~FLEEING FROM THE GRIP OF A LOVELORN HEART, TO THE ARMS OF A WAR-TORN LAND OF LUSTY INTRIGUE
Lifting his visor, Martel waved his hand triumphantly. "Madame, welcome to the Castle of the White Swan.”
Anna’s face lit with delight. "How enchanting…’Tis well named, for it floats languidly upon the waters like a swan. Surely, it is the best castle in the world.”
Martel smirked. “Be careful, Lady Anna. Castles are like lovers. They will enchant you— all the while keeping their secrets.”
“What do you mean?”she asked, intrigued by the expectation of enigma.
Implicated in murder, Anna is forced to flee her native Scotland to the war-torn cauldron of medieval Europe. There, within the walls of Castle White Swan, she attempts to mend her broken heart and seeks sanctuary from the rage of Braddon of Blackfell, her love and second husband. But, peace is not to be. Although Anna learns the valuable and sophisticated arts of the French Court as lady-in-waiting to the Countess of Chinon, it comes at a cost. The powerful Duke of Burgundy seeks to take her to his bed and the attentions of the alluring French knight, Martel, serve as constant temptation. Her past sails with her across the Channel. A spirit from the realms of witchery haunts her healings. And another specter from her past haunts her as well. For Braddon of Blackfell arrives on French shores to pursue glory—and retribution.
A richly told tale of glamour and romance, set amidst the intriguing political tapestry of the French Court during the Hundred Years’ War, Gildevon Chronicles III will take you on a quest of medieval adventure.
“Who is it?” she shouted into the night. No one answered. A black form moved by the pines...no ’twas green. Her breath caught. A woman. Very beautiful. Green gowns billowing around her, dark hair swirling behind, she beckoned Anna toward the loch.
“Are you in trouble?” She grabbed her shawl and plunged into the storm. Rain assaulted her, pounded her face, ran down her shift. Her bare feet sunk ankle deep in puddles. With wild abandon, the green lady went before her, waving her on. Anna squinted through the watery curtain. The woman’s mouth moved, trying to speak.
“What?” Anna yelled above the storm, “I can’t hear you. Come closer. Do you need help?” The green lady continued to motion. Anna’s fl esh prickled. Despite the deluge, the stranger’s hair and her gown were as crisp and dry as if she had just stepped from her dressing room. Green light shimmered around her...and, she did not walk...she floated...over the waters.
’Twas then she knew. Abby had told her stories of the greengowned beauty, the hauntress of the Highlands. Certainly, she must be dreaming. No. This was no phantasm of slumber. Water lapped her legs.
Though every fiber of Anna’s being screamed at her to tear away and run back to the croft, she stood transfixed, mesmerized by the fl owing dance amidst the curtains of rain.
“Who are you?” she screamed again.
The green lady did not answer, but pointed to the sky. Broad fields stretched before her—a chessboard of battle. On one side a great red lion reared above the English host. On the other, a second lion danced amongst fluttering flags of fleur-de-lis—Scotland’s armies marched with the French. Clad in glinting armor, a Scottish knight rode tall upon a gray horse. A banner caught her eye. Rain pummeled Anna’s upturned face. She stepped forward to get a better glimpse. She must determine the crest. Invictus maneo! Thunder clapped. With a roar the horsemen charged and clashed. Steel rang. English arrows fl ew. Screams sliced the moaning wind. The melee closed around the knight. Anna’s heart thumped then stopped. Amidst soldiers, blood, and smashing steel, stood a lone black wolf.
A final crash of thunder...a flash of lightning...Anna blinked her eyes. Shock rocked her body. She stood neck deep in the loch.