Blog Tour: Jubilee Manor – Bethany Hagen


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Pub. Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 400

The thrilling conclusion to Landry Park is full of love, betrayal, and murder–perfect for fans of Divergent, The Selection, and Pride and Prejudice.

In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.

This conclusion to Landry Park, which VOYA dubbed “Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games,” is a richly satisfying, addictive read.


Now read an interview with Landry Park author Bethany Hagen!

1. For those who haven’t read the Landry Park series, can you sum it up for us?

Sure! Landry Park is about a world in the future that looks a lot like the past. After a civil war driven by poverty and economics, America has reordered itself so that the victors of the war and their descendants (the gentry) are able to live a life of extravagance while the losers (the Rootless) are forced to handle the nuclear waste that powers their luxurious lifestyle. The series starts off when Madeline Landry—heiress to the most powerful estate in the country—meets the latest import to her city’s society: Captain David Dana, who is, despite his cute face and big bank account, hiding some very dangerous secrets…

2. Did you always plan to write two Landry Park books, or will there be more?

We did originally plan on more! I sold the series as a trilogy, and I had the series plotted out in a very specific direction. But as I was writing the second book, my editor and I agreed that the original direction wasn’t working any more, and so we decided to go back to the drawing board and restructure the way Madeline’s story ended. And when we did that, we also agreed that stretching the new storyline into a trilogy would make the whole arc seem weaker, and neither of us wanted that. We decided we’d rather have two action-packed books than three so-so ones J

3. Now that Jubilee Manor is due to be released in a few months, what are you working on now?

I am working on editing my next book, which is a science-fiction novel about space stations and hackers and cute boys who forget to put their shirts on sometimes. It’s a standalone book, so it’s not part of the Landry Park universe and there won’t be a sequel.

3. If Landry Park was to be made into a screen adaptation, who would you cast?

Oh, that’s so hard because there are so many amazing actors and actresses out there! I think for Madeline Landry, I would cast someone like Rachel Hurd-Wood or Emily Kinney—someone that initially projects a certain fragility, but underneath it all, there’s fierce strength and intelligence. And casting David is so hard because he really only exists in my mind! But Lucas Till looks a lot like how I picture David in my mind, with the blond hair and the blue eyes.

5. Responses for both Landry Park and Jubilee Manor have been fantastic, how does that make you feel?

It’s so overwhelmingly awesome when readers tell you that they are enjoying something that you’ve worked on for so long! Whenever someone takes the time to reach out and say nice things, I usually end up blushing like mad and also maybe wanting to cry a little bit. Knowing that you gave even just one person a great experience makes up for so many other things!

6. During the editing process, was there anything that got cut that you wish had made the final version of the book?

There was a great scene with Cara where she walks into a room in the middle of the night completely naked and holding a bottle of gin. It was way over the top and took away from some of the things I was trying to illustrate about Cara in Jubilee Manor, but it was so much fun to write and it just felt so Cara, like if any character was going to be naked-gin-bottle-holding, it would be her!

7. What inspired you to mix science fiction with Victorian/high society?

It was a slow process, actually! When I was in college, I worked at this small history museum giving tours, and since it was a small museum, the Gilded Age/Edwardian Era section was right around the corner from the Cold War section. And after looping through the exhibit a million times, the two time periods started to gel a bit in my mind. I started wondering what it would

look like if we had a society like we had in the Edwardian Era but it was all powered by nuclear energy? And the rest, of course, is history!

8. Can you recommend readers a good book you’ve read recently?

Yes! I just finished A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston, and it is so beautiful and magical and haunting that I just want to quit writing forever because I’ll never be able to write anything like that!

9. Thank you so much for taking part in the interview, is there anything you’d like to add to finish us off?

No, just that I so appreciate you hosting me and that I hope everyone enjoys the conclusion to the Landry Park series!

Bethany

About Bethany: (photo by Ritu Nanos)

Bethany is a a former librarian living in the Kansas City area with her husband and two children.

Her debut novel Landry Park came out from Dial/Penguin in 2014, and the sequel, Jubilee Manor, will be out August 11, 2015. She is am represented by Mollie Glick of Foundry Media.

Would you like to be in with a chance of winning a paperback copy of Landry Park and an ARC of Jubliee Manor? Click here to enter!
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Feature: Interview with Daniel José Older author of Shadowshaper

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Pub. Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
Pages: 304
Find It On: Goodreads. Amazon.

Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an action-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.

Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

Shadowshaper sounds like such a fascinating book, now read an interview with the author!

1. For those who haven’t read Shadowshaper yet, can you sum it up for us?

When a creepy dead guy shows up at the first party of the summer, Sierra Santiago is forced to unravel a mystery that reaches deep into her own family’s magical legacy and the heart of Brooklyn itself.

2. The idea that spirits can be contacted through paintings and music is a very unusual one, what inspired the idea?

I think there’s a connection between art and spirituality in that both are grasping for things we can’t fully confine with a description. We’re always translating – translating experience to canvas or page, translating emotion to notes and sounds – and in some ways never quite reaching what we want to say, but there’s beauty in the reach, even in the failure. Spirituality is similar – it’s beyond description. We talk a lot about history being present, but what that does that really mean? In Shadowshaper, history is physicalized in the form of these towering shadows, and then even more so when they enter a work of art.

3. With Shadowshaper about to be released in a few weeks, what are you planning to work on next?

Currently amidst a few essays, which always feel like a good way to cleanse my pallet after writing a novel. Then I’ll be jumping back into the third book in the Bone Street Rumba series, which I put down at exactly the halfway point to handle a few other projects.

4. You write predominantly in the urban fantasy genre, what’s your favourite thing about it?

I grew up in a city (Boston) and have lived here in Brooklyn for over ten years and to me, cities come to life, pulse with complexity and history and stories. Especially old cities. So much has happened here, so much is happening now. I love thinking about what new mythologies can speak to this new time.

5. Of all the characters you have ever written, who is your favourite and why?

Goodness what a tough question! Characters can be like children in a way – you hear parents say, I love you all in different ways – I kinda feel like that. Sierra is very close to my heart; I put a lot of myself in her and like me, she loves to draw. Kia Summers is a character I first wrote in Half-Resurrection Blues as a very peripheral part of Carlos, the main character’s world, but she instantly took over the page and I ended up making her a main point of view character in the sequel Midnight Taxi Tango. She’s such a raw and deeply human character to write, it barely feels like writing, just transcribing really. Her and Sierra probably share the top rank.

6. What was the process like for writing Shadowshaper, did it take you long to complete?

This has been the longest, most complex writing process I’ve ever been through. It has been amazing and I’ve learned so much. Shadowshaper is actually my first book; I started it in 2009, before I’d written anything from the Bone Street Rumba series. It went through many edits, got torn apart and put back together many times, was splayed across my office wall in a kind of post-it note collage storyboard for a few years and finally came together into the book it is now. It’s been an amazing journey.

7. What is your favourite book so far of 2015?

The best book I’ve read this year is Kai Ashante Wilson’s The Sorcerer at Wildeeps, a novella coming out soon from Tor.com. If Shakespeare, James Baldwin, George Martin, and Ghostface Killah were to have a baby, it’d be this book. Get it.

8. Thank you so much for taking part in this interview, is there anything you’d like to add to finish us off?

I’m thrilled to have Shadowshaper come out in this exciting time in the YA/MG world. Great authors like Kekla Magoon, Sherri Smith, Jason Reynolds, Tracey Baptiste, Sarah McCarry, Adam Silvera, Sofia Quintero, and many more are pushing the boundaries of the field in ways we haven’t seen before. ¡Pa’lante!

About Daniel:

danieljoseolder1Daniel José Older is the author of the upcoming Young Adult novel Shadowshaper (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2015) and the Bone Street Rumba urban fantasy series, which begins in January 2015 with Half-Resurrection Blues from Penguin’s Roc imprint. Publishers Weekly hailed him as a “rising star of the genre” after the publication of his debut ghost noir collection, Salsa Nocturna. He co-edited the anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History and guest edited the music issue of Crossed Genres. His short stories and essays have appeared in Tor.com, Salon, BuzzFeed, the New Haven Review, PANK, Apex and Strange Horizons and the anthologies Subversion and Mothership: Tales Of Afrofuturism And Beyond. Daniel’s band Ghost Star gigs regularly around New York and he facilitates workshops on storytelling from an anti-oppressive power analysis. You can find his thoughts on writing, read dispatches from his decade-long career as an NYC paramedic and hear his music at ghoststar.net/ and @djolder on twitter.


As part of this tour run by Rockstar Book Tours, Daniel is kindly giving away three finished copies of Shadowshaper (US only.) Click here to enter! Thank you for checking out my post on the tour and be sure to click the banner below to check out the other tour stops!

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Feature: Interview with Elizabeth Kelly – Author of Killian

223706521. For those who haven’t read Killian yet, can you sum it up in one sentence?

A: It’s a different kind of fairytale.

2. What inspired you to write about fairies?

A: I have always been interested in fairies and fantastical worlds. This is the first of a few series I have in  mind.

3. Killian has been out a few months, what are you working on now?

A: I’m finishing off edits on book 3 of my Blackrock series (Infinity & Always) as well as writing season 2 of Lupo Legacy and Book two of the Avalon series.

4. Killian is a fantasy novel, but you also write romance novels too. Is it difficult to 
transition between the two?

A: No it’s not difficult at all. I’ve written Killian in this world as well as a made up world, so it keeps the reader in the present time and allows me to stay true to the romance part as well.

5. Who is your favourite character you have ever written, and why?

A: I don’t like being asked this question lol it feels like I am being asked to pick one child over another. I love all my characters, honestly. I try to make them all different from each other but with both good and bad qualities. With Killian, I wanted him to be strong yet vulnerable, when it comes to himself, and believing in what he can do. So for now I’ll pick him.

6. What is your favourite book you have read so far in 2015?

A: Tricky question, I’ve about 100 books this year so far. But I love books that sweep me away into that world. I’m reading a fantasy series at the minute and I can’t put down, no housework getting done!

7. I noticed on your website that you attend a number of conventions, what’s it like going 
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A: Conventions are a lot of fun, after the initial introductions that is (I’m a very quiet person). It’s great to meet fellow writers and become friends with new people. Also meeting readers who know your work is nice and being able to discuss the story with them and hear their views on it. But also at the same time it can be a little intimidating and make you feel like a car salesman lol My next stop is ARC New Orleans from July 30th- Aug 2nd.

Thank you so much for agreeing to this interview, is there anything you’d like to say to 
finish us off?

A: Thank you for the interview. I love hearing from readers so feel free to contact me on my Fabcebook page or website.

Elizabeth xxx

Feature: Interview with T. M. Williams – Author of Clusters: Case of the Missing

1) To start us off, can you describe Clusters in five words?  

Haunting, disturbing, unique, mysterious, and sad.

2) What gave you the inspiration to write about people disappearing? 

A friend of mine lost her son when he wandered off. They found his body a few days later and it really struck me. I never really got over it and when I heard David Paulides discussing missing people I became interested.

3) Clusters is in part, based on the true events of children who mysteriously disappeared. Was it hard writing about real events, given it is a sensitive subject matter, and how did you go about adapting certain elements of real cases for the story? 

So very hard! First, let me thank you for actually reading my book. So many bloggers don’t and I’m sure your readers really appreciate that, I know I do!

As for the difficulty… that’s partly why it took so long to write (A year – much longer than my average) I continuously needed to take breaks. Especially when I was writing at night, there were many times I would go into my sons room and watch him sleep, so grateful to have him there.

187096234) Clusters is a very dark and intense story, that could easily be a dark television show or movie. Who do you think would make a great Ethan Franco, and why?

Hmm, you’re not the first person to ask me this. I definitely have a picture in my head when I think of Franco but I think the closest actor I could think of would be someone like Jeff Bridges.

5) You’ve written in science fiction and horror genres with Undead Winter and Bohemian Grove, was the transition to writing realist fiction difficult? What kind of differences did you notice about writing in different genres?  

I loved writing realist fiction so much! When I wrote my other books it’s because the story and characters were calling to me, needing their story told. When I wrote Clusters, it was the other way around. It was a story that I wanted told. I can’t put into words how much this felt like an extension of me. This really felt like what I was meant to do.

I do, however, love exploring different genres. It really flexes the writing muscles.

6) One of the things I most enjoyed about Clusters was that it kept me guessing right up to the end, how did you work the plot to keep your readers from guessing straight away?  

I’m so glad you felt that way! That was one of my main objectives in writing this. It’s a mystery and I always hear my friends and readers saying how they guessed who the culprit was in the mystery novel they were reading. I didn’t want that to be the case with my books. As a reader, I despise predictability. I wanted to deliver to my readers what I expect when I pick up a book to read myself.

7) What is the one thing you want readers to take away from reading Clusters?  17885870

I want them to realize that these are real cases represented in my book and that there’s a very real sorrow with the people involved. There are loved ones who will never know what happened to the ones they lost and they go to their grave never knowing. I can’t imagine anything worse. Even though I’ve come to my own type of conclusion, it’s still very much a mystery and I encourage my readers to leave that chapter open – so-to-speak.

8) Clusters was released last month, are you working on anything currently? 

I usually have my hand in several pots at once! My brain is wired weird. I’m rewriting Bohemian Grove which is only a few weeks away from its re-release.  I’m also working on finishing up Children at the Window, a psychological thriller and writing another mystery after that called Heartbeat in a Box.

I’m also super excited about an anthology I’m a part of that will be coming out in the fall – but your readers can check that out on my blog in the near future. I don’t have too much info on it yet.

9) You are stranded on a desert island and can only take three books with you, what are they?  

Memoirs of a Geisha, so I can always have hope and love with me… The Divine Comedy, because it’s my favorite collectors piece and such an amazing story and The Stand, because it’s my favorite King book and is so long it’ll keep me quite busy. It’s also a book that has been a huge influence on my writing.

 10) Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything you’d like to tell readers to finish us off, any events or promotions? 

Just want to thank them for giving me a chance and to swing by my Facebook or Twitter. I love interacting with my readers!

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Interview: Debra Dunbar – Author of Three Wishes

With Three Wishes being released just last week, the lovely Debra Dunbar stopped by to tell us all about what inspired her to write the exciting urban fantasy!

For those who haven’t yet read Three Wishes yet, can you sum it up in your own words? 

Dar is a bad boy, a real demon.  No, a real demon. And he’s just what an angel needs – especially an angel who is toying with the thought of sin.  When Asta needs a demon’s help to protect the city of Chicago, Dar jumps right to her aid.  And who can resist a funny, smart, and oh-so-bad demon that looks amazing in or out of a designer suit?

Three Wishes and the Imp series are predominantly urban fantasy, what drew you to writing in that genre? 

I’ve always loved the supernatural, even when I was a kid.  I don’t think I could write any other genre without sticking some element of paranormal in it.  Werewolves in sci-fi. Wraiths in an outdoor activities guide.  Zombies in children’s literature.

I love Asta, but of all the characters you have written about, which is your favourite

I’d have to say Sam (Samantha Martin of the Imp Series).  She does the horrible things we all wish we could do.  I love how she can walk through a bad section of town alone, daring anyone to jump her.  What a shock for a bad guy to try to assault a vulnerable woman, only to find she’s actually a demon who would happily kill him and take his soul if only it didn’t involve so much paperwork.

What was your inspiration for choosing to write about angels and demons? 

Honestly?  It’s a long story about reading Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz’s interpretations of fairy tales.  One day I was jogging and started wondering – what if a demon hung out here long enough with humans, constrained from doing really horrible things?  Would they eventually develop a sort of morality?  Would they develop compassion?  How much of morality is a learned thing?  And are angels all that different than demons?  Good and evil are a subjective, after all.

See?  You probably are sorry you asked!

What made you choose to set Three Wishes in Chicago? 

I grew up just outside of Chicago, across in line in Indiana, and have always loved the city.  When I decided to do a book with Dar as the hero, I knew I wanted to have him a bit away from Sam and the rest of the Imp Series demons. Chicago was the perfect spot.

Three Wishes was released this week, what else have you been working on? 

I’m most of the way through the draft of Sins of the Flesh – book 2 in my Half Breed series.  The heroine is half succubus/half elf, and her love interest is an incubus.  So lots of sex scenes set in beautiful Maui!

What was the process like for writing Three Wishes, did you have a set plan? How long did it take you to write? 

I actually had the outline for this book done a year in advance, but it needed to wait its turn.  I started writing it in November, but had to put it on hold for a short story deadline and some promotional activities.  By mid-December, I was pretty much glued to my keyboard as I wanted to make sure I could finish it in time for an early March release.

You’re having a dinner party, which three fictional characters would you invite and why? 

Thor:  He needs to keep his shirt off at the dinner table, though.  No party is complete without a semi-naked, totally hot demi-god.

Lucifer: He was absolutely charming in Paradise Lost, and I’ve always been a sucker for the rebellious ones.

Bugs Bunny: He should have made that left turn at Albuquerque, but wound up here, having dinner with me, Thor, and Satan.  I figure he’ll keep the conversation from getting too heavy, although Lucifer might kill him.  Or not.  I think they might be kindred spirits deep down.

Thank you so much for taking part in this interview, is there anything you’d like to add to finish us off?

I hope everyone enjoys reading about Asta and Dar just as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.  Thanks for having me here!

Want to know more about Debra and her books? You can visit her website, or see her books on Goodreads.
Three Wishes is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.