Author: Anna Markland
Genre: Medieval romance/historical fiction
The third son returns to Montbryce after an absence of eight years. He’s been in England, living under an assumed name and trying to infiltrate King John’s inner circle. Sent by John as an emissary to a council of war in Flanders, he is unmasked as a spy. To make matters worse, he finds himself trapped into marriage and forced to flee with his unwanted bride.
Marissa d’Ascq sees marriage to Adrien as her last hope of escaping her mother’s cruel tyranny. Little does she know the dangers she and Adrien will face in their flight.
The kitchen workers’ complaints about the extra workload caused by the heatwave and the recent arrivals ceased abruptly. Washing vegetables under the water pump, Marissa glanced over her shoulder to see what had occasioned the sudden silence.
A stranger had sauntered into the kitchens—a tall, well-dressed man with raven hair tied back in a queue, the beginnings of a dark beard, and eyes of a blue she’d never seen before—like sapphires. Noble visitors didn’t lower themselves to venture into the cook’s domain, yet the man’s bearing and raiment spoke of wealth.
There was something slightly foreign about the cut of the mustard-colored tunic and snug black leggings. He must be one of the council delegates, but what was he doing in the kitchen, and why wasn’t he sweating like everybody else?
Never one for caring about her appearance, Marissa fidgeted with a stray lock of damp hair, suddenly wishing she wasn’t wearing a scullery maid’s muslin cap, peasant clothing and a soiled apron. And why was she shaking?
“Greetings,” he announced, his deep voice sending gooseflesh marching up her spine. “Scissors?” He rubbed his knuckles over his chin. “Or a straight razor?” he asked, frowning when no answer was forthcoming from the gaping servants.
Tamping down a lunatic urge to offer to shave his handsome face, Marissa fumed that an important visitor hadn’t been provided with the basic essentials for shaving. This was typical of her mother’s management. All show and no substance.
She wiped her hands on her apron, grabbed a pair of kitchen shears from the pocket of cook’s apron and offered them. “This is all we have, my lord,” she said in English, after swallowing the strange lump in her throat. Even so, her voice was raspy. Perhaps she’d inhaled too much smoke from the spit. English had always been a difficult language.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)
Book One of the series (BECKET) will be FREE Jan 3rd-6th:
As an amateur genealogist (aka an addict of family tree research) I became obsessed with tracing my English roots back to the Norman Conquest in the 11th century.
This turned out to be a pipe dream since I am not descended from the nobility and records were not kept for "common folks" until much later. Even then, early parish records are often indecipherable.
As a result, I began to write stories about a noble medieval family I conjured from my imagination. The Montbryces were born.
Like many people, I had an inner compulsion to write one good book. What was originally intended as that one book about my fictional family eventually became the 12-book series, The Montbryce Legacy.
In other words, writing superseded genealogy as my principal addiction, and I have since published more than 60 novels and novellas. Almost all are historical romances that feature, Vikings, Highlanders, medieval knights or Regency earls. You can find more details on my website https://www.annamarkland.com
I've lived most of my life in Canada, though I was born in the UK. An English grammar school education instilled in me a love of European history which continues to this day. While I may boast of being a proud Canadian, I'm still a Lancashire lass at heart.
Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an elementary school teacher, a job I loved. I then worked as administrator for a world-wide disaster relief organization.
I love cats, although I haven't been able to bring myself to adopt another one since unexpectedly losing Topaz a few years ago.
I have few domestic skills. You'll notice most of my heroines hate sewing!
I try to follow three simple writing guidelines. I give my characters free rein to tell their story, which often turns out to be different from the original version in my head. I'm a firm believer in love at first sight. My protagonists may initially deny the attraction but, eventually, my heroes and heroines find their soul mates. It seems only natural then to include scenes of intimacy enjoyed by people who love each other deeply. I believe such intimacy is wholesome. Historical accuracy is important to me, although I have been known to tweak history when necessary. I write romance because I find happy endings very satisfying.
Social Media Links:
On Facebook as Anna Markland and Anna Markland Novels, on Twitter as @annamarkland, and Pinterest and BookBub as Anna Markland. I also have a reader group on Facebook called Markland’s Merrymakers and new members are always welcome.