My short fantasy, The Duende and the Muse, was released last March by The Wild Rose Press.
One of those stories that almost wrote itself, it was also one where my imagination took off on a wild ride.
Though very short, it packs a lot into a little story, and the characters and setting were extremely vivid as I wrote.
It's had some incredible reviews. Bitten by Books gave The Duende and the Muse 5 tombstones! Long and Short Reviews gave it four books, Review Your Book called it "awe-inspiring" and WDRF Reviews rated it Memorable Good.
Eric Balfour is Devon, the Duende, from his dark, mysterious presence to those incredible abs (Devon wears a jacket with no shirt beneath, exposing his washboard abs - read the excerpt below and I bet you'll agree!).
Since seeing George of the Jungle years earlier, no one else could play Melinda the Muse, in my head, but Leslie Mann. Sweet, petite, but full of fire and gumption when need be, she's the perfect match for Devon/Eric.
You can view the entire Casting Call series (so far) by entering the key words Casting Call in the search box to the right. Watch for Story Elements about The Duende and the Muse in the future. For now, here's the excerpt:
Melinda is startled when she notices a dark figure leaning against a booth across the aisle. He stands out like a charcoal etching against the background of clouds—harsh outlines, jagged features. Menacing yet compelling. He smiles, and lightning flashes from his dazzling white teeth, zinging through her.
She’s never seen a muse like him, but he must be one—otherwise, he wouldn’t be here. He wouldn’t be stepping toward her with the intensity of a jaguar, a laserlight in his eye, teeth bared in a hungry smile.
This guy looks like a Vanity Fair ad—layered hair mussed just so, sandals with a jacket and jeans that fit really well. She runs her hand across her belly to quell the tiny pinpricks. She’s been so busy with work lately, she hasn’t met anyone new.
“Who’s that?” Her wings can’t beat fast enough to cool the heat rising from deep inside her.
Calliope turns to Euterpe. “Oh my. How did he get in here?”
Euterpe squints in his direction, then furrows her brow. “A duende. They’ll let anyone in these days.”
That explains it. She’s heard of them—said to be a combination of charm, magic, inspiration, fire, magnetism—and demon. Muses were warned at an early age not to take up with duendes. Tales of muse-duende liaisons were fraught with disaster and downfall—for the muse. Duendes managed to carry on unscathed, though their methods of inspiration could be deadly for their students. The thought vanishes quicker than a flicker of sunlight on water as he moves toward her and says hello in a voice whose timbre resounds within her.
“Hi.” She stares, entranced by his dark beauty.
His smile envelops her. “I’m Devon.”
She extends her hand. “I’m Melinda. So nice to meet you.” Fire sparks in her fingers as he takes her hand in his, then leans to kiss it. A tingling crawls up her arms and neck and into her head, where it scrambles her thoughts. His gaze lingers on her lips, and they quiver open like a rosebud blooming in sunlight.
His voice is like a hot wind in the desert. “The pleasure’s all mine.”
Oh, she doubts it.
Tomorrow, I hope you'll visit me at Ginger Simpson's blog: http://mizging.blogspot.com. And visit Ginger here! Her posts are always interesting and fun.