Tag Archives: The Blacksmith’s Wife

Sneak peek

With less than a week to go until the release of The Blacksmith’s Wife I thought I’d share a snippet.  This is the first meeting between Hal and Joanna.  Joanna has talked her way into the tournament grounds, hoping to find Sir Roger, the knight she is in love with.

Joanna made her way to the courtyard where makeshift stables and workshops had been assembled. She had given up hope of finding Sir Roger when, through a sudden parting in the crowd, she saw familiar black curls and glimpsed the line of his jaw just as he turned away.

A thrill of anticipation rippled through Joanna as she eased her way towards him. It had been six months since Sir Roger had last been in York. Despite the urge to run to his arms Joanna stood back and watched in admiration.

Sir Roger was facing away from her, sharpening a sword with slow, sure strokes. He had removed his armour and padded woollen tunic, but instead of the customary fitted doublet of fine wool he favoured, he was dressed in britches and a shapeless tunic drawn in at the waist with a thick belt. As Joanna watched he laid the sword on a trestle table, rolled his head from side to side and stretched his arms high.

Intending to surprise him Joanna crept behind him. She reached on tiptoe to whisper in his ear, her lips close enough to brush against his hair.

‘Greetings, my lord, I’ve been searching for you.’

He stiffened and turned to face her. Joanna found herself gazing up into Sir Roger’s eyes.

In the face of a stranger.

Her mouth fell open and she stumbled backwards away from the man, dropping her bag. Explanations and apologies tumbled unintelligibly from her lips.

‘I didn’t know… I thought you were… I mean… I’m sorry!’

The man folded his arms across his broad chest. His lips curled into an amused smile. Joanna took another step back, her mind whirling with confusion and embarrassment. Her voice tailed off. Her heart was pounding so loudly she would swear it must be audible. She covered her face with her hands in an attempt to conceal the blush that was turning her pale complexion scarlet and peered through her fingers.

It was little wonder she had mistaken the man for Sir Roger. From behind they shared the same build and unruly curls. Facing her there was still a resemblance. She noticed for the first time that what she had taken for a belt was a long leather apron tied about his waist. Whoever he was, the stranger was no knight.

‘I beg your forgiveness!’ Joanna said, wincing with embarrassment.

The man ran a hand through the tangle of black curls that fell to just below his ears. He eyed Joanna with an open interest that made her heart thump.

‘No forgiveness needed. I thought Lady Fortune was finally smiling on me but alas it seems not,’ he said with an exaggerated note of regret. ‘It’s been so long since I have had such a greeting that I believe I should be thanking you for the experience! Perhaps I will do as a companion?’ he suggested.

If that has whetted your appetite then the book is available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo and other online retailers. Preorder now

I also have an Amazon giveaway running until May 2nd which is open to readers in the US Enter here

 

 

Reviews advance readers

Cover Reveal

I’ve received the cover art for The Blacksmith’s Wife and I have to say it’s certainly eye catching!

Blacksmith's wife cover.jpg

Obviously the big difference between this and my other books is having more than one person and a change of composition.  I love my single ladies on Falling for Her Captor and A Wager for the Widow but as a reader I’m always drawn to covers with the characters interacting.  As a friend said of this cover that they look like they’re in the middle of an argument but you can tell there is attraction running beneath it, which sums up the book well.

Hal is a wonderful looking hero who is close enough to Aidan Turner to make me happy (I did put in a request).  I can’t remember if I described Joanna wearing green in the story but I’m pleased to have another green-clad heroine to continue the theme of my other two books.

I love the tagline on the front as well.

Here’s a short extract that might have inspired the cover art.

Hal did not answer when she knocked on the door. She thumped again and when there was still no response she cautiously lifted the latch and entered. The heat was stifling. Hal was standing with his back to the door. He had removed his tunic and sweat ran in rivulets down his back, his shirt clinging to his body. He worked silently, unaware of her presence, tapping the bar of glowing metal, flattening and turning it as it lengthened into a sword blade.

As she stood, back to the door watching in fascination, Hal swore. He began to hammer harder, turning the blade over and over until, with a roar of frustration, he lifted the hammer high and brought it down hard on the anvil beside the blade.

Joanna gasped at the sudden ferocity.

Hal stiffened and turned.  ‘How long have you been watching?’ he asked furiously.

‘Not long…’ Joanna faltered. She reached for the door latch. ‘I’ll go.’

‘No, don’t. I’ve lost my way with this piece.’ Hal lowered his hammer and rubbed his eyes wearily. ‘Why are you here?’

Joanna held out the ale. ‘It’s hot today. I thought you might be thirsty.’

He stared at the mug uncertainly before taking it. He raised it to his lips, but paused and his eyes filled with suspicion.  ‘You haven’t visited me here since your first day. Why now?’

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I’d love to know what you think of the cover so please leave a comment to let me know.