Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Release Celebration with Fantasy/Romance Author Serena Clarke


Serena Clarke lives in beautiful, sunny St. George, Utah.  She received a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Design and is a member of the Red Mountain Shadows Publishing team.  She has loved writing since she was young and is so excited to share her books.  Serena also enjoys designing her own book covers as much as writing her books.

I am quickly becoming a huge fan of Serena's. I loved this book even more than the first one in the series.  I am always intrigued by stories of arranged marriages and how they turn to marriages filled with love.  These two characters had so much to overcome, coming from different cultures.  Yet, they bravely took on the challenge because of the love they had for the people who they ruled over.  There is plenty of action and intrigue in the storyline. I lost quite a bit of sleep reading way too late into the night.  I love the characters.  I want to know even more about their lives.  I can't wait for the next book in the series!!!!!!” --Cheryl Larson

Welcome back to my blog, Serena. This is the second book in The Isian series, which is a delightful fantasy. Here is the synopsis from the back of the book.

War is coming and all the kingdoms must choose a side. Isian decides to make an alliance with their long time enemies in order to defeat a common enemy. So Isian sends a proposal, offering their daughter to the prince, in order to ensure an alliance. Princess Gabrielle and her new husband, Prince Alec must learn to work together and trust each other in order to triumph in the approaching war.

With a mysterious beast attacking the kingdom, their lives in danger, and overcoming their vast cultural differences, will love grow despite their trials or tear them apart? Enjoy the fantasy, danger, mystery, and romance!

Where did you get your inspiration for this particular novel?

I have always been intrigued with the idea of arranged marriages.  In many of the books I have read where there is supposed to be an arranged marriage, the princess is usually in love with someone else and at the last minute gets out of her arranged marriage.  Or perhaps she meets her intended beforehand and they fall in love before they even get married.  But what would happen if the princess did not get out of the marriage?  And she really did end up having to marry the prince from the enemy kingdom to form a treaty?  

People are more complex than they seem.  A person is not typically good or bad.  Everyone is raised differently and has different beliefs, ideas and quirks.  When you really love someone, you accept their faults.  But what if you were married to someone you did not know and were raised to believe was your enemy?  Could you ever learn to accept their faults?  Could you ever grow to love them or trust them?

Those are very interesting questions, Serena. I think that fact is what makes this book so intriguing to me. Most authors fall in love with their characters for different reasons. What do you love the most about the two main characters?

I absolutely love both of my main characters. Princess Gabrielle is strong-headed, prideful, loyal, and determined.  Though she hates the idea of not only marrying, but also putting her trust in this man she thinks is her enemy, she loves her people so much that she is determined not only to marry the prince, but also to bring their people together.  

Prince Alec is loyal, brave, and surprisingly understanding of Gabrielle’s situation. 
Both characters are admirable and yet they have their flaws.  I think this is why I love them so much.  They need to get past themselves and learn to understand each other and put their trust in each other before they can save their kingdoms. 

Serena Clarke has developed her characters very well. It’s easy to see them in your imagination. I read this book and totally fell in love with the main characters. This is my review:

The Alliance of Isian was one of the best fantasies I’ve ever read. Why? I’m not a fantasy reader…far from it. This book was enchanting and very difficult to put down. Gabrielle is a strong character and I could feel the emotions she was experiencing. I could feel her frustration in being forced to marry someone she did not know, and whose background was totally so different from her own. Alec is likewise a strong character and has his definite opinions, but he is also very sensitive to Gabrielle’s feelings of inadequacy in marrying a stranger. As time passes, I could see the respect they gradually develop for each another and how they learn to understand one another’s differences. They learn to accept one another’s faults and failings. I noticed the change in both characters, a change for the better, as Gabrielle and Alec fall in love. I found myself wishing the story would never end. That’s really saying something for a non-fantasy reader.” Reviewed by Linda Weaver Clarke, Author of Sweet Romances and Mysteries

You may buy a hard copy of The Alliance of Isian at Amazon here or an e-book at Smashwords here.

20 comments:

Charissa said...

This was a great read! Congratulations, Serena, on another story that bound me to my seat.

Ashleigh Swerdfeger said...

I love reading author interveiws. They are fascinating. The series sounds intriguing too! ash_o3 at hotmail.com

Gail Pallotta said...

The Alliance of Isian sounds as though it has all the makings of a fun romance. The conflict in cultural differences and adjustments alone would be a challenge without their different personalities. It also has a beautiful cover.

Congratulations!

Becky said...

Serena Clarke is a new author to me. I really like how this story sounds. I find this book interesting and think I will enjoy reading it. I am going to add both of her books to my list to get.

beckyqward@gmail.com

Sonja said...

Hi Serena is a new author and I have to admit that I have never read Fantasy/Romance. So this would be new, also. I would love to give it a go!

Jane Maritz said...

Love books where the characters are real and not perfect...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Michelle Willms said...

This fantasy sounds great. Thank you for introducing me to a great fantasy series. michelle_willms(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Meghan said...

These sound great!! I would like either hard copy or ebook!
Thanks for the giveaway!
mestith at gmail dot com

Janalyn Voigt, escape into creative worlds of fiction. said...

Hi, Serena. Your story sounds fantastic! Sign me up. :) janalynvoigt(at)gmail(dot)com

Ashleyann Wilbur said...

I love author interviews, they help me know if I'll enjoy their books or not. This one seems like a hit to me. :)

ashleyannwilbur@yahoo.com

Heather said...

Thank you for the great author interview. I am an old fashioned hard book kind of gal. Thank you!

Shamara Catama said...

These books seem really great, pity I had never heard about them before. I would prefer an e-cooly

sweetsindy93 at gmail (dot) com

Sam said...

Who doesn't love free books?! :D I'm so ready to gobble these up, I love Fantasy and Romance! Sign me up for hard copies and e-books.

tiger_lily_loves at yahoo dot com

Good luck everyone.

BookLady said...

This sounds like a very interesting book. Great interview. Thanks for sharing. I would be interested in print or epub format.
bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

RVB said...

The Alliance of Isian sounds like a really good book to read. I would love to add it to my collection, especially since I have the first in the series. I prefer a hard copy. Keep writing!
leeben1990@gmail.com

jessie2247 said...

These sound great! Thanks for the giveaway!
i_love_books at aol dot com

Julia Cosgrove said...

These books sound great and they are right up my alley. I would love to give Serena a try. I would love a hard copy as I like the feeling of the book in my hands. cosgrove.julia@yahoo.com

Srdjan Jovanovic said...

this sound amazing, happy holydays guys and good luck
srdjanjovanovic81@gmail.com

bn100 said...

Interesting sounding series
prefer hardcopy; if not avaiable, ebook

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to the winners of this awesome book. I know you'll enjoy this story. I surely did. We'll be getting in touch with all the winners soon. Thanks for participating in this book giveaway.