As usual when I have Holly, my job here is very limited. She does all the job–writing the books, of course, but also telling us something about them and about the series as a whole. I love her. And her books.
The series this time is The Tween Moons Saga by Holly Bargo, a romance, fantasy saga.
Here’s what Holly tells us about it.
After a childhood and adolescence spent reading fairy tales and Greek and Nordic myths, my literary interests quite naturally fell in line with the entire fantasy genre. I devoured the early works of David Eddings, Robin McKinley, Robin Bailey, Guy Gavriel Kay, Terry Brooks, etc. And I wrote. Much—okay, all—of my early work was garbage. I also read a lot of romance, especially historical romance. Eventually, I married the two genres into what is now recognized as the sub-genre of fantasy romance.
Gotta love the digital publishing revolution for making me more or less mainstream. I published first in paranormal romance—which I still love—but edged further beyond that envelope into the mythical and legendary to create the Twin Moons Saga.
And here are the books in the series, with Holly’s introduction.
Daughter of the Tween Moons ~ The Tween Moons Saga I
The first book of the Saga begins in the present-day, real world with a real-world problem: cancer. Then it goes off-dimension into a world of faerie, or fae. Borrowing from tropes established by Tolkien and influences of many shifter romances, I brought them into this story with a “elvish” hero and all-too-human heroine. Then my no-longer-human heroine throws a monkey wrench into the hero’s well-laid plans by being, well, human. Simply put, place a modern, professional woman into a medieval world and sparks will fly, especially when both parties possess magic. When my friend Cindra read the manuscript as my beta reader, she relayed her appreciation of the hero, Thelan, being all about the heroine, Catriona. She liked his alpha male persona which did not devolve into the arrogant, womanizing, kinky jerk persona that characterizes so many such heroes. Catriona, also, is no doormat whose hormones constantly and always melt her mind. She retains her free will and ability to think, qualities sadly lacking in many romance genre heroines.
Cancer. The terminal diagnosis paralyzes Catriona. Both saved and imperiled, she must navigate a new, immortal life as mate to the Captain of the Seelie Palace Guard.
In obedience to the oracle’s command, Thelan abducts a human woman and takes her to the Deepwood where she is unmade and remade by ancient magic. Thus given his mate, he quickly finds himself enamored of her spirit, intelligence, and uncommon beauty. She arouses his passion and challenges both his control and authority at every turn. Thelan needs to win the heart and trust of this untraditional female whom he’s determined to keep and protect from those who covet control over the moon-born’s legendary influence.
Catriona resents the lack of choice. She also resents not knowing the rules that now govern her life in this realm of myth and impossibility. Forging her own path and upsetting ancient tradition, she befriends the mysterious archivist, learns to live in a sentient palace, talks to dragons, and discovers a puzzling attraction to cats. And she must come to terms with the handsome and powerful fae male who claims her as his own and stirs her blood like none other.
Daughter of the Deepwood ~ The Tween Moons Saga II
The second book of the Saga stays in this fae dimension, but veers off into another nation to a related species of fae. A book I read that told the story of an escape from a Middle Eastern prison sparked the beginning of Falco and Calista’s story. Falco’s species of fae differs from Thelan’s species, which considers Falco’s people as lesser beings, not as pure. Calista is called “witchbreed,” but that doesn’t accurately describe her either in terms of her parentage or the transformations imposed upon her. This story contains considerably grittier material and the beginning, but actually a lot less in the way of explicit material. Again, I imbue the same qualities of my hero and heroine with those that I admire, yet still show them as imperfect.
Lifetime imprisonment for an immortal doesn’t bear consideration. As cold iron burns his skin and dampens his magic, fae captain Falco wrenches power and freedom from the broken body of another prisoner—a witchbreed female—tossed into his cell to make room for a new harvest of criminals. Honor and obligation mandate that he not abandon her.
Unable to heal her extensive injuries, he takes the dying witchbreed to the heart of the Great Forest where the most ancient magic lives. His plea granted, the woman is remade of a blend of his blood, her flesh, and deep magic. Bound by his debt, Falco takes Calista as his mate when he returns home to Froúrio Daimónafae, a sentient fortress-city carved from a mountain. Although he regrets his intended fae mate’s anger, his increasing affection and desire for his witchbreed mate surprise him.
Lost in a foreign culture, spurned by the fae, her body unfamiliar to her, and unable to believe in Falco’s professed affections, Calista makes her own destiny and realizes the fate of an unfriendly nation rests upon her shoulders.
Daughter of the Dark Moon ~ The Tween Moons Saga III
The third book in the Saga’s third book brings back Uberon, who gets a brief mention in the first book. The first book doesn’t really explore his character; however, he lurked at the back of my mind until I succumbed and wrote his story. Again, we dip back into present-day American to find our heroine. Uberon makes my heart go pitter-patter. I truly think he’s the best hero I’ve written. He’s complicated and independent, the only hero who doesn’t hold the dawn and midnight swifts in awe and reverence. Although young and innocent, Corinne proves her mettle as a worthy mate for our ancient, powerful, and misunderstood hero who’s not the source of all evil, just not an archetype of goodness.
Some characters run throughout the all three books. Enders, the archivist, who is Uberon’s contemporary, mysterious, and imbued with vast and unexplained power that he uses mostly in subtle ways. In short, he could be a king, but chooses to remain mostly uninvolved in politics. The Erlking is a king of his own demesne separate from the other countries. He, too, is a contemporary of Uberon and Enders. He serves as the highest and final arbiter of justice in the realms connected to the fae world.
I originally thought to write Enders’ story, but he didn’t want one. The Erlking declined to participate. Through all of the books, honor runs like a thread of steel. That integrity is important to me, both as a reader and as a person. It reflects my distaste for plots built upon characters who lie to each other and keep secrets. Sure, my protagonists are idealized, but that’s key to the romance genre as a whole. I enjoy making them flawed enough to be relatable, yet still wonderful enough to want to exchange places with them.
Worlds fear the powerful, ruthless, and cold-hearted Unseelie king. Deposed and his kingdom conquered, Uberon answers the call of a young human woman’s soul and claims her as his mate. Corinne’s clever mind captivates him, her compassion intrigues him, her beauty enchants him, and her body stokes his libido like nothing else ever did or could.
Discovering that myths and legends really are based in fact, Corinne soon learns her fate as the Unseelie king’s chosen mate and the consequences of fae immortality as she adapts to a new world and her relationship with Uberon develops. She revels in Uberon’s passion and shoulders the burden of power and responsibility beyond anything she ever dreamed.
About the Author
Holly Bargo is a pseudonym, but really did exist in the form of a temperamental Appaloosa mare fondly remembered for guarding the author’s toddler children and crushing a page. Yep, that’s another story. The author and her husband live on a southwest Ohio hobby farm with a menagerie of four-legged beasties. Their two children are grown now, one graduating from university in 2019 and the other serving in the U.S. military. Holly recently jumped genres with publication of Six Shots Each Gun: 12 Tales of the Old West, a collaborative project co-written with Russ Towne, an Amazon bestselling author of westerns. She is currently working on another manuscript that also hops to a different sub-genre: alien romance under the working title Triple Burn. That one is due for release by April 30. It’s going to be fun.