BLIND DESTINY Excerpt, Mini Q&A, and Contest with Shiloh Walker
Today’s guest brings one of my favorite themes to the blog. Shiloh Walker’s BLIND DESTINY is releasing today, and is book 7 in her Grimm’s Circle series of reimagined fairy tales. I’ve been a fan of these kinds of recreations for a long time, and Shiloh’s grimm add a fantastic twist to the stories you *think* you know.
Well, I call the series ‘bastardized’ fairy tales…and that sums up the idea of it well enough. I had the idea a few years ago. It was inspired by a bad case of the flu and a day-long binge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was watching the Hansel and Gretel episode…for those who never watched it, there was this demon who pretended to be the two kids. Giles, one of the characters was hypothesizing and talking… he’s this super-smart, literary, nerdy type and just jabbers on… the bit that inspired the idea was this..
Giles:There is a fringe theory, held by a few folklorists, that some regional stories have actual, very literal antecedents.
Buffy:And in some language that’s English?
Oz:Fairy tales are real.
So there I was in my drugged-out, flu hazed, thinking…Wow. That’s cool. I’d always loved fairy tales. But how were they real and who were they and why did we think they were fake? As soon as I asked myself that question, I had the answer.
They had to hide. Because that had a big job to do, and naturally, since I’m watching Buffy, and it makes sense… the characters from fairy tales hide because they are demon-slayers. But they aren’t just demon-slayers. They are actually a special-class of warrior guardian angels.
The fairy tales were created to hide what really happened, because you know…you can’t go hacking things up without being noticed at some point. So the stories hide the real thing, which is bloodier and far worse than anything the Brothers Grimm dreamed up. As to the name? Well… their leader has an odd sense of humor.
2) If your life was a fairytale, which one would it be, and who would you be in the tale?
I wouldn’t willing choose any one of them. I’ve read too many of the originals and they are a lot darker than most people realize. Yeah, they might end with a prince and a kiss, but even Cinderella had bloody parts. 😉 Besides, my life is a normal one…it’s a great kind of normal, but it’s normal.
Sooo… How about you, my lovely readers… what fairy tale would YOUR life be, and what part would you play?? One random commenter between now and Saturday (Oct 20th) will win a prize from Shiloh, a $10 GC to Samhain Publishing!!! (Contest is open internationally)
OH… and you should all check out her website for another awesome BLIND DESTINY / Grimm’s Circle contest. Shiloh’s giving away this beautiful necklace from Cadsawan Jewelry. Click the image to see the details of the contest and to enter.
Myrsina knows the stories. As one of the oldest of the Grimm, she had a hand in writing most of them, but only she knows the dark origin of the Seven Bloody Sisters. It springs from the place of her birth—and her death. A place of pain and misery to which she plans to never return. Unless forced. When Luc appears on her doorstep, her heart twists with suppressed longing for the man who can never be hers. The only man who can make her do the impossible—go home.
Luc may be blind, but through their unique, bittersweet connection, even he can see that the task laid before them is ripping Sina’s soul apart. This time it isn’t as simple as fighting a demon that has escaped from the netherplains. Sina must go back in time—to that cursed ground—and right a wrong that she unknowingly brought about. To write a new ending to a story that may give them both a chance at happily ever after. Assuming they survive.
Product Warnings,This book contains a not-so-fairy-tale prince, a Snow White who was never very innocent, a lot of bloody fights, some ghosts, and a new sort of angel…
“Can’t you hear her?” I demanded.
Those sightless, impossibly blue eyes turned to me. If one looked closely, you could see the scars at the corners of his eyes. They were faded—a few hundred years of life would do that. One black brow winged up and he said, “Hear who?”
Snarling, I climbed off the bed and stormed over to the window, glaring outside.
Of course he didn’t hear her.
He hadn’t even realized anything was off earlier until I’d pulled him into my mind.
I was apparently rather keyed into her. Perhaps it was because I’d added to the weight of her insanity. Krell didn’t seem to notice anything unusual, either, and that was rather strange.
Most animals were rather in tune with that sort of thing.
Maybe I’m going mad.
Standing there, I thought maybe I could even hear their screams. And that just wasn’t possible. But it had been close to two millennia. Even the most determined ghost couldn’t cling for that long.
Oh, Despoina wasn’t that old.
But whether she’d come into this mess or not, I knew if I’d come here at any given time, I’d still hear those screams. I’d cursed this place. Cursed it well and truly.
Then I’d driven a wretched, evil, old woman mad.
Now I got to lie there and watch the house endlessly, thanks to the lovely window in our room. I’d checked it out once Will had booked it and sent me the information. Preparing myself, I supposed.
It faces out over the street and you can see the mountains! See the mountains. See the birth of my nightmares. I could lie there, hear the screams again, see the blood as it spread across the building under the rise of the moon.
Others didn’t always see it.
But some did…there were whispers of it. The house that bled. Rooms that screamed.
Children were terrified of the place.
But that could be because of the legends. Because of Despoina’s tales, the stories of her descent into madness. There was a pall here, one even I could feel. It made little sense. She’d been dead for a long time. Well, not by my standards, but almost two centuries had passed.
Why did the taint of madness still linger?
Suppressing a shiver, I crossed my arms over my chest and closed my eyes. Behind me, I heard a sound but I ignored it. It would be best if I tried to get through this job without paying any more attention to Luc than I absolutely had to.
Why in the hell had Will paired me with him, anyway?
It wasn’t like I needed a partner.
The floorboards, old and worn, creaked.
Shooting a glance over my shoulder, I saw Luc coming my way.
He moved slowly, with an easy, casual grace. When we’d first settled into the room, Krell had trotted all over it, time and time again, and I suspected Luc had been committing the room’s layout to memory. He’d moved around it several times over himself and now he came toward me unerringly. I was tempted to dodge around him and go hide on my bed.
Only one thing stopped me—pride.
Damn it, I was Myrsina. Others of our ilk trembled when they heard my name.
I’d be damned if I’d dodge away and hide because this one man made me nervous.
Even if I was standing there in just a T-shirt that skimmed a little high on my thighs.
I was nervous, damn it. Nervous and it made me even more nervous, and that pissed me off.
Defensively, I crossed my arms over my chest and decided I’d make a point of studying the black and white framed photograph hanging over his bed. It was of a ruin—probably local. The landscape was oddly familiar. Yes, yes, focus on the mundane—
“Why do you think you hear it when I don’t?”
Baring my teeth in a mockery of a smile, I said, “Because I’m the lucky sort, I guess.”
“Hmm. Nice try. But I’m not buying it. Try again.”
“Maybe you are the lucky sort,” I offered, shooting him a narrow look.
He cocked his head, a frown on that incredibly perfect face. I wanted to push my hand through his hair. Pull him to me, and for once…even if it was just once…I wanted to kiss him. Taste those lips, and feel his mouth on mine.
“Why are you angry with me?”
“I’m not,” I bit off. Was I?
“You’re angry with something and it has to do with me,” he said, his voice mild enough. “I feel it—your anger is like a red wave in my head.”
He lifted a hand.
Unerringly, he touched my face and I felt my breath squeeze down in nothing in my chest.
No, don’t touch me—
But I couldn’t move away.
Not for anything. “You are angry,” he murmured. “And…”
Move, Sina! The voice of self-preservation was a trumpeting roar in my head and I knew I needed to move, needed to break contact. Even with my shields up, there were some things that were simply impossible to hide if the person had a gift like my own.
And Luc’s gift…was…just…like…mine.
Helpless, frozen in place, I stared at him and watched his eyes narrow. As something passed through his gaze, an awareness, I finally managed to find the strength to pull away and nudge him aside. “I’m not angry with you,” I said, my voice so raw I barely recognized it. “I—”
He caught my arm.
I jerked away but he didn’t let go.
“If you don’t let me go,” I warned him. “I’ll…”
So many years.
Did he have any idea what it was like to want something, to need it, for so long? And now, here he was…right there. In front of me. And not only was he right there…in front of me…
Want to check out more of Shiloh Walker’s Grimm Circle series before forking out any moolah for a whole book?? She’s got links to a FREE Grimm short story, ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD, on her website.