I have 5 books in paperback. Four are in my Celtic Time-Guardian Series. I'm a Texan that believes men do look best in kilts. Unfortunately, my husband disagrees. I blog about reference books. I hold a BS in geology. Writing lured me away from finishing my thesis in (bioarchaeology) anthropology. Archaeology just dislikes the way we authors misconstrue fact. But the sacriledge is so enjoyable. Still, there's nothing like scratching around in the dirt looking for fossils or potsherds. I'm so detail-oriented that I suffer from an adrenaline rush when told to make a map. I guess the easiest way to describe myself is as a person who finds nature incredibly pleasing and intriguing. The same about reconstructing human prehistory and history. Yes, I am certifiably geek. I have been a member of Romance Writers of America over 5 years. I have a 4-yeqr old who runs my schedule. Good thing I've got a few manuscripts socked away. My husband dotes on me. I've always been able to do whatever I wanted. Hence, my history of being on permanent vacation in graduate school. I guess I should say what writers/authors always say: I wrote in junior high and high school. It's funny how I forgot I wrote fiction back then. But when I remembered in 2001, I jumped back on the wagon and it's California or Bust ever since. I love to write. I can write for 14 hrs 7 days a week. I forget everything and sit with a laptop. I worried I had lost my mind. But the baby took care of the worst part of the addiction.
He, Arthur, is a reflection of luck, an abomination. He can feel the love, the pain, the sorrow, and the joy of all the ages. If he doesn't save the Druid he is sent to find, all known history could change. Some things are worth dying for. But first a man must live.
Arthur didn't count on becoming human. And now the fairies want him to break dragon law... He never expected his charge to push him to the edge of reason. But a man must live before becoming king.
Fear not. The fairies have a plan.
Trust not the fairies.
Druids wed one soul for eternity to protect the integrity of the timeline. Druid
Solas’s soul mate was taken from her. Now, an 11th Century Irish bishop stalks her to serve as his mistress. She has nothing left yet everything to live for in creating the historical maps she was sent through time to make. She will break time-travel Code if she submits to another man by allowing even one paradoxical child to muddy history. Then Arthur arrives to save her. He is anything but a time guardian. And a fairy tells her to help him. To ignore a god’s instruction could prove detrimental. Yet, every time guardian knows believing the Gods is wielding a double-edged sword. Since it is forbidden for Druids to wield weapons, her future relies on He of the Fiery Sword.
"Arthur is a masterpiece..." He of the Fiery Sword's King Arthur ~Diane Mason; The Romance Studio
Excerpt: HE OF THE FIERY SWORD
Once upon a time, King Arthur was a time-traveling shape-shifting dragon...
Lust. Only lust . Arthur held his breath to stifle the craving.
“Do you know how agonizing your presence has been?” Crystalline tears bridged her eyelids, rolling down her cheeks like rivers. “How can the one outweigh the other?”
Silk pressed against his lips.
His heart sank into his gut and wallowed there in agony.
Between plummeting through the freezing air and drawing oneself out of the dive just before impacting into the frigid face of Scotia Major at her worst, naught else compared to the emotional rush of Solas’ kiss. And she wasn’t Scotia Major, the planet that nurtured three homeless dragon pups, his surrogate mother. Solas filled his chest with life’s breath while reaching inside him, by cradling his heart with her gentle hands. Scotia Major only pretended to do so, only offered a crying pup a sanctuary from the evils of humanity.
Her hands yanked at the shirt on his back. Her palms slid across his bare skin, caressing him with beatitude.
He didn’t care to stop her.
Sliding his palms along the hourglass curve of her body, for once, he wanted to experience the promise of life. Rapture... derived from the sharing of love between two people. A pricelessly indefinable moment. What everyone expected from the tales of human life and love.
His heart drummed a poetic warning.
In a handful of days, he would shape-shift back into his true form, massive, incapable of holy unification with a human female. His Solas would cry for want of something she could never have again in her lifetime. Tears would haunt him. The very Druid tears he ran from in the future. He grabbed her arms and pushed her away.
He couldn’t see her even if he tried to peer through the cloaking Light. His eyes knew better than to open. Better than to see what The Knowing told him. She didn’t care about deadlines. Human need, no matter how the experience had changed his opinion, made reasoning impossibly egocentric.
To hurt her was selfish.
The whiteness of the Holy Light of Union faded in the dark void behind his eyes.
“Why?” Her exasperated whisper thundered around the room.
“I can’t live the remainder of my days knowing my wanton desire drove your life’s loneliness.” Truth was Truth. He deserved sainthood for confessing.
Sharon: Wow! Let’s give a warm welcome to Skhye Moncrief. Welcome, Skhye!
Thunderous applause explodes across the fiery skies of Scotia Majors as three homeless dragon pups appears in a mist of brilliant jeweled light. And with a roaring snarl, she opens her mouth and produces Skhye. Skhye waves madly to her adoring fans, gives Sharon a warm embrace and takes a seat.
Sharon: Well, Skhye, you certainly know how to make a dramatic entrance. How’s it going, girlfriend?
Skhye: Hi, Sharon. Thanks for having me over for a visit.
Sharon: Oh, Oliver, we’re ready for refreshments. Please bring them out.
Oliver struts out, dressed like King Arthur, winking wildly at Skhye. Passing Sharon, he wheels his sterling silver caddy smack dab in front of Skhye, pours her a cup of decaf sweet coconut Chai. With a sweeping bow, he unveils his culinary treats, a basket of Fridos and a bowl of jelly belly beans in assorted flavors of pink grapefruit, juicy pear, juicy peach, popcorn, roasted marshmallow and candy corn.
Oliver: Your vitamins, Ms. Skhye. He plucks a juicy pear and pops it into her mouth, his eyes glazing over. May I be so bold as to ask for your autograph, please?
Skhye: I only autograph kilts. *wink* *cants toward Sharon and whispers* Oh, he’s good. Did he go to acting school?
Sharon: Oh, he’s an actor all right. That will be all, Oliver. Any time you are through flirting shamelessly with my guest, you can run along. And did we or did we not have a chat about your uniform?
Oliver heaves a heavy sigh, strutss off with an exaggerated swagger, but not before flexing his grapefruit-size biceps at Skhye with a wicked wink.
Sharon: Rolls her eyes. Good help is so hard to find. Now, let’s get to the interview, shall we? Tell me, Skhye, how do you do it? How do you spin such an incredible tale of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance with words that would make a poet weep? I am in awe of your play of words. Do dish, girlfriend. What is the dirt? Do the words come to you via a magic spell?
Skhye: I can’t answer that. I just write. I’ve been told I have a poetic voice. But who knows where it came from. I try to limit my description and find playing with words saves the reader.
Sharon: Amazing. Your reviews linger in my mind, leaving me with a wistful feeling. How does it feel to receive such accalades ?
Skhye: Well, it was a shock to have a reviewer label my King Arthur as a masterpiece.
I literally fell on the floor with that comment. But there are just as many reviewers who disliked my writing. I find it’s all based on what they want. And that I have a strong voice. An agent has told me that.
Sharon: I agree. Your words blow me away. He of the Fiery Sword is set in Medieval Ireland. As you know, I am Irish and very superstitious by nature. So naturally, anything having to do with Celtic legends, spells and ancient druids grab my attention. Tell me about the research for He of the Fiery Sword?
Skhye: HOTFS was book 4 in my series and the first published… But I wanted a dragon. A dragon would make my work medieval. The problem was finding one who fit into my story world. And my dragon had to fly along the timeline, in and out of history, affecting the course of mythological evolution.
My series is all about history being wrong—a slant on the academic slant that history is filtered through the person who wrote it, biased. So, Arthur became a dragon from the future. I made him an empath and immortal to protect him from what would happen in history. After all, he had no way of knowing what life would be like in medieval times. And he had no idea what life was like as a man. Arthur needed some super powers. The story is about him becoming a man. Because a man must live before becoming king. To send him off through time, he must break time-travel law. The only way to do so was to make him suicidal. The rest is history.
Sharon: What do you suppose it is about castles and fantasy and time travel that intrigues readers so?
Skhye: Who wouldn’t want to be the big shot with all the money who could afford a castle and tell folks what to do? Who wouldn’t want to be the fairy with the super powers? Who wouldn’t want to be the woman wed to the big powerful warlord? This type of fiction is about empowerment, living vicariously through the POV characters. Now, writing it for me is about creating something believable for the reader. Wait. I hear Andean music!
With a dramatic entrance, Oliver appears playing the panpipes and balancing a plate of freshly baked scones. Bowing gracefully, he winks wildly at Skhye. Vitamin enriched. More tea?
Skhye: Of course. *lifts cup*
Sharon: Holds up her empty cup. Ah…Oliver…I wouldn’t mind another. But Oliver struts off, his head in a cloud. Sharon shakes her head. Now you have a daughter. Do you read her stories about castles and dragons? And if so, does she have a favorite tale?
Skhye: Oh yes. She likes everything from the castle to the dragon. What is one of those tales without princesses and princes? Heck, she calls me the Queen Mother. I have no idea why. I guess she put Queen and mother together. I can’t even begin to pick a favorite for her. And for the record, she used to put a plastic tub laced with holes over her head and call herself an ogre, Shrek. So, I bought her a plastic helm. ;)
Sharon: Too funny! Now tell us about your background in anthropology?
Skhye: I studied physical anthropology with an archaeology slant, bioarchaeology. That’s skeletal remains, interments, and artifacts. Essentially, it’s studying anthropological demography (population studies) via burials. Loads of fun. Although, some folks call it grave robbing and dull.
Sharon: Oh, here comes Oliver again…and what is he doing?
To the accompaniment of bagpipes echoing off the cavernous walls, Oliver darts out, costumed in a Celtic kilt, wielding a sword through the air. He flings himself at Skhye’s feet, staring up at her with a mischievous wink. “Did I win your heart?”
Skhye: Of course. *cants toward Sharon and whispers* Do you pay him to do this?
Sharon: Ah…Oliver…about dessert? I really am going to sell him to the highest bidder. One of these days, Oliver…one of these days.
Oliver returns with a freshly baked platter of dark chocolate fudge and blonde brownies, dripping with melted chocolate chips. Choosing the largest, he hands it to Skhye.
Skhye: I’m really not supposed to eat sugar, caffeine, or wheat. *grabs the largest
Sharon: That will be all, Oliver. Now Skhye, let’s talk about one of your other talents. When you have the time, you like to dabble with silver wire jewelry. Do tell.
Skhye: It was just a hobby. It’s cheaper to make beaded wire jewelry. And it’s better
to make it exactly the way you envision it.
Sharon: I love silver and turquoise, my favorite. Well Skhye, you know what’s coming. Let’s talk about my favorite subject—superstitions. I ask all my guests to share with me a favorite legend, tradition or superstition. And don’t limit to one. I am all ears, girlfriend?
Skhye: Mine would have to be astrology. I’m a scientist and don’t buy into superstition. To prove it, I recently acquire two kittens. I wanted black ones but settled on tabbies. They had good dispositions. A superstitious person wouldn’t want black cats. Maybe I’m really a witch. Bwa ha haaa. But astrology seems more like a science now that I’ve used it to create time travelers who operate on numerology. Numerology pegs me to a “t” with master numbers of which is a bit scary.
Sharon: Well I must be a superstitious witch then. I am very superstitious and have had two black cats that I duly worshiped. LOL Stops in mid sentence as Oliver struts out, playing the Norse fiddle, sarranading Skhye in his barotone voice. Dropping his fiddle, he grabs Skhye for a spin around the room, singing in her ear.
Sharon: Oliver, that will be quite enough. Let her be. Oliver?
Skhye: Oh, psh, Fabio can lead me around the room anytime. ;) Not to mention, you don’t hear Norse fiddle often! I highly recommend the dark tones to anyone looking for something new.
Sharon: Well, my dear, that brings us to the end of our interview. Thank you so very much for being such an entertaining guest. But before you go, I must ask you my three questions. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? If you could play the leading lady in any literary fiction, which would it be and why? And last but not least, who would you want playing your romantic hero?
Skhye: I’d definitely be in Scotland with the Scottish burr, garb, and castles. Although, my husband doesn’t want to live in a Socialist country and refuses to don a kilt… I’d be Elizabeth in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Colin Firth please. If he’s stuck in bed with strep throat, Gerard Butler would do. But if the role called for a Native American, Jay Tavare please. ;)
Sharon: And finally, where can readers buy your books and get in touch with you:
Skhye: My books are in print and e-formats at The Wild Rose Press.
“The Spell of the Killing Moon offers the best of spine-tingling suspense. The setting is perfect... Moncrief’s ability to wield magic and emotion are without compare. Her words twist together emotions and visuals until you experience this tale as if the trap were set for you. Some lines blend a kind of poetic magic: “Moonlight wove a special kind of magic, a spell so vacillating that a person never knew if reality were anything other than a dream.” Darkness and premonitions and deadly intent fill these pages... a unique blend of mystic Medieval Gothic and romance…and a true blood-curdling thriller. 5 books" ~Snapdragon, LASR
"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon; LASR