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I’d like to welcome my friend and author Icy Snow Blackstone.  I was priviledged to read a few chapters of Wizard’s Wife before it hit the presses, and I look forward to the January 2011 release date.  I might have to save this one to read on a weekend, because I know I’ll stay up all night turning pages!  Drumroll:  Icy Snow on stage.

“Megan, I’m a faery!”

Not exactly the words a newly wed wants to hear, not even if, as in this case, the faery is the gossamer-winged,  glamour-dust kind.  But there’s more.  Megan’s husband isn’t just any old faery, he’s a faery wizard, the Champion of Ais Linn, sent to protect the Earth from an invasion by the Lord of Dark Fire.

In writing this novel, I did a careful blending of the Real and the Unreal—the Real being the Harmonic Convergence, the Unreal being the world of Fae.  For the latter,  I relied heavily on An Encyclopedia of Fairies, which lists more supernatural creatures than you can shake a stick at.  For those of you who think “faery” means simply those wee creatures who can sit in your hand and flit about on butterfly-like wings dripping whuffle dust as they wave  their tiny antenna,  take it from me—that ain’t all lurking in the land of Fae!  Among faeryland’s less sociable inhabitants are the malevolent Sluagh (pronounced Slooa) or the Host of the Unforgiven Dead, the most formidable of the faery people, followed closely by the vicious Solitary faeries.  The former are the spirits of dead mortals and when they urge men to commit wicked acts, humans can’t disobey. Solitary faeries are generalky malignant creatures such as the Bogies.  Some aren’t necessarily a danger; the Pooka, (Will o’ the Wisp) merely leads travelers astray or the Bain Sidhe (banshee) rides through the hallways heralding death to an inhabitant.  Others, such as brownies and leprechauns are more prone to mischief.   Nevertheless, some just live alone and like it and woe be to any mortal who crosses their paths.

The Real part of the story, the Harmonic Convergence, occurred almost a decade ago, the time of the original writing of this story, on August 16-24, 1987.  (For those who care, the Final Convergence is expected  in 2013.) There have been various convergences over the centuries, but this one time all (at that time) nine planets were in a direct line with the sun.  Newscasts  made much of this and of course doomsayers came out in droves and then disappeared again when none of their predictions came true.  Nevertheless, it made me ask the question:  What if something did happened but no one knew about it because it occurred in another dimension?

Back to those of faery-kind.  David, son of Padraig, half-ruler of Ais linn, is a Trooping faery, a member of a fae group the same size as humans.  Nothing of the “little people” about this lad.  In fact, when she learns his secret, Megan is quick to remind him there’s only one part of his anatomy fitting the human hand.  He’s over six feet tall, with wings the same length, a gift for blarney and utterly irresistible to human females.  Unfortunately, human females are just as irresistible to him, in particular one Megan O’Connell.  David’s also a Tiarna D’Geal Tina (Lord of White Fire), the first and last line of defense against his opposite number Exeter Dubtina, the Tiarna d’Doit Tina.   Exeter and his sister Siobhan are the children of the Lord of Dark Fire and his wife, a solitary fairy, so they got a double-dose of bad.

Besides the Wizard, there’s also Ossian, his familiar—with the sexiest pair of wings this side of Ireland; Brigid, Ossian’s twin; Sir Liam, a drop-dead gorgeous shapeshifting knight who roams the Damhain Garrai in search of pixies to terrorize…and Siochan, a talking unicorn.  (If the Celtic names throw you, don’t worry, there’s a glossary included.)

When Megan O’Connell meets David McMuir, the handsome Irishman so enchants her with his Old World blarney, she was more than willing to become his wife.   There are some problems, of course; David’s parents oppose the marriage and didn’t attend the wedding, and David insists on birth-control from the very beginning.  Megan consoles herself to one and agrees to the other, but two months and sixty nights of lovemaking later—Lo and behold!  The Patch failed and she’s pregnant, and realization he’s to become a father brings forth David’s startling confession.  It plunges his bride into a war to take place during the Harmonic Convergence, in which David pledges to give his life if necessary, to save the Earth as well as his own home from Exeter Dubhtina, his mortal enemy.

When David is summoned home as the Convergence begins, Megan decides to follow, and soon finds hdrself in Exeter’s clutches.  After witnessing firsthand the Dark Lord’s cruelty, she summons all her mortal strength to fight his magic, only to learn her husband has been sent a message:  Surrender all of the Earth and your portion of Ais Linn to me or your wife and unborn child will die.

Meantwhile, Exeter’s wily sister, Siobhan, is working a little magical blackmail all her own to keep her ex-betrothed from fighting her brother in hand-to-hand combat.

Will David fall to Siobhan’s enticements?  Will he renounce his vow to save the Earth or lose his wife and unborn child?

It’s a story full of adventure, romance, and humor as well.  Class Act Books is the publisher and it’s expected release date is January, 2011.

(Toni V. Sweeney’s latest novel is Serpent’s Tooth, released in February by Class Act Books.  It is her ninth book to date; in total, she has twenty-one novels written by herself and her pseydonym Icy Snow Blackstone.  More information about Toni and her writing can be found at http://www.tonivsweeney.com

 

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