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Monday, July 24, 2017

Blog Tour: VENTURESS by Betsy Cornwell An Interview & Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for VENTURESS by Betsy Cornwell! I freaking love this series! 

I have an interview with Betsy to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below!

Haven't heard of VENTURESS? Check it out!

Author: Betsy Cornwell
Pub. Date: August 1, 2017
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Young inventor Nicolette Lampton is living her own fairy tale happy ending. She's free of her horrible step-family, running a successful business, and is uninterested in marrying the handsome prince, Fin. Instead, she, Fin, and their friend Caro venture to the lush land of Faerie, where they seek to put an end to the bloody war their kingdom is waging. Mechanical armies and dark magic await them as they uncover devastating secrets about the past and fight for a real, lasting happily-ever-after for two troubled countries—and for themselves.

Now on to the interview!

Hey Betsy!! First I want to say welcome back to Two Chicks on Books I’m glad you could stop by for a chat! VENTURESS was freaking AWESOME and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!

For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about the events leading up to VENTURESS and the characters?

Okay first of all, thank you so much! It’s always a huge relief to hear that someone enjoyed your new book. Since VENTURESS is a standalone novel - meaning that you don’t have to read MECHANICA first to understand what’s happening - I wanted to put a little bit of space in between the first book in the series and this one.

VENTURESS kicks off a year after the end of MECHANICA, on the eve of the annual ball and scientific exposition. The heroine, Nick, is a successful inventor living happily with her clockwork horse and other steampunk animal companions in the heart of the royal city. Her best friends/family unit, Caro and Fin, are both wrapped up in their own challenges: a new romance for Caro, and all sorts of political trouble for Fin. There’s a war between their country and Faerie, and at the ball Nick receives a secret message begging for help with the resistance.

So is this the end for Nicolette and the crew? And if it is what are you working on now?

VENTURESS is the last book with these main characters, but I’m not quite done with the world of Esting and Faerie: you might see Nick and her friends popping up in the background of future books. I’ve just wrapped up revisions on a girl-Robin-Hood retelling called THE FOREST QUEEN that’s set in Esting 200 years before Nick was born. (You might notice little references to the Forest Queen’s story in both MECHANICA and VENTURESS.)

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

I think there are little pieces of many people from my life in all of my characters, but I don’t tend to base them directly on just one person. I certainly met plenty of strong and smart young women inventors at Smith, where I went to college: it was the first college in the country to offer an all-women’s engineering program. I definitely think Nick would fit right in with that group of Smithies.

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

I always love writing Jules, Nick’s mechanical horse. It was probably even more fun to write about him in VENTURESS than it was in MECHANICA, because he spends all his time actual-horse-sized instead of tiny and therefore can be more involved in all the action. I don’t think I had a least favorite character to write - if I start to hate writing someone, I take that as a sign that they shouldn’t be in the book at all.

What is your favorite passage/scene in VENTURESS?

I have two! One is their underwater adventure in the bathysphere pods, which you can actually preview on HMH Teen right now (link: 

The other is a spoiler, sorry! I cried when I wrote it, so it might be masochistic to 
say it’s one of my favorites, but I’m proud of it.

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

One of the things that’s never sat easy with me about the steampunk genre is how pro-colonial it can be. I wanted Esting to be a darker vision of Victorian-era imperial England. Faerie is at least partly inspired by my adopted home country of Ireland, which was of course one of England’s colonies. I read about the colonial history of Ireland, as well as America and India, as I was getting ready to write both MECHANICA and VENTURESS.

I do a lot of research into folklore and fairy tales in my work as the story editor at PARABOLA, a magazine that examines religious and spiritual traditions from around the world. As I was finishing VENTURESS, I came across a popular Korean fairy tale called “The Blind Man’s Daughter,” and I was startled by how perfectly it fit in with the themes I was exploring in my book. I have one of my characters tell a Faerie interpretation of that story in VENTURESS.

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

There are so many! Springing to mind right now is Char from ELLA ENCHANTED - Gail Carson Levine really knows how to write swoony MG/YA heroes.

What inspired you to write YA?

In college, I spent a semester interning at Teen Ink Magazine, and I was blown away by the quality of writing we received (Teen Ink is one of the biggest publishers of literary writing by teenagers). I kept thinking about all the beautiful, inventive, and lyrical fairy tale retellings I’d loved to read when I was younger. I realized that my wish to write literary fiction and my love for fairy tales and YA didn’t have to be mutually exclusive! I drafted my first novel, TIDES, during that semester.

Lightening Round Questions

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

The Invention of Angela Carter, a biography of my favorite writer.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

OK, I have to give a slightly extended answer for this one. When I was eleven/actual first year age: Ravenclaw, all the way. But adult me would beg to be a Hufflepuff.

Twitter or Facebook?


Favorite Superhero?

Gertrude Yorkes from Runaways.

Favorite TV show?

Buffy, always and forever.

Sweet or Salty?


Any Phobias?

Spiders, unfortunately. At least there are no deadly ones in Ireland.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

“The Maid Freed From The Gallows” sung by Tia Blake, which I listened to incessantly over the last few months while I was working on THE FOREST QUEEN.

2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?

Probably the Kingsman sequel - the first one was so fun.

Thanks so much Betsy for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read VENTURESS!

Thank you so much for having me!

About Betsy:
Hi! I'm Betsy Cornwell, an American writer and teacher living in a stove-heated cottage in west Ireland, together with my horse trainer spouse, a small herd of dairy goats, and an increasing number of other animals. I write fiction and nonfiction and blog about Irish folklore, travel, wild food, goats (of course!), homesteading, and growing up.

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of VENTURESS. US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
7/24/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
7/25/2017- Here's to Happy Endings- Review
7/26/2017- BookHounds YAGuest Post
7/27/2017- The Book Nut- Interview
7/28/2017- jrsbookreviewsReview

Week Two:
7/31/2017- Nicole's Novel Reads- Review
8/1/2017- Novel NoviceGuest Post
8/3/2017- YA Book MadnessInterview
8/4/2017- Sarcasm & LemonsReview

Grab the first book in the series!


  1. the cover is gorgeous and I'd frame it! This book sounds so much fun to read with the break-from-the-mold female POV character. I love intelligent girls as leads.

  2. The cover looks fun, and I like the steampunk element!


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