My current release, BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HEART PLACE, is the third book in a series of funny paranormal romances, all rooted in the mystery of the stone circle of Avebury in Wiltshire County, England. Sure, my stories are set in contemporary Richmond, Virginia, and feature pucas (my own version), faeries (again my own version) and modern Druids (and these are incredibly my own version), but there never would have been a story to tell if it weren't for the stone circle.
A lot of people haven't heard of this particular stone circle, so I first have to assure them that I didn't make it up. No, it was truly a gift whose existence I discovered while surfing the web one day. It's real. What's it like? Picture Stonehenge, except older, much bigger and less preserved. Only a fraction of the roughly hewn stones are still standing today. Most have been knocked down, buried, or demolished beyond recognition. Oh, and did I mention the real-life stone circle of Avebury literally encloses the real-life, populated village of Avebury? I'm not kidding. We're talking streets bisecting the circle, inhabited cottages, a museum, shops, a pub and even a church. I understand, too, that sheep graze freely among the mammoth Sarsen stones. Ironic, eh?
So. We have a stone circle, implying all kinds of mystery and history and that can only spur the imagination, right? Well, one thing in particular about this circle really started my creative juices flowing. You see, some of these fallen stones were busted into smaller pieces and used in the construction of various structures in the area. Tell me that's not worth a few goose bumps. I know it was for me. Imagine a fragment of a huge Sarsen stone monument, much like the stones comprising Stonehenge, cemented into the foundation of your home. Would there be spirits tethered to it? Magic? Legends? A curse? What if someone used that stone fragment as the building's cornerstone, a hollowed brick serving as sort of a time capsule? What would be the motivation behind it? And what might it contain?
The who in this case -- as you might know if you've been following my series -- was a puca named Riordan, the sexy shape-shifter from Pandora's Box. If I tell you any more, however, I'll be spoiling secrets for that book, and for its sequel, The Druid Made Me Do It. Just understand that by book three -- Between a Rock and a Heart Place -- we have renegade magical powers trapped inside that cornerstone. A half-spell, a blow to the right person, and suddenly those powers are loosed to find a new host in the form of my heroine, Daphne Forbes, the ordinary accountant daughter of two mostly immoral and control-freak Druid parents. (You might notice me taking a few -- dozen -- liberties here for the sake of craft and entertainment.) Now Daphne must learn to control these powers, which are at war with the untrained Druid powers she's so far managed to ignore. If she does not, if these warring powers drive her insane as has been threatened, then it falls to one man, Tremayne, to stop her by whatever means necessary.
Who is Tremayne? He's a nature spirit with the wondrous ability to undo any kind of magic -- even warped puca/Druid powers like Daphne wields uncontrollably and involuntarily. He's also the one guy who can destroy Daphne, should it prove necessary, so he's been assigned to that duty. Never mind that he's been watching and wanting her for months now . . . Kinda makes for a rocky romance, don't you think?
But not a boring one, I hope.
So tell me. Would you want a fragment of Sarsen stone from a mysterious stone circle embedded in your home? Why or why not? Better yet, if that special cornerstone were to gift you with anything at all, what would you like best? A ghost? Mysterious papers? Exciting powers? A sexy shape-shifting puca with a curse on his head? Have you ever visited Avebury or Stonehenge or some other place that gave you that tickle-along-the-spine feeling? I'll be giving away a free book to a commenter on this post. Winner gets to choose a copy of either Pandora's Box or The Druid Made Me Do It. As I mentioned before, these are the two prequels for Between a Rock and a Heart Place. Thanks so much for participating and helping me celebrate my new release!
Natale's winner will be posted here on Tuesday evening.