SFR Brigade Showcase — Countdown -2

SFR Brigade showcase

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.

Many people on Gilford lived in float houses. That’s the school boat I told you about.

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.”

Working hard at ignoring that she was one of a great many women, Dusty kept her voice level. “Where’d you go?”

“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

A word from our sponsor

Be sure to check out the other great writers in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade’s showcase.

 

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12 comments

  1. Wow. Your description of his life and lifestyle are madly potent, but that grace note at the end of how sacred the skull felt seemed to ‘redeem’ him!

    1. ‘Madly potent’ . . . the image that sprang to mind was Reese when he was sleeping with any woman who’d have him. 😉

  2. Wow, I’m glad you did no skull-kicking during your time on Gilford Island! You’ve had some interesting adventures, it’s nice that you can work them into your books.

    1. That’s two wows in a row. Interesting.

      They say “write what you know” and so it’s not surprising that I use my life experiences.

  3. The skull made me think of Macbeth.
    I like the floating houses. In England, some people live in canal boats and have container gardens on the roofs.

    1. You and Dusty both; she kids him about Shakespeare. As for the float houses, they were disappearing but are now being gentrified. It used to be that loggers would tie up at a remote island, log for a few years, and then the whole settlement would hitch their houses to their boats and move somewhere else. Schools used to be on floats, complete with playgrounds!

  4. Neat! We must have sailed by Gilford Island in June while on our Alaska cruise. I love how your stories are set in the PNW, one of my favorite places on Earth.

    1. Did you wave as you sailed by?

  5. I almost wondered at what point Dusty would run, then remembered I know someone who was… generous with the ladies in his youth and been happily married for nearly 15 years. So I guess Reese can be redeemed after all.

    1. It certainly makes her wary. The phrase “a great many women” runs through her mind several times, though with decreasing frequency as their relationship progresses.

  6. Interesting way to weave your own history into the novel! Well done, enjoyed the snippet 🙂

    1. No one would know it’s from my own life if I didn’t mention it. I imagine you have numerous references that only you and people close to you can fully appreciate.

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