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A young woman was standing on the staircase’s top landing as Alain approached. No, he amended, feeling his eyes widen and his blood heat, a goddess. The suggestive clinging of her grayish-blue gown made him forget his blasphemous lapse.
He shifted from foot to foot to mask his reaction. Her ashblonde curls, creamy complexion, and alluring curves conquered his fear of failure. As his heart thrummed its praises of her beauty, he vowed to protect this lady unto the ends of the earth.
But he tempered his lauds with a petition for wisdom, for he needed to ascertain her heart. Experience had taught him the folly of loving a beautiful but title-hungry woman like Marie.
Yet sorrow enveloped this lady like a shroud. The slope of her delicately boned shoulders, the tilt of her petite chin, the hooded reserve of her slate-blue eyes, the slight pout of her full lips all sang the same dirge.
Blessed Virgin, could I be the cause of her misery? Please, let it not be so!
He wanted nothing more than to gather her into his arms and kiss those lips until their song transformed from sorrow to joy.
Their gazes met. Her look, a cross between appreciation and reprimand, made him remember his “station,” and he looked down.
- The medieval-inspired interior art used as character glyphs for chapter and scene headings was created by Kim Headlee’s daughter Jessica.
- The route that the hero Alain walks between St. Mary’s Church and the tavern in Chapter 2 was adapted straight off a map of medieval Winchester, England.
- Alain wanted to name his canine ally “Seigneur Noir” (“Black Lord”), but Noir decided that was too much of a mouthful.
- The story adapts the legend that the wounded King Harold survived the Battle of Hastings and lived out the remainder of his days as a monk, and Snow in July also references the legendary manner in which Joseph of Arimathea (a merchant and contemporary of Jesus) established the first Christian church in Britain, as well as the legends of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, and the Round Table.