My new e-short story set during the Napoleonic Wars, Within The Mists, will be released on July 4th! It is the tale of Lt. Edward Putney, an arrogant officer in Nelson's Navy, and the lovely selchie who rescues him when he is blown overboard during a ferocious storm:
An excerptHe muttered to himself when she had gone. “Nonsense. None of this is real.”
“That’s what you humans always say.” The faerie perched on the window sill. “You’d rather believe a fancy and call it a faerie story.”
“How did you get here?”
“Window’s open.” She leapt down and sat cross-legged on the end of the bed. “Now let’s give you a simple first lesson, shall we? My name is Mab. Queen of the Faeries. The person who saved your disbelieving hide is Sioned—say, ‘Shaw-ned.’ This is her cottage. She’s a selchie.”
He frowned. “She’s a what?”
She squinted at him. “You are more ignorant than the average seaman, aren’t you?”
“I beg your pardon! I’ve had an extensive education—”
“In all that counts for nothing!” She pointed a sharp finger at his nose. “Now be quiet and listen. A selchie is a human on land and a seal in the sea. Some say they can see the future. Females are especially good at reading hearts and intentions. The males may wreak havoc and summon storms.” Mab smoothed her tunic around her knees. “All sorts of magic folk live on this island to stay safe from humans. Your kind destroyed our homes in the woodlands and desecrated the stone circles, so this is the only place we have left. It is a world of its own hidden in fog. Twice in our year, the mists part and a door opens to the human world—on the equinox at spring and autumn. You arrived here on the spring equinox.”
He stared at her. She gestured with an open palm. “Come, come. Arrived on the spring equinox, so—?”
His heart flipped in his chest. “I can’t return to the human world until the autumn equinox?”
Mab clapped her hands and flew to the window sill. “Very good! You should get a treat for being so quick! I’ll have to remember to bring you one later.”
She flew away.
Edward sat very still, thinking. Then he carefully got to his feet to search for his clothes.
Within The Mists will be available from Champagne Books on July 4, 2011!