Interview with Mary Pearson Author of The Remnant Chronicles + Giveaway

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I’m so excited to be hosting The Remnant Chronicles Read Along with these amazing bloggers- Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Christina from The Book Hook Up, Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie, and Jamie from Two Chicks on Books.

Interview

The Kiss of Deception stands out from your other books since it is set in a different world than our own. Can you describe some of the difficulties or advantages writing outside of our reality?
This is a tricky question to answer, because even though the Remnant world doesn’t look like our world, it is based very much on our world, really, in the same way so much of fantasy is. Often fantasy worlds are metaphors for our own, and let us see our reality in a new light.

In Remnant’s case, it was like our world in a very real sense too, because it grew out of the ashes of our present one, along with whatever snips of memory and tradition the few survivors of the “Devastation” had to pass on, and with the scrabbling to survive for generations, much was lost—except story. But in the Remnant world, as in our own, the story changed as it was passed along, or sometimes it was purposely twisted to serve another purpose, and what started as a hazy memory told in story, became the history and belief system of many nations.

As with our own histories, trying to parse out the truth thousands of years later can be an impossible task. Until we can master the trick of time travel, some truths are lost forever. (Ah, time travel! Maybe that will be the next story . . .)

So yes, the Remnant world looked and operated differently in so many ways and writing that part was a fun challenge, but in so many other ways—especially in the ways in which we love and hate each other—it was still very much the same. Some things are timeless.

This August the last of The Remnant Chronicles, The Beauty of Darkness, releases. How does it feel to be saying goodbye to this series (*sniff*)?
It is hard to say goodbye.  I’m still not sure I have.  A few characters keep whirling in my head, voices, snips of dialogue, story beginnings.  Just because you write “the end” it doesn’t mean that a world vanishes overnight or the gears in your brain stop turning.

On the other hand, it is enormously satisfying to see the stories come to completion, the full arc realized. Even when you think you know how a story will end, you are never entirely certain it is all going to come together how you hoped, not so much from a plot standpoint but from an emotional point of view. And of course I was juggling three main characters arcs—not just one. It was a challenge but I was happy with the outcome for each of the characters. It felt true and complete, and typing “The End” was satisfying, even if it was bittersweet to say goodbye.

Did the story and characters go as you had planned or did they surprise you as you wrote?
Oh, there were always surprises. Secondary characters came on the scene who threw me curve balls. In the last book, both the Komizar and Aster grew into much more full-bodied characters than I expected. Aster hadn’t even been planned. She first appeared in my head when she dropped boots off at Lia’s doorstep. I had no idea she would steal my heart. That is what I love about writing. If I had every detail planned it would feel robotic. The world and the characters have to inject their own life into the story, and I follow their leads.

In The Beauty of Darkness there were some surprises too—a character who appeared in the first book, Natiya, returned, and I saw a young Lia in the making. It was interesting for me to see Natiya’s transformation. Her experiences had made her stubborn and fierce which we got a glimpse of in the first book. It exasperated Lia to deal with someone so much like herself.

Also, the demise of a certain character, and the way this character died had not been planned, but it almost fell into my lap as the most perfect way for this person to die. (Yes, I revel in certain deaths. Scary, huh?)

And finally, in The Heart of Betrayal, Aster stole a book from the piles in the caverns. In The Beauty of Darkness, I had to find a “description” for this book and I brainstormed tons of them with both my editor and agent and it seemed nothing was quite right and finally one came to mind that was not only perfect for the story, but perfect for Aster too.

So some surprises are always part of the writing process, even when you think you know the direction you are going and how everything will play out.

What do you have coming next?
Ideas are simmering. A few have taken hold. I’m waiting to see which one rises to the top and wins my undying attention.

Are you as excited as I am about The Beauty of Darkness? It releases NEXT MONTH. I can’t wait.

Check out these other posts I’ve done about this series

Giveaway

To enter to win these two prizes you just need to join the read along and fill out the rafflecopter from below! (FYI, these won’t be the only prizes we’ll be giving away. There will be great prizes up for grabs during the twitter chats and for the Instagram challenges, so make sure to participate in those to get a chance to win some other goodies!)

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The Remnant Chronicles Readalong+ Giveaway

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This is my very first read along I’ve participated in and hosted! I’m honored to be hosting with some amazing bloggers: Bridget from Dark Faerie Tales, Christina from The Book Hook Up, Stacee from Adventures of a Book Junkie, and Jamie from Two Chicks on Books. I had to join in because I’m in love with The Remnant Chronicles by Mary Pearson. This series is sooo good and I can’t wait to help spread the love.

Have you read these yet? If so, you should reread with us and if not you must give these a go! They are so well written and I love all the characters.

We’ll be reading The Kiss of Deception this month, The Heart of Betrayal in July and The Beauty of Darkness in August. Want to join in? Use the hashtag #TRCReadAlong and sign up here.

Schedule

The Kiss of Deception

June 1st: Start The Kiss of Deception
June 5th-11th: KOD Instagram Challenge/Giveaway
June 20th-24th: Special Blog Posts
June 29th: Twitter Chat at 9 EST where we will discuss The Kiss of Deception and have a fun trivia game with prizes

The Heart of Betrayal

July 1st: Start The Heart of Betrayal
July 3rd-9th: HOB Instagram Challenge/Giveaway
July 18th-22nd: Special Blog Posts
July 27th: Twitter Chat at 9 EST where we will discuss the Heart of Betrayal and have a fun trivia game with prizes

The Beauty of Darkness

August 2nd: Start The Beauty of Darkness
August 11th: Special Facebook Chat with Mary E. Pearson (More details to come)
August 7th-13th: BOD Instagram Challenge/Giveaway
August 22nd-26th: Special Blog Posts
August 31st: Twitter Chat at 9 EST where we will discuss the Beauty of Darkness and have a fun trivia game with prizes

Giveaway

There will be two grand prizes up for grabs!

The first prize is a $25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble/Book Depository Gift Card!
This is international as long as you can accept an e-gift card from one of these vendors!

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The second prize is an amazing Remnant Chronicles Prize pack (US ONLY) that will include:

  • Signed hardcover copies of all 3 books in the Remnant Chronicle Series
  • One item up to $20 from Bookish Beauty’s Society 6 or Redbubble shop (the beautiful Some Stories pillow is from this shop!)
  • Two gorgeous Deception Candles from Novelly Yours (These were made special for this read along and you guys them smell amazing! Because they turned out so awesome the lovely Brittany now has them for sale in her shop!)
  • (not pictured) A special bracelet featuring beautiful charms made by Celeste Pewter (Check out her awesome etsy shop here!)
  • A hand lettered journal made by Bridget with one of her favorite quotes from the series.
  • Tons of great Remnant Chronicles swag
  • Possibly a few surprises as well!

A huge thank you to Macmillan/Mary for providing the signed hardcover copies! Thank you to everyone involved in putting these prizes together!

To enter to win these two prizes you just need to join the read along and fill out the rafflecopter from below! (FYI, these won’t be the only prizes we’ll be giving away. There will be great prizes up for grabs during the twitter chats and for the Instagram challenges, so make sure to participate in those to get a chance to win some other goodies!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour- The Heart of Betrayal Guest Post + Giveaway

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I was a huge fan of The Kiss of Deception so I was confident I’d enjoy the sequel, The Heart of Betrayal. Little did I know, I’d enjoy the second installment even more than the first. I think the reason I love these books so much is due to the characters and the growth they go through in each book.

This series is so incredible I can’t recommend it enough. I am honored and thrilled to have Mary here today talking about her main character Lia and the fan attention this character has acquired in such a short amount of time.

Guest Post

After so many fans chose sides for each of Lia’s love interest -the hashtag #TeamLia was created in the fandom. Could you talk about her growth as a character?

Team Lia

Lia has come a long way—both literally and figuratively. At the beginning of The Kiss of Deception, she knew she wanted something more from life than what was being offered to her—like choice, power, and control of her own destiny. Isn’t that what we all want? And love too. Yes, let’s not leave that out. Lia wanted to love freely and be genuinely loved—not the kind of love dictated by an alliance and a marriage document. I think we all want that too.  To be loved for who we are, not what we are, or because of some perceived value we can bring to a relationship.

While at times, Lia might be impulsive and her actions rash, she is not a person lacking conviction. I love that about her.  As her best friend Pauline pointed out, “We can’t always wait for the perfect timing,” and Lia doesn’t. Sometimes it gets her into trouble, but she is at least taking action and trying to take control of her own life, and in the process, discovering more precisely what it is she wants, not just for herself, but for others too. And she is fierce in her goals.

I have to say, the first time I saw a #TeamLia tag, I was thrilled. It felt like fans were on her team supporting HER choice, no matter what that was. So yay! Besides Pauline, Lia has more bff’s—a whole army of them!

About the Book

HoBThe Heart of Betrayal
By: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 7th 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co

Summary:
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

Giveaway

This giveaway is being provided by the publisher so it is only US/Canada.

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Extras

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Top Ten Tuesday- My Top Ten Reads So Far in 2015

I saw Becca on Twitter talking about doing her Top Ten Tuesday (meme created by The Broke and the Bookish) post and I really liked the prompt this week so thought I’d jump in and do one. So, here I go, attempting to pick ten of my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year. I’m most likely going to forget a couple. These are not in order of my love and adoration.

Top Ten Books I’ve Read in 2015

23437156Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo- I love Leigh Bardugo. I’ve read everything I can find of hers and she is on my “read no matter what” list. I had high expectations for SoC and let me tell you- it lived up to ALL of them. I can’t recommend this one enough. I fell in love with the characters, especially Kaz. Go into this one expecting the Grisha world but a different feel than the prior series.
Release Date: September 29th 2015

23395680Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff- I’ll admit it I was worried I’d not like this one. I thought that the way it was written with e-mails, chats, etc would not allow me to bond with the characters or really connect to the story. How wrong I was! I fell in love with the characters and the story was sublime. I will be reading this one again and pushing it on my husband (who’s not a reader). This sci fi hit all the right notes for me.
Release Date: October 20th 2015

23719469An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet- If you’re like me you see the crow on the cover and you think- that looks similar to SoC. I decided to request it based on the description and I’m so glad I did. This book was slow paced and so atmospheric. I really loved the slow build and quiet eeriness Bobet provoked with her writing. I totally shipped the wrong couple (oops) and I’m still in love with one of the characters. I really, really need another book concerning this character! His story had so much more in my opinion. If you like Not a Drop to Drink then you might enjoy this one too. It is a much different story but the feel was similar to me.
Release Date: October 6th 2015

25068467Uprooted by Naomi Novak- Have you been on Twitter? If so you’ve probably seen the hype surrounding this book. It has many, many folks saying how wonderful it is so I was intimidated to read it. I had the feeling I’d love it because it hit so many of the things I adore but I was still nervous since I had HIGH expectations. I am so thrilled that I loved it. The writing was strong and I loved the fairy tale feel. The Dragon was such a great character and over all this book was just fabulous. MY REVIEW
Out Now

untitledRebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson- I was really in the need for just this type of book when I read Rebel Mechanics. It was fun, fast paced and I loved Lord Henry. I couldn’t help but picture him as the 10th Doctor so I fell madly in love with him. That love drove me through the story and had me giddy for each of his scenes. The rest of the book was good too, haha! I really liked the mix of alternate history and steampunk and really just found it an all around good time. MY REVIEW
Release Date: July 14th 2015

Ritter_BeastlyBones_jkt_COMP.inddBeastly Bones by Will Ritter- Last year I fell in love with Jackaby so I immediately dove into this sequel when a copy arrived. I adored the writing, story and it had DINOSAUR BONES. I loved the archeology bits and really the characters are amazing. How can you not love Jackaby? I think these books are amazingly fun and I hope we get to see many, many more adventures in the future.
Release Date: September 22nd 2015

23719270Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman- THAT COVER. THAT SUMMARY. This book was so well done. I was surprised by the twists, I was horrified, I was moved. I was so happy to see a YA go with the western feel and really I can’t say enough about this book. I was really surprised with just how powerful and amazing this one was because it’s a standalone and I’ll admit that at times I feel those are rushed (with character development). Not so in VR. I felt attached to all the characters, main and secondary. I was very concerned for everyone’s well being which is saying a lot.
Release Date: September 1st 2015

18488433The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace- I didn’t hear a whole lot about this one when I requested it but based on the summary I felt confident it would be a ‘Kristen book’ I was right. I loved the pacing, story arc and setting. I thought the characters were wonderfully crafted and I loved the magic system Becky created. It had a fantasy feel but also sort of a history feel since the world was so realistic and easy to believe. MY REVIEW
Release Date: Out Now

A Darker Shade final for IreneA Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab- I really loved Victoria’s YA books but let me just say her adult (crossover?) books are AMAZING. I absolutely love the direction her writing has taken and this world building was stellar. Alternate worlds, cross dressing pirates, bad ass characters. What’s not to love?  MY REVIEW
Release Date: Out Now

T21569527he Heart of Betrayal by Mary Pearson- THIS BOOK. I was on the edge of my seat, completely gripped and blown away. Most sequels aren’t better than the first book but this one was. This book was so incredibly well done I must reread it, and soon. I really can’t wait to see how Mary breaks my heart with the next book. Do be kind Mary, please?
Release Date: July 7th 2015 

There are more I could add! Even as I type this I’m thinking of other books I loved (END OF DAYS, ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN, etc) the list could go on and on. I obviously have read some amazing books this year so far.

Link to your Top Ten Tuesday if you did one if not- what are some of your favorite books you’ve read this year?

My February To Read Pile

January is behind us and now it’s the month of love- February. I ended up reading 12 books in January and I’d love to read that many again this month but I’m going to keep my reading pile smaller than that. I don’t want to cause unnecessary stress on myself.

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I had to start The Heart of Betrayal immediately upon receiving it because I’ve been waiting forever and I’m not patient. I’m about 50 pages from the end so it’s cheating a bit to have it on the list but whatever. It’s been amazing- maybe even better than the first book.

I am about half-way into Invaded and sadly I’m not loving it. I’ve been tempted to DNF but I’ll keep trying for a tiny bit more. Solitaire looks to be different than my norm and was unsolicited but I’m going to give it a shot. The Storyspinner doesn’t release all that soon but I know I’ll not be able to wait to read it much longer.

I’ve started Magonia, Illusionaruim and A Wicked Thing but haven’t made much progress on any of them. I hope to read them all this month too.

I’m really excited about the posts I’ve got planned this month. I have 3 interviews this month:

  • Interview with Melinda Salisbury author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter-first week of February
  • Interview with Becky Wallace author of The Storyspinner-second week of February
  • I’ll be participating in 12 Days of Fictional Swooning Hop- February 13th
  • Interview with Karen Bao author of Dove Arising- end of February

What do you plan to read this month?