Category: Fiction Writing

MERLYN’S RAVEN Excerpt

It occurred to me that I’ve never shared an excerpt from my novel, MERLYN’S RAVEN, here on my blog.

What the hell is wrong with me?

Ahem.

Anyway–read on for a peek. In this scene, my heroine, Gwendydd, is heartbroken. You’ll find out why.

It was nearly impossible to face Myrddin the next day. When I brought the meal to the druid quarters, he tried to draw me out with jokes and questions, but my short responses and melancholy looks eventually silenced him. Blaise seemed oblivious to it all and, after eating a light meal, retired to the comfort of his private chamber. I walked to the drying table and took up the pestle, throwing a weed I couldn’t recognize into the mortar and grinding it without thought.

I felt Myrddin watching me, his bewilderment palpable in the air, but I did not dare glance his way. I feared collapsing into tears or, worse, confessing my undying love to his great embarrassment. He would know about Lot soon enough, but how could I hide my distress from him without telling him my true feelings? Tears stung my eyes as I pounded the herbs until a hand stayed mine.

“Gwendydd, stop. You’ll shatter the poor mortar, and then what shall we do?”

His tone was light, and it made me angry. I tore my arm away and heaved the pestle across the room. It sprayed dried leaves in an arc across the table as it flew before striking the wall with a sharp ring. “I cannot bear you making fun of me today, Myrddin.”

“I was not making fun. I was trying to distract you from whatever poisons your thoughts.” He reached to touch my shoulder, but I darted away, keeping my face turned askance. I knew if I looked into his eyes, I would lose any control that I had. “Come, what is it?”

I sighed. Sooner or later, he would hear anyway, and had I not told him the truth in all? “My grandfather has found a husband for me. He comes now from Lothian, to be here at Christmastime.”

“I see.” A long pause followed.

Eternal moments later, I could bear it no longer. I whirled towards him, my anger stoked again. “Is that all you can say?”

Myrddin spread his hands in a gesture of acquiescence. “What do you want me to say?”

“You know how unhappy this makes me. How much I hate that I have no say in this, that I must instead be the dutiful granddaughter made into the obedient wife. How can you stand by and watch me suffer?”

“Do you expect me to stop it?” He cocked his head to one side, scowling. “You are the only one who can control your life, Gwendydd. Have you learned nothing in these last months I’ve been instructing you?”

“But that’s a lie!” I shouted. “It’s a lie that I have control. Is that not what magick is, mastery over circumstance? How can I control anything when I am not even the mistress of my own life?”

He took a step toward me, his voice firm. “Of course you have control. It is hard to see now, but there are things you can do. You always have a choice.”

“You’re wrong. I’ve been given no choice here, and it hurts more than you can possibly understand.” I stalked to the door of the chamber and threw it open, trying to check the shaking in my hands so that he would not see my weakness. “I believe our lessons are at an end.”

He frowned. “What do you mean? This does not need to change—“

“Yes, it does. The purpose of these lessons was to make me more attractive to a suitor. Now that Grandfather has promised me to Lord Lot, there is no need for me to study further.” I looked him in the eye, all my tears dried in the wake of my fury. “I thank you, Lord Merlyn, for your guidance. I know that what I have learned will make me a better wife.” I spit out the last word, spun on my heel, and dashed from his sight before he could protest. I headed straight for my chambers and did not emerge until the next morning, promising myself I would cry no more. I was empty inside.

***

And you can buy MERLYN’S RAVEN at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Soul Mate Publishing.
Paperback coming in February, 2013!!

 

A WIP and the ULE

For the last two weeks, I’ve been working on my new writing project every spare moment I get. The work-in-progress (WIP–and, dare I say, novel-to-be?) is another fantasy romance inspired by Arthurian legend. What is it with me and this theme? Anyway, it’s always exciting when the words want to flow. Too bad life, and other responsibilities, get in the way.

To that end, I wanted to let everyone know that I’ll be at the Universal Light Expo in Columbus, Ohio this Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14. I will be in booth 713, where I will be giving private readings and selling all of my books. This expo is enormous, and there are tons of great people, products, lectures, and energy for everyone to enjoy. If you’re in the Columbus area, stop by and spend some time with us. On Sunday at 11 am, you can even come and see me demonstrating mediumship with several other wonderful light workers.

These expos, while fun and exciting, always wear me out. But I hope to get back to writing bright and early on Monday!

Blessings to all!

Image above copyright Eve Sakmar Sullivan

A Perfect Mother’s Day

So Mother’s Day is this Sunday. I am looking forward to continuing my family tradition of spending the day with my boys (my twin sons and their dad) seeing an action movie. This year’s choice: The Avengers.

A little eye candy never hurts.

My mom passed away in 2000. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. She was a very special lady, and I miss her. I especially ache to share with her events from my boys’ lives that she’s missed since she’s been gone: all their school achievements, the funny and witty things they’ve done, the plays they’ve performed in and the artwork, stories, and movies they’ve created. As a Spiritualist, I believe she checks in on us, and I know she’s seen and experienced these things in whatever way that is possible from her place on the Other Side. Still, it would be nice to have her here in person.

Mom with my niece, Samantha, who is now 18.

I hope I’ve made my mother proud over the years. I’ve tried to be as good at mothering as she was. She wasn’t perfect, and neither am I. Still, I find myself thinking more and more about how she parented my brother and me, and I think we turned out pretty well. I ask her often to watch over my sons, to help them in their struggles, and to give me patience and understanding when I’m dealing with my dad. I know she sends energy to those ends, and I’m grateful.

So a perfect Mother’s Day might not be entirely possible for me, since my mom is no longer in the body, and I can’t hug her as I’d like to. But I know I’ll have a good Mother’s Day this Sunday because I get to spend it with my family, doing something that I know we’ll all enjoy.

My talented sons recently made a book trailer for my new novel, Merlyn’s Raven. I hope you’ll check it out. And if you’re so inclined, a copy of the e-book might make a nice gift for your mom. Or buy her a Kindle and load it up with some of your favorite titles. I highly recommend the book Mars Needs Moms by Berkeley Breathed. Do read the book–I hear the movie’s not nearly as wonderful.

I wish all mothers a bright and beautiful Mother’s Day celebration. May the loving bonds we share with our moms and our children continue to strengthen and enrich our lives.

Merlyn’s Magickal Mix Gift Basket

For those of you who might be so inclined, I have donated a gift basket to the Brenda Novak online auction for diabetes. The gift basket includes a free download of my new novel, Merlyn’s Raven, a CD of guided meditations narrated by me to help you relax and connect with Spirit, and a 6-month e-mail forecast reading. Please consider visiting and bidding to help support this worthy cause.

Sending you all thanks, love, and joy.

MERLYN’S RAVEN Blog Tour Information

I am kicking off my blog tour for Merlyn’s Raven today. Please join me at Fangtastic Books. If you leave a comment there, you’ll be entered to win a free e-copy of the book.

You can also follow me on tour at all of these stops. I am looking forward to a fun time. I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy the journey with me!

April 23 Tour Intro /Excerpt
Fang-tastic Books
www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com

April 24 Promo
Roxanne’s Realm
www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com

April 25 Guest Blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom
www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com

April 27 Guest blog
~**All the days of (Book Blog)**~

May 3 Promo and interview
JeanzBookReadNReview
http://jeanzbookreadnreview.blogspot.com/

May 5 Guest Blog and review
Always a Booklover
http://alwaysabooklover.blogspot.com

May 7 Guest Post
Paranormal Romantic Suspense
http://sjclarke.com/blog-2/

May 6th Promo
http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/

May 8th Review
http://aobibliosphere.blogspot.com/

May 8 Guest Blog
SalaciousReads
www.salaciousreads.com

May 8 Guest Blog
Fiction Fascination
http://fictionfascination.blogspot.com/

May 14 Guest Blog and review
Lissette E. Manning
http://www.simplistik.org/lissetteemanning

May 16 Promo
Reader Girls
www.readergirlsblog.com

May 17 Promo and review
The Jeep Diva
http://www.thejeepdiva.com/

May 17 Guest blog and review
Urban Girl Reader –
http://www.urbangirlreader.com

May 19 Guest Blog (review later)
Read2Review
http://read2review.com

May 20 Guest blog and review
Butterfly-o-Meter Books

May 20 review and interview
Kindling the Fire
kindlecatchingfire.blogspot.com

June 15 Interview (SQAI)
Night Owl Book Lover’s Magazine

MERLYN’S RAVEN: My first novel is HERE!

 

Today’s the day!

So, how did this happen? I’m not sure I know myself.

I fell in love with Arthurian legend in high school. My English teacher, Mr. Geier, introduced it to us junior year. We read Mary Stewart’s The Crystal Cave and T.H. White’s The Once and Future King. Those stories were enough to hook me into a universe where knights and ladies and magic permeated every page and kept me engaged from cover to cover. I continued reading Arthurian legend in college and even considered pursuing a master’s degree in English with a concentration in Arthurian literature.

Once I began to study metaphysics, my interest in Celtic mythology, legend, and magic (spelled with a “k,” to define it as the purposeful manipulation of energy) only deepened. I read a great deal of Celtic history and submerged myself in works by John and Caitlin Matthews, who shed light into the very early roots of Arthurian legend and helped me to better understand the underlying esoteric mysteries of the stories. My love for King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Lancelot, and especially Merlin the Magician grew by leaps and bounds as I began to not only enjoy them as characters but understood their intrinsic archetypal energies and how these might be useful insights in my own life and on my spiritual path.

Many of you who regularly read my blog or who have read my metaphysical nonfiction books know that I am a Spiritualist medium, and I work very closely with my spirit guides and teachers. One of them is called Merlin, and he is my master guide, a being who is very interested in helping me along my spiritual path. Is it a coincidence that I have a Merlin who is very prominent and important in my spiritual life, and I have a character in a novel based on that figure from legend? I don’t personally believe in coincidence, but I do believe in energy parallels. It’s not surprising to me that my love of Arthurian literature and my deep connection to these legends became a theme in my first fiction book. I didn’t necessarily plan it that way, but Spirit has a way of leading us to events in our lives that are important and essential to our continued growth. I know that this novel is a reflection of that progress forward in some way, even if I don’t know exactly how.

The Merlin I communicate with on a regular basis is very different from the Merlyn in MERLYN’S RAVEN. In fact, my Merlin thinks it’s quite funny that the Merlyn in the book is the romantic hero, something that is very different from his own reality. But it is still my interest in my Merlin and the many Merlin legends that coaxed this novel into being. The Vita Merlini, written by Geoffrey of Monmouth in 1150, is a lyrical poem describing the life of Merlin. In it, Geoffrey draws on other old legends to tell the tale of Arthur’s Merlin, including in it a wife named Guendoloena. When I read this, I was stunned. Nowhere else in Arthurian legend had I seen Merlin in love, let alone married! This revelation started my creative juices flowing. Who was this woman? What was she like? Why would Merlin fall in love with her? And what would it be like for her to be married to the greatest wizard/magician/necromancer/prophet (pick your poison) that the world has ever known?

Thus, my heroine, Gwendydd, was born. (I didn’t like the name Guendoloena, so I chose a Welsh name similar to it.) And I decided to spell Merlyn with a “y,” just to be difficult. 🙂

So yes, Merlyn’s Raven is a love story. But it’s also an adventure, as is all Arthurian legend. For people who enjoy Arthurian stories, there are references to other aspects of Merlyn’s life that may seem familiar. Hopefully, no matter if you are a fan of the Arthurian universe or are brand new to these tales, you will find a story centering around two young people who fall in love and try to change a kingdom for the better. Along the way, they encounter terrible obstacles, including evil kings, dragons, invaders, magical swords, spells, and family secrets that threaten to destroy their union. Can Gwendydd and Merlyn find a way to be together and fulfill their destinies?

You’ll have to read the book to find out. I hope you will. And if you need another incentive to do so, here is the beautiful book trailer that my twins sons put together to support Merlyn’s Raven. Enjoy.

Merlyn’s Raven

You can download an e-copy of the book at Soul Mate Publishing today. By the end of this week, it should also be available for download at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

And to celebrate today’s release, I am offering a special prize. If  you leave a message here on the blog, I will put your name in a drawing to win a 3-month forecast Tarot reading, performed via email by me! The winner of this prize will be announced on Friday, April 20. And if you feel compelled to share this announcement with your friends, please do! I’d love to welcome them here on the blog.

Thanks and love to you all!

 

Quick 777 Post

My Soul Mate sister, author Jamie Brazil, tagged me in her post today, so I thought I’d complete my task quickly. And it IS fun, so why not?

Here are the rules:

Go to page 77 of your current work in progress.

Scroll down 7 lines.

Paste the next 7 sentences into your blog.

Then tag 7 more authors to carry forth the 7’s game (add their links, and don’t forget to link to the person who tagged you… also let everyone know).

Well, my current Work In Progress doesn’t yet have 77 pages. So I will go back to the novel I wrote several years ago that needs a major overhaul.  This is a conversation between Kel, the protagonist, and Caddy, the girl he falls for. If you’re a theatre person, you’ll recognize that they are discussing audition songs.

Now I did smile, but it probably appeared to be more of a sneer.  “I told you, I don’t like Webber.  He’s a hack, too.”

“Then what would you sing instead?”

Les Miserables,” I answered immediately.  “Fantastic music.”

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables, I suppose.  Or maybe something of Valjean’s?”

I blew a smoke ring, wondering if she remembered our conversation from the day before.  Her eyes followed it, smoldering like boiling chocolate.  “No.  Javert.  Stars.”

“Javert?  He’s the villain.”

I paused dramatically and carefully snuffed out my cigarette in the ashtray by the couch.  I smiled my best dazzler.  “I find that villains are infinitely more interesting to play.”

All right. That’s more than 7 lines. But I couldn’t just end it after Empty Chairs at Empty Tables. 🙂

I do like this story quite a bit. I love the characters. It’s so Kel to call Andrew Lloyd Webber, author of such huge shows as Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Phantom of the Opera, a hack! I hope to someday revisit Kel’s world so everyone can meet him. We’ll see what happens.

So that means I need to tag 7 more authors to play this game. OK! Here are my 7:
My friend and editor, the divine Char Chaffin.
My friend Lee Allen Howard.
And my Soul Mate sisters Shelly Bell, Tracy Hewitt Meyer, Raven Raye, Katy Lee, and Julia Bade. Go check out their blogs! Read their stuff! Support writing!
Thanks, everyone, for joining in the 777 fun today! 🙂

Getting Ready…

It’s almost here.

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, I will realize a lifelong dream. My first novel will be released through Soul Mate Publishing.

It’s so hard to believe. I have worked so long and so hard on this story, it seems surreal that other people will finally read it. I hope they enjoy it. I am honestly petrified about the possibility of negative reviews. That may seem silly, considering that I’ve published three other books and never worried an iota about what others thought of them. Maybe that sounds pompous, but it’s not really about my ego. My other three books are nonfiction metaphysical works, and I’ve studied and worked with my spiritual path for so very long, it’s a natural part of who I am. I no longer worry about what people think when they find out I’m a medium and a Spiritualist. If people look at me funny because of my beliefs, I simply dismiss it. My identity does not revolve around their approval of my philosophies or religious traditions. Being a medium is another part of who I am, and if they can’t accept that, it’s fine with me. I don’t feel any need to defend myself or to try to convince them that they should like or believe me.

Writing a piece of fiction is very different. Many artistic folks describe the creative process as comparable to birthing a child, and for me, this is an accurate metaphor. Your book is like a child, and you don’t want anyone bullying it, making fun of it, or tearing it down. It hurts you to see someone not understand it or think it’s silly or trite, because to you, it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. Again, this isn’t about ego–it’s about the painful creative process you put into it, and you want the end product to be appreciated and valued. I also think about all of the wonderful stories and books I’ve read over the years, and I remember how very special so many of them are to me. The magical experience of reading a book and being transported to another world is something I genuinely treasure. As a writer, I hope to bring a similar experience to people who read my books. There are characters who have left indelible impressions on me, and I hope that my characters will touch the hearts of those who read about them, too. Is this ego? Yes, I suppose it is. Our ego drives us to achieve the very best we can, and I hope that I’ve written the best book I am capable of writing. But my ego also wants readers to like it.

I suppose time will tell. I just finished my final edits for the book, and now it is out of my hands. On April 17, I will see the finished product as an e-book, and in a few months, I will hold the printed book in my hands. And I truly hope that Gwendydd, Myrddin, and all of my other characters will come to life for my readers and entertain them in a memorable way. As with every challenge in my life, I struggle, but I promise to work on releasing my fear, my doubt, and my anxiety, and I trust that Spirit will lead the right folks to my book, the ones who will appreciate it and love it for what it offers.

This is really the best that any of us can do. And I feel extraordinarily blessed to be given this experience. I hope you’ll all join me on this new journey.

Sending you all blessings and love.

Soul Mate Blogging

Please visit me at the Soul Mate Publishing blog and talk about your favorite books when you were growing up!

Early Influences

Hope to see you there.

Blog at SMP Authors Today

I am blogging today for the first time at the authors’ blog for my new publisher, Soul Mate Publishing, who will release my first novel, Merlyn’s Raven, in April of 2012. I hope you’ll all stop by over there to see the blog!

The Magic of Christmas Eve

I also want to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful holiday filled with love, light, and joy!

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