Adventure wasn’t something Lorelei Alundra was interested in. Gifted with two otherworldly talents for singing and healing, she’s always shied away from her gifts and the spotlight, preferring quiet anonymity, overattention and fame. But when she meets the enigmatic Adrius, with his dark and dangerous mystique and eyes that peer into her soul, her uneventful life becomes irrevocably altered.
Adrius turns up in every one of her classes and knows more about her than any newcomer should. Including the condition of her mother who is suffering from a mysterious illness. Accepting his offer to help leads her into a terrifying and thrilling world, where Elves are even hotter than Legolas, and Faeries.... are nothing like Tinkerbell. Lose the butterfly wings and add a tattoo. The two magical beings are fire and ice opposites. One Lorelei can’t help falling for, and the other she's compelled to be with.
Now she’s trapped in their world, expected to prevent a war between witches and faeries, or forfeit her mother’s life. Nothing is what it seems. Not her family. Not the Fey. Not even Adrius, whose feelings for her balance precariously between danger and desire.
As secrets unravel and unsettling truths are revealed, Lorelei must fight to save much more than her mother’s life. One mistake could put the fate of his world— and her soul, in jeopardy.
But hey, no pressure… right.
So I got to have an AMAZING interview with the wonderful Michele and got a better insight into her life and who she is and what makes her tick.
Meagan: Hi Michele!! *waves* Welcome to Books to Get Lost In. Thank you soooooo much for being with us today and for doing this interview. I'm so excited to do this....so let's get started. :) So I have to know where did you get the inspiration for writing Fire and Ice?
Michele: When I first started the story, it began as something I could read to my son when he was about 8 years old. I’d already self-published a series of how-to books by that point. We’d been reading the Magic Treehouse book series together and I had the thought, like many humble authors have at sometime, I could write that. And so I started writing what became Fire & Ice. But the story wanted to become so much more than a short middle grade novel, and so I set it aside for a few years. I took an amazing online fiction writing class at Savvy Authors.com and fresh new ideas for how to shape it into a full length novel sprang to life. It sort of snowballed from there, because once I gave the characters a new lease on life, they wouldn't leave me alone until I’d finished writing the entire book. Then they went on to insist their story should be a trilogy.
Meagan: Well I'm glad you didn't give up because this has become one of my favorite books/stories of all time and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one. So with this book did you find that you had a favorite character?
Michele: I really love Adrius. He’s the ideal hero in my opinion. Yes he makes mistakes and wrong choices, but behind them all is this unrelenting need for love, and his love for Lorelei. There is a soulful depth to his character that I hope to bring to life in a novella, sharing his perspective and his experiences before and after meeting Lorelei. He never really gets to fully give his side of the story and there is so much more to him than we get to see. He’s the ultimate good guy… plus, he’s really hot!
Meagan: I like that answer. I mean I like Adrius and everything and I can so see how he's the ideal hero. And I completely agree that he's super hawt *fanning self* lol So how much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
Michele: That’s so hard for me to judge really. I feel like there are a lot of aspects of my personality in my stories, if not my life experiences. And yet because of the characters age, I do remember feeling things as intensely as they do… feeling as though every incident was a life or death situation. Everything is heightened in adolescence, especially when it comes to relationships, so I can completely relate to that aspect in my writing and it’s partly why I’m drawn to write romance.
Meagan: I can see that. So I have to know what kind of research do you do? And what's the craziest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
Michele: I’ve always loved faerie folklore and Celtic mythology so I’ve read a lot of books on the subject. Fantasy is a genre I’ve adored since childhood. I once bought a book of spells to see what types of elemental magic witches might use, and naturally I had to try out a few of them. *wink*
Meagan: Ahhhh thats' so awesome!!! So something else I'm dying to know; what's in your TBR file?
Michele: Oh, you mean the six foot stack of books next to my bed, not to mention the endless list sitting on my Kobo and Kindle readers? The Fallen series, the Mortal Instruments series, Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless series, JK Rowling’s The Cuckoo’s Calling… I also have a couple of Wendy Knight and Rachel Van Dyken’s books in my physical book pile. In my digital book pile are so many amazing indie novels I couldn’t possibly list them all, including several books by my fellow Astraea Press authors. And there’s one book in the non-fiction category, E-Squared by Pam Grout. That’s just the tip of my to-be-read pile. I love reading and when they invent the 36 hour day, I’ll have more time to devote to it!
Meagan: heheheh I can soooo completely relate. My husband yells me all the time because I have so many books. I'm so happy that I'm not alone in that. :) Some awesome series in there especially the Mortal Instruments (hehe) def one of my favorites (my son's name came from that book). Playlists for books is becoming very popular….do you have a playlist with your books? And what is your favorite type of music?
Michele: Here’s the playlist for Fire & Ice series (I’m working on the youtube playlist)
Loreena McKennitt- The Mystic's Dream
Fairy Night Song
Before We Come Undone - Kris Allen
The Secret Forest - John Kelly
All the Animals - Jewel
Sweet Dreams - Jewel
The Magic of The Wizard's Dream - Rhapsody
Bring It Back - Kris Allen
Ce he mise le ulaingt (The Two Trees) - Loreena McKennitt
Never Ending Road - Loreena McKennitt
Forever and A Day - Jewel
A Dangerous Mind
Angel Stading By - Jewel
My Immortal - Evanesence
Again - Flylead
Breakaway - Kelly Clarkson
Whispers in the Dark - Skillet
Fire & Ice - Pat Benatar
I create playlists for every story I write and I find music a very powerful catalyst in transporting me into the heart of a story or scene. Personally, I love eighties music, but my playlists consists of a huge range of music. There were a lot of love songs in the playlist for Fire & Ice as well as some Anastas a few Celtic tunes. A lot of rock tracks in Acid Raine, and deep bluesy music in the new series I’m working on.
Meagan: Some pretty awesome songs on that list!! :) Do you have a particular writing routine once you start a book?
Michele: I tend to be undisciplined when it comes to sticking to a writing schedule, which is why I love events like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). Generally I write in a sporadic fashion. I might write 2500 words one day, nothing for the next two days and then bam, suddenly write 12,000 words the next. I’m trying to stick to more of a routine, especially now that I have three novels on the go and a deadline of the end of the end of the year!
Meagan: Okay so what's the most difficult part in writing?
Michele: Definitely for me it’s plotting out a story. I’m notorious for diving in without having any real idea where the story is going to lead, aside from knowing I want the characters to have a happily ever after. This method works for the most part, but it has gotten me into a jam on occasion, writing myself into a corner and have to restrict things in order to get out. Now I try to plot at least a basic framework before beginning. I also have a hard time writing concisely. I want to include every minute detail, but no one wants to read every last detail running around in my head. So I do a lot of cutting.
Meagan: What comes first for you? The story? Characters? Or setting?
Michele: Usually it’s the characters and then they dictate the story and the setting. For Fire & Ice however, the setting came first, because Mythlandria was a very visual place that I could see in my head and I had a very clear image of how it looked.
Meagan: hmm...that's interesting. Okay if you weren't a writer, what other path might you have followed?
Michele: I would have to do something else creative, like continuing on with my sculpting business. I don’t know how to live life without creativity of some sort. It’s what feeds my soul and brings me joy and lets me share that joy with the world. Isn’t that what life is all about? That or I’d follow my childhood dream of becoming a movie star.
Meagan: What are you working on right now?
Michele: I’m currently working on revisions for Bittersweet the sequel to Fire & Ice, while writing the third book in the trilogy Darkest Light and working on a new series featuring fallen angels and demon rock stars called Acid Raine. I’ve never been very good at doing one thing at a time or finishing one project before starting another. At any given moment I could have half a dozen things on the go. Here’s a sneak peek at the premise:
Everyone knows rock stars are trouble.
Despite growing up in a rock-n’roll family, Skylar Peyton has never trusted musicians. Sky decided on a career in medicine after her best friend died from a mysterious illness at 16. Exactly two days before the rock concert of the year by their favorite band Acid Raine, the one Sky's mom had scored back stage passes for.
That was four years ago, and now Sky’s been accepted into Oxford University to study medicine and save lives. When the band’s summer tour leads them to Sky’s hometown she figures what better way to honor her friend’s memory and say goodbye to her former life, by spending one last wild weekend partying backstage with their favorite rock stars. Meeting the hot lead singer Raine Mauler is more than Sky could have imagined. In the span of a few hours he terrifies and captivates her, luring her into a world she never wanted any part of.
But a dangerous secret lies behind the band’s success and after falling for the enigmatic singer Sky gets caught in a deadly web of lies— the first life she’ll have to save might be her own.
Meagan: Epppp....I'm excited!!! What kinds of things do you do for fun?
Michele: I really love reading, of course, and going to the movies. I also love sculpting miniature clay fairies and fairy food. And I adore dancing, usually by myself with the music cranked up loud, but I recently discovered Zumba classes and they’re my new favorite thing.
Meagan: Ahhhh good ol' Zumba. I've never had fairy food....I feel the need to try that in the near future. Okay next question is if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Michele: I would love to go to New Zealand to visit the set they created for filming Lord of the Rings. But once I go, I might have to make Hobbiton my new home!
Meagan: That would be fun. So if you were stuck on an island and could only have one type of food and one other “object” what would they be?
Michele: My first inclination was to say chocolate, but then I thought, no, maybe pizza would be better. So yes… definitely pizza. As for an object, it would be a small yacht to sail off that island and visit a few more. Would that be allowed?
Meagan: hmm.....pizza...I'm hungry now. Umm....a yacht....yeah why not it's an object. lol okay now of my favorites to ask. What are your feelings toward Zombies?
Michele: I never cared for them, but then my husband made me watch the Walking Dead and I became addicted. Then I noticed a trend in writing zombie novels and while I didn’t read any of them, I was curious about how they could possibly have a zombie as the hero in a story. Then I watched the movie Warm Bodies, and well, now I really like zombies.
Meagan: Ahhhh I love that show and I LOVE LOVED LOVED Warm Bodies!!! I'm glad you like zombies now. Do you have any words of inspirations for aspiring writing?
Michele: If you want to be a writer then write. It sounds pretty simple and obvious and appallingly generic, but it is the best advice around. It still surprises me how many people share that they’ve always wanted to write a book, and yet they haven’t actually written a single word. If it’s what you really want to do then don’t wait for the perfect conditions or the perfect story or even the perfect time to come along, just do it. Otherwise you’ll find a million reasons why it won’t work, why it’s too hard, and why you shouldn’t bother. Once you start, magic happens and all of the rest sorts itself out. But that can only happen once you begin.
This or That & Favorites:
Salty or Sweet - Salty
Cold Mountains or Warm Sandy Beach - Definitely warm sandy beach!
Beer or Wine - Wine…red please
Vampire or Werewolf - Vampire (I’m working on their story next)
Favorite Food? My Godfather’s Peking Duck
Favorite Color? Pink
Favorite place to read? On the loveseat by the window with a lap blanket and a latte
Favorite Holiday? Christmas
Favorite type of romance? Paranormal or Fantasy
Anything else you would like to share with our guests?
Every time someone takes the time to read my book and especially if they enjoyed reading it… well, it’s an incredible feeling to know that something I’ve created from my heart is being shared and enjoyed by another. And I am extremely grateful to past, present and future readers who, amidst the sea of wonderful fiction available, took a chance on my story. It’s very humbling. So I guess what I’d like to say is Thank You!
About the Author:
Michele Barrow-Belisle is chocoholic author and artist living in southern Ontario, Canada with her super-sweet husband, brilliant son and a ridiculously affectionate cat. Often told by teachers to stop dreaming and get her head out of the clouds, Michele still spends much of her time lost in make-believe worlds, populated with fascinating and occasionally terrifying characters. Her passion for fantasy extends beyond her writing into her clay figure sculpt-ing, creating miniaturized replicas of the paranormal beings she writes about. Michele is as passionate about reading as she is about writing. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found sculpting tiny fairy desserts in polymer clay. She also loves mocha lattes and watching fireflies at twilight. Did we mention she loves chocolate?
Where to Stalk Michele:
Ahhhh I'm not even sure where to start this review. First off Michele is not only a talented and amazing writer, but I feel like I've really gotten to know her and I've loved "talking" to her and can only wish the very best for her with this book tour as well as future books!!!
Okay so not only did I absolutely and utterly fall in love with this book, but I need more. Like right now!!! And not only did I love the story line and characters and the entire world of Mythlandria and everything else about this book, but I want it as a movie!!! All I kept thinking through the entire book is how amazing this would be to watch. It's like Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter meets Alice in Wonderland mixed with some awesomeness. And all I want to do is see what this world that Michele has created looks like.
The story starts of with Lorelei and we learn she has a special gift. I find her gift pretty cool, but I can understand why it might be difficult to handle. Anyways Lorelei's mom is kinda crazy and I honestly can't stand the woman. But Lorelei's life is kind of crazy and upside down most days and on one of those such days a stranger walks into her life. Beautiful sexy wonderful Adrius. This is one of the many favorite scenes from this book. And so begins the tornado "relationship" that is Adrius and Lorelei.
Lorelei basically finds out that she isn't just a human. She's also part fairy. And Adrius ends up taking her to his homeland in Mythlandria. Ohhh Mythlandria. This world is like nothing I've ever read or seen. It's filled with so much good and evil and magic and fae and elves and other creates that I've never even dreamed about. It's soooo not in the ordinary that it makes it nothing short of perfect amazingness. You really can't trust anyone in this world. Even our dear hero Adrius. Speaking of Adrius he has a complex issue or something because he is hot and cold the entire book. Not only that but he has love/hate relationship with pretty much everyone. His father, his brother....and let me tell you that is a whole other review in itself. One with Lorelei, Zantheil and (my term) the evil Queen. I got whiplash too many times to count with his constant shift of mood swings. But I think the one that got me the most was his relationship with Lorelei. I mean the entire book you are rooting for them to work it out and somehow make it work. You even laugh and have aww moments and sad moments and fearful moments and even some tear jerker moments when it comes to their relationship.
And what's a complicated relationship without drama and more complication? Not one worth talking about that's what. So that brings us to one of my favorite characters; Zanthiel. Now I will tell you...homeboy is brutal. I mean his mother is a horrid cow and he's fae and belongs to the darkest court and is the Prince of darkness and all and him and Adrius hate each other (again there's another whole review there) ohhh and he stalked Lorelei when she was a child and he's got a thing for her currently. I mean yeah again he's brutal...but I'm kinda rooting for him....I...I just have this feeling that he could be one of those guys that could truly change with the right tools. Regardless...I really like him and he only adds the the complexity and keeps the reader interested in this story.
So Lorelei is sent on a quest/journey to save Mythlandria. It's a challenging and interesting quest she is put on, especially when she doesn't even know her potential and need to channel magic and is in a land where things are just....odd. But hey let's be optimistic. Adrius and Zantheil end up helping her along the way and this trio is interesting and I found lots of humor in the awkwardness.
Overall, this book was EPIC!!! I was hooked from the first mention of pixies and fae and witches and magic. Michele created an amazing world and amazing characters that you just have to need to know more about. You can't wait to get more information and know how their lives are going to work out. You also can't trust anyone. Those who are "good" and you should trust...you find out you can't. And those that are supposed to be "evil" may not be so bad. I cannot wait till the next book because I'm pretty sure it's going to be even better than the first!!! This is not a quick read, but sooooo worth it. The detail and imaginary that go into this book is will capture your imagination and just take off. So make sure to go get your copy because it is sooooo worth it!!!!
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