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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Interview & #Giveaway with Alison DeLuca, author of the Crown Phoenix series!



Please help me welcome author Alison DeLuca to Full Moon Bites for her Crown Phoenix series Blog Tour! Check out our interview below as Alison tells us all about dastardly pirates, The Night Watchman Express, how to kill a demon, the final book in the Crown Phoenix series and more!

Also do not miss the HUGE giveaway below for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD and more wonderful goodies!


Holly: Hi Alison! Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Alison DeLuca: Hello! I’m a former teacher turned writer and editor. I’m also a stay-at-home mom, which is a fulltime job in itself. I’ve loved to read and create stories ever since I can remember; I’m one of those people who carry a book in her purse.

Holly: Do you have anything you would like to say to your readers?

Alison DeLuca: There certainly is – You surprise me and delight me, every day. This little cast of characters I created are real, and that’s because of you. You ask me about your favorites – “When is Mana coming back?” and “Will Miriam and Simon ever get together?” – and that is a wonderful thing. When a writer creates a world, and others get to share that world, it is as though we are all in a little ship together, sailing to a new land. You have been the best crew any pirate could ask for.

Holly: Your life is an action/suspense novel; your stuck on a ship and it’s about to blow. If it was just you, you would jump overboard and get away fast, but there are a few people that were being held captive on the ship too. What do you do?

Alison DeLuca: Aha! Continuing on the ship theme – I love it! But any action novel of mine simply MUST include pirates.

She heard the wail of a young girl and a man’s exclamation. The fuse on the bomb sputtered; the waves were close and inviting.

With a curse, she turned back to the deck. They were under a trapdoor, blocked by a huge beam that had fallen during the battle.

“They’re dead, Missy,” a pirate jeered. His mates, behind him, laughed.

She pulled out her pistol and leveled it at
him. “Help me move that beam, or I’ll shoot you.”

“Not bloody likely! We’re bailing out.”

The pistol went off in her hand and the pirate fell, clutching his chest. “Horn butt-plate,” she said. “Prince of Wales grip. I have four more bullets. Who’s next?”

“The wench is a Looney!” Cursing loudly, the other men bent and heaved at the beam.

She tried not to think about the bomb. The hold was filled with gunpowder. If the ship blew, they would all be scattered around the seas, with nothing left to send home and bury.

With one last oath, the pirates pushed the beam free. “See you later, if we’re unlucky,” one added as they jumped into the ocean.

The pistol went off in her hand, and the lock on the trapdoor sprang open. She wrenched the door up, and the man below sprang out, carrying the little girl.

“That was insane!” he yelled.

“Just jump!” She grabbed his hand and they plunged into the ocean. Their jump was accelerated by the explosion as the ship, at last, burst into flames.

When she broke surface, she saw that he was still beside her, wiping the saltwater from his eyes. Next to him, the little girl shivered and trod water.

“Look, what is your name?” he asked.

“Save your breath. We have a long way to swim,” was her only response.

Holly: Can you tell us a little bit about your book, The Night Watchman Express?

Alison DeLuca: It’s an adventure story about an orphaned girl who has been abandoned by everyone in her luxurious home. As a result, she’s almost feral – a bit like Mistress Mary in The Secret Garden. She encounters some nasty villains as well as a group of loyal friends, and they work together to discover the mystery behind the train known as The Night Watchman Express.

Holly: What was the inspiration for this novel?

Alison DeLuca: I love the music of Angelique Kidjo. Even though I don’t speak the language of Benin, the country that Ms Kidjo comes from, I listened to her songs so much that I was able to sing along. The language and the lyrics inspired a made up language that they would speak in my own country, the island of Lampala. After that, I dreamed up Mana, and everything followed.

Holly: You’re out demon hunting (because you’re that kind of awesome) and you come across one about to kill a young couple. He has not seen you yet; what is your first course of action?

Alison DeLuca: “Bitch.”

Lana didn’t know if she was talking about the succubus, whose needle teeth were about to plunge into Brian’s neck, or Tazmin, the girl next to him. Tazmin – her best friend. Now in the arms of Brian – Lana’s boyfriend.

For one heady moment she considered turning away and leaving them all to it. Let the succubus destroy them both and send their souls to Hell – it would be a fitting end.

The wind blew, and it shifted the pendant on her shirt. There was a slight ‘ting!’ as the chain clinked, and the succubus paused and looked up.

Lana swore and stood up, her plasma blaster on her shoulder. With a loud yell, she pulled the trigger and shot the demon right between its breasts. Green ooze shot up from the thing, illuminating the landscape for one brief, breathless moment.

The glow faded, and the succubus disappeared.

“Lana!” Brian pushed Tazmin away from him and took a step.

“No.” She put up one hand as if to ward him off. “No, you don’t get to talk to me.”

“I’m so sorry!” Tazmin wailed.

The plasma blaster was warm in her hands, waiting. She could blow them both away with two shots – perhaps just one. She knew she was that good.

“I’m going to let you have him,” she said to Tazmin. “That’s the best revenge I can think of.”

She put the blaster down and walked away.

Holly: Where can we purchase Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express?

Alison DeLuca: You can buy Night Watchman and the other two CP titles, Devil’s Kitchen and Lamplighter’s Special on Kindle and Nook. Here are the links for the first title:

Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express Amazon US http://bit.ly/CPNWEus
Crown Phoenix: Night Watchman Express http://bit.ly/CPNWEnook

Holly: Are you working on anything at the moment?

Alison DeLuca: I certainly am – it is the final book in the Crown Phoenix series, called The South Sea Bubble. A lot of questions will be answered, and I’ll resolve the relationships between the characters. I love writing it, but I hate to say goodbye to Mana, Miriam, Simon, Neil, Riki, and the rest. I’ll even miss Barbara, my beautiful heroine.

Holly: Are you reading anything interesting at the moment? If so, what is it?

Alison DeLuca: Always. I’m the kind of reader who has five books going at once. The Quiet Gentleman is on my bedside table, as well as the biography of Steve Jobs. Infinity Bridge is on my Kindle, along with John Dies at the End and Dark Places. I just finished The Age of Miracles, Losing Beauty, and The Prospect of My Arrival. I’m a hopeless bibliophile.

Holly: Your life is a romantic comedy; what humorous but very embarrassing thing happens on your first date/when you meet the love of your life?

Alison DeLuca: Aha. You would go there, wouldn’t you?! On my very first date, the son of my mum’s friend, in Dublin, asked me out. He was really nice and very good-looking, but he spoke such a thick Dublin accent that I didn’t understand one word he said all night. NOT ONE WORD. I was nervous anyway – first date and all – so you can just imagine the sweaty, fainting wreck that was me at the end of the night.

Holly: How much of you or people you know do you think make it into the characters in your novel(s)?

Alison DeLuca: Well, everyone, in a way. And of course, even strangers appear. For example, I see things happen at church or in the airport – interactions, movement, conversations – and I file them away in my brain. Of course – all of that is a starting point, and the characters evolve from that memory soup. Every person in my books is a unique being – they’ve never existed before.

Holly: Why this genre?

Alison DeLuca: I’ve always loved steampunk from when I first read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The idea that science fiction can actually occur in the past, with gears and clockworks instead of lasers and computers, is very exciting to me as a reader and an author.

For one thing, I got to create my own technology. The Crown Phoenix – the name of the series – comes from a typewriter that is an Edwardian form of a quantum computer.  

Holly: Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

Alison DeLuca: Other writers, such as Enid Blyton, JK Rowling, and Philip Pullman. My mother was an influence, since she loved poetry and was a literature professor. She and my father really taught me to adore reading and books. My sister is a constant inspiration, as well as my husband and my daughter. I couldn’t do it with any of them.

Random Quickies!

Holly: Favorite color? 

Alison DeLuca: Black.

Holly: Pepsi or Coke? 

Alison DeLuca: Neither. Tea, please. Iced in the summer and warm in a large mug in the winter.

Holly: Favorite genre to read? 

Alison DeLuca: YA Fantasy.

Holly: Favorite movie? 

Alison DeLuca: The Shawshank Redemption.

Holly: Cats or dogs? 

Alison DeLuca: Cats.

Thanks so much for the interview – this was really a blast!


Book One – The Night Watchman Express

Purchase: Amazon 

Miriam Pearson’s father has died. Her guardians, The Marchpanes, take over her house and her father’s company. The strong-willed girl instantly clashes with their son, Simon. The Marchpanes hire a governess, Mana, to take care of her. Mana is black, and has magic powers. She and Miriam eventually become friends. With Simon and Neil, his friend, they uncover a plot by the sinister Barbara Cantwell to use Miriam’s father’s company for evil means. Barbara is very beautiful, and at first, Simon is very attracted to her.

Once Barbara realizes that Miriam and Mana are on to her scheme, she forces the guardians to fire the governess. Mana is hustled out of the house by the Marchpanes, but Miriam, Neil and Simon follow her to the Night Watchman Express. However, Miriam and Simon are captured and put on the Night Watchman, bound for a sinister destination. Mana is loaded onto a boat headed to Big Star Island.

Neil manages to steal a boat and follow Mana’s captors to the island. A native girl, Riki, rescues him and brings him to her house. She is spoiled and her mother has no control over her, but Neil manages to become her friend. Her father forces him to stay with the family so Neil can be Riki’s companion and manage her wild behavior.

Neil learns about Atol, the king of the island, who seized power after the last monarch was killed. Atol is plotting with Barbara Cantwell to force the islands to produce drugs instead of bolemor wood, and he is also shipping his people out for use in human experiments. Neil discovers that Ma

na is the rightful queen of the island, and is being held by Atol. Neil and Riki manage to rescue Mana, and they head back to the mainland to look for Simon and Miriam. 


Book Two – Devil’s Kitchen

Purchase: Amazon 

Miriam and Simon are imprisoned on the Night Watchman Express, heading for the Devil’s Kitchen. It is a huge, dirty factory where the prisoners process the drug imported from the island. Simon tries to fight the guards and is hauled away to a huge, strange house belonging to Barbara Cantwell.

Miriam is forced to live in a cell and work underground under the fearsome Headmistress and Headmaster, who run the factory. Meanwhile, Mana and Neil arrive and start searching for their friends.

Simon wakes up in Barbara’s house and undergoes torture. He manages to gain her trust by pretending to be on her side. Eventually he is rescued by Mana. Miriam is about to be punished by the Headmistress and Headmaster when Mana and Simon arrive and rescues her. Barbara tries to kill Mana but is foiled by Simon.

Mana regains her kindgdom, and Miriam regains her home and future control of her father’s business. 


Book Three – The Lamplighter’s Special

Purchase: Amazon 

Miriam, Simon, Neil, and Riki reunite on Lampala for the summer holiday. They are happy to be together but wonder what has happened to Neil’s family.

Neil’s sisters, short-sighted Lizzie and beautiful Ninna, are forced to work in the Manor House to help take care of new guests.

The guest arrives, a lovely lady called Miss Wilkinsl. She and her brother have a mysterious obsession with the Crown Phoenix.

Lizzie meets Toby, the oldest son who cannot leave the attic. They become friends. Lizzie is also forced to work in Miss Cantwell’s rooms, where the dresser, Siddons, tortures her with violence and overwork. Siddons locks Lizzie in a room, and Toby finally emerges from his attic to rescue Lizzie.

Toby fixes The Crown Phoenix.They all board a ship called The Lamplighter’s Special and sail to the island. On the way, the typewriter works some strange magic and they arrive in a matter of hours instead of weeks.

Lizzie, Ninna, Toby and Priam discover there is a person hidden below deck in the boat.

Miss Cantwell takes the four children to the island and strands them there. They are rescued by Miriam, Neil, and Mana.

Miss Cantwell threatens to blow up the islands with the Crown Phoenix. She is captured. The rest return to the boat and head back to England, but Toby’s agoraphobia returns.






Alison DeLuca is the author of several steampunk and urban fantasy books. She was born in Arizona and has also lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain.

Currently she wrestles words and laundry in New Jersey.



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My name is Holly and I am an avid reader and reviewer who loves most all romance genres. From paranormal romance, and urban fantasy to m/m romance, and erotica romance. If it's romance I'm down. 

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