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Monday 14 March 2016

ℚ♫ The Beltane Escape: The Two Realms Trilogy [1] - Ariella Moon

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Beltane Escape (, Star Tribe Publishing, 225 pages), a Young Adult Medieval Fantasy Adventure, book one of The Two Realms Trilogy series.

Lady Fenella,Thaness of Thorburn, has no idea her fate will be shackled to a powerful sorceress. She believes Gran's warnings about Fairy are superstition, Fairy was invented to make children behave, and Merlin and the Lady of the Lake are myths.

Then, from a distant past when the rule of magic is threatened, a spell cast forward to sixteenth century Scotland finds Fenella. The incantation sets in motion a series of events that leave her branded, stolen, and betrothed. Traumatized, and separated from her clan, the Highland heiress finds an unexpected ally in Edward, her kidnapper's son. But their fragile alliance is gravely tested when he enables Fenella's young cousin to visit, and the Lady of the Lake seizes her opportunity and lures the reckless lad into Fairy.

Fenella has seconds to decide. Should she remain with Edward, her best chance at saving herself and protecting her people? Or should she dive into Fairy to rescue her beloved cousin, endangering her clan, and abandoning Edward to his ruthless father, Lord Argonshire?

Weakened, spellbound, and torn by conflicting loyalties and love, Fenella is pulled toward her fate, unaware The Most Powerful Wizard stands in her way.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

A very warm welcome to Karen, a.k.a. Ariella Moon; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter.

We love music; do you have a playlist that you used in The Beltane Escape, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Remember how A Knight’s Tale (I miss Heath Ledger!) married a medieval story to rock and roll?  While revising The Beltane Escape, a similar experience arose.  Below is my very short Playlist."

What was the inspiration for for The Beltane Escape?
"My love of magic, Arthurian lore, and Scottish clan histories, inspired me to write The Beltane Escape. The women of the Arthurian legends fascinate me.  Their stories, like the Scottish clan tales, are filled with magic, drama, and strife.

I, like Fenella in The Beltane Escape, thought of Merlin and the Lady of the Lake as myths, and I wasn’t too sure about fairies.  But then my research took me to England and Wales where I experienced first hand the magic of Merlin’s Cave (rocks appeared unbidden in my hand), the wild fairy energy at the White Spring at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, and spotted my first fairy in a Cornish fairy forest.  I was hooked."

How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"As a professional shaman, I connect with elemental magic.   I could slip into the Lady of the Lake’s persona, and imagine how she would interact with water.

Also, I have had the unpleasant experience of entities trying to hop into me or brush past me.  You hear a ping, which I used in the book."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Beltane Escape - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I am so delighted with Amanda Matthews’s cover!  Amanda also designed the covers for my four Teen Wytche Saga novels, so we already had a great working relationship.

The Beltane Escape design was inspired by a cover she had done for another author.  When I saw that design, I emailed Amanda and said, “Darn! That would have been perfect for me!”  So she had a good idea of the palette and look I desired.

For the print version’s back cover, I wanted to feature Glastonbury Tor, a key location in the novel.  Amanda’s challenge was to depict the tor as it would have looked in the Middle Ages, surrounded by water."
Why should we read The Beltane Escape and what sets it apart from the rest?  What makes your book unique?
"An iTunes reviewer described The Beltane Escape as “equal parts Harry Potter, The Game of Thrones (a PG version) and Alice in Wonderland.”  I agree wholeheartedly!  But what sets the book apart, besides its authentic magic, is its unique characters and their relatable emotional baggage.

Talfryn, a half-Viking/half-Fairy, doesn’t fit into either of his parents’ worlds.  Fenella, Thaness of Thorburn, is driven by her responsibility to her clan, but her effort to save one clan member endangers them all.  And Edward, her kidnapper’s son, is Fenella’s greatest ally.  But her actions jeopardize their relationship and Edward’s life."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Beltane Escape, its story and characters?
"Talfryn originally had a different name, one that symbolized to me how modern male teens often verbally demean each other.  Editors and writing contest judges wanted me to change it. Finally, I remembered how in magic, one has a public name and a craft or ceremonial name.  Names hold power.  So Talfryn’s original name became his secret fairy name—a vulnerability he cannot escape."
Who would you recommend The Beltane Escape to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"The Beltane Escape is suitable for readers 12 years-old and up.  It is a clean teen read.  No sex, drugs, rape, or swearing.

Empathetic readers should be warned that there is a brief traumatic scene near the beginning that occurs just before Fenella is kidnapped."
If you could / wished to turn The Beltane Escape and the The Two Realms Trilogy series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I had a full-color dream the other morning that showed the Irish-American actress, Saoirse Ronan, as Fenella.  I had never consciously associated her with the role.  But she would be great, as would Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley.

As for the lads, spiked hair would transform Jamie Campbell Bower into Talfryn.  For Edward, a brooding Scot…Tom Hughes, Douglas Booth, or Adam Gregory.

I would be delighted with any of the directors from the Harry Potter movies."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love to read and write Young Adult novels, both contemporary and historical. I also read steampunk and romance when I have time."
What is your writing process?
"When a story idea first comes to me, I experience an initial burst of unfiltered writing.  But then, because the industry demands authors produce at a fast pace and I write slowly, I roughly plot the story and character arcs.  That way, I know if my idea is strong enough to sustain a novel.

Since The Beltane Escape is the first book in the Two Realms Trilogy, I also loosely outlined the series arc."
What is in store next?
"I just signed the contract for my first YA short story.  It will appear in a charity anthology produced by the Romance Writers of America and edited by Sylvia Day. The anthology may release this summer, so the editing process will begin right away.

I am also revising The Viking Mist, the second book in The Two Realms Trilogy, and preparing to send it my editor, Barbara Millman Cole.  I have a research trip to Ireland scheduled.  Busy times ahead!"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"My dogs, Gracie and Avalon, are my constant companions.  Miss Gracie (who is secretly a dragon hatchling) keeps me on a strict work/walk /work/eat/repeat schedule.  The dogs insist I watch at least one hour of television (besides the news) each night.  They are totally against summer reruns, because then I (try to) skip the evening break. Sunday is popcorn night.  Please don’t tell the vet."
Little ones!  Hello Gracie and Avalon!  Pop-corn night? :-)
Thank you for sharing them with us.  We hope you have a great tour!

The Beltane Escape
Available NOW!

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Ariella Moon said...

Hello Books Chatter!
Thank you for featuring The Beltane Escape on your wonderful blog! Great interview questions! Miss Gracie and Avalon each give you two paws up!

Ariella Moon said...

Hello Books Chatter!
Thank you for featuring The Beltane Escape on your wonderful blog! Great interview questions! Miss Gracie and Avalon each give you two paws up!

Majanka Verstraete said...

Great choice for the playlist, and adorable cover.

Majanka @ I Heart Reading

Giselle said...

Thanks for hosting today! :)