Author: E. D. C. Johnson
Published: March 29th, 2013
Word Count: approx. 73,500
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
Recommended Age: 12+
Synopsis: After Josephine Wood’s father dies of cancer, her mother up-roots the two of them and moves to the city. Josie hates her city life, but her teenage issues are of little consequence when they have a car accident and she wakes up in a strange land (reminiscent of Victorian Europe) alone. Lost, with her school backpack as the only connection to her world, Josie struggles to find her way home. She is found by Lucius Conrí, the son of a Marquess, who possesses royal blood and the gift to shift into a wolf’s form at will. Can the kind-hearted Lucius help her find her way while winning her love, or will she fall for Donovan Conrí his older, more serious brother and heir to the Conrí wealth?
“Ok, puppy. What do you want?”
She spoke so abruptly and directly that Lucius wasn’t sure what to think. Was she expecting him to respond? The girl grabbed her bag and opened a small front pocket to produce a shiny silver rectangle.
“This is all I have but I’ll give you some if you don’t eat me,” a tone of sarcasm in her voice.
Lucius emerged from the darkness so the two of them could look at each other clearly face-to-face. Her eyes were deep brown. She placed the corner of the silver wrapped rectangle in her mouth as she let down her hair. Beautiful!
Lucius stared wide-eyed in amazement as her surprisingly long hair fell about her face, past her shoulders, and down to the small of her back. It was dark but not black like his and it softened her features. She was lovely now that he had a chance to see her closely.
He watched as she put away her hair jewelry and opened the silver wrapper to reveal some sort of cookie. She took a bite and then tore off a piece, throwing it.
“Here you go, Boy.”
Lucius tilted his head and raised his eyebrow at the idea of her throwing him table scraps. This girl was treating him like a common house dog!
“Don’t you want it?”
He stepped cautiously toward the cookie piece on the ground. It had landed on some grass and leaves. Lord knows I’ve eaten worse, he conceded. Gingerly, he picked it up with his teeth and chewed. It was surprisingly good. He tasted sweet honey, nuts, oats and berries. He lay down, resting his head on his paws.
“Did you like that?”
He raised his head again as she reached out her hand holding the rest of the delicious oat bar. He crawled forward not only to avoid scaring the girl but also in hopes that she would not throw the cookie on the ground again. Delicately, Lucius took the cookie from her hand and sat up to eat it.
The girl waited for him to finish and held out her empty hand this time. She IS treating me like a common dog, Lucius thought exasperated. He bypassed the pleasantry of sniffing the girl before allowing her to pet him. He licked her hand instead. She gasped in surprise and disgust which made him grin and pant with enjoyment.
The girl wiped the saliva off her hand and reached out cautiously with her other one. This time Lucius allowed her to touch him without reproach. He could see her relax instantly when she ran her hand along his head and shoulders. He hadn’t realized that he was leaning into her touch until she stopped.
“All right, Puppy, we’re friends now, right?” she said reaching for her bag. This time she opened the largest section of the pack and rummaged to the bottom to produce some clothing. He now noticed that her trousers and boots were wet. She must have crossed the river.
“It’s getting cold, time to change.” The girl unlaced her boots and pulled off her socks which she draped on a nearby bush. “No peeking, Puppy,” she giggled as she pulled down her trousers.
Lucius was astonished. He didn’t know where to look first. He fixated on her slender, cream white legs until he realized she was removing her undergarments as well. He quickly turned his head back toward the tree to give her privacy. When finished, she stood before him in loose fitting night clothes consisting of grey pants and a long-sleeved green shirt with white lettering.
“There. Hopefully that stuff will dry before morning.” Lucius turned to look at the bush again to see her clothing, including black undergarments, strewn upon it. Embarrassed at his behavior, he quickly looked away again. A gentleman would not intrude on a woman’s privacy.
The girl situated her boots beside her and laced up a pair of even more peculiar white shoes. She lay her bag flat upon the ground to use as a pillow and reclined.
“Too bad my jacket is still wet. It’s getting pretty chilly, isn’t it? Better than snow, I guess.” The girl spoke to Lucius as if not expecting a reply.
He grew concerned when she shuttered from a chilly gust of wind. He wondered what he could do for her. Lucius had nothing to give her here and he did not dare leave her unguarded. Shivering the girl turned onto her side trying to get more comfortable.
Lucius decided to do away with proper decorum and crawled toward her back. He didn’t stop until his body touched hers. He shared his own warmth which was plentiful in all of his fur. Lying very still he listened to her breathing while it slowed from quick shivers through chattering teeth to soft and airy through her nose.
He relaxed as well until he felt her arm reach out across his body. She started petting him, scratching his back. All of the hairs on his body came alive. It was the most exquisite feeling Lucius had ever experienced, energy running from the girl’s fingertips to his skin. He closed his eyes in his own private ecstasy lying there until she fell asleep and her hand went limp.
Sleeping next to this girl was not likely. He was all too aware of her presence, her breathing, her smell, and her touch. Lucius lay there, awake, keeping her warm until just before dawn. I must meet her, he thought as he carefully crawled away so as not to wake her.
His supplies sat only a couple of miles away now. I can be back before she wakes…and the dawn is breaking. There is little danger if I go now. He looked upon her, lingering for a moment and then hurried in the direction of his own camp.
Lucius would come back to the girl, but this time as a man.
About the Author:
EDC Johnson grew up in the Midwest, graduating from Michigan State University with her BFA in Art Education and her MA in Art Education from Western Michigan University. She currently lives with her husband and daughter in Palm Harbor, Florida. Her decade of experience as a public school art teacher has inspired her to write fiction novels that will entice young readers. You may see some of her illustrations in Renee Mallet's: Fairies, Mermaids, and Other Mystical Creatures.
I live with my husband and 5 month old daughter in Palm Harbor, Florida. I’m a transplant from Michigan, but relish in the sunny weather. Before my daughter arrived my two dogs, a 5lb. Chihuahua and an 75lb. lab mix, had all of my attention. Well, at least what energy I had left after coming home from hundreds of children as a public school art teacher.
2) How long have you been writing?
I have enjoyed writing ever since I was in grade school (I even won a Young Author Award). I was told I had a talent for it by teachers, but never really gave it any consideration as a career—until now. And, of course, going through college to get my Bachelors and Masters degrees involved a great deal of writing. Art theory is one of my favorite parts of what I do and expressing your ideas in writing is essential.
3) Do you have a favorite place to write?
Well, my favorite place to write is in bed. After all the hustle and bustle of the day is over I can truly focus on what is flowing out of my mind. Night is the most creative time of the day for me. The story unfolds like a daydream or movie in my head. I fell obligated to give public safety announcement though and say that writing in bed is horrible for your neck and back.
4) Why did you decide to write Moonflower?
It may seem cliche, but it came to me in a daydream. Right before I was about to fall asleep I imagined this scenario and it began to play like a movie in my mind. Then I incorporated my favorite necklace into the idea. It is made of moonstone. This then made me wonder if there was an actual moonflower, and, well, the rest is history.
5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I’m going to have to choose someone other than the main characters. Even though I like them all it just seems so predictable. That being said, I would have to pick Konrad the old alchemist that acts as mentor and tutor to Lucius Conrí. I can picture him so clearly. He is brilliant, yet disheveled. But when it comes down to it he is like an old oak. Konrad is wise from his years of life and strong when you need someone to lean upon. He has such a comfortable demeanor that makes him very approachable, like a grandfather figure.
6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
My least favorite character is Roderick. Not that I dislike the poor guy he is simply an extremely reserved butler. There isn’t much to get excited about him, but his character is a necessary supporting cast member.
7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
Of course I have read, reread and had my husband read the book. I go to a writing group and we exchange reading our pages and edit each others work. Finally I did have an editor, a woman who is my writing coach and coordinator of our writing group.
8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Well, as of late I am all about being a mommy. My five month old takes up a lot of my time. My other hobbies are creating my art and gardening.
9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I don’t get to read as much as I would like. I have been reading lately to vlog for a review site. This allows me to keep up with what other paranormal authors are writing and to continue to analyze what makes a good book. One of my favorite classical authors is Jane Austen. She is a real inspiration to me.
10) What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your book?
I genuinely hope people enjoy reading my book. Without giving away the end I want people to debate the out come and what it all means. Most of all I hope readers think it was entertaining and are left wanting more.