Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The Princess and the Curse by Shirley Martin
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born and raised near Pittsburgh, I have a love of western Pennsylvania and its rich history. After graduating from college, I taught school for one year, then obtained a position as a Flight Attendant with Eastern Airlines. I was based in Miami, and it was here I met my future husband, a civil engineer.
I love to write, and after starting out with historical romance, I have branched out to paranormal and fantasy romance. Reading and going for long walks are two of my hobbies, and I find that walks often help me work through a writer's block. I also love to grow flowers, especially orchids, and other plants.
A widow, I live alone with my two cats in Miami Shores, Florida, but will soon be moving to Birmingham, Alabama. I have three grown sons, two grandchildren, and one step granddaughter.
For more info, visit my website at: www.shirleymartin.net. I'm also inviting anyone who is interested in joining my newsletter group. To join, go to firstname.lastname@example.org Please let me know if you do, and I'll send you a free download of my fantasy romance novella, THE SACRIFICE.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Nolan Tremaine's love of telling tall tales lands him in trouble when he enters into a wager with a stranger. Unwilling to admit he'd never heard the land of Connachta, his pride prompts him to accept the stranger's
challenge and he sails from his homeland to find a land he's never heard of-in search of a sacred bell.
Disconcerted when he discovers the bell is a belle--The Princess of Bellarmine--Nolan quickly discovers the wager is less important than the lady's happiness, for as far above his station as she is, he can not help but fall in love with her.
He eased her close to him, his arm around her waist. She looked into his eyes, wishing she could read their meaning. She leaned closer, raising a tentative hand to his face, feeling the slight stubble on his cheeks. Suddenly, she was in his arms, his embrace a tight band of iron, his hard body pressed against hers. He kissed her, at first probing, a bare touching of lips. This was a new experience for her, for no one had ever held her like this, nor touched his lips to hers. His kiss hardened, and she lost track of time as she lost herself in his embrace, her breasts against his chest, their bodies as one. Something hard pressed against her stomach, a pressure so strange, so new, but so wonderful. His kiss went on and on, his hands drawing her closer to him, straying down her body, cupping her buttocks. Gods, she hadn't known anything could be this wonderful.
"No!" As suddenly as his kiss had begun, he released her. She felt bereft, lost, as if the world had turned to ice. "Ah, Leslie, forgive me! That I should take advantage of you now, in your grief! How could I have done such a thing!" Desolation framed his face, yet she knew his regret matched hers, that the kiss had ended.
"What is there to forgive?" she asked simply. "I wanted the kiss as much as you." She placed her hands flat on his chest and felt his heart beating beneath her fingers. "Please don't blame yourself for anything, Nolan. I certainly don't."
"As you say." He sighed heavily. "Do you want to go back inside now?"
She shook her head. "I'd like to stay outside for a while." To think, to plan, to relive the touch of your lips on mine.
"Would you like me to stay with you?" She gazed into his face, so free of guile, like the man himself, a simple, sincere fellow who had done so much for her.
"No," she murmured. "I'd like to be by myself, if you don't mind. But I want you to know how much I appreciate your many kindnesses, truly I do."
"Anything for you." He rubbed his hands on his tunic and looked around, as if he had more to say.
"Don't go beyond the house," he advised. "No telling what animals may prowl the woods."
"I'll stay here," she promised.
"Very well." He turned and walked away, his steps quick and light, and soon disappeared from sight as he strode into the cottage and closed the door behind him.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I've always enjoyed writing, and I have a vivid imagination. About twenty years ago, I suffered from a chronic backache, followed by fibromyalgia. I told myself that whenever I got better, I would write. And so I am.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love thinking up plots and using my imagination. I dislike devoting time to promotion, but I recognize that it's a necessary part of the business.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I live alone, so my time is my own. I usually write in the afternoon.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
My romance novels usually begin with an idea. For example, what if a contemporary woman goes back in time and finds she had lived that life before? This is the idea for my time travel romance, DREAM WEAVER.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I began with historicals, then went to paranormal and now write mostly fantasy romance. I write these stories because this is what I enjoy reading, and they lend themselves to imaginative plots.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
They are from my imagination.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
I'll tell you a secret. I fall in love with all my heroes and I don't have any favorites.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
I'd like them to take away a good, emotional love story that lifts them out of their everyday life, a story that will stay with them for a long time. I'd like them to feel regret when they come to the end.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
If you go to my website, you'll find Writing Tips. One thing I'd like to emphasize is that a writer should always be willing to take advice. Also, be disciplined. Find a good time to write every day, and stick to it.
What are you reading right now?
Lately, I've begun reading urban fantasies, which seem to be popular now. I'm reading Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs.
If you could be anyone or anything that you wanted, who or what would you be?
Surprise! I'm happy being myself, although I'd love to have the time and money to travel a lot.
Nolan Tremaine is a fisherman in the village of Baile Beag and a rather successful one at that. Of course, that’s not good enough for Nolan, and he has developed a tendency to tell tall tales. So when he meets a stranger in the local pub, he doesn’t hesitate to tell another of his stories. When the stranger tells Nolan he is from the land of Connachta, Nolan says he’s been there and ends up agreeing to travel there to bring back the Blessed Bell of Bellarmine in proof. Foolishly, Nolan has agreed if he doesn’t bring back the Bell, he will give everything he owns to the stranger and he has only one month to accomplish this goal. So off Nolan goes to faraway Connachta. When he finally lands, he runs across an old woman who tells him the way to get to the castle. Once at the castle, Nolan is shocked to find the Blessed Belle of Bellarmine is none other than the princess!
And everyone is celebrating her marriage to an evil mage. Everyone that is, but the princess herself. It turns out the princess is not happy at all and has no desire to wed the evil mage, but it is the only way to remove the curse. The mage has cursed her kingdom with infertility and he will only lift the curse if the princess will marry him. So when a stranger approaches her and takes her away from the ballroom, Leslie doesn’t fight. She even agrees to go with him on his boat.
The sea becomes rough and they end up on an island with the evil mage. The evil mage puts a spell on Leslie and takes away her voice. When Noland calls for the god of the sea three times, Mannanan shows up and does away with the mage. For some reason, Leslie still can’t speak. Mannanan tells the two to leave because soon, the island will be reclaimed by the sea. So off they go.
Will Leslie ever get her voice back? What of the growing attraction between the two? Will Nolan take Leslie back to the pub in order to keep his belongings, or will he return her to Connachta? Is there a future for a fisherman and a princess?
THE PRINCESS AND THE CURSE is a thrilling retelling of a Celtic myth. S.A. Martin has done a wonderful job of bringing this story to life. We have a man and a woman of totally different social status brought together through unusual circumstances and wondering about the possibility of a future. We have a Celtic god, a good witch, and even an evil mage brought into the mix. S.A. Martin always does a wonderful job when she writes a story and this one is no exception, right down to the heartfelt sigh at the end.
The Princess and the Curse by Shirley Martin
Publication Date: December 2006
$3.50 from New Concepts Publishing
Purchase The Princess and the Curse by Shirley Martin HERE!!