Sunday, March 4, 2012

Last excerpt from Maid of the Midlands

I had an agent refuse to represent this book because the
hero wasn't a knight or lord and the heroine a lady. But I found the working
class characters more colorful to write about and much more appealing. I hope
the readers will also. And for those readers who like this book, there is a sequel already written about Matilda's and Jondalar's three children, set in the time of the Gunpowder Plot, and Guy Fawkes is my historical character in that one.


Unmindful that she wore no
gown, the maid ran headlong down the stairs and flung herself upon the
prostrate guard. Her hands feverishly
examined his muscular chest, seeking the source of his wound, and touched the
leather thong about his neck. And when she saw the medal hanging from it in the
fold of his tunic, she knew at once he loved her still.

“Jondalar,” she wept
profusely, “speak to me. Please do not
die. I would not want to live without

Willy Douglas shook his head
in bewilderment. Then, seeing the maid
was in a state of undress, he placed his cloak upon her shoulders to spare her
further shame.

Jondalar groaned weakly.

“He lives,” Matilda said
joyously. “We must tend his wounds at
once before all his blood is drained.”

She tore a strip from her
clean white underskirt and sought to staunch the copious flow from his
side. Another shot had grazed his head
and sticky crimson mingled with his copper-colored hair making it impossible to
separate the two.

“My dearest,” she
crooned. “I will take care of you. All will be well.”

“Huh?” the guard opened his
eyes and seeing Matilda so close to his face, blinked as if to verify the

“Jondalar, please speak to
me,” she entreated once more.

“Me luv,” he whispered, “. .
. save the . . . queen.”


Janice Seagraves said...

So, I take it that this story is set in the month of November?

Good luck with your release. I think peasant stories can be more interesting than princess's stories too. :)


Paula Martin said...

This excerpt is after the place I've reached in Maid, Linda - but wow, great excerpt.
Real life has got in the way of my reading ss I decided to start my house 'spring-clean' yesterday! Takes up too much time, but is necessary (as in, where does all that dust come from?)
Look forward to getting back to the Maid and finding out what happens next. It's a great story!

Linda Swift said...

Janice, the story actually takes place over a period of months when the queen is a "guest" at the imaginary Hafton Castle. And the reference to saving her doesn't refer to the executioner's ax. But you will need to read the book to know about the again imaginary plot to end the queen's life for which Jondalar was responsible.

Linda Swift said...

Paula, how nice of you to visit today. I'm hope these excerpts "ahead" of your place in the book haven't spoiled anything for you. And as an Englis reader, your praise is music to my ears. I just hope in the telling of the story, I haven't made too many errors with your beautiful speech patterns in my effort to capture the accents.

Catherine Lee said...

I must have missed an excerpt. Last one I read, Jondalar was apparantly going to be involved in the murder of the Queen. I'll have to read the book to see what I missed!

catherinelee100 at gmail dot com