When I was a teenager, I really wanted was a French phone. This was the 80s, people. I was spoiled and had a phone in my room. And a TV and VCR (am I dating myself here?).
The phone had a rotary dial and everything. I felt so cool dialing my friends. I could spend hours talking. HOURS. And we talked about nothing. In hindsight, I’m not sure what was so appealing about being on the phone for that amount of time but it’s what we did as teenage girls.
But anyway… we still have “real” phones at work but it’s not the same. You can’t yell at salespeople and then hang up angrily on them. Well, at least *I* can’t since I work in the executive wing and that would be unprofessional.
But I could do that when salespeople called the home phone. Except even my home phone is cordless and only has an END button, like the cell phone. Which means when I get really annoyed with the sales person on the other end, I can’t slam down the phone. It’s what I miss the most about having a real phone with a landline.
Like most writers, I start with one question: What if…?
For my upcoming epic fantasy novel, In the Tower of the Wizard King, I asked the question, “What if there was a portal in a trunk?”
I never imagined where the story would take me or how it would end up or that it would be about four characters whose lives are forever intertwined. I never imagined that it would lead my main character, Aoife (EE-fa) from the human realm to Faery to find her missing mother, nor did I imagine that it would to a time travel to the past of Faery.
It was definitely a book I wrote with a lot of joy. It made me happy to visit the characters every day and find out what their story was and how they were going to solve these problems I’d created for them. The more I wrote the story, the more I realized there was a lot more to the world than I initially thought.
I’ve asked myself “What if” a lot when starting a new book, but I’ve never plotted an entire story around the question before. It was a new experience for me.
The book releases September 1.
Here’s the blurb:
In the Age of Wizards, Time is a commodity more valuable than gold.
Her magic is dormant.
When Aoife Burke rushes home after the unexpected death of her father, she discovers her mother has vanished amidst inexplicable circumstances. With a warrant out for her mother’s arrest, Aoife returns to her childhood home to search for clues to lead to her whereabouts. Another shock awaits her—Sean O’Connell, the object of her girlhood crush, purchased the family home. She senses Sean is hiding something from her, refuses to let her inside and does everything he can to keep her out. A determined Aoife breaks inside and stumbles upon an antique trunk in the attic. When she opens it, instead of the normal musty clothes and ancient letters, she finds a stairway leading into darkness. It calls to her and she cannot resist stepping into the trunk and onto that first stair.
His magic is dangerous.
Sean O’Connell has been assigned by the Inter-dimensional Portal Protection Agency to keep Aoife and her mother out of Faery. But when she breaks into the house and disappears through the portal in the trunk—like her mother—he has no choice but to go after her, even though stepping into Faery will force him to face his own demons. Now keeping her safe and out of the hands of the Wizard King becomes a fight to save Aoife’s life from her own mother, who has discovered a time portal in Faery that can lead her back in time to alter her past mistakes—one of them the conception of Aoife. Sean is willing to do anything to make sure Aoife’s life is not eradicated—even if that means he has to tap into his dangerous magic to do it.
As release day approaches for the re-release of the first three books in the Realm of Honor series, I’m excited to bring you today’s teaser from the second book, Only for a Knight. This is the story of Derron and Elyne, the two Fae characters from the first book.
Now through release day (July 25) you can get this book at half price ($2.99) at Smashwords. Use Coupon Code TL87T. Price will go back up to $4.99 after release day.
After saving her love from certain death, Princess Elyne returns to the Otherworld by order of her mother, Queen Maeve. But it’s not the homecoming she expects. The queen is furious she has been meddling with humans and imprisons her, stripping away her magic. The only way Elyne can get her powers back is to perform one selfless act.
When Queen Maeve sends Sir Derron to find the Guardian of the ancient Sword of Light, one of the Four Treasures of the Otherworld, he can’t leave without releasing Elyne. After all, she altered time to save his life in the human world. But freeing the princess comes with a steep price—he must take her with him on this dangerous quest.
Their search becomes much more than a pursuit for the missing Guardian. Dark Elf, Lord Kieran, rises to dominate the Unseelie court. He will stop at nothing to gain control of both the Otherworld and the human realm—he’s murdering Guardians and stealing the sacred Treasures of the Fae. Even with the help of Elves, dragons, and their human friends, the odds are stacked against them.
Can Elyne and Derron stop the destruction of the walls between Fae and Man before they fall?
While I’m sure you are a fine product – and I was, in fact, very much looking forward to working with you, I’m afraid I have to remove you from my household.
The problem stems from the revolt of Sir Dexter, who was quite emphatic he wasn’t interested in using your litter. How do I know this, you ask? Allow me to elaborate.
A few weeks ago, I purchased the new 50% lighter and completely dust free litter thinking it would be awesome. I happily replaced the litter in the box with this one from the other brand.
Sir Dexter ignored his box most of the day. He enjoys scratching and pooping in the middle of the night to ensure he will wake up his humans. I think this is his way of paying me back for starving him to death (he’s on a diet). When I got up the following morning to do my daily scooping, I discovered he had not covered his poop and he had peed on the rug.
This was not how I wanted to start the work week.
After putting on a hazmat suit and cleaning up the mess, I headed off to work. By that evening, he had used the box again but failed to cover the offending smell. I also noticed the rug still reeked so I threw it away because I couldn’t stand the smell wafting from the fibers. During the evening hours, a horrible smell cam from the bathroom again. Sir Dexter let me know of his displeasure of the litter by peeing all over the floor.
Another clean up ensued.
To trick him into using the box, I poured the remaining litter from the other brand on top of this litter. By morning, Sir Dexter had used the box but still failed to cover up the poop. I knew by then he was in full revolt.
Unfortunately, I had to switch by to the other brand of litter, pronto. I made a special stop on the way home for it and switched it out when I got home that evening.
The revolt ended. Sir Dexter, his majesty, was pleased. His human was less than pleased.
Sadly I will not be able to buy your product in the future, Arm & Hammer. I hope you understand.
A snarky Faery princess, a Scottish knight with a gambling problem, and a murderous earl all add up to one thing: Trouble. Maggie’s medieval education never prepared her for life in the Middle Ages!
Do-gooder Maggie Chase throws her thesis out the window when she wakes up in the arms of a hot Scottish knight. When she realizes she’s somehow ended up back in time, she embraces the persona of Lady Margaret. But she may be in over her head when she realizes she has to keep the sexy knight alive during a jousting tournament in order to get back to her own time.
Sir Finian “Finn” McCullough is a gambling man and owes a very large debt to an evil earl who is after his family estate. When the beautiful and outgoing Maggie arrives in his bed, he can’t remember tupping her the night before and thinks she’s a spy for one of his neighboring clans. He intends to find her kinsman and return her safely but he can’t resist her charms, her smart mouth or her sex appeal. Instead he keeps her close, taking her with him to an important jousting tournament—one he has to win or lose his castle forever.
“Geoffrey, go back and tell the list marshal Finn will be at his match, ready to joust.”
“What?” Elyne snapped, her eyes round and wide.
“But, my lady?”
“Finn will be there and he will not forfeit. Understood? Go now and tell him at once.” Maggie waited until Geoffrey dashed away before she clamped a hand on Elyne’s arm and dragged her toward the tent. Excitement skittered through her. “Come with me, Ellie.”
“Just what do ye think you doing?” Elyne demanded.
“I have an idea.”
She dragged her inside where Finn’s armor lay, discarded. Maggie kneeled and picked up the breastplate, holding it in her hands while Finn moaned with his stomach illness.
Could she do it? For all intents and purposes, she could. It was the only way to keep Finn in the tournament. She could ride a horse, certainly, but she had never jousted.
“What are you doing?” Elyne asked in horror. Her eyes were wide, her jaw slack.
“I’m riding in his stead. And you’re going to help me.”
“Help you?” Elyne repeated. “Have you lost your mind?”
“Yes.” Maggie paused and looked at the princess. “You are Fae. You can use your magic to help me.”
“No, I can’t,” Elyne said quickly. She folded her arms over her chest, her jaw set in a stubborn line. “You must have Swiss cheese for a brain because you can’t seem to remember. It doesn’t work like that.”
“It doesn’t work like that or you don’t want it to work like that?” Maggie countered.
Elyne pursed her lips in silence.
“That’s what I thought. I can’t let Finn forfeit.”
“Because then Lord Vile wins. Don’t you see? This is just what he wanted. I think he’s the reason Finn is sick right now and I’m not going to let him get away with it that easy. He’s going to pay for it and I’m going to make sure he does.”
“You are mad, woman,” Elyne said. “If you let him forfeit, then you don’t have to worry about keeping him alive. You can go home, Maggie. Back to your time. To your precious twenty-first century. All you have to do is let him lose and then I’ll send you back.”
“With the snap of your fingers or the wave of your Faery magic wand? No way. There’s more to this than I originally thought, Ellie. There are people here who need me. They need my help.”
“People like who? Lady Juliet?”
“Yes, her and—” Maggie snapped her mouth shut. She couldn’t tell Elyne she had every intention of getting her and Derron together.
“Her and who?”
“A, ah, certain Lord Brian.” She thought quickly to pull Lord Brian into the equation, the man she was certain Lady Juliet was in love with. They’d given each other the doe eyes after all. “And Finn. He needs me, too.”
“Lady Juliet is a lost cause, Maggie. She’s half dead as it is.”
“Exactly why I have to stay and help her. I have to get her away from that awful brother of hers,” Maggie said, her voice quivering an octave higher. Frustrated, she dropped to her knees, searching for a pair of breeches she could wear. “I don’t have time to stand here and argue with you.”
“What do you think you’re going to do? Wear his armor and joust? Do you even know how to ride a horse?”
“Ride, yes. Joust, no.”
Elyne continued to stare at her, stony faced, while Maggie rummaged through his clothing until she found a pair of his breeches. Snatching them up, she pulled them on. Then she searched through his clothing until she found a suitable tunic. Shimmying out of her shift, she slipped the tunic over her head.
“God’s teeth,” Elyne muttered. “You can’t compete in the tournament. ’Tis too dangerous and you’re impersonating a man. Something they don’t take too lightly in this time. You’ll be arrested and thrown in the stocks if they find out. Or worse, you could be killed.”