Friday, December 26, 2014
Interview and Giveaway with Isabelle Saint-Michael
Please share a little about yourself, your genres, and any other pen names you use.
Hi there, I’m Isabelle Saint-Michael and I am the author of the Otherworld Realms books. I describe my books as Fairytales for grown-ups, so I am normally shelved as Paranormal or Fantasy Romance. I write all my fictional works under this name.
I live in Seoul, South Korea with my supportive goofball husband and our Scottish Fold kitten Mac Flurry. We love our life here with the company of our friends, our hobbies, and of course video games. Yes, besides being an author, shopaholic, and cupcake enthusiast I am also a giant nerd. I love video games, board games, books of course, comics, bad movies, and anime. When we aren’t at home we enjoy travelling and meeting new people.
Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.
I released 2 books this November. Practical Uses for Princes with Pointed Ears is an adventure following a school teacher that falls through a Fairy circle and finds herself in a magical land with the very literal Elf of her dreams. Lily proves you don’t need a prince to save you, but you may very well find one that completes you.
The other book I released is called Holiday Spirit for Hire. The heroine, Grace, loses her job right after Thanksgiving and abruptly gets a new one at the North Pole. Her new job is to spread holiday spirit, but she finds those in need of it may be closer to home than she was expecting.
Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?
There is a lot of myself in my main characters, and in fact the personalities of Grace and Justin were greatly pulled from my husband and I. Beyond that, a number of the characters that appear are based on important people in my life ranging from family to friends. Many readers from my blog may have picked up on characters that are based on real people they know or have heard of.
I think having characters or events connected to real life gives us the needed foundation to build stories that are both believable and also more immersive for readers. When a writer has a clear picture of someone or something, it is easier to describe and easier for the readers to connect with. While the people or events don’t have to be real for a writer to have a clear image, it certainly doesn’t hurt.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
Often I use a snowflake as a signature or trademark for my work on the web that I post. I use snowflakes year-round in my decor and fashion as well. I was a skater growing up, so a lot of my gear and accessories had snowflakes on it, but most of all I use them because of my grandmother. From the time I was young she always bought me things with snowflakes on them to remind me that I was unique and different. She taught me that being different was nothing to be ashamed of. It was beautiful and should be celebrated.
When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?
I love to read and I think that’s sort of a given for most writers. I have a massive shoe collection and living in Korea where a size 6 is easy to find, it has only grown. I do play WoW, and despite what anyone says, GO ALLIANCE! My more unknown hobbies are historical reenactment including combat and ice skating. I no longer do jumps and spins, but nothing makes me feel quite as free or centered as being on the ice.
If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
Both of these books are part of a series I call Otherworld Realms and are connected as well to my Elven Life blog. The end of the first quarter next year will see the release of the third book set in this world. That book centers around a female mercenary named Morgan who comes face-to-face with the recurring character Vallen from my Elven Life Blog. She has been hired to slay a Dragon, and it just so happens, he and his annoying younger brother are just that.
What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
2015 is actually a big year for me and my editor Lisa. I have 5 books planned and approved for release next year. Among those is the start of a new series that will be set in Asia, following a spin doctor hired to cover up the existence of magic girls, ninjas, giant robots and flying monsters. Readers who are fans of video games, super heroes, or anime should totally take notice. There stories are action-packed and the love scenes are HOT.
What book are you reading now?
I’m between books at the moment but I am really looking forward to the Chantam Hex steampunk book coming out this winter and the new Katie MacAlister.
Practical Uses for Princes with Pointed Ears
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
Excerpt Practical Uses for Princes with Pointed Ears
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.
Holiday Spirit for Hire
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
Excerpt Holiday Spirit for Hire
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.
About the Author:
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