2011-03-17

It's the Luck of the Irish Bloghop!



Click here for Details


Welcome back once again, blog hoppers and a very happy St. Patrick's Day to you all! Once again we have our awesome tour bar at the top of the page (courtesy of our awesome tour guides—thank you Alanna and Michael). Simply follow the trail for yummy reads and a chance to win some great books, a Kindle 3 and other prizes.

If you stumbled upon this tour by accident (or if you happen to fall off along the way) not to worry! Just visit http://justromance.me/bloghop/ to start at the beginning.

This time around, as you probably already know, we're treating you to stories with an Irish theme, featuring a certain set of words. It should be fun to see what everyone comes up with! And you all get to help decide whose story wins.

My story is set within the "world" of my novel Iron. Here's the blurb for the book: 

Nineteenth century Ireland. Blacksmith Gavin O’Malley is a bitter man, with a heart as hard as the iron he forges. He wants his life back—the one that was stolen from him the day his wife died in childbirth—taking their firstborn son with her.

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, he knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give Gavin everything he’s been missing: A devoted-seeming wife in the image of his beloved Mairead, and children who are sure to outlive their father. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her—without losing his immortal soul in the process.

But Aislinn has an agenda of her own. On the run from a vengeful fae lord who’s vowed to either make her his or end her existence, she knows the iron that allows Gavin to take her captive will also keep her pursuers at bay. In order to put herself permanently beyond her enemy’s reach, however, Aislinn will need something more. She’ll need to win Gavin’s heart and convince him to willingly part with a piece of the very soul he’s trying to save.

And here's my story...

  Gavin O’Malley rarely smiled. 'Twas a fact to which any of his neighbors in the small town of Killbanning would readily attest. Such had been the case for many a year now, ever since the untimely death of his wife, the presumed love of his life. Word in the tiny Irish village was that sure and whenever Gavin stood upon the green grass and the shamrocks that covered Mairead’s grave he must feel the kiss of death upon his own soul, as it were. It was this, or so they believed, that kept the smile from his face and froze his heart so that the love he might have given to another was all but withered away. Nor did anyone expect him to ever be recovering from his grief—not until he had joined his love on the far side of the grave.

In heaven there could be no doubt but that Gavin would wear a smile. Especially an it were a heaven such as an Irishman like himself was most certain to love—a green and pleasant land where the whiskey ran freely and horses were forever grazing in fields of shamrocks, just waiting for someone to come along and ride them.

But, recently, there’d been a change come over O’Malley and he was smiling now though there was none 'round to see it. What's the reason for the change, you ask? Ah, but there's a story worth the telling!

To be sure, the good people of Killbanning had no idea of all that had happened down at O'Malley's forge these past few months—and was happening still. And wouldn't they have had their knickers in a twist were they to be after knowing the cause for this alteration in the fortunes of one of their own? Oh, their tongues would be a-wagging most fiercely, I can assure you of that! There'd be much shaking of their heads if any had had the least inkling about Aislinn Deirbhile, the beautiful Faery princess whom Gavin had been sheltering—and who was even now, if they but knew it, seated by his fireplace with a book in her lap and a wee glass of whiskey within her grasp; her tongue peeking out to lick her lips every now and again when the story reached an especially good part; drumming her fingernails on the arm of his chair if the tale grew tense.

They’d be quite green with envy, all those good Christians, if they'd been made privy to any of this, for there’d be no stopping them from jumping to the very logical conclusion that the Fae must've gifted Gavin with a pot of gold—or even several pots of gold, as her kind was wont to do—as thanks for his gallantry to her the previous winter.

And so she would have done too, had he not turned her down when she’d offered it. Quite shocked O’Malley’s neighbors would be to learn of that! Or to know of the reward he was receiving instead; one that consisted, for the most part, of kisses and cuddles and making love.

Not that they had anything against kisses and cuddles and making love, you’ll be understanding, just so long as they were kept in their proper place—within the bonds of Holy Matrimony. But, in any case, 'twas not this—the kisses and cuddles and the making love, as it were—that was putting the smile on Gavin’s face this fine day. At least not directly. But I digress…

Now, as sometimes happens, O’Malley had had occasion to ride to Dublin on business and was even now on his way back home. It was a most pleasant ride, especially on such a lovely Spring day. There was nary a cloud in the sky and the green fields all around him were abloom with flowers and there was naught but the gentlest breeze, soft as a silk scarf, blowing across his face.

I think it was that breeze as was the very thing causing him to smile, for it carried the fragrance of all those flowers to his nose and that couldn't help but bring the Fae to his mind.

Tall and fair was she, with bright flowing hair and eyes as gray as mist. She'd been dressed in a fine silk gown, all green and gold, when first he saw her and he thought then that in all the green world there could be none so fair as she.

But beautiful and magical though the Fae may be, they do have their weaknesses and one of these is an inability to handle objects made of iron. A sore trial that had been proving to be for poor Aislinn, forced as she was to find shelter within a blacksmith's home!

And so it was that when Gavin went up to Dublin he'd made several purchases—and it was these that were putting the smile upon his face today. Nor was it the new leather boots he'd acquired for himself that filled his heart with satisfaction, I'll have you be knowing. 'Twas rather the gifts he was bringing back for the Fae that most pleased him—gifts sure to gladden any woman's heart, or so he thought. Gifts of cookware—that's what he planned on surprising the Fae with! Covered baking dishes made of earthenware quite handy for making stew,wooden spoons with which to stir the stew, a copper tea kettle, even a cunning tin rack which could be set upon the hearth and used to toast bread.

Ah, now, I know what it is you're thinking. Sure and cookware is not the type of gift any woman would be overjoyed to receive from a man—and a royal princess, such as Aislinn was, even less so. And, in most cases you'd be right! But not this time. For though it might be hard to imagine a less romantic gift, it showed a surprising amount of thoughtfulness on the part of the smith, who might not be expected to understand how it galled the lass to be always at his mercy, so to speak, unable to fix a decent meal for herself without fear of injury due to the iron pots and pans and other utensils with which the smith's hearth was furnished.

So now, as you'll see, the day has mostly passed and O'Malley has just returned to his forge. He's still wearing a smile as he comes through his own front door, arms laden with packages. Aislinn lays down her book and returns his smile. She rises from her seat by the fireplace, eying the packages curiously. No doubt she's hoping that at least a few of them contain food for, you see, the poor thing has had naught to eat the whole time the smith was gone but for the aforementioned whiskey, some cheese and a bit of brown bread to go with it.

“What's all this then?” she asks, trying hard to hide her hunger. And even though Gavin is generally as quick with his words as anyone who'd kissed the Blarney Stone, it takes him more than a moment to find his tongue.

“Well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes,” he says at last. For it seems to him she looks lovelier each time he sets his eyes on her and this evening in particular. She's wearing her own green dress again—the one cut scandalously low across the bodice so that her nipples are almost peeking out over the top of it. Her hair is tied up with a silk scarf, also green, and elegant ear bobs, fashioned out of gold and set with glittering stones—green again—dangle from her earlobes. Sure and those jewels she's wearing are, without question, each worth a great deal—as much as a pot of gold, most likely—yet they only serve to bring his gaze back to her face. Indeed, it would take a much greedier man than ever Gavin could be to notice anything beyond the Fae's bright smile—even though said smile has turned quite wry at the moment.

“I thank you kindly for the compliment. And pleased I am to see you as well. But, tell me, might I not be getting an answer to my question any time soon?”

“Aye,” says Gavin heaving a happy sigh. “That you will.” Then he crosses to his table and begins to unload his burdens upon its scarred surface. “Come and see.”

The Fae's eyes grow wide as the smith commences to unwrap the gifts he's brought—and, yes, there's some food among them as well—and he cannot help but notice when her nipples peak beneath the thin silk of her gown. Finally, when everything's laid out upon the table, he turns to her. “Well?” he asks, not quite hiding a smile at her excitement and obvious surprise. “What have you to say to all of that?”

“Are they for me then?” Aislinn asks, reaching out to just barely touch the lid of one dish—just dragging the tips of her fingernails across it. Gavin shivers in response, and it's as though it's him she's touching; as though he can feel the bite of her fingernails as they rake across his own bare skin.

“Aye,” he answers her, though he has to swallow hard to do it and his voice is husky and thick. “Do they please you?”

“They're quite wonderful,” she says as she raises her eyes to his face and smiles again—and he all but loses his breath entirely, she's that lovely. “However can I thank you?”

“I'm sure you can think of a way,” Gavin says; by which he means that agreeing to stay with him—to accept a permanent place beside his fireplace and, perhaps, within his heart—would be all the thanks he'd need. But I don't think the Fae has quite understood, for her smile glimmers even brighter and she chuckles in a decidedly sly manner as she slips into his arms.

“Indeed and I'm sure you're right,” she murmurs, her voice little more than a purr. “Perhaps something like this would suit?” So saying, she rises up on her toes and kisses him. As she cuddles against him, he can feel her nipples poking his chest. Her tongue tangles with his and he's lost. It's naught but kisses and cuddles he's thinking of and...no, what are you thinking? They're not about to make love. Not yet anyway; for the smith has it in his head that do to so before the Fae's been properly fed, would be unmannerly of him and, in case you've missed it, he's trying to be on his best behavior with her. But after dinner...oh, well, to be sure, making love is not something he'd be likely to hold off doing any longer than that!

After a long, long interlude of kisses and cuddles—so long, in fact, that Gavin's beginning to forget his resolve to not make love to her yet—Asilinn asks, “Mightn't we begin using them now?”

“Using what?” Gavin asks, for sure and his ability to think has been severely impaired. His mind is taken up entirely with thoughts of kisses and cuddles and making love—aye and nipples and tongues and earlobes and other assorted body parts—and he is, in fact, all but tongue-tied with lust.

“Why, all this lovely cookware, of course!” Aislinn says—and this time she doesn't smile, she laughs out loud, so amused by Gavin's befuddlement she can scarcely help herself. “Wasn't that your purpose in bringing them home to me?”

Home. The word wends its way into Gavin's heart, bringing back his smile. It pleases him to hear the Fae refer to his cottage in such a fashion and, indeed, that was his purpose and so he's quite content with himself, at the moment, and with her as well. “Aye, it was indeed.”

“Good,” Aislinn says, still with a smile, as she disengages herself from his arms. “Then I have just one question for you.”

As always, Gavin cannot stop himself from returning the smile. “Just one? Well, that's a first, surely. And what would this question be then?”

“This kettle,” she says as she picks up the copper kettle, quite pretty with its verdigris, and lets it dangle from her fingers. “Why is it green?”

 *****

The story doesn't have a title yet. Perhaps someone would like to suggest one? I'll offer a signed Romance Trading Card to the best answer...once the cards arrive, that is. Here's a picture of what it looks like.





 

Iron
P.G. Forte
ISBN 978-1-59578-585-5 


When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, Gavin O'Malley knows he’s in luck. For Aislinn can give him everything he’s been missing. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her—without losing his immortal soul in the process.


23 comments:

Michayla said...

PG I love your story! And your falling shamrocks. Very festive.

Ivelisse said...

I love me an Irish accent can listen to it all day long *sigh*

Debbie Cairo said...

Great story, thanks!

Juana said...

Wonderful story!

jmesparza821@gmail.com

jessica said...

Great story! I'm not really good with coming up with titles. Maybe something with Faery Princess or Gavin's Faery Princess. I'm not sure.

Jean P said...

Loved the story and you have a very lovely looking website.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

booklover0226 said...

Loved the story.

Unfortunately, I'm not creative so I can't even begin to imagine an appropriate title!

Thanks for the blog tour.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Jolene Allcock and Family said...

I love love this story, it was great. Unfortunately I'm not very creative and a name is escaping me.

june111(at)att(dot)net

Pam S said...

That was a fun story - will have to look for Iron to read about it's world.

Not very good with names Pleasing His Princess or Emerald Treasures maybe?

pams00 @ aol.com

joder said...

You created a very fun blurb. I love how exotic everything is too.

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Eden Hail said...

Ah, how lovely!

Reka Stormborn said...

That was lovely.
How about "A Smile for Home" as a title?

Miranda Grissom said...

Great Story! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Love that cover!!!

Deb830 said...

Nice story. not good with titles but my suggestion for a title would be "Pots of Love or Loss".

Sherry said...

Loved the story but I couldn't think of any titles.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Judy said...

I love the story. Not good with titles,but will try!!

My Green Fae



Judy
magnolias_1[at]msn[dot]com

char10 said...

I really enjoyed your story and the falling shamrocks are a nice touch.

Savanna Kougar said...

Wonderful Irish-feeling story. Who can resist a fairy lass?

DL Thomas said...

Love the story! It will be on my TBB and TBR list.

Title...Copper Kettle...lol

Deb
mammy4423ATyahooDOTcom

Beth said...

Loved the falling shamrocks.

couple possibilities for title--
Forged
Tempered
Steel

Maureen said...

Terrific story! Thanks!

/\Heather/\ said...

Excellent story! :-)

PG Forte said...

wow, those are some pretty good titles--better than anything I'd come up with.

Luckily, I have time before the cards get here to choose. But thank you all for your ideas!