GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview: YA Urban Fantasy Author Miranda Levi + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Interview: YA Urban Fantasy Author Miranda Levi + giveaway

Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
The first story I ever penned was an imaginative retelling of Cinderella back in the third grade. Little did I know that this humble creation would mark a significant turning point in my life. To my delight, I emerged as the winner of the school writing contest, and the thrill of triumph filled my young heart. I had the tremendous honor of standing before the entire school, sharing my twisted tale of the wicked Cinderella. That moment was a defining milestone, one that would forever shape my identity and aspirations.

From that point onward, writing became an integral part of who I am. It became my voice, my sanctuary, and my most cherished form of self-expression. Perhaps it was always in my DNA. The sheer joy I experienced while crafting words into stories, is unmatched. Over time, writing became more than a hobby or a fleeting interest—it became an intrinsic part of my existence. The thought of a life without writing has always been unfathomable to me. It’s the vital thread that weaved together the tapestry of my life.

Through the act of writing, I discovered the power to transport others to different realms, to evoke emotions, and to spark the flames of imagination within their hearts. Whether it is weaing tales of adventure, delving into the depths of human emotions, or simply capturing the beauty of the world around me, writing allows me to explore, discover, and share the depths of my
soul.

What is something unique/quirky about you?
I have a taxidermy raccoon named Vincent Cheese. No worries, he’s ethically sourced.

Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I've always had an insatiable desire to live a life brimming with captivating stories. This longing has led me down diverse paths, enabling me to immerse myself in various roles and experiences. For several years, I worked as a 911 dispatcher and call taker, where I was exposed to the full spectrum of human experiences. I can confidently say that I've heard it all—everything. To cope with the weight of the daily trauma that callers shared with me, I developed a dark sense of humor, a common coping mechanism among first responders who bear witness to unimaginable situations.

However, the toll of constantly absorbing such intense emotional turmoil took its toll on my heart. Recognizing the need for change and self-preservation, I decided to embark on a thrilling new adventure: opening a pinball bar. This venture proved to be one of the most exhilarating and transformative experiences of my life. It provided me with an entirely different world to explore, one filled with the sheer joy of games and the vibrant energy of social interaction. Through the pinball bar, I created an environment where people could craft their own stories and where I could continue to curate memorable experiences.

But my yearning to explore new paths persisted, leading me to yet another chapter in my journey: becoming a high school English teacher. This role aligned with my true passions—supporting and empowering others to pursue their dreams. In the classroom, I have the privilege of sharing knowledge, nurturing creativity, and inspiring young minds to embark on their own unique journeys of self-discovery. Being an educator has provided me with a meaningful way to contribute to the growth and development of others, further enriching the tapestry of stories that shape my own life.

What are some of your pet peeves?
Subterfuge.

Where were you born/grew up at?
I hail from the captivating landscapes of the Olympic Peninsula, nestled in a picturesque seaport town. It's a place where the rhythm of the ocean harmonizes with the whispering forests, creating a symphony of natural beauty that never fails to captivate me. The allure of my hometown runs deep within my veins, connecting me to its tranquil shores and majestic mountains. The sense of belonging and the serenity it brings are an intrinsic part of my being.

In a striking contrast, my journeys have frequently led me to the vibrant cityscape of Los Angles, where my extended family resides. From a young age, I found myself traversing the distance between the tranquility of my hometown and the bustling energy of the City of Angels. Los Angeles, with its glittering lights, diverse cultures, and boundless opportunities, has left an indelible imprint on my heart. The city pulses with an unmistakable vibrancy, offering a multitude of experiences and endless possibilities. It is a place where dreams are pursued, passions are ignited, and the spirit of ambition permeates the air.

Yet, amidst this apparent dichotomy, my heart beats a song for both. The contrasting landscapes of my hometown and the urban dynamism of Los Angeles have shaped me in unique ways. They have instilled in me a profound appreciation for the beauty of nature and the simplicity of life, while also fueling my desire for adventure, growth, and connection. Each place holds a piece of my heart, and together they form a harmonious symphony, blending the tranquility of the peninsula with the pulsating energy of the city.

Ultimately, I have come to cherish the contrasting experiences. They have broadened my perspective, enriched my understanding of the world, and cultivated a deep sense of gratitude within me. Both places have contributed to my journey, nurturing different aspects of my identity and igniting a sense of wanderlust that continues to shape my aspirations.

If you knew you'd die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I’d want to spend the day making love to my fiancĂ© and eating cake.

What kind of world ruler would you be?
Benevolent philosopher-queen. Free education and healthcare for all!

What are you passionate about these days?
Outside of writing and reading? Raccoons, tarot, and family.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
My fiancĂ© and I enjoy taking weekends out of town. I’m not terribly good at relaxing, if I’m honest. I do enjoy going to the movies

Describe yourself in 5 words or less!
Why-do-you-write-like-you’re-running-out-of-time?! (That’s one word, right?)

From a Youth a Fountain Did Flow (The Fountain of Youth Book 1)
by Miranda Levi
March 14, 2023
Genre: YA Dark Urban Fantasy Horror
Supernatural meets The Raven Boys in this thrilling young adult fantasy horror novel about a girl who has lost everything and finds herself in the center of a war between witches and demons. In a world where anything is possible, can she find the things that keep her human? Or is she doomed to a dark destiny?

Love. Fate. Courage. Darkness.

Thrust into a timeless battle between an ancient network of witches and the demon underbelly who will stop at nothing to possess her regenerating body. Scarlet Singer must decide what is worth fighting for in this life. Love, fate, and a greater destiny are all at stake.

When Scarlet stumbles upon a poem written in a journal for her more than a hundred-and-fifty years earlier, she must face her greatest fears and accept the possibility that she is the fountain of youth personified.

Only a Telepath named Marcus and a Void named Zig stand between Scarlet and the battle over her future. Whom can she trust when both sides have enough reason to end her? If any of them knew the truth, her life would be forfeit.


Praise for From a Youth A Fountain Did Flow
"Pursued by demons, a teenage girl must confront darkness and a terrible destiny in Levi’s YA fantasy novel. In Washington State,17-year-old Scarlet Singer is haunted by nightmarish shadows and a feeling of wrongness. Her bad dreams come true when her home is invaded by a monster in the guise of a man. Her mother sacrifices herself to give her daughter time to escape, and a teenage telepath named Marcus Castillo is drawn to Scarlet, sensing her distress. His grandmother, a witch named Kara, accompanies him and slaughters the demonic killer with magic, and Scarlet’s perception of reality is forever changed (“I know magic isn’t real, and demons are like fairytales designed to scare children. Except, I am now swayed to the argument that demons are real, and magic seems to exist despite my reservations”). Packed with demons, humans reduced to “meat suits,” blood-letting and blood-drinking, witches, telepathy, time-shifting, and supernatural realms reachable through magic portals, the novel is never dull. The abundance of fantasy and horror tropes could have been overkill, but the author weaves them into a neat twist on the concepts of the fountain of youth and reincarnation. The catalyst is the 19th-century journal of a young woman named Kelby, which causes Scarlet, sheltered by a powerful Witches Council, to begin to wonder who—and what—she is, leaving her with a secret she can’t share, hunted by demons and ostensible friends alike. Throughout, Scarlet’s closeness to Witches Council members Marcus and the handsome Zig complicates things... The author effectively keeps the plot moving forward by shifting narratives between Scarlet, Marcus, Zig, Kelby’s journal, an enigmatic witch named Azeltha, Scarlet’s demonic nemesis, Dagon, and a few minor but essential characters. The shocker of a cliffhanger at the end signals a sequel to come. An imaginative fantasy-horror tale anchored by a relatable teen hero, engaging ..." Kirkus Reviews

“A fast-paced, intriguing, richly written puzzle box of a book. Every twist and turn left me breathless. That first paragraph grabbed me and wouldn't let me go.” –Aaron Michael Ritchey, award-winning author of The Sages of the Underpass and The Cunning Man series.

"This is a captivating tale about witches and demons and a battle as old as time. It is a story of love, loss, and being captured by purpose. The main character is likable and brave, and her growth as she discovers the truth about her past and her power over the future makes a story well worth reading. I highly recommend Mrs. Levi's 'From a Youth a Fountain Did Flow'" ~Cheree Alsop, author of the Werewolf Academy series.

**Kindle countdown deal July 23 – 27! Get it ON SALE now!! **

1
SCARLET
With each step, the city sucks a little more light from me. I’ve become a shriveled fraction of my former self. My insides let sorrow and darkness take hold. It grips onto my heart and seems to weave a thread through my core, sewing torn and broken pieces together again. I want to stop walking and lay down to die. But giving up is only an option for the broken. I’m patchwork now. So, I keep walking.

I’m not sure why I follow the old woman and a boy named Marcus. We walk for twenty minutes in silence. I consider leaving, turning right when the others go left. Each step is moving lead. I am dead weight.

I should have called the police myself. I should have stayed behind with mom. When I think about what’s happened, it feels like lies slipping off my tongue to speak my truth out loud. A tightness rises in me, choking out my ability to ruminate rationally. I don’t think I would even believe it had I not witnessed it myself.

The pizza delivery guy crouched over my cat’s slain body. He looked up at me with inhuman black eyes.

I’m going crazy.

The scene plays over and over in my brain. Like a movie on repeat, I can’t shut off. I was backing out of the bedroom, knocking things over along the way, stumbling into Mom as I clamber over the top of the couch to get away from the black-eyed man.

Limp fur, black eyes, and Mom telling me to run.

I don’t let myself think past that. I don’t want to remember.

“Run.”

It is the last word Mom ever spoke to me. She looks at me with chocolate brown eyes and points.

“Run.”

Mom’s voice is calm, collected. It’s not a question.

“Run.”

It’s not a demand either. I want Mom to grab my hand and drag us out of the house together.

“Run.”

It’s a plea.

All I want is her, whole and perfect. To be in her warm arms one more time. Hear her voice whisper me to a safe harbor. Only I know one more time would never be enough. No amount of time would be.

Her screams still echo in my mind.

I can hear her begging for a savior, for someone to help her.

But nobody came.

My mom is dead, and it’s all my fault.

About the Author
Miranda Levi is an accomplished fiction writer and poet hailing from the Pacific Northwest. Her writing is known for captivating readers with her evocative storytelling and lyrical prose, which transport readers into other worlds and perspectives. With a passion for exploring the human experience, Levi’s works delve into the complexities of life, love, and loss and offer a glimpse into the human soul. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Peter, and their cat Hamilton.

Giveaway
Signed copy of books with stickers and bookmarks!,
$20 Amazon giftcard
-1 winner each
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