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!
Release Date:May 30, 2012
Genre: Dark fantasy
Formats: Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony, Smashwords
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.
PRAISE FOR "BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE":
“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
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.
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.
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.
For people who haven’t heard of
BOUND BY DRAGONSFYRE, make a brief description.
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.
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.
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?
When did you decide to become a
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’.
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.
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.
Which of your characters is
your favorite and why?
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
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
Would you like your book turned
into a movie? Do you have any actors in mind?
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.
I’ll share with you the actors I’ll always associate with my characters:
actor Richard Armitage for the grown-up Scorpius
actor Henry Ian Cusick for Richolf, the falconer who becomes Scorpius’ first
actress Gina McKee as Ingerith, Richolf’s lover
actor David Oakes as Lord Thibault, who becomes Scorpius’ second master
actor Liubomiras Lauciavicius as Lord Thibault’s father, the Duke of Prozhnino
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.
Name your favorite books.
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.
Tell us about something crazy
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.
Biggest trouble you faced as a
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.
How do you react to a bad
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.
Do you review others’ books?
Are you nice or are you mean? :P
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.
Do you like singing or dancing?
Does music inspire you?
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.
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.
always been a creative inspiration for me, and I listen to music constantly
whenever I’m writing.
What are your favorite TV
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
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.
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.
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
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