Welcome Author Sharon Clare!
I want to thank Elaine, for having me today. I’m a great fan of Elaine’s Loyalist’s novels.
I’m here today to introduce you to something a little different and talk about my new release, Trick Me Once, a light, paranormal romance.
Yes, my book is a little different from Elaine’s historicals, but it does have historical origins. I went way back in history to create my Magical Matchmaker Series, back to Celtic and Norse mythology.
In Trick Me Once, one of the main characters returns to Earth after being trapped in Alfheim, an Elven world, for a century. You may wonder how on Earth this is historical.
Well, I can’t say the idea sprung wholly from my imagination. I was inspired by the experience of Reverend Robert Kirk, born in 1644 in Aberfoyle, Scotland—a man who believed he’d been to the fairy world.
Although Kirk is known for one of the first translations of the bible into Scottish Gaelic, he’s also known for his private journal, The Secret Commonwealth, published a century after his death as The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies by Sir Walter Scott.
Kirk talks about his visit to the fairy realm in great detail as if it was all real. He describes being treated well by the Seelie Court, the good fairies, but when he broke a rule by venturing into the Unseelie Court, the evil fairies, he was punished. He had to make a choice between death or living forever in the fairy realm. He chose the latter. This was believed to explain his mysterious death.
Myths, folklore and fairy tales have inspired many twenty-first century novels. We can thank Geoffrey of Monmouth, author of the Arthurian tales, Edmund Spenser, author of The Faerie Queene, (I tell this story in my first book, Love of Her Lives), William Shakespeare, Hans Christian Andersen and others for preserving fairy myths and tales and elevating elves and fairies and other magical creatures to legendary status.
In Trick Me Once, the story opens with the hero’s return to Earth. Aiden MacAuley’s story starts here with this excerpt:
A curse ripped from Aiden’s throat as he slid down the mountainside. The heels of his boots caught then slipped. His hands clawed dirt, yet he skidded down, down, down toward the ragged edge.
Pray Caillech! Hold tight.
Stones loosened under his boots. He hooked his fingers over a rock, lost his grip, slid farther. His feet went over the edge. Calves. Knees.
A tree root ripped his thumb. He latched on.
The weight of his legs dragged like anchors as he dangled in the air. Heart racing, he tilted his head over his shoulder to peer down. The sheer cliff fell in a concave swoop to a jagged plateau eighty feet below. He tightened his hold on the root.
The pain prickling his hands, the strain tightening his muscles, the air sucking down into his lungs were all acute signs, if he harbored any doubt, that he was human once again.
He’d be damned if his return to Earth lasted a mere minute.
With a deep inhale, he swung his foot toward the mountain and tried to find purchase. The toe of his boot slipped.
Muscles bunched and pulled across his shoulders as he struggled to keep hold. Muscles of a man in his prime—a small blessing at the moment.
I didn’t come this great distance to fail.
Sweat dripped into his eye. He blinked and locked his gaze on a toehold in the wall of the cliff. Again he swung. Slipped. Scrabbled. Held. With his foot planted, the strain on his arms eased slightly. Grunting like a damn hog, he pulled his forearms back onto the ledge. When his elbows touched ground, he drew another breath and pulled his body to safety.
Collapsed on the ground, he waited for the pressure that squeezed his ribcage to ease. The last words he’d heard before Taranis sent him back to the human dimension still rang in his ears, the tone sharp, heartless and unexpected—“you’ll not survive to save them.”
Shutting it out for now, he scanned the woods.
The vista from the mountain panned out over endless layers of rippling wilderness where he could almost imagine the lilting tune of a Scottish flute calling him home to the Isle of Skye. Now, that was a fine realization. He was home. The resinous scents of the mountain were a balm to a soul that had constantly ached to draw a breath of Highland air.
It was both a treasure and a tragedy to have knowledge of the wife and child he’d left behind, to know they’d died without him, and to know the only family he had left was in danger.
Unease hit him as he took in the rounded mountaintops brushed in soft green woods. The scents, the look, the feel of the mountains wasn’t right. He listened for the call of the curlew and heard nothing but the ra-ta-tat of a woodpecker.
And then he knew.
Taranis had not sent him to the Isle of Skye as promised.
Where the hell was he?
He stood and raked his hand through his thick, damp hair. Two hawks circled overhead, swooping with an easy grace that taunted him. To conjure a pair of wings would be a blessed skill.
His skin cooled as he scanned the side of the mountain. There, far below, a flash of red in the valley—a roof perhaps. Promising.
As good as the earth felt beneath his feet, his legs carried him with all the gusto of a sinking ship. Hours passed as he descended and trudged through the woods, bemoaning the fact that while he should be rejoicing at his return, he was nowhere near his beloved home.
When he paused to check his bearings, the wind ruffled his hair and raised gooseflesh on his neck. He turned and braced, seeing the ripple of air he never would have noticed had he not spent the greatest portion of his life amongst the Alfar.
A tall, lean, white-haired male materialized in front of him. At first glance, this man looked human, but Aiden wasn’t fooled. This was no mortal.
Thanks again, Elaine! And thanks to you, Sharon. I love your books!
Trick Me Once is available at your favourite bookstores here: https://books2read.com/Trick-Me-Once
Magic pushes them together. Reality pulls them apart.
Humiliated radio show host Jessica Stirling is a survivor, yet nothing prepares her for the stage trick that delivers her across the country to a man suspiciously like the nineteenth-century folk hero idolized by Hollywood. About to lose her job, her life savings, and the home that matters to her more than love, she can’t stay stranded in the mountains with a dangerously appealing man who believes in elves.
Trapped in an Elvin world for a century, Scottish artist Aiden MacAuley is finally free and back on Earth. But he’s not home. He’s not safe. And he’s not alone. To prevent the destruction of his bloodline, he must get back to Scotland immediately. He can’t be distracted by the exasperating woman sent to him by a match-making elf, even if she does stir his lust like no woman has.
When she tries to heal the sins of his past, he can’t open his heart. There’s too much to lose and as the new guardian of the gate between the human and Elvin worlds, he isn’t free to fall in love.
About the author:
Sharon Clare writes light, paranormal romance with a little magic, a little suspense and a little humour.
She’s always been fascinated by the idea there’s more to the world than we perceive. That’s why she created Finn, a mischievous, match-making elf, from a world just a wee bit off Earth who believes every time love is experienced, energy empowers our worlds.
Life has enough difficult times, so it’s important to Sharon to write novels where happiness ultimately triumphs. She helps her characters overcome their demons, open their hearts, and find the love everyone deserves. When you reach the end, she strives to leave you in a happy place.
If you’d like a free book in the Magical Matchmaking series, please come visit Sharon at: www.sharonclare.com
The Loyalist’s Wife, The Loyalist’s Luck, The Loyalist Legacy
by Elaine Cougler
Available at Amazon.com and many other places.