Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Interview with Sarah Henning for Sea Witch Rising



Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch #2)

by Sarah Henning
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: August 6th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Retellings
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Synopsis:

“The Little Mermaid” takes a twisted turn in this thrilling sequel to villainess origin story Sea Witch, as the forces of land and sea clash in an epic battle for freedom, redemption, and true love. 

Runa will not let her twin sister die. Alia traded her voice to the Sea Witch for a shot at happiness with a prince who doesn’t love her. And his rejection will literally kill her—unless Runa intervenes.

Under the sea, Evie craves her own freedom—but liberation from her role as Sea Witch will require an exchange she may not be willing to make. With their hearts’ desires at odds, what will Runa and Evie be willing to sacrifice to save their worlds? 

Told from alternating perspectives, this epic fairy tale retelling is a romantic and heart-wrenching story about the complications of sisterhood, the uncompromising nature of magic, and the cost of redemption.


Can you briefly describe SEA WITCH series and their main characters and what’s going to happen in SEA WITCH RISING?

SEA WITCH is an origin story for the sea witch as she is in Hans Christian Anderson’s original tale. It’s set in an alternate 1860s Denmark when Anderson would’ve been alive and follows the life of Evie, a secret witch as she grapples with the many faces of love while aiding a mermaid who has made a dangerous bargain.

SEA WITCH RISING picks up after the epilogue of SEA WITCH, fifty years in the future at the opening of World War I. It is told in alternating points-of-view by the sea witch and Runa, the twin sister of a mermaid who begged for and won the sea witch’s magical help to “go above” on the pretence of true love.


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

It’s so hard to play favourites but if I have to pick it would be Nik. He’s just such a cinnamon roll. I know so many of my readers love him too and that gives me great joy—and for those of you who loved him in the first one, don’t you worry, his fingerprints appear all over SEA WITCH RISING.


How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

I really set out to make SEA WITCH RISING a book about the people left behind. Who picks up the pieces when the main character leaves on an epic journey? In traditional tellings of THE LITTLE MERMAID, the sisters do try to get the little mermaid back, but there’s no real context given to the how and why of their actions? What were they thinking? What did they sacrifice? What were the consequences we don’t see? Every tale has a ripple effect and in this case those ripples run head-on with real history and Denmark’s understated-but-important role in World War I. 

Denmark was technically neutral during the war but Germany used its proximity to coerce Danish seamen into planting mines in the pinch-point waterways around Denmark as a threat to Allied ships. Additionally, young Danish men were conscripted into the German army and many gave their lives for something they didn’t believe in or benefit from.


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

This is going to sound silly because of the title but I really think Katy Perry’s “Rise” is super applicable to the arcs of each of the main characters.



If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

I’ve often pointed to Alicia Vikander for Evie and she’d be perfect in SEA WITCH RISING too. As for Runa, I really think Kaitlyn Dever who played Amy in BOOKSMART would be perfect for Runa.



Summer is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

A trip to the beach with an umbrella chair and a bottle Prosecco or fancy sparkling water would be for SEA WITCH RISING.


Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish SEA WITCH RISING?

I highly recommend THE BONE HOUSES by Emily Lloyd-Jones. It’s out in September and is the perfect concoction of fairy tales, zombie-style horror, and dry wit.


What’s next for you?

I have a YA contemporary called THROW LIKE A GIRL coming out on June 7th, 2020, and then the first in a new fantasy duology is scheduled for summer 2020 called THE PRINCESS WILL SAVE YOU. The second book will be out in summer 2021.








Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. While in South Florida, Sarah lived and worked through five hurricanes, which gave her an extreme respect for the ocean. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, which, despite being extremely far from the beach, happens to be pretty cool.





July 16th


July 17th

NovelKnight - Interview
The Reading Corner for All - Review + Favourite Quotes + Dream Cast
Jrsbookreviews - Review

July 18th

Luchia Houghton Blog - Review + Favourite Quotes
The Reading Chemist - Review + Favourite Quotes
L.M. Durand - Review + Favourite Quotes

July 19th

Moonlight Rendezvous - Review + Favourite Quotes
Utopia State of Mind - Review + Favourite Quotes
Dazzled by Books - Review + Playlist

July 20th

The Book Nut - Review + Playlist
Morgan Vega - Review + Favourite Quotes + Playlist

July 21st

Kait Plus Books - Interview
Frayed Books - Review
Bookish_Kali - Review + Favourite Quotes
Bookishly Nerdy - Review + Favourite Quotes

July 22nd

The Reading Life - Guest Post
Book Rambler - Review




Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Interview with Kalyn Josephson for The Storm Crow



The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1)

by Kalyn Josephson
Publisher: SourcebooksFire
Release Date: July 9th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Synopsis:

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life...until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother's death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.


Can you briefly describe THE STORM CROW and their main characters?

THE STORM CROW follows Thia, a princess who trained her entire life to become a crow rider—until the day they’re destroyed. When she finds a surviving crow egg in the rubble, she teams up with her sister the queen, her best friend, and a kind-hearted inventor to hatch the egg and defeat the empire that destroyed the crows.


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

Kiva! I love her cutting honesty. She doesn’t beat around the bush and she’s not afraid to say what she thinks.


How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

I did! The story was inspired by a newspaper article I read about a little girl who fed her neighborhood crows. In return they brought her gifts, and her neighbors called her The Crow Queen. That title is what gave me the idea for a kingdom whose way of life was based of magical crows and what would happen if they were suddenly gone.


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

Alive, by Sia. I think it really captures Thia’s emotional journey, and it has a raw strength to it that fits the vibe of the book.



If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

Oh gosh, these types of questions are always so tough for me. I think Isabela Moner would make a great Thia, and I’ve thought of Ericen as a young Robbie Amell. For Caylus I think of a young Eddie Redmayne. Kiva is the one I really struggle with and haven’t figured out! Someone tall and seriously badass.


Summer is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

I’d recommend somewhere cold and rainy, like Ireland, or warm and storming, like a little cottage off the US east coast. Anywhere with the steady drum of rain the background that promotes drinking a nice cup of tea ;)


Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish THE STORM CROW?

CROWN OF FEATHERS by Nicki Pau Preto! Instead of crow riders, you get phoenix riders, and they’re super cool! It’s got fantastic worldbuilding for all your epic fantasy needs.


What’s next for you?

Right now I’m working on the sequel to THE STORM CROW, which we should be announcing the title for soon. Other than that, I have a couple drafts of other books I’m playing around with, all to do with more types of animal magic!







Kalyn Josephson is a Technical Writer in Silicon Valley, which leaves room for too many bad puns about technically being a writer. She grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA, but now lives in the Bay Area with four awesome friends (because it’s the Bay and she’d like to be able to retire one day) and two black cats (who are more like a tiny dragon and an even tinier owl). When not writing YA Fantasy, she loves baking, reading, playing sports, and watching too many movies.




Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Interview with Elizabeth Lim for Spin the Dawn



Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1)

by Elizabeth Lim
Publisher: Knopf
Release Date: July 9th 2019
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
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Synopsis:

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she'll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There's just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia's task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor's reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.



Can you briefly describe SPIN THE DAWN and their main characters? 

To provide for her family, a young seamstress disguises herself as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor. Her task to sew the legendary dresses of the sun, moon, and stars lead her on an adventure of danger and romance along a reimagined Silk Road. 

Maia Tamarin is a talented seamstress who yearns to become an imperial tailor for the emperor, but doesn’t even get a chance to have her work considered because she’s a girl. She’s a go-getter, absolutely loyal to her family, and a realist despite her incredible talent. One reader described her as a “cinnamon roll slytherin,” which I absolutely love. 

Lady Sarnai is the daughter of an enemy warlord and is betrothed to Emperor Khanujin. She’s a fierce warrior who despises having to play princess at court. Don’t mess with her. 

Emperor Khanujin is the ruler of A’landi. Not much can be said about him without too many spoilers!  

Edan is the emperor’s lord enchanter. He gets bored easily and enjoys playing pranks on the emperor’s ministers. 


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

I think I’m the most like Maia, the main character, but Lady Sarnai’s actually my favorite character. She’s so fierce and so…Slytherin—she’s ambitious like Maia but has similar struggles: she wants to be recognized for her battle prowess, but people look down on her because she’s a girl. I love how similar she and Maia are and yet how different. She’s really fun to write, and I hope readers will love her prickliness. 


How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere? 

I was inspired by the fairytales my father used to tell me as a child. SPIN THE DAWN draws influence from three in particular: the Chinese legend, The Cowherd and the Weaver, the French fairytale, Donkeyskin, and the Norwegian story, East of the Sun. I decided to write about a tailor in particular because of my grandmother, who spent many years working as a seamstress when she first moved to the United States. 


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

Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys. 



Summer is here and we love to go out and enjoy the sun. What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date? 

A pot of freshly brewed oolong tea sipped in a garden (the Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden and Staten Island’s Chinese Scholar’s Garden are two of my local faves). 


Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish SPIN THE DAWN? 

Yes! I’d recommend The Reader by Traci Chee, Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan, Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer, and Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao.


What’s next for you? 

I’m working on the sequel to Spin the Dawn!






Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, "Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that's kinda cool!" But after one of her teachers told her she had "too much voice" in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English. 

Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel -- for kicks, at first, then things became serious -- and she hasn't looked back since. 

Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.