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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sweet Saturday Sample: Forced to Wed a Stranger

Welcome to Sweet Saturday Sample. Today I want to share a bit from my upcoming release The Enchanted. Mark May 14 on your calendar, please!  In this excerpt, my heroine reflects on her forced marriage to Prince Alan, a man whom she has never met.

"Please, my lady. If you do not sit still I cannot care for your feet."

"You try to sit still if you think it is so easy!" Morgane cried. "The bandage has stuck to the blisters, and the pain is dreadful when you pull."

"I am very sorry, but if we do not keep your feet clean and medicated, you will get an infection."

"Yes, I know." She flinched as Edana applied a soothing ointment to her burned feet. At least it was supposed to be soothing. Truly, it did little good.

A flash of lightning split the sky outside the window. Thunder boomed as the rain started to fall. Over the roar of the downpour, she heard the sound of horses galloping across the cobblestones in the courtyard. The wind caught the heavy brocade drapes, which billowed into the room as raindrops pattered on the stone floor. "I will shut the window," Edana cried. She ran to do so, but instead of closing it, she stared outside at the courtyard.

"What do you see?" Morgane demanded. "Who is out there?"

"It is the queen and Prince Alan. One of the servants told me that the two of them had gone riding."

Morgane jumped up and hobbled to the window, ignoring the pain in her feet. "I cannot see his face."

"Please, come back and sit down. You will meet him soon enough."

Morgane sighed, feeling the animation drain from her face. "All too true."

She returned to her seat in the soft, deep chair beside the fireplace and bit the inside of her cheek until she tasted blood. She
hated her father! Presently, she voiced this sentiment to Edana. "The only good thing that comes from my marriage is that I escape my father. I hate him, Edana."
"I do not wonder, my lady."

"I have always been a dutiful daughter to him. He had no right, no reason to treat me as a slave or worse."

"No, my lady."

Morgane's foot jerked as Edana's gentle touch burned and stung. "Finish them," she commanded. "I cannot bear for you to touch them."

Edana applied the last bandage. "There. It is done. You must be careful, my lady."

"Ha! I am sure I will be expected to dance the night away."

Worry clouded Edana's large, brown eyes. "I have worried about that. If you will allow it, we will add an extra layer of bandages."

"Well… perhaps that is best." Morgane stuck out her right foot. "I am like an animal in a trap. I would chew my own foot off if it would gain my freedom for me."

"Perhaps you and Prince Alan will care for each other," Edana soothed.

Morgane's lip curled. "I doubt it very much."


Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Oh, wow! I have all kinds of questions about what this poor girl might have gone through...and I wonder if more pain lies ahead! Thanks for sharing.


Patricia Kiyono said...

I can't imagine the sense of dread she must feel, having to marry a man she hasn't met. In what time period and where does the story take place?

Jean Joachim said...

Love this historical, Elaine. Your writing style is so evocative and the description so clear, I can actually hear the rain. I feel for Morgane, hopefully it will end better than she expects. Great story!

jeff7salter said...

I feel very sorry for this young lady -- with an abusive, controlling father, and these burn wounds on her feet. I can't imagine having to dance on them!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Patricia, the time period isn't specified, but it takes place in the kingdom of the Bowdyn family. the novel is a fantasy.

Sarah Cass said...

Ooh, a forced marriage. Interesting. I wonder what will happen, and how did she get burns on her feet? I'm definitely intrigued.

Jenna said...

Such an intriguing snippet. Why the forced marriage? How did her feet get burned? Why does she doubt she can care for the prince? I love when a sample brings up so many questions! Great job, Elaine!

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm also intrigued by all the questions this raises. I hope they're able to grow to care for one another in spite of the forced marriage.