Today I have the immense pleasure of being a part of the second annual Authors Are Rockstars blog tour hosted by Fiktshun, Two Chicks on Books and Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. What makes this even better is that I get to host one of my favorite authors of recent years, Lesley Livingston. If you don't know who Lesley Livingsont is, she is the author of the amazing Wondrous Strange trilogy, the Starling trilogy as well as Once Every Never and Every Never After. If you haven't already read any of those books then you are seriously missing out.
So why is Lesley Livingston a rockstar?
It should go without saying that Lesley Livingston is a fantastic writer. Her stories are always so imaginative. Every character she has written has felt completely real to me...to the point where I start thinking about some of them as friends. And not only do they feel real, each one is completely unique. I mean, Lesley has even managed to make me consider Druid princes at this point. But beyond being a fantastic writer, Lesley is a fantastic person. I've had the opportunity to meet her on more than one occasion and every time, she takes the time to talk to you, sharing stories about the stories she writes. And as an added bonus, Lesley doesn't worry too much when she sees you show up at her signing, making it the third time you see her in as many weeks. So all that to say, Lesley is more than just a fantastic author, she's also a fantastic person and that's what makes her a rockstar in my eyes.
What also makes Lesley a rockstar? She wrote this awesome scene about what would happen if Kelley from Wondrous Strange and Mason from Starling were to randomly run into each other.
Flights of Fantasy
Every now and then I daydream about main characters from my different series meeting up with each other by chance. Not an entirely far-fetched idea in the case of the WONDROUS STRANGE books and the STARLINGS books. Both series are set in the same universe and even share a few characters (like, oh, that Fennrys Wolf guy!)…So, how would an encounter like that go? Well, assuming they didn't manage to rip open some kind of mystical portal, something that—quite frankly?—both Kelley Winslow and Mason Starling are remarkably adept at doing, I imagine the two girls stumbling across each other at a place of intersecting paths. A way station. A crossroads. An airport, maybe. No explosions, no looming apocalypses (apocalypsi…?) either Faerie or Norse. Just two ordinary, extraordinary girls, striking up a conversation and a fleeting moment of friendships.
A Coffee Shop in LaGuardia Airport:
Kelley Winslow check her watch. Her flight is delayed. Again. "This is stupid," she mutters. "I mean, I have wings for crying out loud."
Sure she does. Except the last time she'd gone cross-border shopping in Canada (there's a boutique up there that sells really adorable wooly winter jackets—and, hey, it gets super cold in the Faerie Kingdom of Winter) she'd decided to "fly solo." And she'd almost been taken out by a passing 767. There was a lot of traffic in the skies over New York and Sonny Flannery, still full of protective urges, had made her to get ON a place. Not get HIT by one…
"Now here is a situation where a mystical rainbow bridge would actually come in handy," Mason Starling grumbles under her breath as she clutches a double espresso and looks around the airport coffee shop. Of course, the last time she'd crossed that sort of bridge hadn't gone so well for her. Maybe she should have taken the train—oh, wait. Same thing.
She groans as she looks around. Her leg muscles ache from hours and hours of lunges in fencing practice and she could really use a seat. But with all of the flight delays due to weather, every table is occupied. She spots an empty seat at one—the one with the redheaded girl about her age—so Mason hitches up the duffel bag on her shoulder and walks over.
"Hi. Is this seat taken?" she asks.
"No. Go ahead. I'm just killing time. Stupid flight delay…"
"I hear you." Mason slumps gratefully down and shakes her dark hair back from her face. "Sometimes I wish I could just open up a mystical portal and travel that way, you know?"
The red-haired girl laughs. "Oh sure! But that's really never such a good idea, you know."
"No kidding!" Mason grins. "All those Otherworldly nasties just waiting to pounce on poor hapless mortals."
"Not to mention the overzealous, heavily-armed guardians waiting on the other side!"
"And the trolls—don't forget the trolls…"
"Are they anything like ogres?"
The girls blink at each other…and then laugh nervously.
"Right. So." Mason decides a change of subject might be in order." Where are you headed?"
"Canada. Shopping. I need a new winter coat."
"It's the middle of summer."
"Not where I'm going," Kelley murmurs enigmatically. "Um. How about you?"
"Canada. Fighting. I need a new trophy." Mason smiles brightly.
Mason reaches into the bag, drawing out a wire-mesh fencing mask. "Competitive sabre."
"Oh! Cool!" Kelley nods appreciatively. "I have a few friends who are actually pretty handy with swords. You'd probably like them. Especially…well…There's this one guy in particular."
"Nice. What's his name?" Mason asks, wondering if he might be a fellow fencer.
"It's…well actually…" Kelley suddenly decides that it might not be such good idea to name-drop. Especially when the name is pretty strange. "He's not…around anymore. But, damn, he loved a good, fierce fight."
"Oh." Mason understands instantly, just by the tone of Kelley's voice and the look in her eyes, what she means by "not around". And she also understands that it's something of a painful subject for the other girl. "I'm sorry to hear that," she says. "But I totally get what you mean—I have a friend who kind of fits that bill to a tee."
From the look on Mason's face, Kelley knows that the other girl thinks of the guy as more than just a friend.
She grins. "What's his name?"
Mason blushes. It's not really a name. "Oh…uh…it's foreign," she stammers. "Hard to pronounce—"
A sudden, deafening crack of lightning flares outside the window, interrupting Mason, and both girls turn to stare at the dark clouds as if they are taking the bad weather personally.
"Stupid Storm Hags," Kelley mutters under her breath as Mason mutters, "Stupid storm zombies," at the same time. They both stand and grab their bags and say, "I've gotta go."
They smile and shake hands. Tell each other to have a fantastic journey…
"Nice necklace," Mason says, nodding at the green-amber four-leaf clover hanging around Kelley's neck, before she turns and disappears into the crowd of weary travellers.
"Thanks," Kelley murmurs, reaching up to clutch the Faerie charm at her throat. "You, too…"
And it's only in that moment that Kelley realizes she's spent the entire conversation staring at the iron medallion, strung on a leather cord, that the dark-haired girl was wearing around her neck. The one with the distinctive, knotted pattern.
"Fennrys…?" she murmurs.
Then she shakes her head. No, she thinks, as she goes to find a quiet place where she can have a word or two with a trio of weather goddesses. It's only your imagination.
The Fennrys Wolf had gone to Valhalla.
And that was the end of that.
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