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Guest Post and Giveaway with Michelle Franklin

Saturday, September 24, 2011
Alasdair’s Music
With what dejection and oppression did the commander observe Alasdair escorting the Duchess back to her apartment in the guest quarter. He walked before them through the main hall with a sinking heart and downcast eyes, listening to his guest but hardly attending her. She could not but be aware of his change in countenance but said nothing beyond the continuance of general pleasantries. She spoke of the moderacy of the concert, praised the pieces and the singers, lauded the traditional Frewyn dress. He responded with a few halfhearted smiles but said nothing beyond a few hums in recognition of her accolades; his mind was elsewhere, and though the Duchess perceived his inattention she did her utmost to draw him from his disparaging considerations until she was handed into her room at the end of the hall. Her attendant followed, holding her train as she passed the threshold into the main room of the apartment. She wished his majesty a good evening, and Alasdair answers with all the manners his good breeding could allow. 

                The mechanical necessities of the night were done and Alasdair was at liberty to be as openly disheartened as he liked. He thought to indulge himself in one of Martje’s pies but was too miserable to eat; his stomach churned in anxiety and he resigned himself to the consolations of silence his private quarters provided. He did not even close the door when he entered and immediately began to undress. He had only unfastened the high collar of his jerkin when his eyes wandered over to his bed. He pondered sleep but the sight of a something hidden, a something he had thought was secreted away, drew his unmitigated attention. He walked toward his bed and stopped beside the post, canting his head to spy the case beneath. He sighed and closed his eyes: he should not touch it, for to take the case into his hand would follow the desire to open it. This would have been of little consequence excepting the promise he had made himself. He had wished his grandfather’s memory restored in his kingdom before the legacy was to be renewed in his music, but the power of knowing it was ever there, the work of a dusty old fiddle ever drawing him down, begging to for its pearlescent strings to be plucked and the taut bow to be taken into his hand. The force of the remorse he felt in only just beginning to reconcile his grandfather’s legacy compelled him to stoop, and before he could stop himself, he was taking the case from beneath the bed, he was opening the lid, and he was caressing the scroll of the instrument. He ought not remove it but he must; his fingers curled around the bridge, filling him with a warm sense of familiarity. His eyes closed with the consciousness of it being replaced in his hand, the sensibility of which soothed him and agitated him all at once. He must play it; his fingertips ached to again stroll the strings of an implement that had held much meaning for him, but he must harden himself to his promise. He placed it back into its case and before he could conceal it from view, he turned to the door and noticed the commander standing at the threshold with a cup of lemon tea in each hand.   

                “He would want you to play,” she said with a half smile, remaining in the doorway.

                Alasdair coloured for being caught with it in his hands, and with a deep sigh said in a low voice, “I know he would.” He remarked his grandfather’s instrument one last time and resolved to put it under the bed, but in his inviting the commander into his quarters and taking the tea she offered, he subconsciously placed it onto the vanity instead.

                The commander acknowledged now what had troubled him: the performance was too well done and had perhaps reminded him of an earlier time, one in which his grandfather were alive and one in which his musical capabilities were encouraged and glorified. Now between the throws of court and the sufferances of stately visits, he had little time to himself. Her intrusions, she suspected, was not unwelcome: it gave him a moment to reconsider what he had best do with regard to his music, whether to take it up once more as an passage for his daily frustrations as he had done before his time in the armed forces or to leave it buried with its mentor. It was true that Alasdair had more than one counselor when living in the castle during his youth, but the guidance and sagacity of Good King Dorrin could not be replaced.
                “Do you remember,” she began, spying the instrument with a knowing look and seating herself beside Alasdair at the vanity, “when we were at Church and we were told there was an afamed singer from Gallei coming to sing for us?

                Alasdair nodded and sipped his tea.“I was so excited that day.”

The Commander and the Den Asaan Rautu

By Michelle Franklin

Publisher: Red Willow Publishing

June 12, 2011

Book Description:

The Kingdom of Frewyn is being invaded by the Galleisian infantry and at the forefront of the battle is Boudicca MacDaede, a First Captain in the Frewyn armed forces. Her regiment is charged with defending the borders between the two nations, but when Frewyn’s last line of defense falls, Captain MacDaede enlists the assistance of a Haanta, one of giants from the islands to the far north. Promising to free him from his imprisonment in exchange for his help, she gains his trust long enough for them to win the battle and save the Frewyn border from being breached. The giant’s freedom is granted, but Rautu cannot return home unless he redeems himself in the eyes of his people for past his transgressions. He is offered a place by the captain’s side, and together, they defeat the Galleisian forces and become the saviors of Frewyn.

One year later, King Alasdair Brennin takes the Frewyn throne, Boudicca is made commander, Gallei and Frewyn reach an accord, and Rautu is granted an invitation home. He is eager to return and see his brothers but finds it difficult to leave Frewyn without Boudicca at his side. He has become accustomed to her company and the idea of being made to live without her begins to distress him. Rautu invites the commander to the islands in hopes of finding a way for them to remain together, but when they arrive at the white shores of Sanhedhran, not everything goes as planned: one of the dangerous Haanta magi is freed, Rautu’s three brothers are strangely missing, and the neighboring nation of Thellis leads an attack on the islands.

Together, the commander and the Den Asaan Rautu must find a way to unite their two nations and defend against the Thellisian fleets, but can they do so successfully when outside forces are attempting to keep them apart?


Rautu stood on the bow of the ship remarking his home with the commander at his side. He gazed at the island’s white sands to the south, dense trees to the north, and the animation of the docks with a reverential countenance. He had been waiting for this homecoming for the greater part of three seasons, and when he regarded Sanhedhran for the first time in nine months, all the longing he had reaped during his separation rushed on him. He was eager to stand on the southern shore again and reclaim his place among the Amghari. His exhalations became labored, his eyes glowed with quiet joy, and the Den Asaan’s estrangement was reconciled; he was home, and this was all that occupied him at present.
                The commander smiled at the giant’s silent worship and used his fascination as a diversion to place her hand atop his as it rested against the ship’s railing. She savoured the texture of his stone-like flesh with her rough fingertips and then placed her hand along the railing beside his. She observed him to inspect any perceptible difference. There had been a momentary upturning in the corner of his mouth, but his gaze held firmly toward the island approaching. She was satisfied with his minimal recognition, but was amazed to feel his small finger suddenly wrapping around hers. He moved not otherwise, did not even peek at her from the corner of his eye, but she heard the sound of a profound sigh and knew whose sigh it was. She coiled her finger around his, looked toward their pending destination, and wondered how he should govern himself once returned to his people.


The official site: 





"I'm always on the lookout for the next series I can get thoroughly involved in and love. With Michelle Franklin's Haanta series I have found just that." -- Back of the Book Reviews

"If you are a fan of Tamora Pierce or authors similar to her YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK (seriously, you will not be disappointed)." --Avery's Book Nook

"I was drawn in by the story and prose, which flows beautifully off the page and into the imagination. This series has something for everyone! This novel alone has war, bloodshed, magic, romance . . ." --A Book Vacation

"The prose has an Austen-esque quality, the characters are believable and engaging, the woman and the giant are hilarious, the sexual tension is intense. Never thought I would like a romance this much." --Concrete Visions

"Instant love." --Cassandra Florence

"I was wondering where well-written, high fantasy went. I found it." -- WareHouse Magazine

Author Bio: 

Michelle Franklin is a woman of moderate consequence who writes many books about giants, romance and chocolate.

Twitter: @MrsDenAsaan

Giveaway: One winner will receive a pdf of Michelle Franklin's latest book: The Reporter from Marridon !  This contest is open INTERNATIONALLY.  Leave a comment with your email.  Thank you for stopping by :)


  1. Margaret said...:

    Thank for the giveaway! Count me in!


  1. Oh my gosh, this looks really good. Thanks for the giveaway :)


  1. Brooke said...:

    Looks like a good one to add to my list!

  1. erin said...:

    This book looks awesome! Thanks for the spotlight and giveaway!


  1. bn100 said...:

    Nice excpert