Today we have some amazing books to share with you. I had a great time reading Witch Hearts, so scary and creepy... with a touch of magic and witches, and I am definitely putting the Donovan Circus series in my TBR and with some luck I would be able to read them soon ('cause I'm dying to!). I just need more free time.
Either way, Liz Long's an amazing author and I'm really happy to have her in our blogoversary event. And I'm also happy to share with you her work and a sneak peak about the Donovan Circus series with the interview. Hope you enjoy and don't forget to enter the giveaway for the chance to read this fabulous books!
Release Date: April 11th 2013
Read my review for Witch Hearts
How does a witch stay safe if a killer can get through her protection spells?
Witches like Ruby and Courtney can take care of themselves. So when Courtney is murdered, Ruby’s world crashes to a halt. The only thing keeping her grounded is the return of Courtney’s brother, Cooper. He seeks revenge, but Ruby wants to help other witches stay alive. To do that, she’ll have to reunite with her old coven’s High Priest, who also happens to be her cheating ex-boyfriend.
If that wasn’t awkward enough, when the killer gets too close, Cooper temporarily moves into Ruby’s place while a police officer tails her every move. Cooper’s presence distracts Ruby as they fight their desire against their need to stay safe. Then Courtney begins to haunt Ruby’s dreams and secrets are spilled, things from Cooper’s past that could get them both killed. The killer continues to stalk Ruby and the more she discovers, the more she fears she won’t be able to keep her heart in her chest.
Gifted: A Donovan Circus Novel
Release Date: April 18th 2012
Even in a world of freaks, being a Firestarter is considered a dangerous Gift.
Lucy was born with the ability to create and control fire. She longs to leave the human world for one filled with Earthshakers, Transporters, and Chameleons, to name a few. When she rejoins the circus, it’s everything she hoped it could be—new friends, a potential love interest or two, and a place where she can be herself.
When troupe members begin turning up dead, however, Lucy is suspected of foul play. She must not only prove her innocence but also realize the full extent of her power. To find the real murderer, she must uncover the truth behind her father’s fiery legacy while figuring out whom to trust within her new circle. Little does she know the history of the Donovan Circus and its enemies might actually destroy the entire gifted world.
Burned, A Donovan Circus Novel
Release Date: December 19th 2013
“Tell Sheffield that Medved is hunting him…the Bear is coming.”
Nearly a month after Lucy Sullivan saved the Donovan Circus from certain death, she discovers that Dr. Felix Hardy wasn’t the only bad guy around. When Lucy is attacked on home ground, Sheffield Donovan reveals that there are bigger foes in their world, gifted that use their powers to kill others – including her own family, as she learns from her ringmaster mentor. Medved, a Russian thug and powerful Shapeshifter, is intent on outing the gifted world and will stop at nothing to succeed.
In order to survive, Lucy and her friends must travel to another show, the Grayson Circus, for help. The uneasy alliance with owner Albert Grayson comes with potential new friends and dark secrets about their competition, including a troublemaker named Mel and an old flame of Lucy’s father. Lucy must also contend with her feelings about Keegan and Gabriel, as well as learn how to contain her rampant emotions or risk setting the entire place ablaze.
Will Lucy be able to save the Donovan Circus again? Or will Medved and his men slaughter everyone in their path on the way to gifted domination?
Hi Liz! We are really happy to have you here today for our blogoversary event.
You may know Liz by her mystery paranormal book: Witch Hearts, her Urban Fantasy Young Adult novels: A Donovan Circus.
You know, it all started with Lucy. I wanted to write about a girl who could control fire. When I thought about her world and how she’d adapt, the circus became an obvious choice to me. I wanted to also include a murder mystery, and it sort of ran away from there!
I wouldn’t say difficult. It was pretty fun, actually! I loved getting ideas for the supernatural circus. I hadn’t been to the circus in years, but have been to 2 different shows, watched the PBS documentary The Big Apple, and tried to figure out how to tie in the magic part of things with the real circus.
I would say that it’s fantasy meets murder mystery. There’s a lot of plot-driven action that I think makes it full of adventure, but there’s a lot of mystery over stories and rumors and what will happen based on certain characters and their pasts. You never quite know who to trust until it’s too late. The circus is fantastical, sure, but it’s simply a unique setting that adds more to the plot and lends a little bit of that magic and secrecy.
I think the best thing about her is that she’s incredibly loyal. Once she lets someone into her circle, she has their back for life. The worst thing about her? Probably her stubbornness – for example, she’s so adamant about avoiding her emotions that it actually makes her vulnerable (and sometimes a bit of a mouthy jerk). Once she gets an idea in her head, it’s tough to get it out!
Lucy’s world is very dangerous, only she’s just now coming to terms with that fact. In Gifted, she gets a taste of things, but it’s in Burned that she finally starts to understand just what she’s gotten herself into. The plot surprised even me – the fights that occur between gifted go farther back than even I originally imagined. Lucy’s in constant danger because she’s too good at being a Firestarter – it makes her a target for all the psychos looking to rule the world or force gifted into coming out to humans. They want to weaponize her, steal her gift, kill her, etc – whatever it takes for them to become the leader.
I didn’t find it dangerous at all – once she’s accused of murder, it was easy to see how others would not only be scared of her, but wary enough to consider ways to get her to leave. Then when she finds out why that particular person was killed, secrets start spilling out from everywhere. Because she isn’t quite sure what to believe, that adds to the danger of wondering who would actually be holding the knife in her back.
“Lucy only wanted to be normal amidst the freaks.”
I think it holds up well to the fact that while Lucy wants to be normal and fit in, she’s eager to do it with people who are misfits like her. That resonates with me as well – I’m not the type to go into the mainstream. I definitely have my own drumbeat and it’s with unique people where I fit in most. Lucy simply wants to belong, like any one of us, but not in that “popular, cool kids” way that’s typical of so many young female protagonists. She knows she’s a misfit – and that’s okay by her so long as she has other misfits to befriend.
I love the scenes between Lucy and Gabriel. He’s an Empath who tries his hardest to avoid emotion, while she’s a Firestarter whose emotions can have her burning down the place in an instant. She learns a lot from him in their scenes together, including how to read people – including him. He eventually brings her out of her shell, while she calls him on his BS like no one’s ever done and he respects her spunky attitude even if he doesn’t agree with it.
I think my favorite scene between them is probably the one where they have lunch together underneath a tree and try to form a plan of how to clear her name of murder. Their dialogue is fun to write and she learns as much about him (and his past, why he is the way he is) as he does about her (learning how to be alone without her parents, discussing wanting to be a part of something bigger than just her power).
For Gifted, it’s MuteMath’s “Spotlight” which relates to Lucy being throw into the spotlight and people wanting her to “fall” (fail). She has to learn how to stand up and accept being the center of attention in order to stay alive and help her new circus family.
Burned might be something a bit more aggressive like Fall Out Boy’s “The Phoenix” talking about how Lucy has to “light ‘em up” and learn how to roll with the punches. She has to learn how to put on her war paint and fight fire with fire before the new Big Bad comes in to kill them all.
(Umm, this is really hard, just so you know!):
When Shapeshifter Medved attacks her, Lucy must ally with the Grayson Circus. Will she gain their trust or lose everything in the process?
Hmm, good question! I actually have a whole series of blog posts that correlate to this question. I showed off my top three choices for Lucy, Sheffield, Gabriel, and Felix. (That reminds me, I better get back to those for Keegan, Delia, and the rest of the gang!)
For Lucy, you can read the blog post here. I think my top choice would be Molly Quinn (from Castle) because she looks vulnerable, but still strong and witty.
Here’s Sheffield’s blog post. My top choice for him would actually be Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek) but obviously with a big handlebar mustache. He’s got that youth and charm, but shows his age around the eyes much like Sheffield does.
Gabriel’s blog post is here. I originally chose Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars) because his good lucks and charm smack right onto the Gabriel vibe, though I wouldn’t be opposed to Alex Pettyfer or Garrett Hedlund, either!
Finally, Felix had a few great options, but my choice would be played by Andrew Scott (Sherlock), the guy who completely made the BBC Moriarty his own. He can play smart and crazy at the same time.
Well, I’m currently working on Book 3 of the Donovan Circus series – I’ve already written a few chapters including the first and last two chapters because it involves a major character death. (Gulp.) I’m also working on an NA fantasy story that involves Reapers and demons.
Thank you so much for everything, Liz.
She graduated from Longwood University with a BA in English, though her professors might be disappointed to hear she reads more fantasy fiction than literary novels. She also loves action and thriller genres. Her books probably won't change your life, but she hopes they steal you away from reality for a while. Her first book, Gifted, A Donovan Circus Novel, is about a murder at a supernatural circus, and is also available on Amazon.
Win (1) ebook copy of both Donovan Circus books: Gifted and Burned (INT)
Win (1) ebook copy of Witch Hearts (INT)