Q&A with Lily Luchesi
1) Tell us about your book
Morgana’s Revenge is my world’s retelling of the classic King Arthur legend.
Morgana Le Fay, known as the Princess of Poison, wants nothing more than to graduate school and become a potioneer, alongside her love, Guinevere.
When Camelot’s king, Uther Pendragon, is poisoned to death, his son Arthur gives the Coven an ultimatum: renounce magic and join Camelot, or die.
Now split between traitors and witches, Morgan must figure out how to stop the teenage king from destroying her home, especially since he now has Guinevere and Merlin at his side.
2) Why did you focus on mythology/legends from that particular region?
I didn’t choose it so much as it followed naturally. I originally wrote The Coven Princess, the first Coven Series book, and I pants everything. So when it came time for Harley, the main character, to research old potions for a poison cure, I wound up making Morgan Le Fay be the one who created the unique poison.
As I wrote that, my brain decided to think about Morgan and King Arthur and then Merlin’s legend popped up as I continued writing. So my brain wanted to write their story my way. I never chose to do it. It flowed out of me.
3) Who is your favorite mythical figure?
Nyx is one of my favorites. Mother of Thantos and Hypnos, death and sleep respectively, and the goddess of night. Her children, her life, her birth, it’s all so fascinating.
4) If you could choose to hang out with one mythical God, who would it be and why?
I wrote about the god Hermes in The Paranormal Detectives Series, and I really got to know him, so to speak, during my research. So I’d love to spend some time with him and have a little fun.
5) Do you plan on writing similar books in the future?
I have already written the future of Morgan and Merlin’s descendants in the Sinclair family with The Coven Series. People who read Morgana’s Revenge can read TCS and discover what Chiara/Morgan’s pendant symbolizes and how Morgan and Merlin’s skills evolved and are apparent in their heirs.
I do want to write some Egyptian legends, as well as more Romans, too. Eventually, I will.
Snippet of Morgana’s Revenge:
THE COVEN WAS abuzz with the news that someone murdered the human king.
“What do you think it was?” Morgan asked her friends at teatime. “Belladonna is easy to obtain, even for humans. Or perhaps hemlock? Could someone have had the foresight to procure strychnine from Asia?”
“You are far too excited about this topic, love,” Gwen said gently, patting Morgan’s shoulder.
Fiona scoffed. “Then that means you had to have done it, Poison Princess. No one else has access to your little lab.”
“It is exciting,” Gwen interrupted. “Mysterious. And perhaps now his son will give up trying to destroy anything non-human.”
“How old is Arthur again?” Accolon asked.
“A year our senior, or thereabouts,” Morgan replied.
“And they allow him to be king?” Gwen commented. “Imagine if Aritza chose one of us as her successor and then retired in a year’s time. No self-respecting Coven would accept a teenage ruler.”
“Greece has had younger,” Merlin spoke up. “So has Egypt.”
“We are not Greece,” Gwen snapped. “And no one was speaking to you, Emrys.”
His shoulders slumped almost imperceptibly and Morgan was torn between comforting him ― as she had for most of their childhood ― or admonishing Gwen. In the end, she did neither as he walked away to eat at another table, most likely alone. The same place Morgan would be if her friends had not brought her into their group four years prior.
Was it guilt or nostalgia that ate at her the rest of the afternoon?
* * *
That weekend, once lessons were done and Morgan completed some of her current research, she invited Guinevere on a moonlit picnic. They could have alone time while their crystals charged beside them under the full moon.
Morgan set out bread, dried meats, cheese, and elderberry wine she made herself, along with magically lit candles.
Gwen arrived moments after Morgan finished setting it up and gasped in pleasure. “Oh, how cute!” She gracefully knelt down on the blanket and kissed Morgan softly.
Morgan’s stomach fluttered at the feeling and the sight of her happy blue eyes. It had been difficult to assimilate into Gwen’s friend group, and when the beautiful witch had kissed her last year outside Household Charms class, she thought her heart might explode from happiness, having been interested in her since she was thirteen.
She felt like she was always trying to catch up with the others, and now seemed to finally be on equal footing.
They ate, talked, and kissed under the light of the moon. Eventually, Guinevere laid her head in Morgan’s lap and they sat like that, comfortable and as in love as two teenagers could be.
“What do you want to do when we finally are done with lessons?” Gwen asked.
“Probably stay on or go to Europe and apprentice under a potioneer, if any will have me,” Morgan replied. “You?”
“Rule the world,” Gwen said.
Morgan laughed. “Seriously.”
“Who said I was joking?” Gwen grinned and nuzzled against Morgan’s hand that had been playing in her honey blonde hair.
Morgan leaned down and placed a playful kiss to the tip of Gwen’s nose.
In the distance, there came the sound of galloping hooves.
“You hear that?” Morgan asked, cocking her head.
“What? Oh. Sometimes I believe you have supernatural hearing. That’s far away,” Gwen commented. “Is it coming from the direction of Camelot?”
“I believe so.” Morgan moved to stand, which made Gwen have to get up, too.
“Do we warn the Queen? Or the Guard?” Gwen wondered.
“The Guard. Go on, I will stay, so they do not get too close to the castle,” Morgan decided.
The Guards were faster than whomever was coming, and their presence alerted other Coven members. Soon, the castle courtyard was filled with witches of all ages. Queen Aritza stood, flanked by Guards, front and centre.
“What is going on?” Merlin asked Morgan, startling her at his quiet approach.
“I am unsure,” she replied. “But I have a bad feeling.” Gwen came on her other side and took her hand as everyone waited to see if it was friend or foe.
In a way, it turned out to be neither.
A lone herald riding a steed came into view. He carried a rolled up scroll under one arm and dismounted. Morgan thought he was younger than she, perhaps only fifteen.
“Halt!” one of the Guards said. “Who are you and what is your business here?”
“My name is of no importance. I come with a note from King Arthur Pendragon, ruler of Camelot, for the entirety of the Coven of Avalon.” He cleared his throat and tried to sound authoritative as he began to read from the scroll.
“‘I, Arthur Pendragon, hereby extend the following offer to all members of the royal Coven.
“‘My father, the late Uther Pendragon, once vowed to eradicate all witches from Avalon. I, however, am of a more genial disposition, and wish for camaraderie. If, in a fortnight’s time, the Coven members choose to renounce their magic and join the kingdom of Camelot, I will spare them.
“Those who do not will face my army’s wrath as my father intended, to eradicate the world of unGodly creatures.
“‘Please heed my warning and join. I do not wish to cause harm to any of you unnecessarily.’”
The herald was allowed to leave, though Morgan privately thought that ‘shooting the messenger’ was a superb idea. Queen Aritza turned and faced the majority of the Coven.
“You heard the little King. You may give up the Goddess’ blessings and live a mortal, or you may honour her and die a witch. I will leave it up for each of you to decide."
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About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”