A queer Rapunzel retelling where a witch and a vampire who trust no one but themselves must journey together through a cursed forest with danger at every turn.

by Francesca Flores
Wednesday Books, March 2023
(via Park & Fine Literary)

Ava and Kaye were once the closest of friends, until Kaye’s mother was killed during a brutal vampire attack on their small town. Two years later, Kaye is training as a fire witch—a vampire hunter—and she’s convinced that Ava, now a vampire, is her mother’s killer. Ava spends her days trapped in a tower by her own family. But when she learns her mother is planning to bring down the barrier that separates mortals and vampires—and protects both—she knows she must stop her. When another attack allows Ava to escape, her only refuge is the vampire queen, in the middle of the treacherous woods. She finds an unlikely companion in Kaye, who agrees to accompany her through the forest. Kaye, for her part, knows this is her only chance to condemn Ava and avenge her mother’s death.
But with trees that devour humans whole, Ava’s stepfather in pursuit, and threats lurking everywhere, the woods have a new peril around each corner. As their old friendship wars with their new enmity, Ava and Kaye are each other’s greatest danger—and one another’s only hope of making it through the forest alive.

Francesca Flores is a writer, traveler and linguist. Raised in Pittsburgh, she read every fantasy book she could get her hands on and started writing her own stories at a young age. She began writing the City of Diamond and Steel duology while working as a corporate travel manager. Francesca currently resides in San Francisco.

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