Kim is a favorite guest of mine; check out this book blast and my review of SNOW IN JULY
(I loved it!)
Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre has been granted what every man wants: a rich English estate in exchange for his valiant service at the Battle of Hastings. To claim this reward, the Norman knight must wed the estate's Saxon heiress. Most men would leap at such an opportunity, but for Alain, who broke his vow to his dying mother by failing to protect his youngest brother in battle, it means facing more easily broken vows. But when rumors of rampant thievery, dangerous beasts, and sorcery plaguing a neighboring estate reach his ears, nothing will make him shirk duty to king and country when people's lives stand at risk. He assumes the guise of a squire to scout the land, its problems, and its lady.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh has been granted what no woman wants: a forced marriage to an enemy who may be kith or kin to the man who murdered her beloved brother.
Compounding her anguish is her failure to awaken the miraculous healing gift bequeathed by their late mother in time to save his life. Although with his dying breath, he made her promise to seek happiness above all, Kendra vows that she shall find neither comfort nor love in the arms of a Norman… unless it snows in July.
Alain is smitten by Lady Kendra from the first moment of their meeting; Kendra feels the forbidden allure of the handsome and courtly Norman "squire." But a growing evil overshadows everyone, invoking dark forces and ensnaring Kendra in a plot to overthrow the king Alain is oath-bound to serve. Kendra and Alain face a battle unlike any other as their honor, their love, their lives, and even their very souls lie in the balance.
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(Hero's first impression of heroine)
A young woman was standing on the staircase’s top landing as Alain approached. No, he amended, feeling his eyes widen and his blood heat, a goddess. The suggestive clinging of her grayish-blue gown made him forget his blasphemous lapse.
He shifted from foot to foot to mask his reaction. Her ashblonde curls, creamy complexion, and alluring curves conquered his fear of failure. As his heart thrummed its praises of her beauty, he vowed to protect this lady unto the ends of the earth.
But he tempered his lauds with a petition for wisdom, for he needed to ascertain her heart. Experience had taught him the folly of loving a beautiful but title-hungry woman like Marie.
Yet sorrow enveloped this lady like a shroud. The slope of her delicately boned shoulders, the tilt of her petite chin, the hooded reserve of her slate-blue eyes, the slight pout of her full lips all sang the same dirge.
Blessed Virgin, could I be the cause of her misery? Please, let it not be so!
He wanted nothing more than to gather her into his arms and kiss those lips until their song transformed from sorrow to joy.
Their gazes met. Her look, a cross between appreciation and reprimand, made him remember his “station,” and he looked down.
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight, first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.
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1 autographed copy of SNOW IN JULY (US Only) 5 copies of SNOW IN JULY e-book (International)
A Delightful REALISTIC Paranormal Romance
After Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre defends William, Duke of Normandy, now King William (known to us as The Conqueror) in the Battle of Hastings and helps him secure England’s throne and stabilize the kingdom, the king graciously grants him the deed to the estate of Edgarburh in Wessex but there’s a catch…he must marry the daughter of the estate’s present lord. “Does she know?” he asks the Bishop and the cleric who delivered the message.
Lady Kendra of Edgarburh lost her beloved brother Sir Delwin in that battle; one William the Bastard’s soldiers cut him down. She would do anything for her brother, even give him snow in July. Even though she promised him on his deathbed she’d strive to find happiness, that won’t happen if she has to marry a man of the accursed race responsible for killing him. She’d rather die. Sir Robert’s initial visit to Edgarburh is in disguise as a squire to check out the estate—and Lady Kendra. He finally admits his true identity to her, but with no proof of who he is, she’s hard to convince. “You are Sir Lancelot and I am the faithless whore Guinevere,” she tells him.
Kendra has healing powers which she uses to try to heal the dying King Harold at the same time Robert tells Kendra’s father who he really is.
When he reveals his identity to her and claims her as his bride upon the command of King William, she knows she can never trust a man who’s betrayed her once. She declares she’ll never marry him unless it snows in July! With some supernatural help from her departed brother Del, she gives him the chance to explain his ruse. But when she’s charged with treason for trying to prolong Harold Godwinson’s life, Alain admits to King William that he willfully deceived Kendra by presenting himself as someone he wasn’t, but to learn more about the outlaws and their activities. He begs the king to allow him to suffer Kendra’s punishment. The king grants Kendra a full pardon. Then the truth comes out as to who killed her brother Del. It was no Norman. It was…you’ll see this twist in the last few pages. At their wedding, several fyrd members on the chapel’s roof shake sacks of dried flower petals onto the bridal party, falling in ‘flakes’ to coat everyone from the king to the commoners. Kendra knows her future is assured, as Alain made it snow in July!
The story combines true historic figures with fictional characters. As a historical novelist who does the exact same thing, this book is very much like something I would write. I admire Kim’s weaving of historical events throughout the storyline, which, believe me, is not easy as it looks.
For fans of English history with a paranormal twist, Snow in July is for you.