04 May 2014

Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Rachel L. Demeter on THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME

This week, we're pleased to welcome author RACHEL L. DEMETER with her latest novel,  THE FROST OF SPRINGTIME. The giveaway for this title - one $25 Amazon gift card - see the Rafflecopter details at the end of this post. Here's the blurb:

To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone—replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

**Q&A with Rachel Demeter**

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

Thank you for having me on your blog! Simply put, writing is my life’s blood, my passion, and obsession. It has always been, and always will be. I’ve been writing before I physically learned to write. As a child, one of my favorite pastimes was imagining stories and characters while my mom would jot them down for me. Now, at the ripe age of twenty-six, my passion for creating living, breathing worlds is stronger than ever.
Aside from writing, my interests include researching history (especially 19th century France and the Middle Ages), reading, singing, cooking, health and fitness, playing the violin, videogames (I’m a bit of a nerd at heart), loyally following television shows, philosophy, and animals.

How would you describe your style?

Unconventional, dark, edgy, and character-driven. My writing is very descriptive with a definite Gothic flare.

What is The Frost of Springtime about?

The Frost of Springtime emerged from my love of French history and unconventional romances. I have always been drawn to the darker facets of love, and this served as a central inspiration for the characters. Severely scarred inside and out, Aleksender de Lefèvre’s twisted past and the horrors of the battlefield have hardened his heart–and Sofia’s love and compassion embodies the ideal counterpoint to his darkness. Like Aleksender, she suffers from a tragic and ill-fated past. I had yearned to create a pair of star-crossed lovers whose deep affection for each other could triumph over seemingly impossible odds. Aleksender and Sofia are two flawed characters who are made perfect through their love.  

In addition to the romance and sensuality, The Frost of Springtime offers a vivid perspective into the war-torn streets of revolutionary Paris. My book truly is a historical romance; the history of the era plays a significant role in both the story and characterizations. Laced with Gothic undertones, conflicted characters, and forbidden love, it’s a journey of intense emotional stakes and plenty of twists and turns.

What inspired you to write about the 1871 Paris Commune?

Nineteenth century France has always been a dear passion of mine. It was an era of conflict, political intrigue, and romance. While researching French history, the 1871 Paris Commune (infamously referred to as “The Bloody Week”) called out to my creative muse. Set during the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war, I was positively fascinated by the moral ambiguity in regards to both parties involved (the Communards, who really did execute hostages), and of course, the army of Versailles (who executed thousands of citizens in hopes to retain peace). In addition, little details caught my eye—the underground Communard’s road inside of the eerie catacombs, the destruction of the Vendôme column, and the sheer brutality of the civil war.

I love unusual settings, and the 1871 Paris Commune rarely appears in storytelling. It is a vastly overlooked, yet historically devastating event. The revolution lasted only for 72 days—and, in that time, 100,000 men, women, and children were either murdered or exiled to the colonies. I believe that the Communards’ stand against the government truly encompasses the patriotic spirit of the French people. It represents an eternal love and loyalty to the city of Paris.

How historically accurate is The Frost of Springtime?

Very accurate. I not only strived to include a day-by-day account of the civil war and Paris’s devastated state, but incorporated actual participants as well. In the interest of the plot and characterizations, some details and events were altered—but nothing drastic. When developing my stories, I take great pride in authentically conveying an era with as much honesty as I can.

What projects are you currently working on?

I have several novels in the works, including an edgy historical romance set during the Napoleonic Wars, a historical romance/horror hybrid set within a Victorian asylum (I’m super excited about this one), a medieval historical romance, a few contemporary romances, and a horror. Do you reckon I’ll find time to sleep?   

Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love.

Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul.

Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness. Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.

Learn more about Rachel L. Demeter:

Tour-wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway