#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : Shake Loose the Border (Thunder on the Moor, Book 3) – Andrea Matthews @AMatthewsAuthor #HistoricalRomance #TimeTravelRomance #ScottishHistoryRomance

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Shake Loose the Border Tour Banner (1)

Today I’m on the ‘Shake Loose the Border’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century An-glo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Long Island Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society.

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Synopsis :

Book Title: Shake Loose the Border
Series: Thunder on the Moor, Book 3
Author: Andrea Matthews
Publication Date: 22nd November 2021
Publisher: Inez M. Foster
Page Length: 356 Pages
Genre: Historical Time Travel Romance

Andrea Matthews(1)With Will and Maggie’s wedding just a week away, the last thing they need to stumble upon is Johnnie Hetherington’s dead body tied to a tree, especially one that’s so close to their cottage. Recognizing it as a sure sign that Johnnie has betrayed the family once too often, Sergeant Richie Carnaby gathers Will and his family together for questioning, though it seems obvious only a fool would kill a man on his own land. Then who did murder the rogue, and why?
Feeling confident it wasn’t any of the Fosters, Richie allows Will and Maggie’s wedding to proceed, but the couple has barely exchanged vows when the Armstrongs attack in force. Geordie is determined to rescue his niece from the clutches of Will Foster, whether she wants to go or not. And if he happens to make her a widow in the process, so be it. Will senses the danger and implores Dylan to get Maggie away to safety, no matter where — or when — that may be.
Though Maggie protests, Will assures her he will follow as soon as he is able. Yet how can that be possible when Dylan whisks her back to the twentieth century? Sharing her fears about Will, and unable to forget his own love, Annie, Dylan attempts to return to the past one last time despite his growing concerns over the disintegrating amulet stone. But will he make it in time to rescue Will, or will the villainous Ian Rutherford, who has already killed in cold blood once, win the ultimate battle and see Will and Maggie separated forever?
Trigger Warnings: Sex and violence

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Excerpt :

Once more, there was a knock and this time Dennis stepped into the room. “Are ye coming, brother? Auld Geordie’s moving fast. Then again, if I was coming after such a fine lass . . . I’m sorry, mistress, to steal yer husband away on this yer wedding night, but . . .”
“I’ll be there presently,” Will said, and Dennis nodded, leaving the room. “I’ve nae desire to argue with ye, Wife,” Will said as he stood. He held Maggie in front of him and finished hooking the clasp on her cloak. “Now have ye a kiss for yer husband afore he goes off to battle?”
Maggie just stared at him, her eyes filled with tears, until she could contain herself no longer. “Oh, Will, I’m so scared of losing you.”
“Ye’ll no’ lose me, Wife. ’Twill take more than a few Armstrongs to cut me down.”
Maggie took a deep breath to summon her courage. “Oh, you think not, rogue? Well, I know of one who plans to do so all by herself.”
“Do ye, mistress? Then I must prepare a strong defense.” Will grinned broadly as his lips parted to embrace Maggie’s in one long, erotic caress. Then with an obvious reluctance, he pulled away, and the first sign of fear she had ever seen in his eyes crossed their dusky gray surface. “Take yer dagger, Maggie, and if anyone dares touch ye . . . make sure they never see another sunrise, aye.”
Maggie swallowed hard and, with a shaking hand, relieved him of the weapon. She couldn’t imagine killing anyone, and yet she wouldn’t be abused again, nor would she be separated from her husband. Will took her hand and led her to the top floor, where the other women and children had gathered. He checked that she still held her dagger, then looked at her longingly, as if he were never going to see her again.
“I love ye, Maggie Armstrong,” he whispered, and he kissed her lips one last time before hurrying down the stairs.
Maggie’s heart filled with emotion, and she gasped for air. It was as if her very life’s breath had been taken away. Slipping down on the floor, she huddled up against the wall, still clutching the dagger he’d given her. Should Will die, she’d use it on the man who took him. Though she wanted to be by his side, her place was there above, in a way guarding their last bastion of defense. If the Armstrongs broke through, it was where they would all end up, and Maggie knew she would defend it to her dying breath.
Arrows shot back and forth through the early morning sky, the silver-gray tinge of daylight brightening with each passing moment. Maggie shivered in the cool crisp air of the tower, though it was not the chilling dampness of the stone walls that caused her trembling, but the sound of cold hard steel clashing in the yard below. The Armstrongs had somehow breached the barmekin gate and were even now fighting their way toward the tower. She inched her way over to one of the narrow arrow slots and peeked over the ledge to look down at the melee below.
Will and Dylan were fighting back-to-back. Many of the Hetheringtons had been there for the wedding, so she couldn’t tell if more had arrived, but she did spot Tom and Richie Carnaby over by the cottage, getting the best of two scraggly looking scoundrels. Another man came riding through the gate, followed by his kinsman, a Selby, she thought. The fact that he aimed his bill at her cousin Jamie’s heart confirmed her suspicion.
She held her breath as her cousin managed to move aside at the last moment, yanking the Selby man from his horse. Part of her was relieved, for Jamie had always been a decent sort, and yet the fact that he lived only meant another sword aimed at Will’s heart. A sudden wave of nausea overcame her, and it was all she could do to hold it down. At least help was arriving, she told herself as she chanced another peek.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #GuestPost : Ride with the Moonlight (Thunder on the Moor, Book 2) – Andrea Matthews @AMatthewsAuthor #HistoricalRomance #TimeTravelRomance #ScottishHistory #BorderReivers

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Today I’m on the ‘Ride with the Moonlight’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the research almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century An-glo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Website
Twitter
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BookBub
Amazon Author Page
GoodReads

Synopsis :

Book Title: Ride with the Moonlight
Series: (Thunder on the Moor, Book 2)
Author: Andrea Matthews
Publication Date: 25th November 2020
Publisher: Inez M. Foster
Page Length: 387 Pages
Genre: Historical, Time-Travel, Romance

After rescuing sixteenth-century Border reiver Will Foster from certain death at her family’s hands, time traveler Maggie Armstrong finally admits her love for the handsome Englishman, though she can’t rid herself of the sinking suspicion that her Scottish kin are not about to let them live in peace. What she doesn’t expect is the danger that lurks on Will’s own side of the Border. When news of their plans to marry reaches the warden, he charges Will with March treason for trysting with a Scot. Will and Maggie attempt to escape by fleeing to the hills, but when Will is declared an outlaw and allowed to be killed on sight, they can no longer evade the authorities. Will is sentenced to hang, while Maggie is to be sent back to her family. Heartbroken, she has no choice but to return to Scotland, where her uncle continues to make plans for her to wed Ian Rutherford, the wicked Scotsman who she now realizes murdered her father in cold blood. With Will facing the gallows in England, and herself practically under house arrest in Scotland, she continues to resist her uncle’s plans, but her efforts are thwarted at every turn. Will’s family, however, is not about to stand by and watch their youngest lad executed simply because he’s lost his heart to a Scottish lass. A daring plan is set into motion, but will it be in time to save Will’s life and reunite the lovers? Or will Ian’s lies prompt Maggie’s family to ensure the bond between them is forever destroyed?

Trigger Warnings: Violence, sexual content.

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Guest Post :

Historical Aspects

Though my heroine, Maggie Armstrong, is very much a woman of the twentieth century, not too much about the time travel aspect of her adventure is mentioned in Ride with the Moonlight, the second book in my Thunder on the Moor series. This meant all the more narrative that needed to be historically correct. Not an easy task since some of the information is obscure with little is written about it, but as a historian and librarian, I was determined to be as historically accurate as possible in constructing my sixteenth century Anglo-Scottish Border.
Of course, most of the characters and events are fictional. To my knowledge, that particular Will Foster never existed, though men like Will and his brothers most certainly did. They were the Border Reivers, men who after years of warfare had been left to fend for themselves and make the most out of what remained. Men who valued family and their own honor above all else. I tried to make my borderers fit this image, but of course, there had to be villains, just as there would have been the broken men and rogues in the sixteenth century. These were men who no clan claimed as their own, men who had shunned the unwritten code of the border. Or other men to whom greed and self-advancement won out over loyalty and honor. I’ve tried to embody figures of this ilk in characters like Johnnie Hetherington and Ian Rutherford.
To add a touch more of authenticity, I did try to incorporate a few historical figures into the narrative, though even these accounts are mostly fictionalized and not intended to be used as biographical information. John Widdrington was indeed the Deputy Warden of the English Middle March in 1538. When Henry VIII became unhappy with how his wardens were handling the unruliness in the North, he decided to take control of the English Marches himself. After appointing a Council of the North to rule the area, headed by a member of the nobility, of course, he chose prominent members of the local gentry to serve under them as deputy wardens, one for each March. Sir John Widdington was chosen in that capacity for the English Middle March around 1536. He didn’t last in the position long, however, because he proved to be ineffectual in quelling the troubled Borders, and by 1541, he had been demoted to the Captain of Berwick. While he was warden, he would have resided at Alnwick Abbey on the east coast of the English Middle March, which is where Graham would have ridden to plead for Will’s life.
On the Scottish side of the border, it appears that for many years the Maxwells were granted an almost hereditary wardenship of the Scottish West March. In 1538, Robert Maxwell was the man who held the post. He seemed well regarded by both the people and King James V, though the Armstrong’s might have been a bit more wary of his motives. After Johnnie Armstrong of Gilnockie and his men were hanged by James V in 1530, it was Robert Maxwell who received most of Armstrong’s property. Legend has it that Maxwell may have had something to do with the betrayal, though there is no definitive proof on the subject. As warden, Geordie would have to deal with the man, regardless of any suspicions he might harbor. Maxwell’s seat of power was at Caerlaverock Castle, about thirty miles southwest of Geordie Armstrong’s peel tower.
Sir Reynold Carnaby was also an actual personage, who held the title Keeper of Tynedale, among other positions. It appears he wasn’t well liked in the district, either due to the hard stance he took with the men of Tynedale, or his ambition. Possibly it was a combination of both. He was away from his post more than he was there, off to London on many occasions, where he no doubt sought to advance his own political position. During these times, he would leave either his son or brother in charge of his duties. I have consistently found conflicting evidence as to which it was, so for the book, I’ve used his brother, Cuthbert. Another bone of contention was his receipt of abbey lands after the dissolution of the Hexham Abbey. Though he didn’t actually receive the property until November of 1538, it was too good to pass up, so I’ll admit to using a little poetic license and hinting that it had occurred by the fall of 1538.
By that year, Henry VIII had already severed his relationship from Rome and declared himself as the head of the Church of England. This move didn’t go over well with the Borderers, who were still loyal to the Pope, even if their behavior might not have always reflected it. It was said that the Borderers never prayed their rosaries more fervently than before they embarked on a foray. Anyway, this animosity came to a head when Henry began the dissolution of the monasteries in 1536 and began awarding the land to his loyal subjects, such as Sir Reynold Carnaby.
Of course, the King of Scotland, James V, wasn’t having any better luck with taming the Borders, though he tried on more than one occasion to put them under his thumb. While he did seem to get along with some of the clan leaders, such as Robert Maxwell and Walter Scott of Buccleugh, (No, not the poet, but his ancestor) his moves against others like Johnnie Armstrong would come back to bite him in the future. (Fast forward to the Battle of Solway First in 1542.) But that’s another story.
In addition to people, I also incorporated some historical locations into the narrative. Like the political figures, these were places that my characters would most likely come across in their travels. Hexham Abbey still sits off the market square today. During the dissolution of the monasteries, the church became the parish church for Henry’s newly formed religion, while it’s lands and other buildings were dispersed to men like Reynold Carnaby as mentioned above. The building the Keeper used as his residence still stands today as the Carnaby building.
The Moot Hall remains across the market square from the abbey. Originally part of the Archbishop of York’s estates, the building is made up of a gateway and tower. In 1538, it housed a courtroom and living quarters for the bailiff. Today, it houses an art gallery and a study library for Border history. A precinct wall once surrounding it and the old goal, though little of the barrier remains today. The old goal, however, does still stand down the road from the Moot Hall. Built in the fourteenth century as one of England’s first purpose-built prisons, it consisted of dungeons below, while the first floor held the main cells, for those who could afford to buy better treatment. It continued as a goal well into the nineteenth century, though today it houses a Border Museum.
Because of the distinctive relationship between the inhabitants on both sides of the border, where local feuds often took precedence over national interest, a series of laws were enacted exclusively for the borderlands. This was something that was definitely incorporated into the novel. These laws were referred to as the March or Border Laws, and they dealt with issues that were unique to the borderlands. One such law was March treason, which included a harsh penalty for any Englishman found trysting with a Scot. Of course, in reality, with all the intermarriage occurring across the border, that often proved to be problematic.
Things like Hot Trod were basically legal forays. If a man’s home was raided, he had six days to ride against the thieves, leading the way with a lighted torch and the blare of trumpets. Anyone he met along the way was expected to ride with him or be considered complicate in the theft. A sort of either you’re with me or against me attitude. Days of truce were held at least once a month, where bills could be filed, like a lawsuit against someone. The two opposing wardens would meet in a relatively neutral spot like Kershopefoot, a jury would be chosen, and bills either found cleared or foul. Weapons were not supposed to be allowed, but you try telling a reiver to leave their swords home, so you can imagine how that went.
Legends and traditions were also an important part of the story, for they too have a historical aspect. Things like the handfasting ceremony, and a legend about the simple cornflower added color and an authenticity to the narrative. Plus, they were fun to research.
If you’d like to learn more about my historical research, you can check out my website.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

#BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub @maryanneyarde / #Excerpt : Thunder on the Moor #ThunderOnTheMoor – Andrea Matthews @AMatthewsAuthor #HistoricalRomance #TimeTravelRomance #BorderReivers

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Today I’m on the ‘Thunder on the Moor’ blogtour, organized by The Coffee Pot Book Club.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speaking. In fact, it was while doing some genealogical research that she stumbled across the history of the Border reivers. The idea for her first novel came to mind almost at once, gradually growing into the Thunder on the Moor series. And the rest, as they say, is history…

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GoodReads

Synopsis :

Book Title: Thunder on the Moor
Series: Thunder on the Moor – Book 1
Author: Andrea Matthews
Publication Date: 30th October 2019
Publisher: Inez M. Foster
Page Length: 430 Pages
Genre: Historical Romance / Time-Travel

Maggie Armstrong grew up enchanted by her father’s tales of blood feuds and border raids. In fact, she could have easily fallen for the man portrayed in one particular image in his portrait collection. Yet when her father reveals he was himself an infamous Border reiver, she finds it a bit far-fetched—to say the least—especially when he announces his plans to return to his sixteenth century Scottish home with her in tow.
Suspecting it’s just his way of getting her to accompany him on yet another archaeological dig, Maggie agrees to the expedition, only to find herself transported four hundred and fifty years into the past. Though a bit disoriented at first, she discovers her father’s world to be every bit as exciting as his stories, particularly when she’s introduced to Ian Rutherford, the charming son of a neighboring laird. However, when her uncle announces her betrothal to Ian, Maggie’s twentieth-century sensibilities are outraged. She hardly even knows the man. But a refusal of his affections could ignite a blood feud.
Maggie’s worlds are colliding. Though she’s found the family she always wanted, the sixteenth century is a dangerous place. Betrayal, treachery, and a tragic murder have her questioning whether she should remain or try to make her way back to her own time.
To make matters worse, tensions escalate when she stumbles across Bonnie Will Foster, the dashing young man in her father’s portrait collection, only to learn he is a dreaded Englishman. But could he be the hero she’s always dreamed him to be? Or will his need for revenge against Ian shatter more than her heart?

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Excerpt :

Her alluring Englishman clamored up the wooden steps of the peel, stopping for a moment to look in her direction and flash a smile.
“Give us a hand here, Will,” a voice yelled out, and the rogue gave a slight bow before hastening back down the steps to his comrades below.
Maggie gasped and pulled back just in time to see her Uncle Sim scramble down the steps from the roof.
“What’s the trouble?” he asked.
“They’ve pushed their way in,” Maggie said, not wanting to mention Donald’s mistake.
He let out a colorful expletive on his way passed but stopped for a moment to give her shoulder a gentle squeeze. “Dinna fash yerself, lassie. We’ve a surprise waiting for them.”
The image of the handsome Englishman flashed through her mind, and she scanned the steps below. For some unknown reason, she whispered a prayer, the lump in her throat disappearing when she spied him back in the yard. Will, someone had called him. She whispered his name and a warmth embraced her like a soft woolen blanket, but a sudden shriek from the outside steps yanked her back to reality. A chill coursed through her veins, causing her to shudder. Sim’s surprise, no doubt.
Foster men clambered up the outside steps while Armstrong men tried to down them from the tower wall. Maggie pulled her cousin aside. “You remember the English lad I came across the night Alasdair and I slipped away? Well, he’s out there. But I don’t think he’ll harm us. He never even tried to steal a kiss.”
Constance scoffed. “I reckon no’, with the woods full of Armstrongs and outlaws on his heels. Ye can thank the Holy Mother yer da came when he did, though. ’Twas Will Foster from what I can gather, and he’s sure to have taken ye right then and there if he’d half a chance.”
Maggie scowled, but perhaps Connie was right. They had been a bit preoccupied. And yet he’d seemed decent enough at the time. Would he really have killed Alasdair and ravaged her if her father hadn’t come along?
A cheer of triumph rose up the stairwell, followed by the blood chilling clang of steel against steel. The Fosters had fought their way to the turnpike steps and would soon be working their way up the floors. In a desperate attempt to help, Maggie ran to the fireplace and shoveled the embers into a nearby bucket. With a bit of effort, she raised it to one of the fourth-story windows and emptied its contents out on those below, cringing when one of the men screamed in anguish and an arrow pierced her bucket.
A strong arm yanked her back against the wall. “Get away from there, Maggie!” Robert’s voice echoed off the walls, his forehead creased with concern. “Now go tend to yer cousin’s wounds afore a Foster arrow feathers itself in yer breast as well.”
Maggie blinked in surprise but headed across the room, too stunned by her close call to protest. Once she tended to Donald’s wound, though, she inched her way back to her father’s side. His muscular hands launched arrow after arrow into the enemy below, and Maggie watched in awe. When did he learn to do that? Oh, from time to time he’d gone hunting with friends, but he’d never brought anything home. She’d always assumed he wasn’t any good, but when one of the Fosters fell, pierced by his shot, she realized how naïve she’d been.
“Maggie!” Her father lifted an eyebrow in her direction.
“Sorry, Da.” She kissed him on the forehead, causing the corner of his mouth to twerk.
“Go on and see to Donald, aye.”
“But I’ve already bandaged his arm.”
“’Tis the wound to his pride what needs a gentle touch, lass.”
A pang of sympathy for the disheartened youth convinced Maggie to move back to his side, but she hadn’t been there long when the smell of smoke began to fill the room. Once more, Maggie pulled herself up, this time peeking through the narrow arrow slot beneath Ian’s arm.
“Oh my God!” She gasped at the sight she beheld.
The weary reiver stopped for a minute to rest his elbow against the cold stone. “’Twill be all right, Maggie,” Ian assured her, but somehow she found it hard to believe.
Smoke was rising from three small outbuildings, their thatched roofs smoldering in the fading light. The scent of seared wood permeated the air, mingled with the tang of sweat and blood. It clung to the men who forced their way through the peel door, wild and full of anger; on the cattle that gathered within the small courtyard, emitting restless bellows; even on the women who helped tend the wounds of their loved ones.
Maggie’s heart filled with terror. What if the Fosters succeeded in storming the tower? With her nerves strung as taut as her father’s bow, she reached for the axe Constance had given her. They didn’t tend to kill the women, or so she’d been told, but were they to endure a fate far worse? The image of clammy English fingers fondling her most private parts nauseated her, and she glanced out the window, hoping to see her kin driving the wretched bastards back. Instead, she caught sight of her uncle’s smoldering cottage and clutched her weapon all the tighter, determined to put up a valiant fight.
Not a moment later, the clash of metal echoed off the walls and boots sounded on the turnpike steps. Armstrongs ran from every direction to meet their assailants. Oddly enough, Maggie could think of only one thing. The ring her grandmother had given her was in that smoking cottage . . . and so was the amulet!

The Magic of Wor(l)ds