Tuesday, October 18, 2016

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Blood Red Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick

Blood Red Snow White
by Marcus Sedgwick
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: October 25th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Russia, Fairy Tales
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It is 1917, and the world is tearing itself to pieces in a dreadful war, but far to the east of the trenches, another battle is breaking out - the Russian Revolution has just begun... 

Blood Red, Snow White captures the mood of this huge moment in history through the adventure of one man who was in the middle of it all; Arthur Ransome, a young British journalist who had first run away to Russia to collect fairy tales. 

Told as three linked novellas, part one captures the days of revolution but retells the story as Russian Fairy Tale, with typical humour and unashamed brutality. Part two is a spy story, set over the course of one evening, as Ransome faces up to his biggest challenge, and part three is a love story, full of tragedy and hope, as every good Russian love story should be.

Favorite Book? 

Favorite TV show? 

I don't watch TV.

Favorite movie? 

Too many to choose one, perhaps at the moment The Great Beauty.

Your Favorite Song? 

Too many to choose one again! I'll pick “Cotopaxi” by The Mars Volta.

Favorite Food? 

Roast chicken, accompanied by a bottle of Beaujolais.

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. I presume you mean places found in fiction? 

Nantucket, Royale-les-Bains and Davos. If you mean genuinely fictional places - Gormenghast, Gormenghast and Gormenghast.

Favorite Quote? 

Oh, these questions are so tough! Just one?! Today I will pick “so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Sorry to be obvious.

If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be? 

I'd like to go drinking with Dylan Thomas.

Something to say to our Book Addicts? 

Keep being addicted. It's scientifically proven that reading fiction makes you a better, kinder, more tolerant person. And better looking, too. (One of these may not actually be true).

How did you come up with the story of Blood Red Snow White? 

It's a true story so I didn't have to come up with it, I just had to work out how best to tell it. It's harder than it may seem to tell a true story.

Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing? 

In this case, it was the book of Russian fairy tales that Arthur Ransome, the hero of the book, wrote in real life. 

Tell us your favorite quote from Blood Red Snow White. 

"No one's going to shoot a man smoking a pipe."

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

Lots of them, but mostly the opening scenes in which I recast the Russian revolution in the form of a fairy tale.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for Blood Red Snow White –which one would you pick? 

It would be the title track of the soundtrack to "From Russian with Love" - the second Bond movie.

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read Blood Red Snow White (specific music, snacks…)?

Google some images of the Russian Revolution - St Petersburg in 1917. Read Arthur Ransome's book of stories: "Old Peter's Russian Tales", and drink some vodka…

Follow the Blood Red Snow White Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Marcus Sedgwick was born in Kent, England. Marcus is a British author and illustrator as well as a musician. He is the author of several books, including Witch Hill and The Book of Dead Days, both of which were nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award. The most recent of these nominations rekindled a fascination with Poe that has borne fruit here in (in The Restless Dead, 2007) the form of "The Heart of Another" - inspired by Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart." Of his story, Sedgwick says, "This was one of those stories that I thought might be a novel originally but actually was much better suited to the tight form of the short story. I had the initial idea some years ago but was just waiting for the right ingredient to come along. Poe's story, as well as his own fascination with technique, provided that final piece of the puzzle."

He used to play for two bands namely playing the drums for Garrett and as the guitarist in an ABBA tribute group. He has published novels such as Floodland (winner of the Branford Boase Award in 2001) and The Dark Horse (shortlisted for The Guardian Children's Book Award 2002).

FFBC: Welcome to the club, Stowaway (The Reservation Trilogy, #2) by Jen Castleberry

Stowaway (The Reservation Trilogy, #2)
by Jen Castleberry
Release Date: October 15th 2016
Genre: Young Adult
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Twelve years ago, Nathan was forcibly transferred into governmental custody.

Once a brother, a son, and an outsider, he is now little more than an instrument of the Continental Order.

At least, that's what his superiors think.

Now, the Order is shipping out, and a resurgence of destruction lies in wait for the continent.

Will Nathan break free and embrace the hostile outside world, or will he take his place on the last train scheduled for the Reservation?

Follow the Stowaway by Jen Castleberry Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Jen Castleberry is a North Carolina native currently based in Virginia Beach, VA. She is a Communications graduate and proud ECU alum. 

When she's not writing, Castleberry works full-time as a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal shelter. 

Her affection for all critters, large and small, comes home with her at the end of each day. She frequently lends her house and heart to homeless animals in need of foster. 

Her own clan of silly creatures include an Akita, a Basset Hound, a Maine Coon, and of course, her active-duty husband.

At twenty-seven, Castleberry hopes to soon realize a life-long dream of writing professionally. 

The first installment of her YA debut series premiered in January of 2016.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

FFBC Tours: Welcome to the club, Sticker Girl by Janet Tashjian & Inga Wilmink

Sticker Girl
by Janet Tashjian & Inga Wilmink
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Release Date: October 11th 2016
Genre: Middle Grade, Children
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Martina Rivera has a remarkable imagination. But with two extroverted brothers at home, she’s always struggled to make a big impression on those around her. Life soon takes an exciting turn when Martina discovers the secret power of her sticker collection: They come to life! Among her magical sticker friends are Craig, a rambunctious talking cupcake; Nora, a karaoke-singing ladybug; and Lucinda, a very sleepy fairy. Will her new sticker friends help her overcome her shyness? Or will they get Martina in lots of trouble? Or both?! It’s time to meet Sticker Girl!

Bonus feature: sticker sheet featuring all the magic stickers from Book 1 packaged with the book!

Hello Janet! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.

Favorite Book? 

Really? I could name a dozen but if I had to pick one, it would be THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien. A masterpiece.

Favorite TV show? 

Also impossible to choose. The original British Cracker, Breaking Bad, The Night Of..too many to name.

Favorite movie? 

Chinatown, hands down.

Your Favorite Song? 

I could name fifty, but Hejira by Joni Mitchell might have to top the list. 

Favorite Food? 

No decision – chocolate. 

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

The only one that comes to mind is the island in THE MAGUS. Confusion, beaches, and mystery – sign me up.

Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend? 

Jordan Catalano!

Favorite Quote? 

I barely work out and don’t wear Nikes (too narrow for my feet) but ‘Just Do It’ are pretty good words to live by.

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over? 

Vintage earrings, paint by number art, old Simplicity sewing patterns. 

If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be? 

Virginia Woolf.

Something to say to our Book Addicts? 

The only people who think books are dead don’t read anyway. So it just means more books for us. 

Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about Sticker Girl?

Martina Rivera is a shy girl who’s obsessed with stickers. Her father brings home a new sheet as a gift, but this time when she peels them off, the stickers come to life. At first, she’s thrilled – but, of course, the stickers ending up getting her into trouble. 

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?

My longtime editor, Christy Ottaviano, has put stickers on every bit of correspondence she’s ever sent me. Considering we’ve been working together for almost twenty years, that’s a lot of stickers. I guess over time, they just seeped into my imagination, very much the way they seeped into Martina’s. 

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

There were many fun scenes but certainly flying over the Observatory at Griffith Park on sunset on a Pegasus would be one of them.

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for Sticker Girl – Which one would you pick? 

For me, it would be the late, great Gene Wilder singing “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But my friend’s twelve-year-old daughter Sophie says it should be Katy Perry’s “Firework.”

Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read Sticker Girl (specific music, snacks…)? 

For me, laying in bed reading with your kids is the best thing on the planet. Of course, a dark chocolate snack is a must!

What’s next for you? 

A national book tour visiting lots of schools and bookstores then finishing Sticker Girl Two!

Thank you so much for everything, Janet! 

You’re welcome; the pleasure was mine!

Follow the Sticker Girl by Janet Tashjian Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.

Janet Tashjian is a middle-grade and young adult novelist who’s been writing books for children for fifteen years. Her first novel Tru Confessions was made into a critically acclaimed Disney TV movie starring Clara Bryant and Shia LaBeouf. The Gospel According to Larry is a cult favorite and Fault Line is taught in many middle and high schools. Her novels My Life As a Book, My Life As a Stuntboy, and My Life As a Cartoonist are all illustrated by her teenage son, Jake. Their collaboration continues with Einstein the Class Hamster coming in August.

Janet lives with her family in Los Angeles, enjoying her respite from the long Boston winters. When she isn’t writing, she’s rewriting. 

Janet has been doing school visits for fifteen years; you can email her at spatulaproductions@mac.com for details.