Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blind Speed Dating #34 (A)

Genre: Adult Historical Fantasy
Word Count: 125,000


Peter Lambert is motorcycling across northern France, chasing memories of his late wife. After drowning his sorrows in a bottle of wine, he ventures into the dank passageways of a ruined castle and tumbles into an underground pool. He emerges in an active medieval fortress, where he is captured and interrogated by strangers speaking an archaic German dialect.

One of those interrogators is Lady Kellan of Arnwald, who is traveling on a diplomatic mission to unite the kingdoms of Alamannland against marauding raiders and the sinister ambitions of a rival king. Kellan is gifted with unusual powers, including the ability to see visions in the forbidden Waters of Aislin. She assumes Peter is a spy, but a startling vision indicates he is no ordinary trespasser. Returning with Peter to Arnwald, she is determined to unlock his secrets – but finds herself unexpectedly drawn to her mysterious captive.  

Peter is plunged into the reeking, bloody heart of medieval Europe, where survival rides on the tip of an arrow – or the blade of a knife. A world where friendship runs thick as blood, where kingdoms rise and fall in the blink of an eye, and princesses become queens overnight. Torn between his desire to return home and his growing attraction to Kellan, he transforms from bewildered captive to indomitable warrior as he struggles to make a place for himself in this unfamiliar world. Only through their unlikely alliance can Peter and Kellan save Arnwald – and each other.

While living in Stuttgart, Germany, I wrote a series of articles on expatriate life for the website Expatica and I have published several well-received blogs about my travels and living abroad. THE WATERS OF AISLIN was inspired by my lifelong fascination with medieval history and my experiences living in France and Germany.

First 250:

The City of Light slumbered under a blanket of low clouds as Peter left his hotel in the Latin Quarter just after dawn. Mist swirled over the leaden waters of the Seine, obscuring the plane trees standing like stoic sentinels along the riverbank. Descending into the bowels of the city, he used his last Métro ticket to transfer to the Saint Michel station and caught an RER train to Orly airport, where he’d arranged to pick up the motorcycle.

In a deserted parking garage near the Air France terminal, an unmarked delivery van eased through the gate and pulled up next to him. The swarthy driver spoke rapid-fire French and little English, but they both understood the language of motorbikes well enough. The driver swung open the back doors of the van, pulled out a ramp, and backed the big BMW onto the concrete. Peter whistled softly under his breath at the sight of the naked beast, its silver frame gleaming in the flickering neon light. After signing the rental paperwork, he repacked the contents of his duffel into the two aluminum panniers and pulled on his helmet and gloves.

Straddling the bike, he entered the town of Montrichard into the GPS unit, then thumbed the ignition and eased out of the garage. The engine purred beneath him as he spun through the gears on the Autoroute, whipping past barren farm fields and gray stone villages. Gently twisting the throttle back, he sped south toward Orléans.


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