This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by the publisher.
In the Beings ‘Verse, magical creatures known as beings live alongside humans, but they aren’t welcomed with open arms. Fairies and other beings are victims of many of the same prejudices as outcast humans, and often find the stereotypes about them in the way of their happiness.
David is in love with Tulip, a kind and unusually quiet fairy in his social circle. But everyone knows Tulip doesn’t date humans. David tells himself he is happy to be Tulip’s friend, because he doesn’t believe a fairy could love him and Tulip has never tried to “keep him”—as fairies refer to relationships with humans.
Fairies are drawn to David, describing his great “shine,” but David knows only too well how quickly fairies can forget humans, and thinks he’s destined to be alone. He can’t see his own brilliance or understand how desperately Tulip wants him, even if Tulip believes David can do better.
But exhausted and more than a little tipsy at a Christmas party, David makes his feelings too obvious for Tulip to deny any longer. Because of a past heartbreak involving a human, Tulip is convinced someone as shiny as David could never want a “silly, stupid fairy” in his life. Now, if he wants to keep David, he’ll have to be as brave as his shiny, careful human.
Enjoy an excerpt:
“Tulip meant that she shines.” Flor was practically shining too, when he looked at her.
David’s thinking was getting fuzzier, but he frowned at Flor and then at Crystal, who seemed perfectly nice, although he didn’t see what about her had Flor so atwitter. But then, the mysteries of being attracted to women had never been one of David’s worries.
He glanced at Tulip and found himself being watched. “My studious David,” Tulip told him, leaning in and up to keep his words between them. “She is very shiny. That is what he means. Pretty and shiny. But… pink.” He made a face.
“You don’t like pink?” God help him, David had to be shimmering all over the place as Tulip licked his bottom lip and grew thoughtful. “Tulip, you are kind of pink.” David would have touched his wing if it wouldn’t have been creepy. “Or, fuchsia, I guess. Like a love-lies-bleeding.” Tulip startled when David named that particular flower. David cleared his throat. “I’ve always been intrigued by that one. Such an interesting name.” What was he talking about? “Anyway.” He thought he should move away, but Tulip hadn’t yet. David hadn’t scared him off. He dropped his voice even more. “So, shiny? I never could get a good definition of that from Flor.”
Tulip lowered his head, then lifted it as he apparently mused on his answer. He watched Flor wave his hands between Stephanie and Crystal, talking more with his hands than his mouth. Then he tilted his head toward David, as if lightly questioning how David could possibly not know this. “Her colors… the lights that surround her and how they are seen in our eyes. The colors themselves are irrelevant, ever-changing, different to some of us, but at the same time they offer meaning.”
David blinked, no less lost than he’d been when Flor had tried to tell him this on multiple occasions.
Tulip hummed and turned his face up to focus not on David, but on the air around him. Then he met David’s gaze before quickly looking at Crystal. “Colors,” he said breathlessly. “Who they are. Who she is. Her energy. The truth of her. Beings and humans all shine, but some are brighter than others. Sometimes….” A tiny unhappy sound escaped Tulip. “Sometimes they grow less bright over time. It is difficult to live in this world and keep your colors radiant. Humans who manage to keep themselves pure… no, not pure.” He frowned up at David with a softly frustrated expression that made David sigh. “Pure is not the right word. It implies they are dirtied by life, and that isn’t true. Life is hard. The human world is hard, even for humans. But some people come through… stronger? More themselves?”
David wanted to smooth his expression, and shoved his free hand into his pocket. Tulip gave him an apologetic shrug. “It’s not something we usually put into words. It is… it is… compelling, their light, their color. These people possess a beauty that we cannot help but want to be near. The humans in particular, because they do not have our advantages, and yet they are so resilient and strong. We… when we see them, we can forget ourselves in our eagerness to keep them. We can forget the bright ones might not see it as protection.”
Tulip glanced up at David again and seemed to forget he was speaking.
About the Author: R. Cooper has been writing her whole life, but these days mostly writes m/m romance and other queer love and adventures stories. She can be found either daydreaming amongst the redwood of Northern California, or playing around on the internet like a total nerd. She loves coffee, champagne, and those belly laughs that startle you into laughing harder.
Buy the book at Dreamspinner Press.