Today I bring you a tour blog stop that I am super excited about! I haven’t been reading as much as I’d like to (all this writing is really putting a damper on that), but I did have the chance to read Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian and it was so so good.
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Queen of Flame and Fury, was murdered before her eyes. Ten years later, Theo has learned to survive under the relentless abuse of the Kaiser and his court as the ridiculed “Ash Princess.” Pretending to be empty-headed and naive when she’s not enduring brutal whippings, she pushes down all other thoughts but one: Keep the Kaiser happy and he will keep you safe.
When the Kaiser forces her to execute her last hope of rescue, Theo can’t keep her feelings and memories pushed down any longer. She vows revenge, throwing herself into a plot to seduce and murder the Kaiser’s warrior son with the help of a group of magically gifted and volatile rebels. But Theo doesn’t expect to develop feelings for the Prinz. Or for her rebel allies to challenge her friendship with the one person who’s been kind to her throughout the last hopeless decade: her heart’s sister, Cress.
Cornered into impossible choices and unable to trust even those who are on her side, Theo will have to decide how far she’s willing to go to save her people and how much of herself she’s willing to sacrifice to become queen.
I didn’t have many expectations going in. Which is how I like it. I don’t like having preconceived notions about a book, and I’m so glad this came to me that way, because it made a name for it all on its own.
I love when books surprise me. To be honestly, the beginning chapter didn’t pull me in. I had to make past it. But once I started to get to know Theo and what she’s been going through and who she’s become, it all just took off from there.
A times, it’s a difficult book to read because it deals with a lot of heavy subjects. Being in captivity for so long, paraded around as a trophy for a victory and constantly abused is not a pleasant thing to read. But I enjoyed getting to know Theo and how she dealt with many of the unfortunate circumstances that seem to surround her. Even when she was beaten down, she comes back up again. Figuratively and realistically. My heart broke for her but it also cheered, when she did just lay down and continue to take the hardships. She could’ve. This could’ve been a whole different story.
I have my opinions on the other characters, and all I’ll say here is that they’re probably not going to be the popular ones. But I’m used to that, so I’ll deal.
I think Laura crafted a very interesting beginning to a series that I look forward to continuing on with (which will be a while since the book doesn’t even come out till April 24th.). I flew through the book and cannot wait to pick up the next one!
Preorder it here:
AH!!! IT’S HERE!!! IT’S HERE!!! REMEMBERING MAJYK IS LIVE!!!!!
Amazon kindle: http://a.co/ebxuasg
Amazon paperbacks: http://a.co/hmYLPXG
Here they are, my beautiful darlings!! I hope you love their story as much as I do!
Don’t forget, I’m having a party with a TON of amazing authors!!
Can you believe we’re just 14 days away from the release of Remembering Majyk??? I honestly cant believe how fast the time has been flowing by. Even as it seems to take forever. Funny thing, that time.
Anyway, today, I wanted to talk to you a little about my writing. You’ve met Calista, you’ve met Brendan. If you’ve read any of my other books, you’ve met characters I’ve written before. Remembering Majyk is my most personal book and it has a lot to do with the Russian heritage portrayed there. You don’t get to see as much of it in the first book, but once you get in a little deeper, you definitely will.
While Remembering Majyk is my most personal and favorite book, Calista is my least likable character. She’s a lot like me, which I realized in revisions and was definitely not planning for while drafting. She’s stubborn, she’s annoying, sometimes she’s childish. (I know, I’m a fantastic human).
But she’s also real.
I think that if I was in her situation, I would react the same way. And while writing her, I wanted to make her nicer, more pliable? More likable. But I didn’t. It’s a hard choice to make as an author. You want people to love your characters as much as you do. But at the end of the day, I think it’s about you loving them first.
Calista is all kinds of flawed. As the story unfolds, you’ll discover a lot more things about her and you may even like her less. But at the end of the day, I think she’s the kind of a character that just wants to make the choices for herself. Sometimes those choices are too difficult to comprehend and her decisions may not be the best. Sometimes, it’s her reflex that makes the decisions for her and our reflexes, our gut feelings, are not always correct.
That’s who Calista is to me and to write her a little unlikable may have been something I didn’t want to do, but I knew I had to do. I can’t exactly change who she is just because I want everyone to love her.
As authors, we do make difficult decisions as well, but our characters are also living, breathing people in our minds and we can’t change them anymore than we can change those around us. However, as she discovers more about herself and the kind of a person she wants to be, she does the changing. And I think that’s a beautiful thing.
At least, that’s where I’m at. I wanted to share a little more about my girl with you. And a little about my writing thoughts. This is the behinds the scenes, after all, right?
What do you think, as a reader, about unlikable characters? Have you read any books that were written like that?
Happy New Year, lovelies!
Can you believe we’re less than a month away from the release of Remembering Majyk???
(That’s basically me at all times right now….)
I have a giveaway for you!!! It’s super simple. For a chance to win a $50 Amazon Gift card AND a Signed paperback of the book, all you have to do is preorder on kindle and fill out the form linked below! Easy, right??
Amazon link: http://a.co/994jnO9
Giveaway form: https://goo.gl/forms/pJn0S6BxYqABHQRf2
I’m so beyond excited for you all to meet Cali and Brendan!
I am SO BEYOND EXCITED to share this GORGEOUS cover with you!!! My fantastic cover designer, Regina Wamba, has outdone herself. This book is so many things to me, and I wanted to portray that in every aspect of the packaging (as well as the content :).
This book is about a girl torn between two halves of her existence.
The past and the present.
The forbidden and the reachable.
REMEMBERING MAJYK IS $1.99 FOR PRE-ORDER ONLY!!!
Today, I bring you one of my most favorite posts! Today, you get to meet my Calista.
When I began writing this book, this girl was front and center in my mind from day one. I mean, she should’ve been, right? She is the main character after all. But, I have to admit, she was a little more vivid than the others and I think it has a lot to do with her sparkling personality. She’s my messed up, tough girl and I adore her and her journey so much.
You don’t only get to meet her, but you get to see her, almost IRL. That’s right, a fantastically talented Francy McCrea has created a sketch of Calista in all of her glory and I have to say, I’m pretty in love with the way the images turned out.
Now, let’s get down to some nitty gritty. How about we ask her some questions?
Full Name: Calista Faulkner
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite song: It’s My Life by Bon Jovi
Special abilities: Fighting, majyk manipulation, ordering Brendan around.
Least favorite activity: Socializing
VL: Cali, what is happening when we meet you in the beginning of the book?
Cali: Well, I’ve been dragged to a party by my best friend. So I’m probably leaning against a wall, sipping my Dr. Pepper, and people watching.
VL: Parties are not your thing?
Cali: I despise them.
VL: Wow, you’re pretty strong on that opinion.
Cali: Considering the last party I went to ended up with me being nearly stabbed to death with a sword, I feel like I’m entitled to that opinion.
VL: Fair. How did that go?
Cali: What, being nearly stabbed to death? It was lovely. A real good time.
VL: Were you afraid?
Cali: I was terrified. Like any normal human being would be.
VL: Only you aren’t…
Cali: No, I am not. That’s still new and it’s taking some getting used to.
VL: Did you ever think magic was real?
Cali: I most definitely did not.
VL: Would you have preferred you never finding out?
Cali: I would’ve preferred not getting into this interview with you.
Cali: No, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Let’s be real, everyone wishes at one point in their lives or another, that majyk was real. But majyk is not all fun and games. Before my memories were wiped, I lived and breathed battle. I was trained and I was taught how to be the best warrior our lands have ever seen. Then, that was taken away and now I have to learn it all over again. Not only that, but I am constantly hunted by those who think they know better on how to use the said majyk. But I stand by my answer, no. The greatest gift someone can give themselves is to know who they are, right down to their core. I’m finally finding that out for myself. So what if I have to cut to pieces a few monsters along the way.
Cali: I scared you a little.
Cali: Yes, I have a tendency for that. Brendan will tell you otherwise.
VL: And who’s Brendan?
Cali: Someone who is a much better…everything… than I am.
VL: And who are you?
Cali: I’m the girl who’s going to do whatever it takes to protect those she loves and the world in which she lives. Both worlds.
Is there really anything else to say after that?
Book One in the Skazka Chronicles
Coming January 18, 2018
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See you next week, with a visit from yet another character!
As you can tell by the title and the banner, I have something for you 🙂 I decided to do a little series and talk about all the BTS aspects of Remembering Majyk (and maybe even other books to come). I love these types of posts and it’s always so interesting to me to see where the books and ideas come from. So let’s get into it!
If I counted how many times I’ve been asked where do I get my ideas, I would’ve written hundreds of books with just that one question alone.
If I’m to be honest, I don’t remember the exact moment I decided to write Remembering Majyk or where specifically that story came from. I can tell you that I love magic books and I love books that deal with self discovery and sword wielding heroes and slow burn love stories. Remembering Majyk is all of those things for me. But most of all, it is my heritage.
You see, I grew up in the streets of St. Petersburg, Russia. Born and raised, and proud to be from such a beautiful and historic city. I’ve always had a particular love for stories and I remember my mom and I reading and watching these Russian folk tales. Baba Yaga, The Firebird, the siblings, Alyonushka and Ivanushka. Russia has some awesome cartoons, which have adopted these stories and beautiful books, full of illustrations that have stayed with me through the years.
So when I decided to write a book about a girl with a history she couldn’t quite remember, set in a world full of magic, it only seemed appropriate to bring that side of my heritage into it. These stories and the lessons they teach were a big part of my upbringing, thanks to my wonderful mother, and as a writer, I wanted the rest of the world to experience them as well.
Remembering Majyk is not really a retelling of any particular story. It is a mixture of all the beautiful parts of my childhood wrapped into one. While it may still have the aspect of a young adult novel (because how could I ever get away from that, it’s my favorite) the story brings little parts of the fairytales into it.
In part, this story is for my Mamochka, who is the greatest cheerleader and supporter of my books. When writing Calista’s story, I wanted to bring some of that history into it, and show my appreciation for the many sacrifices my mom has gone through for me. Because no matter how much she worked, how tired she was, she would always spend time with me.
I’m working on book 2 right now, and I have to say, I think I may love it even more than the first! So many folk tales, so little time.
Stay tuned, next week, you get to meet none other than Calista herself! I have a particularly special surprise when it comes to her and I can’t wait to share it with you!
Have you added Remembering Majyk on Goodreads yet:
Also, if you’d like to participate in the cover reveal and release events, there’s still time to sign up!