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Friday, April 29, 2016

Blog Tour- THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi An Interview & Giveaway!


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi! I freaking LOVED this book it was so magical and beautiful!!!! I have an interview with Roshani to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a finished copy of the book! 


Haven't heard of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN? Check it out!

Title: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN
Author: Roshani Chokshi
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Pages: 352
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.



Now on to the interview!

Hi Roshani! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN was freaking awesome and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! I am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

Thank you for having me!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN and the characters?

THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is my love letter to fairytales from all over the world. There’s constellations that spell out your doom and destiny, a demon horse you’ll want to exchange BFF necklaces with, a princess who’s power hungry and a king with his heart on his sleeve. 

Is this a standalone or a series (I know this answer but thought it would be cool for my readers to know)? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2 yet? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on next?

Standalone! But there’s a companion coming out in April 2017 (don’t hold me to this date!) that follows the adventure of two side characters in TSTQ. I just finished my horrific draft of the companion, so now it’s with my editor waiting to be hacked at and cobbled into something resembling a book. I’m also working on a YA heist fantasy set during La Belle Epoque in Paris.  

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

Only one. Kamala is, without a doubt, based on the strange sense of humor me and my best friends share. (Yes. I did write myself as a flesh-eating demon horse. I regret nothing.)

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

Favorite: Mother Dhina. I didn’t have quite enough room to flesh out her character as much as I would’ve liked, but I found her arc very satisfying. I hope I get to share a little more about her with readers soon! She’d surprise you.

My least favorite character to write was Amar. (Shocker!!!) I *adore* him, truly. But he was persnickety. I couldn’t always guess what he would do in a situation and more importantly *why* he would do something. Getting to know him was rough. He’s frustratingly enigmatic. Still, he was also the most satisfying to write J 

What is your favorite passage/scene in THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN?

I’ve talked a bit about this, but THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN went through many revisions, both before/after I signed with my brilliant agent and before/after we accepted SMP’s offer. But there’s one passage that never changed even from my first draft. I love this, and I think it speaks a lot to the deep bond you create when you’re in love:

“Neither the secret whirring song of the stars, nor the sonorous canticles of the earth knew the language that sprang up in the space between us. It was a dialect of heartbeats, strung together with the lilt of long suffering and the incandescent hope of an infinite future.”

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Not much, actually. TSTQ drew a lot from the childhood stories I’d grown up with and my own studies majoring in 14th Century British Lit (try explaining that one at parties). In a way it was the best kind of research because all I did was go on walks and think about the stories that made me feel most at home.

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

Koschei The Deathless from Catherynne Valente’s DEATHLESS. Loved him. Without fail, I ALWAYS go for the villain type or the most magnetic dude. Loki, Scar, The Darkling, Jafar (in my head, I prefer the tumblr fanart of what he looks like) Malfoy, Gansey, etcI love them.

What inspired you to write YA?

I don’t think I ever consciously decided to write YA. I’ve always been a huge reader. I wrote fanfic in middle school/high school and still consider myself a fan/reader first and a writer second. When I started writing, I wanted to write what I wanted to read! So, I wrote about people who looked like my family members and had magical adventures based off of our own folktales. The YA community is incredible and YA books are truly magical because they speak to a thousand different experiences growing up and each one is more unique than the last. I just wanted to add my own story in there :)

Lightening Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m reading a couple books at once. I loved SIX OF CROWS and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse short stories, so I’m in the middle of SIEGE AND STORM. I’m also reading THE PRINCE, which is Book 3 in Tiffany Reisz’s incredible THE ORIGINAL SINNERS series (love the writing and deft characterization). And I’m reading SIX GUN SNOW WHITE by Catherynne Valente, which is a Western retelling of Snow White.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Slytherin

Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter!

Favorite Superhero?
Never had one. But my favorite villain is Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

Favorite TV show?
I loveeee VIKINGS and I just finished the Jonathan Strange miniseries and loved that one too!

Sweet or Salty?
Sweet!!! I have the worst sweet tooth.

Any Phobias?
Being awake but not being able to wake up.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
Erdepends on my mood. I go through phases of my existence where I only listen to three songs over and over every day.

My get-pumped-to-write song is Tyga’s “Faded.” (I listen to a lot of hip hop). My get-ready-to-write-a-swoony-scene is Zhu’s “Working For It.” And my WITHOUT-FAIL-MAKES-ME-GRIN is Talking Heads “This Must Be The Place.”

Spring Movie you’re most looking forward to?
TARZAAAAAN!!!!


Thanks so much Roshani for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN!



About Roshani:
Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling.



Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a finished copy of THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Tour Schedule:

Week One:
4/25/2016- Dark Faerie TalesGuest Post
4/26/2016- Fiction FareReview
4/27/2016- Once Upon a TwilightInterview
4/28/2016- Pandora's BooksReview
4/29/2016- Two Chicks on BooksInterview


Week Two:
5/2/2016- BookHounds YAReview
5/3/2016- The Eater of Books!Guest Post
5/4/2016- Mary Had a Little Book BlogReview
5/5/2016- Brittany's Book RamblesInterview
5/6/2016- Storybook SlayersReview



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dying To Read (153)- WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones


Hey y’all thanks for stopping by to see my Dying to Read post and of course as always I have to give credit to the lovely Jill over at Breaking the Spine for the Waiting on Wednesday Meme!


I freaking love this cover and have had this on my TBR for a while! I need this book now! I mean Goblin King?? Reminds me of Labyrinth!



Title: WINTERSONG
Author: S. Jae-Jones
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Pages: 400
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | iBooks
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world. 
So what do you think? Will you be adding this to your pile? What are you dying to read this week?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Release Day Blitz- THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh & A Giveaway!


I am so excited that THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN and a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER and an awesome candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only!  So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


 Title: THE ROSE & THE DAGGER
Author: Renée Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks 

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.
Praise for The Rose and the Dagger:

“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist 


Excerpt:








About Renée:
Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of theScience Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.












Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, and a His Calipha candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only.



Ends on May 3rd at Midnight EST!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 25, 2016

Blog Tour- HEIR TO THE SKY by Amanda Sun An Interview & A Giveaway!


I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for HEIR TO THE SKY by Amanda Sun!I have an interview with Amanda to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a finished copy of the book! 


Haven't heard of HEIR TO THE SKY? Check it out!

Title: HEIR TO THE SKY
Author: Amanda Sun
Pub. Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Hardcover, eBook
As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits—by her duties as a member of the royal family; by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman; and by the edge of the only world she’s ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. She is the Eternal Flame of Hope for what’s left of mankind, the wick and the wax burning in service for her people, and for their revered Phoenix, whose magic keeps them aloft.

When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks, and other terrifying beasts. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.


Now on to the interview!

Hi Amanda! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! HEIR TO THE SKY was fantastic! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

Hi! And thank you so much for having me! ^_^

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about HEIR TO THE SKY and the 
characters?

Sure! HEIR TO THE SKY is about Kali, the heir to a kingdom of floating continents in the sky. They float above a monster-ridden abandoned earth below. But when she falls of the edge of her home one day, she miraculously survives, and meets Griffin, a rugged monster hunter who promises to get her home safely. And the closer she gets to home, the more her world unravels.
Also there are pygmy goats. And dragons. And monsters of all sorts.

Is this a standalone or a series? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2 yet? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on next?

It’s actually a standalone, although my head is full of ideas for a sequel! I’m working on a few things. I have a short story coming out in the anthology STRANGERS AMONG US this August. My story is about a boy who lives in a world in his headhe cant speak, and hes sold to a warlord. Its a darker story about revenge and the potential we all carry within ourselves to perform dark deeds. And I have a few short stories I’m working on, as well as a top secret novel that I will be working on more once my baby daughter lets me. ^_^

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

Yes and no. I firmly believe that as writers, we lie about the truth. That is, everything we write is like a dream, distorted fragments of things we’ve experienced or thought about, twisted into new and different shapes. There are fragments of my best friends in Kali’s best friend Elisha, for example. And they all have a bit of me in them, too. I do have to say that Griffin was influenced by the Final Fantasy character Noel, from FFXIII-2. Video games in general were a big influence on this book, as I’ve always loved the floating continents from games like Skyward Sword, Chrono Trigger, and FFVI.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

I loved writing Griffin! He knows all the strategies to take down monsters and look for safe havens and plants around them. He also has a big heart, and a tragic past. He trusts fully, even when he knows better. I also love Aliyah, because she’s such a big personality. Strong, protective, and deadly with her behemoth-fang spear.

Least favorite is probably Sayra, because I feel sorry for her. She’s not up to the task of survival like Griffin or Aliyah are. She cries a lot, and she can’t settle into life on the earth. I feel like that sometimes, more powerless and cowardly than I want to be. I don’t like what she reflects in myself.

What is your favorite passage/scene in HEIR TO THE SKY?

My favorite scene has to be the swamp and the treehouse. Everything in the swamp is iridescent at night, glowing and unfurling with a strange glittering beauty. But it’s dangerous too. My other favorite is the end of the book, which I can’t say much about. I hope you enjoy these scenes when you come to them!

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

A lot! I didn’t know much about survival skills. I learned all kinds of fascinating things about how to survive in the wild, what you can eat, how to find water, and how to make tools. I researched a lot about the Himalayas and mountain climates so I could figure out what could survive on floating continents and whether life was feasible up there. I also drew on a lot of my background in Archaeology for designing Kali’s kingdom and its religion around the Phoenix. Most of the names in her kingdom like Ashra, Burumu, Nartu, and the city of Ulan are derived from Akkadian words for flight, soaring, wings, and so on.

What inspired you to write YA?

I always say YA chose me! As I grew up, I liked to write about characters who were slightly older than I was. But when I got to be a teen, my characters stopped aging. I love the energy that teen characters have. They know they can save the worldthey arent discouraged or jaded. They believe theres more if they can only grasp it. Plus YA has so much exciting genre meshing. You can break all kinds of rules and it only makes things more exciting!

Lightening Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m in the middle of THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke Nijkamp. I’m a slow reader at the moment because my baby daughter just started walking and can’t be left alone for even a minute. But I manage to get a few pages here and there. And I’m dying to read Jodi Meadow’s new book THE MIRROR KING. Yay!

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
I’m actually a proud member of Slytherin. OK, I’m not ruthless or anything. I’m quiet and shy. But I’ve always been drawn to Slytherin because I find it the most interesting house. The odds are stacked against you, and who doesn’t like rooting for the underdog? Plus, aren’t all authors a little devious and mean? Let’s face itmaking readers cry is our ultimate goal.

Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter for fun, Facebook for pet and baby photos. ^_^

Favorite Superhero?
Superman, as in the original movies. He’s just so honest and straightforward and his heart’s in the right place. He’s also kind of awkward, like me.

Favorite TV show?
Beauty and the Beast from the 80’s (Vincent and Catherine!) I’m also partial to Deathnote and Boys over Flowers.

Sweet or Salty?
Salty, mostly chips of all kinds. Om nom nom.

Any Phobias?
Oh god yes. Spiders. They’re the reason I’m trained as an archaeologist but working as a writer INDOORS. My Ancient Near Eastern prof had horror stories about the whispery sounds of camel spiders AKA tarantula things climbing on the ceilings of their tents. Yeah, I’ll stay here, thanks.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
The Humming by Enya. It gets so stuck in my head. Plus I’ve been watching a ton of documentaries about space and the universe lately, and the song sort of echoes the vastness that I’ve been pondering. You know, between changing diapers.

Spring Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Alice Through the Looking Glass. I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, so much so that my new baby girl is named Alice. ^_^

Thanks so much Amanda for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read HEIR TO THE SKY!

Thank you for having me, and Happy Reading!



ABOUT AMANDA SUN:
I’m a YA author and proud Nerdfighter. I was born in Deep River, Canada, a very small town without traffic lights or buses, and where stranger safety is comprised of what to do if you see a bear—or skunk. I started reading fantasy novels at 4 and writing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Hopefully my work’s improved since then.

​In university I took English, Linguistics, and Asian History, before settling into Archaeology, because I loved learning about the cultures and stories of ancient people. Of course, I didn’t actually become an archaeologist—I have an intense fear of spiders. I prefer unearthing fascinating stories in the safety of my living room.

​The Paper Gods is inspired by my time living in Osaka and travelling throughout Japan. That and watching far too many J-Dramas. I currently live in Toronto with my husband and daughter. When I’m not writing, I’m devouring YA books, knitting nerdy things like Companion Cubes and Triforce mitts, and making elaborate cosplays for anime cons.


LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway Details:

3 Finished Copies of HEIR TO THE SKY (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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