It’s impossible not to love Kate Ristau. She’s dynamic, talented and has a wicked sense of humour. She’s also a hardworking author who loves promoting her stunning new book. It makes my job much simpler! This June, I have the privilege of promoting her online and I can’t wait to share her with you all.
16 June – Savvy Authors
17 June – Pamaceeve
18 June – Lindsay & Jane’s Views & Reviews
19 June – Room with Books
19 June – Dorine White
19 June – YA Outside the Lines
20 June – Sheri Velarde
30 June – Dana’s YA Bookpile
Áine lives in the light, but she is haunted by darkness, and when her fey powers blaze out of control, she escapes into the Shadowlands.
But she cannot outrun her past. Fire fey and a rising darkness threaten the light, burning a path across the veil. Her fiery dreams come to life, and with the help of Hennessy, an uninhibited Irish girl, Áine dives into the flames to discover who she truly is. Her mother burned to keep her secret safe, and now Áine wields the deadly Eta.
She must learn to fight in the shadows — or die in the flames.
This is not a fairy tale.
Áine’s foot crossed the threshold and darkness consumed her. She put her hands out, afraid she’d fall face-first into the void. But the shadows tricked her, and she stumbled onto solid ground.
She laughed and pushed herself back up, wiping the dust off her cloak. Her voice echoed in the dark, spitting her laugh back at her, and then disappeared into the eerie silence.
She straightened up and stood there a moment, squinting hard into the blackened tunnel, but nothing stared back at her. In fact, it just seemed darker than before. She took a deep breath to clear her head.
It didn’t work. Everything became even more jumbled. Confused. Why was she here in the first place? And why was it so dark? The Crossing. She was crossing into the Shadowlands. Was she already through? She couldn’t tell. It felt like the ground was shifting even though she was standing still. She reached forward, searching for something to hold onto.
Her hand grazed the inside of the tree, the rough bark catching underneath her fingernails. A splinter of pain shot through her hand and she pulled her finger back and sucked on it.
Of course, with everything she had been through, everything it took to get here, she would hurt herself on a stupid tree. If Ciaran saw this, he’d never let her live it down. Baby, he would call her. Thumbsucker. She’d never hear the end of it.
Even now, she couldn’t get him out of her head.
“Come back soon,” he had said. “Don’t make me wait too long.”
“I will.” Áine smiled.
“You’ll make me wait?”
“No, I’ll be back soon.”
“Good.” He pulled her face up to meet his own. “Safe travels.”
“I’ll see you in the Fairerlands.”
So much between them remained unsaid, and so much more had already been whispered. She didn’t know what came next.
The darkness closed in and her smile faded. Maybe he wouldn’t be making fun of her right there—in the middle of the Crossing. Even smiling felt wrong in the emptiness. It was the type of place where even Ciaran would swallow his jokes.
Áine took another step, hoping it would get easier, hoping her eyes would adjust, but the darkness grew deeper, and her chest started to tighten. She rubbed her hand along her ribs and tried to take a deeper breath, but the air was heavy and sharp. It scraped at her lungs, sending shivers up and down her arms. She shuddered and jerked her legs forward. She had to keep moving.
She took another step, then gasped as her stomach twisted and cramped. She staggered forward, reaching her hands out toward the wall, and collapsed against it, falling to her knees and shaking violently as waves of pain crashed through her.
Kate Ristau is an author and folklorist. She writes young adult and middle grade fiction, along with grammar primers that won’t make you cringe. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters.
Until she finds that world, she’ll live in Portland, Oregon with her husband, her son, and her dog. If you can’t find her there, you can find her at kateristau.com