Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Otherworld Romance, LLC
Date of Publication: November 14, 2014
Number of pages: 380
Word Count: 95,000
Cover Artist: CL Smith
Lillian Chambers was just an ordinary high school teacher, until she fell through a Fairy Circle. When she came to on the other side, she was surprised to find herself in the company of an Elven prince she thought only existed in her dreams. Now she’s slaying monsters and rescuing Prince Tallyn, instead of playing the part of the damsel in distress.
Tallyn had been the protector of his kingdom for over one hundred years. He knows that the world is filled with danger around every corner, but these days he’s finding himself babysitting the annoyingly fearless Lady Lillian.
When their worlds collide sparks fly, humorous situations ensue and the only thing for sure is that neither will ever be the same. Practical Uses for Princes with Pointed Ears takes readers on an adventure into a modern fairytale where we explore what it really means to fall for Prince Not-so-Charming.
Available at Amazon
My dreams were more vivid than usual. It was like I was standing there with my favorite imaginary hunk. He and several others were packing up horses. There was a great deal of laughter and teasing among the men. They poked at each other until finally he had to step in and tell them to calm down. Even as he reprimanded them his smile shone brightly. I had never seen him smile with such a youthful presence.
Moments later another man appeared, just as handsome as my dream guy. “Tallyn!” he called, and my heart skipped a beat as I watched the man of my dreams turn to wave.
“Tallyn,” I could feel myself whispering. He turned and looked in my direction, as if he had heard me. His face fell a little when he couldn’t see me standing there.
“What’s wrong?” the taller man asked him.
I watched as Tallyn shrugged. “I was just thinking about how I was going to have to see your face every morning for the next few days and it quashed all the fun out of our camping trip.”
The taller man laughed, only to turn when someone called, "Maerryn!" which I guessed was his name.
I could feel the cool breeze on my skin, causing the hair on my arms to stand up. I watched with interest as the men finished packing up and began to ride away. I followed them through the forest I had seen a hundred times in my dreams. After a few hours they crossed the river in a shallow area then headed up a steep cliff, guiding their horses one at a time along the narrow ledge.
By midday the group reached the top of the cliff and stopped for lunch. The food smelled amazing cooked over the open fire. I felt my stomach rumble. When it did, Tallyn placed a hand on his stomach and looked around with confusion.
He was beautiful to look at, even with uncertainty creasing his brow. His green eyes deepened in color and his breath stilled. It was like he was looking right at me but couldn’t see me. With a shake of his head, he rejoined the conversation around him.
They packed up and left, heading across a path at the top of the cliff that led into another forest. The group seemed more hesitant when they entered the new area. They rode close together for hours, and when darkness finally threatened, they found flat ground and made camp. The horses were tied up, dinner was caught and prepared, and then the wine came out.
Boys will be boys, I thought to myself as they laughed, sang and passed around the bottles.
Behind me I heard the crack of twigs underfoot. Suddenly, I sensed someone else was there. I turned, looking in the direction of the sound, and I saw shadows moving through the woods towards the encampment. Panic filled me and I tried to scream, but I was just a watcher without a voice.
Genre: Holiday/ Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Otherworld Romance, LLC
Date of Publication: November 14th, 2014
Number of pages:164
Cover Artist: CL Smith
When life handed half-werewolf Grace MacGregor a pink slip four weeks before Christmas, she was determined to get back to work as soon as possible. She just didn’t expect it to be the very next day – or at the North Pole. She now has four weeks to make other people’s holiday wishes come true, but will she be able to grant her own while she is at it?
Justin Kringle is the nephew of Santa Claus and his job is to keep operations of the Pole on point. When Grace is dropped bed and all into his work shop, he can’t decide if it’s love or hate at first sight. First impression: she’s a total mess. Can he keep her on track and remember to not mix business and pleasure?
Available at Amazon
I settled into bed with my favorite boyfriend, my laptop. Before long I had updated my resume, applied for a half dozen jobs, checked flights home, and Facebooked with all of my friends to see if anyone had any leads. I was about to shut down when the pop from my email caught my attention.
I closed the other tabs and stared at my inbox. It was from the OAC. The Otherworld Alignment Council was a group of magical beings, things that go bump in the night, and people that made sure that there were universal laws and regulations used across all the realms. They made sure there was a common language, rules about magic, and laws that kept peace between the different races. Why they were emailing me I didn’t know.
To: Grace MacGregor
Subject: The North Pole Needs You
Dear Ms. MacGregor,
It has been brought to the attention of the OAC that you are no longer employed during this busy time of the year. Every Holiday season we rely on the help we get from the Otherworld community to make the season bright. Your talents could be used now through the end of the year helping deliver joyful winter holidays across all the realms.
Please see the attached application. Applicants will be considered for a paid position. Please send a resume, two letters of recommendation and magical aptitude test scores to the email listed below. If chosen we will need you to report immediately for work.
Thank you and Happy Holidays,
Otherworld Alignment Council
I looked at the email again and shrugged. “Why not?” I asked myself. I attached my resume, two recommendation letters and a quick note explaining my father was a Scottish Werewolf Clansman and that I was half human. I figured my lack of magical abilities would keep me out of the fray. My father told me to always answer the OAC right when they contacted you because they made the IRS look patient.
With a giggle to myself I closed the windows on my laptop and shut it down. Snuggling deep into my pillows I closed my eyes, giggling about what use I could possibly be to the Great Holiday Front up North. Strangely enough I fell asleep with thoughts of sugar plums dancing in my head
I awoke the next morning to the sounds of clinking, clicking and power tools. I opened my eyes involuntarily when a particularly loud noise sounded right over my head. It was then I noticed my bedroom was swarming with Gnomes and they seemed too busy to care I was sleeping.
“Excuse me!” I yelled. “Why are you in my bedroom?”
A few of them stopped, exchanged looks with shrugs, and returned to work. I wasn’t answered until a man with a heavy red braid down his back appeared.
“You are in their workshop, and it’s about time you got up.” I climbed out of bed angrily, prepared to demand that they leave. “Nice pajamas,” he said with a grin as he looked me over. “If you follow me we will get you assigned duties, uniforms and the rest of your paperwork filled out.”
I looked around what should have been my room. I was on a toy factory floor. Only it looked like FAO Schwarz met Ikea. Bright colors with industrial-grade shelves mixed with the old world charm of hand-carved wooden trim. All around me Gnomes were hustling to complete toys. I looked in the direction the redheaded man had gone and chased after him, abandoning my bed to the factory.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
This is a bit of a mixed question for me. Yes, I’ve always wanted to be writer, but for a while in between I believed I wanted to be a few other things. I thought about medicine or teaching because I want to help people. All I have ever wanted to do was contribute to the world to make it better.
It took me a while, but I now understand that I can do that through storytelling. When people read my books I am sharing a part of myself with others, and hopefully giving them a temporary escape to a place I believe to be magical. It may be a break from school, work, stress, a painful situation or just boredom. No matter what it is, I hope they enjoy the time we share and carry those good feelings out into the world with them.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Writing is something I’ve just always done, but never really considered myself a writer. The title “Writer” or “Author” has always seemed like a title people aspire to, like Sir, Lord or Lady. Even when I was writing and paying bills with my freelance work I still didn’t call myself a writer. It wasn’t until recently when I realized my books were going to be on shelves with other artists I admire that I began to think it may be alright to use the title. Even still, I’m hesitant because it all sort of feels like a dream.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Let me state up front that I know I am not the average. I have been very fortunate with the team I have been able to connect with and the flexibility in the life I lead. I started writing Practical Uses for Princes with Pointed Ears in Mid-August of 2014. I finished the first draft on August 28th, 2014.
My editor and I went through 6 revisions on the book and I had negotiated a spot with Otherworld Romance, LLC as one of their new premier authors by the end of September. From there it was typhoon of things that needed to get done. Cover art needed to be arranged and approved, formatting, making sure we had rights for fonts and things. Otherworld Romance was great at supporting me and working with my ambitious deadline.
So roughly 90 days from concept to shelf.
Do you do another job except for writing and can you tell us more about it?
I do have another job. I teach American Style Hip-Hop dance at a women’s university here in Korea.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
I have 2 NEW books that debuted at the same time: Practical Uses for Princes with Pointed Ears and Holiday Spirit for Hire.
Practical Uses: A modern Fairy Tale that follows a woman who falls through a fairy circle and finds and falls for Prince Not-So-Charming.
Holiday Spirit: A seasonal tale about the magic of the North Pole and what happens when you mix business and pleasure.
Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I publish under a company called Otherworld Romance, LLC. They are small London based publisher which is trying to find a new way to approach publishing in the modern sense. They bring together authors, artists, formatters and editors. The idea is to provide an author the flexibility and control that self-pubbing offers, but also give the writer the backing they need to position themselves the best they can in a competitive marketplace.
It’s nice to know you are part of a team of people who are there to support you and see you succeed!
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
If I have the time to dedicate without distraction, it takes me about 10 days from initial concept to first draft of a manuscript. A novella takes 5-6 days. Now mind you, when I sit down and write, I produce 10,000 to 15,000 words a day on average. With editing, re-writes and so forth, probably about a month.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have some really exciting projects in the works for 2015. Books 3, 4 and 5 in the Otherworld Realms series are all slated to release next year. I have a new series that will be set in Asia which follows the adventures of a journalist/spin doctor who was hired to cover up the existence of Magic Girls, Giant Robots, Ninja Teens, and so much more. I am also partnering with an amazing team of people to write a screen play for a web series which will begin filming in late summer/early fall of 2015.
What genre would you place your books into?
My books fall under the categories of Paranormal- or Fantasy-based Romances.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I own and write a blog called Elven Life. When I started it, it was a project I was just goofing around with. I wanted to write a slice-of-life blog from the perspective of a Changeling who just discovered what she was. It didn’t take long for readers to start emailing me with questions about the characters, backstories, and usual fandom type of things.
It wasn’t long before I realized that I had started building a world that I loved to write about. Next thing I knew, I started playing with the idea of writing books that overlapped with the blog. Each book is a standalone story, but what happens on the blog and when it happens in the book are directly connected.
Now readers have a way to follow what is going on in the realms between stories or gather more background info on some of their favorite characters. They can go to the blog and write me directly or leave messages for the characters.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
My characters are all so near and dear to me. It’s hard for me to pick favorites, but I have a special place in my heart for Joy (Justin’s mom in Holiday Spirit for Hire). Joy is based off a combination of my own mother and grandmother. She is even named after my grandma. Both Justin and Grace have a lot of me in their personalities. I wouldn’t be who I am without my Mom and Grandma, and I wasn’t sure they would be who they are without that sort of elder in their lives either.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing pretty much since I could hold a pencil and string words together to deliver an idea. There has always been something therapeutic about writing things down. It doesn’t matter if it is a story, a journal entry, or a shopping list.
I’m not sure what inspired me but I absolutely know who encouraged me. My mom has been the backbone that has kept me strong and cheered me on all my life. She has always encouraged me to go after my dreams with gusto.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
My “office” where I write is actually a twin size bed and lap desk that I have in my living room. I only listen to music if I am having trouble getting into the headspace I need for a scene or character. Otherwise I am happiest writing with white noise.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do read them all. Good and bad. Sometimes there is good information from your readers. Sometimes a great review can make your day, and sometimes a bad review will get you worked up but will inspire you to keep writing if for no other reason than so that that reader may have to see your name on another title.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I outline the story first and then the title normally comes to light as I write the actual story.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Ummmm, I may have written the beginnings of my own language for this series. I like to use a mixture of fantastical names and common ones we all know. I do the same thing with settings. I think about the way I want the setting to feel when you are there and try to develop a name that fits that feeling.
Are character names and place names decided after their creation? Or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
So I choose a settings first. Many of them are real places or based on real places. Once the place is outlined I will choose a name if it doesn’t already have one. Characters happen both ways. Sometimes I just really like a name and develop a character to go with it. Sometimes I develop a character and have to write about them a little bit before I decide on a name for them.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
Some traits I choose before I write. I may decide I need someone funny or serious to round out my group. From there I consider what a character with those traits would be like and they take on a life of their own as I write.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
My Otherworld Realms books were designed to provide a new round of Fairy Tales for grown-ups. I want people coming away believing that flaws do not make us flawed people. That love can come when you least expect it and aren’t really looking. That women can save themselves and the men they love. They can be the white knight. That love can exist between anyone and race, gender, or other differences shouldn’t be able to sway the heart.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I love physical copies of books. Mostly paperbacks, because I can fit them more easily into my purse to take with me. There is something about the way they feel in your hands and that book smell. Even the way they look lined up on a shelf is a little intoxicating at times.
All that being said, I currently live in Asia with little to no storage space. Getting books in English is a challenge, so eBooks have been a life saver. I can house a library of 1000’s of books in the space of my kindle. (Which also fits nicely in my purse.) While I live here I will most likely have to embrace eBooks as much as possible.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
I have loved this book since junior high. I feel like every great soap opera and many great paranormal and historical stories have roots in this piece of literature - the drama, the pain, the characters you both love and hate. It’s all there.
To date I have read this book probably 6 or 8 times. Maybe more.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I think that starting with a great book when you make a movie makes it easier to create a great movie. I think directors and producers who try to maintain a true vision of the original work fare better in the long run than those who do their own thing. Probably one of the best examples of it done right recently is Outlander based on Diana Gabaldon’s series of the same name.
Yes, there are points where the show has veered away from source material but I haven’t found that any of it distracts from the story it is telling.
Your favorite food is?
Does coffee count? I love coffee and I don’t think my books or blog would exist without it. As for real food, I go back and forth between fish n’ chips or Mexican. It sort of depends on my mood.
Your favorite singer/group is?
I have rather eclectic tastes in music, but if I had to choose only one group to listen to the rest of my life it would be Bon Jovi.
Your favorite color is?
No contest, Blue! The brighter the blue the better.
Your favorite Author is?
This is the hardest question for me because I have so many favorites. Robert Lynn Asprin, Anne Rice and Katie MacAlister are just a few. I know I’m supposed to pick one favorite, but they each write in different genres and I don’t have a favorite genre.
Anne’s worlds are so vivid and her characters are so iconic to me and the era I grew up in that her writing played a major part in my personal development modern American literature.
Robert and Katie have both written books that have made me snort drinks through my nose and call my friends at weird hours to read then passages from the books. They have inspired my own writing by reminding me there is an element of humor in even the worst of situations. It’s a lesson that serves me daily both out in the real world and behind my keyboard.
Isabelle Saint-Michael is a cupcake enthusiast, shoe addict, and globetrotter. She is known for her sense of adventure and geeky hobbies. She is frequently seen haunting coffee shops and pubs into the wee hours of the morning. No matter where she goes, shenanigans and mirth are never far behind.
The blog that started it all- www.Elvenlife.com
Twitter @IsabelleStMike or https://twitter.com/IsabelleStMike