An Elegy for Melusine is a fantasy novella with romantic elements that I wrote for an anthology several years ago. It’s currently available in Beguiled, the collection of my own shorter works, in both print and digital editions. In a few days, it will be available on its own in a digital edition: read on to find out why.
An Elegy for Melusine will be available from my online store next week to be downloaded immediately, and up for pre-order on the various portals for September 15 delivery.
An Elegy for Melusine is my retelling of a medieval fairy tale. This story features Melusine, who is cursed to become half-snake, or half-dragon, for one day out of each week. The curse upon her will be broken if she can find true love with a mortal man. She decides to keep her curse secret from the man she marries, hoping to preserve Raymond’s love for her by protecting him from her truth. Her plan doesn’t work, although you’ll need to read the story to discover the details. Even though it doesn’t end well, there are many wonderful elements in this story and it’s a favorite fairy tale of mine.
I’ve always wanted to give Melusine her happy ending—and find her the man worthy of her love—but the first order of business in doing that is introducing her to my readers. The story of Melusine is more commonly known in French than in English, partly because Melusine and her story are associated with the Lusignan family in France—Melusine is said to be one of their forebears. The story has similarities to the fairy tales we know but doesn’t have the happily-ever-after we expect. I believe that’s because it is a kind of a warning about the perils of fairies and mortals falling in love.
It might be a warning against more than that. The story was first written down in French by Coudrette in the late fourteenth century, although the more famous version is the slightly later one recorded by Jean d’Arras. Scholars believe that the story was recounted orally much earlier than this, partly because both of these versions are in verse. It could have been a story told merely for entertainment. It could have been indicative of a change in belief, because in the middle ages, fairies became associated with the devil. Or, in a medieval Europe that was more mobile and mingled than it had been previously, the story simply could have been a warning against marrying outside of one’s own “kind”.
Of course, in our time, we are more readily convinced that partnerships between different “kinds” can be successful. That belief is behind the popularity of paranormal romances in our time, which do have happy endings. So, Melusine has waited centuries, but now she will get her HEA: she’s a continuing character in my upcoming DragonFate series and I promise you that she will meet her match. Raymond also has a role in this series, as the ghost who haunts her. I’ve included an excerpt from Hot Blooded, the first book in the new series, at the end of this digital book.
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Until next time, I hope you have plenty of books to read!
All my best—