The Great Dagmaru – The Story Begins

The Magician’s Curse, Book 1

…. hard to put down … [The ending] made me hungry for more.” 5 Stars ~ Linda Tonis, Senior Reviewer for THE PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD

Winner of the 2017 Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Award for Gothic/Mythology/Folk Tales

“… a very enjoyable read and highly recommended!!” ~ Donna Maguire, TOP 500 Reviewer on Amazon UK

Even true love can be cursed …

 

When Herman Anderson leaves home to make a better life for herself, she doesn’t expect to meet a tall, dark stranger with whom she’ll fall hopelessly in love.

Charming and mysterious, Stephen Dagmar is a stage magician seeking an assistant. The moment he sets eyes on Herman, he knows she’s the one. He brings her home to his Victorian mansion where they embark upon an extravagant romance. Yet a shadow hangs over their love. Will the curse on his family end Stephen and Herman’s happily ever after, before it really begins?
Amidst lace and leather, innocence and debauchery, The Magician’s Curse begins the Gothic tale of The Great Dagmaru.

 

Magic and romance await.

 

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Prologue

Tarmien Dagmar couldn’t sleep. The clock taunted him as it had for months, even before his first child was born.

At least Stella can rest, he thought, listening to the soft snores of his wife drift through the dark from the other side of their king-sized bed. Breastfeeding was taking its toll, but the mere mention of hiring a nanny or allowing the servants to help with diaper changes was met with a firm “no.”
Murmuring something incoherent, she rolled over to face him and his blood heated at the fleeting thought of impregnating her again. It was what he was made for, after all. The blood that coursed through his veins, handed down for centuries from father to son, contained that of a demon. An incubus. A creature whose sole purpose was to seduce women and to create offspring.

Tarmien was coaxed from his thoughts by the subtle but distinctive sound of a waking infant. He gently eased himself out of bed so as not to wake his wife and crossed the hall quickly.

“It’s okay, Stephen,” he whispered as he closed the door of the nursery behind him. “Daddy’s here.”

He reached into the crib and picked up the restless newborn who settled the moment he was cradled in his father’s arms.

What have I done? Tarmien asked himself for the thousandth time since the baby was born.

Apart from the insatiable desire to procreate, Tarmien hadn’t shown any of the demonic tendencies to which his father had confessed on his deathbed, just months ago. He hoped he could spare his son the knowledge of that horrible confession. At least the curse that tied the Dagmar family to their servants, the Currys, was a burden Tarmien could bear himself; he was determined this child would never have to carry out its twisted conditions.

As he lifted his precious son to kiss his fine, black hair and breathe in his potent baby scent, he prayed that the family’s demonic bloodline had run out, once and for all. Only time would tell.

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Adoration – Talk About Romance Series

Love at first sight. It’s a controversial subject among romance readers. Also known as “instalust,” it seems as many readers accept it, as who avoid it at all costs.

But perhaps there are ways for a romance writer to depict it that are more believable.

When I think of love-at-first-sight movies, my mind immediately goes to “Serendipity.” I loved that movie; the fact that fate was ultimately on their side likely had a lot to do with the opening of my own novel, The Magician’s Curse, but I digress. Fate is often the backdrop, I believe, of the most successful love-at-first-sight plots. It creates a basis on which the reader can suspend disbelief.

I’m sure there are many other scenarios that work, but the risk of such a meeting between two characters seeming overly plotted and convenient is present no matter what.

“I adore you,” the hero says to the heroine, hours after they meet.

“I adore you too. Let’s get married and have babies,” the heroine replies.

Does it happen in real life? Reports say it does, though maybe not quite that fast. This sort of lack of hesitation leaves a lot of room for improvement. But if there’s a paranormal element to it? The bonding of two souls that are meeting again in this current life? Therein lies the romance.

What do you think? What works for you in fiction? Have you ever, in real life, seen a stranger across a crowded room who might have been “The One”?

Thanks go to Bee for the inspiration for this post.

#JusJoJan 5/18 – Memories

Ghostly faces cloud my reality in this moment of despair.. Eyes that squinted with insincere laughter, noses flared with what was not mirth, but instead sniffed out my insecurities … and the mouths–the cruelest of all–stretched into smiles of toothy hunger, ready to devour me should I flinch.

These memories have haunted me throughout my life, through childhood and my teenage years, and well into my twenties. And now, as I face the obstacle of my worst nightmare–standing upon the stage before my peers to receive the degree I earned alone in my basement, staring at a screen of solitary learning–I regret that my qualification may go unrewarded.

The life of an introverted scholar seems inconceivable.

This quick jot is part of Just Jot it January! The prompt today is brought to you by Cage Dunn – click here to check out her blog: https://cagedunn.wordpress.com/ and go here to join in JusJoJan! https://lindaghill.com/2018/01/05/jusjojan-daily-prompt-january-5th-2018/ It’s fun! 😀

Before and After

Author’s note: The following letter is from Herman, the heroine of my novel, The Magician’s Curse, to Stephen, the hero. It fits into the book about a week into her stay in his mansion. This letter is written completely stream of consciousness style and is unedited.

Dear Stephen,

Where do I start? I’m sitting here in my room–in the guest room in your house, I should say–waiting impatiently for you to get home from your trip. I can’t really say I’ve been bored–Margaret has been great at keeping me busy. And wow, the lifestyle you two lead. Having our pick of which car to take when we go out to buy props and stuff for your show, going to fancy restaurants all the time … it’s like nothing I ever dreamed my life would be like before I got on that train, what, days ago? It feels like weeks.

Not that I’m used to it or anything, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be, completely. Or will I?

So now the decision: should I write what I’m thinking, which will make this letter something I have to crumple up? Or do I keep it to myself and show you this when you get home? Ugh, it would be nice to have someone to talk to about how I feel. I guess I could talk to Margaret, but I’m sure she tells you everything. Have I given away what I want to say, just by rambling about it?

I think … Okay, I’m gonna say it and be damned, as my mother would say. I think I might be falling in love with you. Isn’t that crazy? I’ve known you all of a week, and … well let’s face it. You’re the first guy who’s stuck with me for a week and not gone running away. Why is that? And maybe you will too, which is why I probably (definitely) shouldn’t show you this letter. If that weird dream hadn’t happened two nights ago, maybe I wouldn’t even be worried.

Unlike the before and after of my real life–poor girl finds a rich boyfriend and never looks back … Yeah, unlike that, my dream made me feel like all this–THIS–is a dream. A dream within a dream. How strange is that?

Hardy-har-har … I’m asking if THAT’s strange, but that’s kind of relative, isn’t it? After you performed ACTUAL magic on me. So, like what is this new life I’ve moved into all about? Are you a true illusionist, and none of this is real? Is it any wonder I’m scared to say those three precious words that I’ve never said to anyone but my family before?

Oh Stephen. I just wish you’d hurry up and come home so we can spend some time together. Some REAL time together. Alone, even. I have no idea why you asked Margaret to chaperone us all the time. We are adults, after all. At least you are, and I will be in a couple of weeks. Officially. Not that I’m going to suddenly “mature” like toast popping up. DING! You’re done. You’re officially old enough to do stuff like vote. Old enough to have an opinion and have sex, south of the Canadian border.

Which brings me to …

Nah. I don’t even want to contemplate it. If you are some kind of illusion, starting to obsess over an intimate relationship is only going to disappoint me more when I find out I’ve been living in a rundown shack for a week and you’re actually a raccoon. Which is how my life has normally gone up until now.

So I guess now I have to crumple up this letter and eat it or something. Which is TOTALLY going to ruin my dinner. Apparently we’re eating at home tonight. Probably surf and turf on golden plates … Do I sound unappreciative? I’m not. I really do appreciate you taking me in and giving me a job. Even if nothing else ever comes of our employer/employee relationship, at least I have your beautiful face to look at.

I can’t wait to see you onstage. And I can’t wait for you to come back home.

I can’t wait to kiss you again, and hold you in my arms … so I can make sure you’re real.

With all my love,

Herman

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find the prompt, and read all the other entries: https://lindaghill.com/2017/12/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-16-17/

 

Ahhngel

heaven must have sent you
for how else could you be
with me
though your wings are invisible
i feel them when you hold me
wrap around me
shelter me
from the warm rain
cascading down your back
dripping from your hair
and from the tip…
of your seed
you truly are an angel
enwrapping me
in love

#JusJoJan 13/17 – Cap

I know I’m capable of finishing this bottle of wine
And watching the candle burn down to a nub
And fizzle out.

Fire has always fascinated me
I could bathe in it
I’d be happily consumed.

Red wine, cold outside
candle light, a warm, sleeping dog
comfort radiates inward.

jjj-2017

The Just Jot It January rules and other posts can be found here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/13/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-13th17/

#JusJoJan 12/17 – The Lesser-Known Legend of Kris Tingle

Everyone is familiar with Kris Kringle. His legend is known far and wide. But few have heard of his younger, ultra-fit brother, Kris Tingle.

While Mr. Kringle entertains the girls and boys, granting their wishes for toys every Christmas day, Mr. Tingle serves a very different role. Kris Tingle is all about the ladies.

While the older brother asks the young’uns what they wish for, the younger sibling IS what all the the women in all the lands wish for. Perched upon his lap, he whispers in their ears of every goodie they could want. He is the presence beneath their trees, he tickles their every delight; they don’t call him Tingle for nothing.

Yet, Kris Tingle wants nothing more than to find that special gal to jingle his bells. While he searches the earth for her, he’ll continue to compete with his brother for legendary status. For it is no secret that Mr. Kringle is jealous of both his brother’s abilities, and his physique.

The Just Jot It January prompt of the day, “tingle,” is brought to you by the awesome Tessa. Check out her blog here: https://finallyawriter.com/

And you can be awesome too, by joining in JusJoJan! Check out the prompt post of the day, where you can find the rules and lots of other awesome posts, here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/12/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-12th17/

#JusJoJan 10/17 – Uneven Steven

They call me “Even Steven,” but I have a confession. I’m uneven. One of my legs is shorter than the other, one of my ears is bigger, and my nose is crooked. Come on, you think they’d at least notice that! But no, they still call me “Even Steven.”

Hey, there’s three of them now.

“Look, guys, it’s ‘Even Steven’!”

“Hi there, fellas. Let me ask you something. Why do you call me ‘Even Steven’?”

“You don’t know?”

“Nope, no clue.”

“You know our names, don’t you?”

“Errr, no, sorry.”

“I’m Steven, that’s Steven, and this guy over here is Steven, too.”

“No kidding!”

“And you’re even Steven. Get it?”

“Aha! No. I still don’t get it.”

jjj-2017

Thank you once again to Dan the magnificent, who has helped me for the past three days with Just Jot It January. You can visit Dan’s amazing blog here: https://nofacilities.com/

Did you know you can join us in the Just Jot It January challenge any time? Click the following link to find out how, and to read all the other amazing posts! https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/10/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-10th17/

#JusJoJan 9/17 – Power

“…and by the power vested in me by the King, I now pronounce you Husband and Wives. You may kiss the 38 brides. I’ll just sit over here and talk to my friend. Let me know when you’re done.”

Reverend Gus walked to the back of the church and sat beside Reverend Harry.

“How’d it go?” asked Harry.

“Oh, you know. Not bad. You been sleeping?”

“Yeah. I’ve got a 63-party wedding after this one. Figured it’d be a good idea to catch a nap. ‘S gonna take a while.”

“Uh-huh.” Gus scratched behind his ear. “Hey, did you hear the King’s talking about putting an end to this multiple marriage thing?”

“Nooo. For serious?”

“Yep. I heard he’s going to start cutting off heads of any woman who covets her neighbour’s husband.”

“Ooooh, that’s gonna get messy. Better brush up on the funeral services.”

“Yep, good idea.”

jjj-2017

Today’s “Power” prompt came from 20/20 Hines Sight. You can find her blog here: https://2020hines-sight.com/

And, of course, very special thanks to Dan for hosting the prompt for me today! Make sure you go and visit his most excellent and entertaining blog here: http://nofacilities.com/

Finally, you can read more Just Jot It January posts and find out how to join in here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/09/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-9th17/ You can start any time!

#JusJoJan 8/17 – Mongrel

Like a mongrel, kicked to the curb
that’s how broken I feel.

Tomorrow there be hope.

Though I’ll never be purebred,
maybe the curb will be softer
or the foot more gentle.

jjj-2017

Thanks so much, Geoff, for the prompt today! You can find him here, at TanGental.

And a special thank you to Dan for hosting today’s Just Jot It January! Dan can be found at No Facilities.

This post is part of JusJoJan: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/08/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-8th17/