I'm still happy dancing that my dark fantasy, Gemini Rising, won first place in Mainstream Novel in the 2012 P&E Poll.
Gemini Rising is available on Amazon and on other sites including the publisher's web site, Double Dragon Publishing. http://www.double-dragon-ebooks.com/single.php?ISBN=1-55404-978-4
Posted by Nightingale | 8:16 PM | dark fantasy, Double Dragon Publishing, identical twins, Linda Nightingale, mainstream novel, preditors and editors poll winners | 8 comments »
Rory rushed him, grabbing his shirt, his fist drawn back to strike. The horses snorted, hooves scrambling on cobbles. Aiden Alastair strode into the barn hall, assessing the situation at a glance.
“By all that’s holy,” Aiden shouted, “have you both taken leave of your senses?”
Rory freed Alain with a little shove. “I’m rearranging your son’s pretty face. You’ve said Alain is too pretty for his own good.”
The old, familiar humiliation and pain twisted in Alain, but he squared his shoulders, and with blood on his mouth, faced his father.
Rory’s lips curled in a mocking smile. “I was just trying to help you out, Lord Alastair.” He gave the title hateful emphasis.
Alastair crossed his arms, glaring at his son-in-law. “You’re my daughter’s husband and as such this is your home, but I won’t tolerate fighting beneath my roof.”
Rory hung his head, looked down, said nothing. His rigid posture sagged.
Father’s eyes found Alain. His expression altered from angry to hurt. “I would have expected more of you. Did you start this?”
Of course, his father had jumped to the conclusion that Alain was to blame. He was always ready to believe the worst about him. He could tune them out, suppress his feelings and stoically endure. But not this time. Damage, like love and hate, came in degrees. All his life Alain had suffered at this man’s clumsy hand. He arched an eyebrow.
Rory’s gaze lifted to Alain’s face. He gasped, “Don’t.”
“You’ve always been disappointed in me, Father.” The chill in his voice bled into his limbs. “But frankly, I don’t give a damn. Never have. Never will.”
Splotches of anger dotted Father’s face. “How dare you say that to me? You’re a damned fine excuse for a son. If I could, I’d pass the title to Rory.”
The painful attack knocked the wind out of Alain. To be told he meant less to his father than another man hurt. He hadn’t believed Father had the power to break his heart. He collapsed on the wooden bench beside the bridles and stared at the old oriental carpet he used for polishing Spirit’s hooves. Suddenly, he hated the wealth surrounding him.
“Aiden.” Mother strode down the aisle, seized her husband’s arm and shook him. “I overheard. How could you be so cruel?”
“It’s all right, Mother.” Alain climbed to his feet. “It’s no surprise.”
“No, it isn’t all right.” Mother glared into Father’s eyes. “You were angry. You didn’t mean what you said. Tell him, Aiden.”
Alain unsaddled Prospero, led him into his stall and slid the leather halter off his beautiful head. Father remained silent as he repeated the performance with Spirit. The pain hit him like a lightning strike. His solar plexus blazed into an aching knot. Clutching the apex of his ribs, he staggered against the door.
Light from the world outside framed Nye. The old man gazed at Alain as if he was the only person in the hallway. “Alina.”
At the sound of her name, the pain twisted tighter and hotter. Agony folded Alain double. Mother took a step toward him. He waved her away.
“Hurry,” Nye said, standing aside as Rory shouldered past.
Mother dashed behind Rory, Father at her side.
“How did you know?” Alain asked the servant.
Nye’s gaze shifted to the floor. “I heard her cries.”