Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Promo Day with Siobhan Muir - The Beltane Witch

Today I am very excited to have the lovely and talented Siobhan Muir by again to talk about her new release, The Beltane Witch. 

I first met Susan Hayes through Siren Publishing where we both had books coming out about the same time. Then I dragged her chortling and cackling into the world of #flashfiction, where you write short stories, usually less than 500 words, to prompts blog badges. As a #flashfiction host of #ThursThreads, I often take advantage of the opportunity to add to my works in progress word counts. It’s a good way to light a fire under the muse and get a story flowing, or even start a new story.

Reading back through The Beltane Witch during final edits, I was surprised how many scenes I’d started from #flashfiction challenges of some of the other hosts. Each time I came across such a scene I could picture the photo or word prompts I’d had to write into the tale. There are several in The Beltane Witch, and they helped me piece together the whole storyline, keep the pacing going when it might have sagged, and one even gave me an intro a hot sex scene. ;)

If you’re an author, writing #flashfiction has an amazing affect on your writing. Since starting my challenge, my writing has tightened up and become more succinctly descriptive without being verbose. If you’re strictly a reader, #flashfiction challenges often show off works in progress from your favorite authors as well as any new stories coming down the pike. I’ve been told by two author friends of mine that my challenge as spurred a couple of their stories coming out soon.

The excerpt below was started by a 100 word flashfiction piece written for an image of a large spreading tree barely seen beyond a rope suspension bridge in the mists.

Sabrina stood at the foot of a suspension bridge extending into the mists, the cool wetness of spring dripping off the struts of the bridge. Silence of the senses surrounded her. No sounds, tastes, smells or textures shook the stillness. Only foggy sight offered any indication she still existed.

Sabrina frowned.

This had to be a dream because nothing like this stood in Cloudburst. The hazy silhouette of a great tree awaited her at the far end of the bridge, but the distance of the span escaped her estimation. She grasped the guy ropes and squeezed to find some sort of physical purchase, but her hands felt numb.
Where am I and how did I get here?

Memories sifted, as insubstantial as the mists around her. She shook her head to focus her thoughts, but everything swirled away as substantial as smoke. Something was wrong.

Sabrina sought to inhale, to find the scents of spring, but she couldn’t breathe. Panic gripped her mind and her hands tightened on the ropes. Oh Goddess, I can’t breathe! She bent at the waist and tried again, squeezing her eyes shut, but her lungs refused to expand.

Dear Goddess, am I dying? Is that why I’m at the edge of the bridge?
I can’t die! Who would care for her children? Who would protect them?

She wanted to wail her distress, but she had no air to expel sound. She bowed her head and tears fell, scalding her cheeks in fiery trails.

The ropes under her hands vibrated and she stilled, opening her eyes. Raising her head, she stared into the misty expanse of the bridge. A figure materialized half-way along the span, more solid than the rest of this world, and extended his hand out to her. She swallowed hard.

Darius? What is he doing here?

Even in his hazy state, he looked noble and strong. She wanted to believe his appearance meant safety and protection, but standing in the center of the bridge he only represented the unknown.

“Come with me, Sabrina.”

How does he have breath here and I don’t?

“You must focus, my lady. You must make the first step. Come back with me.”

Sabrina shook her head in confusion. Back with him? Back where?

His expression tightened with frustrated concern. “Take the step. Trust me.”

She wanted to scoff, but sound required air. Trust him? I don’t know him.

“Please, Sabrina.”

Something in Darius’s voice encouraged her, coaxing her to move forward. She bit her lip and extended her foot onto the flimsy bridge, hoping it would hold her weight.

“That’s it.” Darius remained still, his hand offering her shelter and security. “You can do it. Just take my hand.”

The bridge swayed in a dangerous arc and she froze on the rickety board, panic dragging at her gut. I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe. The mantra repeated in her mind, eradicating all other thoughts. Sabrina closed her eyes and bowed her head, her hands squeezing the guy ropes until her knuckles cracked.

“Sabrina, look at me.” She shook her head again. I can’t breathe. “Look at me, acushla.”

She forced her eyes open. Darius smiled with none of his usual slick charm.

“Good, my lady. Reach for me, now.” His fingers flexed a little, urging her forward.  “Just a few more steps.”

She wished she could take a deep breath to buck up her courage, but she couldn’t make her lungs work. Panic surged, but she focused on Darius’s face, his expression tight with worry. Why is he worried? Don’t ask questions, just keep walking.

Sabrina loosened her grip just enough to slide along the prickly ropes, forcing her feet from one worn plank to the next. She kept her gaze locked on Darius’ eyes despite her pounding heart and burning lungs. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she pushed herself onward until she could reach his outstretched fingers.

Sabrina gritted her teeth and flailed for his hand, desperate to reach him. When his warm fingers closed around her frozen skin, relief flooded through her as he drew her into his embrace.

“There you go, acushla.” Darius gathered her into the folds of his coat as he wrapped his arms around her. “You’re safe now. I’ve got you.”

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Susan. Be sure to check out #ThursThreads, my #flashfiction challenge, and thanks so much for stopping by. Happy reading.

Magic, mayhem, and motherhood… a witch’s work is never done, but Sabrina draws the line at the Fae.

After almost two decades as a practicing witch in Cloudburst, Colorado, Sabrina Foxglove is done with men, magic, and the fertility rituals of High Beltane. She’s dealt with all three before and ended up with a young daughter and no partner. Twice. She’s looking forward to a magic-free May Day, with nothing more exciting than making brownies for a kindergarten class and decorating a May Pole. She definitely doesn’t have time for a handsome, Fae-touched man.

After almost two centuries as the human chamberlain to the Fae’s Summer Court, Darius Winterbourne is a man accustomed to getting his way. So when the Summer Queen tasks him with finding a witch to perform the annual rituals and strengthen the ancient warding magicks, he figures it should be easy. He doesn’t expect Sabrina’s hardheaded refusal, her untrained abilities, or his attraction to her. With less than a week to Beltane, he must gain Sabrina’s trust before he loses his home, his position…and his heart.

Website: http://siobhanmuir.com
Blog: http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/siobhan.muir.35
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SiobhanMuir
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5760938.Siobhan_Muir
Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/u/0/118081545120488658410/posts

Siobhan Muir lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shape-shifter, though he's never shifted when she can see him. When not writing, she can be found looking down a microscope at fossil fox teeth, pursuing her other love, paleontology. An avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, her husband gave her a paranormal romance for Christmas one year, and she was hooked for good.

In previous lives, Siobhan has been an actor at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, a field geologist in the Aleutian Islands, and restored inter-planetary imagery at the USGS. She’s hiked to the top of Mount St. Helens and to the bottom of Meteor Crater.

Siobhan writes kick-ass adventure with hot sex for men and women to enjoy. She believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, all of which you will find in her paranormal romance stories.

Siobhan’s recent release, The Beltane Witch, is the second book in the Cloudburst Colorado series, and she has also published Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin and Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack through Siren Publishing, and Her Devoted Vampire through Evernight Publishing. Her free read entitled A Hell Hound’s Fire introduces her Cloudburst, Colorado series.