Today I welcome Alicia Michaels for an interview and to introduce her Young Adult Fantasy Romance, Daughter of the Red Dawn. She’s also giving away two $10 Amazon Gift Cards during her month-long virtual tour as well as 5 ebook copies. Let’s give her a warm welcome, readers.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a military wife and stay-at-home mother of two awesome kids and two very rambunctious dogs! When I’m not writing, I love a good book and a bubble bath ( yes, at the same time). I also love to sing, cook, make jewelry and shop for shoes. I’m an obsessive/compulsive cleaner, I love coffee and chocolate and I get bored easily so my hair changes color very frequently.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what else did you want to do?
I have tried my hand at a lot of things. In college, I changed my major like three times. But no matter what new thing I was doing in an effort to find myself and my calling, writing was always a constant presence in my life. Through all of the changes and struggles, I was always writing. What I was and what I wanted to be was right there in front of my face for a long time. I’m just glad I came to my senses when I did and figured it out. I’ve never been happier than I am right now, with the release of this first Young Adult book.
Why should readers consider buying your books?
I feel that my stories satisfy. Every loose end is tied, every doubt is laid to rest, and by the time a person gets to the last page, they are left happy but also wanting more. I think that mine is a more mature YA, but something that could be read by adults and enjoyed the same as an adult novel. There are all the elements of a fantasy (with vivid world-building and mythical appeal) as well as stories of love and friendship, and of course the archetypal struggle of the hero (or in the case of this book, heroine). I think that we can all relate to what Selena goes through in Daughter of the Red Dawn; particularly teenagers who are struggling to find where they fit in life. I think there’s a little something here for everyone.
What inspired you to write your latest release?
I was very much inspired by the movie ‘Stardust’ and the idea of a fairytale kingdom just on the other side of the human world. From there I decided I wanted to write a series of books, each one very loosely based on a fairy tale…but not the Disney versions, the original stories as told by the Brothers Grimm. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I had written the brothers in as characters in the books. They are the scribes that documented the history of this fairytale kingdom where the creatures and characters we all know and love come from. Of course I added my own spin, so in the case of Daughter of the Red Dawn, Selena is ‘Little Red Cap’, or as we know her ‘Red Riding Hood’. The big bad wolf is represented by a Werewolf shifter named Titus, but in this case he might be quite as evil as the original story portrayed. Every story has two sides right?
The writing of this series went beyond the original plans in a way that let me know I really had something special on my hands. I am so excited about finally sharing it with the world.
Who would play you in the movie about your life and why?
If a movie were made about me, I would want to be played by Paula Patton or Kerry Washington. Both are beautiful black women whose performances have moved me.
Short answer favorites:
Dessert: Any type of cake!
City: Austin, Texas
Season: The winter/holiday season
Type of hero: Definitely the wounded/scarred hero
Type of heroine: The strong, warrior woman
Actor: Johnny Depp
Actress: Cate Blanchett
What flowers would be in your ideal bouquet?
Lilies and tulips….tons of them!
Which TV show(s) can you absolutely not miss every week?
I am SO all about Grey’s Anatomy. When it first came out I didn’t get into it. After my daughter was born and I was stuck breastfeeding or up at all hours of the night I started watching them from season 1. By the end of the week I had watched seasons 1-3 and have been hooked ever sense! My husband knows I get very cranky when I miss it!
Other shows I like are Project Runway, Iron Chef, Chopped and Dr. Phil
Finish this sentence: I’m addicted to…
Coffee, Coca Cola, and chocolate
Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Alicia. Readers, check out the blurb and the excerpts below for Daughter of the Red Dawn.
Genre: YA Fantasy/YA Romance
Publisher: Anchor Group
Description: These are dark times in the land of Fallada, and I fear that they will only continue to grow darker. Only the return of those we’ve lost will even the score.
It will begin with first line of the prophecy, which foretells of a red sun over the desert sky…
–Adrah, Queen of the Fae
On the outside, seventeen year-old Selena McKinley is like any other teenage girl. Yet Selena has always felt as if she doesn’t belong and is counting the days to graduation and her freedom from the small town that makes her feel so out of place, when the arrival of a stranger turns her world upside down. Selena will learn just how different she is and the truth of where she comes from.
A lost princess, they call her, the catalyst for a war involving a world that Selena was taken from as a child. An evil queen obsessed with her own beauty with a plan to enslave the human race.…the notion seems so silly, yet Selena knows in her heart that it is true. Then there is Titus, the shape shifter whose blue eyes and claims of destiny hold her heart captive. Can Selena find the strength to do what she must while following her heart?
As Selena contemplated taking another lap around the field, she turned and found the lone figure of a boy standing at the edge of the meadow, which was ringed by cedar trees. Her eyes widened as she took him in from head to toe: impossibly black hair falling into his eyes, stony features, long legs, and slender form. In his skinny jeans, Converse sneakers, black t-shirt, and sleek sunglasses, he was unlike any other guy she’d ever seen in Twin Oaks, where Wranglers and large belt buckles were the dress code.
He raised his chin slightly in acknowledgement and Selena stood rooted to the spot, unable to move or even utter a sound as the boy stepped into the tall grass. The sun glinted off of his black hair, giving it a slightly bluish tinge, and his dark sunglasses mirrored her reflection to her as he closed the distance between them. The grass seemed to part to make way for him, and Selena couldn’t make her legs function as he approached.
He is strange, she thought as he stopped in front of her with his hands in his pockets. But strange was good. It meant that she was now one of two people that didn’t belong in Twin Oaks.
“Hey,” he said.
One word, but Selena couldn’t help but notice the silky smooth tone of his voice. He smiled, showcasing a row of perfectly straight, white teeth. The canines were a bit on the long side but she liked them. She also liked his pale blue eyes, which he revealed by pushing his glasses up into his hair.
“Hi,” she answered back breathlessly. She tried to smile, but her lips wouldn’t move. She fiddled with the strap of her backpack instead.
“I’m Titus,” he said, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.
“Selena,” she answered.
“Pretty name,” he said.
“Thanks. I like your glasses.”
I like your eyes. I like your hair. I like your skin.
Selena bit back the words, embarrassed by her almost instant crush on the cute stranger.
“Are you new in town?” she asked, trying her best not to gawk at him and failing miserably. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you before.”
“Not that new,” he said with a shrug. “I’ve seen you around a lot, at school, on the track field, at the Dairy Queen.”
Selena’s eyes widened in surprise. “You have?”
He nodded, a sly smile spreading across his face. “Oh yeah. When I saw you today walking through this field I thought, ‘now’s the perfect chance to get to meet the prettiest girl in Twin Oaks’.”
Selena couldn’t help but laugh at that one. Prettiest girl in Twin Oaks? Hadn’t he laid eyes on Allyson, the cheerleader with the biggest boobs a teenage girl had a right to have? Or Janelle, who’s long, perfectly shaped legs had earned her the honor of being captain of the dance squad? Or what about Trisha, whose hair was that perfect shade of blond that most girls had to buy a box of hair color to achieve?
This guy obviously didn’t get out much.
Selena snorted. “Yeah right.”
“It’s true,” he said, taking another step toward her. Selena felt her hands shaking as he reached up to stroke a lock of her straight, red hair. “Besides, you’re different and I like different.”
“You must be the only guy in town that does.”
He laughed. “Would you believe me if I told you that we were two of a kind? That I’m as different as you are?”
Selena frowned. “What do you mean?”
He leaned even closer, his nose nearly touching hers as his grin widened. His white teeth flashed in the sunlight, the sharp canines displayed proudly.
“I saw you,” he whispered. “Running.”
Selena clutched her stomach as she felt nausea welling up in her. From the expression on his face, it was obvious that he didn’t mean to say he’d seen her on the track at school. How could she have been so stupid? She hardly ever allowed herself the freedom to run uninhibited in broad daylight. She had thought herself alone, completely oblivious to the watching eyes of a boy named Titus.
What to do?
Titus’ smile was blinding, a flash of white teeth that left her stunned while she tried to find words … any words … even ‘please don’t tell my secret and make me end up on the six o’clock news, or on a lab table with a bunch of tubes coming out of my body’.
Her mouth opened, but nothing came out. As panic gripped her, Selena could think of only one thing to do.
“So, your parents let you walk home alone every night?”
Selena shrugged. “Not every night. I only work four days a week.”
“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”
“Look, it’s just me and my grandmother and we don’t have a car. Besides, this place is the size of a dime. Everything’s within walking distance and everybody knows everybody.”
Titus laughed, shoving his hands in his pockets as they walked. They were back in the field where they’d met earlier that day. She wasn’t sure why, but ever since he’d shown up at Dairy Queen, her nerves had been standing on end. Once again, his presence was putting her intuition on high alert. As they walked through the tall grass, she glanced over at him and studied his profile.
He was even more stunning in the moonlight, with the dim glow of the night on his pale face and dark hair. His eyes almost glowed. Selena lowered her eyes as he looked up at her just in time to catch her staring.
“I take it you don’t like it too much.”
“Seriously, I hate it here. I’m counting the days to graduation. I’m buying a car, putting all my stuff in the back of it, and getting the hell out of Ole Dirtpatch.”
“That’s my nickname for it. Don’t tell me you like Twin Oaks. I can tell by looking that you’re not from around here. You’ve got the look of a city boy about you.”
He stopped, bringing her up short beside him. He turned to face her and a wistful expression crossed his features.
“Not exactly,” he said. “My home is beautiful though. There’s nothing like it in the whole world.”
“You miss it.”
He nodded. “Yes.”
“What happened? Why did you have to leave?”
“You don’t want to talk about it.”
“Do you want to tell me what happened to your parents?”
He pressed his lips together in a firm line and turned to lead her on. Selena loped along beside him, her insides burning with curiosity. Despite the nervous tension he created in her, she couldn’t help but want to know more about him. What was that saying about curiosity killing the cat? Yeah, that was pretty much where she was headed.
“My parents died in a car crash when I was a baby,” she blurted. “There is no other family so Gram took me.”
“I had to leave my home because of a war,” he answered. “My parents are now prisoners of that war and it is unlikely that I will ever see them again.”
She’d known he had an exotic look about him. A war that had imprisoned his parents meant he was from another country. But where?
Selena gasped, her throat clenching with emotion as she looked back up at him. His face was etched in agony, the blue eyes lowered and filled with sadness, the corners of his mouth turned down and pinched. She reached out to grab his hand. His fingers were icy against her warm ones.
“I’m so sorry.”
He looked down at her, his face grown harsher in the moonlight, the glint in his eyes deadly. Selena’s heart skipped a beat and her breath caught in her lungs, but she didn’t flinch as she met his narrowed gaze with her wide-eyed one.
“You shouldn’t be here, with me,” he said, his voice a low growl.
Selena frowned. “But you—”
“I saw you earlier Selena, running through this field. You were so … ” he trailed off, his Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed, “ … beautiful. If only you knew the power you possessed, how important you are, and how dangerous I am to you…” he paused again, groaning in frustration and tearing his gaze away from hers. “Run, Selena.”
“What are you talking about? What are you saying?”
His voice was animalistic this time, a roar that shook Selena to her very core. He leaned toward her, barring his teeth as another primal growl rumbled through his chest. Selena was sure that his canines lengthened, glistening behind his lips in the moonlight.
Scared to death, Selena gladly took his advice.
She turned on her heels and ran from Titus for the second time in one day.
Once home, Selena was grateful to find that Rose had gone to bed for the night. She checked all of the doors and windows to be sure that they were locked before fleeing to her room. She closed the door and sank to the floor, Titus’ words whirling through her mind like a Texas twister.
If only you knew the power you possessed … how dangerous I am to you.
So she hadn’t been exaggerating. He’d told her with his own mouth that he was a danger to her. And to think, she’d almost ignored her intuition and allowed herself to be alone with him in an empty field at night. The situation had ‘horror movie’ written all over it.
But then, curiosity reared its ugly head once again. If Titus was so concerned about hurting her, why had he come to the Dairy Queen that night? Why pursue her after she’d run away from him this afternoon? How was he this cute, charming boy one minute and a menacing psychopath the next?
One thing as for sure, Selena did not have any interest in finding out.
Well, maybe just a little.
YouTube Video Trailer: http://youtu.be/8TRLY5eKrD4
About the Author:
Alicia Michaels has always possessed a vivid imagination and strong ambition. At the age of 12 she decided that she wanted to be a writer, and promptly went about penning her first novel. Years later, she is releasing her first Young Adult Fantasy series based on the fairy tales as written by the Brothers Grimm.
When the Army wife and mother of two isn’t taking care of her home and family, she’s reading, writing, or arguing with the characters in her mind. She also enjoys cooking, movies, and music. Oh, and a good cup of coffee.
Social media and Web Links:
Alicia is giving away two $10 Amazon Gift Cards during her month-long virtual tour as well as 5 ebook copies of Daughter of the Red Dawn. Sign up for your chance to win by clicking on the link below.