Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Catch the Magic! by Shirley Martin

"Enchanted Cottage" by Shirley Martin 
Book 3 of the Avador series

"An evil witch places a curse on Alana Cullain, turning the once beautiful woman into an ugly hag.  Chased from her village, Alana seeks sanctuary in the dark forest. There, she finds a strange cottage, once she'd never seen before, and makes her home there.

Demoted and badly wounded in battle, mercenary soldier Colin Duffrey heads home to recover. Along the way, he finds a cottage in the midst of the forest and finds refuge there.

A woman, marred on the outside, and a man, afflicted on the inside, meet in an isolated cottage. There, they learn that they can help each other. And with a bit of magic, miracles can happen."


    Fantasy romances are fun to write. You can let your imagination run free, unhobbled by earthly limitations of time and space. As with writing any novel, it's a good idea to begin with the question: what if?  In writing my fantasy romance, I wondered what if an innocent young woman is accused of dark sorcery and chased from her village.

    An evil witch, jealous of Alana Cullain's beauty, places a curse on her, turning the once beautiful woman into an ugly hag. At the same time, Morag, the evil witch, casts a wicked spell over many villagers, afflicting them with a fatal disease.  Morag blames Alana, her face now covered with purple blemishes, for the deaths.

    The people chase Alana from the village. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Alana seeks sanctuary in the dark forest. There she finds a strange isolated cottage and makes her home there. She's determined to make a life for herself, even if she must suffer solitude for the rest of her days.

    What's a romance without a hero? Enter Colin Duffrey, a mercenary soldier, demoted and badly wounded in battle. Heading home to recover from his injury, he takes a shortcut through the woods and finds a secluded cottage there.

    What will happen when a handsome soldier meets an ugly hag? Can they find happiness together?  

Excerpt from "Enchanted Cottage"

    Tomorrow would be the last day she'd see him. How it hurt, how she would miss him, this man who had become part of her life in such a short time. Memories of Colin came in a rush, of the first day she'd met him, of taking care of him through his feverish illness, and the fear that he might lose his arm. She recalled his smile, his husky voice, everything about him that made her realize how much he meant to her.

    She held the door open for him, and he came inside, carrying the tack and saddle. "Soon we won't have any room for us," he said with a laugh, setting the tack and saddle by his knapsack.

    Determined to hide her joy, she fixed a neutral expression on her face. "I see you purchased a horse, what looks to me to be a fine animal."  What a brainless remark, she thought.

    "Aye, she should get me home within a few days."  He smiled then, that heartwarming smile that could win over the worst scoundrel. "That's not all I bought. Recall I said that I wanted to repay you for all you've done for me."  From inside his coin purse, he drew out a velvet bag and handed it to her, an expectant look on his face.

    She pulled the drawstring apart and gasped.  "My bracelet!  My gold bracelet!"

    He frowned in puzzlement.  'Yes, it's yours.  I bought it for you."

    She shook her head.  "No, you don't understand. This was--is--my own bracelet. My mother gave it to me years ago."  She explained about selling the piece because she needed money.  "Oh, Colin, how could you have known. . .?"

    He pulled out a chair and sat down. "That's the strange thing about my purchase. Something drew me to this piece, almost like magic beckoning me." He laughed. "Silly, I know. But something urged me to buy this bracelet for you."

    Overcome with emotion, she fought the tears that threatened to spill. Despite her efforts. tears misted her eyes. So happy to have this cherished piece returned to her, she wanted to kiss him and hold him and tell him she never wanted him to leave. But she could neither do nor say what her heart wanted.

    Suddenly aware she must look even uglier with her tearstained face, she brushed her hand across her cheeks. "Thank you, Colin.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

    He reached over and clasped her hand. "Something to remember me by. Tomorrow I leave for home." 

Copyright (C) 2013 Shirley Martin

Find Shirley's other BWL titles here:


  1. Hi Shirley,
    Enchanting, indeed.Great post.



  2. I enjoyed your post, Shirley, and what a pretty cover.

    1. Cathy, thanks so much for your comment. I always enjoy hearing back from others.

  3. Sounds like goo fun, Shirley. The Beauty and the Beast, reversed?

    1. Bob, what a surprise to find you here. I do appreciate your comment.

  4. Very good post. I've downloaded the story and can't wait to read it.
    Teresa R.

  5. Teresa, thanks for commenting on my article. I always enjoy hearing from you.


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