Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Interview and Giveaway! Bound by Dragonsfyre by Julia Phillips Smith.

Today I'm hosting Julia Phillips Smith author of 

BOUND by Dragonsfyre.

Don't miss her super interview!

Quick Facts
Release Date: May 30, 2012
Genre: Dark fantasy
Formats: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords

Book Synopsis
No one is safe when the dragon glides low over the Eighth Dominion. Not the high born who plot and spill blood. Not the low born who serve with one eye to the sky and the other glancing back.
Young Scorpius is fetched from the estate nursery, once raised to live among the nobility – claimed finally not by his family, but by a falconer to serve as his apprentice.
Scorpius soon learns that a noble hides his monstrous appetites beneath velvet and jewels, while the leathery-winged dragon is honest about his own. His master does his best to shield Scorpius from the world outside their cottage, but the falconer is merely a servant who must obey his own masters.
An attempt on the life of a young lord while on a hunt sends the falconer’s apprentice on an abruptly different path, bringing Scorpius into the service of the House of Pruzhnino. Court intrigue sinks its talons into everyone, even Scorpius–especially a former falconer’s apprentice once raised to be a lord in his own right.
“Julia Phillips Smith’s voice is elegant, spare and powerful, her characters compelling. Smith has created a harsh world where commoners are bound by the whims of a corrupt nobility, nobles are ensnared in a web of intrigue and violence, and all live in fear of the shadow of the dragon. If you enjoy masterful world-building, a tightly-woven plot and characters that will capture your imagination, this book is for you.” – Jennie Marsland, Amazon

The Author
Julia Phiilips Smith has been telling stories since she figured out how to prop all of her dolls in a row, creating a wide-eyed and enraptured audience. A love of the arts led to passionate participation in dance, choir, musicals and plays. Her curiosity led to wearing as many hats as possible, from performing to stage managing and directing, from theatre to television and film.
After graduating from Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Film, she discovered there were stories bubbling to the surface that wanted to be novels.

Julia spent the next decade and a half learning the craft of novel writing.
She lives with her husband, their dog and her mom on Canada’s east coast, where the rugged sea and misty forests feed her thirst for gothic tales.
Learn more about the author at: www.juliaphillipssmith.com

“Are you troubled, my lord?”
The young noble glanced quickly at Scorpius, fixing him with an appraising stare . After a long moment, Lord Thibault chuckled. “I dare say I have a dominion’s worth of trouble.”
“We’re pleased to offer this small consolation, then.”
“You know, ever since our last conversation, well…frankly, I’ve been dreaming about what it would have been like to have never been collected up from the nursery, as you were not.”
Scorpius looked at Lord Thibault, trying to gauge the young man’s mood before looking away in time to avoid eye contact. The noble gazed out over the woods, lost in troubled thought.
“Surely not, my lord,” Scorpius said finally.
“Do you even know what’s brewing?” Lord Thibault asked. He turned and looked at Scorpius as though the lighthearted noble who had arrived earlier had been merely a front for the sake of his companions.
Wishing he could dart a glance at his master for any kind of sign or direction, Scorpius took a breath, gathered himself and made his choice. “Can’t say that I do, my lord.”
Nodding his head toward Richolf, the noble said, “Wonder if he knows, and he just hasn’t told you.”
It was Scorpius’ turn to chuckle. “That would be just like him, my lord.”
“Really. Perhaps our masters aren’t very different after all.”
Hearing this noble try to bridge the gap between them made Scorpius’ heart ache with such unexpected force that he took a step back.
“Well, I shall tell you a little something, then. Something your master should know, if he doesn’t already.”
“My lord.” Scorpius looked into Lord Thibault’s eyes, surprised to see the depth of weariness suddenly exposed.
“The Troubles have begun.” Lord Thibault’s voice caught as he said it. He blinked rapidly and looked away.
It all made sense now.
His master had not glared at him when Lord Thibault swept Scorpius to the hunt, leaving the rest of his retinue behind. That look had been a warning, the only kind permitted between a falconer and his apprentice.
Suddenly Scorpius’ hands shook. His master seemed so very far away across the field, rather than not far enough.
Lord Thibault swiped a hand across his face, turning to gaze at Scorpius. It no longer seemed possible that they were close in age, not with the weight that seemed to bear down upon the noble.
Memories tumbled forward, stopping Scorpius’ breath.
They jumbled through his mind–a noble’s rod slicing the back of Scorpius’ head, the lords fighting on the doorstep, the sword plunging into the royal brother. They were all part of The Troubles, weren’t they?
Across the field, Richolf appeared to be calmly collecting the braces of game, but he was staring over at Scorpius. Was he trying to tell him something, give him some further warning?
His master still carried the wounds from those days and nights of torture. He’d been put to the question because the royal brothers had decided the falconer’s cottage was tucked away enough to settle their score out here. Nothing to do with the falconer, and yet his body held the torment even now.
Of course, not even that could compare to the Hunt of Screams.
Scorpius met Lord Thibault’s gaze, suddenly angered by the noble’s tears. “The Troubles, my lord?” he said, his voice tight as he fought to control himself. “Yes they’ve made their presence known, even to those who try to live apart from them.”
Once again, instead of taking offense to such a tone from a falconer’s boy, Lord Thibault dropped his reserve even lower. “Am I in danger here?” he asked plainly, staring deeply into Scorpius’ eyes.
Glancing over at his master, he saw his attempts to gather the courtiers and head from the field. Yet there were two laggards.
Scorpius busied himself with his own braces of game. “My master warns of it, my lord.”
Lord Thibault started to turn, to look toward the others.
“Don’t!” Scorpius hissed.
The noble froze.
“Carry on as you would, my lord,” Scorpius ordered, not caring that he did so. He risked another glance as he crouched to tie the games hens together. Those two courtiers bent their heads together. More to the point, one glanced in Lord Thibault’s direction.
“We must run for it.” Scorpius stopped his work but remained in position. “Will you do it?”
He wished he could look at Lord Thibault, but doing so now would plunge the knife in.
“Where do we go?” the noble said, his voice calmer now that it had come to this.
“They are in my forest, my lord. I know these trees, I know the hills, and they do not. Just follow me.”
Scorpius rose, leaving the brace of game and catching Lord Thibault’s eye. At his nod, they bolted toward the treeline.


  1. For people who haven’t heard of BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE, make a brief description.

BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE is a dark fantasy coming-of-age tale that follows an unclaimed noble boy named Scorpius, raised to be a little lord at the nursery along with the other children. When all the nobles begin leaving for their home estates at age seven, no one comes for Scorpius. He’d held out hope for so many years, when mothers and fathers had come to visit their children, but when someone finally does come for Scorpius, it’s a falconer who needs an apprentice.

It doesn’t take long for Scorpius to realize he doesn’t need to be a noble himself in order to be embroiled in deadly court intrigues that make their way to the falconer’s cottage. He learns that the terrifying threat of dragon sightings are easier to predict than the cruelty of the nobles he serves.

When he helps to thwart an assassination attempt on a young lord, Scorpius’ life changes paths abruptly, leading him deeper into the heart of dangerous power politics. Will his new role finally bring him the answers he’s sought all his life? Will he discover which family deserted him—and why? 

  1. When did you decide to become a writer?

When I was in elementary school, I already considered myself to be a writer. I had a ‘novel’ lovingly written in pencil in one of my school notebooks, complete with drawings. I was a poet with pages and pages of pieces in a purple-paged notebook. I wrote what is now called fan fiction scripts for ‘Man From Atlantis’, ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’.

I didn’t start writing novels until after I’d completed my film degree at Ryerson University in Toronto. At that time my husband was diagnosed with rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, and I had to switch employment tracks away from the seasonal film industry and focus on getting a full time job with benefits. My husband, who’d graduated from acting school, also had to switch focus on simply maintaining his health. Part time employment worked better for him that way.

In the meantime, when you’ve got to tell stories, you find a way. I joined a local writers’ group  (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Romance-Writers-of-Atlantic-Canada-RWAC/147622641957752) where I learned how to change writer hats from screenwriting to novel writing. It took nine years between joining the group and my first novel release for SAINT SANGUINUS in 2011.

  1. Are you an early bird or night owl?

I’m most definitely a night owl. I always have been. Even in elementary school, as soon as summer vacation hit, my hours shifted to a midnight bedtime with a 9:00 am wake up time.

I was once given a fantastic opportunity to use an editing suite at the National Film Board during overnight hours, as it was being used in the day by a professional editor. I switched gears to all-nighter without blinking, but over a decade in the daytime office world has never turned me into a daytime person.

I work my day job during the week, and write between 8:00 pm and a little after midnight on weeknights, and also in the evenings on weekends. I take care of marketing business during weekend daytime hours when I don’t have to be creative.

  1. Which of your characters is your favorite and why?

My main character for BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE, Scorpius, is the favorite of my fictional characters so far. He just has a special place in my heart, considering all the things he’s been through and will still go through, in the other two books for this series.

I admire his ability to play his cards close to his chest when the stakes are as high as they can get, but I also feel for his wounded heart and the pride he struggles with on a daily basis.

I do have to say that one of the new characters in Book 2 of the Dragonsfyre series, a military cadet whose family has served the Imperial Crown for generations, is giving Scorpius a run for his money in my favorite-character category. He’s the grayest of the gray characters I’ve written, meaning he’s not exactly a shiny hero, and not a completely dark villain. That book will be released this summer.

  1. Would you like your book turned into a movie? Do you have any actors in mind?

If the Dragonsfyre books were adapted into anything, it would be better suited to miniseries television. I’ve written all the characters with actors as the models for how the characters move and speak, but by the time the series could be produced, these actors would no longer be right for the roles.

However, I’ll share with you the actors I’ll always associate with my characters:

British actor Richard Armitage for the grown-up Scorpius

Scottish-Peruvian actor Henry Ian Cusick for Richolf, the falconer who becomes Scorpius’ first master

British actress Gina McKee as Ingerith, Richolf’s lover

British actor David Oakes as Lord Thibault, who becomes Scorpius’ second master

Lithuanian actor Liubomiras Lauciavicius as Lord Thibault’s father, the Duke of Prozhnino

  1. Do you have any hobbies?

I’m a huge ballet freak…er, ballet fan. Love to attend live performances whenever possible, and I’m especially attached to the National Ballet of Canada. I also love photography, singing in choirs and going out to movies and restaurants.

  1. Name your favorite books.

C.S. Lewis’ CHRONICLES OF NARNIA started it all for me. The fairy tale series by Mercedes Lackey, the Amber series by Roger Zelazny, the Count Saint-Germain series by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, THE WITCHING HOUR by Anne Rice—all favorites in a list that could go on and on.

  1. Tell us about something crazy you’ve done.

I’m pretty much the opposite of a party-crasher type of person, but there was a moment when there was nothing else to do but pretend to be invited and seize the day. That was in 1984, when the first Tall Ships event happened in Halifax, Nova Scotia. My sister had begun a romance with one of the Russian cadets aboard the Kruzenshtern, but the regular public was not allowed on the pier on the day of the Parade of Sail, as they left the harbor. I created a decoy conversation with the security guy so she could slip past the barriers and head for the ship. When no one escorted her back in about half an hour, I followed her lead and snuck around to say farewell to the cadets we’d befriended during the Soviet era when the Iron Curtain was still firmly in place.

  1. Biggest trouble you faced as a writer?

To be honest, the biggest trouble was financial. I switched to writing novels because doing films had become too expensive for us to tackle at that time, but the search for a full time job when I’d been trained to work on film sets translated into a string of low-paying name tag jobs. Having enough money to join my writers’ group had to wait for my first office job, and I spent many grocery dollars on writing-related supplies and events.

  1. How do you react to a bad review?

I don’t mind bad reviews. Not everyone is going to like my stuff. In fact, a passionate dislike of my book means that someone else just as passionately loves it. A ‘meh’ response would be much worse.

  1. Do you review others’ books? Are you nice or are you mean? :P

I do review books—my book reviews link is here: http://juliasbookreviews.blogspot.ca/

Because of my writing schedule, I only review books from my own TBR pile. My reading time is minuscule  so I have to limit my reviews. As you may notice from my reviews link, there’s a big gap between the last two books I reviewed. I also make a point of only reviewing books I love, so you won’t find any mixed reviews and definitely no bad reviews from me.

  1. Do you like singing or dancing? Does music inspire you?

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a massive dance fan. Not as much into out-there abstract contemporary dance, definitely a passionate devotee of classical ballet. I love most dance forms, however: all the cultural dances from all over the world, social dancing over the centuries, everything you can think of. I used to take ballet when I was younger and not injured. I adored it.

As for singing, I’ve sung in choirs for most of my life, and my year had its seasons of Christmas concerts and spring concerts. For the past few years, as I’ve become a published author, I’ve even had to give up singing because I can’t afford the rehearsal time. But I know I’ll go back to it as soon as I can fit it into my schedule again.

Music has always been a creative inspiration for me, and I listen to music constantly whenever I’m writing.

  1. What are your favorite TV shows?

After years of feeling like there wasn’t much of anything I liked on TV, there’s been a ton of great shows lately: Game of Thrones, True Blood, Spartacus, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, Vikings, Merlin, Legend of the Seeker. I was a big fan of Hercules and Xena, and of course I always love British series like Spooks/MI-5, Downton Abbey, the Sharpe series with Sean Bean, and the 1977 version of Count Dracula. The best thing I’ve discovered in years is a ten-year-old Russian historical series called Bednaya Nastya (Poor Anastasia) that you can watch with subtitles here:  http://www.viki.com/channels/1354-poor-nastya

  1. Favorite movies?

Hmm…this is always a tough one for me. The Star Wars series—all of it!—The Lord of the Rings series, Pedro Almadovar films like Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, all of Quentin Tarantino’s films, superhero films like Iron Man, Thor, the X-Men series, the Tim Burton Batman and the Dark Knight series, Sweeny Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the 1939 Wuthering Heights, The Brothers Grimm, the 1968 The Producers, the 1967 Bedazzled, Young Frankenstein, Monty Python. We’ll be here all day.

  1. Favorite food? Do you cook?

I have a few of those, too. I’m wild about rice. I could eat it every day. Love my aunt’s Seafood Newburg which we have every Christmas Eve. Scallops…mmm…lobster…salmon…shrimp…I’m an East Coast gal, can you tell?

I am a non-cook in a family of cooks. My in-joke line comes from Kristina Matisic from the Canadian cooking show Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag, when she was unhappily stirring a reduced-sauce recipe: “Twenty minutes for drizzle?!?” That’s me in a nutshell.

  1. Do you have a nice relationship with your fans?

I love my fans! They’ve been very patient with me as far as my vampire series has gone, since I’ve been working on the Dragonsfyre series lately. But I’ll get back to Peredur and the Brethren as soon as I can. You can find me at my Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/author.julia.p.smith


Open Internationally. 3 Winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule 
April 1: Black Lion Tours Blog: Introduction.
April 2: Makayla's Book Reviews: Interview.
April 3: Bunny Reviews Blog: Interview.
April 4: Laurie's Non Paranormal Reviews: Interview.
April 5: Le Vannity Victorienne: Review and Interview.
April 6: Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer: Interview.
April 9: I Know That Book: Interview.
April 10: Pure Jonel: Review and Interview.
April 11Deal Sharing Aunt: Interview.
April 13: Bookworm Babblings: Review
April 14A Book Lover's Library: Review.
              A Novel Idea Live: Live Interview.
April 15: A Novel Idea Live: Promo Stop.
            Bl​ack Lion Tours Blog: Wrap-up.


  1. Thanks for the wonderful interview today, Rhomy - now I'm doing some serious dreaming about my fantasy cast for a miniseries version of this story.

  2. I'm enjoying this book! Reading it now. About 1/4 of the way done.

  3. I love anything paranormal. Great interview! :)

  4. Great excerpt and interview! I hope you are enjoying your tour!

  5. Great interview! I'm a night owl too. I'm never in bed before midnight. My favorite genre is paranormal romance.



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