Thursday, 21 November 2019

New Release Spotlight and Extract: The Raided Heart by Jennifer C. Wilson

The Raided Heart by Jennifer C. Wilson

Meg Mathers, the headstrong youngest sibling of a reiving family on the English-Scottish border, is determined to remain at her childhood home, caring for the land and village she’s grown up with. When an accident brings her a broken ankle and six weeks in the resentful company of ambitious and angry young reiver Will Hetherington, attraction starts to build. Both begin to realise they might have met their match, and the love of their lives, but 15th century border living is not that simple, as Meg soon finds herself betrothed to the weakling son of a tyrannical neighbour, Alexander Gray. When tragedy strikes, can Meg and Will find their way back to each other, and can Will finally take his own personal revenge on Gray?

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 Hello, and thanks so much for hosting an excerpt of The Raided Heart on your blog today – I hope your readers enjoy it!
Here, we are with Meg, when she hears the news that her brothers have been plotting her marriage. Not the best news, when you’re in love with somebody else…

The Raided Heart, Excerpt Three
“What did you think of young Henry, then?” asked Robert the next morning as they broke their fast. As Lizzie had reported, the Cliffside group had set off just after midnight, keen to make the most of the possible advantage at the western fringes of their territory.
“Well, he’s young, you’re right about that,” replied Meg, risking a glance at Will to see whether he knew where this conversation might be leading. He shook his head, out of Robert’s line of sight.
“Not too young,” replied Robert.
“Not too young for what?”
Meg spluttered. Crumbs caught in her throat as she began to choke on pieces of bread, on air, on what she feared her brother was suggesting. “Not for me?” she practically squeaked.
“Well obviously for you – Judd won’t give up the lovely Hannah, and I can’t go offering the maidens of the village these days, can I, like some ancient tyrant? Their menfolk would object, and none of us would want that.” He chuckled at his words, then stopped when he noticed his sister wasn’t joining in.
Meg caught Will’s glance as she caught her breath. “But, you never said anything,” she managed, in a hoarse whisper.
“I wanted to see you together. We both did, Gray and me. He’s in agreement, it seems an excellent match.”
“An excellent match for you two perhaps, but not for me!” Meg exclaimed. “He is little more than a child, what, sixteen years old? A whole five years younger than me! And completely undermined by his father on all counts. You must have seen the way they were together? Alexander is a monster, a bully, and his son is completed cowed. And besides, apart from civil greetings, I hardly spoke to him. You couldn’t possibly have seen how we were together to make such a judgement on whether we are remotely suited for each other.”
Meg could hear the mix of anger and panic rising in her voice, not caring whether her brother could hear it too. Henry Gray was not the man she intended to marry – even if there were no other options presently available to her, that her brothers would readily agree to.
“I cannot marry somebody who appears to have no voice, no thought of his own. You must see that?” Despite the residual ache in her ankle from the forced merriment and activity of the night before, she rose and rushed out of the room, leaving her brother and Will with eyes wide.

Jennifer C. Wilson is a marine biologist by training, who developed an equal passion for history and historical fiction whilst stalking Mary, Queen of Scots on childhood holidays (she has since moved on to Richard III). Enrolling on an adult education workshop on her return to the north-east of England for work reignited her pastime of creative writing, and she has been filling notebooks ever since. In 2014, Jennifer won the Story Tyne short story competition, and has been working on a number of projects since, including co-hosting the North Tyneside Writers’ Circle. Her Kindred Spirits novels are published by Crooked Cat Books and her time-slip novella, The Last Plantagenet?, by Ocelot Press. She lives in North Tyneside, and is very proud of her approximately 2-inch sea view.
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