Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!
The Enchanted Bookstore Legends
Book One: Seeking a Scribe
Book Two: Heritage Avenged
Book Three: Lost Volumes
Book Four: Staurolite
Book Five: Quintessence
By Marsha A. Moore
Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy and fantasy romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales.
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greeted Lyra as she opened the door to Drake’s bookstore. It took her back to
happy childhood memories. Licorice-shoe-string-rewards for following her
parents’ requests to stay on the dock while they secured the family’s pleasure
boat to its trailer. The aroma brought a fleeting remembrance of times long
gone, a treasure now that her folks had recently passed. At ease with the
familiar scent, she settled into browsing through rows of antique bookcases.
stuck his head around a set of shelves. “Do you like tea?”
Before she could finish speaking, he disappeared. “Is that the wonderful
smell?” she called out.
clinked in the back room. Receiving no answer, Lyra followed the noises,
scanning collections as she walked. This bookshop appeared established, but
surely she would have remembered it from her last visit to the Lake Huron
village five years ago. Books were her passion, especially fantasy. She paused
in front of that section and studied its titles.
holding a pewter tray with a teapot, two cups, sugar jar, spoons, and napkins,
which he laid on the corner of an old library table. She watched him carefully
pour the tea and hand her a cup. He was about her age, mid thirties or a bit
older, and handsome. His medium brown hair, peppered with gray at the temples, grazed
his shoulders in wavy layers, and his beard was trimmed into a neat goatee. He
wore long shorts, a knit golf shirt, and sandals—typical casual attire for this
island resort community.
bag from the drugstore and accepted his offer with a smile. “Thanks. My name’s
Lyra.” She blew across the hot surface of the tea to cool it and then inhaled
the anise-scented steam. She closed her eyes to fully enjoy the memory. “Ah!”
boating and licorice with your parents? Right?” he asked.
open. How did he know that?
his cup. “Go ahead, take a sip. My folks gave me the same reward for taking my
kid sister along on bicycle rides.”
about the tea, she asked, “How do you know my childhood memory?”
lips curled into a sly grin as he took another gulp.
took a tiny sip, just enough to wet her lips and the tip of her tongue. The flavor flooded her mouth, and her mind swam
with wonderful memories. The taste transformed into that of gigantic popcorn
balls the sheriff’s wife down the street made for Halloween trick-or-treaters,
accompanied by images of Lyra’s costume—a red, fringed gypsy skirt borrowed
from Mom. Next came a pumpkin flavor and vision of holding a cold piece of
“punky-pie” in her five-year-old hand. Another swallow returned her experience
back to anise. “What is this? How did you know?”
myself.” His grin spread into a smile as his eyes met hers. He took a step
closer. “I’m Cullen, Cullen Drake, and I know many things. What I don’t know is
what sort of books you like to read.”
caused heat to rise in her cheeks. “Well, actually I have several favorites,
all fantasy and magical realism. You have a number of authors I like in this
section.” She turned to refer to the shelves behind her, but found non-fiction
hunting guides instead. “This case held classic fantasy a moment ago!”
his cup. “It moved. It’s over here, and I have just what you want.” He slid an
old-fashioned library ladder along its track, set the locking device, and climbed
straight up to the top shelf.
walking between four comfortable leather club chairs grouped on a Persian rug.
A portrait of a young girl and a man wearing a cloak caught her attention.
Something seemed familiar in the child’s smile.
sliding on shelves distracted her. She moved to the base of his ladder and
glanced up. The ceiling of embossed tin panels decorated with Victorian
teardrop chandeliers and paper Chinese dragons made a unique combination, to be
about the strange happenings in the store and its owner. He was certainly odd, although not the
bookish, geeky sort who usually ran bookshops she frequented. He had an
athletic frame and strong legs.
exclaimed and quickly descended. His brow furrowed, he dusted off his hands on
his shorts. “I’ve got to find that volume for you. If you don’t mind me saying,
there’s a sadness about you. The book will make you happier than you’ve been
since those days of licorice shoe strings.”
and shifting bookcases, I almost believe you.” She laughed to cover her
concerns. Even four months after it was final, she worried that the loneliness
she felt after her divorce blazed like a beacon on her forehead. But, Cullen
knew so much—it startled her…actually, intrigued her. Her ex didn’t ever see
inside her, didn’t want to. This man read her as though he knew her. Did he? He
seemed so familiar.
book, I promise, you’ll be pleased.” He stroked his goatee. “Hmm. Where did I
last see it?” The twinkle in his gray-blue eyes captivated Lyra. “Will you be
here for the week? I can look for it and call you later.”
of the summer with my elderly Aunt Jean. She owns a lovely cottage at the end of
Walnut overlooking Lake Huron. I thought I’d keep her company and give her time
away from her nurse during my teaching break. While I’m here, I plan to write
writer? What do you teach?”
American Literature at Southern University in Florida. Seems like you already
would’ve known that since you jumped into my childhood memories,” she
stammered, attempting some humor. Taking a long draught of the tea, her mind
filled with memories of her pet dachshund wiggling next to her, displacing a
row of dolls. Another part of her past he knew—impossible! Her forehead beaded
associated with a lot of emotion, like the happiness of snuggling with your
exclaimed, shaking her head. “I don’t understand.” Her mind swam, trying to
grasp what happened. She desperately needed some fresh air. With trembling
hands she set the cup down.
seem odd, but the book I’m looking for will help explain.” He leaned closer
with a smile that somehow reassured her. “This is Saturday. If you can come by
next Wednesday morning, I think I should have it for you by then…if you’d
like.” He paused and looked into her eyes, waiting for a reply.
In spite of the confusion, she found herself agreeing. “Wednesday will work.”
down your number in case I can’t find it.” He walked to the counter and located
a notepad and pen. She dictated her number and full name, which he repeated,
“Lyra McCauley, a lovely Celtic name for a pretty lady.”
go now. Thanks for the tea.” With shaking fingers, she collected her shopping
bag and headed toward the door.
out and offered his hand to shake, the corners of his goatee lifting into an
inviting grin. “Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”
looked into his eyes, trying to discern his unusual clairvoyant gift. “You
too.” The initial touch, of his palm against hers, sent electrical shivers
along her arm. She jerked, yet didn’t let go, fascinated by the strong emotions
flashing through her mind—attraction, excitement, and acceptance. After an
awkwardly long pause, she dropped his hand, half-stumbled over the threshold
into the sunshine, and took a long, deep breath.
outdoor café a couple blocks farther down Tenth Street, while her mind buzzed
with questions. How did he know those things about her? She dropped onto a seat
at an empty table, shaded by an umbrella. He was fascinating and frightening at
the same time…and familiar. Her divorce and loss of her parents left her
lonely. He intrigued her.
something to drink while you look over the menu?” The waitress interrupted with
a bright young voice, a college student working a summer job.
reality, Lyra murmured, “Just water, please.” Alone in a crowd of lunch goers,
her thoughts returned to the bookstore and many unanswered questions.
placed a glass of water in front of her.
to drink and remove the sweet aftertaste of anise from her tongue.
September 17th, 2014 at 8:55 pm
Oh these look wonderful! Definitely worth checking out.