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In the process of writing Ever Shade, I often had to look up a lot of different faery/fairy folklore; names of certain types of faeries, common types, the Seelie and Unseelie courts etc. I had no real knowledge of this kind of stuff at all, and what I found was mind blowing. I did stick to a lot of the traditional lore in Ever Shade and in its sequel Ever Fire, but I did twist a lot of it into my own rendition to build on the mythology as my own. Though some people dislike wavering from the common descriptions and depictions of the fey, I tend to like to use it as a basis to build an original, mind blowing adventure. Just an example of the structure of what the land of Faerie is about.

What are the Unseelie and Seelie Courts?

The Seelie Court faeries were considered the true aristocrats of the Sidhe. Sometimes called the ‘Blessed Ones,’ the Seelie were often depicted as a procession of brilliant light riding on the night air. The Seelie Court, as a group, would often use these excursions to find those in need of help. The Seelie were also prone to a great deal of mischief, especially when bored. However, their pranks rarely caused true harm, for the Seelie were really very fond of humans.

The Unseelie Court or Unblessed Court contains the most malicious, malevolent and evil of the faeries, and a number of monsters of horrible appearance and fearsome abilities as well. They comprise the Slaugh, or The Host, the band of the unsanctified dead who fly above the earth, stealing mortals and take great pleasure in harming humans.

Often called the ‘Unblessed Ones,’ the Unseelie were depicted as a dark cloud riding upon the wind from where their unnerving cackles and howls can be heard. Though not necessarily evil, they were far from kind. These unsavory characters tended towards evil and were often malignant. Some Scottish legends claim that the Unseelie were fallen Seelie, those who could not live up to the strict standards of chivalry of the shining court. They have no method of reproduction, so they enslave mortals whom they think would never be missed and carry them along to become one of them. The Unseelie Court was almost always out to harm, or at least bedevil and trick, humankind.

(Defined by: http://faerie.monstrous.com/seelie_and_unseelie_court.htm )

Interesting right? In Ever Shade I deviate slightly from this definition, I do try to keep to the evil vs. good theme though, critical to the conflicts to the Land of Faerie.

Another Question I get asked quite a bit is Why do I spell Faerie the way I do instead of Fairy?

Well that is an excellent question. I do take influences from the amazing writers Holly Black, J.R.R. Tolkien, Cassandra Clare and Laurell K. Hamilton who use more of the dark faerie folklore in their stories than the fairies we are used to as depicted by Disney. Faeries can be mischievous, devious tricksters that play with humans in any way they can. They are dangerous and do not hesitate to kill a human if they want to.

Also from Wikipedia: The word fairy derives from Middle English faierie (also fayerye, feirie, fairie), a direct borrowing from Old French faerie (Modern French féerie) meaning the land, realm, or characteristic activity.

Now in the Irish Folklore: the trooping faeries are the major and presiding residents of fairyland; but the solitary ones (leprechauns, banshees, etc…) have greater interest in mortal affairs and therefore are generally more familiar to us.

Fairies exist all over the world, but in Ireland they are the ‘sidhe’ (pronounced shee), a name they have retained from the ancient days. (Defined by http://pg4anna.tripod.com/Faeries.htm)

So you see, there are many things you have to know about the land of Faerie to even think about whipping up your own fey story. Not an easy feat but definitely a fun one.

Ever Shade (A Dark Faerie Tale) by Alexia Purdy Excerpts:

#1

He stepped back from her and seemed to shake a bit, as though dusting himself off; the air around him seemed to liquefy. His glamour melted away and the brightness of his skin illuminated the dark hallway.

Shade gasped, her eyes almost popping out of their sockets. He still looked like Jack but his skin glowed with a blue aura; blue fire flickered all over him and electricity crackled along his entire body. Yet he did not burn.

His eyes blinked at her, smiling at her awe.

#2

Dylan speaking to Shade:

“Like a cord between us, it binds me to you, where you go I must then follow. If you go too far, I am compelled to search for you until I find you. If I try to run, I would freeze in my own steps and be made to turn back. I am anything but free. I’m your slave. I intend to see this to its finality and end it.” He snickered then and let her go. “Til death do us part, Shade.”

Visit the author’s website.

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At a trendy Turkish tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. Soon, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her–her skin’s abnormally high temperature, her obsession with milk products, her child-like and bizarre behavior as she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.

The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.

But nothing, not even the stunning splendor of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature. In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul…

Dream Realm Awards Finalist!

Reviews…

“Mayra Calvani is a masterful storyteller… Dark Lullaby is complex and compelling…” –Habitual Reader

“Dark Lullaby is an atmospheric paranormal horror that grips you from page one and refuses to let go until you’ve raced, breathless, to the end.” –ePinions

“Dark Lullaby is a page-turner. A horror story from the top shelf! You’ll love it.” –5 stars from Euro-Reviews

“This is a terrific horror…” –Harriet Klausner

“Dark Lullaby will capture you with its rich descriptions, its exotic location, and the need to uncover the dark secrets hidden within its pages.” –Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection

GET IT ON AMAZON!

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Let me share some news!

DARK LULLABY is now available from Fantastic Literature Ltd, UK’s largest and best online purveyor of out of print books, rare books and used books in the genres of science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, thrillers, ghost stories, weird tales and macabre fiction both in paperback, hardcover and magazine format.

At a trendy Turkish tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. Soon, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her–her skin’s abnormally high temperature, her obsession with milk products, her child-like and bizarre behavior as she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.
The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.
But nothing, not even the stunning splendor of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature. In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul…

Reviews…

“Mayra Calvani is a masterful storyteller… Dark Lullaby is complex and compelling…” –Habitual Reader

“Dark Lullaby is an atmospheric paranormal horror that grips you from page one and refuses to let go until you’ve raced, breathless, to the end.” –ePinions

“Dark Lullaby is a page-turner. A horror story from the top shelf! You’ll love it.” –5 stars from Euro-Reviews

“This is a terrific horror…” –Harriet Klausner

“Dark Lullaby will capture you with its rich descriptions, its exotic location, and the need to uncover the dark secrets hidden within its pages.” –Cheryl Malandrinos, The Book Connection

Dark Lullaby
By Mayra Calvani
Whiskey Creek Press
EBook formats ISBN: 978-1-59374-908-8, $5.99
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-59374-907-1, $13.95
September 2007
Supernatural Thriller
Available from Fictionwise, Amazon, and Whiskey Creek Press
* Discounts for bookstores and libraries
Contact the publisher: Phone: 307-265-8585, Fax: 307-265-4640

Thank you, Simon and Laraine, for stocking my book in your wonderful store! I had the pleasure of interviewing Simon as part of my Halloween Festival Interviews this October. Read my interview with this bookseller here.

Read some of my interviews about the writing of Dark Lullaby at:
Patricia’s Vampire Notes (note: my book is NOT about vampires)
Fiction Scribe

Watch the trailer!

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Available on AmazonI’ve only given one piece of advice in life and that is, “Never fall for a beautiful, mysterious woman while drinking at a Turkish tavern.”

Talented writer Mayra Calvani’s latest book, Dark Lullaby, is yet another example of why I have grown to prefer reading small press books over the usual and predictable mass market books found at the big corporate bookstores. Now don’t get me wrong, those bookstores have great books but when you’ve read every Stephen King or Dean Koontz book possible you would like the opportunity to read a new voice or discover a story teller that can captivate you in a way that makes you stay up late at night because you can’t put the book down.

Mayra Calvani qualifies as one of those writers. In the fairness of full disclosure, I have read other works by Ms. Calvani, so I already knew she was a talented story-teller and as expected, her latest horror book, Dark Lullaby, kept me up late into the wee hours of the dark night.

The story begins when Gabriel Diaz ignores my advice in the opening paragraph and becomes enchanted with an exotic woman he meets at a local tavern. He is quickly captivated not only by her beauty but by her obsessive ideas regarding good and evil and the moral concepts of personal justice.

Despite the fact that almost from the beginning Gabriel feels there is an underlying darkness to his new love named Kamilah, he just can’t seem to break away from her physical and intellectual grip despite her increasingly bizarre behavior and his almost nightly nightmares.

As Kamilah begins to ingrain herself into Gabriel’s live, their relationship grows more complex and dark and a sense of terror pervades Gabriel that somehow Kamilah motives towards him are sinister and that she is hell-bent on overseeing his, if not, personal, at least, moral destruction.

Kamilah convinces Gabriel to travel with her back to her remote homeland in Turkey where they can relax and spend some quality time together.

Despite his rational mind screaming for him not to go Gabriel relents to her child-like pleas and agrees to the trip. Once in the lair of her homeland Gabriel descends into an anxiety-riddled paranoia as he discovers the true nature of his Kamilah. Is Gabriel simply mad or is Kamilah the true essence of all thing evil?

Read Dark Lullaby—You won’t be disappointed.

—JR Clifford, author & reviewer
*This review originally appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of Northwoods Journal

DARK LULLABY is available on Amazon, Fictionwise, and Whiskey Creek Press.

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