Message From The Author

Author's Message

Growing up as the elder sister of two rambunctious brothers, I developed a method of self-protection that Im certain theyve not forgotten to this day. I convinced them that I was a witch who knew what they were doing and when they did it, and Id fry their livers if they touched my things. They stepped warily around me for a long time. There are days when I still wish for the magical power of reading peoples minds. It may be possible to gauge emotion through body language, but true empathy is a terrible drain on the system, as anyone who ever sat down to write a book can attest.

I suppose that is why I am fascinated with powers beyond the normal. Some people are smarter than average, some have more creativity, some possess more financial acumen, why shouldnt some possess extra talents? And what happens if they do? Its those what if questions that always get me into trouble. MERELY MAGIC, my NAL July release, is the latest result of my wandering mind.

Write to Patricia at PMB #366, 10612-D Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28277-0233. Visit her website www.patriciarice.com.

Excerpt from MERELY MAGIC

Drogo located the moon maiden gathering rosebuds from the brambles along her picket fence. Wasnt it a little early for roses?

Obviously not, if she was picking them. Sarah was the one who believed in ghosts and witches. Rampant roses in early May were not magic.

Ninian looked at him as if hed materialized from another world but said nothing as Drogo explained the ladies absurd request that she rid the castle of ghosts. Captured by the enchantment of cornflower-blue eyes,
he wondered how anyone in his rational mind could consider this golden-haired innocent a witch.

His gaze dropped to the swell of her generous bosom. Men might call her sorceress, but for her physical charms, not her magical ones.

Drogo lifted his gaze again to discover pink lips parted in a teasing smile as if she knew precisely what he was thinking.

Which, of course, she did, because all men must look at her that way. The women are hysterical, he offered. She smiled, but twiddled with a rose like a simpleton. Anyone who called herself a witch probably had a cog or two missing in her brainworks. Lady Lydie is expecting her first child. I understand youre a midwife.

She shook her head. Call for me when she goes into labor. That, I can help with. Ghosts are not within my realm of knowledge.

So, she could speak when she wanted, fluently and with the educated accents of London. The golden ringlets hid a brain, even if it was slightly cracked.

Bewildered by her smile, Drogo refused to accept defeat. Of course, I understand. Ghosts are a figment of the imagination and you cannot promise what is not possible.

Again, she interrupted with a shake of her pretty curls. Those ghosts could have been there for hundreds of years. Youre the intruders. Why should they leave their home because trespassers are annoyed with their presence?

Exasperated, Drogo gripped the gate. He did not have a temper, he told himself.

Then dont disturb the ghosts. Merely sprinkle smelly things about the place, mutter a few magical words, yell boo for all I care. Ill have the men on the roof searching for loose slates on the morrow.

She blinked, frowned as she tilted her head, then nodded. As if that were a signal for her to return from a trance, she straightened her shoulders and her apron, and smiled beatifically. Ill come tomorrow, shall I?

Mystified but satisfied with the result, Drogo relaxed enough to notice the lush profusion of flowers bouncing on thick stalks just over her shoulder. The castle garden had barely a poor shoot or two the last time hed looked. Dismissing the flowers, he nodded at her acceptance, and walked away.

As he strode off, Ninian admired the aristocratic line of the earls fitted coat and the way the sun glinted off his ebony hair. She could not fathom why a lord of the realm would require her poor services, as witch or midwife or anything else. And because she did not understand him, she felt compelled to try. Seldom did she meet someone she could not read, particularly a man. Women often confused their emotions so badly that she couldnt sort one from the other, but menmen were usually simple.


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