I’ve just signed a contract with House of Erotica for my Samhain novella (15,000 words), ‘The Pagan Sorceress’.  It should come out in September some time so I can promote it in October as an erotic Halloween story.

The story switches from a contemporary setting to Anglo-Saxon times in a valiant attempt to capture the language of an Anglo-Saxon heroic tale in the style of Beowulf!

Here’s the story blurb.

Sam is about to carry out a strange experiment.  She is an archaeology student specialising in reconstructive archaeology and her idea is to recreate an Anglo-Saxon pagan burial ceremony.  It’s Samhain eve and the night of a full moon so it’s the perfect time to carry out such a ritual.  She enlists the help of her friend, Dan, and together they go off to the site of a burial mound where wonderful swords and sceptres were excavated many years ago. A travelling story teller is at the court of a Saxon king.  He recites the tale of two soul-entwined lovers from an earlier, more chaotic, period when king’s warred amongst each other.  He tells the tragic tale of Cyneburh, pagan sorceress and daughter of the mighty pagan king Penda and Alhfrith, son of Athelwald the king of Deira, her hero-warrior lover and betrothed.  The two kings have formed a mighty political and religious alliance but, more than that, the young woman and man have forged a passionate union of their own.  But this new alliance has enemies and before their wedding night is over there will be a tragic outcome.  As King Penda stands at the edge of their burial chamber he invokes a curse of vengeance against the murderous act perpetrated against him.  But, how many years will it take before he is finally avenged? As Sam stands on top of the burial mound dressed as an Anglo-Saxon pagan priestess with Dan at her side, is she aware of what ancient powers she will invoke as their lives become entwined with those of Cyneburh and Alhfrith from many centuries ago?  Will the pagan king’s oath of vengeance be fulfilled?  Will the souls of the two lovers be finally released?

The battle field at Maserfield lay scattered with blood covered bodies.  The retainers of Oswald, the Northumbrian king, lay hacked and hewn across blood-soaked mud.  With war-like savagery and bitter anger Penda’s army had extracted his revenge.  Torn to pieces with savage cut of sword by Penda himself the dismembered pieces of Oswald’s body lay scattered at his feet.  Throat cut and limbs torn from body, Penda’s vengeance had been savage and remorseless.  He ordered spears to be forced into the ground and on each spike a piece of Oswald’s hacked body was impaled as a symbol of the terrible vengeance the pagan king could wreak on his enemies.  They stood on the hill for all to see, a testament to Penda’s savage vengeance, for he was true to his word and to the oaths he had made.

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