DIANA BY THE MOON (Jewels of Tomorrow)
Ancient Historical Romance
A heart-wrenching story of love, loss and triumph.
Diana, an independent Roman woman in a time when women are mere property, is forced to provide food and shelter for an entire northern British estate. She trusts no one.
Alaric, fierce and proud Celtic warrior, and trusted lieutenant to the upstart British leader, Arthur, must have Diana’s estate to complete his mission. Failure would doom all of Britain.
Alaric and Diana reluctantly cooperate to ensure survival, but famine, Saxon raids, a harsh winter and the conniving of mutual enemies test their resolve.
A story of sacrifice, courage, loyalty and ultimately, a love that erases the boundaries of culture and upbringing, providing hope for a better future for themselves and those who follow in their footsteps.
Get your copy of the novel that reviewers call “a work of written art” and “one of the best historical romances I have read this year.”
Ancient Historical Romance Novel
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“…an emotional tale with well-developed characters.” — Sparta
EXCERPT FROM DIANA BY THE MOON
COPYRIGHT © TRACY COOPER-POSEY 2013
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
“There was definitely a child standing on the wall, sir.”
Alaric nodded. “Yes.”
“And the fields have been tilled recently,” Griffin added.
“Badly,” added Rhys, ever the cynic. “Look at those rows! I could plow a straighter furrow blind drunk with a poxy bull in front of me.”
“You know that from experience, of course.” Griffin grinned.
Rhys swiped at him with his fist but Griffin had already moved his horse out of the older man’s reach.
Alaric smiled at their banter, then turned his concentration upon the villa ahead and the hill behind. The peak was a rocky plateau thrusting out of the tree line. It was perfect for his needs.
He looked back at the villa. He’d have to cajole the owner into cooperating.
Rhys pushed his horse level with Alaric’s and nodded toward the villa. “Looks Roman.”
“Course, round these parts you couldn’t throw a stone without hitting a Roman.”
“You want to explain to me what Arthur had in mind, sending you of all people in among the thickest congregation of Romans in Britain? Mithras!”
“Arthur knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t explain himself to me.” Alaric looked straight into Rhys’ eyes. “And that’s the last time I allow you the freedom to question Arthur’s orders. Clear?”
Rhys looked away. After a moment he nodded his grizzled head. “Clear,” he said roughly. “I apologize.”
Alaric clapped him on the back. “Good man.”
They reached the gateway. “They aren’t afraid of much. No gates!” Griffin commented.
“They had gates all right,” Rhys said dryly, “and they’ve had their share of trouble too.” He spat on a pile of discarded timber and iron as they passed by. “Those gates were breached by a battering ram or I’m the son of Lucifer.”
Their horses’ hooves echoed flatly in the deserted yard. As the rest of the company filed in, Alaric looked around. The courtyard was about a hundred and fifty paces a side. An ancient gnarled oak skulked in the front corner. In summer it would spread welcome shade but now it hunched darkly against the iron-gray sky, dripping tears from an earlier shower.
“Sir!” Griffin whispered, drawing Alaric’s attention. The boy nodded toward the house proper, lining half of the yard. Ten paces from the graceful columns bordering the tile verandah stood a young girl. Her huge eyes were wide with shock.
“She looks ready to bolt at the slightest noise,” Rhys said quietly.
“Where is everyone else?” Griffin asked, puzzled.
“Scattered,” Alaric replied. “If they’ve had trouble before, they’ll be wary about armed men approaching them.” He looked behind him. “Stay here,” he told his men. “If we panic her we’ll never find the rest of the household. Griffin, Rhys, come with me.”
He slid down from his horse and threw the reins to one of the men. Griffin and Rhys followed him.
Alaric moved toward the girl. Closer, he saw that fear kept her pinned down—pure terror. There was no curiosity at all.
“We mean you no harm,” he called out as he reached her. He lowered his voice. “Where are your kin, child?”
She gave no answer. From between her legs urine trickled and puddled at her feet.
Rhys gave a snort of disgust. “For Mithras’ sake, we’re not going to eat you, girl!”
At the sound of Rhys’ gruff battle-roughened voice, the girl’s eyes rolled up and she fell to the ground in a tired, boneless heap.
“Dear god!” Griffin whispered, horrified. “You’ve killed her!”
Rhys cleared his throat. “I did no such thing!”
“It’s all right. She’s simply fainted or some such thing.” Alaric pushed his sword aside and crouched down to check the girl was still breathing. In repose her face was irresistibly beautiful. Flawless, as only a child’s could be before life stamped its lines and markers. Before his reaching hand made contact there came a piercing, alarming cry from inside the house. It was a war cry.
Alaric leapt to his feet as Rhys and Griffin both drew their swords.
From the far corner of the verandah came a tiny man in trews and tunic, a knife in his upheld hand, his face contorted with rage. He raced along the verandah, leapt onto the dirt and ran toward them. Alaric knew he was protecting the child—he thought they meant the girl harm.
He was almost upon them before Alaric thought to draw a weapon, so astonishing was the idea that this little person would attempt to attack fully armed soldiers.
Griffin and Rhys stepped in front of him. When the man leapt, Griffin, the taller, caught his knife hand and Rhys, the heavier, buried his elbow in the man’s stomach, snapping him over and pushing the wind from him.
And a long tightly bound skein of hair swung over and brushed the dirt.
“Hell’s hounds…it’s a woman!” Rhys gaped at the woman hanging between Rhys’ and Griffin’s grip on her arms. She was trying to draw in air with temporarily stunned muscles, her head hanging down.
Rhys and Griffin looked accusingly at Alaric, their expressions both guilty and defiant at once. Alaric knew what they were thinking. How could you let us hurt a woman like this?
Alaric pondered on what to do. The woman had plainly meant him harm and she had been armed too. As he wavered, she breathed in noisy jerks and that decided him.
“Rhys, sit her on the ground. Griffin, move the little one out of the damp air.”
Rhys lowered the woman until she was seated while Griffin picked up the unconscious child and took her under the verandah roof.
Alaric crouched in front of the woman. She leaned on one hand, holding the other to her chest. Prudently, he kept his hand on his knife hilt.
“Don’t fight to breathe,” he told her. “Relax, and it will come. If you fight, it will take longer.”
She understood, for her shoulders lowered as she followed his instructions. Her breath immediately eased. It shallowed but drew easily.
“Stay seated,” he advised her. “You’ll be dizzy for a moment or two.”
She nodded, keeping her head lowered.
“We’re friend, not foe…you understand?”
Again, the nod.
“Where is everyone else?”
“Hiding,” she said, her voice low.
“I need to speak to the head of the household. Who owns this estate? What is his name?”
“The owner’s name is Diana, daughter of the late Marcellus Aurelius.” She looked up then. She had eyes the same deep blue hue as the sky late in the evening, the blue rimmed with black. Eyes startling in their strange coloring. She looked straight into his. “You speak to me.”
“This novel drew me in so completely, so thoroughly, time just simply faded. Diana by the Moon is a work of written art. Tracy Cooper-Posey has penned a beautiful story; of one woman’s courageous journey of self-discovery amidst turbulent times.” — Love Romance Passion
Amazon Top 100 Best Seller
Amazon #1 Bestseller, Ancient World Historical Romance
Amazon #1 Bestseller, Historical Mystery, Thrillers and Suspense
Reviewer’s Top Pick, Romantic Times Magazine
Night Owl Reviews Reviewers’ Top Pick
All Romance eBooks Bestseller, Historical Romance
Frankfurt E-book Award nominee
Finalist, Emma Darcy Award
“Must Read” 2014 – Cocktails & Books
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Also of Interest
Have you caught up with the Once and Future Hearts series? It’s also set in the time of King Arthur.