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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

How to Train Your Knight by Stella Marie Alden Book Blast & Giveaway

Title: How to Train Your Knight
Author: Stella Marie Alden
Publication Date: May 10, 2015
Genre: Medieval Romance

SynopsisYear of our Lord, 1276.

In the hours just before dawn, blasphemous curses echo throughout the stone manor. A knife clatters to the floor, and a feisty young widow is bound, blindfolded, and led to the marriage altar. The king couldn’t possibly have sanctioned this farce of a marriage, could he? After all, she alone transformed a few mud huts and starving serfs into a flourishing town, never once hesitating to pay generous taxes to his royal kingdom. Abandon her beloved people to be ruled by her new husband, an ignorant Templar knight? Never! the Lady Ann vows.

A murderous witch for a wife? The Beast of Thornhill finds himself in the middle of either a cruel jest or an evil conspiracy. After returning from the Holy wars, he accepts endowment of a small parcel of land in return for saving King Edward’s life. But the reward comes with a warning regarding the estate’s mistress. Despite his insatiable attraction to the black-haired beauty, he allows her time to warm to him while observing her strange, forward-thinking ways. But when all is on the line, will he stand by her through the inquisition or will they both hang for her secrets?


“My lord, your castle awaits to the north and your relatives may be held captive. We must turn

back.” The words were spoken by Harold-the-Younger who would be forgiven, just this once,

for his impertinence.

“And my wife is missing. Thank you for stating the obvious. If you can’t be more helpful, I

suggest your mouth be best used for taking in breath.”

Jacob pointed down the river. “There. What’s that?”

Thomas’ heart sank. A flat bottomed boat lay bobbing upside down against the bank of the river.

A woman’s body lay beside it in a pool of blood. He swallowed hard and dug spurs into

Demon’s side. His charger tossed his head, snorted, and veered, but Thomas gained control and

raced toward the grisly scene.

A dog chewed at a headless mass of flesh and snarled. He kicked the animal away, squatted, and

cursed. Pieces of Merry’s bloodied tunic twisted among the innards. He dropped to his knees and

shouted with first raised into the air. “Be ye damned forever.” Part of the curse was for whoever

had just killed her, the other for God, and lastly for himself.

Assessing the gore was the hardest thing he’d ever done. What was left of the flesh had the

length and breadth of his wife. One arm was cleaved at the wrist. His soul refused to

acknowledge the scene in front of his eyes and he refused to mourn. Not yet. He’d find the

bastard who’d done this to her, cleave him in to small bits, and let the vultures feed.

A horse whinnied behind him and Jacob’s flat voice spoke, “The head is gone.”

“Let me be. I’ll bury her. Alone.” He gathered stones and placed them beside the body.

“It’s way too opportune that the poor woman’s head and hand are missing. I smell a ruse.”

The blackness that threatened to devour his soul wouldn’t let in one ray of hope. “Do as you will.

I’ll bury what’s left of her.”

Thomas scoured the flood plain for a sign of her. Was it possible? Crows circled above, but other

than that, the land lay bare. All signs and tracks around the body had been swept away. The

coward was clever. About a mile beyond, a forest loomed. Perhaps the woman-slayer trembled


Having no shovel, but many a stone, Thomas moved the body parts to a central area and covered

them. With none to watch, tears came unbidden as he placed the last round stone atop what was

left of her body. He gasped for air, knowing not how to go on, but knowing he must for his little


“What say you, lass? You were right. Better that I should’ve stayed dead.”

Memories, detecting the flaw in his mail, attacked without mercy. Six years ago, he’d spied her

across the room with the devil in her eyes. She’d smiled boldly at him and giggled with her

friends. The first time they’d sat together at table, he’d fed her like a baby bird and cut her food.

All in the great dining room watched, knowing that in the doing so he’d claimed her.

He recalled that fateful night, when they’d hand-fasted before God. She’d begged him to take her

and he’d been too weak to resist completely. He’d promised to come back after trading in

London and marry her. How was he to know that Marcus would send him abroad at the king’s

request? His soul howled, never to be consoled again.

He sobbed, falling upon his knees, with his hands covering his face. Forgive me. He’d loved with

her that night as much as he’d dared. So beautiful her lovely sighs, so bountiful her breasts.

She’d opened her legs and accepted his hand until she’d come undone. Mayhap a holier man

could have resisted her offerings, but oh no, not him. Nay. He took all but her virginity and

remembered how sweet the agony to spew his seed between her legs.

He allowed one more moment of self-pity, planted the final rock upon her grave, and squeezed

his eyes as they burned. He apologized for his blasphemy and prayed God to take his angel into

heaven and allow him to meet her there anon. First, he would seek revenge and see to the welfare

of his son.

His eyes popped open when the grasses rustled in front of him and the ground opened up. A

muddy black demon arose with shiny eyes and yellow teeth. Grinning, it exited the hole with a

most ordinary sword held high. Then there was naught, but darkness.

Author Bio

I love Yoga, Zumba, and DIY house projects. My latest fun toy is a tile cutter. Wheee. What else can I tile?

I grew up in New England, in Vermont and have always enjoyed making up stories. When I was a kid, nothing was sacred. Crayons would fight other crayons for placement in the box. Street lamps, when they lost their bulbs, would cry. Needless to say, I still have an active imagination.

I love traveling. I'm one of those people that all other travelers hate. I lay back, when the plane takes off, and awake when the plane touches down.

I have two grown daughters, one lives in Brooklyn and one in Rome. My husband  loves to edit my work, and my two cats jump on my keyboard when I'm not watching. Blame them if you see typos.

Cheers and thanks for reading.

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Giveaway: There is a giveaway for this blast. Ten (10) swag magnet/card sets. Giveaway ends 2/19. Void where prohibited. 
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