Once a month, the Science Fiction Romance Brigade’s showcase enables the brigade’s authors to highlight snippets from new works, WIPs, cover reveals or other fun things.
In Rescuing Prince Charming, to be released December 4, I used some of my own ‘backstory’ as my character’s backstory. Sort of.
My first teaching job was at Gilford Island, an isolated island off the northern end of Vancouver Island. If you’ve ever taken a cruise ship to Alaska, you passed Gilford sometime during the night.
Gilford was wilderness back then. To get there, we had to take a float plane flown by a bush pilot. The school had one room for grades 1 through 7, and it was isolated even from the rest of the island. The kids came to school on a school boat — there were no roads, no buses, no cars. Also no stores, neighbors, or television. Not even radio.
In Rescuing Prince Charming, Reese, a First Nations prince from the future, also spent time on Gilford. Here he tells the heroine about his experience.
“Anyway,” Reese said, “after the scandal, I tried to resume my life, but I was a sad joke to all who knew me. After cavorting with any woman who would have me — and a great many women will sleep with a prince — I disgusted myself so much that I left without telling even my brother where I was going.”
“To Gilford Island, up in Canada. It’s an insignificant Kwakiutl Indian settlement, but I loved it. It taught me who I really am.”
“Because your Eaglesbrood ancestors were Kwakiutl?”
“From the equivalent of Gilford on our Earth, yes. Because we were forced to turn Kwadra into a fortress, I’d never been to the ancestral island. It’s beautiful up there. The ocean, the mountains, the forest, the wildlife . . . everything’s breathtaking.
“The villagers weren’t what I expected — the aboriginal way of life Kwadrans glorify is hundreds of years in their past — but they accepted me as one of their own. They knew about the scandal, but blamed Marianne. They cheered my subsequent bedroom exploits with high-class white women as though they were personal victories.”
Dusty made a choking noise in the back of her throat. He didn’t seem to notice.
“I even learned to use a canoe. One grey, drizzly day, I paddled from Gilford to Ghost Island. In aboriginal times, the Kwakiutl buried their dead there in low wooden sheds, because the soil was too thin for graves. As I struggled through the forest, seeking nothing but solitude, I kicked a skull into a rivulet.”
She sucked in an audible intake of breath.
“It wasn’t frightening.” Although Reese’s face was close, his gaze was far away. “Holding that moss-covered skull was . . . I haven’t told this to anyone, but holding that ancient bone, talking to it even, felt holy. Does that sound insane?”
For the record, I did no skull-kicking during my year on Gilford.
“I haven’t read a romance I enjoyed so much in a long time.”
— Lisabet Sarai, Beyond Romance
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