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Thursday, January 22, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: The Queen’s Gift by T.R. Allardice

The Queen’s Gift by T.R. Allardice 
Publication date: December 15th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


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.



I swallowed hard and walked deeper into the alley. Another bang shook the walls, causing me to flinch. Nothing in the alley moved. The whole place held its breath, afraid to exhale.
Whatever they’d lined up would be good. I could feel it. My stomach was doing backflips now. I just had to make sure I reacted appropriately. Too much fear, and they’d never stop messing with me. Too little, and they’d know I was onto them.
Something that sounded like a bag of oranges being dragged across gravel scraped the ground. It followed by a loud splat. Did one of them toss a water balloon? I wanted to check, but my gaze was drawn to a flash of white in my peripheral. What was that?
The odor of fish hit me like a wet rag in the face as I neared a dumpster. Gross! A cool breeze lifted my long hair off my face and cleared my polluted nostrils, blowing the eye-watering stench away. I glanced over my shoulder. The whole group was trying not to laugh.
Soon they’d know that Jean Marie Elliott could take a joke.
Pulling myself to my full height of five foot two, I threw my shoulders back and strode down the alley like I owned the place. There was another dart of white. Someone or something ducked behind the dumpster. “You can come out now. I’ve already seen you.”
“She’s talking to a cat.” Stefan meowed loudly.
Leeches can mimic any sound that they hear, which was both cool and really scary.
“I think it’s a rat.” Gunter squeaked, sounding like an asthmatic mouse tied to a treadmill.
Snorts of laughter rang out from the group.
Determined to turn their prank back on them, I held my ground and waited. The trash bins screeched as something slowly pushed them apart. The creature rose before me like a giant blob of clear snot. I tried to see its face or make out its features, but they kept sliding into the goo, its mass unable to support them.
I had no idea what spell Karen and her friends had used, but it was a good one. Very realistic. They had to have enlisted one of the Fey or a Genie to help. Their low level magic wouldn’t be strong enough to pull this off, not even combined.
Swaggering forward, I said, “You don’t look scary.”
The creature wheezed and drool oozed from its mouth, dropping onto the ground with a disgusting splat. The giant loogie nearly hit my shoe. Eww...
The closer I got, the less solid the creature appeared to be. What held the thing up? Wires perhaps? Fishing twine? It didn’t have legs. Had Karen and her little helpers created the monster from a spell using Jell-O as the base? That would explain its gooey state and all the odd jiggling.
“I’ve seen better costumes on Halloween.” Not true. But I needed to convince them that I wasn’t frightened. “You’ll have to do more than drool boogers, if you want to scare me.” It was only then that I noticed that the laughter had stopped.

T.R. Allardice Interview 

1.      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.

2.      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.

3.      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.

4.      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.

5.      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. J

6.      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. ;)

7.      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.

8.      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.

9.      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.

10.  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.


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

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