I am playing a cleric in 3.5e. To be effective in combat, I rely on my spells. However, before I join combat, I'd prefer to cast two spells on myself — preferably a third. Obviously, three rounds preparing to go into combat, while some of the spells are wearing off, is a non-optimal situation. So I'd like to cast one spell instantaneously or in parallel or whatever so I can join combat in the second round.
The metamagic feat 'Quicken spell' lets one cast certain spells as a free action, but that has an added spell level component that's too high for me at the moment.
Not being well-versed in the magic item department, I was hoping you all could help me by explaining or pointing out my options.
P.S. I see a lot of requests for more information on my character. I was hoping to create a question that more people would find useful (I guess I shouldn't have mentioned that I am a cleric either ;-) ). However, I am playing a neutral good plant/good domain cleric who is going up to level 6 next session.
I want to improve my AC, damage output, and attack bonus before I go in, so I am looking at Barkskin (domain) or Shield of Faith, plus either or both of Bull's Strength and Divine Favor.