Rachel Demeter has teamed up with Goddess Fish Promotions to celebrate the release of her book, Finding Gabriel. As part of her tour, Rachel will be awarding a Momentum bundle of three romance titles (chosen by the winner) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. See the bottom of this post for more information.
Now enjoy this interview with Rachel.
Welcome, Rachel. Please tell us about yourself.
Thank you so much for having me! Let’s see . . . I live in beautiful Sunny California with Teddy, my goofy lowland sheepdog, and my high school sweetheart of eleven years. Richard and I began dating during our freshman year and have been together ever since. He’s truly my soul mate and greatest inspiration. I’m so grateful to have found him at such a young age!
I graduated from Chapman University’s film school with a BA in Screenwriting. Even though I’m primarily a novelist, film school deepened my love for crafting fiction tenfold; it taught me to concentrate on plotting, dynamic characters, and effective pacing, as well as the importance of visual storytelling. I wouldn’t trade my college education for anything in the world!
Can you tell us a bit about your book in a few sentences?
During the chaotic ending of the Napoleonic Wars, two tortured souls struggle to overcome adversity and find hope in the wreckage of their pasts. Equal parts steamy and heartfelt, Finding Gabriel is an evocative journey through darkness and light, loss and hope, searing passion and the redeeming power of love.
Describe your connection to Finding Gabriel and what it was like to write this tumultuous love story.
It was quite a journey! Writing Finding Gabriel was a deeply personal experience and a true emotional rollercoaster. At times, the subject matter forced me into uncomfortable and often brutal territories–and the road to Gabriel and Ariah’s Happily Ever After is certainly paved with an abundance of loss, discovery, hope, and, of course, searing passion and relentless love.
Every word emerged straight from my soul. I was connected to both Gabriel and Ariah on such a profound level . . . more than I ever imagined possible. When I typed “The End,” I broke into tears. They were no longer characters, but real people and beloved friends.
I hope that Gabriel and Ariah’s journey through darkness touches readers’ hearts as much as it did my own! 🙂
Why did you choose to write in this time period? And why Paris?
Nineteenth century France has always been a great passion of mine. It was a time of conflict, political intrigue, art, clashing social norms, and romance. While England’s glittering ballrooms present an elaborate atmosphere, I personally feel these settings can become a bit stuffy and repetitive for readers. In my opinion, Paris lends itself to a darker, freer, more liberating and passionate environment. The characters aren’t as tied down by social norms, and the settings are more rustic and real. Also, I was raised on Paris-set musicals, such as Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera—and they continue to inspire my imagination and characters.
How did you find writing Napoleon Bonaparte? Did you feel obliged to do him justice?
Most romances set in the 1800s take place in England; as a result, the majority of these stories are told from an English perspective—so Napoleon Bonaparte is often depicted as an evil dictator and a distant antagonist. I
n Finding Gabriel, however, I wanted to ensure that I captured how the people of France would have perceived him. The story takes place at the end of his exile, during his fall from legendary greatness, so there were conflicting views—but many citizens still considered him to be a renowned hero and the savior of France. Even though Napoleon makes a brief appearance, I immersed myself in hours of research and memoirs to ensure I represented him authentically (in regards to both his personality and appearance) and in a way that would resonate with readers. Also, the tidbits shared in his dialogue are 100% accurate!
Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?
Ariah Larochelle, the heroine of Finding Gabriel, is molded after my mom (who is my personal heroine). She is the strongest, most loyal, compassionate, independent, and sincere person I know—and I worked hard to incorporate these traits into Ariah’s characterization. Like Ariah, my mom protects the ones she loves at all costs and is willing to sacrifice everything for her family and what she believes is right.
Which character did you enjoy writing the most?
Can I cheat and say both the hero and heroine? Gabriel was an absolute thrill to write, since his characterization contains so much sexy darkness and transient light all wrapped up in one rugged package.
But Ariah is also multilayered, and was fascinating to bring to life.
What are your favorite genres outside of your own? Why?
I would have to say historical fiction and horror. I love immersing myself in past times and cultures—and, in my crazy opinion, few things are more fun than getting scared out of my skin. I still remember the first time I read The Shining. Wow, what a memorable and chilling experience . . .
In my own writing, I enjoy “genre blending,” so you’ll see historical fiction (well, obviously) and horror influences throughout my works.
Any other books in the pipeline?
I’m thrilled to say that I have several stories in varying stages of development, including a historical romance/horror hybrid set in a Victorian asylum, a medieval historical romance, a few contemporary romances, and a horror novel. A Kindled Winter, my heart-warming contemporary holiday romance, is scheduled for release in November 2015—so stay on the lookout! 🙂
Colonel Gabriel de Laurent departed for the war intending to die.
After a decade of bloodstained battlegrounds while fighting in Napoleon’s army, Gabriel returns to the streets of Paris a shattered and haunted soul. Plagued by inner demons, he swallows the barrel of his flintlock pistol and pulls the trigger.
But fate has a different plan.
Ariah Larochelle is a survivor. Orphaned at twelve and victim to a devastating crime, she has learned to keep her back to walls and to trust no one. But when she finds a gravely injured soldier washed up on the River Seine, she’s moved by compassion. In spite of her reservations, she rescues him from the icy water and brings him into her home.
Now scarred inside and out, Gabriel discovers a kindred spirit in Ariah – and feelings he imagined lost forever reawaken as he observes her strength in the face of adversity. But when Ariah’s own lethal secrets unfold, their new love is threatened by ancient ghosts. Can Gabriel and Ariah find hope in the wreckage of their pasts – or will the cycle of history repeat again?
Perfect for fans of Gaelen Foley’s Lord of Ice and Judith James’s Broken Wing, Finding Gabriel features all the dark romance, searing passion, and historical intrigue of The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables.
“Look at me. Look at what you have saved.”
Gabriel released Ariah’s chin and tore away the bandage in a harsh movement. As his eyes bore into her own, pale moonlight fell upon the deformity, illuminating the twisted flesh and grotesque welts. The sight reminded her of a beautiful chateau . . . a stunning fortress situated along the coastline . . . one that had fallen into ruin and neglect. The skin was concave, destroyed, cavernous – a remnant of former glory. And the surrounding features – his burning eyes, the right side of his face, his powerful body – dwarfed the disfigurement with a striking beauty.
“Look at the monster you have created. Look upon my face, Ariah.”
She shivered at the sound of her name; slightly muffled from the injury to his mouth, it slid from his tongue with equal parts venom and hunger.
“I was supposed to die that night . . .” The last of his words ended in a choked whisper. His face fell forward in despair until his forehead was pressed against her own. He was impossibly close. And he appeared every gram a flesh-and-blood warrior – coarse and ruthlessly untamed. Sweltering heat radiated from his body and engulfed all five of her senses. She was suffocating. Visions of that long-ago night echoed in her mind until she could perceive nothing else. Ariah gave a shallow cry as she struggled to free herself once more.
“Don’t. Don’t leave me. Please.”
Her movements ceased. The words struck a chord deep inside her chest. She connected her gaze with his and was rendered speechless by the naked anguish in his stare. Regret and desire were etched in every line of his face – but what stole her breath was something entirely different. For the second time, it was neither anger nor resentment that radiated from his eyes, but a longing so intense that it nearly overwhelmed her: hope.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of eleven years. She enjoys writing dark, poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.
Imagining dynamic worlds 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 mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.
Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some 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.
Don’t be a stranger! Rachel loves to connect and interact with her readers:
Visit Rachel’s Official Website: http://racheldemeter.net
Stay in the loop with Rachel’s Author Newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/rldnewsletter
Follow Rachel on Twitter: @RachelLDemeter
Join Rachel on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rldemeter
Add Rachel on Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/RachelLDemeter
LibraryThing Author Profile: https://www.librarything.com/author/demeterrachell
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-L.-Demeter/e/B00IBKLO06
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/RachelLDemeter
Rachel Demeter will be awarding a Momentum bundle of 3 romance titles chosen by the winner to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. To be included in the drawing follow this link to Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure you follow Rachel’s tour and leave comments at each stop. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/07/vbt-finding-gabriel-by-rachel-demeter.html