Okay, I love everything about this book!
I HAVE BEEN in the places Ariella talks about in the interview, and I LOVE everything about the Avalon legend! And YES, I am this excited. Plus, you can see my personal trip down memory lane on my FB, with pictures from that amazing vacation (spoiler alert, one is of me inside Merlin’s cave, and me walking in King Arthur’s castle. Just saying).. You’ll see also the best dog ever, my very own Mac, rest in peace. I’m still not ready for a dog because of that little white ball of tangled fur. Please, if for nothing else, come by and meet him.
The book is The Amber Elixir by Ariella Moon (A Two Realms Novella, #1), published on October 3rd 2017 in the Fantasy, Young Adult Genre.
I’ll start with Ariella’s interview, and we’ll go from there. Also, remember this is a Tour, so can find more about the author or the story if you follow it:
Hi Ariella, and thank you for being here! What sort of research did you do to write this book?
Although I had a basic knowledge of the Arthurian tales, I researched the different interpretations of the stories. It was fascinating to see how both Viviane, the Lady of the Lake, and Morgan le Fay’s portrayals changed over time from healers, to temptresses, to evil sorceresses. I also traveled to Glastonbury, England to experience first hand the area believed to be Avalon. A research sojourn to Merlin’s Cave in Tintagel, Cornwall inspired a couple of scenes in The Amber Elixir.
Did you always have the reins of the story or did the people in it tried to take over?
The characters in this series refuse to behave! Characters I imagined as villains, insist on being heroic. I have driven my editor crazy with the changes. Glynis, for instance, does not appear entirely likeable in The Beltane Escape. I thought I was done with her when that book ended. But she demanded a Do Over, and gave me a compelling backstory. So I brought her back and gave her a pivotal role in The Amber Elixir.
What are you working on now?
I am revising The Viking Mist, which brings back the love triangle from The Beltane Escape. Talfryn, a half Viking/half fairy, is charged with recovering a potion from The Amber Elixir that could change the balance of power in the Two Realms.
Has your environment /upbringing colored your writing?
Escaping into books was a huge part of my upbringing. Trips to our musty one-room library were like being handed tickets to magical adventures. The books I read, including Alice in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and The Chronicles of Narnia, later influenced my writing of the Two Realms series.
What do your friends and family think about your being a writer?
Everyone is proud of me and supportive. Even my ex-husband buys all of my books! I am very fortunate. My daughter was upset about a character in one of my Teen Wytche Saga novels that she felt was too recognizably her. But in the end, she asked if she could be on the cover! (I said no.)
Any hidden or uncommon talent that helps/makes it harder to write the story?
Being a shaman and living a life steeped in magic has helped me write both the Two Realms series (The Beltane Escape and The Amber Elixir) and the Teen Wytche Saga (Spell Check, Spell Struck, Spell Fire, and Spell For Sophia). I have a lot of experience with ghosts, dragons, fairy realms, spell casting, etc. So it is easy for me to incorporate those elements in my books.
The biggest surprise you had after becoming a writer.
That I still had so much to learn!
What does your writing space look like?
I have a huge executive desk. The back third is empty to allow room for the window shutters behind the desk to be pulled open. The front two thirds of the desk are littered with notes, two calendars, my computer, printer, and a lamp that used to be on top of my daughter’s piano. I need to get better organized. I waste a lot of time searching for notes that never make it into my file system.
The toughest critic that’s ever been given to you as an author?
My two beta readers are my toughest critics. One of them never pulls punches or cloaks her criticism in gentle language. A typical comment will be, “What the (expletive)?” My other beta reader, who is deeply emotionally invested in the Two Realms books, will write a highly persuasive argument for each issue she believes I should address. Both young women are so brilliant; I can’t ignore their criticisms. They push me to dig deeper and write better.
Pen or computer
Music or silence
Silence. There is enough chatter inside my head without adding to it.
A pet peeve.
People who sit behind me in a theater and cough and sneeze non-stop.
And dragons that think it is funny to climb into bed with me and scare me awake
Thank you for being with us!
Now, here’s the story.
Viviane, the new Lady of the Lake and High Priestess of Avalon, accepts a challenge from Merlin unaware her bold actions will have tragic consequences. Two of her priestesses are turned to stone. A forbidden love deserts her. Now alone, she has six young handmaidens to train and protect.
When Morgan le Fay demands assistance with a spell that could change the balance of power in the Two Realms, Viviane refuses her. But what if Morgan’s secret knowledge could restore the stone priestesses? Will an alliance prompt Viviane’s love to return? Or will the gamble cost her all she holds dear?
Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman and former teen to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval Scotland and Fairy fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances. Moon’s “Covert Hearts” appears in Second Chances: A Romance Writers of America Collection.
Ms. Moon spent her childhood flying to rooftops in her dreams and 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. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.