Title: A St. Patrick's Day Tale
Author: Christine Young, C.L. Kraemer, Genene Valleau
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1
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BLURB: A St. Patrick's Day Tale
Tumble through time…
…to Ireland in 1817, when tensions are high between Protestants and Chatolics and faey people guide the fate of villagers. A lovely Catholic lass stumbles upon the weakly ritual fisticuffing between Irish lads. She falls into the lap of a handsome young Protestant. Family ties, grudges, and two conniving faeries threaten their budding love. But the faeries outsmart themselves when they hijack a time machine that has mysteriously appeared in their forest and are whisked to…
…Eugene, Oregon in the 20th century, amid a property feud between the local faeries and night elves. The conniving faeries from Olde Ireland try to stir up more mischief. However, a warrior gnome convinces the magic folk to control their own destiny, and forces the intruding faeries to take refuge in the time machine again, spinning their way toward…
…A modern day castle in western Oregon. An eccentric inventor is determined to reclaim his wayward time machine and save his beloved wife from her latest misadventure. If only they can travel safely past the black hole…
EXCERPTS: A St. Patrick's Day Tale
The ring of knuckles hitting flesh thundered through the brilliant spring morning. Casey O'Connell lifted her skirts and raced up the little knoll behind the old white church. She knew her big bro was fighting. They always fought after church on Sunday. For the life of her, she couldn't figure out why.
"No! Stop it, I say. Patrick O'Connell, you--" Breathing hard Casey barreled through the ring of brawling men.
"Of course, Casey, anything you say," her brother and his friends laughed as he stepped aside.
"Get him, Casey! Land a punch for your big brother and St. Patrick," one of the young men called out.
"The O'Connell's are getting their women folk to fight their battles now?"
"I'll have your head for that, Shaunasey," another joined in.
"Watch your mouth and where you're a starin' or you'll have a black eye so swollen you won't be able to see."
"Woo--eee!" The brawl escalated then seemed to settle around Casey and her off-balance charge through her brother's foes.
Surrounding her she heard raucous cheers, cat calls, and whistles as well as her name. Her arms flailing, she ignored them all and tried desperately to keep her balance.
"Hmph!" She hit hard--a solid rock of muscle--heard the slightest grunt from the object in front of her. Air rushed from her lungs and stars seemed to circle inside her head.
"Oh…" she wailed as the object she hit cradled her with his arms on their way to the dampness of the ground below. Dizziness overwhelmed her. She let her head rest on a muscled chest. She heard a slow even heartbeat then a low rumble of laugher.
Meadows of Gold
A gentle breeze sighed, undulating the meadow grass lazily and whispering past the forlorn figure slumped on the tree trunk, hands clasped tightly in his lap. Thomas, a forest leprechaun, released a long melancholy breath between his cracked, dry lips. A single plump tear meandered down his stubbled cheek.
The sun sent bright shafts of light through the pine boughs and around the wooden pedestal upon which the morose figure resided. Ignoring the dancing beams, the leprechaun pulled a shuddered breath into his lungs and stared at a spot in front of the stump where a crumpled daisy chain necklace lay withering in the warmth of the afternoon. Another plump tear snaked down his unshaven face.
In the distance, a lone figure scuffed up the lane, which crossed in front of the tree stump. Thomas paid no heed to the approaching form, pulling a thin silver flask from inside his rumpled vest. He blindly opened the lid, placed the opened top to his lips and pulled a deep draught from the container. Refitting the cap to the top, he slipped the silver spirit holder back into his vest. His next shuddered breath was interrupted with a hiccup.
The figure on the road drew closer. Thomas raised his head and squinted his eyes. Was she coming back? He hiccupped and straightened up. Maybe she had been teasing him when she ran away and now she realized how much he cared for her. His eyes brightened and a smile began to touch his lips.
The figure came around the bend and toward him. The last he'd seen her, she was wearing a diaphanous, thin dress. Had she changed? The form nearing him was clad in leather breeches, a braided leather tunic, and knee-high, soft leather boots. A sword blade strapped to the figure's back flashed in the sunlight. Was Cary so angry she meant to cut him in little pieces? His heart began to pound in his chest and inside his mouth his tongue stuck to the roof.
The figure stopped two lengths from him and raised a hand to shade its eyes from the brightness of the day.
Thomas realized he was shaking. This was it…his life was over. He hung his head.
The voice was familiar but it didn't sound like Cary. If it wasn't her…
St. Batzy and the Time Machine
Horace Ainsworth patted the side of the giant red fire hydrant towering two stories above him then addressed the terrier mix dog staring at him curiously. "It's finished. Now don't you dig in my Maddie's roses any more or potty on the pansies."
Batzy stared at Horace's retreating back for a moment before he hiked his leg on the nearest flowering plant.
Then he turned his attention to the odd-looking structure the Big Human had erected. Not like any fire hydrant he'd ever sniffed. A canine would have to be the size of King Kong to give this thing a proper marking.
Though it did smell like the water that sprayed out of the hose when the human across the street yelled at him. Batzy grinned and lifted his leg, imagining he was returning the spray of the yelling human.
As he circled this mysterious structure, the smell of fresh paint and overturned earth drifted into his nostrils. It was bigger than the merry-go-round at the park where his human, Chloe, sometimes took him.
Wonder what's inside?
Batzy scratched at the side of the structure then trotted another few steps and scratched again. About halfway around he found an opening. Not tall enough for the Big Human, but just about perfect for his little girl, Chloe.Batzy darted inside and lifted his face to sample the aromas.
No scents of danger but much to explore. Like this box of dirt. Odd. Big humans usually didn't appreciate the joys of digging. Hadn't he just been told not to dig in the rose bushes? A sniff and a poke with his paw uncovered a bone. Fresh out of the package. Batzy looked around. What game was the Big Human playing?
"Batzy!" his little girl was calling him.
Batzy stepped out of the digging pit. Hmm. I smell peanut butter.
He put a front paw on a cabinetfor balance and nosed a button. A bone-shaped treat fell into a bowl below. Also fresh out of a package. The Big Human was definitely up to something. Batzy gobbled it down quickly before looking around again.
Drat!He had to go. On his way out, Batzy stepped back into the digging box and snatched up the bone. Outside once again, he pushed the bone through the gap under the fence, and squeezed through after it.
He popped up on the other side with only a few more streaks of mud on the white of his belly and wagged his tail at Chloe. He'd go back to explore the Big Human's structure later.