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The most magical figure of royal folklore and legendary British king travels to the future to reunite with the girl he fell in love with.
The Legend Lives On
In modern day San Francisco, a young girl rescues a boy king from the treacherous waters. The beloved king of lore longs to reunite with his futuristic fascination. After his trusted wizard proposes a mission to save mankind only days before his prophesied death, the king travels with his mystic companions to our time in hopes of embracing his lady love once again, and to save a world which his rule helped create.
“Stay low,” she said, smiling. “You could have died.”
Examining her cut even as he gazed at her face, he winced as he lifted up the lock of her hair covering the gash. “Does your wound hurt much, my lady?”
“It’s all right now,” she said. “It’s stopped bleeding.”
He struggled to lift himself up with his hands, and then sat facing her. Brushing a forearm over his lips, he cleared his throat. “My lady,” he said as he softly caressed her cheek. “Thank you for saving my life. Although I am not in a position to ask for your favors, I must. May I?” He ran his thumb over her lips, swollen by the salty water.
She nodded, very slightly.
Bringing his head toward hers, he kissed her softly upon the lips. His lips tasted salty, mixed with the cold moist air and coupled with the dry, icy feel of his nose upon her cheek. “Yes,” she heard herself whisper.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, trading kiss for kiss. I almost died out in the ocean, but now I’m sopping wet and breathlessly entwined with a stranger upon cold shores. If I start to wake up from a dream I’m going to try and take him with me. Her teeth chattered once again and she moved away from him quickly, so as not to accidentally bite.
His hands moved gently up and down her arms. “This may be a fruitless attempt to warm you, but I shall try nonetheless.”
“Wait here,” she said. Suddenly conscious of being clad only in the bodice of a ripped prom dress, black bikini underwear, and nylons, she rose and retrieved her skirt from the beach. She tore a strip from it and used the fabric to tie the skirt back into place. A strong breeze lifted up a lock of his bangs as he looked away when she caught him staring at her. His eyes squinted toward the ocean as a smile played about his lips. “I’ll be right back,” she assured him. She resisted the urge to reach out and stroke his soft cheek and kiss him again.
She strode over to a nearby vagrant with a long, white beard hunched over by a metal cart. “Please, sir,” she said, “my friend is very cold. He almost drowned. Mind if I borrow this for a minute to keep him warm?” The bum begrudgingly shoved the blanket in her direction and she thanked him with a smile. The boy’s eyes remained fixated on her and she waved out of nervousness, ignoring the bum’s pungent marine smell. She held the blanket gingerly in her arms and strolled back over to the boy, then draped the blanket over his shoulders.
“St. Nick might be an old dirty bum, but he’s still got a heart,” she said. “I should get help.”
“St. Nick,” the boy laughed. “The man who leaves gifts in shoes.”
“If you die on me, I’ll make sure he leaves you an onion,” she said playfully.
The boy sputtered and coughed with laughter. His body erupted into convulsive shivers.
“You need a doctor,” she said.
“As do you,” he said. His brow furrowed at the sight of the cut on her forehead.
“A little vinegar and paper and I’ll be fine. Just like Jack and Jill.” She smiled and gently eased his body down so that he lay upon the rocks. He did not protest. After glancing at the way he curled up his body against the cold, she wrapped her discarded skirt over him. “Better now?”
He wrapped the skirt over the lower part of his face. “Much. The blanket reeks of a privy room.”
“We must’ve taken the same medieval history class,” she smiled. “You know all the lingo. I’ll be right back.”
She crossed the street and rang the doorbell of an orange house with round, porthole-style windows. A middle aged woman with her hair pulled back into an unkempt ponytail answered the door. The woman’s eyes widened at the sight of Lilith’s ripped skirt. “Oh, no,” she said as she pulled Lilith inside. “Oh, you poor, poor thing.” Her hands grasped Lilith’s face as she lifted up Lilith’s bangs and examined the cut from the shore rocks, moaning “oh, no, no” over and over again as Lilith explained the situation with the boy on the beach to deaf ears.
Lilith pushed the woman’s hands away. “I’m fine! I went swimming—”
“In these waters! I wish you kids would wise up and—”
“To rescue someone.” Lilith explained the scenario and the woman leaped to the phone, dialing 911. The woman wrapped her in a pink terry cloth bathrobe and they made their way to where the boy on the beach once laid. Lilith combed the landscape to find him, but only the dirty army blanket remained, with the skirt of her dress folded neatly beside it. “Where are you?” she whispered.
“I’m sure he’s fine,” the woman said. “Probably found his parents. We should get you inside. Get you warm.”
The woman turned as Lilith remained staring off into the distance at the sea, the boy’s sheepish smile and piercing gaze burning a permanent picture in her mind. “I believe you now, Dad,” she whispered. “I saw him the way you saw Mom for the first time.” She spun on her heel and followed the woman up the craggy rocks, toward her house. Her heart ached, and yet one sentence ran through her mind over and over. I will kiss you again someday. Someday soon.
In the distance, the red, orange, yellow, and blue arches of a rainbow stood starkly against the evening sky. The rainbow slowly faded with the last light of the setting sun.
1. What is the easiest thing about writing?
The easiest thing is outlining, but that part is frustrating as well. Because I know that no matter how the blueprint of the story looks, it will change by the time the work reaches its final draft. That’s just what the characters do. They are truly the masters of their own destiny. I just think and type.
2. What is your favorite book and why?
I cannot get enough of the Song of Ice and Fire Series. I literally devour this series. The books are so rich in character, texture, and sensory details.
3. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice. I want to be in Lestat’s head for a very long, long time. Did I say head? Okay. Good.
4. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Love Remembered, when Lilith and Arthur realize they are the ones they have both dreamed of and longed to be reunited with. Writing those scenes gave me a visceral response.
5. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring authors?
Enjoy the ride and cultivate your readership. Make sure to connect with the people that read your work and reach out to you, for they are taking their time out of their daily lives to spend time reading your work.
6. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I always Monday morning quarterback my books. It’s self-defeating, really. But I can’t stop thinking of what I could have done better or how I could have worded something differently. I’ve always been that way. It took me about twenty years of cooking before I could really enjoy my own creations, and I’ve had people tell me throughout that entire twenty years that I am a good cook. I finally believe them now. I suppose the same will happen with my writing someday.
7. What has been the most surprising thing about the journey of writing books?
Seeing my name in print. There is something very satisfying about building this wall of words, another world if you will, and finding my name ascribed to something that several people at an exclusive publishing company like Lycaon Press believe that readers will love. That validation of my work is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in life, second only to having children. I suppose you could say my books are like my babies.
8. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration comes when I least expect it, from loss, from joy, from tragedy, from a celebration. An idea will suddenly hit me when I’m out and about. The genesis for The Last Day King came from when I was at Pier 39 in San Francisco and a helicopter flew over head. The idea of a mystical wizard like Merlin, leaning out of the helicopter on craggy little legs with his beard flying about in the air, inspired me to formulate the story.
Liz Newman holds an MA in Clinical Psychology, and a BA in Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. Liz Newman worked as an intern at KTVU Broadcasting Station in Oakland, California. Liz has also worked as a crisis counselor, a community health counselor, and a staff psychologist at a local elementary school. Liz also contributes anonymously to several texts published to assist children and teens struggling with social and domestic issues.
Several articles by Liz Newman have been featured in magazines and journals such as San Francisco Socialite, Spirit Song, Highlights, and The Sacramento News and Review, Chic Mom Magazine, Under A Harvest Moon, and Our USA Magazine.
Several novels and novellas by Liz Newman have been contracted for publication by Breathless Press, Sweet Cravings Publishing, Lycaon Press, and Devine Destinies: an imprint of eXstasy Books. Her first novel made the Top 10 for Best Print/Electronic Romance Novel of 2011 in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll.
Liz is currently working on a paranormal series romance.
Connect with Liz
My Space: lizrnewman