Good news - The Forever Queen is now available for pre-order!
That's right - if you simply cannot wait to get your hands on The Forever Queen you can pre-order now and have it delivered (to your e-reader) the day of release on the 23rd of April!
And to celebrate - and if you really cannot wait that long - a little sneak peek, a teaser if you will - the opening scene of The Forever Queen...
The cliff fell away below us, down to a jagged pile of rocks pounded incessantly by waves the colour of iron. The sky above was overcast but here and there the cloud broke, and long fingers of sunlight touched the water, turning the tops of the waves to cascades of diamonds. Away on the horizon the sky was black, lit now and then by the lightening of the encroaching storm.
It was beautiful, in a breath-taking, exciting kind of way, but I barely sparred it a glance. I didn’t have eyes for anything but Lance.
He was more breath-taking than any view. His hair hung longer than the last time I’d seen it, and the wind tugged at the dark curls, pulling them into his eyes.
Despite the cold wind he wore just a thin t-shirt, and the fabric strained at his biceps and around his chest. Was he even bigger, more muscular, than last time I’d seen him? How long had it been now? Months for me, since I had left him, but for him it could have been anything. Minutes, hours, days, maybe even years. Time moved so differently in Avalon it was impossible to know. What I did know was that he was still in Avalon, and I wasn’t.
“This is just a dream,” I mumbled as tears started to slip down my cheeks.
He reached for me, catching the tears with his thumb. “Yes.”
A sob bubbled up but I forced it back down. It might only have been a dream, but I couldn’t let tears ruin those few precious moments with him. My dreams were the only thing I had left of him.
“I miss you.” I forced the words out around the sob, my voice breaking.
His eyes closed, and in one motion he enfolded me in his arms. I clung to him, twisting my fingers into his t-shirt. Burying my face in his chest, I breathed in the scent of him and the all too familiar smell of metal polish. It was a smell I associated with him. Would always associate with him.
His heart beat steadily beneath my cheek, almost fooling me into believing it was really him.
“You’re not real,” I whispered into his chest, more to remind myself than anything else.
His chest rumbled with a laugh. “Just because this is a dream, that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. You should know that better than most.”
I tipped my head back to look at him and he took the opportunity to lower his lips to mine. He kissed me long and slow, and I fought back tears again. I had missed this so much, the feel of him close to me, his arms around me, one hand tangled in my hair.
I had missed him. His strength and gentleness, and that look in his eyes that said nothing mattered but me.
“Don’t cry, Cariad,” he murmured against my lips.
I shivered at the endearment. “But this isn’t fair. I need you back. I did everything that was expected of me, and yet I paid for it by losing you.”
“You haven’t lost me, you could never lose me.”
That wasn’t true. I had lost him. He may have still been alive, but he was gone, locked in another world. “Nothing works,” I told him. “I’ve been trying to find a way into Avalon, but all the gateways are sealed.”
“I know. That’s why I’m here, why Merlin managed to find a way into your dreams.”
I looked up at him in surprise but he didn’t let me speak.
“The barriers were rebuilt when you traced your blood on the stone, and that should have been it, but for some reason all the gateways sealed themselves as well. Something went wrong. The Fair Folk are angry, they think you sealed the gateways on purpose, trapping them in Avalon – “
“I – never – “
“I know, Cariad. As does Merlin. Something came through when the barriers were at their weakest, and Merlin believes that whatever it was caused the gateways to seal. If it was a creature of magic then it must not be allowed to roam free in your world. You must find it, track it, and then find a way to send it back to Avalon.”
My heart leapt and lodged in my throat. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Sending Morgana back to Avalon should have been the end of it. My fate and destiny had been fulfilled, hadn’t they?
Lance didn’t seem to notice my distress. “Merlin says you must-“
A deafening pounding sound drowned out Lance’s words and I clung to him as something tried to pull me away. He started to fade and I realised I was waking up.
“No, not yet,” I cried, trying to force myself back to sleep, but already the dream was disappearing and as my eyes opened I realised the pounding was coming from my bedroom door.