Welcome to Teaser Tuesday! This week I’m hosting the lovely Liv Rancourt.
Sidney – Thanks so much for sharing your blog space with me today. I’m so excited to be your guest and to tell your readers about my newest short story, Temptation’s Touch.
It’s funny how things come about. I read a lot of paranormal and urban fantasy, and so I have a working familiarity with the customs of vampires and werewolves, fairies, zombies (ick!), and other, lesser-known supernatural creatures. I came up with the seed of an idea for how to tweak the fae, or fairies, turning them into guardians of the earth who work to heal the trauma caused by modern society.
Then I had another seed – the vision of a young woman dressed in black with wild hair and too much make-up. She was in a ratty dressing room, waiting to go on-stage with her band and fighting a massive case of stage fright. Her name was Kat and 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.
I started writing about Kat, and it turned out she was fae, and my two seeds grew and blended together and turned into my first full-length novel. You know, the one that never leaves the bottom drawer of your desk? Yeah. That one. 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 in the “Spellbound Hearts” anthology from Still Moments Publishing.
In my world, it’s difficult for the fae to live in among humans because they’re sensitive to iron and their powerful auras interfere with electronics. For the most part, they keep to the Winter Valley, a separate place where they can live without exposure to the things they find toxic, and where they tend to the anima that sustains all life.
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. These bonds help the fae focus on the work they must do to keep the world a healthy place (and yes, I realize a world without flirtation doesn’t sound like much fun). 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 half-fae girl who 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. While in the Valley, 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”.
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.”
Liv Rancourt is a writer of speculative fiction and romance. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, two cats and one wayward puppy. She likes to create stories that have happy endings, and finds it is a good way to balance her other job in the neonatal intensive care unit. Liv can be found on-line at her website (www.livrancourt.com), her blog (www.liv-rancourt.blogspot.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (www.twitter.com/LivRancourt).