Liam Summer, with the face of an angel and the body of an underwear model, has done bad things. Raised as the whore and cat’s paw of a murderous fairy queen, he has ruined many with his beauty. When Queen May’s plot to unite and rule the fairy and human realms fails, Liam wakes naked and alone in a Manhattan building on fire. Unaware the blaze is arson, and he’s its intended victim, he prepares to die.
Enter ax-wielding FDNY firefighter Charlie Fitzgerald, who Liam mistakes for an ogre assassin. As Charlie rescues Liam, he realizes the handsome blond has nowhere to go. So he does what he and his family have always done—he helps.
As for Queen May, trapped in the body of a flame-throwing salamander, she may be down, but she’s not out. Yes, she failed the last time, but Liam—and others—will pay. She knows what must be done: possess a haffling, cross into the human world engorged with magic, and become queen and Goddess over all.
As Liam realizes the danger they all face, he discovers unexpected truths. That even the most wicked are not beyond redemption, and that love—true love—is a gift even he can receive.
Alpha Book Club Welcomes Author Caleb James!
An Interview with Psychiatrist to the Fey, Dr. Redmond Fall
CJ: Dr. Fall, I’d like to thank you for giving me this time, I know your clinical and academic responsibilities make you extraordinarily busy.
RF: My, pleasure, and call me Redmond.
CJ: Excellent, Caleb works for me. So let’s begin. As a psychiatrist with centuries of experience, tell us something about the most common problems that affect us, from pixie to ogre, and what to do about them.
RF: Fair enough, Caleb. You’d like to know about the meat and potatoes of my day job.
CJ: That’s a human expression. I understand you’re dating one.
RF: Yes, a line of inquiry for another day.
CJ: You’re smiling.
RF: Yes, and if we continue in this vein, I will blush. So back to the day job and all the things that can tip a fey’s kettle. To begin is the massive problem of fairy-dust addiction.
CJ: Horrible stuff and so out of control. Dust heads will do anything for their next fix.
RF: It’s the insanity of addiction. It robs them of all morals and compassion. It’s often fatal, and only recently has a cure been found.
CJ: About that, I hear that it’s only offered here at your Center for Fey Development.
CJ: Tell me the substance of the cure.
RF: I can’t.
CJ: Hmm. Can’t or won’t, I smell a toad.
RF: I’m allowed my secrets and the contents of the dust cure are proprietary. But I offer it free, and all in need are welcome.
CJ: You take nothing in return.
CJ: Then I suppose you’re entitled to the secret.
RF: Of course I am. So after dust, let’s see. I’d have to say the next big item, and many with dust addiction have both, is PTSD.
CJ: For the sake of my readers, please clarify what that stands for.
RF. Pointy Torture Sadness Disease. It’s a grossly unsatisfying title, but it gets to the heart of what happens to those who’ve endured horrific and traumatic events.
CJ: Please don’t speak her name.
RF: Exactly. Ours is a society in need of healing. So many have suffered under the brutal heel of the prior regime. PTSD is the normal response, and it comes with myriad symptoms—from horrifying flashbacks and nightmares to pustular maggot-filled eruptions.
CJ: I’ve seen those. They’re disgusting. Tell us of the treatment.
RF: While I am a psychiatrist, I also practice surgery, as so many of us do. And as any surgeon will tell you, “Pus under pressure must be lanced.”
CJ: I’m thinking ick and let’s move on.
RF: As you wish, but while that sounds graphic, lancing and cleaning out that which festers below the surface is an apt metaphor for how to heal from PTSD. It’s not just the physical maggots, it’s the emotional ones as well. And by the by, the excised maggots make wonderful bird food.
CJ: Good tip, but perhaps you could leave us with something more current. I and quite a few of my readers would love to know about the burgeoning field of travel medicine. I’d love to visit the human world, but…
RF: But you’re frightened of breaking. As you should be. This is where I need to leave the sternest of warnings for those considering the trip. Travel sickness is not to be taken lightly. Whether you are human or fey, if you are not protected, you will break as you pass between realms. The breakage is unpredictable. For many it’s their sanity. Creatures with magic abilities may find their wings clipped and their powers diminished or gone. At the risk of breaching patient confidentiality, I’m acquainted with one case who also had severe PTSD. He landed in the human realm of Manhattan with no clothes and only the barest of magics left to him. And let me tell you, prior to that trip, he was a creature of tremendous and quite horrible power. He possessed the worst magic of all.
CJ: Okay, I’m intrigued. I know you can’t tell me his name, but I’d love to know what you consider the “worst magic of all.”
RF: Hmm. I suppose I can tell you that much. He had glamour so strong that to just look in his eyes robbed man, ogre, pixie, or sprite of all reason. His magic was false love. And once under his sway, the victim’s desire for him was stronger than any dust lust. He possessed a fatal beauty.
CJ: He sounds scary… and wonderful. I want the details.
RF: I cannot give them. But…
CJ: Do tell.
RF: His story has been written and it’s a wonderful read.
CJ: Tell me the book’s name. I seem to know something about this.
RF: Exile, Caleb. The book’s title is Exile.
CJ: Wait a minute… I wrote that book.
RF: Yes, Caleb. You did.
CJ: It’s about Queen May’s cat’s paw, Liam Summer, with his beautiful lavender eyes and his vicious glamour. I didn’t remember…. It’s not my first book either.
RF: No it’s not, Caleb. Now lay back on the couch, and I’ll help you remember.
CJ: Tell me what’s wrong with me, doctor.
RF: You’ve been pixielated. Now close your eyes, count backward from ten, and let’s see if we can’t undo what those tricky pixies did. Ten, nine, eight….
About the Author
Bio (Caleb James/Charles Atkins)−Caleb James is a pen name used by psychiatrist and author Charles Atkins, MD for his paranormal fiction. He lives and works in Connecticut, is a member of the Yale volunteer faculty, loves a flea market, gives a lot of workshops (including experiential writer’s trainings), and lives with his partner and too many cats.