Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, filled with good times with family and friends and wonderful memories for years to come!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Jimena Novaro Talks Anti-Heroes

Today Jimena Novaro, author of BLUE RABBIT, is guesting on the blog. In celebration of the upcoming release, if you add BLUE RABBIT to your shelf on Goodreads, you will be entered to win a copy on release day!  

Blue Rabbit

Now, please welcome Jimena!

Bad Girls, Bad Boys
Thank you so much for hosting me, Mary! Hello, readers of Mary’s blog! Thanks for stopping by! 

I have a thing for antiheroes.

Take this, for instance: not too long ago I read Mary’s wonderful first book, Quest of the Hart. Out of the whole cast of great characters, it was Arabella, the main antagonist, whom I loved the most. I identified with her, sympathized with her, and felt like she’d gotten an awful deal in life―always overshadowed by her brother, the heir to the throne as the younger twin only because he was a boy. I didn’t condone her actions, but I understood them.

Other examples of characters who won my heart through anti-heroism include Starbuck and Laura Roslin from the reimagined Battlestar Galactica; Ripred from The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins; the entire cast of Firefly; Mogget from the Abhorsen series and Ella from Shade’s Children, both by Garth Nix; Rosto from the Beka Cooper series by Tamora Pierce; Spike from Cowboy Bebop... the list goes on and on.

Why do I love them so much? In general, I feel drawn to moral ambiguity―to stories where right and wrong aren’t clear-cut―because it’s truer to life and leaves room for the audience’s interpretations. See, in my opinion, a good story is like good music―you want a variety of notes, not just an endless progression of lows or highs. I like for a story to punch me in as many of the feels as possible, and watching characters struggle against darkness and sometimes overcome it, sometimes let it swallow them, certainly hits notes on all points in the scale.

Also, antiheroes also have more elements working against them than traditional heroes. In addition to the exterior obstacles, they also have to battle their inner demons―their past, their guilt, their jealousies, their vanities and their obsessions.

Plus... aren’t they fun? They can get up to all sorts of shenanigans that traditional heroes might not involve themselves in. They’re usually pretty badass, too. They say things that others wouldn’t dare to. Sometimes they even speak the truths that others don’t want to hear.

These kinds of characters take you for quite a ride. You have fun, you cry, you cheer them on, you get angry at them, you wish you could reach into the story world and give them a hug... or maybe a good shake.

Do you like antiheroes? Who are your favorites?

In Knoxville, Tennessee, there’s a bridge to another world.
When they first cross it, Erika and her friends feel like they’ve stumbled into a dream. Magical and mysterious, the other world becomes their little paradise, a place to explore and escape from their everyday lives. Until one night a boy from school, Mike, follows them to the other side―and he’s kidnapped by strange and powerful Creatures.
Back home, everyone thinks Erika and the gang are responsible for Mike’s disappearance. The dream has become a nightmare. How can they negotiate with these Creatures to rescue Mike and clear their names? And why are the Creatures fixated on Erika, who feels drawn to their world even as she senses the danger?

Jimena Novaro always knew she would be a writer. It just took her a few years to realize that she wanted to do it full-time, and relegate things like going into outer space and being an opera prima donna to hobbies. 

She loves reading and writing science fiction, fantasy, and YA. A self-proclaimed geeky sort of nerd, she spends a lot of her time fangirling over her favorite shows, books, and bands and educating herself about super-important topics such as how to survive an arrow wound and whether or not you can shoot a gun in space. Sometimes she gets super serious and rants about some socio-political issue or other. 

She’s a member of the awesome fantasy authors group Mystic Quills. You can find her free epic fantasy serial, The Withering Sword, on her website (a new chapter comes out every Sunday!) Her first book, Blue Rabbit, a YA urban fantasy, comes out this December!

Find her here:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Introducing Cait from Fire of Stars and Dragons

Today I am excited to share with you my interview with Cait, from Melissa Petreshock's Fire of Stars and Dragons.

King Corrin insisted I return to Boston to meet with Cait. Even though I considered saying no, it was only for a moment, as I got to fly in the private jet again. Seriously, who would say no to that?

I met with her at the Copley Marriott, in the same room I met King Corrin.Even though I'd dressed up a bit, I still felt a bit frumpy compared to Cait in her simple blue dress and heels. I tried to figure out the designer, but fashion's not really my thing. Now jewelry is a different story, and the silver Celtic woven knot ring that flashed on her right hand was clearly an heirloom piece.

MW: Cait, thank you so much visiting with me. I've had the pleasure of speaking with two of your three suitors, and I must say, you have one tough choice ahead of you.

I caught a hint of an eye roll, followed by a sigh and a tight smile. 

Cait: You’re welcome, Mary… And yes, tough would certainly be one word to describe the situation.

Her words were coated with the accent expected of a native of Boston. 

MW: I tried to imagine what I would do in your situation, and knew it would involve a list of some sort as I am an avid list maker! So, if you were making a list, what would you say is one thing about each of your suitors that endears them to you?

Cait: One thing… about each of them. She stared at me then blinked. Um… Let me just name their best physical feature, in my personal opinion. Theo has the sexiest hair ever-jet black, just a little bit of wave to it, brushes over his shoulders perfectly when he moves. Amazing. Dante’s eyes are incredible. I had to get used to the way they change, their intensity and brightness with his moods and all. He’s the first demigod I’ve ever known… But those vivid blue eyes of his are absolutely unreal. Corrin… She laughed gently. Corrin has these dimples and faint freckles across his cheeks that are heart stoppingly adorable. They lessen the harshness of facing the fact he’s- She made air quotes here-“King Corrin”. So… Yeah. There you go.

MW: Mmm. I'm totally an eye girl, so that would be a bonus to Dante. Now, I'm sure each of these suitors has something you don't like about them. So, what is something you wish you could change?

A very unlady like snort escapes as Cait laughs.

Cait: Corrin could get over himself. That would be a start… Dante could stand to lighten up. I don’t think he speaks sarcasm very fluently, maybe not at all… And Theo needs to stop being so hard on himself. These dragons are heavy on the whole honor and duty thing. It’s a bit much.

MW: After meeting King Corrin, I'd have to say I agree with that sentiment. I didn't use any sarcasm when I spoke with Dante, but I can see where he might take things a little too literally. As for Theo, I haven't had the pleasure of speaking with him yet, so I thank you for that bit of insight to him. In general, we tend to size people up by what we see or hear about them. What's something that surprised you about your suitors. or something they did that was completely unexpected to you?

Cait: Wow… So much of this has been unexpected already. She grinned and giggled, reminding me a bit of a school girl. Theo has a sense of humor. I always thought of dragons as being all serious, but he’s quick with the sarcasm, which I love. I don’t know if all of them are like that, but at least Theo is. Dante isn’t all high and mighty god-like or anything. He’s sweet. And Corrin, well, when I first went inside his penthouse apartment, I saw things that gave me an insight into the personal side of him that was a lot different than I expected. Corrin and King Corrin aren’t exactly the same. There’s two sides to him.

MW: Hmm. That's interesting. I can't wait to read about this other side to King Corrin. You seem to have a lot going into the plus side for each of them. So, what's the one thing one of your suitors could do to tip the balance, so to speak, and ensure you chose them as husband?

Cait: Considering I’m limited on options, I don’t know that sweeping me off my feet with the greatest love imaginable is realistic. She rolled her eyes. But they damn well better respect the fact I’m a person, not an object or piece of property just because I’m female. Treat me as an equal. That’s a winner of an idea.
MW: That's a unique thing to be looking for. I wonder which one of them will figure it out! I glanced at my watch and groaned. Time was almost up. Do you have time for a few quick fire questions, just to give us a better sense of your personal tastes?

Cait: Sure. Why not… The longer I’m with you, the longer I can avoid the tension with any of them.

MW: Wonderful. Just go with your gut for these. Coffee or tea?

Cait: Coffee. Lots of it.

MW: Wine or beer?

Cait: Refined women always drink wine… Beer.

MW: I laughed. Chocolate or bacon?

Cait: She tossed her arms up in the air and excitement glitters in her eyes as she shouted Bacon!

MW: Work or pleasure?

Cait: My Uncle Thomas worked his ass off to ensure I’d never have to do without, never need to work if I didn’t want to, but also taught me the importance of helping those less fortunate than us. I hope I always do things I enjoy that work to help others… So, work for pleasure.

MW: Great answer. Dining in or eating out?

Cait: She laughed obnoxiously loud. If you have to ask me this, you never read the tabloid article about me setting our penthouse on fire trying to cook pasta when I was seventeen… Eating out, definitely. I’m dangerous in a kitchen.

MW: Nope, I never heard about that, but I would choose eating out after something like that too. We laughed together. Thank you so much, Cait, and I wish you the best of luck with your choice!

Cait: You’re welcome, Mary… And thanks, I might need that extra luck.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Exciting News!!!!

I am so excited to announce that my YA Paranormal Romance, FAERY MARKED, has been picked up by BookFishBooks for release in 2014. It's the first book in a (planned) 3 book series dealing with Faeries, Humans, and magic.

In other news:

Different Kind of Knight is off to the publisher for it's final set up. I am eagerly awaiting my galley proof and cover. (Can't wait to share that with you once I have it!) and of course, I'll keep you posted on the release date. (Still slated for Winter 2013/2014.)

I've been working on a couple of novellas I plan on releasing in 2014 on my own.

  • The Mystery Prince is a twist on a Cinderella-type tale, where the Princess is the one searching for the Prince who left her at the ball.
  • The Love Talker's Daughter is set around the magic of MidSummer's Night, and of course it has Faeries in it.

I'm also playing with a couple new stories (a Valentine's Day themed tale and a Romantic Comedy) as well as drafting out book 4 in the Princess of Valendria series and book 2 in the Faery series. 

So, what are you working on? What are you reading? What release are you looking forward to in 2014?