Anna Belfrage is on the blog today to tell us a little about her new release, Her Castilian Heart, and to share an excerpt [see below].
You can follow the blog tour here: Tour Schedule: https://maryanneyarde.blogspot.com/2022/08/blog-tour-her-castilian-heart-by-anna.html
Her Castilian Heart By Anna Belfrage
Blood is not always thicker than water…
At times a common bloodline is something of a curse—or so Robert FitzStephan discovers when he realises his half-brother, Eustace de Lamont, wants to kill him.
A murderous and greedy brother isn’t Robert’s only challenge. He and his wife, Noor, also have to handle their infected relationship with a mightily displeased Queen Eleanor—all because of their mysterious little foundling whom they refuse to abandon or allow the queen to lock away.
Eustace is persistent. When Robert’s life hangs in the balance, it falls to Noor to do whatever it takes to rip them free from the toothy jaws of fate. Noor may be a woman, but weak she is not, and in her chest beats a heart as brave and ferocious as that of a lioness. But will her courage be enough to see them safe?
Trigger Warnings: [There is some sexual (consensual) content. Also some violence]
Is your book on Kindle Unlimited? YES
Universal Link (if you have it): http://myBook.to/HEART
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3cj9TIq
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3dVZuCE
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3KfqvgF
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/3AIBfks
A Little Bit about Anna …
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.
Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients.
Her Castilian Heart is the third in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. In the second instalment, The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain. This latest release finds our protagonists back in England—not necessarily any safer than the wilds of Spain!
Anna has also authored The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode!
All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.
Find out more about Anna, her books and enjoy her eclectic historical blog on her website, www.annabelfrage.com
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/ABG
Excerpt from Her Castilian Heart
In which Robert is given suggestions as to how to handle his brother
It was not quite noon the next day when Sir Piers de Geneville rode into their bailey, having first had to wait while the sentries unbarred the heavy gate.
“It has become a disconcerting habit of yours to keep your gates barred to me,” Sir Piers said in jest as he dismounted.
“Never against you, my lord,” Noor replied. “Against Eustace de Lamont.”
“He’s not here. He’s in Gascony to do homage for his lands. Now that his dear sire has done him the courtesy of finally expiring, he must hasten to do what must be done for him to come into his own.” Sir Piers preceded them up the stairs to the hall and settled himself in the large armchair that was usually reserved for Robert. “I’d do the same had it been my sire who passed. Fortunately, dear Papa is as hale as a fiddle, and as he is happier in Ireland and I am happier here, I have the best of it: wealth and independence and a living father.” He smiled affectionately. “A good man, my father.”
“Some wine, my lord?” Noor asked, already pouring from the pitcher of hippocras.
Sir Piers sipped. “Ah yes, nice and sweet.”
Too sweet in Robert’s opinion, but he didn’t say as much. Instead, they made small talk about the weather and the recent events in Gascony, Piers listening with interest as Robert outlined the conditions of the Treaty of Canfranc.
“Seventy-six hostages? Where on earth did our liege find that many?” Sir Piers bit into a chickpea fritter.
“Mostly in Gascony—and the local lords were none too pleased by it.”
“I imagine not. Should Charles of Salerno defect, then they’re stuck.” Sir Piers chuckled, extending first one booted leg, then the other. Bright blue hose matched the colour of his open surcoat, the tunic underneath a soft grey of wool so fine it shimmered. “Something tells me our king would be very, very displeased should that happen.”
“Aye. But our king says his cousin’s word is his bond, so he is not overly concerned.” Not entirely true. Until all the hostages were safely back with their families, the king would not relax.
“Mmm.” Sir Piers held out his goblet for more, Noor hastening to replenish it. It irked Robert to have his wife act the page like that, but for the conversation they were about to have, the fewer ears the better. “So.” Sir Piers reclined. “About Eustace.”
Once Robert had finished telling him, he gave his overlord an expectant look. Sir Piers steepled his hands.
“Not good,” was all he said. “And we all know the word of a ruffian will carry no weight in a court of law.”
“There must be something we can do to stop him,” Noor said.
“Other than killing him, you mean?” Sir Piers asked. “And no, Robert, that would not be wise.”
Robert shot to his feet. “He threatens me and mine!”
Sir Piers gave him an irritated look and waved him down to sit. “If you kill him while he is, in fact, threatening you, it is fine. But Eustace is far too wily for that, and he has the resources required to hire others to do his dirty work for him.”
“So we live in constant fear?” Noor asked, clasping her hands as if in prayer.
“You could go to the king and ask him to allow a trial by combat,” Sir Piers said.
Robert snorted. “The king does not hold with such. He calls it old-fashioned. A man should be tried by his peers.”
“It still happens among the common people,” Sir Piers said. “We all know Bishop Swinefield keeps a champion or two on retainer.”
Champions? Likely, the bishop employed men like the ones who’d ambushed them to do his combatting, men who’d long since left the life of true soldiering behind.
“We do?” Noor asked. “Why would he need a champion?”
“To sort all those minor legal disputes that otherwise cost far too much money and effort. Lawyers do not come cheap,” Sir Piers replied. “But that is neither here nor there, is it?”
“I still say the king would not allow it.” Besides, he was not entirely convinced the king would find any merit in their case. They had no witnesses; no one had as much as mentioned Eustace’s name. All of it was conjecture—damned convincing conjecture, but Edward Plantagenet was a firm believer in the rule of law, more specifically, his law.
“You could ask him,” Sir Piers said. “And if the king says aye, Eustace will have no choice but to fight you.” Sir Piers’ brows rose. “I take it you are confident you’d win?” he drawled.
“Against Eustace? With one hand tied behind my back.”
Sir Piers pursed his lips, a deep wrinkle between his brows. “Beware, FitzStephan, pride goes before fall.” He stood. “Another thing: I’d recommend you take seisin of those lands as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the harder for Eustace to try and claim them back.”
Thank you so much for hosting today’s tour stop for Her Castilian Heart.
All the best,
The Coffee Pot Book Club
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Thank you for hosting me!
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My pleasure, Anna!