Meet Ashley York Author of Curse of the Healer #EggcerptExchange

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Ashley York, author of Curse of the Healer is my guest for today’s #EggcerptExchange.

Curse of the Healer cover

BLURB:

 After the death of Brian Boru in 1014, a legend arose of a healer so great she could raise a man from the dead, with a power so strong it could make any warrior the next high king of Éire…and to steal it away from her, he need only possess her. 

Fated to be a healer…

Aednat has spent her entire life training to be the great healer, knowing she must remain alone. When she meets Diarmuid, the intense attraction she feels toward him shakes her resolve to believe in such a legend. If she gives in to the passion he ignites in her, can she settle for being less?

Destined to be his…

Diarmuid of Clonascra is renowned for his bravery in battle. Only one thing daunts him: the prospect of taking a wife. The safest course would be to keep his distance from Aednat, the bold, headstrong healer who’s far too tempting for his peace of mind. But his overking orders him to protect her from a group of craven warriors intent on kidnapping her to steal her power.

What starts as duty for Diarmuid quickly transforms into something more. Aednat’s power might be at risk, but so is his closed-off heart.

EXCERPT:

“The lad learned his lesson.” Aednat spat the words right back at the man.

“Ye said yerself he’d be doing it again.” Despite the even keel of his voice, his increasing anger was unmistakable. “Or am I so old and feeble that my hearing is failing me?”

Staring in the face of his obvious vitality and strength, she hesitated. A finer specimen of a well-honed man she’d not seen. “I do not really believe—”

“NO?” A sheer wall of exasperation now, he waited. His square jaw tensed beneath the shadow of dark stubble. “Mayhap the next time ye’ll find his young body impaled on a rock at the bottom of the cliff.”

The menacing declaration, delivered in a low, controlled manner, made her gasp. The image flashing through her mind caused it to feel real. She slapped the man’s face so hard, his beard burned the palm of her hand.

Aednat froze, horrified at her own reaction. Striking a man was no small offense, and if this man was a ri, the consequences would be serious. His eyes widened right before he caught her arm and yanked her close. Her breath caught, though his grip was not overly tight. They stood that way for a long moment—his head lowered to hers so they stood nose to nose, his broad chest brushing against her forearm in time with his heavy breathing. His gaze dropped to slowly follow up her length before settling again on her face.

That he continued to study her kept her fully watchful. His features relaxed, but she sensed mounting tension in him. The many possibilities of what he may be thinking flitted through her mind like little mice avoiding a hungry hawk. Outrage. Indignation. Superiority.

“I forego the fine I have every right to demand for yer action. Instead, I demand a kiss.”

He delivered the words as a man in authority. And he did not look away.

A kiss? Heat poured off him, but it was no longer anger riding him. She forced down the lump in her throat, holding his intense gaze as her thoughts raced. She had never been kissed by a man. Or kissed a man, but it was not a high price to pay to dismiss the entire incident.

Refusing would certainly result in a steeper demand, and the last thing she wanted to do was to cause any problems for her overking and cousin. He acted as her father, so any honor price demanded or paid could be half his worth. A king held no special power outside his own túath, but at a gathering this size, ruffling any fine feathers was to be avoided.

Aednat glanced at the warrior’s lips. His eyes brightened and she struggled to breath evenly as she held his gaze, anticipation making a mockery of her show of bravery. She wetted her lips and his long nose flared ever so slightly.

BUY LINKS
AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/Curse-Healer-Descendants-High-King-ebook/dp/B06XC1J99P
iTUNES: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1210186885
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/curse-of-the-healer

Ashley YorkAUTHOR BIO:

Aside from two years spent in the wilds of the Colorado mountains, Ashley York is a proud life-long New Englander and a hardcore romantic. She has an MA in History which brings with it, through many years of research, a love for primary documents and the smell of musty old libraries. With her author’s imagination, she likes to write about people who could have lived alongside those well-known giants from the past.

AUTHOR LINKS:
Website: www.ashleyyorkauthor.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Ashley-York/e/B00HAV0PHK/

105 Years Ago: #Titanic Cities Revisited #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travels
This week marks the 105th anniversary of the ill-fated voyage of RMS Titanic. When I went on my cruise around the British Isles in 2015, we visited at three of the Titanic cities: Belfast where the ship was built, Southampton where the voyage began, and Cobh/Queenstown where the ship made it’s final stop before meeting it’s fate.

Belfast now hosts the Titanic Visitor Centre at the location where the ship was built. The design of the museum reflects the bow of the ship, making it architecturally interesting. We could see it in the distance as our bus left the docks for the drive to Londonderry. If I ever make it back to Belfast for more than a day, I’d like to tour the centre.

Titanic visitor centre

Titanic visitor centre–©surangastock

The Titanic was launched from the Belfast docs on May 31, 1911, and towed to a fitting-out dock for interior construction. It was the largest passenger ship of its day, but as we know now, had some fatal defects. One was in the construction of the supposedly water-tight compartments that made the ship almost unsinkable, according to the White Star Line. Obviously they overestimated the efficacy of the design. The other fatal flaw came from the fact that the ship carried only enough lifeboats to accommodate 1/3 of the passengers and crew.

Titanic Memorial

The Titanic Engineers Memorial in Southampton, UK. The Titanic sank on it’s maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, April 15th 1912. 2012 marks the centenary of the event. –©rixipix

The plaque on the memorial reads:

GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN
THIS. THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS
LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS
ST. JOHN 15TH CH. 13TH V
TO THE MEMORY OF THE ENGINEER OFFICERS
OF THE R.M.S “TITANIC” WHO SHOWED
THEIR HIGH CONCEPTION OF DUTY AND THEIR
HEROISM BY REMAINING AT THEIR POSTS
15TH APRIL 1912.
ERECTED BY THEIR FELLOW ENGINEERS AND FRIENDS
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD

Our 2015 cruise on the Royal Princess started from the English port of Southampton, as did the Titanic’s inaugural and only voyage. Passengers began boarding the Titanic on the morning of Wed. April 10th 1912. There were three classes of accommodations: First, Second and Third classes. The First Class cabins were full of wealthy and famous people, including John Jacob Astor IV and his young second wife, Isidor Straus (owner of Macy’s Department Store) and his wife, Benjamin Guggenheim and the famous Molly Brown of musical comedy fame.

That evening, Titanic docked briefly in Cherbourg, France to pick up more passengers. (Unlike a cruise where such a short stop would anger passengers eager to explore every possible port.) At 9PM Titanic sailed again for its final port stop.

City of Cobh, County Cork, Ireland

City of Cobh, County Cork, Ireland

On Thursday, April 12th, Titanic arrived in Queenstown (now Cobh) in what was then part of the United Kingdom, but is now the Republic of Ireland. Cobh was one of our port stops, and I found it a charming and picturesque city, despite the gray skies that greeted us.

Titanic Memorial at Cobh

Titanic Memorial at Cobh, Ireland

Reminders of the Titanic are numerous in the docks area of Cobh, despite the fact that the ship docked for only an hour and a half. The final group of doomed passengers boarded the ship that afternoon. I imagine most were never seen again, since they were unlikely to be among the wealthy in First Class.

RMS Titanic

the Titanic Passenger Liner on the afternoon of the fateful day it sank
@ CoreyFord

The Titanic’s passengers had two mostly uneventful days (unlike the James Cameron movie, which was full of drama) at sea. Then on April 14, at approximately 11:30PM, Titanic side swiped an iceberg and the unsinkable ship started to fill with water. The ship sank around 2:20AM on April 15, taking all but 705 of the souls on board down with it.

In the aftermath of the Titanic’s sinking, maritime laws changed, requiring passenger ships to carry enough lifeboats to accommodate everyone on board, changing the shipping lanes southward to avoid icebergs, and setting up the wireless distress call of SOS.

Side note: the wireless was a new, sexy technology, and the operators were kept busy sending personal message for the wealthy passengers. Later, wireless communications were reserved only for ship business, such as weather reports.

Even after more than a hundred years, the story of the Titanic continues to fascinate us. If you’re interested in more details, I recommend the extensive Wikipedia page on the Titanic and the book A Night To Remember by Walter Lord, which I reviewed on this blog. The book was written in the mid-1950s and much is based on the memories of some survivors.

The sinking of the Titanic is an epic human tragedy, a tale of greed, hubris and incompetence, cowardice and courage, and of love and sacrifice. No wonder it still fascinates after all this time.

Will you be watching the movie Titanic this week? I haven’t decided.

Linda

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