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Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Knight's Maiden in Disguise by Ella Matthews - Book Blitz


The Knight’s Maiden in Disguise

Risking her life

To save a knight!

Disguising herself as her late twin brother keeps Avva Carpenter, and her family, safe. Until Sir William Devereux arrives in her town. As the castle’s stable master, Avva can’t avoid the knight—or the desire he instantly stirs in her. He’s everything she never knew a nobleman could be: honest, kind, brave. When danger surrounds them, the only way to help William is to reveal her true identity, but can she trust him enough?

 

Purchase Links

UK  - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knights-Maiden-Disguise-Mills-Historical-ebook/dp/B09127FJ29

US - https://www.amazon.com/Knights-Maiden-Disguise-Mills-Historical-ebook/dp/B09127FJ29


Excerpt
In the below scene my hero, William, has become injured during a fight witnessed by my heroine, Avva. Avva is drawn to William and wants to help him, but it is a serious risk for her. Her life and the lives of her younger brothers could be over if she is caught looking after him. To make matters worse, the only place she can put him is right where his attackers came from.

 

Back by the cart, she tucked the new blanket into a corner, careful to avoid touching William. He’d need something dry to cover him later, so that he didn’t catch a chill. She reached out and put a hand on his chest. He was still breathing—she just had to hope he carried on doing that. Life would be a lot harder if she had to get rid of another dead body.

She set Pebble in motion, her heart galloping wildly in her chest, now, for the most daring part of her plan.

She let Pebble walk the rest of the way. Although he was a strong pony, it was too much to ask him to trot uphill with his heavy cargo. Unfortunately, the slower pace gave her more time to think about what she was doing.

It was unlikely she would be checked going back into the castle, but that didn’t stop her imagining what would happen to her if she was. ‘I’ll just say I found him by the side of the road,’ she muttered to herself. ‘As far as I’m aware he’s a guest of Thomas and there’s nothing unusual. I can say I thought he was drunk. That’s not odd behaviour for one of Thomas’s visitors.’

Despite her plan, her knees shook as she neared the heavy, iron gates. The noise of the wheels passing over the entrance seemed far louder than usual and she had to force her breathing to remain even as the first of the guards came into sight.

But her fears were unfounded. Gawain was nowhere to be seen and the other guards were as uninterested in her as normal. She was able to get Pebble and the cart into the stable without any fuss or abnormal attention.

She got down from the cart and leaned against Pebble’s sturdy body, relief weakening her knees. She took a few, deep steadying breaths before moving around to the back of the cart. William was lying as she had left him, alarmingly resembling a large sack of potatoes.

She reached over and touched his leg. ‘William, are you awake?’

‘Yes.’

‘You’re going to have to help me get you out of the cart and up the ladder.’

There was a long silence and no movement.

‘William?’

‘You’ve brought me to the stables?’

‘Yes.’

‘In the castle grounds?’

‘Yes,’ she said irritably. ‘It’s not as if I have various places to hide wounded knights. It’s not something I go around doing often.’

She heard the faint croak of a laugh. ‘I’m not going to be able to manage by myself.’

‘I’m not going to be able to get in there and help you out,’ she countered. ‘You’re huge.’

There was a resounding silence to her statement. She thought he must have lost consciousness again, but eventually she heard the slats of the cart creak as William began to move. It seemed to take half a lifetime, but eventually his legs appeared over the edge of the back, followed by the rest of his body. He grunted with pain as he pulled himself upright, but at least he was standing.

‘Here, let me help.’ She slid her arm underneath his again and helped him across to the bottom of the ladder. ‘You’re going to have to climb up by yourself. Can you manage?’

Avva looked around the stable to see if there was anything she could use to help haul him up. There was nothing.

‘I can manage,’ he said.

He grasped hold of the side of the ladder and put his foot on the bottom rung. He wobbled and Avva went to steady him.

He waved her off. ‘I can do it. It’s only a short climb.’

Avva didn’t know how he achieved it, but William began to mount the wooden steps. It took him a while, but eventually his legs disappeared out of sight as he pulled himself over the top.

She grabbed the dry blanket and climbed up after him.

The loft above the stables was a small place. She had space to store her few possessions and room to sleep, but that was it. With William filling up the space with his broad shoulders and long legs, the place was miniscule. In the darkness she could just make out the shape of him as he lay down on his side.

‘You’re going to have to take your wet clothes off.’

He grunted. ‘I’ll be fine.’

‘You won’t, you’ll catch a chill and die and I’ll be left with your dead body decomposing on my bedroll.’

‘I’m sorry if my dying would cause a great inconvenience for you.’

‘I’m sure it would be worse for you.’

She heard him grunt again, but this time she could make out a thread of amusement in the sound.

 

Author Bio – Ella Matthews lives and works in beautiful South Wales. When not thinking about handsome heroes she can be found walking along the coast with her husband and their two children (probably still thinking about heroes but at least pretending to be interested in everyone else).

Social Media Links – https://twitter.com/ellamattauthor

www.ellamatthews.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/ella.matthews.524381

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