A Name and Some Teasers

Well, I’ve decided to call the third book in the Alainnshire series “Tempest.”

And I’ll leave you with a little teaser from Tempest. (Keep in mind that these are unedited and may change in later revisions.)

“Ech. Horse manure. And he threw it at you?” Maeve wrinkled her nose and rolled into Aislin’s lap. Aislin shifted to make room for her. Her niece was getting to be a long-legged colt.

“Your father called them ‘horse apples’. As long as I wore gloves, I was not at all squeamish about shoveling the stables. Or helping with any other farm work. I actually enjoyed it, as it gave me time to reflect. But the thought of horse manure against my skin turned my stomach.” Aislin laughed softly. “I made the mistake of telling your father that one day when we were cleaning the draft horse barn. He promptly picked up a horse apple and threw it at me. It bounced off my hand and hit me in the neck. I nearly went into hysterics.”

“What happened then?”

“I chased him all the way down to the pond with the shovel.” She remembered how fast she’d run, how Fionn had looked back and laughed as she chased him.

“Did you hit him with it?”

“No. Fionn was twice my size. He promptly disarmed me, threw me over his shoulder, and gave me a good dunking in the pond. He said if manure bothered me that much, he’d make sure I was good and clean.” Aislin poked Maeve in the ribs. “And that is why you should never tell anyone that you have an aversion to anything. It will almost certainly be used against you as a weapon.”

“I’m sorry, but he doesn’t sound very nice at all,” interjected Maeve.

“Oh no, Maeve. He was wonderful. I loved him so much I thought my heart would burst. We were…two of a kind. Impetuous. Hot-tempered. Mischievous handfuls, my father called us. He and Roderic would just let both of us go at it. Fionn didn’t dunk me to be mean, really. I was so angry about the manure that I planned on taking a swing at him with the shovel. He knew that so into the pond I went.”

“Did he ever throw manure at you again?”

“Only if I was being extremely annoying. There were certain things he wouldn’t tolerate, and I soon learned not to do those things.” She tucked Maeve under the chin. “So I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. Two things, actually. Not to aggravate my brother and never to tell anyone I disliked something. Those are lessons you can absorb without being pelted with horse apples.” Aislin grinned at her niece.

And I don’t want to slight Cara, who also plays prominently in Tempest:

“If you see anyone selling bolts of cloth, will you buy them for me? I am most interested in velvet and silk. Oh, and several yards of flannel if you can get it. Joria’s little one is going to need nightgowns.” Artur pressed a pouch of coins into Cara’s hand.

Cara smiled to herself as she dropped the pouch into the deep pocket of her blue muslin skirt. There was nothing this man couldn’t do. She was so glad he’d decided to stay at Sweetwood with her. “I’ll do that for you. Thank you, Artur. I have little time to sew these days. I appreciate your talents. I’ll be sure to tell Joria you’re making gowns for the baby.”

“You can tell me yourself. I’m right behind you.” Joria laughed as she put her hands on Artur’s shoulders. “What would we ever do without you, Artur?”

Artur turned and made a comical show of trying to hug Joria, finally giving up when her belly came between them. “I am excited to hold your little one, Joria. I have asked the gods for a girl.”

Joria leaned in and whispered, “So have I. Don’t tell Ellis. He’s hoping for a son.”

“Of course he is,” said Cara. “Typical man.”

Just then, a small buckboard wagon pulled by two dappled gray horses pulled up behind their own in the road. Joria’s husband Ellis reined them to a halt and waved to everyone.

Cara’s brow drew together as her gaze fell on her daughter’s belly. “You aren’t traveling to Arianrhod in your condition, are you?”

“Darice said it would be fine, that most first babies are late. She’s been a mid-wife long enough that I think she ought to know.”

Cara gave her a dubious look. It was just like Joria to be fearless, but she didn’t want to take chances with her daughter or her first grandchild.

Comments are closed.