A full moon,
A silver key,
And the passion of two young lovers
will bring hope to a defeated kingdom
and, through their sorrow, deliver a king
who will change its fate.
Vivid visions have haunted Andrea since her arrival in northern Spain. In her visions, the ruins of the medieval village she’s excavating comes alive, and, around the fires burning in the no longer buried hearths, she sees people dressed in furs sharpening old fashioned swords.
Even more upsetting for her that the headaches her visions leave is the fact that Julián appears in them—Julián, the king from her world whose rejection she is trying hard to forget.
But when a slide bury Andrea under the mountain, Julian comes searching for her. Soon after they are reunited under the mountains, the full moon opens a portal and sends them back a thousand years into the past, to a time right after the Spaniards have been defeated by the Arabian invaders.
Separated by a bitter winter, Andrea and Julian are caught in opposite sides in the battle between the Spanish last unconquered settlements and the Arabian army. A battle for survival that will determine the fate of a kingdom and demand of them the ultimate sacrifice: As the Arabs close on the mountains, Julián makes a decision that will break Andrea’s heart and change them forever.
*What would you be doing right now if you were not an author?
Apart from writing fiction, I am also an editor and a translator. So, even if I wasn’t an author, I would still be doing my favorite thing: playing with words.
*5 years ago: what were you doing?
I was promoting my YA fantasy Two Moon Princess and editing its sequel that would eventually become the current version of The King in the Stone.
*Do you have a certain writing ritual?
No. When I have time I write whether I feel like it or not. As Picasso said: “When the muse comes, better she finds you working.”
*What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
Many of my fellow writers at my first critique group used to tell me I couldn’t write in English because my first language was Spanish. I thought their criticism was totally undeserved. When I won second place in a short story contest we ran anonymously, I felt validated.
*Is there an author you'd like to meet?
Jane Austen. I love her wit. I think she would be a great person to have as a friend.
*Biggest writing pet peeve?
I have several, but using the present participle in participle phrases incorrectly is number one on my list. Many writers don’t realize that the action of the present participle and the main verb must happen simultaneously.
It’s incorrect to say: “Tying his shoes, he ran downstairs.” As you can imagine, no one can tie his shoes and run downstairs at the same time.
* Do you read other's reviews of your books?
Yes. Absolutely. Even the negative ones, especially those. I may learn something from people’s critiques that will help me improve my writing.
Fav Color: Blue
Fictional Character you'd like to spend the day with: Tyrion from Game of Thrones.
Fav food: Chocolate
Fav song and/or singer: Take this Waltz by Leonard Cohen.
Guilty pleasure: Ice cream
A flash of lightning shatters the sky and, almost immediately, the deafening explosion of close thunder shakes the ground. Andrea looks up. Dark clouds, heavy with rain, have turned the day almost to night, shadowing the valley below and hiding the peaks beyond.
She takes a deep breath, and looks around. She is standing by the tomb of the king, but she has no recollection of leaving the camp or climbing the mountain. The last thing she remembers is Kelsey's voice, so eerily clear through the phone even though she was six thousand miles away, telling her about Julián.
Andrea moans at the memory and, bent in two by the sudden pain the memory has brought, leans forward. Images of the man she has tried so hard to forget flash through her mind. Julián bleeding in her arms, an arrow through his chest. Julián by the broken arch telling her how much he loves her. Julián rejecting her, stealing the ring from her finger . . . From the slab that covers the tomb, the lying figure of the king carved in the stone stares at her with unseeing eyes.
Another lightning flash streaks the sky and the earth trembles under her feet as thunder rolls once more over the mountains. Heavy drops fall on her face, washing away her tears.
Andrea forces her mind to reason. She has no claim over Julián. He broke their engagement and made it clear he didn’t want to be with her. That was the reason she left California these three weeks past. Whether he’s with Kelsey now or with somebody else should make no difference.
But it does. She can’t lie to herself. She’s hurting too much to pretend anymore. The truth is that moving to Spain has changed nothing. She has not forgotten Julián. His memory has haunted her dreams every night, stolen itself into every one of her waking thoughts.
Her hands clenched into fists, Andrea hits the stone, swearing at Kelsey for her betrayal. How could she? Kelsey is her cousin, her confidant. Kelsey knows how much she cares for Julián. How much she wants him back.
Not anymore. Knowing he doesn’t love her is one thing. Learning he is with Kelsey quite another. Now, at last, she will forget him.
She turns her back to the tomb, and starts toward the trail. But the rain has turned the soil to mud. Loosing her footing, she falls down.
Spitting water and dirt, Andrea scrambles to her feet. By the light of the next lightning flash, she sees the gap on the mountain, an open mouth calling to her, and dives through the sheets of water pouring from the angry sky toward the wall. The rope she remembers from the previous evening is still hanging down into the cave. She grabs it in her slippery hands and climbs down.
She has barely reached the ground—welcome, dry ground, firm under her feet—when the mountain shakes again. Andrea stumbles and, falling on her knees, raises her arms over her head, a weak protection against the gravel falling around her like solid rain.
When the noise finally stops and Andrea opens her eyes, the cave is in total darkness. Has she gone blind? she wonders as she fights back her fears. I'm not blind, she reassures herself. That’s absurd. But if she isn’t, why is it so dark?
She looks up, squinting her eyes. But it’s useless: no ray of light steals through the wall of rocks. The opening is gone. Of course, the thought breaks into her mind. The earthquake has provoked a slide and closed the entrance. A wave of panic washes over her as she realizes she’s on her own. No one will ever come looking for her. Why should they? She told no one where she was going when she left. She’s buried alive and this cave up in the mountains of this world that is not hers will be her grave.
Andrea screams, a name, a broken word, a feral cry for help that, as she fears, dies unheard against the cavern’s walls.