Discovery of The Wicked Muse Tavern
Glancing up at the old fashioned façade of the building I wonder if I’ve got the right place. Once again I pull up the blog site on my cell phone and read the name of the establishment.
My eyes snap up to the placard above the door, The Wicked Muse Tavern. Yep it’s the right place. The question is what the hell is Lucien up to now. Taking a deep breath I cross the street and push the door open. After closing the door behind me I turn around and freeze.
The sights and smells surrounding me made me feel as though I’d stepped back in time when I crossed the threshold. The inside is definitely not at all like what I expected. Along the wall to the left of the door is a massive mahogany bar gleaming in the light of the torch shaped lamps hanging over it. On the opposite wall is a hearth large enough for several grown men to stand in. Between them are numerous roughhewn wooden tables and chairs.
If not for the huge Chesterfield chair in the far corner I would have seriously thought I’d stepped back in time. Sitting in that enormous chair (well its enormous to me) is the object of my irritation, leaning over the table in front of him writing something. Lucien, my wicked and very exasperating muse.
“There you are. What the hell is all of this?” I gesture to the room.
Lucien straightens up and leans back in his chair, arching a brow in my direction.
Grrr. His face is hidden mostly in shadows as usual. Except for his mischievious blue eyes.
“What does it look like, lass?”
“It looks like you’ve been wasting time instead of helping me get Mateo, Kiana and Tiaki in line so I can finish Untamed Hawaiian Heat.”
Lucien laughs, the sound a low rumble from deep inside his chest. “Wasting time? I dinnae think ye ken what this place is, mo drùiseil sgrìobhadair, do ye?”
I stare at him with what I’m sure is a look of confusion on my face. “Don’t you ‘my wanton scribe’ me, mister. Of course I don’t know what this place is. I’ve been locked in the dungeon trying to get my stubborn characters to cooperate with me. I haven’t had time to watch what trouble you’ve been getting into.”
“Calm yerself, lass. I ken you have work to do, but this is a very important and special place. A place for yer readers to connect with ye and yer characters. Trust me. Yer readers will love this place.”
“But… but…” I stammer.
Lucien raises his hand, signaling someone behind me. “Why not have a dram and then go get back to yer revisions. Leave the rest to me.”
I turn around to see who he’s motioning to. For the first time I notice the hulk of a man behind the bar, reaching for a glass and pouring something into it. He has to be at least six foot four with the broad shoulders and bulging muscles of a WWF wrestler. His bald head shown slightly in the dim lighting, along the right side of his face is a two inch scar I’m really not sure I want to know the story behind. Just beneath the rolled up sleeves of his shirt I can see the lines of tattoos, though I can’t make out what they are.
I return my eyes to regard Lucien as I sit down hard in a nearby chair. What in the world was this place supposed to be? I wonder.
“That would be Master Arthur. He’s the barkeep I hired to make sure none of our visitors leave thirsty or hungry.”
I’m at a loss for words as the potential of this place starts to form in my mind. A very feminine hand enters my line of vision startling me from my woolgathering. I glance up to find an exotic beauty watching me.
She couldn’t be more than five foot five although her presence was that of someone much larger even though she hadn’t even spoken a word to me yet. Her long black hair was twisted into an intricate braid and her emerald green eyes shown with a mischievous glint that rivaled the one I had glimpsed in Lucien’s a time or two.
She smiled at me. “Since it looks like he’s not going to introduce me,” she nodded her head in Lucien’s direction, “I’ll do it myself. I’m Seraphina. I’m the waitress of the Wicked Muse.”
I glance down at the hand she extended toward me. I clear my throat and grasp it. “I’m Shay. Romance—”
“Oh, I know who you are. Lucien has told us all about you. But it would seem you’re just now finding out about us even though I told him to let you in on his little secret when he first came up with the idea.” She drops my hand and holds the tray she holding to her chest as she glances at Lucien.
“Dinnae start that again, Seraphina. She knows now and that’s what—”
A loud commotion from what I assume to be the kitchens followed by some growling and then barking cut short whatever Lucien was about to say. The door burst open and the cutest dachshund runs through followed quickly by Master Arthur who is drenched in what looks like beef stew.
Seraphina stoops to pick the dog up. “What’s my little guy up to? Are you hungry?” she croons.
I look back and forth between Master Arthur who seems to be communicating silently with Lucien and the dog that has now burrowed into Seraphina’s arms.
Without saying a word Master Arthur disappears back into the kitchen. I suppose to begin cleaning up whatever mess Seraphina’s “little guy” has made. Lucien turns to Seraphina and glares at the dog.
“Seraphina, I told you to keep that thing out of the kitchen.”
Seraphina looks up at Lucien. “The Bruce is not a thing. He’s a dog and he just wanted a taste of Arthur’s beef stew. It’s his favorite.” The dog licked her cheek.
“Yes well. That dog seems to think he’s a wolfhound and that he deserves the same kind of treatment as the ancestors of those noble bloodhounds received. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. That dog is a nuisance. Keep it away from Arthur and me.”
“The Bruce says he’s sorry. Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll take him out for a walk.” Seraphina turned to me. “Mistress Shay, it was nice to finally meet you. I wish you luck reigning in this domineering pain in the ass. Although I have a feeling he’s even worse as a muse than as a boss.” She took her leave before Lucien could form a retort for her jab at him.
I return my attention to Lucien and have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing at the irritation clearly reflected on his face. About time someone gave him some fits after all the ones he’s given me.
“I know exactly what that look means. And I am not amused that you find my pain funny, Ms. MacLean. Now I think you should go get back to work and leave the details of running this establishment to me. You just need to show up and converse with your readers. Allow them to get to know you, your characters and me.” He flashed me his most charming smile.
I take another look around still astonished at what Lucien has done. I guess I can give his idea a chance and see how it goes. It would be fun getting to know some of my readers better. I look at him again. “Alright. I’ll give this place a chance, but I’m still not happy with you for putting all of this together without telling me. I’ll stop by next week to see how things are going.” I turn around and start for the door.
“Actually, you need to stop by on Friday October 26. The Wicked Muse Tavern will be one of the stops in the Howloween Blog Hop that’s hosted by The Blog Hop Spot.”
I sigh. “Okay Friday it is then. Just be sure you show up when I need you for writing sprints and keeping those pesky characters from getting out of hand. They all seem to think they know what’s best for them.” I grasp the door knob and open the door. Better escape before he decides to come up with any other bright ideas.
Luicen’s laughter rings behind me. “Well it is their stories yer trying to tell,” he calls to me before the closing door cuts off his voice.
I shake my head. Darn muses and characters!
So what do you think, dear reader? What kinds of things have you always wanted to know about how the books you love to read get written? Do you want to know more about wicked muses, willful characters, millions of plot bunnies springing up? Let me know what you’d like to learn more about and you just might see a post dealing with that subject. 🙂