Friday, October 24, 2014

Fantastic Fantasy, Music City, by Sara M. Harvey, Added to Personal Favorites for 2014! Heading for Ireland; then Nashville!

"You haven't been an arse," Keela Laughed. "You've actually been quite charming. I'm not used to flirtation, I rather like it." That was too bold, she thought, too bold by half! 
He grinned and his eyes crinkled again at the corners. "You're not like my banshee," Michael whispered, his voice barely audible above the howl of the wind. "They take themselves too seriously. You're more like I imagined a banshee would be like as a youngster. Do you like to dance?" He mimed classic goth moves, clearing imaginary cobwebs with his hands swept over his head and then reaching up and twisting his wrists as if changing an invisible lightbulb. 
Keela put the back of her hand to her forehead and leaned back, looking as insulted as she could manage. Then giggling, she made as if she was handing him a cup of tea, then swished her arm away from him, wrapping it across her chest with a toss of her head.
It's settled, then! Let's hit Considine's Bar and then see if we can find a club hosting a goth night anywhere in Galway."

"I like Trad, too, you know, doesn't even have to be the slow, sad stuff either. I like me some jigs and reels as much as the next Irishwoman! So, any place will do, so long as there's music." She couldn't believe she was agreeing to a date with an O'Neill boy!
"Of course," she smiled, taking her hand in his. His fingers were cold, but hers were colder, she knew. He didn't seem to mind one bit. "So long as there's music."
Mary Black as Keela
That was how it began. Such a simple, carefree beginning it was, too. They met for beer, or whiskey, or coffee, or dancing of just a quiet walk along the River Corrib. She never wanted to leave; it was as if Galway belonged to them, a place solen out of time for the two of them. And the mortals around them, usually so susceptible to the presence of harbingers, just shrugged and smiled as if Keela was nothing more than Michael's peculiar girlfriend. The bands played late into the night for them while Michael sang along. Keela never joined in...
Start this vid and allow it to play while you read!
There must be music!
It wasn't that she didn't enjoy singing, in fact, she sang constantly when alone. But she'd been admonished by her mother and aunts and sisters over it enough times that she dared not utter a single note in public. Not because she feared losing their good graces, but because she truly feared what loosing that voice might actually do. So, she let Michael sing, and it warmed her heart...
Michael was smitten.Keela was head over heels...
Michael brought his hands up and ran them along the sides of her throat, then curled his fingers into her hair. He held her tight as she stiffened and tried to back away.
"Shhhh," he soothed bringing his left hand up the back of her head, angling towards the silver comb she always wore. All banshees had one, most wore theirs every day. The combs had power, great power, Mortals were never supposed to touch them. Ever.
"I thought you'd like it if I brushed your hair."
Keela shoot her head. She reached back for the comb. "Let me take this out first."
"Please allow me." His hand darted past her eyes in a playful manner and she tried to duck her head out of his reach. Michael's fingertip traced the edge of the scrollwork reach. Michael's fingertip traced the edge of the scrollwork on the comb before he pulled it free with a flourish. "Ah ha!"
Keela's midnight black hair uncoiled from the French twist she'd pulled it up into and fanned out across her shoulders and then swept down her back. 
He smiled at her with delighted pride for the span of a single heartbeat before falling over dead...

Music City
By Sara M. Harvey

Keela was banned from Ireland due to her dalliance with another's human... But as young lovers they could not deny their love... Neither knew they had been betrayed... Taking out a banshee's comb meant immediate death to a human! But, as sometimes happens, the bad brought about something good. If Keela could find a certain Irish song, Oran na Cele, which had once been stolen, and which had much power, then Michael could be brought back to life. He had not had his own banshee sing for him!

Being banned, Keela really had no choice but to leave and, hopefully, find the song. It was known that it had been taken to America... And it was there she met three sister banshees, who helped her to find the oracle, the Fae of True Telling... but one of her guardians turned them away...  Keela, however, was not going to be turned away after coming so far!
 Fortunately, she gained entrance because the will-o'-the-wisps seemed to like her, and she soon caught the attention of Molan MacLiath, Guardian of the Fae... Where they were, truly seemed enchanted, and you will need to learn the description of the Fae when you read this wonderful fantasy!

Keela also seemed to charm the Fae, but she discovered she would have to pay for that privilege! She was asked to explain why she was there and, in sympathy, Radha asked if she would like to see Michael...

"I will let you see him. Through me. Look here."
Keela thought she would fall up into those limitless eyes, so bright and expansive were they. She held fast to the stone 
from the River Liffey and thought of Molan guardian the door. How could she alert him that she needed his help?
"You do not need Molan to help you. You must find the strength in yourself, or be lost. Gut you came this far on your own. I believe you must be strong, Cadhla."
Keela tensed. She could hear in the slight difference in pronunciation that Radha had used her true name and her soul lit up, shining fiercely bright as Radha's terrible gaze.
She saw Michael O'Neill. His auburn hair and his green eyes. In his hand, he held her silver comb with its long, elegant teeth and circles and swirls decorating it. He gripped it almost desperately, as if knowing that it kept him close in spirit to her, his only salvation from a life lost forever in purgatory. She reached for him, but her hyands passed right through.
"You cannot touch him, Cadhla, your power is broken."
"How do I get it back?"
"You must sing for it."
Keela nodded. "Oran na Cele."
"Yes, the song of death's beautiful companion."
"But it's lost."
"It is here..."
"Listen now, faerie daughter, this is the song of all banshees, the song taught to the very first of your kind. It was a song to seduce death, to lull it into submission, to rend holes in the veil that separates the worlds. It was meant only to ensure the safe passage of a human sour from the living realm to that of the dead. But Eimean O'Neill is correct, it can be made to work in reverse."
"Who taught it to us?"
"I did..."

Then she learned that the song undoubtedly was in Music City!  The sisters helped her with money and she took a bus...on to Nashville, wearing the only clothes she'd ever worn, and her surprising gift from Molan, who was also guardian of the land... He gave her a small rock... Thankfully...

"Michael," she whispered. "I'm coming."
She dozed in snataches, jolted awak by dreams that were all too real then settling back to let the vibration and sway to the bus rock her to sleep once again. The sun rose behind her and chased her down the highway, beating her to Nashville. As soon as the doors of the bus opened, she heard the music. It wasn't even weekend, but live music from a dozen or more sources echoed through the brick alleys, rising and falling with thujmping drumbeats, the poignant drawl of an acoustic guitar, and now and again an exuberant whoop followed by muffled applause. Keela stepped down onto the pavement on uncertain legs and began to make her shaky way into the heart of Music City. A vibration across her skin made all of the hairs on her arm stand on end. It was the feeling of stepping into a faerie circle, or into a graveyard. This place held power...

It didn't take Keela long to start out and making herself at home... using her crow form to get around and finally settling into a nearby cemetery for her lodging and meeting the ghosts living there, for a bit of company... Soon, looking for a little touch of home she discovered there were a number of bars with live music. Then she met a fellow Irishman and was soon singing! Something she'd not been permitted in Ireland! She was going to love this magical place and soon started a "Puirt a Beul"... traditional "mouth-music... "Tha bainn' ag na caoraich uile, than bainn' ag na caoraich uile, tha bainn' ag na caoraich uile, 's e cho sleamhain ris an im."

She was now singing in a band and bringing crowds there to listen to her voice...
When she had arrived, she had not felt that any other banshees were in Nashville, except perhaps their spirits, but there were two women who came to hear her sing--Keela felt there was something different, strange about them... And then another came, wanting to become her agent...and more...

While becoming totally immersed in her new singing opportunities, Keela also began searching for the song... This mystery takes her place after place, until...she knew she was in danger. Two of them, those she had earlier met, invited her into their home where she revealed her true nature before she could leave! But at least she now knew who they were and that they would continue to try to prevent her from fulfilling her mission! And Keela was determined to find the song and bring Michael back to life! But nothing prepared anybody for what actually happens! Keela is caught in a climatic ending that is beyond imagining! Except for the author, Sara Harvey... LOL
This entire book is exciting in its vision of how music from Ireland came to live and bring life to a sister city that has grown into what they now call "Music City..." And it was Keela's and other Irish individuals' singing that made it all happen! ...So the story goes...

May you all hear the music coming through the characters, the story of Music City You might be interested to know that Keela could still be there in Nashville, singing in some club, at the Opry...or in a cemetery nearby... Don't miss this one!


Sara M. Harvey is a California Girl at heart. Born in the foggy hills of the San Francisco Bay Area, she resided there for 19 years before striking off to chase the gypsy life from Tacoma, WA, to Santa Cruz, CA, to SoCal, to New York City, to Orlando, FL, to Milwaukee, WI, and finally settling-for the moment- in Nashville, TN.

Sara writes her own brand of genre-bending fantasy as well as non-fiction clothing and costume history books, using both her experiences as a New Yorker and the Masters Degree in Costume History that she earned at NYU.

In Nashville, Sara has settled into the quiet life surprisingly well, if by "quiet" one might imagine rafter-raising Nashville Predator hockey games, a small fixer-upper house inhabited by some crazy dogs, a colorful international neighborhood with a great family restaurant serving amazing authentic Mexican or Middle Eastern food on just about every corner, and a day job teaching fashion and history to Nashville's finest and most energetic up-and-coming designers.

Besides the dogs, Guinevere the border collie mix and Eowyn the basenji mix, Sara shares this joyride with her husband, fellow author, and dearest friend: Matt.

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