Ride with the Moonlight by Andrea Matthews / #Extract #BookTour @maryanneyarde @AMatthewsAuthor

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Thunder on the Moor, Book2

After rescuing sixteenth-century Border reiver Will Foster from certain death at her family’s hands, time traveler Maggie Armstrong finally admits her love for the handsome Englishman, though she can’t rid herself of the sinking suspicion that her Scottish kin are not about to let them live in peace. What she doesn’t expect is the danger that lurks on Will’s own side of the Border. When news of their plans to marry reaches the warden, he charges Will with March treason for trysting with a Scot. Will and Maggie attempt to escape by fleeing to the hills, but when Will is declared an outlaw and allowed to be killed on sight, they can no longer evade the authorities. Will is sentenced to hang, while Maggie is to be sent back to her family. Heartbroken, she has no choice but to return to Scot-land, where her uncle continues to make plans for her to wed Ian Rutherford, the wicked Scotsman who she now realizes murdered her father in cold blood. With Will facing the gallows in England, and herself practically under house ar-rest in Scotland, she continues to resist her uncle’s plans, but her efforts are thwarted at every turn. Will’s family, however, is not about to stand by and

watch their youngest lad executed simply because he’s lost his heart to a Scot-tish lass. A daring plan is set into motion, but will it be in time to save Will’s life and reunite the lovers? Or will Ian’s lies prompt Maggie’s family to ensure the bond between them is forever destroyed?

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Extract

Maggie pressed her skirts down and finger-combed her hair, trying to make herself presentable before walking up beside Will. “What’s going on here?”

“I’ve brought a priest for your sinful husband.” Dylan laughed, but Maggie could see the concern in his eyes. “The bloody sod wouldn’t let us in the cell, though.”

“’Tis all right.” Will smiled, though his lips quivered with the strain. “The good father and I will just step over to the left, aye, if ye and Dylan will go as far right as ye can.”

Dylan nodded for Maggie to follow, and she did, knowing Will would want privacy for his last confession. Her heart caught in her throat, tears welling in her eyes. Dylan reached through the latticed bars to touch her arm.

“I’ve brought something for you as well, love.” He dug in a bag he was carrying and pulled out the amulet.

Maggie gasped, the tears bursting forth from their precarious barrier and trickling down her cheeks. They could leave this awful place, return to the twentieth century, but wait . . . “Do you have the chest as well?”

Dylan grinned. He thrust his hand in the bag again and pulled out the jeweled chest. “I told Cuddy the good father needed them for confession.” He shrugged. “Forgive me, Father . . .”

Maggie shoved her arm through the bars, pulling Dylan’s face close, and kissed his cheek. Laughter bubbled up in her chest for the first time in days. “Didn’t Cuddy question it? I mean, he must have been to confession at some time in his life.”

“Yes, well, it’s not as widespread along the Borders as you may have imagined, but he did wonder about them. I told him the items were usually in the confessional box with the priest, so of course he wouldn’t have noticed them.”

“And he believed you?”

Dylan’s grin broadened. “I look like a bloody choir boy. What do you think?”

“Hmm.” Maggie smiled and wiped the tears from her cheeks. “You look like a rogue, but I think I love you anyway.”

“Well, don’t be telling Will. He has a wicked left hook.” The grin dropped from his face. “I’ll leave the chest on the ground and open it just before we leave. Make sure to stand next to it and hold Will’s hand. Godspeed, love.”

“But what about you?” A sudden panic turned her body cold. “You’ll be stuck here with no way home.”

“I told you once, Maggie. The twentieth century holds nothing for me. Here, I have Annie and a family who cares.”

“But you know what happens in the future.”

“I’ll be careful, do what I need to. If my parents ask, though I’m sure it won’t be more than a passing curiosity, tell them I moved to the States. They’ll just be glad I’m out of their hair.”

“I’ll miss you, Dylan.”

“And I you, but we have no choice. The alternatives are too horrible to consider.” Will was blessing himself, so Dylan stepped back and gave a nod to Maggie before addressing his friend. “Are you done, then? Surely that must have been the condensed version.”

“Ye’re a swine, ye ken that, Dylan Hetherington.” Tears clouded Will’s eyes, and he reached out to clasp Dylan behind the neck. “Ye and Annie see Maggie to Lancashire, aye?”

Dylan nodded, but for once in his life, he seemed unable to speak.

“Now,” Will continued. “D’ye think ye can marry us, Father, proper like?”

The priest hesitated. “I dinna ken. Nae banns have been read, and . . .”

“They’re hanging me in the morn, Father. I’ve nae time for banns. Maggie and I have already made our pledges, but we had nae witness, save ourselves and the Lord. I dinna want there to be questions after I’m gone.”

“Have ye cleansed yer soul yet?” Cuthbert was walking down the corridor in their direction.

Dylan met him halfway. “A few more minutes, please, me laird. He does have a lot to confess after all.”

Cuthbert scoffed. “Aye, I suppose he does, the murdering swine.” He looked pointedly at Will. “Tell him to combine his transgressions or something, eh, for I’ll give but ten minutes more. Absolved or no’, the two of ye are on yer way after that.”

“Thank you, me laird.”

“Aye, well, ’twill have to be quick, then.” The priest turned to Will. “D’ye take this lass to yer wedded wife and there unto plight thy troth, under the laws of God and this kingdom, till death ye do part?”

“Aye, Father, I do with all me heart.”

“And ye, lass, ye take him the same?”

“I do, Father.” Maggie’s voice cracked as she said the words. She’d dreamed of Will all her life, since she’d seen his portrait in her father’s collection of sixteenth-century reivers. And

now, after traveling over four hundred and fifty years into the past and negotiating a slew of heartache, they were finally together, and this was how their story was to end? No—thanks to Dylan, they would have a chance at life and love. But they needed to hurry before that douchebag keeper, or whatever he was, returned.

“I dinna suppose ye’ve a ring?” Father Joseph asked.

“Here, take this.” Dylan handed him a small ring with a ruby set in it. “’Twas a gift for Annie, but I’m sure she won’t mind.”

“Ye’ll be asking me father for her hand, then?” Will broke into a broad grin.

“Perhaps one day.” Dylan blushed a perfect shade of pink and cleared his throat. “I just want to be ready should I decide to pop the question. Now can we get on with this before Carnaby makes another appearance?”

Will suppressed his grin and took the ring, placing it over Maggie’s finger. “Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.”

“I now pronounce ye husband and wife,” Father Joseph said.

“Right!” Dylan bent down and, in one swift move, opened the chest and yanked the priest toward the stairway. Will frowned and started to call after them, but a sudden gust of wind caught his attention. Maggie pulled him to herself, pressing his head into her shoulder. In a few moments, they would be home. But what would Hexham gaol look like in the twentieth century? Closing her eyes, she sighed and waited for the doors of time to sweep them through their portals.

“Hold up there!” a voice shouted from the other end of the corridor.

Maggie opened her eyes, convinced she would find herself facing a man in twentieth-century garb who would be completely disconcerted about their sudden appearance in a closed historical site. But when she looked through the bars, her heart sank and she gasped for air.

There before her stood Cuthbert Carnaby, holding her precious chest, its lid closed tight. “God’s teeth!” he said. “Ye think a priest would remember to take his gear with him. What am I supposed to do with it now?”

“Maggie,” Will said. “Are ye all right, lass? Ye’re pale as a ghost. D’ye want Cuddy to fetch ye a tankard of ale?”

Get ahold of yourself, Maggie. Both men were talking, but their voices seemed muffled and far away. Cuthbert was asking if she needed something stronger. Will was trying to soothe her. She had to take control of the situation. She began to take deep, slow breaths, her hand clasped tight around Will’s arm. That’s right, Maggie. Calm yourself. Now think of a story so you can get that chest and try again.

“Maggie! Maggie!” A voice was calling her name. Was it her father? She blinked to clear her vision, and little by little, Will’s face came into focus.

“Give her a drink of this.” A kindly guard handed something through the bars, and Will lifted her head from his lap, urging her to drink.

Whisky! She sat up, grabbing on to Will for support, and tried to catch her breath.

“Are ye all right, then, lass?” Cuthbert asked.

She blinked again, and a wave of nausea swept over her. Cuthbert Carnaby stood behind the gaoler, still holding the chest. A light sweat broke out on her forehead, and she rested back against Will. “I’m sorry,” she said between the lingering sobs. “It’s all just hitting me. This is real. I’m not going to wake up from some horrid dream.”

Cuthbert softened his expression and shook his head. “Nae, mistress. ’Tis all too real, I’m afeard.”

“The chest. Father didn’t leave it behind. He wanted me to have it . . . to put some of Will’s hair in . . . and the cross he wears beneath his jack . . . and other things I could remember him by.”

Cuthbert frowned. “I’m afeard I canna let ye have it, lass, no’ unless I broke it apart to make sure nowt was hidden in it. I’ll keep it, though, so ye can take it with ye when ye go to Scotland. In the meantime, I’ll get ye a sack to keep those things in.” He nodded to Will and headed back down the hallway, her last hope held tight in Cuthbert’s arms.

Thank you, Andrea Matthews and The Coffee Pot Book Club

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About the Author 

Andrea Matthews is the pseudonym for Inez Foster, a historian and librarian who loves to read and write and search around for her roots, genealogical speak-ing. She has a BA in History and an MLS in Library Science, and enjoys the re-search almost as much as she does writing the story. In fact, many of her ideas come to her while doing casual research or digging into her family history. She is the author of the Thunder on the Moor series set on the 16th century Anglo-Scottish Border, and the Cross of Ciaran series, where a fifteen hundred year old Celt finds himself in the twentieth century. Andrea is a member of the Ro-mance Writers of America.

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Author Links

Website: http://www.andrea-matthews.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AMatthewsAuthor

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andreamatthewshistoricalromance

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andreamatthewshistoricromance/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/andrea-matthews

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Andrea-Matthews/e/B07ZSCWZ6L

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19718311.Andrea_Matthews

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Book Links

This novel is available on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Amazon Link: https://books2read.com/u/m0B0DP

2 gedachtes over “Ride with the Moonlight by Andrea Matthews / #Extract #BookTour @maryanneyarde @AMatthewsAuthor

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