Friday, January 31, 2014

True Love's First Kiss by Heidi Garrett with Interview

  True Loves First Kiss is the bind up of Nandana's Mark, The Flower of Isbelline and The Dragon Carnivale.  This series is YA  (ages 14+) Fantasy/High Fantasy/Fairytale Fantasy and is a total of 681 pages.

1) First, tell us about yourself – where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.

Hi, my name is Heidi Garrett and I live in Eastern Washington State with my husband and our two cats. We lead a pretty simple life, although being from the South, I do love experiencing the four seasons for the first time in my life.

2) How long have you been writing?

Honestly, I’ve been writing forever.  I began writing free verse poetry when I was a young teenager. I’ve also written songs and for many years, probably over two decades, I kept a personal journal. I’ve been writing stories and novels for about seven years.

3) Do you have a favorite place to write?

Yes, I have a room and special chair that I sit in to do my hard writing, i.e., the first draft. I’ve reached the point where I can pretty much be anywhere when I’m revising. I do enjoy revising and editing at coffee shops on occasion. 

4) Why did you decide to write The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series?

The Queen of the Realm of series was inspired by my relationship with my beloved grandmother. She had a tremendous impact on me and my life. When she passed away, I wanted to share with others some of what she’d given me. The series came out of that desire. In the story, Melia’s relationship with the spring faerie, Flora is equally transformative. And though Flora is not exactly like Grandma, she is similar to her in essence. Grandma lived through many sad things, yet she still had an appreciation for the simple things in life—and much wisdom to impart. Many readers love Flora, and that makes me really happy.

5) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Flora, because she was inspired by my grandma. I also love Tatou. She’s Melia’s dear friend and pixies—petite faeries—are creatures I adore. I’m also very fond of Sevondi. She’s strong and beautiful and fierce, and she forced Melia to grow. I also love Melia because she’s a a paradox, cautious and impulsive, timid and bold, she’s determined to make her own rules and I love anyone who risks being wrong, as long as they’re thinking for themselves.

6) How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

Pressina and Elynus are my least favorite characters. Pressina is beautiful, but she’s so wrapped up in her own wounds, she has nothing to offer her daughters. It’s tragic. She could have passed on so much, but she’s quite barren in her role as mother. I dislike Elynus because he is so obsessed with Pressina, who’s really never forgiven him for making the mistake all mortals married to fullblooded faeries have made—violating his faerie troth. I always get the feeling that if Elynus had ever had the courage to question his relationship with Pressina, he might have discovered it to be rooted more in obession than love, and been able to move on. But then, The Queen of the Realm of Faerie would be a very different story. As it stands, the obsessive relationship of her parents and their inability to be available to their daughters seeds the challenges Melia must face and the burdens she must shoulder. It was important to me, when I wrote the series, to show the baggage that is passed from one generation to the next.

7) Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

Multiple beta readers have a go at each book before I submit them to a professional editor.

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to relax and that could be doing nothing in my backyard, going for a hike on some mountain, getting a coffee, playing with my cats, chatting with my husband, or watching a great TV show like Bones.

9) Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I’m always reading something. I really look forward to reading anything by Alice Hoffman. I also enjoy Joyce Carol Oates, and would like to read more books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

10) What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.

Because it’s a funny story, in a black comedy kind of way, I wish someone would ask me:

Did the ending of The Flower of Isbelline change significantly after your first draft?

My answer would be, yes! My husband is always my first reader, and after he read the first draft of that book, he was like, no, no, no. I could only imagine Plantine talking the long walk down the stone staircase and plunging into the depths of the Great White Sea to end her life ala Edna Pontellier in Kate Chopin’s novel The Awakening. My husband pointed out how that wouldn’t make for a very happy—or satisfying—ending, nor would it do much in the way of  helping Melia overcome her serious trust issues when it comes love. After some discussion, it became clear Tuck needed to be be the catalyst so both sisters could experience some healing and hope for a better life. When I rewrote the end, it felt much more true to the story, but I had to laugh, because that streak of doom always hovers on the edge of my consciousness.

True Love’s First Kiss:

~ Books 1-3 of this five-book series in a single digital bundle ~

Half-Faeries and mortals. Black magic and genocide. Coming of age and coming into power.

~ Book 1 - NANDANA’S MARK ~

Melia longs to fly like the fullblood faeries.

Her mortal father plots to bring war to the Enchanted world.

Her faerie mother practice black magic behind closed doors.

Overshadowed by her parent's obsessions, Melia has become an outcast. She seeks aid from the mysterious Illustrator, who makes a strange mark on her forehead. The mark is meant to draw the help of a green-eyed stranger from distant lands. Before he arrives, a tragic accident destroys what's left of Melia’s already fractured family. Her mother is unforgiving. The punishment she metes out will leave her middle daughter torn between guilt and ecstasy—and will complicate her relationship with the green-eyed stranger.


When a false marriage seduces Melia’s sister,

And the keys to power are at risk,

The cost of denying true love will be apocalyptic.

Melia is determined to stop her sister from pursuing their father’s damning legacy.


In Illialei, a light queen practices black magic.

In Tyrannis, the dragonwitch rises to power.

In the Mortal World, Umbra pursues the halfbloods as vessels of incarnation.

Energies in the Enchanted World are shifting and new alliances are forming; the Battle of Dark and Light has begun. Melia is desperate to make things right with Ryder, the young priest from Idonne, but first she must warn the halfbloods in the Mortal World that Umbra is coming for them--and face the powerful Dragonwitch and her spectacular Dragon Carnivale.
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 About the Author:

In her life and in her writing, Heidi Garrett is fascinated by thresholds and borders between: human and divine, ego and Self, conscious and unconscious, reality and imagination.

Confronted daily with situations where the most superficial aspects of life are valued, she's obsessed with going deeper.

Whenever she's lost her way, fairy tales and fantastical stories have restored her faith.

Whether you've picked up The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, or a story in her Once Upon a Time Today collection of contemporary fairytale retellings, these stories feature female characters who must draw from their deepest selves to win.

Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso.  She now lives in Eastern Washington state with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.

Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that:
Once upon a time, you lived in an enchanted world...

 Find the author:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

My Review:  December 2013     ~ Review Copies ~

True Love's First Kiss (Queen of the Realm of Faerie 1-3)True Love's First Kiss by Heidi Garrett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First, I would like to thank the author Heidi Garrett for giving me this book for an honest review. This book is books 1-3 of the The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series. I enjoyed reading this story. The characters are well developed and the world building is very good. There are different points of views throughout the first book the most, and it works as you learn a lot about the background and characters. I look forward to reading more of this series.

View all my reviews

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