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Friday, December 2, 2011

Romantic Friday Writers__A Sad Homecoming

Welcome to my Romantic Friday Writers post for December. Many thanks to L'Aussie for creating this fun event, showcasing the work of many fine writers. Click on the icon at the end of my post to check out others participating today or join the blog fest. A winner is awarded the recognition of being this week's featured author.

Today's challenge is to write about the House in the Snow picture at the left, in 600 words or less.This scene is from my epic fantasy romance series, entitled Enchanted Bookstore Legends. Book 1 will be released in March.

Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love. 

His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love? 
Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a series of quests to save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately she must use her own power…and time is running out.
Lyra took the path leading toward the portal. The wind whipped dry leaves and bit her face. She pulled the hood of her magical cloak over her head. The gray sky threatened snow. Ice-covered heads of the bell flowers bent low, as if the life was about to be snapped from them. She missed their gay, tinkling songs of summer. Although glad for the quiet to sort through the chaos of her thoughts, the bleak landscape made her sad and lonely.
A clatter of icicles hanging from the waxy leaves of the jasmine-scented vines drew her attention to the trailhead leading toward Cullen’s cabin. She stopped at the intersection, straining to see down the path for a glimpse of the building and to feel the happy memories. After a few steps under the vines, she made out the top of the chimney. Would it be alright to go inside for a minute? Or did the rider of the cimafa or Eburscon still hunt her?
She hurried down the side path, her boots crunching frozen leaves. She looked from side to side, surveying for any movement. At the edge of the glade where the cabin sat, she stopped to listen for anything unusual. Only the soft whistle of the wind through the bare branches of the tree tops greeted her. On the lake, waves crested into small whitecaps, gliding across to the shore nearest the cabin. Everything looked desolate, life suspended by winter, much like Cullen’s present state. If only it wasn’t true and he was there, welcoming her home, like before at her aunt’s house.
She darted across the clearing to the steps. Her foot slid on the ice, and she grabbed the railing to break her fall. Finding the door locked, she stated the charm to produce Cullen’s magical box. Inside, she picked out the large skeleton key. It easily unfastened the bolt, and she stepped into the sitting room. That too seemed lifeless. In the chill air, she could see her breath. While the cushions of Cullen’s favorite chair enveloped her in a friendly embrace, she latched his mother’s case and ran a finger over the intricate wood design.
She wished for Cullen’s arms rather than those of his chair. She clasped the box to her chest and moisture clouded her eyes. She wiped them with the back of her hand, and the circular cut on her finger began to throb. Fearing it meant some danger approached, she jumped to her feet and raced up the stairs. There was one thing she intended to get before she left.
Her eyes scanned the room. Then, draped on the back of a wooden chair hung what she needed—Cullen’s sweater he wore Christmas day. She lifted it to her face and buried her nose in the soft wool, inhaling deeply. His scent—a citrusy sandalwood cologne mixed with his own musky, male odor—filled her nose and sent shivers along her skin. She tucked the garment under her cloak and bounded  downstairs and out the door, taking time only to set the lock and apply the vanishing charm on her storage case.
Wings whooshed above the porch roof.
She froze, her heart thumping in her chest.
Then she heard a scratching noise, like talons clawing thatch of the roof to locate a secure perch.
She barely breathed, trying to remain as quiet as possible.
Feathers hung over the eave, dark against the ash-colored sky. Should she run inside and lock herself in the cabin for protection? She’d have to state the charm aloud to get out the key again, giving whatever it was time to attack.

 WC =606
NCCO/No Critiques, Comments Only
~ ~ ~
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. She is the author of the novel, TEARS ON A TRANQUIL LAKE, the first in a trilogy. Part two, TORTUGA TREASURE is contracted for release in January, 2012. Look for her first of an epic fantasy romance series, SEEKING A SCRIBE: ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS ONE, to be available early 2012.


L'Aussie said...

Hi Marsha! What a wonderful post for the response to the image. The imagery hooked me right from the start. So many unique phrases - tinkling songs of summer - I loved it.

You haven't linked to RFWer so I'll do that for you. Seems a lot of people have done the same. Out of practise!


N. R. Williams said...

Well written Marsha. I love how your character is a character and the other is a writer. Scary creature at the end.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

Marsha A. Moore said...

Denise, thanks for setting the link. I usually do that in the morning, but an Aussie is always up first! :-)

Nancy, having the wizard/hero, Cullen, play a double life eventually involves the heroine in both worlds. Makes for a fun twist.

Thank you both for the nice comments.

Francine Howarth: UK said...


So loved the intricate play on words, and good atmospheric input! The whole pulls a reader in and the tease at the end is so cruel... What is it? What happens? Ha ha, the key to read on to find out. ;)


Donna Hole said...

Beautifully written descriptive imagery. I felt her loneliness too.

Nicely written.


Li said...

Romantic - I like her burying her nose in his sweater :-))

Andy said...

I remember Cullen from a past RFW entry & how impressed I was with him then. This time the tables have turned & she's helping him. Awesome imagery & the intrigue at the end leaves me wanting more.
Another fine excerpt from you, Marsha.

More Fulfilling With Love

Anna said...

What compelling characters!
Love the details such as his sweater, that she buries her nose into and regonises his fragrance.

What intense description and it's a cliff-hanger too!

Wonderful writing!

Best wishes,
Anna's RFW challenge No 26 picture prompt

Adura Ojo said...

Hello Marsha

Intriguing, nicely written piece.

Madeleine said...

I love the description of 'Cullen’s sweater he wore Christmas day. She lifted it to her face and buried her nose in the soft wool, inhaling deeply'. Wonderful piece.