The Wind-Up Forest

on Mar 06, 2014 by L.J. Labarthe

I’ve always loved Arthurian legends, from an early age, and that love stayed with me well into adulthood. I’ve been wanting to write a novel involving those legends in some way. I had loved Douglas Clegg’s novel, the terrific “Mordred: Bastard Son.” And I had also loved the Mary Stewart novels focusing on Merlin as the main character. The ’80s shiny armored movie, “Excalibur” is still a firm favorite, despite the cheesiness, and a lot of the music I listen to focuses on Arthurian myth and legend—the Matter of Britain—bands like local group Spiral Dance and UK artist, Damh the Bard.

So I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to use the mythos without focusing on the characters. I wanted that mythos and the most important artefact within it that was not Excalibur to play an important role. And as I still felt I had stories to tell in my “Archangel Chronicles” universe, it struck me as being a perfect fit for the Holy Grail to be at the core of the three book story arc. The pieces fell even more firmly into place when I was doing some reading on the subject of the Grail and saw that there were actually Grail angels in the mythos—Michael, Gabriel, Tzadkiel and Raziel.

Michael and Gabriel are together now, after the first three books, they’ve become bonded/mated and Gabriel particularly wants nothing more than to enjoy some alone time (and sexy time!) with Michael. But matters being what they are, which can be put down to the author deciding that no, they weren’t getting that quite yet, crisis arise and so the second trilogy of the “Archangel Chronicles” takes off with book four, “The Wind-up Forest,” which is new out from Dreamspinner Press. I was also inspired by the artistic and musical installation of the Clockwork Forest in England (http://www.rojaksite.com/clockwork-forest/) and so part of the story in this book involves trees with keys in the trunks which, when turned, play music.

History, legend and music play large roles in the background of the story arc in this book, and I had a lot of fun writing it and exploring all the new relationships and revisiting the old, established ones too. I hope that readers enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Wind-Up Forest

Sequel to No Shadows Fall
Archangel Chronicles: Book Four

Archangel Gabriel is hoping for a quiet period in his life to enjoy his relationship with Archangel Michael, but someone has other ideas.

New dangers arise when the Holy Grail is stolen. Gabriel, Michael, and the rest of the Brotherhood of Archangels and their allies must somehow thwart the twisted desires of the thief.

Their search for the Grail takes them all over the world, calling on old friends like Uriel and Raziel, and forging powerful new alliances. Though they face a fresh set of perils in pursuit of the thief, the enduring comfort Gabriel needs so much, that of his beloved Michael, never abandons him.

Excerpt

Michael leaned back in the leather upholstered chair. “And yet, I feel guilty that I have not been more diligent in ensuring the Grail was safe.”

Gabriel moved to sit on the edge of the mahogany desk. “Same. But we couldn’t do everything, we ain’t omniscient. I keep telling people this, by the way, and no one believes me. We ain’t gods. We’re the servants of one, aye, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got the same power.”

“Where is this coming from?” Michael asked.

“Nowhere, really,” Gabriel said. “It was just on my mind right now is all.”

“As you say, then.” Michael reached over and took Gabriel’s hand. “So what should we do now?”

Gabriel grinned at his lover, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. “Have a quickie?”

Michael blinked, and then he laughed, a light blush coloring his cheeks. “You are insatiable.”

Gabriel leaned down and murmured against Michael’s lips, “So’re you. And I need to store up our sexy times and our hugs and our kisses for when we don’t have time to enjoy ourselves like this.”

Michael smiled. “I do not think that can be stored up, da bao.”

“I’m willing to try, though,” Gabriel said.

“And I have no objections.” Michael closed the small gap between them and kissed Gabriel soundly. He tugged Gabriel from the desktop onto his lap, and Gabriel hummed happily into the kiss, winding his arms around Michael’s neck.

They kissed for several long, blissful minutes until the sound of Uriel’s voice sounded caustically in their heads.

“If you two aren’t too busy, you could come and join us in Archangelsk.”

Gabriel sighed with regret as he ended the kiss. “We’re on our way,” he thought back.

“It seems we will have to postpone our… quickie,” Michael said.

“Aye. But not for long,” Gabriel said, as he climbed off Michael’s lap.

“No. Do not forget a coat, Gabriel,” Michael said, as he stood up.

“You either, Michael,” Gabriel retorted, even as he pulled his peacoat to him and tugged it on.

“Of course not, da bao.” Michael smiled slightly, using his power to pull his own coat to him.

“Good.”

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About L.J. Labarthe

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.

I’ve always loved Arthurian legends, from an early age, and that love stayed with me well into adulthood. I’ve been wanting to write a novel involving those legends in some way. I had loved Douglas Clegg’s novel, the terrific “Mordred: Bastard Son.” And I had also loved the Mary Stewart novels focusing on Merlin as the main character. The ’80s shiny armored movie, “Excalibur” is still a firm favorite, despite the cheesiness, and a lot of the music I listen to focuses on Arthurian myth and legend—the Matter of Britain—bands like local group Spiral Dance and UK artist, Damh the Bard.

So I wanted to do something a little different. I wanted to use the mythos without focusing on the characters. I wanted that mythos and the most important artefact within it that was not Excalibur to play an important role. And as I still felt I had stories to tell in my “Archangel Chronicles” universe, it struck me as being a perfect fit for the Holy Grail to be at the core of the three book story arc. The pieces fell even more firmly into place when I was doing some reading on the subject of the Grail and saw that there were actually Grail angels in the mythos—Michael, Gabriel, Tzadkiel and Raziel.

Michael and Gabriel are together now, after the first three books, they’ve become bonded/mated and Gabriel particularly wants nothing more than to enjoy some alone time (and sexy time!) with Michael. But matters being what they are, which can be put down to the author deciding that no, they weren’t getting that quite yet, crisis arise and so the second trilogy of the “Archangel Chronicles” takes off with book four, “The Wind-up Forest,” which is new out from Dreamspinner Press. I was also inspired by the artistic and musical installation of the Clockwork Forest in England (http://www.rojaksite.com/clockwork-forest/) and so part of the story in this book involves trees with keys in the trunks which, when turned, play music.

History, legend and music play large roles in the background of the story arc in this book, and I had a lot of fun writing it and exploring all the new relationships and revisiting the old, established ones too. I hope that readers enjoy the book as much as I enjoyed writing it.


The Wind-Up Forest

Sequel to No Shadows Fall
Archangel Chronicles: Book Four

Archangel Gabriel is hoping for a quiet period in his life to enjoy his relationship with Archangel Michael, but someone has other ideas.

New dangers arise when the Holy Grail is stolen. Gabriel, Michael, and the rest of the Brotherhood of Archangels and their allies must somehow thwart the twisted desires of the thief.

Their search for the Grail takes them all over the world, calling on old friends like Uriel and Raziel, and forging powerful new alliances. Though they face a fresh set of perils in pursuit of the thief, the enduring comfort Gabriel needs so much, that of his beloved Michael, never abandons him.


Excerpt from The Wind-Up Forest:

Michael leaned back in the leather upholstered chair. “And yet, I feel guilty that I have not been more diligent in ensuring the Grail was safe.”

Gabriel moved to sit on the edge of the mahogany desk. “Same. But we couldn’t do everything, we ain’t omniscient. I keep telling people this, by the way, and no one believes me. We ain’t gods. We’re the servants of one, aye, but that doesn’t mean we’ve got the same power.”

“Where is this coming from?” Michael asked.

“Nowhere, really,” Gabriel said. “It was just on my mind right now is all.”

“As you say, then.” Michael reached over and took Gabriel’s hand. “So what should we do now?”

Gabriel grinned at his lover, waggling his eyebrows suggestively. “Have a quickie?”

Michael blinked, and then he laughed, a light blush coloring his cheeks. “You are insatiable.”

Gabriel leaned down and murmured against Michael’s lips, “So’re you. And I need to store up our sexy times and our hugs and our kisses for when we don’t have time to enjoy ourselves like this.”

Michael smiled. “I do not think that can be stored up, da bao.”

“I’m willing to try, though,” Gabriel said.

“And I have no objections.” Michael closed the small gap between them and kissed Gabriel soundly. He tugged Gabriel from the desktop onto his lap, and Gabriel hummed happily into the kiss, winding his arms around Michael’s neck.

They kissed for several long, blissful minutes until the sound of Uriel’s voice sounded caustically in their heads.

“If you two aren’t too busy, you could come and join us in Archangelsk.”

Gabriel sighed with regret as he ended the kiss. “We’re on our way,” he thought back.

“It seems we will have to postpone our… quickie,” Michael said.

“Aye. But not for long,” Gabriel said, as he climbed off Michael’s lap.

“No. Do not forget a coat, Gabriel,” Michael said, as he stood up.

“You either, Michael,” Gabriel retorted, even as he pulled his peacoat to him and tugged it on.

“Of course not, da bao.” Michael smiled slightly, using his power to pull his own coat to him.

“Good.”

Copyright © 2014 L.J. Labarthe. All rights reserved.


About L.J. Labarthe

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.

L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica.

L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat.


Find L.J. Labarthe:


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