Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview, Review, and Giveaway: MONARCH by Michelle Davidson Argyle

Hello, I'd like to welcome Michelle Davidson Argyle to the blog! Her novel Monarch officially debuts on Thursday, although you can already purchase it.

Michelle, how long did it take you from idea to publishing your novel?
I originally had the idea for Monarch years beforehand when I read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, which contains some beautiful passages about monarch butterflies. I wrote several short stories that had the feel of what I wanted to do with a butterfly story - combine beautiful butterflies with something rough like a spy - but none of them nailed what I wanted. Finally, in November of 2008 I started the book for National Novel Writing Month. All in all, from getting the book idea to the actual publication date of September 2011, it has taken seven years for this book to come about!

That's awesome Monarch was a NaNo book! Are you a plotter or pantser?
I plot, I guess you could say. First I get an idea, then I let it sit for awhile, then I write the first few sections or chapters, then I write a loose detailed synopsis of the book. This serves as my guide. Then I write the first draft of the book. So I do a lot of planning and thinking before writing the actual book. 

I like to plan and think a lot before sitting down to the actual book too. What are you writing now or have forthcoming?
I am currently working on Scales, which is my third novella in the collection titled Bonded, which will be released by Rhemalda Publishing in 2013. It’s a collection of three fairy-tale themed novellas. They aren’t a series, but are companions to each other. I’m very excited about this one!

Next year, in 2012, my YA/new adult novel titled The Breakaway will be released by Rhemalda Publishing. It’s the story about a girl who is kidnapped by jewel thieves and decides to stay when she falls in love with one of them.

I can't wait to read your new works! I always find it interesting to learn what other authors are reading. If you could recommend a book—not your own—what book would that be?
I’m a big classics reader. My favorite novel of all time is The Awakening by Kate
Chopin. I recommend this book right now because it directly relates to my novel The Breakaway which is coming out next year.

Ooo...I read Kate Chopin's The Awakening in high school. Good book! Thank you, Michelle, and best of luck with Monarch and your future endeavors! 

Michelle is a mother, artist, and writer who lives in the Rocky Mountains with her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She writes contemporary, literary, and fantasy fiction.

Michelle graduated from Utah Valley University with a Bachelor's Degree in English/Creative Writing in 2002. Her short fiction has been published in the University of New Mexico's national literary journal, Scribendi, 2002, the Rose & Thorn Journal, 2010, Suspense Magazine, June 2011, and Stories for Sendai Anthology, 2011. She served as the editor-in-chief of Utah Valley University's literary magazine and has won awards for her short stories. She is also an editor/publisher of “The Literary Lab Presents…” series of anthologies.

Michelle believes imagination is the only rule in fiction. This is the foundation of her writing, and she plans to strengthen it with each and every story she writes. Her first traditionally published novel, Monarch, will be released September 2011 by Rhemalda Publishing.

Oh, and she likes peanut butter and tomato sandwiches. And cheese. Lots and lots of good cheese.


Title: Monarch
Author: Michelle Davidson Argyle
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
To Purchase: Amazon 

Book Description: Nick's life as a CIA spy should be fulfilling, but it has only given him unhappiness, a wife who committed suicide, and two daughters who resent everything he has become. Now, stuck in the Amazon on the last mission of his career, he must track down Matheus Ferreira, a drug lord and terrorist the United States has tried to bring down for years. If he succeeds, he'll have the chance to start his life over again. Just when he's on the brink of catching Ferreira, he's framed for a murder that turns his world upside down. His only chance of survival lies in West Virginia, where Lilian Love, a woman from his past, owns the secluded Monarch Inn. He's safe, but not for long.

Review: Michelle Davidson Argyle's Monarch breaks free and spreads its wings for a read sure to thrill readers.

When assassins fly into Nick's life, he must run to the one place he can be safe: the Monarch Inn. Lilian Love struggles with running the inn, worries over her grown son, and fears the inn will fail if the monarch butterflies stop migrating through their area. Nick and Lilian become reacquainted, but the danger isn't over. Nick brings his two daughters to the inn to be safe while he must leave them and Lilian for Brazil and answers, yet danger and love were closer to home than he ever could imagine.

Monarch is a thriller unlike any I've ever read. The character-driven novel involves fearful realities from the dwindling monarch butterfly population to terrors in the drug trade. The characters are three-dimensional. I loved the complexity of their relationships. Argyle excels in writing great pacing, speeding it up when the action dictated it and slowing it down to stretch out the tension. The symbolism of wings and butterflies flutters throughout. Monarch shows the fragility of life and the human strength to go on.

Monarch by Michelle Davidson Argyle is a thriller unlike any other with complex characters and a touching plot filled with hope, life, and love in the face of fear and danger.

Also, Rhemalda Publishing has been gracious enough to offer a free ebook of Michelle Davidson Argyle's Monarch to one lucky winner. To enter, please fill out this brief form. Thank you!