To Catch a Threeve by Alexis Duran was published by Loose ID on October 20th, 2014, 136 Pages, Cover Art by Fiona Jayde 🙂
Axel Blackwood catches a thief and is astounded to see that he closely resembles Liam Alloway, the love he lost seven years ago in an attack by the evil woodland folk known as threeves. Axel suspects he’s fallen prey to dark magic, but can’t help becoming infatuated with his prisoner. He’s overwhelmed with the hope that he can at last bring his lost lover home, despite everything that warns him it’s all a diabolical trick. Bryn Darrow, the half-threeve, half human orphan sent to trick Axel and rob him of much more than a simple gem finds himself equally as fascinated with his handsome human captor and the lure of someplace to call home, but he knows deep down that the constable is in love with a dangerous illusion. When he’s commanded by the threeves to murder Axel and steal a witch’s powerful grimoire, he’s forced to decide between the only family he’s ever known and the one person who might rescue him from a life of isolation and pain. Will Axel and Bryn be forced into a deadly confrontation before they can discover the truth?
The Whys and Wherefores of Threeves by Alexis Duran
Thanks for inviting me to appear on Rainbow Gold Reviews. As it happens, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about threeves, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to address them here.
The threeves appear in the first few pages of my book, To Catch a Threeve, so I don’t think I risk being too spoilery if I tell you straight out – threeves are magical, humanoid beings who thrive in trees (threeves!) prey on human frailties, and somewhat resemble the twisted roots of the tree spirits they worship. Threeves desperately seek to reacquire the forests they’ve lost to human invasion.
One of the research books I keep beside my desk is The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures, by Judika Illes. Its nearly 700 pages are filled with every type of mythical creature and fantastic being, from A Bao a Qu to Zu. I have at my fingertips this wonderful compendium of the myths that inhabit our dreams. So why, might you ask, did I feel compelled to create my own magical creatures, the threeves?
When the story first hatched in my mind, I knew the “bad guys” would be magical woodland folk and I auditioned elves, fairies, ogres, trolls and leprechauns for the role. None of them quite fit the image in my head. Elves are too regal, fairies too flighty, ogres too damn ugly. Because my characters were tree-dwellers, threeve popped up as I noodled the idea around, followed quickly by the terribly clever title. I was hooked.
While classic fantasy folk are awesome (they’ve stuck around in our stories for a reason) and using a pre-established myth can really cut down on the explaining a writer has to do, these classics come with serious baggage in the form of reader expectations. A writer ignores long-standing conventions at their own peril. I don’t have to tell you that geeky internet wars have been waged over whether fairies are twee or if they could really pass as the night clerk at a 7-11.
If I say “elf” a picture pops into your head (hopefully of Orlando Bloom in tights. Yum!) But if I say “threeve” you go – huh? Hopefully your curiosity is piqued and you enjoy the idea enough to let this new creature take form. As you read and the image becomes clearer, a threeve might join the circle of imaginary friends you take to bed with you at night. They become part of your personal mythos, a fun new addition, a villain with possibilities, a character worthy to romp in your dreams.
Writing books is a wonderful game we writers play, ever hopeful readers will join in. If done well, the reader’s imagination is fully engaged and before you know it, we’re creating beautiful stories together.
“Unlock these,” Bryn said, holding up his wrists. “I won’t run.”
“Well, you would say that, wouldn’t you?”
“I don’t want to run away from you.”
Axel grabbed his arm and pulled him back. Close to Bryn’s ear, he growled, “Who sent you? What are you after?”
“No one. Nothing.” Bryn twisted round to face him. He froze there, face so close his lashes tickled Axel’s cheek. “I’m only trying to survive. I feel like you can help me with that.”
“I could if you’d tell the truth.” Axel eased out of the danger zone, stood, and went to where he’d hung his bags over a rail. He pulled out an old spare shirt, once black and now gray. Going down on one knee in front of Bryn, he tossed the shirt in his lap and unlocked the manacles on his wrists. Bright red marks scarred him there too.
“Put it on,” Axel said.
Bryn rubbed his wrists and flexed his fingers. “You sure you want me to?”
“When all this straw starts sticking to the ointment, you’ll look like a scarecrow,” Axel said, ignoring the invitation with difficulty.
Bryn pushed up onto his knees and slipped on the shirt. It was much too large for him, and when he sank back to sit on his heels, he looked like a waif, his strong body hidden again. But what was hidden behind the delicious illusion? Who was he, damn it?
Despite the deceptions and conflicts between them, they regarded each other closely. Axel wanted to take Bryn so bad his mouth watered. He didn’t care who or what Bryn was.
“No one’s ever looked at me like you look at me,” Bryn said.
Axel reached out and touched Bryn’s face, stroking his cheek with a thumb. Bryn leaned against his hand like a cat wanting to be rubbed.
“Goddess help me,” Axel whispered.
Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, fashion, finance and film production. Her favorite job so far was Administrative Assistant in a haunted Victorian Mansion. She’s had several short stories published in the mystery, horror and literary genres and is the author of the Masters and Mages erotic fantasy series. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference. She lives with one dog and four and half cats. She is currently working on the next Masters and Mages novella and several other erotic novellas.