BOOK & AUTHOR INFO:
Ever My Love: The Lore of the Lucius Ring (The Legend of the Theodosia Sword Book 2) by USA Today and New York Times bestselling authors Kathryn Le Veque, Eliza Knight, Suzan Tisdale, Cheryl Bolen, Sabrina York, and Susan Stoker.
Publication date: July 12th, 2016
Publication date: July 12th, 2016
ABOUT EVER MY LOVE:
The heart of a legend. The only chance for love. The hope that the Fates will be kind before time runs out.
The long-awaited sequel to the original multi-genre USA TODAY bestselling collection, With Dreams Only Of You: The Legend of the Theodosia Sword, has finally arrived. Welcome to EVER MY LOVE: THE LORE OF THE LUCIUS RING, a multi-genre new material collection unlike any other romance collection available today.
Six of the top authors in their genres bring you this powerhouse collection based upon the common thread of a cursed ring, passed down through the female line descended from Theodosia herself. Only a woman may bear the burden of the ring said to curse she who wears it. When the owner of the ring finds love, the stone remains crimson and assures her life-long happiness. But if she does not find love by her twenty-fifth birthday, the ring will turn dark and she will be forever cursed with loneliness.
Join the descendants of Theodosia as they grapple with a family legend that follows them through centuries of hope, heartache, adventure, and romance in seven amazing segments:
In ancient Rome - The ring, and its curse, begin with the beautiful Theodosia.
Medieval England - The ring finds its way into a notorious outlaw's possession only to curse the woman he loves.
The Scottish Highlands - The ring escapes with a little girl... and the curse follows.
Tudor England - The ring once again becomes the prize for the lawless when an infamous female pirate tries to steal it from a Queen’s Naval Captain.
Georgian Era - Twin sisters vie for the ring - and for the Duke of Axminster.
Regency England - The ring enters the proud and proper Regency set where the curse finds new life.
Modern Times - Mistaken identity, soul mates, and the last chance for the ring to fulfill its destiny.
Seven unique and powerful brand-new stories take the legend of the Lucius Ring through the ages. Discover how each woman finds her own love, peace, and happiness. The ring that can tear them apart is also the one that binds them.
The heart of a legend. The only hope for love... will each lady find her destiny before time runs out?
EVER MY LOVE EXCERPT: FOREVER HER CHAMPION BY SUSAN TISDALE
Allistair Castle, Highlands of Scotland, 1488
Nothing good ever came in the dark of night.
Valeriana knew this, even at the age of four. Monsters only invaded your dreams at night, or Brownies and fey fairies came to steal little girls from their families. Her mother had told her this just that very night when Valeriana complained at bedtime. Hours later, when she woke to the raspy sound of her father’s voice, to the worry in his eyes, she knew something terrible had happened.
“Wheest, child,” her father whispered harshly. ’Twas not anger in his voice, but worry blended with the illness he’d been battling for days. His handsome face looked ashen, and eyes that typically sparkled with mirth were dim and glassy. His dark hair was a mess, resembling the feathers on a rooster after battling a fox in the hen house.
“But why must we leave?” she begged for an answer as he scooped her into his arms. “And why cannae ye go with us?” Her papa was her entire world. He was her hero, her champion. The thought of leaving without him made her stomach hurt.
Her father pressed her close to his chest, ignoring her pleas. “There be no time to pack everythin’,” he told her mother, who was shoving some of Valeriana’s clothes into a bag. “Ye’ll nae be gone that long.”
“If ye think ye’re sendin’ me clear across the world without a change of clothes, ye be sadly mistaken!” Her mother did not look happy. But then, she rarely ever looked happy.
Taking her mother literally, the child asked, “Why are we goin’ across the world, Papa?”
Doing his best to soothe away her worry, he tried to explain. “’Tis nae across the world, I promise. ’Twill only be fer a few days. Weeks at most. I need ye to be brave. Can ye do that for me?”
Nodding rapidly, she swiped away a tear. “Like ye, papa? Ye want me to be brave like ye?”
He gave her a warm smile and a pat on the back. “Aye, lass, like me.”
“Can I take my pony?” she asked as her father draped her wool cloak around her little shoulders.
“Nay, child, ye cannae take yer pony. But ye’ll be home soon and can see him then.”
With her small arms twined tightly around his neck, she buried her face against his shoulder. “But who will take care of him?” She didn’t want to leave her home, her pony, or her father. “Have I made ye mad? Is that why ye’re sendin’ me away?”
She heard his breath hitch as he choked on a sob. “Nay, lass!” he exclaimed. “Ye’ve done nary a thing wrong, my sweeting.”
“Then why do we have to leave?”
From across the room, she heard her mother let loose an exasperated sigh. “Fer the sake of Christ, will ye be quiet, child?”
An overwhelming sense of dread draped over Valeriana’s wee heart. Where her father was patient, her mother was often frustrated with her. Her papa had never paddled her bottom when she asked too many questions. When her mother sent her to bed without supper, ’twas always her papa who came to her with a meal. Being sent away without him was a terrifying prospect.
“Damn it, Ronna!” her father ground out. “She is just a child! She is afraid and confused.”
Ignoring him, as she often did, her mother stuffed one more dress into a satchel and stomped toward the door. Impatient and angry, she said, “If we do nae leave now, we’ll soon all be dead.”
Standing to his full height, with Valeriana in his arms, he hugged her one last time. “Dunnae worry, my sweeting. I shall come fer ye soon. Jean Luc will be yer champion now.”
Although she adored her uncle, Jean Luc, she did not want him to be her champion. She wanted her papa.
Moments later, her father was tucking an old, soft doll into her arms. Valeriana’s eyes grew big and round with excitement. Made of soft linen, the doll wore a pale green dress. Her hair was made of hemp, and she had blue eyes sewn with silk threads that were beginning to unravel. But Valeriana didn’t care, for ’twas a gift from her papa. “Do I get to keep her, Papa?” she asked as she hugged it close to her chest.
Her father offered her a warm yet brief smile. “Aye, my daughter, ye do. But I need ye to listen carefully to me. Can ye do that?”
Growing serious, she gave a rapid nod of her head. “Aye, Papa, I can.”
They were alone in her room while her father explained. “Ne’er let it out of yer sight. The doll is verra old and verra important, lass. If anythin’ were to happen to it …” He took in a deep ragged breath. His forehead glistened in the low candlelight. “I love ye, Valeriana, more than ye’ll e’er ken.” Kissing the top of her head, he headed toward the door.
“Papa, can I show Maire?” Maire was by far her most cherished friend. She belonged to the stable master and Kate, a woman who worked in the laundry.
“No, lass, ye cannae show it to anyone. ’Tis verra important to keep it a secret.”
A secret? She’d never been entrusted with a secret before, save for one she was keeping for Maire.
“And fer the sake of Chr-” he paused, his breathing labored as if it was taking every ounce of will to keep speaking, to keep going, “ne’er let yer mum ken ye have it, lass. ’Twill be our secret, yers and mine. Promise me lass, that ye’ll nae tell a soul, livin’ or dead.”
It must be very , she decided, especially if he didn’t want her mother to know. As they made their way through the dark corridors of the keep, Valeriana vowed to keep her promise to her father.
At such a tender age, she could not begin to understand the importance of this night or the doll or how either one would effect every moment of her life henceforth. In time, her memory of that night would fade like fog in the morning sun, to the point where she’d not know if it had truly happened or if it were the imaginings of a lonely little girl.
ENTER TO WIN:
CONNECT WITH THE AUTHORS:
Kathryn Le Veque’s Website: http://kathrynbouseleveque.com/
Eliza Knight’s Website: http://www.elizaknight.com/
Suzan Tisdale’s Website: http://www.suzantisdale.com/
Cheryl Bolen’s Website: http://www.cherylbolen.com
Sabrina York’s Website: http://sabrinayork.com/
Susan Stoker’s Website: http://www.stokeraces.com/