As many of you know, I made the decision back in August to self-publish the four books I’ve written to date. I’m glad to report that three months later I’m happier than I’ve ever been and am having a ball with the process.
I just got my cover yesterday, so I wanted to share it with you here and let you know a little about the book. Yes, it’s shameless self promotion, but that’s how new authors get exposure, right?
One thing I do want to note is that in setting out to write this trilogy 16-odd years ago, I had one major focus in mind: to rescue the character of Guinevere from the docile, blonde-haired, blue-eyed victim she’d become in popular culture (especially in the Mists of Avalon, but in other works as well).
I think you can see from the cover (she’s got dark hair, if nothing else) that I’ve given her some serious agency, not to mention mystical Avalonian powers. My Guinevere begins the book as a scared young girl and ends it as a future queen who is following a fate decreed by the gods. In essence, the trilogy unfolds as Guinevere moves through three phases of life: priestess (book 1), queen (book 2) and warrior (book 3). I didn’t intend that, it just happened. But every step of the way, she is fighting for her rights as a Celtic woman – something I think readers, especially women, will be able to relate to even 1,500 years later (and Celtic women were strong, so that part is historically accurate).
Here’s the back cover copy:
Before queenship and Camelot, Guinevere was a priestess of Avalon. She loved another before Arthur, a warrior who would one day betray her.
In the war-torn world of late fifth century Britain, young Guinevere faces a choice: stay with her family to defend her home at Northgallis from the Irish, or go to Avalon to seek help for the horrific visions that haunt her. The Sight calls her to Avalon, where she meets Morgan, a woman of questionable parentage who is destined to become her rival. As Guinevere matures to womanhood, she gains the powers of a priestess, and falls in love with a man who will be both her deepest love and her greatest mistake.
Just when Guinevere is able to envision a future in Avalon, tragedy forces her back home, into a world she barely recognizes, one in which her pagan faith, outspokenness, and proficiency in the magical and military arts are liabilities. When a chance reunion with her lover leads to disaster, she is cast out of Northgallis and into an uncertain future. As a new High King comes to power, Guinevere must navigate a world of political intrigue where unmarried women are valuable commodities and seemingly innocent actions can have life-altering consequences.
You may think you know the story of Guinevere, but you’ve never heard it like this: in her own words. Listen and you will hear the true story of Camelot and its queen.
Fans of Arthurian legend and the Mists of Avalon will love Daughter of Destiny, the first book in a historical fantasy trilogy that gives Guinevere back her voice and traces her life from an uncertain eleven year old girl to a wise queen in her fifth decade of life.
And the prologue:
I am Guinevere.
I was once a queen, a lover, a wife, a mother, a priestess, and a friend. But all those roles are lost to me now; to history, I am simply a seductress, a misbegotten woman set astray by the evils of lust.
This is the image painted of me by subsequent generations, a story retold thousands of times. Yet, not one of those stories is correct. They were not there; they did not see through my eyes or feel my pain. My laughter was lost to them in the pages of history.
I made the mistake of allowing the bards to write my song. Events become muddled as ink touches paper, and truth becomes malleable as wax under a flame. Good men are relegated to the pages of inequity, without even an honest epitaph to mark their graves.
Arthur and I were human, no more, no less, though people choose to see it differently. We loved, we argued, we struggled, all in the name of a dream, a dream never to be fulfilled. Camelot is what fed the fires that stirred us to do as we did. History calls it sin, but we simply called it life.
The complexity of living has a way of shielding one’s eyes from the implications of one’s role. That is left for others to flesh out, and they so often manipulate it to suit their own needs. To those god-awful religious, I have become a whore; Arthur the victim of a fallen Eve; Morgan, a satanic faerie sent to lead us all astray. To the royalty, we have become symbols of the dreams they failed to create and Arthur is the hero of a nation, whereas to me, he was simply a man. To the poor, we are but a legend, never flesh and blood, a haunting story to be retold in times of tribulation, if only to inspire the will to survive.
We were so much more than mute skeletons doomed to an eternity in dust and confusion. We were people with a desire for life, a life of peace that would be our downfall. Why no one can look back through the years and recognize the human frailty beneath our actions, I will never understand. Some say grace formed my path; others call it a curse. Whatever it was, I deserve to be able to bear witness before being condemned by men who never saw my face.
It ends now. I will take back my voice and speak the truth of what happened. So shall the lies be revealed and Camelot’s former glory restored. Grieve with me, grieve for me, but do not believe the lies which time would sell. All I ask is that mankind listen to my words, and then judge me on their merit.
Ready to read more? All you have to do is sign up for my quarterly newsletter and you’ll get the prologue and first chapter for free.
Want to pre-order on Kindle? You can do that here.
Waiting for another ebook format, paperback or audio book (voiced by Hollywood actress Serena Scott Thomas)? Those will be available January 1, 2016. But you can still mark Daughter of Destiny as “want to read”on Goodreads.
So what do you think? What do you want to know? I’m open to any and all questions (but I won’t give away the ending!)