Check out a Q&A with the author... Flare by J.M. Hackman (Interview & #Giveaway)


Welcome to my tour stop! You can find the other tour stops
here, and an interview with the author and giveaway below...

Flare
(The Firebrand Chronicles #2)
By J.M. Hackman
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 341 Pages
February 26th 2019 by Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC

Summary

Brenna travels to Linneah via portal to visit her boyfriend Baldwin, only to find heartbreak. Betrayal. A serious case of never, ever wanting to see him again. Worst summer vacation ever.

So when her best friend Tiny invites her on a road trip to meet Tiny’s fiancĂ©, Brenna jumps at the chance. Even if her mother disapproves. Even if it’s through a dangerous travel portal. Even if Tiny has never met this fiancĂ© handpicked by her dad. Anything’s better than staying in Linneah.

But the trip disintegrates into disaster. The two friends are separated, Brenna is kidnapped, and not only are Brenna’s Firebrand skills tested to the limit, she must participate in the dangerous event, Starfall . . . or go home. Broke. Alone. With a shattered heart. So not fun.

And then as if that’s not bad enough? Brenna discovers a plot that could spell disaster for everyone she holds dear. And no one believes her.

Can she prevent a bloody government takeover? And what will become of Brenna’s broken heart?

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Interview

For those new to the Firebrand Chronicles, would you give them a little info on the series?

The Firebrand Chronicles trilogy is a YA contemporary portal fantasy set in the alternity (alternate reality) of Linneah. You won’t find dwarves, elves, or fairies, but there are centaurs, griffins, a sweet romance, and plenty of adventure. Oh, and snark—can’t forget the snark.

Would you tell us about your main characters?

Brenna James is a sixteen-year-old ADHD teen. She’s impulsive and sarcastic but with a good heart and strong ties to her family. The hero, Baldwin Marek, is a seventeen-year-old Linnean, a nephew of the king, responsible, and intrigued by this cute visitor. And I have to include Arvandus Leon-Ahren (who was only supposed to be a side character but is almost everyone’s favorite!) He’s a mutant griffin who becomes bonded to Brenna. This midnight black panther has silver-tipped wings that shoot sparks when he’s upset or distressed. Arvandus is also loyal, patient, and wise—all important characteristics when dealing with Brenna!

What inspired the alternate reality world of Linneah?

The Harry Potter series started my “what if?” questions. I began thinking about gifts or talents. I believe everyone has something special only they can do, the reason they’re here. But what if those gifts were more amazing than being a great listener or a fantastic artist? (a superpower in my opinion, since stick figures are my specialty! Lol.) What if those abilities were undeniably visible?

In Linneah, everyone has an extraordinary talent. Brenna accidentally discovers she has a gift to create fire (called a Firebrand) and must decide how she can use this talent in a beneficial way.

What did you find most challenging about writing the second book in the series, FLARE?

The first book, Spark, involved a lot of worldbuilding and creativity; it was so much fun to write. Flare was a challenge—I had to make a conscious effort to link the events in book one with book three’s plot. Plus, for some reason, I had characters running amok, taking field trips I never signed off on and just making a mess. There was A LOT of revision afterwards.

What do you love about FLARE?

Aside from the gorgeous cover by Sara Helwe which I just adore (check her out at https://sara-helwe.com/), I had the chance to present other cities in the Jasper Territory. Flare takes place on the other side of the continent and the reader is introduced to Kelda Hills and Ginselwyn. I also gave Brenna some more opportunities to grow (not that she took it well, of course!)

What tip(s) would Brenna give us about travelling through portals and visiting alternate worlds?

1) Always wear your jasper pendant when you go through the portal. Always.
2) Be prepared for anything. Even five-foot praying mantises.
3) Learn how to use a sword. Or a bow and arrow. A skill with any kind of weapon is pretty necessary around here, especially if you want to live.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I’m weird—I kind of like all of it, even the hard work of editing. But for me it’s the first draft. When fresh ideas cause words to gush like water from a spigot, it’s exhilarating. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s magic.

Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Sure! Try to write every day (even if it’s only to-do lists!) to hone your skills. Read often, especially in your genre. Save up to attend a writer’s conference for networking, learning, and pitching. (After 30+ rejections from agents, Spark was eventually accepted at the first pitch I made at a conference!) And lastly and most importantly, if you truly love writing, don’t give up. Ever. (This is from someone who wrote for more than eleven years before getting published!)

When you need to escape inside a book, what genre do you grab? Any favorite authors?

I usually pick up YA fantasy, but if I need a change, I’ll also pick up a romance or a bestseller. My favorite authors are Leigh Bardugo, Mary Weber, and Sarah Addison Allen.

What are you working on next, and do you have a teaser you could share for it?

Although the third book of the Firebrand Chronicles is written, it needs to be revised. “The Songbird’s Citadel” is a sci-fi/fantasy fairy tale retelling (a short story based on “The Nightingale”) which will be published in the anthology Encircled—that releases in April.


Thanks so much, Tressa—it was fun chatting with you!

Other Books in the Series

Spark
(The Firebrand Chronicles #1)
By J.M. Hackman
YA Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 288 Pages
May 16th 2017 by Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing, LLC

Summary

Brenna James wants three things for her sixteenth birthday: to find her history notes before the test, to have her mother return from her business trip, and to stop creating fire with her bare hands.

Yeah, that’s so not happening. Unfortunately.

When Brenna learns her mother is missing in an alternate reality called Linneah, she travels through a portal to find her. But Brenna’s arrival in Linneah begins the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, including a royal murder and the theft of Linneah’s most powerful relic: the Sacred Veil.

Unwilling yet left with no other choice, Brenna and her new friend Baldwin pursue the thief into the dangerous woods of Silvastamen and beyond. Exactly what Brenna wanted to do for her sixteenth birthday. When they spy an army marching toward Linneah, Brenna is horrified. Can she find the veil, save her mother, and warn Linneah in time?

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About the Author


J. M. Hackman loves thunderstorms, bookstores, and happy endings. She’s never met a reading nook she didn’t like and prefers soul talk to small talk. When she’s not writing, she spends time with her two munchkins and her handsome husband who supports her in this crazy profession. Her days are filled with writing stories, consuming massive quantities of dark chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her at www.jmhackman.com.


Giveaway

1 winner will receive a Kindle gifted copy of SPARK
- Provided by the author
- Open internationally (for those who can receive a Kindle gifted copy)
- Ends March 15, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I always love finding new fantasy authors and this series is also clean. What do you think about the book or the interview?

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