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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blog Tour- KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS by Hannah West An Interview & Giveaway!

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS by Hannah West! I can't wait to read this book! I have an interview with Hannah to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a finished copy of the book!!

Haven't heard of KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS ? Check it out!

Author: Hannah West 
Pub. Date: September 15, 2016
Publisher:  Holiday House, Inc.
Pages: 352
Formats: Hardcover
Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two - now three - after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors? She draws on her ability to disguise herself as a man to infiltrate a prince's band of soldiers, and masquerades as a fairy godmother to shield a cursed princess, but time is running out. As an army of dark creatures grows closer, Bristal faces a supernatural war. To save the kingdoms, Bristal must find the courage to show her true form.

Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular debut.

Now on to the interview!

Hi Hannah! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS sounds absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait to read it! And am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!
Thanks so much for having me!
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS and the characters?
It’s essentially the story of the fairy godmother from Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella: one young woman named Bristal who discovers she’s an immortal creature called an elicromancer. Her specific gift is shapeshifting. She trains with two other elicromancers, Brack and Tamarice, until the latter turns down a dark path and threatens to bring war down on the realm. Bristal attempts to unite the mortal kingdoms of Nissera as they face this threat, a tasks that involves taking on various disguises to manipulate the political scene. She plays fairy godmother to the two cursed princesses and poses as a male soldier in Prince Anthony’s contingent of thieves-turned-soldiers until she finally has to muster the courage to show her true form and fight for the people that she loves.
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?
Right now I’m finishing up a WIP that’s completely different - a southern gothic/paranormal based in a fictional East Texas town. But every day I’m getting more and more ideas for a companion novel for KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS and I can’t wait to get a chance to start on it. I have a title but I’ve learned those can change throughout the process. I think this one will stick but I’ll wait to put it out there just in case!
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
This is such an interesting question and I have such an uninteresting answer: not really. I’m sure some characters have things in common with people in my life but it’s certainly not intentional.
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
Oh gosh! That’s hard. Well, let’s exclude Bristal because writing her was the same as writing the book - which was equal parts fun and arduous. I loved writing Tamarice, because behind every villain there’s a story of grief and loss. We catch her just at a transitional point where she’s finally morphing from harmed to harmful. But while that was an interesting experience, Anthony was my favorite because I love the way the layers of his passion and nobility unfold as tensions heighten.  
What is your favorite passage/scene in KINGDOM OF ASH & BRIARS?
There’s a part about in that a classic fairy tale moment is woven into the political/approaching war story and it just feels like breath of fresh air. Then only a chapter later there’s a dark crisis that leads to Bristal risking her life for someone she loves and realizing the breadth of that love. For some reason that sequence of events - the sparkly fairy tale moment followed by this grim encounter where things start spinning out of control - felt like everything I imagined when I started dreaming up this story.
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
Research is the bane of my existence. That’s why I write fantasy - I would rather make up my own world and cultures than screw up the details of real ones. That being said, I did do a little research about plants and foods that would be indigenous to a western European-esque area and a little here and there related to medieval clothes and weapons. My WIP is requiring a lot more research so I’m warming to it, but you probably won’t find me writing historical novels in the future. Unless I team up with someone who loves research.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Gale Hawthorne!!!!
What inspired you to write YA?
I’ve been writing stories consistently since I was about 10, most of them relating to magic and teenagers with magic falling in love. I loved Ella Enchanted and Robin McKinley, which led to writing a bunch of fractured fairy tales and fantasy. I will say that the emergence of popular female-driven paranormal YA like Twilight in my late teens helped me gather my love of reading and writing and language into an actual aspiration. It made me realize I could do it!
Lightning Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m finishing up THE WRATH AND THE DAWN by Renée Ahdieh and then I’m planning to read SOME KIND OF HAPPINESS by Claire Legrand and then SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo, which for some reason I haven’t read yet? I have no idea why.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Gryffindor. Some people in my life try to say Ravenclaw based on the fact that I love to read and write, but that’s not equivalent to being clever and deeply caring about academic success. Gryffindor and don’t try to argue!

Twitter or Facebook?
Favorite Superhero?
I’m not a huge superhero person. I watch most of the movies but there’s often an undercurrent of cheesiness that I can’t get past! I’m sure I’ll love the new Wonder Woman movie though, so let’s just say her.

Favorite TV show?
Just one? Game of Thrones, Parks and Rec, Penny Dreadful, Silicon Valley, Orange Is the New Black, Outlander...
Sweet or Salty?
Any Phobias?
I’m about to contradict my Gryffindor status. I’m deeply afraid of public speaking of any kind, heights, natural disasters, large crowds (especially when there’s not a clear exit), and gross bodily harm. Most of those things have induced an actual panic attack for me at some point.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?
“Wood” by Rostam and “Closer” by the Chainsmokers ft Halsey

Spring Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Beauty and the Beast!

Thanks so much Hannah for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS!

About Hannah:

Hannah West is the debut author of KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS, a young adult fantasy releasing on September 15, 2016 from Holiday House.

Hannah has been writing fantasy since kindergarten, when she penned her first tale about a runaway princess who lived on top of a flagpole with two loaves of bread. But it wasn't until she studied abroad in Orléans, France during her junior year of college that the premise for her first novel materialized. The fairy tale castles, the snowy winter days, and a Disney princess pencil that arrived in a care package from her parents provided the inspiration that allowed her to wrangle all her untold and unfinished stories into a book. 

She lives in the Dallas area with her husband, Vince, and their rambunctious blue heeler, Robb. She proudly writes articles about sustainable living and home renovation for Modernize.com. She loves the outdoors when it's not hellishly hot, camping, and watching shows like Outlander, Game of Thrones, and Orange Is the New Black. While she may have avoided several southern clichés, she can't live without half-and-half sweet tea and can be caught saying "y'all" about a dozen times a day.  

Giveaway Details:

3 Finished Copies of KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS,(US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Monday, September 12

Tuesday, September 13

Wednesday, September 14

Thursday, September 15

Friday, September 16

Monday, September 19

Tuesday, September 20

Wednesday, September 21

Thursday, September 22

Friday, September 23


  1. I'm so excited that there might be a companion novel :D

  2. gorgeous cover makes me want to oen this book. I love the mash-up of retellings in this book--makes for a unique and exciting book to read.

  3. This sounds fantastic!!! I definitely want to read this book :D

  4. I'm so excited to find out about this book. Gorgeous cover! Thanks for the post and the giveaway!

  5. This book sounds great and I absolutely love the gorgeous cover!!!

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