Friday, January 22, 2010

New Year's Bash Day 22 - Welcome Isabel Roman!

And today we have the talented Isabel Roman!

Magick, betrayal, attraction and adventure, and Philadelphia.

My very first story, the one I recently unearthed with a surprised “What’s this and where’d this box come from?” and burned in a fit of hysterical laughter, could be summed up as: Long, confusing, long, paranormal before I knew what the word meant, four families, and just plain bad. It had something to do with the elements (hence the four families) and Russia. I didn’t read beyond the second paragraph, opened the wood stove, tossed the entire sheaf of papers in, and happily closed the wood stove. Those words kept me warm during the December snowstorm from hell.

This one is very different: Magick, betrayal, attraction and adventure, and Philadelphia. What does Philadelphia have to do with the previous four? It’s just the setting, though if you’ve ever walked the streets after midnight, you can easily believe in ghosts and goblins. In the fourth of my Dark Desires of the Druids series, Temptations and Treachery, Lady Isadore Harrington sets out on her own to face the world outside the insular one she’s always known.

Druidic magick historically comes in many forms, but it’s always associated with the earth, with the 4 (or 5 if you choose) basic elements. For instance, my magickers can gather already existing shadows around them in order to hide themselves. Or they can use the wind, ocean, and fire, bending these elements to their will. Isadore’s brother, Lucien has a strong affinity with water, and spent a large portion of his life at sea.

In my world, it’s still very much connected with the earth despite the Victorian rather than medieval or even ancient setting. The Victorian world was different, fun because of those differences, and all straight-laced. My Druids are not. Straight-laced that is.

Isadore, however, is a different matter. She’s never embraced the most basic of Druidic traditions, enjoying sexual fulfillment before marriage. In Druidic society, one can sleep with whomever they wish before marriage, just not afterward marriage vows are spoken. Isadore hasn’t ever found anyone she’d bother to sleep with; until she lands in Philadelphia and meets her sister-in-law’s cousin, James Blackthorne.

Powerful with basic elements, she also has no single stronger power. Until she travels from England to Philadelphia where she begins having vividly painful visions aboard ship. Death, passion, and an odd sense of connectedness draw her to stay in Philadelphia, but will it be enough?

Excerpt from their first meeting:

“Why does Morgana hate me so? We’re family. We’re the only family we have left! I’m more than a cousin. I’m like a brother to her!”

James waited impatiently in the warm summer night for the passengers of the steamship to unload. They took their damn time, didn’t they? Strolling off the ship in ones and twos. But not the woman he waited for.

“This is not,” he said to a silent Takoda who stood to his left, “how I intended to spend my evening.” In fact, he’d really wanted to sleep. Between running Blackthorne Shipworks and keeping the magicker council from killing each other, he had no time for such trivialities as sleep. He desperately missed it. “Or the next few weeks of this summer.”

Takoda, the shaman Morgana rescued from mob justice years ago, merely grunted.

“Saddled with the sister of that Englishman. What does Morgana see in that pompous ass?”

“She seems happy enough.” Takoda’s words did nothing to comfort or calm James. The worst part was, he couldn’t deny it. She was happy with Granville; happier than he’d ever seen her even with her first husband. Damn the Englishman.

The passengers trickled to a stop and still no sight of Granville’s sister. Not that he had much to go on, but he’d yet to see a woman traveling with an older companion. Just as he was about to comment on that, the pair of women he awaited walked down the gangplank.

“Gods,” he breathed, frozen in place. The rest of the words stuck in his throat. Swallowing against the blockage, he managed, “She’s stunning.”

James tilted his head to one side, studying her. The lights from the dock glinted off her golden blond hair. She paused at the bottom of the gangplank to look around. Her companion said something to her and she smiled: a quick, bright grin that shook James to his core.

It took him a moment to regain his senses, to react. With a deep breath, he walked forward.

“Not. A. Word,” he warned Takoda without looking at him. Holding a finger in his direction to ward off any comment he repeated, “Not a single word.”

Takoda offered a quiet, mocking laugh.

James snarled at him, but stepped to the front of the thinning crowd to catch Lady Isadore Harrington’s attention.

Maybe this summer wouldn’t be all that awful.

Where to find me:
Facebook Which may or may not work, I can never find people’s page this way, but it could be me.


Isabel Roman said...

Good Morning, Antonia! And thanks for having me for your New Year's Bash. I've been reading all the guests you've had so far and have to say, I'm intrigued! Some great stuff out there.

And I just loved A Dom for Christmas, and am now reading The Gathering.

Antonia said...

I agree Isabel! Thanks so much for reading my works. I have the rest of your Druids series in my To Read Pile ^.^

Thanks for blogging with me!

Dana Fredsti said...

Isabel, there's something both wonderful and embarrassing about the old writing that pops up to remind us of how far we've come...