Please welcome Sera Kane with
Lord Of Hearth, Lord Of Hollow
Culinary school is hard enough for Aimes Cully without mixing in an utterly underwhelming physical appearance—too small, too delicate, too red-haired, too freckled, too human—added with the inability to magically improve the food—still too human—and facing the too beautiful, too fae-looking Aleksi’s teases and taunts. When rumors surface that Aimes’s older brother’s success is a lie, Aimes is determined to prove them wrong and show that pure-blooded humans are the equal of anyone with mixed blood.
But things get worse after Aimes is caught in a faerie ring and transported to the fae hollow of Lord Keanewyeth Ordorial. As the attraction heats up, it becomes obvious that there’s something wrong in the magical home. A cursed creature appears, and everything becomes jumbled as the secrets of their lives collide into a painful concoction of Aimes’s past and Keanewyeth’s present. But if they can meld their talents, they might be able to save each.
To those who journey, and those who seek,
When you’ve stretched too far to reach
The safety offered from afar
Trust in us, here to save and move
Rest within arms that hold and soothe.
Greetings, dear travelers. I am Sera Kane and I have been blessed to introduce you to my novella Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow.
My mind works on flights of fantasy. It likes to take side trips—which sometimes turn into actual falls—and generally take its dear sweet time to get to where it’s going. What this usually means is that I rarely have any idea where a story is going until it’s already there. With LoH, I had a few ideas of what I wanted to happen, and how I thought things would go down. A lot of them did follow my plan. There is a would-be chef, after all, and my mind just loves to throw in other races like elves and fae. A few things, however…
Well, they certainly surprised me, but they fit so perfectly that I can only admire what a brain can do when I get out of its way.
A particular example of this is Keane’s race: the Elfaegaard. It was a point of contention between the editors and I that the story uses fae and elf interchangeably. And, at first, I had no idea as to why it was so important that those semantics remained in place. But, then, abruptly I knew. Unfortunately, there wasn’t really a place to explain it in the novella, so you, lucky readers, get a quick overview of what sort of being Keane actually is!
The Elfaegaard are an ancient race, long-lived, and filled with magic. Though they are of one people, they are also separated by caste. The fae of the Elfaegaard are those who can use magic as easily as breathing. The gaard, on the other hand, are the warriors of strength, speed, and courage. Either caste is more powerful than a human of any ilk, but within their own race, it can be a real fight to choose a leader. The El is a title with magical ramifications that must be won through work and determination. There is nothing to define what one could be the El of, but he or she must be able to invest a great deal of mana and actions in order to claim it as their own. This need to carve out an El is one of the strongest driving factors from Keane’s past. Keep an eye out for it!
Thank you for coming by to read and I hope you’ll consider picking up Lord of Hearth, Lord of Hollow and let me know what you think!
Step and hop on cloudy night,
Out again afore moon’s soft light.
Else a price that must be paid;
The lord’s commands are all obeyed.
A molasses pause filled the room, thick and oozing. It was a silence that spoke of the dark curse: Double. Dog. Dare.
Aimes held his breath, eyes focused firmly on Aleksi’s grim and angry face. He knew better than to push the teacher’s pet. He knew better than to open his big, stupid mouth and do the one thing his older brother had warned him against doing ever. You could never be too careful when you were too human. Those with fae blood would always come down harder on those without, so the Cullys had to be better. Be smarter, braver, and more creative. That’s why Markl had kept trying until he was accepted at the palace. That was why Aimes had to make it to the palace, too.
“If you’re such a know-all-fae,” Aleksi announced with all of the dramatic flare of a ringmaster about to bring out the dancing flame wraiths, “then you can just go get some fairy mushrooms tonight. And then you can make your ‘oh, so famous’—” Aleksi punctuated the words with air quotations so sarcastic that a few of their fellows grimaced at the taste of them. “—Faerie mushrooms for Madame LeBanch tomorrow.”
Aimes took in a swift, tremulous breath. He could still get out of this. All he had to do was cut in with a scathing remark now, something that would cut Aleksi’s legs right out from under him, before he had a chance to invoke….
“I double-dog dare you.”
The curse settled over the class like a blanket. Aleksi’s cronies tittered in delight while his rivals watched in disgusted shock. It was a waste of a curse, especially on a nonentity like Aimes. Humans didn’t have the innate magic to effectively challenge a curse, and especially not one as complex as a named dare. Aimes wouldn’t be able to turn the curse back on Aleksi because fae blood always trumped human blood. The reminder of his ineptitude stung.
Aimes clenched his fists, and his pale chin came up sharply. “All right,” he said, trying to pretend that this high-pitched thing was the normal sound of his voice. “I accept.”
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About the author:
Sera Kane has loved the written word for essentially forever, in this particular case, somewhere in the range of thirty years or so. She writes to share the fantastical things that go on in her mind on a daily basis. Her secret-but-not-so-secret desire is to write pieces that are impossible to put down. And, also, to kill off a beloved character. She has not succeeded at either of these things, but be warned that she wants to!
She currently lives in southern California, but she's been quite a few places in her day! Her favourites include Washington-- the state, not DC-- Texas, and Japan. Her house is filled by an exceedingly tall husband, a very swift son, a derpy German Shepherd, and a grumpy yet loving Shih-Tzu. If she ever won the lottery, she'd have houses in all three of those places and breed Shepherds in at least one of them.
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