It’s Black Cat day — and the Love & Legends anthology is out!
When I was invited to join the Love & Legends anthology, it was set up a bit differently from other anthologies I’ve been in. There was a theme, but we were also assigned the “legend” part of the theme. The editors literally stuck a pin in an old map of Britain, for each author in the anthology, and wherever the pin landed, they picked the legend that was sited closest to the pin.
I was incredibly fortunate to be assigned a legend that was located in Wales, but I’d never heard of it before, and had to research. The Maen Llia isn’t nearly as well known as Stonehenge.
But then I found out how close it was to modern day Carmarthen, in Wales, which was called Maridunum in the 6th century. In my King Arthur series, Once and Future Hearts, Maridunum is where Merlin was born and was raised for the first few years of his life.
Once I learned that, my story for the anthology fell into place with clicks and whirs.
When the editors announced the official release date for the anthology, they mentioned that it was also Black Cat day, so it would be fun to insert a black cat into our stories, if possible.
Alas, domestic cats were not terribly common in Britain in the 6th century. The Romans venerated cats and kept them in their temples. They did bring cats to Britain, but they also took most of them back with them when they returned to Rome. There were a few cats left to breed–and Britian is where the Norwegians first came across them, and took them back to Norway.
But it was rare for Britons to keep domestic cats. Especially in my series, when the Britons were generally suspicious of Romans and anything that smacked too much of Roman culture, trying to force a black cat into the story would have been difficult.
So I chose to leave cats out of my story.
However, I do love cats and we had three of them for many years: Merry, Pippin and Strider.
Strider is a black cat and when we got him, he fit onto the palm of my hand:
What I didn’t know at the time was that Strider was a Norwegian Mountain cat, and they grow big. Here’s Strider these days:
He’s Mark’s writing buddy — he lies with his head on Mark’s forearm as Mark works.
Pippin is my writing buddy, but today I’m acknowledging the crazy black kitty in our household. 🙂
The Love & Legends anthology is a BIG book — check out the size of the spine here:
As I write this post, the editors are attempting to find a printer who can handle such a big book. (Amazon cannot). So, if you prefer print editions, do look to see if a print version is available by the time the book is released!
My story in the Love & Legends anthology is “Touched by Maen Llia”.
Caught between magic and truth…
Catrin is a handmaiden to the old Queen of Dyfed, whose husband and king, Geraint, has died without an heir, leaving the kingdom ripe for plucking. Yet Dyfed is the birthplace of King Arthur’s enchanter and adviser, Prince Merlin, who travels to the troubled kingdom to settle the question of who should be king.
Marcus Jorath is a newcomer to Camelot and wants only to serve King Arthur, whose peace has brought such a difference to the life and prospects of his family. Yet he is assigned to travel with Merlin to the out-of-the-way kingdom of Dyfed instead.
When the Dyfed mage, Ianto, declares it is mid-summer’s day, the maids of the kingdom visit the Maen Llia to make a wish. Catrin disputes it is the solstice, for she can read and is learned in the ways of tracking seasons and more, but no one listens to her, and she is forced to visit Maen Llia with the other women.
Merlin’s company of armed men come across the women, and Marcus finds himself drawn to the fiery redheaded Catrin and her blunt, direct way of speaking and thinking about the world.
Their attraction puts them in the path of Ianto, who is more than the kingsdom’s inadquate mage, and has plans of his own he will not let a mere slip of a girl interefere with… This novel is part of the ancient historical romance series, Once and Future Hearts, set in Britain during the time of King Arthur.
1.0 Born of No Man
2.0 Dragon Kin
3.0 Pendragon Rises
4.0 War Duke of Britain
5.0 High King of Britain
6.0 Battle of Mount Badon
7.0 Abduction of Guenivere
8.0 Downfall of Cornwall
8.1 Touched by Maen Llia
9.0 Vengeance of Arthur
10.0 Grace of Lancelot
11.0 The Grail and Glory
Love & Legends is released today, everywhere.
Discover the legends of the British Isles and fall in love with witches, ghosts, shifters and more in this collection of paranormal, fantasy, and urban fantasy romance books from bestselling authors.
Whether it’s haunted castles, witches, or hidden demons, there’s something for everyone within the pages of Love & Legends.
If you dare discover the spooky goings-on of British Legends, one-click for your copy of this limited edition anthology.
Including brand new stories from:
New York Times Bestselling Author, Margo Bond Collins
USA Today Bestselling Author, Skye MacKinnon
USA Today Bestselling Author, Laura Greenwood
USA Today Bestselling Author, Arizona Tape
USA Today Bestselling Author, Ann Gimpel
USA Today Bestselling Author, Anthea Sharp
USA Today Bestselling Author, Zoey Indiana
USA Today Bestselling Author, Tina Glasneck
USA Today Bestselling Author, Bec McMaster
USA Today Bestselling Author, Demelza Carlton
Joely Sue Burkhart
Mia Harlan & Hanleigh Bradley
K. R. Max