Friday, January 29, 2010

Brand New Excerpt for Moon Craving

Moon Craving
Feb 2010 - Berkley Sensation
ISBN-13: 978-0425233047
(c) 2009 Lucy Monroe

Book dedication: For all of the readers who asked and emailed about this book. Your enthusiasm for this world and desire to read the next story blessed me so much. Hearing from you helped me to keep working on it even when so many other things were vying for my attention. And I thank you! I sincerely hope Talorc and Abigail’s story is worth the wait. It was a very special story for me to write and one that I hope connects with all your hearts!~ Hugs and blessings, Lucy

CHAPTER ONE

“Is it war then?” The grizzled old Scott, Osgard, asked his laird.
Barr, second in command to their powerful leader, frowned. “On our own king?”
The temptation to say yes was great. Talorc, Laird of the Sinclair clan and alpha to his Chrechte pack, had to clamp his jaw tight to keep the word from coming out. It would serve David right. Talorc had no doubt that if he ordered them to, his clan would go to war against the king still disputed as ruler over all Scotland by many Highlanders.
In the Highlands, at least, first loyalty still went to clan leader, not the king. Where would that leave the “civilized” king then?
But the man raised by Normans in that hellhole to their south, was a friend. Despite the Sassenach influence, Talorc respected King David, when few men earned that honor.
“Was it not enough he sent you one English bride, that he now sends you another?” Osgard asked, his aged voice still strong enough to express his fury.
“He has no plans to send this one,” Barr said.
As if Talorc didn’t already know the details of the damn message. “No, he expects me to travel to England to wed this woman.”
“’Tis an outrage,” Osgard growled.
Barr nodded. “An offense you canna take lightly.”
“According to the messenger, ‘twas both King David and England’s king who took offense you did not marry the first Englishwoman,” Guaire, Talorc’s seneschal, quietly inserted, earning himself a sulfuric glare from Osgard.
The old man who had stood in Talorc’s father’s stead as advisor since his death, deliberately turned so Guaire was no longer in his line of sight. “Some might care about offense to the Sassenach king, but there are those of us that know better than to trust the English. Especially one who seeks to be wife to our laird.”
“I am concerned about neither king’s displeasure, but merely point out that they were offended first and that might explain our own king’s unpleasant request.” Guaire stood his ground, but it was clear the young soldier was bothered by Osgard’s comment.
Osgard harrumphed and Barr kept his own council, but Talorc nodded. “No doubt. I had no intention of marrying the Englishwoman Emily and ‘tis clear my overlord realized that after the fact.”
“You did not go to war when the Balmoral took and kept her,” Barr said.
“A Chrechte does not go to war over the loss of a Sassenach,” Osgard spit out, disgust lacing every word.
Guaire frowned. “The Balmoral would.”
Osgard spun to face the younger warrior and would have knocked him to the ground but another warrior’s hand stayed him. The big, battle scarred Chrechte stared impassively at the old man. As big as Talorc’s second in command, Barr’s twin, Niall, could intimidate without effort. His hard features were made more imposing by the scars that marred the left side of his face.
Killing a Chrechte was no easy task, but Niall had almost died in the same battle that had claimed his older brother Sean, Talorc’s former first in command and brother-in-law.
Osgard flinched, even though no threat had been spoken from the massive warrior.
Talorc had to bite back amusement. Little intimidated the old Scot, but Niall did it without effort. In fact, besides himself, the only other member of the Sinclair clan that did not tremble in Niall’s presence was his twin, Barr.
Opening and closing his mouth like a fish, Guaire stared with wide eyes at Niall and Osgard.
“I see you decided to join us,” Barr said to his twin.
“I heard a messenger from the king had arrived.”
“You heard correctly,” Talorc replied.
“What did he want this time?” Niall asked, as if demands from Scotland’s monarch came frequently.
“You can release my arm,” Osgard groused.
“You will not hit the boy.”
“He insulted our laird,” Osgard said.
“I am not a boy,” Guaire said at the same time and then when he realized what Osgard had said, he puffed up with offense. “I did no such thing.”
Niall released Osgard’s arm, but stepped between the old man and the young red-headed warrior. “Our Guaire would no more insult our laird than betray him.”
“He said our leader was not as strong as the Balmoral.”
“I didn’t!” Guaire’s face flushed with his own fury.
Niall looked inquiringly at Talorc. “Were you offended, laird?”
“Nay.”
“There. See?” Guaire crossed his arms, edging away from Niall toward Barr.
The lines around Niall’s mouth tightened, but he said nothing at the telling action.
Guaire said, “I merely referred to the fact that the Balmoral had found benefit in his English wife and our laird could as well. After all, she is Emily’s sister.”
Aye, the Balmoral had found a mate to his wolf in the English human. She had recently given birth to their first child. A daughter. Talorc actually felt pleasure for them, though he could not imagine why. The Balmoral was a pain in the ass. But a strong Chrechte warrior all the same.
“Our laird will not be stepping foot onto English soil to be wed,” Osgard said with pure conviction.
“Nay, I won’t.” Talorc turned to Guaire. “You will write a message to the king for me.”
“Yes, laird.”
“Tell him I will wed the Sassenach as requested, but will do so on the soil of our homeland. I will travel south through MacDonald land, they are our allies.”
“Yes, laird. Anything else?”
“I will accept the land bordering the Donegal clan that has been in dispute these years past and the other dowry items he offered to provide, but will require an additional twenty drums of mead and twenty shields, twenty helmets, ten swords and ten poleaxes in payment for taking the English bride.”
“What need have we of shields and helmets?” Osgard asked, though it was clear he approved Talorc requiring a bigger dowry of his king to marry the Sassenach.
“Not all our warriors are Chrechte,” Talorc reminded his aged advisor.
Some, indeed the majority of their clan, were human. They did not have the power of the wolf to protect them in battle, or the ability to change into the beast.
Only the Chrechte had those abilities and their dual nature was a closely guarded secret. Though they made no secret of the truth they saw themselves as superior warriors.
Human treachery could undermine Chrechte strength though. MacAlpin’s betrayal of the Chrechte people was still fresh in most of their minds, though it had taken place in the last century. Other wounds were more fresh, like the treachery of Talorc’s stepmother, the human Tamara. She had betrayed his father and the entire Sinclair clan. Her machinations had resulted in many deaths, both human and Chrechte alike, Talorc’s father and brother among them.
The fact that she had brought about her own death as well did not assuage Talorc’s fury or his grief.
‘Twas not a thing Talorc was likely to forget. Ever.
He could almost pity the human Englishwoman chosen as his bride because of it.

22 comments:

Judy said...

Woohoo! It's enough of a taste to help with the wait. Thanks for the excerpt, Lucy! And hope peace prevails with the wedding plans. :-)

CrystalGB said...

Great excerpt. Congratulations on the release of Moon Craving. :)

Lucy Monroe said...

Cool, Judy! And thanks...I had vivid, strange and stressful dreams about the wedding last night.

Thanks, Crystal! :)

Virginia said...

Congrats on your new release! Great excerpt, can't wait to read more!

Judy said...

Lucy, let the dreams have all the stress, so you're able to relax and enjoy. :)

Jane said...

Loved the excerpt. Congrats on the upcoming release, Lucy.

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks, Virginia...the happiest words to hear after posting an excerpt are, "It made me want to read more!" LOL

Judy...yep, let my subconscious mind work through the stress, I have to write. ;-)

Smooches, Jane! I'm way excited about this one. :)

Estella said...

Congrats on the release of Moon Craving!
The excerpt was great.

Judy F said...

Hey Lucy girl.

This book is going to do great. I just know it. I love it. Hated for it to end.

Hope the wedding goes smoothly

Lucy Monroe said...

Thanks, JudyF ... you know your opinion of the story means a lot!

Estella, thank you!!!

Stacy S said...

Great excerpt. I have to confess to never having read the first one though. Would like to read that before the new release.

Michele said...

Too good to us Lucy, thank you for giving us the first chapter :) I don't myself getting a lot of sleep Tuesday once I have my copy :)

Michele L. said...

Your first excerpt is wowwing me over here! :-)

Please supply another sneak, peek of your new book. I don't think I can wait until I buy it!

Many blessings on the wedding plans!

Michele L. said...

You are wowwing me over here with your first excerpt! :-)

Please provide another sneak, peek at your book. I don't think I can wait until I buy it!

Many blessings on your wedding plans!

Michele L. said...

Sorry about the double entry. My computer went haywire and I thought I lost what I wrote and retyped again.

Many good wishes for a fantastic weekend Lucy!

lidia said...

Couldn't you just post the rest of it? LOL

Can't decide whether or buy a hardcopy or an e-version for my Kindle.

Lucy Monroe said...

Stacy...well, it's available now. LOL

Michele...thanks! Let me know what you think!

Michele L...glad it hit a chord with you! No worries on the double post. It happens. Blogger's been kinda slow lately with updates. :)

Lidia...yeah, I can just see me posting the book bit by bit on here. I think Berkley might take exception. LOL If it were me? The ebook, then you can keep it with you for re-reading. ::wink::

flchen1 said...

Fabulous, Lucy!! And wishing you and yours blessings today especially!

robynl said...

that whet my appetite for now, lol. but give us more.
the best on the wedding.

isabelle said...

i had been following ms lucy's novels eversince id read one. Id like to know where can i get an ebook of her MOON CRAVING. Im here in the Philippines. Please!!! I'm loosing my head here!

Lucy Monroe said...

You can get it for Kindle here:
http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Craving-ebook/dp/B0030CHEOA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1286820150&sr=1-1

Or as a BBeB here:
http://www.borders.com/
and
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

Hope that works for you.

foxy_girlzee said...

.Hi i'm techie, i have just finished rading your book, moon craving. It was superb!. But if it is possible would it be okay to request maybe a side story or just a short novella for niall and guaire, it would be a pity for them not to have one. (^_^). I hope my request is not too impertinent and i hope u do find time to make their story. Thank you very much and good luck!. :D