One of my author friends, Juli D. Revezzo, alerted me to her Black Friday sale for Passion's Sacred Dance, the first book of the Celtic Steward Chronicles. From now through November 28th, it's only $0.99 at Amazon Kindle.
Passion's Sacred Dance is available in paperback too.
If one book of magical Celtic romance and action is not going to be enough for you, then rejoice in the fact that the sequel, Druid Warrior's Heart, is also published in print and digital formats.
About Druid Warrior's Heart
As the latest in her family’s long line of Stewards, Ruth Macken awaits the arrival of a warrior sworn to the Tuatha dé Danaan, the Celtic gods her family has served since the beginning of time. For on that day, a magical battle will erupt. A war between druids and an evil that will decide the fate of mankind.
Isaac Connel knows the battle is imminent, and is ready to fight, once again but from the moment he sees Ruth flitting around the sacred ground, he’s captivated by her fiery charms and a need to protect her.
Despite Isaac’s assurances and the dreams that guide her, what can Ruth and her lover do to drive off this evil? Despite everything, will the world end at the hands of an evil god?
from Chapter One
Ruth shivered and continued winding the green yarn she worked into a ball. The fiber slipped easily through her fingers. Skeins of newly dyed yarn hung drying on racks near the back door. The sweet scent of baking chicken filled the room as Mother stood in the kitchen ladling savory gallentyne sauce over their dinner. She hissed and paused to pull a stool closer.
“Are you not well, Mother?” Ruth said.
“My gout vexes me,” Mother said. Resting on a stool, she retrieved her ladle.
Cows mooed in the distance. Horse’s hooves clopped against new cobblestones. Ruth glanced out the window and narrowed her eyes at the fields. Four men paused before her fence, shading their eyes from the sun as they peered at her farm, first the field to this side of the road, then the half on the other.
Ruth set her yarn aside and opened the door to peek out.
“Good day, Lord Macken,” one man called.
In the road ahead, her father nudged his horse around to stand between the men and his gate as he spoke with them. “Good day.”
“Might we have a word with you?” the man asked. He wore a plaid cloak over a fine yellow surcoat and wool shirt. His companion was well-dressed in a dark coat hemmed with gold thread, a frilly shirt, fine pants, and tooled-leather boots. He kept his shoulder-length red hair away from his face by means of a strip of suede. He must be rich enough to buy the whole town, Ruth thought, to afford all that finery.
Ruth stepped onto the porch to see and hear better.
Why were they here?
Her father repositioned his grip on the horse’s reins. “What can I do for you?”
“Know you the date?” the stranger asked.
Ruth’s father nodded. “Aye. What of it?”
“We need to speak of your land,” said the fine man’s companion. “What’s to be done with it in the immediate future.”
“The land belongs to my family,” her father said. “And we have plans for it. None that concern strangers.”
His answer rang in Ruth’s ears. Her family had held the land as far back as their oldest stories recalled. Her father oversaw it now and it would go to her brother—or her, if Mother had her way.
Yet, she knew what her father referred to: the sacred battle. On some days, she expected it. On others, she hoped it was no more than a fairy tale.
“We are hardly strangers, sir.” The man curled his palm around the hilt of the blade hanging from his belt. “Father Ciaran sent us. Said yours is the ideal spot for our—” He paused, glancing at his companion. “—venture.”
“What venture would that be?” her father asked.
The man’s companion hooked a thumb into his belt. His money pouch twitched, drawing her father’s attention.
Father would never be so stupid to turn over their land for mere money, would he? Though the travelers they put up sometimes tendered payment, and the income from Lonan’s shop provided, her family would never refuse more. Depending on who offered. But if these men had come from Father Ciaran perhaps they were worthy?
Yet, something tickled along her nerves. Something dark.
Ruth narrowed her eyes at the two men. Something struck her as off about them. The mere fact that they asked for her land wasn’t enough to account for her wariness. Something else was…wrong.
Ruth peered toward the hearth to see Mother basting the succulent fowl that roasted over the fire. “Mother, I’m going out. You should stay here.”
Mother blinked her green eyes. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” Ruth lied, securing the door latches. Before she asked more questions Ruth ran to the back door and, outside, made her way to the barn. A roan mare waited there and Ruth saddled her and led her quietly from her stall.
In the distance she heard Mother now speaking to the strangers.
No. Go back inside! she mentally warned her mother and hoped the gods sent her words to her.
“Come on, girl,” Ruth muttered and angled the mare into the thorn grove. She brushed against the vines as she entered and they parted silently, opening a pathway. Even the ducks along her river dipped under the water, as if fearing a foe.
Through the thorn grove’s rough vines, Ruth spied the men still talking, and she hoped she could keep out of sight. The men kept their attention on her parents; even her horse’s steps went unnoticed, and Ruth wondered. Perhaps the stories about the protective power of their grove were true, after all.
She hoped she was wrong about the strangers. Maybe they weren’t here to use her land for anything more than an extension of the marketplace or whatever such venture they had in mind. Maybe they were telling the truth. Maybe the priest had sent them.
No. Her gut said otherwise. She always had a sense about people, good or bad. Why would it fail her now? She bit the inside of her mouth. Best not to tell anyone about that sense. No matter how much her family tithed to the church every week the priest would never understand.
Witchcraft was something of which she would never be absolved.
Even if it saved the world.
She took in little of the town as her horse raced along, but the warm stone façade of the town church soon loomed before her. Some brown-clad student priests milled in the yard feeding chickens and shivering in the chill breeze. Ruth dismounted and one priest offered to take the horse’s reins. “I seek Father Ciaran,” she said.
He directed her inside and she moved through the grounds, avoiding poultry, and any slippery spot. She didn’t need to break her neck now. Not before she told someone what bothered her. Father Ciaran would know what to do. Even if she didn’t tell him exactly what frightened her about the men, the fact remained he would notice the signs, wouldn’t he?
People didn’t usually ask to use their land. Not even Father Ciaran.
She pushed open the heavy oak doors and ran through the tiny church, ignoring the marble baptismal font, the stern and staring statues of Jesus. There was only one man she sought here. “Father Ciaran!” Where was he?
About the Author
And Juli’s Amazon page.
You can also find her on:
Celtic Steward Chronicles Pinterest page, for images and articles that have inspired the Celtic Stewards Chronicles: https://www.pinterest.com/jewelsraven/related-to-the-celtic-stewards-chronicles/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/julidrevezzoSign up for her newsletter at: http://bit.ly/SNI5K6
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