Read Camelot & Vine Online

Authors: Petrea Burchard

Tags: #hollywood, #king arthur, #camelot, #arthurian legend, #arthurian, #arthurian knights, #arthurian britain, #arthurian fiction, #arthurian fantasy, #hollywood actor, #arthurian myth, #hollywood and vine, #cadbury hill

Camelot & Vine (37 page)

“Not exactly.” And just like that I was
weeping in his arms.

I missed King Arthur and Guinevere. I missed
Cai’s officiousness, Heulwen’s spicy food and the timber walls of
Cadebir’s small world. I wished for idyllic days that never were,
with King Arthur at Ynys Witrin. Even the smells of smoke and dung
had become dear and I wanted them back.

But mostly I wept for time: time gone, time
done that can’t be undone, time we can’t reach down through to
touch those we’ve loved and lost.

Arthur produced a packet of tissues from his
pocket, like a magician pulling a dove from his sleeve. I’d been on
a month-long quest for tissues and there they were. I laughed
through my tears. “Thank you.” Calming myself, I pulled one from
the packet and turned away to blow my nose. The part of my body
closest to Arthur was warm. When I caught my breath I said, “You
must think I’m crazy.”

“I do, quite.”

I laughed again, which made me cry

The hint of glee had returned to curl his
upper lip. I knew then what it was about him that was so
fundamentally different from King Arthur. The king was melancholy.
This Arthur was a happy man.

“Breakthrough?” he asked.

“Maybe.” I smiled, sniffling. When I could
breathe evenly we walked again. “I don’t think any of this was your

“Perhaps. But even so, you might let me

“Do I really need a lawyer?”

“Probably not.”

We’d found our way to the north side of the
hill. Miles of farms and fields stretched away through what had
once been misty marshes. In the distance, the sun was setting on a
familiar shape.

“That’s Glastonbury Tor,” said Arthur. I’ll
take you there when you’re feeling better. If you’re staying a
while, that is.”

“The Tor,” I repeated to myself. Its
contours had softened and the lake was gone, but with the exception
of a small tower on its top, from this distance it was essentially
the same.

It had happened. It didn’t matter if other
people thought so. It had happened to me and I knew it. It was

I had left nothing of value in Los Angeles.
The only real friends I’d ever had, imaginary or not, were out of
reach. On the northern ramparts of Cadbury Castle, I stood beside
my new chance. “I’m staying.”

Arthur squeezed my hand, the one that wore
Guinevere’s ring.

“You haven’t told me how you and Lucy got
inside that fence.”

Myrddin had said, “If you should ever get a
chance to start again, do begin with the truth next time.”

Arthur had already said he thought I was

“This ring,” I said, showing him my hand, “I
think it belongs to your family. I promised someone I’d deliver

The sun gilded the Tor, glinting off the
little tower, and the ring.

“I’m listening,” said Arthur.

I breathed in the fresh, August air. “When I
disappeared,” I said, “I found myself here.”

And I took it from there.












Maybe some people can create a book on their
own, but I've had a good deal of help.


Colleen Dunn Bates, Tracy Connor, Donnie
Dale, Gretchen Genz Davidson, Barbara Ellis, Margaret Finnegan,
Reedy Gibbs and Susan Savitt Schwartz all read early drafts and
offered valuable notes.


I wrote
Camelot & Vine
California, but I had on-the-ground reconnaissance in England. Tom
and Thicha Ellis checked out the approach to Cadbury Hill to make
sure my description was correct. Karl Evans scouted Cadbury Hill
itself, and even drew me a map.


Followers of my blog, Pasadena Daily Photo,
inspire and encourage me every day. I’m also grateful for the
support of my writers group: Janet Aird, Karin Bugge, Linda Dove,
Margaret Finnegan, Paula Johnson, Karen E. Klein and Desirée


If not for Paula Johnson I'd still be calling
the book
Actress Meets King/has Adventure (Working Title)
Paula came up with the title; she also designed my website.


Thanks go to Tim Weske and the crew at for demonstrating a real sword fight. My bits of
Latin came from Greg Bell. My French was repaired by Katie Murphy
and her cousin-in-law, Jacques-Arthur Weil. I owe more thanks than
I can count to Barbara Ellis for steering me on history and lore,
and for sorting out my British. (One says "trousers," not "pants."
I knew that.)


The book was proofread by Margaret Finnegan,
Barbara Ellis, and John Sandel. I can't thank them enough, nor can
I imagine we missed anything.


I cannot overstate the value of Kate Wong.
She designed the book, from its smart interior to its gorgeous
cover. I'm blessed to have worked with her early in her career. She
will soon be out of my league.


I have the best husband ever (it's a proven
fact). Thank you, John Sandel, for everything—and I do mean






About the Author


Petrea Burchard is notorious as the first
English voice of Ryoko, the sexy space pirate in the animé classic,
Tenchi Muyo!
Her acting career moved from Chicago to
Hollywood via stage, television, film, and voice-over.


Petrea’s writing career began with her humor
column about the actor's life,
Act As If
, at
Her articles, essays and short fiction have appeared in print and
Camelot & Vine
is her first novel.



connect with Petrea Burchard online:






other titles by Petrea Burchard at


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