Saturday, March 31, 2012

Special: Cassandra Clare Reading & Signing + CITY OF LOST SOULS reading excerpt



One week ago I got the chance to meet one of my favourite authors in person. I still can't believe that she came to Cologne! I'm talking about the author of the THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS and THE INFERNAL DEVICES series, Cassandra Clare. 

I had been looking forward to that day for a few months and was not surprised what a sweet, funny and awesome person Cassandra Clare is. She read a scene from CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS and CITY OF LOST SOULS (No joke!!). In between she answered a ton of questions. I tried to collect the most interesting. You can read the Q&A below. I'm so happy that I brought all my English editions of Cassie's books, because she took the time to sign every single one of them after the reading. The event was on a ship on the Rhine and every fan left with every single book, book mark, picture etc. they brought to sign signed. Cassie spent over 2 hours signing our books!!! And she took the time to talk to everyone!! Did I mention how awesome she is?! 


Location



Q&A (summarized)




Who protected the humans before the Shadowhunters were born?

Nobody, it wasn’t necessary. 


In CITY OF BONES there is a scene in which Jace mentions running naked down Madison Avenue with antlers on his head. How did that happen?

(For those of you who cannot remember the scene. Here’s a quote from CITY OF BONES:

“Don't order any of the faerie food," said Jace, looking at her over the top of his menu. "It tends to make humans a little crazy. One minute you're munching a faerie plum, the next minute you're running naked down Madison Avenue with antlers on your head. Not," he added hastily, "that this has ever happened to me.” )

It has to do with faeries (of course!). Jace will tell Clary in CITY OF LOST SOULS about that story.



What does Magnus smell like?

That’s the best question she got asked on her Germany tour. The answer: sandalwood





How did Cassie find the inspiration for THE INFERNAL DEVICES?

Cassandra Clare walked along the Thames after visiting her publisher and saw the Blackfriars bridge. She thought about how much longer it would last than any of us humans. It was a foggy, bit rainy day in London and she imagined a boy and a girl standing on that bridge, clockwork creatures coming for them. When she came back home, she started writing what we know as CLOCKWORK ANGEL today.


Are Sebastian and Jace one person now?

To answer that question Cassandra read an excerpt from CITY OF LOST SOULS (you can view it below)!!


Why do all of Cassie's books have homosexual characters in them and is it a coincidence that her friends Holly Black and Sarah Rees Brennan have homosexual characters in their books, too?

Another good friend of her, Malinda Lo, wrote a paper on how many homosexual characters were represented in YA books and found out that it were approximately 1%. Obviously, in reality there are a lot more homosexual people part of society than represented in YA books. She simply felt the need to help correct that disproportion.


Who would Cassie want to play Valentine in the movie?

She’d love Michael Fassbender to play Valentine. But that probably wouldn’t be a good idea, because he would turn the entire movie upside down. They all would have to listen to Valentine and do what he wants, because Michael Fassbender is too hot to resist.

Filming will start in August 2012. Officially cast are Lily Collins as Clary and Jamie Campbell Bower as Jace.

Someone suggested Adam Lambert as Magnus, but Cassie told us that he’d be way too old by the time the whole movies were shot.


Is the THE DARK ARTIFICES series just an idea or an actual project?

The first book in the THE DARK ARTIFICES series is named LADY MIDNIGHT and comes out 2015. The new series is already sold and Cassie has outlines written.


Is there a difference between Cassie's fans worldwide?

Yes, there is. Cassie told us that British fans were very polite, like "Hello Cassandra, thank you for writing the books" *handshake*. The Mexican fans wanted to hug her. The Spanish fans wanted to talk about love and passion. The German fans did ask very detailed questions that showed that they read the books carefully.


Can there please be an Institute in Cologne?

Oh, that would need a petition to the Clave. But if there was an Institute in Cologne, she was sure it would be in the Cathedral.



What to do when you have writer’s block?

Try to at least write 100-200 words per day. Cassandra Clare compared the situation with a disease Dr. House has to identify with his three (very attractive) assistants. Cassie likes to meet with her best friends (also very attractive) and starts to write down all the info about a problematic scene, e.g. characters, events, significant elements, problems that need to be solved etc. Don’t give up!


 Signed books!!



I'm so happy that I got my THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS and THE INFERNAL DEVICES books signed. Love the Cassie Clare approved marriage proposal from Jace in my copy of CITY OF BONES, haha. It says: "hello from Jace...would you like to be Mrs. Wayland?" (You know the answer, right?!)


 Photo Proof !!

Thank you Cassie Clare for all the fun, signed books, picture and an awesome event


Cassandra Clare reading an excerpt of CITY OF LOST SOULS

Info: Jace has been missing for a while and Clary has gone to the institute to retrieve something for the Seelie Queen. Enjoy ;)




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Music Blog Tour Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz: Q & A with Cisco+ Giveaway



Happy Birthday SPELLCASTER! I'm glad you are finally out in the wild now after Harlequin and Cara Lynn Shultz released you yesterday. And I am very happy to be a part of the SPELLCASTER Music Blog Tour. Love the series and music. Read the Q & A with Cisco, listen to his song and enter for a chance to win a copy of SPELLCASTER and an iPod nano below!

.............................................................................................................................................
Q & A with Cisco


1) What did you think the first time you met Emma and what do you like best about being friends with her?

I met Emma on her very first day at Vincent Academy. Kristin started mouthing off and immediately, I thought, "Great, new girl will either be a sycophant for Kristin, or she'll be terrified of her." Instead, Emma gave Kristin attitude, and it made me laugh. I liked that she had a smart mouth. After I got to know Emma, I found her to be non-judgmental, incredibly loyal and in possession of an even smarter mouth than I'd guessed. She's brutally funny. I mean, she makes me laugh, and I'm hilarious. :)


2) Aren’t Emma and Brendan a cute couple? You as cupid who arranged their first real meeting that night of your boyfriend Gabe’s concert, do you think that anything could come between their love? Like a horde of ravenous cheerleaders, the newest video game or let’s say… an ancient curse?

They're so cute it's a little nauseating. I've never seen Brendan act like this around anyone. After we hung out at the Met, he started getting really flustered around me. He would start talking, then randomly bring up something from that night, leading me to think he's about to ask about Emma, and then he'd pull back and not say anything. She threw Brendan for a loop. She still keeps him guessing. In terms of things coming between them, well, Brendan and Emma seem pretty solid and work through their issues together. So hoard of ravenous cheerleaders… eh, not a threat. Video game… hmm, she'd probably play it with him. Ancient curse? Yeah, it would probably take something on that level to cause any serious issues.


3) What’s the best thing about dating a musician?

It's a well-established fact that musicians are hot. You think the guys in LMFAO have groupies because of their perfect good looks? Let me answer for you: Hell to the no. Talent immediately ramps up someone's hot factor. So, apart from the innate hotness all musicians possess and I get to enjoy, I've learned appreciate music in a different way. For example, I've seen how much pressure is put on drummers during concerts. If they screw up, just a little bit, it throws the whole band off. Drummers really are the backbone of the band, don't listen to anyone who tells you otherwise.


4) If you could wish for anything in the world, what would it be?

I'm a real douchebag if I don't say world peace, aren't I?


5) If your life was a playlist, which songs would be on it and why?

LMFAO, "Sexy and I Know It." :) Nah, I'm just kidding. Um, it would be a really big mix of music. Here are some songs I've found as anthems throughout the years: Florence and the Machine "Heavy in Your Arms." Beyonce "I Was Here." DJ Khaled "All I Do Is Win." Lady Gaga "Edge of Glory." B.O.B. and Hayley Williams "Airplanes." But my anthem has always been Muse's "Uprising." This is my go-to song, any time I need to be energized or inspired.



.............................................................................................................................................
Series Information


Book 1: Spellbound (June 2011)    
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound
Book 2: Spellcaster (March 2012) 
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound



Finding your eternal soulmate - easy.

Stopping a true-love-hungry evil - not so much…

After breaking a centuries-old romantic curse, Emma Connor is (almost) glad to get back to normal problems. Although...it's not easy dealing with the jealous cliques and gossip that rule her exclusive Upper East Side prep, even for a sixteen-year-old newbie witch. Having the most-wanted boy in school as her eternal soul mate sure helps ease the pain-especially since wealthy, rocker-hot Brendan Salinger is very good at staying irresistibly close....

But something dark and hungry is using Emma and Brendan's deepest fears to reveal damaging secrets and destroy their trust in each other. And Emma's crash course in ├╝ber-spells may not be enough to keep them safe…or to stop an inhuman force bent on making their unsuspected power its own.
Summary by Goodreads



About Cara Lynn Shultz

Cara Lynn Shultz’s love of supernatural writing began when she was 7 and wrote a play about ghosts, which she and her friends acted out on her grandparents’ porch. Since then, her work has appeared in Teen People, Alternative Press, Stuff, InStyle, Us Weekly, The Guardian UK and countless posts on Facebook and Twitter. She is a proud graduate of Fordham University and is currently a senior editor at PEOPLE.com. Cara lives in her native New York City with her husband, tuxedo cat and 8 million other people. Spellbound is her first novel.

 Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads


............................................................................................................................................. 
Tour Dates


Tour Kick Off: Harlequin, Paranormal Blog
Monday  March, 19th - My Cute Bookshelf  
Wednesday, March, 21st - Mundie Mom's 
Friday, March, 23rd -  VerbVixen 
Monday, March 26th - Book and A Latte 
Tuesday, March 27th -Book Birthday! - Harlequin, Paranormal Blog 
Wednesday, March 28th - Miss Page Turner's City of Books 
Thursday, March 29th - Read Me, Bookmark Me, Love Me  
Friday, March 30th - writers write, right?  
Monday April 2nd - Alice Marvel's 
Wednesday, April 4th- Paranormal Wastelands 
Friday, April 6th - Fiktshun

............................................................................................................................................. 
Giveaway 


To win the iPod nano: At the end of the Tour a Rafflecopter will be up at the Tour Stops where you have to enter a question concerning one character of Spellcaster. Follow the Tour and you'll be able to answer the question easily!

Open US/Canada. See full contest rules here.



To win the SPELLCASTER copy: Enter the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Releases: March 26th - April 1st



March 27th 


 

Life Is But a Dream by Brian James
 
After the Snow by S. D. Crockett

Slide (Slide #1) by Jill Hathaway  


March 28th



April 1st 

The Chaos (Numbers #2) by Rachel Ward



I have to order SLIDE immediately! Doesn't it sound great? 
 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #46

The idea of In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.




For Review

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini (Thank you Macmillan UK!)

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting (Thanks to Headline Publishing and Sam Eades!! I love this series sooo much!) 


..............................................................................................................






Do you have an US/Can address? Do you want to win a copy of THE IMMORTAL RULES?






Everyone can enter this giveaway, ending March 31st. Good Luck.

 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Review: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare




Title: Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: K. McElderry Books
Publishing Date: December 6th 2011
Length: 528 pages
Genre: YA fantasy, romance, steampunk
Source: Bought

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do? 

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

Summary by Goodreads 





CLOCKWORK ANGEL was amazing, but CLOCKWORK PRINCE simply blew my mind. Hasn’t everybody been wanting to uncover Will’s secret in the first book? I definitely couldn’t wait for it and in CLOCKWORK PRINCE we finally do get an explanation for his self-destructive behaviour.... and oh my god, what a relief, what a torture!

I admit it, I'm in love with Will and his reckless, impulsive, cheeky and ironic character. He quotes literature, reads and is the sweetest shadowhunter in the 19th century. Jem has a lot of fans, too. I appreciate that he always tries to be there for Tessa and that he is so reliable and composed, but I always saw him as a good friend and not Tessa’s love interest.
There will be some more Magnus in CLOCKWORK PRINCE since he was the one Will visited in the end of CLOCKWORK ANGEL to get help. It’s fun to meet a different Magnus than the one we know from THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series.
Also to expect: more great scenes with Jessamine, Nate, Sophie, Charlotte, Henry and the Lightwood brothers.

The love triangle continues to get worse and only torture the three of them and of course us readers even more. There will be scenes for Jem and Will fans and I loved them all! Tessa finds herself in the center of action again. In the middle of two men fighting for her love and in the middle of a greater war.

Though we learn some more about the evil behind all the clockwork automatons, the Magister and his background the focus of this second INFERNAL DEVICES book lies more on the personal conflicts and relationship complications of its characters than the fight against the shadowhunters' enemies.  

Another strength of the book lies in the well-pictured customs of inhabitants of a Victorian London. I’m fascinated by the shadowhunter world itself, the Victorian London setting is another bonus. I also pretty much enjoyed the bonus letter Will wrote to his parents and the one written to Tessa (thanks Loni for sharing it with me!!!)

Each chapter begins with a small piece of wonderful literature, that in some ways has connections and hints to events in the story. Like CLOCKWORK ANGEL this part of Tessa’s story is supported by references of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. And there are even more literary references thanks to book lovers Tessa and Will.

Again, Cassandra Clare had exactly the right sense for an exciting and insanely good story. Her writing is brilliant as always!  I have no idea how she writes books that get better and better each year. Some day her talent is going to force me to expand the number of available rating points! 





1) of a miraculous masquerade magic
2) the best moments are made of dreams
3) of a shadowhunter that is willing to give his everything
4) of the relief to at least leave a painful part of the past behind
5) the best surprises have to wait till the last page to be revealed 





5/5 ***** CLOCKWORK PRINCE- Historical London has it all: blazing romances, dangerous intrigues, exciting fight scenes and the right mix of magic and runes. Who wouldn’t want to be part of it?!

CLOCKWORK PRINCE had everything I was looking for in a book! I’m entranced and completely devoted to this book and the entire series. I loved, loved, loved CLOCKWORK PRINCE!  



  



* Don't miss Cassandra Clare's THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS series! 

* CLOCKWORK PRINCESS is the final instalment in the INFERNAL DEVICES series, coming out winter 2012/spring 2013.

* Click here to read an excerpt of CLOCKWORK PRINCE. 

* Watch the CLOCKWORK PRINCE book trailer here

* Want to meet Cassandra? Check out her event schedule

* For further information about Cassandra Clare and her books visit www.cassie-claire.com
  

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Teaser: The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams


The Alchemy of Forever by Avery Williams


"I don't have anyone," she says, the wind lifting her hair behind her.
I reach out for her thin shoulder. I look deep into her green eyes. "Not even the boy at the bar?"
"Especially not him," Taryn says fiercely.
I nod, understanding. "You won't find any comfort in death," I promise her. "It's a void. It's nothing. You only want to die if you desire that nothingness. If you don't want to be alone, that means you're still alive. There's hope."
"Who are you?" she asks. I can barely hear her voice over the wind.
I think back over my unnaturally long life - my childhood in London, swimming in the sea in the south of France, arriving in San Francisco in the 1960s - and scroll through all the names I've gone by, starting with Seraphina and ending with Jennifer. I look her in the eye. "I am no one."

~ p. 57


After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

Summary by Goodreads
 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink + Giveaway




Title: A Temptation of Angels
Author: Michelle Zink
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publishing Date: March 20th 2012
Length: 448 pages
Genre: YA fantasy, romance
Source: Publisher

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance...

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Summary by Goodreads 





Recently I read a lot of angel themed YA books like UNEARTHLY and HALLOWED by Cynthia Hand which I really liked. Another book with an angel theme, so another book to my like I thought when I got A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS in the mail. I wanted to start it right away. 

Though the three main characters in A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS are descendants of angels, their personalities and actions are not overly influenced by that knowledge or by special powers of any kind. And I have to say that I missed some insight into their true and individual beings of angels.
We learn more about the background of the Dictata, an organization that has the power to control the past, present and future of the entire world. I found the passages about their members, history and the hunt after their members very intriguing. The Dictata's enemies are wraiths and demons. I guess you can imagine that they are very powerful and don't make it easy for our three heroes.
But most of the story isn’t made up of fights, it’s about our protagonist Helen discovering a new world that has always been right in front of her eyes.

With Helen finding out about her true origin through a terrible fire that causes the death of her parents, she also enters the world of the two brothers Griffin and Darius. Together they are the three remaining keepers of world peace. Darius would be my favourite character in A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. He is snarky and definitely knows how to maintain that vulnerable bad boy attitude I like in my male protagonists.

I enjoyed that Helen and Griffin connects an immediate and delicate bond, blooming into a romance full of passion, trust and love. The other boy who owns Helen’s heart is a friend of Helen’s past and is a very secretive and mysterious character. I knew from the summary that there would be a love triangle in A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS,  which I didn't find neccessary once I had started into the story.My heart already belong to one of the two boys.

The story mostly circles around the interaction between our three main characters. From time to time a few other characters like Galizur and Anna, both part of the Dictata, were thrown into the story. I would have wished to encounter a bigger character cast  behind the Dictata and stronger social interaction between their members. Maybe we'll meet some more interesting characters in the sequel...
What I really liked about the story are the setting of Victorian London, the manners and customs. I love me a good historical romance! 

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS introduces us to the setting and characters of this new world created by Michelle Zink. I have to admit that it felt a bit too slow and sometimes overly descriptive to me. Still I’m curious about the sequel and expect many more fights and enemies to play with Helen, Griffin and Darius’ fate.





1) of a charming romance
2) of two very contrary brothers that both deserve a place in every reader's heart
3) of the mysterious Dictata
4) the cruel angel hunt has to be stopped
5) of one of my favourite settings, Victorian London 





3/5 *** A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS- A new story of angels, a mysterious organization, a sweet romance and a whole bunch of mean enemies to be fought.

A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS was my first book by Michelle Zink and will not be my last. She invented a new world and did a good job combining the historical romance with paranormal happenings of all sorts.





* Have a look at Michelle’s PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS trilogy! 

* Click here to read an excerpt of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS. 

* Buy your Michelle Zink books’ merchandise here

* Visit www.michellezink.com for more information about Michelle Zink and her books.

* Thanks to Michelle Zink and Dial Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS! 

..............................................................................................................
  

* You enter for a chance to win one ARC of A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS
* Open internationally
* The giveaway starts on March 21st and will end on March 31st.
* Good luck :)
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Releases: March 19th - March 25th



March 20th 

A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink
Croak by Gina Damico
Loss (Riders of the Apocalypse #3) by Jackie Morse Kessler
When You Open Your Eyes by Celeste Conway
The Divide (Secret Circle Series #4) by L. J. Smith


Do you plan to read any of these? I already read A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS and there will be a giveaway on my blog in the next few days.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox #45

The idea of In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.



For Review

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa  ( A big thank you to Harlequin Teen! Love Julie's books <3)




THE IMMORTAL RULES GIVEAWAY


Do you have an US/Can address? Do you want to win a copy of THE IMMORTAL RULES? Then enter my giveaway here!!



Friday, March 16, 2012

Coveresque feat. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore (US vs.UK vs.German)


I have three very different covers (US, UK, German) of BITTERBLUE by Kristin Cashore for you. My favourite is the German cover. Which one do you like best?


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Q&A with Julie Kagawa + The Immortal Rules Giveaway

I've been a fan of Julie Kagawa's writing since the day I started reading THE IRON KING. This book is one of my all time favourite reads and I promise THE IRON DAUGHTER, THE IRON QUEEN and THE IRON KNIGHT were no less amazing.

THE IRON FEY series came to an end, but Julie's newest book, titled THE IMMORTAL RULES, comes out in only a few weeks. Harlequin Teen releases the vampires on April 24th and I'm sure you don't want to miss that! 

You will kill. The only question is when.

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.

Summary by Goodreads

Want to pre-order a copy of THE IMMORTAL RULES? Just follow the links!




Read this great Q&A with Julie Kagawa and enter for a chance to win a harcover copy of THE IMMORTAL RULES below!!

................................................................................................................


A Q&A with
New York Times Best Selling Author Julie Kagawa

After writing the Iron Fey series for so many years, how difficult was it to immerse yourself in a futuristic world filled with vampires, rabids and an enslaved human race?

         It was...very different.  I think the hardest thing for me was the fact that this story does take place in the real world -- a futuristic, vampire-infested world, but the real world nonetheless.  Things had to make sense, for example: how far can a large group walk in a single day if there were no roads, they were going through thick woods, and there were children in the group?  I had to have logical reasons for everything; I couldn't just make something work "because of faery magic," lol.


Just like Meghan Chase in the Iron Fey series, the main character in The Immortal Rules, Allison Sekemoto, is a “take charge and kick butt” kind of girl.  Is this intentional? What woman – real or fictional, alive or deceased – do you look up to or admire?

         Yes, Allison comes from a very different world than Meghan Chase.  Meghan's upbringing was pretty normal; Allison grew up among vampires and monsters, where every day was a fight to live, so she couldn't afford to be weak.  While Meghan had to learn to "take charge and kick butt," Allison's first impulse is stab first, talk later.

         As for female role models, the first that comes to mind--when it comes to kicking vampire butt, anyway -- is Buffy Summers.  Thank you, Joss Whedon, for making me love feisty, snarky, heroines who can dust all sorts of nasties but who also look good in a cheerleading outfit. ;)  

You mention in your acknowledgements in The Immortal Rules that at the beginning of your writing career you promised yourself you wouldn’t write a vampire book.  What changed your mind?

         Well, there were already so many really good books about our favorite bloodsuckers, so many stories and ideas, I thought I didn't have anything new to add to the masses.  I was actually toying with a post-apocalyptic YA novel when my agent mentioned I might want to try writing a vampire series.  I wasn't intrigued with the idea at first, but then I thought about combining vampires with the post-apocalyptic novel and then rest sort of fell into place.  

Allison claims she hates vampires and believes they are monsters yet when faced with a choice of die or become one, she becomes a vampire.  Would you have made that same decision?  

         Me personally?  No.  I'm like Zeke in the belief that there is something better waiting for me beyond this life, and I just have to do my best until it’s time for me to go.  Besides, I love pizza and Mountain Dew too much to give it up.

Who do you think the most complex character is in The Immortal Rules?

         Probably Kanin, Allie's sire.  He's a vampire who has made his peace about being a monster, yet chooses to live by his own set of moral rules.  He warns Allison about getting too close to humans, yet he does not kill unless he absolutely has to.  He is tormented about something in his past that he refuses to share with anyone.  He is certainly the most mysterious of all the characters, if not the most complex.

How many books will be in the Blood of Eden series?  When will the next book be coming out?

         At the moment, there are three books planned, with the second coming out sometime next spring, after the release of the new Iron Fey series this fall.

Before you starting writing full time you were a professional dog trainer.  Do the professions share any similarities?

         Lol, well you have to think on your feet a lot.  And some of the small dogs could be compared to tiny snapping goblins, but writing requires less dodging skills, though perhaps the same amount of creativity and problem solving.

When starting a new series, like Blood of Eden, do you have the entire series mapped out in detail or do you let the story develop book by book?

         I have a high point that I write toward in each story; I know this and this has to happen, but getting from point A to point B usually develops as I go along.

And for the speed round:
What book have you read and re-read, and read yet again?

         Any of the Harry Potter books.

Favorite song to play when writing a fight scene?

         My "favorites" change daily.  Right now its "Awake and Alive" by Skillet.

Worst job?

         Working a kiosk in the mall during Christmas.  It sold glass figurines, and the maneuvering space around the hundreds of very breakable merchandise was quite small.  I was like a bull in a china shop.

Best vacation spot?

         Walt Disney World

Sweets or salty?

         Sweet.


         I used to play the flute when I was a kid.  I was really good at it too, but my instructor stopped teaching to have a family, and I never went back to it.          


................................................................................................................

Thanks to Julie Kagawa and Harlequin Teen for that fun Q&A! Now here's your chance to win a harcover copy of THE IMMORTAL RULES courtesy of Harlequin Teen. Are you excited? I am!

* You enter for a chance to win one hardcover copy of THE IMMORTAL RULES
* The book will be sent by Harlequin Teen after its pub date on April 24th.
* Open for US/Canada addresses
* The giveaway starts on March 14th and will end on April 14th.
* Good luck :)



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Special: Wanderlove Reading Video by Kirsten Hubbard

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WANDERLOVE!

To celebrate this special day the awesome Kirsten Hubbard made six WANDERLOVE reading videos during her recent trip to Central America. In the video I'm featuring you see Kirsten Hubbard reading from a very essential and one of my favourite scenes of WANDERLOVE. She's on a paradisic beach in El Gigante, Nicaragua. 

Where does the term "Wanderlove" come from? Watch the video and read Kirsten's explanation below!




I know I'm not the first person to coin the term "Wanderlove". The internet informs me there's an album by a band called The Ragbirds with the same name, and also an old movie. But I did think of it myself! Here's how it went down.

I never really liked the word Wanderlust. I mean, I loved the idea of it, but not the word itself. "Lust" just felt wrong for the way I felt about travel. One day, it hit me: why not substitute "Love"? Wanderlove was SUCH a better word. But it was a momentary thought, one I didn't write down. Later, when I started writing Wanderlove, I had this feeling I'd thought of the perfect title at some point, but couldn't recall it. After a few weeks, luckily, it came back to me. It took me a while to sort out my thoughts about the meaning of the word -- essentially by writing the exchange between Bria, Rowan and Starling in the video.

Because it's SUCH A COOL WORD, I was anxious that someone would nab the word first,
over the years it took to draft, revise, sell and edit Wanderlove. And actually, there is a recent self-published YA novel with the same title. But nobody had ever used it in a travel-love sense, which makes me super happy.


...............................................................................................................


 
Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Summary by Goodreads 


I give WANDERLOVE 5/5 possible stars and call it " a truly wonderful & vibrant story made of pieces of dreams, memories and a colourful rush of love for every tiny miracle on this planet. " Read my review here.

I hope you enjoy the video and of course love WANDERLOVE as much as I do! Have you read WANDERLOVE or do you plan to? Tell me in the comments below :)

...............................................................................................................


Now head over to YA Highway! You should really watch the other five videos. Kirsten's also having a big WANDERLOVE giveaway and you can win bracelets, art prints & bookmarks!