"Wald thought you'd ruin it," muttered Caria.
"What?" Mahri craned her neck to see over the crowd. Taller than most women, she could
almost see over the men's heads.
"Said the whole village knew there'd be a fight tonight. Either a cat- or fist-fight, they didn't care,
although they wagered on that, too. Wald thought you'd spoil their fun."
Mahri bit her lip. In the swamps they worked rough, and played the same. So she wasn't
surprised. She just didn't appreciate that she'd been a part of the wagering.
Jaja! she mind sent. Her pet scampered up her dress, almost tearing
it in the process. "See how Korl is faring, will you?"
He nodded briskly and hop-skipped across several shoulders to the innermost circle. Mahri saw
him clap his hands with delight, shake a fist and swing it in mock fighting, then bound back to
her own shoulder. He nodded, bared pointed teeth in semblance of a human smile, then went
back to the action.
"Has Korl had any zabba?" asked Caria.
Mahri shook her head. She would've Sensed any power within him.
"Then it's a fair fight, and they won't kill each other, so let's go get some food."
Mahri trailed behind the clatter of Caria's shells, glanced back once at a particularly loud thump,
and cringed. They fought over something that neither one could have.
At the mention of food, Jaja had left the pleasure of the fight for that of the table. The little
scamp stuffed sweets in his mouth at an alarming rate, and Mahri watched in fascination while
she nibbled on farnuts and redshoots.
Shells clattered and Caria nudged her arm. "The fight's over. And I think Korl won."
"How do you know?"
"He's coming to claim his prize."
Mahri looked up in alarm. Korl strode determinedly towards her, his golden hair in wild disarray,
that gorgeous smink vest torn to shreds, the beginnings of a swelling in his right eye, and a line of
scarlet running down his full mouth. Every inch the conquering hero.
He grabbed her arm. "Come with me. Now."
"I'm not going anywhere with you, you arrogant…" sputtered Mahri.
The muscles of his face tightened hard as bone and Caria drew in a breath. With a negligent
sweep of his arms, he tossed Mahri over his shoulder, and stomped out of the clearing, villagers
stumbling over themselves in their haste to get out of his way. The frizzy-haired woman and her
friend glared envious daggers at Mahri, and even though she cursed Korl viciously, she paused a
moment to give the women a grin of smug satisfaction.
Then resumed cursing, crying out for some root. If somebody would give her some, she'd show
Korl that he couldn't just toss her around like a bag of seed. But the villagers didn't interfere, and
she had a feeling Trian couldn't.
"Put me down!"
Korl plunged into the forest, the sounds of the village party dwindling behind them. "Not a
chance." He paused for a moment, as if getting his bearings, and Mahri heard the unmistakable
sound of root being crunched. When he resumed his purposeful stride, she tried to take the
power shuddering through his body, but this Bond thing was so new to her. She hadn't yet
forced the power from him and wasn't quite sure how to go about it without him Pushing it to
her.
By the time she thought she'd figured it out he'd reached wherever he'd been taking her and
dumped her into a carpet of fallen leaves. While the blood drained back out of her head she
looked around and gasped at the sight before her.
In the middle of a road branch grew one of the largest, most beautiful flowers she'd ever seen.
Taller than two men's heights, wider than four, it grew from a vine that twirled around the trunk
of the tree and along the branch. At the bottom of the red blossom small petals puffed out like
feathers, but the larger, silken ones gathered up to a peak at the top. She'd never seen the like
before.
"What is it?"
Korl grasped her hand and lifted her to her feet, his grip firm and final, pulling her toward the
scarlet flower. "Wald showed me. He said this vine blooms once every thousand moons. It's
called a xynth flower."
His voice had dropped to that deep timbre. Mahri shivered, thinking of the man who'd saved her
life, the jealous feelings that those two women had aroused in her, the Bond and the fusing of
their souls. And the smell of him that mingled with the spicy scent of that red flower. "What are
you doing?"
Korl had dragged her next to the bloom, reached out and forced an opening through the huge
petals, revealing a crack just large enough for a person to squeeze through. "Get in," he
commanded.
"I think not."
He sighed, picked her up, and tossed her through that curtain. She landed with a bounce and a
curse. The spicy scent was stronger inside the flower, it filled her senses as she noted the small
opening above her where the petals reached a peak, allowing the light of the moons into this nest;
the soft, powdery surface she lay on, which had a golden glow of its own, and the feathery
fronds of stamens that encircled the inner wall of the petals.
Mahri filled her lungs with that wonderful perfume, and it seemed to flow into every muscle of
her body, through the channels of her root-paths, relaxing yet stimulating all of her senses. She
sighed. A feathery touch brushed her cheek, then the sides of her arms, the top of her breasts.
Yet it didn't startle her, even though it took a few seconds to realize that those gentle caresses
came from the flower itself, that the stamens surrounding her swayed with almost sensuous
undulations, stroking and releasing even more of that marvelous scent.
"Korl," she whispered.
His voice came back at her muffled through the petals. "What?"
"Come in."
"I think not."
Mahri shifted on the cushiony surface, trembling from the feel of the glittering powder that
covered this chamber, the constant strokes of the feather-like stamens against her skin, the
languid heat that increased every time she breathed in that spicy scent. She stretched out full-
length, the silk of her dress sliding across the tiny hairs of her body, the glowing powder filling
her pores and making her skin ache with the want of a touch. What was happening to her?
"Korl," she groaned, and she heard him respond with a grunt, a rip of petals as he plunged into
the giant flower, overwhelming her with the sudden heat of his body, the touch of his hands
against her sensitized skin. "By-the-moons, what's happening to me?"
Korl's voice felt hard. "I take what I want."
"Aya, aya," she agreed. "But why don't I care?"
His hands slid up her ankles, the powder a smooth catalyst for his motions, catching the hem of
her silk dress and scrunching it up to her thighs. His voice when it answered had changed, a
distracted sort of throatiness. "The perfume of the flower, and the pollen it exudes, releases your
inhibitions.
There he goes again, thought Mahri, using words I can't understand. Forcing her to remain
clueless or display her own ignorance. But it didn't matter. She giggled and lifted her bottom so
Korl could slide her dress underneath her. The sweet, sweet feel of cool air against her naked
skin made her long to stretch like a treecat and wriggle the rest of her way out of that blasted silk.
Korl growled when she did just that, his eyes for a moment flashing with root-power, illuminating
the planes of his face, the intense longing in his soul. The nightly rain began, drops hitting
Mahri's exposed breasts, sudden slaps of gentle pain. The flower responded by closing the petals
above them, plunging them into darkness illuminated only by the golden glow of the pollen, that
heightened her senses even further, straining to hear his breath, the beat of his heart.
She jumped at the sudden loud sounds of ripping smink fur. Held her breath, waiting for him to
touch her again. Mahri couldn't think of her past, nor of the future. The present was all that
mattered.
Having the man that saved her life quenching the fire that burned between her legs, in her heart,
throughout her soul.
She cursed him when he didn't come to her quickly enough, when he teased her with only the
touch of his tongue, licking the drops of rain from her breasts. She could feel him smile when she
arched her back, a silent command to touch her that he ignored, letting her writhe shamelessly,
until she managed to clutch his hair, bring his mouth over her own, sucking at his tongue until he
writhed as well.
Love is grand, thought Mahri.
Their bodies entwined, covering them with pollen so thickly that their skin began to glow with a
golden light.
Finally, Mahri had the freedom to touch him anywhere she wished, without the fear and
confusion that usually followed. She brushed the hair away from his face and allowed her hands
to linger in it; traced a path to that full bottom lip, along his cheekbones and across his brows,
down his neck to the swell of his shoulders and the rigid planes of his stomach.
Korl explored her as well, with a less than gentle hand. He touched her with a fierce
possessiveness, pulling her against him so that she felt the hardness of his want for her, and she
let him ... let him push against her own wet heat, consumed by a frantic desire that satiated her
soul and allowed her heart to soar.
Yet, in a tiny corner of her mind lay the knowledge that he had manipulated her, using the gifts
of Sea Forest to get what he wanted. When he drove into her, she screamed aloud in joy and
anger, and as the rain began to pound in earnest against the petals of their shelter, so did Korl
pound himself into her, trying to lay a claim, and Mahri fighting it all the way.
She sensed the undercurrent of violence that lay in this night, and somehow knew that when the
rain brought a storm that shook the foundations of their xynth flower, it damaged the root vine
and killed the blossom for another thousand moons.
When smuggler Mahri Zin kidnaps a Healer to cure her
family and he turns out to be the Prince of Sea Forest,
she must use too much of the magical zabbaroot to
escape his enemies. From her root-induced coma she
learns that the natives of this planet plan for her to
Bond with him, a joining so final that to tear it asunder
would mean the death of them both.
Mahri only wants her freedom, but as they plunge
through the dangerous waters of the swamps she
finds it hard to resist the physical lure of Prince Korl.
And the Prince must change the entire world of Sea
Forest in order to gain her heart, and ultimately
determine mankind's survival on this landless planet.
The hardcover version is rare and out of print. I have contests
where I will give away one of my few remaining copies, so be
sure to sign up for my newsletter.
"BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS is a beautifully drawn story filled with
lush scenery and an engaging plot...It's a story you'll enjoy reading again
and again."
Kathy Samuels-Reviewer-Romance Reviews Today
'BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS is a terrific science fiction romance that
will appeal to fans of Anne McCaffrey and Catherine Asaro...If this is an
indicator of her output, Kathryne Kennedy is destined to be one of the
sub-genre's superstars."
Harriet Klausner #1 Reviewer-Midwest Book Review Bookwatch & The Best
Reviews
"What an absolutely wonderful story...For a wonderful escape to a new
world and a good love story too, be sure to pick up BENEATH THE
THIRTEEN MOONS."
Sarah Sproha-Reviewer-The Romance Reader's Connection
"In BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS, Kennedy has created a very original
plot, nothing like I have ever read...an incredibly romantic novel and
Kennedy has written touching and powerful scenes...an amazing debut,
and Kathryne Kennedy promises to be a top fantasy romance writer."
Nathalie-Reviewer-Fantasy Romance Writers
"Building a fascinating, complex world of a landless planet, Ms. Kennedy
brings readers into a fantasy tale that is more than just a romance."
Top Reviewer-Editor- Kari@Loveromances
"In a single word, "Wow!" I mean W-O-W-! I have never read such a
wonderful tale as this. Kathryne Kennedy's computer must smolder from
the power she creates in her stories! I simply cannot describe how
awesome or how thrilling I found this novel to be."
Detra Fitch-Reviewer-Huntress' Book Reviews
"...the imagery is excellent and the characters engaging.  It will be
interesting to see whether KK develops further as an author in
science-fantasy with the planet she has described so well for us, or if
she branches out and describes another world in another genre, either
way, there is great scope for the future."
Chrissi-Reviewer-BookLore UK
REVIEWS
"Beneath the Thirteen Moons" was acquired by Editor Russell Davis for Five Star Publishing, a division of
Thomson Gale, who primarily provides books to libraries. You can ask for it at your local library; if they don't
stock it, they can order it for you. Otherwise, it can only be purchased at on-line bookstores (there's a link
below).
It's an unusual novel, in that it combines two genres (and my two passions); that of fantasy and romance.  
Although sometimes referred to as science fiction, it really falls under the realm of science fantasy.  Since the
planet is advanced to the level of the middle ages, you won't find any robots or high-tech stuff. And it is
primarily a romance.
One of the most common questions I'm asked of readers is, "How did you come up with this world?", so I'll try to
answer that here.  Like most writers, there isn't one thing that sets off your imagination, it's usually a
combination of many things that eventually gel together and give you your inspiration. I wanted a world that
would be unlikely to develop any technology, at least in our sense of the word. Therefore, no land or metals. I
was Inspired by U.S. swamplands, bayous and rivers; the movie "African Queen"; Venice and the idea of
water-roads. So giant trees grew up from the ocean floor, providing a place for the inhabitants of Sea Forest to
live without any land. Fresh water was a consideration, and on such a wet planet it would rain frequently, but I
went even further, and the tops of the ocean trees developed deep cavities that held fresh water, which
provided for the humans as well. Thirteen moons provided the tidal pull for the waterways between the trees to
have currents in many directions; and the magical zabbaroot provided my humans with special abilities that
allowed them to love in new ways, and to survive on this beautiful, deadly planet.
Welcome to the world of Sea Forest...
"If this reviewer had to pick one word to describe BENEATH THE
THIRTEEN MOONS it would have to be...Wow! Author Kathryne Kennedy
has created a lush planet described so well that I could actually see it in
my mind. Intriguing, intricately written, and superbly designed, the tale
of Mahri and Korl is one that readers will return to more than once...The
author has evenly distributed the plot and characters so that it will
delight the fan of science fiction as well as the romantic at heart."
Rho-Reviewer-A Romance Review
"BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS is a highly original fantasy tale.  
Kathryne Kennedy has done an excellent job with world building...I
really loved this world..."
Chere-Reviewer-Romance Junkies
"A phenomenal futuristic fantasy...I felt he (Korl) was the epitome of a
good alpha hero.  Jaja (is) Mahri's part monkey-part fish, as well as
telepathic.  In my mind I had such a visual of all his facial expressions
that between his actions and his personality I laughed out loud.  
BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS is such an awesome story!  I only hope
Ms Kennedy has plans for future novels as I highly recommend this
novel."
Cynthia Lovett-Reviewer-ParaNormal Romance Reviews
ISBN 0-7862-5336-3
"BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS was a greatly entertaining science
fiction romance, which took place in a vibrant and intruguing world.  I
found myself drawn into Mahri and Korl's beautiful, but deadly, world.  
Kudos to Ms. Kennedy on her great world-building ability.  If you are
looking for an extraordinary science fiction romance with a
blow-you-away world, give BTTM a try."
Marlene Breakfield-Reviewer-Escape To Romance
4 stars (Compelling-Page Turner)"...the curious liquid land in which they
live is a unique and captivating setting.  The plot also unfolds in a
compelling manner, and Mahri, with all her strength and tenacity, is an
endearing heroine."
Avery MacKibben-Reviewer-Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine
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