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Blog Tour and Book Excerpt for "The Douglas Bastard"

Book Title: The Douglas Bastard

Series: Archibald the Grim Series

Author: J R Tomlin

Publication Date: April 26, 2022

Page Length: 185

Genre: Historical Fiction, Scottish Historical Fiction

The Douglas Bastard

Archibald the Grim Series

J R Tomlin


Young Archibald, the Black Douglas's bastard son, returns from exile to a Scotland ravaged by war. The war-hardened Knight of Liddesdale will teach him what he must learn. And with danger on every side, he must learn to sleep with one eye open and a claymore in his hand because even their closest ally may betray them...

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Archibald the Grim Series on Amazon:

Author Bio:

J R Tomlin is the author of twenty historical novels.

Her historical novels are mainly set in Scotland. You can trace her love of that nation to the stories of Robert the Bruce and the Black Douglas that her grandmother read her when she was small and to her hillwalking through the Scottish Cairngorms where the granite mountains have a gorgeous red glow under the setting sun.

In addition to having lived in Scotland, she has traveled in the US, mainland Europe and the Pacific Rim. She now lives in Oregon.

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Book Excerpt:

"Rest eternal grant unto her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her." Friar Walter Blantyre crossed himself.

The chamber I shared with my mam smelled of the flux that had drained the life from her. Staring at her, I tried to see in her thin face the mother who had sung to me and told me stories of my father. I choked down the sob that threatened to force its way out. But hot tears dribbled down my cheeks, half-blinding me. I bolted and stumbled into the doorjamb. The friar put a hand on my shoulder to steady me, but I jerked free. A madness swept through me, and I ran out the door, down the stairs, and barreled through the side door of the keep into the walled garden.

The garden was quiet in the lazy, late summer afternoon, a tapestry of greens and pinks and yellows with splashes of white and crimson, all bathed in slanting sunlight and purple shade. How could the sunshine and the flowers smell sweet when my mother was dead? I wiped my wet face on my sleeve, ashamed to be weeping, and looked around, wondering what I should do now.

"Archie," a low-pitched voice called to me. I turned.

King David was sitting on the ground propped against the wall, head tilted back to catch the sun, arms resting on his bent knees.

Quickly glancing around to be sure no one was near, I whispered, "Are you hiding, Davie?"

We were not supposed to call him David, but he had never cared when we used to play out of earshot of the grownups. But now, the King was fifteen and almost a grown man, too old to join in children's games.

He grinned. "I'm tired of my Latin lessons translating Caesar, so I'm avoiding Abbot William." His voice went squeaky, then deepened again. Blushing, he coughed. "He will look in the stable and the practice yard, but he won't think to look for me here." He was thin and long-legged, a strand of auburn hair falling over his forehead. His face was long, and he had a bit of fuzz for a beard. He cocked his head and looked me over. "Your mother. I heard she was . . . Did she . . . die?"

Cold passed right through me. I bit my lip hard enough to taste blood and said nothing.

"I'm sorry, Archie. That was nae tactful. Sir Malcolm says even a king should be tactful." He frowned. "And now you don't have anyone to look after you, and you a love-bairn."

I stiffened and lifted my chin. "I will be a great knight like my father. I ken that I will."

"Mayhap." David smiled as he studied my face. "They say he was dark-haired and dark-skinned like you."

My chest swelled with pride, but I tried not to let it show on my face.

"It is hard being without parents. I dinnae remember my mother and barely remember my sire. But I can hear his voice sometimes," the King mused. "You will need a foster father like Sir Malcolm is for me, but I don't think there is anyone in my court who can do it. You're old enough to be a page, though. Until we figure something out. I will talk to Sir Malcolm about it."

In no mood to think about a new parent, even a foster one, I answered, "I dinnae need a foster father."

"We all need someone to belong to." He favored me with a wry smile. "As I have learned the hard way. I thank the Blessed Mother that the French king was willing to take us in when we had to flee Scotland, and Sir Malcolm came with me." He rose, stretched, patted me on the shoulder, and then strolled back into the keep. He said over his shoulder, "But I will talk to Sir Malcolm anent you, and he will ken what to do. For now, I suppose I should let the abbot find me."

This was the fifth year of our exile in France. It was the ninth year of my life.

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2 ความคิดเห็น

J R Tomlin
J R Tomlin
12 มิ.ย. 2566

Thanks for hosting the excerpt!


Cathie Dunn
Cathie Dunn
12 มิ.ย. 2566

Thank you for hosting J R Tomlin today, with such a moving excerpt from The Douglas Bastard. Much appreciated. Cathie xo

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