Branwyn St. Clair is running from her wicked stepfather when she stows aboard the first ship she encounters. Little does she know it is the infamous elven pirate ship, the Moonbeam. When cabin boy Johnny Pate finds her in the hold, they form an uneasy alliance.
Life aboard the Moonbeam is not what she expects. The ship soars through the clouds, borne aloft by spiderwebs and pixie dust, in search of plunder. But the biggest theft of all has already occurred….
“Let me go!” Branwyn twisted with all her strength against the man’s hold, the bones of her wrist grating against each other as she fought. The resulting pain brought tears to her eyes, but she blinked them back.
“You are my ward, and you will do as I say.” The words were hissed between gritted teeth. Eyes narrowed to slits glared down at her in the dim light of the fire in the grate. The room smelled of wood-smoke and damp wool.
Praetor Goldsmith had come home early because of the rain—two minutes more, and she would have been free.
“You don’t want me here. You complain daily about how I’m a drain upon your pocketbook. Then let me go!” She jerked away, backing toward the door of the study. “I won’t say anything.”
“Say anything about what, you little fool? Do you think anyone in this town would believe your lies over my word? I am a well-respected merchant, and you’re the daughter of a whore!”
The words stopped her in her tracks. “Take that back,” she whispered.
A wolfish grin bloomed on his face. “Didn’t you know? She spread her legs for anyone who asked.”
“You’re a liar.”
“Doesn’t match the image you have of your sainted mother, does it?” Now that he had reasserted his dominance, he turned his back to her, pouring himself a glass of wine.
Rage choked her. She felt herself shaking. She couldn’t believe the words were true, and yet…
She wheeled, reaching for the door handle. She wanted to put as much distance between them as possible. Escape lay in her grasp—
—Until a grip of iron encircled her forearm. “Not so fast, my girl. I’m not through with you yet. I will have you to wife!”
Fear churned within the rage, and she grabbed the heavy wine-jug from his desk. Swinging it with all her strength, she slammed it into the side of his head.
He grunted and fell, hand relaxing as he dropped.
Welcome Rie, and congratulations! Tell us a little about yourself and your writing.
I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I first learned to read when I was five. Words transport us to other worlds, and I wanted to take people there. I started writing my first book somewhere between nine and twelve—the details are hazy after all this time. Eventually, with a lot of help from a lot of people, that book was published in 2000 as The Blood that Binds. But are we ever satisfied? When the original publisher folded, I rewrote it completely and it was re-issued as The Luckless Prince. It’s currently out-of-print, but about to be re-released from a third publishing house. It’s been a wild ride, and I think I have learned so much in the past two decades. I can’t wait to see what the next two hold.
Do you write full time?
I am supposedly a full-time author; but I also edit for two separate presses; am chauffeur for my husband (who can’t park at work right now); chief-cook-and-bottle-washer at home; you get the idea. This year, I’ve been taking it easy on the writing to focus on the editing and getting ready for WorldCon in Dublin, which will be my first trip abroad. Since I have set several stories in Ireland, I think it is only right that I actually visit.
So jealous. I'd love to be going to Dublin this year. What are your writing inspirations?
I get inspirations all over the place. Fairy tales are some of my favorite places to get ideas—I’ve rewritten several of them so far. It is a great way to explore other cultures.
I have been known to write a piece based on a tidbit of trivia. I once wrote a song about Queen Elizabeth I banning the bards of Ireland, which my friend Marc Gunn has recorded several times now. I wrote a horror story based on a calendar page which told of the legend that the hand of a dead man could bring on the cream. I’ve had stories start from a dream.
The Blood that Binds was originally a story about two brothers and an encounter with shoemaker-type elves. Then I read The Lord of the Rings, and my elves got taller. I am a “pantser,” by nature. It grew day by day over the month in my favorite way of writing.
How did you come to write this story?
It was originally a NaNoWriMo story. I wanted to write a book about a flying elven pirate ship. Branwyn was born to be the stranger to the world of the elves so that I could explain things in that society through the eyes of an outsider. Somewhere along the way, she took on a life of her own, refusing to play by conventional rules and becoming a feisty wench worthy of the trust of the captain. There is a lot going on in the book that is taken for granted before she stirs things up—the servitude of the fay; the entrapment of Queen Mab; Johnny Pate’s position on the crew. I hope that Branwyn opens Aidrian’s eyes a bit. I don’t explain everything about the elves. I like to leave some things for the reader to imagine.
Is this book part of a series?
Not currently, but my editor thinks that it should be, So far, I’ve only managed to write more than one book in my Steampunk universe, but I would love to explore this world further.
So, what project will you be working on next?
My next project is Book Six of The Conn-Mann Chronicles. I have been taking a bit of a break, but I’ve finally gotten a few words on “paper” this month, so hopefully that will move ahead once I get back from the inspirational trip to Ireland.
One surprising or interesting fact about yourself.
I took two years of Mandarin and one of Classical Chinese in college, as well as French and Spanish earlier in life. (Not that I remember much of it.) I am currently trying to work in a bit of Irish lessons in my spare time…Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RieSheridanRoseAuthorPage/ (though rarely updated) Websites: https://riewriter.com/ (even more rarely updated) https://theconnmannchronicles.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/RieSheridanRose Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rie-Sheridan-Rose
Is there anything else about yourself you'd like to tell us about yourself or your writing?
I think of myself first and foremost as a poet. Everything else is gravy.
When Rie was a little girl, and people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, the list always ended with “...and a writer.” She’s made that dream come true—at least enough for her own sense of accomplishment. Would she like to have an American Best Seller some day? Well, probably, but there’s still time...
Rie Sheridan Rose multitasks. Her short stories appear in numerous anthologies, including On Fire, Hides the Dark Tower, and Killing It Softly Vol. 1 and 2. Her photographs have appeared on several independent book covers, and in Ghostlight: Magazine of Terror, The Passed Note, and Thoughtful Dog. Her poetry has appeared in Dreams and Nightmares, Illumen, and Penumbra, as well as several anthologies. She has authored twelve novels, six poetry chapbooks, and lyrics for dozens of songs. Her favorites are the five books of the Steampunk series The Conn-Mann Chronicles, as Josephine Mann is as close as she gets to a daughter of her own. (But don’t tell the rest of her characters that.)
Currently, she is Editor-in-Chief at Mocha Memoirs Press and for the Thirteen O’Clock imprint of Horrified Press.
Rie lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Newell and five spoiled fur-babies all vying to be the next one put in a book. For fun, she plays video games and is obsessed with Pokemon GO.