One Night of Love & the Hobgoblin Part 1

One Night of Love & the Hobgoblin

Based on characters from the book The Irish Devil

            Eric of Shanekill could take no more. He flung the long, black wool cloak he had grabbed before leaving the keep around his wide shoulders and stomped through the village looking as fierce and potent as the name bestowed on him— Irish Devil. Everyone scurried out of his way, making certain to stay clear of him. It mattered not, he paid them no heed. His thoughts were on one thing and one thing only, his wife Faith. He had had enough and he was going to settle it here and now with her, whether she wanted to or not.

When he woke a couple of hours ago and reached out to take her in his arms as he did most mornings, to hug her close, feel her warmth, her softness, to drink in her beauty and remind himself how lucky he was to have her as his wife, he had found her gone.

Not that her absence in their bed was an uncommon thing, but of late it had become more so. He understood that as the village healer she felt a duty to the people, but she also had a duty to him… her husband. And he intended to remind her that she had been sorely neglecting him of late.

He had never had to remind her of such before and it troubled him to do so now. Didn’t she care that it had been one week – one whole week – since they had made love? Didn’t she miss him as badly as he did her? Didn’t she miss touching him, kissing him, loving him? Though it had been three years since they had exchanged marriage vows, the spark of passion had remained strong within them. And he believed that it had grown ever stronger… that was until this past week.

Faith seemed not to notice him at all. And a few times when he had reached out to take her in his arms, she had stepped away from him. Never had she turned away from his embrace. She would either drift or rush into his arms and cuddle as close as she could and he would whisper things in her ear that would rush a red glow to her cheeks and spark her desire as well as his. The more he thought about all they shared and all he missed, the angrier he became.

His strides became more determined and villagers huddled in gossip as they watched the Irish Devil hurry to the healing cottage. There was sure to be a confrontation and most knew who the victor would be.

Eric attempted to control his anger. It would do him no good to pounce on her, but the thought conjured an image that was hard to ignore. He had been blessed with a wife who enjoyed conjugal rights. Faith often made it known how much she desired him and he had never disappointed her. They made love often and in places…he smiled with the memories.

They were made for each other and most knew it. It was as if the heavens had connected them body and soul…made them one, then split them apart, reunited them and made them one once again. That was certainly how it felt when he made love with her — that they were one and would always be — one body, one soul, one love.

He recalled his half-brother, Borg’s remark this morning when he had left his three- year old son Ryan in his care.

“Don’t make a fool of yourself.”

Borg had then proceeded, while bouncing up and down a jubilant Ryan on his knee, to remind him of how from when Eric had first met Faith he had made a continuous fool out of himself.

While there were times Eric could agree, other times had not been as obvious, though he had certainly lost his heart to Faith quickly enough. But then she was a beauty, long fiery red hair that sprung in ringlets around her head and face, skin as pale as freshly fallen snow and though she had a scar that ran down along her cheek from below her right eye close to her temple and all the way to her breast, it did nothing to distract from her beauty. It more reminded him of what a courageous woman she had been and would always be.

So what had happened between them in this last week to have her avoid him so? It made no sense and made him crazy with worry. What was on her mind? Why hadn’t she spoken to him about it? She had discussed everything with him as he did with her. She had good insight and instincts and he often relied on her for settling problems among the villagers.

Which was another reason for his foul mood, he missed talking with her. She wasn’t only his wife; she was his best friend. While he missed her in his bed, he missed even more their talks.

Faith was everything to him and he feared losing the closeness they had always shared. He stomped like an angry bear the last few feet to the healing cottage. He would have his answers, he would demand them, he would not be ignored, she would tell him what the problem was, he would insist on it, and then he would do what he had been aching to do… he would make love to his wife.

Several villagers lingered around the cottage waiting for the healer to administer to their needs. But once they spotted him they dispersed quickly, leaving the benches outside empty. He should have waited for the door to open and not disturb her session with whoever it was she was tending to, but he had no patience. He grabbed hold of the wooden handle and swung the door open.

He was surprised to see that she was alone, though glad of it. There was no one there to prevent him from having his say. His heart hammered in his chest and his anger was near to boiling. This was it; she would explain or else.

Eric took two steps into the cottage and kicked the door shut behind him.

Faith dropped the batch of herbs in her hand to the table and with a weary smile said, “Good lord, Eric, I’ve missed you so very much.”

Her words knocked the stuffing right out of him and all he could do was spread his arms wide.

She hurried into them, her arms quickly circling his back, her head seeking his hard chest and her body resting against his.

His breath caught for a moment; she was home where she belonged – in his arms – and his anger vanished in an instant.

Holding her close, feeling her warmth, her need for him, he asked, “What troubles you?”

She sighed. “I knew I couldn’t keep my worries from you for long.” She raised her head to look at him. “And I feel so guilty for neglecting you.”

“Truth be told it angered me,” he said honestly not wanting any lies between them.

“I’m sorry —”

“I should be the one apologizing for thinking you ignored me on purpose.”

“I did not mean to,” she said, her fingers going to lightly trace his lips. “I have missed you more than I can say.”

“And I you, wife,” he said and as much as he wanted to kiss her and carry her to the single, narrow bed in the cottage and make love to her, he knew at this moment she needed to talk with him. “Now tell me what troubles you. What has kept you from our bed? What has kept us from making love? What has worried you so?”

Faith slipped out of his arms and went to step away from him, but he wouldn’t let her. His hand ran down her arm and took hold of her hand locking his fingers with hers.

She smiled looking up at him. “Not going to let me go?”

“Do you want me to?”

She shook her head and squeezed his hand. “No, I don’t want you to let go. I want you to hang on to me and keep me sane.”

He tugged her to him, though she came willingly enough and once again he wrapped his arms around her. “I will not let you go until you tell me and even then I have no plans of releasing you. I miss you and it is time you and I make love.”

She sighed much heavier this time. “I would like that, but I fear there is a problem that must be solved before that will come to pass.”

“Tell me and I will solve it, for there is nothing that will keep me from making love to my wife this night.”

“After you hear, you may think differently.”

“I think not. Now tell me.”

“The villagers have been coming to me with deep scratches and too many bruises. Some get them while in the woods and others while working the field, the land near ready for harvest with winter’s chill all too prevalent. They talk of seeing a shadow that darts and sprints and leaves behind marks on them. They see the shadow briefly before suffering its sting. They fear going into the fields and many, especially the women who forage for plants and branches to make baskets have hesitated to venture where they once felt safe. Gossip has started.”

“I’ve heard none,” he said.

“Have you listened?”

He hadn’t. He’d been too busy with his own thoughts to hear others.

Faith ran a tender hand along his cheek and he near groaned with the pleasure it brought.

“Worry not,” she said. “Tongues have just recently been wagging and it is with whispered breathes they speak.”

“They gossip but want no one hearing?” he asked perplexed.

“It is what they whisper about that they fear. It is what keeps them coming back to me and more recently asking for anything that will protect them.”

“Protect them from what?”

She rested her hand to his chest and whispered, “The hobgoblin.”

Eric was struck silent for a moment. He had heard stories of hobgoblins and how mischievous and devilish they could be, but he never truly believed in them. He thought them conjured by fear when no doubt there was a reasonable explanation.

“The people truly believe a hobgoblin lurks on the land?”

Faith nodded. “They do and the thought makes them more fearful by the day and with all the incidents, I must say that something lurks on our land and it is not friendly.”

Eric knew then and there he had no choice. If he wanted to have free, undisturbed time to make love to his wife he had only one choice… he had to capture the hobgoblin.


Don’t miss part 2 next Thursday, Oct. 15th!

Highlander’s Winter Tale A Cree & Dawn Short Story #3 Cover Reveal

DonnaFletcher_HighlandersWinterTale_200pxLots going on in the third Cree & Dawn short story. A fierce warrior shows up at the keep in the middle of a raging snowstorm and some believe he’s more myth than man. Cree does not care, myth or not, the warrior is about to feel Cree’s wrath for paying far too much attention to Dawn. And watch out…there just might be an unexpected birth at the keep.

Chapter One of Highlander’s Winter Tale A Cree & Dawn Short Story will be sent to Donna’s Book Alert list in the beginning of November. If you don’t want to miss it, hurry and subscribe (top right corner).

One Night of Love & The Hobgoblin

It’s the month of witches, ghost and goblins and to celebrate this spooky month I’ve decided to dust the cobwebs off an old short story of mine and post it in installments throughout October.

So, starting Thursday, Oct. 8, I will post the first installment of One Night of Love & The Hobgoblin with installments to follow each Thursday until the last one is posted on Oct. 29.

DonnaFletcher_TheIrishDevil_200pxFor those unfamiliar with this story, it is about the hero & heroine from my book The Irish Devil…Eric & Faith.

So mark your calendar for each Thursday in October and don’t miss One Night of Love & The Hobgoblin!

Mystery Giveaway Revealed!

Congratulations to Lisa J winner of the Mystery Giveaway!!! Here’s what she won…a $25 Amazon Gift Card and The King’s Executioner, first book in the Pict King Series when it becomes available!

Don’t forget to subscribe to Donna’s Book Alerts so you don’t miss the first excerpt of the King’s Executioner and of the next Cree & Dawn short story. You’ll find the subscribe box in the    upper right hand corner of this homepage.

Contest winner!

I am having difficulty getting in touch with the winner of the Mystery Giveaway.

Lisa J your email address keeps failing. Please get in touch with me directly at If I do not hear from Lisa J by Sunday, I will pick another winner on Monday!

So stay tuned to find out the contents of the mystery giveaway!



Mystery Giveaway

To kickoff the new Pict King Series, I’m holding a Mystery Giveaway! You could win a copy of The King’s Executioner or an Amazon Gift Card or both. You won’t find out until the winner is chosen. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on the new series in the comment box. The Mystery Giveaway will run through September with the winner being announced Oct.1, 2015. The winner will be chosen through

All those who have already left a comment in the Look What’s Coming Next blog post are already entered in the contest and do not have to leave another comment.

Also if you want to be privy to excerpts, announcements before they appear on my website, book releases, and special giveaways for Donna’s Alert List subscribers only then sign up for Donna’s Alert List at the top right of this page.

Take a chance for the Mystery Giveaway, there’s no telling what you will win!

Look what’s coming next!

The Pict King Series

The King’s Executioner, Book 1 Tentative release date late Dec. 2015 or early Jan. 2016

The King’s Warrior, Book 2

The King & His Queen, Book 3


The Picts were known as the ‘painted people’.  Since little was chronicled about them, mystery and myth surround them, leaving my imagination to run wild.  Though, there is a legend that fits the King who introduced himself to me and demanded I tell his story.

The legend says the first Pict King reigned for 100 years and he had seven sons and they spread out across the land that eventually became Alba and then Scotland. So journey with me back to the Early Middle Ages to a people that were barbarians to some, but to others they were mighty warriors, their honed bodies tattooed with symbols of importance and protection. To a people who were skilled craftsmen, builders, farmers, healers, and much more.

Journey with me to Pictland and meet the mighty King Talon…

babbling brook St. Kevin Monastic Site gelndalough Ireland 2013It is said the land is thick with woods that are magical and rolling hills covered in purple heather are everywhere. Lochs, streams, and seas run plentiful with fish and other creatures, and the sacred mist holds the mountain tops captive, freeing them briefly only now and again.

One man reigns over it all…King Talon. It is said that he can tame the wild beasts, calm the angry seas, and make the land tremble in fear when he walks upon it.

Relative peace prevails because of him, though there are some who seek to dethrone him. So far, they have not succeeded. King Talon conquers all in his path. Some believe he has struck a deal with evil while others insist that evil wants no part of him. Others claim he was sent from the Heavens, for only the Mighty One could create such fine features.

Men respect him and come from all regions to serve as one of his warriors—if accepted. And as for women, there is not a single woman who can satisfy him or touch his heart.

More importantly, however, is his legacy. He wants sons to send throughout the land so that when the tribes unite and form one powerful homeland, his blood will run through the man who unites them all. But the task of finding a wife who will give him many sons is proving difficult. After two childless marriages, tongues whisper that the mighty King is not capable of fathering a child. King Talon will soon silence the wagging tongues, for he will let nothing stop him from finding a child-bearing wife and securing his place in history.


The King’s Executioner

Book 1

The Pict King Series

Talon, King of the Picts, has entered into an agreement with Cathbad, overlord of the western region to wed his daughter Anin. Blyth, Anin’s mother, has given her husband four fine sons and King Talon hopes Anin will do the same for him. Unfortunately, Anin’s mother wants no part of the agreement. She intends for her daughter to live a pious life, free of a husband’s dictates, which is why she sent Anin away as soon as she learned of the marriage agreement. No amount of threats or persuasion will make Blyth confess her daughter’s whereabouts and so King Talon sends the one man he knows who can make the woman talk and bring Anin to him…his executioner.


If you want to read an excerpt of The King’s Executioner when it becomes available make sure to sign up for my Book Alerts (upper right corner at top of page).


To kickoff the new series, I’m holding a Mystery Giveaway! You could win a copy of The King’s Executioner or an Amazon Gift Card or both. You won’t find out until the winner is chosen. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on the new series in the comment box. The Mystery Giveaway will run through September with the winner being announced Oct.1, 2015. The winner will be chosen through

Good luck all and look for more updates on The Pict King Series!

Brief excerpt Highlander’s Promise

narrow passage to dungeonDawn did not waste a minute. She kept her steps light as she walked along the stone hallway, keeping close to the wall and the shadows. It was not difficult to stay in the shadows since the wall torches let off little light. When she reached a staircase that joined another, she recognized where she was and took the steps carefully. And just as carefully and quietly, she made her way through the passageway that held the four cells, two on either side that she had seen when first she came this way. She did not want to think of the poor souls that were locked behind the doors. There was nothing she could do for them. She was here for Cree.

She reached the second staircase and her thumping heart began to pound madly in her chest. Soon, very soon she would be with Cree again and this time he would leave with her. Footfalls suddenly approached and she braced herself against the dank wall, letting the darkest shadow she could find consume her.

The footfalls grew louder and in a few seconds a guard walked past her, so close that she feared he would be able to smell her, but then the already foul odor in the air no doubt helped to disguise her own unpleasant scent.

Once he passed by her, his footfalls no longer heard, she hurried to the lone cell and gently shoved the key in the lock, opened the door, and slipped in, closing the door behind her.

An arm snagged her around the waist and yanked her back against a hard chest while a harsh whisper sounded in her ear, “You disobey me yet again.”


Available end of August!