Published: May 23rd, 2018
Grim Morrigan, Guardian of the Ward and part-time private detective, polices the Folk, the clans of fairies who live in the foothills outside Denver. But his main job is concealing their true nature from the mortals around them.
Enter mortal Annie Duran, who hires him to look for her brother Richard, missing and presumed dead for ten years. Annie has seen Richard in the parking lot of the nightclub where she works. Now she wants answers, and Grim’s supposed to find them.
The quest for Richard ensnares both Grim and Annie in a sinister conspiracy involving kidnapped women and outlaw magic. But they also discover their own overwhelming attraction to each other.
When Annie herself disappears, Grim’s need for answers becomes even more urgent. With the help of a dissolute prince and a motley crew of unlikely fairies, Grim confronts a rebellion among the Folk.
And it may take more than just magic and luck to save both Annie and Grim this time.
Making the Normal Supernatural
When I started writing my new Soul Mate series, The Folk, I knew I wanted to set the books in a real space. The whole idea behind the series is that fairies are just like us, sort of. My characters look and act like humans, but they’re not. They’re descended from magical beings and they have magical powers of their own. I liked the idea that the ordinary guy standing next to you at the brew pub might actually be supernatural. Maybe beneath his commonplace appearance he could communicate with animals or freeze your beer with a movement of his hands or maybe even send you flying across the room with a shrug.
So I set Away, the first novel in The Folk series, in the place where I live—the foothills suburbs west of Denver. My home town, Arvada, is in a sort of liminal space. It’s a typical small town surrounded by suburban developments, but ten minutes from my house you’re deep in the loneliness of the mountains. I wanted that sense of the wilderness just over the next hill, the kind of place where you might actually run into the unexpected at any moment.
I used some real places and added in some places that are largely imaginary in Away. My hero lives near Clear Creek White Water Park in Golden, a very real place I walk through all the time. My heroine is threatened in the Golden History Park nearby. She goes hiking in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, on a trail I’ve used (although, unlike my heroine, I’ve never encountered a Black Dog there). My heroes meet a surprising villain at Majestic View Park, one of my favorite city parks in Arvada.
But along with the normal, my characters encounter the paranormal. Black Dogs apparently live in the mountains, the cool-looking security guards in their Armani jackets can do more than just look menacing, evil and danger lurk just beneath the surface at the club just beyond the edge of Highway 93. I wanted to mix the everyday with the never before, to give readers a sense of the uncanny that may be waiting when you turn the wrong corner.
It’s my home, and it’s not. Drop in for a visit sometime.
Here’s a quick taste of Away:
No one here but me, no one here but me, no one here but me. The words thrummed in Annie’s brain like some chant as she trotted briskly down the lower part of the trail. Cougars rarely attacked humans unless they were surprised. Cougars preferred to stay in the back country, were most active at dawn and dusk, and it was currently a little past noon. She was not being stalked by a cougar.
Behind her she heard rustling and the thump of wings. Something large—a raven or maybe a mountain jay. She didn’t slow down. Birds might be driven out by passing animals.
No one here but me, no one here but me, no one here but me.
More rustling, beside her this time. Not a bird. Maybe a ground squirrel or a rabbit. She stepped around a rock protruding into the trail.
The animal stood in the trail in front of her, shoulders tense, hair rising along its back. A deep growl rumbled from its belly as it caught sight of her. As big as a Shetland pony, coal black, its coat so dark it seemed to be part of the deep shade surrounding it.
Annie stood still, telling herself to breathe. Too big to be a coyote. No wolves in this part of the state. Had to be someone’s dog. Gone wild, maybe rabid. And very, very big. “Hey there,” she said quietly. “Nice pup.”
About the author:
Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her newest series, the Folk, is a paranormal trilogy set in Colorado. Meg’s Konigsburg series is set in the Texas Hill Country and her Salt Box and Brewing Love trilogies are set in the Colorado Rockies (both are available from Entangled Publishing). Along with contemporary romance, Meg is also the author of the paranormal Ramos Family trilogy from Berkley InterMix. Meg’s books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers, and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers.
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