13 December 2016

Distant Mountains and Leah in Love (and Trouble) are now available in paperback.

I've unfortunately been absent from my blog for months. Sadly, life often has a way of interfering with this, our writing life, and there is nothing we can do about it.

But, I've popped in to let you know I'm pleased to announce that for those of you who still love to open a paper book, Distant Mountains Settlers Book 2 can now be purchased in Print as well as Kindle. 
Book 1, Mystic Mountains is also available in print.

Distant Mountains is also currently on sale in the US & UK on Kindle for 99c, but sale ends on the 16th so hurry for this bargain.

"Could a convicted man ever consider marrying a wealthy man’s daughter? One man’s ordeal threatens to strip him of everything." 

Another of my books, Leah in Love (and Trouble) is also now available in Print.


Violet Amelia Connor, known to all as Leah, is a landscape designer who inherited her love of gardening from the eccentric aunt she lives with. Leah is contracted to work on the garden of Private Investigator Sean Russel and unwittingly becomes embroiled in the handsome PI’s cases. A series of unpleasant experiences land her in real trouble where she is kidnapped, bashed, bound and altogether becomes a party to such mayhem she is forced to wonder how she ever got mixed up in this mess. But her indomitable spirit, obstinate nature, and incurable sense of humor enable her to override all obstacles. And of course there is her overwhelming attraction for Sean Russel that started it all.

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25 September 2016

Kate’s Dilemma—Challenge the Heart Book 3: Physical attraction can sometimes bring its share of problems.

Kate’s Dilemma is currently on countdown US & UK. Get it now for 99c.

“This story takes place in and around the Australian seaside. This beautiful backdrop seems to come alive with the lovers’ emotions; storms and sunny days reflect their own journey. Tricia McGill creates stories that are fondly remembered for their strong characters, this is another one you must not miss.”    Naomi at FAR

What happens when two people who are both of the same mind—this being to steer well clear of emotional entanglements—are struck down by instant attraction.
Kate last met Liam when she was bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. A gangly, uncertain fourteen year old, going through the painful problems associated with growing up, she took an instant dislike to Liam, who made fun of her. When her recently widowed sister talks her into reluctantly accompanying her to her brother-in-law’s home, which was built by its owner, architect Liam, Kate falls in love with the house and, unfortunately for her, finds that she soon has corresponding feelings for the man who owns it.
Meanwhile, Liam cannot believe that the tall, insecure teenager he met at his brother’s wedding years ago has blossomed into this beautiful, talented woman. His inbuilt antennae that had served him well, stood every chance of being annihilated if he didn’t watch out.

And here’s a snippet:

Liam couldn’t believe it. Talk about an ugly duckling turning into a swan. Her snub nose with its sprinkle of freckles was all that saved her face from perfection. The combination of auburn hair and tall lissom figure must attract men wherever she went, yet she was blushing like a schoolgirl, as if unused to male attention. Wide eyes were watching him with wariness at odds with the luscious fullness of her mouth. The dress she wore graced perfect curves, a slim waist, and full breasts.

The beauty she’d become stunned him. This truly magnificent creature, he surmised, was totally unaware of the effect she had on people. At a good five foot eight, she was above average height and moved with the grace of a ballerina. And those large luminous eyes were something else.

Viola told them, on one of her visits, that her sister’s looks had set many a male heart thumping. Liam secretly scoffed at that—but now could see exactly what she meant.

He backed off at the look that came into her eyes, his inbuilt bachelor’s antennae going into action, when she murmured, “Why thank you,” flashing him a brilliant smile that sent his libido into over-drive. “Viola was very sick, as you know, and this break will do her the world of good. I gave up my flat to stay with her, and she wouldn’t come without me.” Her shoulders lifted in a shrug and the small movement entranced Liam. There was an innate grace about everything she did, be it moving a limb or a lip. “It was nice of you to invite her.”

Liam grinned at that, not missing the way her eyes settled on his mouth. Could she be as stunned by her reaction to his every move as he was by hers? “I have had many epithets bestowed on me in my time, Katie, but nice has never been applied to me before.”

Her mouth curved in a soft smile.

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11 September 2016

My Time-Travels, Wild Heather Series: The Laird Book 1 & Travis Book 2 are both on countdown and can be yours for 99c each for a short time.

The Laird:
 Andrew, a wealthy Australian architect, takes life too seriously, whereas his PA Elizabeth is outgoing and fun-loving; a perfect foil for her sombre boss. She is passionate about Celtic lore and language. With great reluctance Andrew answers a plea from his two elderly aunts to travel to Scotland before his uncle dies. He has no desire to visit the land his father left under a cloud many years ago, but Liz persuades him to take her along.
In the draughty and dilapidated castle, while exploring a disused attic, the pair set off a course of events that propel them back in time to 1050 where they meet Travis, coincidentally Andrew's double.

“I enjoyed every minute of this book. Tricia McGill perfectly pulls the reader back in time along with Andrew and Liz, describing the castle and its inhabitants in such detail they fully come to life. Andrew’s aunts, Tilda and Kitty, are gems whose unsolicited advice made me laugh out loud! The dialogue in this story is one of its strongest features, and coupled with an intriguing plot it is a winning combination.”  
Marlene FAR 4

Short Snip:
Suddenly the door opened wide.
He blinked as light streamed in. Before them a wide staircase led down to a cavernous hall. Immense soot-laden beams held up a ceiling of what appeared to be tightly packed straw, and the walls were timber pylons reinforced with mud or clay.
A fire roared in a fireplace large enough to roast a whole cow. Two large soot-encrusted pots containing what smelt like some sort of stew hung over the fire. Peat blocks were stacked up at one side of the hearth and enough wood to keep a fire going for a week was piled up on the other side.
People sat around on stools or rough wooden benches. It was impossible to estimate at first glance how many there were. Everyone stopped talking at once, and a sudden eerie silence filled the hall as they all gazed up at them.
Liz crumpled in a heap at Andrew’s feet.
“Liz, for heaven’s sake!” Andrew went down on his haunches beside her, pulling her into his arms. The boy who’d opened the door stood with his mouth agape, staring at them as if they were apparitions.
A giant of a man slowly lifted himself from one of two throne-like chairs that flanked the fireplace and, taking the steps two at a time came to tower over them, mouthing words Andrew couldn’t understand.
“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to speak English.” Andrew wondered how he’d managed to get the words out, as picking Liz up, he went down the stairs and looked about for a soft place to set her down. The man followed him, and then faced Andrew, his hand on a deadly looking dagger-type weapon that was thrust through his belt.
The only likely place Andrew could put Liz was on a wide bench. It didn’t look much more comfortable than the floor, which was strewn with heather, lavender stems and rushes. As Andrew set Liz down he glanced up. The man’s scowl was ferocious as he scratched at his dark head.
His mass of thick black wavy hair reached past his shoulders, and his beard was just as black. He babbled on in the same strange tongue, and the rest of the crowd began to mutter and whisper, moving closer and doing little to disguise their almost childlike curiosity.
The Laird is available HERE. Travis HERE


Beth Anderson travels to Scotland to help her Australian friends, Liz and Andrew, renovate the dilapidated castle he inherited from his uncle. Beth shares Liz’s passion for all things Celtic and knows the ancient language well. Liz tells her an unbelievable story of how she and Andrew were swept back in time to 1050, to a hostile world, where Andrew saved the life of Travis, his ancestor, a lovable rogue.
Beth decides to explore the castle attics and unwittingly discovers their method of time-travel. But the Travis she meets is a changed man, now driven by revenge and set on annihilating all his enemies. He has too much violence and bloodshed to contend with and has no time in his life for another woman from the future. Despite this a great love grows, a love that must overcome many obstacles before reaching its conclusion. In Book 1, The Laird, we met Travis, his family, and his clansmen in Book 2, Travis, we are reunited with them.

"Multi-published author Tricia McGill does it again! You can’t help but fall in love with her Highlander chief, Travis, the masterful clan leader in 1051 Scotland from her previous book.
Even without running water and central heating this time-travel novel will make you wish you could be transported back into Travis’ castle… for a good, old fashioned candle lit romance. If you’ve ever fallen in love with a man in a portrait painting, that’s what happened to Beth." JoEllen Congar

Short Snip:

"What is it about ye women from the future that makes ye faint at the sight o' me?" a deep voice questioned in Gaelic as she opened her eyes.
She was on the ground again, this time with one of his arms about her shoulders.
"How do you know I'm from the future?" she whispered, staring into familiar eyes. Similar eyes had stared out at her from the portrait. There was no hint of mischief in these eyes though. They looked forbidding. She should have stayed unconscious.
"Ye wear the same garment Beth wore when she departed." He touched the collar of the cloak, his brow furrowed.
"Beth? You mean Liz?" Groggily she pushed him away and sat up on her own. He went back onto his haunches and stared hard at her.
"Elizabeth is the one we speak of. Aye, that's the one. Did she send ye back here?"
"Send me..." Beth let out a laugh. "No, believe it or not, I did it all on my own. I can't believe this." She put a hand to her temple and pressed.
"Oh, I believe it all right. Ye women seem to have the knack of flitting through time as a normal woman would walk the forest."
"I..." Beth moved away from him. His masculine scent filled her nostrils, despite the aromas of bracken and earth. He smelled of the outdoors, sweat, and wildness. A tantalizing combination.
Pushing the tangle of hair back, he stood and strode away a few paces. Hands on hips, he took a few deep breaths, then turned back. There was nothing of the mischievous rogue Liz told her about. This man was frightening, his eyes as cold as the snow on Mount Everest.
"I went up to have a look at the cloak and badge after Liz told me about how she and Andrew were swept back to your time last year. I was just curious. Don't ask me what happened but—" She shrugged and spread her arms. "Here I am. But don't worry, I'll just rub this badge as I did before and get tossed back."
As she bent to do just that he moved with the speed of a panther and stilled her hand. "No! Seeing as ye're here, ye might as well stay awhile. I have a yen to learn how Beth is faring."
"Why do you keep calling her that? Her name's Liz. I'm Beth." She eyed him warily. His hold on her arm was like a manacle. If she was truthful she had to admit he terrified her. He was so big. Beth felt small for the first time since she'd been about ten and started to spring up.
"Ye're Beth? Ye don't say? Well, here's a strange turn of events." Finally he released her, but his look was penetrating as he stared at her. "Are all the women in yer time called such?

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4 September 2016

Travis (Wild Heather Book 2) Time-Travel back to the rugged Highlands of the 1050s

“This is a wonderful book.  Tricia McGill is a wonderful writer. The heroine, Beth, is such a sweet character who is fully embraceable and the hero, also wonderfully written, is a man of honor all the way.  If you enjoy suspense, action and a great romance this is a must read.” 
Lisa at Romance Junkies

While visiting Scotland to help her friends renovate their dilapidated castle, her friend Liz tells her how she and Andrew were swept back in time to 1050, where Andrew saved the life of his ancestor, a lovable rogue. Beth discovers their method of time-travel, but the Travis she meets is a changed man, now driven by revenge. He has too much violence and bloodshed to contend with and has no time in his life for another woman from the future. In Book 1, The Laird, we met Travis and his clan, in Book 2, Travis, we are reunited with them.

She must have passed out. This was the only feasible answer to the feeling of flying helplessly through that vortex. Between the hurtling sensation and the blackness, all she could recall was the cold. And it had been freezing when that strange wind blew up.

“Come on, be practical.” She stood and slapped at her sides. She’d always been level-headed. Boring and unimaginative, that was Beth Anderson. She steered away from the answer that was emerging, crying out to be heard.

“No. I’m still near Liz and Andrew’s estate. As soon as someone comes by I’ll prove it.”

With a definite nod of the head Beth looked about, trying to get her bearings from the position of the sun. What time could it be? It was just after ten when she left her room after donning the thick sweater. So, depending on how long she’d been in this strange state, it could be anywhere between ten thirty and eleven. The sun wasn’t quite at its height, which proved she was more or less right. It was streaming in her window this morning, which meant the castle had to be...

Beth turned about. This was so stupid. How on earth could she work out which direction to take? A city girl didn’t have to worry about such things. There were street signs in the city and always someone to ask for directions. Here she was surrounded by trees, the few cattle, and bracken. As she pondered which way to walk, the thundering of hooves disturbed the tranquility. Thank the lord. Beth breathed a sigh of relief—now she’d find out where she was.

A hand shielding her eyes, she faced the rider.

A giant of a man rode one of the biggest horses she’d ever seen. Black flowing hair streamed out behind him, and he rode as if all the devils from hell were on his heels.

As he neared Beth saw that he had a beard as black as his hair. He wore some sort of strange garment, like a philabeg, the old Gaelic version of a kilt. A claymore hung at his side, and leather strapping bound his calves.

It was Andrew.

Relief flooded her. Why hadn’t Liz told her he was taking part in a highland pageant? She laughed out loud as he saw her, and lifted her hand to wave.

He skidded the horse to a standstill. It was then, as the man controlled the wild, panting beast, Beth recalled something Liz told her last night. Andrew wasn’t a good rider. Her throat dried up, and she couldn’t swallow. The rider stared at her as if she was a ghost just risen from the earth. His mouth worked but no words came out.

Some sixth sense told her exactly who this stranger was.

“Travis.” A hand covering her mouth, Beth whispered the name hoarsely. Dizziness swamped her, and vaguely she heard him use a Gaelic curse before she toppled into oblivion.

“This flashy, spirited woman and her big, hunky Highlander have completely captured my heart! Their chemistry and sizzle fires up the pages and kept me glued to it from start to finish…one for the keeper shelves, as I am sure that romance readers everywhere will agree with me once they read it.” Kristal Gorman Romance Readers at Heart

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28 August 2016

Passion flares amid the stars, but can love with an alien flourish?

Buy Amid The Stars HERE
Terrified, and in fear for her life after her husband, an undercover cop, is killed, Melanie Ross has nowhere to hide.
A squadron from a far planet visiting Earth on a reconnaissance survey prepares to leave, without one of their members who is dying of a virus.
Irena must remain on Earth, so seeks a replacement to take her craft back to the other side of the Universe. Seeing Melanie’s predicament she offers her an escape. Reluctantly Melanie agrees. Conquering her fears, she must learn to live among a superior race on Qindaga.
Reve, commander of the star ship circling their planet, bears an inexplicable resemblance to her dead husband.
Melanie had stopped falling. Moving stealthily, she felt around her sides. She was reclining on a luxuriant bed, with padding as soft as swan’s-down, surrounding her body. With a soft sigh she snuggled down, not wanting to come out of this surreal dream.

If she opened her eyes she would return to the horror of being stalked by a killer. Another moment and she knew she would have been dead. But here, wherever here was, was safe.

Warm, secure and safe.

Melanie swallowed, grimacing at the bile in her mouth. A taste brought on by terror. She moved her head on the soft padding.

“You may open your eyes,” the now familiar mild voice ordered. “You are secure now. Do not panic as you become aware of your surroundings, Melanie Ross. Nothing, or no one, can harm you here.”

Melanie followed the instructions. The voice was so coaxing. Somehow she knew there was nothing to fear. As her eyelids slowly lifted, the first thing she saw was a blank gray wall. Steel perhaps. There was nothing but this blank wall to be seen and a feeling close to panic hit her.

“Where am I?” she croaked, moving her head to the right and seeing nothing over there but the same plain grey sheet of steel. “Am I in an elevator?”

Melanie hated the things. Had, since, as a ten year old she’d been trapped in one for hours with twelve sweaty, panicked people. Trying to lift her head a dizziness swept over her and she flopped back down with a small groan. “Please, let me out. I hate it here.” The sense of well-being and security fled like a puff of smoke blown away by the wind.

“How can you hate something you have no knowledge of?” the voice queried faintly. “I will give you a sedative soon. It will calm you down. But first we have to be sure you are still willing to accept the challenge and go back to my home. I have very little time. We must be quick.”

"This is a strong outer space romance starring two delightful star-crossed lovers (literal & figurative). The story line is loaded with earthly and solar action. The support cast enables the audience to understand decisions made especially those by Melanie. Tricia McGill provides readers with a cogent romantic science fiction that is sure to gain her fans from both genres. Great Futuristic Romance."  Harriet Klausner The Best Reviews

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21 August 2016

Sunday Snips & Stuff--A Dream for Lani (Beneath Southern Skies Book 2)

You can get A Dream for Lani FREE for your KINDLE, 

but hurry as this offer ends on the 22nd

Cosseted all her life, Lani Moore inherits a fortune, but yearns for a loving family. The chance to grab that arrives when two youngsters talk her into taking a flat in their house. Their father, Ryan, is enchanted by the air of intriguing melancholy about his new tenant. Will Lani’s lonely heart find the love she wants above all else?
“I believe this is the best book I have ever read! I probably think something similar when I finish a book, but I have never before printed the words. Lani Moore had relocated to Victoria, Australia, to try to start over. Never again would she allow anyone to get close to her just because she was rich. She wouldn’t lie about it; she would just keep her mouth shut. She had always been quiet and withdrawn from the hub of activity, so that should not be too hard! When she met Ryan Bachus, a realtor, she thought she noticed some interest—until she mentioned that she needed a farm to board her horse…
Ms. Tricia McGill keeps enticing us into the story with her wit and charming manner of writing. Of course, there is love and there is disaster. The love ebbs and flows and the “near hits and misses” just tug at the heartstrings. The ending may be predictable (after all, who wants a bad ending) but the journey is unforgettable! I urge you to read this winner!”
Overall rating: 5 stars Reviewer: Brenda Talley TRS

The morning sun streaming in through a large window now at his back momentarily blinded her, and formed a halo about his dark head.

He waved the folder. “I didn’t hear you come in. Sorry about the language. I never can find anything in these damn things.” He came closer, and with a friendly grin, said, “Give me a computer any time.” It seemed to Lani the world stood still as he clasped her hand and shook it. “Ryan Bachus. What can I do for you?”

Lani stepped back a pace as he released her. Every nerve ending tingled. This was weird; men didn’t usually have this effect on her. “Lani Moore.” She put her hands behind her back when she realized they were shaking. “Your receptionist sent me in.” With her head she motioned to the outer office.

He was a good head taller than her, and she wasn’t short by any means. For the first time in ages Lani didn’t feel gangly.

“Please take a seat.” He waited until she sat then went around the huge desk and sat behind it. It seemed to her he studied her intently for a moment as he settled.

A hairdresser did her best with Lani’s dark brown hair, shaping it to curve softly to where it fell just below her shoulders. The style suited her oval face, but she knew there was nothing extraordinary about her looks. She had a flawless complexion and clear hazel eyes, a too full mouth, high cheekbones and a chin she thought too severe—looks that didn’t merit second glances from men.

He on the other hand had the kind of face and physique that would attract many glances from women. There was an aura of raw sexuality about him that made her mouth go dry. And his dark brown eyes were incredible. Here was a man who knew his worth and was in complete control of his life.

Lani shook herself as she realized she was staring at him.

“Please forgive my casual appearance,” he said.

When she’d caught him on his knees her eyes were drawn to the muscular thighs beneath the denim, and briefly she’d wondered why a businessman should be dressed in jeans and a sport shirt. She shrugged.

“Greg, my partner, has been called out suddenly. A family catastrophe. I was forced to give up one of my rare days off to take his place.” He grinned again. “I was rather enjoying my holiday too.” The look that crossed his eyes intimated the pastime he’d been involved in must have included a woman.

A kind of cloud settled over her and Lani wondered what was wrong with her. Why should she be upset that a man she’d just met had a woman in his life? He was the kind of man who would attract the opposite sex wherever he went. A very masculine man, who probably had the entire female population panting after him as she was now.

“So, Miss Moore?” Ryan noted her slender fingers were bare of rings. Was she living with a man? Somehow that idea made him feel annoyed. Why, he didn’t want to question. “Getting married? Needing a new home? Or just fed up with your present living arrangements?”

Ryan straightened the papers on his desk as he let her name roll around in his head. She was as unusual as her name. Her gorgeous hair shone. Not what you would call a beauty in the classical terms, and the air of melancholy about her intrigued him. Her clothes were nothing out of the ordinary. Obviously expensive but not striking. Her defiant little chin jutted warningly; here was a woman who didn’t suffer fools. But contrarily she seemed uneasy and self-conscious with him. Glancing about nervously she allowed him to study her profile; her perfect nose and that dainty chin.

“I’m looking for a farm, or a small property. I want to buy not rent.”

Ryan mulled that over. She hadn’t said whether she was married or not. Perhaps she had a partner. “How small? How many children do you have that need all this space?” Ryan felt stupid. Why was he so keen to learn her marital state? What did he care if she had a dozen kids?

“Children? Why, none.” She gave him an old-fashioned look. Had she guessed he was fishing? “I have a horse.”

Ryan’s insides lurched, and he stifled a groan. A bloody horse!

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14 August 2016

Last chance to get Maddie and the Norseman for FREE

“I was totally caught up in this story. Time travel is such an unbelievable concept and I often have trouble following it in a story. I thought Tricia McGill wove a colorful tapestry of time travel. One that makes the reader believe it is possible. The characters are so realistic and have such depth to their character. I was drawn to them and wanted to find out if Maddie could ever find Amber and what she would choose to do about Erik.
The romance that blooms between Erik and Maddie is pure and sweet. When they finally made love, I wept with joy. I wasn’t sure if Maddie would stay with Erik or return home with Amber if they found her. The waiting almost did me in. I can’t tell you what happens, but I laughed and cried to the final page.
A masterfully woven tale that transcends the boundaries of time.”
Robyn –Once Upon A Romance

Available HERE
Madeline (Maddie to her friends), an Australian history teacher, travels to York, England, to visit her friend Amber who is working there with a team of archaeologists unearthing Viking relics. They share a passion for the Viking Age, and both studied the Old Norse language.
            About to take part in a re-enactment at the Viking village and wearing typical clothes worn by a Viking woman, they are swept back in time to the town of Jorvik, a thriving trading town, as York was in the year 879 AD. Maddie meets Norse trader Erik and is stunned by his uncanny resemblance to the Viking she has been dreaming of.
            When Amber is kidnapped, Maddie persuades Erik to help her find her friend. Their journey takes them across to France and to Rouen, then further inland. They encounter misadventures on their perilous journey. Erik risks everything to aid Madeline in her quest. And the fear is always there; will she stay in the past to share her hero’s life, or be snatched back to her own time?
And here's an excerpt:

Ivar opened the door, and gestured for them to go before him. Maddie’s knees wobbled as she stepped forward. It was very dark, the moon obscured by clouds so that all she could make out was a rooftop about twenty feet away with a coil of smoke rising from its centre.

A cool gust of wind swept along the narrow street that was made up of slats of worn timber, and she shivered. “What season are we in?” she turned to ask Ivar as an owl hooted mournfully and a dog barked in the distance. The smell of wood-smoke, damp leaves, and cooked meat filled the crisp night air.

He shrugged, looking baffled by the question. “Winter is just over.”

“If we go out there,” she said to Amber, “we not only have nowhere to go, but we’ll freeze to death in these garments. I don’t know about you, but I reckon we’re far better off staying here, if Ivar’s willing to let us. I suggest we hang on—at least until we see what tomorrow brings.”

Amber clung to the wooden doorframe as if she feared they might float off into the night if she let go. “You’re right,” she whispered in a shaky little voice. She held onto Maddie's arm for dear life and Maddie felt her shivers. “He seems pretty trustworthy. I’m not so sure about his mate in there though.” She jerked her head in the direction of the other room.

“He’ll probably go soon.” Maddie turned to Ivar. “Could we stay here this night, please?” Whether it was her imagination or not she wasn’t sure, but he looked pleased with that question.

“I would not wish to see two females going out into a world they do not know amongst people who would be strange to them,” he said.

If only he knew. Strange didn’t come anywhere near that truth.

“Thank you.” In truth, now she’d had time to think logically, Maddie was terrified of venturing from the cocoon of safety Ivar’s small home presented. “We’ll see what the morning brings,” she said to Amber.

“I guess you’re right.” Amber rubbed her forehead. “Perhaps we’ll wake up back in my flat by then.”

Maddie suspected that wasn’t likely to happen, and certainly not while they didn’t have the necklaces in their possession. “We’ll have to try and get the necklets back. We could have done a lot worse. Think about it—supposing we’d landed in a den of thieves, or a brothel. Ivar seems a nice enough man. I’ll reserve judgment on the other one.”

Unexpectedly, Amber didn’t seem to be handling this whole thing at all well. Considering her love for the Vikings Maddie would have expected to see a whole lot more interest. So, they’d landed here in the past through some strange phenomenon: Maddie decided then and there to enjoy it while she could. Soon something would happen to propel them back to their world.

She wouldn’t admit it to Amber, but this was infinitely more exciting than anything that had happened to her in a long time. And to be so close to her dream man was exhilarating—even if he didn’t appear to be happy with their appearance here.

A sudden thought hit her. It was hypothesized that gay men were a known thing in the Viking world, or at least men who liked to wear women’s clothes. A lot of jewellery and similar artefacts found in graves were at first thought to belong to the female occupant, but later supposition led archaeologists to admit it could possibly belong to a male.

Could it be that they were unwelcome because Erik had come visiting his partner? That was not a happy thought.

A shout interrupted her speculation, then two men staggered out of the shadows, obviously drunk. One called out to Ivar, yelling obscenely about Ivar’s luck at having a couple of women to keep him warm. As they stumbled nearer, Ivar quickly gestured them all inside and closed, then barred, the door.

As he indicated they should go back to the other room Maddie felt immensely relieved that he’d agreed to let them stay. She had no idea if drunkenness was a part of Viking life in Jorvik but suspected it was. They’d certainly liked their ale and wine when they could afford it. The drunks looked filthy, their clothes ragged. Certainly not traders or wealthy men.

Erik stood with his arms folded across his chest, looking every inch the arrogant Viking warrior. Just what did he do for a living? An aura of power emanated from him and Maddie could envisage him raping and pillaging his way across Europe. Her earlier suspicion dissipated. No, he was definitely all male.

“So, your decision is made,” he said to Ivar.

Ivar scratched his head, looking from Maddie to Amber like a perplexed father who didn’t know what to do about his recalcitrant teenagers. Maddie’s heart went out to him as a feeling of relief swamped her. Yes, they were unquestionably fortunate to have landed in the home of such a sensitive man. “I could not throw them out into the night. Think about it, Erik, they have no home to go to. The gods sent them to me—so I must care for them.”

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