We're down to just two weeks! Arcatraissa comes out in ebook and paperback on September 14th, after nine years of writing, rewriting, editing, and publishing prep. I'm stoked, guys.
The concept for Arcatraissa first came to me when I was about eleven or twelve and helped at my mother's preschool after school. Being the bookworm I was (and still am), I loved helping the little kids practice reading, and in particular one little girl who would tear through any fairytale book she could get her hands on. When she got tired of all the ones in the school she started asking for more stories, so my little middle school self told her about the first thing that popped into my head--an adventurous fairy prince named Tae.
Arcatraissa has come a long way since then, but it's stayed the same at heart. Read an excerpt of Arcatraissa and meet Tae himself below:
I gaped at the sight before me. A giant circular clearing held endless people, watched over by a towering castle carved from the same stone as the walls and the dome high above us. Booths displaying everything one could possibly want to buy sat in rows and rows, merchants shouting out cheerily to customers and people flowing back and forth. Music filled the air, light and joyous, made with something that sounded like a flute, and near the edge of the market I saw a group of fae performing some kind of skit to the delight of the crowd. I could smell meat cooking and fresh bread. More of the odd orbs of light floated, some higher up to cast a soft light down across the market and some bobbing only a few feet in the air. The fae hardly seem to notice them in their paths and passed through them as if they weren’t there, casting long shadows that vanished after only an instant. A group of kids with brightly colored butterfly wings, no more than six or seven years old, ran past us wielding long sticks that they knocked together like swords.
Tae said something in his tongue to them as one nearly crashed into me, a little redheaded boy who laughed all the while, and they quieted. Wide-eyed, they replied and he crouched to their level, a mischievous look in his eyes. I didn’t catch all of what he whispered to them but the little boy turned to me and spoke in a hesitant voice. “M-my apologies.”
I smiled, unsure of how well they understood English but hoping to reassure him. “It’s alright.”
Tae spoke again and, when one of the other boys seemed to ask him something, laughed, shaking his head. Just the sound of his laugh took my breath away; it was unlike any sound humans made. After sending the children off to continue their game he straightened up and met my look innocently. “What?”
“What was all that?”
He shrugged. “They want to join the guard when they’re older. I encouraged them, and told them that it wouldn’t be proper to show them my favorite sword in the middle of the market.”
“You have a sword?”
“Of course. It’s called Sciovah. It means ‘swift wind’.”
Right, of course. How silly of me not to assume he was armed. “Can I…see it?”
His eyes glittered at the question. “One day, perhaps, Cassiesa. But today is no day for talk of weapons.” He gestured for me to continue walking and I did.
We weaved between merchants and performers, me entranced by them, Tae chatting as easily as if they were all old friends. The crowd parted to let us pass whenever they noticed us, which was often, and I came to realize how well-known Tae was. It seemed that every fae we passed nodded or gave a quick greeting. He returned each and every one, smiling the whole time.
“You are certainly popular, aren't you?” I asked after a merchant refused his payment for a small basket of berries Tae had insisted I try.
He shrugged, inspecting one of the tiny purple-black berries before popping into his mouth. “I try not to abuse it, but sometimes they're insistent. It's part of being Tybal, knowing the best way to act around your people.”
I picked one of the berries from the basket. “What's Tybal?”
“Our word for 'prince'.”
I coughed, clearing my throat and trying to process his words. “You're a prince?” My voice sounded a tad more panicked than I would have liked. I didn’t know how to act around princes, especially faery ones.
“Yes, my mother is Titania. I'll be taking the throne soon.”
“Okay,” I said slowly, letting out a breath. “That makes a lot of sense, actually. I can't believe you didn't mention that earlier. That’s one of those things you tell somebody when you meet them.”
“I don’t usually have to.”
Fair point. “I feel like I should be kneeling to you or something.”
“No need.” He waved a hand dismissively. “When I’m with you I’m not the Tybal.” My face warmed, and I tried to think of something to say. Before I could, he added, “No self-respecting member of the royal line would ever be caught dead with a human.”
“You still could’ve told me.”
“I’m sorry.” He bowed playfully. “Tybal Taerem Yarik, at your service.”
I curtsied as well as I could in a cloak and jeans, trying to keep from laughing at his expression. “It's an honor, Tybal.”
“The honor is all mine, Cassiesa.”
Arcatraissa is available for sale September 14th, 2018. Can't wait the two weeks? Pre-order for Kindle here!