This week’s guest is Jana Denardo, with Aaron and Rhys from her newest book Kept Tears.
Thanks to Brynn for allowing me some time with you all. Along with me are the men from Kept Tears, my urban fantasy. They’re here answering some questions posed to them by my first readers. However, a quick introduction is in order before I turn the reins over to them.
The tall, dark-haired fellow with the upper limb prosthesis who looks like he wants to be hiding in the corner is Aaron. The blond with no shyness issues is Rhys. He’s pretending to be human today, but he’s actually Tylwyth Teg, a Welsh faerie prince. So, let’s answer a few questions for everyone, boys.
Aaron, you first
Shaking his head, Aaron pushes Rhys forward. – Ask him first.
All right, Rhys, what is it like, seeing the changes humanity’s made in the past 100 years? (Good or bad)
The last hundred years have been amazing. More so than all the other centuries I’ve been alive. There’s always bad, of course, wars, prejudices, stupidity, but it’s the good that has just left me dazed. In the last century, I watched humans going from horse and buggy, to cars, to conquering the air to walking on the moon. I was glued to my TV watching that moon landing and just amazed that humans managed it. My people depend more on magic than science and maybe that’s a bad thing. As soon as I could I took a ride on the first commercial airliners. Those have gone downhill in a big way though.
Movies, television, the music, I love it all. I don’t mind having to stay on Earth as a guard so much, except for missing my family. Humans are fascinating and I love all the things they create.
Thanks, Rhys. Okay Aaron, you’re up. Are you ever afraid of Rhys? Are you afraid that he will leave you?
(Aaron gazes at Rhys before answering.) I know maybe I should be afraid of him. He has all this magic that I can’t even imagine, and I know he could probably kill me with it as easy as swatting a fly, but no, I’m not afraid of him. I trust him completely in that sense. (Rhys smiles at him.)
I was afraid that he’d leave me. Sometimes, I still worry about it. Even before I knew that he was fae, I was afraid of it. I mean, look at me. (Aaron moves his prosthetic hand.) I’m mess. The war tore me apart, and I’m still having trouble believing anyone would want to be with me. And then I find out he’s not human and has a whole other life and family in a world completely different than my own. So, yes I worry about it, maybe more than I should. Mostly I hope he forgives me in those moments when I doubt him.
While I have you talking, Aaron, how about fielding another question? Would you leave the human world and live in Rhys’s forever?
(Aaron’s eyes widened.) That’s a hard one. The easy answer is yes. Who wouldn’t want to live in a magical world? But to be honest, when I was there, I felt like the fairy princess who needed rescuing and that was not a good feeling. Of course, if I went there to stay I wouldn’t be in danger this time.
But, I would miss my mother, my siblings and my friends. Too much. I don’t know how Rhys does it, living here so long apart from his family. I would probably have fun there, at first, but after a while, it would go wrong. Rhys is right. They don’t really do science much there and eventually my arm would need repaired or replacing and they couldn’t do it. Then I’d be a one-armed, scarred up man in a realm of beautiful, magical people. Even as much as I love Rhys, I would feel out of place and ugly. I’d be the outcast, even if it’s only in my head, and I have enough issues going on there.
Rhys takes care of me when the PTSD overwhelms me at home, but he’s not a trained therapist. I’m doing better with therapy. I’m not sure what would happen with that if I left Earth for good. Also, and I know this sounds silly, but I’m a geek. In a magical world, there’s no need for superheroes, science fiction and fantasy. I would miss all of that. (Rhys gives him a hug).
I think we have time for one more question. Rhys, do you worry about Aaron aging?
(Rhys kisses Aaron quickly). Yes and no. I have lived with other humans over the centuries. It’s a given that they will age and pass on without me. They have such mayfly lives, but I keep falling for them. However, knowing this doesn’t make it any easier. I hate losing the people I love.
On the other hand, I have no intentions of leaving him as that happens. I can alter my appearance so our ages look like they match. I plan to be here for his every age and enjoy it to the fullest.
Well, thanks for this gentlemen and thanks again to Brynn for having us by. We had fun being here. We’ll leave you with a short excerpt.
“I just got into town a few months ago. I’m a novelist and I’m scouting out the area to write about.” Rhys picked up his martini glass.
“Oh? Anything I might have read?”
“I don’t know. What do you like to read?” As he sipped his drink, Rhys studied Aaron with his deep-blue eyes.
Aaron wrinkled his nose. “That was dumb of me. Mostly, I like fantasy, science fiction, and mystery.”
“Then, maybe. I’ve written a young adult series about the fae.” Rhys’s eyes went distant, a strange, introspective expression replacing the more animated one. Aaron wondered if he had somehow hit on a raw nerve, though he couldn’t imagine how. “Too bad there was a need to put in a romantic subplot for the teens.”
“Well, it is young adult. I think that’s expected.”
Rhys gave another nod, smiling wryly in agreement. “I write under the name S.G. Evans.”
“I think I’ve read one of those. It’s about the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, right?”
“That’s them.” Rhys took a drink of his martini. “Your turn.”
“Grad student at Pitt. I’m studying physiology. I wanted to be a doctor, went to the Army to pay for it, and ended up a medic. Things went sideways from there.” Aaron gestured with his prosthetic hand and Rhys’s blue eyes widened. “Ah, you didn’t expect it to move.” Aaron grinned.
Rhys studied the transhumeral prosthesis Aaron sported, obviously amazed, awe in every word. “No, I did not.”
“I’m in a program working with myoelectrics, and this arm is part of it.” Aaron moved his fingers.
“How does it work?” Rhys leaned closer.
Aaron didn’t mind bragging about his arm. “There are electrodes under my skin that talk to the arm. I think about moving the arm, and it moves. I’m still learning all the intricacies. I’m working on the physiology aspect as part of my doctoral work.” He couldn’t contain his excitement as he explained, his mechanical fingers clenching and unfurling as he showed off.
“That is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” Rhys reached over and touched the prosthetic hand.
Aaron wiggled his thumb. “Isn’t it?”
Blurb – Having left most of his arm and his self-confidence behind in the Afghanistan desert, young veteran Aaron Santori has enough on his plate learning to use his prosthetic arm. Attending graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh makes life both interesting and challenging. Mentally, he’s ill prepared for meeting Rhys Edwards, a young-adult novelist from Wales and everything Aaron could want in a man. Between the scars from the explosion and his PTSD, he’s reluctant to date. Ready or not, though, Aaron finds himself jumping into the deep end of the relationship waters.
What Aaron couldn’t possibly know is that Rhys isn’t human at all. As a prince of the Tylwyth Teg, Rhys is fae, with a list of enemies he’s accumulated over the past few centuries—among them a former lover, Morcant, who is back to make Rhys’s life miserable. An unwitting pawn in their Machiavellian fae politics, Aaron only knows he’s falling in love, never suspecting love might be his death sentence.
Buy it here – Ebook – http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4658
Jana Denardo’s career choices and wanderlust take her all over the United States and beyond. Much of her travels make their way into her stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and mystery have been her favorite genres since she started reading, and they often flavor her works. In her secret identity, she works with the science of life and gives college students nightmares. When she’s not chained to her computer writing, she functions as stray cat magnet.
Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in) and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. There is no coincidence the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories. To this day, she’s still disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds or a roguish star ship captain to run off to the stars with her.
Thanks so much for stopping by Jana. It was great to meet Aaron and Rhys and I’ll be checking out your book as soon as I can.