Do you believe black cats bring luck?
I do! Introducing my lucky black Irish bog cat.
Ireland’s boglands were home to the cat which was reported to roam near Lough Neagh. It lived on insects and small animals and was said to bring great luck, wealth and happiness to those whose path it crossed.
Similar stories are told about a large black cat seen in the boglands in midland Ireland. Its cunning always helped it evade capture.
My grinning cat is made from 5000 year old black turf. The book I hope it will bring luck to, The Taking of Ireland, is set in ancient times, but not that far back!
Long ago, in a time of myth, a prince sailed from Galicia to Inisfail seeking revenge for the murder of his uncle by the High King…
Sibrán expects to encounter an opposing army but instead is greeted by a beautiful woman who appears to be accompanied only by her faithful wolfhound. Aislinn bids him welcome, but he suspects she is a sorceress sent to kill him by the very king he plans to slay.
As they journey to the Fort of Kings, events prove that Aislinn does indeed possess powers beyond those of an ordinary human, yet he cannot deny he is inexorably drawn to her. He believes Destiny has brought him to Inisfail, but can he persuade Aislinn that she too is destined to play a role in the establishment of a new kingdom? Or will she remain forever the slave of the tyrant Moqorr who claims to be King of the Otherworld as well as Inisfail?
Perhaps they are all under the evil king’s spell.
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Their leader was the first to jump into the shallows. Lithe, long-legged, swarthy—as she’d foreseen. He waded ashore, an unexpected smile upon his weather-bronzed face. Lop’s size and wolf-like features had caused many a warrior to hesitate, but this man seemed to have no fear of him. Her hound ceased his growling as the stranger approached, which was equally curious.
She walked slowly towards the invader, arms still extended in friendship. “Welcome, men of Gaelicia,” she declared. “I am Aislinn of Clan Tuatha, and this is Lop.”
His dark eyebrows arched and the smile fled as he scanned the dunes behind her, no doubt anticipating an ambush. “You speak our language,” he said gruffly.
“I am a polyglot,” she explained softly. “The gods have gifted me with the ability to speak many tongues.”
He braced his feet in the sand and pushed the voluminous red cloak back off his broad shoulders with a flourish. “And how do you know we are from Gaelicia?”
He too wore a torc around his strong neck, but the burnished gold bespoke wealth and high rank, not servitude. She took another step closer, filled with an incomprehensible compulsion to touch him as she gazed into ice-blue eyes. “We expected you. Will you accept my gesture of welcome?”
He hesitated only a moment before taking her hand. Her bracelets slid to her elbow. “I am Sibrán of Coruña, son of Milead, King of Gaelicia. I thank you for your welcome, Aislinn. I see your people also love copper trinkets, and that’s a fine hound you have.”
Lop looked up at her, tongue lolling as if he’d understood the foreign words of praise.
Her throat constricted when Sibrán bent to bestow a kiss on her knuckles. His husky voice uttering her name was like a blessing. The heat of his calloused fingers and the moist warmth of his lips took her completely by surprise. It was the most intimate human contact she’d ever had.
Lop made no move to defend her, apparently sensing she wasn’t in danger, but a dire fate awaited those who disobeyed Moqorr. Any attraction she felt for this invader must be put aside. She withdrew her hand and averted her eyes from his gaze, afraid he saw more than she wished him to see.