Epic Interview with Kristi Charish author of Owl and the Japanese Circus

Published February 4, 2015 by mrsjennyreads

Who is Kristi Charish?

Kristi is the author of OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS (Jan 13th, 2015, Simon and Schuster Canada/Pocket Books), an urban fantasy about a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. She writes what she loves; adventure heavy stories featuring strong, savvy female protagonists, pop culture, and the occasional RPG fantasy game thrown in the mix. The second installment, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS, is scheduled for release Jan 2016. Her second urban fantasy series, KINCAID STRANGE (Random House Canada), about a voodoo practioner living in Seattle, is scheduled for release mid 2016.

Kristi is also a scientist with a BSc and MSc from Simon Fraser University in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and a PhD in Zoology from the University of British Columbia. Her specialties are genetics, cell biology, and molecular biology, all of which she draws upon in her writing. She is represented by Carolyn Forde at Westwood Creative Artists.

Where can you find Kristi?
website

twitter username


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Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world.

Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an artifact stolen three thousand years ago, and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: he’ll get rid of a pack of vampires that want her dead. A dragon is about the only entity on the planet that can deliver on Owl’s vampire problem – and let’s face it, dragons are known to eat the odd thief.

Owl retraces the steps of Mr. Kurosawa’s ancient thief from Japan to Bali with the help of her best friend, Nadya, and an attractive mercenary. As it turns out though, finding the scroll is the least of her worries. When she figures out one of Mr. Kurosawa’s trusted advisors is orchestrating a plan to use a weapon powerful enough to wipe out a city, things go to hell in a hand basket fast…and Owl has to pick sides

Get a copy:


My Epic Interview

  1. Obviously, there are many points of inspiration that brought you to this story. What are they?

KC: I’d been struggling with third person narrative for a while and really wanted to try writing in first person. I had just finished a writing prompt exercise (where the prompt was ‘When death’s clowns came for me’) and also just finished reading a mystery novel called ‘The Water Rat of Wanchai’ by Ian Hamilton (Ava Lee series). It was the first mystery I’d read in a while and I thought ‘wouldn’t it be great to write something like that!’ Prompt and mystery novel idea in hand, I started writing about an antiquities thief…

With absolutely no monsters, this was going to be a normal book, a break from fantasy…

That lasted all of twenty pages when I realized I’d accidentally written a dragon into the novel.

After that the list of influences are topped by 80’s style adventure movies. Indiana Jones, The Mummy, and Big Trouble in Little China are all up there.

  1. What made you choose the name Owl?

KC: I’d actually been playing Dragon Age 2 where the main character was named Hawke. I thought what a great way to name a character! When I came to naming Alix, Owl was the first thing that popped into mind and I liked the imagery that went with it- especially for an unconventional thief.

There’s also a double play on Owl as in Japanese mythology/culture Owls symbolize luck and offer protection against suffering…something Alix needs and kind of what this whole thieving career is helping her escape.

 

  1. Any connection between the Dragon, Mr. Kurosawa, and the legendary Japanese filmmaker of the same name?

KC: No, but that’s a good one! I actually picked Kurosawa for the loose translation of ‘black swamp’ as I thought it fitting for a dragon.

  1. A vampire-eating dragon? Very creative. Who is your favorite dragon, and if you could have she/he eat any well-known vampire, who would it be?

KC: I’m staying away from the obvious choice here…Is there anyway we can flip it around and make Edward kill Barney?? That I’d pay to see, only for the comedic value of watching Edward cry…no wait, Barney is a dinosaur…We can make an exception just this once though? Right?

Seriously though my favorite Dragon is Draco from Dragonheart. And as for Vampires? Lestat’s time has come. He’s had a good run but it’s time to fade;-)

  1. Who is your favorite fantasy author?

KC: Only one? This is going hurt…

Kelley Armstrong. And for book I’ll go with Haunted (hard to pick one out of the Women of the Otherworld Series but I adore Eve)

Other authors who’s work I devour: Kim Harrison, Cherie Priest, Diana Rowland (White Trash Zombie), Patricia Briggs, Anne McCaffery, Jim Butcher, Diana Rowland, Richelle Meade (Succubus Blues), and Carrie Vaughn.

  1. If you could pick any film director to make Owl and the Japanese Circus into a film, who would it be?

KC: Easy. Guillermo del Toro. The Hell Boy Goblin Market and Pan’s Labyrinth all the way. Next questionJ

  1. Which actress would you want for your heroine?

KC: Hmmmm….since this is fantasy-casting land here, let’s go with a toss up between Jennifer Lawrence and Ellen Page. I’m convinced both/either of them could slug back beer, play video games, and dungeon crawl with the best of them.

  1. If you could read only one author for the rest of your life, who would it be?

KC: …Shoot me now? Man, I’m tempted to say James Clavell but I’ve read all his stuff multiple times so no go there…

Nope can’t do it. Can’t take just one. You’ll have to pry my kindle out of my cold, dead hands 😉

 

  1. What can we expect for the future of Owl?

The second book in the OWL series, OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS is handed in and set for release Jan 2016 (last time I checked). Unfortunately I can’t say too much about the plot for OWL AND THE CITY OF ANGELS (yet) except it sees Owl settling into her new job as a contract thief for Vegas mogul Mr. Kurosawa (with mixed results) when he sets his sights on a trio of artifacts sitting in a Los Angeles recluse’s private collection. Owl is sent to fetch them and finds out that the City of Angels is anything but.

  1. Which musical artist would compose and perform the soundtrack of Owl’s epic life?

KC: Ha! Oh man, that’s putting me on the spot. I’m all about choices so I’ll list the top three that come to mind!

  • Asteroids Galaxy Tour
  • Fall Out Boy
  • Imagine Dragons 

Author Interview : Sara Raasch author of Snow like ashes

Published February 3, 2015 by mrsjennyreads

Who is Sara Raasch?

Sara Raasch has known she was destined for bookish things since the age of five, when her friends had a lemonade stand and she tagged along to sell her hand-drawn picture books too. Not much has changed since then — her friends still cock concerned eyebrows when she attempts to draw things and her enthusiasm for the written word still drives her to extreme measures. Her debut YA fantasy, SNOW LIKE ASHES, came out October 14, 2014 from Balzer + Bray, and the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, comes out October 13, 2015. Neither features her hand-drawn pictures.
SLA Summary:
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend and future king, Mather—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers and fighting enemy soldiers just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one’s destiny.

My interview with Sara

1. What inspired you to write Snow like ashes?
I get this question a lot, and I never cease to feel super lame for answering it . . . because I don’t remember! I started writing SLA when I was twelve, so all I remember is that I wanted to write a book where “winter” was perceived as the “good guys.”
 2. What is your favorite part of the book?
The action scenes! I love writing action scenes of every kind: one-on-one fights, battles, even practice sessions. The more heart-pumping, the better!
3. If there a author you would like to meet dead or alive who would it be?
My all time favorite author is Sharon Shinn — she’s an adult fantasy author and I adore her works!
4.What are your favorite books or authors?
Well, I kind of answered this above, but I’ll expand: my favorite of Sharon Shinn’s books is the Twelve Houses series. Her fantasy world is so immersive!
5.What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I get asked a lot of really awesome questions — bloggers always do a great job of being unique and fun. No regrets!
Thank you so much for having me!
Thank you Sara again! 🙂

About her book:

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Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend and future king, Mather—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again.
So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers and fighting enemy soldiers just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics—and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Sara Raasch’s debut fantasy is a lightning-fast tale of loyalty, love, and finding one’s destiny.
Look for the sequel, ICE LIKE FIRE, coming October 13, 2015!

Sixth book British Book Challenge Awakenings by Oliver Sacks

Published February 2, 2015 by mrsjennyreads

BBC pointed shaded

Awakenings by Oliver Sacks

Published by Vintage

Genres~ Non Fiction, Science, Psychology, Health and Medicine, NeuroScience

Pages: 464

Source: Bought

Format: Paper Back

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My husband bought this book and he has great taste in books. I decided to read this for the challenge. I’ve noticed there are a lot of books out now about disease. Its like the new fad. I have a condition called papilledma. Its not deadly, which I am blessed by GOD for that. I don’t like reading about people suffering because I know how it feels. I have watched enough people be sick and I don’t want to read about it. That’s my personal choice. But this book was very insightful.

I am very blessed to have a husband that God blessed me with to support me. I love you Jacob

Jenny Floyd's photo.

MyReviewPicture

Awakenings is a very moving tale. It is Sacks’s opus about the encephalitis lethargica virus. Very dramatic and full of heart, we suffer with Sacks as he suffers with his patients as they experience an awakening from their catatonic trances after he gives them L-DOPA. We then watch the journey for those who can adjust and those who cannot. A very touching book of not just medicine and science, but of hope and compassion.

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Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE (born July 9, 1933, London), is a British neurologist residing in the United States, who has written popular books about his patients, the most famous of which is Awakenings, which was adapted into a film of the same name starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro.

Sacks was the youngest of four children born to a prosperous North London Jewish couple: Sam, a physician, and Elsie, a surgeon. When he was six years old, he and his brother were evacuated from London to escape The Blitz, retreating to a boarding school in the Midlands, where he remained until 1943. During his youth, he was a keen amateur chemist, as recalled in his memoir Uncle Tungsten. He also learned to share his parents’ enthusiasm for medicine and entered The Queen’s College, Oxford University in 1951, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in physiology and biology in 1954. At the same institution, he went on to earn in 1958, a Master of Arts (MA) and an MB ChB in chemistry, thereby qualifying to practice medicine.

After converting his British qualifications to American recognition (i.e., an MD as opposed to MB ChB), Sacks moved to New York, where he has lived since 1965, and taken twice weekly therapy sessions since 1966.

Sacks began consulting at chronic care facility Beth Abraham Hospital (now Beth Abraham Health Service) in 1966. At Beth Abraham, Sacks worked with a group of survivors of the 1920s sleeping sickness, encephalitis lethargica, who had been unable to move on their own for decades. These patients and his treatment of them were the basis of Sacks’ book Awakenings.

His work at Beth Abraham helped provide the foundation on which the Institute for Music and Neurologic Function (IMNF), where Sacks is currently an honorary medical advisor, is built. In 2000, IMNF honored Sacks, its founder, with its first Music Has Power Award. The IMNF again bestowed a Music Has Power Award on Sacks in 2006 to commemorate “his 40 years at Beth Abraham and honor his outstanding contributions in support of music therapy and the effect of music on the human brain and mind”.

Sacks was formerly employed as a clinical professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and at the New York University School of Medicine, serving the latter school for 42 years. On 1 July 2007, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons appointed Sacks to a position as professor of clinical neurology and clinical psychiatry, at the same time opening to him a new position as “artist”, which the university hoped will help interconnect disciplines such as medicine, law, and economics. Sacks remains a consultant neurologist to the Little Sisters of the Poor, and maintains a practice in New York City.

Since 1996, Sacks is a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters (Literature). In 1999, Sacks became a Fellow of the New York Academy of Sciences. Also in 1999, he became an Honorary Fellow at The Queen’s College, Oxford. In 2002, he became Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Class IV—Humanities and Arts, Section 4—Literature).[38] and he was awarded the 2001 Lewis Thomas Prize by Rockefeller University. Sacks has been awarded honorary doctorates from the College of Staten Island (1991), Tufts University (1991), New York Medical College (1991), Georgetown University (1992), Medical College of Pennsylvania (1992), Bard College (1992), Queen’s University (Ontario) (2001), Gallaudet University (2005), University of Oxford (2005), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (2006). He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. Asteroid 84928 Oliversacks, discovered in 2003 and 2 miles (3.2 km) in diameter, has been named in his honor.

website

EPIC BLOG TOUR FOR DEAREST! BY Alethea Kontis

Published February 1, 2015 by mrsjennyreads

I am going to be part of an EPIC blog tour in February! My tour date is February 19th! This magical book comes out February 3rd 2015!!

Follow the February Tour!

1 – Launch
2 – Lilac Reviews
3 – Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids

3 – Coffee Books & Art & The Book Lovers’ Lounge
4 – Special post @ USA Today’s Happy Ever After

4 – Buried Under BooksMommabears Book Blog, & Rabid Reads
5 – Interview @ J.T. Ellison

5 – Gidget Girls Reading
6 – Zerina Blossom & Geo Librarian
8 – Welcome to Book City
9 – Kelly P’s Blog & Katy’s Krazy Books
10 – Mel’s Shelves & Jan Edwards
11 – Katie’s Clean Book Collection
12 – A Backwards Story 
Wishful Endings
13 – Library of a Book Witch & The Quotable
14 – 
Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Teen Reads
15 – The Written Adventure
16 – My Life Loves and Passion & Colorimetry
17 – I Am A Reader & The Library of the Seen

18 – Special post on @ Dear Teen Me
18 – Printcess & Living a Goddess Life & Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
19 – 100 Pages A Day & mrsjennyreads
20 – Books and Ashes & Addicted Readers
22 – Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books
23 – SBM Book Obsession
24 – Deal Sharing Aunt
25 – Min Reads and Reviews
26 – Pieces of Whimsy & Wonderous Reviews
27 – The Scribbling Sprite
28 – Grand Finale
Prism Book Tours

Want to meet Alethea in person? Check out her Road Tour HERE!

                                   Tour-Wide Giveaway!

 3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest – US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ends March 8th

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Dearest

(Woodcutter Sisters, #3)

by Alethea Kontis

YA Fantasy

Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages

February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Goodreads

“A fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted

Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository – Indie Bound – Powell’s

The other Woodcutter Sisters novels

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Links for Enchanted

GoodreadsAmazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository – Indie Bound – Powell’s

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Links for Hero

GoodreadsAmazon – Barnes & Noble – Book Depository – Indie Bound – Powell’s

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About this author

New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube.

Her published works include: The Wonderland Alphabet (with Janet K. Lee), Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (with Janet K. Lee), the AlphaOops series (with Bob Kolar), the Woodcutter Sisters fairy tale series, and The Dark-Hunter Companion (with Sherrilyn Kenyon). Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines.

Her YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

Website – Goodreads – Facebook – Twitter – YouTube – Tumblr – Instagram – Pinterest

RED RISING be my book Valentine!

Published January 30, 2015 by mrsjennyreads

Please give me this Valentine’s Day card.

A genre-splitting story of pain, Red Rising is a darker and more brutal marriage of Lord of the Flies and the Hunger Games. There are a lot of dystopian novels out there today, but this one sits apart from the others, with more cruelty and complication. Masterfully crafted,  I highly recommend this book.

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Here is the second book!

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The third book does not come out till 2016 but we have the cover!

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My rating for this book is a five star!

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About this author


Pierce Brown’s first novel, RED RISING (Del Rey Books), debuts January 28, 2014. It is the first installment in The Red Rising Trilogy.

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los A Pierce Brown’s first novel, RED RISING (Del Rey Books), debuts January 28, 2014. It is the first installment in The Red Rising Trilogy.

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

Note to the reader: Always feel free to contact him via his website, twitter, or facebook. He likes people. Except if you’re a trollish person. Then he merely puts up with you for the sake of manners and propriety.

website
twitter username

Spotlight on author Ellen Hopkins

Published January 26, 2015 by mrsjennyreads

Ellen Hopkins

Ellen Hopkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, Tricks, Fallout, Perfect, Triangles, Tilt, and Collateral. She lives in Carson City, Nevada, with her husband and son. Hopkin’s Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest pages get thousands of hits from teens who claim Hopkins is the “only one who understands me”, and she can be visited at ellenhopkins.com.

Books are her life,Reading is a passion, but writing is the biggest part of her.Balance is her greatest challenge, she Ioves her family, friends, animals and home, but also loves traveling to meet her readers. She hopes to meet many of you soon!

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Interview questions

1.  What is your favorite genre to write about?
I write contemporary fiction because that’s my preference. I enjoy doing a little genre, and horror is my favorite.
2.What is your favorite book?
I absolutely can’t name a favorite book. I’m a voracious reader, or used to be, before my time became more focused on writing. I love poetry, classics, contemporary horror. Pretty much anything except fantasy.
3.Do you have any book recommendations?
I can recommend authors. AS King, Andrew Smith. MT Anderson. Neal Shusterman. Heidi Ayarbe. Christa Desir.
Thank you Ellen!

5th book for British book challenge review for Prince of Thorns By Mark Lawrence

Published January 26, 2015 by mrsjennyreads

BBC pointed shaded

Definitely a novel with a different shine to it. The main character is pretty much evil and unlikeable, and most of the other characters aren’t very likeable, neither. But that is dark beauty of the novel. Don’t go into it expecting sunshine heroics. If you like tales about wicked anti-heroes, then you’ll love this. If you’re looking for heart-swelling morality, stay away.

Five Stars


About the author

Blog here: http://mark—lawrence.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/MarkLawrence…

[My next book The Liar’s Key is out in June 2015]

Mark Lawrence is married with four children, one of whom is severely disabled. His day job is as a research scientist focused on various rather intractable problems in the field of artificial intelligence. He has held secret level clearance with both US and UK governments. At one point he was qualified to say ‘this isn’t rocket science … oh wait, it actually is’.

Between work and caring for his disabled child, Mark spends his time writing, playing computer games, tending an allotment, brewing beer, and avoiding DIY.