Thoughts on the wild, the weird, and the romantic from author Joy Nash

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I love to write my dreams — and occasionally, my nightmares! I write tales of romance and adventure with a paranormal twist. Read on to find out what I think about when I'm not writing...

» Friday, October 30, 2009

Silver Silence - the interview

Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!

To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!

Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.

By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.

Thanks and good luck to all!


Silver Silence Q & A:

Q: What do readers need to know about Silver Silence?

A: It’s the third book in my Druids of Avalon trilogy. And it’s Rhys and Breena’s long-awaited story! Readers who have been following the age-and-circumstance mismatched pair through The Grail King and Deep Magic will finally get to experience their struggle and happily ever after.

In Silver Silence, Rhys and Breena travel from second century Avalon 350 years forward in time to a brutal Dark Ages Britain they barely recognize. There they battle a dark power poised to cancel the prophesized birth of King Arthur.

The wizard Myrddin, counselor to High King Uther faces a hard choice: allow Britain to succumb to a brutal Saxon menace aided by an unknown dark sorcerer, or dangerous deep magic to bring Breena and her unique magic from the past to aid his cause.


Breena, who has at last accepted that her childhood infatuation for Rhys can come to nothing, agrees to the mission. When Breena goes missing from Avalon without explanation, Rhys realizes he would risk anything – even forbidden magic and a perilous journey through the Lost Lands – to bring her home. He doesn’t anticipate a journey to Britain’s grim future, nor that Breena will refuse to abandon her purpose once he arrives. It falls to Rhys and Breena together to unravel the secret of linking their past with Britain’s Future King, and break the Silver Silence.

Q: Where did you get the idea for this story?

A: From history! My Druid characters travel through the mystical Lost Lands, which link all time to Avalon. They emerge three hundred fifty years in the future, in a Britain they hardly recognize. Abandoned by the Roman Army, faced with a brutal Saxon invasion and internal squabbling among Briton war chiefs, Britain is at a crossroads. A strong leader is needed to unite Britons and drive away invaders. As we know, at least for a brief, shining moment, that leader was King Arthur. My characters become deeply involved in the legend of Arthur’s conception, in which much deceit and magic abounds.

Q: Breena is so much younger than Rhys, both in age and life experience.
Why is she perfect for him?

A: Breena is very loyal. She’s loved Rhys since she was a small child—hero worship, really. Unfortunately, hero worship isn’t a firm base on which to build a mature relationship. Readers caught glimpses of Breena in The Grail King and Deep Magic. In Silver Silence, she grows up. She has to accept Rhys’s rejection, leave him behind, and forge her own destiny. In doing that she ultimately wins what she gave up – Rhys’s love. I think her story is a valuable lesson in how letting go of one cherished, impossible dream, and taking charge of your life on your own terms, can bring that dream back to you in the end.

Q: What do you love about Rhys?

A: He’s a “lone wolf” hero – my favorite kind! I love Rhys’s idealism, his lonely dedication to his life duty for Avalon. He’s doomed to a wandering life, which he never wanted and doesn’t like. He thinks his own happiness, especially with Breena, is out of reach, but he accepts that burden for the good of Avalon and Britain’s future.

This obedience takes a toll, in the form of Rhys’s dark and sometimes disturbing sensuality. Which is yet another aspect of himself he could never force on Breena – or so he thinks! In reality, Breena is much stronger than Rhys gives her credit for. It’s her task to teach Rhys that his efforts to keep her cocooned in safety has more to do with his own fears, than with Breena’s happiness.

Q: How did you approach building the world of Dark Ages Britain for this story?

A: I read quite a bit about 5th Century Britain. The withdrawal of the Roman Army prompted many Britons to flee the island. Those who remained in Britain, without the military protection they’d known for five hundred years, had to scurry to protect their territories from rival Britons as well as raiding Saxons. Breena and Rhys go from their own stable, prosperous time into this brutal future. My research into the spread of Christianity in Britain was fascinating.


When Rhys and Breena encounter a future Avalon, they find it inhabited not by Druids, as in their own time, but by monks of a new religion that considers Druidry a work of Satan. So that’s another aspect of the future they struggle to deal with. Added to that mix is Druid magic that is both less common, and more powerful, than in their own time, and a dark menace that threatens to prevent the prophesized birth of Britain’s Druid King. It’s really a quite complex landscape in which to set a love story.

Q: Where can we learn more about Rhys’s and Breena’s past?

A: Check out www.joynash.com for the Silver Silence “Before the Book” scenes to catch a glimpse of Rhys and Breena over the years. These scenes were originally flashback scenes in Silver Silence, but ended up cut because of manuscript length requirements. I loved them so much I couldn’t let them fade away completely!

Q: What’s the best part about writing the Druids of Avalon Trilogy?

The emails from readers who have fallen in love with my characters and my stories! Everyone can daydream, but it’s such a privilege to invite readers around the world to participate in the fantasy. Thanks for being there with me.


Coming this weekend - Winners!!


Joy
www.joynash.com



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» Thursday, October 29, 2009

Silver Silence - excerpt #5

Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!

To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!

Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.

By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.

Thanks and good luck to all!


And now, Silver Silence excerpt #5:

Ciara cried out, convulsing with pleasure beneath him. Rhys yanked himself from her body just in time to groan his own release.

Shame rushed in, hot on the heels of his climax. Heartsick, he fumbled with the knot on Ciara’s bonds. When she was free, he jerked to his feet and strode the short length of the room to its single window. Throwing open the shutters, he braced one arm on the sill and looked out on blackness.

“Rhys? Is something wrong?”

The genuine concern in Ciara’s voice made him hate himself even more. He pressed his forehead to the window frame, cold sweat beading on his forehead. Gods. How could he have imagined Breena naked, servicing him like a whore? She was just a girl. An innocent. The sister of his best friend. For years, Rhys had thought of her as his own sister.

Until her breasts and hips had rounded, and the youthful worship in her eyes had turned to something sweeter and darker. And she began to speak to him of love, and of marriage.

Even now, the thought caused a bitter laugh to rise in his throat. He and Breena, married? He had nothing to offer her—not even the meanest roof to shelter her. But gods help him, he could not stop imagining her in his bed.

Someone should kick him in the head. No doubt Marcus would be more than pleased to do so, if his friend ever suspected the thoughts Rhys entertained about his sister.

“Rhys? Love?” Ciara’s nude body pressed against his back. Her hands came around to stroke his chest. “Something is troubling ye, aye? Whatever it be, come back to bed. I’ll help ye forget.”

He only wished it were that easy. “I think not, Ciara. I am…just weary, perhaps. I’ve been traveling hard for days now, in the rain and mud….”

“Lie down and sleep, then.” She smiled. “And perhaps, in the morning….”

But morning found Rhys slipping from under Ciara’s blanket without waking her. He dressed silently. He hadn’t found the relief he’d sought in her bed. Just the opposite. Their bedplay had left him feeling more hopeless, and lonelier, than ever.

Perhaps his advancing age was catching up with him. By the gods, he was nearly thirty! He remembered a time when he could not have imagined being so ancient. He was too old, perhaps, to be seeking comfort from whores. By the time a man had seen thirty winters, he should have a wife tending his hearth. Children to teach. But Rhys would never enjoy those simple blessings.


He took up his pack. Was Breena wed? He’d been away almost a year; she might very well be someone’s wife by now. Penn’s, perhaps. During Rhys’s last visit to Avalon, he’d noted an easy friendship between them. Penn was only a few years older than Breena. He was earnest and good, and strong in the Light. Aye, Penn would make Breena a fine husband.

His stomach turned. Last night’s meat, perhaps. He thought it had been a bit off.

He paused at the door to slip a silver denarius from his purse. He laid the coin on Ciara’s wash table. It was far more than she would expect from him. But she was more than welcome to it.

He would not, he thought, be coming back.


Coming Friday - Q & A interview about Silver Silence. All the best!

Joy
www.joynash.com



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» Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Silver Silence - excerpt #4

Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!

To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!

Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.

By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.

Thanks and good luck to all!


And now, Silver Silence excerpt #4:


Great Mother, but his mood was black.

The meal had helped a little. Ciara had even managed to find a few chunks of meat to float in his broth. She must be feeling generous. Or perhaps just very needy. Not many travelers found themselves stopping at this gods-forsaken crossroads.

Rhys’s weariness had receded a little upon Fergus’s warm greeting. No doubt the man anticipated the profit Rhys’s harp brought to his tavern. But Rhys sensed honest regard, too. A minstrel’s song, even sung with half a heart, was a joy Fergus did not often experience.

And so Rhys had worked to keep the darkness at bay. His music flowed easily, as it always did. After fifteen years, his harp was almost a part of him; he could play in his sleep, if need be. Now it was done. He found himself looking forward to Ciara’s bed. At least with her, he did not have to pretend. She understood what he wanted.

It shamed him, this burning, angry need. And yet, he could not summon the strength to resist it. If it was wrong, so be it. He was tired of fighting.

Fatigue dragged at his bones as he followed Ciara up the stair. He felt old. Far older, even, than his nine-and-twenty years. Fifteen years, he’d wandered. More than half his life. His youth had been worn to dust on the road. Aye, he did his duty to Avalon. Every day, he fulfilled the promise his grandfather had forced him to give, knowing he would never be done with it. Knowing he would never be free.

It angered him. It had from the beginning, though in those early days, panic had been his foremost emotion. He’d conquered his fears long ago—but his rage? That remained, simmering beneath the genial facade he presented to the world. He could not fight for his life, nor could he escape it.

He could only forget. For a few hours, at least.

Ciara climbed the stairs swiftly. She lit a candle in her small room under the eaves, then shut and bolted the door. Turning, she leaned against it.

Rhys set his pack in a corner, then straightened and looked at her. She was thin—if he wished, he might have counted her ribs. But her breasts were high and full, and she was more than willing to give him what he wanted.

“Strip,” he said softly.

Her fingers went immediately to the tasseled cord at her waist. She unknotted the braided leather, and let it drop. Her blouse dropped next. Then her skirt. By the time her undertunic joined the heap of clothes on the ground, she was trembling.

He ordered her onto her knees. She obeyed swiftly. Her eyes, sharp with excitement, fixed on his groin. He unlaced his breeches; his shaft sprang free. She made an appreciative sound in the back of her throat, and licked her lips.

He used her mouth first, holding her head in place and plunging into her almost desperately, seeking that rush of dark lust that blotted out every other thought. Her ripe red lips worked him, encouragement vibrating deep in her throat. Her hands clutched his buttocks, her nails digging deep. But oddly, the pain seemed very far away. As did the pleasure. It was as if his emotions were wrapped in a death shroud.

Unsatisfied, he left Ciara’s mouth, and ordered her onto the bed, which was little more than a straw-stuffed pallet laid on a wooden frame. She lay with arms flung overhead, watching hungrily as he removed his clothing. Naked, he bent to retrieve something from the floor.

He crawled over her on all fours and entered her with one hard thrust. She gasped, hips arching. Catching her wrists, he wrapped them with the braided leather cord she’d worn at her waist. He looped the free end around the end rail of the bed frame and pulled the rope taut.

The sight of her lying bound and helpless brought a rush of dark, erotic satisfaction. In this one small area of his life, at least, he was master. Ciara enjoyed playing the slave.

“Aye!” she gasped. “Like that. Harder, Rhys! Harder—”

He drove his flesh into her with anger and lust and hopelessness. But try as he might, he could outrun none of it. His shame spread over him like a vermin-ridden blanket, until he all but choked with the ugliness of it. Ciara, oblivious to his inner turmoil, urged him on.

He was glad, he supposed, that one of them would take some fulfillment from their joining. With an odd detachment, as if he were spectator rather than participant, Rhys watched the frantic union of their bodies. His lust had long gone cold; he could have easily withdrawn and walked away. But Ciara would not appreciate that insult.

So Rhys closed his eyes and summoned a fantasy—one as forbidden and shameful as it was exciting.

In his mind’s eye, the woman beneath him was not a whore. She was young, and innocent, and trusting. Freckles danced across a proud nose that was decidedly Roman. A gap showed between her front teeth. Her pointed chin hinted at her stubborn nature, and her hair…ah, her hair was a rare luxury. Long and bright as flame, it spilled and curled like a river of fire, circling her glorious round breasts.

Breena…


Excerpt #5 coming up tomorrow! All the best!

Joy
www.joynash.com



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» Monday, October 26, 2009

Druids of Avalon - order of books

Since people have been asking about the Druids of Avalon books and characters, and how Celtic Fire fits in with the trilogy, I thought I'd post an extra note about it...

All the books are stand alone stories - no plot points are left hanging to be resolved in the next book in any of the stories. That said, if you read the books in order, you'll get to know the characters, many of whom appear in more than one book, more naturally.

Celtic Fire - Hero is Lucius, a Roman commander; heroine is Rhiannon, a Celt. This book introduces Owein, Rhiannon's younger brother and a Druid initiate, and Lucius's young son Marcus. CF was my first book, before I conceived the Druids of Avalon series. Though at the time, I thought Owein would be a great hero, so...

The Grail King - my first "official" Druids of Avalon book. The story takes place some 13 years after Celtic Fire. Owein is the hero, his heroine is Clara. Marcus, Lucius's son, is an important character in The Grail King. Rhys, a wandering Druid, is introduced for the first time, as is Breena, Marcus's young half-sister, the daughter of Lucius and Rhiannon.

note: Three "Between the Books" short stories on my website tell what's gone on with Owein in the years between Celtic Fire and The Grail King.

Deep Magic - Marcus's book. All the above characters show up in this book, along with Rhys's twin sister, Gwen, who is the heroine.

Silver Silence - Rhys and Breena's book. The reader gets glimpses of the other previous characters in the series at the beginning and end of the book.

Silver Silence cut scenes - check out my website for backstory scenes with Rhys and Breena, which because of overall length, ended up being cut from the final book.

Enjoy!

Silver Silence - excerpt #3

Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!

To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!

Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.

By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.

Thanks and good luck to all!


And now, Silver Silence excerpt #3:


Instead of ending the spell, as she knew she ought, she drew a deep, painful breath and continued watching.

Rhys released the wench with a playful swat on her bottom. With a smirk on her lips, and a swish of her hips, she disappeared into the kitchen. She returned a short while later with a bowl of stew and a basket of barley bannocks. Rhys bent his head over the meal and began to eat.

The woman returned to the kitchen, emerging a moment later with a large tray laden with mugs and bowls. The tavern was filling, Breena belatedly realized. The kitchen boy had returned with a good number of men, women, and even children. Why, it looked as though the whole village had suddenly decided to take the evening meal in the tavern.

Breena understood why when Rhys pushed aside his empty bowl and reached for his pack. Every eye in the room was on him as he withdrew a bundle and unfolded the well-worn oiled cloth. Breena could almost feel the excitement rippling through the room as Rhys’s harp was revealed. A visit from a bard of Rhys’s talent would be a rare and treasured event in such a poor settlement.

The barkeep had already set the tavern’s best chair before the hearth. Rhys sat, cradling the harp’s polished wood frame in the crook of his arm. His long, graceful fingers moved swiftly over the harp strings.

Breena felt the touch on the strings of her heart. When Rhys began to sing, a lump rose in her throat. Unshed tears burned her eyes. Though the vision was silent, Breena had no trouble imaging his song. Her memories of Rhys’s music stretched as far back as she could remember. She’d been a small girl when the lanky Celtic boy had first appeared at the gates of her father’s farm on the outskirts of Isca Silurum, carrying little more than his harp. He’d begged to trade a song for a night’s shelter, and had ended up staying a fortnight.

It was the first visit of many. Rhys was of an age with Breena’s half brother, and, despite the fact that Marcus was the son of a retired Roman army officer, and Rhys a homeless Celt, the pair had become close friends. Rhys never stayed long at the Aquila farm, but he returned often over the years. Breena had looked forward to every visit.

The tall, handsome bard utterly entranced her. At first, it had been a childish fascination. But as Breena grew to womanhood, the attraction became so much more potent. It squeezed her heart and pulled at her belly. It pulsed between her legs in the small hours of the morning. She’d lain awake so many nights, wanting him. Imagining what it would be like to be in his arms. But Rhys did not want her. Not in that way. To him, Breena was still a child.

At the encouragement of several patrons, the bold barmaid had abandoned her tray. Laughing, she tore off her mobcap and pulled the thong from her hair. Thick blond curls tumbled over her shoulders.

She began to dance, lifting her skirts above her ankles as her feet flew in a graceful, complicated pattern, her steps coming faster and even faster. A half smile played on Rhys’s lips as he played her accompaniment. At the end of the dance, the woman draped her arms about Rhys’s shoulders and kissed him deeply. The audience stomped and applauded; Rhys laughed.

Breena’s hold on the vision faltered. A tear trickled down her throat. Eyes blurred, she watched Rhys sing several more songs. Finally, he rose and bowed. Someone brought his pack, and he rewrapped his harp with care. The barmaid, standing to one side, watched his every movement, a gleam of anticipation in her eye.

He looked at her and she smiled, her invitation unmistakable. Rhys’s expression was harder to read. He watched as the woman turned and walked slowly away, hips swaying. Her destination was the narrow stair that rose along the wall. One foot poised on the bottom step, she turned and looked back.

The barkeep was at Rhys’s side. He clapped Rhys on the shoulder and made a comment that set two men nearby laughing. They raised their mugs in Rhys’s direction. Rhys returned a wry smile. The barmaid glided up the stair. Rhys shouldered his pack, and the barkeep gave him a shove in the same direction.

The air was squeezed from Breena’s lungs as Rhys crossed the room and followed the woman up the stair. Her throat closed as he disappeared into the gloom at the top.

Her vision shattered.

She gasped with the sudden violence of the broken spell. Pain pounded her head, her stomach twisted violently. She might have emptied her stomach of her last meal, save for the fact her ribs had contracted too tightly to draw a full breath.

Hugging herself, she rocked forward and back, her eyes squeezed tight against the tears.

She never should have looked.


Excerpt #4 coming on Wednesday! All the best!


Joy
www.joynash.com



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» Saturday, October 24, 2009

Comment on The Romance Studio to win Celtic Fire!!

FYI - another chance to win...

I'm giving away an autographed copy of Celtic Fire - "prologue" to the Druids of Avalon series - on The Romance Studio Halloween Blog. Comment on my Oct 21 (click here!) and/or Oct 26 blog posts before November 1 for a chance to win :-)

Good luck!

Joy

Silver Silence - excerpt #2

Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!

To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!

Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.

By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.

Thanks and good luck to all!


And now, Silver Silence excerpt #2:

The power answered. Light and shadow played across the pond's surface. Dancing. Merging. Separating. She concentrated on a memory of Rhys's face: high brow, clear gray eyes, harshly angled cheekbones. Her breath hitched a notch. Great Mother, but she loved him so.

She imagined his strong jaw, stubbled with his close-cropped beard. He wore his hair short as well. The color, an unusual shade of white-blond, was perhaps his most distinctive feature. He looked very much like his sister, Gwendolyn, Avalon's Guardian. Gwen and Rhys were twins, after all.

The light and shadow on the pool shifted, creating the illusion of substance and depth. There was a pulling sensation deep in Breena's belly. A scene formed on the water's surface, as plainly as if it were happening at arm's length, rather than miles and miles away.

Rhys strode a muddy road, his leather pack slung over one shoulder. Breena's chest eased. He was alive! Thanks be to the Great Mother.

He was alone. That was not unusual. Rhys most often traveled alone, save for Hefin, th e small merlin falcon that was his companion. Ah, yes. She caught a glimpse of brown wing and speckled breast sailing overhead.

She returned her full attention to Rhys. His breeches were rough and torn, his old line n shirt frayed at the collar and sleeves, his cloak spattered with mud. He'd gone perhaps a sennight without a razor. He wore no sword, but he looked more than a little dangerous nonetheless.

And that was no illusion. Rhys was a powerful Druid. Beneath his facade of genialit y, he was, without doubt, the most dangerous man Breena knew.

She'd meant to break the vision once she'd seen him. But the longer she looked, the faster her good intentions crumbled. Rhys's tread was weary, his shoulders hunched as if against a chill wind. He'd just entered a village. Well, perhaps “village” was too generous an assessment.

The settlement was little more than a handful of ragged structures clustered at a crossroads. Mud and rubble walls supported roofs of sagging thatch. Weeds crowded thick against the unkempt dwellings. A ragged chicken pecking in a garbage heap looked hardly worth the trouble of plucking.

The thin rays of the setting sun slanted into Rhys's face. He looked as tired as the village. The lines around his eyes and mouth were deeper than she remembered. His usual easy gait had become heavy and plodding.

She watched as he approached the largest building of the small group, the only one that boasted an upper story. A hostelry, Breena thought. Rhys shoved open the door.

The public room inside was hazed with smoke from guttering tallow candles. A poor establishment indeed, if the owner could not even afford oil for proper lamps. The ceiling was so low that Rhys, who was very tall, had to duck under the blackened ceiling beams.

Two long plank tables, dark with scars, boasted three disreputable-looking patrons. Celts all, and male. A stout matron delivered mugs of cervesia, the bitter Celtic beer few Romans—including Breena—could stomach. From the looks of the establishment, Breena doubted whether a cask of wine had ever crossed its threshold.

An idle barkeep leaned his beefy arms on a waist-high counter. He looked up as Rhys entered, and a wide grin instantly appeared on his ruddy face. Rhys gave him a half smile in return. Crossing the room, he sank down on a stool opposite the man, and lowered his pack to the ground. The barkeep was already filling a mug with ale. He shoved it into Rhys’s hands, at the same time shouting something toward an open doorway that Breena assumed led to the kitchens.

A young boy of about ten years appeared almost immediately. The lad’s eyes lit up when he saw Rhys, and Rhys smiled in return. The barkeep spoke to the lad. The boy nodded and dashed between the tables, and out the front door.

Rhys’s lips moved. The barkeep leaned on the counter and answered. Breena expelled a sigh of frustration. How she wished she could hear his voice! But it was an inconvenient fact that Breena’s visions—the unbidden night terrors as well as those she called deliberately—were always silent.

Ah, well. At least she’d learned what she needed to know. Rhys was well. She should allow the vision fade and try to forget she’d violated his privacy. But, just as she prepared to speak t he Word that would have dissolved the vision, a woman emerged from the kitchen, drying her hands on her apron.

She was not young. Her clothes were patched, her hands reddened. But even worn and work-weary, she possessed an earthy, sensual beauty that caused every male eye in the room to swing in her direction.

She beheld Rhys, and her eyes took on an eager light that disturbed Breena in a way she did not fully understand. The woman’s lips formed Rhys’s name, then curved in a slow smile. Rhys looked up from his mug, and nodded a greeting. In reply, the woman leaned across the bar and kissed him full on the mouth.

Rhys did not protest. Far from it. He threaded his fingers though the woman’s hair and plundered her mouth for several long moments. A hot knife of pain sliced through Breena’s chest. The blade twisted when the woman came around the table and slid in to Rhys’s lap.

The barkeep guffawed. Breena’s fingernails bit through the linen of her skirt and into her thigh.

Stop looking, she told herself.

She couldn’t.



Excerpt #3 coming on Monday! All the best!


Joy
www.joynash.com



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» Friday, October 23, 2009

Silver Silence - excerpt #1

Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!

To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!

Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.

By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.

Thanks and good luck to all!


And now, Silver Silence excerpt #1:

Chapter One

She really shouldn't be doing this.

But, dear Goddess, she just couldn't help herself.

A tide of guilt battered the shore of Breena's conscience. Still…what she was about to do wasn't so very wrong, was it? She wasn’t hurting anyone. The spell wasn't dangerous. She wasn't calling forbidden deep magic.

She only wanted to See. And only for a moment. She needed to make sure Rhys was all right.

The past month had been dreadful. Her terrifying night vision had returned. Even after waking, the shadow of the dream lingered. Some days, her chest remained so tight she could not manage a full breath until midday.

Rhys wasn't part of the silver vision that had plagued Breena for the past four years. He never had been. But in her current unrelenting state of anxiety, she'd become obsessed with his safety. Perhaps it was her mind's attempt to avoid dwelling on her disturbing dreams. She

wasn't sure. She only knew she couldn't rest until she'd seen Rhys alive and well, with her own eyes.

She knew it was wrong. And most likely, unnecessary. Rhys wasn't some novice traveler. Just the opposite. He'd roamed Britain for fifteen years seeking Druid initiates for Avalon. In all that time, he'd not come to harm. But this time, he'd been gone so long. Nearly a full year. According to old Mared, Avalon's healer, Rhys had never before stayed away so long.

What if, this time, he did not return?

What if, this time, something had happened?

What if Breena never saw him again….

No. She would not think it. She could not bear a world without Rhys in it. She'd loved him for so long. Nearly all her life. And that was the problem, wasn't it? Rhys did not take her love seriously. He did not take her seriously. He was eleven years her elder, and her brother's best friend. Like Marcus, Rhys considered Breena nothing more than an amusing, and sometimes annoying, little sister.

Her chest was hurting again, her ribs squeezing too tightly. It had been a month since she'd gotten a full night's rest. She was so, so tired. She wouldn't be able to close her eyes at all tonight unless she knew Rhys was well.

She would look quickly, and be done with it. No one need know. Not Gwen. Not Marcus. And certainly not Owein. As Avalon's only other Seer, and her mentor, Breena's uncle w

ould be especially disappointed if he knew what she was about. And if Owein learned that this was not the first time she'd misused her Druid power? She shuddered to imagine how angry he'd be.

The afternoon sunlight was fading quickly, sinking into the mist surrounding the sacred isle. The air carried a hint of the coming winter. The leaves had begun to drop from the apple trees, exposing branches heavy with fruit. But the ancient yew that sheltered the Grail s pring was ever green. The pool of red-tinged water that bathed its roots was the most powerful scrying surface Breena knew.

Calling a vision of the present or past was not so difficult—seeking knowledge of the future was infinitely harder. Scrying for Rhys was not likely to give her more than a dull headache, or a faintly sour stomach. Small price to pay for her peace of mind.

If Rhys ever found out…. No. Breena would not think of that, either. Rhys was

an intensely private man. He would be furious.

The autumn grass crunched under her feet. She approached the Grail spring with reverence. The sacred water collected in a deep, moss-ringed pool before spilling in a crooked rivulet down the hill. Sinking onto a smooth, flat rock at the edge of the pond, she crossed her legs under her skirts and leaned forward.

She drew several deep breaths, and, with some difficulty, emptied her mind. Her vision blurred. She grew heavy, as if she were sinking into the earth. Becoming part of the Great Mother's body.

Vast currents of life energy vibrated just under the soil, collecting and flow ing in much the same way as streams and rivers did on the earth's surface. This was true the world over. But nowhere were those unseen paths of power so strong as here on Avalon. An ocean of power rested beneath the sacred isle of the Druids.

It was to this awesome force that Breena surrendered her mind and her magic. Into that vast sea, she cast a Word, and spoke Rhys's name.



Excerpt #2 coming tomorrow! All the best!


Joy
www.joynash.com



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» Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A letter from Rhys, Druid hero of Silver Silence

Silver Silence, book 3 of my Druids of Avalon trilogy is in bookstores Tuesday Oct 27. I'm celebrating with excerpts, lost scenes, an interview and a week-long contest!

To enter, just comment on any post put up between Wed Oct 21 through Friday Oct 30. Two lucky readers will win autographed copies of both The Grail King and Deep Magic, as well as an autographed copy of Romantic Times BOOKReviews magazine November issue, featuring me on the cover!

Please consider including your email with your post so I can contact you quickly if you win! And if you don’t…check out more chances to win at www.joynash.com.

By the way, if you're planning on buying Silver Silence, I hope you'll consider picking it up close to the Oct 27 release day, as any book's opening week sales are the most important to an author's publisher.

Thanks and good luck to all!


And now, a letter from Rhys, the Druid hero of Silver Silence:

To the Once and Future Readers of my tale,

I left Avalon as a lad of fourteen winters.

It was not my choice. The sacred isle was my soul-home. It was there I learned the magic of the Goddess. The white mists cast by Cyric, my grandfather, hid my clan from its enemies. To my mind, there was no reason a Druid should venture into the outside world.

Cyric knew differently. My grandfather's visions showed him a time when the Light would fade from Britain, when war and chaos would threaten the survival of our people. Only on Avalon, hidden in the teachings of The Lady, could the Light survive long enough, grow strong enough, to influence that grim future.

But we were too few on Avalon. We needed children touched by Druid magic, to be trained as Keepers of the Light. It was my duty and my burden to search for those children. I vowed to bring them to Avalon, whatever the cost.

And so began my exile. I was little more than a child myself, carrying no more than the clothes on my back and a harp made by my own hands. Frightened almost beyond my wits. Terrified by every shadow on the road. The first winter storm nearly killed me. I'd wanted it to kill me.

And then came spring. And Breena.

She was a small child when I first saw her. Round and grubby, always smiling. When I looked at her in just the right way, the white Light sang about her head and shoulders. A happy child, well loved by her parents, who were far too trusting in offering a bed to a homeless Celt bard--even one so young as I. For I'd recognized, at first sight, Breena's rare magic. She belonged to Avalon. I would take her there.

Eleven years passed before I succeeded. Eleven long years during which I was a frequent guest in Breena's home. Her family welcomed me, never dreaming I was a viper in their midst. By the time she grew to womanhood, she was deeply embedded in my heart. I did not dare reveal my feelings. Her brother was my friend—he knew Breena, in her innocence, fancied herself in love with me. That she spun happily-ever-after fantasies in her dreams.

She was so young--in years and in experience. A child. I was a man grown, hardened by duty and eternal wandering. Avalon, populated by the Druids I'd plucked from every corner of Britain, was no longer my home. At last, Breena came to dwell on the sacred isle. She learned to master her magic. I was sure she would take a Druid mate. I was even more certain that man would not be me. I remain a wanderer. I will ever be.

And then Myrddin arrived, crashing into my time and my life on a tide of arrogance and forbidden deep magic. The wily old Druid snatched Breena from the very shadow of Avalon, and plunged her into a future of war and chaos…and a deadly Silver Silence.

I followed.

~Rhys


Excerpt #1 coming on Friday! All the best!

Joy

www.joynash.com

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» Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm in a cookbook!

My recipe “Mom’s Stuffed Eggplant” is featured in then new PaperBackSwap.com cookbook!

My contribution is a yummy Italian dish with eggplant, ricotta, ground beef, and tomato sauce. One of my childhood favorites.

The PBS cookbook contains over 200 pages of recipes submitted by Paper Back Swap members AND some of their favorite authors, including:

Angela Hunt, Barbara Delinsky, Bertrice Small, Beverly Lewis, Carla Neggers, Charles David, Christopher Moore, Dave Barry, David Anthony, Diana Gabaldon, Elmer Kelton, Joy Nash :-), Judith Tarr, Julie Garwood, Karen Dinino, Ken Follett, Laura Fitzgerald, Linda Rosencrance, Linda Woods, Lisa See, Lisa Shearin, Margaret Atwood, Margaret Weis, Mindy Klasky, Philippa Gregory, and Rob Palmer!

$12.00


Cookbook order info here


Joy Nash
www.joynash.com



Available NOW!


Santa Honey Anthology

Who's coming down YOUR chimney tonight?


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