Today, we are guest posting the vivacious April Holthaus. I just finished reading Escape to the Highlands and it was WONDERFUL! If you didn’t catch my review check for it on the side panel which provides a listing of past blogs.
It’s all yours April.
I would like to express my thanks to Eileen for giving me the opportunity to participate on her author blog page. I am excited to announce that currently, my second book, Escape to the Highlands, The MacKinnon Clan Series will be published the week of January 20th. My first book, The Honor of a Highlander has now been out for four months and to my amazement has been in the Top 100 Best Sales for the Historical Romance Scottish genre on Amazon. I am already geared up for the third and final book of the series, Highland Daydreams. When I am not writing, I have been in the process of remodeling my house to put it on the market. My husband and I are looking to move out into the country. We are also preparing for our first child due the end of March, so we have been quite busy!
I fell in love with the historical romance genre from my love of history and my own genealogy research. I have compiled over 350 blood grandparents of my family tree dating back to the 1100s. It has been a lot of fun researching all the different stories and connecting with distant cousins around the world. It is something that I look forward to passing down to my child.
If you would like more information about me or my books please check out my author page at http://www.facebook.com/author.april.holthaus. I love meeting and talking to new people!
Here’s an excerpt from ESCAPE TO THE HIGHLANDS:
“Our castle was just attacked and the prisoners are gone. Someone will pay for this,” Wayland said in an unsympathetic tone.
“We will gather men to go after the ones responsible,” the guard said.
“Responsible? We know bloody well it was the Scots,” Lord Wessex sneered.
“There were only a few of them, how exactly did they get past you and into the dungeons?” Wayland asked the group of soldiers. The line of soldiers looked around at each other but remained silent.
“You will answer or you too will see yourself in the bowels of the dungeon,” Richard hollered.
“It’s just, we are not certain what we saw, my lord,” the same brave solider said. “And what is it that you think you saw?” Wayland asked. The solider cowardly lowered his head and whispered, “Lady Jacqueline, my lord.”
“Blasphemy. What is the meaning of this?” roared Lord Wessex.
“It’s true, my lord. We saw Lady Jacqueline open the door to the dungeon and that is when moments later, we saw the prisoners escaping to the woods,” the man replied.
Facing Richard, Lord Wessex fumingly asked, “You dare have me wed a traitor?”
“No, my lord. Certainly these men must be mistaken. If you wish, we will confront her at once,” Richard said as they headed towards the staircase.
Jacqueline shook from the loud thundering sound the door made when someone repeatedly pounded on it. Opening the door, she saw Maggie standing in the doorframe. Deathly pale the poor woman looked distraught. Maggie brushed past Jacqueline, grabbed onto Jacqueline’s slippers and forcefully shoved them into Jacqueline’s hands. Reaching for the handful of silver that Jacqueline kept inside a black velvet trinket box, Maggie shoved the coins into a small leather pouch and tied it to the rope of Jacqueline’s cloak. Puzzled by Maggie’s unusual behavior she asked, “What is it, Maggie?”
“May God have mercy on this night, my lady. Lady Jacqueline, I overheard one of the guards talking to your brother and Lord Richard. Your brother and cousin are on their way up here. They know that you were the one that helped them escape. They believe you to be a traitor and helped the Scots through the gate. You must go. Now. Quickly.”
“But, Maggie I have nowhere to go.”
“My lady, if you stay.” Maggie stopped in mid-sentence and began to weep in her hands.
Jacqueline knew what she was going to say. That she would be charged with treason and put to death. “How can I leave without being noticed?”
“You will need to take the secret passageways within the walls. If you stay to the right, it should take you to the cave next to the river. Do you remember the way?” Jacqueline only nodded. Maggie moved the tapestry to reveal one of the several entrances hidden throughout the castle. As a young girl, Jacqueline often played within the passageways only to get lost several times. Jacqueline hugged Maggie and without saying a word, she slipped inside the small doorway. “Bless you, Maggie.” “May God watch over you, child.”