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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Meet The Newbies Featuring Evelyn Skye & A Giveaway!

I am thrilled to be hosting Evelyn Skye for the Meet The Newbies Event! THE CROWN'S GAME is one of my favorite books of 2016! I have a Q&A to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway below! 

Haven't heard of THE CROWN'S GAME? Check it out!

Author: Evelyn Skye
Release Date: May 17th, 2016
Pages: 416
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear . . . the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.

Now on to the interview!

Hi Evelyn! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! I am so happy to be hosting you for A Perfection Called Books Meet The Newbies Event! I freaking LOVED THE CROWN’S GAME and I can’t wait for my readers to read it!

Thank you so much, Jaime! I am so happy to be here, and thank you for the enormously kind words about THE CROWN’S GAME!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about THE CROWN’S GAME and the characters?

THE CROWN’S GAME is a story of two enchanters, Vika and Nikolai, fighting a magical duel in lush, Imperial Russia. The book is full of surprisingand very dangerousmagic spectacles, as every move that Vika and Nikolai make pushes them one step closer to death.

New York Public Library called it “GAME OF THRONES for the younger set,” and others have said that fans of RED QUEEN, SHADOW AND BONE, and AN EMBER IN THE ASHES would really get into the book’s mix of magic, high-stakes action, and romance. Just being named with all those incredible series gives me goosebumps!

What about the sequel? Do we have a title for it yet?

It’s in the progress! There’s a working title, but nothing official yet. We’ll announce it when it’s ready!

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

Hmm yes and no. Theres a little part of me in each of the characters, but other than that, I didnt model any of them on people I knew in real life. I tend to make up my characters from scratchor sometimes, they just appear in my headmuch like I make up the magic in my stories.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite? I can say that I ADORED Nikolai ;)

You’re on Team Nikolai! It’s so interesting to me; I get a lot of tweets from readers who are in love with Nikolai or with Pasha. I didn’t mean to set it up like that, but people seem to feel passionately about which boy they love more.

I can’t choose a favorite character, though, are you crazy? I love them all! But how about we pretend you asked me which character was easiest to write and which was hardest? J

Nikolai came easily. Of all the characters, I am the most like him, so I understood his feelingshis wants and needs--from the start.

Vika was harder. She’s audacious and doesn’t follow the rules, and I’m not. I wrote her, in part, as an aspirational character for myself. Sometimes now when I’m in a situation where I don’t know what to do, I ask myself, “What would Vika do?” (It doesn’t always lead to the right choice for me, but it gives me an extra dose of pluck, which can come in handy.)

What is your favorite passage/scene in THE CROWN’S GAME?

Again, making me choose favorites! Jaime, you’re killing me.

Ahhhhhh. Okay. I’m going to cheat and give you the top three, without being spoilery:

3. Pasha and Nikolai’s “Romeo and Juliet” scene, which is the quintessence of their friendship.

2. The ball

1. The last chapter (and the last line of the book)

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

As you know, THE CROWN’S GAME is set is an alternate (but largely historically-accurate) Imperial Russia. The settings are almost all real, and some of the characters and events are, too.

Luckily for me, I have a degree in Russian literature and history, so a lot of my research was actually done years ago during college, before I even knew that all that work would one day become a book. When it came to writing THE CROWN’S GAME, much of what I’d studied just came flowing back. I had to do some research to check up on facts here and there, and I did do additional research on the Kazakhs and their complicated relationship with the Russian Empire, because I hadn’t studied much about that subject in school, and I wanted to make sure I understood Nikolai’s past, as well as the political tensions in Russia, properly.

For the history buffs out there, I have an Author’s Note at the end of the book that goes into more detail about my research, and what is and isn’t real in the book.

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

I actually run a big YA book club for writers (it’s a little different from a normal book club, because we analyze each book we read in terms of craft and try to improve our own writing based on what we’ve learned), which means I get to impose my TBR list on the members. J These are some of the books we have on slate for this year:

WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT by April Genevieve Tucholke
THE WINNER'S KISS by Marie Rutkoski
THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater

Obviously there are lots of other books I want to read, too! But this was the easiest TBR to pull my brain doesnt work half the time these days, because Ive got Book Launch Brain!

Who is your ultimate Book Boyfriend?

Gansey from The Raven Cycle series!! I lovvvvvvvvve Gansey

What inspired you to write YA?

The teen years were some of my favorite years. I felt so alive, and everything was exciting (and terrifying, too). The truth is, who I was at 17 was closer to my real soul than who I became in my 20s, although I didn’t know it when I was 17.

I got a little lost in my 20s, trying so hard to be “an adult” and liking things I thought I was supposed to like, and striving for goals I thought I was supposed to strive for. And then I hit my early 30s and it was suddenly clear that I was unfulfilled, and that I needed to get back to the Evelyn-at-17. So I started reading a ton of YA, and also writing it, and that is how it all began. With the side benefit that I now feel more comfortable in my skin again.

Lightening Round Questions

If you were to be sorted by the Sorting Hat, which Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?
Pottermore put me in Slytherin, so

Twitter or Facebook?

Favorite Superhero?
Black Widow

Favorite TV show?
So You Think You Can Dance

Sweet or Salty?
Sweet. ALWAYS.

Any Phobias?
I am terrified of ghosts! Also, spiders. (Oh, god, spider ghosts!!!!)

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean”

Upcoming Movie you’re most looking forward to?
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Thanks so much Evelyn for answering my questions!

About Evelyn:

Author Most Likely to Have You Over to Her House for a Dessert-Filled Dinner Party Nickname: Harvard First Day of School: May 17, 2016 Homeroom: HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray Grade: YA Fantasy Extracurricular Activities: Champion Cookie Eater, Wannabe Hip Hop Dancer, Captain of the Tennis Team Favorite Class: 19th Century Russian Literature Favorite Quote/Motto: If at first you don't succeed, order pizza.

Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on "So You Think You Can Dance," and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn't writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN'S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.

Giveaway Details:

1 Pre-Order or Finished Copy of Any Debut Novel Featured on Meet the Newbies, International (as long as The Book Depository ships to your country)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

  1. Rachel - Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw  - f
  2. Danielle - Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
  3. Shannon - Crossing The Line by Meghan Rogers
  4. Alyssa - These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
  5. Rachel - A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
  6. Nori - Love, Lies & Spies by Cindy Anstey
  7. Sarah - Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
  8. Jess - The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M Parker - f
  9. Rachel - Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
  10. Eileen - My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul
  11. Jessica - Beyond The Red by Ava Jae
  12. Crystal - A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry
  13. Rachel - The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter  
  14. Jaime - Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs
  15. Nori - Emerge by Tobie Easton - f
  16. Crystal - Stone Field by Christy Lenzi
  17. Shannon - The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie
  18. Alyssa - Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan  
  19. Rachel - Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
  20. Shannon - After the Woods by Kim Savage
  21. Jaime - Where Futures End by Parker Peevyhouse
  22. Lisa - Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods - f
  23. Rachel - The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
  24. Alyssa - Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk
  25. Eileen - Dreamology by Lucy Keating
  26. Aentee - Wandering Wild by Jessica Taylor
  27. Nori - Underwater by Marisa Reichardt
  28. Crystal - Into the Dim by Janet B Taylor
  29. Jess - This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp - f
  30. Lisa - Summer of Sloane by Erin L Schneider

  1. Jaime - The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
  2. Rachel - The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
  3. Liran - The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry --
  4. Nori - Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
  5. Shannon - Even If The Sky Falls by Mia Garcia
  6. Rachel - Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie - f
  7. Jessica - Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
  8. Lisa - The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
  9. Shannon - The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
  10. Rachel - The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
  11. Kristen - Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman
  12. Danielle - Jerkbait by Mia Siegert
  13. Brittany - Please Don't Tell by Laura Tims - f
  14. Rachel - The Reader by Traci Chee
  15. Lisa - 26 Kisses by Anna Michels
  16. Rachel - Frannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup
  17. Alise - Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia
  18. Rachel - The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
  19. Lisa - The Way I Used To Be  by Amber Smith
  20. Rachel - Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake - f
  21. Liran - Firsts by Laurie E. Flynn
  22. Rachel - Kill The Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky
  23. Danielle - Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath
  24. Jaime - Roses and Rot by Kat Howard
  25. Kristen - The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  26. Rachel - The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele
  27. Eileen - Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace - f
  28. Rachel - Of Blood and Shadow by Kerri Maniscalco
  29. Aentee - Revenge and the Wild  by Michelle Modesto
  30. Rachel - Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
  31. Liran - All The Feels by Danika Stone

  1. Shannon - How It Ends by Catherine Lo
  2. Andye - Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost send info
  3. Empty f
  4. Alise - The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison
  5. Sarah - Signs of You by Emily France
  6. Brittany - The Way Back To You by Michelle Andreani
  7. Rachel - How To Hang A Witch by Adriana Mather
  8. Sarah - SLIP by Kara Bietz
  9. Danielle - Timekeeper by Tara Sim
  10. Andye - Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley - f
  11. Rachel - Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  12. Alyssa - Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
  13. Jaime - Fear The Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
  14. Alise - Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche
  15. Rachel - Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
  16. Nori - Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Penaflor send info
  17. Rachel - Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally - f
  18. Kristen - Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
  19. Shannon - Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
  20. Danielle - Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner
  21. Rachel - The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill
  22. Andye - Bound By Blood and Sand by Becky Allen
  23. Rachel - Ever The Hunted by Erin Summerill
  24. Shannon - Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee - f
  25. Danielle - Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
  26. Jess - The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati
  27. Rachel - Flashfall by Jenny Moyer
  28. Empty
  29. Nori - A Song to Take the World Part by Zan Romanoff
  30. Alise - A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess


  1. Sounds like a cool book. I've seen a lot of buzz on this one. May is going to be great!

  2. Sounds like a cool book. I've seen a lot of buzz on this one. May is going to be great!

  3. I am so excited for this book! Thank you for the lovely interview. 😊

  4. This book has received exciting reviews and I have it on my to-read list.

  5. The book sounds great. It is retelling the tales from Nessum Dorma and the Greek myth Atlanta. Can't wait to see the differences in all three stories.

  6. The more I learn about this book, the more I want to read it.

  7. Can't wait to read this amazing book! It's already on my TBR list. I love that it's set in an alternate Imperial Russia. And all the magic! Sounds so interesting! I'm looking forward to know more about the characters and the story. And the cover is beautiful! Loved the interview!

  8. I am part of the Tsars Guard! I am soooooo excited!!!
    Samantha D


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