Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sweet Saturday Samples

Here's one final excerpt from my sweet medieval romance, Loyalty's Web (rated PG). This scene takes place after someone attempts to murder the Earl of Gunthar by slipping poison into his wine at a banquet. My heroine, Heléne, smells the poison and knocks the cup out of his hand before he can drink. The next day, Gunthar finds Heléne in her mother's gardens and the following conversation ensues:

"Thanks to you. I am again in your debt, my lady Helen." The sun threw its shaft from behind him, casting a softening aura about his formidable build, but also shading his expression from her. She could not tell whether he was teasing her or not when he added, "I had not realized you were so adept in your knowledge of poisons. Healing, yes--"

"Well for you that one is required to recognize the noxious so as not to mistake it for the benevolent." She spoke coldly, in case he was mocking her. The shocking way the evening had ended had shaken her somewhat from her anger, but she had not forgiven his humiliating treatment of her at the table, still less his unpardonable behavior in her chamber.

"No doubt," was all he said. "What was it then, this 'cowbane' from which you saved me?"

"'Tis a wild herb that grows near streams and in the swales of pastures. It looks very much like angelica, a harmless medicinal herb, but the rootstock of cowbane is deadly. The juice of a young plant's root, such as might be found in the spring, can kill a man in less than thirty minutes...."

She trailed off and caught the tilt of Gunthar's head, which threw his gaze briefly upon the roses. Knotted and wild they might be, but they were also large and brilliant, their glory testifying of the vernal season.

"I see." His voice hardened. "Then I am in your debt, indeed."

Next week I'll share an excerpt from Book 2 in my medieval romance series, Illuminations of the Heart.

Now click here to find some more Sweet Saturday Samples.


Meg said...

Nice details! I love learning about herbs in the past. :-)

Sherry Gloag said...

I wonder what he thinks he sees, and what he did in her chamber that irritated her so much.

Jennifer Lowery (Kamptner) said...

She sounds like a fun heroine! Great sample!

sue said...

Sounds like they don't know each other too well. Hope that changes

Lindsay said...

Seems like an interesting love-hate thing going on here

Jenna said...

I'm wondering at the symbolism of the roses, or how they play into this meeting in the garden. And I too wonder what he did in her chamber. Sweet sample!

Casea Major said...

Nice tension building.

Marsha Ward said...

It's always a pleasure to revisit a favorite work. Thanks, Joyce!

Marsha Ward
Writer in the Pines