The Boar King’s Honor Trilogy
A wizard’s misplaced trust
A king wrongly blamed
A bloodline cursed until they clear the king’s name.
Book 3: The King’s Champion
Caught up in the desperate evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from France in the summer of 1940, photojournalist Kate Shaw witnesses death and destruction that trigger disturbing visions. She doesn’t believe in magic and tries to pass them off as survivor guilt or an overactive imagination, but the increasingly intense visions force her to accept that she is not only magically Gifted but a seer.
In Dover, she meets her distant cousin Sebastian Mainwaring, Earl of Hawkstowe and an officer in the British Army. He’s also a seer and is desperate to recruit her rare Gift for the war effort. The fall of France leaves Britain standing alone as the full weight of Nazi military might threatens. Kate’s untrained Gift flares out of control, forcing her to accept Sebastian’s help in conquering it as her ethics compel her to use her ability for the cause that is right.
As this fledgling wizard comes into her own, her visions warn of an impending German invasion, Operation Sealion, which British intelligence confirms. At the same time, desire to help Sebastian, who’s doomed by a family curse arising from a centuries-old murder, leads Kate to a shadowy afterworld between life and death and the trapped, fading souls who are the roots of her family’s story. From the bloody battlefields of France to the salons of London, Kate and Sebastian race against time to free his family’s cursed souls and to stop an invasion that could doom the Allied cause.
The King’s Champion concludes Nancy’s Northcott’s exciting Boar King’s Honor Trilogy.
Excerpt: Headed for Dover
From the end of Chapter 1. Kate has been warned that her pack can’t take up space a man could fill. Though she can’t afford to replace her cameras and is sick at the thought of losing weeks’ worth of yet-unpublished work, she promised to toss it over the side if there’s nowhere else to stow it.
“We’d like this lady, Miss Shaw, to ride back to Dover in here with you,” Thirsk explained. “Her work for the last three weeks is in this pack. Can you put it somewhere it won’t take up space a man could fill?
“Put it there.” The captain pointed to the floor behind a round dial on a pole with a stick at the top. “Too small for anyone to stand there.”
“Thank you,” Kate said, her lips trembling. The rush of relief that ran through her was premature. They were still under attack.
The captain nodded to the corner by his control console. “Sit there and stay out of the way.”
“Right,” Kate answered. Her wet clothes dripped onto the deck and clung to her, chilling her, but there was no help for that.
“You’re set, then.” Thirsk touched the brim of his tin hat. “Good luck to you.”
“Same to you, and thank you for everything.”
“My pleasure.” Stepping out of the wheelhouse, he took station by the door.
Kate pulled her pad and fountain pen out of her pack and sat in the corner. Several men stepped into the wheelhouse but gave the captain, and thus Kate, plenty of space.
“Do me a favor,” the captain said over his shoulder. “Keep an eye on the boarding. When she looks full, let me know.”
Kate stood to peer out the wheelhouse’s back window. Men scrambled aboard on both sides of the craft now. The deck space quickly filled with soldiers. There were a couple of dogs in the mix too.
“Captain, it looks jammed to me.”
He half turned and scanned the scene through the windows. Sticking his head out the open door, he bellowed, “That’s a load. Stand clear, and we’ll be back.”
Officers on the deck made the waiting men move away. Despite some understandable grumbling, they complied readily enough. The captain swung his boat into a slow, wide turn.
Kate leaned back in her corner and took mental notes. Once they headed to England, maybe the captain would give her an interview. He would be a terrific story.
“How long will the trip back take?” she asked.
Darrow shrugged. “At top speed, if we can maintain it, five or six hours. P’raps a bit more. Them as are on the longer routes’ll have it slower.”
They made several trips between the beach and the destroyers out in deeper water. Tommies swarmed up rope netting hung over the destroyers’ sides to board and passed the dogs up one at a time. The tug always emptied even faster than she filled. With other small boats ferrying men to the each of large ones, they reached capacity quickly.
“Why is the water so calm?” Kate asked between loads. “Is it always like this?”
“Not so far as I’ve heard. According to the navy blokes, it’s never so calm. Whatever the reason, though, it’s all to the good. Makes wading out to the boats easier.”
After the tugboat’s fourth run to the beach, Captain Darrow flashed his running lights. “That’s it,” he announced. “With this lot, we dash for home.”
Kate glanced at her watch. Two ten a.m. There was more than an hour until daylight, and thousands of men still darkened the beach. “I thought we would stay until dawn.”
“The Jerrys would love that.” Darrow snorted.
“I don’t understand.”
“They have guns at Calais. Once it’s light enough for them to see us, they can shell us. Besides, we must be through the tricky part of the route back, the minefield and sandbanks, before the sodding Luftwaffe have enough light to improve their targeting.”
As she digested that, he added, “And never mind the bloody U-boats cruising for targets.”
A bigger ship would’ve made a bigger target. But it also would’ve had a better chance to withstand a hit.
“How do they find us in the dark?”
“The engines stir up something that glows, and it makes a bright trail in the wake. Points directly at the vessel causing it.”
Kate swallowed hard. “So we need to hope they don’t see us.”
“Nothing more we can do about it.” He shrugged.
The Thames Lady passed the mole with its mass of waiting men and entered the English Channel. Darrow cut off his lights.
Kate stood to look ahead. A hulking shadow, probably a larger ship also running without lights, blocked the stars. Sure enough, it left a bright, glowing trail in its wake. She closed her eyes and clenched her fists.
Don’t see us. Don’t see us. Don’t see us.
She needed a distraction. Without one, repeating that mantra all the way back to England would ratchet up her tensions. Fishing in her pack, she sat down again. “I’m a journalist, Captain Darrow. Consolidated News Union. Do you mind answering some questions?”
He shrugged. “Why not?”
“Great. Thanks.” She balanced her pad on her knee and uncapped her fountain pen. “How did you come to join this expedition?”
Another shrug. “Royal Navy said they was looking for anything seaworthy. Wanted to take the Lady and put a navy crew aboard. I told ’em they could give me a sailor or two, but nobody drives this boat but me.”
“So here you are. Is this your first trip, and how does it compare to what you expected?”
“My second. I didn’t expect no flood of men, that’s for certain.”
Kate jotted down his answer in shorthand.
Before she could ask her next question, a faint whine sounded overhead, growing louder, rapidly building into the distinctive shriek of a diving Stuka’s Jericho siren.
Darrow muttered something that might’ve been sodding blighter. To Kate, he said, “Hang on, miss. Let’s see if I can evade this bloody Jerry.”
This series is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.
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The King’s Champion
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Meet Nancy Northcott
Nancy Northcott’s childhood ambition was to grow up and become Wonder Woman. Around fourth grade, she realized it was too late to acquire Amazon genes, but she still loved comic books, science fiction, fantasy, history, and romance.
Nancy earned her undergraduate degree in history and particularly enjoyed a summer spent studying Tudor and Stuart England at the University of Oxford. She has given presentations on the Wars of the Roses and Richard III to university classes studying Shakespeare’s play about that king. In addition, she has taught college courses on science fiction, fantasy, and society.
The Boar King’s Honor historical fantasy trilogy combines Nancy’s love of history and magic with her interest in Richard III. She also writes traditional romantic suspense, romantic spy adventures, and two other speculative fiction series, the Light Mage Wars paranormal romances and, with Jeanne Adams, the Outcast Station space mystery series.
Connect with Nancy
Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/nancy-northcott
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Nancy-Northcott/author/B00ITY5KLS