Published January 2012 by Lamba Associates, Inc.
She’s the artist that finds him in her drawings. He’s the medieval ghost that conquers her heart. And their time is running out.
Michelle De Freccio moves to England seeking a normal life, but someone starts appearing in her sketches. Then he grabs her at the castle, his pale green eyes full of longing. She’s immediately drawn to him, but is Christopher Newman real? She’s either losing it, or channeling a hot ghost from the 1400′s. History calls him a murderer. Her heart tells her other truths. Now Michelle faces endless dangers…and a timeless love.
A Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK: “The characters are beautifully written, and the story is witty, charming, and an utter delight to read. I could not put it down. This is a fantastic romantic and tender story that will continue to enchant readers for years to come.”
“…a wonderfully spooky tale of romance and discovery. It’s a magical exploration of the unconquerable power of love. Highly recommended!” —Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Rot & Ruin and Dust & Decay
“In DRAWN, Marie Lamba deftly entwines romance and mystery, past and present, into a page-turning adventure. Buy it today and I promise you’ll be finished reading far too quickly!” —Joy Nash USA Today bestselling paranormal romance author of The Immortals series, The Grail King and The Unforgiven
Excerpt from DRAWN by Marie Lamba:
“Who sent you?” he demands.
He presses the dagger against my throat. “Anyone who threatens the Earl is my own sworn enemy.” He
stands and nods toward my messenger bag. “Show me.”
I hand it to him.
With his pale-green eyes fixed on me, he dumps the contents of my bag. “What weapon is this?” He
holds up my sharpener.
I stick my pencil into the sharpener and turn it a few times. Pull it out and blow on the tip.
He squints. “What of this?”
I narrow my eyes, take my Chapstick from his fingers, pop off the top and coat my lips. “Really
“This?” He holds up a tampon.
“God, enough.” I dare to push away the dagger point, grab the tampon from his hand and start shoving
things back into my bag. “You’re nuts, you know that? Or I am. One of us is, that’s for sure.”
He looks amused and stows his dagger in the side of his boot.
I let out a sigh of relief.
He’s saying, “You lay in wait, yet are unarmed. What manner of assassin are you?”
“Assassin? You’ve got problems. I get it. Boy, do I ever get it,” I say, growing more angry by the moment.
I scoop up my coins, my art supplies and, because I once sliced open my finger cutting a linoleum print,
a tiny first aid kit. “Try taking your meds,” I tell him, stuffing these things back into my bag. “Try not
wearing that cape and boots all the time. While you’re at it, why don’t you take up a hobby, like going to
Star Wars conventions as a Jedi knight?” I hang the bag over my shoulder and grab my drawing pad. “I’m
leaving and if you follow me, I swear to God I’ll scream and you’ll be in prison faster than you can say
Society of Creative Anachronism. Got that?”
He flashes a half smile. He’s so attractive. He’s so cocky. I grit my teeth and back away. I’m near the
steps. I turn, about to run down, when I see over the wall something far below. My heart seizes up.
No tourists. No tents. No cars. No parking lot. Just grass, a water-filled moat and a deep forest in the
distance. I drop my sketchpad, race to the other side of the rampart and look into the castle courtyard.
No visitors waiting in line to get into the dungeon. No grass. Just dirt and some men dressed like
Christopher in boots and leggings and tunics, talking with one another.
I stumble and sit back on the ledge. “Holy crap. Holy—” I’m hyperventilating. I put my head between my
knees. The pencil holding my bun drops to the floor and my curls escape. I close my eyes. Concentrate
on my breathing.
When I open my eyes, I see him through my tangle of hair, squatting next to me. “You are unwell,” he
“Unwell?” I sit up and let out a certifiably whacked-out laugh. “You pull a knife on me and then
everything…” I wipe sweat from my forehead. “Look, who are you? And don’t you dare say Christopher
Newman of Watley Manor, or my head will explode.”
“That would be untidy.” He grins as he sits next to me and pulls up a knee. “Well, I guess you could say I
am a man newly arrived at the castle.”
My head starts to throb, so I rub my temples.
“I do not pretend to be original or unusual,” he says, glancing at my Chucks. “Like many a man here, I
hope to curry the favor of my good lord the Earl of Blanchley to seal my fortune. I guard the Earl’s life
and interests as if they were my own. And nothing must deter me.” He fixes a steely look on me.
“Huh. Okay, I’m not saying I believe any of this, but how old are you?”
“Already seventeen.” He picks up my sketchpad and hands it to me. “And what of you? And do not tell
me you are Michelle from the Isle of Jersey, because no one in this castle has heard of such a lass. And
no one from Jersey would dress as you, in strange clothes ill-suited even for a man toiling in the field. So,
what are you, a spy? A witch?”
“I’m nothing. Nobody. Just Michelle De Freccio from New Jersey, in the U.S.” I stuff my sketchpad into
my bag, put my bag on my shoulder and notice him shaking his head as if I’d answered the question
wrong. “So nuts.” I stand. Maybe I get up too fast, or maybe it’s the shock of again seeing absolutely no
parking lot whatsoever. Either way, my knees buckle and the floor rushes up to meet my face. Strong
hands catch me before I hit. I blink and realize he has me in his arms, and is setting me onto the ledge.
“Rest a bit.” He gently brushes my hair aside with his fingertips.
I stop his hand. “Then, you are telling me this is real? You are real?”
He twines his fingers with mine. “And so, apparently, are you.” Christopher studies our hands for a
minute, then his eyes flash with fury and his hand tightens on mine. “So that is your charm. That is how
you plan to ruin me. I am no fool. While we spoke last time, the Earl was nearly strangled to death.”
He yanks me to my feet. “You are involved.” Now he holds both of my hands in his grip. “You seek to
distract me while another attempt is made. Who are you working for? King Henry’s allies? Is Wallingford
“William? What does he—”
“Silence, strumpet. I know how to deal with the likes of you.”
“Oh no you did not just call me that.” I try to free my hands from his but I’m no match for his strength.
He pulls me to the spiral stairs and down after him so fast I can barely keep my feet from slipping on the
narrow treads. My messenger bag bumps against my hip.
“Let go of me!” My voice echoes in the stone stairwell and sounds like it’s coming out of a
bullhorn. “Help, someone! Rape! HELP!”
Christopher stops and shouts, “Will you SHUT UP?”
I take in a deep breath and SCREAM.
He covers his ear with one hand and pulls me down the last few steps with the other. He drags me
across the courtyard. I shout for him to let go. We near a hook-nosed man with a fur-rimmed cloak who
strolls alongside a doughy old woman. Her liver-spotted bosom nearly bursts from her gown and her
eyes are gray. Cat-like. Constance-like.
One step behind the woman is a plain-faced girl with a spray of freckles. Her blond hair is in an elegant
up-do and she wears an elaborate green gown. She’s probably no older than thirteen.
Christopher bows his head to them and the girl curtsies, but the woman and man merely raise their
noses and walk on.
“Hey,” I call to them, “how about a little help here?” No reaction. Is everyone deaf?
Christopher pulls me past the cluster of men I’d seen from above. They’re in a huddle and one says in
a loud voice, “I tell you all. There is word the Duke of York has returned and demands the crown.” The
others take in their breath.
“Newman,” another man calls to Christopher, “come hear the latest tales. And the traveling magician
has arrived.” He waves to a man in a tattered gray tunic who makes a red ball disappear with a flick of
“Perhaps later,” Christopher says, turning toward them. “I am presently—”
I kick, catch him in back of the knee and he stumbles.
He regains his balance quickly and yanks me away with renewed fury.
“Help!” I shout over my shoulder. “He’s crazy. He’s got a knife.”
The men don’t even look up. “Damsel in distress,” I screech, trying another tactic. No reaction at all.
“No one cares of the fate of a whore.”
“A, a what? You jackass. How dare you.” I kick again, missing him completely. “I can’t believe I ever
thought you were…”
“Thought I was what?” He gives me his cocky grin.
I bend over and bite his hand.
He growls, grabs both of my arms and pulls them behind me so hard my shoulders burn.
Marie Lamba (marielamba.com) is author of the young adult novels What I Meant… (Random House), Over My Head, and Drawn. Her work appears in the short story anthology Liar Liar (Mendacity Press), the anthology Call Me kaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering (Wyatt-MacKenzie publishing), and her articles are in more than 100 publications including national magazines such as Writer’s Digest and Garden Design. Marie is also an Associate Literary Agent at the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency in NYC (jdlit.com). You can follow her on Twitter @marielamba, and like her Facebook page: Marie Lamba, Author.