Sunday, 7 April 2013

BLOGTOUR: By The Light of the Moon by Laila Blake Review + Author Interview

Book #1 in the Lakeside Series
Withdrawn and with a reputation for her strange, eccentric ways, young Lady Moira Rochmond is old to be unwed. Rumors say, she has been seen barefoot in the orchard, is awake all night in moon-struck rambles and sleeps all day. Some will even claim her ghostly pallor and aloof manner are signs of illness, of a curse or insanity.
The hopes of the peaceful succession to her father’s fief lie in an advantageous marriage. Moira, however, has a hard time attracting suitors. When one does show interest, her family pushes for a decision.
Almost resigned to the fact that she has no choice but to play the part she has been given in life, Moira is faced with Owain. A member of the mysterious Blaidyn creatures and a new guard in her father’s castle, specifically tasked to keep her safe. He is different from other people she knows and when one night under the full moon, she makes the acquaintance of the wolf who shares Owain’s soul, she starts to trust him and seek his presence. As he becomes one of the few individuals who doesn’t make her want to hide and retreat, she wants to learn more about him and they grow closer until they share a kiss one night under the moon. 
Faced with feelings and desires that overthrow everything she thought she knew about herself, Moira knows non-the-less that they have to be kept utterly secret. However much they try, however, they continue to be drawn to each other until one night, Owain discovers something about Moira that shakes him to core.

Cover: A perfect, gothic cover that suits the book really well.

It took me quite a while to get into this one.  I found the beginning quite slow and repetitive.  Ok so Moira wants to wander outside at night..ok so Moira doesn't like to be around people or be touched.  But for the first 40% I found that this was all I really found out, it just didn't go anywhere.
But at the 40% mark, it really started to pick up, and I wanted to know more, definitely drew me in.
I really liked the love interest, Owain.  I thought he was really sweet.
I thought they were a great couple, really well-matched but wished their romance had developed a little more.  They went from hardly talking to full on insta-love.
The fae element was really interesting, and the whole dynamic of 'Across', fae wars and who Moira really was were really great concepts.
There were also some really great twists that I didn't see coming.
Over all I really enjoyed this book.  Definitely worth checking out for those of you that love your adult paranormal romances!
3/5 stars.

Laila BlakeAuthor interview

1. What drew you to write a book about the fae?

I love the possibilities the paranormal genre has to offer – immortality, fundamentally different cultures, different ways to perceive the world around us. But I have never really found a connection to vampires – there’s something about the blood sucking that just creeps me out. I love the immortality theme, though, and I am a fan of nature and the idea of a less morally restricted culture than our own. The Fae represent all of that to me and that’s, I suppose, why I am so fascinated by them.
I see them as being very connected to earth – they can be loving and nurturing and utterly, breath-takingly beautiful but they can also be absolutely ruthless and terrifying. It’s a contrast I am drawn to.

2. How do you come up with the names for your characters?

That’s a tough one. I generally find naming things really difficult. Do you know the Neverending Story? As a German native I grew up with the book and it has this idea that you give items and ideas power by naming them. That’s why the Empress was dying without a name, and why throughout the story, Bastian gives things names. And even then, as a kid, I wondered how he came up with them so fast; that I would be terrible at saving Fantasia.
In the end, I go by word-melody, I suppose. It is highly subjective, and I don’t know if anybody else will get the same idea from them that I do, but when I say the name out loud, it should create an emotion similar to the one I have towards the character.
I also think about the parent’s motivations. In By the Light of the Moon, Niamh gave her daughter a name with a similar sound, a similar feeling to her own. She called her Maeve. Maeve however, is a rebel – she named her daughters Iris and Moira, she doesn’t want them to sound like her family and her people. So that’s another thing I consider, but a lot of the time I write half a book with placeholder-names until I can come up with something that feels right.

3. Do you have any writing quirks or routines?

I really don’t know that I do – but to be honest, I don’t know how other writers write, or what style of doing so would be considered normal. There are days where I can’t write on my desktop pc because I just get distracted and then I take my work laptop somewhere else – the kitchen table or my bed and write there and that works better, even though I could technically go online from there, too.
Also, when I need to figure out plotting and how to structure a chapter or a story, I tend to go outside (and pray the weather is nice and cold and windy, to blow all the excess crap out of my head). I find it easier to think of structures and consequences while I’m moving and I probably look like a crazy person because I know I am talking to myself while I do it – I at least move my lips. So that’s pretty quirky, now that I think about it!

4. If you could co-write a book with anyone, who would it be and why?

That’s funny because I am actually co-writing a book with someone at the moment, and she is pretty much the one person I would want to do that with. Her name is Lorrie and she’s my best friend and has been my writing companion for a long time. By the Light of the Moon is dedicated to her, actually.
She is incredibly talented and has a beautiful writing voice that I admire, but almost more importantly, I trust her implicitly. I understand her characters and the way she thinks and she understands that about me. We usually have the same feelings about people and moments and emotions – we call that our hive mind -- and I always know what she means when she tries to express something. I feel like that is the only way I could work with someone – writing is such an intimate activity to me, I don’t know how I would do it with a stranger, however much I admired them. And yes, this is starting to sound terribly smutty, isn’t it?

5. Who is your favourite author?

If I had to pick someone who I consistently admire, it would come down between Haruki Murakami and Nick Hornby – just for their body of work and their tendencies even though I have favourite books from many others as well.
In Hornby, I am just constantly blown away by how real his novels feel to me in terms of capturing life as it is right now and for that person. I can almost sit in his books and feel at home there. And he has a way of transporting content, emotion and honesty with dialogue that just blows me away, every time. Of course, he also makes me laugh really hard but I always think people underestimate him as a “comedy author.” Juliet, Naked and A Long Way Down are two of my all-time favorite books.
And then there is Murakami who just regularly makes me catch my breath with the beauty of his prose – and it shines through every translation, that’s really incredible. I love the way his books always leave more to be unraveled and I routinely buy the audiobook after I finish reading one just so that I can listen to it again and again and slowly uncover all the little things I missed the first time around. After Dark and 1Q84 sprint to mind as insane examples of his talent, but I also love Sputnik Sweetheart and South of the Border, West of the Sun… and really of them.

6. Besides writing, what are some of your hobbies?

I love music and there are few greater pleasures for me than to scour bandcamp or similar sites for new and amazing indi-artists to support. I have thing for acoustic, singer-song-writer folk music and I can never get enough of it. When I feel good, I also really like to go to small club concerts – I don’t like the big arena ones.
I am still teaching myself to play the guitar and I write some songs sometimes, although especially lately, I have rarely found time for it.
And I love photography, my cheap DSLR is one of my most prized possessions and especially in summer or when it snows I love to take it out for a spin. I would love to do more in terms of portrait photography, too – one day, when I have money for better equipment.
But really, I don’t remember who said it, that being a writer especially in the beginning, just completely consumes you and you have to let it in order to make that work. Over the last months, more and more of my hobbies have gathered some dust and writing really is almost all I do now in my free time. And I really like it that way.

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