Arcadia Awakens was released in the UK on March 1st and features a pretty cool cover. Here's a summary from Amazon to tell you more about the book, published by Templar:
When troubled teenager Rosa escapes her life in New York to stay with family in Sicily, she stumbles into a sinister Mafia underworld of murder, corruption and bitter, generations-old rivalries. How is handsome, mysterious stranger Alessandro involved? And why is Rosa so powerfully drawn to him, even though she knows he spells danger for her and her family? Simmering at the heart of the conflict is an ancient myth surrounding the vanished empire of Arcadia and its people, who - in the tales of legend - could shapeshift into animal form. Can Rosa unravel the dark secrets of the past before untamed savagery is unleashed on the present?
Here's a guest post from Kai to celebrate the publication!
There are three important Mafia organisations in Italy: the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, the Camorra around Naples and the `Ndrangheta in Calabria. For the background of ARCADIA AWAKENS I choose Sicily and the Cosa Nostra for several reasons. One was the ability to use a lot of very different landscapes and cities – there is everything there, from desolate hillsides with deserted villages to urban sprawls like Palermo and Catania. But the main reason was the island´s historical connection to Ancient Greece. A few thousand years ago Sicily was the biggest Greek colony in the Mediterranean region, there are hundreds of ancient ruins between Trapani in the west and Catania in the east. And because I wanted my clans of shapeshifters, the Arcadian Dynasties, to be of Greek heritage, it became quite obvious that Sicily was the ideal setting for the three ARCADIA novels.
I went over there for a week and drove all over the island. What impressed me most – apart from the great food, probably the best in all of Italy – was the geographical diversity. There are huge mountain ranges, large woods, but also those yellow-brownish hills where nobody had lived for many years.
As a foreigner you think you are discovering mafia business all the time, but of course that´s nonsense. Obviously not every Italian in a dark suit is a mafioso and there are no bodies disposed of under every unfinished concrete structure! But I had read so many books during my research about the Cosa Nostra, that I became very sensible to the smallest hint of mafia activity. And, true or not, it made research on location quite exciting.