#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.

 

The Knight’s Portal: $0.99 limited time pre-order offer

The world as we know is no more. And she is the only one who knows. Now she must jump back to Middle Ages and fix history. But fixing history always comes with a price.

OUTLANDER meets TIMELESS in this thrilling time travel thriller by USA Today best-selling author Penny BroJacquie

Southern Europe is still under the Ottoman rule. United States of America doesn’t even exist. And Floriana is the only person who realizes that the course of history has been altered.

She’s at her home on Cava island, however she had never been there before. People she used to call family, now they are only colleagues to her. Furthermore, the whole world is not as she knew it. She tries to warn the Order of the Black Rose, but no one listens. Until, the ancient Baculus flashes again and a Maltese Knight shows up, right there in 21rst century Northern Scotland.

1565 A.D. It’s the Great Siege of Malta and 21rst century Eric is fighting along with the Knights Hospitaller against the mighty Ottoman Empire. As the Keeper of the Sacred Baculus of the Order of the Black Rose, Eric truckled to its orders; to protect history from being altered and preserve the Order of the Black Rose against its enemies.

However, things in 1565 don’t go well. Eric is fatally wounded, and the Knights are withdrawing from Malta.

Five centuries later, Floriana realizes she must travel back to 1565 to fix history and save Western civilization. And the man she loves. Or she thinks she loves. Because when you change history nothing remains exactly as you knew it.

How bad can things go?

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW to find out!

~ THE KNIGHT’S PORTAL is book #4 in The Order of the Black Rose NA science fantasy series.

Book #1: The Undead Must Die
Book #2: A Knight’s Oath
Book #3: The Withered Rose
Book #4: The Knight’s Portal

*** All books in The Order of the Black Rose series can be read standalone.

CHECK OUT ALL MY BOOKS NOW

https://pennybrojacquie.com/my-books/

‘Amber Gifts, Book One’ by Kevin B. Henry

After a decades long downward spiral, Mitchell is at the bottom of life’s rungs. A stranger hands him a simple, amber vial and tells him to drink it. With that one act, he is now a time traveler and when asked to help some new acquaintances, he gladly agrees. A simple request to find some items left scattered throughout time. How hard could it be?

But someone wants to stop Mitchell’s efforts and it will take more than luck for Mitchell to find all the items and survive long enough to complete his mission.

Amber Gifts, Book One by Kevin B. Henry is a Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Time Travel novella. (Cover Artist: Ellie Smith)

Champagne Books  Amazon Barnes and Noble

Smashwords          Kobo

Amber Gifts Button 300 x 225

Excerpt:

I spun in the chair. My flight instincts kicked in and I dove for the floor behind the desk. My hand grasped the vial before I escaped the target that was once a comfortable chair. I felt the second shot miss my head by inches. I gathered the package to me on my way to the floor.

“Wait. Stop!” I stammered on the way to the floor. I didn’t believe for a second that he would.

I uncapped the vial with a flip of my thumb while securing the package in my inner coat pocket. I recovered the rubber stopper in midair. My dexterity surprised me. What circus had I escaped from where I learned these tricks? I raised the vial to my waiting mouth. As I sipped, I took a quick look at my assailant. I wanted to be able to describe him to the Wilsons when next I saw them. He had bon vivant written all over him. He sparkled for the entire world like a fourth of July firework. I needed to ask about the meaning of that if I lived long enough. He dressed in a burgundy velvet smoking jacket, white tombstone shirt with a brown medallion ascot.

His face appeared cold and insensitive, if that’s possible. His blond, short-trimmed hair seemed not to move, despite his trying violently to get through the door and in a better location for the kill shot. When his mouth opened I would have sworn I saw his teeth gleam like one of those Crest toothpaste commercials. A scowl of bewilderment appeared on his face as he rushed through the threshold. Perhaps he felt as amazed at my continued existence as I. He must have taken his first shot from across the hall and through the office entryway. I didn’t understand how he managed to miss the second shot.

“Sorry, mate,” he said with an Australian accent.

He had a gun in his hand, aimed straight at my head. It appeared to be a Remington Model 95Derringer. I tend to notice deadly items pointed at me with such professional accuracy. I wasn’t going to trust my life that it was only an authentic double shot model. He had the look of someone intent on firing again very soon. How fast could he pull the trigger? How fast could I dissolve? I hate life or death experiments.

“1643,” I spoke softly. Instantly, I lay on an empty, white, sand beach.

About the Author:

From an early age, Kevin B. Henry was a voracious reader. His collection of science fiction, fantasy and mystery books bring tears of envy to the eyes of many small community libraries.

Kevin has worked as an educator, technology specialist and day laborer most of his adult life. During all that time he lived the life of a frustrated author. That it took 30 years for him to piece together Amber Gifts is a testament that the best meals need slow cooking to bring out the flavor. He feels the best stories revolve around time travel and the problems that such ability could produce. It’s no surprise that his first published work revolves around that theme. All the classics have touched on the subject; Star Trek, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, The Big Bang Theory. He hopes Amber Gifts can be added to that list.

Kevin is a natural storyteller, so it’s logical that he lectures occasionally. Topics range from the implementation of cutting edge technology hardware to the creation, modification and use of e-books within education. He constantly pursues research to expand his range of possible topics. His most recent research revolved around the aerodynamic properties of reindeer. He’s been known to include little known facts and trivia into his presentations. Did you know just 146 years ago today the Union Army marched into Atlanta? It took longer than anticipated. They were delayed by a traffic jam on I-75 and the tollbooth on Ga. 400

During other times, he travels if he can, both in time and space, but mostly to any available amusement park. He is not as fond of roller coaster type rides as he used to be. He still loves a good parade.

He lives in the mid-west without human or domesticated mammal companionship.

Web Site: http://www.ambergifts.blogspot.com

Twitter: @Kevin_Henry

Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/AmberGifts

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6927050.Kevin_B_Henr

#BookBlast: ‘The Undead Must Die’ is now LIVE on Amazon

Happy New Year everyone!
I wish that 2015 turns out to be a very special one for each one of you filling each day with peak of health, abundance of happiness and sunshine!
This New Years Day is very special to me. You see, it’s the day my first fiction book got published.
‘The Undead Must Die’ is now live on Amazon for only $0.99!
‘The Undead Must Die’ is a short read that will introduce you to my Adventure, Suspense, Occult Book Series called ‘The Order of the Black Rose’.
I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
I’m celebrating the release of my new book by participating in two Facebook events:
12 Days Of Christmas Multiauthor Events
and
New Year’s Book Bash:
I invite you to join us for your chance to win amazing prizes and why not, a kindle copy of ‘The Undead Must Die’.
January Upcoming Events
9-11 Jan: Winter Wonderland Multi-author Event:
9 Jan: Book Boyfriend Junkies 3000 Takeover Events:
12 Jan: Autumn Grey’s Event for Obliterate – Havoc Series:

#SnippetChain: ‘Victoria House’ by Denise Moncrief

Now let’s play a book game!
Denise Moncrief is on a two weeks book tour for her books Victoria House and Laurel Heights and Loving The Book Launching Party who are the tour organisers had a super cool idea.
Each blog hosts a snippet which comes from an excerpt of one of the books above, so the followers are able to read a full excerpt spread out through out the length of the tour!
Today is my turn to post a snippet of Victoria House, Snippet #4.
Here it is:
“His fists clenched and unclenched. He opened his hands and spread his fingers wide, forcing himself to relax. A quick pat of his pocket assured him the knife was still where he’d stashed it. He pushed aside limbs, but the semi-darkness made it hard to detect landmarks. Where was the path to the door? The tunnel entrance was supposedly set into a hillside only a few yards from the shore.The pale half moon cast long shadowed fingers between the branches of trees swaying and twisting in the wind. Eerie night noises swirled around him. His breath rasped in and out of his chest. As he dove further into the thicket, the moon slipped behind a cloud and the air became heavier, almost cloying with the scent of decaying vegetation. When his eyes finally adjusted to the deeper level of darkness, he found he had stumbled upon the entrance to the tunnel. Perhaps the gods were smiling on him after all.”

Victoria House Blurb
Haunted by a dark mystery in her family’s past…When Tori Downing takes possession of the abandoned Hamilton estate on the longest peninsula on Lake Jefferson, Arkansas, she avoids revealing her connection to the ill-fated Hamilton family. Is the glowing image that shimmers in the second floor window of Victoria House the ghost of Victoria Hamilton? Can Tori handle moving into a house with paranormal activity…again?
Tormented by a scandal she thought she’d left behind…

Until she leaves her career at the Arkansas State Crime Lab behind, she never even considers moving to Lake Jefferson, but the fallout from scandal gives Tori a very good reason to escape to Hill County and refurbish and restore the old family mansion. She settles into her new life…until the old accusations from her past start resurfacing.

Attracted to a man haunted by secrets of his own…

Drawn together to solve the murder of Jared Crenshaw, Tori and Lt. Grayson of the Hill County Sheriff’s Department dive into a tangled web of jealousy, deceit, and revenge as they attempt to solve both crimes, Jared’s death and the mysterious death years ago of Victoria Hamilton. Grayson’s past keeps interfering with his present, causing turmoil in both his professional life and his personal life. Can their love survive revealing the truth—from both the past and present—surrounding the tragedies at Victoria House?

Author Bio
Suspense, She Writes
Where the road to happily ever after takes a suspenseful detour. Fast paced twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. Romantic happily ever after moments that take your breath away. Paranormal romantic suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Want to know a little bit more about Denise? She’s a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and scrapbooking.
Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit. She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She’s been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.
You can connect with Denise at
Book Buy Links:
Victoria House
Smashwords $2.99 TBD
Barnes & Noble TBD
Laurel Heights
Where to find the rest of the snippets
 

#BookBlitz: The Agency: In the Defendant’s Chair – The Agency Series #4 by Lynn Yvonne Moon

I love Fiction – Mystery books and today I’m happy to feature one.
The Agency: In the Defendant’s Chair – The Agency Series, Book Four by Lynn Yvonne Moon (Publisher: Koehler Books – Cover Artist: Koehler Books).
Book Description:
Her last memory before falling asleep is the love she feels for her husband and kids. Then she wakes up, confused, dizzy, and sick, and realizes where she is; a courtroom. This is the nightmare and reality of Early Sutton and other women like her across America.
Carrie Clark and Maddie Edwards reunite with The Agency to solve the mysterious murders that are plaguing America. They risk their lives as they travel from coast to coast gathering clues and piecing together a strange puzzle where the pieces don’t seem to fit. In The Defendant’s Chair examines the inner working of our US Government and a secret society as they manipulate the human genome in evil seclusion. In a race against time to save the human race, the women must contemplate both the ethical and moral issues of genetic tampering.
It sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

#Snippet Chain: Laurel Heights by Denise Moncrief

Now let’s play a book game!
Denise Moncrief is on a two weeks book tour for her books Victoria House and Laurel Heights and Loving The Book Launching Party who are the tour organisers had a super cool idea.
Each blog hosts a snippet which comes from an excerpt of one of the books above, so the followers are able to read a full excerpt spread out through out the length of the tour!
Today is my turn to post a snippet of Laurel Heights, Snippet #4.
Here it is:
His fists clenched and unclenched. He opened his hands and spread his fingers wide, forcing himself to relax. A quick pat of his pocket assured him the knife was still where he’d stashed it. He pushed aside limbs, but the semi-darkness made it hard to detect landmarks. Where was the path to the door? The tunnel entrance was supposedly set into a hillside only a few yards from the shore.
The pale half moon cast long shadowed fingers between the branches of trees swaying and twisting in the wind. Eerie night noises swirled around him. His breath rasped in and out of his chest. As he dove further into the thicket, the moon slipped behind a cloud and the air became heavier, almost cloying with the scent of decaying vegetation. When his eyes finally adjusted to the deeper level of darkness, he found he had stumbled upon the entrance to the tunnel. Perhaps the gods were smiling on him after all.
Laurel Heights Blurb
A dark cloud of deceit hovers over her family tree…
Left an estate by an aunt she’s never met, Laurel Standridge takes possession of Laurel Heights, hoping it will be the safe haven she needs to recuperate from her ill-fated relationship with Rand Peterson. Secrets long buried rise to the surface when her cousin James is murdered and dumped on the highway just outside the gates of Laurel Heights.
Her past trails her to the mountains of Arkansas…
Caught in an obligation Chase Peterson feels he cannot ignore, he agrees to help his brother Rand take back the property he believes Laurel stole from him, but Chase remains at Laurel Heights after he discovers Laurel took nothing of Rand’s away with her except nightmares, fading bruises, and a broken rib.
Unexplained disturbances shatter her hopes of a normal life…
Are the strange bumps, thumps, and bangs reverberating through the night caused by the murderer of Laurel’s cousin James, someone Rand has sent to exact his revenge, or a disturbed soul existing in another dimension, trying to communicate with the living? Drawn together by the intrigue surrounding Laurel Heights, Chase and Laurel become hopelessly entangled in a relationship that goes deeper than lust. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights?
Author Bio
Suspense, She Writes
Where the road to happily ever after takes a suspenseful detour. Fast paced twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. Romantic happily ever after moments that take your breath away. Paranormal romantic suspense that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Want to know a little bit more about Denise? She’s a Southern girl who has lived in Louisiana all her life, and yes, she has a drawl. She has a wonderful husband and two incredible children, who not only endure her writing moods, but also encourage her to indulge her writing passion. Besides writing romantic suspense, she enjoys traveling, reading, and scrapbooking.
Accounting is a skill she has learned to earn a little money to support her writing habit. She wrote her first story when she was a teen, seventeen handwritten pages on school-ruled paper and an obvious rip-off of the last romance novel she had read. She’s been writing off and on ever since, and with more than a few full-length manuscripts already completed, she has no desire to slow down.
You can connect with Denise at
Book Buy Links:
Victoria House
Smashwords $2.99 TBD
Barnes & Noble TBD
Laurel Heights
Where to find the rest of the snippets
Laurel Heights
December 7
 
December 8
 
December 9
 
December 10
 
December 11
 
December 12
 
December 13