The newest manuscript which I am seeking representation for is an historical fantasy.
The Irish revolution of 1920 finds Ailis, a feisty, and strong- willed young woman, and her younger brother Paddy in the midst of war. When their parents home is raided, Ailis takes her brother to the safety of the woodlands. Little do they know that the woodlands are haunted by fae folk, and when the two are captured by the British, Paddy kills a man, and flees right into the hands of the fae. Ailis lies her way out of arrest, and is soon confronted by a stealthy Irish soldier, who offers to help her. She accepts his kindness, and in so doing, is thrust into deeper peril. Now her life, and the survival of her fiance, an officer in the the Irish army, and the outcome of the war, hinges on her reuniting with her brother.
Ailis shivered next to Paddy as he rapped on the MacArtain’s front door. The coat wasn’t warm enough for the night, especially having been in the rain for so long. She stomped her feet to keep them from freezing. Maybe it was because she was so tired, and had barely anything to eat after Periwinkle left, or maybe she truly had never been so cold in all her life. As if riding a bike in the rain to River Bandon wasn’t enough, there’d been no place for her to get warm or change her clothes once she got there. She didn’t mind being with the Fae until night time came when they were well taken care of in their underground shelters, buzzing themselves warm with their hummingbird wings. Not so comfortable for Ailis the human., for she was a homeless beggar. Paddy was a God send, so these people better be friendly, because Ailis was certain she would turn into ice if she had to travel one more yard.
“You’re pale,” Paddy commented to her as they waited. He knocked again, harder.
“Wonderful. That’s about how I feel too.”
“I hope you aren’t freezing to death.”
They heard shuffling inside and then a girl’s voice. “Who knocks this late at night?” Eistir spoke through the closed door. “If you’ve come to arrest someone there’s no one left to arrest,” she added.
Ailis laughed, even though her teeth chattered.
“Pádraig and my sister. Please let us in, Eistir. She’s freezing to death.”
The door was opened quickly after that. Eistir reached out and took Ailis’ arm. “Oh Holy Mother, she is freezing to death,” Eistir said and coaxed Ailis into the house, scooting a chair close to the fireplace. She took Ailis’ rifle and set it by the door, slipped Ailis’ wet coat from her shoulders and hung it on a rack to dry by the fire. The blanket Eistir wrapped her in took away the chill, and the fire warmed her. Ailis began to thaw. Eistir dried her hair with a towel and rubbed her shoulders to get her blood flowing. “What in Kingdom’s name are you doing out in the hour of witches and demons? The Tans chasing you again?”
“Not exactly,” Paddy said. He gave Ailis a curious look. Neither of them had talked much since they met at the river. Ailis was too cold to move her mouth during the mountainous hike. And really, she didn’t know where to begin. The experience of killing a man, nay, three men, in cold blood had been traumatizing to say the least.
“Ailis showed up at the river when Alastar and I got back. She’d been riding her bike through this storm all the way from Ballymore,” Paddy said.
“That’s a distance in this downpour, love,” She whispered in Ailis’ ear. “Don’t you have a home? Rain like this should keep you home.”
Those words hurt. Ailis wished she had a home. Tears leaked out of her eyes but Ailis told herself not to cry.
“No. We don’t have a home, Eistir.” Paddy answered for his sister.
“I thought you were Fae. Fae live in the sídhe, everyone knows that,” she said to Paddy. “Doesn’t your sister live with you?”
“No. Ailis isn’t Fae.”
“How can that be?” Eistir walked away from Ailis and put a knot of bog deal on the coals and blew. When the flames lit up, she turned to Paddy.
Ailis couldn’t help but notice Paddy staring back. Eistir was a pretty girl, big brown eyes, her dark curls in her nightcap and her smooth complexion made her look like a china doll. There was definitely an attraction between the two. They’re young. Too young maybe if it were any other circumstance.
But it’s right for now. Paddy’s had to fight like a man so he deserves a little affection, Ailis thought. The idea that her brother still had some innocence in him comforted her. With war and blood and dying people, it’s good to know there’s a spark of gentleness to be had.
“How can that be, Pádraig?” Eistir asked again. The firelight made her face glow.
“I’m not Fae either,” Paddy said.
Ailis looked at him, curious as to how he’d explain that one.
Eistir laughed. “You aren’t fooling me! What are those things coming out of your back then if you’re not Fae?”
She snickered. “Is that what they are?” She gave him a curt smile and sat on the bench next to him, peeking over his shoulder to see his wings which were folded neatly against his tunic.
Filled with charm, mystery, treachery, war, heroism, humor and heart break, RISING sings the song of a nation knit together in love.
A story of two young people caught in war, and forced to be stronger than they ever thought they could be.