The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

A Spell in Provence

A Spell in Provence

Friday, 30 June 2017

Alicia Dean on Africa, Romance and Acacia Trees!


Welcome to Alicia Dean, one of six authors featuring in ESCAPE TO AFRICA, an anthology of romantic suspense stories to be released as an ebook on July 14th and print book on July 15th. This is the third anthology by the World Romance Writers, and I am delighted to have stories in the first anthology and Escape to Africa too.

Let your wild side free and Escape to Africa! Come along on an adventure through these 6 stories brought to you by 6 best-selling, award-winning authors.
You’ll uncover tales of an undercover operative in Casablanca, a safari guide in the Serengeti, students on holiday in Morocco, time-traveling agents in Tripoli, vengeance in Algeria, and deadly secrets in Carthage. Each of these stories will captivate you with love, danger, intrigue, and excitement. What better way to Escape?


Hello Alicia, and welcome. Can you tell us a little about your story?

Of course. The story is called Dying to Love You. Here is the blurb:

After dying for the third time, unloved and unlovable Autumn Baines is running out of chances to avoid purgatory. For her latest life, she’s sent to the Serengeti, where she’ll have to perform a selfless act and find someone to love her. She sees her chance with the arrival of widowed father Logan McBride and his teen daughter.
Faced with an opportunity to make a tremendous sacrifice, she’ll have to decide…can she forego her eternal happiness to give them theirs?

What an intriguing storyline! What went through your mind when you agreed to take part in the anthology?

When I agreed to write a story in Africa, I was a bit intimidated. I was unfamiliar with the continent, and to be honest, uninterested. I knew I wanted a place where safari tours were available, and I landed on the Serengeti. I set about researching and my apathy soon became amazement.

You must have done a lot of research. What interesting facts did you come across?

I learned all sorts of interesting facts about the people, the animals, and even the plant life. Some of the facts made it into the story, others did not. One fascinating tidbit that I really wanted to use, but couldn’t make work, was about the Castor Bean plant. Many West African tribes used the poisonous beans from the plant as a lie detector for handing down decisions in court. The accused would be fed numerous beans. If God miraculously allowed them to live, it meant they were innocent. If they died (which I imagine was the most common outcome), that would ‘prove’ they were witches or possessed by demons. Uh, yeah, that sounds fair.   I still might use it one of these days… Uh, in a story, not on a person. J

One tidbit I did mention in the story, which I thought was fascinating, was about the acacia tree. This is taken directly from my story, the best way to explain. J

Its hook-shaped thorns act as a deterrent against grazers. Despite the thorns, some herbivores still feed on the trees. The trees can release a toxin known as tannin, which can be lethal to animals if ingested. Acacia trees also have another chemical defense system, whereby they release a chemical called ethylene, which ‘warns’ other acacias in the vicinity. Within fifteen minutes, all the neighboring trees increase the tannin levels in their leaves, making the area unappetizing to tree-grazing animals. Giraffes tend to eat downwind from the trees, in the hope that the trees do not alarm each other. They usually only graze for a short time before moving on to the next tree.
Acacia Tree
Trees warning one another? Didn’t God create an incredible world?

That's absolutely fascinating indeed! Thank you very much, Alicia, for being my guest today.
ESCAPE TO AFRICA is available for pre-order at the special price of £0.99  here

21 comments:

  1. What a brilliant piece. I love the bit about the acacia trees and the giraffes. And I happen to know the story is brilliant, since I have had the privilege of reading it in advance.
    Thank you, Alicia and thank you Marie. Love Jenny xxxx

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    1. Thank you so much, Jenny...what a lovely thing to say! I have to admit, I haven't read the other stories, and I'm itching to do so!

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    2. Thank you, Jenny! I can't wait to read Alicia's story, and find out how it all ends.

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  2. What a fascinating piece, Alicia. I can't wait to read your story and the others in the anthology!

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    1. Thank you, Helena. I really was enthralled with all I learned. I hope you enjoy the stories!

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    2. Thank you very much for your comment, Helena. I am very intrigued by Alicia's story too.

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  3. Wow! Trees that communicate with each other and a poisonous plant that acts as a jury...you did learn some fascinating tidbits through your research. Love the idea of an African-setting anthology. Best of luck!

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    1. Yes, I was blown away. :) Thank you!!

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  4. Oh. My. Gracious. I want to see one of those trees now. WOW. That is amazing. And what is with everyone using ridiculous ways to figure out if someone is a witch? Sheesh! Sounds like a wonderful and amazing setting for a book. Good luck to you!

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    1. Haha, I know, Kara. These days to figure out if someone's a witch, we just watch their TV show... ;) - Thank you!!

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  5. Fascinating facts. And I love the premise of your story. Best of luck to all in the anthology!

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  6. The use of the castor beans is similar to putting stones on a suspected witch's chest or forcing them into ponds. If the individual survived, not a witch. Thanks for sharing the interesting facts about the acacia tree. Best wishes on the anthology

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    1. Ah, yes, I'd forgotten about that one! You're welcome and thank you!

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  7. Such interesting information!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Good luck and God's blessings
    PamT

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    1. You're welcome...thank you for dropping by!

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  8. Holy cow...who knew that trees could communicate with each other! Fascinating. Can't wait to read this story!

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    1. Thank you for your comment, Leah. I too am very intrigued by Alicia's story and very much look forward to reading it.

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  9. Another wonderful interview...I am so sorry I missed it until today...and your tidbits are fascinating.

    Thanks for sharing and giving us more information on the Serengeti. Absolutely intriguing!

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