Tuesday, October 7, 2014

An Excerpt from Engaging Enchantment by Beth Durkee

Beth Durkee is an author of Christian romance, relationship self-help, and fantasy. She has written three stand-alone novellas, contributed a small section to Ess-Jee Rautenbach's premier book, How to Stand for Your Marriage, and written a short promotional e-book (out of print) starring singer Darryl Markette (with permission). She is currently engrossed in writing her popular historical fantasy e-book series, The Legend of Lord Randall Castle. Across all genres, she is known for her characters, her descriptiveness, and her anchor to morality. Her works include The Disposable Noble Wife, Navigating Marital Abandonment, The Bleeding Love, and The Rumor’s Secret (out of print).

Beth lives in the United States. She has a BS degree in Liberal Arts from Carroll University and has been imagining stories for as long as she can remember. In her spare time, she enjoys long talks with family and friends, travel, DIY projects, and amateur radio.

Below is an excerpt from Engaging Enchantment, the first book in The Legend of Lord Randall Castle series. The book is a historical fantasy set in Britain's medieval periodYou can also find this book on Amazon Kindle--currently available for free download.


Melador gazed out his office window into pitch black. He could just make out the silhouette of his favorite tree, a gnarled old thing with a broad canopy that was perfect for sitting underneath. Just beyond the tree spread the waters in which his boyhood home, the ancestral grounds of his race, slowly sank. Avalon had been sinking for generations and for those generations whole families had evacuated their beloved homeland. Melador's family had been one of the last to leave. That was over fifteen decades ago, when he was a youth. Now, only a few priests remained on the island to guard the temple and they would stay with it until the very end. The magic it housed was too great to leave unguarded.

On summer days when the air was clear and the sun shone brightly, if Melador stood under the gnarled tree, he could sometimes catch a glimpse of what was left of his former home through the mist that enveloped it. Tonight, he saw only darkness as he looked out his window, waiting.

As for those who had escaped the island, a people once thriving and revered, most used faerie magic to disguise their ice-colored eyes and look more like common folk in the lands where they immigrated. Their disguise made acceptance and, therefore, survival easier for them. They were able to work, interact with and marry locals. Through time, their bloodlines thinned, their eyes muddied to shades of brown and their magic dissipated.

A handful remained whose parents had carefully arranged marriages. Those were gifted with magic that, for lack of formal instruction, they did not fully understand. Nor did most grasp the responsibility they bore to the magical kingdom or to the common peoples their race was responsible to protect. Still, it had been a very long time since Melador had seen any pure in his race and his heart was heavy with loneliness. It was almost enough to make him wish he had chosen to take a wife... almost.

No, Melador knew it was best that he remain unmarried even in his old age. His service was needed. If the eyes and ears of Saint Mary took a wife, his attention would be divided – and that could have devastating repercussions. Why just tonight, he mused, what would have been the consequence if he had not been paying attention? The queen might not have been warned of her daughter’s elopement in time to stop it and war with the girl’s betrothed might have ensued. Fortunately, Melador had been paying attention. He hoped his warning had gotten to the queen in time. He was still waiting to hear. That is why he sat by the open window of his office during dinner on a summer's night.

As he gazed out that window, the edge of his eye caught movement in the darkness. His focus adjusted to it. It looked to be... Yes, it was. His wait was over. A stem of ragwort floated nearer through the air, faerie magic drew close and his ice-blue eyes darkened to a warm chocolate brown. Atop the ragwort sat Bud Starembers, the sprite he had sent to alert the queen.

"Ah, there you are!" Melador's face became a sea of white bristled crevices. Thin lips spread into a smile that revealed teeth yellow with age as he greeted the tiny man landing on his window sill. "Did you make it in time?"


Learn more about the Lord Randall Castle series on Beth's website, as well as on Facebook.

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