The image above is a copy of the first mythology book I ever read, Two Queens of Heaven by Doris Gates. I often tell the story about how I read all the available children’s books in my local library, and the beleaguered librarian directed me toward the mythology section so I’d have new stories to read. (Actually, first I made a brief foray into horror. When the librarian learned I’d checked out Stephen King’s It she went on a mission to find alternate and age-appropriate reading material. Oddly, I am not afraid of clowns.)
It made sense that out of all the titles available, I picked the one about goddesses. I was eleven or twelve when this happened, an age somewhere between Disney princess and adolescent crushes, and the stories about Aphrodite and Demeter both entertained and intrigued me. After I devoured this book I moved on to Bullfinch’s Mythology (I have never shied away from a book just because it was several hundred pages of tiny font – nay, I accepted those challenges with honor!) and learned that cultures all across the globe had myths and legends just waiting to be discovered. I made it my personal mission to read all of them.
These stories fueled my imagination, and I started writing my own takes. I penned a version of Pygmalion where the statue becomes human and rebuffs her sculptor, another where Persephone sneaks away from her overbearing mother to shack up with Hades, and more Arthurian stories that I can count. Eventually, I started working on a retelling of Tam Lin, the Scottish tale where Janet rescues her lover from the Seelie Queen… And that story became Gallowglass.
Gallowglass is available now and has been getting rave reviews. If you’ve read it, I’d love to know what you think!
Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.
After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.
In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.
As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.
Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?