Well, I just typed "The End" on Goddess of the Rose! OHMYGOD I love finishing a book! In true Beauty and the Beast form I managed to have my heroine's last words include 'happily ever after' and ended it with a kiss.
I'm exhausted and totally happy!
Passing out now...
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
Well, I just typed "The End" on Goddess of the Rose! OHMYGOD I love finishing a book! In true Beauty and the Beast form I managed to have my heroine's last words include 'happily ever after' and ended it with a kiss.
Posted by PC Cast at 3:28 AM
Monday, June 27, 2005
Man, my tbr pile is gihugic. I'm so looking forward to turning in Goddess of the Rose so that I can relax and have time to read more than a page here or there - and I mean of fun books, not just research.
Right now on my bedside table I have A CT Fashionista in King Arthur's Court by Marianne Mancusi, Awaken Me Darkly by my fab girlfriend Gena Showalter (I'm loving it!), Dancing Naked at the edge of Dawn by my friend Kris Radish (a poignant, outrageous, refreshingly liberating story about one woman whose life takes an unexpected turn - I'm almost done with this and it's wonderful), and Kim Harrison's Dead Witch...books. So, like I need to add anything else? Okay, yeah, of course I do. After I read this blurb I couldn't resist adding Unmasked to the pile:
UNMASKED by C. J. Barry
Love Spell (Dorchester Publishing), June 7 2005
To the merchants he plunders, he's the Ghost Rider of the Dead Zone. To sector law enforcement, he's a wanted pirate. To the slaves he rescues, he's the savior, laghato. To one determined female, Qaade Deter is serious trouble. Torrie Masters had heard of the legendary raider, but she'd never expected to encounter him. Nor would she have expected that beneath his black mask lurked an enticing man destined to challenge her in ways she couldn't shoot her way out of. But a great threat has emerged-one that's left no choice but for them to join forces. Entrusted with the fate of thousands, Torrie has discovered Qaade's impossible dream. Only she has the power to help him. Only she has the power to see him UNMASKED.
So what are you guys reading? Any fabulous recommendations?
Posted by PC Cast at 9:19 PM
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Okay, please please learn from my stupid mistake. Friday afternoon I'd just finished watching Oprah (naturally). My daughter was at work. The "kids" (my two Scotties - better known as The Scottinators) and I were just getting ready to turn off the TV and go back to my writing room when I heard a weird "WHOOSH!" I looked out the window that goes to my patio and it was framed in orange flames! Holy shit!! So I rushed to my back door (the wood door was open - so I could easily see out my glass outside door) and my entire patio, including the wall of my condo and the balcony above me, was consumed in flames. Scared shitless, I call 911. Thank God the fire dept is just down the street. They were here in less than 5 minutes, but even in that short amount of time all of the siding on that wall had melted off - the wood had been burned through - and the fire was in my ducts. Yes, they got everything put out, and the inside damage isn't too terrible. Outside - well, it's bad, but it can be fixed.
Here's what caused it. Just the day before I'd bought some citronella candles. One was in a clay pot. The mosquitoes have been awful out on my patio, so that evening about 4:00-ish I'd lit the candles on the patio. I put the one in the pot on top of my gigantic, heavy-duty dog crate (where The Scottinators sleep at night). In less than an hour that candle some how caused the crate to catch on fire. The crate was pushed up against the wall of my condo, so the flames just spread all over, especially as the crate melted and mixed with the candle wax.
I was incredibly lucky. Had it happened five minutes later when I was on the other side of the condo in my writing room I would not have known about it until the whole building was on fire. The firemen told me that candle related accidents have gone up 40% in the last year. And, yes, I am a BIG candle burner. So...please remember to check and double check what you put your candles on or near. I would have never believed that the crate would have gone up in flames like that.
Posted by PC Cast at 11:52 PM
Thursday, June 23, 2005
Well, it's official (happy sob). My daughter and I were victorious in the awesome Man-Titty Haiku Contest at the Smart Bitches Trashy Books site! We are overwhelmed and thrilled. Thank you thank you to all who voted for us.
The following are the winning haikus (we tied with ourselves for the win):
Ode to Man-Titty Fruit
Succulent, firm flesh
Manfruit waiting to be plucked
Nipple dew…so sweet
Hair on man titties?
Nay! (gasp) Abomination!
My Dear Sweet Lord – WAX.
For our effort, the Smart Bitches named us:
Posted by PC Cast at 3:50 PM
Sunday, June 19, 2005
Okay - this is truly Important. The fabulous women at http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com are holding a man-titty haiku contest. Naturally, my daughter and I composed a few (three) entries (clearly an excellent mother-daughter bonding opportunity). The Smart Bitches have them up with the other entries. Now, God knows I wouldn't want to influence the unbiased voting process...BUT I'D APPRECIATE IT IF YOU'D VOTE FOR OUR HAIKUS SO WE CAN WIN WIN WIN!! All in the name of literacy, of course...
Posted by PC Cast at 11:47 AM
Friday, June 17, 2005
Jeesh, I was so excited that Jessie and Bonnie were helping me to post the cover that I forgot to tell you guys Inside Excellent Info about it. Take a look at the background - it came from a photo my incredibly talented mom took on Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie! Uh, no. The Huntress was not in the photo at the time...but you never know the stuff you'll find if you visit Oklahoma!
So Partholon's Centaur Plains is really Oklahoma's Tallgrass Prairie. I've visited often and hiked hither and yon, though you can't hither and yon around the bison who still roam the prairie. Uh, bison are yummy to eat, and very cool looking animals. But They Are Mean. Totally bad-tempered. Morons get gored once in a while because they're all, "Hey, Mama! Let's us feed one of them buffaloes!" Mama, "Okay, Daddy! Get the Cheeze Whiz from the cooler. It's under the Coors!" You see how easily tragic accidents can happen?
Posted by PC Cast at 4:40 PM
Since I've been posting excerpts, I thought you guys would like to see the cover! I love it! Looks like Brighid to me. Luna really has some fantastic covers.
And special thanks to Bonnie and Jessie Ferguson for helping me post images. Yes, I am the blog impaired.
Posted by PC Cast at 4:17 PM
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Okay - here's a piece of the scene I promised to share (especially with the LUNAtics!). Remember, Brighid has gone to The Wastelands because Cuchulainn has been there too long and Elphame's worried about him. He's supposed to be leading the hybrid Fomorians (or New Fomorians as they call themselves) back to Partholon. Of course let's not forget that his heart is broken from Brenna's death - hence his sister's worry. So Brighid gets through the mountain pass and finds Cuchulainn hunting. Together they go to the New Fomorian village (where Cu's been for a couple of months).
Oh, same disclaimer about this being the unedited version. Ignore the mistakes/typos. I've already fixed them. Here ya go!
The first hybrid Brighid saw was doing something totally unexpected. He was laughing. The Huntress heard him before she saw him. His laughter rolled up the trail to meet them, punctuated by mock growls and youthful snarls.
“They like Fand,” Cuchulainn muttered in explanation.
The warrior and Huntress finally stepped onto level ground and walked around a rough outcropping of rock to see a winged man sprawled on his back in the middle of the trial. Tongue lolling and mouth open as if she were smiling, the young wolf cub’s paws were planted squarely on his chest.
“Fand rolled me Cuchulainn. She’s growing so fast that in no time she’ll be a proper wolf,” he said, chuckling and scratching the cub’s scruff. When he glanced up at Cu and saw the centaur by his side, his eyes rounded in shock.
“Fand, here!” Cuchulainn ordered. This time the wolf chose to obey, hopping off the hybrid’s chest and loping back to her master.
The winged man stood quickly, brushing dirt and snow from his tunic, all the while keeping his large eyes fixed on Brighid.
“Gareth, this is–”
Before he could finish the introduction, Gareth’s excited voice cut him off.
“The Huntress Brighid!” He gushed. “It is, isn’t it?”
“Yes, Gareth. This is MacCallan’s Huntress, Brighid Dhianna.”
Gareth executed a quick, awkward bow, and Brighid realized that what she had taken for a grown man was really just a tall, gangly youth who stared at her with open, awestruck delight.
“Well met, Brighid!” Gareth gushed, his voice cracking on her name.
Brighid could hear Cuchulainn’s sigh and she stifled a smile.
“Well met, Gareth,” she returned the greeting.
“Wait till I tell the others! They won’t believe it. You’re even more beautiful than Curran and Nevin described.”
Gareth started to rush away, then stopped, turned back, and bowed sheepishly to Brighid again. The Huntress could have sworn that the youth’s cheeks were reddened with an embarrassed blush.
“Pardon me, Huntress. I’ll go tell the others that we have a visitor. Another one!” Then he turned and, with wings spread, all but flew away down the path.
“Foolish boy,” Cuchulainn muttered.
Brighid raised a silver brow at the warrior. “I’m even more beautiful than Curran and Nevin described?”
Cuchulainn lifted his hands in a gesture of quiet frustration. “The twins tell stories in the evenings. You are a favorite subject with them.”
“Me? How can that be? Curran and Nevin hardly know me.”
“Apparently they put the short time they spent at MacCallan Castle to excellent use. They listened and observed. A lot. You know how the Clan likes to talk, and the more they talk, the more deeds grow. You didn’t just track Elphame in the night through the forest to find where she had fallen and injured herself – you did it all in a lashing storm, too,” he said.
“I did nothing of the sort. The storm began after we found Elphame. And it wasn’t full dark until after we found her.” Brighid tried to sound annoyed, but she couldn’t help the smile that played at the corner of her lips.
“And then there’s the story of Fand,” Cuchulainn said, sifting in the saddle as if he was suddenly uncomfortable.
Brighid’s silver brows went up. “And who told them about that, Cu?”
Cuchulainn shrugged and kneed the gelding to follow Gareth’s path. “They asked. And they can be very persistent when they want to know something.”
“They being Curran and Nevin?” Brighid asked his broad back.
“No. They being the children.”
And then a noise drifted to the Huntress’s acute hearing. She thought that it sounded a little like the chattering of many birds.
Cuchulainn saw his horse’s ears prick forward.
“Remember that I forewarned you about the children,” he called over his shoulder.
Brighid frowned severely at the warrior’s back. Forewarned her? He hadn’t forewarned her about anything – he’d just asked if she liked children. What in the darkest realm of the Underworld was going on here?
They took another turn in the path and the trail opened up. Brighid moved quickly so that she was beside Cuchulainn. She saw that the road widened and led straight into the heart of the neat little settlement. A heart that was currently filled with small winged bodies that were chattering excitedly. When they caught sight of the centaur the children’s talking was instantly replaced by a collective gasp which reminded Brighid of the coo of doves.
“Oh great merciful Goddess,” the Huntress murmured. “There are so many of them.”
“I tried to tell you,” Cuchulainn said under his breath. “Prepare yourself. They are as energetic as they are small.”
“But how can there be so many of them?” Her eyes were roving the group as she tried to get an accurate count…ten…twenty…forty. There were at least forty young bodies. “I thought you said there were less than one hundred hybrids in total. Do they have multiple births?”
“No. Not usually. Most of these children no longer have parents,” the warrior said grimly.
“Later,” Cuchulainn said. “I’ll explain it all later. They won’t stay still much longer.”
“What are they going to do?” Brighid asked warily.
The warrior gave her the briefest of smiles. “Nothing you can defend yourself against, believe me.”
The waiting group rippled and Cuchulainn caught sight of Ciarda’s dark head making her way through the throng of children.
“Come on. It’s best to face them head on.”
Side-by-side they came to a halt before the waiting group just as a lovely winged woman stepped out to greet them.
Cuchulainn made hasty introductions. “Ciarda, this is MacCallan’s Huntress, Brighid Dhianna. Brighid, Ciarda is Shaman for the New Fomorians.” He gestured at the two winged men who had followed Ciarda through the children. “And, you will remember Curran and Nevin.”
The twins nodded their heads, smiling widely at her. She was instantly struck by how well they looked. The last time she’d seen them their wings had been dreadfully torn. Now they looked whole and healthy, with only pale pink lines scarring through the delicate membranes. One of the twins spoke, but they were so identical that Brighid had no idea whether it was Curran or Nevin.
“It is good to see you again, Huntress.”
“We are all so pleased that you have come, Brighid Dhianna, famed Huntress of the MacCallans,” Ciarda said.
Brighid tried not to be distracted by the horde of watching children, even though her eyes kept being drawn to their small faces. All different sizes and shapes, they were beaming sharp-toothed smiles at her as their wings quivered with barely suppressed excitement. Puppies, she thought. They looked like a wriggling mass of healthy, happy, winged puppies.
Pulling her gaze from the children she nodded politely first to Ciarda and then the twins.
“The MacCallan thought you might need a Huntress to ease the burden of feeding your people during your journey. I was glad to be of service to her,” Brighid said.
“And now I understand why I have dreamed of a silver hawk with gold-tipped wings these past several nights,” Ciarda said, looking from the Huntress’s silver-white fall of long hair to the golden gleam of her equine coat.
Brighid kept her face carefully neutral, but the mention of the Shaman’s dream of a spirit guide was like a fist to her gut. Even here, in the far off Wastelands, she could not escape the threads of her childhood. And then, as if thinking about her own childhood had been the invisible signal to release their silence, a small voice from the group of children trilled across the space between them.
“Oooh, you are even more beautiful than I imagined!”
The Huntress’s eyes sought and found the miniature speaker – a small girl child who was standing near Ciarda. Her hair and wings were an unusual silver-gray color, like the breast of a dove. Her large eyes were bright with intelligence.
“Thank you,” Brighid said.
“That is Kyna,” Cuchulainn said.
At the mention of her name the child bobbed excitedly up and down on her tip-toes.
“Cuchulainn, can I come closer? Please! Pllllease!”
Cu looked questioningly at the Huntress. Not knowing what else to do, Brighid shrugged.
“Come on then,” Cu said. As the child sprinted forward with several of the other children close behind, Cuchulainn lifted his hand and said sternly, “Remember your manners!”
Kyna’s headlong rush instantly slowed and the children jostling behind her almost knocked her over. Brighid had to be careful not to laugh when the girl elbowed one of her friends and ordered, “Remember your manners!” sounding unerringly like a mini-version of Cuchulainn. She folded her little wings and walked much more sedately up to stand in front of Brighid.
“You’re the famous Huntress Cuchulainn’s told us stories about, aren’t you?” The little girl’s face was bright with more than just the hybrid’s distinctive luminous skin. She was a beautiful, fey-looking little thing, sparkling with intelligence and curiosity.
“Well, I am the Huntress Brighid. I don’t know how famous I am, though,” Brighid said, throwing Cuchulainn a look of mild annoyance.
“Oh, we do! We’ve heard all about you!”
“Really? You’ll have to share those stories with me,” Brighid said.
“Not now,” Cuchulainn said brusquely. “Now there is dinner to prepare.” He dismounted and began unlacing the ties that held the fresh meat behind his saddle.
“Did you get another deer, Cuchulainn?” Kyna asked, bouncing up and down.
“A wild, white sheep this time, Ky. And you can thank the Huntress for it. She is the one who brought the beast down,” he said, neatly turning the child’s attention back to Brighid.
Dozens of sets of round little eyes refocused on the Huntress.
Brighid shrugged. “I just beat him to the shot.”
“No, you’re special. We already know,” Kyna said. “May…may I touch you?”
Brighid looked helplessly at Cu, who was suddenly oh-so-busy handing the wrapped meat to Curran and Nevin.
“Please?” the child asked. “I’ve always wanted to meet a centaur.”
“Yes, I suppose that would be fine,” the Huntress said helplessly.
Kyna walked closer to Brighid and then reverently stretched out her hand and touched the Huntress’s gleaming golden coat.
“You’re soft like water,” Kyna said. “And your hair is so pretty, just like Cuchulainn said. I think he’s right. It’s good that you keep it long even though most Huntresses cut theirs short.”
“I-I’ve never felt the need to cut it,” Brighid stuttered, completely take aback by the child’s comment. Cuchulainn talked about her hair?
“Good. You shouldn’t.”
“I want to be a Huntress when I grow up!” shouted a voice from the throng of children who were slowly creeping covertly closer to Brighid.
Kyna rolled her eyes and shook her head. “You can’t be a Huntress, Liam. You’re not a centaur and you’re not a female.”
Brighid watched one of the taller children’s faces fall and she felt a little panicky knot begin within her when she saw his eyes filling with tears.
“You could still be a hunter, Liam,” Brighid said. “Some centaurs agree to take on humans to train in the ways of a Huntress.” As soon as she said it she realized her ridiculous error. The little winged male was definitely not human. He’d probably really cry now. What if he started the rest of them off crying? Then what was she supposed to? But Liam didn’t seem to notice anything wrong with what she’d said. His fanged smile was radiant.
“Do you really mean it? Would you teach me?” The boy rushed up to her and soon his small, warm hand was patting her sleek side, too.
Teach him? She had no intention of teaching him or anyone – especially anyone whose head didn’t reach her shoulder. Brighid’s panic expanded. She had just been trying to keep the child from crying.
“If she’s going to teach Liam I want her to teach me, too!” Another child disengaged from the group and skipped up to Brighid, hero-worship shining in his big blue eyes.
“Me too!” said a little girl with hair the color of daisies.
Brighid had no idea how it had happened, but suddenly she was surrounded by small, winged beings who were chattering away about their lives as Huntresses. Warm little hands patted her legs and flanks while Kyna continued to ask never ending questions about how she kept her hair out of her eyes while she hunted, and what she rinsed it with to make it shine so, and did she use the same rinse on the horse part of her, and…
Brighid would have rather been thrust into the middle of a pack of angry wolves, at least she could kick her way clear and escape from them.
Posted by PC Cast at 4:55 PM
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Yes, I am going to shamelessly and blatantly plug my fabulous girlfriend's wondeful new book from the Bad Girls of Downtown Press. Mia is a very very naughty girl (Oh, Mia is the heroine's name, not my fab girlfriend...okay, I'll tell...the author, Gena Showalter, is very naughty too! But y'all can keep a secret - right?)
So here's all the pertinent information. Please buy her book so she can treat me to dinner. And that would be dinner with nice wine, too.
AWAKEN ME DARKLY by Gena Showalter
(Pocket Books, June 2005)
WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD. . .
In a time and place not too far away, Mia Snow is an alien huntress for the New Chicago Police Department, using her psychic abilities and deadly fighting skills to catch her prey. Heading up her expert team of Alien Investigation and Removal agents, Mia is unmatched at battling the elusive enemy among us, and she’s the perfect girl for the job. She’s seen her brother die at the hands of aliens. She’s earned each of her scars. And she’ll never, ever give up. Now, a series of killings have Mia and her partner Dallas tracking alien suspects – but a sudden blast of violence leaves Dallas fighting for his life.
The chance to save Dallas appears in the form of a tall, erotic stranger. An alien. A murder suspect. Kyrin en Arr, of the deadly Arcadian species, holds the power to heal the injured agent but not without a price. For Mia Snow, that price is surrendering to Kyrin’s forbidden seduction…and embracing their electric attraction. She’s walking a knife’s edge, risking her badge and even her life. The closer she gets to Kyrin, the more Mia learns about her own heart, her human needs – and the shocking secret that will shatter everything she’s ever believed.
ABOUT GENA SHOWALTER:
Gena Showalter holds a Ph.D. in Quantum Physics (lie), is an expert in Krav Maga (bigger lie), and once worked as a body guard for the stars (the biggest lie of all). Actually, Gena Showalter is just your everyday, average girl who enjoys creating sizzling paranormal tales of kick ass women and the men who can't resist them.
"A brilliantly written, fast-paced novel, AWAKEN ME DARKLY sizzles…Similar to Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, (Awaken Me Darkly) takes various steps to transcend the genres of the supernatural, mystery and science fiction" Fresh Fiction
“Fans of TV’s Alias will find this book especially appealing” RT
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Alien Nation in this action-packed adventure, and Mia Snow is perfect as the alien hunter with a secret.” Booklist
Posted by PC Cast at 9:25 PM
Monday, June 13, 2005
Okay, for those of you who are fans of Elphame's Choice, I thought I'd start posting excerpts from the sequel, Brighid's Quest. This is the prologue and chapter 1. Uh, guys, keep in mind that this is the un-copy edited, un-line edited version. Which means there my be mistakes in it. Trust me - they've already been corrected. Promise.
“Through the blood of a dying goddess your people will be saved.”
More than one hundred years ago women began disappearing from a green, prosperous land called Partholon. At first the disappearances were sporadic, seemingly random. It wasn’t until an invading horde attacked MacCallan Castle, slaughtered the Clan’s brave warriors and enslaved their women that the awful truth became known. The Fomorians, a race of winged demons, were using human women to breed a new race of monsters. It meant nothing to the vamperic creatures that birthing the mutant fetuses caused the death of their unwilling mothers. The human women were incubators – and their deaths were no more than an evil means to a ghastly end.
The Goddess Epona’s rage was terrible, and through her Chosen One, the Goddess Incarnate Rhiannon, and her centaur lifemate ClanFintan, the peoples of Partholon united to defeat the Fomorians. The demon race was destroyed, but Partholon did not realize that the war had left more than a legacy of death and evil in its wake. In the Wastelands, far away from home, winged children were born to human mothers who miraculously survived their birthing. Part demon, part human the small group of hybrid beings struggled to carve a life for themselves out of the Wastelands. They held firm to their humanity, even when refusing the call of their fathers’ dark blood caused them pain…pain that slowly eroded their will until finally madness became their only respite.
“Through the blood of a dying goddess your people will be saved.”
But Epona had not forgotten the women who never lost hope and stayed faithful to their Goddess, though they could not return to Partholon with their winged children. The great Goddess whispered words of The Prophecy to her deposed children, and the promise of salvation breathed hope into the race of half-demons who were desperate to maintain their humanity.
A century turned slowly and the winged people waited for the answer to their prayers. Partholon recovered and prospered again, and the Fomorian War became a dead memory – not ever forgotten, just entombed in history.
And then a child was born in Partholon, part human and part centaur. Touched by Epona’s powerful hand the babe was given the name Elphame. Through dreams she called to Lochlan, the leader of the winged beings who waited in the Wastelands to fulfill the Goddess’ Prophecy. The child grew to adulthood, and Lochan followed the threads of his dreams to MacCallan Castle where Elphame awakened more than the stones of the ancient ruin.
“Through the blood of a dying goddess your people will be saved.”
Out of love for Lochlan and trust in her Goddess, Elphame fulfilled The Prophecy, sacrificing a piece of her own humanity as well as her brother’s heart, to save the race of hybrid Fomorians. Now this new breed of beings was finally coming home. But their struggle had just begun. It is wise to remember that the Path of the Goddess is not an easy one to tread…
Elphame was exactly where the Huntress had thought she would be – not that it took a centaur Huntress’s skill to track her Clan Chieftain. The MacCallan’s habit of visiting this particular set of cliffside boulders had become well known. From the vantage point of the highest of the large, weather-worn rocks, Elphame could sit and look northward toward the Trier Mountains, which were just a jagged purple line of peaks jutting into the horizon. She would stare at that distant line, trying to see past it into the Wastelands beyond.
Brighid approached Elphame quietly, reluctant to disturb her. Even after living and working closely with Elphame for more than two complete cycles of the moon, Brighid could still be moved by the sight of the unique being who had become her friend as well as her Clan Chieftain. Born eldest daughter of Partholon’s Goddess Incarnate, the High Priestess of Epona and the centaur Shaman who was her lifemate, Elphame was human only to her waist, from there down her two legs had been fashioned more equine than human. They were powerfully muscled and covered with a fine coat of glossy fur, ending in two ebony hooves.
But her physical differences were not all that set Elphame apart. She carried within her the powers gifted to her by Epona. She communed with the Realm of Spirits through an affinity for Earth Magic. Elphame could hear the spirits in the stones of MacCallan Castle. She also had a special connection with Epona, and Brighid often sensed the presence of the patron Goddess of Partholon when Elphame invoked the morning blessing, or thanked the Goddess at the close of a particularly productive day. And, of course, there was the evidence of Epona’s favor that they had all witnessed when Elphame had drawn down the strength and love of a Goddess to defeat the madness of the Fomorians…
Brighid shuddered, not wanting to remember that ghastly day. It was enough to know that her Clan Chieftain was a miraculous mixture of centaur and human, goddess and mortal. Brighid appreciated how unique it was that Elphame was able to inspire awe and devotion as well as friendship.
“Was the morning hunt successful?” Elphame said without turning to look at the Huntress.
“Very,” Brighid wasn’t surprised her Chieftain had sensed her presence. Elphame’s preternatural powers were sharp and accurate. “The forests surrounding MacCallan Castle haven’t been properly hunted in more than one hundred years. The game practically leaps before my arrows, begging to be culled.”
Elphame’s full lips turned up in the hint of a smile. “Suicidal venison? That sounds like a truly unique dish.”
Brighid snorted. “Don’t tell Wynne. That cook will begin demanding I choose the beast’s temperament more carefully so that her stews will have a more perfect flavor.”
The MacCallan pulled her gaze from the distant mountain line and smiled at her centaur friend. “Your secret is safe with me.”
Looking into Elphame’s eyes, Brighid was struck by the sadness that was so evident there. Her lips smiled, but the smile did not touch the rest of her face. Brighid understood suddenly that The MacCallan didn’t show this haunted face to the general public – that it was a rare privilege to be allowed such an intimacy. For a moment, she feared that the Fomorian madness that lurked deep within her friend’s blood had awakened, but she quickly discounted the thought. Brighid didn’t see hatred or rage within Elphame’s eyes, she saw only a deep sadness. She had little doubt as to its source. Elphame was happily and publicly mated to her lifemate, Lochlan. The rebuilding of MacCallan Castle was well underway. The Clan was healthy and thriving, thus its Chieftain should be content. And Brighid knew Elphame would be, except for one detail of her life.
“You’re worried about him,” Brighid studied Elphame’s strong profile as her Clan Chieftain gaze shifted back to the northern horizon.
“Of course I’m worried about him!” she snapped at her friend and then pressed her lips together in a sharp line, instantly regretting the unintentional harshness of her words. When she spoke again her voice was sad and resigned. “I’m sorry. I don’t mean to take it out on you, but I’ve been worried about him since Brenna’s death. He loved her so much.”
“We all loved the little Healer,” Brighid said.
Elphame sighed. “It’s because she was special. Her heart was so incredibly big.”
“You’re worried that Cuchulainn won’t recover from her loss.”
Elphame stared at the distant mountains. “It wouldn’t be so bad if he was here; if I could talk with him and know how he’s doing.” She shook her head. “I couldn’t stop him from leaving, though. He said everything here reminded him of Brenna, and that he’d never learn to live without her here. When he left he was just a ghost of himself. No,” she reconsidered her comparison as she thought about the very vibrant and life-like ghost who haunted her own castle, “not a ghost of himself. He was more like a shadow of what he used to be…”
Elphame’s voice faded. Brighid stayed by her side while her Chieftain struggled silently with worry for her brother, and her own thoughts turned in remembrance to the little Healer, Brenna. She had come to MacCallan Castle as had Brighid, looking for a new life and a new beginning, but the scarred Healer had found much more. She had found love within the arms of the Chieftain’s warrior brother, who was able to see past her terrible burn scars to the beauty of her heart. Brighid remembered how spectacularly happy her friend had been – up until the moment of her untimely death. That her death had set into motion the events that led to the salvation of a people did little to salve the wound that had been left by her absence. And now Cuchulainn had gone to lead back into Partholon the very people who had brought about his lover’s murder.
“It was at his insistence,” Elphame said quietly, as if she could sense the path of her friend’s thoughts. “He did not blame the other Fomorians for Brenna’s death. He understood her murderess had been under the control of the madness they all struggled against.”
Brighid nodded. “Cuchulainn blamed only himself for Brenna’s death. Perhaps bringing the hybrid Fomorians home will serve as an act of closure for him. Lochlan says that many of his people are children. Maybe they will help him to heal.”
“Healing without the touch of a Healer is a difficult process,” Elphame murmured. “I just hate to think about him in pain and without –” She broke off with a dry laugh.
“What?” Brighid prompted.
“I know it sounds silly, Cuchulainn is a warrior renowned for his strength and courage, but I hate to think of him without his family near while he’s hurting.”
“Especially his big sister?”
Elphame’s lips twisted. “Yes, especially his big sister.” She sighed again. “He’s been gone so long. I really thought he’d be back by now.”
“You know the report from Guardian Castle said that there was a major spring snowstorm that ravaged the mountains and closed the pass into the Wastelands. Cuchulainn would have to wait for the next thaw, and then he would be traveling slowly, being careful not to over-tax the strength of the children. You must be patient,” Brighid said.
“Patience has never been one of your virtues, my heart.”
The deep voice came from behind them. The Huntress and her Chieftain turned to watch the winged man finish his silent approach. Brighid wondered if she would ever get completely used to the fact that such a being existed at all. Part Fomorian, part human, Lochlan had been born an anomaly. More human than demon, he and others like him had been raised by their human mothers in secrecy in the harsh Wastelands north of the Trier Mountains. He was tall and leanly muscular. His features were well-chiseled and attractively human, but the luminescence of him skin hinted at his difference. And then there were his wings. Right now they were at rest, tucked snuggly against his back, with just the storm-colored topside visible. But Brighid had seen them fully spread around him in terrible magnificence. It was a sight the Huntress would not easily forget.
“Good morning, Huntress,” he said warmly as he joined them. “Wynne tells me you returned this morning with a spectacular kill and that we have venison steaks to look forward to at the evening meal.”
Brighid inclined her head in a brief bow, acknowledging his praise as she moved aside so that Lochlan could greet his wife.
“I missed you this morning,” he said, reaching up to take the hand she offered him and kissing it softly.
“I’m sorry. I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to wake you so I…” she shrugged.
“You are impatient for your brother’s return, and it makes you restless,” he said.
“I know he’s a warrior, and I know I’m thinking with a sister’s heart instead of a Chieftain’s mind, but I’m worried about him.”
“I am a warrior, but if I lost you I would lose my soul. Being a warrior does not prevent a man from feeling pain. Cuchulainn has been in my thoughts lately, too,” Lochlan paused, choosing his words carefully. He had begun to be worried at the warrior’s continued absence, but for a different reason than his lifemate. Cuchulainn was leading back to Partholon a people who had caused his lover’s death. Elphame’s brother was an honorable man and a warrior of legendary skills, but he was just a man – a man who had recently lost the love of his life. “Perhaps one of us should go after him.”
“I want to. I’ve even thought of it, but I can’t leave,” Elphame’s frustration spilled over into her voice. “The Clan is too new, and there is still so much work to be done rebuilding the castle.”
“I will go.”
Brighid spoke in such a simple matter-of-fact voice that Elphame wasn’t sure she had heard her correctly.
“You will go?” Elphame asked.
The Huntress nodded and shrugged. “The forest is so lush with game that even the human warriors can easily keep the castle fed – at least for a while,” she added with a smile. “And it will take the skill of a Huntress to follow the path Cuchulainn took through the mountains.” She looked pointedly at Lochlan. “Will it not?”
“It is an obscure trail, and though I know Cuchulainn and the others will have marked it, still it would be difficult to find and follow,” he agreed.
“Besides, game is scarce in the Wastelands. At least I can ease their burden of hunger as they ready themselves to travel.” Brighid smiled at her Clan Chieftain. “A Huntress is always welcome company, especially when there are hungry young mouths to feed.”
“A friend is also always welcome company,” Elphame said, feeling her voice catch at the surge of emotion Brighid’s offer had evoked. “Thank you. You have relieved my mind greatly.”
“Cuchulainn will probably think me a poor substitute for his sister,” Brighid said roughly to cover up her own emotions. She had come to care for Elphame as she would a member of her own family. No, the Huntress silently amended, it was from my own family I escaped by joining Clan MacCallan. Elphame is far easier to care for.
“He will think no such thing,” Elphame laughed.
“I will sketch a map which will help to make your path clear,” Lochlan said. Then he rested his hand lightly on the Huntress’ shoulder. “Thank you for doing this, Brighid.”
She looked into the winged man’s eyes and stifled the urge to flinch under his touch. The majority of the Clan was slowly accepting Lochlan as Elphame’s lifemate. He was half Fomorian, but and he had proven his loyalty to her and their Clan. Yet Brighid could not completely quell the nagging feeling of unease being in his presence always evoked.
“I will leave first thing in the morning,” the Huntress said resolutely.
Brighid hated snow. It wasn’t that it was a physical discomfort for her. As with all centaurs, her natural body heat effectively insulated her from all but the most drastic weather changes. She hated snow in principal. It seemed to her that it shrouded the earth with a blanket of numb dampness. Woodland creatures either burrowed from it or fled to warmer grounds. She tended to agree with the animals. It had taken her five days to travel from MacCallan Castle north through the thickening forest to the mouth of the obscure pass Lochlan had sketched in his detailed map. Five days. She snorted in disgust. She might as well have been a human riding a mindless horse aimless around and around in circles. She had expected to have traveled twice the distance in half the time.
“Goddess accursed snow,” she muttered, her own voice sounding odd against the walls of the looming mountains. “Surely this must be it.” She studied the uniquely fashioned rock formation for some sign that Cuchulainn’s small party had passed within. Bright thought that he would have marked it, though it was unlikely there was another grouping of red rocks that formed a tunnel into the mountains that looked exactly like the open mouth of a giant, complete with distended tongue and jagged teeth. Her hooves made muffled wet clomps as she approached the gaping tunnel.
Suddenly the air was filled with the wind-battering sound of heavy wings and a black shape swooped past her to light on the tongue looking piece of red rock.
Brighid came to an abrupt halt and ground her teeth together. The raven cocked its head and cawed at her. The Huntress frowned.
“Begone wretched bird!” she shouted, waving her arms at it.
Unruffled, the raven continued to fix her with its cold, black stare. Then slowly, distinctly, it tapped the side of the rock with its beak three times before unfurling its wings and beating the air neatly, skimming low enough over Brighid’s head that her hair stirred and she had to force herself not to duck away from the dark shape. Scowling, the Huntress approached the rock. The bird’s feet had made claw-shaped marks in the snow so that the red of the rock was visible as if autumn had drawn rust colored lines against winter’s canvas. She reached out and brushed at the area the bird had pecked, unsurprised when Cuchulainn’s trail slash became visible, pointing into the mouth of the tunnel.
Brighid shook her head. “I don’t want your help, Mother.” Eerily, her voice bounced back to her from the tunnel walls. “The price you place on it has always been too costly.
The raven’s cawing drifted down on a wind that suddenly, magically felt warm, bringing with it the scents and sounds of the Centaur Plains. Brighid closed her eyes against a tide of longing. The bird’s call filled her with images of home. The green of the waving grasslands was more than a color – it held scent and texture as the warm breeze shushed through it. The sweet, rolling land beckoned. It was spring on the Centaur Plains, and completely unlike this cold, white world of mountains. The grasses would already be mid-hock high and dotted with wildflowers and their proud shows of blue and white and violet. She drew a deep breath and tasted home. The air pulsed with the freedom of the unshackled land.
“Stop it!” she jerked her eyes open. “It’s a sham, Mother. Freedom is the one thing the Centaur Plains does not offer me!”
The raven’s call faded and died, taking with it the warm home-touched wind. Brighid shivered. She shouldn’t have been surprised that her mother had sent her spirit guide to find her. She realized that the anticipatory sense she had felt all day had been instigated by more than just the fact that she was nearing the entrance to the mountain passageway. She should have sensed her mother’s hand in the day’s events. No, Brighid corrected herself, she had sensed it – she should have acknowledged it. She knew better.
I have made my choice. I am Huntress for the Clan MacCallan – an oath sworn member of the clan. I do not regret my choice.
The Huntress squared her shoulders and entered the tunnel, physically and mentally shaking off the lingering effects of her mother’s presence. She was suddenly glad that the pass was still snow-covered enough that it would take all of her concentration and much of her vast physical strength to navigate her way through it. She didn’t want to think about her mother or the familiar beauty of the homeland she had decided that she must leave forever.
The day was still young. According to Lochlan, she should be able to clear the most treacherous parts of the trail before dark. If all went well, tomorrow she would find the Fomorian camp and Cuchulainn. She picked up her pace, still being careful not to misstep and catch a hoof in a snow-hidden crevice. Brighid focused on the trail. She did not think of her mother and of the life from which she had turned. She ignored the guilt and loneliness that seemed to shadow her every decision. She had made the right choice. She was sure of it. But just because she had chosen wisely didn’t mean she had taken the easiest path.
Her smile was filled with grim self-irony as she scrambled around a slick, narrow corner in the treacherous trail. The physical path she had chosen to travel that day was quickly proving to be almost as difficult as the life path she had chosen.
Distracted by her inner turmoil and outer challenges, the Huntress’s keen senses only registered the watching eyes deep in her subconscious as a brief feeling of unease. A feeling quickly cast aside as vestiges of irritation at her mother’s interfering spirit emissary.
Unhindered, the eyes glowed the color of old blood as from within the darkness they continued to watch and to wait.
Stay tuned for more...
Posted by PC Cast at 9:35 PM
Saturday, June 11, 2005
Join me in celebrating! I got word today that Elphame's Choice won the Holt Medallion for best paranormal/fantasy novel! Well done Elphame! I'm so proud of her!
Posted by PC Cast at 8:31 PM
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Okay - here's a little part of the first scene where my heroine, Mikki, and the "Beast," who is Guardian of Hecate's Realm of the Rose, interact. The set up is that Mikki accidentially broke the spell Hecate had placed over her Guardian, (which turned him into a statue that eventually showed up in Tulsa's Municipal Rose Gardens), and transported both of them out of the modern mundane world. Mikki finds herself Hecate's High Priestess, or Empousa, in the realm where dreams and magic originate. She's just completed casting a sacred circle and performing the initiation ritual which binds her to Hecate. Now she's alone on the balcony of her room, trying to eat dinner...still thinking that it's more than likely that she's stark raving mad...
“Well,” she said aloud, lifting her glass in a solitary toast. “Here’s to insanity. May it always be this enchanting.”
Raising the goblet to her lips, she paused, brows drawn together in confusion. Floating in the middle of the tiny scarlet sea was a rose blossom, so deeply red that it appeared almost black.
What the heck was a flower doing in the middle of her glass of wine? Not sure of the correct protocol for rose blossom extraction from wine, Mikki glanced from the table to the crystal goblet. Should she pull it out with her fingers? Or was she supposed to use a fork? Maybe a dessert spoon would be more appropriate?
“I can’t even call for a new glass,” she muttered, thinking that finding a rose bud in her wine was a perfect punctuation mark to a truly bizarre day. “What would I say? Hey, waiter, or in this case, handmaid, there’s a rose in my soup, uh, glass, uh, wine.” She shook her head and laughed aloud. “Doesn’t it just figure?”
“The Ancients believed that a glass of wine could not be fully enjoyed unless there was a rose blossom afloat within it.” The deep, powerful voice rumbled from the area of the balcony that was shrouded in the darkest shadows. “It is a belief to which I adhere.”
Mikki jumped and fumbled with the glass of wine, almost dropping it.
“Forgive me for startling you, Empousa.”
“I just wasn’t expecting a…” Mikki faltered, trying to see through the shadows. She could discern only darkness within darkness, but she didn’t need to see him. She knew to whom the voice must belong. Her stomach tightened. She took a deep breath and pulled the blanket more securely around her shoulders, suddenly very aware that she hadn’t changed from her ceremonial dress that exposed far too much of her body. “I thought I was alone,” she said, amazed that her voice sounded so normal.
“I did not mean to disturb you. I came only to see that you grounded yourself after the ritual.”
Mikki stared blankly in the direction of the faceless voice. Ignoring the rose blossom, she took a long drink of wine. It was him – the statue – the beast from her dreams. Unlike her voice, her hands could not hide their emotions so easily and she had to wrap both of them around the goblet so that their shaking didn’t clatter the crystal against her teeth.
When she didn’t respond, he continued speaking in that deep, rough voice that was at such odds with the civilized words he was saying.
“Again, Empousa, I ask that you excuse my lack of judgment. I thought only to see that all was acceptable to you so that your grounding could be completed. I did not intend to disturb, or to discomfort you.”
She stared into the dark space from which the voice originated.
“You did all of this?”
“I directed the servants, yes. Empousa, you must always remember to eat and drink after you cast the sacred circle and perform any ritual. In that way you will once again be grounded to this world. If you do not you will feel weak and sick at heart.”
Mikki had to swallow down a hysterical bubble of laughter. She was conversing about post-goddess ritual rules with the living statue of a beast who talked like a college professor in a voice that could have belonged to Godzilla.
She was totally fucking Loony Tunes.
Mikki took another long gulp of the wine. This time the scent of the rose bud tickled her nose and she noticed the way its elusive sweetness heightened the richness of the wine. She put the goblet down and looked out across the table. Fine linens. Transparent porcelain china. A crystal goblet and pitcher etched with a rose design. Plates heaped with carefully chosen delicacies. A blanket and warm, comfortable slippers. He had ordered all of this for her?
Mikki glanced at the corner of the balcony, then hastily averted her eyes and poured herself some more wine. His silence was making her even more nervous than his words. Had he left? Was he sneaking up on her?
The erotic chase scene from her last dream flitted through her memory, causing her cheeks to flush and nervous words to rush too loudly from between her lips.
“I didn’t know about the grounding thing. And everything is delicious. I guess I owe you my thanks.” She wanted to bite her lip at her idiocy. She guessed she owed him her thanks?
“You owe me no thanks, Empousa. I am Guardian of this realm, and as such it is my duty to see to the welfare of those within the realm, which includes Hecate’s Priestess,” he said gruffly.
“Oh, well,” she mumbled, feeling awkward and not knowing what to say, but wanting to be polite. “Still, I appreciate–”
She felt the force of the command against her skin. It battered her and made the flush that had heated her cheeks drain white and cold. Hecate’s assurance that the beast wouldn’t harm her seemed only weak, faraway words. Mikki pressed her hands into the arms of the chair and bunched her legs under her, preparing to sprint for her room. Maybe he wouldn’t come in the castle. Or maybe she could call for help and…
“Forgive me. It seems I have again frightened you. That was not my intention. It is just that your appreciation is not appropriate. It is simply my duty and my life. It is why Hecate called me into her service. Do you understand?”
He was clearly trying to modulate his voice to a softer, less intimidating register. She recognized the attempt, even though he was being only partially successful. Instead of answering right away, Mikki took her death grip from the chair handle and, two-handed, lifted the wine glass to her lips. After she’d had another fortifying drink she stared into the darkness again. This was ridiculous and twice as scary because she was talking to a disembodied voice and letting her imagination fill in all the gory details of his appearance.
“I’m trying to understand, but it’s not easy. Especially when I can’t see you.”
There was a long pause, and it felt to Mikki as if time suspended. Then he stepped from the darkness. The crystal goblet slid from between her numb fingers and shattered against the marble floor. He made a movement like he was going to approach her and with a rush of adrenaline, Mikki surged to her feet, knocking over her chair with jerky, panic-laced haste. Shards of broken crystal crunched under her feet.
Instantly, he stopped his approach. “Have care where you step. The glass can cut through the soles of your slippers.” The words were meant to be gentle, but the voice that spoke them rumbled with an inhumanly thunderous warning.
Mikki couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t make her vocal cords work. She could only stare at the creature. Then he sighed and it was in that lonely, wordless sound that she heard the echo of a familiar roar. That one small thing pushed through her panic, allowing her to draw a gasping breath.
“I did not come to you tonight to harm you. You have my oath that you are in no danger.”
Her lips felt cold and numb, but she forced them to speak. “You’re the statue. The one from the rose gardens.”
He nodded his massive head. “Yes, you have known me only as I was in your world, entombed in marble amidst the roses. Now that I have awakened I have resumed my rightful position as Guardian of the Realm of the Rose.”
Mikki brushed a shaking hand across her forehead, trying to clear her mind.
The creature took a step closer to her, his hooves thudding inhumanly against the silent balcony.
“No!” She blurted, her blood pounding in her ears. “Stay away!”
As if to show that he meant no harm, he raised one huge hand toward her, palm up. Except for its size it appeared normal, but Mikki was sure she caught a flash of the candlelight glinting off something sharp and deadly. She stared at his hand without blinking.
He closed the hand and let it fall to his side where it was enveloped in shadow. “I was only concerned that you might faint.”
“I’m fine,” she said automatically, but she did pick her way carefully between the broken glass, righted her chair and sank into it before her legs gave way. “I don’t faint.” She forced herself to sound as normal as possible. He said he wouldn’t hurt her. Hecate said he wouldn’t hurt her. And, anyway, if he was going to attack her it would do no damn good for her to hyperventilate and freak out. She clasped her hands together to stop them from shaking. “Really, I’m fine,” she repeated, more for her own assurance than his.
“You should eat,” he said. “It will strengthen you.”
She just stared at him. How the hell was she supposed to eat with him standing there?
She was surprised to easily recognize comprehension on a face that was so alien. And at the same time she recognized something else – something that clouded his powerful voice like fog. Sadness…
Did he really sound sad or was she just imagining it?
“I should leave you to your meal. First allow me to…” he broke off and spoke a sharp, unintelligible command. He held out one large hand and almost instantly a crystal goblet, identical to the one she had broken, appeared in midair. His hand closed around it.
A noise, somewhere between a sob and a scream, squeaked from Mikki’s lips.
“Did you not desire another glass?” He asked.
Mikki could only nod. Her swarming thoughts semi-hysterically said that what she really wanted was a valium to go with the wine.
He was watching her closely and she thought his expression might have softened, but his face was so fierce that it was hard to tell. “May I bring this glass to you?”
She nodded again with a quick, slight movement.
Slowly, he stalked forward with an athletic grace that was as powerful as it was feral. His ebony hooves sounded unnaturally loud in the silence of the balcony. Mikki couldn’t look away from him. As he moved closer to her, she couldn’t help pushing herself against the back of her chair, where she sat rigid and unmoving. Her heart was pounding hot and loud in her ears and for a moment she thought that she might make a liar out of herself and actually faint.
Would he catch her if she did? The thought of him touching her shivered through her body.
When he reached the broken glass he made a dismissive gesture with one hand and muttered a word under his breath.
The shards instantly obeyed him, blowing off the balcony in a tiny crystal tornado.
Then he stood beside the table. This close the light from the candelabrum flickered over him, illuminating the hard, inhumanly muscular lines of his body. He kept very still, allowing her time to study him and to become accustomed to his nearness.
The statue in the park had not been clothed, but the living Guardian was. He wore a black leather breastplate over a short tunic. The outfit reminded her of something Russell Crowe would have worn in Gladiator, except had the two stood side-by-side the Guardian would have made the Aussie actor look like a boy in dress-up clothes.
The creature was huge. He had to stand almost seven feet tall. His hair was the unrelenting black of a new moon night. It fell thickly around his massive shoulders. Two dark horns protruded from his head. They curled forward and tapered to dangerous looking points. His face was the same as the statue’s, with powerful masculine features that did not completely dominate the Taurean beast that lay so close to the surface. The breastplate and tunic left quite a bit of his muscular body bare. The skin that covered his torso was dark, and looked like living bronze in the candlelight. She let her eyes travel down his body. She knew what she would see, yet still she sucked in a shocked breath at the reality of it. His thick legs were covered in dark fur. Instead of feet, the flickering light glinted off cloven hooves.
He was the personification of animalistic power and though he did not move to threaten her, the aura of feral viciousness that surrounded him was almost palpable. Mikki shivered and pulled the blanket more closely around her shoulders.
Posted by PC Cast at 3:15 PM
Sunday, June 05, 2005
Well, I'm deeply swamped in Deadline Hell. Past my ears...going under...ugh. Which also means that I'm struggling with my greatest adversary. Is it self-doubt? Nope. Lack of ideas? Nope again. Creative exhaustion? Uh uh. Writer's block? Don't believe in it. My greatest adversary is PROCRASTINATION. Up until about p. 250 of a new manuscript I fight my procrastination demon daily. After p. 250 it's like the monster has been banished (probably to the realm of my next new manuscript), and I'm on a rollercoaster ride zipping to the bottom/conclusion.
Right now (at exactly 1:58 am) I'm on p. 196.
I'd wash my cat, but he's been sick and it really wouldn't be right to torture him like that. Sigh. My puppies (2 Scotties who are 4 months old) are sound asleep. I could wake them up and wash them, or maybe clean out their ears, but you know what they say about sleeping dogs. I think you're supposed to double it for sleeping puppies. I already surfed the internet "researching" pictures of hot springs, even though I knew damn good and well what the hot springs in Goddess of the Rose look like. Big sigh.
So now I'm writing in my blog. Excellent procrastination technique, especially because I'm new to blogging and I feel guilty that I don't write more in it more often. I mean, some authors blog daily - and they're funny. Or at the very least informative...Hey! I could search through my files and find the article I wrote about creating living, breathing characters!
Or I could behave myself and get back to Goddess of the Rose, which has to be turned in the first of July. Or thereabouts.
Yes, it'll be done. I don't miss deadlines. So I'll end up exhausted and neurotic (I mean more neurotic) pounding the keys for 12+ hours a day by the end of June.
Which wouldn't be necessary if I'd STOP PROCRASTINATING.
Also, I'd like to be reading Marianne Mancusi's new book, A Connecticut Fashionista in King Arthur's Court (Dorchester Love Spell).
Check out this blurb:
Once upon a time there lived an outspoken fashion editor named Kat, who certainly was not your typical damsel in distress. But when a gypsy curse sent her back in time to the days of King Arthur, she found she'd need every ounce of her 21st century wits (and pop culture references) to navigate the legend. After all, surviving a magical plot, an evil prince, and a case of mistaken identity--all without changing history or scuffing your Manolos--takes some doing!
Luckily, she's got her very own knight in shining armor, Lancelot du Lac, on her side. The honorable-to-a-fault and devastatingly handsome champion insists on helping her out, even though she's not quite sure she wants him to. After all, shouldn't he be off romancing Queen Guenevere or something? Will Kat manage to stay out of trouble long enough to get back to her beloved café lattes, cosmopolitans and cashmere? And what will Lancelot's forbidden love mean for the kingdom of Camelot?
Sounds hilarious! Has anyone read it yet? If so, please post a review so I can continue to PROCRASTINATE by reading it.
Okay, off to try to go over the 200 page mark tonight.
Or...maybe my closets need to be cleaned...
Posted by PC Cast at 11:54 PM