Blog Tour- The Winner’s Kiss and My Favorite Literary Kiss

Winners Kiss Blog Tour Banner 1 (3)

I am such a huge fan of this series and am so honored to be participating in the blog tour for The Winner’s Kiss. I’ve adored each and every book and had the absolute pleasure of reading The Winner’s Kiss already and…wow. Let me tell you…it’s perfect. It gave me everything I wanted in a series conclusion.

This is such a fun blog tour (be sure to check out the other tour stops)! Each of the participating blogs will talk about their favorite literary kiss. I found this to be very difficult to narrow down to just one but decided to pick a kiss from The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

What book is your favorite literary kiss in?

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Who is kissing?

View Spoiler »

Why is it your favorite?


His breath was hot. The kiss was slow. Don’t stop, don’t stop. I couldn’t think of anything but those words: don’t stop. His hands ran up my sides, my back, and clasped me.

I shipped this couple so much I nearly screamed when I got to this scene. I chatted up a friend that was reading it too and we squealed and I reread it a few more times.

About the Book

TheWinnersKissThe Winner‘s Kiss
by Marie Rutkoski
On Sale March 29th, 2016

War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it with untrustworthy new allies and the empire as his enemy. Though he has convinced himself that he no longer loves Kestrel, Arin hasn’t forgotten her, or how she became exactly the kind of person he has always despised. She cared more for the empire than she did for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she did for him.

At least, that’s what he thinks.

In the frozen north, Kestrel is a prisoner in a brutal work camp. As she searches desperately for a way to escape, she wishes Arin could know what she sacrificed for him. She wishes she could make the empire pay for what they’ve done to her.

But no one gets what they want just by wishing.

As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover that the world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and they are caught in between. With so much to lose, can anybody really win?

About the Author

Marie-Rutkoski-credit Tobias EverkeMarie Rutkoski is the author of The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders and The Celestial Globe. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors. Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa, where she took Writers’ Workshop classes and studied with Pulitzer Prize-winner James Alan McPherson. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She lives in New York City with her husband and cat.


Blog Tour- The Winner’s Crime Interview & Giveaway

WinnersCrime BlogTour

I am honored to have Marie Rutkoski on the blog again to answer my questions about her next book, The Winner’s Crime. I absolutely adored The Winner’s Curse and this next installment. If you are a fan of vivid storytelling, lush, elegant prose and complicated characters these books are for you.


The romance between Arin and Kestrel is realistic as well as heart-breaking. Are you a fan of star-crossed lovers and who would you say is your favorite couple?
I love all kinds of romances. Star-crossed romances can be particularly delicious, but I really need for the reason the lovers can’t be together to feel real, not arbitrary, and made distinct. I love that Karou and Akiva from Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone are star-crossed not just because of their difference in species (if that’s the right word to talk about humans, angels, and chimeras), but also because Akiva does something for which there seems to be no possible solution ever.

Some other favorite star-crossed couples: Gen and Irene from The Queen of Attolia. Sunshine and Constantine from Sunshine. Maud and Sue from Fingersmith. Eldric and Briony from Chime. Kaye and Roibin from Tithe and Ironside. Marcus Flutie and Jessica Darling.

Both couples from I’ll Give You the Sun (Noah and Brian, Jude and Oscar). Nelson’s writing makes the attraction so alive, but it’s also the fear that all four characters have of love that really puts the knife in me, I suppose because we all know what it’s like to want what we think we can’t or shouldn’t have.

What was the strangest thing you’ve found in your research for this series?
The loveliest thing I’ve come across lately is Socrates’s explanation for how cicadas came into existence. It’s in the Phaedrus. The most fun has been learning about forging and smithing weapons. I’m not sure I’ve come across anything strange, exactly….

This is a common question but I’m always curious about- in developing your characters are you inspired by people you know, read about, etc?
Roshar is based not so much on a friend but on a kind of friendship I have with certain people, where we tease each other and also try to be clever, and out-clever the other in a loving way. I think there’s a common thread between Eugenides and Kestrel—they’re very different people, but one of the things I’ve always loved about reading Gen in Megan Whalen Turner’s books is his fierce intelligence, his cunning ways, and how he can be emotionally undone by his scheming. I wanted to write a book about characters who are too smart for their own good. Kestrel and Arin both fit that bill.

If you could time travel would you go to the past or future? Why?
The past. Because then I could meet Jamie Fraser. Oh wait? He’s fictional? You could have fooled me! But yes, definitely the past. The future worries me, and as someone who has spent a lot of time reading about the past (Shakespeare’s England, in particular), I’d just have to see how what I imagine matches with what really was.

Thanks for having me!

About the Book

TheWinnersCrimeCoverFollowing your heart can be a crime
A royal wedding is what most girls dream about. It means one celebration after another: balls, fireworks, and revelry until dawn. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement: that she agreed to marry the crown prince in exchange for Arin’s freedom. But can Kestrel trust Arin? Can she even trust herself? For Kestrel is becoming very good at deception. She’s working as a spy in the court. If caught, she’ll be exposed as a traitor to her country. Yet she can’t help searching for a way to change her ruthless world . . . and she is close to uncovering a shocking secret.
This dazzling follow-up to The Winner’s Curse reveals the high price of dangerous lies and untrustworthy alliances. The truth will come out, and when it does, Kestrel and Arin will learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

About the Author

Marie Rutkoski is the author of The Winner’s CurseThe Shadow Society, and the Kronos Chronicles, which includes The Cabinet of Wonders. She is a professor at Brooklyn College and lives in New York City.



Enter to win a copy of either The Winner’s Curse (paperback) or The Winner’s Crime (hardcover). The wonderful Macmillan is providing the prize so US only.

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Review of The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

20443207The Winner’s Crime
By: Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement…if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

My Thoughts:
Another remarkable book from Marie Rutkoski. Her writing was impeccable and incredibly engaging. Once I picked this up it was impossible to put it aside. I NEEDED to know what would happen. I even peeked at later chapters, and I NEVER do that. This was one intense read- start to finish. I was at the edge of my seat literally holding my breath. I am so invested in these characters that anything that could cause them harm (emotionally and physically) had me gripping the book white knuckled.

As with a lot of second books the two main characters are pulled away from one another. This always causes me emotional turmoil but Marie does it well. We do get to see interactions between Arin and Kestrel. Are there enough? Never. I can’t recalling hoping for a happily ever after for two people more. I need them to succeed in their journeys. TWC focused heavily upon the development of both these characters as well as them reconsidering and evaluating their choices with each other and in the grand scheme of things. I felt that it was very realistic and absolutely plausible and likely that if these characters were real (THEY ARE IN MY HEAD AND HEART) they would be dealing with these things exactly.

There were not a ton of action sequences but the pacing felt fast and urgent. The stakes felt real and oh, so high. Like I said, I was tense and stressed throughout the entirety of the book. I flipped pages as fast as I could read to find out what was going to happen next. I will be doing another reading at a slower pace to really appreciate Marie’s beautiful wording.

About those scenes between star crossed lovers, Arin and Kestrel, they are beautifully done. Not only was Arin and Kestrel’s pulse racing but mine was too. Seriously guys, these books have me so immersed in this story I can’t even explain it. I am beyond invested in these characters and this wait for book three will be torture. The Winner’s Crime stacked the cards and everything is in place for the final book. My heart will be aching until it is in my hands.

Final Thoughts:
If you read The Winner’s Curse and appreciated Marie’s beautiful writing, well developed characters and a complex world you will adore this book, I’m sure of it. Once again this series proves to be one of my all time favorites. I can’t fathom the emotional journey I’ll take for the next and final book.

Review of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)The Winner’s Curse
By: Marie Rutkoski
Release Date: March 4th 2014
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Source: ARC (won in giveaway)

My Rating:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

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Lego Cover Art- The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse took little time to capture me in its grasp and not let go. I have fallen head over heels in love with this book especially the characters. Of course, with any beautiful cover and story I love I immmediatly consider the cover remade in Lego.

My husband and I are a team when it comes to the Lego covers which we’ve been featuring for a while now. We knew early on this would be one we’d attempt. Going in we knew there were some challenges with the position of Kestrel’s body and her hand holding the ‘R’ I think Kestrel looks amazing as a Lego and I only wish I could add her to my mini-figure collection.


 Blocks UnhingedThe Immortal RulesUnboundLego320LegoStillBlue320

I was honored to be one of the stops on The Winner’s Curse Blog Tour, be sure to check out my interview , playlist and to enter the giveaway!