Branch 1 of the Tree of Life
Nearly a century ago, Rowan Nemed died by lightning strike. The divine bolt ignited something magic and she was transformed into something rare, powerful, and fey: sidhe.
Sidhe survival depends much upon one’s ability to remain hidden from other supernatural creatures and magic users who would exploit them. Rowan has lived for several years in the pressure cooker of Hollywood as a set designer, carefully staying away from the camera. However, a spontaneous act of recognition for her work brings Rowan to the notice of Los Angeles’ supernatural community and her freedom is threatened.
Lion shifter Adrian and vampire Simon are best friends and business partners. When they discover Rowan, each wants her for his own. Rowan does her best to dissuade them, for a supernatural matebond means the end of her freedom.
Then demons begin hunting sidhe and Rowan is a prime target. She agrees to exchange her freedom for survival. But which male will Rowan accept? And can she survive when one of them dies in a battle to keep her?
This is the first of three books in The Tree of Life trilogy. The book can be read as a stand-alone novel.
I found the whole exercise in fantasy, fame, and infatuation endlessly entertaining. Since Hollywood’s golden age, the process repeated itself over and over as a particular leading man or lady gripped the nation’s attention and affection and commanded salaries that most folks only dimly imagined.
Firmly ensconced behind the scenes where my anonymity could be protected, I loved making Hollywood magic come to vivid life. That evening’s set raised the bar and even I would have to work hard to exceed its success. Film sets were enhanced by digital wizardry; special effects on live audience sets were much more difficult to pull off, but I—and my small company—did it.
“Rowan, once again Stardust Set Design has created an unbelievably beautiful and fantastic venue,” Bertie Pendergast complimented with a small wave that sparkled and flashed with gold and jewels. Bertie loved his rings. “Troy Ingalls told me that you are definitely chosen as the set designer for his next movie—probably all three of them.” He added as an aside, “Betty Davis is doing the costume design. You’ll want to coordinate with her.”
I smiled and politely accepted the high praise and exceedingly good news from Hollywood’s most prominent B-list actor who was often selected to host several of the self-congratulatory awards programs that actors and moviemakers like to broadcast. These events afforded Hollywood’s darlings, the has-beens, and the ambitious up-and-comers with ample opportunities to flatter themselves, to parade before fans, and to attend decadent and extravagant parties. That night’s Oscars awards program and party was being held at the opulent Kodak Theater.
“Bertie, you’re an angel,” I said when he offered to introduce me to Troy Ingalls, the hottest director in the business who had just signed Derek Wolfe to a three-movie contract for an obscene amount of money. The blonde beauty who accompanied him that night held one of the lead parts in the ensemble cast.
“Troy’s doing a Camelot-based trilogy. The first is based on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” Bertie said with a shrug. “It’s a departure for Derek, but then Tom Cruise did a fabulous job as the vampire Lestat, which really surprised everyone.”
“I take it that Derek is Sir Gawain?”
“He’s too rugged to play Arthur,” Bertie said with a grin. “They’ve got Hammer Allencamp for that role.”
I repressed a groan as the actor just named by Bertie walked past us. He had shoulder-length, blonde hair, an impressive physique, a dangerously beautiful face, and an IQ equivalent to his shoe size.
“It’s a good thing he’s pretty,” Bertie said in a snide undertone.
I choked back a chuckle.
“You know, Rowan,” Bertie began, “I don’t see why you’re not in front of a camera.”
“Because I can’t act,” I retorted. My own accompanying shrug concealed the need for continued anonymity. Discovery meant loss of freedom and that meant someone had to die. I preferred that someone not be me. Patrick Henry said it best: “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Tour will be from December 17th - January 17th
I intended to head south for Thanksgiving to spend it with my mother and older son and his puppy. My older son made the journey from Alabama to South Carolina, but I decided to stay home and keep my germs to myself. This cold--I refuse to think of it as anything but--lingers. It's par for the course. I get sick with upper respiratory issues, after a week the cold descends into my chest, then I cough for a few more weeks. It happens every time. Just in case anyone cares, no, I don't think it's C19. I have not had the one symptom that practically all C19 victims profess: a loss of taste and smell.
So, I stayed home and watched sappy-sweet Hallmark movies. Took a nap. Cleaned stalls. Snacked. My husband brought home a plate of leftovers from his family's Thanksgiving gathering. On Black Friday, I made soup in the crock pot with turkey leftovers. (I hoped my husband didn't notice the lack of celery. We didn't have any and I forgot to buy some.)
My oldest brother is once again a grandpa as of November 25. This makes his second grandchild. The baby, a boy, was born four weeks early, weighed 7 lbs., and is 20 inches long. Pretty darned big for a preemie. The newest member of the family is doing well. Mama had some complications, but is reported to be doing all right.
(No, I don't pester my own children about reproducing. They've got enough going on in their lives without that.)
I'm still not writing. I've got stories swirling in my head, but not the impetus to filter them through the keyboard. I don't know whether this has to do with a lack of creative spark, general discouragement, or something else. It's probably a mix of factors that contribute to my hiatus in production and sussing out which are responsible is about as helpful as picking lint from one's navel. It really doesn't matter.
The 9th Annual Christmas Bazaar in Toledo, Ohio was postponed until next spring. I can't say I was surprised. Assuming the nation recovers its collective mind and realizes that we can't stop a virus, 2021 promises to be a busy year. I'll be doing some traveling in the region. As for public gatherings and the pandemic, I'll jump off the soapbox right now.
More disappointing news: my younger son cannot visit over Christmas. He called to let us know that the military forbade travel. The entire base is on lockdown. I haven't seen my boy since my father's funeral and miss him terribly. Fingers are crossed that we'll get to see him in July.
The next few weeks will be disjointed and irregular, expected for the peak holiday season. I wish you well.
Daughter of the Dark Moon
Worlds fear the powerful, ruthless, and cold-hearted Unseelie king. Deposed and his kingdom conquered, Uberon answers the call of a young human woman's soul and claims her as his mate. Corinne's clever mind captivates him, her compassion intrigues him, her beauty enchants him, and her body stokes his libido like nothing else ever did or could.
Discovering that myths and legends really are based in fact, Corinne soon learns her fate as the Unseelie king's chosen mate and the consequences of fae immortality as she adapts to a new world and her relationship with Uberon develops. She revels in Uberon's passion and shoulders the burden of power and responsibility beyond anything she ever dreamed.
“Glad you like it,” she replied in a dry tone and wondered why she felt no danger in his presence, especially following his strange declaration and understanding her own vulnerability alone with a stranger in a remote cabin. “You do realize that I have rights and freedom of choice. You can’t just claim me as your property.”
“You’re weary,” he said between bites as though she’d not spoken. “When you’ve finished eating, go to bed. I shall clean up.”
Directing an annoyed glare at the handsome brute, Corinne said, “You are sleeping on the sofa.”
He nodded, not seeming at all disturbed by her assertion of personal autonomy. A frisson of excitement—or terror—tingled up her spine. She met his mysterious silver gaze and, strangely again, felt no fear. This man meant her no harm, despite the weird and disturbing claim of possession.
“Why are you here?”
“Because you’re mine.”
They finished the simple meal in silence. Uberon ate the other half of her fillet.
Twin Moons Saga
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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