I’ve always been mesmerized by the mystical tale of King Arthur and Camelot. Honestly, who isn’t intrigued by this long ago tale? Is King Arthur real? Is the story truly magic or just a tale imagined by a wandering troubadour? Writing about this fascinating legend was something I’d wanted to explore for a long time. When I learned--just by chance (or was it??)--that there was a Stonehenge Memorial in Washington State, well, that sealed the deal for me!
Although many authors use the five elements of writing fiction: Who, What, When, Where, and Why to lead to the sixth element--Plot--I usually do the reverse. I come up with the plot, the idea of a story, and then decide the who, what, when, where, and why after that. So the idea was to write a fantasy romance based on the folklore of King Arthur, but to give it a modern twist.
A VACATION RUINED--Heather Woods suddenly learns her boyfriend, Connor, cancelled their summer plans. Determined to forget about him, she visits her flaky godmother, Nerissa, instead, for an impromptu vacation. Nerissa insists that Heather has a healing gift, something Heather doesn’t believe. But when she experiences visions... hallucinations... or whatever her jaunts back to Camelot are, she fears for her sanity. Meeting a man that might actually be Merlin the magician, and his very attractive nephew, Matthew, along with assorted other characters convince Heather that she’s in the middle of a strange, metaphysical phenomenon.
A VACATION CHANGED--Judge Matthew Limner also finds his vacation plans changed. He receives a call from a long-lost Uncle Mallory--so long-lost that he hadn’t even known Mallory existed. Mallory flies in from London, and expects to go sightseeing with Matthew. Resigned, Matthew plays the host. First stop: the Stonehenge Memorial in southern Washington. A chance encounter--or is it?--with Nerissa and Heather convince Matthew that something much more than coincidence is happening in this tiny corner of the world.
Artist’s rendering of a possible cover
An urgent summons resurrects Merlin the magician to once again meddle in the affairs of men.
UNCOVERING CAMELOT is available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com, in addition to other internet locations. It’s received great reviews including 5 Stars on Amazon!
Here is a book trailer for UNCOVERING CAMELOT:
This book is part of the Magical Fantasies line.
Here’s a real life connection. A chance remark by a friend about being the youngest child in a family of seven daughters set me to thinking. Seven daughters conjured up fairy tales I’d read growing up. The hero of the fairy tale was often the seventh son of the seventh son. I couldn’t ignore this opportunity. My heroine, Heather Woods, had to be the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter, thereby enabling her to have a magical experience.
Also, since the Stonehenge replica built in Washington State plays an important role in the novel, I had to go on a field trip. I found the monument lovely, eerie, and quite desolate.
Below is a passage from UNCOVERING CAMELOT where Heather finds out she’s going to visit the Stonehenge Memorial with her godmother Nessisa and her three mysterious friends.
As the evening wore on, the women talked around her, sometimes stopping to ask Heather questions--questions mostly pertaining to her love life--or lack thereof.
For some reason, Heather couldn’t actively participate in the conversation. It was almost as if she was a child in a room full of adults. Which was funny, really, for she was a kindergarten teacher--her job, of course, to be the only adult in a room full of kids.
The women’s voices droned on, weaving around her like a sorceress’ chant. She yawned. She couldn’t help it. After she yawned a second time, she closed her eyes.
The heavy scent of rhododendron incense displaced the fresh nighttime air. Blinking, she opened her eyes. A cloudy mist hid the backdrop of the yard, the oak trees, and the utility shed.
She wasn’t alone. The women were still there, sitting in a circle around her. They’d changed clothes, though. All four women wore white robes.
What? Heather shook her head. The vision cleared. Nerissa was back in her pink muumuu, Arlene had on her jean short shorts, Brenna wore capris, and Cara sported her polyester pants and button-down blouse. Everything was back to normal. Even the fragrance of rhododendrons was gone.
“So, Heather, it’s a date, then,” Arlene said brightly, and slapped her on the back. “I’m looking forward to showing you the Stonehenge Memorial on Saturday.”
Stonehenge? What in the world was Arlene talking about?
Cara broke her silence by saying she was ready to go. Evidently, when Cara was ready, she was ready in capital letters. Her two companions quickly helped her to her feet, then guided her down the stairs onto the grass.
It was pitch dark out on the lawn, even with the porch lights on. They took their time walking over the uneven ground. Nerissa, more surefooted, led the way.
With waves goodbye and plans to meet again on Saturday morning, the three left through the back gate and walked toward a parked dark car.
Heather waited on the porch for Nerissa to return. Why couldn’t she recall the conversation? And Stonehenge--she’d always wanted to view the replica of the ancient Neolithic landmark, but had never had the chance to visit. Saturday would work out perfectly.
But still, she should’ve remembered talking about it with the group.
And what about the mist and the white robes?
She twirled a limp lock of hair around her finger. What was going on at Nerissa Emery’s house?
Visiting Goldendale and Maryhill, Washington where the Memorial is located, also gave me a chance to wander through the beautiful Maryhill Museum. Here I across a lovely sculpture that I incorporated into the story.
Scene Set-up: On the grand lawn of the Maryhill Museum, Heather walks with Desmond Redmord, a man with an uncanny resemblance to Camelot’s Mordred, Arthur’s nephew and illegitimate son.
Desmond pointed at a beautiful glass sculpture, wavy with multicolored stalks as if imitating a living plant. Sitting on a blanket just beyond the chained area around the sculpture was a dark-haired woman. Her hair was so dark as to be midnight black--long and flowing. She stared at Heather with a gaze as piercing as Desmond’s. Her vivid red lips were turned into a petulant frown.
Heather gulped down unease. Did she really want to meet Moriah Redmord, a woman who just might’ve been the reincarnation of the medieval witch, Morgeuse?
I hope you enjoy Heather and Matthew’s magical story.
Susanne Marie Knight
Read outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!