Monday, June 1, 2015

Meet Moment Monday: Laurel O'Donnell and My Noble Knight

There's something about medieval romance novels that I can't resist, so I'm especially thrilled to welcome award-winning author and fellow Love Historicals pal Laurel O'Donnell for Meet Moment Monday. Today we're featuring the meet scene between Layne and Griffin from her delicious medieval romance, My Noble Knight. Even more exciting? I designed her cover for the book!
Here's a bit about the story...

Layne Fletcher, the only girl in a family of three boys, has grown up learning to use a sword and joust, but she is not a knight. She and her brothers have been traveling from tourney to tourney to make enough coin to buy their own farm to shelter their ailing father. When her brother is found unconscious before an important tournament, Layne takes his place on the jousting field against... 

Griffin Wolfe, the undefeated jousting champion. When he is unhorsed by a slip of a woman who is not a knight, he demands retribution. His honor will not allow him to let a woman be thrown in the dungeon and he has no choice but to pay her fine, ordering her to travel with him until her brothers can repay him. Griffin attempts to educate Layne in the art of being a woman, but finds he is attracted to her exciting personality and uncommon beauty despite her less than lady like ways. 

But someone is trying to sabotage Griffin as he competes in the tournaments. Can Layne and Griffin discover who the culprit is while keeping their families safe and their growing attraction secret?

The moment that will make you want to read the rest...

He turned and headed back to his pavilion where his squire was preparing his armor. Around him, spectators continued to arrive, the wealthier guests heading for the wooden stands, others staking out their spots in the fields for the best view of the joust. He turned the corner of a pavilion that bore the flapping flag crest of lord Crandall and a small whirlwind slammed into his chest. Griffin grunted and scowled, caught by surprise.

He lowered his gaze to see a pile of wild dark hair at his feet. Two hands emerged into his view and separated the hair to reveal two beaming blue eyes staring up at him. “Pardons, sir." The hands pushed the hair further back to reveal a face and Griffin was shocked to see a woman! If it weren't for her delicate face and full lips, he wasn't sure he would have realized she was a female. She wore brown breeches on her slender legs and a dusty green tunic.

Instinctively, he reached out a hand to her. “Are you hurt?”

Her blue eyes twinkled and a smile spread across her lips as she reached for his hand. “You're strong, but not a rock. I am unhurt.”

When her fingers closed over his palm, a searing jolt raced through Griffin. He almost pulled his hand free of hers, but his upbringing overrode his surprise and he easily lifted her to her feet. There was something instantly intriguing about the woman, even though she was dressed in men’s clothing. He withdrew his hand. “Where are you off to in such a hurry?”

“The joust,” she answered. “It's already crowded and I have to get a good spot to watch.”

Griffin frowned slightly. Women did not dash around running into men looking for the closest spot to watch a joust. He stepped aside. “Far be it from me to stand in your way.”

She nodded and walked past him, her steps more measured.

He watched her walk away. At least she had slowed her pace. His gaze took in her body. Her bottom was hidden beneath the tunic that fell to her mid thigh. Her legs were covered with knee high black boots. Very inappropriate for a woman, but so very intriguing. Suddenly, she turned and locked gazes with him. A slow smile turned up the corners of her lips into a lovely, knowing smile. It was like the sunrise on a glorious morning. His spirit lifted at the mere sight of her grin. He couldn’t help but smile back at her; her grin was infectious.

“Forgive me for crashing into you.”Griffin nodded slightly and then she was gone, swallowed up by the sea of villagers and merchants arriving for the joust.

More about Laurel...

Laurel O’Donnell has won numerous awards for her works, including the Holt Medallion for A Knight of Honor, the Happily Ever After contest for Angel’s Assassin, and the Indiana’s Golden Opportunity contest for Immortal DeathThe Angel and the Prince was nominated by the Romance Writers of America for their prestigious Golden Heart award. O’Donnell lives in Illinois with her four cherished children, her beloved husband and her five cats. She finds precious time every day to escape into the medieval world and bring her characters to life in her writing.