Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: Heart of the Impaler by Alexander Delacroix @alxdlcroix @XpressoTours

Heart of the Impaler
Alexander Delacroix
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: December 7th 2021
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Alexander Delacroix’s darkly romantic debut Heart of the Impaler is perfect for fans of Kiersten White’s And I Darken.

Vlad Dracula has long lived in the shadows cast by his bloodthirsty father, the voivode, and his older brother, Mircea. Despite their cruelty, Vlad has yearned to prove himself worthy of the throne his whole life. In the cold halls of the voivode’s palace, Vlad can only rely on his cousin and closest friend, Andrei Musat.

When Vlad and Andrei meet Ilona Csáki, the daughter of an influential boyar, they each find themselves inextricably drawn to her. But then Ilona is betrothed to Mircea as part of a political alliance, and Vlad’s resentfulness of his brother begins to seethe into something far darker.

Ilona has no desire to marry the voivode’s eldest son, but love and marriage are the least of her worries. The royal family’s enemies have already tried to put an arrow through her back—and if anyone discovers her blossoming feelings for Andrei and Vlad, she may just wish they’d succeeded.

Beneath the shadow of impending war, the only battle that will be deadlier than the one for Ilona’s life will be the one for her heart.

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Interview with Alexander Delacroix

What made you want to become a writer?

I wanted to be a writer when I was in elementary school and first started to read chapter books. Those books came alive to me. They put pictures in my head and I tried to reproduce those reading experiences by creating my own stories. I used to glue folded papers together to make my own books — cover and all — and I would hide them in my desk and work on my “novels” whenever I could get away with it.

What inspired you to write Heart of the Impaler?

When I was a teenager, I became very interested in Romania. That interest extended to Dracula when I learned that he was a real person and a real part of Romanian history. One day I started wondering what might have happened to Vlad Dracula to turn him into “Vlad the Impaler.” The resulting novel was my attempt to explore how love (or the lack of it), hate, and choices might lead to such a dark and brutal outcome.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Heart of the Impaler?

Vlad Dracula III is the second son of Wallachia’s warlord prince, the voivode. He lives in the shadow of his older brother, Mircea, and receives little attention from his father. In his quest to prove himself worthy of a throne, he makes many questionable choices. Andrei Musat, Vlad’s cousin, is the exiled heir to neighboring Moldavia’s throne. The voivode keeps him at Wallachia’s court in the hope that he might someday prove politically useful. He and Vlad have grown up side by side and are best friends until Ilona comes into the picture. Ilona is the daughter of an exiled Transylvanian boyar. In her father’s quest to gain new lands and power, she is betrothed against her will to Vlad’s older brother. She gains the attention of both Vlad and Andrei as she attempts to navigate the dangers of Wallachia’s royal court.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite authors have changed through the years. When I was younger, my favorite was J.R.R. Tolkien. I was fascinated by his Lord of the Rings trilogy and its epic battle between good and evil. Later, as a language arts teacher, I fell in love with Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. I’m amazed by her artful ability to take fairy tales we’re already familiar with and rewrite them in an unexpected way to give us an entirely new experience.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

I love to incorporate history in my novels. The manuscript I’m currently working on, takes place in Renaissance Italy and incorporates magic and mythology from ancient Egypt and Greece. The main character possesses special powers that tie into her ability to see colors ordinary people can’t see. This ability, possessed only by a small number of women, is a real thing. It’s called tetrachromacy, and I thought it would be fascinating to write a novel where a young woman with this ability interacts with some of the great Renaissance painters.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

What I most enjoyed about writing this book was the opportunity to delve into a slice of history most Westerners’ aren’t familiar with. If not for Vlad Dracula III and other little known 15th century Balkan rulers, Western Europe’s history would probably be drastically different from how we now know it.

Author Bio:

Alexander Delacroix earned Masters degrees from Brigham Young University and Western Governors University. As an undergraduate he majored in French, Russian, and German but ultimately became a Language Arts teacher. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing. Heart of the Impaler is his debut novel.

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Giselle said...

Thanks for being on the tour! :)

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