They'll turn me in thy arms, lady,
An adder and a snake;
But hold me fast, let me na gae,
To be your warldly mate.
All the old stories start off with that stupid phrase: once upon a time. That’s when you know it’s not real. It’s only make-believe. Right? Only, sometimes, make-believe is a substitute for reality. Make-believe is another word for metaphor, for a life-lesson; something that has to be taught in parables and fairy tales, in fables of disappointed foxes, ridiculous rabbits or reluctant heroes.
I’d only been in Rio Seco a few months, a small wee scared child rescued from Faery, when my Aunt Jane began to tell me stories at bedtime. At first, I thought that like the bards Below, she was telling history tales. After all, my mother’s people have been the subject of many a folk tale--some true, some not so much true as bastardizations of half-glimpsed lives written by bards with too heavy a hand on the spirits.
It took several watchings of various Disney films to realize that those particular movies weren’t historical events. There wasn’t actually a hidden princess living with seven wee men--or if there were, she was keeping damned quiet about her non-traditional living arrangements. No one was going to enchant a pumpkin and give me glass slippers and whisk me off to a ball. Totally fine with me. All that girly stuff was definitely for someone else. Not for Keira Kelly. My idea of dress up is adding a nice jacket over my blue jeans and T-shirt.
After realizing this, I began to relax. I didn’t need to learn the tales. They weren’t lessons. I could just cuddle up to my aunt and let her voice wash over me, not paying attention to details, not caring so much about the content of the stories as the feeling of family, of belonging.
I should have listened. In fact, not only should I have paid attention, I should have taken notes, branded the knowledge on my freaking forehead. Sure, I was only a kid. How the heck was I to know that one day I’d need to know? I don’t blame Aunt Jane--she’d had no idea, either.
How could I have expected to fall in love with someone I’d thought to be human, but is actually vampire and other things, as well? Not only that, but because of who he is, who I am and our respective families, I ended up in the middle of a tale worthy of the old bards. Another variation on one of the oldest ballads, to be precise.
Tam Lin, anyone? You know the old Scottish story, right? Tam Lin is a hero/elf knight/lover who ends up captured by the Queen of Faery and is rescued by young Janet (who is pregnant with his child). Tam Lin is to be part of the seven-year teind (tithe) to Hell and the only way Janet can save him is to hang on tight while the faeries attempt to make her drop him by turning him into all manner of horrid beasts. Of course, in the end, Janet prevails and they live happily ever after. Moral of the story? Don’t fuck with Faery.
Yeah, right. Messing about with Faery is now part and parcel of my life. I thought I’d made my own escape thanks to my father pulling me out Below when I was seven. Only, not so much. Turns out, my ties to Faery and the Sidhe were far from cut--only stretched a bit.
The only person who could and has helped me through dealing with the ever fickle Faery? Adam Walker.
I first met Adam during my early days in London. I honestly thought he was human, and therefore utterly off limits for me despite the overwhelming attraction. Sure, I could’ve just jumped his bones and not worried about it, but after my then recent experience with Carlton (ex-boyfriend and absolutely human), I’d forsworn anyone but people like me: supernatural, powerful and nigh 0n immortal.
Discovery of Adam’s vampire nature made some aspects of my life easier, yet, complicated others after I found out I was the heir to the Kelly clan. As heir, one of my duties (though I hoped far in the future) was to pass on my genes. Hard to do that with an undead lover. Vampires aren’t exactly potent. (Though, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing at all amiss with Adam’s performance!)
Just as I was getting comfortable with him, another revelation. Not only is Adam vampire, but he’s full-blooded Unseelie Sidhe and joy of joys, half-brother to the clan lover I’d run away from. Oh yeah, and the kicker? Adam’s heir to the Unseelie throne. I might be half-Sidhe, but my claim to the Seelie court (historic rivals to Adam’s line) is distant and through my estranged mother, cousin to the queen.
I have to admit, when I found this out, I really had to think? Did I want to continue to hang on? To embrace this relationship? Like Tam Lin, Adam’s nature kept changing--at least, to my eyes. He got more dangerous as time went on. Could I handle that? Could I fully embrace everything he was--everything that frightened me? Vampire, Sidhe, royalty...I could handle the first but the other two were my own personal monsters. My own things-that-go-bump and hide out in dark corners.
Leap of faith, anyone? I did it. Somehow, I managed to shake off my trepidation, said goodbye to the fear and held on tight. I can’t deny this past year’s been tough. And unlike Janet and Tam Lin, I don’t think the changes affecting our lives are over. Not even close. But it’s all worth it...I think.
All’s fair in blood and war. . . .
Talk about wedding crashers from hell. Keira Kelly and her sexy vampire king Adam are about to tie the proverbial knot—sort of—when an uninvited blood relative shows up to cast a long dark shadow over the happy occasion. Adam’s brother Gideon comes bearing the one-size-fits-all gift of bad news: an ancient, convoluted Challenge thrown down upon the entire Kelly clan. It seems the dreaded forces of the fae have declared war on Keira’s family, and at stake is the land that is rightfully theirs. But while the Kellys gather their troops in a historic San Antonio hotel to strategize, there’s mayhem back in Rio Seco. The old cemetery is vandalized, fires break out everywhere, and—worst of all—the Kelly clan matriarch and leader, Keira’s great-great-grandmother Minerva, goes missing. Should Keira risk breaking the Challenge rules by returning to her beloved home, or should she continue the waiting game that seems the only other option? With everything she loves, maybe even her life, on the line, she has only one chance to get the answer right.
Interested in winning this book?
Luckily for you, Maria is offering a copy of any books in the series (so you can pick the first one if you haven’t started yet!), to one lucky winner!
This giveaway is open to Internationally
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tweet: #FantasticFables Read @theMariaLima Take on Tam Lin legend | Win Blood Sacrifice or previous book in the series http://www.tyngasreviews.com/2011/08/ff-maria-limas-tam-lin.html PLZ RT
Ends September 7th, 2011.
Sometime before the Revolution, Maria Lima was born in Matanzas, Cuba, to a family of voracious readers and would-be writers. After her family emigrated to the United States, Maria discovered the magic of books. She started writing her own stories and has been at it ever since. Her writing turned corporate as she used her journalism degree and cranked out marketing copy, feature stories and book reviews. The fiction muse kept calling and in the spring of 2005, was finally fed as Maria’s first published short story, “The Butler Didn’t Do It” was published in Chesapeake Crimes I and garnered an Agatha Award nomination for Best Short Story. Maria spends most of her days working as a Senior Web Project Manager in the DC area. Her evenings and weekends are spent writing.
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