As part of my holiday discounting plan, I’m giving away one of my books for free every Friday up to Christmas. Is that the spirit of holiday giving or what?
Today’s selection is my short story, “Passion Play.”
She’s a witch. She heals the sick. She makes crops grow. She helps people fall in love.
But not if Charles III can help it. The prince is about to ascend the throne of Cotreur, and he’s pledged his first act will be to outlaw magic. After all, it’s only practicable by women, and it sets one before the gods. It must come from The Dark One. Some witches are even said to be able to steal a man’s will during sex.
Juliette isn’t about to let a mad zealot of a king hurt her. She’s not going to give up her art to satisfy the twisted ideas of a religious extremist.
She’ll need an ally, though. Bishop Gerard has a much more reasonable view of things. He may be a church official, but he has a much more progressive view of women and magic than Charles. And Gerard doesn’t mind throwing off his vow of celibacy when the mood strikes him. Especially with Juliette. Perhaps she can use him to alter the prince’s plans.
Charming the bishop is no trouble. But if his pleas fall on deaf ears, if Charles won’t listen to reason, then Juliette will just have to try something a little more desperate, something a little more extreme.
Juliette will use every magic available to her – including sex – to preserve her position. If Charles insists on enacting his misogynistic laws, then he is going to fall victim to her passion play.
Originally released as “The Coronation of King Charles III,” “Passion Play” is a short story that examines the collision of religion and politics, of fundamentalism and feminism. Exciting, sexy, and tense, it follows one woman’s desperate pursuit of freedom from persecution. A taut thriller packed with page-turning adventure and thoughtful commentary on modern society, “Passion Play” asks, “How far would you go to protect your beliefs?”