Immortal Protectors Book 1 by Alana Delacroix Genre: Paranormal Romance
Print Length: 355 pages Publisher: Self-Published Publication Date: October 15, 2019
Cal Olin is a grudging member of the Immorti. A resurrected Aztec warrior, he knows he has much to atone for but doesn’t believe waiting for an enemy who hasn’t appeared in hundreds of years is the best way to do it. He’d prefer to spend his time in his CEO role with Civica, an organization dedicated to righting wrongs.
However, when Cal sees the unconscious body of a woman near a magical portal, he knows the long period of peace has come to an end. He’s shocked to discover the woman is Dr. Iliana Rogers, Civica’s second-in-command. The beautiful, argumentative thorn in his side has managed to open the gate and set off a chain reaction that could end the world. Is she an agent of evil or an unknowing pawn? He has to find out.
Nightmares have taken over Iliana’s dreams and with Cal, she no longer feels alone. But when he breaks into her house and tells her, incredibly, that he’s immortal, she knows she’s been living an illusion. It’s a shock to find out he was telling the truth and that her own mother was an agent of the malevolent Nilohum—and that she herself is fated to end the world.
As Iliana searches for the truth, Cal struggles with a terrible choice: does he help the woman he loves, or does he stop the end of the world and risk Iliana’s love…and life?
Cal pulled her close and she let him, wanting to believe him and hating herself for being weak. “I can tell you again and again but I know that the trust will need to be rebuilt,” he said. “I will do that. I swear I will. I can’t lose you. You’re mine.”
This time, he leaned down and kissed her, but it wasn’t soft or gentle. It was hard and searching and the kiss she craved. His fear and her anger, all tied up in her absolute need for him and overwhelming in its intensity.
Alana Delacroix is a paranormal romance writer based in Toronto, Canada. Her Masked Arcana trilogy is available through Kensington's Lyrical Press, and her Immortal Protector series launches Fall 2019. She is an introvert's introvert who loves true crime, war, and horror podcasts and is very paranoid. Alana is also addicted to advice columns.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
I used to be an archaeologist. Not as exciting as Indiana Jones but I worked on sites in northern British Columbia, Jordan and here in Ontario. They were very long days and I worked in weather that ranged from 45 degrees Celsius (lots of sunscreen) to -10 degrees Celsius (wrap your feet in plastic bags to keep warm).
Tell us something really interesting that's happened to you!
I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania last year with my father. It was extraordinary and one of the hardest things I’ve ever done—there’s no way you can do it without the help of the guides. The final ascent starts at midnight and honestly, it’s a bit of a blur. Parts of that trip will be featured in an upcoming Immortal Protectors book.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I’m not very good at relaxing and it makes me anxious to not do anything at all. I try to do active relaxation, like knitting while I listen to an audio book (I downloaded the complete Sherlock Holmes, which I think is 80 hours) or going for long walks. I love to explore Toronto because there’s always something new to see.
How to find time to write as a parent?
I got my kid into reading at an early age to keep her occupied. No joke! I also write when she’s asleep and make sure to talk to her about my books so she feels involved.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Big Trouble in Little China. I can do almost the whole movie word-perfect and there’s a big framed movie poster in my living room that my husband bought me. I also follow the Jack Burton twitter feed at https://twitter.com/jackburtonbot.
What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always loved the “Band of Warriors” idea: Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld, the Black Dagger Brotherhood (JR Ward) and Raphael’s Seven in Nalini Singh’s archangel books. But I wanted more of the women as well and various historical periods. The Immorti are drawn from around the world and from different eras in part to give me the excuse to bury myself in some fascinating research.
What can we expect from you in the future?
More of the Immorti, definitely! Cassandra, who is the Greek scholar cursed by Apollo, is the star of the next book coming out in early 2020. Then will be the Roman general Marcus, who wants to be loved so desperately it makes him an easy target for his enemies. I’m also going to be starting an exclusive read-as-I-write book for my newsletter subscribers this winter. You can sign up at https://www.alanadelacroix.com/subscribe
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Immortal Redemption?
The main characters are Cal Olin, a resurrected Aztec warrior, and Iliana Rogers, who is shocked to discover she’s fated to end the world. Cal is a very reserved man, deeply spiritually wounded by the atrocities (in his opinion) he committed as an Eagle Knight and he now investigates mass graves as a way to redeem himself. Iliana is more open but she also has a lot to deal with when she learns not only that Cal is immortal but his job is to stop her before she can open the gates to Chaos. This leads to some issues in their relationship, obviously.
What are the inspiration for the settings?
My books are set primarily in Toronto, Canada, where I live. Immortal Redemption is no different and Iliana lives in a turn-of-the-century neighborhood in the west end of the city. However, the Immorti have the ability to apparate to other locations, so it was a shame to keep Cal and Iliana here. All of the places they travel to are based on places I’ve been. For instance, in Paris, the café at the top of the Parc de Belleville where Cal and Iliana have dinner is the Moncoeur Belleville, where we would go to play cards and drink wine as the sun set. I get a double benefit of bringing my characters to places I’ve seen myself: it’s easier to write the scenes (with a little help from Google Maps) and I get to revisit the fun times in my mind!
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Because I’m a pantser, I didn’t really know where the book was going to go. I had the ending and the image of Iliana waking up in the cave. Other than that, I enjoyed experiencing the story as I was writing it.
Who designed your book covers?
Natasha Snow at http://natashasnow.com/. It was as if she read my mind because that was almost exactly as I pictured Iliana. I like having covers that feature my female characters.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Cal Olin is an older Gavin Leatherwood, who played Nicholas Scratch in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And Iliana is Constance Wu, who is an incredible actor.
Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love hearing what you think! Like it, love it, have questions? I want to know so email me at email@example.com.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Imagination for Cal. I don’t know any resurrected Eagle Knights. Iliana is mostly imagination but her job as a forensic anthropologist was inspired by a woman I worked with about 20 years ago. She was the coolest, so smart and competent.
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
I’m a pantser, which means I go in with minimal plotting, so sometimes it seems as if everything hijacks the story. Although I know the ending (it’s romance, so they always get together!), I only know a few stops on the way. If I plot too much I get bored writing. I wear a bracelet that’s a quote from JRR Tolkein: Not all who wander are lost. Although the line refers to Aragorn’s time in the Wild, I like to use it as a reminder to let the story unravel itself.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
What did you edit out of this book?
Oh gosh. So much. I have a document called “bits” that contains lines and sections I deleted. It’s 5,000 words. Some of those sections are the journal entries from Iliana’s mother, describing her side of the story. I liked them but took it out because it pulled attention from Cal and Iliana.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
This changes but I would say over the last few years there have been a few books I’ve gone back to a few times. This is in no particular order.
Daniel Jose Older – Bone Street Rumba series
Aliette de Bodard – Obsidian and Blood series (set in Aztec Mexico). Actually, everything.
Antonia Fraser, historian. Particularly The Wives of Henry VIII
Kresley Cole – Immortals After Dark, classic paranormal romance
Nalini Singh – everything but I love the Guild Hunter series the best
Somerset Maugham – His short story collections are perfect for binging or dipping in and out.
Neal Stephenson – Cryptonomicon. I think he must be a literal genius to write these books.
CJ Sansom – the Shardlake mystery series is about a lawyer in Henry VIII’s England.
Mary Roach – Anything but my favourite is Stiff: The curious life of human cadavers. Hilarious and insightful popular science.
How long have you been writing?
Over 20 years. I remember the exact day I started writing. I had been at a book festival and thought, “I wonder if anyone has written a book about an assassin screwed over by her lover.” Then I realized I could write that book. I started writing it the next day.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
They come as I write. I usually only know the main characters. In this case, I knew Cal and Iliana were there and I had a hazy idea of the rest of the Immorti but they didn’t come alive until I started writing. Mara, Iliana’s best friend, didn’t even cross my mind as a character until I wrote the scene where they have lunch.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I use research as a procrastination technique so I do quite a lot. For Immortal Redemption, I read about Mexican history and Aztec mythology as well as mass grave excavations. I use books from the library and my own collection as well as the Internet.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I do! I was always the kid with a book and that never changed. I read every day and I read multiple genres. My comfort reads are mostly fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, mystery and paranormal romance.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I can write with any noise except for loud radio or television. Immortal Redemption was written almost completely to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs on repeat. I’m listening to it right now, actually.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
One book at a time works best but if I need to work on more than one I tend to block the time. I’ll work on one until a natural stopping point, then turn my attention to the second.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Laptop but I’ll write longhand in my notebook if I want to think out a plot.
A day in the life of the author?
I work full-time, so I’ve kicked leisure time out of the window. I work and then write in the evenings.
Advice they would give new authors?
Be flexible. It’s hard when you get in the mindset that you can only write in a certain way or in a particular environment.
What are you currently reading? The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller. It was my treat book for finishing Immortal Redemption. When I finish my next book I’m getting Miller’s Circe.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I’m a pantser and a linear writer. I have a very rough outline and then write the whole book through in order before I go back and edit. I rarely write a scene out of order to add in.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Because I write romance, readers go in knowing they’re going to have a happy ending. The characters will get together and most of the issues will be resolved. However, within that there’s a lot of room to play and that’s where the originality comes in. I think romance readers appreciate having both.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
About three months to write and then another couple months for the editing process.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
No, not if you approach writing as a craft and a job. If you have a deadline, there’s no time for writer’s block. The book has to get done. Now having said that, I think I’ve cursed myself.
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