They thought to bury us. They never saw that we were seeds. Seeds of glass and steel, stronger and more resilient than either.
A Gifted Guilds novel
Hi, there – I’m Jackie Keswick and – first of all – a big thank you to Elizabeth for letting me visit and talk about my latest release. Healing Glass is a fantasy novel about a glass master, a warrior and a floating glass city.
For me, Healing Glass began with meeting Minel, as he contemplates the final piece of glass he’s wrought, convinced he’ll never make another one.
The glass carafe spun on its chain, propelled in slow swirls and small circles by the gentle breeze drifting through the wide-open doors to the roof garden. A rainbow of sparkles washed over the room’s white walls with each of its movements, bringing memories of the endless sky, of sun and sea, and the expanse of green that reached from the shore towards the horizon.
Minel lay on the floor and watched his masterpiece sway and spin. The carafe was perfect. Graceful lines and flawless material marked the craftsmanship as that of a true artist. Joy poured from each facet and curve and suffused the room until Minel felt the hum against his skin. A fitting tribute to his imagination, the carafe showed his mastery of that most difficult, fragile, and most expressive of all materials: glass.
He'd designed and crafted it to bring joy to others. Now it swung on its chain over Minel’s head, bringing joy to no one but Minel. The carafe would never be used. It would spend its days nestled in a bed of velvet, displayed as a testament to Minel’s command of his craft. A tombstone to the joy he’d thought to create.
Because Minel was dying.
There is a cure for the disease that is killing Minel, but he has no desire to hand himself over to a stranger. And once he’s made up his mind, Minel is rather stubborn.
Enter the other half of the equation, warrior captain Falcon. Equally gifted, but affiliated to the Warriors Guild, Falcon has been Minel’s best friend for years. Craft masters and warriors rarely mix, but ever since Minel and Falcon met, they’ve made it work.
That there’s some unacknowledged attraction simmering between them doesn’t hurt the matter, either.
When Falcon hears of Minel’s decision, he can’t stay away. If he can’t change Minel’s mind, at least he wants to be with him, looking after him, comforting him. He doesn’t expect to be drawn into the politics of the floating city, but if it saves Minel’s life, he’s game.
And Minel… he never thought that his decision could mean life or death for the floating city. He’s convinced that Falcon’s a walking temptation and that it will all end badly. But he’s also beginning to find that maybe his death isn’t quite as inevitable as he thought.
Healing Glass is a story about making choices and sticking to them, even when those choices have unforeseen consequences. My glassmaster, Minel, is both reluctant and stubborn, but he’s true to himself even if it costs him his home and almost his life. But he stands up and shows what he’s made of when it’s Falcon’s life or the floating city that are under threat.
Those who come after him should have remembered that it’s unwise to cross a man who has something to protect.
A dying city.
An ancient, forgotten accord.
And two gifted men caught in a web of greed and dark magic.
Despite belonging to different guilds, glass master Minel and warrior captain Falcon are friends. Their duties keep them apart, but when Minel falls ill and chooses death rather than the only known cure, nothing can keep Falcon from his side.
As their friendship grows into more, old wrongs and one man’s machinations threaten the floating city and leave both Minel and Falcon fighting for their lives. Can they learn to combine their gifts to save the city and its magic, or will everything they know and love perish before their eyes?
Healing Glass is an LGBT fantasy adventure with its head in the clouds. If you like medieval backdrops, impressive world-building, three-dimensional characters and a touch of magic, then you'll love Jackie Keswick's socially-conscious adventure.
Buy Healing Glass to visit the floating city today!
Where to buy Healing Glass
Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She's worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.
Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don't follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.
And she still hasn't found the place where the bus stops.
For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops, or recipes for traditional English food, join her in Jackie’s Kitchen on Facebook or find her in all the usual places:
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/JackiesKitchen/
Hurri Cosmo has a new MM paranormal shifter tale out: Once Upon a Wolf.
Hawk is alone, hiding from the world, living in a tiny, rickety cabin his grandfather built. He has few supplies and fewer yet of the skills needed to survive on his own, but because of what he did, because of what his father caused him to do… well, there’s just no other choice.
But then one day “Ghost” shows up. A large lone wolf who begins to “take care of” Hawk. He brings him game, he protects him from predators, and he even pulls him from a raging river. He is Hawk’s only friend and Hawk begins to talk to ghost as if he is human and can understand.
Except Ghost isn’t human.
Yes, Ghost has filled a void in Hawk’s life, and he is very grateful, but he is a wolf and Hawk needs the company of a human. In fact, Hawk is desperately lonely, to the point he even tells Ghost he longs for the touch of a man, the first time he has ever said such a wicked thing out loud.
Then one full-moon night a large, beautiful naked man breaks into the cabin and grabs Hawk, looming over him like he wants to eat him alive. At first Hawk is terrified, but then he realizes the stranger has Ghost’s amazing golden eyes...
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Taking care of the man was proving to be a little more intense then Ghost first thought it would be. Comical, too. Feeding him was no challenge but keeping him from killing himself with his eagerness for life certainly was turning out to be.
His own readiness for something just out of reach every time he was with the man was also a huge trial. Something quite unusual had happened in the river this morning. Something unexplainable, even by Ghost’s standards. For a moment in time, a time of great desperation, he had been able to hang on to his human with more than just paws. He couldn’t see, the water and the situation too demanding for that. But Ghost had been able to wrap something around the man’s hips, and he knew his paws were not capable of that.
Something in his very being had changed in him ever since the human had come into his life.
He had always been attracted by the man’s aroma, always wanted to mix it with his own. His desire to taste him was overwhelming at times. Making the human his was easy enough since there had been no challenge, but it was claiming him that seemed impossible. If the human had been a wolf, Ghost would have mated with him. He didn’t care Hawk was very obviously a male of his species. How could it matter? Except, the fact Hawk was human, and Ghost was not, did.
However, there was something else that was just at the surface and with the full moon this very night, he was more aware of it than ever.
He could feel it. It was coming.
He loped into the woods, quickly finding and killing a fat rabbit. He then trotted it back to the cabin and laid it on the doorstep. He yipped and scratched at the door, but he heard no movement inside. Appeared the man was sleeping. Good. After this morning’s ordeal there was no doubt he needed it. But frustratingly, this door was proving to be a real problem. He had watched how the man opened it, with those marvelous hands of his. He lifted a paw to examine it. Similar. He also had fingers of a fashion. They weren’t long like the man’s, but he had claws, which he liked. Something the man didn’t have. Still, those fingers…
And he couldn’t help but think that was exactly what he had when he grabbed hold of the man in the river. Hands and fingers.
But it didn’t matter at the moment because, even if he had somehow, miraculously, sprouted hands this morning, they were gone now. And he had no idea how to get them back. Ghost jogged into the woods and gathered more game for the man, laying it all at his door. He would wait patiently for the man to wake up.
Hawk woke with a start. Had he heard something?
He threw his cover off, jumped to his feet and ran to the door. It wasn’t until he had flung the door open, expecting to find Ghost standing there, that he realized, not only was he well rested again but his feet no longer hurt. At all.
And there was quite the array of game lying at his feet. Seemed Ghost had already been and gone a number of times.
Hawk lifted one of his feet to examine the bottom. Once scratched and cut, now it appeared completely healed. He could still make out scabby scars but that was it. How could that be? It was only hours ago he had done the damage and these wounds seemed days old. He remembered how Ghost’s wounds, too, had given the impression of being days old once he had him in his cabin and near the fire. The large wolf had hardly needed his care. He recalled joking about Ghost’s magical skin. Was there something truly enchanted about Ghost? Could it be when he had licked Hawk’s wounds the wolf had not only stopped any kind of infection from taking hold, but also healed him like this?
Hawk pulled in a long breath as he examined his other foot and found the same thing. He could see where the cuts had been but that was it. Then, checking the minor scratches on his arms and legs and even thinking about the ant bite on his ass, he marveled that they were all completely healed. Was this proof magic existed? His father had believed in it. So did most of the townspeople. Not only did they believe in magic, but in monsters. Growing up, Hawk had witnessed more than a few times his father picking up his gun and heading out the door to meet up with any number of the townsmen, all crashing together into the dark woods after drinking themselves into false bravado and whipping themselves into a murderous frenzy. “Hunting the monsters,” he would sometimes yell out at Hawk if he caught him staring at him. Hawk never asked where he was going. Not when March was like that, all wild-eyed and smelling of liquor. He learned quickly asking his father anything in that state would as soon receive a fist to the face as it would an answer. If March offered up any kind of explanation, ever, Hawk knew to be content with it.
As far as hunting monsters, Hawk was never invited to go. “Too fucking stupid,” had been the reply, accompanied by a hard palm to the back of Hawk’s head when, one time, a friend of March’s had the audacity of asking why. “Don’t care if the dumb sonofabitch shoots himself, but I don’t want him shooting me!”
No, Hawk never went on those excursions into the deep wood where evidently the monsters lived, although it had been a favorite pastime with the men in town. However, Hawk thought those forays were more often about getting naked and drinking till dawn. Oh yes. He couldn’t help but hear the hushed stories. It was why Hawk wasn’t invited. No wives or kids. “Hunting monsters” was messy business and was no place for the squeamish. True enough since they were all old men, ugly and fat and wrinkly. But Hawk thought about the naked part anyway. He thought about it a lot. Especially these last several days because the moon was nearly full, and it was on these nights that the town’s menfolk would go about “protecting their village.”
Did he believe there were real monsters in the woods? Absolutely, but nothing more than the normal grizzly or black bear. However, he was beginning to believe in magic. All his wounds were healed, and he held the magic had to have come from the wolf. And now, because of that magic, running out to check on his traps was possible.
I live in Minnesota where I hold tight to the idea that here, where it’s cold a good part of the year, I won’t age as fast. Yep, I avoid the truth as much as I avoid mirrors. But one of the reasons I love writing is reality doesn’t always offer up a “happily ever after” and being able to take control of that is a powerful lure. Being a happy ending junkie, writing just makes them easier to find. Oh, I don’t mind “real life” and I do try to at least keep it in mind when I write my stories, but I truly love creating a wonderful couple, knowing they will fall in love and have their HEA. Every - single - time. And, of course, that is exactly the reason I love reading this genre, too. Give me a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and my computer, whether I’m reading or writing, and I’ll be entertained for hours. The fact I actually get paid to do it is Snickers bars on the frosting on the cake.
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Home Coming (Pain and Pleasure book 1) will be released on May 18, 2019 from JMS Books. Right now new releases and coming soon books are on sale for 20% off!
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