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It’s been a long few weeks of reviewing and revising as the manuscript works its way through production — and closer to debut. The official release date for THE WELL OF TEARS  is September 18, 2012.  Even as I write the date here I can hardly believe it.  The long wait is nearly over!

Still, I confess I’ve been struggling with the burden of balancing the many demands of the journey, which is ironic considering how well I knew what to expect. Honestly, I’d thought myself fully prepared. No one was more surprised than I to discover that there really are only 24 hours in a day. So, I am once again renewing my commitment to you all, dear readers. Weekly posts will resume, beginning now!

I’ve Been Tagged!!

The charming and talented Colin Falconer, one of my favorite historical authors and perhaps the most entertaining blogger on my list, has tagged me for the Lucky 7 Meme (see his post: http://colin-falconer.blogspot.com/2012/04/ive-been-tagged.html). It works this way:

1. You go to page 77 of your current WIP
2. You go to line 7
3. You copy down the next 7 lines, sentences or paragraphs and post them, as they’re written.
4. Finally, you tag 7 authors, and let them know they’re tagged.

For my part in the Lucky 7 Meme, I’m posting an excerpt from my current work, THE KEYS TO THE REALMS, which is in the early draft stage. This sequel to THE WELL OF TEARS is slated for publication in early 2013.  Both are books of the Dream Stewards series, historically based fantasies which center on the reign of Hywell dda, a 10th century Welsh king of whom little is known but whose reign left a lasting legacy. In the world of my creation, this mysterious king came to his great power with the aid of an obscure order of mages knows as the Stewards, charged with ensuring his success:

“Let him in, they you may leave.” Alwen allowed her second to help her on with the heavy, intricately adorned indigo velvet mantle of the Ard Druidh and seated herself in the ancient throne set upon a small dais that centered her chambers. “It is best I receive him in private.”

Glain nodded her assent but her grey eyes clouded with unspoken protests.  She had found it difficult to find much to like in their new resident. A concern Alwen shared and was looking to overcome.

“Leave the aleberry pot in the coals, will you?” Alwen tipped her head toward the hearth in the adjacent parlor and offered the girl a reassuring smile. “These visits tend to go better if he is assured his confidences will be kept, and after a cup or two of the spirits.”

Glain stifled a smile, still reluctant to relax into the familiarity that Alwen encouraged. “He tends to drink too much.”

“Take care, Glain. The king of the prophecy is due your respect, however begrudging it may be. He comes to us because the Fane is his only safe refuge, a place where he might find some relief for his worries.” Alwen’s wink coaxed a full grin from the girl. “But yes, he does.”

The sentry’s firm double rap on the outside of her chamber door signaled her visitor had arrived. Glain placed two silver cups on the hearth and set the pot to warm as requested, ushered in the king-to-be, and then made a discreet exit.

Hywel stood once again in Alwen’s presence, but this time at her request. Circumstances that clearly annoyed him. but he had come, nonetheless. His glower might well have shriveled any one else, but Alwen knew her power. Still, he was an unnerving enigma — every bit as regal as he was ruthless. She gestured toward the hornbeam and hazelwood desk beneath the double transom window on the far wall, and the more ordinary chair that stood behind it. “Sit, so we may speak plainly.”

And now, the 7 authors I’d like to tag (in no particular order):

Anne R. Allen

Sara Ramsey

Stephanie Dray

Sophie Perinot

Stefanie Sloane

Teresa Frohock

Rosanne Lortz

Thanks, Colin!!