Excerpt from Chapter One :
They called him Wee William.
But nothing about the giant man could be considered wee. Not his massive height or his arms and legs the size of tree trunks. Not his broad massive chest or his hands that were the size of buckets. And especially not his heart nor his honor.
As he sat atop his horse this cold winter night, he thought about the mission he and his eight men were undertaking. They were here to retrieve the treasures left behind by a beautiful young lass who not long ago had captured each of their hearts. Her simple treasures were hidden away on this small farm and he’d not leave without them.
The thought of running his dirk across the throats of the whoresons who inhabited the tiny cottage brought a smile to his face. He’d either bring back the treasures or the bastards’ heads in baskets. Either way, he’d not leave this God-forsaken country empty handed.
It was to have been an easy mission, but nothing about it had been easy since they left Castle Gregor more than a sennight ago. They’d been plagued with a lame horse, a blizzard of near biblical proportions, and a bout of a stomach ailment that was almost as fierce as the blizzard. To say the least, the giant’s patience had worn thin, and the eight men who travelled with him were growing just as impatient.
Now the two men he’d sent into the barn to retrieve the treasures were quietly walking toward him empty handed. Their footfalls were barely perceptible on the soft, powdery snow. As they approached, Wee William straightened himself in his saddle and cast a frustrated look to the two men who sat atop horses on either side of him. Eager smiles formed on their lips, which brought one to his own.
Now the Highlanders had the opportunity to make right the appalling wrongs that had been done to Aishlinn McEwan. They were just as eager as their leader to seek vengeance on the three men who’d cut off her braid more than two years past. The bastards had made her life a living hell.
Before he could form his next thought, the door to the cottage slowly opened. Yellow candlelight spilled out onto the soft winter snow and a half-asleep young man stood in the doorway, scratching his stomach and yawning. Terror filled the young man’s eyes the moment he caught sight of the Highlanders that filled the yard before him. He dropped the candle and heard the flame sizzle in the snow before its light extinguished.
The two men on foot approached the young man with such stealth and speed that he’d no time to react. The young Englishman gasped as the two large Highlanders pressed their swords against his chest. Silently, they backed him into the cottage until his spine pressed against the wall.
Wee William and his men quickly dismounted to follow the others inside. He paused at the threshold and cursed the low doorway. He hated small cottages with low ceilings for ’twas impossible for him to stand completely upright in one.
The warriors inside gave a quick survey of their surroundings. They took note of a man asleep on a pallet in front of the low burning fire, while another slept on the only bed. The room smelled of smoke, bad ale and sweat.
With a frustrated sigh and a shake of his head, Wee William entered the cottage, albeit at an odd angle. His scowl was enough to make the bones of anyone with a half a dose of common sense rattle with fear.
Wee William drew in a quiet breath as he crossed the room in two steps to stand at the foot of the bed. At his barely measurable nod, one of the highlanders kicked at the sleeping figure on the floor, then bent and pulled him to his feet. Simultaneously, Wee William grabbed the man in the bed and hoisted him up by the collar of his nightshirt, pulling him to his knees.
“What the bloody hell?” the man, startled from his sleep, began to curse. While the other two brothers shook with fear and remained mute, this one, the one that Wee William held, let loose with a slew of curses, demanding the Highlanders explain their presence.
The eldest, Wee William thought with a shake of his head. The one whose throat I look forward to slicing through the most.
As Wee William began to hand the eldest brother over to his man Rowan, he felt a resistance and heard an odd noise. On closer inspection, he saw that a rope tied to the eldest brother’s ankle snaked across the bed toward the corner of the room.
With a smile, Rowan grabbed the angry eldest brother by the back of his shirt, twisted his arm behind his back and ordered him to remain still and silent.
“Black Richard!” the giant boomed in the Gaelic, “Light a candle!” His voice thundered through the small cottage and seemed to rattle the thatched roof.
Black Richard made his way to the mantle and lit a candle using the low embers from the fireplace. Glancing at his leader, he held the candle up to see what had captured the man’s attention.
The candle cast a sliver of light across the small bed and into the corner. He saw nothing but a small dark shadow. Wee William gave a hard tug on the rope, which was quickly followed by a loud gasp, a gulp, and a slender leg flying into the air before landing on the floor with a loud thump.
Bending one knee onto the bed, which groaned and squeaked its protestations of his massive girth, he reached one large hand into the corner. He groped around in the dark, finding what he believed was an arm and pulled.
Another frightened gasp was heard as a figure was pulled through the air and landed with a thump in the middle of the bed. Black Richard held the candle closer.
It was that moment, as the candlelight flickered across the very frightened face of the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, that was Wee William’s undoing.
The most beautiful, pale blue eyes—the color of moonlit snow when he thought of it—stared up at him. Actually ’twas only one eye, for the other was swollen shut. In the soft candlelight he could see a large, purple bruise surrounding her right eye, and another along her chin.
Long, soft tendrils of dark brown hair fell away from her face into a long braid that trailed across a very ample bosom. He could see the fear in her good eye. He could hear it in her breathing as her bosom rose and fell rapidly.
In that tiny moment of time, something began to happen to this giant’s heart. ’Twas a rather odd sensation, one he could not ever remember feeling. ’Twas a palpable sensation. It started in his chest before exploding to his fingers and toes. It caught him completely off balance and left him feeling discombobulated and confused.
A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR:
I receive emails, Facebook messages, Tweets, and book reviews from readers every day and 80% of those lovely readers have at least one thing to say about this big, braw, funny, sweet, honorable man: They love him! The response to his book, Wee William’s Woman, has been overwhelming. I didn’t realize how much Wee William was loved by my readers.
I had so much fun writing his story. It was easy, mostly due to the fact that he is such a sweet and honorable character. I thoroughly enjoyed creating Nora, the woman he falls in love with. I think she is a perfect fit for him, even if she is a wee thing!
Honestly, Wee William has been the easiest and most fun character to create and write about. Much of Wee William is crafted after my own husband. No, my dear husband isn’t seven feet tall, but he is just as funny, sexy, sweet, stubborn, and honorable. And yes, my husband does have a beard. A nicely groomed, short, and soft beard. (I won’t let him shave it!) Of all of Wee William’s traits, I think the one I like the most is his sense of humor, followed very quickly by his sense of right vs. wrong.
I would love to know what you like most about Wee William. Is it his wicked sense of humor? His size? His honor? Or something I might not have realized I did? ;o) What do you think makes him so appealing?
Leave a response (along with your email) and you’ll be entered for a chance to win a FREE paperback copy of Wee William’s Woman. The winner will be chosen at random. ;o)
I can’t wait to hear what you think of Wee William!