What's a writer to do when she falls in love with the secondary characters in her novels? Write short stories about them, of course!
Anna Elliott is the author of the TWILIGHT OF AVALON trilogy (Touchstone), a series set in sixth century Britain that explores the celebrated romance between Trystan and Isolde. The first volume of the trilogy came out in 2009; the second volume, DARK MOON OF AVALON, will be published this September (I will be reviewing it mid-month). Anna created a character in TWILIGHT OF AVALON who completely captivated her; however, as the author worked on the second and third books, she could find no way to work this character, Dera, back into the story. Unable and willing to ignore Dera's tale, Anna wrote it up as a short story, which she is offering to readers free of charge:
In the shadow of King Arthur's Britain, a young mother will need all her courage to save the Queen's castle from the hands of a traitor...
Dera owes Britain's former High Queen Isolde her life. But as an army harlot, the life she leads is one of degradation and often desperate danger, with small hope for the future either for Dera or for her small son.
Through a Britain torn by war with Saxon invaders, Dera makes her way to Dinas Emrys, last stronghold of Britain's army, to beg Queen Isolde's help once more. Isolde offers Dera a new life, both for herself and for her child. But when Dera and Isolde uncover a treasonous plot, Dera must leave her little boy and undertake a dangerous mission, the outcome of which comes to her as a stunning, but wonderful, surprise.
And as she risks her life, Dera also draws nearer to Queen Isolde's most closely-guarded secret: one that Britain's courageous witch-queen may be hiding even from herself.
THE WITCH QUEEN'S SECRET features a minor character from TWILIGHT OF AVALON, but it's self-contained; you don't have to have read any of the trilogy to understand it. The story is available in various e-reader and printer compatible forms on Anna's website here. Or (because of Amazon policy), it's available for 99 cents on the Kindle store here.
From what I understand, Anna plans to make other stories about minor characters in the trilogy available to readers. What a clever way to keep her readers happy between books and to satisfy her own curiosity about her characters' lives!
Enjoy your reading, and be sure to check back here in September for a review and giveaway of DARK MOON OF AVALON.