Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC Tours: Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2) by Hannah West


Realm of Ruins (The Nissera Chronicles #2)

by Hannah West
Release Date: December 4th 2018
Publisher: Holiday House
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
 photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

Synopsis:

Valory’s power is different . . . it’s dangerous, unruly, and destructive. But can she channel it to crush a cunning enemy and save the realm from chaos? 

Welcome to Nissera, land of three kingdoms and home to spectacular magic.

A century after her legendary ancestors overcame a bloodthirsty tyrant, seventeen-year-old Valory Braiosa attends a training academy for elicromancers, immortal beings with magical gifts. Yet Valory’s immense power seems impossible to tame, and she faces imprisonment by the Nisseran authorities. Then a forbidden resurrection spell awakens a long-dormant evil, and Valory may be the only one who can vanquish this terrifying villain. Together with a band of allies—including an old friend; a haughty princess; and a mysterious, handsome stranger—Valory must learn to harness her power and fight back.

Weaving together her imaginative world of gritty fairytale magic with snippets from Beauty and the Beast and other classic stories, Hannah West’s dark and dangerous adventure is a gripping, immersive companion to her acclaimed debut, Kingdom of Ash and Briars. This richly packaged edition includes an illustrated family tree, detailed map, and embossed jacket with shimmering metallic effects.


Can you briefly describe the world in Realm of Ruins and their main characters?

Realm of Ruins takes place in the realm of Nissera, which contains three kingdoms: Calgoran, Volarre, and Yorth. The realm is home to ancient elicrin magic, whose source is a deadly pool in the western woods. If you touch it, it will either offer you an elicrin stone, which means power and immortal life, or it will drown and kill you. Elicromancers are those who have survived the Water. They have unique stones and gifts, for the most part. There are shapeshifters and omnilinguals, healers and portal-makers...there’s no end to the possibilities. 

In ancient times, thousands of elicromancers lived in Nissera. But after a civil war killed many and the rest chose to give up their elicrin stones to avoid the temptation to rule over mortals, their numbers dwindled. In Kingdom of Ash and Briars, Bristal is one of only three elicromancers. But a century later, when Valory's story begins, the elicromancer population is on the rise and their bloodlines are closely intertwined with royal bloodlines. Elicromancers are making a comeback. They have their own academy. They have power and privilege.

Valory is a member of the royal family of Calgoran. She’s grown up attending the academy, but unlike her many royal relatives, she does not display a magic gift. But when tragedy strikes and Valory gains a destructive power, it sets her off on a journey that leads her to a new ensemble of unlikely allies. These include Mercer Fye, a mysterious boy she finds wounded on the side of the road; Kadri Lillis, a kind and witty childhood friend; and Glisette Lorenthi, an acerbic princess. 


Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

Sometimes - not always - your characters write themselves, and that's exactly how Valory and her band of allies was formed in Realm of Ruins. This is most true of Glisette Lorenthi, the imperious, spoiled, sly, yet surprisingly stalwart character who wrested control from me every time she appeared on the page. She insults, she bickers, and yet she self-evaluates and changes. 


If you were part of the Nissera Chronicles, what character would you be and why, and what powers (if any) would you have?

It’s funny - I intentionally set out to make Valory feel different from her ancestor, Bristal (the main character of Kingdom of Ash and Briars), but I think what I really did was mirror different aspects of my own personality and growth. Bristal is quiet, self-possessed, and doesn’t want to be seen or known. I relate to that. But Valory has an edge to her, an anger at the world and corrupt systems of power, which I related to deeply as I was writing Realm of Ruins. Ultimately, I think I’m probably more like Bristal, and I would honestly love to have her shapeshifting power. 


If you could choose one song to describe your book, which one would it be?

“Castle” by Halsey. It’s about an angry woman taking the power she deserves from a corrupt ruler. One of my favorite lines is “If you wanna break these walls down, you’re gonna get bruised.”



If the book was a movie/TV show, who would you imagine representing your characters?

It’s easier for me to find character inspo on Pinterest, and if you want to see the closest ideas I have for the characters, check out my Realm of Ruins Pinterest board. But as far as casting real actors and actresses, I’m gonna give it a try!

Valory Braiosa: Lily Sullivan


Mercer Fye: Okay I’ve already failed. Can someone find me a real person who looks like this?
(art credit Jirka Vinse at jirkavinse.com)


Kadri Lillis: Aiysha Hart


Glisette Lorenthi: Skyler Samuels or Kathryn Newton 
 



Hannah West is the author of Kingdom of Ash and Briars and its companion, Realm of Ruins. She's always loved writing about magic and fairytales, but her time studying abroad in Orléans, France inspired her to finally write and publish a fantasy novel. She's a freelance writer and vegetarian living in Texas with her husband and their rambunctious blue heeler.




a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday, December 11, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the club, The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1) by Mary Weber



The Evaporation of Sofi Snow (The Evaporation of Sofi Snow #1)

by Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: June 6th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Synopsis:

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi's dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth's corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth's Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi's the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she's convinced he's been taken to the ice-planet.

Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.

For Miguel, Earth's charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight's bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he's a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford.


Hello Mary! We are super excited to talk to you about THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW and to have you in our FFBC tours. 

Awww! So happy to get to chat with y’all – thanks for having me!

Favorite Book?

So far this year, my favorite books have been Dress Codes for Small Towns (love those spunky teens!) by Courtney Stevens, and Maggie Stiefvater’s All the Crooked Saints. Both have such tangible & sweet atmospheric writing - they make me want to live inside the pages.


Favorite TV show?

Oh gosh, at the moment? Stranger Things.



Favorite movie?

All time favorite – Lord of the Rings. This month – probably Wonder Woman. That scene where she steps out of the trench…am I the only person who cried, y’all? So powerful.


Favorite Song? 

I’m going old school with this answer to say - Canon in D. I began playing piano at 7, and it took me YEARS to learn. Such a timeless piece of music that holds every possible emotion within its notes. <3


Favorite Food?

Sushiiiiii!!


Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

Okay, is everyone’s first answer to this “The Shire”? Because obviously The Shire. Also, Hogwarts. Followed by whichever world Kell (from A Darker Shade of Magic) is currently traveling through.


What were your favorite books growing up?

Aw, I love this question! Everything Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie, Michael Crichton, and The Secret Garden. 


Favorite Quote?

“You were once wild here; don’t let them tame you.” Which also happens to be my current favorite tattoo. ;)



What are your fandoms?

Harry Potter (of course), Howl’s Moving Castle(!), and In the Wick of Time (can I claim fandom for a bookish candle shop? Because I’m totally going to).



Name a recent book you read that you would recommend to our YA fans?

The upcoming Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon (co-author of Doon). I enjoyed it so much I ended up endorsing it. Such a fun and fantastic female twist on the classic story! 


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW? 

Sure! The Evaporation of Sofi Snow is basically if Ender’s Game, Ready Player One, and The Hunger Games had a love child. It’s the story of an alien ice planet that’s suddenly appeared beside Earth’s moon, and the genius gamer girl who believes her brother’s been abducted and taken there for experimentation. To find him, she has to convince Miguel, Earth’s young and highly-sought-after ambassador she despises, to get her onto the planet. Except she may not like what she finds when they arrive. 

Basically, it’s a fun, fast-paced geekfest set in our near future. ;)



Can you tell us 3 interesting/random things about Sofi? 

(1) She wears a pair of old school headphones and obsessively listens to music to drown out the background static in her head.

(2) Her belief in the goodness of others can change the world.

(3) She loves her younger brother more than anything else, and to protect him, she might just destroy the world.



Can you tell us anything about the 2nd book in this series (RECLAIMING SHILO SNOW, which comes out 3/6/2018!!!)? 

So, I’m going to say this (even though I think authors aren’t actually supposed to, lol): Reclaiming Shilo Snow is probably my favorite of my books. It’s a mind twist of non-stop emotion and action, wrapped around the heart of everything I’ve wanted to say to the world over the past year and a half regarding our humanity, our hot mess of politics, and our culture as a community. 

As far as a few details – Sofi Snow is the most wanted teenager alive. She found her way to the icy, technologically brilliant planet of Delon to find Shilo, the brother everyone else believes is dead. But the more she and Ambassador Miguel discover of Sofi’s past and the Delonese’s dark plans for Earth, the more Sofi feels herself unraveling—as each new revelation has her questioning the very existence of reality. In this harrowing sequel to The Evaporation of Sofi Snow, Sofi and Miguel must trust each other and discover the secrets locked inside Sofi’s mind as the line between what’s real and what they imagine begins to slip away . . . threatening to take humanity with it. 


What are your fave Sci-Fi TV Shows or Movies? Stranger Things, X-Files, and Super 8! 

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book series? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW series). #TaylorSwiftsReadyForItVideo #VirtualRealityMeetsRealityTVGames #GirlsRuleTheWorld 


Tell us your favorite quote from THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW. 

Because with Sofi . . . She’d somehow managed to make him think he was exactly enough. 

It had scared the vida out of him. So bad that he’d risen from the couch and walked out, and had ever spoken to her again.

It wasn’t until the next morning, though, that he’d woken with the realization of what Sofi had truly done. She’d ruined him for what he’d been. 

I chose the above (from one of Miguel’s chapters) because it’s what I believe about each one of us. We all have the capacity to touch another’s soul and give the gift of freedom – the gift of feeling seen and of being accepted for who we’re becoming rather than just judged for the mistakes and mess we’ve made.


Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? 

I’ll have to go with the scenes between Sofi and her brother, Shilo. <3 I have four brothers as well as a son (who’s turning 12 today!), and I wanted to write a story that surrounds a sibling relationship. It’s something I’ve not seen as much of in the book world – and yet my own relationships and love for my siblings has heavily impacted who I am. The scenes and affections Sofi has are reflective of mine and many others, I suspect. J



If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW– Which one would you pick? 

Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, by the Flaming Lips 




Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THE EVAPORATION OF SOFI SNOW (specific music, snacks…)? 

A full playlist of electronica songs, three espresso shots, and a cozy coffee shop sofa. 


What’s next for you? 

Reclaiming Shilo Snow comes out in March (eep!), and I’m currently writing a standalone that may or may not be a fantasy for HarperCollins.


Thank you so much for everything, Mary!

Thank YOU!!!!! Sending you all hugs. <3





Mary Weber is the multiple-award-winning author of the bestselling young adult Storm Siren Trilogy, and The Evaporation of Sofi Snow series (all by HarperCollins). An avid high school, middle school, and conference speaker, Mary's passion is helping others find their voice amid a world that often feels too loud. When she's not plotting adventures involving tough girls who frequently take over the world, Mary sings 80's hairband songs to her three muggle children, and ogles her husband who looks strikingly like Wolverine. They live in California which is perfect for stalking L.A. bands, Comic-Con, and the ocean.


Mary's debut, Storm Siren, was featured in the Scholastic School Book Fairs, and her novels have been endorsed by bestselling authors Marissa Meyer, Jay Asher, Wendy Higgins, CJ Redwine, and Jonathan Maberry.

You can also find Mary's fun interviews in the paperback of Marissa Meyer's NYT bestselling, CRESS, and in Jay Asher's 13 REASONS WHY movie tie-in edition. Most recently, you can see her and her family as extras in the NETFLIX Original Series, 13 REASONS WHY.

She gets nerdy at @maryweber.com, FACEBOOK @MaryWeberAuthor, INSTAGRAM @MaryWeberAuthor, TWITTER @mchristineweber, and GOODREADS. Come say hi!!






Wednesday, November 1, 2017

FFBC: Welcome to the tour, This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada


This Mortal Coil

by Emily Suvada
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 7th 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction

Synopsis:

In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself?


Hello Emily! We are super excited to talk to you about THIS MORTAL COIL and to have you in our FFBC tours. 


Favorite Book? 


Favorite TV show? 

Battlestar Galactica



Favorite movie? 

Howl’s Moving Castle



Favorite Song? 

From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness by Coheed & Cambria




Favorite Food? 

Baked Macaroni & Cheese


Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

Hogwarts, Narnia, and Rivendell!


What were your favorite books growing up? 

The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Series by Douglas Adams, and Slapstick by Kurt Vonnegut.


Favorite Quote? 

“They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.” - Dorothy Parker


What are your fandoms? 

Harry Potter, Miyazaki, Star Trek, The 100, and Tool.


What are your fave Sci-Fi TV Shows or Movies?

I love Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Hackers, Orphan Black, Jurassic Park, Firefly, The Fifth Element, The Matrix, and Star Wars!


Name a recent book you read that you would recommend to our YA fans? 

I absolutely adored An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson!


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THIS MORTAL COIL?

THIS MORTAL COIL is set two years after the outbreak of a plague that kills its victims in a pretty horrifying way… Most survivors now live in bunkers that are run by a group called Cartaxus, but our hero, Catarina, has been told by her father to stay away from Cartaxus at all costs. She’s a genehacker - in this world people have the ability to rewrite their DNA, downloading and using ‘apps’ to change their bodies. When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with the news that her father has coded a vaccine, but that only Catarina can decrypt it, she embarks on a journey across the country to release the vaccine and end the plague.


Can you tell us 3 interesting/random things about Cat?

Oooo, I like this question. Here are three cool things about Cat:

1) As well as being a hacker, Cat is an amateur scientist. She mentions making gunpowder in the first chapter, and she can usually be found in her lab, working on her own experiments. 

2) When we meet her, Cat is a little bit feral. She gave up on having clean clothes a long time ago and just. does. not. care. She’s not very good at taking care of herself, can’t cook, and sleeps on a mattress on the floor beside her fireplace.

3) The letters of her surname, along with her nickname, Cat Agatta, are the bases that make up DNA - G,T,C, and A.


What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book series? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of THIS MORTAL COIL).

#thingsthatmakeyougoBOOM, #genehacking, and #TheSumOfOurGenes


How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

The first idea that came to me was the image of Cat, this feral girl living in a cabin in the woods during a horrifying outbreak. I loved the idea of her being resourceful and pragmatic, doing whatever it took to survive, and one day being confronted with an enemy soldier who says he’s come to protect her. So naturally, she tries to kill him. 

This interaction forms the first big plot point in the book, and once I had that image in my mind, I just kept adding cool things - genehacking, a virus that makes people explode, awful experiments on people - until the rest of the plot fell together. I take inspiration from a lot of things - almost everything I watch or read influences and textures my writing. The book is basically a love letter to my favorite tropes in YA and science fiction. 


Tell us your favorite quote from THIS MORTAL COIL.

There’s a lot of danger in this book, and several life-or-death moments for Cat. This is a quote that I wrote when my editors encouraged me to focus on what my character thought about mortality:

“The universe is continuous; I am the anomaly. I am the thread that begins and ends, the flame that sputters out. A chance collection of proteins and molecules that perpetuates itself, bound by the electric fire of my mind.”


Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write? Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

The scene that was the most fun to write was one at the midpoint at the book. Cat discovers that her life might be at immediate risk and has to go to extreme lengths to save herself. I’m not going to say any more than that, but trust me - you’ll know the scene when you read it. That scene was fun to write and rewrite, trying to make it more intimate and shocking each time.


If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THIS MORTAL COIL– Which one would you pick?

Probably 46&2 by Tool. That band was one of my major influences, growing up, and the song has relevance to the book in more ways than one.



Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THIS MORTAL COIL (specific music, snacks…)? 

This is a demanding book, and almost every single scene ties into a twist or reveal later on (or is building up to more twists in the rest of the series). It also moves at a demanding pace, and only gives you a few good opportunities to put it down. My recommendation would be to get comfortable in a place where you can dive into the story, although that’s my recommendation for most books! You might also want to plan a vegetarian meal for the evening, too... 


What’s next for you? 

I’m working hard on Book 2! This is the start of a series, and Book 2 begins right after the end of THIS MORTAL COIL. There are *so* many more twists to come. Keep an eye out for details on the sequel in the months to come!


Thank you so much for everything, Emily!




Emily Suvada was born and raised in Australia, where she went on to study mathematics and astrophysics. She previously worked as a data scientist, and still spends hours writing algorithms to perform tasks which would only take minutes to complete on her own. When not writing, she can be found hiking, cycling, and conducting chemistry experiments in her kitchen. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her husband.