Excerpt – Branded by Étaín , The Beasts of Bärvik, Book One

Branded_by_Etain-Jianne_Carlo-200x320Branded by Étaín releases this Thursday!!!! Yay. I love my Vikings and this story begins a whole new series incorporating Celtic Irish mythology. It’s so much fun weaving ancient legends into tales. This week the dh and I are on a mini-holiday, so I’ve set up for a new excerpt each day until Branded by Étaín is finally unveiled. Here’s the first one:

Excerpt One – Branded by Étaín:

Étaín twisted this way and that, frantically searching the crowd milling about the market. She held her breath.

He had to be here.

The brisk icy wind buffeting her brat, the new emerald-hued cloak she had commissioned for this very day, did naught to chase away the blazing excitement heating her from within. The tips of her fingers tingled. She tiptoed and peeked ’tween two of the five guards surrounding her and Cedilla.

Where was he?

She knew he was here. Only his presence drove her to a giddiness she had not felt since Eachan stole her youth.

Scarlet and gold streaks blazed across the charcoal horizon of the settlement, Caul Cairlinne, famed for its rich soil, abundant forests, and rumored hoards of fairy gold. ’Twas the end of the festival of Lúnasa and the last moon market of summer.

Dozens streamed around the ring of guards protecting her, men on horseback, peddlers pushing carts, women heaving oversized baskets, and children skipping, shouting and dancing with unbridled energy. The hordes thrummed with exhilaration and anticipation.

Roosters crowed, piglets squealed, cows lowed, and ponies brayed.

The yeasty aroma of bread baking tangled with the briny scent of the sea and the mouth-watering smell of meat roasting all combined to tempt the palate, but Étaín craved not food. Though she had not broken her fast this morn, Étaín hungered only for a glimpse of him, the warrior she had dreamed of since their eyes first met at the Spring Market.

In the beginning, he haunted only her nights, but after their encounter two months ago, he had come to her in daylight too. Through his eyes, she learned of his dismal, barren land and the fire-spewing mountain he both abhorred and feared. She tasted both his grief and rigid determination.

Today, she would speak with him, the warrior fated to be hers, if only for a year and a day.

The man she intended to wed, whether Da approved or not.

Hope  you enjoyed and stay tuned for more!