Snow In July by Kim Iverson Headlee

Snow in July                                               5 STARS!!

As her brother is dying from wounds received at the Battle of Hastings, Lady Kendra promises him that she would do anything for him, even cause it to snow in July if she could. But his request is even harder than that. He wants her to promise she will seek happiness. But how will she fulfill that promise when the new king, William of Normandy, has commanded her to marry one of his knights? Kendra knows she must obey even though to do so will cause her to break the other oath she made: to never marry a Norman (unless it snows in July) because a Norman was responsible for causing her brother’s death.

The Norman knight comes in disguise and Kendra has to work hard not to fall in love with “Squire Alain”. He immediately falls in love with her and comes to regret his subterfuge.

This story held my attention throughout. The trials and dangers faced by the characters were many but not exaggerated in an unbelievable way. I hated every interruption that made me put the book down! Kendra’s heartbreak made me empathetic to her troubles and Alain stole my heart with his devotion to her: “His sole regret…was that he could not keep kissing her until all the stars fell from the sky.”

A refreshingly “clean” romance with a touch of magic. A 5 star read and highly recommended!

 

BUY & TBR LINKS

 

AMAZON KINDLE US – http://goo.gl/d4p7UA

AMAZON KINDLE CA – http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00L6K50V2

AMAZON KINDLE UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00L6K50V2

AMAZON PAPERBACK – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0990505502

BARNES & NOBLES NOOK – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/snow-in-july-kim-headlee/1119853202?ean=2940149693818&itm=1&usri=2940149693818

BARNES & NOBLES PAPERBACK – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/snow-in-july-kim-headlee/1119853202?ean=9780990505501

SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/450831

ITUNES – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id892162990

GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22398941-snow-in-july

SHELFARI – http://www.shelfari.com/books/37731943/Snow-in-July

 

EXCERPT

 

FIFTEEN THOUSAND MEN and horses writhed across the valley below, appearing as toys in a children’s game.

Many might consider war a game, but Sir Robert Alain de Bellencombre, knight of Normandy bound to the service of Duke William and commander of a unit in the cavalry reserves, did not number among their ranks.

Edward the Confessor, King of England via his Saxon father but Norman by his mother, was dead. This battle, raging near the coastal hamlet called Hastings, would decide the right of one man to wear the English crown: William the Norman, acknowledged by Pope Alexander to be Edward’s lawful successor; or Harold the Saxon, brother of Edward’s wife, the man alleged to be Edward’s deathbed choice.

Stroking his war horse’s glossy charcoal neck to calm her, Alain pondered Harold’s claim. It had to be true. This many men would not sacrifice their lives for a lie. Yet the vast majority of Harold’s supporters were Saxons harboring no wish to bear the Norman yoke. Perhaps such men might be desperate enough to fight for a lie that promised to restore Saxon rule.

A trumpet blared. He signaled his men forward, couched his lance, and spurred Chou to send her careening into the melee.

Harold’s shield wall, which had seemed impregnable, began to crumble under the onslaught of Alain’s unit, hastened by the desertion of men who no doubt decided they weren’t quite so willing to die. Their lord stood exposed just long enough for a Norman archer to sight his mark. Harold fell, screaming and clutching an arrow that protruded from one eye.

Harold’s supporters closed ranks around him, blocking Alain’s view and giving him more than enough to do as the Saxons redoubled their efforts to guard their lord’s body.

A familiar whirl of colors caught Alain’s attention. The saffron leopard prowling on a green field—Étienne! A Saxon knight, with a blue arm and fist blazing defiance across his gray shield, bore down upon Étienne with leveled lance. Étienne tumbled from his horse. He scrambled to his feet and retrieved his sword, putting it to good use on the Saxons surrounding him, although the knight who’d unhorsed him had already ridden in search of other targets.

Lance long since discarded and sword now rising and falling with fatal precision, Alain surged to reach his brother’s side. Protection of her youngest son had been their dying mother’s wish, and he had sworn on his own life to keep Étienne safe.

Before he could close the distance, another Saxon knight fought past Étienne’s guard to thrust a war-knife into his throat. Through the visor the knight’s eyes gleamed with startling, fathomless malice. Alain could only watch in stunned disbelief as he laid his hand upon Étienne’s chest for a few moments. Uttering a soul-freezing howl, the Saxon yanked out his seax and disappeared into the press with Étienne’s shield, denying Alain vengeance.

Shame and grief rent his heart asunder.

He had failed the two he loved most; failed them so utterly that he could never beg their forgiveness in this lifetime.

Pain slammed into his shoulder, toppling him from the saddle. Étienne’s body broke his fall. He tried to roll clear, but a spear through his chest pinned him to Étienne. His gut convulsed, and bile burned his throat. Blinding agony killed his struggle to free himself. Death’s stench invaded his nostrils.

He closed his eyes and waited for his final journey to begin.

AUTHOR BIO

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, and assorted wildlife. People & creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins — the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-20th century — seem to be sticking around for a while yet.

Kim is a Seattle native (when she used to live in the Metro DC area, she loved telling people she was from “the other Washington”) and a direct descendent of 20th-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the 7th-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.

For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her new imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She also writes romantic historical fiction under the pseudonym “Kimberly Iverson.”

From the Author:

Why YA?

LOL! To which the obvious answer is, why not YA? 😀

Seriously, I chose the Young Adult classification for Snow in July based upon what I have observed of the trends in adult romance novels, especially paranormal romances, toward the inclusion of more graphic sex scenes, both in terms of quantity and intensity. The characters in all my romantic novels experience strong feelings toward each other, but I tend to be circumspect in my depictions of their intimate encounters.

Also, the concept of honor is an important subtext in Snow in July. Through my present dealings with high school students as a substitute teacher and as the wife of a full-time teacher, I believe honor is an important message for today’s youth to hear in any form. Honor is bound with fidelity in Snow in July: Kendra believes she has fallen in love with someone other than the knight that King William has commanded her to marry. Her mind is set to obey the king’s will, for she cannot bear to bring calamity to her people by refusing to marry Sir Robert, yet her heart insists that “Squire Alain” is the only man she can ever love. This internal struggle wends into the very heart and soul of the story of Snow in July.

Why not YA, indeed.

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

  • Ebook copies of Snow in July (MOBI/Kindle file, EPUB/B&N file, or sent as a gift via Amazon.com or BN.com)

Direct Link – http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9944253c68/

 

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY

  • 10 Autographed copies (US residents only) of the print edition, via Goodreads (scheduled to run July 1-31, 2014)

 

Goodreads giveaway link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/97782-snow-in-july

 

 

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