Today we are happy to Spotlight the Creator and Founder of All Authors Publications & Promotions, and her novel "MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis".
The year 1585. The Anglo-Spanish War. England’s greed for Spain’s crops, land, and supplies gives birth to the inertia of intolerance on both sides. Yet, even then, Love surges forth.
MarcoAntonio, a Spanish gentleman and knight, defied all boundaries of color and culture, when setting eyes on the English lady Amaryllis. Although to others, he may be a bit reserved, he dares to lower his defenses solely for her.
Amaryllis is an English lady. One with an open heart, gentle spirit, and shining eloquence. She knew that she should not desire MarcoAntonio. Still, a love feeling so right couldn’t be so horribly wrong!
Travel with MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis as they duel with internal and external forces threatening to tear their powerful love apart. In the midst of troubles the likes of which have no compare, MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis find themselves having to fight the most unexpected of adversaries, just for the right to love each other.
Discover why their LOVE is the result of ALL things conquered!
Excerpt of Chapter One:
Midnight. Still he had yet to take recess from his vigorous stride. He had to make it. He needed to see her! Just a glimpse, as always, would make his day complete. Just a small glance at her smile and her eyes; that was all he needed. All he truly needed to commence the fight all over again tomorrow. His faithful steed, as accustomed, did not give up on him even after an entire day of battle.
His life wasn't easy. His battle was continuous. If he was not battling against others, he was at war with himself. As he rode he thought, and it occurred to him that his internal war could quite possibly be the biggest fight of his life.
“Mush, Altivo, anda!” he called out, as he coaxed his exquisite Caspian horse to move forward. “Anda, Altivo!” He’d learned that he could count unconditionally on his beautiful Altivo. He was after all, the only true friend that MarcoAntonio had. He knew what it was like to have acquaintances come and go through his life. He knew people. Many people. Yet, none was as true a friend as Altivo, his milk chocolaty, muscular, and strong Caspian horse. Altivo knew how to listen when necessary. He also knew how and when to act when necessary. What more could any man ask for from a friend?
His focus returned to her. What cruelty life offered him, that his one true love was unattainable? Yet, obtaining her was his only conviction—his only mission and obsession. She was in fact, the most beautiful woman he'd ever known both inside and out. She'd yet to fully be his, but he was certain that one day, she would be his—totally and completely. He would fight for her until he exhaled his last breath. Even if that were the very cost.
However, for today he'd be content, as he always was, with just looking at her from afar. Contemplate her beauty and know—in the depths of his soul—that this was a battle worth fighting.
“Altivo, stop! Para!” Digging his front hooves into the dirt, Altivo came to a screeching halt. MarcoAntonio had been so preoccupied in his train of thought, that he'd barely realized they'd arrived. His body slightly thrust forward with the abrupt stop. He leaped off his horse, checked his hip for his sword, and took in hand his ebony shield. Even though it was the middle of the night, time and space was never to be trusted. Things lurked everywhere. In his experience, he knew that the most unexpected things could happen at any given moment. It was always best to be prepared.
Unhinging a small sack from Altivo's saddle, he tossed it lightly in his hand. These small jewels were what he used as pebbles to toss at the balcony of her quarters. What use did he have for them anyway? He owned millions. Yet, he wanted none. So why not use a precious stone to tap the window of his precious treasure?
Tossing the first blood ruby, he called—his Spanish accent as natural as the air he breathed. “Psst!” No answer. He tossed another, this time an emerald as green as the forest. “Psst! Amaryllis! I am here.” He called out again in a strong whisper. He listened. He heard some rustling around.
The first thing that he caught a glimpse of was her hair as it came floating over the edge of the balcony wall, and grazed the ledge. Then her head leaned over and she looked down.
There they were. Those eyes. That smile. They were enough to melt even the coldest of hearts. Everything about her made his heart skip a beat. Her long, luscious, silky hair that was the perfect combination of fire and ice and all neatly intertwined into the most vivid shades of red and gold. Her bright, sea blue eyes, which seemed to carry the entirety of the ocean within them. The milky brilliance of her skin. The birthmark that was placed just above her lip, which seemed to be set in exactly the right spot to accent her lips and all of her beauty to perfection. Her body. That alone was enough to make any goddess jealous. She was not too thin. MarcoAntonio appreciated a woman that looked healthy. Amaryllis was just right, in every way… at least in his opinion.
“You are late,” she pointed out.
“Well, that may be true, Ma’ Lady.”
“'Tis!” she said in a teasing tone and then smiled again. “You cannot stay long. I'm being watched.”
“And?” he replied with mockery lingering in his voice.
Amaryllis giggled a little; covering her mouth she tried her best to keep quiet. His wit always made her laugh. Then she quickly got serious. “MarcoAntonio, 'tis dangerous. You know this to be true. 'Tis always a risk to visit me at these hours, my love.”
“And this is precisely why I love her so!” he stated bravely as if he spoke to an audience. “Amidst everything, my beautiful lady is always concerned for the well-being of her knight. Knight, may I remind, ma' lady!”
“A knight that appears to be looking for trouble, should our foes become aware of his scrambling.”
“Let them become aware!” He raised his voice, still with lightness and taunting sounding in it. “Should they come, I will slay them!” He pulled his sword from his hip and began a little dance. Bouncing around, sword in hand, he swung it in the air as if he were fencing against the strongest of men. “I will give them a little of this. Then a little of that.” He jumped in Altivo's direction. “And my trusted steed shall save me, and whisk me away into the darkness of night.” He turned to look up at her. “Of course, never, before first having valiantly saved Ma’ Lady?” Then tossing his arm into a whirl in front of him, he bowed at her graciously.
Amaryllis giggled some more, covering her mouth with her hand. “You shall never change, will you?”
“Why should I, Ma' Lady? If I change then I shall lose my most precious treasure. Your love.”
“Well, I suppose that is true, noble sir.”
“'Tis, Ma’ Lady.” He smiled at her.
What was it about him that made her insides flutter about? She couldn't explain it. She didn't understand it, but she liked it. No. She loved it! The single thought of his visit would cause butterflies to make themselves at home in her belly. And, his smile! So gentlemanly, so lively, in so many ways, that it alone filled her with the desire to live. As if his livelihood, gave her life—no matter how hard the situation between them could be.
She knew, as well as he did, that life was unfair. Their situation was cruel. She could not love him. Yet, she did. He could not love her. Yet, he did. What would they do?
It would be far beyond her family to understand that she, a white English lady, was in love with what they would easily call a worthless, putrid, power thirsty, Spanish man.
They despised him and all others like him. They would never allow her to be with him. They, and all others like them, would be completely opposed to their union—and she knew of many: the town’s people, her extended relatives, the witches.
The witches! The thought of them alone caused a shiver to rise up and down her spine. She'd been fortunate enough to never have encountered them. She'd heard plenty about the evil coven of witches—a clan that the townspeople called “The Sisterhood.” This was truly a group of individuals that no rational minded person would want to encounter. One would have to be mad. Only a mad person would go to such lengths as to summon The Sisterhood.
Yet, he was beautiful to her—her dear and beloved MarcoAntonio. His shoulder length shiny black curls, penetrating long dark lashed, bright brown eyes with dark masculine eyebrows that were the perfect accent to them. Medium tanned, amazingly melded, milk and caramel skin. The ruggedness that his entire aura put off, yet the childish sense of joy and playfulness, which he only displayed to her and no other.
He was amazing to her. He was so handsome with his five o'clock shadow, a day's growth of hair. Rugged and strong. A soldier in every sense of the word.
He was the perfect height for her as well, standing at about five feet, eleven inches: a precise compliment to her five feet, six inches. His stature was so manly—so perfect. She could not ask for more. And his smile? Goodness. His smile made her knees go weak!
Suddenly feeling the need to get to the point of his visit, MarcoAntonio became instantly serious. “Ma’ Lady, I wanted to come see you before the sun's rise.” Amaryllis nodded her head only once and smiled with the sweetness that filled her soul each time she remembered what her smile did to him. She was more than aware that her smile lit up his day. And this was precisely what she intended. She felt the need to provide him with even the smallest bit of happiness, knowing to what extent he went through in order to see her. His sole endeavor was to see her. A small honest smile and a whispered word of hope—that was all he needed to go on. She knew it, and so did he. “Thank you, my brave and valiant knight. ’Tis a privilege for me to see you.”
“Ma’ Lady, the pleasure is mine,” he said, tilting his head down into a modest bow. “Ma’ Lady, beautiful and honorable damsel, I thank you.”
“For what, silly?” she pleasantly interrupted.
“For the blessing of allowing me the sight of you. For the privilege of looking upon you. For the simplest gesture of your smile. For the lightness that your presence gives my heart.”
“Ah! Well bold sir, 'tis my pleasure indeed,” she said with a smile. Then immediately became serious once more. “Now, go! Go, before someone sees you!”
“Aye, Ma’ Lady. But, 'tis only because you have asked,” MarcoAntonio decided to point out. “'Tis not because they scare me!”
“Yes. Yes. I know, bold sir. Now go! Hurry!”
“Aye,” he said. Bending down, he picked the rose closest to him and tossed it up towards her. “A rose, for a rose.” Extending his arm out, leg forward, he bent into a noble bow. “Good night, Ma’ Lady.”
It seemed that every time he said good bye, his heart broke just a little bit more. He could not be sure when his next visit to her would be, but he made it his mission to visit whenever able. This was after all, his only reason for living.
Leaping back on to his horse, MarcoAntonio locked his heels into Altivo's side. “Anda, Altivo!” The horse spun around, and at that very instant, MarcoAntonio looked back and blew a kiss to his lady love. She in turn did the same. Just like that, Altivo took off into the darkness of night.