Happy Winter Solstice everyone! I posted a few days ago about yoga and how similar a yoga practice is to the act of writing, but I was in class again today—on the Solstice—and we did several variations of Tree Pose, which took my mind right to OAK. For those of you who don’t know this book (which was previously released under the title The Oak King) it’s a reframing of the Oak King, Holly King story as a Solstice-centric, MMF, holiday ménage romance, set in 19th century Ireland.
Because who doesn’t love a little genre blending? And it just wouldn’t be the holidays without a Holiday Menage (I’m looking at you, Finders Keepers).
Anyway, back to yoga. Several of us were having more problems this morning than usual with our balance (in life as well as on our mats, I think!) and so my teacher spent a lot of time discussing the importance of finding the balance between alertness and relaxation. While we were in Reclining Tree Pose she also talked about how the mind has a tendency to drift away from the body…
Which was when my mind left the room entirely, and went directly to this scene at the end of Oak. It’s the morning of the Winter Solstice, and Fionn has just begun his six-month reign as The Oak King:
The world was not what it once was. Of that Fionn O’Dair was certain. It was a bright and beautiful place this pristine morning. A world reborn. Though it still slumbered in its snowy bed, he could feel the life within it. Curled up and folded in upon itself, it was like a seed in the dark, awaiting the light of the sun’s rays to quicken it and bring it forth. As his mind expanded outward, Fionn was aware of the joy that lay at the center of all creation. He could feel it aching to break free and explode into the world in swollen creeks after a spring thaw, in sweet-scented blossoms unfurling on a leafy branch, in newborn lambs dancing in the meadow.
He felt like dancing himself, if only that were possible. It was not, however. It would be several long months before he could dance again. This morning, even that was all right. He was content to stand here, tall and proud, ruling over the woodlands, protecting all that he held dear…
the Oak King’s thoughts drifted and spread, traveling throughout the forests and the woodlands, all across the Greenworld; life calling to life. Far and wide his thoughts went, to the ends of the earth and back again, whispering the world awake on this perfect winter morning.
* * * * *
Twice each year, Aine Murphy ventures into the woods to hold ceremonies to honor the Oak King and the Holly King, never dreaming these Lords of the Forest could be anything more than myth. When the legends spring to life in front of her, how can she help but fall for the sexy demi-gods she's loved all her life?
From midwinter to midsummer, Fionn O'Dair rules the Greenworld as the Oak King--a role he feels is beyond his abilities, and one that dooms him to a loveless future, forever craving the one man he can never allow himself to have. How can he resist what Aine offers--the sweet devotion that soothes his aching soul, and the slim chance to live a "normal" life as her husband, if only for half a year?
Holly King Kieran Mac Cuilenn never desired a human lover--until now. Seeing Fionn and Aine together fills him with longing for the love he threw away and awakens feelings he thought he'd buried with the last Oak King. Is there enough magic in the solstice to correct the mistakes he made years ago? Or is he doomed to be forever left out in the cold?
* * * * *
Just as a reminder, I'm still offering these Free Reads for the Holidays! Also, I'd like to invite you to join my Facebook Group, The Crone's Nest. I'm not sure yet what I'll be giving away to my group this year, but join it and find out!