Fifteen-year-old, late-bloomer Jean Elliott dreams of becoming a Genie like her mom. When her family relocates to Tokyo, Jean is forced to use sleight-of-hand tricks to fool everyone at school into believing that she’s a normal Preternatural or risk expulsion. When her power finally appears, it comes in the form of the Queen's Gift--an unspeakable magic that strips power from all Preternaturals and heralds the arrival of the new queen.
After an absence of two hundred years, not everyone wants the monarchy to return and they're willing to go to great lengths to keep the status quo. When buried secrets rip Jean's family apart, she has a choice to make: Walk away and hope for the best or embrace the power that's known to lead to madness in order to save her family.
Jean's greatest dream has turned into her biggest nightmare and no matter how hard she tries, there'll be no wishing the Queen's Gift away.
Here's an excerpt from
THE QUEEN'S GIFT!
As I stepped inside the room, I felt eyes burning through
the back of my sweatshirt. Was it too much to hope that it was Michael Cooper?
I looked back. A Goth Fey was leaning against the far wall in the hall. His
flame red hair, thick black eyeliner, and spiked choker clashed with the
conservative uniform he wore. I hadn’t noticed him when we’d passed the Fey
group earlier and he was hard to miss.
I elbowed Karen and casually nodded in his direction.
“Thought you said all the Fey hung out together.”
She followed my gaze and paled to lemon yellow. “That’s Akio
“Yes, but he goes by Spider because he doesn’t want anyone
to know that his father is a member of the Assembly. I think he’s embarrassed
by it,” she whispered, then leaned closer. “It’s not really a secret. Everyone
knows, but it’s easier to pretend that we don’t.”
He didn’t look like any of the spiders I’d seen in Illinois.
“Yep, no one calls him Akio except his father and close
friends. But most of them call him Spider, too.” Karen hesitated. “I’d never
call him by his given name. And you shouldn’t either.”
“Okay...” I didn’t get what the big deal was about his name.
Tokyo didn’t have a corner on the market for weird names. There’d been plenty
of strange ones at my last school. “Why is he staring at me?” Was this an
‘offend one Fey, offend them all’ kind of school?
“Who knows?” Karen shrugged. “Spider kind of does his own
thing. He’s weird, even for a Fey, but I’ve heard his glam punk band rocks.”
My head tingled as I tore my gaze away. “He’s in a band?”
I’d never known anybody who was in a real
band. I’d only been around the marching kind.
Karen nodded. “They play around town sometimes. He’s the
lead singer. I haven’t seen them, but I’ve heard Spider kills it on stage. To
be honest, I don’t know him well, which I think is a good thing. He keeps to
himself. And if you have any sense, you’ll give him plenty of space. You know
how the Fey can be.” She rolled her eyes and flashed those dagger sharp teeth.
This from a Ghoul.
I looked back to where Spider stood. He was gone. Only a
small cloud of purple fairy dust remained.
An interview with
T.R. Allardice writes young adult, new adult, and humorous horror stories. Most of what she writes incorporates several genres. The content won't always be 'safe'. What's the fun in that? She is a member of the Horror Writer's Association, Novelist Inc. and the Author's Guild. She has thirty-one books published under another pen name. To find out more about her upcoming work, go to: www.trallardice.com
Out of all the characters in The Queen’s Gift who is your favorite?
I’d have to say Karen Kim. She’s so conflicted and desperate to fit in, when there’s no chance of that happening.
Why place the book in Tokyo?
Because it’s one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to by far. The scale of the city is mindboggling. It’s the only place I’ve ever traveled that you cannot see the end of the city no matter what direction you look. I also really like the Japanese people, though that may not come through in the first book.
Will the other books be set in Tokyo, too?
It’s funny, but I’m actually trying to decide that now. When I originally planned The Queen’s Gift, I intended to change the location for each year she’s in school. There would be specific mythology based on each location. I even have the other cities picked out, photographs and all. When I entered a writing contest—The Queen’s Gift won First Place YAY—one of the things the judges brought up was keeping the book in Tokyo. It came up enough that it made me wonder if I was doing the right thing with changing locations. Ultimately, I think it will be up to the characters.
How did you come up with the lead character, Jean?
Jean started with one question: What would happen if you were a Genie and couldn’t grant wishes? To make it worse, I made her mother one of the most skilled Genie’s in the world.
How did you come up with the idea for Jean’s world?
I wanted to write a story that poked fun of a lot of books that I’d read over the years. I looked at all the characters that have populated books and noticed most were portrayed in a positive light. What I mean by that is that most were super cool, amazing looking, great at everything, love triangles, etc.
No characters seemed to be suffering from typical school issues like zits and other maladies. None of the characters really had to face not getting the guy or girl of their dreams. Every time I read one of these books, I thought about my high school experiences. I realize I was reading fiction, but it made me go in another direction.
For example, Karen Kim is a ghoul with greenish colored skin who dreams about being a super model. She’s the size of a linebacker. She will always be the size of a linebacker. Stefan is a fainting vampire. He’s always forgetting to get his iron shots from the school nurse. Chloe has to worry about bursting into flames every time she sneezes or farts. Like I said, I wanted to write something a little different, so I did. ^_^
You said that you wanted to make fun of the tropes you’ve read about, yet there is a love triangle in your book. Why?
I do have a sort of love triangle happening in The Queen’s Gift. The big difference is that it’s resolved by the end of the book…maybe. ^.~
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
I have so many places I want to travel to right now. My top six are: Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, China, Egypt, and Jordan. Given the unrest in the entire Middle East, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to make it to Jordan and Egypt, but I’d really love to see Petra and the pyramids before I leave this place.
Do you have any travel plans?
I spend quite a bit of time in the United Kingdom. I’ll be hitting it again in the summer.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on the first book in a new young adult series. I’ve had the idea for quite a while and I need to get the first book done so the characters stop bothering me.
Final question. What do you do for fun?
I read. I go to the movies a lot. And I travel. Thank you for having me!
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