Medieval Monday's theme of "celebrations" concludes today, and we've returned home to my own story, To Weave A Highland Tapestry. As a special bonus, I've expanded the final scene to give you a teaser into my next work-in-progress, Magnar: The Wolves of Clan Sutherland coming this summer!
I hope you've enjoyed this round of Medieval Monday.
Excerpt from TO WEAVE A HIGHLAND TAPESTRY
Lifting his arms outward, the druid proclaimed in a loud voice, “As we greet the longest night, let the light from the stars cast their glow down upon us. The land slumbers, and the battle between the Oak King and aging Holly King begins anew. Though the skies are cold and dreary, we rejoice in song and feasting as this night encloses us in her embrace. For we fear nothing, since the moon and stars will light our path. And as a special blessing, may the Gods and Goddesses continue to favor the Clan MacKay and all those under their protection. Guide them safely to their new home and may prosperity reside there for many years. Blessings of Mother Danu to all!”
A resounding cheer echoed throughout the hall with many pounding their fists onto the tables.
Angus proceeded to pour some mead into a mug and handed it to Cathal. “Thank ye, old friend. Come and join us at the feasting.”
Taking the offering, Cathal then took a seat beside Patrick. “I sense wariness in ye.”
Patrick laughed nervously. “Ye ken I must bring this news back to Alex.”
“Will this pose a problem?” asked Angus, placing his forearms on the table.
“With the threat of King John already on our lands, what do ye think?” He placed his mug down.
Cathal stroked his beard as if pondering something useful to say. “There shall always be battles, a division between kings. Understandably, the Dragon Knights must retreat deeper into the Highlands.”
“And this will result in the MacFhearguis clan as a stronghold against any enemies.” Patrick frowned and looked at Angus. “Could ye have not waited to speak with Alex come the spring about this news?”
Angus picked up his mug and surveyed him over the rim. “We did discuss the possibility of King William taking over at Urquhart. Whether the king stays on here is undecided. But Alex understood what his king was asking of him. The knowledge remained with us—two lairds. Not even my brothers knew of the ongoing conversations with King William. At the time we spoke in early summer, I did not have confirmation from the king. Therefore, until this morning, I was not able to speak of this to anyone.” He took a sip and continued, “It was fortunate ye are here, so ye can deliver the message to Alex, along with a missive from the king.”
“How did a messenger manage the journey here?” demanded Patrick. “The snows have been heavy and travel not possible through this area of the glen.”
Angus placed his mug down. “King William had someone from his elite guard bring the letter to Urquhart.”
Patrick bit out a curse. He was aware of the elite guards who worked for their king. “Ye mean it was a wolf that brought the missive,” he uttered in disdain.
“Wolf?” echoed Gwen in shock.
“From the Clan Sutherland,” corrected Angus.
“But a wolf?” Gwen drained the rest of the mead in her mug.
Heaving a sigh, Patrick muttered, “Powerful men who—”
Gwen held her hand up to halt his words. “You said it was a wolf. Now it’s a man?”
Patrick groaned and looked across the table for some help in explaining that the wolves of Clan Sutherland were an elite group of men trained to be mercenaries, spies, thieves—anything that was required for their king. In truth, Patrick judged them all to be savages. Norse fighting blood flowed heavily in their veins. And with the ability to take the form of a wolf, the men were known to terrorize any they came into contact with along their path.
Though these men fought for Scotland, they bent the laws to suit their own needs.
Backcover blurb for TO WEAVE A HIGHLAND TAPESTRY
Patrick MacFhearguis, hardened by battles won and lost, desires what he can never have—peace within his heart and soul. Yet, the ever-meddling Fae weave a new journey for him to conquer—a task this highlander is determined to resist.
When skilled weaver, Gwen Hywel, is commissioned to create a tapestry for the MacFhearguis clan, she embraces the assignment. While seeking out ideas, she finds herself clutching the one thread that can alter the tapestry of her life and heart.
A man conflicted by past deeds. A woman with no family of her own. Is it possible for love to unravel an ancient past, in order to claim two badly scarred hearts? Or will the light of hope be doused forever?
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Website page for TO WEAVE A HIGHLAND TAPESTRY HERE!