Mystic Month of May Blog hop : Clare Austin

Hi everyone!! Welcome to the blog, I’d like to introduce you to fellow Colorado Romance Writer’s very own Clare Austin.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog today.

May is a beautiful time of year and, for me, always a time of anticipation. In a few weeks I am headed back to Ireland for the summer. It has become a yearly pilgrimage, my time in Éire. My muse thrives in the weather, dances to the music of the sea and breathes deep into her soul the fragrant air of a soft West Clare morning. My novels reflect this love. In my imagination, it’s one of the best places on earth to fall in love.

The Fadό Trilogy is the story of a family, their music, their devotion to one another and to new adventures. The first two books in my trilogy, Butterfly and Angel’s Share are available now and have received encouraging reviews. These two books are set in contemporary Boston. Readers often ask when I am going to write one that takes place in Ireland. That book, Selkie’s Song, is the third, and last, of my Fadό stories.

Tynan Sloane, the hero of Selkie’s Song, is an Irishman to the core. His life is in America, but his heart beats to the rhythm of the waves that caress the western shores of his homeland. Will he find a love on those windswept cliffs or play the fool to a phantom lover?

The following is an excerpt from my novel Selkie’s Song currently in contract negotiations with The Wild Rose Press.

Curiosity pulled Tynan by invisible threads across the brilliant green expanse toward the sea. A rock barrier separated the sheep paddock from the road and a well worn path to the cliffs. When the trail forked, he followed the most trodden.  He crossed the wall using a stile whose stones had been worn slick by years of use and ambled along the track, humming a tune that came to him unbidden.   The words tickled the back of his mind. A poem by Yeats.  How did it go?

And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossoms in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And vanished in the brightening air.

The sea shone silver in the noon sunlight. Tynan felt the magnetic pull toward the edge of the sheer limestone drop. He knelt and then lay stretched out on his stomach and let his eyes scan the striations in the rock. Using his jacket as a pillow he rested his head on the fragrant turf. A horseshoe shaped strand lay below and he watched as the incoming tide curled and caressed the megaliths that stood like sentinels at either edge.

Tynan’s eyelids felt heavy. The call of the guillemots and grey backed gulls who made their homes in the caverns and ledges lulled him into a jet lagged stupor.

He woke to a soft intonation. It must have been the wind. Through sleep blurred vision, Tynan caught a glimpse of a seal frolicking beyond the waves that licked like lazy tongues at the beach. A dark brown head would appear and, just as quickly, be gone. Ty thought he imagined it. But, it was not unusual to observe the graceful pinniped with a friendly face in this part of Ireland.

This must have been a young harbor seal, as the pelt was dark, almost black. He was mesmerized as it swam closer, into the shallows. Ty’s body was exhausted but he didn’t want to give in to sleep and miss the playful aquatic ballet.

Stealthy fingers of mist blurred and teased his vision. His mind begged for the healing balm of slumber. He fought the overpowering need to close his eyes.

A voice awakened him from a sleep so deep it left him disoriented. The sweet notes of a song hung in the salt air. It was not a tune he’d heard before and seemed to come from a dimension beyond the bounds of earth.

A sleek nymph, born of the waves, swam with languid strokes toward the sandy rim of the sea. She stepped as lightly as a cat onto the shore below, caught his gaze and shook the water from her limbs. Sable eyes were guileless as she licked salt water from her lips.

Ty’s heart pounded against the earth beneath him and he feared a tremor would loose the rocks of the headland to tumble into the sea. He held his breath as he watched her strip her ebony skin from pale appendages. She at first appeared to have tendrils of sea weed, brown strands clinging to her shoulders and down her back. Dark Sargasso strands reshaped into tangled tresses, thick and wet with salt and sea.

He expected her to flee, be frightened by this mortal who watched from his high refuge. But, a timid beastie she proved not to be. Is this how a Selkie lured a man to follow her? Would she transfigure and show her seal face only when he had drowned in the cold brine of the Atlantic?

She stood motionless, foamy tides swirling about her ankles, defiance in her stance. The sugary white sand that clung to limbs and body was all that clothed her.

Who was this selkie…this woman…who challenged him with her bold nakedness, the delectable curve of hip and thigh, and dark nipples tipping her full breasts? A hallucination brought about by jet lag and Mary Conneely’s story telling?

Tynan’s vision was clouded by a pall that overtook him and closed him in a blanket of blue mist. When the vapor cleared, the Selkie was gone.

Thank you for taking time to read about my next book. All my books are available in trade paperback and electronic formats from most book sellers and from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press. In addition to the Fadό Trilogy, you might also enjoy my contemporary women’s fiction/romance Hot Flash. Please feel free to contact me about my work.

Selkie’s Song is the third book in the Fadό Trilogy and is currently in contract negotiations with my publisher. Butterfly, a contemporary romantic comedy and Angel’s Share, a romantic suspense are available now in paperback and e-book formats.

7 Responses to “Mystic Month of May Blog hop : Clare Austin”
  1. Helen Hardt says:

    Your writing is musical — I love it!


  2. Trix says:

    Fado as in Portuguese fado? That would be cool. Also, count me in as one who’d love to read an Irish story!


    • clareaustin says:

      This Fadό is the Irish word for “long ago” or “once upon a time.” But, if you like things Portuguese, the hero in Butterfly is of that heritage. The first two books in the Fadό trilogy take place in Boston. Not far from Boston, in New Bedford, one finds many descendants of Portuguese immigrants. It was fun setting these books in such a multi-cultural area.


  3. Have a wonderful time in Ireland, Clare, and congrats on your upcoming release!


    • clareaustin says:

      Thanks Viola and Elizabeth. I am so excited about this coming trip. Every time we go I get new inspirations. I hope Selkie’s Song brings out some of the magic of my favorite places.


  4. Wonderful excerpt, Clare. How lucky you are to be able to make an annual pilgrimage to Ireland.


  5. clareaustin says:

    Good morning all. Happy Memorial Day. It’s lovely weather and that means I will be playing with horses most of the day. I’ll check back here from time to time for your comments. Cheers!


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