Blog Tour: Interview for All That Glows


I’ve been highly anticipating All That Glows since I saw the cover release last year. Then I read it and really enjoyed it. You can see my review here. I was super excited when I got on its tour and even more so that the author, Ryan Graudin, is stopping by for an interview!


Author Interview

Welcome, Ryan. Thanks for stopping by my blog for your tour and letting me interview you!

Thanks for having me, Tressa!

Why did you decide that you wanted to become an author?

Ella EnchantedFor as long as I can remember I’ve been a reader and lover of words! Reading books fed my adventuresome spirit in a way nothing else quite could. It was after I finished reading Ella Enchanted in middle school that I was struck with a need for more! I loved the book so much I didn’t want it to end. There was no sequel, so I decided to write my own story. (It wasn’t strictly fanfiction, but close to it.) I never really stopped after that. So I guess the boiled down answer is: to let the stories go on!

I love Ella Enchanted! What a great book to inspire you!

All That Glows is your debut novel. Did you find the whole writing and publishing experience everything you thought it would be?

Writing a book and polishing it to publication standards is hard, hard work. I think I underestimated how hard the process would be. (Writing and rewriting and rewriting and rewriting. Over and over and over.) As for publishing, I didn’t really know what to expect! Publishing journeys are so different from each other. Some authors sell their manuscript to publishers in days, others months, and others years. Some novels sell for four figures, others for six. This range and unpredictability stretches all the way across the publishing experience! I’ve honestly just been holding on tight and enjoying the ride!

Well, I'm glad that you've stuck through it, as I thoroughly enjoyed All That Glows.

What inspired you to write it?

Many things. Traveling to Britain. Touring Buckingham Palace. Reading fairy tales. Studying Old English in college. Wanting to be a redhead most of my life. Crushing on the British princes as a teenager. (Oh, did I say that out loud?) Emrys’s story really took root when I was trying to write a short piece for an anthology. The prompt was to write a story about “modern, sexy” faeries. I started playing off the idea of fairy godmothers and how they would function in the modern world with crazy, night-club hopping royalty. The novel took off from there.

Are any of the characters or places from All That Glows based on real people or places?

Most of the places in ALL THAT GLOWS are real! The Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Highgate Cemetery, Westminster Abbey… In fact, the only places in the novel that I made up are the pubs and nightclubs that Prince Richard frequents: the Darkroom and The Blind Tiger. Queen Mab’s court also isn’t real, though the Highlands are. (And they’re gorgeous. I highly suggest hiking in the Cairngorms if you ever get the chance!).

As for people, I didn’t consciously model any of my characters after real people. I guess the most obvious models for Prince Richard would be the actual royal princes. If I had to make a direct comparison, I’d say that Richard is more like Harry than William, but it's hardly a 1:1 correlation. Richard is Richard.

I noticed that in your bio that you mentioned you really love to travel. What is one of your favorite places that you’ve traveled to?

This is a really hard question, because everywhere I’ve been is so different!!! I would have to cite New Zealand as my number one favorite place in the word. It is postcard gorgeous everywhere you look, there are Lord of the Rings references all over the country and hiking trails that feel like epic fantasy quests. Thailand is a close second. It’s also really beautiful, the food in that region is SO flavorful and the people are incredibly welcoming.

Thai Food is actually one of my favorites. It's amazing all the places you've been!

I noticed in your bio that you said you are often trying out Korean recipes. What is one of your favorite Korean dishes that you’ve cooked up so far? Would you like to share the recipe with us?

My favorite Korean dish is Galbi—Korean BBQ! In many restaurants they grill the meat at your table and present it with dozens of side-dishes!! At home I actually use a really easy crockpot recipe (Crockpot meals are the best for writers! Whip it all up first thing and you don’t have to worry about breaking out of your writer’s zone to fix dinner later!!!). The link to the recipe is below. I also buy a jar of kimchi to eat with it for a more authentic experience!

Chew Out Loud
Sweet Korean BBQ slow cooker

I am definitely going to have to try this soon. It looks super yummy! Thanks so much for sharing!

What five words would you use to describe All That Glows?

Paparazzi, huntresses, royals, kissing, magic.


Thanks again, Ryan, for stopping by!


All That GlowsAll That Glows
by Ryan Graudin
YA Urban Fantasy, Romance
Paperback480 Pages
February 11th 2014 by HarperTeen               

Summary

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

       


About the Author


My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: see image.

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean récipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.




Twitter Party
ryangraudin:

February 11th. 7-8 pm EST. ALL THAT GLOWS Twitter party. Be there!

Ryan stops by my blog tomorrow for an interview. I’m loving reading All that Glows! I’m looking forward to discussing it more at the Twitter Party!!!
Come chat with Ryan Graudin and have some fun!


Giveaway

Win (1) of (2) signed copies of All That Glows + one large tin of All That Glow custom blend Tea


QUESTION OF THE DAY:
Would you want to be part of the Fae and live hundreds of years if not forever?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Friday Favorites: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin


Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

I was supposed to have this posted last night, but late is better than never, right? :) This one is definitely a keeper!


All That GlowsAll That Glows
by Ryan Graudin
YA Urban Fantasy, Romance
Paperback480 Pages
February 11th 2014 by HarperTeen               

Summary

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

       



My Review

I loved All That Glows! Loved it! It's been a little while since I've read about faeries and this was a great book to come back to them.

The story pulled me in from the beginning. How could it not with the danger to Prince Richard's life and a confused, beautiful, but strong Fae, Emrys, guarding him. I literally couldn't put the book down. This is a driven plot, but there are also these sweet and personal (sometimes humorous) moments between Emrys and Richard, Emrys and her friend Breena, and Richard and his sister, Anabelle. There was a good balance of action and romance. I liked that the romance didn't overtake the story, but just felt part of it.

I really didn't know who the villain was. There are whispers of a traitor and an Old One coming back to kill all the humans and return the land to its old wild glory where magic ruled. Graudin did a fabulous job in keeping me guessing and not knowing how the story would progress. I figured out what would probably happen in the end, but I didn't know how the story would arrive there.

I loved the characters! Emrys was fabulous! I did feel that she acted a little younger then her age, but she was also experiencing something she never had before, so things were very new to her. Then there's Richard. I loved him in all his messiness, loyalty, drive, and how he becomes who he was meant to be under the circumstances. He's also swoon worthy, if you were wondering. ;) Then there's Breena, Anabelle, Richard's mother, Queen Mab, Titania, and Herne. They were fabulous side characters and I liked that even though we just get glimpses of who they are I still felt they were well developed characters.

If you enjoy Fantasy, Faeries, or just stories with some action and some sweet romance then I would definitely recommend reading All That Glows! This is definitely a debut author to follow. 

Content: There is some violence, mild swearing, and some innuendo, but I would consider this clean.

Source: From Edelweiss, which did not affect my review in any way.

You can learn more about the author, Ryan Graudin, on my tour stop today here, and also enter a giveaway.

What do you think? Will you be picking this up?

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate program. If you make a purchase of any type using this link, I receive a small kickback.

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Review: Cruel Beauty

Cruel BeautyCruel Beauty
by Rosamund Hodge
YA Fantasy, Greek Mythology
January 28th 2014 by Balzer + Bray                


Summary

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
   


My Review

The first time I saw the cover for Cruel Beauty I knew I had to read it! It is gorgeous and I loved the premise. I love the story of Beauty and the Beast and I love Graceling. What a fabulous combination. Now I would say it's more of a twist between Beauty and the Beast and Greek Mythology, but that is still a combination that I would enjoy.

The storybook world was amazing! The characters and kingdom. The castle of the Gentle Lord and Ignifex himself. The history of their kingdom and the plot to free them all. Then there is the storytelling. I loved the writing style! I love the descriptions and how the plot moved along. There were a lot of contrasts in this book between the characters, within specific characters, within the kingdom and its people, and inside the castle. Lots of struggles between fate, choices, love, duty, and loyalty. It was just all so well done!

Nix was an interesting character. I could see how much she struggled and why. I felt pulled, just like she was, to both Ignifex (what an interesting name - makes me wonder if it means anything specific) and Shade. I figured some things out before Nix did, but I still enjoyed...well, I don't know that is the right word since it's a little painful...maybe was intrigued by the journey. I really disliked her family and the gods who were basically at fault for the kingdom's fate. I really liked Ignifex. I liked him more than Shade because I felt he was strong, kind of a tortured bad boy, but that was really just his outside persona. He really was a complex character and was intelligent, wise, and actually sweet. I felt Shade was more of a flat character, which definitely makes sense for the story.

If you enjoyed the Grisha series by Leigh Bardugo, or enjoy reading Fantasy or Greek Mythology, with romance, then I would definitely recommend this book. It is one that I will definitely remember and an author I will be following.

So here's my little disclaimer. There were only a few small things that I didn't like in this story and I'm going to get them out of the way here. There was some innuendo/crudeness that bothered me in the beginning and there was suggestive content. That's the only reason this did not rate higher.

Content: Some innuendo, undressing, suggestive (non-descriptive) scenes, some violence

Source: From Edelweiss (also bought a copy, which is the copy I read), which did not affect my review in any way.


What do you think? Have you read this? Will you be?

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate program. If you make a purchase of any type using this link, I receive a small kickback.


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Early Review: A Creature of Moonlight - ARC

A Creature of MoonlightA Creature of Moonlight
by Rebecca Hahn
YA Fantasy
May 6th 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  


Summary

A stunning debut novel about a girl who is half dragon, half human, and wholly herself.

As the only heir to the throne, Marni should have been surrounded by wealth and privilege, not living in exile-but now the time has come when she must choose between claiming her birthright as princess of a realm whose king wants her dead, and life with the father she has never known: a wild dragon who is sending his magical woods to capture her.

Fans of Bitterblue and Seraphina will be captured by a Creature of Moonlight, with its richly layered storytelling and the powerful choices its strong heroine must make.
Pre-order From:
   


My Review

I really enjoy reading most Fantasy novels. I also have been enjoying books with dragons lately. This book was a perfect blend of the two, although more fantasy than dragons. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I requested this for review. It isn't a book that I've seen anywhere, but I really liked the premise and the books it referenced in similarity. Bitterblue and Seraphina are both books I loved, so I thought if this was anywhere near what those were like that I would love this book. And guess what? I did!

The storytelling in this book was amazing! I loved the descriptions, but I loved most how you experience things as the character does, either in her memories or in the present. I loved how I could envision the storybook world, it's forests, farmland, castle, and all the creatures and people.

I really loved the characters! Marni is so unique, good, mysterious, and loyal. I loved her grandfather, the queen, and the Lord who becomes her friend. I loved how developed all the characters were. The great thing was that each character isn't overly described and we don't hear all their thoughts, but you just get to know what they are each like in the way they are written. It is the looks and words they give, and their reactions. As I said, really good storytelling! I loved how Marni's relationships were developed or not developed, as was the case a few times. I would have maybe liked a little more romance and maybe for her uncle to not act quite the way he did, but these weren't major things in any way. Romance is not the focal point of this story and it didn't need to be. Marni and the plot carried this story alone.

Yes, let's talk about the plot a little. Marni doesn't remember all that has happened to her. She has a heartbreaking past and lives with her grandfather who has raised her. She grows flowers that are the best to be found in the kingdom. She has always been watched and feels a pull from the creatures in the woods near her home. Woods that also surround the entire kingdom. Her mother died because of these same woods. Her father is supposedly a dragon. She has been protected her whole life, but that protection will not always last. One day soon she will have to face her heritage and the people of her kingdom may not accept what that is. That is about all I can tell you, but I will say that it is a great journey that she undertakes. It is basically a coming of age story.

If you enjoy Juliet Marillier, Jessica Day George, or Seraphina then A Creature of Moonlight is the perfect book for you. I know I loved it and I can't wait to see what this author writes next!

Content: Clean

Source: From Edelweiss, which did not affect my review in any way.


What do you think? Will you be picking this up?

Disclosure: This post contains a link to an affiliate program. If you make a purchase of any type using this link, I receive a small kickback.


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