To tie in with the one-year anniversary of the publication of ‘Moon Goddess’ in November 2016, I’ve reduced the price of the eBOOK to £0.99p for one month on Amazon and Kobo, and $0.99c on iTunes and Nook.
In another scene from the novel, Lamorna is feeling aggrieved, quietly railing against having her freedom curtailed by her father…
Banging the bucket lightly against her leg, Lamorna stared at the house. She wanted to go in, but her mother had made it very clear that Lamorna was to stay outside until Vanora left. “Why can’t I be like Mistress Vanora?” she said softly. Her eyes widened as the thought took hold. I could... then I wouldn’t have to marry at all. I could stay here...
With a start, she focussed on Reena, stood in the doorway.
“Why are you standing there like a simpleton?”
Lamorna ducked her head, mumbling. She was more embarrassed that Vanora had witnessed the admonition.
Smiling, the white-haired woman said, “If you have no objections, Reena, I would like Lamorna to accompany me–”
“Oh please, Mam, say I can.”
Reena frowned. “I’m not sure. Your father has said–”
“But I’ll still be in the village.”
Pursing her lips, Reena took her time before replying. “I suppose... Promise you will come straight home.”
“I will, I will. I promise.” Clutching the handle of the bucket, Lamorna leant forward slightly.
“Thank you, Mam.” Her face wreathed in smiles, she dropped the bucket and hugged her mother.
As she fell in step with Vanora, the woman handed Lamorna the basket she’d been carrying. “It gives the impression that you are with me for a purpose.”
Lamorna kept staring at the basket as if she could see through the cloth that covered it; she had to fight the temptation to peek under it.
“In return for my ministrations, the people gift me with food, wood in winter, sometimes coin...”
She glanced at Vanora who was smiling. Lamorna briefly wondered if the woman had the ability to read minds before wondering if the basket held the pie her mother had forbidden her to touch that morning.
After a momentary silence, she softly said, “You were checking Mam?”
Vanora nodded. “All seems well.”
Lamorna smiled, relieved.
“How are you finding your... situation?”
Her smile was replaced with a frown as she shook her head slightly.
“Your mother spoke of the restrictions your father has placed on you.”
They were halfway to Vanora’s cottage. “Do not feel you have to speak of it if you do not wish to. And if you do, I will not judge.”
“It’s not fair. Papa is being so selfish. He wants me out of the way just so he can travel. But if he is not here and I am not here, who will look after Mam? And what about the baby?” Lamorna had stopped walking, her conflicting emotions rippling across her face.
“It may seem to you that his behaviour is selfish, but he is only doing the best he knows to care for his family. Come. Let us keep walking.”
Lamorna exhaled loudly, her deep frown telling of her disagreement.
“Sometimes, it feels as if those who love us do things that are far removed from love. Restricting your movements around the village is your father’s way of keeping you safe, the only way he knows to keep you safe. I am sure if he could, he would bundle you up and keep you with him always. Now that you are older, seeing you married to Daroth is the only way he knows to ensure your safety. Your father loves you, Lamorna. If he did not, he would leave you to suffer all manner of unseemly situations. Neither does he wish to leave your mother. But, I believe he is yearning to find a place where his family can live the best life he can give them.”
Lamorna had slowed her pace but did not stop. She had not realised the pressures Logan faced simply because he was a husband and father. She remembered her unexpected idea. “Mistress ...” She was overcome with uncertainty, wondering if Vanora would laugh at her audacity.
“I hope you realise by now that you may speak freely with me,” said Vanora.
“Um, I was thinking, I do not have to be married. I could maybe I could be like you.” The words tumbled out of her mouth.
Vanora jerked to a stop. Lamorna did not dare look at her. She was aware of someone calling a greeting to Vanora; she glanced up to see two men making their way into the village, one holding a brace of rabbits. Vanora’s reply to them sounded as calm and ordinary as usual.
Then Lamorna felt a gentle touch on her arm. “You think me foolish, a simpleton as Mam said.”
“Of course not. You caught me by surprise, that is all.” Vanora moved forward to open the door to her home then turned to take the basket from Lamorna. “To be what I am, a wise woman, is not something that is done on a whim. It is a thing that you feel, deep inside, as if... as if you are being called to it. You must have a firm deep connection, a commitment to it for it is not an easy life. There are times when you will be tested, when you will face danger and all you will have is your faith and the love of she whom we serve.”
Lamorna did not really understand Vanora’s words, and her confusion was overshadowed by disappointment. Knowing she had no choice but to marry Daroth brought tears to her eyes; she blinked rapidly to keep them at bay.
“Lamorna.” Vanora placed her fingers under the girl’s chin and tilted her face up. “Have faith. All will be as it should.”
She tried to smile, stretching her mouth in a straight line. “I’d better return to Mam,” was all she could bring herself to say before dragging herself home.