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Monday, January 14, 2013

VBT: Guest Post & Giveaway: To Dance In Liradon by. Adrienne Clarke

To Dance in Liradon
by Adrienne Clarke

Seventeen-year-old Brigid O'Flynn is an outcast. A chance encounter with the Faerie Queen left her tainted in the eyes of the villagers, who blame the Faerie for the village’s missing women and children. Desperate to win the village’s acceptance, Brigid agrees to marry her childhood friend: Serious, hardworking, Connell Mackenna. But when Connell disappears before their wedding, Brigid's hopes are shattered. Blamed for her fiancĂ©’s death, Brigid fears she will suffer the same fate as the other village outcasts, the mysterious Willow Women. Lured into Faerie by their inhuman lovers, and cast out weak and broken, the Willow Women spend their lives searching for the way back into Faerie. When Connell suddenly reappears, Brigid is overjoyed, but everything is not as it seems. Consumed by his desire for beauty and celebration, Connell abandons his responsibilities, and Brigid soon finds herself drawn into a passionate, dangerous world of two.

When Brigid discovers the truth behind Connell's transformation she’s forced to choose between two men and two worlds. Brigid’s struggle leads her into glittering, ruthless Faerie, where she must rescue her true love from a terrible sacrifice or lose him forever.

Connell was waiting for her when she arrived. He took her hand without speaking and led her into the forest. Once they were safely inside the trees’ protection, Connell removed something from the heavy cloth sack he wore around his waist tied with a silken cord. It was a harp, the most beautiful instrument Brigid had ever seen. The tuning pegs looked to be made of gold and the strings of pure silver. When Connell touched them with his fingers, the music made her want to weep and sleep and laugh, all at the same time. She reached out to touch it, but Connell snatched her hand away.

“Forgive me, my love, but I cannot let you have it. As pretty as it is, it would burn your delicate fingers.”

“Why should it burn me and not you?” She thought it would be worth the risk to run her hands along the deep U of the harp’s neck.

“‘Tis no ordinary harp. It will only endure the touch of its owner.”

“How did you come to have it?” 
Connell brushed his fingers gently across the strings. “It was given to me as a gift.”

“By whom?” Brigid asked, bewildered. There was no one in the village save for the lord himself who could afford such an instrument.

Connell leaned towards her. “‘Tis a secret.”

“If I am to be your wife, there must be no secrets between us.”

Connell seized Brigid’s hands and pulled her towards him. “I am not myself,” he whispered in her ear.


Falling into Fantasy

 They say you never forget your first love. I believe that – I think it explains my continued fascination with fantasy as both a reader and a writer. My love affair with fantasy began with fairy tales at the age of four. I used to sit beside the swamp near our house, catch frogs, kiss them, and wait impatiently for them to turn into princes.  Unfortunately, the much wished for transformation didn’t happen, but I remained entranced with the idea of the fantastic, certain that I would one day find my way into an enchanted world where anything could happen.  

As I grew older I discovered the magical worlds of C.S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Patricia McKillip and Robin McKinley to name a few. Through these authors I discovered new and mysterious landscapes as well as the desire to create my own. When I began to write To Dance in Liradon I envisioned two distinct but intimately intertwined worlds, Faerie and human. Both worlds are imbued with their own unique magic and I wanted to explore what happens when these worlds collide. Torn between her Faerie and human identities, my heroine, Brigid, struggles to understand who she is and where she belongs.

I wrote Brigid’s search for love and identity in the fantasy genre because I’ve always believed in the power of fantasy to illuminate the truth of what it means to be human. While some people might argue that “truth” is best explored in realistic fiction I disagree. Some of the most convincing, believable fictional worlds I’ve ever encountered were inside the pages of a fantasy novel. Released from the constraints of reality, fantasy can explore the hidden aspects of human experience in new and exciting ways. Many fantasy novels, including To Dance in Liradon take the reader on a search for truth or understanding where the heroine’s true character is revealed as they struggle against obstacles both external and internal.

Although I continue to write and be inspired by other genres, I know I’ll never abandon my first love. I guess you might say fantasy has cast a spell on me, but unlike so many of my favorite fairy tale heroines I’ve no desire to break the enchantment.  After all, what one of us hasn’t longed to escape into a fantasy world even if only for a little while? If you’re one of the few who’ve never felt this way maybe this is your chance. Liradon is waiting. 

Adrienne will be awarding winner's choice of a Kindle touch, Nook Simple Touch, or a $100 Apple gift card, and one crystal Faerie necklace similar to what Brigid wore to the Faerie ball to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
I think I became a writer because the world inside my head was so real and vivid, sometimes more so than the outside world. In some sense I have lived parallel lives, present in my real and imaginary lives in different ways. Because much of my childhood was spent searching for faeries or reading about them, it is natural that my work encompasses fairy tale themes and other magical elements. In the words of Tennessee Williams, forget reality, give me magic!

Adrienne has previously published short stories in The Storyteller, Beginnings Magazine, New Plains Review, and in the e-zines A Fly in Amber, Grim Graffiti, Les Bonnes Fees, The Altruist, The Devilfish Review, and Rose Red Review. Her short story, Falling was awarded second place in the 2008 Alice Munro short fiction contest. To Dance in Liradon is her first published novel.

An avid reader of fairy tales and other magical stories, a thread of the mysterious or unexpected runs through all of her work. When she’s not writing Adrienne can be found searching for faeries along with her daughters Callista and Juliet.

Author Links:

Buy Links:

Amazon: US: http://www.amazon.com/To-Dance-in-Liradon-ebook/dp/B009F94I3W/ref=la_B009HWWMT4_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349915685&sr=1-1


  1. Thank you for havin me, Tawania! I look forward to meeting some of your readers.

    1. Typo alert! I meant to say thank you for having me, Tawania.

  2. Great post and excerpt, thank you.


    1. I'm glad you liked the post and thank you so much for stopping by!

  3. looks like a great read!

    jessicabcote at gmail dot com

  4. Lokks like a great read. I love finding new books and authors.

    1. I hope you found one here! Thank you for visiting me today, Laura.

  5. I've read C.S. Lewis but not the other authors you mention. I'll have to check them out.
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

    1. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, Catharine! Thanks for visiitng me.

  6. Thanks for sharing more about your writing.


    1. It was my pleasure. Thank you for stopping by. I really appreciate your comment.

  7. I really appreciate your statement that you've always believed in the power of fantasy to illuminate what it means to be human. That is what great writing--and all great art--does, don't you think? And each time we gain a greater understanding of humanity's struggles, challenges, and choices, we're closer to peace on earth. Thank you for being a part of that through your writing.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Beth. Yes, I absolutely believe in the power of art to illuminate the human experience. A great work of art can be transformative - it can change the way we see the world and ourselves - and what is more wonderful than that?

  8. I'm more than happy to lose myself in a world of fantasy. I want to know more about the harp.


    1. Thank you, Mary. Although I can't play the harp it's an instrument I've always loved - the way it sounds - the way it feels underneath your hands. For me, it's always evoked thoughts of magic.

  9. Sorry for the late post. I’m playing catch-up here so I’m just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com


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