The Charcoal Bride is the first of a trilogy of short novels called The Hanrisor Chronicles. The trilogy chronicles the rise to power of Hanrisor’s King Skall and the family curse –called “The Hanrisor Legacy--that troubled him and his descendants.
An oath is not easily broken, and an oath made to the god of vengeance is even more difficult to break. Thus Hanrisor – and Soghan, Skall’s place of birth—are two of many nations in the Malku universe who endured war.
Although the fae and human rarely war, there have been times when war rose up between them, and the vow made by Prince Arvid was the cause of a family curse that affected his family for generations. King Skall rose to power because of such a war and his story echoes throughout the legends and myths of Hanrisor and other nations of Malku. This novella tells of Prince Arvid, Skall’s father, and his ill-fated marriage to Sellah, his Charcoal Bride. The second part of the trilogy, Sea-Walker, will relate how Skall traveled his new kingdom after he had inherited. The third part of the trilogy, How Skall Dragon-rider Won His Three Wives, depicts the heritage – good and bad—which Skall and his descendants inherited through the curse that Prince Arvid placed upon himself.
Throughout the annals, the long-lived fae appear because of their effect on Malku history, society and culture. The merfolk also appears, although their lifespan is similar to humans. As in all the novels of the faes of Malku, the fae, merfolk, and humans live together. The fae clan consists of water-faes, air-faes, and land faes. The human clans are equally varied with humans from all races, class, religions, and status. In some regions, there is harmony among these separate clans. In other regions, there are hurdles, prejudices, and social complications.
In the world of Malku, the clans of faes, merfolk, and ordinary landfolk live in a tenuous harmony. Oftentimes, one clan will war against another. Fae against mer, fae against landfolk, landfolk against mer. Because the Malku world contains many regions, nations, land masses, and islands, the relationship between these clans differ from region to region. There is also a variety of religions, races, and classes which also complicate the relationships of individuals and societies.
The annals of Malku are historical lore from many different regions; written in different languages, by different scribes, for varied purposes. To warn, to instruct, to explain. They contain the wisdom, romances, and tales of the kings, priests, and commonfolk of all those that dwell in Malku lands.
The stories in this volume come from several countries in Malku. The primary story, Turn Back O Time, tells the story of how Prince Eirik and the fae warred against the aristocrats of that land. Other stories include the story of how the fae prince Flight saved his god-daughter from a wrongful marriage, the tale of a betrayed mermaid in The Girl in the Dim, and the story of the beginnings of the DragonFly Islands.
This book is part of a series which will include other annals such as the tales of SeaWalker, How Skall Dragonrider Won His Three Wives, The Charcoal Bride, and many others.
The Malku universe is an alternate world where fae, merfolk, and humans live together. The fae clan consists of water-faes, air-faes, and land faes. The human clans are equally varied with humans from all races, class, religions, and status. In some regions, there is harmony among these separate clans. In other regions, there are hurdles, prejudices, and social complications. The stories in this volume are not in chronological order. Some of the characters in these stories -- the long-lived fae, for instance-- appear in many stories in different centuries. Other characters, the humans and merfolk, appear only once. There are a few human characters --kings, priests, and other historical personages-- who appear in some stories because of their effect on Malku history. The society and culture of the Malku world and its history unfold throughout the various stories.
This book is entitled "Turn Back O Time" because it contains five stories or tales, the largest of which is "Turn Back O Time." Most of the tales deal with the issue of time, regret, and the consequences of certain chosen actions.
In the year 2255 Ellie Ovis finds herself in the unenviable position of being loved by Woden, the Nephilim Prince of the New York Region, staring lovingly into her eyes. A member of the Creed, Ellie wants nothing to do with this being whom she considers demon-spawn. She is already fighting her attraction to his best friend, the Nephilim rebel, Siddhart. But the upcoming annual Balance ritual and an incomprehensible prophecy declares that a stubborn Scarred Woman will bring Disruption to the Nephilim community. Ellie prides herself on her integrity, but, marriage to a Nephilim prince would excuse her from the ritual and probable death. There is no one more stubborn or scarred than Ellie. But could she really be the one who is fated to save the various humanoid populations of Earth? And would she really give up her faith and religion in order to bring salvation to the descendants of demons?
The Daughters of Men is a fantasy novel about:
1. Four types of humans -the clones, the bio-genetically engineered chimeras, the semi-demonic Nephilim, and "normal" humans.
2. Three lovers - Woden, a Nephilim Prince; Siddhart, Woden's captain and rebellious best friend; and Ellie, the human Black woman they both love who may be fated to bring disaster or salvation to the Nephilim.
3. Two prophecies - the prophecy of the stubborn Scarred Woman fated to bring Disruption, and the prophecy of the Beautiful One who will bring peace and salvation to the Nephililm.
4. And one decision - Should Ellie marry Woden? Why does she resist? Why is she being so stubborn? Could it be that she is indeed the prophesied one? You bet she is.
This is the first in a dystopian series about the Nephilim-ruled universe.
Struggling with grief, her impoverished life, and a needy family, Denise Higgins accepts a job opportunity as a sober companion. Her job is simple: keep Ben Moreau away from drugs and his druggie friends. She is also to report back to his parents – something Ben is not aware of and would not appreciate. Ben Moreau, despite being three years Denise’s junior, proves to be far more alluring than she ever thought possible. Not only is he a gorgeous and wealthy French Korean with an ever so charming personality, he is also generous and willing to befriend her so long as he can have her loyalty. Following her heart may only bring her grief, and ignoring it is certain to because while Denise is a staunch Bible reader and seer of visions, Ben is a jaded profligate surrounded by drug-taking friends. Denise has more than a few hurdles to overcome. Least of which are Ben's money, Ben's ability to manipulate her, her own growing infatuation with him, a shared ongoing secret between Ben and his friends and an ancient curse that hangs over Ben's family line.
Her destiny is interwoven with Ben's, and in this bittersweet story that follows the spiritual development of cynical but sensitive Denise and contemplative but loving Ben, that destiny will be sorely-tested. Their backgrounds could not be more different, both in culture and background as his wealthy Korean and French proprieties conflict with her poor Jamaican Christian upbringing. But the prejudices of the well-to-do, and of Christian parents and pagan friends will challenge Denise’s expectations and what she believes about herself. Together with Ben, and with his sweet wit and selfish but kind heart, these lovers will grow to discover a fuller and richer life.
Carole McDonnell is a writer of Christian, supernatural, and ethnic stories. She writes fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reviews. Her writings appear in various anthologies, including So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonialism in Science Fiction, edited by Nalo Hopkinson and published by Arsenal Pulp Press; Jigsaw Nation, published by Spyre Books; and Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: Writings by Mature Women of Color among others.
Her reviews appear at various online sites.
Her story collections are Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction by Carole McDonnell and Turn Back O Time and other stories of the fae of Malku.
There are also stand-alone novels: Wind Follower, My Life as an Onion, The Constant Tower, Who Gave Sleep and Who Has Taken It Away?
Her novels also include books in the following series:
The Brothers Worth series: Black Girls Have Always Loved Cowboys, A Town for Timothy, A Year and A Day
The Nephilim Dystopia Series: The Daughters of Men, The Chimeran Queen,
And Novels of the Malku Universe: The Charcoal Bride, SeaWalker, How Skall Dragonrider Won His Three Wives
Her Bible studies include: Seeds of Bible Study, Scapegoats and Sacred Cows of Bible Study, Blogging the Psalms, A Fool’s Journey Through Proverbs, Great Sufferers of the Bible.
Her book of Poetry is: The King’s Journal of Lost and Secret Things
She lives in New York with her husband, two sons, and their pets.
The cover design for this book was done by Mirtika Ana Schultz
The Psalms have been a blessing to Jews and Christians for thousands of years, giving hope and strength in trials. They are a collection of hymns, prayers, praises, and petitions made by holy men of old. They should not be feared and all lovers of religion and poetry should study them. This collection of insights was a project the author wrote on her blog for half a year. In it, the psalms are made accessible to all those who would like to study them or meditate on them.