Thursday, October 22, 2009
Guest Blogger Lizzie Starr Is Here! Enjoy!
I’m delighted to visit with Elaine during her Wings month. I’ve been a Wings author almost since the company’s inception--a real old timer. I write mostly fantasy romance with the occasional side trip into contemporary and futuristic. I even have a few historicals in me yet. Not quite as eclectic as my reading, but give me time.
Visit either Wings or my website and you’ll discover a large proportion of my library has books with the word Keltic in the title. My first book, By Keltic Design, was originally just going to be that one tale. But no… my characters had family and that family wished to be involved as well. Six books later, I thought I was done with the Zeroun clan and Keltic books. I put the Tales of the Double Keltic Triad to rest.
But the sisters and children had children. And more ideas keep flowing into my brain. Prince of Dark Ness bridges the two series and my latest book Blue Keltic Moon begins a new series, Children of the Keltic Triad.
Guess I’ve gone beyond series to family saga.
My books stand alone, but as with any series, they build upon each other. Just like the worlds I’ve discovered while writing them--Faerie, a parallel universe where the Anasazi disappeared, the world of fairies (oh yes, there is a difference between the fairies and the gentry of Faerie), the Alfar worlds and the place between--the world between worlds. Besides the obvious family connections, the tales are also held together by Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.
What about the author who comes up with these interesting worlds? Ah, I only wish my life were half so intriguing. I’m the lunch lady at a parochial school. Although I have learned some interesting things listening to the kids as they come through the lunch line. Like how to French kiss. Did I mention I work in a grade school? ;)
I like working with food. It’s easy for me and allows me lots of mind time where I can plot or plan scenes. There’s always some sort of journal or notepad nearby so I can capture some of my thoughts. I don’t have any set time for writing--just try to fit the words in when I can. Luckily when I leave work, most of my time is my own. Or my characters--depending on how insistent they are.
My books are a whole lot more interesting than I am--at least to my notion. So, here’s the blurb and an excerpt from my latest Blue Keltic Moon
Duty before love. As much as Breanna’s heart protested, Gowthaman would have to wait until she returned with the rescued Alfar0Sindhu prince.
Love before self. Following Breanna into the world between worlds, Gowthaman faces the pain of his past, risks his intellect, his sanity and his life. For her.
Destiny before all. In the time of the blue Keltic moon.
“Never.” With the clang and ring of faerie steel against faerie steel her opponent’s sword slipped the length of hers and he twisted away. “Ha.”
Silent, Breanna advanced, the tip of her weapon swaying slightly, a slow, mesmerizing dance meant to lull an opponent into complacency. A seasoned fighter would hold the tip steady, ready for a thrust, slice or defense. This was a new trick Granda recently taught her. One she hoped hadn’t been passed on to her opponent as well.
He took a backward step then stood his ground. Eyes calm, he watched her advance, his own sword gripped lightly but steady in his hand. She allowed herself a half smile and his eyes slitted with confusion though he remained still.
Lunge. Parry. Slice. Sounds of battle filled the glade quieting the birdsong. The metal clangs echoed off the ancient trees, and dropped heavily from the overhanging branches.
“You will yield.”
He danced away and shook his head. One eyebrow lifted in a cocky arch. “Shouldn’t waste your breath talking. Need it for fighting,” he panted.
Knowing she gave him an advantage, she glanced at the sun. Time passed too quickly and she had somewhere else to be. Unlike others of her clan, she wasn’t able to manipulate a time portal.
As she knew he would, her opponent took the bait.
A quick sidestep. Crouch. Swing one leg. Connect.
Flailing his arms for balance, he went flying forward and crashed to his knees. Then he ate dirt. Breanna leaped to his side and planted one knee in the center of her brother’s back. “Yield?”
He angled his head to spit out a mouthful of dirt and dried leaves. “No.”
A low growl vibrated in her throat. She wrenched his free arm back, angling it high between his shoulders. “I don’t have time for this.”
He struggled against her weight and laughed. “Sorry to keep you. Yikes!”
The tip of her sword dug deep into the soft ground an inch from his nose. She yanked the shining steel from the dirt and planted it again, this time a half an inch closer. “Yield.”
She grinned when he slid his hand from his sword hilt, flexed his fingers then pressed his palm flat against the ground. “Okay.”
“Say it.” She tugged, just a little, on his arm.
“Okay, Bree, I yield.”
In one lithe movement she stood to the side and held out one hand. Chance rolled away from her sword and lay on his back staring up at her. Finally he shrugged, took her hand and hung heavily making her strain to help him to his feet.
Chance scrubbed a hand through his short, white-blond hair. “Geez, sis. This was just supposed to be practice.” He moved his hand to his shoulder, cast her a disgruntled look, and rubbed. “Man, Bree. Did you have to pull so hard?”
She shook her head. He was never serious about practice. “You know how important this is, Chance.”
“Yeah, yeah. But there hasn’t been anything to fight against since Jayse and Lucidea killed Fiedhlim.” An odd, distracted look passed through his expression and Bree wondered how often he thought about the evil Faerie who had fathered him. All her life she’d struggled to keep that taint of evil from her beloved baby brother. Now he was nineteen, almost a man. And like any man, he wouldn’t let her into his thoughts.
“We never know when or where a new threat will appear. I want to be able to keep both of our worlds safe.”
“Ever since Granda handed the leadership of the Alastriona over to you, you’ve been nuts. What? Are you on some sort of power trip? Granda left the Alastriona because there wasn’t enough to keep him busy. Where are you finding all these threats? Where have all these dangers been hiding? Think they were waiting just for you?”
It was an old argument. She didn’t know why she felt there was something lurking, some evil power waiting until the protectors of mankind were lackluster and lazy. Deep in her bones she knew, she understood a power waited. And that power would soon become impatient.
Chance waved a hand then moved toward the thick tree trunk where they’d left their scabbards. He wiped his sword on the hem of his tee shirt then sheathed the blade in the plain, worn leather. “Whatever. I know you’ll make me practice. And I will.” He turned to her, the laughter gone. A dark, serious light shimmered in his blue eyes. “I feel a gathering of some power, too. If my... if Fiedhlim wasn’t dead, I’d say he was gearing up for another attempt to take over.”
Eyes wide, Bree stared at her brother. “You... feel it?”
He gave her a typical adolescent eye-roll and snorted. “I’m not stupid. I’m half-Faerie, too, ya know.”
Interesting. She’d never suspected Chance had any inkling of the vibrations she felt in the dark night, much less honed the powers he’d exhibited so strongly when he was a baby. Being raised by fully human parents in a clan made up of a multitude of Fey peoples hadn’t been easy. She’d been pretty precocious herself. Much to her father’s dismay.
“Why haven’t you said anything before now?”
“I wasn’t sure.” The darkness left his eyes and the clear blue sparkled with mischief. “Besides, I knew you’d really hit my training hard then. It’s bad enough now.”
“We need to talk about this. Do Mom and Dad know? Granda or Jaysson?”
“Nope, nobody but you. But...” He glanced at his hands and spread his fingers in a helpless, beseeching gesture. “I don’t suppose you’d keep this quiet. At least for awhile. At least until I understand a little more about what’s going on.”
“Until we understand this, baby bro, I’ll keep your secret.” She sheathed her sword and wrapped one arm around his shoulders. His broad, well-developed shoulders. She paused in surprise. When had her little brother gotten so muscular? Must be all the training she put him through. “But you and I are going to talk about it. And soon.”
He opened his mouth, but she stopped his speech with a shake of her head. “Not now. I’ve got to be somewhere and I’m running late.”
His sly, knowing grin and waggled eyebrows made her groan.
“Off to the library again?”
“As a matter of fact, yes. Gowthaman’s found some new old manuscripts.”
“Since when are you interested in old manuscripts? Oh wait. I know. Since Gowthaman has something to do with them.” Chance laughed, holding his stomach as if trying to hold in the glee. It didn’t work.
Drawing back her fist, Bree punched his arm. Instead of laughter, a harsh oomph of air burst past his lips.
“Geez, sis. Did ya have to hit so hard? Good thing we’re grown up or I’d have to run and tattle to Mom.”
“Grown up? The way you tease?”
He danced a jig around her then bowed. “Part of my Faerie heritage.”
“Honestly, Chance. I’ve been helping Gowthaman...”
“Got the hots for him more like.”
Heat blazed in her cheeks but she refused to fall prey to Chance’s effective teasing. “Like I said, I’ve been helping him with research. You know Lucidea’s determined to get her uncle back from the world between worlds.”
“Yeah, she’s been trying for what... oh, since I was born? I know that’s a serious concern and everyone’s main focus now. But come on, Bree. Just admit it. You go to the library for the librarian.”
Here’s where you can find *lizzie on the web.