My April TBR Pile

It’s April! I have no clue how this year is going so fast. It doesn’t seem like it should already be April, but alas, it is. This month I register my kiddo up for Kindergarten. AHHHH. I’m not sure I’m ready…though I think he is. He’s loved his pre-school experience and wishes he was there every day. I hope he enjoys Kindergarten as much.

I’m really excited about the books releasing this month and will sharing a couple interviews this month that I’ve patiently been sitting on for months. I hope you enjoy them.

This month I have some April releases but I’ve thrown in a couple later releases that I just can’t wait to read. I have zero ability to control myself if I’m wanting to read something so Silver in the Blood and The Uninvited got thrown in the pile. I’ve almost finished Crimson Bound (and enjoyed it).

April TBR

AprilTBR
I’m hoping I can read all of these but knowing me I’ll get distracted and read something not in the pile. That book that’s hard to read is The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. And if you saw my March TBR you’ll notice most of those have made it back to my April pile. Oops.

April Upcoming Posts

  • Reviews for ACOTAR, Nightbird, Illusionarium, and more.
  • Interview with Sabaa Tahir author of An Ember in the Ashes
  • Interview that you’ll have to wait to see
  • Right now I have zero blog tours scheduled!

Also…I have a giveaway for Lying Out Loud and The Cage that you can enter here.

Interview with Lauren DeStefano + Giveaway (INT)

New York Times best seller Lauren DeStefano excels in transporting her readers into creative worlds. Her novels are beautifully written with lyrical prose and characters that are questing for knowledge and self-discovery. Along with her two young adult series she has now embarked on a middle grade book that looks amazing.  I’m honored to have Lauren here to talk about her newest release, Burning Kingdoms and a bit about her other books.

PerfectRuin BurningKingdoms

Interview

About the Internment Chronicles:
In the Internment Chronicles series a group of people live on an island far up in the sky. What inspired this idea of a city in the clouds?
One of the main sources of inspiration was a game I used to play in my head when I was a kid. Whenever I had to go somewhere that frightened me, or do something I didn’t like, I used to imagine that my house was its own island and that nobody could enter or leave. Over time, all the “what ifs” of that scenario manifested into pieces of a story.

While reading I kept thinking of how claustrophobic it would be to know you’d never be able to approach the edge or leave. How were you able to harness this feeling so well and express it in your writing?
I think most people can relate to that feeling of restriction in one way or another. We all have reasons—emotional, physical or otherwise—that we feel held back on occasion. For me, I struggle with anxiety, and sometimes my own unreasonable worries restrict me from choices I’d like to make. The human mind is its own floating island.

Burning Kingdoms has your heroine, Morgan, experiencing life below on the ground and seeing incredible things that Internment didn’t have. You did a wonderful job conveying the wonder and fear your characters felt. Was this difficult to accomplish?
Yes and no. Many of the things that Morgan saw were mundane to me, like the idea of a round planet and the vastness of the ocean, but at the same time I’ve been awestruck by things, so I tried to find a balance and see though her eyes.

Speakeasies, two kingdoms at war—your world below has many intriguing elements that evoke the past though you throw in some unique aspects to make it obviously not our world. Could you talk about some of the inspirations for this world?
While a particular time period is never specified, I’m fascinated with the 1920s and that inspired a lot of the scenes. I wanted Morgan to arrive in this new world at a time when liberations and freedoms were being tested, especially for young women.

What was your favorite thing to have your characters experience on the ground?
The elegors.

In this series, one of my favorite aspects are the sibling relationships you’ve developed-Morgan and Lex plus in the Burning Kingdoms the Piper children. Are siblings interactions some of your favorite to write?
Definitely. Family dynamics have always interested me, maybe because my own family always felt very standard, and when I was growing up I wanted to know more about how families—especially large ones—interacted.

Could you give us any hints about the next and final book in the series?
People die.

About A Curious Tale of the In-Between and writing in general
You have just written your first middle grade book, A Curious Tale of the In-Between. When you began did you set out writing for a younger age group or did it develop in that direction?
I had no idea what this story was going to be, at all. It was a rare, wonderful experience to write without worry (I’d like to try that again sometime). I hadn’t seriously considered publishing it at first, but when I told the story to my little cousin, who was in second grade at the time, her excitement and interest really motivated me to write for younger readers.

Out of all the series you’ve worked on do you have a favorite or one that comes easier to write than the others?
A Curious Tale of the In-Between.

Have any of your characters taken on a life of their own and go off the original path you had set for them?
Only all of them.

Thank you so much Lauren!

About Burning Kingdoms

BurningKingdomsSummary:
Danger descends in the second book of The Internment Chronicles, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Chemical Garden trilogy.

After escaping Internment, Morgan and her fellow fugitives land on the ground to finally learn about the world beneath their floating island home.

The ground is a strange place where water falls from the sky as snow, and people watch moving pictures and visit speakeasies. A place where families can have as many children as they want, their dead are buried in vast gardens of bodies, and Internment is the feature of an amusement park.

It is also a land at war.

Everyone who fled Internment had their own reasons to escape their corrupt haven, but now they’re caught under the watchful eye of another king who wants to dominate his world. They may have made it to the ground, but have they dragged Internment with them?

Releases today, March 10, 2015

Giveaway

This is an international giveaway. The winner may choose either Perfect Ruin or Burning Kingdoms
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My March TBR Pile

February was one heck of a month. A lot of bad happened and some good too…March hasn’t started off that much better but I’m optimistic it will improve. I have really enjoyed the books I’ve been reading. This month has a great selection and I’m really excited to escape reality into these books. Here’s a look at the month…

Pile of Books

MarchTBR2015

This is a rather small pile but I’m not wanting to feel stress these days. I’ve been reading at a slower pace so figured this was manageable. I think I’ll begin with Magonia. I’m so exciting and hope it lives up to my expectations. Have you read it yet?

Upcoming Posts for March

  • March 3- Blog Tour for A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
  • March 5- Blog Tour for The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  • March 10- Interview with Lauren DeStefano
  • Reviews for Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows and more.

Interview + Giveaway- Becky Wallace author of The Storyspinner

thestoryspinnertitle

Today I’m so excited to share an interview with Becky Wallace, the author of the upcoming book The Storyspinner. Immediately upon seeing the cover and that wonderful archery image I needed this book in my life. Beyond the lovely cover there are also so many elements I adore- magic, a fantasy realm and unexpected romance . I can’t wait to read this one and wanted to give you a chance to learn a bit more about the book and an opportunity to win a pre-order.

About the book

thestoryspinnerDrama and danger abound in this fantasy realm where dukes play a game for the throne, magical warriors race to find the missing heir, and romance blossoms where it is least expected.

In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer’s life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo’s case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father’s death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don’t get along. But while Johanna’s father’s death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren’t so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess—the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren’t the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up—girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything

Interview:

I read from the bio on your website that you’ve been a fantasy fan since you were young. What are some influential books for you?
I am the one of the original fantasy fangirls! I remember seeing Lloyd Alexander’s THE BLACK CAULDRON in my elementary school’s library and squealing like, well, a school girl. It wasn’t long after that I found THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE. And then of course, there is my undying affection for Greek Mythology! One of my earliest forays into writing a “book” was creating my own mythology in sixth grade. It’s a good thing my mother is not a hoarder, or there would be some embarrassing early manuscripts for the world to poke fun at!

What came first with constructing your novel, the characters or story?
The characters and the story of THE STORYSPINNER developed hand in hand. There was one scene from very early on in the book (chapter 2, if you want to get specific), that played in my head over and over. I kept wondering what kind of girl it would take to make that specific interaction believable. What would her background look like? What skills would she need to have? How in the world could she have gained those skills? The entire novel started with one scene and spread out from there.

The cover is absolutely beautiful and I love that it features a woman shooting an arrow. Is it safe to assume this is a representation of the main character, Johanna? Can we hope for her to excel in archery?
Johanna is an archer, but she is also an acrobat, a singer, and rather tricky with a blade. She excels in a lot of things—as a well-rounded entertainer should—but in THE STORYSPINNER archery only gets her into trouble.

When incorporating political intrigue into your book did you use historical reference and research to help flesh out your own character’s motivation and actions?
Santarem, the country the book is set in, is significantly different than anything I’ve studied in history. It is essentially a defunct kingdom with four independently operating states. It had once been united under a king, but after he was murdered and the capital city destroyed, the remaining dukes battled for power to a stalemate. The story starts six years into the treaty, but it isn’t a very stable—and for some characters, agreeable—situation. Trade routes are uneasy, old hatreds burn fiercely. When the characters’ motivations are clear, even if they’re not necessarily reasonable, it makes them easy (and fun!) to manipulate.

What other type of research did you do to help create your world and characters?

Gypsy Wagon

By Simon Burchell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The group of people Johanna belongs to are called Performers. They are gypsy-like nomads who travel from place to place in ornate wagons, carefully designed to make the best use of every bit of space. (I totally want one!! Maybe for a little writer’s hideaway?) It was fascinating to look at blueprints and pictures online and imagine keeping my entire life in something that’s roughly 6 feet by 12 feet!

Araucaria_araucana_PN_Villarrica_por_Pato_Novoa_020

Pato Novoa – Flickr: Araucaria araucana PN Villarrica_

I also did a lot of research into subtropical climates, trying to stay true to the types of trees, animals, and nasty little creatures that might inhabit a world like that. There are lots of pictures on my Pinterest board that really help illustrate the vibrant world of Santarem!

You introduce a group of people with magical powers, The Keepers. Can you tell us anything further about them? Perhaps what type of magic they can harness?
There are four Keepers in THE STORYSPINNER and they are soldier-mages. Their powers are elemental in nature, but each Keeper has an ‘affinity’ for something very specific. For a better explanation, Pira (one of my favorite characters…who am I kidding! They’re all my favorite!), has an affinity for metal. She’s a wicked blacksmith and almost impossible to fight because she can sense where metal is. Did I mention that I love her?

The Storyspinner is part of a series—how many do you have planned total? 
I’m contracted for two books in this series, and I just turned in the edits on the second book, but I’m definitely not done with the world of Santarem. I guess we’ll just have to see!

Giveaway:

This is an international giveaway for a pre-order of The Storyspinner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lego Cover Art- The Wrath & The Dawn

If you follow me here or on Twitter you would have seen me flailing about Renee Ahdieh’s upcoming book, The Wrath & The Dawn. I was lucky enough to win an advance copy and after reading it I became absolutely obsessed. This book is incredible and inspired by A Thousand and One Nights. I highly recommend that you add this one to your TBR list. Because of my obsession I had to create a Lego version of the cover. I had thought, oh this will be easy. Um, think again. I did about four versions before I got to this one. I hope you enjoy it!

TheWrath&TheDawnLego

 

Extras:

I’ll be posting an interview with Renee closer to the release date as well as a review.
I have 2 giveaways going for this book- a pre-order and for an ARC

Past Lego Covers:

 Blocks Unhinged   The Immortal Rules  

UnboundLego320 LegoStillBlue320 thewinnerscurse320fin MortalHeartFinal KissOfDeception320 ACOTARLego320