Alyxandra Harvey, popular young adult author of the Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet, and Stolen Away, is back with a bewitching new young adult fantasy series that will take readers through the streets of magical 19th century London. A BREATH OF FROST, the first installment in The Lovegrove Legacy (published by Bloomsbury Childrens) goes on sale January 7, 2014. It’s full of witches, magic, family secrets, goblin markets, deer-people, and boys in cravats!
Want to learn more about A BREATH OF FROST? Be sure to check out this "First Look" interview with Alyxandra Harvey!
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About A BREATH OF FROST:
In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft when their individual magical powers unexpectedly begin to manifest. Now, beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring underworld available only to those with power is now open to the
But by claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the Underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders … because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed …or even worse, before their gifts are stripped away?
“Harvey balances a large cast with an intricate plot with flair….A successful blend of Regency and paranormal romance.” ~ Kirkus Reviews
“Filling her latest with a large cast of characters— from the society elite to the magical world’s dark underbelly—Harvey keeps up the action and clever dialogue as the protagonist, Emma, deals with high-class mean girls, familial secrets, and a confusing crush. A smashing blend of adventure, fantasy, humor, romance, and historical fiction.” ~ Booklist
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You’ve written books about fae, vampires, ghosts and now witches – which do you find easiest to write? What was the most difficult or required the most research?
Ghosts required the most basic research, in the sense that I wanted to make sure they had a good working internal logic and used some of the real-world theories that are currently available.
The tricky part about the vampire research was ferreting out interesting historical and legendary tidbits that haven’t been used very often!
And researching old spells for A Breath of Frost was just sheer undiluted fun.
As a big fan of your work, I have to say that the books you write that take place in the 1800’s or early 1900’s are the most captivating. The characters are realistic, the setting makes you feel like you’re there, corset and all, is this a favorite time period for you or is it just one you like to write your books in?
Thank you so much!
The 1800’s are definitely on my list of favourite time periods. It’s like a cozy room in my house where I can curl up with a cup of tea. I finally had a chance to visit Hyde Park last two years ago and I was giddy with joy. I’ve read about it and written about it so much it was wonderful to finally be there in person.
And I have great empathy for Tasha Tudor…she believed she had been alive in the 1840s and spent much of her life recreating it. She made her own clothes, right down to the weaving. She was a fascinating woman! I’d keep my bathroom though. And the electricity, as much as I love candles!
Where did you get your inspiration for the Lovegrove Legacy trilogy?
I love witch stories, magic, and the Regency. It feels like this book has always been living inside of me.
I’m not sure if there already is an obvious answer to this question out there but this is the first book in a trilogy based around the Lovegrove cousins; this book is based around Emma so is it safe to assume the other two books will be Penelope & Gretchen’s stories? If so, was this always the plan or as you were writing, did you find it too difficult to just make it one person’s story?
Yes, each book centers around one of the cousins, but the other two still get their own stories. Everything is interconnected between them and the main story arc as well. Plus, none of them wanted to give up the limelight!
You like to write in multiple POV’s (point of views) on most of your books – do you find writing from a guy’s POV challenging or easier?
I find it much easier now. I first tried it when I was writing the second book in the Drake Chronicles and I had some male friends read it to make sure I wasn’t completely off. I was more nervous about that than getting the voice right for an egomaniac vampire from a different time period. She was easier!
In the end though, you hope you know your character well enough that everything clicks.
What’s one thing you must have with you while you’re writing or editing a book?
While editing a book, I must have quiet! And tea and a fully stocked fridge so I don’t find a hundred excuses as to why I really must go to town right now to buy horseradish. Even though I really don’t like horseradish.
If you could put yourself in this book as any character, who would you be and why?
Generally speaking I wouldn’t want to be any of my characters because I can be rather mean to them! But from A Breath of Frost it might be fun to be Moira for a day. She lives on the rooftops and picks pockets and runs magical errands in the Goblin Market. Only in the summer though, I’d hate to sleep on a rooftop on a cold rainy London January night!
What’s your favorite scene in A Breath of Frost?
For some reason I had the most fun writing about the Dullahan… an Irish headless horseman figure with a whip made of a human spine and a lantern made of human bones. I was jumping up and down in my chair with a fangirlsquee. I’ve decided not to analyze that too closely.
What are your writing rituals? Do you outline or just go with the flow?
Every time I think I have a writing ritual, it changes. Mostly, I try to write every day, even if it’s just a paragraph on those days where I’m scattered. It’s so much easier to keep going than to start again if I’ve been away from the story for a week or so. I do carry my notebook with me wherever I go. And it’s by my bed at night.
What’s something we can look forward to in the second book of The Lovegrove Legacy?
Gretchen has the most to say in the second book, and watching her butt heads with the very proper members of the Order of the Iron Nail is always fun!
Thank you so much Barclay Publicity for allowing me to be a part of this "First Look" tour! And a huge thank you to Alyxandra Harvey for the interview! It was truly an honor - I'm such a big fan of your work! I think this is must add to your wishlist, especially fans of YA.
About the author:
Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.
Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.
Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.
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