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.