Jillian: Today’s superstar guest is Liv Rancourt. She’s a fellow writer with Still Moments Publishing and is in a couple of the same anthologies with me. Today she’s going to chat about Spellbound Hearts. The Still Moments team is pretty awesome and all the writers there are super friendly. Liv and I bonded over our equally outrageous senses of fun and humor. Welcome, Liv. Thanks for coming in!
LIV: Jillian – Thanks so much for sharing your blog space with me today. I always love being here.
So one day I sat down to write a story. I didn’t have much, just a notebook and a pencil – because I cannot write in pen without turning it into a huge line-out-fest – and the image of a rocker chick sitting in a ratty dressing room waiting to go on-stage. Her name was Kat and she was fighting a huge battle with stage fright. When one of her bandmates came to check on her, the first word out of her mouth started with the letter ‘F’. As in, “F… you”. Um, Kat had anger issues. She still does.
Writing that scene led to another scene and another, and pretty soon I had a whole world in mind, a world in which the fae(or “fairies”, to use their common name) keep a low profile. It’s difficult for them to live in the human world because they’re sensitive to iron and their powerful auras interfere with electronics. For the most part, the fae in my story keep to the Winter Valley, a place that’s separate from the rest of the world, where they can live without exposure to the things they find toxic, and where they tend to the anima that sustains all life.
I finished the draft of that novel, and although I’ve had people read it I’m not sure it’ll ever be ready for prime time. That’s okay, though. It left me with a world and with characters that have turned up in other stories, like Temptation’s Touch, a short piece that is coming soon in the “Spellbound Hearts” anthology from Still Moments Publishing.
One of the tricky wrinkles that the fae must deal with is that when they’re in a love relationship, their auras can bond, making things more-or-less permanent. It’s possible to end such relationships, but it shreds their auras, leaving both parties seriously disabled for a period of time. As I was writing the nameless novel, I wondered how a fae couple would handle things if they were attracted to each other but didn’t want to end up with one of these permanent bonds. One possible answer is this story of Geri, a young girl who’s half fae but was raised by human foster parents, unaware of her true nature. It takes traveling to the Winter Valley alone to convince her that the she’s really more than human, and when she’s there she meets a handsome young fae, with romantic results. She’s a city girl with a lot to learn about herself, and I hope you check out this story and the others in “Spellbound Hearts” (like Jillian’s!).
(Excerpt from Temptation’s Touch)
Geri stood up and went to the window. The snow was falling in thick waves and frost was crawling up from the corners of the panes of glass. “I got over here, but then I couldn’t get back. I think it was the old tree’s fault.”
He nodded. “That oak is very powerful.”
Geri turned back towards the fire, trying not to stare at Alain. His clothing seemed to give off a spicy scent, like curry mixed with incense. “Can you take me back?”
“I have only crossed once, and that was with a companion.” He shrugged, and if he was human she would have said he looked embarrassed. “There are those at the main dwelling that could bring you back.”
“How far away is that?” She went back to the bench and pulled the comforter over her lap.
“It is a brief ride in good weather, but this storm is too heavy.”
“Ride?” Geri felt stupid, because she had no idea what he meant.
The look Alain gave her was equally puzzled. “You heard the horse outside.”
“Um, I heard something. I’ve only ever heard horses in the movies. You really rode a horse to get here?”
Alain leaned back in the chair and laughed. “Of course.”
“Whatever.” Geri rolled her eyes. This couldn’t get any weirder. “Maybe when I don’t show up for work tomorrow, Gladiola will send Kat to look for me.”
He stopped laughing, though there was still the shadow of a smile on his face. “True, but Katrienne is likely to take her time. Tomorrow, if the weather is better, I will bring you to the main dwelling.”
“So we stay here tonight?” Something fluttered under Geri’s ribs at the thought of being alone with this handsome fae.
“There are stores in the Valley and I brought a few things. If you can find your fae form, there is warmer clothing.”
Geri laughed to cover her confusion. “What the hell is my fae form?”
“The fae form,” he said, gesturing to himself, “is taller, longer.” He shrugged, his silver eyes shining with laughter.
“We can all take both forms.” He closed his eyes and drew in a breath. As he exhaled, something shifted and Geri blinked. Sitting across from her was a very handsome man, not quite six feet tall, with chiseled features and unusual grey eyes. The tunic that had fit so well now drooped a little at the shoulders and hung down over his hands.
“Cool,” she sighed, then blushed and looked away.
His laughter made her blush harder. “Try it,” he said. She shut her eyes. “No, wait.”
Her eyes sprang open. “What?”
“Each sleeping room has a chest full of old clothing for guests to borrow. When you take the fae form, what you are wearing now may become…uncomfortable.”
Geri had a quick picture of splitting the sides of her jeans and sitting in front of this beautiful creature in her underpants. “Maybe I’ll just stay human-looking.”
“But you would make a pretty fae.” Alain said with a grin. “Go change your clothes, halfen, and then try.”
EDITED TO ADD: AVAILABLE NOW! http://www.stillmomentspublishing.com/p/ebook-store.html