"My first appearance was in a book called Forced Mate. It's a chess title for a race between the two Kings to make a pawn his Queen, and my author took every traditional situation in an abduction/obligatory-travel Historical Romance and made the hero an all- powerful, alpha-male alien, a god-Prince with a nasty reputation.

In Forced Mate, I'm a Knight on a mission to discredit and perhaps assassinate a tyrant. I'm also a statesman... so no one trusts me. Because I'm always looking out for everyone else's welfare, I try to stop one of my brothers from having extremely unwise sex. I do that a lot, that's partly why my half-brothers get mad at me.

So, my big brother thumps me. As a result, I'm arrested, imprisoned and threatened with torture and death. Nevertheless, I keep quiet about who I am, and risk my life to protect my bad-ass older brother.

In Insufficient Mating Material, I'm thrown into the role of uneasy co-conspirator with the exceedingly dangerous Tarrant-Arragon after Tarrant-Arragon has forcibly marooned Djetth (my wild brother) on a tropical island with the slightly overweight and bitchy Princess Martia-Djulia who can't or remove her own wet ballgown to save her life.

Tarrant-Arragon had his reasons for shooting down the unhappy couple. Martia-Djulia balked at the altar of her shotgun Royal wedding (to Djetth), but she needs a husband before she creates a bigger scandal as a result of a really bad choice of bed partner for a defiant one-night stand.

A Knight's fork--the chess position--is about tough choices in an impossible situation where you can only save one of two (or more) threatened pieces.

Knight's Fork--my book--is a quest story, inspired by the Greek myth of Perseus (and the Gorgon). My cover reminds some people of the myth of Tantalus, the hero who was doomed to be half submerged--up to his neck--in water that he could never drink.

This cover is perfect for my story. It's symbolic of "still waters run deep", of even a hero having a dark side, and of the chess-like battle between my public image as the virtuous White Knight and my inner Dark Knight.

Do I lie down in a puddle in the book? No! My author created an imaginary Tarot card, which she called The Tantalized Male. (Of course, it's based on The Hanged Man. ) In this excerpt, I'm reluctantly having my fortune told in front of all my family including my grandmother, the Empress Helispeta; my honorary aunt, Tarra, aka the Empress Tarragonia-Marietta...and Electra-Djerroldina's mother; my brother- in-law, Prince Tarrant-Arragon whom I failed to assassinate; my half brother, Djetth and my new sister-
in-law Martia-Djulia, who is Electra's sister.

My full name is Djarrhett, by the way. That's why there's an apostrophe in front of 'Rhett.

Things have just gotten interesting (for my tormentors) because there's a naked Queen among my cardssuggesting a sordid sexual fling in my recent past.

Into the parlour bursts Queen Electra-Djerroldina, with a couple of tigers on a leash. Now, not a lot of people know this, but Electra has got it into her head that I'd make the perfect sperm donor, and she won't take no for an answer.


© 2005-2024 Rowena Beaumont Cherry

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