Interview: Midwinter Fae authors – Part 3

Midwinter Fae, the second volume in the anthology series A Procession of Faeries, brings you nineteen tales of magic, beauty, wonder…and sometimes danger, as the Fae can be unpredictable, and follow their own rules.

Midwinter Fae is available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

The Interview

Part 3 of the Midwinter Fae author interview includes:

  • Leah Cutter, author of “The Ice Skating Fairy”
  • Leslie Claire Walker, author of “Treasure”
  • Ron Collins, author of “First Rays of New Sun”

What do you enjoy about weaving elements from mythology, legends, and folklore in your own writing?

Leah Cutter
What I most enjoy is taking a well-known story or trope and turning it on its head. I’ve always thought that a lot of those myths and legends were about society looking into a mirror and seeing either the best (or the worst) it could be. I like to make it more of a funhouse mirror. The reflection comes through dark and twisted.

Ron Collins
I’ve written several stories that touch specifically on mythology around the fae, and to be honest I think the reason it’s fun is that it’s difficult to do it well. At least it is for me. I mean, I went through a period when I read a lot of the field that was being p—and in the end, I find that fun.

Part of this is probably that in working at it, I learn a lot—and that, especially as I’ve gotten along as a writer, I’ve taken to push myself into blending genres a bit more often, and that’s both tricky and fun. I like to think that bringing myself into the things I play with means I end up taking fresh looks at things that no one else would, and that’s always fulfilling.

What do you find most interesting about the mythology/folklore associated with Midwinter?

Leah Cutter
I am such a seeker of the light. So I really enjoy the midwinter stories that go from darkness into light. Sure, it may start off in a very dark place, but eventually we get through that tunnel, past the hero’s journey, and back into the warmth and growth of spring.

Leslie Claire Walker
Midwinter is my favorite time of year. I love all things Yule, including folklore about Yule and its twin, Summer Solstice—specifically, the story of the Oak King and the Holly King. I love the idea of our consciousness traveling inward a bit, taking a break from so much outward activity to allow feelings, thoughts, and information to rise from deep within and shape the coming year.

Ron Collins
The Midwinter solstice is a pivotal time, right? I love the idea of the cycle of life that it represents. It’s the time for endings and fresh beginnings—which is a really powerful idea in the end. I like that writers can play so directly with life and death in this setting. That was Something that was firm on my mind when I sat down to write “First Rays of New Sun.”

Mythology and fairy tales often incorporate aspects from the locale in which they originated. For example, selkies appear in folktales from the Northern Isles of Scotland, the Faroe Islands, and Iceland. Is there an area of the world that you particularly enjoy including in your writing, whether from a mythological aspect, a geographical one, or both?

Leah Cutter
I take my myths from all over. I do try to borrow from mythology that not everyone is familiar with. For example, I’ve retold Hungarian myths, as well as Chinese and Siberian. I also love making up my own mythology for my fantasy worlds. Those are also very much based on the location of the people there. I strongly believe the creation myths of a people influence everything about them. I generally start with the creation myths and go from there. However, the creation myths are also always influenced by the area.

Leslie Claire Walker
I love Ireland. I’m fortunate enough to have traveled there several times, and to spend a good part of my days there exploring old sacred sites, from the Hill of Tara to Newgrange to Owenygat (the Cave of the Cats). Most of my understanding of myth and folklore was born of the adventures I had while there.

Ron Collins
Well, going back to your earlier question, the local aspect of mythology is something that makes using it so interesting. Settings change everything. The fae I wrote about in a story set in the modern-day deep south (which I used in an Uncollected Anthology a few years back), and those I wrote about in this story are quite different—as are the godlike paranormals I used in your earlier project, Beneath the Waves bundle.

I don’t really set down to write about mythology of a specific location, so much as once I figure out where I’m writing from, I want to spend time learning about what makes the place magical, and then go from there. I recently published “The Robin Club,” for example, that was set in an alternate-world version of Brooklyn and focused on baseball and sports fandom. I envisioned the magic of that environment as coarse and gritty rather than sleek and sexy—a mythology that comes more from friction than anything else. So, to me it was only natural that the most powerful and supernatural elements of that story were just that.

So, yeah, I’d say my locations drive me to think about the nature of the tale than any particular need of my own to venture into a specific zone.

Is there something from a legend, fairy or folk tale, or myth that you haven’t yet used in your writing, but would like to?

Leah Cutter
Some year, I’m going to write a Cinderella story, mixed and twisted with the myth of the phoenix and rising from the ashes.

Ron Collins
I’m sure there is, but my brain hasn’t let me in on the secret, yet!

Question for Leah Cutter:
Cindy is sidelined with a fractured tibia in “The Ice Skating Fairy,” unable to perform in the midwinter jubilee she’d been looking forward to. The fairy she befriends is dealing with a loss of her own. What did you most enjoy about writing the interaction between these two characters?

I really enjoyed being able to make them a little immature and more teenaged than most of my characters. They don’t know everything though they feel pressured to act as if they do. Being younger characters they tend to say exactly what’s on their mind. They don’t lie yet, not like adults.

Question for Leslie Claire Walker:
Addie pays quick cash for cursed objects in “Treasure.” She does this to keep them safe from their owners, and their owners safe from them. What inspired you to write this story, and do you plan to write any other stories in this very interesting world?

I wrote this story as a kind of exorcism. That’s a heavy answer, right? Sometimes, it’s like that. Every bloodline has secrets, and everyone has regrets, and some people give far more than they receive—or spend their lives trying to redeem past mistakes. So, sometimes I write stories as a way to give the souls of my ancestors some peace, and to let them know they are still loved.

In the Jewish tradition in which I was raised, when someone passes away, we say, “May their memory be for a blessing.” In a reciprocal vein, I feel it’s my joyful obligation to bless their memory as well.

To be clear, there are no characters in Treasure that correspond directly to any of my people—just a sincere wish on my part to shine a little healing light into shadowed corners.

The world I created in Treasure certainly provides a lot of rich territory to explore, so it’s likely that I’ll revisit it in the future—as soon as another tale rises to the surface and demands to be told.

Question for Ron Collins:
“First Rays of New Sun” combines faery mythology with an interesting twist—for the fae wield power over more than just humans. Which of the elements in this story that are based on folklore and mythology are your favorites, and why?

The whole idea of how fae magic works is interesting in itself, isn’t it? What, exactly, is that power? Where does that power come from? It’s religious in its own sense, but carries an paganistic essence of nature rather than the more hierarchical elements of our more modern day views, I suppose.

Like I said earlier, I loved the feeling of endings and beginnings associated with the theme, but I also wanted to play with genre a bit. Once I played with the theme a little, as you note, I began to think about the idea of the allure the fae have on us as human beings–both those inside the story as well as us as readers. The fae are attractive, right? Meaning the concept of multiple worlds alongside our own—which we often think of as science fiction these days, but is obviously as old as the first faeland tales—is interesting, and the existence of immortal creatures of both savage beauty as well as sometimes savage disregard for anyone but themselves is always going to draw interest.

I mean, who doesn’t fall for the beautiful bad boy, right?

So, yeah, there are mechanical elements in “First Rays of New Sun” that I like. The idea of consuming food is a lever used to trap a human, for example, and the basic structure of what a midwinter celebration would look like. They’re all fun. But what I enjoyed most here was leveraging them into a narrator who I found to be fun to inhabit, and who in retrospect I hope readers will be able to relate to in ways that might surprise them.

Find the authors!

Leah Cutter

Website ~ Facebook ~ BookBub ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads

Leslie Claire Walker

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub

Ron Collins

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ BookBub ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads

Find The Realm of Faerie bundle!

This bundle is available for a limited time at StoryBundle.com/Fantasy.

Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of the purchase price to the charities Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now!

Spotlight: “Faery Prophet” by Leslie Claire Walker

Faery Prophet is the second book in Leslie’s Young Adult series Faery Chronicles. Will the blossoming powers of a faery seer’s apprentice be strong enough to prevent a demon from rising? Or will he lose, and become a demon himself?

The first two books in this series, Faery Novice and Faery Prophet, are available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

Excerpt

“Thanks,” she said. “This anger thing? It’s not about him. It’s not even about my mother. It’s like power surges or something. I can’t control when it happens. I can barely keep from punching my fist through the wall. And I know stuff. It just pops into my head. Like what you are. And where to find you—like I could…”

“What?”

She hesitated. “Smell you. From all the way across town.”

“The only people I know who can do that aren’t human. But you are.”

“Not entirely.”

I blinked at her.

She flushed. “I know it sounds crazy.”

“No.”

“Maybe not to you. You’re a freak who hangs out with other freaks.” She sucked in a breath. “No offense.”

I tried not to take any. After all, it was kind of accurate. “So if you’re not one-hundred-percent human, what else are you?”

The words tumbled out fast and low, for my ears only. “Demon, I think. Like you said.”

I couldn’t think of a worse thing. Not one. “How?”

“I found some stuff in my mom’s diary. Stuff about my real dad. I was looking for money, you know? Sometimes she hides bills in there. I mean, she hasn’t written anything in it for years, but she still keeps it. And it says outright that my actual dad wasn’t human. That she had suspicions when she met him, but she didn’t find out for sure until after I was born. She said my eyes were red, Rude. They turned blue, the way other kids’ eyes start out blue when they’re born and then turn brown.”

I studied her face. She didn’t seem to be making up any of this. She spoke the dead-on truth as she understood it. “Whoa.”

“Exactly. What do I do?”

— from Faery Prophet by Leslie Claire Walker

About Leslie

Since the age of seven, Leslie Claire Walker has wanted to be Princess Leia—wise and brave and never afraid of a fight, no matter the odds.

Leslie hails from the concrete and steel canyons and lush bayous of southeast Texas—a long way from Alderaan. Now, she lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, fantastic pieces of art that may or may not be doorways to other realms, and too many fantasy novels to count.

She is the author of the Awakened Magic Saga, a collected series of urban fantasy novels, novellas, and stories filled with magical assassins, fallen angels, faeries, demons, and complex, heroic humans. The primary series in the saga are the Soul Forge, set in Portland, Oregon, and the Faery Chronicles, set in Houston Texas. She has also authored stories for The Uncollected Anthology on a mission to redefine the boundaries of contemporary and urban fantasy.

Leslie takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, strong coffee, whisky, and music ranging from Celtic harp to jazz to heavy metal. Rock on!

Find Leslie

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub

Mythology of The Faery Chronicles

Faeries. Angels. Gods. Demons.

All of these figure into the mythology of the Faery Chronicles and its sister series, the Soul Forge. This is supposed to be a post about that mythology—and it is. But I have a particular relationship with mythology, so I’m going to come at this topic a little sideways.

Most of the time, an author chooses one kind of supernatural being to inhabit the world of a novel or series. They build—or borrow—the mythology of their world from there, creating elaborate kingdoms, hierarchies, and relationships among supernatural beings, and between the supernatural and the human.

That’s how things began with the first book in the Faery Chronicles, too. Faery Novice started out as a story about what happens when Kevin Landon, our human teenager who wants nothing more than to escape his alcoholic father. He wants a full ride scholarship to a college of his choice. A new life. A normal life. What happens when he discovers he’s anything but? When he realizes he has a magical power that makes him the target of the Faery King?

Unpleasant shenanigans ensue.

Faeries in popular stories in Western culture are often conceived of as tiny, wish-granting beings with wings. These beings bear little resemblance to the real deal.

Yes, I did just call faeries “real.”

Many cultures all over the world have stories about the beings we call faeries. It seems foolish to wave away hundreds (or thousands) of years of tradition as superstition—as if Western peoples don’t have our own stories and myths.

So, who am I talking about when I talk about the fae? While some may be small in stature and may, under certain circumstances, appear to grant wishes, they have their own purposes in these cultural stories. Some like humans, and some don’t. Some are helpful, and some are hostile. Humans have maintained friendly relations with the fae—or appeased them—by observing and following culturally-mandated rules around appropriate behavior and offerings.

Don’t cut down that hawthorn tree. Don’t build your house on top of that ley line or fairy track. Don’t eat blackberries after Samhain. Do offer cream or butter.

In some cultures, the fae are the primordial forces deep within the land. The guardians of forests, lakes, and rivers. The keepers of mountains. The shapers of fate, fertility, and prosperity, among many other things. The fae are not and have never been human. They don’t think like humans or have the same morality, motivations, or goals. We forget this at our peril.

That is who the fae are in Faery Novice. And Kevin Landon, normal human teenager turned instant freak, has no choice but to deal with them as exactly who and what they are.

Faery Prophet
, the second Faery Chronicles book, brings demons and gods into the mix. After all, all three types of beings, or stories about them, are found or told in our world. Why shouldn’t they co-exist in the world of the Faery Chronicles, too?

So, demons: Are they individual beings bent on tempting and damning humans, or are they metaphors for the impulses and psychological complexes that cause us fear and shame?

In Faery Prophet, Rude Davies battles both. As the city’s only magical law enforcement, it’s his job. He’s afraid he’s not enough to take on an apocalypse—and he might be right. But people without the kind of power he wields—without any magic at all—battle their own demons every day. Who is he to give up when the odds stack against him?

Rude must contend not just with demons, but with the local god as well. Malek, the serpent from the Garden of Eden, holds the kind of power that changes the course of entire worlds. What do you do when someone like that gives you an order you don’t want to follow? What if, to do what you know in your heart is right, you have to break a promise to a god like him?

Rude must decide whether and how to stand up to power greater than his own. That’s a lot of trouble wrapped inside a tall order.

The question of angels—what they are and what purposes they serve—rises in the sister series to the Faery Chronicles, the Soul Forge books.

In the Soul Forge, angels are keepers of universal natural law. Some are better than others at following the rules. Some are friends to humans, and others are downright dangerous to life and limb, not to mention souls.

Book One of the Soul Forge, Angel Hunts, introduces heroine Night Sanchez. A former magical assassin on the run, Night faces a perfect storm. The Order she ran from tracks her down, magical law enforcement wants her dead, and the Angel of Death just wants her. Every action she takes to protect the people she loves draws her deeper into the machinations of angels looking to thwart or set off the capital-A Apocalypse.

That problem requires serious out-of-the-box thinking to solve, and a willingness to risk everything. As is often said, freedom isn’t free. What kind of price is Night willing to pay for hers? What price would you pay?

Can humans and angels—and faeries and gods and demons—come together to defeat a common enemy, solve life-and-death problems, and come to value each other for the unique gifts each brings to the table?

These are the kinds of questions I’m interested in asking.

There are so many ways to answer, and the characters in the Faery Chronicles and the Soul Forge try over and over again to do that in the novels, and in the many novelettes and short stories set in the same universe.

So, what about the mythology in these books and stories, and my particular relationship with mythology in general? How does all of this tie together?

I see the world as steeped in myth. For me, a shift in vision or a step sideways, a change in light or a heartfelt understanding can bring about a deep feeling of connection with the natural world and with others. Sometimes, I read myths as helpful instructions of what to do—or what not to do. Sometimes, I read them as allegories or metaphors. And, sometimes, I read them as if they are absolutely true.

I believe humans are at our best when we recognize all of our qualities, not just the ones we might feel proud of, but the ones we want to hide. I believe each one of us is enough.

I believe that humans are at our best when we’re in a state of connection with ourselves, each other, the natural world around us, those that have gone before us, and those who will come after. I believe we’re all interconnected, and the sooner we see our own reflection in a stranger’s eyes, the sooner we’ll realize there’s no such thing as a stranger.

We’re all here to help each other. Kindness goes a long way. Hope is everything.

So, faeries, demons, gods, and angels aside, that is the mythology in the Faery Chronicles and the Soul Forge. Except it’s not mythology at all. It’s the characters’ truth. And it’s mine.
 

About Leslie

Since the age of seven, Leslie Claire Walker has wanted to be Princess Leia—wise and brave and never afraid of a fight, no matter the odds.

Leslie hails from the concrete and steel canyons and lush bayous of southeast Texas—a long way from Alderaan. Now, she lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, fantastic pieces of art that may or may not be doorways to other realms, and too many fantasy novels to count.

She is the author of the Awakened Magic Saga, a collected series of urban fantasy novels, novellas, and stories filled with magical assassins, fallen angels, faeries, demons, and complex, heroic humans. The primary series in the saga are the Soul Forge, set in Portland, Oregon, and the Faery Chronicles, set in Houston Texas. She has also authored stories for The Uncollected Anthology on a mission to redefine the boundaries of contemporary and urban fantasy.

Leslie takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, strong coffee, whisky, and music ranging from Celtic harp to jazz to heavy metal. Rock on!

Find Leslie

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub
 
 

 

Faerie Novice and Faery Prophet are available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle. Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of the purchase price to the charities Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

Interview: Leslie Claire Walker on “Faery Novice” and “Faery Prophet”

Welcome to Leslie’s series The Faery Chronicles, a fast-paced world of magic, intrigue, and romance, where faeries, angels, and demons are all very, very real!

Faery Novice and Faery Prophet are the first two books in this series.

After his mother’s death, Kevin fights to build a new life on his own terms in Faery Novice. When he begins to hear others’ thoughts, he fears losing his grip on reality. Until he meets a charmed girl who reveals the thriving Faery underground in the shadows of his city…

In Faery Prophet, Rude is everyone’s friend, the life of the party with uncanny luck, but only because no one has discovered his secret. He is a faery seer’s apprentice, training to enforce magical law, and magic is the only true family he has. When a troubled girl asks him for help, he realizes too late that she—and her supernatural emergency—are way out of his league…

Will Rude’s blossoming powers be strong enough to prevent a demon from rising? Or will he lose, and become a demon himself?

Faery Novice and Faery Prophet are both available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

Excerpt

When I came to—when both of us swam out of unconsciousness—we lay in the street beside the car. The bus was gone.

I could’ve tricked myself into believing I’d hallucinated it all, from Rude’s nu-metal vocals to the name the fae girl had given me. But the asphalt in front of us was stained with freshly leaked oil and the name hovered on the edge of my tongue.

It took a minute to stand up and brush myself off. I felt like I should say something, but didn’t know what.

Rude made four attempts at running his mouth, fifth time the charm. “You okay, dude?”

Not even close, but I nodded anyway. “Where’d the bus go?”

“To Faery. That’s where it always goes when it disappears, according to Oscar. Always before dawn.”

I stared at him.

“It’s no weirder than anything else that happened tonight,” he said.

—from Faery Novice: The Faery Chronicles Book One by Leslie Claire Walker

The Interview

In Faery Novice, the first book in The Faery Chronicles series, Kevin discovers a faery world thrives underneath the real one—and now the fae are after him! 🙂 What inspired you to create this fascinating world and series?

I was inspired by two things. One, I love YA. Two, I’ve always been fascinated by all things fae, from fairy tales to folk beliefs to the idea that there is a veil between our world and theirs. Some folks believe that veil is a physical barrier, but I wondered if it was something different—a veil over the hearts and minds of humans that keeps them from noticing the non-human world around them. Kevin wants nothing more than a normal life, but every choice he makes only draws him deeper into a world that’s anything but normal. In that way, he reminds me of myself. I’m always interested in what happens when someone gives up on the idea of being what other people expect and allows who they truly are inside to be reflected on the outside. That’s the seed from which the series blossomed.

Faery Prophet, which can be read standalone, is the second book in The Faery Chronicles series. The protagonist is Rude, aka Rudolph Diamond Davies III—he’s the class clown and, unbeknownst to his friends, is a faery seer’s apprentice! How did you come up with Rude’s character, and what was your favorite part about writing his story?

Rude appears as the best friend with a secret in Faery Novice, the first book in the Faery Chronicles series. I wrote Faery Prophet because several readers loved Rude so much, they wanted to read his story.

My favorite part about writing Rude’s story was giving a voice to what was going on with Rude beneath his happy-go-lucky exterior.

I knew someone like Rude when I was in school. He’s the kid who always seems happy and always seems to get away with breaking the rules, but there’s a lot more going on under the surface that others don’t or can’t see and understand. One reason for that is that we, as human beings, spend a lot of time comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.

A thing about Rude that very few people know is that his Hawaiian shirts are an homage to Jay Lake. I spent two weeks in a workshop intensive on the Oregon coast with twelve other writers, including Jay, and have a lot of amazing memories.

In addition to faeries, there are demons in Faery Prophet. What inspired you to come up with this combination, and what have you most enjoyed about interweaving the different elements of folklore, mythology, and legend?

Faeries, demons, and angels have been a part of many human spiritual cosmologies or understandings of the world. Whether we consider them to be real or metaphors for natural forces we can’t otherwise explain depends on place, time, and culture. In Faery Prophet, I most enjoyed exploring the edges between reality and metaphor, and the understandings—or misunderstandings—among those who have always been human and those who have never been.

Bright and Dark Fantasy with an Edge is your (super awesome!) author tagline. Tell us what this means to you, and how this phrase comes through in your fiction.

To me, Bright and Dark Fantasy with an Edge brings together the bright (hope, love, chosen family), the dark (the ways in which we deal with our inner and outer demons), and the knife’s edge we sometimes walk between the two. I’m not really interested in telling stories that only explore the bright or the dark. And all of my stories, no matter how edgy, always contain a spark of hope.

You play the lever (Celtic) harp! Has this wandered its way into your fiction?

It has, but not directly. One of the other characters from The Faery Chronicles series, the Singer whose true name is Simone, has a voice that can touch the deepest dreams and desires of anyone who hears her song. I feel that way about the harp as a modern instrument, and there are several stories from folklore about that sort of thing. My favorite song to play on my harp is Turlough O Carolan’s “The Fairy Queen.” I couldn’t yet read music when I learned that song, so it took months to be able to play it properly. It’s a big part of the soundtrack for the series.

The sixth and final book in your Soul Forge series is coming out soon. This series is interwoven with The Faery Chronicles series. How are the two series connected?

The Soul Forge books are set in the same world as The Faery Chronicles. I didn’t start out intending to interweave the stories, but a handful of the characters in each are destined to play a part in averting the end of the world. Those destinies began to come together in the third book of the Soul Forge, Angel Falls. From that point forward, the characters in each series have played crucial roles in each others’ lives, both in the novels and in the associated short fiction.

A number of your urban fantasy novels (and short stories) are set in Portland, and the city itself has a presence that makes it almost like a character. How much of this is based off of the real Portland, and what’s it like to write stories set in a city you know so well?

It’s all based off the real Portland, although the names of the businesses don’t reflect any real establishments. I try to capture the feel of the city as a whole rather than specific places within it.

I think setting is crucial to any story. No city is interchangeable with another. Each has its own flavor that suffuses everything and everyone within its borders. I love that I can include Portland’s unique flavor in my tales.

Tell us about your cats!

There are two—Kaywinnitlee, named after the Firefly character Kaylee, and Addams, named after the Addams Family. Kaylee (or, as she prefers, Miss Wee) is a brown tabby with one blue eye and one green. She’s thirteen, and I adopted her as a two-month-old kitten in Houston, Texas. At the time, we also had a dog, and she learned all of her manners from him. Addams is six, adopted from a shelter near Portland. He’s an enormous black cat with a tail as long as his body, and he adores belly rubs. They both like to be sung to—Miss Wee prefers something to melody of “You Are My Sunshine,” while Addams loves the tune of “Rubber Duckie.”

What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

I’m putting the finishing touches on the last book in the Soul Forge series, Angel Burns. I’m at the place in the book where all the important threads from all six books finally come together, including some that surprise me. I love those kinds of surprises.

I’m also plotting the book that follows, a supernatural action-adventure romance about a retired spy. Everything about this book is fun, from the situations to the dialogue between characters, to the creative ways they find to stay alive while falling in love.

About Leslie

Since the age of seven, Leslie Claire Walker has wanted to be Princess Leia—wise and brave and never afraid of a fight, no matter the odds.

Leslie hails from the concrete and steel canyons and lush bayous of southeast Texas—a long way from Alderaan. Now, she lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, fantastic pieces of art that may or may not be doorways to other realms, and too many fantasy novels to count.

She is the author of the Awakened Magic Saga, a collected series of urban fantasy novels, novellas, and stories filled with magical assassins, fallen angels, faeries, demons, and complex, heroic humans. The primary series in the saga are the Soul Forge, set in Portland, Oregon, and the Faery Chronicles, set in Houston Texas. She has also authored stories for The Uncollected Anthology on a mission to redefine the boundaries of contemporary and urban fantasy.

Leslie takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, strong coffee, whisky, and music ranging from Celtic harp to jazz to heavy metal. Rock on!

Find Leslie

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub

Find The Realm of Faerie bundle!

This bundle is available for a limited time at StoryBundle.com/Fantasy.

Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of the purchase price to the charities Mighty Writers and Girls Write Now!

Spotlight: “Faery Novice” by Leslie Claire Walker

Faery Novice, the first book in Leslie Claire Walker’s Young Adult series Faery Chronicles, takes us to a fast-paced world of magic, intrigue, and romance where faeries, angels, and demons are all very, very real. Kevin suddenly begins to hear other people’s thoughts, and there are two men hunting him—but why?

Both Faery Novice and the second book in this series, Faery Prophet, are available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…

Excerpt

Oscar met and held my gaze. “Hearing things lately?”

Fuck me.

It had been an honest question, and meant to keep me in my seat. It worked.

“You are, aren’t you?” Oscar asked.

“Not today.”

Oscar leaned forward. “When did it start?”

I crooked my thumb at Rude. “His house.”

“At the party.”

Again with the question that wasn’t. “How do you know all this stuff?”

“I saw it.”

“As in, you were there?”

“As in, that’s what he does,” Rude said.

I took a good, hard look at Oscar’s eyes. Didn’t catch anything special about them.

“I’m a seer,” Oscar said. “But it doesn’t always have a lot to do with my eyeballs. It’s just a term.”

“And that means what to someone like me?”

“You’re straightforward,” Oscar said. “I like that about you. Others might not so much. Check yourself before you get impatient with them.”

How else was I supposed to be? I folded my arms across my chest. “What’s a seer?”

“A person who’s in contact with the other realms—places where humans dare not go, where other kinds of beings live.”

I stared at him, in case he’d actually just said a bunch of stuff about humans and other beings, whatever they were.

“I’m talking about the Fae,” Oscar said. “Faeries.”

For real? “Tinkerbell?”

“Far from it. They’re bigger, for one thing. A lot bigger. For another, they’re not cute. They’re seductive and treacherous and they don’t operate by the same rules humans do.”

He had to be joking. What was I supposed to do—play along? I opened my mouth to snark, then snapped it shut before the first word rolled off my tongue. Man didn’t look like he was kidding. He looked serious as hell. He’d known things about me and where I’d been without Rude or me telling him.

— from Faery Novice by Leslie Claire Walker

About Leslie

Since the age of seven, Leslie Claire Walker has wanted to be Princess Leia—wise and brave and never afraid of a fight, no matter the odds.

Leslie hails from the concrete and steel canyons and lush bayous of southeast Texas—a long way from Alderaan. Now, she lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, fantastic pieces of art that may or may not be doorways to other realms, and too many fantasy novels to count.

She is the author of the Awakened Magic Saga, a collected series of urban fantasy novels, novellas, and stories filled with magical assassins, fallen angels, faeries, demons, and complex, heroic humans. The primary series in the saga are the Soul Forge, set in Portland, Oregon, and the Faery Chronicles, set in Houston Texas. She has also authored stories for The Uncollected Anthology on a mission to redefine the boundaries of contemporary and urban fantasy.

Leslie takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, strong coffee, whisky, and music ranging from Celtic harp to jazz to heavy metal. Rock on!

Find Leslie

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