Daemon Whisperer by Candice Bundy
Synopsis by Goodreads
Meriwether Storm discovered the grisly remains of her parents when she was only fourteen—the result of a failed daemon summoning. Meri immediately swore vengeance on the daemon who’d killed her parents, but there was only one problem: she had no idea which one had committed the atrocity. Before their untimely deaths, her parents trained her intensively in the arts, which Meri used to follow in their footsteps, ever seeking the daemon’s name. Now, despite her years of searching, she’s no closer to the truth and her time is running out.
When a mysterious daemon named Azimuth offers Meri a deadly summoning in exchange for information about her parents’ murderer, she takes it immediately and without intimidation. What does worry her is her attraction to Azimuth: when he touches Meri, her pulse races and she breathlessly awaits the feel of his lips upon her skin. Meri knows she should keep him at arm’s length, but her traitorous thoughts obsess over him night and day.
Blinded by her desperation for the truth and her desire for Azimuth, Meri places her trust in the creatures who are her sworn enemy, jeopardizing her need for vengeance. After Meri discovers there’s more to the deal than the daemon cabal first promised, can she accept all they have to offer?
When retribution is the only thing that drives you, how much are you willing to sacrifice before you lose yourself to the cause?
Genre: Horror/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Erotica, Content: Contains graphic violence and explicit sexual situations, recommended for readers 18+.
The Liminals series is set in a future dystopian Front-Range Colorado filled with daemons, god-touched, and other not quite human creatures. Liminal beings stand at the crossroads between our world and alternate dimensions and have the ability to set things back to rights, if they so choose.
Interview with Meriwether Storm
Meri, welcome to LLL and thanks for taking some time off your busy schedule to be with us today! Fighting daemons can get pretty intense so it must be nice to just sit and relax once and while. Can you tell us a little bit of how you became a Summoner?
Thanks for finding this spot off the grid for us to chat. My schedule has been packed these past few months…you have no idea.
So, how I got into Summoning… You need to understand, I was an only child and my parents doted on me constantly. Sure, they were Summoners but they tried to hide it from me at first…which works as well as you expect when you have a clever, nosy kid. I grew up reading grimoires when other kids were reading chapter books. Things were just…different in our household. Then there was the money. Other kids talked about growing up and working at a restaurant, or studying mechanical trades, or, gods help me, learning how to do accounting for the corporates. Can you imagine the tedium, or working all month for a pittance? I watched my parents, day in and day out, and they were happy. Stressed, yes. But who isn’t? At least they ate well, and we got to travel, and wear nice clothes. When you’re a kid those distinctions matter.
Once I turned twelve they let me start doing simple summonings. Well, Dad did. Mom would have preferred I take up piano, but after she saw I was a natural at it, she relented. I learned from them, kept up my reading, and imagined things would go on forever, the three of us. But two years later they were dead…well you know the story. After the lawyers were done with me I had the house, money, and all of the summoning gear a gal could ever need. Well, almost. I could have picked another road, but I didn’t want to. I had to find their killer.
For those of us that aren’t familiar with the world you live in, can you describe it to us and tell us a little bit about The Fall?
My world is set in a future dystopian Front-Range Colorado filled with daemons, god-touched, and other not quite human, or Liminal creatures. The Fall happened about two hundred years ago, when the human governments slowly became insolvent and Corporations stepped in, piece by piece, to carry the load. Over time the Corporations took over completely, rendering the governments useless and outdated, and they had them removed. Today, everything is controlled by the Corporations. Pricing of food, clothes, you name it. What’s taught in schools. Whether you can go to vocational training or college, and how much you’ll pay to do so. What medical care you need, and what you’ve earned. All of it, they dictate. They say it makes for a fair world, a world where no one’s in debt, and everyone is judged based on their abilities alone. I say they’re morally bankrupt, allowing suffering over something as fleeting as money.
The world you live in seems to be one of moral ambiguity. In your slaying of the gleaner Daemon, was there any remorse? Or is the only good Daemon a dead Daemon. If this is the case how do you reconcile your role? How do you reconcile having sworn a blood oath to a Prince of hell.
Things are no longer black and white for me. I’m not happy I had to kill the gleaner daemon Penethewes, because he bore me no ill will. I don’t think he would ever have hurt me. Sadly, one of my enemies could have used him against me because he knew my true identity, and I’ve killed so many daemons since then, I suppose it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Now that blood oath—I’m not happy about that at all. If I can find a way around it, I’ll jump at the opportunity. Belial is…unstable, and I keep my distance. Sure, I’m sworn to be loyal to him, but I don’t have to be nice or like the bastard.
Tell me what you thought when you first met Azimuth. I’m not really a gal for blondes, but Holy Wows was he a total turn on!! Quite the hottie I must say.
You know, Rosette, I’m not a blond gal myself, but his hair’s not what drew me to him. He’s got this distinctive presence when he walks up to you, and it’s only partly because of his daemonic powers. The rest is a mix of his humor, his genuine caring, and his ability to disarm almost any argument I throw his way. Plus his eyes that turn sapphire blue only for me, and his full lips, and those shoulders…yeah, I just melt for him.
Now that you are part Daemon have you considered that you have had unprotected sex with Az and what this could mean to your future. Do Daemons have young? Because you are both also human. As a woman how do you feel about bringing children into this immortal world that has been thrust upon you?
I understand your concern, because you’re right, daemons multiply like rabbits. Well, not all have litters, but you get the picture, and it’s not pretty.
As, effectively, a hybrids, the rules are a bit different for Az and myself. I don’t know if you’re familiar, but there are accounts of daemons who attempt to impregnate humans all of the time, or get pregnant by humans. It’s rarely successful, producing what’s known as a cambions. From my research, there’s believed to be less than a handful of these in existence, despite all efforts to create more. I figure Az and I are kind of like those cambions, and who knows how hard it is for them to get pregnant?
Just in case, I asked Az’s friend Ranna what to do. She hooked me up with a plant the locals eat in Sheol which prevents wee daemons from accidentally occurring. It’s not guaranteed, because I’m different, but I figure this way it’s a long shot, right? The less likely, the better, because my children would be bound to Belial by the same blood oath. Can you even imagine? *shudders*
What memory do you think you parents were willing to sacrifice to Calloine. Why do you think they summoned this daemon. If it was done to buy more time with you their daughter, then why did they perform the summoning together, risking both of them.
I know the pictures they used now. They had to use separate pictures, you see. My father used one where he was pushing me on a swing, and my mother had one of them together at a friend’s party. They’d been arguing that night and she didn’t mind losing the memory. They summoned Calloine because they were out of skin…out of space to summon, and they wanted to keep working, making money. They didn’t want to give up their life, as they knew it. It wasn’t about me, not really. Summoning was all they’d ever known, and they were overconfident in handling Calloine.
Do you see Daemons as truly evil or just another species?
Daemons are bent towards evil, just as a compass needle points due North. Some aren’t as deadly as others, but all are fashioned of the same base mettle.
In your heart are you human or daemon.
I’m human, but there are daemon weeds rooted into my soul, and I’ll never be free of them now. Yes, I’m happy for the friends I’ve gained, and I don’t know what I’d do without Az, but I don’t like the consequences of my choices. Is that what you were asking?
Where will you go from here? AHHHHHHEEEEM (hinting heavily on your next adventure)
I’m not sure, Rosette. I’m pretty conflicted at the moment. The satisfaction of killing daemons almost daily is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but Belial has this new weapon he gave us, it’s called a Sancre. Keep that between you and me, all right? It’s different, and I have this gut feeling I’m missing something. Something big he’s got planned. Also, I met this woman Erin and she asked for my help, but according to our stupid ‘rules’ I can’t because she’s one of the god-touched. But I feel for what she’s going through. She’s confused and needs a friend, so I’m going to break the stupid rules. It’s not as if I took an oath about this specifically, so I figure I’m in the clear. Actually, I’ve got to run. I’m supposed to meet up with her soon, and I don’t want to be late. If I can get away, I’ll check in with you again later.
Candice I forgot our smooch questions for you the author!!!
1. Beer or wine?
Let’s see, I’m a winemaker and celiac, so it’s always vino for me! J
2. Who would kick who’s ass in a fight, Werewolf or Vampire?
Vampires, every time. In most universes Were’s are deeply connected to their packs and therefore more vulnerable and prone to manipulative attacks. Whereas Vamps are by nature often loners and prey on the familial ties of others to win in battle.
3. Favorite childhood bed time story?
Phantasies, a Faerie Romance, by George MacDonald. I read it from when I was around nine or ten, many times over. The vocabulary initially outpaced me, but the richness of world’s tapestry stretched my mind. The story swept me away in a journey into a surreal landscape, and challenged my young mind to ask big questions.
4. Does Az wear briefs or boxers?
This is from Meri, btw…
He wears underwear? I hadn’t noticed.
5. Favorite snack?
Cheese! There are endless varieties, and they pair wonderfully with wine, don’t you know. ;)
6. Tiramisu or chocolate cake?
Tiramisu every time—gluten free of course. ;)
Candice lives in Centennial, Colorado with her husband, son, and her pathetically stupid but therefore very sweet cat Maia. Candice loves to make wine and mead and is a professional hedonist, rabble-rouser, and goat-herder. She adores archeology and all things Greek/Roman, so if you send her fan mail, please send it on cuneiform tablets, papyrus, or traditional vellum.The first book in the The Liminals urban fantasy series, The Daemon Whisperer, debuted in October 2012. The second book, The Madness Path, is in development.The first book in the Depths of Memory sci-fi/horror trilogy, The Dream Sifter, is due out in Winter 2012, and the second book, Dreams Manifest, is due out Spring 2013. The third and final book, Forsaken Dreams Pursued, is under development.
Visit Candice at candicebundy.com