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Love Through the Years

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Blurb

Beltane Lion

Rhodri of Llyan has returned from the Crusades a cursed man. On the way home to Wales, a young friend is sorely injured, and Rhodri seeks the aid of village healer, Selene, whose gift for healing is as uncanny as her beauty. Can Selene’s magic find a way to break the curse, and heal the wounds on his heart?

Georgie And The Dragon:

Who’d believe that in the enlightened year of 1805, Georgie Burn’s Welsh village still felt the need to make a sacrifice to the local dragon lord? But since being the dragon sacrifice will save her younger siblings from the poor house, Georgie agrees. When Caddoc sees the buxom, flame-haired beauty waiting for him on the rocks, he flies in for a closer look and the little minx stabs him with an enchanted sword. He takes her back to his lair, shapeshifts to human form, and teaches her what it means to satisfy all the cravings of a dragon.

Unawakened:

Augusta MacLeish has four mischievous younger siblings but no money to feed them. Colin Fordyce has recently inherited an earldom, along with five wards in a remote Scottish castle. When he travels up there, he discovers his predecessor was skimming their funds. He also learns the oldest Miss MacLeish is absolutely stunning. A knock to his head leaves him seeing two of the buxom beauty, just as one kiss from her tempting lips leaves him longing for more.

Marry Me, Marietta:

Marietta James is a proper Victorian widow—until the night fate throws her together with handsome doctor Adam Hamilton. Adam has tried to ignore his desire for his voluptuous neighbor, but when the two of them are alone together, the passion burns out of their control. Now Adam is determined that their relationship continue while Marietta wants to forget their night of passion ever happened. It will take all his powers of seduction and persuasion to get her back in his bed—and into his life for good.

Where There’s Smoke:

Nettie Price supports her abusive father because of a deathbed promise to her mother. One of the highlights of her day is when Eli Lawson, lawyer, and volunteer firefighter comes in to her bookshop for his morning papers.

Love Through the Years is created by Cindy Spencer Pape, an EGlobal Creative Publishing signed author.

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Chapter 1
Part 1: Beltane Lion The scent of blood hung heavy on the air. Whatever had possessed these miserable bandits to think that even six of them were a match for two fully armed knights? Rhodri of Llyan looked over at his erstwhile squire, who had just won his spurs the week before. There was something not quite right in the way the younger man clung to the pommel of his saddle. "Huw?" Rhodri watched in horror as Huw tipped slowly to the left, then slid from his destrier's back, plunging to the ground in a deafening metallic crash. For Selene, nothing was going well this morning. She grimaced at the bland taste of the wild grouse soup she'd been simmering over the fire. She could have sworn she'd dumped in enough herbs to season a vat full of the stuff, but the stubborn broth insisted on tasting as though made for an invalid. She shook her head and left the soup to finish and returned to the garden in front of her small home to continue her chore of weeding the herb beds. With Beltane less than a se'nnight away, it was high time she had the garden in order for spring. The warm April sun kissed her bare cheeks as she worked and she hummed a tune she'd learned at her father's knee. Much to her father's lament, she had no voice for song, but she didn't believe the foxes and squirrels would object. There were benefits to living alone on the edge of the moor. Thinking of her father raised another question in Selene's thoughts. Just the day before, a messenger had arrived bearing a scroll. Her father never sent letters, so Selene was dumbfounded by the missive, which bore nothing more than the words, "Daughter, I believe you may have need of this," and a carefully written rendition of the Ballad of Tam Lin. While the story was one of her favorites, Selene did not understand what had possessed her father. Surely he was aware that she knew the tale by heart. How many winter nights had she sat on his knee before the fire, memorizing the words that fell from his lips? She shook her head again. Perhaps he was losing his faculties. Since he was no more than fifty, she laughed. More like he'd had one too many flagons of mead. The clatter of hooves roused her from her thoughts and she straightened to see two horses hurrying down the narrow lane. Only one bore a rider, a fully armored knight, while the other carried a pair of clanking sacks tied haphazardly to its saddle. The face of the knight was bare and anguished. He guided the warhorse with his knees, while in his arms he carried the still, pale form of a younger, smaller man. "Fetch the healer." Rhodri knew he was barking rudely at the young serving wench who tended the garden, but he could feel Huw slipping away. He pulled his horse to a standstill outside the trim stone cottage, and shifted Huw's weight to his shoulder so he could dismount. "Hurry, girl!" He gave the horses their command to stay, hoped they'd heed it 'til he returned. "Bring him inside." She regarded the knight calmly and brushed her hands on her apron. "Carefully, now." Without a word, the black-haired beauty turned and led the way to the cottage door, then held it open for Rhodri to enter. "The bed is in the rear chamber. Over there." Rhodri spared a brief moment for his eyes to adjust to the dimmer light inside the dwelling. The main room was clean and neat with fragrant herbs hanging from the rafters. A curtained doorway in the rear wall undoubtedly led to the bedchamber, so he followed the girl, then laid Huw on the bed after she pulled down the blankets. "Where is your mistress?" He had no time for manners, not when Huw's life-blood was oozing from the gash in his thigh. "I am the mistress," she replied calmly. "Hand me that basket from the chest, if you please. I need to cut away his garments." She moved to a washstand near the glass-paned window and began to wash the garden soil from her hands. How had a village healer gotten glass windows? Perhaps the wench was the leman of some local lord. Rhodri didn't care as long as she was as skilled at healing as the innkeeper in the village had claimed. "When was your son hurt?" She took the basket from Rhodri's unresisting hand and removed a small pair of silver shears. Then with exquisite care, she began to snip away the fabric of Huw's chausses. "My lord?" She didn't turn her face from her task, but prodded Rhodri nonetheless. "How old is the wound?" "This morning," he muttered, scrubbing his hand across his face. "We were set on by bandits at the edge of the forest." "Two hours then, or three." She began to slowly unwrap the field bandage Rhodri had applied. "That bodes well, my lord. Any longer and the wound fever would already be upon him." "Will he live?" Rhodri knew he sounded like an old woman, but he didn't care. The boy was his responsibility, even if he was now a knight. He'd shepherded Huw through too many scrapes to lose him now, so close to home. "That will depend on many things, my lord." The woman pulled an array of jars from the basket and lined them up on the carved chest next to the bed. "Fetch me the kettle from the hob above the fire, if you would. Hot water is much better for cleansing wounds." She took a stack folded linen cloths from the cabinet and set them on the edge of the bed. "Quickly, please!" When he returned with the steaming copper kettle, she had emptied the washbasin out the window and dried it with one of the linen squares. With no regard to burning her hands, she took the kettle from his gauntlet-covered fist and poured some into the basin, then dropped a fresh cloth into the water. Finally she set the basin on the chest and drew up a three-legged stool.

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