Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Unseen VBT

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?

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.

Bringing the Scary

As someone who’s working on a paranormal series, the Folk (the second book, Unseen, has just been released by Soul Mate Publishing), I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about being scared—how to do it and why. I’ve always had a weakness for scary stories, both fiction and nonfiction, but I’d never really stopped to think what it was about those stories that really got to me. Why some of them gave me nightmares and some of them didn’t do much of anything.

I should start out by saying that explicit horror doesn’t do much except make me cringe. Texas Chainsaw Massacre never really appealed to me, nor did Scream or Halloween. It wasn’t that they weren’t scary (they definitely were). But it wasn’t the kind of scary I found enjoyable. Stabbing teenagers who had the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time makes me sad rather than uneasy.

Contrast this with Silence Of the Lambs. Now you may remember SOL as being extremely violent, but in fact it isn’t. There’s one sequence that’s designed to demonstrate that Dr. Lecter really is just as dangerous as everyone said he was, but that’s it. With the exception of the ending, everything else works by innuendo. You feel that Clarice is constantly under threat, but that threat is never realized until she finally finds Buffalo Bill at the end of the movie. And it’s that constant unrealized threat that makes the movie feel so terrifying.

I think good paranormals work with a similar dynamic. You’re always waiting for something scary to happen, but it never seems to come when you expect it. Moreover, written stories can be considerably scarier than filmed ones because the action takes place in your head. There’s a moment in Shirley Jackson’s supremely terrifying Haunting of Hill House (yes, there’s a Netflix version but it’s different from the book) when two of the psychically sensitive guests are talking in their darkened bedroom. One of them remarks that the other’s hand, which she’s holding, is very cold tonight. Guest two replies that she isn’t holding her hand. And that’s the last sentence in the chapter, as I recall. Gotcha!

Lots of great scary stories work just like that—did you really see something or didn’t you? What was that noise anyway? Did something just flit by that mirror? Even stories that don’t take themselves entirely seriously can still give you the chills. I remember reading Jennifer Crusie’s ghost story Maybe This Time while I was using the treadmill in my basement. Yes, it was funny (hey, it’s Jennifer Crusie), but by the time I was halfway through the book, I was feeling very uneasy about being downstairs all by myself. You laugh, but it’s sort of nervous laughter.

So to some extent that’s what I tried to do in the Folk series. The books aren’t particularly violent, but, well, things happen. The heroes and heroines see and hear things that others don’t. They’re frightened frequently and threatened occasionally. But everything works out in the end.

Hey, they may be paranormals, but they’re still romances!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.

Author Bio and Links:
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. Meg’s Website is http://www.MegBenjamin.com. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Meg loves to hear from readers—contact her at meg@megbenjamin.com. 

Unseen is available from Amazon.


  1. Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so much.

  2. Would you ever like to see a movie made out of your book? I hope your book is a success. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(dot)com