We at CBG asked author Brantwijn Serrah what were her favorite parts of her upcoming book, Elfin Nights, to be released May 1st. She not only told us all of the good bits, but she gets to share them today with us as well!
What is your favorite part in your new book, Elfin Nights, and why?
My favorite part: Sure, let's start out with an impossible question, ha! It's so hard to decide, but I think if I had to pick only one, it's a scene about halfway through the book when Finn has to steal a bit of magic from a jealous faerie temptress called the Mariposa. I love writing Finn when he's being witty and snarky; it's just so easy with him! So I loved writing the back-and-forth, the careful way he turns on the charm for Mariposa first, then the point where she pushes him a little too far. Finn drops the courtly politeness and is ready to brawl so quick. I love letting him off his leash, so to speak, and shed the Prince Charming act (which, admittedly, he is also good at), so he can show a bit of the beast beneath.
“I’ve come far to ask thine aid,” I told her. “My wards, Gloriana’s changeling daughters, are vulnerable without me, and I have sworn an oath to return to them. The Desert of Bones has left me sapped of magic, and I beg a boon of thee, if thou wouldst share one fruit, nay, even one half, to restore me.”
Her wings folded in and out, shades of pink now rippling across them. Some kind of laughter echoing from within her, I thought. She said nothing for a very long time, though, indulging in a little more of what I could only take to be mental undressing.
“Tis a pretty boon thou asketh of me, Knight,” she said at last. “And with thou disgraced as well, and turned out from thy Court. Were I to help thee, the Queen of Springtime may take offense.”
“The new queen is my ward, and she will hold no wrong against thee for aiding me to find her again. It may even be she will reward such loyalty in bringing me home.”
She laughed out loud, and the pink tint of her wings shivered with the sound and brightened nearly to white. The color settled again to ruby as she composed a smile once more, and she climbed to her feet to meet me.
“Ah, yes, mayhap she would. A boon of my own to return her precious plaything.”
She said it with intentional ugliness, the way a jealous ex might refer to her lover’s new romantic interest. Gloriana probably hadn’t spared the Elvyn Court any detail of my scandal, regardless how it affected her daughters.
Something to discuss after I made it back to my ladies. I bowed my head in a show of humility and said, “Queen Gloriana did rightly punish my transgressions. Alas, though, she appointed no other guardian to my ladies before she died and thus their safety is still in my hands. To my knowledge, the new queen has not upheld Gloriana’s sentence upon me, nor replaced me, so I am left to conclude she yet prefers me at her service.”
Another laugh. The sweet fragrances of rose and raspberries and light, white wine followed her as she circled me. “No, Sir Knight, I doubt the High Elvyn Queen would dismiss such a novelty as thee. I daresay the strength and stamina of the Children of War should be most pleasing to any fae woman. T’would be fine as riding the darkest stallion night after night, and finding him ever ready and willing to ride again evening next. Art thou such a beast, Sir Knight?”
I gestured to the transfiguration Gloriana had laid on me with her curse. “As thou may see, milady, of late I am not exactly the man I was.”
“Hm, yet still a Knight.”
Her ears came to a smooth point, like all elves, and as she turned I caught the gleam of a gold tattoo inked between her wings and winding down her skin past the plunging back of her gown. Butterflies in flight, of course. Flecks of the same gold, like filigree, peppered her bare shoulders, neck, and even the first few inches of her hairline. They caught and reflected the changing glow of her wings like fiery embers.
Maybe I should have expected her touch, but she caught me by surprise. Her fingertips traced my bicep and made me shiver. Without meaning to, I cringed away.
Her leering smile could cut glass. She strolled past me and back to the thick bank of clover. She tossed a wink over her shoulder and let one cap sleeve of her gown drop down an inch or so off her smooth, golden shoulder.
“Since thou ask a taste of my fruit,” she murmured, “I request a taste of thine in return. Join me in my bower, Sir Knight. Share with me the pleasures thou has heretofore squandered on two silly little changeling girls. I will show the Son of the Morrigan true bliss, here in this garden.”
She coyly shrugged her other shoulder, slipping the second cap sleeve free. The dress hung on, but the slightest twitch would send it pooling at her feet.
“And once thou provest thyself a worthy stud, I shall give thee one of the fruit. If, of course, thou still wishes to go…”
I stared at her.
What do you think will be your reader's favorite part, and why?
Nineva let out a bright gasp—not at my words, but at my touch. She shuddered under my hands and squirmed, a mewl of strained delight escaping her.
“Oh, Knight!” she breathed. “No, do not let go. Thou hast no idea the fire coursing through me, a flame without air, needing to burn and struggling to breathe.”
She grabbed my wrist and stood on tiptoe to plant a hard kiss on my lips.
“My body must remain within the ley line,” she whimpered. “It washes away excess energies I cannot command. But ah, my Knight! How it burns in me. How it threatens to break me open!”
Underneath my palms the shimmering lines of elvish on her skin buzzed and hummed. The sensation spread and reverberated in me, awakening the prowling need of my own power, which had been roused this day by war, but never fed. When she kissed me, I hardened against her. She bit my lower lip then arched to me with a moan.
“Nina…” I whispered.
“I need this,” she rasped. “Finn, oh, Finn…I feel I will spin out of control…”
I slid my hands down to hike her up on me, and she wrapped her legs tightly around my waist. We tumbled off balance until I backed her against the stone wall, planting one hand against it while the other clutched her pert bottom to hold her up.
“Nina, lass…you are not usually so…”
“I am taken with fever for you, Child of War,” she growled. “This energy…take it from me Finn. Please, please take it.”
I stared into the white stars of her eyes and read more than heat. She strained for release. She shook with it. She needed something hard and strong and now, to work the tension out of her.
I was all three. And her mad yearning infected me like a plague.
I pressed my princess—no, my queen, now my queen of lightning storms and bursting red blooms, queen of clear bright nights, shooting stars, and brisk, burbling streams—harder against the wall. Our lips met, almost violent, our tongues warring as if we meant to devour each other. Her hands tangled in my hair, grasping, tugging, while my fingers dug hard into the flesh of her buttocks, through the ephemeral fabric of her gown.
A fae Knight’s life belongs to the monarchies, but for Finn of the Morrigan, his life comes second to his heart. And his heart belongs to his ladies.
The changeling princesses of the Springtime elves share a unique bond with their Knight—a bond that must remain perfectly secret. When the Queen of the Elves discovers their passionate love, she curses and exiles Finn from the elfin lands forever. With their guardian sent away to a lifeless wasteland, the royal changelings have no defense when the unseen enemies of the Four Courts attack, and the House of Elves falls.
To save his loves, Finn will need to break out of prison, undertake a perilous journey across the lands of Thairy, face wicked creatures, rogue Knights, and one of the most dangerous monsters in the fae world.
The enemy will soon learn what it means to provoke a true Son of War.