Love Historicals has authors from both these proud nations, and today three of us will share excerpts featuring our most independent, or independence-seeking, characters.
Anna Markland shares an excerpt featuring a Welsh patriot worried about his people as they face the the Norman Conquest.
In the autumn of 1066, the Welsh were fighting against encroachment on their lands by the Anglo-Saxons. Little did they know what lay ahead when the Normans replaced the Saxons as the rulers of England and William the Conqueror turned his attention to Wales.
In this excerpt from Defiant Passion we meet Rhodri, a Welsh rebel chieftain, in his mountain hideaway, on the eve of the Norman Conquest.
The nightmare came again. The keening lament of the dispossessed. Gaunt faces of hunger and desperation. Rhodri sat up abruptly, drenched in sweat. He held his breath and listened. The wind moaned through the timbers in its relentless descent from the surrounding crags. The sounds of men deep in slumber filled the air. They slept the sleep of the dead after long backbreaking hours spent erecting this impregnable fortification in the mountains of Wales. It had been no easy task, but they needed a secure, hidden base for their attacks on the arrogant English. Cadair Berwyn was the perfect location, tucked away where no one could find it.
Here they could speak their native language that was part of the identity they had fought to protect for hundreds of years. Here they could be the children of Cymru.
Dawn would break soon, bringing another day of challenges as the champion of an oppressed people.
He was reluctant to rise, a foreboding hanging over him they would receive bad tidings. His premonitions were not often wrong.
Messages had come two days before with news that the newly crowned king of the English Saxons, Harold Godwinson, was on his way back to the south with his army. Informants had told Rhodri that William of Normandie waited with a fleet to invade England, intent on seizing the throne he claimed his cousin, Edward the Confessor, had promised to him. The wind had only to change.
From what Rhodri knew of William, Duke of the Normans, his strength lay in his mounted knights. He had a reputation as a brutal man who brooked no opposition. Heaven help Cymru if the Normans were victorious! But how could the Normans get their horses across the Narrow Sea? In any case, a horse was no match for a Saxon axe.
Rhodri clenched his jaw. So many greedy men. Would his people ever be left in peace to live their lives in their own country, or would they be driven further into the wild mountains?
Today, Welsh patriotism is just as strong as it was all those centuries ago, and for many the struggle for independence is ongoing.
You can find Defiant Passion at the following links.
Sometimes, patriotism is in a man’s blood and he doesn’t even know it. Such a man is Nathaniel Hawke, a half-savage frontiersman raised by the Mohawk. The year is 1757. As England and France vie for control of North America, an unlikely hero emerges. Here is an excerpt from Firehawk by Nancy Morse.
“Yer countin’ too much on me,” Nathaniel complained.
Alice shook her head adamantly,refusing to yield to the doubt she detected behind his tone. “I heard about German Flats. And the boy you saved from a Huron war party. And the farmer’s daughter you rescued from Abnakis. And the party you guided through enemy territory to Fort William Henry. At the Blue Bell they talked about those stories like they were myths. I thought so, too. But I know different now. And they talked about you like you’re some kind of hero.”
“I ain’t no hero,” he said suddenly. “I’m just an ordinary man.”
“Who do you think is fighting theFrench?” she said, a challenge in her tone that matched the tilt of her chin. “Farmers and settlers and blacksmiths and coopers. Men who left their homes and families to fight for something they believe in. Would you call them heroes?”
“Damn right, they are.”
“Would you also call them ordinary men?”
He didn’t answer.
“My pack is ready. I’ll get dressed and we can go.” She began to walk back to the longhouse.
She stopped and looked back.
“I won’t let any harm come to ya as long as I draw breath.”
In that instant she saw the old Nathaniel, the brave, fearless, ordinary man she trusted with her life.
You can find Firehawk at the following links.
Jill Hughey‘s choice for today’s post is her only historical romance set in America. Sass Meets Class features a feisty heroine who falls in love with the least likely suitor, an English nobleman in Arizona Territory. It is a sweet romance and a well kept secret, perfect for your July 4 reading.
“What is wrong with my English?” Alexander asked.
Susan tromped down the steps to him. He straightened, his eyes widening in surprise at her aggressiveness. “I’ll tell you what is wrong, and it isn’t only your language. I like how you talk most of the time, and not just how you call me Miss Susan like I’m a real respectable person to you, and it isn’t just your fancy words and your nice accent that rolls out of your mouth like honey out of an upset bee skep. I do like how you talk. But Alex, you should take a lesson from the crick. It didn’t come down off its mountain all clear and pretty. Dirt and sticks and leaves joined every inch of the way.”
“Your point is?”
“You can’t travel across this whole country without picking up a stick every now and then. If you don’t want to be changed a little why’d you come?” Susan did not understand her sudden anger except that she sensed something more, some greater potential, hiding behind his proper mask. She had seen that different Alex under the wagon when the Apaches were shooting at them and again in the store when he told her she could call him Alex and she had seen it tonight when he asked about Ma. The real Alex would flash out at her like a streak of lightning then be gone. His absence irritated her.
Alexander tossed his stick toward the fence. “You want me to call this here little stream Cave Crick and change my name to Alex?” he asked mockingly.
“We ain’t talking about what I want. If you want a quality English girl who doesn’t dare sit on her own blasted porch after dark why are you here talking to me?”
You can find Sass Meets Class at the following links.
Thanks for joining these Canadian and American authors to learn more about their independent characters!