The guys from the Rise of the Unseelie urban fantasy series make an appearance in Enchanted, the latest book in the Touched urban fantasy series. Kieran and London have one wild evening. I can't tell you much without giving away spoilers, but today's Glamour Club song is a fun one and fits really well with the action in Enchanted, with Kieran's sexy/ playful style, and with what the future holds in store for these two.
Here's a sneak peek at the first chapter in Enchanted!
London wasn’t looking for Mr. Right. Not even Mr. Right Now. No, she searched for someone much more special than that. More unique. She searched for someone with that special Touch. The Touch she craved. The Touch she would die without.
Most humans cursed with this particular addiction died lonely, miserable deaths. But London wasn’t most humans. She wouldn’t go out that way.
For six weeks she’d scrounged for every lead. Hit up favors from every underworld scum, fey or otherwise. Promised some disgusting favors to others, if they could point her in the right direction.
Six weeks of total agony. The need… the longing… twisted within her, becoming more and more unbearable with each breath. Finding a Sidhe wasn’t an option. It meant her life and her sanity.
But finding this special someone was only the first problem. The second… well, that’s what the gun was for.
So when she spotted tall, dark, and Sidhe slipping out of the curtain of Glamour that disguised the entrance to a fey-only club, London trailed him. She knew how to tail a suspect, not that this fellow taxed her skill set. He glanced up from his smartphone just often enough to navigate.
To the uninitiated, this particular Sidhe could pass for human. A really sexy human male. The kind of sexy that made you stare. The kind of drop dead gorgeous Hollywood would pay millions for, but could only achieve after hours in a make-up chair and with careful camera angles and creative lighting. There was simply no such thing as an unattractive Sidhe. Heck, there was no such thing as a kind-of good-looking Sidhe. They were all— every last cursed one of them— too damned sexy for anyone’s good.
So that was one reason London hadn’t a single doubt that her prey was Sidhe.
The rugby jersey, the jeans, the trainers, none of it fooled her for a second. He moved with the fluid grace of a dancer, covering ground easily on those long, sexy legs of his. London spoiled herself, admiring his gorgeous bum as she followed. Those jeans fit him wicked perfectly.
The enjoyment lasted only a few blocks, where he passed from the sparsely populated industrial area to a street lined with shops. The Sidhe ducked into the music store. London paused outside, watching him through the window as he flipped through CDs. She smiled to herself. That should occupy him just long enough.
Within five minutes, she parked her car along the Sidhe’s route. London squeezed the steering wheel, but her hands still trembled. Every second telescoped with impatient agony as she glared at the empty street. Where is he? What if he doesn’t come back this way? The earthborns, the young and inexperienced Sidhe, didn’t often stray from the club. There was no telling how long she’d have to wait for another opportunity. “Come on, now,” she murmured. “You’ve jerked me around long enough.”
The Sidhe turned the corner two blocks down, heading her way. London stared at him, transfixed by the perfection of his body and the promise of his magic, both lethal obsessions. Snapping herself out of her daze, she accused him, “You did this to me.” Maybe not this guy in particular, but one of his kind. They didn’t care, these Sidhe. None of them cared. Just like Rico, who cursed her so she’d work for him. Just like the dark-eyed Sidhe whose name she didn’t even know, but who’d sent her and the other hapless humans he controlled off on a doomed temple raid, to slaughter or be slaughtered. They just didn’t care. None of these Sidhe cared.
They’d meant to enslave her with this curse. Time for them to pay the price. Time for her to take control again.
The Sidhe carried a small shopping bag, his attention focused on the CD case in his hand, reading as he walked.
London slipped unnoticed from her vehicle and circled around the rear bumper, out of his line of sight. As she peeked over the car, her hand slipped into her blazer pocket. She’d have to time it just right. When the Sidhe passed the front bumper, London moved.
Not every private investigator was trained in hand-to-hand combat. In truth, London hadn’t done much herself until she’d begun to specialize in parahuman cases, those involving former humans who’d become either vamps or weres. Even now, she’d still be considered a novice. But what skills she did possess, coupled with the element of surprise and the determination of her addiction, inspired her body to flow almost without her conscious effort.
As she strolled past the Sidhe, he glanced up and flashed a smile so brilliant that she couldn’t help but blush as she smiled back. Certainly, the Sidhe never expected her to catch his wrist as she ‘brushed’ against him. The click of the handcuff snapping into place caught his attention, too late though. London spun in behind him, jerking back the wrist she’d snared and grabbing his other arm before he could fathom what she meant to do. Just after she locked the second cuff into place, London kicked him in the back of the knee, forcing him to kneel before her.
“What the bloody hell are you playing at?” the Sidhe yelled over his shoulder, struggling against the bonds.
With a handful of his incredibly silky hair, she arched his head back. The muzzle of her gun pressed to his temple. “This is the part where you come with me,” she said, her voice low and direct.
“Are you insane?”
Certainly a rhetorical question, but she snapped, “If I am, it’s all your fault, Sidhe!” She released his hair to reach over and open the door. “Now get in!”
He closed his eyes. Winced hard.
London bent close to his ear and whispered, “You’re not teleporting anywhere with those silver handcuffs you’re wearing.”
He twisted around, maybe trying to look at her, maybe attempting to wiggle away from her. It didn’t matter. He managed to plant one foot on the ground in his struggle and London used the moment when he was off balance to shove him, with all her weight behind him, right into the backseat. He dove in head first. When he rolled back up to a sitting position she had the seatbelt ready. With the gun jammed in the hollow of his throat, forcing him to lean back, she reached across and belted the restraint into place. She backed out of the car and slammed the door. Snatching him from the street hadn’t even taken a full minute.
London hopped into the driver’s seat, diagonal from the Sidhe. The gun she tucked into the pocket on the door, where she could retrieve it quickly. She sped off. The only evidence that he’d ever even been there was the CDs, scattered and abandoned on the ground.
This song resonates with me when I think about Lugh, the lead character in the Champion of the Sidhe urban fantasy series. Between his pride as the Champion of the Sidhe and The Shining One of the Seelie Court, and his promise to do everything he can to protect his people, he's found himself on a near-to-impossible quest to restore the magical realm of fey.
The lyrics within this song touches on the subtle clues in the series, which raise the question: Could Lugh have prevented the Collapse, had he only made different choices? And foreshadows the events to come in the next two books, Protector of the Light and Keeper of Secrets, when his storyline and the storylines in the Touched series and Rise of the Unseelie series collide.
All London wants is her life back, not something easy to accomplish with her addiction to the Sidhe Touch constantly gnawing at her. This time she's found an earthborn Sidhe who just might take the edge off her craving. If she can keep the other predators like vampires and werewolves from claiming her prey, that is.
Jhaer dodged through the local fey crowding the market
street of the village built up around the Seelie castle, thankful that his
plain, loose-fitting clothing disguised him. Brightly colored streamers from
the celebration draped from tree limbs and windows to flutter festively about
the revelry. The ale flowed and the music played. Seelie fey of every race
danced and sang ancient victory songs, obliviously ignorant that in conquering the
Unseelie, they ensured the downfall of all fey.
Stealth carried Jhaer as far as the courtyard wall and
then he unsheathed his fury and magic. With a rage that rent a boulder from the
ground, Jhaer’s magic burst forth. His power over the element of earth belonged
to him alone, so the boulder that splintered the teak courtyard gate with the
explosion of cannon fire announced with certainty the Unseelie Elite who
Anticipating a final assault while the captive Unseelie
monarchs imprisoned within succumbed to the pressure to surrender their
authority, the Seelie forces lined the top of the inner castle wall beyond the
courtyard. Archers drew back at the sight of him, even as the Seelie Champion
on the parapet called out to Jhaer. The corona of sun magic flared around Lugh,
as if determined to prove his nickname as the Shining One. The golden boy of
the Seelie Court in his sculpted armor vaulted down into the courtyard with a
dramatic flair. If the demonstration of grace and courage aimed to impress, it
missed the mark with Jhaer.
“Lugh! Have you been staring at your own magic so long
you've blinded yourself?” Jhaer rushed into the courtyard. As the archers
launched their first volley, Jhaer summoned a shield of stone from the very
ground before him. The rock wall preceded him, the last couple feet at the top
tilted back over his head, in case any clever archers aimed with a high
trajectory. After the arrows in the initial strike splintered on his shield,
Jhaer jerked up his hands, his magic heaving skyward the ground in front of the
castle wall to block off the archers. His personal rock shield fragmented into
dust that defused to the ground he’d drawn it from. He snarled at Lugh, the
sole obstacle between Jhaer and the castle proper. “This must stop! Before it’s
“One Court, Sidhe!” Lugh proclaimed. “We can be brothers,
you know. This feud can end. It should end!” Yet the Seelie ignited a barrier
of fire, disproving his claim of brotherly love.
Jhaer shielded his face against the fire between them, an
all too familiar tactic from the Sidhe with the magical aspect of the sun.
“Light and dark cannot merge. One will always consume the other. You know this!
Yet the arrogant Seelie’s hunger for power would rather destroy everything than
have balance!” With that, Jhaer sank into the ground, closing it up over him.
Moving swiftly through the earth in a self-contained
cavern like an air bubble rising through a viscous liquid that parted the
ground before him and resealed it behind him, Jhaer detoured beneath the
flames. He felt the vibration from the footsteps of the Seelie above, rushing
to pursue him.
An unexpected tremor charged though the earth and slammed
into him, lancing a dread dead into his heart. The Unseelie warrior gripped his
chest, breath stolen from him by a horrendous shift in the magic surrounding
him. Stunned to the point of panic, Jhaer surfaced once more, the Seelie not
but a few quick strides from him. Before a cry of dismay could escape his lips,
a shockwave of magic knocked him off balance. A crack climbed up the outer wall
like a growing vine, reaching ever higher.
“Trying to bring down the entire castle?” The Seelie
snarled. “Danu is in there!”
Jhaer stumbled backward before catching himself, his eyes
wide as he stared at the fractures creeping up the courtyard walls. “Would I
knock myself off balance? Open your eyes, Lugh! Something is wrong!”
Thunder rumbled like a landslide and then the sky
flickered. Or rather the magic that gave the ceiling of the Mounds the
appearance of a sky. Both Sidhe warriors relinquished their aggression to
witness the cascade of destruction rupturing the fabric of their world. Cracks
like a spider’s web shattered the illusion until the great bowl of rock
overhead became visible for the first time in as long as any Sidhe could
Jhaer kept his balance better the next time the ground
shifted, although the horror that stabbed through him threatened to drive him
to his knees. The thunderous sounds of earth ripping from earth filled the
cavern that housed the magical realm of the Mounds. As the ground above them
shifted ominously, Jhaer’s hands snapped upward, fingers curled as if gripping
something heavy. Trembling from the strain, his mastery over the earth alone
supported the bowl of rock overhead.
“Lugh!” Jhaer growled through clenched teeth, “Help Danu!
NOW! I can't… hold it up… much longer!” All his concentration, his strength,
focused solely on preventing the Mounds, home to hundreds of thousands of fey,
from catastrophic collapse, for as long as he could.
Differences postponed in the face of imminent demise, the
Seelie raced toward the castle as Jhaer bore the weight of the world. With
muscles trembling from the effort, Jhaer waited for the dread to dissipate,
anticipating the Creatrix to reach out and fortify the Mounds. But what he felt
was life, the connection to Danu, fading away. The All-Mother, she who bound
the Mounds together for centuries, was disappearing. She was dying.
All hope shattered, leaving only fatalistic determination.
Through raw force of will, Jhaer held aloft the vast cavern ceiling, allowing
as many fey as possible the chance to escape, the stronger ones via
teleportation, the lesser fey certainly crowding the portals that might whisk
them to the surface. Alone, Jhaer balanced each rock, each clump of dirt. For
miles. Sweat ran in rivulets down the strained muscles of his body. Holding.
Binding. Unyielding. And yet fissures snaked through the cavern under the
oppression of tons upon tons of earth overhead. Fissures Jhaer could not mend.
Fissures that sheared as chunks broke free and rained from the sky. Chunks that
slipped through his shattering strength. Jhaer dropped to his knees, giving all
his power to the failing magic. The edges of the cavern crumbled, creating a
cascade as each lost rock freed those above it. Rockslides like waterfalls
poured down in a roaring that could not completely annihilate the screams of
terror. Down the ceiling fell in ever greater pieces until the entire cavern
plummeted down like a mountain to entomb everything beneath, burying alive
everyone who had not already escaped. Including Jhaer.
Raiders have attacked Danu’s temple, slaughtering its defenders. The
artifacts that are the last hope for the survival of the fey are in
danger. With Changelings out to kill him, and goblins determined to
abduct him, Lugh’s on a quest to find a stronghold for those treasures.
Perhaps he should have thought twice before seeking a safe haven in the
territory of shape-changing, fire-breathing dragon.
“The world as we have known it ends this day.” The warriors, men and women both, needed to hear him speak. The grit and determination in his voice carried as much emphasis as the words themselves. Many cut uncertain glances his way, the deep-seated beliefs ground into them over the centuries nearly as much a part of them as their skin and their magic. Lugh patrolled the top of the castle wall, watching the courtyard below. The elaborate breastplate strapped to him served more as a status symbol than actual protection, even with the magicraft worked into the polished leather. He was the Champion of the Sidhe, even for the Sidhe who would sooner slit his throat than call him their champion. It mattered not. He protected his people regardless, most especially from themselves.
The Sidhe and lesser fey warriors of the Seelie Court spaced themselves at intervals of less than a full arm span. Wood elves, dwarves, selkies, and even a stout-hearted fairy held the line for this final watch, bows, spears, and magic at the ready. Although the technology-embracing world beyond the Mounds long ago abandoned the grace of the bow for guns and other modern weaponry, the long-lived fey of the Mounds shunned such graceless devices.
“Keep a sharp eye on the barrier.” The canopy of magic reached just beyond the courtyard wall, preventing Glamour or teleportation within the castle grounds. If any fey dreamed to raid the stronghold of the Seelie Court this day, they faced more than simply this entire cadre of fey warriors. They would have to best the Champion of the Sidhe, a near impossible task. For greater than a thousand years, only a handful had ever crossed purposes with Lugh and bested him. A few of these skilled warriors manned the line with Lugh now. Others, such as the greatest of the Unseelie guard, had yet to breach the courtyard threshold. His heart harbored no doubts that at least one would challenge Lugh’s mettle and resolve.
Lugh cast a proprietary glance across the outer wall to the fey town in the protective shadow of the castle. The hills rolled into the distance. The internal measure of the Mounds roughly equated to Ireland in width and length. Lugh knew every tree, every step of every path. Twice he held the Seelie crown. Since he was a much younger Sidhe, Lugh held the mantle of Champion. He earned it. The very sunlight in the sky was his gift to the Mounds. The Celts once worshipped Lugh as the god of the sun, for in that lay the aspect of Lugh’s unique magic. All the life that grew and prospered in the Mounds did so by the very power of his love for this place and these fey. He would defend it, and them, until his final breath.
With a great explosion of shattering wood, a boulder crashed though the courtyard gate. No such boulder had been transported though the city beyond the castle. This one had been ripped from the ground and flung with a magic only one Sidhe possessed.
“Jhaer!” Lugh growled, “Bring me your rage, Elite.” With his spear, Lugh pole-vaulted the low parapet and dropped the twenty feet into the courtyard. Using the grace of the fey, he hit and rolled, then came back up to his feet in a charge for the Unseelie intruder.
If we get the chance to make a television series of The Sidhe urban fantasy adventure, the actor we'd most like to cast as Kieran is Matt Bomer. If you've ever seen his delicious combination of sexiness and humor on the TV show "White Collar" then you know why he'd be perfect. Kieran, or Kie as he's called by some of his friends, is one of the young earthborn Sidhe. By definition, the Sidhe are all extremely attractive, which Matt Bomer definitely is! Even among the casually sexual fey, Kieran is the playboy of the Glamour Club. He's more than just a hot Sidhe, though. Kieran's good nature and friendship with the other earthborns brings the Unseelie closer as a group. He was the first to befriend the troubled Malcolm, taking on a role someplace between a friend and a 'big brother'. Kieran has made appearances in all of the books of the Rise of the Unseelie series, but he'll become a more central character as the story continues to evolve. Watch for Kieran in a major crossover with the Touched urban fantasy series in the upcoming story, Enchanted
Our Glamour Club DJ @RegencyEmma has selected another great song for Malcolm, one of the earthborns in the urban fantasy series Rise of the Unseelie.I'll be adding this song to my playlist when I write Bloodhound and Uprising, the next two books in the series. If you've read Malcolm's story so far, you'll definitely see the potential foreshadowing in these lyrics.
enjoy: Within Temptation - In The Middle Of The Night
(Here's a teaser for Enchanted, the third book in the Touched series. This teaser is from the pre-edited manuscript, and subject to change before release.)
London wasn’t looking for Mr. Right. Not even
Mr. Right Now. No, she searched for someone much more special than that. More
unique. She searched for someone with that special Touch. The Touch she craved.
The Touch she would die without.
Most humans cursed with this particular
addiction died lonely, miserable deaths. But London wasn’t like most humans.
She wouldn’t go out that way.
For six weeks she’d scrounged for every lead.
Hit up favors from every underworld scum, fey or otherwise. Promised some
disgusting favors to others, if they could point her in the right direction.
Six weeks of total agony. The need… the longing
twisted within her, becoming more and more unbearable with each breath. Finding
a Sidhe wasn’t an option. It meant her life and her sanity.
But finding this special someone was only the
first problem. The second… well, that’s what the gun was for.
So when she spotted tall, dark, and Sidhe
slipping out of the curtain of Glamour that hid the entrance to a fey-only
club, London trailed him from the shadows. London knew how to tail a suspect
and this fellow appeared too preoccupied fiddling with his smart phone to notice
much around him.
To the uninitiated, this particular Sidhe could
pass for human. A really sexy human male. The kind of sexy that made you stare.
The kind of drop-dead gorgeous Hollywood would pay millions for, but could only
achieve after hours in a make-up chair, careful camera angles, and creative
lighting. There’s simply no such thing as an unattractive Sidhe. Heck, there
was no such thing as a kind-of good-looking Sidhe. They were all... every last
cursed one of them... too damned sexy for anyone’s good.
For our fantasy cast, the actress we'd most like to see play the role of Trip is the lovely Emmy Rossum. Trip is one of the earthborn Sidhe in the Rise of the Unseelie urban fantasy series. Her aspect of magic is 'shadow' and she already has some skill in her shadow weaving. To fit in better among the humans, Trip had plastic surgery to alter the elven points of her ears to a more rounded shape. We first meet Trip in Aftershock where she was captured by wizards before Donovan finds her. We get to discover a little more about her in Eyes of Magic, through her run ins with Malcolm. Look for Trip to continue to grow as the series progresses. She has a 'shadowy' past that has yet to be revealed.