Today we welcome Ariella Moon, author of medieval fantasy adventures for teens and young adults. She has incredible, enriching stories to share and this one is one of my favorites. I'm thrilled she's sharing it with us. Enjoy! ~Carissa, LovRR Manager
Three of the many things I discovered on my most memorable summer vacation:
On my first solo trip abroad, as an author and shaman, my quest was to research magic and Celtic spirituality for my Two Realms fantasy/romance series. Mara Freeman, an Archdruidess in the Druid Clan of Dana, led the tour.
Magic Always Exacts a Price.
Until my trip to the United Kingdom, I had never paid a high price for working with magic. But never before had I entered Merlin’s Cave below Tintagel Castle believing it was just a tourist attraction, not an actual portal to another world.
I incorporated my experiences in Merlin’s Cave in THE AMBER ELIXIR, a Two Realms novella. In one scene, Viviane, the young Lady of the Lake, has ventured to the cave to meet with the wizard.
Viviane conjured a birch walking stick. In the past, she had slipped more than once on the glistening rocks beneath her feet. Her ears buzzed with the cave’s enchantments. She had learned to not stare at the rocks lest they appear unbidden in her hand. Many an unwary traveler had filled his pockets with the sea-green-and-white stones, lost track of the tides, and drowned.
I didn’t drown, but weighed down by the stones stuffed into my jacket, I exited the cave and mounted the steep, uneven stairs to the castle. My price for taking stones that had magically appeared in my hand: a painful, long-lasting knee injury.
Fenella’s insides twisted, and her legs threatened to give way. Gran had sworn, no human ever returned from Fairy.
Trapped in Fairy
After Tintagel, we ventured to the “faery-haunted woods” of St. Nectan’s Glen. Recent rains often obscured the path. With pain knifing my knee, I concentrated on not getting lost or face planting in the mud. Loamy smells permeated the air. I sensed silent tree spirits watching me. The forest held its breath, and the only sounds were the trickle of a small, swift stream and the occasional curse uttered by someone who had slipped in the mud.
At last, we reached the gatekeepers to the Fairy Falls. They appeared to be two women sliding past middle age, but their images wavered as though they couldn’t hold the glamour. Ahead of me, an outspoken member of our group exclaimed, “Oh, great. Trolls!”
Once safely past the gatekeepers, steep, slippery steps cut out of solid rock led down to the basin at the bottom of the waterfalls. Floating violet fairy orbs, not initially detectable to the eye, appeared through our cameras. In the stream, water fairies streamed out in a V-formation from an intense ball of light with no apparent energy source.
Bedazzled, only the fear of being caught in a fairy forest after dark spurred me onto the return path.
Copyright 2018 Ariella Moon
The Beltane Escape by Ariella Moon
Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.
But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with a half-Viking/half-Fairy.
Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between two clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.
The Greek island Santorini is simply the most beautiful place on the planet.
Santorini is a partially submerged volcano that creates a unique crescent shape. Thera, the main town, spills over the tall caldera cliffs with walkways winding through the freshly whitewashed shops, restaurants, hotels, and homes. Blue rooftops and hot pink bougainvillea cascading over buildings and walls add vibrant splashes of color. The deep blue Aegean blends with the clear sky and surrounds the island.
Santorini has something to please most every vacation goal—history, beach, geology, nightlife, vineyards, shopping, and sunsets. Some of my favorites are a visit to Akrotiri to see the very well-preserved Neolithic archaeological site some believe could be the lost city of Atlantis. The black stone or sand beaches are breathtaking. I enjoy relaxing on the beach, but diving is amazing with caves, wrecks, and colorful sea creatures. It’s also very interesting to take the short boat ride across the lagoon to tour the dormant volcano and hot springs.
After a full day, I recommend wandering the streets of Thera and exploring the shops with clothing and locally made jewelry, crafts, and art. Chat with the shopkeepers and you’ll run across a few who vacationed on Santorini and never left. Then it’s time to relax with a glass of wine and feast on the fresh Greek cuisine—perhaps a meze (appetizer) platter with dolmathes, spanakopita, tzatziki and warm pita bread, kalamata olives, saganaki, and a horiatiki (village) salad. You’ll run across dozens of the famous cats of Greece as you explore.
The town of Oia is the place to go for sunrises and sunsets in the most vibrant pinks and fiery oranges you’ll never forget. I recommend staying in Oia unless you want to be in the center of nightlife. There are beautiful inns, along with restaurants, cafes and regular buses and taxis that can take you to Thera.
My maternal heritage is Greek from the island of Chios, which also has a rich and less touristy culture. I’ve traveled to Greece since I was two years old. In appreciation of my love of the Greek island beauty, we decorated our dream home in their calming colors—cobalt blue, yellow, okra, grey and white. Gillian, the main character in Becker Circle, references her Greek mother and I suppose there’s a tad of that strong Greek determination in her.
My goal now is to visit Chios and Santorini with the love of my life so we can make our own memories.
About Addison Brae
Addison Brae is the author of Becker Circle, a romantic suspense. Learn more about Addison on her LoveRR page or her website. Connect with Addison on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.
About Becker Circle
New degree. New job. It’s Gillian’s fresh start across the country. So much to experience. A giant past to forget. Her sense of humor and best friend help her maintain her self-respect when most every jerk in the neighborhood hits on her. Who could know trying to meet people could threaten her dignity and her life? Download Becker Circle for 50% off on Smashwords in July 2018. Use code SSW50 at checkout.
Becker Circle by Addison Brae
New starts mean new rules. Can she triumph through the challenges?
My boyfriend believed I was too gutless to leave. He was dead wrong. I graduated Harvard early and left his hot temper and everyone else behind for Dallas. Determined to make it on my own, I land a second job bartending at the neighborhood pub, smack in the middle of drama central, where almost every jerk in the neighborhood hits on me.
A week into the job, the neighborhood’s very popular drug dealer falls to his death a few feet from the table I’m serving. The cops say suicide, but the hot guitar player in the house band and I suspect foul play, and we intend to prove it. Digging deeper, we’re drawn closer to each other. Then we make a shocking discovery. We know the murderer.
Download Becker Circle for 50% off on Smashwords in July 2018. Use code SSW50 at checkout.
Which romance genre do YOU love to read??? According to 51% of people who've voted in our poll, Science Fiction is the BEST!
What do you think it is that makes Science Fiction so popular right now? Is it the complete escape from this world? Endless possibilities? Or are people just tired of vampires and demons, and they wan't something that still falls into the realm of impossible improbability, with a Happily Ever After?
Tell us what you think in the comments below. And if you're a fan of Science Fiction Romance, please leave a recommendation for either an author or a book that you l-o-v-e-d.
Here are some of the LovRR Sci-Fi authors:
S.E. Smith is a New York Times, USA TODAY, International, and Award-Winning Bestselling author of science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and contemporary works for adults, young adults, and children. She enjoys writing a wide variety of genres that pull her readers into worlds that take them away.
USA Today Bestselling Author Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance Prophecy series (Prophecy, All of Me, and Salvation). She’s made one foray into paranormal with her Kindle World vampire novella, Made for Her. Currently she is working on book three of the series, Collision, which will be released later this year When she not busy writing, she’s hanging out with her wonderful hubby of twenty-eight years, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and a spoiled Dobie mix pup.
Lexi Post is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of romance inspired by the classics. She spent years in higher education taking and teaching courses about the classical literature she loved. From Edgar Allan Poe's short story “The Masque of the Red Death” to Tolstoy’s War and Peace, she's read, studied, and taught wonderful classics. But Lexi's first love is romance novels so she married her two first loves, romance and the classics. From hot paranormals to sizzling cowboys to hunks from out of this world, Lexi provides a sensuous experience with a “whole lotta story.” Lexi is living her own happily ever after with her husband and her cat in Florida. She makes her own ice cream every weekend, loves bright colors, and you will never see her without a hat.
Scott was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were. He decided that if there weren’t gay characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends. A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink with his husband Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality.
Donna S. Frelick has been a journalist, a Peace Corps Volunteer and an author of STAR TREK fan fiction. She was an RWA® Golden Heart® Double Finalist in 2012 for the first two novels in her contemporary SFR Interstellar Rescue series, and a 2016 SFR Galaxy Award Winner for the third book in the series, Fools Rush In.
Do you want MORE Science Fiction? Visit the Sci-Fi genre page by clicking the button below. Don't forget to leave a comment and tell us why you think Sci-Fi romance is so popular right now! Even better - leave a recommendation for some out-of-this-world Sci-Fi romance.