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Today is the debut of The Backward in Time Blog Hop, where six authors of historical fiction offer 10-sentence excerpts of their work, anything from an already published novel to a work in progress.

My contribution is from the first chapter of The Cross and the Dragon, where my heroine, Alda, has just finished dinner with Ganelon, the man her brother wants her to marry. Despite Ganelon’s good looks, Alda doesn’t like him and would much rather marry Hruodland.

Ganelon’s scrawny servant was staring at the slab of bread upon which her meat and vegetables had rested. Now it was empty save for the gristle and bone. The child gazed up at Alda. He had the look of a dog begging for food.

“Poor child,” Alda murmured. She reached toward the table and handed the servant the bread.

A meaty hand grabbed her right arm and yanked her a half turn, causing her to stumble. Ganelon was standing over her. Alda struggled to pull away, but his grip was like a hunter’s snare.

“That is my servant!” he shouted, his breath a hot blast reeking of wine.

Many thanks to Jessica Knauss for organizing the hop. Please visit Jessica’s blog for links to the other participating authors, whose periods range from 12,000 BC to the 19th century.