Thursday, February 26, 2009

American Title--Down for the Count

Good Morning! My 50day/50blog VEXING THE VISCOUNT Tour is officially over (though I am booked at a few more sites--will keep you posted!) and my Midwestern heart is breathing a sigh of relief. I can finally start talking about someone else now!

I'd like to introduce you to Marie-Claude Bourque. She's an American Title Finalist heading into the final round and the brass ring is a contract with my publisher, Dorchester. I first met Marie-Claude through MySpace and was impressed by her spunkiness, business saavy and most of all by her story ANCIENT WHISPERS.

ANCIENT WHISPERS is a dark paranormal inspired by the poem Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie by Henri Longfellow (1847). It is the story of a bold immortal sorcerer and his obsession to be reunited with the fiancée he lost centuries ago

Gabriel Callan is the youngest member of the Priory of Callan, an ancient Celtic brotherhood of thirteen cursed sorcerers and alchemists, each deadly, each haunted by a tragic past.

Still tortured by the devastating events of the Acadian deportation in 1755, Gabriel wants nothing more than to reunite with his lost soulmate, now reborn to this century as you the cool-headed and practical Lily Bellefontaine.

But Lily, a pediatric nurse, yearn for a peaceful life in her own dream home. She seeks an existence far different from the experiences of her unstable childhood and purposefully ignores her latent psychic abilities. Will she ever be able to accept her fate? And can Gabriel let go of his tragic past to live fully in the present?

I caught up with Marie-Claude and had a little cyber-chat with her about her American Title run. To keep us straight, I've put my words in bold, MC in italics. Thanks for being with us today, Marie-Claude. Could you tell us a little about your experience in the American Title contest?

It’s definitely a wild ride. Past contestants have described it like this but it is only when you live through it that you can really understand what it’s like. It’s really hard because we all want success for all the contestants, but there is only one who will win in the end. So you are always happy to have made it to the next round but sad for those who didn’t.

Then there is this constant pressure of asking for votes. It’s exciting to network and also very tiring. Most people are extremely generous, but sometimes it is hard to have to ask them to help you once again. You feel like all you do is ask for favors. I have so many people out there supporting me and it is so so nice and yet I am constantly afraid to let them down by not making it to the next round. And the closer to the end, the harder it is.

One of the good sides is how much I have learned about networking, setting up my sites, blogging, banners, book trailers and quizzes and what not. That is really fun, trying to find the next thing that will attract people and make my book interesting to them. And of course, the best is all the new friends I have made so far and reconnecting with old friends and relative I have not talked to in a while. That is priceless.

Sounds a little like my blog tour! I've made friends with so many "blog touristas" over the last 50 days, I know if ever we meet in real life, we'll run toward each other for a big hug! But back to your manuscript. Ancient Whispers sounds fascinating. What inspired this story.

I’ve known the story of the Acadian deportation for many years because my family descends from deported Acadians and my grand-father had told me all about it. I was very saddened by the fate of Gabriel and Evangeline in the poem, how they are forced on separate ships on their wedding day and spend their life searching for each others. It got me to think of many tragic lovers of literature and legends, and I decided to use paranormal element to reunite them on paper. I’m a big fantasy geek, I’ve played Dungeons and Dragons for a while, so I used that for inspiration. I have also studied Pagan witchcraft for a few years now and I wanted to use that and portray realistic ritual magic using what I know.

I love that your family history and a poem are your inspiration. What else would you like us to know about YOU?

I’m a former oceanographer and fitness professional, currently a stay-at-home mom to my two beautiful boys, and going back to school soon to become a Physics teacher. I’m also a French Canadian from Québec City and feel like I have lived everywhere. I am now settled in the Pacific Northwest with my family. Besides writing, I like coffee shops, knitting, lifting weights and I read mostly fantasy and historical romance.

The American Title Contest is unique in that YOU the reader get to help a major publishing house choose its next acquisition. Let your voice be heard. If you'd like to vote for Marie-Claude Bourque's ANCIENT WHISPERS please go to:

And this is where you can find Marie-Claude and friend her on the web:

My website is at:
My LiveJournal is at:
I’m on MySpace at:
On Facebook at:
My group blog geared to new writers is called Musetracks

Hey that sounds like my favorite ice cream! No wait! That's MooseTracks! My bad.

Here's my Book trailer:

I also made a quiz tied to my book. The code can be found here:

What fun! Now I'm starting to take notes, too. Sounds like you've learned alot about promotion during this contest. Ok. (Heavy sigh as I don my "promo hat" once more!) One last little zing from me too, then. VEXING THE VISCOUNT is now on the shelves at your local bookstore! Enjoy!

Thanks for being with us today, Marie-Claude. Aspiring writers will want to pick your brain so please stick around in case there are questions!


LuAnn said...

Wow! Sounds like a fascinating read. Love the title, too.

Anonymous said...

I am so excited to read this book! sounds great! and the cover is fantastic....)) Dave K.

EmilyBryan said...

LuAnn--Fascinating. That's what I thought the first time I took a look at MC's American Title entry. It's always interesting to find out what moves a writer to pour themselves into 400 pages. A family story and a classic poem work for me!

DaveK.--Thanks for giving us the male perspective. Are you a writer, too?

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Hi LuAnn,
So glad you think iy will be a fascinating read. It is interesting, as Emily said, that with a first book, you put it all out on the page, and it is nice to see that others may want to read it.
I love the title too, I'm working on a sequel now, called Ancient Confessions

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Dave, I'm really glad you are excited. I do hope it gets published. The cover like that would look good indeed. But so far it is just a picture I like and that I use for promo. :)

EmilyBryan said...

It sounds like Ancient Whispers is your first full manuscript. Have you written any fiction prior to this, Marie-Claude?

Teddyree said...

OMG read the blurb & watched the trailer and nearly fell off my chair with excitement... Intriguing, love it, love it! Paranormal & dark in the one sentence ooh ooh & lost love. Ok I'm sold!!
Like the cover too
Thank you so much Emily for introducing Marie-Claude

Nynke said...

Marie-Claude, your book sounds really good! And so cool that you get to be a finalist with your first manuscript (if it is that). I hope you win!
Emily, doing a book-related quiz does sound like the one trick that wasn't up your sleeve so far ;). I did the quiz and it seems I'm a 'Priestess of Blodeuwedd'. Sounds Welsh - and the interpretation makes sense to me :).

Still having fun on the blog tour petering-out!

EmilyBryan said...

Teddyree--I'm glad you liked MC's story. I found it fresh and intrigueing and if I can give her a little boost, I'm happy to do it!

Nynke--I'm finding myself wondering each morning where I'm supposed to be blogging today--oh, that's right! I'm not. But I do have a few gigs still coming up. Please check my Events page for my schedule. Today I'll be dragging Marie-Claude with me over to The Chatelaines! It's my group blog with a bunch of historical/paranormal Leisure authors. One is Gerri Russell--a past American Title winner!