The Key to All Things
Every day, Lady Avriel hears the bards sing about the greatest love story of all times, a heartbreaking romance between a human nobleman, Captain Edward de Vere, and the beautiful Queen of the Fae, who shattered his heart when she abandoned him to accept her throne. Avriel secretly longs for the sad and romantic captain as she works as a double agent, serving at both human and fae courts to keep the peace between the two kingdoms.
But for three hours every night she remembers a completely different world, where the greatest love story is a lie, and Edward belongs to her. She believes this reality to be the true one, even if no one else does. The world has fallen under a spell, and it is up to Avriel to find its source and undo it.
To set things right, Avriel must face the all-powerful Elder Fae and confront the darkest powers that rule her destiny – only to learn that if she proceeds, her actions will bring chaos and open her kingdom to destruction. Is this a choice she is willing to make to bring her love back?
I am the queen of sometimes. Sometimes I am a wife. Sometimes I am a spy. It just depends on what time of day you catch me.
There is a story that sits in the back of my head, and I remind myself of it every time I lie down to sleep. It is the story that recounts everything I had, and everything I lost. It is not the story you know, about war and love. You believe in the tale of Catherine of the Willows, a part fae who fell in love with Edward de Vere, Captain of the King’s Guards. You al-ready are nodding, you know the story like you know your own face in the mirror. It’s been told to you thousands of times. Catherine and Edward fell in love. They married despite their love being forbidden. And then, when the story should have ended with everyone having their happily ever after, the unthinkable happened. Catherine was chosen to take the fae throne. And with that, came a terrible decision. She could keep her mundane life, her marriage, or she could sacrifice her identity and become the Sapphire Queen of the Fae.
She sacrificed. And as she rose, Edward fell. Tossed aside, he became
the tragic hero.
Here is the truth, if you would have it. There were three men who were like brothers: an inventor, a pirate, a romantic; warriors all. And there was a woman, Avriel, neither all fae nor all human, and she lived between the worlds of the human and fae courts. Avriel was the one who enchanted Edward, Avriel was the one he wed, and everything should have been the happily ever after of the stories: flowers and sunshine and perfection.
So why don’t you remember it this way? I don’t know. No one remembers. They know of these three men – Edward de Vere, and Merrick d’Marison, and Stephan d’Valerian, and all the things they did. They sometimes remember the woman – me, Avriel, now a background character in a much grander story. But no one remembers the truth. In one brief moment everything’s changed, and I do not know how, or why.
All I know is that Edward, my husband and the love of my life, does not remember who I am. But that is not as bad as it would seem. For, you see, except for three blessed hours each day, from nine until midnight, I don’t remember him, either. Or, to be more precise, I don’t remember that he was once mine. He’s just an attractive soldier who once was the Captain of the King’s Guard but now fell from grace, and all I can do is hide in the shadows and long for him.
Each time the clock chimes nine, I remember what it was like to taste his kisses, to have him lean close and whisper in my ear, to fight by his side. I remember what it was like to be powerful and in control of my destiny, to have friends who respected me.
It used to hurt, the remembering. At first it would paralyze me. I used to think I was mad. I would sit in my room and stare at the wall, wondering what to do. There was no one to talk to, to turn to. Everyone had been taken from me.
Oh, I cannot lie. It still does hurt. But I force it away, and instead I consider the day behind me, and the day ahead of me, and I take out some paper and write down some notes. They are different, depending on what needs to be accomplished. I place each note where I will see it in the morning, out of sight of the mirror, because there is a fae courtier who controls me, who can see through mirrors, and who would not allow me to proceed.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Cindy is the author of the Amazon bestselling The Chocolatier’s Wife, and it’s sequel, The Chocolatier’s Ghost, among others, including the brand new Key to All Things. She loves reading, taking road trips, hiking, pretending to garden (really, I need to feed my poor tomatoes) and sword fighting. You can find out more about her at http://www.cindylynnspeer.com or her facebook, https://www.facebook.com/cindylynnspeer/ and Twitter https://twitter.com/cindylynnspeer
· What is your best advice for an aspiring writer?
· What is the title of your favorite book?
· Besides writing, what do you love to do?
My best advice for an aspiring writer is to be kind to yourself. The world is full of noise – full of things that either rightly or wrongly prioritize themselves over your writing time. So, you can and up not doing everything you need to do…write, research…it can seem very catch as catch can, and you might be tempted to give up. Wait until you retire. But don’t give up. Be merciful to yourself, and realize that you are worth whatever time you can find. Daily is best, but hey, 500 words a week is 500 words more than you had. Do that every week, you have 36,000 words – three years, tops, you will have a book. That is much more than most people accomplish, and it will get easier as the book heats up in your head, so you will have weeks when you write much more than that. And weeks where the world takes over and you are lucky if you remember your own name. And when that happens, be kind to yourself – no recriminations – and go back and do what you can.
The title of one of my many favorite books is Dragonsbane, by Barbara Hambly.
When I am not writing, I love to read. Usually I’d be contemplating travel – I adore road trips, and have crossed the United States three times, camping, mostly, my Dodge Calibur packed to the gills. I really love being out in nature. I also adore sword fighting, and have been taking a class on how to translate old fencing manuals and actually putting what they talk about into practice, which has been a lot of fun.
Now, to be honest, my main preoccupations seem to be writing, reading, and worrying over my friends while praying there is a vaccine soon for the pandemic so I can get back to road trips and beating people up with swords. At least I have a hobby, right?
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