Introducing Eyes of a Stranger – Now Available!

Introducing Eyes of a Stranger – Now Available!

I first introduced the Aruvalia Chronicles on my blog in April of 2019, shortly after I wrote the outline for the first trilogy. But the story has been banging around in my head since 2011. And some of the characters it features have been lurking in my head even longer than that (more on that in a moment).

I started properly drafting Eyes of a Stranger, the first book in the Aruvalia Chronicles in July of 2019, the same year we moved into our current house. A great deal of that year had been dedicated to house-shopping, and we had just about given up when we finally got an offer accepted.

It was the biggest move we’ve ever orchestrated; possibly even more complicated than our move to England. The time and energy requirements to prepare the new house for occupation made the initial months of drafting for the series quite difficult. I struggled to keep up with my goal targets. It was particularly galling because I had waited so long to start penning this work and all I really wanted to do at the time was lose myself in its details.

I had no idea that a scant four months after we moved into the new house, the Covid pandemic would lock us all in our houses for most of two years. Making it a hell of a lot easier to retreat to my fantasy worlds. All I knew was that this idea had been growing inside my head for such a long time, I had to find some way to do justice to it.

While the initial months of work on this series made me despair of ever creating something worthwhile, I’m pleased to say that I’m happy with how things have come together.

Moving From Concept to Execution

As I revealed when I first wrote about this project, it all started with a dream. My husband was working an overnight shift, and I’ve never slept well when he’s away. On this particular night, I slept enough to dream but woke often. Every time I fell back asleep, my dream resumed where it left off.

The subject of the dream was Domerin, one of my fictional characters. I needed to find him. But every time I caught a glimpse of him, he vanished before I could speak. I contemplated the dream when I woke and penned the first outline for the first 3 Aruvalia Chronicles books. (By hand no less!)

Nearly 10 years and 12 additional books later, the story has taken solid form. It’s by far the most complicated series I’ve ever tackled. Each installment has extra layers of movement in the background to make sure events unfold as planned. And since this series is central to the multiverse in which all of my books take place, some of those details set up for stories I’m unlikely to write for years.

I’ve gone the extra mile with this series. Not only have I used draft cycling to account for details in subsequent installments, I’ve added a second round of beta reading. With such a long and complex series, it’s incredibly difficult to make sure ideas are translating from my head to the page. But I’m doing my best to make sure all the details punch through.

In 2022, I started streaming my writing sessions on Twitch, and Aruvalia has been the project I’ve primarily worked on. Spending so much time talking about the crafting of this story makes it all the more exciting that I finally get to share a polished draft with the wider world.

Managing Many Threads

While the Aruvalia Chronicles have only been brewing since 2011, Domerin – the main character – has been kicking around a lot longer. He was born sometime in 2004. And since he came around, he’s rarely remained quiet for long. He often dominates the writing prompts on my blog, unless I forcefully banish him.

Aruvalia Chronicles is not the story of Domerin’s original incarnation. At least not the incarnation I first met. But this version has become the ultimate Domerin in my mind. And it has been spectacularly fun to get to know him as I’ve penned the story of his life. Like this story’s many moving parts, Domerin can be a challenging character to capture on the page. For instance, I never realized how difficult it is to write a character who often communicates non-verbally until I needed to vary mention of Domerin’s grunts.

As you’ll soon learn, Domerin is a warrior who works for an elite military team known as the Queen’s Division. They serve Aruvalia’s queen as protectors of the realm. And like me in my dream, the novel’s other main character is in desperate need of locating him in order to secure his assistance.

Domerin isn’t the only long-lived character to leap out of my head into this story. It also features Rose and Cazella, two epic ladies I invented in middle and high school. (But we’ll save those introductions for subsequent release announcements.)

I’ve written regular updates for this series throughout the crafting process, so I won’t keep you any longer with chatter about the background mechanics. I promise to keep you all up to date as I finish writing and editing the last few books in this series. But now, without further ado…

Eyes of a Stranger is Available Now!

When the innocent are threatened
A warrior must defend
Even if it means risking everything

After a harrowing nightmare, Clara awakens in a strange body, in a strange land, with a strange name on her lips. Haunted by the wrong face in the mirror, called by the wrong name, and trapped in a fantastical realm teeming with mythical creatures, arcane wonders, and enterprising faeries, her only guidance comes from a strange voice that speaks in her head even when she begs it not to. The name persistently echoed by the voice is Domerin Lorcasf, and he holds the key to Clara’s path home.

Renown for his unparalleled combat skills and unwavering loyalty to the crown, Domerin works for an elite group of warriors known as the Queen’s Division – Aruvalia’s version of the FBI. Unfortunately, he cannot simply abandon his duties to aid Clara. Aruvalia, a modern world where reality and magic entwine, teeters on the brink of war. And there’s suspicion of corruption in the ranks.

As Clara learns to navigate a world vastly different from her own, she must convince Domerin to trust her and the mysterious voice that guides her. Together, they can unravel the truth and prevent a catastrophic war. But if Domerin agrees to assist Clara, the decision could shatter his career, forcing him to go rogue and break the laws he has sworn to uphold.

Caught between duty and compassion, Domerin’s choice will test the limits of courage and loyalty – and prove the indomitable spirit of those who dare to define their own destiny.

Grab your copy now!

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