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Phaedra Weldon is the author of the Zoë Martinique urban fantasy series. Zoë is here with us today to give us her take on the Brian Boru and the Banshee fable. Zoë Martinique is a twenty-something former sales rep with the uncanny ability to go out of body. Later she learned her father was dead when she was conceived which made her an Irin, one of the Guardians of the Planar Borders. Well, that is before her touch with the Symbiont and her transformation into the Wraith. Ever since then her life’s been nothing but turmoil for herself, and for her friends. This encounter takes place after book 5, GEIST, available now in e-book and released in August in Trade Paperback. Thanks to Phaedra and the awesome people at Penguin/Ace, three of you who comment on this post will win copies of the books! See details below
Well, a Revenant Vampire. Which is what Daniel is. He was human until a few months ago. Now he’s not. Long story.
What I should clarify is that to make him a Revenant, he was bonded with a demon. Well, some call them demons but they’re not really. They’re creatures from the Abysmal Plane. First Borns of the Phantasm. And the Phantasm is the grand muckity-muck of the Abysmal.
Now…you can call that Hell if you want, and you can call Heaven the Ethereal Plane. But since I’m the daughter of an Ethereal. An Angel. Technically a Virtue—and I know what Ethereals are capable of—I’ll stick to the Abysmal set. They at least won’t smile and lie to your face.
Me? I’m not a Vampire. Or an Angel, Virtue, Ethereal anything. I’m a Wraith, which is basically more Abysmal than Ethereal. No, I can’t explain that one to you either. Short version? I fall in love with men I can’t have, fall out of love with men who are perfect, trust all the wrong people, and—oh yeah—I can push a spirit on to its destination.
So anyone might ask what a Wraith and a Vampire were doing in Montreal, in Lafontaine park after midnight, trading insults with a sixties hipster. I woke up and found Daniel out of bed and the door open. His shoes by the desk and his wallet still in his pants.
He’d walked out in his pajamas.
I looked at Daniel with an annoyed frown. “Of all the girls in the park, you had to try and feed off of a Banshee?”
Daniel still looked queasy. He had his hands on his jaw where his victim had given him a right cross. “How was I supposed to know? I mean,” he sighed and lowered his shoulders. “I heard her singing and followed it and…” he shrugged. “Even Inanna wasn’t sure at first.”
Inanna was the First Born bonded to Daniel. Kind of like having a permanent voice in your head. Well in Daniel’s head. He was never alone.
We are drawn to the Faerie, she said in my mind. I—it has been so long since I have heard their song or seen them.
The Banshee didn’t look too happy. She also looked like a sixties folk singer, complete with handkerchief style shirt, bell bottom jeans that rode dangerously low on her hips, sandals, and a beaded headband. On her back rested an acoustic guitar.
She pulled her long blond hair back and exposed Daniel’s bite. “He owes me an apology.”
“You were just fine while we were kissing.”
“The kissing was fine.”
“You liked the biting too.”
“Kissing yeah, biting no.”
Daniel opened up his mouth to retort but I reached up and slapped my hand over it. “Hush. Now.”
He looked hurt but nodded as I stepped back.
I pointed at her. “Aren’t you a long way from Woodstock?”
She gave me a withering look. Her eyes took on a silvery quality. “I know what day it is, and what year.”
“Then why the retro look?”
She put her hands on her hips. “Look, my score is with fang-boy here. He drank my blood, now he’s my slave.”
I blinked. “Slave?”
It’s…an old wives’ tale.
I made a really rude noise. “Lady, I suggest you take your freaky hippie self out of here and forget it. Daniel’s with me and he’s not your slave.”
“I don’t know what you think you are, but he’s mine now.” And as if to prove it, she snapped her fingers at Daniel. “You. Come to me.”
And he did!
“I—” he stopped and looked at me with a bewildered look, which was kinda cute on his face. “What…”
It’s because of her blood. It will eventually wear off.
“I said come to me!” She sashayed over and took his shirt collar with her right hand and started to pull him away. “It’s been a long time, fanger. And you’re my ticket back home.”
“Whoa….” I held up my hand and walked toward them. “You’re not going anywhere with—”
That’s when she turned, opened her mouth a lot wider than she should be able too, and screamed at me. I winced at the sound. It was nasty, and loud and honestly—it sounded like someone was skinning a walrus.
When she was done I straightened my hair.
Her eyes widened. “Why…why aren’t you a sniveling pile of goo?”
“Sorry,” I shifted right there in the middle of that park. My skin became ashen, decorated with an intricate pattern of spirals that wove a smokey cover to the rest of my body. My hair moved out from my back and shoulders like a wild octopus as it danced in the air around me, and dark, black leathery wings unfurled from my back.
Banshee Hippy Chick’s eyes bugged out of her head as she let go of Daniel’s shirt. He took one look at me and ducked behind a tree.
I smiled at her. “My turn.”
And I screamed.
When I was finished, there was nothing left but a pile of ash and a guitar.
Daniel stepped out from the tree and poked at the pile with his boot. “Did…did you just smoke a Banshee?”
“Yep,” I said and shifted back to myself. Me as Zoë. Not me as Wraith. I reached up and grabbed his ear. “You’re coming back to the Auberge del la Fontaine with me. Next time you get hungry, snack on me, not the local Faeries.”
He laughed as he followed me and I released his ear. He kept up with me as we moved through the park back to the bed and breakfast he’d booked for the two of us. Just as friends.
But after we crossed the street with the building in sight, I felt his hand in mine. “Thank you.”
A Revenant’s hand isn’t cold and hard, but warm. They are living, breathing creatures. With wants and needs.
Just like me.
I laced my fingers with his as we walked back into the Auberge del la Fontaine in silence.
Born in Pensacola, Florida, Phaedra is the eldest of four children. She began writing in notebooks with her best friend in middle school, rewriting their favorite television shows into what they believed were better endings. Or at least better plots.
After leaving college for a job in the Graphic Arts industry, Phaedra continued her love of writing in her spare time and was lucky enough at a writer’s conference to meet Dean Wesley Smith, who later became her writing mentor, along with his wife, the bestselling mystery/fantasy/romance/science fiction writer, Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
Phaedra lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, daughter, cat and dog. When not writing, she and her daughter spend their time playing games, letterboxing, or watching anime.
Want to read more from Phaedra Weldon?
This giveaway is provided by Phaedra and Penguin/Ace
Two winners will each receive a copy of Revenant by Phaedra Weldon
Available on June 1, 2011 from Penguin/Ace
About the Book:
Zoë Martinique’s life hasn’t been ordinary for quite awhile. First she developed the ability to travel outside her body at will-where she encountered some seriously weird things. Things that left her with powers that she didn’t really want or need. Still, a person can get used to almost anything- even being a Wraith. Though more often than not, it plays serious havoc with her love life.
But for once, Zoë is glad of her abilities. Bodies are showing up all over Atlanta, drained of blood. They’re beings from another astral plane, called Revenants-and they’re being stalked by her old enemy, the Phantasm. The Revenants are hardly the nicest of creatures-but to preserve the cosmic balance, Zoë will need to put everything on the line to save them…
Click HERE to read an excerpt
Available on July 26, 2011 from Caldwell Press
About the Book:
In an attempt to gain power over the borders between the Outer and Inner planes, Adiran Martinique locked his daughter inside the Abysmal Throne with the intention of using her as his puppet. With the borders between the planes closed, Zoë was cut off from her friends and family. Alone.
What he didn’t count on was his daughter receiving help from an ancient consciousness that has existed for centuries. Now this entity has promised her a way to break the bonds of the Abysmal Throne and return physically to the Physical Plane and her lover, Dags McConnell.
But should Zoë trust this voice in her head? The last person she trusted was her father—and look where that got her. The Ethereals are after Dags for the magical tome fused to his soul, and in order to protect him, Zoë has to make a choice to trust the Geist to escape, or truly become the Phantasm of the Abysmal Plane.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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