Today it is my great pleasure to introduce to you to the amazing Ellie Moonwater, with an excerpt of her erotic, dark, fantasy romance The Tower Lord's Guest.
Can you in five words or less describe your book The Tower Lord's Guest?
Erotic, dryad and troll sex
What inspired you to write it?
The Tower Lord’s Guest came about as a result of a themed call for stories about a topaz. Reading about the topaz and the special qualities assigned to it, brought me to develop a character with the innate abilities of a seer, but a character with a past to hide from, and a refuge she isn’t happy with—Samlah. I wanted to explore the naughtier side of traditional fairytale tropes: the satyr, the dryad and the troll, and I wanted a tale that didn’t end happily ever after… at least not straight away. The Tower Lord’s Guest is an erotic tale of Samlah’s arrival at the forest, her brush with trolls and satyrs and her fascination with dryads, but beneath it lies Samlah’s desire to meet her dream man, and she needs to master her gift to be able to do so. This story is but the beginning of her journey.
And without further preamble...the snippet!
[The story opens with Samlah watching the dryads at play.]
Samlah watched the dryads cavorting in the glade. They played like children, despite their three hundred years—and what play it was!
I wish, she thought, as Amrae caught Callistamon around the waist and pulled her back towards the tree that was her home. I wish I had friends who would play like these. She heard Amrae giggle as Callistamon bent almost in half. I wish…
Her thoughts were interrupted by the same sound that brought the third dryad out of her tree. Seven hundred years old was Tallakene, and more aloof and dignified than the other two nymphs put together, but Samlah suspected she had hidden depths.
Bronze-haired and amber-eyed, Tallakene possessed the narrow features associated with elves, and the supple greeny-bronze skin that marked her as not. She carried an air of lingering sadness, which remained even when the dryad seemed at her happiest. Samlah watched Tallakene slip into view, the dryad tilting her head to catch the next blast of the hunting horn. When it rang loud around them, Tallakene glanced at her sisters and smiled.
Amrae let go of Callistamon’s waist, and Callistamon straightened, letting her fingers trace the curve of her belly. Amrae’s hands came to rest on the other dryad’s shoulders, her skin silver-gray against Callistamon’s reddish tan. Their trees stood in silence as the dryads listened. Not even the wind dared to move their branches.
The hunters were out. Lords of noble blood, or—and Samlah licked her lips in anticipation of the thought—royalty come out to play. Whatever they were, they were bound to be easy to look at, protected from the rigors suffered by peasantry, and clean, scented only by sweet oil and a hard ride’s sweat.
As the sound of hoofbeats drew nearer, the nymphs slipped back into their trees. Samlah saw their faces peering through the bark. Amrae dwelt in a clump of silver-ash, Tallakene, an ageless oak, and Callistamon, the arms of a cedar. Part of a forest older than the one that now stood around them, the trees and their nymphs had survived an age of tumult and change, unscathed and undiscovered.
Samlah feared that, with the founding of a new kingdom around them, and their current promiscuous behavior, their discovery would not be long in coming.
The hounds appeared first, white and brown coats shimmering in the crystal’s depths, their yelps turning to silence as they darted into the clearing and abruptly stopped. This caused consternation in the horsemen riding hard on their tails.
What the hounds were chasing, Samlah didn’t know. She had begun her scry as the sun rose and caught her crystal with its new-born rays. Whatever had passed through the clearing had done so in the dark of night, or shortly before the dawn. Its identity created a mystery that promised to be entertaining. In the meantime, though…
Samlah returned her attention to the scene playing out amidst the crystal’s spines. Where the dogs stopped and circled in confusion, horsemen now gathered. The hounds wound their way beneath the horses’ legs, whining anxiously as the horses snorted and trembled. All hesitated on the edge of the clearing, much to the puzzlement of the hunters.
“He had to have passed this way,” one shouted.
“But the dogs…” began another uncertainly.
“The dogs be damned!” interrupted his companion. “He went this way. I can see where his trail breaks the grass.” He gave the signal for the dogs to find the scent.
One of the hounds, a younger beast, began casting about and, in its excitement at finding the trail again, leapt into the clearing. It had barely nosed three feet in, before it yelped, tucked its tail between its legs and bolted back between the horses’ feet. In the ensuing havoc, the other dogs scattered, many following the young hound’s lead. By the time the shouting, cursing horsemen had their mounts back under control, there wasn’t a hound in sight.
For a long moment, the men sat there. Some absent-mindedly stroked their horses’ necks, others stared pensively at the clearing, and more than a few exchanged nervous glances as the animals’ twitchiness touched them with chilly apprehension. All waited for the lead huntsman to make a decision.
Samlah watched the trees. She had caught a flicker of movement from Tallakene’s oak. Showing more impatience than the younger dryads, Tallakene had risked a closer look at the men. Luckily for the dryad, the men were too busy dealing with their horses, or looking at each other to notice.
As the excitement died down, their leader glared at the clearing. With a sigh of impatience, he urged his mount forward and was nearly thrown when the beast refused. Angry, the nobleman drove his spurs into his horse’s sides. With a scream of fury, the beast reared. When its fore-hooves touched the ground again, it tucked its head and began to buck. The other huntsmen steered their horses away to give their leader room.
From the trees, Samlah saw the dryads inspecting the huntsmen. Tallakene, she knew, had already made her selection. Passing her hand over the crystal, Samlah, brought the leader into clearer view.
In spite of the fact that his features were contorted with the effort of staying on his horse, he was a handsome man. Although his face was touched by the sun, his skin held the healthy glow of youth. His hands, judging by the way they gripped the reins, would be strong and only a little calloused from sword play and riding. They would be softened by the oils he used. She imagined them gliding across her skin, leaving warmth trailing in their wake.
Samlah shook herself. This wasn’t the man of her dreams. The hunter wasn’t the one the crystal both promised and refused to show.
This huntsman’s hair was the color of coal, but Samlah dreamed of a lover crowned by hair the color of sun-ripened wheat. Her dream-lover plagued her visions with eyes the color of warm honey, skin like cream-tinged-gold, and the pale yellow of his hair. The image invaded her nights, but she couldn’t find him, no matter how long she scried during the day.
The scry shivered, as though the stone was a matt of leaf-blown leaves, and Samlah frowned. She was letting her dream man take her mind from the task at hand. This scry was her latest attempt to find him, and it had directed her to the glade. Until then, the dryads had merely been an amusing diversion—not to mention an educational one.
WOW! Thank you so much for sharing Ellie!
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Have a lovely Wednesday!