The Folk: Magical Research by Meg Benjamin – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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The Folk: Magical Research

I started writing the Folk series a while ago, knowing nothing about fairies beyond the usual. And by “the usual” I mean pretty much Midsummer Night’s Dream and a very obscure Kipling children’s book called Puck of Pook’s Hill. I knew I needed to do some research on the subject, although I hadn’t much of a clue how to start. Googling fairies gets you over 150 million results.

Enter Anna Franklin. Her Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Fairies is a delight, as well as essential reading for somebody like me. She covers everything from generic topics like spinning/weaving (the heroine of Unseen, Marika Sager, is a weaver for a reason) or clothes to the most esoteric, like Havfine (Norwegian mermaids) or Medb (an Irish succubus). After spending some time with Franklin, I decided I wanted to bring a variety of European fairies to America—why wouldn’t fairies emigrate like their non-supernatural cousins?

I concentrated on groups of fairies who lived in mountains or woodlands, since I figured those were the beings who’d most likely gravitate toward the Rockies (I already knew I wanted the series to take place in Colorado). Kobolds were a natural. They’re northern European mine fairies, and the name derives from coboldus, Latin for mountain spirit. My present-day Kobolds live in Nederland, an actual town in the mountains above Boulder. The hero’s assistant in Unseen, Reynard, is half Kobold, although he’s not all that fond of his relatives, who own a sand and gravel business. Another group of mountain fairies were the Erdluitle, who come from Switzerland. In their natural setting they live in caves and can bring both avalanches and fertile soil. I put a group of Erdluitle in Animas, the town where Unseen takes place.

My hero, Teran Richter, is part Seelie—not a fairy group that’s particularly associated with mountains, but one that’s famous for being gorgeous (they’re Scottish aristocrats). Teran isn’t particularly aristocratic and he loves Colorado, but he’s also part mortal, so that may explain his non-Seelie traits.

I also have a couple of new Folk in Unseen, but their nature is sort of a secret, as are their names. Since I’m not going to provide spoilers for my own book, I’ll let you discover them on your own.

I really enjoy the world building with the Folk; the characters are great fun to work with. I hope you’ll enjoy stepping into their world, too. After all, the message of the Folk is clear: you never know what’s going on just beneath the surface. Maybe your next-door neighbor is Erdluitle or the couple down the street are Silvani (the women are Silvane). With the Erdluitle, you can always check his feet—they’re supposed to have duck paddles. But maybe they won’t look any different—maybe they’ve evolved in a new way.

You never can tell.

Beauty model girl with healthy brown hair

Teran Richter is in Animas, Colorado, to find members of the Folk, a simple task. But the annual Animas Fall Festival brings hordes of tourists and daily celebrations that make it frustrating. Things begin to look up when Teran meets Marika Sager. Marika’s business partner Eva seems to be a member of the Folk, only it’s Marika Teran’s attracted to, particularly after a local witch’s brew sends the two into a memorable night of passion.

But there are sinister forces at work in Animas. Teran’s attacked and his assistant is kidnapped. When Marika also disappears, Teran’s forced to confront the truth: someone is out to sabotage his mission and destroy anyone who tries to help. With an eccentric team of magical allies, Teran must rescue Marika and fight off those who want to destroy both him and the Folk. But can he find a way to confront the shadowy forces while keeping himself and his lover safe from harm?

Enjoy an Excerpt

The flash of heat zapped along Teran’s backbone, branching out into the nerves along his shoulders, then into his arms. He jerked with the force of it, and the heat ripped to his sides and out. The fog glowed red as his power crashed into it.

It thinned before it gathered once again.

They pushed forward quickly, but not quickly enough.

“Can you increase the voltage?” Reynard muttered.

“If I knew what I was doing, I might be able to. Since I’m playing it by ear, I don’t know. I’ll try once more.” He took a deep breath, then concentrated. This time the power snaked through his body more quickly—he felt it all the way to the back of his head. For a moment he felt as if he were glowing, and then the blast flew outward into the mist.

And shot back toward them.

“Holy crap,” Reynard cried, throwing himself flat on the ground.

Teran had time to hunch over, protecting his head. The power blast washed over him like a superheated wave. It felt like he’d singed his hair.

Terrific. What the hell kind of Seelie singes his own goddamn hair with his own goddamn power blast? A reluctant Seelie, obviously.

About the Author: Meg Benjamin is an award-winning author of 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 (all 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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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thanks for hosting me today!

  3. Sounds like a good book.

  4. Bernie Wallace says

    Did you do anything fun for Thanksgiving? Congrats on the release.

  5. Happy Friday! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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