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12.2.08

Ellie Tremayne says hello


Hi there everyone, it’s Ellie Tremayne saying hello from a very chilly, foggy London.

We haven’t met before so It’s really great to have the opportunity to get to know you and tell you a bit about myself and my books.

First up, let me state quite categorically and with all due respect to my fellow TEB authors, that all the generously hung, waxed chested, designer stubbled male stripper/model/bad boys in the world can’t hold a candle to a Celtic warrior in a fur cape, lashed braccae a gold toque around his bicep and a compelling gaze.

Have a man like that striding towards you with a six-foot sword in his hands and I defy any of you to start an argument about a woman proper position in life because you’ll know it instantly, underneath him.

Men didn’t have to go the gym in those day to build muscle that started as when they were lads. The daily exercise was part of a squire work. They had to learn how to ride, fight at full gallop and use a sword. Can you imagine what they must have looked like? Much like the wonderful covers Lyn had crafted for me.

I have that man for you to enjoy, ladies, Rhys, Prince of the Three Mountains. He is tall and muscular, as a chief should be, with compelling green eyes. He deadly both with a sword and under the furs. Of course a man like that needs a mate to match his intellect and prowess, and he has Aeron who infuriates him and fires him.

Of course as wonderful as it would be to walk through a time-portal and find ourselves on a windswept hills side back in the days when men were men and women were glad of it, it’s not likely to happen to me or you at work today– if only!

So until that lucky day when you’re transported back in time let me introduce you to Rhys, who is everything you’re ever dreamed about in a man and a whole lot you’d never considered.

********

With the Black Norse to the west and the Saxons to the East the people of the Three Mountains need a warrior. Rhys ap Idris is that man. An intelligent and intuitive leader, he raises his sword and steps forward to defend his people. Princess Aeron, the only child of the Mervyn, the Prince of the Three Mountains, must marry, as her father dictates, to unite the squabbling factions. From the moment Rhys and Aeron meet, their hearts entwine. But when Mervyn is found murdered and on Aeron’s testimony, Rhys’ father is judged to be the murderer, their love seems doomed. Rhys swears he will have revenge. When Rhys becomes a fugitive this looks impossible but when he finds Aeron on the block in a Dublin slave auction naked he buys her without hesitation. He plans to break her heart as she has his using his most powerful weapon, his body.

Praise for Prince of the Three Mounains:
Novel talk wrote:
"For anyone who is a medieval fan, author Ellie Tremayne has penned an action packed historical thriller to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Aeron and Rhys are intelligent, strong and passionate. Their relationship is tested over and over again in inventive ways. The large cast of characters is varied and well developed, some interesting and some truly vicious. The descriptions place the reader right in the medieval time period, battling enemies on all sides. Ellie Tremayne has penned an exciting adventure I intend to read again in future."
Awarded Five Red Roses from Red Roses Reveiw and said,
"This is a passionate, compelling, sensual love story, an epic that carries you to the end, full of excitement and tension. This author is a master storyteller and her books are highly recommended."
I'll give you a little snippet to wet your appitite. Enjoy!
See you next time
Ellie
*******

Mid Wales 855

A low hum rumbled around the great hall as Aeron, daughter of Mervyn, Prince of the Three Mountains, took her seat on the right side of the oak throne at the centre of the dais. Above her the blackened beams of the great hall rose, and firebrands fixed to the square-cut stone spluttered. Their acrid smoke mingled with the sweet smell of the fresh rushes underfoot and their flames threw shadows across the nobles gathered below. Despite the spring sunlight streaming in through the upper windows, the air in the Ancestral Hall pressed in on her.
Although the blood pounded in her ears, Aeron carefully arranged the green woollen skirt around her legs and smiled calmly at the assembly as she waited.
Chattering voices announced the arrival of Sian, her father’s wife. She bustled in surrounded by her women. She smiled regally as she progressed down the hall but her sharp eyes noted who rushed forward to give her homage.
Not for the first time, Aeron cursed her misfortune.
Why couldn’t Bryn have stayed on his horse?
She didn’t mourn her brother. How could she? She’d hardly known him. In the nine years since she’d left court, her brother had become a stranger. But his death had brought her home.
Sian’s eyes narrowed and her mouth gathered into a tight purse as she studied her stepdaughter. Her gaze lingered on the fabric stretched across Aeron’s breasts and then travelled down.
Sian settled herself on the chair, waved her attendants away with a flick of her hand and smoothed the rich Arabian silk over her knees. Its bright colours swirled in the fresh straw at her feet. She studied Aeron again.
“You look more like the village wet nurse than a princess. Your waist is slim enough. But those hips! No doubt you could birth twins together through them,” she said.
Aeron regarded her stepmother coolly. “As it is the duty of a prince’s wife to produce healthy sons either singularly or together, I would have thought my hips are to my credit.”
She let her gaze rest on Sian’s flat stomach that had never swollen to accommodate a growing child.
Sian winced and then sent Aeron a chilling smile that reached no further than her sharp cheeks. “To be sure. Therefore it is passing strange with such attributes,” she swept her eyes up and down Aeron again, “that you never gave Llewellyn of Pen Bryn a child. Although he had five sons by his first wife.”
Two patches of red splashed onto Aeron’s cheeks and she forced her fingers to stay unfurled on her lap.
“Let us pray that God blesses your new marriage and gives you the pleasure of bearing a son for Alun ap Dylan,” Sian added.
Aeron tucked a stray lock of raven-black hair under her veil carefully. “I am not betrothed to him yet and all know of your interest in Alun ap Dylan’s pleasure.”
As if he knew they spoke about him, Alun stepped onto the dais and bowed low to greet Sian.
“Welcome, Alun ap Dylan,” she said as she held out her hand for him to kiss.
“May I say how handsome you look today, my princess,” Alun replied, his light brown hair flopping forward.
Sian turned to Aeron. “I doubt you remember Aeron, she was only a child when you last saw her, my lord, and is scarcely more than that now.”
Alun’s gaze ran slowly over Aeron and settled on the swell of her breasts. He raised a well-manicured hand to his mouth and smoothed back his moustache. “I am afraid I must disagree. My dear cousin Aeron is certainly no longer a child. “
Aeron maintained her polite smile. She had not seen Alun for fifteen years but she remembered him well. He was older and the well-constructed face now wore a friendly, open look, but his grey eyes still had a chill in them.
Alun took hold of Aeron’s hand. “Dear cousin, I trust you are full rested from your journey. The princess tells me you were out of sorts when you arrived yesterday.”
“It’s hardly surprising I am not quite myself. I am recently widowed and shocked at the great change in my father.”
“We all grieve. My father and I have taken as much of the burden off our Prince’s weary shoulders as we can…out of consideration and our love for him.” Alun shook his head slowly. “Poor Bryn. So young, so young.” He flicked a speck of dust from his sleeve. “You too are young, my dear, for a widow. How many years have you now?”
“Twenty-three.”
“When we are wed—”
“My father has yet to choose his successor and my husband. Do not count your hens until they are safe in the roost, Lord Alun.”
Rage flashed briefly across Alun’s face. Fifteen years ago she would have felt his hand heavy on her for such a remark, but now he seemed to have mastered his temper, in public at least.
“The Three Mountains need a strong Prince to defend this land, a warrior who can command men and who can ward off the foes that threaten us,” Alun told her with a frosty smile. ”There is no other but me to master this land.” His hand curled around her upper arm and he caressed it slowly down to her elbow, his thumb grazing her nipple as it passed. “No man but me.”
Aeron gasped but Alun smiled wider and returned to his seat.
While Aeron mastered her fury, the chamber stilled as the door opened and her father’s party entered. Two hundred or so nobles from the four corners of his lands filled the hall. They all bowed respectfully as their prince passed.
Aeron’s eyes moved beyond her father to the man behind him, Dylan, her father’s chief advisor and cousin, who shuffled in his wake like a recently exhumed corpse, wheezing and coughing as he went. His grey-streaked hair lay smooth at his temple and he wore a fine cloak with a golden clasp, but his face had a wasted, skull-like appearance which told of a mortal canker deep within.
Bevan, the tribal holy man, strode before them both. He tapped the floor with his staff as he progressed. Although he must have been twenty years the senior of the men behind him, he walked down the hall as if he were twenty years their junior. His priestly garb swept the floor with a flourish, disturbing the rushes and scattering the household dogs.
As a child, Aeron had thought Bevan old, but in the intervening years he seemed not to have aged a day. By the long white hair tied back at the nape of his neck, Aeron reckoned he must be in his late sixties. But his face showed only a few lines and his pale blue eyes blazed out with a youthful fervour.
He stopped in front of her, and although his features remained impassive, his eyes changed to a warmer hue as they rested on her.
Her father took his seat and inclined his head in Bevan’s direction.
The holy man stepped forward and spoke to the nobles assembled before him. “We all grieve with our blessed Prince Mervyn at the loss of Prince Bryn.”
Her father took in a sharp breath and his hand trembled on the arm of the chair. Aeron stole a glance up at him.
Although only in his late forties, since the death of his son Mervyn the Strong looked twice that age. The last time she had seen him six years ago he had been full of life. But now the bloodshot eyes with dark circles beneath told their own tale. He might try to play the part of the benevolent ruler, but the Prince of the Three Mountains looked as if the Devil had ripped out his soul.
“The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” Bevan said, adjusting his grip on his staff. Voices murmured in agreement. “Although heavy of heart, our Prince never shirks his duty. If God shows His favour, our Prince may sire more fine sons. But until that blessed day we have to defend ourselves.”
Aeron glanced across at Sian who looked straight ahead. In five years of marriage she had not quickened with a child.
Bevan continued. “These are troubled times and Prince Mervyn has decided to make provision for his lands and succession. The next Prince of the Three Mountains must be a strong man who will defend the land. He is also to take Lady Aeron for a wife.”
Mervyn surveyed the faces below him. “Are there any here who want to be considered as my successor? If so, declare yourself.”
Dylan stood up and swayed to regain his balance. “My Prince, there is only one man you need consider, my son, Alun.”
Aeron’s mind screamed in panic and her feet itched to flee the hall but she subdued her rebellious will.
Leaving his place beside his father, Alun took Aeron’s hand in a moist, hot grip. She had the urge to snatch it away and dry it down the length of her skirt. He smiled at her without any real warmth.
Bevan stepped forward and struck the floor with his staff. “Are there any others?”
The massive carved doors of the hall burst open with an ear-splitting explosion. Three men strode down the centre of the hall and the press of bodies parted.
On the right was a man the same age as her father but who walked with a lolloping gait on his shortened right leg. The bright blue and yellow tunic with gold edging he wore swirled around him as he moved. His braided steel-grey hair was tied back and a gold torque and bracelets shone on his neck and arms. He wore the largest wolf skin cloak she had ever seen. The head of the enormous beast rested over one shoulder with its eyes closed as if in sleep.
The man on the left was the shortest of the three by maybe a hand or so. He too was dressed finely in a sage tunic over russet braccae. But the warrior in the centre captured all of Aeron’s attention.
Standing a hand’s breadth taller than the older man, he dominated the three. Aeron’s stomach tightened as her gaze ran over his powerful shoulders and deep chest. His raven locks, the same hue as her own, swept back from either side of his forehead, highlighting his finely shaped dark brows. A blood red, sleeveless leather jacket secured with a belt around his waist encased his upper body. It fell open revealing a sculptured torso covered with a quantity of chest hair. Oak-brown braccae fitted tightly around his mighty legs. Although his stance was relaxed, the corded muscles of his arms denoted that in battle he would be swift, sure and deadly.
Her gaze lingered on his square jaw and blunt chin with a deep cleft in it. Then it settled on his sensual mouth, set grimly at present, but if it curled to a smile she judged it would melt snow. Her gazed rose to his upper face only to find the warrior staring at her with an unreadable expression in his grey-green eyes.
Her gaze locked into his and she heard her own indrawn gasp. Her heart thumped wildly, sending hot and cold shivers coursing through her body. A sliver of something both pleasant and unsettling started deep within her. As he slowly studied her body, the area between her legs started to pulse. His gaze lingered on her breasts and Aeron arched her back without thinking. The warrior lifted the corner of his mouth just a fraction and the pulsing between her legs intensified. Aeron clenched her internal muscles but the action did nothing to relieve the ache, just added to her unsettled state.
The urge to go and stand beside him swept over her. All her instincts told her she should be by his side.
The late comers held the attention of all in the hall and an anxious whisper ran around as the assembled company waited.
Breaking his gaze from her, the warrior stepped forward and his voice boomed out across the space. “I, Rhys ap Idris, son of Idris the Fearless, wish to be considered.”


6 comments:

lyntaylor said...

Phwaaarrr ... he's got my vote Ellie :D

Ashley Ladd said...

Hot!!!!

Lisabet Sarai said...

Alas, it's tough to find such heroes today! Wonderful excerpt, Ellie!

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