Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teaser Tuesday - GALLOWGLASS

Today's teaser is rom my WIP, Gallowglass. Our heroine, Karina Stewart, is about to unleash something from the Otherworld. Read on...

“I can’t believe you’re dragging me to another old rock.”

I shot my older brother a glare; I was really starting to regret offering to bring him along on this trip. “It’s not an old rock. It’s a church. A kirk.” I would have said more, but I needed to concentrate. This driving on the wrong side of the road business was for the birds.

“Kirk,” he repeated, rolling the word around in his mouth. “And, what are ‘kirks’ made of?”

I scowled at him, almost went into a ditch, and jerked the car back onto the road. “Chris, do you have to be such a jerk all the time?”

“Rina, do you have to be such a bad driver?”

“Stop drinking all that complimentary Scotch, and you can do the driving.”

“When in Rome.”

He had a point there. Nearly every place we’d visited in Scotland either had few samples of the local whisky laid out for us, or a proprietor with a handy flask. Add this to all the pubs we’d visited in Britain, and my liver was starting to ache.

“Besides,” Chris continued, “if I was driving, you wouldn’t get to drag me to every known fairy sighting.”

“You liked Stirling.” My brother is a literature professor, with a doctorate in Shakespeare. He’d wandered the halls of the old castle, randomly quoting the Scottish play. Beyond Lady Macbeth’s demons, his feet were firmly grounded in reality. By contrast, I’d always been fascinated by stories about magic and fairies. I’d jumped at the chance to do some of my geology grad work in the UK, so I could tour the locations I’d read and imagined about since childhood.

“At least real people lived there,” he smirked as we pulled into the car park. “What kind of ghosts are in this kirk again?”

“No ghosts.” I pulled up the emergency brake, and jammed my water bottle into my daypack. “There was a reverend here in the seventeenth century who communed with fairies and elves.” Chris gave me a look over the roof of the car, raising a single eyebrow. That had always irritated me, since I’d never been able to do that. “He wrote a book telling everyone their secrets, and the fairies imprisoned him in a tree.”

“Anyone can write a book,” Chris grumbled. “I’ve written several.”

I bit my lip; Chris had just enough midgrade liquor in him to be itching for a fight, and anything I said about his crumbling career would just add fuel to the fire. After a few moments of silence, Chris wandered over to the Plexiglas encased signage, carefully positioned to catch a tourist's eye.

“Did you get a pamphlet about this place?” he called over his shoulder.

“Yeah.” I rooted around in my daypack, and pulled out the wad of information supplied by Spiritual Sites of the UK, the tour group I’d contacted. I was so glad I’d opted for the cheaper, self-guided package. I’d hate for any hapless tour guide to be saddled with by brother’s foul attitude for six days, seven nights.

I pulled out a slightly rumpled pamphlet and handed it over. Chris opened it, scanning the paragraph’s with an English professor’s ease. “This guy wasn’t taken by fairies!” Chris said. “He had a stroke while he was walking around the hill.”

“You know where the term stroke comes from?” Without waiting for his smart-ass reply, I continued, “It was thought that a fairy had stroked your cheek. That’s why only one side was paralyzed.”

“Thank god for modern medicine,” Chris muttered. We reached the remains of the kirk, and headed toward the graveyard. Chris might think I was a loon, but he admitted that gravestones were cool. “Look, he’s buried right here. Case closed.”

I walked over to where Chris was standing, and read the inscription. After a suitable moment of silence, I mentioned that we should climb the fairy hill.

“We’re here, so we might as well,” I said when he whined. “Besides, the walk will burn off some of that booze.” He grumbled, but followed anyway.

The tree at the top of the fairy hill was, in a word, magnificent. It was old and stately, like a Scottish version of Yggsdrasil, and prayers, printed on colored bits of cloth, were tied to the branches. More offerings surrounded the roots, and shiny coins were pounded into the bark.

“Some walk,” I grumbled, digging in my pack for my water bottle. The water was warm, but it was better than nothing.

“So, he’s in here, huh?” Chris leaned close to the trunk, and picked at a coin. “Why hasn’t anyone tried to chop it down, set the poor guy loose?”

I shrugged. “To keep from angering the fairies?”

Chris barked a derisive laugh. “Yeah. Or, they don’t want to kill this golden goose of a tourist trap.” I glanced around; Disneyland, this was not. “This stuff is all so lame, Rina. I don’t know what you see in all these bedtime stories.”

I fingered one of the cloth prayers. “They remind us of where we came from, where we’re going. They’re comforting.”

Another bark. I think Chris had had more whisky than he’d let on. “Comforting? That’s your explanation for this crap—that it’s comforting?”

“Of course,” I said, trying to keep my voice even. The booze would wear off soon enough. I hoped. “Why would people keep doing all of this-” I gestured at the tree, all of the flapping bits of cloth prayers and offerings “-if no one ever got anything out of it?”

Chris looked from me to the tree. “If all this goddamn magic shit is real, why is my life over?” he ground out. “You think I didn’t pray for an answer? A solution? You know what I got? Nothing. Because there’s nothing to get.”

He turned and stalked down the hill, over toward where we’d left the car. I watched him until he disappeared around a curve, then I turned back to the tree.

“Don’t worry,” I said, patting the rough bark. “I believe in you, Reverend Kirk. I know what really happened. And, I’d rescue you if I could.”

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Booktrader of Hamilton - A Most Excellent Bookstore

Here's a recap of my most excellent day spent at at Booktrader of Hamilton!
The first order of business was to collect my traveling companion, the lovely and talented Amy, in Queens. That leg of the journey went off without a hitch… until I went the wrong way on the BQE. Oops. Luckily, I had my trusty GPS with me, and after traveling in ever-shrinking concentric circles, I arrived at Amy's relatively unscathed.
Not wanting to tempt fate twice, Amy drove us out of Queens.
As soon as we arrived at Booktrader, I knew this event was going to be a success. First of all, there's a mermaid on their sign. Is that a good omen or what? And I finally got to meet Joan, proprietress of Booktrader, although there was evidence that we'd met at BEA. We had both been so overwhelmed, we'd forgotten! I also met Jen, who works at Booktrader and was a deciding factor in making my day awesome.
What a turnout we had! I read from Copper Girl, and then we had sort of a Q&A period. It gradually evolved into a discussion of trends in books, what authors we love to read, and the age old question: are any movies better than the book? And, I just might have dropped a few hints about the rest of the series :)
Pictures from the event are below. I can't wait to go back once Copper Ravens is out!
Me and D'vora

Was I revealing spoilers? Maybe!

Me and Barb! She loves Scotland as much as I do.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Events, A Giveaway, And New York Comic Con!

First things first: the giveaway for a COPPER GIRL shirt is still running! Click here for details.

New Jersey-area peeps, I'll be at Booktrader of Hamilton, NJ TOMORROW from 2-4. There will be cupcakes, brownies...oh, and books. I'll even sign some for you :) Check out Booktrader's website for directions: http://booktrader.weebly.com/index.html

Can't make it tomorrow? No worries, I have lots of things planned. I'll even be debuting a short story set in COPPER GIRL's world at a little event you might have heard of called New York Comic Con. Dates are listed below!

 September 21 at Annie's Book Stop of Worcester MA http://anniesbooksworcester.com/
(this is a multi-author event, more to come!)

September 28 from 12-2 at Bank Square Books in Mystic, CT http://banksquarebooks.com/

October 10-13 at NEW YORK COMIC CON http://www.newyorkcomiccon.com/About-NYCC/NYCC-Fan-FAQs/
I'll be at Booth 1058. Come say hi!

November 9-10 at Anthocon, Portsmouth NH http://anthocon.com/

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Giveaway time!

Here's the prize: A COPPER GIRL shirt!

Here's the rules: Follow this blog, and you're entered! If you're already following, leave a comment and you're entered too!

Want an extra entry? Follow COPPER GIRL's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/copperraven

Already following? Again, just leave a comment, either here or on FB, and you're in!

The winner will be chosen September 20.

Thanks, and good luck!