The Novel Approach welcomes author Belinda Burke today on her Undone blog tour. Belinda joins us to chat a bit about star crossed lovers, and you can also enter to win an e-book of your choice in Totally Bound’s June blog tour contest. Be sure to click on the “Giveaway” image below to enter.
Star Light, Star Bright…Star Crossed
Some of the best (as in, my personal favorite) love stories are the ones that seem doomed from the beginning. Depending on the story, that seeming can come true, or not – but when the romance is drawn between characters who, for one reason or another, can’t come together, or can’t communicate their feelings, it becomes instantly much more poignant.
Whether a tale focuses more on the relationship that love entails, or the trauma of that love being taken away, or hovers somewhere in between, the fact remains. Love is the thing that motivates! In romance, that’s just much more obvious. Romantic love is special in the attention it gets and the way people are divided about it, especially as it’s presented in literature.
Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet as a tragedy, but because of the star-crossed lovers, it’s always the romance that catches the eye first. Wuthering Heights’ Heathcliff is a horrible man, but the doom of his love with Catherine (the elder) makes him sympathetic.
The question of how to prove your love, how to make clear that it’s real and true… If it’s trouble in real life, how much more so in fiction – especially fantasy? We all know we’re taking a chance when we choose to open up about our feelings, trust someone with our hearts, but in a fantasy – especially a story about sidhe, the stakes are multiplied by magic.
From the very beginning, from their first meeting, Tighe and Faelan are both aware of how unlikely it is that any relationship between them will end well. Tighe is a prince of Summer, but he’s only half-sidhe, and his human blood makes Faelan’s power dangerous to him. Faelan is gancanagh, and he’s aware of the same danger. His nature is to entice mortals, to addict them to his power then leave them when he grows bored.
Tighe is very much aware of how easy it would be for him to get caught up in a web of seduction, infatuation, and obsession. At the same time, he’s had bad luck with relationships due to his own peculiar circumstances – so bad that he’s willing to give even a gancanagh a chance.
It’s a combination that begs for caution, but a healthy dose of hope and the promise of desire leads the two of them into a relationship whose end might be as inevitable as its beginning – but only might!
Excerpt from Undone: Maybe because of the sun, maybe because of the silence that came to him on the breeze, Tighe fell asleep there by the water, and only woke to the sound of splashing and a sudden gasp. He jerked himself upright and blinked into wary wakefulness in an instant. There was a screen of brush between him and the water, and he peered between the leaves, still but for his stare.
He saw a stranger, shedding drops of water like shining scales, his hair dark with dampness and the silk of his trousers clinging to his skin as he came out of the deep water and into the shallows. Sleek as a seal he was, wore no tunic, wasn’t even carrying one. The lines of his body called Tighe’s gaze and kept it, even as the stranger turned his back.
Tighe saw more than just flesh. The curse of his gaze stripped that skin to a pane of clear glass he could see right through, a pane of glass painted with lust and beauty. That was all, endlessly mirrored, and nothing else.
Tighe knew all the same what this stranger was and swallowed thickly. Gancanagh. The stranger was a gancanagh. A dangerous one, and this a precarious moment. He knew it, and knew in the same instant he should leave. The gancanagh were the inciters of a terrible infatuation in anything mortal. Their skin was poison, secreted a dust half aphrodisiac and half addiction, and Tighe was half mortal, half vulnerable. Already, in the instant of his knowledge, he thought he could taste sex and sunlight on the air.
He knew all his own trouble, his own vulnerabilities. The ache of his love’s failure was a silver-lined grief in the shallow spaces between his ribs. The scent on the air was made more enticing because of that, even though he knew that no lust would be enough to soothe him.
Blurb for Undone: The first step on the road to addiction is desire…
Tighe is Summer’s prince, the second son of the Summer Queen. The blindness of his mortal father cursed him with eyes that see too much, and now he wanders the woods of immortal Summer alone. He is an outsider in his own country or at best a curiosity—never someone anyone truly wants.
Faelan is gancanagh, one of dark Summer’s most treacherous beings. Beguiling as he is beautiful, he, like all of his kind, was made to incite lust and longing, even as he seeks true love. For anything mortal, anything unprepared, even to be in his presence is dangerous.
When the two meet by chance, Faelan can’t help but be curious about this half-mortal prince—and the prince is more interested in a companion than questioning what kind.
Tighe has never seen anything but the lie behind love. Faelan is love’s lie and knows it. Is the beginning and end of everything between them inevitable? Which is stronger, need—or nature?
Publisher’s Note: This book is associated with the Eight Kingdoms series by Belinda Burke.
Like the sound of Undone? Buy it here.
Eight Kingdoms series blurb: Strange alliances are forged among the fae as Macsen Cadoc and his fae allies attempt to defeat the Milesians, Irish huntresses who bear a grudge against the sidhe.
Failure will bring Macsen to his knees; success may do the same, unless he and Bran Fionnan, once a captive of the huntresses, can succeed in sowing seeds of peace. Yet even while some attempt to find a middle ground and forge a place where tolerance can flower, a new power rises, a threat to them all.
The Church of Rome aims to win the earth from its immortal rivals, even if doing so comes at the price of magic itself. It will be up to Macsen to make a choice that might save the fae and all that sustains them…but only Bran has the power to convince him to do what is right.
Can mortal and immortal overcome the conflicts that divide them when some must hunt others to survive? Is love stronger than anything—even a Fae King’s pride?
About Belinda Burke: Belinda currently lives on the New England coast with her fiancée, their room mate and her cat. When she’s not writing, she’s working toward degrees in Philosophy and English, embroidering or reading.
Belinda writes in several genres, but a little lust and love always work their way into her stories.
Enter Totally Bound’s June blog tour competition for the chance to win an eBook of your choice, not including boxsets or anthologies.