Meet Golden Heart Finalist Alexia Chantel!

Today we’re welcoming Alexia Chantel, another Persister, to the blog. Her manuscript, AWAKENING THE BLADES, is a finalist in the Paranormal category of the 2018 Golden Heart Award. 

Alexia Chantel


Alexia Chantel has a degree in Medical Laboratory Science and a penchant for vivid dreams. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, three children, and Siberian Husky. Her Husky shares her love of the snow and everything cold. Her kids show her the world through new eyes. And her husband balances it all out and is there to share a bottle of wine at the end of the day. Alexia is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.


Here’s the book blurb for Awakening the Blades:

She must let go of her identity to save her people.

Lady Evangelina is a member of one of the most prestigious Vestige houses, the powerful families able to wield magical talents, but she’s a null with no gift of her own. To hide that truth, Evangelina has studied to become the perfect lady, to always be proper and always follow the rules, so she can fulfill her destiny, to marry a man with a strong Vestige that will pass to her children and continue the Lavelle line.

Before Evangelina gets that chance, an uprising sweeps across the land and takes everything she holds dear. Now she’s on the run with a handful of mercenaries lead by General Hawkin Jamesson. He’s a mystery with no family name and a rare Vestige of his own. And he believes Evangelina has a power buried deep within her, one that could be useful in this new war. 

As they run for their lives, they uncover the motives behind the attacks, dodge villagers infected with a mindless-need to kill, and are gifted Druid Blades. Hawkin wants her at his side and if Evangelina can let go of the only identity she’s ever known, she’ll gain the Vestige she’s never had, and a love she never dreamed of.


Oooh, I love stories about coming to terms with your identity and finding love once you have.  Now, let’s turn the blog over to Alexia, as she shares the very personal story of why she picked up the pen to write.

Here’s Alexia!

Everyone has a beginning, that turning point in which you decided to string that first sentence together and write. And each story is as different as its author.

I have a medical background and worked in oncology for the last thirteen years. Caring for cancer patients takes an emotional toll and as an introvert, my favorite hobby was curling up with a good book. And one of my favorite parts of working where I did was donating books to the bookcases in our clinic’s treatment areas.

The novels on those shelves got a lot of love. Some would go home with our patients or be passed from person to person. One afternoon, as I unpacked a box of books a fellow book-blogger had mailed me after she’d attended the RWA national conference, I thought it would be awesome to someday write a book that would take a patient out of their chair, away from their stress, and into a world filled with adventure and love. Someday.

Then that someday happened when I walked into the house with an armful of books, again, and my husband joked that I read too much and why don’t you write your own book. So I decided would.  

I also have to thank the numerous authors whose fabulous books gave me the very escape I’d set out to give others. I needed the freedom those stories gave me. That is why I write and why I won’t stop. 

For those readers who are published authors, thank you and please keep sharing your words with the world. For those writers who are pre-published, keep writing and one day your work will be read by someone who desperately needs an escape.

Now that you know my inspiration, tell me yours. What was your motivation to first put pen to paper?


Connect with Alexia on social media:

26 responses to “Meet Golden Heart Finalist Alexia Chantel!”

  1. Elizabeth Langston says:

    My first motivation was to simply to see if I could do it. I’d been writing a lot of technical papers for my day job, and decided to see if I could write a novel. (SPOILER: Technical writing is not the same as writing fiction.)

    My second motivation was more focused. My younger daughter had a reading disability. She had a terrible time with the books she was being assigned in middle school. So I told her–I’ll write you a book, and I’ll explain how they’re put together as we go. And that is how I tried my first YA. She did get better with reading–and now she copy-edits (or sensitivity-reads) all of my books.

    • Lol!! No, technical writing isn’t the same as writing a novel. And I for one LOVE novel writing over technical 😉

      Wow, your daughter was an amazing motivator. That gives me warm fuzzies thinking about it. You’re writing was meant to be!

      Thank you for hosting me on your blog today, Elizabeth!

  2. Jennifer Bray-Weber says:

    Alexia!!!! *waves madly*
    Love how you found the inspiration to become an author. I have no doubt that one day you will that person bringing escape to patients. No doubt. I can’t wait for the day Awakening the Blades hits the bookshelves.

    Good luck in Denver!

  3. *waving madly back* Jen!!! Thank You!!! I hope to run into you in Denver!

  4. Tracy Brody says:

    Wow, that sound exciting, Alexia. Congratulations on your Golden Heart Final and having Sarah as an agent. Sure you’ll be sharing your books to help others escape soon.

    My motivation was my overactive imagination. I’d always been a daydreamer coming up with stories and adventures and often inserting myself in as a love interest for whoever was my current Hollywood crush. When I came up with a storyline that I couldn’t get out of my head, this business major/stay-home mom decided to write a screenplay which led to more and then to books. Had no clue what I was doing when I started, but I’ve learned.

    • Cheers to overactive imaginations! And I’m impressed that you do both, screen-plays and books. Two very different writing mechanics but at the heart, you’re still telling a story.

      Thank you for the kind words, Tracy! 🙂

  5. Welcome, Alexia, and congrats on your final! Your book sounds fantastic and takes me back to the fantasy books I grew up on. 🙂 I could not agree more about the comfort of romance novels. My mom calls them “hospital books” because they were the only thing she could read when my brother got sick. We all need that hope. SO important! Good luck in Denver!

    • Thank you, Vivi! Health is a great equalizer. Unfortunately at some point for everyone they will face health challenges and I’m glad there are authors out there like you to take us places!

  6. Hi Alexia. Your book sounds great, and I can’t wait to find out what your heroine’s gift is!

    Apparently I’ve always wanted to write a book. When my husband and I moved to Texas from Denver, he had a contract computer job in Midland. I told him I wasn’t going to get/give up jobs in my field every time we moved for his contracts. So when he left town, I bought myself a 286 computer and declared I intended to write books.

    The good news was, the contract job ended before I had to join him in Midland. The bad news was, we moved to Houston instead and I had to get a “real job.”

    Congratulations on your final. I’m looking forward to meeting you in Denver.

    • Aww, thank you, Leslie! Hidden gifts are very intriguing…and it sounds like writing is yours! You know, since you had to have a ‘real job’ first 😉

      I can’t wait to meet you in Denver, too!

  7. Jacie Floyd says:

    Congratulations on your final! You Persisters have a great name for a group because that is what it takes to achieve publication or any worthwhile goal. And I’m so happy your oncology unit had books to share with patients. We all know the emotional support books can provide and we all have more books than we know wgat to do with, so… prefect fit.

    I had always wanted to write, so when we moved to a new city and my kids were at a certain age, I gave myself permission to do what I had always wanted to do. Never regretted that decision.

  8. Thank you, Jacie! I’m pretty fond of our name as well, the Persisters. Writing is hard and the only thing that’s guaranteed is never getting your book in print if you quit.

    And that’s awesome! You knew what you wanted and so you did it. That takes a lot of courage to act instead of always saying ‘someday’. 🙂

  9. C.R. Grissom says:

    This story sounds phenomenal! Wow. I can’t wait to read it.

    Putting pen to paper began years ago when I was a teenager. But negativity and self-doubt have featured prominently. This time I’m doing my best to ignore it.

    Can’t wait to meet you in Denver!

    • If you ever need help ignoring the negativity and self-doubt, I’m here! 🙂 Thanks for the kind words and I’m looking forward to meeting you in Denver, too!

  10. First, thank you for being a cancer caregiver. From one who has spent hundreds of hours sitting with relatives in the infusion rooms, I know how stressful the situations are. I too stock the reading shelf in my hospital and those books certainly did help others escape their world.

    Second, congrats on being a Golden Heart finalist. Your story sounds amazing. Kudos to you hubby for suggesting your write your own story. Have fun in Denver! Good luck.

    • If I could give you a hug, Autumn, I would! Cancer involves the whole family and even though its hard to sit beside a loved one, it makes a HUGE difference. 🙂

      And thank you, thank you! I’m very excited for Denver!

  11. Thank you for giving such loving care to your patients. I love your excerpt from Awakening the Blades; so exciting!

    My reason to start writing is similar to yours. My husband suggested that, as I read so much, why not write my own novel? He’s officially my muse! 😊

  12. suzanne says:

    Alexia–I think it takes an introvert to be a cancer care giver, because you have to dig so deep within yourself to give. Thank you for being a rock to so many, I’m sure you helped patients immensely.

    My motivation was too many long drives where my mind kept wandering to stories I wanted to read, but hadn’t been written.

  13. I love your reason for taking up writing and your story sounds fascinating. I love self-discovery stories.

    I’ve been writing since I was big enough to hold a pencil. It’s been so long I don’t remember how I got started. 🙂

    • Thank you, Jeanne! I can’t wait to meet you in Denver, I’m so honored to be a finalist with you in paranormal! And I love that writing is ingrained so deep in you that there isn’t a beginning, just being. 🙂

  14. Rita Henuber says:

    Congrats on your final! Awakening sounds amazing. Pinpointing when and where I started would require master tracking skills. 🙂 Have always been a story teller and at one point began putting them on paper.

  15. Janet Raye Stevens says:

    Hi Alexia! Your story sounds amazing–exciting and full of romance-y goodness. I’ve been writing as long as I can remember and my motivation has always been because it’s totally fun! LOL, there may be some long-winded, deep-psyche reason why I must write–I’ll let you know when I figure it out. Looking forward to meeting you in Denver, my Persister sister.


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