The Halcyon Bird, by Kat Beyer, with Guest Post and Giveaway!

The Halcyon Bird, by Kat Beyer (Egmont, November 2014, YA), is the sequel to The Demon Catchers of Milan (2012), a book I enjoyed lots.  The first book tells how Mia, an American girl, comes to Milan, where her family have been demon vanquishers for centuries, to be sheltered from the demon who has already possessed her, and to be trained in the ways of demon hunting herself so that she can eventually (if all goes well) vanquish him once and for all.   In my review of the first book, I said that it offers "a most enjoyable sense of place and people and family history with enough of the supernatural to keep things very interesting indeed" and having read it in a single sitting, I closed it and began waiting for the sequel.

So I was very pleased indeed to be offered the chance to participate in the blog tour for The Halcyon Bird (not least because it meant I would get a copy of the book!).

And happily I enjoyed this one too.  I was tickled to see Mia falling in love (romance is a pretty big part of this book), happy to see how all the extended family are doing (and as is the case with the first one, envying them their delicious Italian food and wine),, and happy to spend time going through archival materials looking for clues from the past.  Things are somewhat slow to get going on the demonic front (making this not one for those who like their supernatural danger non-stop/ever present), but good for those of us who like descriptions of places and people and slow burning mysteries.   Which isn't to say there aren't mysteries and dangers and threats and supernatural adventures--they just aren't right there in the readers face until just toward the end of the book when BOOM!

As a direct result of the BOOM!, I am now waiting for the next book even more earnestly than I was waiting for this one....

So (just on a personal note) these books are the sort that would make good presents to offer (naming no names) one's older sister who likes Italy and is an ex-pat American and who doesn't really know what sort of books she really wants to read -- lots of engrossing detail and character, some supernatural excitement but not so much as to be off-putting for the reader who isn't already a fan of paranormal romantic suspense.  Also they are Pretty books, which I think helps makes for better gift-giving!

But in the meantime, it's an honor to welcome Kat Beyer!  Kat is sharing a reprint of a flash fiction piece originally published on the Daily Cabal.   She says  that "It’s one of my all-time favorite pieces besides The Demon Catchers of Milan. It deals with a spirit, and in some ways has a feel of the Demon Catchers novels."

The Year’s Question

by Kat Beyer

It was Siobhan woke me up. The smell of honey wine on Summer’s End does it. (Whiskey works too.) To my surprise and hers, it still worked, even after so many years when no one left anything beside my notched stone.

Scared her bowels loose the first time. I got a laugh out of that.

“You’re allowed one question a year, granddaughter,” I said out of the air beside her.

When she got her breath back she said, “I’m not your granddaughter. She must be gone long ago.”

“I know that. I spoke with her for years after; she’s moved on now. I stay. And so does the customary name.”

“Well then,” she said, drawing herself up. She asked grimly, “There’s a man I want. How do I get him?”

Oh, the living.

“The answer is in the question you asked, and the way you asked it.”

“What do you mean?”

“One question a year,” I answered, and went for the honey wine and apples.

“I hate you,” she announced, and went down the hill.

She was back again the next year with a bigger plate.

“You were right,” she said sadly. “This year’s question. There’s a man who wants me. Should I have his child?”

“Certainly not.”

“You were right,” she said next year, holding the baby, a little girl with her same lively eyes and three-cornered smile. But I’d said no because she’d put no value to herself. I’m not all-wise; how was I to know that a baby would help her do that, instead of making the matter worse?

“There’s a job, overseas,” she told me ten questions later. “I want it. They want me. A good job. Will you hear me across the ocean?”

“I don’t know,” I answered. “We used to stay at home, your family. Try. The baby and her father going with you?”

She smiled. “Sarah’s eleven. And his name is Ian; I’ve come to love him.”

“I’m glad.”

This year I was up early, moving things around in the grave, scaring birds off the stone, nervous. Well after dark came the scent of honey wine and flowers, candles and apples, drifting across the salt sea, and I climbed up out of my old bones for a taste of it. I heard her voice clearly, but with a sound of waves in it.

“Are you there?” She asked.

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

Thank you Kat!  Here are all the stops on The Halcyon Bird's blog tour, and you can visit Kat at her own blog,  The Real Money’s in Poetry.

And you can win a copy for yourself-- just leave a comment between now and noon next Sunday (the 23rd), US/Canada only.


  1. I'm going to read Demon Catchers forthwith, just in case I win a copy of Halcyon Bird. Italy is my favorite.

  2. This sounds just lovely - I shall add The Demon Catchers of Milan to my reading list in either case!

  3. I would love to win a copy of the Halcyon Bird! This is just the kind of book i love to read. Thank you

  4. This sound really good and a book I would love to read. TFS.


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