Despite having a winner last week, we still have a goodie to give away from KaLynn, so we’re going to play until we get another winner. Get out those bingo boards and check out this clue….
In the meantime, If you’re not playing along, check out my newest release, Her Lieutenant, by my alter ego Theodora Lane, who writes traditional romance. As you can see, it’s a historical set in 1600’s Russia, starring Arisha Bagry, a young woman in exile, and Lieutenant Alexei Zolvar, a young lieutenant who’d rather be fighting than bringing her back to her family. The sparks between these two fly, and I had a blast writing their dialogue. Here’s an example….
Looking into her fierce blue eyes, Alexei knew this would be a battle of wills. Damnation. Every cursed mile back to Bagry would be hard fought, with little gain for him in the end. Just another “Well done, Lieutenant Zolvar” and “We’ve got another mission for you that no one wants, Lieutenant Zolvar.”
“Nonetheless, you are going.” He straightened and faced her.
Ignoring him, she gathered the small bundles sitting on her desk, along with the apples, and placed them in a blue cloth bag. Removing her embroidered shawl, she exchanged it for a dark gray woolen traveling cloak and headed down the aisle to the door.
She was leaving.
He followed her as fast as he could without running. It was undignified for an officer to chase a woman down in the streets, that’s what corporals were for.
“Where do you think you are going?” he barked.
“Home.” She flipped her hand at him, as if brushing him off.
She headed down a lane leading away from the cottage, putting distance between them. Forgoing dignity, Alexei broke into a run, jerked Ruj’s reins from the branch, and followed. She strode, hands in tight fists as they pumped at her sides.
He cursed under his breath—the woman, the mission, Captain Cherburko, and as always, his damn luck.
Dragging a reluctant Ruj behind him, he realized he had been a fool to think this would be an easy mission.
The narrow path opened into another clearing revealing a larger stone cottage with a thatched roof surrounded by a low stone wall. Dropping Ruj’s reins, Alexei put on a burst of speed and almost reached her.
Pushing open a creaking wooden gate, she stepped through, and with a small push from her, it swung back and cracked Alexei on his knee. He bit his lip, keeping back an oath.
She was to the door.
Throwing himself forward to make it there in time, he wedged his boot in the gap as she spun and slammed the door shut.
“Jesus wept!” This time, he could not hold back. “I think you have broken my foot.” He groaned through clenched teeth. She-devil? A hellcat.
“That’s what you get for trying to drag me off against my will.” She leaned against the door, one blue eye glaring at him through the crack. “If you do not leave me alone, I will call…a…a…”
“Druzhina?” By the narrowing of her eye, he knew he had scored his mark.
“No. A large farm hand. With a scythe.”
“Well, there do not seem to be any out here. Have you got one in there with you?” he drawled.
With a very feminine growl, she slammed her body against the door again. Alexei winced but held firm. Did breaking into her house and dragging her out constitute appropriate treatment? Or would he be taken out and beheaded with his own sword when she reported his behavior to her father?
Reason first. Death last.
“I am not finished with you.” His voice boomed against the wooden door.
“Well, I am finished with you. You are dismissed. Go away,” she ordered.
“You cannot order me, Lady Bagry. I take my orders from only three people, the Tsar, the General of the Druzhina, and my commanding officer. You are not on that list.”
She growled. “No one orders me, not even my father has that right anymore.” She fell against the door again. It would be a wonder if he could walk after this.
So much for reason. What lay between that and death? Force? Trickery? Bribery? Seduction? Damnation?
Taking a deep breath, he braced himself. He threw his shoulder against the door and it flew open. He fell forward and sprawled on the stone floor.
Rolling onto his back, he groaned and felt his nose. No blood, at least.
Arisha stood over him, hands on her hips, eyes narrowed, and the fiercest frown he had seen from her yet. That look might make a sane man flee, but not a Druzhina.
It’s available now at all the regular places….
Taliesin Publishing – http://www.taliesinpublishing.com/her-lieutenant-p60.php
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Her-Lieutenant-Theodore-Lane-ebook/dp/B00LG83N0O/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404627037&sr=8-1-fkmr1&keywords=theodora+lane+her+lieutenant