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The Ballad of Young Tam Lin |
Author: Patricia A. Leslie
Category: fantasy-romance novel Level: All
The place is the Scottish Borders. The time is 1790. Lady Janet Dunbar, just turned twenty, is a very proper young heiress, who has had a "modern" education, and does not believe in tales about fairies and elves.
But now she is with child, gossips' tongues are wagging, her father the Earl is furious and has ordered her to keep to her chamber until she agrees to reveal her lover's name ...
And Tam Lin -- the handsome, charming young gentleman to whom she so trustingly gave away her virtue on May Day -- has turned out to be the sworn consort of the Elf-Queen of Summerland.
The Tam Lin story has its origins in an old Scottish ballad. It has inspired many re-tellings. This version takes a Feminist view that the Elf-Queen is, in fact, the Goddess of Life -- not the evil, demonic figure portrayed in the old ballad.
Tam Lin, a mortal man, is caught in a romantic triangle between the ideal and the real: devotion to the ideal feminine, and the reality of a relationship with a flawed but loving mortal.
The Elf-Queen has her own challenges, between the demands of a jealous, estranged Elf-King, and the sinister plans of another, very evil being.
This story of a love-triangle which crosses the Veil between worlds, abounds with romantic encounters, whimsy, drama, memorable characters, ethical dilemmas, and a rich evocation of the Elfin otherworld.
Reviews (both fair and spiteful ones) can be found on the Goodreads.com site.
Author's Notes: "I forbid ye maidens all, that wear gold in your hair, to come or go by Carterhaugh, for Young Tam Lin is there; None that goes by Carterhaugh, but they leave him a pledge, either their rings or green mantles, or else their maidenheads." (First lines of the traditional Scottish "Ballad of Young Tam Lin.")
I became intrigued by the Tam Lin story -- one of the greatest folkloric paranormal romances -- when I first heard the Fairport Convention's recording of it on their "Liege and Lief" album. Sandy Denny's powerful and enchanting performance has haunted my imagination for many years, and finally compelled me to write this novel.
Like all old ballads, it raises more questions than it answers. I have endeavored to answer all those questions to my own satisfaction, and I believe I have made the entire journey a fun, romantic and entertaining one for every reader. I have, of course, incorporate many of my own spiritual beliefs into the plot, including the existence of different types of elemental beings, a Goddess who has a personality (and a sense of humor!) , reincarnation, and healing energies. I have utilized many traditional British Isles folkloric elements in telling the story, and am indebted to Katharine Briggs, in particular, as a research source. However, I have taken some literary license, since this is a work of fiction.
While there are many sexy situations in the story, I do not write graphic bedroom scenes. This makes it not only suitable for high-school age people, but also for your 80 year old granny whose values were formed in a far different cultural atmosphere. I believe that readers who want to know all the bedroom details, should be able to imagine that the characters are doing exactly what they themselves would enjoy most. That makes it even more fun.
Where To Buy: Author's online sales site (for the trade paperback) is the one listed herein: www.createspace.com/3661637. $3 discount code, good only on the CreateSpace site for the paperback: 2N49S3C9 (won't work on Amazon) .
Also available as an e-book on Kindle (Amazon provides free apps for downloading to most electronic devices) , price $5.50 (search full book title on Amazon/Kindle site) . No discount available; but reviewers with blogs are welcome to contact me for a free e-book copy.
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