– ‘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 ‘The Heart of a Hussar’ 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 :
Griffin Brady is a historical fiction author with a keen interest in the Polish Winged Hussars of the 16th and 17th centuries. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. The Heart of a Hussar took third place in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2018 Colorado Gold Contest and was a finalist in the Northern Colorado Writers’ 2017 Top of the Mountain Award.
The proud mother three grown sons, she lives in Colorado with her husband. She is also an award-winning, Amazon bestselling romance author who writes under the pen name G.K. Brady.
Book Title: The Heart of a Hussar
Series: (The Winged Warrior Series, Book 1)
Author: Griffin Brady
Publication Date: 12th September 2020
Publisher: Trefoil Publishing
Page Length: 434 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
He’s determined to protect his country. But can he defend himself against the ultimate betrayal?
Muscovy, 1610. Jacek Dąbrowski yearns to be recognized for his valor. Hoping his recent promotion to lieutenant will help secure the lands he desires, the twenty-two-year-old Polish cavalry officer earns instead the enmity of his captain. And his out-of-character rescue of two innocents from slaughter sets in motion a chain of grave consequences.
Discovering the young woman and her brother are not Russian enemies and have no kin, Dąbrowski escorts them back to the castle in his homeland. But as the rivalry with his superior grows and the blossoming beauty sparks a fire in his heart, the brave horseman may find his dreams of glory lying in tatters.
Can the courageous warrior survive hidden schemes that could destroy all he holds dear?
The Heart of a Hussar is the stirring first book in The Winged Warrior Series historical fiction duology. If you like driven heroes, gut-wrenching twists, and vivid scenes of combat, then you’ll love Griffin Brady’s well-researched tale.
⬧ Bronze Medal Winner of the 2021 Independent Publishers Book Awards for Best Adult Fiction E-Book!
⬧ Finalist for the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards in Historical Fiction!
This book includes adult content and is intended for mature audiences.
Jacek stood just outside Eryk’s solar and announced himself. Low voices interspersed with pacing bootsteps drifted through the partly open door.
“Come,” Eryk ordered. Jacek stepped beside Mateusz and stood at attention.
Eryk swatted a sheaf of papers against the edge of his desk. “Jacek, Mateusz has been advising me of rumors my cousin Antonin is building up his forces.”
Jacek tracked Eryk as he resumed pacing.
“I still do not believe he could have had anything to do with the ambush, but in spite of our inquiries, we’ve learned absolutely nothing. I thought perhaps to pay him a visit at his fortress and satisfy myself.”
“Of course, my lord. When do we leave?” Mateusz asked.
“Two weeks, but you are not going, Mateusz. As captain of the guard, you will remain here. Jacek will be my second on this foray.”
In Jacek’s peripheral vision, Mateusz eyed him with a frown. Jacek kept his eyes straight ahead, trained on the lord.
Eryk’s shoulders drooped. “I would have left sooner but for my wife’s health. She is recovering from a bout of illness, and I expect her to be fully restored when we leave for my cousin’s stronghold. I need to make it seem like a friendly visit, a family visit.” Eryk chuckled mirthlessly. “I shall call on a man I neither like nor trust.”
When the meeting ended, Jacek left the solar briskly, putting distance between himself and Mateusz. His effort did not get him far.
“Dąbrowski!” Mateusz barked.
Jacek bit back his irritation and turned to face his superior.
They stood outside the great hall, poised at the top of the forestairs in a chill wind.
Mateusz’s face was mere inches from Jacek’s. “I know what you’re doing, Dąbrowski.”
Jacek looked down at him. “Sir?”
“You’ve set that brat of yours to spy on me while you ingratiate yourself with Lord Eryk. You’re trying to steal my position.” Mateusz pulled his gloves on.
Heat rose in Jacek’s cheeks. “Begging your pardon, Captain, but I have given Filip no orders to ‘spy’ on you. If the boy is being a nuisance, I will deal with him.”
Mateusz’s mouth twisted in a snarl. “See that you do, Dąbrowski. See that you keep him away from me. And another thing. Stay away from my wife!” Mateusz was so close he sprayed Jacek’s chin and mouth.
Calmy, Jacek removed a linen square and scrubbed it over his face. The captain’s bloodshot eyes smoldered, and a vision of a deformed, split nose bleeding between them flashed through Jacek’s mind.
In a low voice, Jacek replied, “I think, Captain, it would serve you better if you told your wife to leave me alone.”
Jacek turned on his heel, but before he took a step, a hand clamped on his shoulder. He let the captain spin him around, calculating all the while. One well-placed jab. One well-placed jab and a knee to the groin. Grab the back of his head and ram his face into the knee, hear the gratifying crunch. Watch the blood pour.
Jacek clenched his fists. Mateusz stared at him for several heartbeats. Two of Mateusz’s underlings called to him from the bottom of the forestairs, and Mateusz started to laugh. He smacked Jacek’s cheek and pointed a blocky finger at him.
“Don’t flatter yourself, Dąbrowski.” He gave Jacek a rough shove, turned, and leapt down the stairs, still laughing.
Just then, Filip careened into the courtyard, his head down as he trod the rutted path to the forestairs. Mateusz took four steps out of his way and barreled over Filip, sending him sprawling on his backside in the dirt. Mateusz roared with laughter, spurring his two men-at-arms to join in.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, you little rat? Now stand up and apologize.”
A hand gripped Jacek’s arm as he readied to descend the stairs, and Henryk’s even voice sounded in his ear. “Don’t give him the satisfaction.”
Feliks paced into the courtyard and pulled Filip up by the scruff, talking to him in a low voice Jacek couldn’t make out. Filip looked up at Mateusz with blazing eyes and mumbled something. Mateusz wheeled toward Jacek and erupted in another round of laughter before turning his attention back to Filip.
“Apology accepted,” he hollered. Mateusz started to walk away but stopped and pivoted. “And tell that sister of yours I’ll pay her a visit soon.”
Jacek jerked his arm from Henryk’s grasp. Feliks caught his eye and shook his head, then grasped Filip’s shoulders and spun him toward the stables.
“Jacek. Time for the midday meal. Come, before the food is gone,” Henryk said. Jacek blew out a breath and trailed his friend, his hands still fisted.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds