Thursday, July 25, 2013

Day Four of the Blogger Book Fair with Marsha Canham

I hope everyone is having a great time with all the authors from the Blogger Book Fair. We have had some exciting books so far. Today my guest is here to sweep us away on a journey. Come fly with us as we travel Through A Dark Mist with my guest Marsha Canham. Marsha, it is great to have you with me today.
This year's Blogger Book Fair theme is to let your imagination travel to far-away places. Since I love to travel, but can't always match my wishes with my budget, I let my writing take me where ships and planes can't go. Even better, since I write historical romances, I can sail the high seas in breeches and a cambric shirt, ride the moonlit moors as a highwayman, stalk the Highlands of Scotland in a kilt or...visit the dark forests and castles of medieval England.

Through A Dark Mist is book one in a trilogy of stories I wrote based around my interpretation of the legendary forest thief known as Robin Hood. Since there was no such person in existence, and since most of the history of that time was passed down through songs and poems told by travelling bards, Robin Hood was most likely a composite of many heroic stories attributed to the same man. As the stories and songs were passed down from generation to generation, his legend grew, as did the feats of his "merry men". In my trilogy, I researched the period thoroughly and found how the many *real* stories and characters could possibly have been combined to produce the Robin Hood created by those bards so many centuries ago.

Here is an excerpt from Through A Dark Mist:

Servanne glanced slantwise at the men who comprised the bulk of her escort. They all looked as if they broke their nightly fasts by chewing nails, and as if they could and did slit throats for the sheer pleasure of it.

Which raised another question, and another icy spray of gooseflesh along her arms. Why were such fearsomely huge and bestial men flinching at every snapped twig and crinkling leaf they passed?

Servanne did not have to wait long for the answer. A faint hiss and whonk broke the silence of the forest; a gasp, followed by an agonized cry of pain sent a guard careening sideways out of his saddle, his gauntleted hand clutched around the shaft of an arrow protruding from his chest. A half dozen more grisly whonks struck in close succession, each resulting in a grunt of expended air and a bitten-off cry of pain.

Shouting an alert, Bayard of Northumbria cursed loudly and voraciously at the ineptness of the scouts he had dispatched ahead to insure against the possibility of just such an ambush occurring. In the next wild breath, he reasoned that, without a doubt, they must be as dead as the ox-brained incompetents who had allowed their concentration to wander to the curves and smiles of a flock of tittering women rather than remain fixed on the deadly dangers of the forest.

A second round of curses forced Bayard to acknowledge how efficiently the trap had been laid and sprung. Four of his best scouts had been silenced, seven guards already dead or dying, the rest of the cavalcade corralled and surrounded in a matter of seconds, with no real or visible targets yet in evidence.

“Lay down your weapons!”

The command was shouted from somewhere high up in the trees and Bayard’s gaze shot upward, rewarded by nothing but swaying branches and splintered sunlight.

“Bows and swords to the ground or you shall all win the privilege of joining your fallen comrades!”

The breath hissed through Bayard’s teeth with impotent fury. His keen eyes searched the greenwood but he could see nothing—no pale flash of skin or clothing, no movement in the trees or on the ground. A further lightning-quick glance identified the arrows protruding from the chests of the dead soldiers. Slim and deadly, almost three feet long and tipped in steel, they were capable of piercing bullhide or mail breastplates as if they were cutting through cheese. Moreover, the arrows were shot from the taut strings of the Welsh contraptions known as longbows. In the hands of an expert, an arrow shot from a longbow could outdistance the squatter, thicker quarrels fired from a crossbow by a hundred yards or more. Many a train of merchants had been waylaid and fired upon from such a distance that they could not even distinguish their attackers from the trees.

As was the case now, Bayard thought angrily. He and his men were like ducks on a pond and, unwilling to fall helplessly to a slaughter, he had no choice but to reluctantly give his men the signal to lower their weapons.

“Who dares to challenge our right of way?” the captain demanded, his voice a low, seething growl. “Who is this dead man? Let him step forward and show his face!”

A laugh, full and deep-throated, had the same effect on the tension-filled atmosphere as a sudden crack of thunder.

Servanne de Briscourt, her hand tightly clasped to Biddy’s and her shoulders firmly encircled by the fierce protectiveness of a matronly arm, was startled enough by the unexpected sound to twist her head around and search out the source of the laughter.

A man had stepped out from behind the screen of hawthorns and had moved to position himself brazenly in the middle of the road. His long legs, clad in skin-tight deer-hide leggings, were braced wide apart; his massive torso, made more impressive by a jerkin of gleaming black wolf pelts, expanded farther as he insolently planted one hand on his waist and the other on the curved support of the longbow he held casually by his side.

Standing well over six feet tall, his body was a superb tower of muscle that commanded the eye upward to the coldest, cruellest pair of eyes Servanne had ever seen. Pale blue-gray, they were, twin mirrors of ice and frost, steel and iron. Piercing eyes. Eyes that held more secrets than a soul should want to know, or, if knowing, would live to tell. They were strange eyes for so dark a man—hair, clothing, and weathered complexion all combined to make it so—and it was with the greatest difficulty that Servanne relented to the tugging pressure of Biddy’s hands and turned her face away, burying it against the muffling shield of ponderously soft bosoms.

    “I bid you welcome to my forest, Bayard of Northumbria.” The villain laughed softly again. “Had I known in advance it was you daring to venture across my land, I should have arranged a much warmer welcome.”

My website is

I am on Facebook as well:

And my blog, Caesars Through the Fence 

Through a Dark Mist can be found at


Barnes and Noble:  visit my website

find me on Twitter @marshacanham

Thank you Marsha, I have enjoyed having you with me and I look forward to reading your work.

Everyone please go check out all the other great blogs and meet the rest of the authors at the Blogger Book Fair this year by clicking the picture below.

Blogger Book Fair

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