Home Biography Historical Romance Anthologies Series
  Children's Books Graphic Novels Blog Contact

Ariana's Pride (Excerpt)

One of the women was handing a blanket to Jeremy when Ariana heard her terrified scream. A boy of about six years had been jumping up and down excitedly on the rocks and fallen into the river.
        Jeremy took not even a moment to think before he launched himself into the water in a flat dive. Aided by the current, a few powerful strokes brought him to the child and he grabbed him as he was sinking beneath the water. Jeremy lifted the flailing child and attempted to stand while trying to calm his fears. But the water here was much deeper and the screaming child would not cease his struggles.
        Seeing what was happening, the leader yelled to his men, instructing them in a language that Ariana did not understand. She stood, frozen with fear, unable to tear her gaze from the terrifying scene. The men vaulted into their saddles, not even bothering to touch foot to stirrups and thundered past her.
        Jeremy guessed what they were about and concentrated all his efforts toward holding the frantic bundle tight in his arms. He let the current keep them afloat as he tried to whisper soothing words in the boy's ear.
        Incredibly, the leader stood on top of his saddle, twirling the rope over his head while his mount was in full gallop. The other two rode abreast of him, holding his horse steady. The man shouted out and Jeremy raised his arm, the loop at the end of the rope landing neatly over his wrist. The leader dropped back into his saddle and brought the stallion to a halt, wrapping his end of the rope securely around the pommel. Together, they wasted no time in pulling Jeremy and the boy to safety.
        Grabbing the child, the leader raised him high in the air and then clasped him tightly to his chest. Assured the boy was all right, he placed him on the front of the saddle and then mounted himself. The others followed, with Jeremy riding double.
       The women ran to meet the horses and grabbed the child, crying words of love and screaming at him for being so careless at the same time. Ariana snatched up a blanket and ran to where Jeremy was bent over double, coughing and getting his breath back. Tenderly, she placed the blanket over his heaving shoulders, rubbing him down as the women had done for her. Reaching up, she pushed the sodden hair back from his forehead and then, unable to contain herself any longer, she threw herself weeping into his arms.
I feared you were lost to me,” she sobbed.
There, there, Sweeting. After all we’ve been through, you should know it would take more than a puny river to best me.”
        The man who had rescued Jeremy allowed them a moment alone and then approached to introduce himself. “I am Zardo, the Rom Baro of this Kumpania.” For the first time, Ariana took a good look at their guardian angel. He was well above six feet tall with black curly hair, sparkling eyes as black as his hair, and a swarthy complexion. Gold hoops dangled from his ears and there was more gold looped across the hairy expanse of his massive chest.
We are Romany,” he explained, “but you English call us gypsies.”
        Ariana nodded her understanding. That explained a lot; the women’s colorful clothes, the skill of the men on horseback, the language she had not understood.
It was my foolish grandson you saved from drowning and we are grateful. None of us can swim and the boy would surely have been lost. Davi will take my place as Rom Baro when I am gone,” Zardo declared proudly.
Had you not thrown the rope when you did, we would both have been lost. You’re skill is most impressive,” declared Jeremy.



US Distributors


Buy the Kindle edition from Amazon Buy the paperback edition from Amazon


Buy paperback from Barnes & Noble
UK Distributors

Buy the Kindle edition from Amazon UK





Enter your email address below to be notified of new releases.
  Copyright 2010-2013 Margaret Lake