QSFer Tay LaRoi has a new bi/pan fantasy book out:
Sixteen-year-old Gia Johnson is comfortable in the background, but when dark magic looms over her town, her beautiful voice will put her in a spotlight she never imagined: the Seelie Court.
To get out alive and save her childhood friend, she’ll have to trust Oliver O’Brian, a trans classmate and a Prince of Faerie, especially when an ancient evil rears its ugly head from the depths of Lake Michigan.
All the while, Gia finds herself drawn to Oliver, but what does that mean if she’s always liked girls?
Kole and Kellen drag me through the trees into the throng of dancers, spinning me and laughing all the while. I’m too busy trying not to trip off my feet to stop them and once they have me on the dance floor, it’s as if nothing else exists. There’s nothing but the spinning dark of the woods, the warm glow of the lights, the finery of the guests, and the flow of the music. My captors let go of my hands and a woman in a revealing black gown catches them.
“How’d you find your way into our nest, little mouse?” she asks, twirling my under her arm. “It’s dangerous without the right friends.”
“I’m not staying,” I stutter, trying to focus on her face rather the swell of her cleavage. Given her piercing black eyes, smooth skin, and gracefully curved eyebrows, both are good options, honestly. “I’m just looking for a friend.”
A smirk spreads across the woman’s full crimson lips. “And such a voice.” Her arm tightens around my waist. “What I wouldn’t give to hear it sing.”
She’s clearly intoxicated. I can sing, sure, I’ve been doing it all my life, but there are definitely better options. Prettier options.
“I’m sure you can find someone better, here,” I say, glancing around for Kole and Kellen.
“Yes, but there’s something so deliciously pure about the human voice.” The woman drops my hand to gently turn my face back to hers. “Won’t you sing for me, little mouse?”
My mind goes fuzzy and the party suddenly sounds far away. The forest floor doesn’t exist. Nothing does, except her. I want to sing like a canary for her, literally, but the sound gets caught in my throat. What if I disappoint her? It would shatter me to let down someone so stunning.
“I’m really not that great,” I manage to whisper. “I’m sure some of the kids in my choir class would love to perform for you if they found their way here, though.” Well, if Kole and Kellen can’t save me, at least I’m making a fool of myself. That should help dissuade her.
A curious glint comes to the woman’s eye. “Is that so?”
A green hand slips into mine, whisking me away. The world sharpens again as it speeds up. My mind reels as fast as my body does as I try to process what just happened. It feels like the center of my soul just froze it a solid mass I was just about to sell.
I spin to meet Kole and Kellen again. Both wear somber expression as they watch the woman dance away.
“Our apologies, lass,” Kole mutters. “Hadn’t realized we handed you off to the likes of her. Didn’t realize one of her kind was lurking around these parts.”
“Do us a favor and don’t mention her to young Ollie,” Kellen adds. “He’d have our heads.” His expression brightens again as he looks over my shoulder. “Ah, the man of the hour.”
“You found Oliver?”
They hand me off again, but this time to a tall gentleman dressed all in white with long red hair weaved down his back and flowers and leaves intertwined in the braid. His sharp, angular features and pointed ears are foreign to me, but I know those dazzling green eyes and sporadic freckles. The look of terror is new, too, but understandable enough.
“Gia?” Oliver exclaims. “What are you doing here?”
Tay grew up reading too many fairy tales and watching too many movies, which is probably why she writes fantasy now. When she’s not at her day job or writing, she can be found taking spontaneous drives to new places, and drinking way too much coffee. Her first book, “Portraits of a Faerie Queen,” is set to be released in 2017.