A LOVE OF LEGENDARY PROPORTION
In another time, in a place once known as Camelot, they had been lovers. Torn apart by betrayal and lies, Lancelot Du Lac and Nimueh, the Lady of the Lake, had each suffered greatly. But the magic of the fae had reawakened a man once trapped in stone, and Lancelot was determined to find his long lost love. Only, Nim was desperate to hide her fae soul, as she was marked for death by their mutual enemy.
Though centuries apart had not diminished their passion, they would once again face a dangerous test to prove each was the other’s destiny.
“Take your hand off me,” she said, letting her voice fill with frost.
“No.” He pulled her closer, turning her to face him. “You will answer my questions.”
Nim jerked her arm free. They were so close, she could feel his warm breath against her skin. “About what?”
His nostrils flared as if scenting her. Still, Nim studied his tense jaw and the blood flushing his high cheekbones. The heat of his emotions made her feel utterly hollow. His hand closed around her wrist again, almost crushing her bones.
“There are too many people here,” he growled.
“There are enough people here for safety. Perhaps I don’t want to answer you.”
His eyes held hers a moment, dark fire against the ice of her spirit. That seemed to decide him, for he pulled her close and took a better grip on her arm. “Come with me.”
He didn’t reply, but steered her toward the door, moving so fast she skittered on her heels. She took the opportunity to pull against him, but this time he held her fast. “Don’t.”
The threat was real. Her fighting skills were nothing compared to a knight’s. Lancelot could crush or even kill her with a single blow. Still, that didn’t make her helpless, and she would not let him forget that fact. Rising up on her toes, she put her mouth a mere whisper from his ear. “You forget what I can do. My magic is nothing less than what it was when I was the first among the fae noblewomen. I can defend myself against your brute strength.”
Just not against what he’d done to her heart. She closed her eyes a moment, feeling his breath against her cheek and remembering the past for a long moment before she denied herself that luxury. “Let me go,” she repeated.
In response, he pulled her to the side of the building, refusing to stop until he was deep into the shadows. The ground was little more than cracked concrete there, tufts of grass straggling between the stones. He pushed her against the siding, her back pressed to the rough wood. “Not until I’ve had my say.”
He had both of her arms now, prisoning Nim with the hard, muscled wall of his chest. Anyone walking by might glimpse two lovers in a private tête-à-tête, but Nim drew back as far as she could, something close to anger rising to strike. No one handled her this way, especially not him.
“Then talk,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Aren’t you even surprised to see me?” he demanded.
“Why should I be?” She needed to squash any personal connection between them. Even if she was whole and their people were not at war, he had betrayed her.
He put a hand against her cheek, his fingers rough. She jerked her chin away, burning where his touch had grazed her.
But he was relentless. “I’m told you were caught by Merlin’s spell along with the rest. I know what the fae have become.”
Soulless. As good as dead inside. Lancelot didn’t say the words, but she heard them all the same. “It’s true,” she replied. “It’s all true.”
His expression was stricken as if hearing it from her lips was poison. Good, she thought. Better to be honest. Better that he believe her to be the monster she was.
“Maybe that’s true for some. I don’t believe that about you. You still have too much fire.”
With that, he claimed her mouth in an angry kiss. Nim caught her breath, stifling a cry of true surprise. The Lancelot she’d known had been gentle and eager to please. Nothing like this. And yet the clean taste of him was everything she remembered.
His mouth slanted, breaking past the barrier of her lips to plunder her mouth. The hunger in him was bruising, going far beyond the physical to pull at something deep in her belly. Desire, perhaps, or heartbreak. She wasn’t sure any longer, but she couldn’t stop herself from nipping at his lip, yearning to feel what she had lost. A sigh caught in her throat before she swallowed it down. Surely she was operating on reflex, the memory of kisses. Not desire she might feel now. The warmth and weight of him spoke to something older than true emotion. Even a reptile could feel comfort in the sun. Even she…
Still, that little encouragement was all the permission he needed to slide his hand up her hip to her waist and she could feel the pressure of his fingers. Lancelot was as strong as any fae male, strong enough certainly to overpower her. That had thrilled her once, a guilty admission she’d never dared to make. She’d been so wise, so scholarly, so magical, but an earthy male had found the liquid center of heat buried under all that logic and light. They had always sparked like that, flint against steel.
But then his hand found her breast and every muscle in her stiffened. This was too much. Memory was one thing, but she wasn’t the same now and she refused to have a physical encounter that was nothing more than a ghost of what it should be.
Nim pushed him away. “I don’t want this.”
Something in her look finally made him stop, but his eyes glittered with arousal. “Are you certain about that?”
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
Heartfelt. It’s about sacrifice, forgiveness, and rebirth.
2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?
My first glimpse of the series came when I imagined King Arthur on a motorbike—why that popped into my head, I’ll never know! After that, I had to write about Camelot arriving in the modern world to save us from ancient evil . . .
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist? ? Lancelot, Nimueh, and Morgan LaFaye are drawn from Arthurian legend. It’s really fun material to work with, and I’ve written the books so that the reader doesn’t need to have any previous knowledge of the tales.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?
If I have writer’s block, it’s because I’m very tired or else the book is going in the wrong direction. Either way, taking a break is the best way to cure it. I think my subconscious keeps working on the story while the rest of me does something else, because a day or two later an answer will come to me. I’ve learned to give the block time and space to work itself out.
5. Your all time favorite book? ?
I have many favorites, so I can’t pick just one. A childhood favorite is the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander.
6. What made you pick that one above all others? ?
Most of the books I love best have very strong characters. If there is magic, adventure, and people I care about, I’m there.
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ?
Some of the first books I wrote probably took a year or so. That changed once I was under contract—now it’s a minimum of two books a year and more if possible. I tell new authors to enjoy the open-ended time they have to write a terrific book. Now that seems like a luxury!
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way? ?
Since I’ve been published, I’ve taken my ability to write more seriously. It’s gone from a sideline to an extremely important part of my identity. I fight for my creative self harder than I did before.
9. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?
There are always bad days, but I have readers and characters who count on me! The story won’t let me go until it’s done.
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?
I have a full time job playing with spreadsheets.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect? ?
Bad reviews are unpleasant, no question, but they are part of putting work into the public arena. If bad reviews all say the same thing, I would pay attention. Maybe there’s a takeaway to improve my stories. However, if it’s something like “yuck, I hate heroes with blond hair” there’s not much one can do but shrug.
12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
Enchanted Guardian is book 2 of the Camelot Reborn series, following Enchanted Warrior. There are two more books coming in 2017. Right now I’m working on the third, Royal Enchantment.
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?
I’m just beginning talks with some other authors on a collaborative series of lighter romances which is sounding like SO MUCH FUN I can’t wait to begin work on it. It will give me a chance to stretch my comic talents and my well-known love of the absurd. Yes, there will be a paranormal element.
Fun facts: :
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for? ?
To keep the people I love safe and happy forever.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you? ?
Probably a survival manual! I’m hopeless when it comes to outdoorsy activities.
3. Name your favorite fruit. ?
Raspberries when they are just off the bush.
4. Coffee or tea? ?
Coffee in the morning, tea after lunch.
5. Favorite season? ?
6. How about fav time of 24 hours? ?
The moment I finish all my have-tos and can read a book.
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? ?
No. Not a big thing where I grew up.
8. Favorite food for breakfast? ?
Fresh fruit and plain yogurt.
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ?
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn.
10. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes? ?
Toys, especially the little graveyards that show up around Halloween.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ?
12. Drama or comedy? ?
Comedy is difficult to do well, so drama is a safer choice.
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto? ?
When the going gets tough, the tough get tougher.
14. Cats or dogs? ?
Cats, although I love dogs, too.
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? ?
16. What song have you listened to most recently? ?
“Waltz About Whiskey” by Mandolin Orange. (folk/country)
17. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛 ?
I didn’t rethink that one! I would add pets, though.
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is… ?
Rice Krispie squares. It’s my comfort treat.
2. If you could choose to be someone else for just one day, it would be… ?
My cat. It would be nice to be waited on all day.
3. Your oldest memory is… ?
My grandma and mother having a fit when I got my toddler hands on a can of hair spray.
4. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ?
Making to-do lists I never act on!
5. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ?
Taxes. I hire someone.
6. Your favorite part of a date is… ?
The moment during those first few dates when you realize it’s actually going okay. It’s such a huge relief.
7. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ?
Game of Thrones. Hope there are a few characters left . . .
8. The one thing that always brightens your day is… ?
Hearing from readers. Never hesitate to contact an author—we all love getting emails and messages from the reading community. Mwah!
About the Author & Links:
Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.
Sharon is the winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.