Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Now On Tour A Tale of Something New by D. S. McColgan + Exclusive Excerpt

July 2 Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read

July 2 Liliyana Shadowlyn

July 3 The Book Junkie Reads (Interview)

July 4 US Holiday

July 5 Supernatural Central

July 8 Lisa’s World of Books

July 9 Fang-tastic Books 

July 10 Paranormalists (Interview)

July 11 Roxanne’s Realm 

July 12 The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom (Interview)

July 15 Sapphyria's Books

July 15 Other Worlds of Romance (Guest Blog)

July 15 I Smell Sheep

July 16 Westveil Publishing 

July 16 Serena Synn (Guest Blog)

A Tale of Something New
Book One
D. S. McColgan

Genre: paranormal fantasy, romantic, gaslamp
Publisher: A Tale of Ltd
Date of Publication: 22 March 2024
ISBN: 978-1-7385050-0-5 
ISBN: 978-1-7385050-1-2 
Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 69’522

Cover Artist: Lukas Lauener 

Tagline: Saving a mysterious stranger might come back to bite her.

Book Description: 

Liliana is shocked to find a dying man in the middle of the forest, surrounded by the remains of a brutal fight. She brings him home to her father’s farm to nurse him back to health. However, when the stranger regains consciousness, he doesn’t remember who he is or how he came to be there.

Intrigued by the mystery of it all, Liliana sets out to discover who this handsome, well-mannered stranger is. Could he be the man who whisks her away and shows her the world? Or will whatever happened in the forest put her and everyone she loves in grave danger?

This is the start of a new supernatural fantasy series focusing on the decisions one woman has to make in her effort to balance love, morals, ambition and responsibilities as her world expands from her little cozy village to the events that span her continent.

Amazon     BN      Waterstones

‘You spend a lot of time with him,’ Hans said in a lowered voice. He loosened the beds with a rake and hoe so that Liliana could remove the weeds. Further back, Cedi planted seeds and tubers. Without the delicate rays of the morning sun, Liliana’s hands would have quickly turned stiff from the damp, cold earth and the plants covered in dew.

‘What do you mean?’

‘At some point, he will remember his family and return to his own home.’

‘Maybe he doesn’t have one any more.’

‘Even so … Someone like El won’t stay here. He can’t build a new life with us. He knows nothing about livestock and agriculture. He speaks differently, eats differently, thinks differently.’

‘Being different is not bad. I’m different, too, in some ways. You forget that my mother didn’t grow up here either.’

Hans shook his head vehemently. ‘You’re still one of us. You grew up in the countryside. We don’t know anything about El, except that he’s different.’

‘That he’s friendly. And well read, attentive, imaginative …’

And that he might have held a very respectable position before he lost his memory. However, the elegance of the rich and important didn’t quite suit someone who growled at wolves in the forest at night. Had the experience in which he almost died had some kind of strange impact on him? In any case, he wasn’t a madman, and he didn’t have rabies either.

With a casual but powerful blow, Hans stuck the hoe into the ground. Liliana couldn’t tell if he was worried or indignant. ‘He could be a criminal!’

‘Or the escaped victim of a deceitful intrigue.’ Undeterred, Liliana continued to pluck weeds and throw them into the wheelbarrow.

Still shaking his head, Hans picked up the hoe again. ‘Not everyone who is friendly is also trustworthy. I don’t want to accuse him of bad intentions. But don’t get caught up in something you might regret later. The world out there isn’t as romantic as you imagine it to be. Why do you think your mother turned her back on that breed of people?’

Liliana looked up at him. ‘You like life here, don’t you?’

‘Why not? I like working outside. I feel comfortable with the animals, and I know I can count on everyone else when I need help. I like the smell of hay and the open sky above me.’

‘It sounds like your life wouldn’t look any different if you could make it up as you pleased.’

Hans grinned at that. ‘My dream is to build a house on my own stretch of land. I want to pass something on to my children and grandchildren. Something I created with my own hands.’

As they continued to work, she watched his practiced, rhythmic strokes. Hans was proof that one could be satisfied with little. True, being able to admire something created by one’s own hands was a reward in itself. Spoiled people like Aunt Jana would never understand that, just as they wouldn’t know how to enjoy the peaceful setting surrounded by fields, streams and trees. Was that what had encouraged Mother to stay? The modest reliability of the people in the countryside and their connection with nature? Or had she died young because, despite her love for Father, she could never be happy in the daily grind of peasants?

The Spring Celebrations were now an ongoing topic. Liliana told El about the many competitions that would take place and the dance in the evening. Cedi never got tired of talking about the ball game with which the Celebrations were opened. This year, he was finally old enough to participate. After dinner, he explained to El how it was played.

‘The goal is to kick the ball, meaning the inflated pig’s bladder, into the church of the opposing village. We start at the centre stone denoting the halfway mark between Krambach and Heidenried. Every man from the village can take part, and everything is allowed!’

‘Except for manslaughter,’ added Frederik, who stood up from the table. The farmhands had already retired, and Annelies was washing the cooking pot outside.

‘Except for manslaughter!’ Cedi nodded enthusiastically. ‘Last year’s losers slaughter a pig, and the winning village keeps it as a festive roast. Sadly, we lost last year. But this time round we are definitely going to win!’

Father remained seated for once – he had been even more silent than usual since the incident with the wolves – and joined the conversation. ‘Just don’t take your brother as a role model. He dislocated his shoulder last year.’

‘Martin, that fat beast of a man, threw himself at me just as I was about to grab the ball!’ shouted Frederik from one of the other rooms.

‘Are you in?’ Cedi nudged El with his elbow, whereupon he looked questioningly at Liliana. She shook her head.

‘Well then,’ El said with a grin, ‘why not? …’

Liliana threw her hands in the air. ‘Grandmother! Tell him this is a stupid idea!’

But Grandmother laughed. ‘He’s already moving quite freely. After the game, we’ll know if everything has grown back properly.’

‘Or everything will have to heal all over again! Father?’

‘El is a free man. If he wants to throw himself into battle for the pride of the village, I won’t stop him.’

‘Then you two can nurse him back to health afterwards!’

Liliana trudged to her room but left the door ajar and listened to the men’s voices discussing which opponents one had to be particularly wary of. Now and then, Grandmother would chip in to mention a violent game from a past year, after which she had run out of bandages to hand out.

Meanwhile, Liliana opened her closet. She owned several aprons, two work dresses, a Sunday dress, and three beautiful gowns that had once belonged to Mother. Despite the simple cuts, the material was exquisite, and they seemed too precious to wear more than once or twice a year. Since she had also inherited Mother’s petite figure, they fit very well, although Liliana was probably taller. In any case, she didn’t mind showing some ankle. Where might those dresses have been made? Mother could well have acquired them on one of her trips.

She decided she’d wear the light blue one – she wanted to save the silver one for a special occasion, and the pink one she’d worn last year – so she spread it out on her bed. Then she noticed a movement behind her. El appeared in the doorway.

‘Pretty,’ he remarked approvingly. ‘The delicate shimmer stems from woven silk threads, I take it?’

‘I’ll be out again in no time.’ She’d hoped he wouldn’t see the dress until she wore it and quickly grabbed it again.

‘No, no.’ He raised his hands defensively. ‘It is high time for me to move into the living room. You’ve given up your bed long enough for me.’

‘Fine.’ She tidied the dress away. Seeing as El remained in the doorway, she turned to him, arms crossed in front of her chest. ‘I don’t understand how you seriously think you’ll take part in this game when you’re only just able to stand on your own two feet again!’

‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of myself.’

His voice sounded unusually soft, and her anger melted away. A feeling came over her, as if she needed to urgently tell him something that had slipped her mind. He returned her gaze for a while, and an exciting kind of dizziness stirred in her. She wished he would name what was happening between them. Instead, he interrupted the tension by clearing his throat, and abruptly broke away from the doorframe.

‘Good night, then.’

Liliana hadn’t noticed just how comfortable her own bed was compared to the straw sacks until she slipped into it. The second thing she immediately noticed was a smell. She wouldn’t have been able to describe it, but she knew it was El’s smell. Lulled into it, she fell asleep quickly, and when she awoke, she was sure they had spent time together in her dreams, too. It was still dark and quiet in the house, yet she couldn’t fall asleep again.

When she thought she heard a noise in the living room, she got up. It was probably nothing, but she would take the opportunity to see if El slept well on the straw sacks. She walked carefully in the dark so as not to bump a toe or wake the others by making a loud noise. Gently, she leaned over the makeshift bed. It was empty. She straightened up and peered around. Where was he? Should she look for him, or should she go back to the warmth of her covers?

Then the front door opened, and a figure illuminated by the moon entered. Liliana was startled, although she knew who it had to be. He dabbed his face with the bottom of his shirt.


He flinched and dropped the hem. ‘You’re awake?’

‘Some kind of noise woke me. I couldn’t fall asleep after that. What about you?’

With the door, he also closed the moonlight away. She straightened up and stepped closer to see more than just his outline. He ran his fingers through his dark hair.

‘I had to relieve myself.’

Liliana felt for his hand, which was damp, and began to rub it between her hands. ‘You’re very cold. It’s not raining outside, is it?’

‘No, I washed myself briefly by the stream.’

‘Why? In the middle of the night?’

She recognised a shrug and set about rubbing his other hand as well. ‘Come, wrap up in your blanket!’

But when she went to get the blanket, he held her back. ‘Liliana.’

His hand rested on her shoulder. Through the fabric of her undershirt, her skin began to burn in a strangely pleasant way. ‘You realise that next time we go to Roinnenstadt, I’ll stay there, don’t you?’

She swallowed and nodded slowly. ‘What are you going to do? You haven’t found anyone who knows you. We don’t know what kind of work you could take on either.’

‘Don’t worry about me. I will find something. I would like to follow up on your aunt’s suspicion, in case she was right after all. And if not, I’ll move on … If I stay here, I may never find out who I am and where I come from. And I don’t want to be a burden to your family any longer, now that I’ve recovered.’

‘You’re not a burden. No matter what you do afterwards, you’re always welcome here in my bed.’

His eyebrows darted upward. An amused tone vibrated in his voice. ‘How am I to interpret that?’

Liliana caught her breath. Somehow, two different strands of thought had treacherously intertwined. ‘That sounded … I mean, you’re always welcome here and … I’m happy to give up my bed for you if you need one … Unless you prefer straw sacks.’

He laughed with a delight that made her knees buckle. She felt his hand on her cheek, his fingers gently stroking towards the back of her neck. ‘I know very well what you mean.’

Her heart reared up as if wanting to break away with excitement, like a wild mare. They were so close together that her chest almost touched his. His fingers reached the back of her head and stayed there for several heartbeats. She looked expectantly at his face, where the bronze eyes glowed warmly. When she felt his breath on her lips, she opened them just a little.

Suddenly, he backed away. Liliana could physically feel the emptiness in front of her. She shrank back. Had she completely misjudged the moment?

El retreated so far into the shadows that she couldn’t make out his expression. She only heard him tentatively clear his throat.

‘I should … get some sleep.’

‘Oh.’ Confused, she searched for something appropriate to say but couldn’t think of anything useful. ‘I thought …’ Yes, what exactly had she been thinking? That he wanted to kiss her? When it came to love, all of her knowledge came from books. ‘Me, too. I should be sleeping, too.’

She wrapped her arms around her middle and crawled back into her room. Had she imagined that he liked her back? Would a man who had no interest in her behave like that? Hardly. What, then, prevented him from expressing his affection? She didn’t sleep a wink until dawn.

About the Author:

D. S. McColgan emigrated from the Swiss mountains to Wales, where she now writes her stories surrounded by green hills, countless sheep and castles. She writes in German and English, and her short stories reside in the realm of fairy tales or magical realism. This year, she has published the first two books of her fantasy series: A Tale of Something New & A Tale of Something Red. 

If you are not afraid of blood and fancy a historical tale with slow-burn romance, secrets, authentic characters and atypical twists, you will love her series.

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