Thank you, Nikki, for having me today! I’m very excited to celebrate my newest release, You Bet Your Banshee (The Three Kingdoms) with y’all.
It made complete sense to me that this book took place partly in New Orleans. I live in south Louisiana and I’ve spent a lot of time in the Big Easy. I’ve seen things I never ever want to see again. One in particular always comes to mind when I think about this story, not because it appeared in the story, but because it sort of gave me the idea of what my heroine would do for a living while staying on Earth. Strip.
Yes, I was outside Larry Flint’s Hustler Club several years ago with a group of friends. You all know about the bead throwing that goes on all along Bourbon Street, yes? Well, we paused to sip our drinks and watch the crowd when we noticed a bunch of men looking up. Naturally, we all tilted our heads back as well just in time to see one of the dancers pull a string of beads from…well, let’s just say it was from a place I’d rather not catch anything from.
The men, of course, were just about killing each other to catch the prize and all I could think was, “How long was she holding onto those beads?” and “Does she have like a whole pack of them in there?” It kind of reminded me of the ping-pong ball scene from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you really have to watch the movie.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen in public? I’m giving away a copy of You Bet Your Banshee (The Three Kingdoms) to one lucky commenter.
*Open Until June 27 at 11:59pm EST – winner picked the following day – open internationally*
What’s a banshee to do when she’s sentenced to death because of her inability to cry? Move to Earth and become a stripper, of course. For ten years, Magda O’Quinn has lived on Earth, supporting herself with her butt-shaking skills and hiding from the banshee queen who wants her death, before she discovers people are hunting her who won’t stop until she’s back in Fairworld.
The first to find her is hunky Halfling, Ryvan Keller, an agent of the fairy queen. The attraction Magda feels for him is panty-wetting to be sure, but there’s no way she’ll give in to her attraction and meekly follow him back into the hell of Fairworld. She’ll have to battle extreme lust for a sexy Halfling, fall in love, and defeat an evil queen before she can get back to the business of having a life again.
I cleared my throat. “My name is Magda. I’m a banshee.”
They murmured, “Hi, Magda,” back at me, the two newbies keeping mum. I squinted at them.
One was a vampire. He was easy to label with his eerie pink eyes. The other I wasn’t too sure about, though he looked a little familiar. He was a halfling of some kind and his dark eyes watched me with way too much attention. I shrugged it off. Chances were he’d seen me at my day job.
I knew what newbies to the group thought when they saw me. They took note of the platinum blonde hair which could have been dyed, but wasn’t. I’d tried coloring it a few times, but my hair grows so damn fast, all I seemed to do was piss money away. They stared at my eyes, the lavender irises that marked me as a banshee. Not that my peepers did me any good.
Ugh, gut clench time. I geared myself to admit my shame to a roomful of people.
“I can’t cry,” I confessed to the crowd. I saw several nods, a couple of understanding smiles, and the blank look of shock from the vampire. I wasn’t sure what the halfling thought because his face was so deeply shadowed, but it was probably the same look of astonishment as the vampire wore.
Yeah, I was a freak because banshees are supposed to cry. Hell, we were known for crying. “I’ve had every test known to Fairworld, been exposed to every torture known to human and Fairworlder, yet I can’t produce tears.” This was the hardest part. My stomach twisted on me, trying to keep the words in, but they had to come out, I had to purge myself of the pain. “
“Because of my…mutation,” it seemed a kind enough word, “I can’t be a functioning member of banshee society. I can’t contribute anything to the court. I was a burden and a shame to my family. I came Earthside ten years ago when I realized my queen wanted me dead.”
That was an understatement. For all of our advancements in technology and magic, Fairworlders were like any animal in Fairworld or on Earth: they wanted to destroy the weakest link. I’d nearly been torn apart by my people before I managed to get away from them. I might be defective, but I have a will to survive. I hadn’t been back to Fairworld and I doubted I ever would. Those bitches were crazy.
Phineas gave me an encouraging smile. “How have you done since our last meeting, Magda?”
“Um, fine. Things are a lot better now that I no longer fear they’ll come after me.” I twisted my fingers in the loose folds of my skirt. “I have a steady job now”—stripping at Spankalicious, but they didn’t need to know that—“and I finally sleep more than two hours at a time.” When I drink myself into a stupor, I added mentally.
“Have you made contact with your family to let them know you’re okay?” Phineas’s young-old face studied me with compassion. He was a wood elf, very old, very wise, and he understood being a freak since he was allergic to plants.
I shook my head, my heart slamming. “No. I’m not ready for that.” I’d never be ready for that. My own grandmother had handed me over to the banshee queen for “training” when I was a child and that bitch hated me.
“You need closure with your tribe, Magda,” Phineas said in his calm, collected voice. He’d been at this support group a lot longer than I had. He no longer got ruffled. His oak-colored face creased into a charming smile. “Your family needs to understand they no longer have a hold on you, or you’ll always live in fear of them.” I nodded because it was true. He smiled again. “Next month I want to hear that you’ve at least called them, okay?”
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