The Heart's Desire -- Book One of The Briarcrest Chronicles

  The Heart's Desire - a 2005 Finalist for the
  Golden Crown Literary Society's "Goldie" award.


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Travel back in time to the early Renaissance town of Willowglen Township. 
Catherine Hawkins, a spice merchant and healer, prepares for the autumn 
faire when she is captivated by a stranger with beautiful eyes.

Join Catherine as she struggles to come to grips with her feelings for the 
mysterious noblewoman.  Journey with both women as they battle against 
those who mean to keep them from their hearts' desire.

Can they overcome these obstacles?  Find out in 
Book One of the Briarcrest Chronicles:  The Heart's Desire.




The Eve of the Feast of St. Remi
September 30, 1458

Willowglen Township, England

Catherine could not forget the woman’s eyes.  That grey-green gaze had 
probed into the depths of her soul and left her overwhelmed with puzzling 

She tried not to dwell on it, not with all the preparations to make for the 
start of Willowglen’s Harvest Fair.  However, try as she might to ignore 
her feelings, it just was not possible.  Catherine trembled.  She felt 
bewildered because of a woman—a mystery woman that she could not 
erase from her mind—a stranger with compelling eyes capable of sending 
shivers dancing on the surface of Catherine’s skin.

How had one look banished the melancholy that she had endured for the 
seasons of a year?  One look had cracked open the cold, impenetrable shell 
that surrounded her, bringing the first hint of joy in life since her father’s death.

As Catherine pulled open the shutters of the old shop window and breathed in 
the new day, a ray of morning sun sparkled on the window sill.  It made her 
smile, and evoked the memory of the woman standing outside her shop. 
Catherine tingled with excitement.  Questions raced through her mind. 
What was this new passion that woke in Catherine?  Her chest pounded 
when she thought of the woman.  A dull ache that had not left her since she 
first saw those eyes was almost too much to bear.



Furtado has created a novel that is rich and vibrant in its authenticity.   Having spent 
two years researching the period to insure the accuracy  of the setting and the events, 
she has, quite remarkably, reconstructed  a vivid interwoven tapestry of everyday life, 
the social mores, and these  unconventional women of the times.

...all the characters who live their lives on these pages are credible  individuals with 
the same kinds of plausible hopes and aspirations as  distinguish those of us living 
in the present.
...Furtado has a vision for  this historical romance series, and her first 
published novel more than  promises an admirable foundation
....The Heart’s Desire 
uses an  intriguing and innovative approach with wonderfully vital and fascinating  
women.  This will surely compel the reader to enthusiastically, if not  impatiently
await the next installment.

Reviewed by Arlene Germain at the Starcrossed Production site and at the Just About Write site.  Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

The Heart’s Desire reads as if it were written with a quill dipped into ink, made visible 
by candlelight, at a small shop, on a quaint cobblestone street in England.  Everything 
from the tone of the book to its language is impeccable as this historical  novel takes 
you back to the fifteenth century. From the very first page, to the last,  you feel enamored 
to these brave women.....I cannot emphasize how well written  Furtado’s novel is and 
how much I enjoyed it.  I was sorry to finish reading it.  The characters are so real that 
I felt I had actually made their acquaintance. 
The Heart’s Desire is the first installment 
in the
Briarcrest Chronicles with  book two hopefully on the way soon. I highly 
recommend the book to all you romantics out there.
Reviewed by Cheri Rosenberg at The Independent Gay Writer site and at the Starcrossed Production site.  Rated 5 out
of 5 stars.

Told in the days of ole, the story takes the reader on a wonderful journey of life,  love
heartbreak, danger and the overwhelming question of: “Will love conquer  all?” Noted 
as the first in a trilogy, The Heart’s Desire can only be a great beginning to what should 
be a fantastic series.

Reviewed by Joyce McNeil at the Starcrossed Production site, amazon.com and bn.com.  Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Book one of The Briarcrest Chronicles is a beautiful testament to the power of love….
Ms. Furtado has created a magnificent tale of love, rich with  dimensional characters, 
herbal lore and medieval details. I fell in love with Catherine, Lydia and the other people 
important to them. Sweet, tender, truly remarkable, The Heart's Desire is not to be missed.
Reviewed by Ayden Delacroix at In The Library January 2005.   Rated 8.25 Gargoyles out of 9.

The Heart’s Desire, a sweet tale of unexpected friendships, of overcoming adversity, 
of circumstances that mediate the independence women in any age need to pursue 
their own paths, of unexpected friendships, and, of course, a few villains.
Carol Seajay's full review appears in the January 2005 (Vol 1, #11)  Books to Watch Out For.


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