The author tells us about the characters from Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani (Guest Post & #Giveaway) @the_ffbc

Welcome! Learn more about the characters from this story and enter the tour giveaway below...

Seven Deadly Shadows
By Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani
YA Fantasy, Paranormal
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 288 Pages
January 28th 2020 by HarperCollins


Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.

But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.

Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.

With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.

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Guest Post: Meet the Characters

Hi everyone, Courtney Alameda here, co-author of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS! Please allow me to introduce you to a few members of the cast . . . which, of course, includes one very grumpy “cat!”

KIRA FUJIKAWA: Kira is a regular Japanese girl . . . or at least she wishes she was! She studies hard at a prestigious high school and spends her afternoons working as a miko, or shrine maiden, at her family’s Shinto shrine. Though she tries to fit in, she’s still treated as an outsider by the other students at her school. This is partially because Kira’s family isn’t as wealthy as the other students’ families are, and because she’s not always good at reading a room. It doesn’t help Kira can see yokai—monsters that have haunted Japan since time immemorial—either, as the monsters like turning Kira’s classmates against her.

Despite the hardships she faces, Kira is loyal to her family, courageous despite the dangers she faces, and is kind to outsiders. Kira’s favorite snack is raspberry Kit Kats, she loves music from the K-pop girl group TWICE, and when she grows up, she wants to be the head priest of the Fujikawa Shrine. (Portrait by Elwenz Art)

SHIRO OKAMOTO: Shiro is a kitsune, which means he’s just as clever and mischievous as a fox! He’s often described as having “K-pop idol” good looks, and in front of humans, he hides his fox ears with magic. He has a gentle, fun-loving personality, despite the sadness lurking in his past. He currently works at the Fujikawa shrine as a magical shrine guardian, and is very devoted to Kira. (Portrait by Elwenz Art)

ONI-CHAN: Oni-chan is a nekomata, a type of devilish cat yokai (or monster). He’s friendlier than your average nekomata, and he won’t eat you . . . so long as you feed him good snacks! His favorite treat is yakitori chicken skewers, which are a popular street food in Japan. Nekomata have two tails, and it’s said that they can to grow to frightening proportions when they’re so inclined . . . (Art by MonMon Cats)

THE SHINIGAMI: Okay, okay, if you want to know about the shinigami, you’re going to have to discover them for yourself—just as Kira does! Shinigami are “death gods” or psychopomps, and are the Japanese equivalent of the western Grim Reaper. In Japanese folklore, shinigami are neither good nor evil; rather, they invite the living toward death. The shinigami you encounter in SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS are inspired by the ones found in manga works like Tite Kubo’s BLEACH or Tsugumi Ohba’s DEATH NOTE—one part warrior, one part monster.
Thanks for reading! And should you take the time to listen to Kira’s tale, Valynne and I hope you enjoy it! Just remember, don’t fear the shadows . . .

About the Authors

A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and hailed as a "standout in the genre" by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott's 1979 film ALIEN.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five pound cat with a giant personality.

Valynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-lin Mah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities. Currently, she is a full-time writer. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children's literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015. She lives in Salt Lake City.

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Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize: Win a signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, a signed copy of Courtney Alameda's SHUTTER, and a signed copy of Valynne Maetani's INK AND ASHES; anime portraits of Kira and Shiro; a stuffed fox omamori charm from the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Japan; an origami fox hand-folded by Valynne Maetani; a yokai mini sticker sheet; and an assortment of Japanese Kit Kats (not pictured)

Second Prize: Win (1) of (2) A signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS with anime portraits of Kira and Shiro

Ends February 11, 2020

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