Hi everyone!! I am excited to have a second stop on the What’s in the Snow? Scavenger Hunt. This is a fun blog event hosted by Read Books and Live Green & Reviews Abound. Be sure to check out their intro posts for the huge giveaways and the list of all the blogs participating so you can visit them as well!
For this post I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa A. Petreshock, author of Fire of Stars and Dragons (which releases March 2014).
When not inhaling or exhaling words, she subsists on unnatural doses of coffee, sarcasm, and music. Melissa is often found singing and dancing around her house or randomly doing Zumba routines, if not playing Wii Just Dance with her kids. She also fangirls The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Falling Skies, and True Blood like a total freak.
Spending most of her time weaving myths, reality, and imagination into a fantasy of dragons, deities, vampires, and elves in a world she created, Melissa often forgets she lives where there are no dragons or faeries in the woods surrounding her house. (But she never stops hoping…)
Finding Melissa A. Petreshock Online:
What inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always dreamed of being a published author, probably since I was around 12, but the driving factor behind becoming serious in my pursuit of it in the past few years came from life changes. I faced a point of realization a “normal” 9-5 kind of job would never be for me and needed something to hold onto. My kids are growing up (almost 10, 12, and 18 now), and being a mom is no longer the “be all, end all” of existence when your kids have their own lives and interests. You have a void to fill. Going back to what I’d found solace in when I was younger was a form of therapy during a turning point in my life.
What made you choose to write a New Adult romance? Are there some aspects of this genre that you love and/or hate?
In part, I believe New Adult is an age we can all relate to, that place in life where you’re searching for something. I don’t think you ever completely lose that as a human being. Also, I have an 18yo daughter and another entering her teen years. They are reaching that crossroads in life of finding themselves, figuring out who they are in the world, trying to understand where their place is. It felt right as a mother to want them to have a better female role model than many out there. Cait has a great balance of strength, snark, insecurity, confidence, anger, and compassion. She’s a well-rounded character, relatable, likable, and “real”.
As for writing romance, to love and be loved is an essential element of the human experience. It’s natural and beautiful, and a wonderful genre to explore. I wanted to do something different though, and I think I accomplished that goal. My beta readers, the All-Stars, and my publisher seem to think so too. This isn’t a sweet love story. It’s complicated and sometimes a bit dark. There’s passion and intensity, a few highly steamy scenes, a lot of sizzling chemistry, and twists in the plot to keep it from ever getting boring. Simple romances with overly predictable endings bore me. My All-Stars were surprised the way it all comes together in the end. (And even more so in what’s going on right now as I’m writing the sequel, Blood of Stars and Gods.)
Describe Fire of Stars and Dragons in a tweet (140 characters or less)
The vampire king. A demigod. A dragon. When law demands she marry 1, sassy 21yo human Cait finds unexpected destiny, danger, and eternal love.
Fire of Stars and Dragons is a New Adult fantasy romance. What challenges did you face in creating your own world?
I used this world as a basis for the FOSAD world, yet it’s the future, the 22nd century, and all supernatural beings existing in our world are out in the public. Our government has fallen. America is a sovereign nation under the rule of a vampire monarch. The tricky part of choosing to do this was to always bear in mind that despite setting this in the future, the “coming out” of all these extremely ancient species and beings would have affected the world. They wouldn’t have been particularly interested in many advanced pursuits given their ages. Space travel isn’t a subject discussed in the books. There aren’t flying cars or other significant advancements distracting from the focus of the story. I had to find a balance of the new and old, what technology would have developed yet what ways from their past may have carried into their choices in the current day. So you find a contradictory mix of this SylvrSky System technology for mobile phones, tablet devices, and wall mounted digital music/video consoles, which is THE system everyone uses for electronics versus the archaic laws and societal class divisions that have come about under King Corrin’s reign.
I’ve had a few betas compare it a little to True Blood and the Sookie Stackhouse novels but with a lot more detail and depth to the world.
Have you always been a fan of fantasy?
YES. I could live in the rich world of Harry Potter and die happy. Lol. Definitely, the television and movies I enjoy most are not based in the real world; Star Wars, Star Trek (all of them to varying degrees), X-Men, Lord of the Rings, Stargate SG-1, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate Atlantis, Fringe, True Blood, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Falling Skies. The list is endless. If it’s fantasy or sci-fi and does not have giant bugs in it, (I have to close my eyes during the spider scenes in Harry Potter.) I will probably watch it.
As for reading, I read both fantasy and contemporary and also love horror. I’m a fan of Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Candace Bushnell, Sharon Shinn, obviously Charlaine Harris and JK Rowling. This year I read my first steampunk book Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger, the first in the Finishing School series. I loved it and look forward to more. However, my favorite book of 2013 has been How to Date a Nerd by Cassie Mae, a fellow author from my publisher. It’s a contemporary YA romance I fell in love with!
Some of these are not so “lightning” because they require explanations. Lol.
Favorite holiday food? Cranberry sauce. As much as I love it, I only eat it at the holidays.
Favorite winter activity? Enjoying a fire in the woodstove at my house. It has a glass front, so you can see the flames, and it’s very relaxing AND WARM.
Favorite holiday themed book? How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. I was always a Dr. Seuss fan as a child. Fun Fact: For several years, I lived in Springfield, MA where he is from originally. I’ve actually been on the REAL Mulberry Street.
Favorite holiday themed movie or tv show? I have a serious aversion to all Christmas movies and TV shows. However, despite disliking country music as a general rule, I will listen to Kenny Rogers Christmas CD repeatedly during the holidays as a throwback to my childhood.
Favorite holiday gift you gave someone? Both my girls are big Ed Sheeran fans, and last year I bought them each “True Heart” necklaces made by Ed’s mother who creates all kinds of jewelry based on his music and personal preferences. They’re orange hearts (Ed’s favorite color) on silver chains. The phrase “True Heart” comes from his song “Grade 8” with the lyrics “Be a true heart, not a follower.” The necklaces came in boxes with those words printed on a piece of paper and his signature. That’s a message I want my girls to have always. Be true to their hearts, and don’t follow the crowd. My 18yo wears hers almost every day.
Favorite holiday gift you received? A framed puzzle from my husband. When we were waiting for our first child to be born, (who was late) we were restless and impatient. Toward the end, we got into the habit of sitting at the coffee table in our living room each night, listening to the Top 8 at 8 on the radio, and working this puzzle while we waited for me to go into labor. We finished it before she came. He sealed it with puzzle glue and carefully stored it away for years. It went through a few moves with us to another state and two other houses. After my grandfather passed away, he left his woodworking tools to my husband. The first thing my husband created in his workshop was this beautiful red oak and walnut frame for that puzzle. I cried when I read the letter he wrote to go with it, and I cried when I opened it. It hangs over the fireplace in our living room.
Thank you Melissa for this great interview!!!
Here is the clue for the What’s in the snow? scavenger hunt:
Clue #13: In which winter sport do you strap two sticks on your feet and swoosh down the hill?
Here is more information on Melissa’s book Fire of Stars and Dragons PLUS a bonus giveaway!
Fire of Stars and Dragons – The Dream Cast
From top left to right:
Caitriona Hayden – actress Anna Popplewell
Theo Pendragon – actor Taylor Kitsch
Dante – actor James McAvoy
King Corrin – actor Colton Hayes
About the Writing:
Twenty-one years spent raised in high-society life by her vampire uncle taught Caitriona Hayden to expect more than the average 22nd century human female. In death, he can no longer protect her from the American monarchy’s archaic marriage laws.
A phenomenon in his emotionally detached existence, her destiny tests the limits of Theo Pendragon’s honor and loyalty to his kindred brothers among the shapeshifting Dracopraesi dragons, singularly beholden to their Goddess-ordained duties.
Favoring the pursuit of knowledge above all else, Dante finds himself intrigued by Caitriona, drawing the demigod away from his research, into the complications of monarchal politics, distasteful family drama, and romantic desire.
If he could see beyond vanity and pride, willful Cait could be the answer to King Corrin’s continued survival, but that requires changing the vampire’s womanizing ways, admitting genuine affection for someone beyond himself or his blood kin.
Claimed by a dragon, desired by a demigod, needed by a vampire king, Cait finds herself thrown from studying for college exams to facing matters of life and death, eternity and destiny, loyalty and honor, revenge and deception. Now she must choose a husband knowing the consequences are eternal, the love undying, the bond timeless.
Fire of Stars and Dragons… Undying love. Timeless bonds. Eternal consequences.
Coming March 2014 from Swoon Romance
Stars & Souls Trilogy is a New Adult fantasy romance set in a world filled with shapeshifting dragons, a powerful demigod, an ancient vampire monarch, and a sassy human chick keeping them all on their alpha male toes.
**Bonus Giveaway (US Only)**
7″ bracelet with a romantic book quote from Fire of Stars and Dragons :
“You are mine, and I am yours”