The Big Idea: Paige E. Ewing

Fayetteville may not have been on your radar as a hotbed of fae activity, but as Paige E. Ewing is here to tell you, it’s the place to be for her novel, Explosive Chemistry.


When Solifu, the impossibly ancient Egyptian mystic, held her tiny spider-kin daughter in her arms, she knew she would never bear another. She would bear two more sons, lion-kin like their father, Simon the last surviving prince of Nemea, but Liliana would be her last daughter. She would not survive to see the adult this babe would one day become. “I give you my word on this, little one. Your childhood will be filled with love and music, dancing and joy.”

Ixchel, the Peruvian jaguar-kin who owned both her and Simon’s hearts touched the infant’s face. “She only has two eyes. Is she a Normal?”

“She is like me,” Solifu said. “Her sight will mature, but it will be hard for her. She will need all three of us.”

When Liliana was five, a little boy pushed her and curved razor-sharp blades popped out of her forearms, scaring them both. Solifu, Simon, and Ixchel took turns training their tiny daughter in combat discipline, so she could handle her natural weaponry without harming herself or others.

At ten, Liliana looked like a petite child of seven. She opened new eyes on her temples, green and shimmering like chrome. Unnamed spectrums filled her vision. Her development stopped as her mind re-shaped itself to adapt. Liliana laughed in a world with new colors in all directions at once. The bright beads of gypsy scarves sparkled even behind her as she danced to the music the Romani circus people made on well-worn instruments.

By twenty, little Lilly as her father called her, had the body of a Normal girl of twelve. The third pair of eyes that opened like black pearl tears showed her souls tinged yellow with pity as her old friends found husbands and wives. In time, with the help of combat training and focus, her mind adjusted again.

Each new kind of vision made her more different, but circus children didn’t mind different, and still played hide and seek with her. And now, Liliana could fly. She danced joyously on the high wires and leapt fearlessly from the trapeze swings. Her father’s strong hands were always there to catch her.

When she finally grew up, Lilly wanted to be like her adult sister Isabella, who had her own caravan and made her living as Madame Bella, the seer of all that is hidden. Her baby brothers, Petros and Jason, for the first time gave Liliana someone smaller than her to care for. They grinned her father’s smile at the brightly-colored toys she made for them.

At thirty, when Lilly’s body reached a fourteen-year-old’s adolescence, her final large swirly pair of spider-kin eyes opened on her forehead. Her mind drowned in overwhelming images of what was, what might be, and what had been. She couldn’t close her eyes. She couldn’t shut it out.

It was too much…

Explosive Chemistry: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Bookshop|Powell’s|Universal

Author Socials: Personal site|Instagram|Twitter|Bluesky


Read more at: The Big Idea: Paige E. Ewing

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