Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2012 Debuts: Two Must-Read Historical Fantasy Authors

Please Welcome Susan Dennard!

Susan Dennard is the author of the upcoming historical fantasy Something Strange and Deadly. Between the plot synopsis, cover, and snippets (and more snippets) of Susan's writing I've read from (stalking) reading her blog, I am practically dying to read her debut! Plus, she'll write for cookies and she recognizes the value of swoon-worthy rogues and puppy pictures, so you know she has her priorities in order.       

Q: Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss?

A: Oh, that's easy. Daniel Sheridan. He's a scalawag inventor and one of the Spirit-Hunters. He's meant to look like Max Irons and act like Dimitri from ANASTASIA.  My main character, Eleanor, may not see how great Daniel is, but I sure do...

Q: Which one of your characters do you most want to slap or give a verbal tongue lashing to?

A: Eleanor's mother is pretty infuriating. She's so caught up in impressing society and finding a rich bachelor for Eleanor--things she thinks are best for her daughter--that she doesn't see what's really best: a stable home life and a hug every now and again.

It's hard because Mama has the best intentions, but she's blinded by the 19th-century way of thinking: men work, women wait, and propriety means more than happiness.

Q: If you were transported into your book, which scene would you most want to reenact?

A: Definitely the dynamite factory scenes! I don't want to give away too much of the book, but at one point, Eleanor and Daniel have to break into a dynamite factory. Of course, nothing goes according to plan, and the two find themselves fleeing full-speed before the building explodes.  I've imagined that running-scene so many times while I'm out jogging that I've pretty much already reenacted it (well, sans cute-boy Daniel).

Q: Which one of your character’s brains would you want to pick the most?

A: Joseph Boyer. He's the leader of the Spirit-Hunters. Trained in voodoo, he hails from Haiti by way of New Orleans. He's seen a lot of walking corpses and ghosts--and he's destroyed them all too. When he realized he had a knack for taking down the Dead, he decided to use his skill for good. Eventually he hired on a Chinese kid with kung fu skills (no zombie stands a chance against those fists) and a ruffian inventor with a shady past (zombie explosive coming right up!), and now the team roams the earth fighting wicked spirits and nasty necromancers.

Q: Which scene do you think will surprise readers the most?

A: I can't answer this without spoiling the book, but judging by the reactions of readers so far, there is one scene about 2/3 of the way in that is going to leave you like this: O_O

But if we move earlier into the book, I think the opening scene is pretty surprising. Eleanor sure doesn't see it coming!  For one, her brother doesn't show up on the train as expected. For two, he doesn't send a telegram explaining why. For three, a walking corpse shows up at the train station. And then for four--well, I'd better not say. You'll just have to read the first chapter once it's available. ;)

Seriously? Seriously?! There's dynamite in this book! I just about melted at the use of the word "scalawag" to describe Daniel, but it was the mention of the Dimitri influence that's really making me swoon (yes, he may be a cartoon, but he's a HOT cartoon!) I can't wait to be all O_O over that scene!

If you're still not convinced (really? What's wrong with you?!) check out the pretty cover and blurb! (And if you click on the cover, it gets REALLY big so you can see all the pretty details).

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

Author bio:

Susan Dennard is a writer, reader, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. She used to be a marine biologist, but now she writes novels. And not novels about fish either, but YA and MG novels with kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (she really likes swoon-worthy rogues).

She lives in Germany with her French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about her crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on her blog, twitter, facebook, or goodreads.

Please Welcome Eve Marie Mont!

Eve Marie Mont is the author of the upcoming A Breath of Eyre, where a modern girl finds herself sucked into the classic story and inhabiting Jane's body! Every time I see another hint, snippet, or beautiful piece of A Breath of Eyre swag, I get a little bit closer to "barely containable excitement."        

Q: Which one of your characters would you most want to kiss?

A: Hands down, it would be Gray. He’s a swimmer and lifeguard with sad, hazel eyes and a haunted past. How could he possibly be a bad kisser? Is it weird to have a crush on an 18-year-old fictional character?

Q: Which one of your characters do you most want to slap or give a verbal tongue lashing to?

Elise Fairchild is everything her name suggests: fair and lovely and blueblood and, as it happens, a real b-----! She is nemesis and rival to my protagonist, Emma, and she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. But don’t despair: there are a few satisfying scenes in which Emma yanks that spoon right out!

Q: If you were transported into your book, which scene would you most want to reenact?

Um, hello? Read question #1. No, seriously, I’d want to reenact one of the scenes in which Emma is stuck in Jane Eyre, wandering over the moors, falling in love with Mr. Rochester, and trying to solve the mystery of how to get back home.

Q: Which one of your character’s brains would you like to pick the most?

Emma’s best friend, Michelle, lives with her Aunt Darlene in a section of Boston that’s sort of a “Little Haiti.” Darlene practices voodoo and interprets dreams AND runs her own bakery, so I’d definitely want to spend an afternoon with Darlene talking about philosophy and religion over pastries and Cremas.

Q: Which scene do you think will surprise readers the most?

Without giving spoilers, there’s a scene at the end of the book in which two characters realize they are far more connected than they first realized. What follows is dramatic, intense, romantic, and a little bit scary. And it’s also loosely based on a scene from Jane Eyre!

Oh swoon! I love a guy with a haunted past. I agree, it is impossible for guys with haunted pasts to be bad kissers. And, oh gosh, my stomach is ruling my brain again because that bakery sounds fantastic! I'm now super curious to find out how those characters are connected and all that follows (sounds like I should really get started on reading Jane Eyre, too!)

Interested? You should be! If you still need a little more convincing, check out the cover, blurb, and gorgeous video trailer! (Click on the cover for a larger picture!)

Get lost in a good book. Literally.
Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre… 
Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…

Author bio:

EVE MARIE MONT is the author of A Breath of Eyre (Kensington/KTeen April 1, 2012), the first in a trilogy about a girl who gets lost, literally, in the books she reads. Eve teaches high school English and Creative Writing in the Philadelphia suburbs and sponsors her school’s literary magazine. When not grading papers or writing, she can be found watching the Phillies with her husband, playing with her shelter pup, or daydreaming about her next story.

Thank you so much for stopping by, ladies!

So, is anyone else about ready to make deals with devils in order to get your hands on a copy of these two books? Have their interviews piqued your interest?

While we don't have a copy of either of their books (still working on those devil negotiations!), Ruby and I DO have a 2012 Debut Author Prize Pack for giveaway!

Thank you to Random House Children's Books and Eve Marie Mont for providing these prizes!

The Prize Pack includes:

An ARC of The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges
A Breath of Eyre signed cover plate
A Breath of Eyre signed bookmark
A Breath of Eyre magnet
A Class of 2012 bookmark
A Class of 2012 button
A Class of 2012 guitar pick

Click to make larger

Info for the giveaway:
  • As always, you do NOT have to be a follower
  • You must have a US mailing address
  • You must be 13 years of age or older
  • One entry per person
  • Your address is not required, but including it will help with sending the book out to you sooner
  • I will contact the winner through email and the winner will have 24 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen 
  • This giveaway closes on December 7th

Ruby is hosting two more 2012 authors today!

Check out our Historical Fantasy Jubilee full schedule of events and giveaways!

Have you entered to win our prize pack giveaways?


  1. Awesome interview! I love your questions. I'm sooooo dying to read Something Strange and Deadly, too. Cool steampunk pick of Dennard. I'm very excited about the O_O moment, the dynamite and factory scenes. Thanks for the giveaway! I hope I win. I'm dreaded number 1. lol

  2. Fabulous interview. And now I really want to read both of these books. Breath of Eyre looks right up my alley. And despite my dislike for zombies, I'm intrigued by Something Strange and Deadly. Although I do hate authors who are younger than me. It makes me feel unsuccessful. :-)

  3. Oh jeez, my tbr pile is as high as Mount Everest yet you still manage to taunt me with these fascinating reads? Fine. I give in! Adding them to my tbr pile. :)

  4. These two books sounds really, really awesome!
    I can't wait for a breathe Of Eyre!!
    :D *hugs*

  5. Great interview! I cant wait to check out both books now :)

  6. I just put both of these on my TBR list! God I'm going to have to rob a bank just because of you and Ruby!
    Just today alone I am totally pining over these books, but I love Jane Eyre!!! And to choose between Rochester and another boy, well, he's gotta be one heck of a boy. I wonder where the real Jane goes while Emma is in Jane's body??? Hmm, I really need to read that one. Couldn't you get a copy for me? Please? You know how much I'd appreciate it!!!

    Great interview with both authors!
    And you're right Susan Dennard does have her priorities in order! God that cover is beautiful, too! Does she look like a younger Julia Roberts to you? She does to me.


  7. EEEE! DIMITRI IS THE HOTTEST CARTOON, THOUGH!!! I mean, seriously...voiced by John Cusak? Paired with Meg Ryan and a tough-as-nails heroine? Oh, my love for ANASTASIA knows no bounds.

    And thank you SOOOO much for doing this interview with me. You have made me an incredibly happy gal today! <3

  8. Oh, also, BREATH OF EYRE looks amazing--I cannot WAIT for this one...

    And Eve, NO, it is not weird to crush on an 18-year-old fictional character. No, no, no because if it IS then, erm...well, I have a problem. ;)

  9. I love historical fantasy! And I loved these interviews. Thanks!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this interview, Deni, and thanks for all you wonderful readers who are adding my book to your TBR piles!

    And Susan, I'm honored to share the page with you. I am now officially dying to read SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY. Adventure, zombies, scalawags, and my hometown of Philly? Yes, please!

  11. Julie, Thank you! Haha, Random.org has picked the number one entry for me twice so far! I really can't wait for Something Strange and Deadly. Everything I hear about it makes me want to read it more.

    Alison, Haha yeah, I feel like such a slacker when all these younger-than-me people are big snazzy authors :P But you are a fabulous writer and I would buy your books, so really all you need now is a pretty cover!

    Rummanah, hahaha I know! My TBR is like a mountain chain it's so big. I am a shameless book pusher :)

    Alex, *hugs* I can't wait for them too!

    Holly, They both sound so good!

    Heather, Hehe I'm going to need to rob a bank too! I don't think I'm stealthy enough for that though. I need an invisibility cloak. And a sound muffling cloak. Good question! I wonder what does happen to the real Jane. If I had a copy, it would be in your hands my friend! (Right after my mom, who has already called dibs). I can totally see a younger Julia Roberts vibe. The cover is even more beautiful if you make it large. I love the gears and the lace gloves.

    Susan, I KNOW RIGHT!?! Dimitri is the best ever. He even has hot guy hair and a smirk, and *swoon* hate turned love! She is my Anastasia standard, too. Thank YOU so much for answering all of our questions! We're so happy to have you here :)

    Faith, You're welcome! It is SUCH a great genre.

    Eve, You're so welcome, and thank you so much for participating! I must echo Susan, too--you can add me to the adult crushing on 18-year-old fictional guys club :)

  12. Ooh, love these interview questions!! Definitely adding the books to my TBR list. I'm especially intrigued with 'Something Strange and Deadly'. =)

  13. Great interview, Something Strange and Deadly is definitely on my TBR list!
    -Jessica @ Book Sake


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