Today my guest is Ashley York, who I met on the Weekend Writing Warriors snippet hop. She’s sharing an excerpt from her new book, The Seventh Son!
Drogheda, Ireland 1075
The sixth son bears a curse as certain as the seventh son bears a blessing. When Tadhg MacNaughton’s betrothed is ripped from his arms and married to another, he believes the legend is true.
Tisa O’Brien’s life slams into a downward spiral at the news she is no longer betrothed to the love of her life but to the tanist of a warring, prideful clan with dangerous political aspirations, the Meic Lochlainn. She faces her destiny with all the strength and dignity of her Irish heritage despite dealing with a husband who resents her and meets his needs in the arms of others, fighting off the lustful advances of her father-in-law, Aodh, and longing for the husband of her heart.
Tadhg MacNaughton makes a deal with the devil to ensure the survival of his clan as he is commanded to fight for Aodh who envisions himself the new High King of Eire. Up close and personal, Tadhg must witness his true love’s marriage and remain silent even as it rips him apart. When a sinister plot to overthrow King William of England led by the exiled Leofrid Godwin and Clan Meic Lochlainn comes to light, Tadhg is faced with saving his clan or endangering his sister and her Norman husband.
An Irish beauty and a warrior betrayed, doomed in love from the start or does fate have something else in store for them?
Tadhg swallowed, unable to move. The one sound had been so familiar. He’d come home to demons haunting his waking hours. He forced himself to turn toward the open door. His body tensed in preparation, his mind struggling to dismiss the burgeoning hope of seeing Tisa standing there in the doorway.
Her hair was pulled back, her eyes sparkling with life. A cluster of herbs overflowed a small basket she held to her breast. And her feet were bare.
“What do ye here?” Tadhg asked.
She dropped her head and walked past to put the basket on the only table in his small room. His room.
“Why are ye in my home?” His tone was hard.
His gaze shifted to the pallet. It hadn’t been his own longings that left her scent in his bed. She’d lain there. Lain there as he’d dreamed of her laying there far too often. Had she lain there alone? He turned back to her.
“Where is yer husband?”
“He will be here anon. I was to wait for him with Thomasina and Sean.”
Tadhg’s chest tightened. He couldn’t take a full breath. He strode to the door. “I will find another place.” He grabbed the small sack he’d dropped upon entering and left.
“Nae. Please.” Tisa followed him out.
Tadhg refused to turn toward her. He did not need to see her again. “‘Tis not a problem, Tisa. Ye and yer husband may continue to stay here. I will find another place.”
“I have not—my husband dinna—”
Tadhg whipped around to face her. “What? Yer husband dinna what? What do ye have to tell me? What pain do ye wish to inflict on me now?” His eyes dropped to her waist. All thoughts ceased save one. She could be with child. “There is no need for words here.”
Her eyes never left his face but she did not reply.
“Stay.” He held up his hand to stop her from following. “I will find another place.”
Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.
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