Friday, September 27, 2013

Goblins Giveaway by Melanie Tushmore




Greetings, dear readers. I’m going to tell you a little about my new Goblins book. 

Check out the end of this blog post for details on the GIVEAWAY!






Goblins Book 1 comprises two stories:
Wulfren & The Warlock, and Quiller & The Runaway Prince.


When I wrote the first story (Wulfren & The Warlock) for Less Than Three Press, I’d intended it to be a stand alone, a one off. But as the world of Goblins –and their elvish cousins– sprang to life, I continued the tales. There will be more to come, but we decided to release them in pairs.

After Wulfren –who is quite a wistful and romantic character– I had a great burning to write a story for his older brother, Quiller; the goblin prince who seemed the most carefree and cheeky. Quiller’s preferred form, or spirit animal, is a rook. All the goblins have animals that they transform into, whether fully or in very subtle ways, that compliment their personality.



I’ve always loved surrealist qualities in art and fantasy; something that makes you look twice, or can look a little scary. My goblin boys are only sometimes human, the rest of the time they exhibit other-worldly qualities, subtle shape-shifting movements that can reflect their moods and tempers. From King Raedren’s snake-like hair, to the youngest goblin prince, Wulfren, hissing like a cat.

When I thought of Quiller, I had in mind a tall, graceful, and flighty sort of character.



Quiller is going about his own business, being a goblin, when a human youth stumbles into his path. The year at that point is 1648, the start of the second English civil war, and also in the very last stages of the age of witchcraft. What were the humans wearing, then? I scoured through paintings like this one, Smokers In An Interior:



And welcome to a huge kink of mine; pretty young men dressed as cavaliers (of which I shall delve into more …chuckle… in my very last Goblins blog post next week).

Quiller the goblin is able to transform himself into a human form, and in a darkened forest where he meets the human, perhaps he’d look something like this:




But being in a human form does not mean understanding humans as they are, as Quiller is about to find out.



Excerpt

The rider's foot caught in one of the stirrups as he fell, and he cried out in pain. "Midnight!" he shouted, as the beast stamped its hooves. "Stop, stop!"
"Oh dear!" the birds called. "Stupid human!"
The rider managed to free himself, and fell to the ground in a heap. The horse snorted, shaking its head, then stamped a few paces away. "Midnight!" the rider called. He shifted on the ground, trying to stand. His ankle blazed in pain; I could feel the rush of hot energy from where I sat watching. His anguished cry echoed through the trees, and the birds continued to laugh. He sat still on the forest floor, clearly stunned and unable to move. His hat had been lost, revealing a head of long, russet red hair. "Oh, no," he murmured. "No. God … God, please. Please, help me."
I hadn't heard many humans speak. To me, their voices sounded thick and heavy. This voice, however, sounded light and different. I simply couldn't help myself as I answered, "What is wrong, human?"
The rider looked about in shock, trying to see who had spoken. "W-Who's there?"
"You asked for help, did you not?"
He still couldn't work out where the voice had come from. Perhaps my dark feathers made me hard to pick out in the gloom but, honestly, were humans really this stupid?
"Y-Yes," he said. "God, who are you?"
In a dramatic display—because how could I resist?—I flew down from the tree in front of him and changed into my human likeness. My legs lengthened and I stood on the ground with human feet. My wings changed into arms, my feathers smoothed into pale skin. My beak shrank into lips as I smiled at him. "Whatever I am, you may call me a god if you wish."
His eyes bulged as he stared at me. "But y-you're a m-man."
I grinned, flashing my teeth. "Man, no. Male? Certainly. Would you rather me a female, human?"
"W-What?" He leant back, trying to shuffle away. I dropped forward and crawled over him. He stilled, blinking at me with large blue eyes.
Tilting my head, I stared in wonder. Never had I seen eyes like these before. I pulled back a little, taking in more of the human, close up. His face was hairless, like mine, but creamy and smooth.
Mmm. What would he taste like? I flared my nostrils, scenting him. His lips quivered, and I could smell his breath as he exhaled. He had eaten sweet meats not long ago, and drunk wine. The smell of his skin was even more enticing, damp with human sweat. The scent of fear was strong. There was something else, too; a deep, irresistible smell resting below his skin, in his blood. I longed to sniff more, to lick and taste him.
I quirked a smile. "You smell interesting."
"W-What?" he squeaked, like a timid mouse. He blinked at me, wary, unmoving. I let my gaze rove over him, from the long red hair that framed his pretty face, down to the clothes that held his slim body. I wanted to press my face against him and smell more. 
"How is your injury?" I held his eye as I moved back.
"I-I'm fine," he said, trying to move away. A sharp wince and he stilled again.
"Come, come. Don't be shy. Let me see." I moved to sit by his injured ankle, lifting it gently in my clawed hands. Oh dear, claws. I'd forgotten about those. I willed my claws to retract; I was clearly too excited. Carefully, I removed the riding boot from his foot.
He gasped, wincing again. "It hurts."
"Yes, I'm sure it does." I glanced at the empty boot I now held, and gave into the temptation to sniff it.
"Excuse me!"
I grinned at him. "Yes?"
"What do you think you're doing?"
"Smelling your boot. Very interesting."
His lips pursed, and colour rushed to his cheeks. He looked deliciously indignant. I had to admit, it was a good look on him. I chuckled to myself, setting his boot aside. "Let me have a look then." I examined his foot, then his ankle. The pain came from there, but it was only a minor sprain.
"Nothing broken," I said, lowering his foot. "Easily mended." I rose and strode off, looking amongst the brush.
"Wait! Where are you going?"
"Looking for plants. Have patience, human." I located thistle-wood, linlem, and doc leaves, cradling them in my arms. I walked past the human, throwing him a smile as I approached his horse.
"What are you doing?" he demanded. "Don't touch my horse!"
"Your horse is injured," I said over my shoulder. "I'll tend to him first."
"What? The horse first?"
"Yes."
He muttered something in response. I grinned, amused that he was so put out. A haughty tone had entered his voice, replacing his fear.
Interesting.
To make the medicine, I had to chew the linlem and thistlewood, grinding the plants to a paste in my mouth. Not terribly pleasant. Then I spat the paste onto the doc leaves. "This will help," I whispered to the horse. It understood, and waited patiently, letting me rub its lower hind leg; a sprained muscle, not as bad as the human's injury. With rest, it would recover soon.
With the horse seen to, I gathered my plants and returned to the human. He glared at me, his jaw set. He probably wished the look to be intimidating. As the blood pumped around his body, it gave off more of that delicious smell.
"Why, human," I teased. "You're pouting."
His eyes narrowed. "I am not, sir. And I insist you address me properly."
"Oh?" I stuffed linlem and thistle-wood into my mouth, chewing as I spoke. "And what should I call you?"
"My name is Cashel."
"Ah." I spat the plants into my hand, holding his blue gaze as I reached for him. He winced when I touched his ankle, but otherwise made no sound. Such a stoic little human. He pressed his lips together as I massaged the plant paste into his skin. The tendons and sinews underneath shifted with my touch, and I had to mind my claws, which had grown long again. I didn't want to scratch him, not yet.
The plant juice mixed with my spit cooled the inflammation as I rubbed his foot. "Cashel." I grinned, trying out his name on my tongue. "Is that better?"
"That's enough now." He glared, pulling his leg back. "Tell me who you are."
I let him pull away, raising an eyebrow as I studied him. "Hmm." I grasped the doc leaves. "Hold still, human."
"I told you, my name is—"
"That's not your name."
He stilled at my words. I finished binding his ankle, then looked up at him.
"Y-Yes, it is."
"Oh, no." I cocked my head. "No, that's not your name." I would've been able to spell you, otherwise.
He stared back at me, silent.
"Hmm. You're very interesting, human. You smell so heady and strong. You sound different. You're not from here, are you?"
"I-well, no, I'm-But it doesn't matter where I'm from!" The colour rose in his cheeks, and I could smell the blood heating him. I inhaled deeply, closing my eyes.
"Mmm. I want to lick you."
"What?" He all but shouted, shuffling back over the ground. "No! Get away from me! What the devil are you?"
I crawled after him, smiling. "You won't get far, human. Not with that swollen ankle."
"Stay back!" he ordered, his eyes blazing defiantly. "Stay back, or so help me—"
"Ah." I stilled in surprise. "You're a royal."
The angry expression was wiped clean off his face. I knew instantly that this human would be a terrible, terrible liar. "What?" he croaked. "N-No, I'm not."
"Mm, yes, you are." I bent forward again, scenting him. "Who are you? A prince of humans?"
"What? No, don't be ridiculous! I'm-I'm not— " He swallowed, then asked quietly, "Are you going to kill me?"






Blurb:

In the 17th Century, the ancient sprawl of Epping forest is bursting with magic and those who go unseen by human eyes: the elves who rule the summer court, and the goblins who rule the winter court. It is said that if a human catches the eye of one of the fey, they are either doomed or blessed.

Wulfren & the Warlock

When Wulfren wakes from a strange dream of a human captor with long silver hair, and grey eyes, his brothers tell him they rescued him from a warlock, and take Wulfren back home to the goblin king's palace. But Wulfren isn’t so sure the matter is that simple. Why was he missing so long? What are the strange dreams of the beautiful man with the silver hair? Dalliances with humans are severely frowned upon, especially by Wulfren’s father, but Wulfren is willing to risk the scorn of his family to find the human who haunts his dreams.

Quiller & the Runaway Prince

After a hard winter, Quiller is sent deep into the forest on a family errand, and is surprised when a human stumbles into his path. Quiller swoops in to pester him, perhaps even eat him, but there is something special about the human: his scent is royal, though he protests that he is not, and soon Quiller finds himself agreeing to help the human with his troubles—in exchange for a kiss.




Melanie’s website

Melanie’s twitter
@melanietushmore




!! GIVEAWAY !!


For one lucky reader to be in with a chance of winning a free ebook copy of Goblins Book 1, all you have to do is comment here and complete the sentence: 

‘ Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! ’


Please leave your name, and write your email address like so: name [at] hotmail dot com
Drawing will take place on Monday 30th Sept, at 6pm London time.
Good luck, and may the best goblin win!



14 comments:

  1. ‘ Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! ’

    so that I may fantasize about a goblin rook!

    O.o that sounded ruder than it was meant to! lol

    ReplyDelete
  2. O: I loooove the sound of your goblins. They seem very ethereal, even though it's first person, and very funny ^_^

    Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! Then into the Goblin court I may sneak a further look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops. Forgot my e-mail. crystal_serpent [at] hotmail dot com

      Delete
  3. Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! Please give me a second look.

    I'll do a little dance on my foot. I'll give it a read on my Nook.

    I'm oh so very hooked.



    thelorofrose at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Goblin King! Goblin King! Please give me a free book!

    Whitney whitney48@msn.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Goblin King! Goblin King! Please give me a free ebook! For I am light of pocketbook, and I yearn not to be forsook. (Gadzooks!)

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook!
    You can't just leave me with that hook!

    ashley.vanburen[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! I NEED to finish reading all about Quiller and a bonus read about Wulfren would be the icing on top.

    ilona
    felinewyvern at googlemail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! I'll give you some dark chocolate to enjoy in your shady nook.

    strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook!
    Maggie
    M8231m05@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook!
    I promise to take good care of it! :)

    Goingtoreadnow at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Goblin king! Goblin king! Please give me a free ebook! Wonderful little excerpt, thank you!

    lacey.odell at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Goblin King! goblin King! Please, please give me a free Ebook, because I totally adore your creator ;)

    embrycarlysle at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. CONGRATULATIONS to:

    Julia
    September 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Goingtoreadnow at gmail dot com

    Please respond to your winner's email within 48 hours to claim your prize!

    Thank you all for playing

    ReplyDelete