Steadfast Will I Be by @FurlongLeigh is a Love and Romance Festival pick #historicalromance #bookish
Title: Steadfast Will I Be
Author: Susan Leigh Furlong
Genre: Historical Romance
Tagline: The king’s law, a thief’s revenge, a love that risks it all
Vicious gangs of reivers roam Scotland during the tumultuous reign of James V, and one of these gangs, led by a man with a red stain on his face, threatens all that Robin holds dear. The man steals Robin’s ear and then nearly steals his life, but Robin will not let him take anything else, not his home, not his family, and not the woman he loves. Even when accused of murder and facing the hangman’s noose, Robin will remain steadfast above all else.
As long as she lives, Suannoch will carry half of the shilling she and Robin split when they pledged their devotion to each other. Even after she is forced into an unwanted betrothal, their unwavering love is stronger than anything trying to keep them apart. After Robin’s arrest, Suannoch vows to rescue him, or bring his body back, because where they have chosen, steadfast will they be.
Northern England, 1518
The boy crouched under a solitary tree by the side of the road in the Pennine Hills. His lanky, battered, and bloodied legs had taken him this far and no farther. Shivering from the rain cascading off the nearly bare branches, he might not make it through the night without drowning. He turned his head at the sound of a horse coming down the road, splashing mud with each step, and closed his eyes as if praying for the rider to pass by.
“What are ye doing here, chiel?” asked the stranger on the chestnut stallion.
The boy’s eyes flew open.
The man’s thick brogue betrayed him as a Scot, one who risked being caught alone on the English side of the border. Discovery would mean a quick death at the hands of Englishmen who had had their fill of defending themselves against Scottish raiders.
The boy looked up at him through miserable dark blue eyes surrounded by heavy purple bruises. “Nothing, milord. I will be on my way.” As he started to stand, his ragged oversized tunic fell off his shoulder, exposing raw stripes on his back.
“Who beat ye, chiel?” the Scot asked gruffly.
Quickly, the boy pulled up his tunic. “ ’Tis nothing, sir. I will be gone.”
“Are ye going back to the man who did it?”
The boy stuck out his chin and narrowed his eyes. “Nay!”
“Then ye will go with me.” The man on the horse tossed the boy a piece of dry bread, which he caught and stuffed into his mouth all in one bite.
“Hungry, chiel?” the man asked.
The boy did not answer but swallowed the bread as quickly as he could.
Astride his stallion, the man towered over him. He had a chest like a bull, long copper locks, and a rugged face with a thick jagged scar running down his forehead and across his eye on the right side of his face. The man, despite his menacing appearance, had a kindness in his deep, rumbling voice.
The man reached out his hand and hoisted the bewildered boy onto his horse’s rump behind him. Quickly, the boy slid up against the raised back of the saddle to keep from falling off. The man, unfastening a section of his woolen plaid from his belt, handed the edge of the long cloak to the boy, who draped it over his head, sheltering them both from the rain. Then the man took a thin slice of dried meat from his pack and handed it to the boy.
“Why are you helping me?” asked the boy, stuffing the meat into his mouth as fast as he could between words.
The man smiled, and his wide mouth tugged his rough red beard up nearly to his eyes. “ ’Tis a long sad story that I am hoping will end better than it began.” Then the smile left his face. “ ’Tis only me to claim my family land. I have lost everything I love in the battle for Scottish freedom that I now ken winna ever end, so I am going home, ne’er to return to England, ne’er to wield my sword against another man. When I saw ye by the road, I thought ye might want the same, ne’er to have a weapon raised against ye again. Am I right, lad?”
“I mean no disrespect, milord,” the boy said as he chewed, “but I am a stranger.”
“Ye ride on my horse, so ye’re a stranger no more. I am Bretane, Laird of Makgullane.”
“I am Robin.”
UNIVERSAL LINK: https://books2read.com/u/bprkek
What’s your favorite part about being a romance author?
One of my favorite things about writing romance is that I get to create strong female characters. I then create the men who, while they may resent this irrepressible woman at first, soon learn that she is worth it. I want readers to hear that it’s okay to be what you want and to go after your goals, and that love is still possible. These role models are important for everyone in today’s often confusing world.
Here’s my tip to add romance to your love life:
My tip for adding romance may not sound so romantic to many of you, but it is for us. For over a year now we have watched reruns of “Laugh-In” almost every night. (For younger readers, Laugh-In is an innovative comedy show from 50 years ago.) The news these days only makes us angry and frustrated, but a good dose of groan-inducing one liners and totally absurd situations brings us joy that we can share. I love to hear him laugh and he says the same about me. It brings us closer, and there isn’t anything more romantic than that.
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Runs February 1 – 28, 2021.
Drawing will be held on March 1, 2021.
Susan Leigh Furlong was born at the University of Michigan in the middle of a blinding snowstorm before moving to six big cities across the country before the age of fourteen. At college she met her love and moved to his small hometown where the stoplight went on flasher at 11:00 pm, but now you couldn’t get her out of there with a crowbar. There she taught first and fourth grades. While performing in community theater, she realized she wanted to play ALL the parts, and she now writes and/or directs church plays for adults and children and performs with a music and drama ministry, LightReaders.
She also wrote two historical non-fiction books about this hometown published by Arcadia Publishing. Susan first discovered romance novels when she won a copy of Velvet Song by Jude Deveraux at the local bookstore, and she is forever hooked.
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