Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, July 28, 2014

If Ever I Would Leave You: Arthurian Stories For A New Generation by Jenny Trout, Bronwyn Green, Jessica Jarman, Abigail Barnette


Surfacing by Bronwyn Green
A year after Tabby Nolan’s sister vanished from the Lake Michigan shore with her boyfriend, Liam, Tabby visits the spot where the two were last seen– and finds herself pulled into the crumbling world of Avalon.

Since his disappearance, Liam has been trapped in the mythical land, with no link to the world he knew. Now, their shared memories of Tabby’s missing sister are all they can cling to as Avalon dies around them.

But Tabby doesn’t want to be a replacement for her sister, and her growing attachment to Liam feels like a betrayal. As Avalon fades around them, Liam and Tabby must rely on each other– or be lost with the ancient kingdom forever.

Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut by Jessica Jarman
For nineteen years, Anna has been plagued by dreams of lives lived only in legend. Finally free from the family that believed her hopeless and worthless, she’s ready to start her life over—alone.

When Anna meets an enigmatic stranger claiming to be the legendary wizard Merlin, she is forced to question the very reality she’s struggled to accept. With the mythic figures from her dreams intruding on her waking life, Anna learns that she’s been reborn to fight an ancient evil alongside King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

Caught in an ages old conflict, Anna is the key to stopping a dark magic that will destroy the world—and Merlin wants to make sure that this time, Anna isn’t alone.

A Choice Fit For A Queen by Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette
For perpetual overachiever Madison Lane, a summer studying Arthurian mythology in the Welsh countryside with professor Thomas Evans is a dream come true, and the adventure of a lifetime.

Of course, the enormous crush Madison developed on the professor after a semester of his lectures at U of M has absolutely nothing to do with her desire to learn more about the enduring legend of Camelot. At least, that’s what she’s telling her parents.

When Madison meets fellow student Rhys Crewe, sparks fly, throwing her plans for wild fling with Professor Evans completely out of whack—as do her unexpectedly complicated feelings for Thomas. With tales of Arthur and Lancelot haunting her every waking moment, Madison has to make the most difficult choice of her life.


by Bronwyn Green
Mustering up the small amount of strength I had left, I wrenched away from her and ran into the woods. Branches slapped at my face, and brambles scratched my bare legs while small, sharp rocks dug into the bottoms of my feet. I had no idea if Nimue was following me or not, but I wasn’t going to shorten my lead by turning around and looking. What I really needed was somewhere to hide. If this was like the rest of the islands around here, there would be a cave to hole up in or maybe some decent rock formations to use for shelter.
Unfortunately, this looked like nothing but trees. I saw a few other paths as I ran, but I couldn’t make myself choose one. Instead, I just moved heedlessly through the woods, dodging branches as best I could and hoping Nimue wasn’t behind me.
I couldn’t believe I hadn’t come across any other people—or even campsites. These islands were never crowded, but they were popular with the camping and hiking types. I wondered if this island had a ranger station on it. At the very least, there would be a satellite phone there and hopefully an actual ranger. I wanted to call out for help, but if I’d lost Nimue, I didn’t want to give away my location.
Thinking I heard a noise behind me, I put on a burst of speed. At the very last second, I turned right, heading back toward the shore. I thought I remembered seeing rock formations that would make a good hiding spot. I ran into a clearing and skidded to a complete stop. There was a shirtless guy with an ax. A ripped, at least from the back, shirtless guy with an ax. I’d been so focused on getting away from the creepy castle and what might be inside that I’d forgotten I’d heard someone chopping wood, and I managed to run right into him.
I opened my mouth to call out to him, but worry that he was one of the people Nimue had mentioned niggled at me, and I shut it. In those few short seconds, paranoia won out, and I desperately hoped I hadn’t made enough noise for him to hear me. Carefully, I began backing out of the clearing, but he turned. And I froze. He stared at me, eyes widening and mouth open. The ax fell from his hand and hit the forest floor with a dull thud that seemed to echo in my chest. My gaze crept upward from his slack hand to his corded forearm, over his tightly muscled stomach and chest to his face. There was something disturbingly familiar about him. My heart stumbled as I realized what it was. With the heavy stubble covering his cheeks and chin, he looked like a slightly older version of Liam.
He took a step toward me, and I tensed, getting ready to run.
I looked at him again. Really looked at him, this time. As he drew closer, I could make out impossibly green eyes—the soft green of new leaves. There was only one person I knew who had eyes like that.

Albion’s Circle: The Deepest Cut
by Jessica Jarman
I don’t know how long I sat there, shaking, trying to pull myself together. And failing miserably. Behind my closed lids, images flipped rapidly, almost too fast to distinguish one from another. Almost. But they were as familiar to me as my own reflection. I knew each and every one. Not just faces this time—though, they were there—but places, buildings, events all clouded my mind, tried to burrow in and refused to be shoved aside. It was fierce and brutal, as if these imaginings were fighting back for all times I’d tried to bury them or cut them out of my life.
It didn’t make sense. I shook my head and moaned as the movement sent a wave of pain through my body. God, why was this happening to me? Why was it getting worse? I knew what my mother would say. I’d stopped taking all the medications she and her army of doctors shoved at me my entire life. Well, I’d stopped years ago, so that wasn’t the reason. And those medications… I’d rather be dead than take them again. I felt dead when I was under their influence. That was the reason I’d stopped. I wanted to feel, to live, and they made that impossible. So, as soon as I’d left home, I threw out the pills and never looked back. Things had gotten bad then, but I learned how to deal with it and function normally—without killing everything that made me me.
At first, on my own, I did a lot of stupid things. Stupid, stupid things. All I wanted to do was feel—so I partied hard, drank more than my fair share, and took just about every drug I came across. Not my finest moments. I got over that real quick. Waking up every morning in a different bed with a different person, with no idea what I’d done… Not how I wanted to go through life.
After a time, I realized some sleeping pills to help me get a solid night’s sleep—a solid, dreamless night’s sleep—was all I really needed.
Until now apparently.
I fumbled with the zipper on my purse and started digging through the contents. My fingers closed around a bottle, and I looked at it resting in my palm. That was the problem. The pills weren’t working. Fucking Nate. I threw the unlabeled bottle back into the bag as anger joined the constant pain.
Nate was who I got the sleeping pills from. It was easier than trying to get a doctor to prescribe them—they always wanted to talk about why I wasn’t sleeping, and the hell if I was going there with anyone—and cheaper than paying for office visits and all that shit.
My breathing hitched as I felt solid steel at the bottom of my bag. I pulled out the pocketknife with trembling fingers.
The pills I’d gotten from Nate the other night were bad. They had to be. Because the alternative—that I was as crazy as my mother thought I was—couldn’t be. Could it? I wasn’t crazy. I pulled the blade of the knife open and fought against the bile surging up my throat.
I wasn’t crazy. Hitching up my skirt, I stared at my thighs, and the pale thin marks I kept hidden from the world. My vision blurred until I couldn’t see clearly, and I was biting back sob after sob. I couldn’t let Henry hear me. I needed to get control, so I could deal with Nate and his fucking shit-batch of pills.
I wasn’t crazy. I pressed the blade against my inner thigh. I still couldn’t see, but that was okay. I knew just how hard to push, how to drag the sharp tool slowly along my skin. My lids fluttered shut, and my breathing evened out as I felt the initial prick then the soothing sting.
I wasn’t crazy. I just needed to focus. And this…this brought me focus. This made things clear. I opened my eyes and watched crimson well up in thin lines, getting thicker and thicker until it began sliding down, down, down. A few beads dripped onto the floor, and in that moment, everything quieted inside me.
Five. It’d only taken five stripes to come back together again this time.

A Choice Fit For A Queen
by Jenny Trout writing as Abigail Barnette
To say that the Rose and Pig was off the beaten path would have been an understatement. There were no streetlights. The street wasn’t even paved. It was barely more than a dirt two-track leading past the low stone fence that surrounded the field. At the end, a two-story wattle-and-daub house stood, chimney smoking. The light spilling from its windows promised warmth and a place to get dry. Though my feet ached and stung with raw blisters from jogging around airports all day, I practically sprinted the last leg of my journey. Mud splattered onto the legs of my jeans, and I didn’t care. All I wanted was to get inside, away from the hellish downpour. I reached the door, prepared to fling it open and launch myself into the warm embrace of a charming Welsh pub.
It was locked.
No. Visions of sleeping in the cold, shivering in the dark, wet, pneumonia-encouraging night put urgency into my arm as I pounded on the door. “Hello! Hey, is anybody inside? Can anyone help—“
A guy opened the door. A hot guy. An annoyed hot guy. One look at him and my heart jolted. I froze in shock, but managed to stutter out, “m-me?”
He was absolutely gorgeous. Flawless dark brown skin stretched over a face that made the words “aesthetically pleasing” an understatement. His cheeks were full, like he’d retained baby fat in the exact right places, and his lush lips spread in a smile that was half “let’s be friends” and half “let’s be friends with benefits” as he looked me over.
Unfortunately, the longer I stared at him, the more his smile faded. He leaned his shoulder against the door and slung a white bar towel over the other to cross his arms over his chest. “Let me guess. American white girl, thinking, ‘What do you mean, they have black people in Wales?’” He held up his hands in mock apology. “Sorry, we’re everywhere. Hope you’re not too disappointed.”
“N-no, I wasn’t—“ Explaining was not going to work if I couldn’t talk like a normal human. I had to glance down and push my wet hair from my face to concentrate and steel myself against his good looks when I raised my head again. When I did, I managed a smile. I hoped I didn’t look goofy. “I was actually thinking, ‘wow, the guys are a lot hotter here than at home.’”
His smile returned slowly. “Yeah, all right. You’re forgiven. Come on inside.”
His accent. Oh god.


Zemira said...

I always had a soft spot for Lancelot.

Nicole The Reading Rebel said...

I love Tristan and Isolde.Such a tragic story.

collenga said...

I love Caradoc, he's my fave.

Spg Chlomo said...

I havent read it yet :3

Unknown said...

I havn't read them yet, but i would like to so no favorite yet thank you for the giveaway

Anonymous said...

I guess Tristan is my favorite. :)

Bewitched reader said...

I've always been fascinated with Merlin ever since I first watched Excalibur in the 80’s. I love that movie!! Merlin is my favorite Arthurian character because he can do all kinds of magic.

molliekatie said...

My favorite Arthurian character is Morgaine (aka Morgan Le Fay) from Marion Zimmer Bradley's book "The Mists Of Avalon."

Thank you for this giveaway!!

Unknown said...

I would love to read these books!

nurmawati djuhawan said...

i like arhur..
thx u :)