I have put up new excerpts for Rescuing Rapunzel, releasing in April 2012:
Getting Rapunzel out of the tower is only half of the problem…
Here’s the Blog Exclusive Excerpt:
Nick entered the inn, panting. The smell of food made his stomach grumble, which only added to his exhaustion. He had not ridden that hard in a long while.
The inn bustled with patrons, men and women of all walks of life having a meal and speaking to one another. It took Nick a moment to find his two friends. Bryan and Penn were at a table in the corner, each drinking a stein of ale and smiling over something.
Possibly the serving wench with her bosom spilling out of her dress.
Nick made his way over, giving the curvy barmaid a cursory glance as he dropped into the chair. The woman’s fiery red hair did make her stand out in the darkness of the inn.
“Nick,” Bryan said, nodding at him.
Penn shoved his stein at him and Nick drank the remainder of the ale with relish. “My thanks.” His friends were staring at him–Bryan looking intrigued, Penn bored.
“I need to speak with you,” Nick told them.
“You just got here,” Penn said. “Relax, have a bite. You look like hell.”
“Climbing walls and riding hard will do that to you,” Nick replied.
“So you saw her again?” Penn asked.
Bryan smiled and smacked Penn’s arm. “Told you he would.”
Penn let out a sigh and tossed some coin on the table. “I should know better than to bet against you.”
“You two were supposed to help me,” Nick grumbled.
“We did. We helped by securing this table,” Penn said. “We knew you would be hungry.”
“So you found a way in?” It was just like Bryan to change the subject. Keep the peace.
“Did you not hear him? He said he was climbing the walls. Obviously he did not find a door.” Penn picked up Bryan’s cup but took only one sip before slamming it back down on the table. “You need more too,” he muttered, waving at the serving wench.
“I would not if you did not drink mine.” Bryan looked into his glass. “It is still half full.”
“Which means it is half empty,” Penn replied. “You need more…”
Nick opened his mouth to stem the argument but the serving wench appeared. “More ale for ye, m’lord?”
“Yes please,” he replied, forcing a smile on his face. “What is the finest thing in the kitchen tonight?”
“The stew is fresh,” she said, passing a sultry gaze over him. “But the finest thing we offer is right here, m’lord.” She put her hand on her curvy hip, jutting it out saucily.
Nick raised his eyebrow. “As appreciated as the offer is, redheads are more to…” Out the corner of his eye, he saw Bryan stiffen in his chair. “…the Lord von Thalunburg’s taste.” He tipped his head toward Bryan.
“Is that so, m’lord?” She sauntered around the table toward Bryan, but did not touch him, standing between Penn and Bryan.
“And what about ye fine nobles?” she asked, leaning toward them.
Penn smiled at her. “Another ale would be splendid,” he said. “And maybe later…” He raised his eyebrow as he gazed down her torso.
The woman laughed. “A naughty one ye are,” she said, then faced Bryan. “And ye, m’lord?”
Nick bit his tongue to keep from laughing as she pressed her hip against Bryan’s chair.
Bryan froze, his eyes dilating as she leaned over, displaying her ample bosom. “Uh. Well. I…” He stared at what she offered him, his cheeks darkening, and his hand twitched toward her.
The stein he had been drinking from went flying, right onto the wench’s dress.
“M’lord!” She grabbed the stein and shoved herself away from Bryan.
“Oh, uh. I am…” Bryan jerked out a handkerchief and attempted to blot away the worst of it, though his hands shook as he touched her.
Penn almost fell out of his seat laughing. “He will have another ale.”
Nick let out a laugh as the barmaid took off. While he and Penn got control of themselves, Bryan looked ready to murder them both.
“You truly are evil,” Bryan snarled at Nick, attempting to pat the leftover ale off the table with his now useless handkerchief. His hands were still trembling and he almost vibrated with embarrassed rage.
Penn pulled out his own handkerchief and helped him. “You really need to relax around women, Count.”
Bryan’s eyes narrowed as he threw the soaked handkerchief on the table. “Horse’s arse,” he muttered.
“Both of you,” Bryan replied, the tips of his ears dark.
Want more: Check out my website for another exclusive excerpt, as well as at Lyrical Press!