Howdy! And welcome to another Tuesday! Yes. Yes. Let’s do it again. I’ll be giving away two free copies of my newest release BLACK EAGLE, one in e-book format and the other in tradepaper. But before I go any further on this post, let me review a few of the rules for entering the drawing. To enter into the drawing, you must be eighteen years of age or older, you must be a resident of the United States and you must leave a comment in order to enter into the drawing. Please review all the rules at the end at the end of my blog (in my bio). That aside, let me stress again that in order to win — if you are the winner — you must check back on the blog tomorrow evening, where I will announce the winner. I know that some sites contact you if you are the winner, but that is not what we do here. You must check back tomorrow and if you are the winner, instructions will be given for you to claim your prize. If you have any questions, please just put your questions into a comment and I will happily answer them.
That aside, I thought I’d post another excerpt from the new release, BLACK EAGLE — http://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5640/black-eagle
It was a busy environment, and Black Eagle felt as though he were intruding on an exclusively feminine domain. For a moment he experienced a notion of being ill at ease, until someone brushed past him, leaving in their wake an arousing scent of the fresh outdoors and femininity.
Black Eagle’s attention was caught at once, and he gazed at the back of the exquisite creature who had ventured into the bustle of the kitchen. Her dress was different than that of the other women. The dress was made of an elaborately decorated material and was full, particularly at the sides of the waist, a style Black Eagle had disdained when he had first seen it on a white woman.
But on this creature, it was impeccable. The dress was fashioned in a soft shade of aqua, a color the women of his village valued. The young woman’s hair was piled high on top of her head, while silky ringlets of reddish-colored curls fell down over one shoulder.
“Mrs. Stanton?” The beauty’s voice was delicate, barely audible, yet the cook acted as though the woman had shouted, for she immediately stopped what she was doing to give attention to the young lady.
“Yes, miss?” said Cook.
“Mrs. Stanton, my maid, Sarah, is quite ill, and I beg you to see if we might have some baking soda or other remedy that might settle her stomach.”
“Yes, miss,” said Mrs. Stanton. “One moment, miss.”
“Of course.” As the elegant creature waited, she turned halfway around so that Black Eagle was presented with her profile. Her jawline was strong, her cheekbones delicate, her nose dainty and not overly long, and the outline of her lips was full. All at once, and without any warning, Black Eagle’s stomach plummeted, and his body reacted in a strong and distinct, yet entirely male fashion.
She was beautiful, she was delicate, the sort of creature a man would treasure his whole life through, if he could but have her. Moreover, there was a quality about her that would cause a man to wish to please her, if only to see the glory of her smile. A smile that was at present missing from her countenance.
A desire to jest with her, to witness the wonder of her favor, overtook him. But he suppressed the longing. There was no reason to speak to her in any manner whatsoever, since little would come of it. They were of two different worlds, worlds that held almost nothing in common. Besides, always in the back of his mind was the caution his grandmother had trained in him from even a young age; a woman from another tribe of people weakened a man’s spirit; that to seek an alliance from such a one could cause a man to become a traitor to his own people.
Black Eagle gazed away from the temptress, but only for a moment. Soon, Mrs. Stanton approached the young lady.
“I have some freshly made chicken broth,” said the cook, “which has been cooked almost the day through. If anything will settle Miss Strong’s stomach, it will be my broth. Shall I take it to her?”
“Yes, please,” agreed the dainty creature. “She is in her room. Do you know of it?”
“Yes, miss.” Mrs. Stanton, who was an older and heavy woman, took hold of a pot of stew and immediately left the kitchen.
The beauty turned in full toward him. She did not acknowledge him. It appeared she was searching for something and did not even see him. Perhaps pride was to blame for his next action. Certainly reason should have caused him to hold his tongue. Yet Black Eagle found himself unable to resist the impulse to make himself known to her, perhaps to see if he could cause the enchantress to smile. Surely a mild flirtation could do no harm.
Addressing her, he said, “Rarely have I seen a woman who could with a mere glance make a man’s heart sing.”
The beauty’s gaze rose to take in Black Eagle’s measure. Though her look was less than complimentary, she did reply to him. “Did you speak to me, sir? And without an introduction?”
“I did, but you must forgive me for doing so. I may never again have the honor of looking upon you, and the desire to witness your smile might make a man forget all else.”
Under his compliment, the beauty’s lips twitched, but she turned away from him, only to swing back to say, “Did you tell me that your heart sang?”
“I did. Upon taking a mere look at you, my heart told me that all the grace there was to be found was possessed here, in this delicate figure of a woman.”
“Perhaps, if I were a white man, I might never put this observation into words. But I am not a white man.”
“Indeed.” Her glance again took in his countenance. “Your English is very good for an Indian.”
He inclined his head. “A result of various black robes and the Scotsman, who is an English trader, Sir William Johnson.”
She nodded briefly. “You are the first Indian who has ever spoken to me, though I have lived here most of my life through.”
“Have you? I regret I am only now making your acquaintance. And I apologize for my people.”
Again her lips twitched, but no full smile was to be witnessed. “Excuse me. I must bid you farewell, for a friend awaits me.”
Black Eagle sighed. However, as she turned away, he found he couldn’t let her go yet, and he called out, “Miss?” repeating the form of greeting that Mrs. Stanton had used with her.
“Yes?” She bestowed upon him yet another look that took in his appearance.
“Could you not spare this poor heart of mine a tiny smile? Something I could take with me, to recall at leisure, or perhaps during times that are less than pleasant? After all, the countryside is at war and a man never knows what might become of him upon the morrow.”
Her glance at him was considering. “You speak very elegantly.”
“A result of practice, I fear, since a man must express himself well if he is to counsel his people and sway them to the right course.”
“Are you a chief?”
“I am. A Pine Tree Chief.”
“A Pine Tree Chief? I believe that is the first time I have heard of this kind of chief.”
“That is to be regretted, for they are important amongst my people. And now I beg you, could you not spare me a smile?”
She turned away from him. “I could not.” She made to pass by him.
“You! Indian!” It was Coleman vying for Black Eagle’s attention. “I have your breakfast prepared. This way!”
Black Eagle nodded at Coleman, then addressed the lady. “A brief smile from you would help this weeping heart of mine, and it would cost you little.”
“Has this man been bothering you, milady?” asked Coleman as he approached Black Eagle and the goddess.
“He has,” said the vision.
“I am sorry to hear that, milady,” replied Coleman. “Shall I take him to task for you?”
“Oh no. That won’t be necessary.” The enchantress turned slightly toward Black Eagle and smiled at him, showing delicate white teeth. “I hope this will spare your heart the expense of breaking.”
Before Black Eagle could grin back at her, she swept away, leaving the kitchen and Black Eagle behind her.
He watched her departing figure until he could see her no more. Coleman grabbed hold of him, but Black Eagle made no motion to extricate himself from Coleman’s grip.
“Come along,” said Coleman gruffly. “You are lucky that Lady Marisa chose to spare you. For what you have done, you could easily be punished.”
“Is that her name? Lady Marisa?”
Coleman was silent.
But Black Eagle was beyond reproach. Brief though it was, he had caused her to smile. He beamed happily, and only then did he allow Coleman to lead the way to the promised meal.
From our hearts to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holiday!