Tuesday, 15 March 2016

THE BELTANE ESCAPE by Ariella Moon Blog Tour @XpressoTours

The Beltane Escape by Ariella Moon
(The Two Realms Trilogy, #1)
Publication date: February 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Lady Fenella, ever surrounded by guards, knows only responsibility and duty. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave.
But then Gran brands her, Lord Argonshire kidnaps her, and the Lady of the Lake makes her a pawn. The Highland heiress must betray her newly betrothed and fend for herself when she dives into a wormhole to save her cousin. She lands in a part of Fairy even fairies avoid, and joins forces with Talfryn, a half-Viking/half-Fairy.
Fenella must use her wits to find her cousin, free the Lady of the Lake, and reach the wormhole in Glastonbury by Beltane. Nine days to unshackle herself from a sorceress, prevent a war between rival clans, and decide in which realm—and with which lad—she truly belongs. Oh, and The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.


Author Interview

Hi, Ariella! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi! Thank you for the warm welcome!
I am a shaman, mother of an amazing daughter, sugar addict, and the author of five magical young adult novels. I live with two shamelessly spoiled dogs, Gracie and Avalon, and one media-shy dragon.

Tell our readers a bit about THE BELTANE ESCAPE.
The Beltane Escape is about Fenella the young Thaness of Thorburn, who has no idea her fate is shackled to a powerful sorceress. She believes Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths, Gran’s warnings about Fairy are superstition, and Fairy was invented to make children behave. But a spell cast forward to sixteenth century Scotland finds Fenella and leads to her being branded, stolen, and betrothed. Traumatized and separated from her clan, the Highland heiress finds an unexpected ally in her kidnapper’s son. But their fragile alliance is tested when the Lady of the Lake lures Fenella’s cousin into Fairy. Fenella has seconds to decide. Should she remain with Edward, or should she dive into Fairy to rescue her beloved cousin, endangering her clan, and abandoning Edward to his ruthless father?

How did the idea of the story come to you?
The Beltane Escape and the next two novels in the Two Realms Trilogy are set in medieval Scotland and Fairy, two of my favorite settings. Arthurian legends, and the Scots with their turbulent past, have long fascinated me. While reading various clan histories, certain tales of greed and daring, violence, and survival, leapt out at me. While I pondered these tales, the author’s magical phrase, What if… floated into my mind.

What if a kidnaped thaness tumbled, like Alice in Wonderland, into Fairy? What if she had been lured there by a spell cast forward in time?
What if the Lady of the Lake was only eighteen and new on the job?
What if Merlin was twenty, and quirky like Sherlock Holmes?

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am a little of both. When a story idea first comes to me, I experience an initial burst of unfiltered writing. But then, because the industry demands writers produce at a fast pace and I write slowly, I roughly plot the story and character arcs. That way, I know if my concept is strong enough to sustain a novel. Since The Beltane Escape is the first book in the Two Realms Trilogy, I also loosely outlined the series arc.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
My biggest challenge is to stay focused and not get sidetracked by social media and promotion. I love Pinterest and Facebook. Pinterest is much like Fairy. Once inside that realm, hours, even days, pass. 

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
Trader Joe's dark chocolate covered almonds and Webster's Unabridged Dictionary must be nearby. The latter lists the date of first use for most words, which is vital for authors of historical fiction. I avoid using words that post-date my story. Sometimes it is difficult to find a substitute word. For example, The Beltane Escape is set in 1505, and the word "kidnap" was first used in 1675. This created a huge problem since my heroine is kidnapped. I finally settled on the word "stolen," but in a few cases "kidnap" was the only word that worked. So please don't tell anyone! As for the chocolate covered almonds, did I mention I am a sugar addict? I tell myself they are a health food. Protein. Caffeine. Close enough!

If you could have any super power, what would it be?
As a shaman, I have command of cool powers, such as spirit flight, the ability to journey to other realms. Magic infuses my life and seeps into my writing. I don't drink alcohol or take drugs because my life is already trippy.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
I utilized my personal knowledge and experience of magic in The Two Realms Trilogy and my contemporary YA series, The Teen Wytche Saga. One notable exception was Spell For Sophia, the fourth book in the Saga. In that novel, Sophia, a  teen runaway, finds refuge on the bayou with a Voodoo priestess. I've always avoided voodoo because I sense a lot of dark energy around it. My google searches for voodoo spells and practices incorporated some very strange keywords.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Walking my dogs, or eating something containing sugar and/or chocolate. If not for the dogs, I would have a serious weight problem. Luckily, they keep me pretty trim.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
I am so grateful for my loyal and new readers, my awesome editor, Barbara Millman Cole, my terrific cover artist, Amanda Matthews, for my technical support people, and for bloggers and reviewers like you who help spread the word about The Beltane Escape.

Thanks for stopping by the blog!

You are welcome! It was a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the fabulous interview questions!

Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her Two Realms Trilogy is a medieval fantasy adventure series with romantic elements. The Teen Wytche Saga is a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.

Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students who mistook her for a leaning post, marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. Ariella lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and an enormous dragon.

Ariella loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at http://www.AriellaMoon.com or visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ariellamoon.author


Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card

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Karen Morison-Knox said...

Hi Melanie.
Thank you for featuring The Beltane Escape on your terrific blog. What a fun interview!

Nikolina said...

This book is "my cup of tea", looking forward to reading it!

Sue A. said...

Fenella is an amazing heroine! Smart, gutsy and resourceful. The story sounds intriguing, fun and adventurous!