Welcome to another episode of Coffee Talk, my guest today is Arethusa from Artemis Rising, so let's get down to it!
Alex: Okay, since this is coffee talk, what is your coffee drink of choice?
Arethusa: We drink galãos on our island. It is strong Azorean coffee. *she
smiles coyly* An acquired taste, you might say. Even I must use a
great deal of sugar.
Alex: Arethusa and I thought I've heard of every name, is there a
special meaning to it?
Arethusa: Oh, this name! It has been my curse and my blessing since the night
the moon goddess Artemis christened me with it. The name literally
means water-bearer and it is the name of one of the goddess's nymphs
who is turned to water in order to escape the river god Alpheus's
advances. But this is not merely a story. This fate has become my curse. But it has also led me to the love of my life."
Alex: Not to be rude, but we sort of kind of look similar. Your family wouldn't happen to be from Palermo, Sicily would they? Just saying, the olive skin, the hair, I may have a good fifty pounds on you, but that happens.
Artethusa: My family comes from the Azores Islands, which were settled in the 1400s by the Portuguese. In point of fact, Portugal owns the islands. I live on the third largest of the nine islands, though it is only eight by eleven miles in diameter. Terceira, it's called. I was not born there, but I would die there if I could. It is a heaven on earth. We have word that describes the longing we feel for the islands. 'Saudade.' There is no equivalent word in English, but it is best described as a deep longing for what cannot be."
Alex: So boys, let's talk about them. They are probably knocking down your door or whatever your house has.
Arethusa: Oh, we have doors. *smile* There are two boys actually. One whom I love yet cannot have and one who I am fated to love. He is willing to destroy everything to get what he wants, but I am strong. I will fight this. I would do anything for Tristan and I would do anything to get away from Diogo. Fate will tell what shall happen to us all."
Alex: I see you checking out my cross necklace. One of my friends gave it to me after my first flight, but enough about me, are you a good catholic girl yourself?
Arethusa: My father was a good Catholic. I am... *hesitates* I am a pagan like my mother. We follow the goddess Artemis. But such faith is not alwaysas it seems...
Alex: Since you probably aren't up on modern times, what is your favorite food and activity?
Arethusa: I adore a soup we call 'caldinho.' It is potatoes and a leafy green like kale, which is carefully cut into long, thin strips. This is the most comforting soup we Azoreans know how to make.
I do love to write, since I can no longer speak. I...It was...an injury. My throat never recovered. So I write and the pen becomes myvoice. It is enough, I think.
Alex: Anything else you would to add?
Arethusa: Thank you, Señhor Alex, for taking precious time to speak with me.
May the goddess protect you."
On the voyage home to the Azores Islands, Eva accepts the pagan name
of Arethusa but learns too late that her life will mirror the Greek
nymph’s tragic end. Her mother reveals that her destiny lies with
Diogo, the shipowner’s volatile son. But Eva has a vision of
When the ship founders in a storm off the coast, Tristan, a local boy,
saves her life and steals her heart. Destined to be with Diogo yet
aching for Tristan’s forbidden love, Eva must somehow choose
between them, or fate will choose for her.
Cheri Lasota’s debut novel, Artemis Rising, is a YA historical fantasy
based on mythology and set in the exotic Azores Islands. Currently,
Cheri is writing and researching her second novel, a YA set on the
Oregon Coast. Over the course of her sixteen-year career, she has
edited fiction, nonfiction, screenplays, and short stories for
publication. Cheri also has twenty-four years of experience writing
poetry and fiction. Learn more about Artemis Rising at
http://www.cherilasota.com or buy it at