queue which made a bright rat's tail down the back of his neat blue jacket.

     "I would love to make your acquaintance further, Miss Cornelia, myself and Captain Troup," he gestured at his tall friend, who smiled and inclined his head. "For tales, not only of your beauty, but the charm of your conversation have reached our ears."

     "Get to it, Alex," the other man urged.

     "Miss Cornelia, I have been entrusted by a mutual friend with billets doux."

     At this, Cornelia bounced like a puppy and clapped her smooth hands together. Both of the young men grinned, and theatrically raised fingers to their lips.

     Jenny was praying that they would keep their eyes on Cornelia and not look into her tree. Beneath her shift was nothing at all. The faint breeze of this warm spring day was gently tickling bare flesh.

     "Are you a good catch, Miss?" curly headed Dunbar inquired.

     “Saucy!" Cornelia was merry, choosing to misinterpret. She tossed her curls. "What do you think?" She had missed flirtation dreadfully ever since she had been locked up.

~~ Juliet Waldron

~~~Buy one, get one, through the Books We Love site~~

Genesee, an Epic Winner, is also available here:

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http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)