#Free #Read #excerpt: The Knight’s Portal #TKP Chapters 1 & 3

THE KNIGHT’S PORTAL (excerpt)

CHAPTER ONE 

“If the Turks should prevail against the Isle of Malta, it is uncertain what further peril might follow to the rest of Christendom”

Queen Elizabeth I of England

 

Eric gasped for fresh air as he lifted the visor of his steel armet with a sharp move. His eyes stung by smoke and his nostrils filled with the metallic smell of blood. The deafening sound of a cannon thunder rolled through his ears although they were still protected by the close helmet the Knights Hospitaller had forced him to put on before he joined them in the battle.  The steel cuirass they had also made him wear looked ridiculous over his button-down white shirt and his comfortable light blue jeans. Last night he was enjoying a delicious hot meal in a cozy 21rst century apartment in London and now he was defending the Mediterranean island of Malta from the Islamic Ottoman Empire in a sixteenth-century epic battle.

Boom! Pieces of stones, bricks, and wood fell over him. Four emerald green stones shined in the dimmed sunlight as he lifted the golden baculus he held up to shield himself.

“That’s wrong, this shouldn’t be happening,” he whispered as he pulled his armet off his head.

It wasn’t his jump back in time that troubled him. It could have been weird, but wrong, no it wasn’t. He didn’t become a time travel with no reason. It wasn’t his dream. He never wished that happened. He didn’t ask for it. He didn’t even know that time travel was even possible.

It was the advance of the Turkish army to inland that was an anomaly. It was supposed to be the Great Siege of Malta. When the Ottoman Empire tried to invade the rocky island, an army of 2,000 Knights Hospitaller and barely 400 Maltese men withstood the siege and repelled the invaders. All of Europe celebrated what would turn out to be the last epic battle involving Crusader Knights. The last act of the heroic medieval Catholic military Order of which the Order of the Black Rose derived.

Boom! Another shellfire distracted his thoughts. He should move to another spot. His jeans were wet soaked with blood. It wasn’t his blood; it was the blood of Knights and soldiers whose lives he was supposed to have protected. And now they were lying dead, their bodies buried beneath enormous stones of the ruined curtain wall they were assigned to guard.

He crawled over Zanoguerra’s cold body. The poor boy dreamed of being a Knight someday; his dream would not come true. Eric knew that he should act as fast and efficiently as he could or the Knights Hospitaller would face their ultimate end. The whole Western civilization depended on him.  That sounds pompous, he thought. It was never his choice though. He was a loyal member of the Order of the Black Rose, however he never dreamed of playing hero. Badass yes, hero no, he thought as he crawled on his hands and knees toward a huge pile of rubble that once used to be a family house. His moves were slow under the weight of the steel armor which covered his torso. Bearing the golden baculus didn’t help either. That golden rod with a cross pattée on the hilt wasn’t just a historic artefact of unfathomable value; it was his ride to Middle Ages.

Four emerald green stones decorated each of the four corners of the cross pattée, the distinguished Christian cross of the Knight Templars, arms narrow at the center and broader at the perimeter. It was when those four stones flashed that the grey and white dining room Eric was in faded away, replaced by the thick walls of Mdina’s medieval castle. The jazz music he was listening during the romantic dinner he had prepared for Floriana was switched with thuds and clangs of heavy swords. One moment he was enjoying hoisin-glazed pork tenderloin with Asian rice salad, and the next he had the taste of blood and gun powder in his mouth.

“Nothing is right here,” muttered Eric as he looked around at the collapsed buildings. “Everything is wrong.”

Half of the city walls bastions were ruined. The famous fortification of Mdina, which was supposed to still intact to the 21rst century, was now almost gone. In his time this series of defensive walls which surrounded the former capital city of Malta were on the country’s tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. “They won’t be anymore.” Mdina city had withstood several sieges, but the walls kept her inhabitants safe, except in two occasions, none of which was during the Great Siege of Malta. The Ottoman army had failed to attack Mdina, unaware of the fact that the city was guarded only by a small group of local soldiers and Knights of St John. The poorly-defended and supplied Mdina fired its cannon at the approaching force of Mustafa Pasha at pointlessly long range; this bluff fooled the tired of the long-lasted siege Turks into thinking the city was full to the brim with defenders and led to their retreat. A few days later the Turks would flee to their ships, and Malta would survive the Ottoman assault.

“This is not going to happen anymore, and I don’t know how to fix it” Eric yelled as he threw his armet down with anger. The sound of the steel helmet crashing on the ground was covered by another cannon thunder.

Mdina has fallen. Malta, a stepping stone to Italy, wouldn’t last long either. The rest of Europe would fall under the rule of Suleiman the Magnificent. The western civilization was in peril. He was sent back to time to stem the tide of the Ottoman imperialism and make sure that History would not be altered. But he had no idea how to do that.

* * *

CHAPTER THREE

“Nothing is better known than the siege of Malta”

Voltaire

 

A sudden rustle of Sirocco wind slapped Eric’s face. Sand and dust raised above the ruined buildings and overlay the lifeless bodies that lay along St. Peter’s bastion. Women and children lay dead beside Knights, soldiers, and peasants. The wind carried the sound of iron clad hooves as the strong courses of the Ottoman cavalry reached Mdina’s city walls. The bell of the St. Pauls Cathedral was rung; a signal that the enemy was within the fortifications.

Eric picked up a fallen Knight’s sword before he moved fast towards an alley crowded with people trying to flee. It was a place well known to him. After all, Mdina was his adoptive hometown. Even if he lived there five centuries later, little had changed during centuries.  However, St Paul’s Cathedral, where he was heading to, had changed a lot. Founded in the 12th century, it was severely damaged in the 1693 Sicily earthquake and rebuilt in the 17th century. “That’s in two hundred years from now,” Eric thought as he tried to accelerate but the steel cuirass he wore, and the heavy sword made his moves difficult.

He couldn’t understand how all that had happened; how history changed its course. According to the history books, Mdina was the base of the Order’s cavalry during the Great Siege. When the Ottoman attempted to invade Mdina to winter there, the city fired its canons misleading the Ottoman commander on the size of their ammunition. “That was supposed to be happening, but it isn’t”.

The next rumble of the enemy’s cannon sounded like a thunderstorm. With a thunderous crash the sandstone building he was passing by collapsed taking dozens of soldiers and citizens down in its ruins. Eric held the baculus tightly as he rushed behind a tree trunk to avoid the dust the collapsing building had arisen.

He was the Keeper of the Baculus. He was appointed by birth. It was his family’s longtime duty to preserve that valuable artifact, a duty that was lost in the midst of history. Some would call it a privilege. Others would call it a burden. Eric hadn’t even been warned for what the baculus bore. He found out the most spectacular way; a romantic-dinner-gonne-spectacularly-wrong way.

The table was wonderfully decorated, the silverware was shiny, the food was delicious, Floriana looked beautiful in her red dress and her red curly hair; just like a fresh-cut red rose. The atmosphere was heavy though and their troubled relationship was the reason. “I was the reason,” Eric thought as he recalled the events that led to his current situation. “I don’t do relationships” he had once said to Floriana. That was before he got to know her better, before he was charmed by her looks, captivated by her vibrant personality. Quiet on the outside, Floriana was bright and lively in the inside, she always got the most out of life. Living with her in his medieval palazzo in Mdina, the one that once owned to his ancestors, but he had to spend a small fortune to gain the ownership of the astonishing property, was an experience wonderful yet challenging. Floriana was not only his partner in life, but she was also his partner in the Order of the Black Rose. There were benefits to working with his life partner; he didn’t have to live a double life. However, that came with a lot of stress. His constant worrying about Floriana’s well-being resulted in a vexing sense of unhappiness and lack of freedom. Cracks began to show in their relationship and ended up with Floriana moving to her apartment in London. Their reconciliation dinner brought them further apart; centuries apart.

Floriana and he hadn’t finished their dinner when the baculus flashed in the see-through plastic case it was placed in. Since Eric found out he was the Keeper, he always bore it with him whichever his destination was. And that was the first time he ever saw it glint. Curious as he was, he opened the case and took the golden rod gently in his hands. The moment his fingers touched its golden surface, it got adhered to his skin as an octopus sticks its suckers on its victim. The picture of everything around him began to fade as if he was watching an old analogue television set transmitting static. The last thing he saw in that flicker of “snow” was the image of a frantic Floriana moving to grab his hand. A few moments of a skydiving feeling and next thing he knew, a bunch of Knights Hospitallers stared at him, observing him, scrutinizing his modern clothes, his freshly shaved face, and his 3D printed grey suede sneakers.

g with his life partner; he didn’t have to live a double life. However, that came with a lot of stress. His constant worrying about Floriana’s well-being resulted in a vexing sense of unhappiness and lack of freedom. Cracks began to show in their relationship and ended up with Floriana moving to her apartment in London. Their reconciliation dinner brought them further apart; centuries apart.

Floriana and he hadn’t finished their dinner when the baculus flashed in the see-through plastic case it was placed in. Since Eric found out he was the Keeper, he always bore it with him whichever his destination was. And that was the first time he ever saw it glint. Curious as he was, he opened the case and took the golden rod gently in his hands. The moment his fingers touched its golden surface, it got adhered to his skin as an octopus sticks its suckers on its victim. The picture of everything around him began to fade as if he was watching an old analogue television set transmitting static. The last thing he saw in that flicker of “snow” was the image of a frantic Floriana moving to grab his hand. A few moments of a skydiving feeling and next thing he knew, a bunch of Knights Hospitaller stared at him, observing him, scrutinizing his modern clothes, his freshly shaved face, and his 3D printed grey suede sneakers.

 

#CoverReveal #Giveaway: Flintlock by Ashley Nixon

Were you here when we revealed the brand new cover for Cutlass, the first book in the Cutlass Trilogy? If not, check it out HERE! Now it’s time for BOOK TWO!
Let me remind you who the genius is behind these books:

Author Ashley Nixon’s Bio:

Ashley was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. She has a Bachelor’s in English Writing and a Master’s in Library Science and Information Technology. When she’s not writing she’s either working out or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.
Links to social media:
Website
GoodReads
Facebook
Twitter
Blog
Links to where Cutlass is sold:
Amazon:
B&N:
FLINTLOCK WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER SOON!

Flintlock Book Blurb:

Barren Reed hopes to protect the Orient from his tyrant uncle, but his plans to make the King’s life a living hell aren’t supported by the Elders of the pirate community. As it stands, Barren has earned the Elders’ disdain for his carelessness, and they threaten him into exile if he makes one more mistake.
Barren’s not the only one feeling the Elders’ wrath—they don’t trust Larkin either. Worse, Barren can’t comprehend Larkin’s wish to have a relationship with her father, and the secrets she’s forced to keep create a tension that may pull them apart forever.
When the Pirates of Silver Crest begin to die, bullets laced with dark magic are to blame. With more and more of these weapons infiltrating the Underground, discovering who’s behind the dissemination is no easy feat. As fear and tension mount among the people of the Orient, Barren and his crew find themselves in a race against time to stop the spread of dark magic before the world of Mariana spirals into collapse.
Now it’s time to FINALLY share the cover.
Here it is!
Awesome!I have to admit I like that guy at the right top corner.

#CoverReveal: Dark Thief by Amy Lynn Garcia

I’m so happy to have the chance to participate in Amy Lynn Garcia’s new book Cover Reveal.
Dark Thief – The Two Sides of Me series has now a cover and it’s getting ready to put out in the publishing sea.
But before the cevoer gets revealed, Amy Lynn Garcia shares an excerpt with us:
“I can feel his ankles brushing against my own. And then I hear a click, what the hell? He’s taking pictures of me! I jump and flip to my back opening my eyes to Evan towering over me with an enormous professional looking camera.

“What the hell Evan? I’m naked!” “I’m well aware baby now close your eyes and relax, I want some of this side.” “Evan! No!” It’s then that I look at my arms, and then propping up I see my legs, hell every inch of me! I’m covered in his signature! Evan Lawson is scrawled across my skin in various sizes but the same name over and over, delicate looking font in some places and bold in others. He’s claimed me, quite literally.

Shocked and confused, mouth agape I look up at him as he stands there awaiting my cooperation. “Close your mouth baby, a bird might…” I cut him off “Evan! Why…why is your name…everywhere?” I lift my arms as if to show him what he’s done. “Because you are mine.” “And you couldn’t think of a better way to show that?” “No, I like you covered in my autograph and I’m taking you out tonight to Dominus for dinner and drinks. I know all too well how my customers gawk and I don’t want anyone’s lustful eyes on you.” I think my mouth is hanging even wider if that’s possible.

He wants me to go out like this, covered in his signature, so that no one will look at me. Ok, he’s totally lost it, I’m not going anywhere like this. “Uh uh, no way, I can’t go out all marked up like this!” “Lay down Mia I want to get a few more shots.”

 Ready for the Cover Reveal?
Here it is!
Goodreads: Dark Kiss
This is the first in a series about Evan Lawson and Mia Galloway. Two brave survivors, one dominant and one innocent. Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, neither of them looking or believing themselves capable of love. A white hot fire ignites and they begin to learn to fight against all odds for this unique, unexpected love. Can their love survive their past demons or will it separate them permanently? 
Good Reads: Dark Thief
Mia and Evan have been through a lot together in a short time. In Dark Thief, the second installment of The Two Sides of Me trilogy, Evan’s alpha male personality explodes when Mia spirals into a near fatal depression caused by his bizarre and dark past. Short term amnesia following Evan’s car accident that brought these two together originally, seriously complicates their relationship. And as if that weren’t enough, Mia also learns Evan has an brain tumor that could take him from her permanently. When Evan finds he can’t protect Mia from his unknown demons, naturally he begins to use his wealth, connections and fear tactics to manipulate a plan that will return her to his side where he is convinced she belongs. 

Don’t miss Dark Thief if you were left shocked and breathless at the end of Dark Kiss you need to come along on this wild ride with Evan and Mia to find out what’s next in their crazy story.

Author Bio
 


 I am Amy Lynn Garcia, daughter, sister, cousin, mother, nurse, and grandma…no..no…call me Mimi I’m too young to be a grandma, writer and friend. We are all something to someone, and I love all the hats I wear in my life. I was born in 1969 which is where I lay blame to my compulsion to write erotica and romance, wink. That makes me…uh…yea 45, no way really? My mind is still very young but not naive I’ve seen a lot and experienced more, you may think I don’t know what’s going on but be assured this Mama knows what’s up! I enjoy creating characters that have something people can relate to, who are real, addictive and intriguing. Love has always been a desire just out of my reach, as it is for many people. I believe that is what draws me into stories with superb happily ever afters. I want to connect with people on that level, let them know they aren’t alone, that love can triumph over all, we all long for that special one that takes our breath away.

#CoverReveal: Eight Birds for Christmas by Tara Mayoros

Cover Reveal Day again today!

Author Tara Mayoros has a brand new Christmas novella coming out soon, but with a cover this fantastic, it deserves a little bit of a celebration today!

First, I’d like to introduce to you my quest.

taraMayoros

As a child, Tara Mayoros moved to Asia with her family where her love of different cultures and travel began. In college she satisfied her wanderlust by moving to China, filling her head with countless stories, and occasionally writing them down.

Years, marriage, children and many adventures later, she picked up her dusty pen and paper (or laptop) and realized that writing took her to different worlds and gave her the experiences that she yearned for. As an author, artist, baker, music teacher, gardner, and nature lover – she sees the beauty in the process, and the miracle, of creation. The Rocky Mountains are her home and they call to her whenever she finds herself in need of inspiration.

How to catch up with her

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Tara-Mayoros/510125515787576?ref=hl
https://twitter.com/TaraMayoros
taramayoros.com
http://www.pinterest.com/taramayoros/

In the Christmas novella Eight Birds for Christmas, a Holiday funeral sends Laidan into a dormancy of sadness. Holed up in her mother’s lake house with her best friend and her bodyguard, birds appear one by one as gifts that help her through a time of grieving. Each birds carries with it a word and a hope that things will begin to look up.

Hurt from the realization that the rock star life Laidan led had made her selfish, the birds reveal forgotten memories and glimpses into how she can become a better person. It will take confronting her past to make peace with her future. By taking to heart the gifts the birds bring, Laidan begins to realize the true meaning of Christmas and that there are other ways that she can share her song.

Are you ready for the cover?

Here it is!

EightbirdsofChristmas cover
If you like it, please free to share your thoughts with us (Tara, Sarah & Becca from http://lovingthebooklaunchparty.blogspot.com and me) leaving a comment below.

#NewCoverReveal: ‘Cutlass’ by Ashley Nixon

And, yes, this is the third post of the day! And again it is a Cover Reveal. In fact it’s a New Cover Reveal!

Author Ashley Nixon held a launch party about a month ago to show off her new book.

This was the old cover:


It was amazing but the author had the feeling it could be even more better.

So here it is, the NEW one!

newcutlass cover

Well, what do you think?

About Cutlass

Notorious pirate Barren Reed has one thing on his mind: Revenge against the man who killed his father. So kidnapping his enemy’s fiancé seems a perfect plan…until he actually does it.

Larkin Lee is more than a pretty face and fiancé to a powerful man. Her fierce personality is enough to make any pirate want to push her overboard.

But when the King of the Orient comes to Barren with a task—to find the Bloodstone, a powerful gem thought only to exist in legend, Barren sees another opportunity to destroy his enemy. Together, Barren, Larkin and a crew of pirates set off to find the stone, only to discover it caused the death of Barren’s own mother and Larkin’s, too. As his strongest allies turn into his greatest enemies, and the life of the girl he kidnapped becomes more important than he ever dreamed, Barren’s quest for revenge becomes a fight to save the Orient.

AshleyNixon

Ashley Nixon was born and raised in Oklahoma, where the wind really does sweep down the plains, and horses and carriages aren’t used as much as she’d like. She has a Bachelor’s in English Writing and a Master’s in Library Science and Information Technology. When she’s not writing she’s either working out or pretending she’s Sherlock Holmes. Her obsession with writing began after reading the Lord of the Rings in the eighth grade. Since then, she’s loved everything Fantasy–resulting in an unhealthy obsession with the ‘geek’ tab on Pinterest, where all things awesome go.

Links to social media:  

Website | GoodReads | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

Links to where book is sold:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cutlass-Ashley-Nixon-ebook/dp/B00JUI2QJ6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408409804&sr=8-1&keywords=cutlass+by+Ashley+Nixon

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cutlass-ashley-nixon/1119322567?ean=9780991132300

#CoverReveal: Capturing You by Katana Collins

Today’s first post is about a Cover Reveal. Katana Collins is having a new book out and today she is revealing its cover!

Capturing You – Maple Grove, Book 1 by Katana Collins

Contemporary Romance – Date of Publication: 12/16/14

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

CapturingYouFinal-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500

What this book is about:

After discovering she’s infertile, Lydia Ryder has all but convinced herself that she doesn’t need children or a family to be happy. All she needs is her camera, her passport, and a damn good manicure. And maybe, maybe a sexy male travel companion. But when her job as a magazine photographer lands her in the small town of Maple Grove, NH, a precocious ten year old and her single father barge into Lydia’s life, turning what she thinks she wants onto its head. In this town full of happily ever afters, Lydia finds herself wishing for things she had sworn off long ago…

When Cameron Tripp’s wife passed away from heart disease, he thought he’d never find love again. He certainly never would have expected a woman like Lydia Ryder to waltz into his life and awaken his dormant heart and libido. But despite his better judgment, Cam finds himself drawn to the vivacious and argumentative outsider. He quickly learns that, like him, she knows all about misplaced trust, heartbreak, and how quickly a family can fall apart if you let it.

Iis there any hope that Lydia and Cameron will be able to start a new life together?

Excerpt:

Chapter Eleven

“It didn’t take long before Cam was lying on the floor, face up, a half-empty bottle of wine clutched in a hand. His ceiling fan was so dirty. He’d have to make a mental note to dust up there next time. If he’d even remember in this inebriated state. Do drunk people use words like inebriated? Apparently this one did.

He looked to his left, swiveling his head without lifting it off the floor. Callie was lying face down on his couch. One leg dangled off the edge and knuckles that grasped her bottle of vino scraped the floor. Her cheek was squished making her loose lips pucker. Sensing his stare, she opened her eyes; they were red and bloodshot. “You’re so drunk,” she slurred.

“You’re an enabebler,” Cam attempted to speak. Clearly it wasn’t going well. He could tell in his own head it was wrong and his sister broke out in a fit of giggles.

“This is fun,” she said, “Why didn’t we ever do this before?”

“Because you weren’t twenty-one before,” he grunted and bringing the bottle to his lips, took another swig. The sweetness wasn’t so much of an issue after your sixth glass. And after almost a whole bottle? You didn’t even taste it anymore.

Callie sat up on an arm, propping her body in some sort of yoga-like pose that made Cam’s back hurt just looking at it. Shit, he was getting old. “Listen, mister. I’ve been twenty-one for…” she counted on a few fingers, her eyes rolling into the back of her head as though the extra thinking hurt, “many months now. There’s no excuse!” Her elbow gave out and she fell back down onto the couch with an oomph.

“Yeah, well, I’ve got reponsibilities,” he said. “Responsilibilities,” he tried again. “Re-spons-ib-ilities.” There. He got it, finally.

Callie broke out into another fit of girlie giggles and rolled off the couch onto her back next to Cam. He couldn’t help but laugh too. And damn it felt good to laugh. It was creaky; unused. But nice, nonetheless. “So seriously,” Callie’s eyes were only half open, “who’s the city chick?”

Cam groaned. Lydia. Everything came back to Lydia lately. “I need to be drunker if we’re going to talk about this,” he lifted the bottle again, the halogen lamp reflecting off the tinted glass. It was noticeably lighter than before.

“C’mon,” she propped herself up on an elbow. “Tell me about her.”

He sighed. “She’s…beautiful. Like a sunset on…uh, a summer’s eve.”

Callie burst out laughing again. “Okay, I think you’ve had enough,” she reached across him and took the bottle from his hands. “You just compared a woman to a feminine cleansing product.”

He closed his eyes, picturing her face. That sleek chestnut hair; grey eyes with little specks of gold like his granite countertops; high cheekbones and large, plump lips. When he opened his eyes, Callie was looming over him smiling. “You’re thinking about her, aren’t you?”

He groaned. “She has a boyfriend. It’s a moot point.”

“Did she say it was a moot point?”

“She doesn’t have to. She has a boyfriend and she lied about it.”

Callie arched an eyebrow. “Which only proves that she’s into you, too.”

Well, do you like this cover? And what do you think about this exceprt?

Feel free to share your thoughts with a comment below.

#CoverReveal: Lebrus Stone by Miriam Khan

Today I’m excited to host a book blast!

Miriam Khan is from Cheshire, England and a family of six siblings. Her love for creativity led to acting at her local theatre before being a lead vocalist in rock bands. During those years, she often found solace penning her thoughts and feelings through lyrics or poetry. She chose not to continue singing in 2006, and two years later she woke up with the idea for The Lebrus Stone and began typing. revising and editing it for the next six years. She is now eager to see what readers will think.

To see the latest going on with Miriam Khan:

When Eighteen year old orphan, Crystal Valdez, accepts an invitation to the small town of Blacksville, West Virginia, she’s hopes to have a summer to remember, a chance to get to learn more about her parents, even the family she never knew existed.

But the Lockes begin to act strange and erratic; eerie movements in the night further fuel her very vivid and gruesome nightmares. To complicate her summer further, she becomes attracted to the menacing handsome Cray Locke: her none blood related cousin who seems hell bent on keeping his distance. The only bonus seems to be the Housekeeper and Gardener.

And when a local informs Crystal of the secrets buried at Thorncrest Manor, one consisting of a forbidden love and war between hidden worlds and even witchcraft, she must decide who to trust. Even if it means leaving behind those she has come to love and trust.

Ok here it is!!!! 

 

 

Isn’t it FABULOUS!!!!!

Now for the trailer! This is gonna knock your socks off, so hold on to your seat!