Teaser Tuesday: Blackbriar Cove

How are you doing today? I can honestly say that 2021 as a year so far, has been just as awful as 2020, and I wonder sometimes if I’m not the only one that feels this way. I do hope that your year has gone better, though. And on a positive note, I am stronger both inside and out than I was when the chaos of the pandemic hit last spring.

For those of you who might be curious or were unaware, I had a miscarriage earlier this year. Shortly after, one of my childhood best friends’ mom died. This lovely woman kept me at her house almost every other weekend growing up. I learned “oldies” music because of her. Her death was so sudden, and on top of my own loss, difficult to process for all of us. And then about a month ago, we learned my mom has kidney cancer. Last but not least, she also was diagnosed with COVID this past weekend. By this point, I’m honestly begging the universe to “please, oh, please, let the rest of ’21 run smoothly,” lol.

And it’s honestly not all bad. I’m not losing my mind (somehow), and I haven’t been a weepy emotional mess in months. And somehow I am still writing. I’m still working toward publishing my book finally, no matter what comes next. I suppose that’s part of my mindset. To not think too much about the past or the future. To just focus on one day at a time, and try to find joy in little moments. I like to think that things will get better, but if they don’t, I’m oddly not too worried. I’ve come to accept whatever life plans to throw my way, and to just keep going. And maybe that will make the good moments all the sweeter. And maybe it will make every book I publish an even bigger personal triumph.

My days the last year and half have felt like climbing a mountain, but I’m not giving up, and I’m ready for the best and the worst. I hope you are holding on with me, and that you find little things to brighten your day, friend. Today, (to keep myself accountable 🙂 I’m sharing my final Tuesday Teaser for Blackbriar Cove. I’m about to ship off my manuscript to my editor and finally fix a release date, and all that jazz. Wish me luck! Meanwhile, I hope you are able to find escape for a few minutes today. Let me carry you with me to a world of magic and danger. I promise to deliver you safely back to reality when we’re done. 😉

Today’s episode was brought to you by annoyingly omniscient goblins everywhere.

*major spoilers for silver hollow below*

Blackbriar Cove

Borderlands #2 Teaser

She woke from terrible dreams to the grating sound of Morcant Hogswillow’s happy, “Good morrow, Jessamiene!” 

Her hands curled into fists, and Amie came fully awake, half expecting to find claws instead of nails, fur instead of skin. 

The dream had been so real.

Visions of snowy mountains cleared and she found buttery curtains illuminated by a gentle sun, a richly furnished room in accents of gold, and a swift rap at the door followed by, “Jessamiene? Are you decent, dear? I’m coming in with breakfast.” 

Amie smoothed her hands over the silken coverlet as she sat up and slipped a hand under her pillow. The dagger Dameri had insisted she carry waited within. 

A gruff voice, half remembered from a dream, cautioned, “Trust your friends no more than your enemies.”

Morcant Hogswillow seemed to carry the sun with her as she appeared in a flouncy dress, perfectly coifed curls and a welcoming grin. Here was the woman who Uncle Henry had nearly married. The woman Amie had faced on a field wrecked by magic and chaos as Unseelie took revenge on Silver Hollow. The last she had seen of Grim’s sister, had been the woman snatching up another Unseelie from the battlefield and fleeing. 

It took everything Amie had not to flinch as Morcant placed a tray in her lap, and a casual seat at the edge of Amie’s bed. 

She didn’t look or feel like an enemy now. And Amie found herself blurting quite rudely, “Why are you doing this? Why…” She drew in a breath as Morcant’s smile faltered and pressed on. “You had your golems watching me, there and here.”

Morcant shook her head as she pursed her lips. “Grim—” 

“I know why your brother did this,” Amie interrupted, startling the other woman, even though she didn’t really know. Most days, Amie wasn’t sure if she would ever understand Grimwich Rumplekin. She liked far less the curious tilt of Morcant’s head as Amie added, “I need to know what you stand to gain from helping me. You were with them, after everything you said last year…and, I need to know I can trust you.” 

Could you ever trust her, or him? 

Amie pushed aside the voice in her head, the one that too often sounded like Nimue. Without Emrys to haunt her, Amie’s thoughts were too often troubled. 

Morcant toyed with a ring on her right pointer-finger. “I knew Iudicael—your Henry—for most of my life.” 

Her pale honey eyes flicked up to Amie’s, gleaming with such raw emotion Amie released her hold on the dagger. 

“My family has never been purely Seelie or Unseelie, you know. And many in the Hollow chose to snub us after the Exile, though we had no part in Boruma’s rebellion.” A slow crooked smile turned up the corners of her full mouth. “But not your father. Iudicael looked after me when Grim was away, and he looked after my kin. Our marriage was intended for both our sakes, and we loved one another in our own way.” 

Amie recalled her smirking face each time they met in Wenderdowne, her anger at the woman’s many cryptic statements, and grimaced. “I understood so little. Sometimes I wonder if I understood Henry at all.” She startled as Morcant’s warm palm covered Amie’s fist beside her tray.

“Your father loved you, Jessamiene. And I…failed to protect him.” Morcant’s eyes widened as she shook her head. “I won’t fail you. Please believe me when I say all I want now is to help protect your and our home.”

Amie couldn’t quite read Morcant, any better than she could Grim. Their nixy was so very different to the other Seelie, Hobgoblins, and fey Amie had met. And with her ties to Silver Hollow dampened by such distance, Amie knew she needed to accept all the help she could find. 

We are not helpless, that fierce inner voice hissed back. 

Amie swallowed as she pulled her hand from Morcant’s, only to snatch her hand in return. “Prove it.”

to be continued…

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3 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: Blackbriar Cove

  1. I’ve had a stretch like you…lost my husband of 21 years in 2018, my 19 year old son in 2019, one of my best friends from cancer in 2020, my stepmom in 2021…I had to relocate to take care of my father who has Alzheimers, I sold my house but couldn’t say goodbye to any friends….The list goes on but it is best to keep a positive attitude and keep moving forward. Like you, I like to look at the good things too!

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    1. I’m so sorry for your loss and can’t imagine what you’ve been through. The last year especially has really challenged what I thought I could endure. But I suppose that’s what life does? I don’t think it ever gets easier, but we learn to appreciate the good days as you said, and especially to keep moving. And it helps to know that we aren’t alone 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story with me. I hope that you’re able to find comfort in good moments and memories, and all the little things every day that make it worth it ❤ Sending big virtual hugs your way, friend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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