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.

Interview

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. marierutkoski.com

Extras

Giveaway

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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:
star

Summary:
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.

New Book Obsessions for the New Year + International Giveaway

Happy New Year! 2015 is upon us and so it’s time to take stock of all the books I’m eager to read this upcoming year. I’ve been lucky enough to get a few of my most coveted books early and have read or am in the process of reading them.

2015 Releases I’ve Read or Am Reading:

16085457 16096824 17901125 18068907 18798983

20443207 20560137 22328546 22447220 20911450

I’ll be posting reviews of these as each gets closer to their release date. Ensnared will be this week.

Series Continuations:

16181625 17558151 19401348 20697410

21469053 21473811 21569527 22678141 13638020

Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen, Of Dreams and Rust by Sarah Fine , The Vanishing Throne by Elizabeth May, Golden Son by Pierce Brown, Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci, The Wondrous and the Wicked by Page Morgan, The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson, Daughter of Dusk by Livia Blackburne and Angelfall 3 by Susan Ee

These two I’ll cheat and order the Australian version when it releases because I have zero patience.

18516682 19548107
Every Move by Ellie Marney and Burn by Paula Weston

And of course-Winter by Marissa Meyer, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, the 4th Throne of Glass, 4th Raven Cycle book, and Ungodly by Kendare Blake. I can’t wait to see the covers when they are released.

First in a New Series:

23437156 A Darker Shade final for Irene 20643052 18782912

18368525 18081228 16071187 22718738

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine, Dove Arising by Karen Bao, Tangled Webs by Lee Bross, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, The Cage by Megan Shepherd and Becoming Jinn by Lori Goldstein

Stand Alones (or not listed as a series on Goodreads):

18190208 20308537 20873145 21393526

22718701 22929540 23399192 22561320 23014642

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker, The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough, Trollhunters by Daniel Kraus &  Guillermo del Toro, Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson, Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George, Rook by Sharon Cameron, Velvet by Temple West and The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

I am confident I’ve forgotten some amazing titles but this is a pretty good start to the books I’m eager for this year. I’d love to see your list or hear of some that I’ve forgotten. This next year’s titles look so amazing and those covers….so beautiful.

This is just a glimpse of my 2015 Wish-list. If you care to see more you can find them on my Goodreads here

Giveaway

I want to give you the chance to win a pre-order of one of my most anticipated (or already read and loved) reads this year.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Favorites of 2014

I figure I have to share my favorite reads of this last year. A few 2014 books, that are obviously missing from this list, made my favorites of 2013. You can find them here.

As with anytime I’m making a list I feel like I’m forgetting a couple really wonderful ones but this gives you an idea.

Favorite 2014 Published Reads:

 19286545 18782855 17235026 16429619 15791085

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth, Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay, The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey, The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson and The Falconer by Elizabeth May

Sadly, I felt that 2014 in general was sort of a let down in my blogging and personal life. I feel incredibly optimistic about 2015–I hope to maintain motivation for blogging and work on more interesting content. Here’s to a bright and shiny new year.

Favorite 2015 Reads (that I read in 2014):

16096824 20443207 20560137 18798983 EveryWord

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabba Tahir, The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh and Every Word by Ellie Marney

Let me just tell you from what I’ve read from 2015 so far the books are absolutely stellar. It looks like it’ll be a huge year in fantasy and I can’t wait to read them ALL. Side note- Every Word (sequel to Every Breath) hasn’t released in the US yet but you can order the UK/Australian version.

What were your favorites of 2014?

Stacking the Shelves

This week was wonderful for my book haul! I got one of my most anticipated reads– The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. I’m obsessed with her writing and this series. I dropped everything to read it and I’m nearly done. It is amazing.

I also got sick this week. My whole family got hit with a cold and I’m the last to come down with it. I thought I’d escaped! Darn! I am on cold medicine so feel better but I don’t feel all there in the head. Medicine brain for sure.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review:

 TheWinnersCrimeSoulPrint

AHHHH! The Winner’s Crime is in  my hands! I swooned upon opening the package. I have been wanting this one since the moment I read The Winner’s Curse. If you’ve followed this blog for awhile you’ll recall my complete adoration of Marie Rutkoski and her writing.

Soulprint’s summary seemed so interesting I had to request it. I’m hoping it’s as wonderful as I hope it’ll be.

Gift:

MaasBooks

TheIronTrial
Our Lego cover art for Crown of Midnight was included in the Heir of Fire fan trailer! I was pumped! And today I received this massive package from Bloomsbury and look what was inside! So amazing of them.

Jon at Scott Reads It! is such a great friend and got The Iron Trial signed for me. Thank you! That cover is even more beautiful in person. Pictures don’t do it near justice.

Posts from Last Week:

How was your week?