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DEAD UPON A TIME Blog Tour: ‘Fairytale Influences’ Guest Post + Giveaway


I am super excited to be today’s stop on the DEAD UPON A TIME Blog Tour and to have a fantastic guest post from Author Elizabeth Paulson to share on DEAD UPON A TIME’s fairytale influences, as well as an incredible poem the author wrote entitled Gretel Loves Hansel.

Fairytale retellings and re-imaginings are really hot right now and this new release takes things one step further: DEAD UPON A TIME  is a mash-up of a few classic favorites! And it’s a super quick and entertaining read.

If you haven’t yet had the chance to check it out, be sure to read the book’s description below and visit a few (or all) of the stops on the tour to see what other bloggers are saying about the book and to read a few interviews and guest posts.

And if you’d like the chance to win a copy of DEAD UPON A TIME, scroll down and enter in the Rafflecopter below.

But first you’ll definitely want to read Elizabeth Paulson’s post on the book that influenced her novel and read her awesome poem about Hansel and Gretel.



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Author: Elizabeth Paulson
Release date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 224
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


It’s a fairy-tale nightmare . . .

One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she’s given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles — and if she pricks her finger, she’ll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . .

A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate’s world. She’s not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother’s house in the woods — and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can’t get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what’s happened.

Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention — even though the girl’s stepmother would rather he didn’t. It’s up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that’s far from happy.


The Guest Post

DEAD UPON A TIME’s Fairytale Influences…


by Elizabeth Paulson

In high school, I arranged my life around ways of avoiding the school cafeteria. I had friends and a place to sit, but hated the discord of voices and scraping utensils, the chairs and tables scooting across the linoleum floor. Having been hospitalized for an eating disorder, I felt on stage in the cafeteria, as if everyone was watching me eat.

I escaped into the library and if the librarians chased me out, I snuck into my English teacher’s classroom. There, I ate my bag lunch in peace and devoured his poetry collection with excitement. Anne Sexton’s Transformations stood at the end of the second to last shelf. Slim and white, with a charcoal drawing of a witch and a raven peeking out from a hood on the cover, that book cast a spell on me immediately.

Here were familiar fairytales drenched in acidic wit and modern metaphors. The best parts of the stories, the violent consequences and the spiteful villains, remained intact. The innocent princesses did not act so innocently, however. The happily-ever-afters were compromised. I love Sexton’s raw imagery, her sarcasm, her modern allusions. I love her unflinching acknowledgement that sex and aggression were sometime entwined and that both had the power to enchant. Transformations became one of those books I continued to reach for, mining for lessons about mythology, poetry, and the way we can bend stories to reflect ourselves.

I didn’t allow myself to try transforming any fairytales until years after; I didn’t want to write poems that sounded like hollow echoes of Sexton’s work. The poems I finally wrote satisfy me; they wear their influence proudly, but they stand as my own.  They helped me warm up my writing muscles in order to write Dead Upon a Time. And when it came time to create the book’s villain, the evil witch who had made space in her soul for something that would eventually devour her, I remembered Anne Sexton’s glamor and bravado and tried to infuse Caterina with that kind of commanding presence. I wanted readers to fear but also revere her a little.

As for Anne Sexton, I love her still.

Below is a one of the poems I wrote, as a fairytale transformation.

Gretel Loves Hansel

My brother of the fellow empty belly, of thistle

rubbed into our gums for taste, of weak knees,

of water and onion stew. My banished also

brother, my likewise forsaken, my as good as orphaned

as well. My clever brother of the white pebbles,

of their neat arrow towards home. Him

of the bread crust, the other heel of the loaf.

My bread crumb brother shaking his slingshot

at those oblivious birds. My deep woods

brother, who skinned us a rabbit and then wept

so much for it we could not eat.  My cracking

acorns brother. The shiver against me,

the warmth near the cooling embers of my father’s fire.

My sweet brother of the oasis, the other nibbling

guest, second set of criminal teeth.

With his mouth full of licorice shingle, gum drop

mail box. Then frozen by the sudden

cackle. The chosen meal of him, the tasty bit.

My brother, the well-fed favorite, fattening up

in the witch’s cage. With the cunning bone,

thankful for the lucky blindness of the wicked.

One for whom she grows impatient, licking

her lips and tired of chickens. My doomed one,

for whom I finally stoke the fire, for whom I lay down

kindling. My brother who skinned me a rabbit,

then cried so hard he could not breathe. Harmless one

still trusting the dumb trick of his chicken bone.

My brother, the roast for which she tests the oven,

for which she climbs in. My wailing brother and his rattling

cage. Him dissolving behind me. Mine. My brother

for whom I place each hand on the iron door. We used to

push each other on that swing hanging from the old

magnolia tree. Him with the mighty hands. The iron door

pushes back and the woman inside is screaming.

My brother for whom I hold fast. The skin of my palms

cooks against the oven door and the witch

eases off. Mine for whom I hold fast. I hold mine.

–Elizabeth Paulson

About Elizabeth Paulson

Elizabeth Paulson lives on the edge of the woods somewhere in America.

The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • THREE (3) winners will receive a finished copy of DEAD UPON A TIME – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two


A WHOLE NEW WORLD Blog Tour: ‘Ten Reasons Why to Twist a Classic Disney Tale’ Guest Post + Giveaway


I am so excited for this new series by Author Liz Braswell and can’t wait for A WHOLE NEW WORLD to be released next week. I love the idea of twisted fairy tales and am thrilled that the author is twisting classic Disney stories.

Though I have a confession to make… I haven’t actually seen Disney’s Aladdin. So Liz Braswell’s twisted version has been my first introduction to these particular characters, even though I am quite familiar with the story itself.

And I love it. It’s fantastic. And exciting. And I have a feeling I’ll love it way more than the original, which I definitely plan on seeing someday soon.


For my tour stop today I have a super fun guest post by the author in which she shares 10 reasons why a Disney Fairy Tale should be twisted. And I wholeheartedly agree with #10!

There is also a giveaway for a few copies of the book. So be sure to enter in the Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

And if you’d like to check out the other stops on tour for more guest posts, a few interviews, excerpts and reviews, the schedule – with direct links to each of the stops – is included at the bottom of the post.



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Title & Series: A WHOLE NEW WORLD (A Twisted Tale #1)
Author: Liz Braswell
Release date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Disney Press
Pages: 384
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook


Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.


The Guest Post

10 Reasons Why to Twist a Classic Disney Tale

by Liz Braswell


It was either that or watch the primary debates.


I’ve been doing it in my head anyway since I was a little girl. Might as well get paid for it.


I need the money for my flat white and/or cortado addiction problem.


I can now deduct trips to Disneyland as legitimate business expenses.


My kids think it’s the coolest thing ever. And so do their friends.


Actually, a lot of my friends think it’s the coolest thing ever too.


You know what, now that I think about it, I think it’s the coolest thing ever. Playing around with Disney canon? How f’ing cool is that?


Disney, and Star Wars, etc., are part of the modern collective unconsciousness; they are also now part of our oral tradition and culture. Any time a child makes a stuffed animal act out the part of Elsa he or she is taking the story and making it his or her own. I want to be a part of that.


I mean, creating that. Not acting out things with stuffed animals. I mean, I do that too, but I don’t usually get paid for it.


Because I don’t want the stories to end. I want my princesses to grow and have more great adventures and put off the happily ever afters and final credits for just a little while longer.

About Liz Braswell


After the sort of introverted childhood you would expect from a writer, Liz earned a degree in Egyptology at Brown University and then promptly spent the next ten years producing video games.

Finally she caved into fate and wrote Snow and Rx under the name Tracy Lynn, followed by The Nine Lives of Chloe King series under her real name, because by then the assassins hunting her were all dead.

She lives in Brooklyn with a husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish and five coffee trees she insists will start producing beans any day. You can email her at me@lizbraswell.com or tweet @LizBraswell.


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • FIVE (5) winners will receive a finished copy of A WHOLE NEW WORLD – US only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two


BOUNCE Blog Tour: Review, Excerpt + Giveaway


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Title & Series: BOUNCE (Boomerang #3)
Release date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 304
Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook


This final chapter in the fun and steamy New Adult trilogy by Noelle August (authors Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger) features two aspiring musicians who must choose between their careers…and their sizzling attraction for each other.

Playing the occasional club gig just isn’t cutting it for twenty-two-year-old cellist Skyler Canby, who’s trying to support herself and her mother back home in Kentucky. Persuaded by her best friend Beth to accompany her on an audition for the first feature film launched by Blackwood Entertainment, she figures why not? Beth’s a shoe-in for the lead, but maybe Skyler’s newly dyed pink hair will help her stand out enough to score a small speaking part.

Never in her wildest dreams does Skyler imagine she’ll land the lead role or that she’ll have her shoes knocked off her feet by the kiss her audition partner, Grey Blackwood, plants on her—a kiss that feels very real and not at all “acted. ”

After throwing a party that causes thousands of dollars of damage to his older brother’s home, reckless musician Grey Blackwood gets roped into working off his debt on the set of his CEO brother’s newest project. Grey spends his days fetching coffee and doing odd jobs around the studio, but he lives for nights when he performs with his band. He knows if he can stay focused, success as a singer is just around the corner. But that’s tough with a distracting pink-haired girl occupying his every waking thought. Skyler and Grey have every reason to resist each other. But, like a song neither of them can get out of their minds, they have no choice but to go where the music takes them.


NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

A perfect ending to this highly addictive series, BOUNCE is flirty and fun, romantic and sexy, sweet, seductive, and tension-filled. Add in an irresistibly tempting boy, a stage kiss that sizzles, a friendship with seriously enticing benefits, and you have an absolutely delicious read that you won’t be able to put down.

Grey Blackwood has been hiding out at his brother Adam’s house, trying to avoid dealing with the repercussions of what went down with his family and trying to figure out what his next steps will be. But when a small get-together with his band becomes an out of control party that trashes Adam’s home, he’ll have to either dip into his trust fund or find another way to pay off the twelve thousand he owes for the damages.

As using his family’s money to pay for his mistake is not something he wants to do, when Adam insists he work for him until his debt is paid, he agrees. Even though being a gofer on the set of Adam’s latest project will not be the quickest or easiest way to make that happen. And it won’t be nearly as interesting or exciting as being the lead singer of a band.

Skyler Canby has been desperate to find a way to stay in Los Angeles and not have to return home to her needy mother and a life without any hope of a future she’d want. So when the opportunity arises to audition as an extra for Bounce, a film based on Jane Austen’s Emma, she jumps at the chance. Even if the odds are slim because she doesn’t have the experience or the typical “look.” Because this is her last chance and she has nothing left to lose.

So when a shot at the lead role becomes a real possibility she gives it everything she has. Including the stage kiss with the too young, too hot brother of the producer. Which might just be real enough to land her a role in the film. And which might just have been real enough to ignite something between them.

Noelle August concluded the series with two of its most interesting and likable characters. The authors gave Grey and Sky issues both could relate to, common interests, struggles, flaws. They allowed them to become friends first and foremost, even though their chemistry was undeniable. They also let the story be about each of them as individuals and not just about them as a couple. And they included just the right amount of romantic tension and swoon-worthy scenes to make this read riveting.

As with its predecessors, BOUNCE is told in alternating POV chapters, allowing readers to get to know and connect with both Grey and Skyler. It introduces a few new and positively adorable characters and it offers cameos of those from the two previous installments. Grey and Sky’s story and love story are well-developed, incredibly appealing, wickedly entertaining. This third and final book in the Boomerang series is not to be missed. It is an utterly bewitching, feel-good read and a wonderful way to say goodbye to the characters.

The Rating


The Excerpt

Download (PDF, 97KB)

About the Authors

Noelle August

Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes?

Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind the Boomerang series.


Other Books in the Series

Boomerang Cover Image

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Title & Series: BOOMERANG (Boomerang #1)
Release date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 336
Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook


The first book in a sensational New Adult trilogy from Noelle August

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?



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Title & Series: REBOUND (Boomerang #2)
Release date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 288
Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook


At Boomerang, one night can change everything…

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-two, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of his game in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and threatens to knock the tech wunderkind down and throw his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. After nearly flunking out in her senior year of college, she has one chance to redeem herself to her father by proving that she deserves a place in his corporate empire. That means spearheading her father’s plan to sink big money into Adam’s company and launch it into the stratosphere—provided Adam has no skeletons in his closet.

When the two meet, their sizzling chemistry makes it tough to keep things strictly professional. But when Alison discovers Adam’s secret, she knows she should bring it right to her father, who’ll leverage it for his own gain and use it to ruin Adam. The only problem: she’s falling for Adam—hard.

Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? Or can Adam and Alison leave behind past mistakes and conquer the world—together?


The Giveaway

There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • A set of the BOOMERANG SERIES – (print copies of Boomerang, Rebound, Bounce)

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A few stops on the tour so far



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Author: Katie Alender
Release date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Point
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


Asylum meets Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, in this riveting tale of ghosts, secrets, and family, from master of suspense Katie Alender.

Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. It used to be an insane asylum, a place to lock up “troubled” young women long ago. And a restless, wicked spirit is still at play–and it doesn’t want defiant girls like Delia to go anywhere.

So the house kills her.

Now Delia is a ghost, trapped in her creepy home forever. As she meets the other ghost girls who haunt the narrow hallways, as well as the handsome ghost boy on the grounds, she learns shocking truths about the house’s history. Delia also realizes that her alive and grieving sister might be the house’s next target. Can Delia unlock the mystery of the old asylum, save her sister, and free herself?


NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book.

The Review

Katie Alender’s THE DEAD GIRLS OF HYSTERIA HALL is an immensely entertaining one-sit read that offers a captivating mystery, a deliciously creepy setting, and several rather interesting ghostly residents to keep readers hooked. And with a heroine whose unavoidably tragic fate is known from the start, it promises to be a story that is both immeasurably sad and incredibly spooky.

Delia never wanted to spend the summer cleaning out the home she inherited from her aunt. But when she arrived and discovered it was not just a home, but a former institute for girls that had been dubbed Hysteria Hall, she was just a tiny bit curious about the place her aunt called home. That is until she felt as if she was being watched, followed, chased. Until she thought Hysteria Hall might be haunted.

However, with both parents dead set on staying until the job was done, leaving right away wouldn’t be option. And once the malevolent force residing in the institute set its sights on Delia, she wouldn’t be leaving at all. Not alive, anyway.

Author Katie Alender infused her chilling and eerie ghost story with humor and heart. She touched upon issues that were very real and relevant and horrifying and heartbreaking at one point in our country’s history. She gave readers a heroine who was headstrong, a touch selfish, not always easy to like, but sympathetic and ultimately someone to root for. She added in the possibility of romance. And she created a mystery with a few twists and turns and surprises. All of which make for a positively gripping read.

With a number of mysterious disappearances and deaths, an asylum with a dark and hidden past, an intriguing array of ghosts with secrets of their own, and its newest trapped resident anxious to uncover what her aunt had been trying to tell her and desperate to find a way to escape, THE DEAD GIRLS OF HYSTERIA HALL is guaranteed to be a suspenseful and electrifying and unputdownable page-turner that may generate a few smiles as well as a few tears.

The Rating


About Katie Alender

Katie Alender author photo 300x375

Katie Alender is the author of The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall, Famous Last Words, Marie Antoinette: Serial Killer, and the Bad Girls Don’t Die series. She is a graduate of the Florida State University Film School and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. When she’s not writing novels, she can usually be found quilting, reading, eating delicious high-calorie foods, and hanging out with her friends (on very special occasions, she manages to do all of those things at once).


MECHANICA Blog Tour: Interview with Betsy Cornwell + Giveaway


Hey everyone! The wait is almost over – MECHANICA releases tomorrow and I’m so excited for everyone to get their hands on a copy of this wonderful and imaginative book with its gorgeous writing, its fascinating and adorable characters, and its absolutely brilliant take on the Cinderella story.

I’m also thrilled to be able to share an interview with MECHANICA’s incredibly talented and amazing author, Betsy Cornwell, in which I ask her about reinventing the classic fairytale, about Nicolette’s mechanical menagerie and favorite inventions, and who her favorite secondary characters were, along with a few quickie questions.

The interview follows below the book’s details, so be sure to check it out. And be sure to check out Betsy Cornwell’s website – and other social media sites – to learn more about the author and her writing.

The tour continues through the end of the week. So if you’d like to see what other bloggers have to say about MECHANICA or to read a few guest posts and interviews, scroll down to the tour schedule at the end of the post which has links to all the stops.

And if you’d like the chance to win some fab prizes, including a copy of MECHANICA, enter in the Rafflecopter.



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Author: Betsy Cornwell
Release date: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pages: 320
Formats: Hardcover, eBook


Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn’t want a fairy tale happy ending after all.


The Interview

Q&A with Betsy Cornwell

Q. What did you enjoy most about reinventing the Cinderella story? What did you find to be the most challenging aspect?

I first wrote Mechanica as part of a collection of fairy tale retellings for a senior project at Smith College, back in 2009. I was thinking a lot about how restrictive fairy tale structure actually is: they’re these elegant, perfectly plotted stories, but they all pull inexorably toward one narrow definition of happily ever after. Cinderella in particular is like a well-oiled machine, such a compelling  story that some version of it exists on every continent where humans live (and hey, probably where we don’t–it’s that universal).

A steampunk Cinderella, I thought, would want to reach into the machinations of her own story, revamp and repurpose her fate. She’d force her way out of any restrictive ending that wasn’t quite right, and she’d build something new, exciting, and entirely on her own terms. That’s when I fell in love with the idea of a steampunk inventor Cinderella with an unconventional ending, and my protagonist, Nicolette, was born.

It was supposed to be only a ten-page short story, but six years and 300 pages later, here we are! Sometimes I thought I’d never actually finish writing it; that was probably the hardest part. But now I’ve actually held the book in my hands, and I can’t tell you how amazing that feels.

Q. Nicolette is an inventor – what are some of her favorite or most interesting inventions?

There’s no fairy godmother in Mechanica (she’s absent from lots of older versions of the tale, too), so Nicolette does for herself: when she decides she wants to go to the royal Exhibition of Art and Science and its accompanying ball, she builds her own mechanical carriage, and even crafts working shoes from glass and interlocking gears, in order to get herself there in style.

Her mother was an inventor as well, and she left behind a whole menagerie of mechanical insects, spiders and other animals. Nick adds to that collection, too, and I loved writing about tiny steampunk creatures.

Q. How did you come up with the idea for a mechanical menagerie? And who are your favorite creations?

Modern-day versions of Cinderella sort of live in the shadow of the 1950 Disney movie, and those mouse and bird helpers are (of course) seriously adorable. But older versions of Cinderella have animal helpers, too: birds help her with her stepmother’s litany of impossible chores, and sometimes they even take revenge against the evil stepsisters by pecking out their eyes! Many versions also include the influence of Cinderella’s late mother, who even speaks to her daughter through animals.

So giving my Cinderella a menagerie was a natural part of creating the story. I made them mechanical beings powered by magic Ashes as a homage to those ‘cinders’ that gave Cinderella her name, and as a way to combine steampunk elements with fairy tale magic. There’s also a mystery tied to the Ashes that I hope to explain if I get to write a sequel!

My favorite member of the menagerie by far is the tiny clockwork horse Jules, who leads a host of mechanical insects in helping Nicolette with her chores.

Q. Who was your favorite secondary character to write about in MECHANICA – and why? And who was your least favorite secondary character to write about – and why?

My favorite has to be a tie between Jules, the mechanical horse I mentioned earlier, and Caro, Nicolette’s new best friend. Like Nick, Caro’s a maker: she builds intricate music boxes and sells them at the city market to help support her sick mother and her abundance of younger siblings and cousins, all of whom work at the royal palace. I loved writing Caro because she is extremely warm, effusive, and affectionate–exactly the traits introverted, lonely Nick needs in a best friend. I didn’t know she would be in the story at all until she just popped up when I wrote the first Market scene, but in some ways she’s now the heart of the whole book.

I don’t think I have a least favorite. Even the evil Steps were fun to write!

Quickie Questions

Q. Fairy-tales: Disney or Grimm?

  • Grimm! Disney is fun, but give me unsettling and eerie any day.

Q. Prince Charmings or Evil Queens?

  • Evil Queens 5ever!

Q. “And so they lived happily ever after” or happily never after?

  • HEAs are cool with me, as long as they’re not limited to marrying a prince.

Q. Snow White or Sleeping Beauty?

  • Snow White, for her forest creature employment skills and mori-kei style.

Q. Glass slipper or awakened with a kiss?

  • Glass slipper! No dubious consent + they’re magically comfortable and made to order. (Mechanica’s are custom-engineered by the inventor herself.)

About Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell is an American writer and teacher living in a stove-heated cottage in west Ireland, together with her horse trainer spouse, a small herd of dairy goats, and an increasing number of other animals. She writes fiction and nonfiction and blogs about Irish folklore, travel, wild food, goats (of course!), homesteading, and growing up. 


The Giveaway


There is a tour-wide giveaway for…

  • ONE (1) winner will receive a finished copy of MECHANICA + a beautiful watch necklace from this etsy shop – US only
  • TWO (2) winners will receive a finished copy of MECHANICA – US Only

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

Week One

Week Two


Rae Carson Read-Along: THE CROWN OF EMBERS Chapters 11-20 + Giveaway


It’s that time again…

It’s only been a week but oh my gosh trying NOT to read ahead is killing me. THE CROWN OF EMBERS is every bit as awesome as I remembered it being, though I’m almost (finally) at the point in the story where it will all be new to me. And I’m dying to read ahead.

But I’m really trying to stick with the schedule. So I stopped where I’m supposed to, though I will be picking it up the minute I’m done writing this post. Anyway…

If you’re only just now learning about the read-along, feel free to check out Week One’s post for more info and my thoughts about the first 11 chapters of THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS (HERE). And my thoughts on Chapters 12-23 are HERE and Chapters 24-34 are HERE. If you’d like to know what I thought about the first 10 chapters of THE CROWN OF EMBERS, you can find out HERE.

And so that you don’t have to look back at earlier posts, to quickly recap…

We are reading all three books in the Fire and Thorns series leading up to the release of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, which comes out on September 22nd. And let me just tell you it’s every bit as amazing as I’d hoped it would be. I can’t wait until everyone gets the chance to read it. Yay for the wait being almost over!

Anyway… if you’d like to catch up on last week’s posts on the other participating bloggers’ blogs, here’s where you can find them…

Me, My Shelf and I | @MyShelfAndI

Mundie Moms | @MundieMoms

Fictitious Delicious | @FictishDelish

Good Books And Good Wine | @BooksAndWine

The read-along schedule can be found at the bottom of this post. And you can also follow along on Twitter via #ReadingRae.

There’s also a read-along giveaway for a few pre-order copies of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER, so if you’d like to enter for a chance to win, scroll down to the Rafflecopter. (It’s the same Rafflecopter throughout the read-along.)

And now for my thoughts….

The Read-Along: Chapters 11-20

***Spoiler Alert: There are a few general plot spoilers in this post. ***

I really didn’t think things could get more nail-biting than they already were, but they so totally did.

A punishment is meted out. That spark that was ignited has become a blaze. Elisa gets some private lessons in self defense. Conde Eduardo pressures her for details about her prison visit. An assassination attempt results in a mortally wounded Commander of the Royal Guard. Elisa learns a few new things about her powers and the Godstone. She discovers a secret (finally) about Conde Tristán that she is able to use to her advantage.

A new quest is begun, one that is fraught with danger. Deception after deception is necessary for Elisa’s survival. Forgiveness and trust are also required if Elisa is to survive the journey. A late night siege by an Invierne spy forces the group to split up, leaving Elisa and those remaining with her wondering what will become of those they left behind.

With all that has happened, and the danger that Elisa is currently facing, stopping at the end of Chapter 20 was not easy. Especially as it would be just so much better simpler to keep reading and find out whether Elisa discovers what she’s looking for, find out whether she is reunited with Ximena and Tristán, find out whether that thing that happened in the sewer (yeah, I promise it’s not as gross as it sounds – not even close, actually) happens again, find out whether she is strong enough to be a Queen and give up what she most desires. (I hope she is but I hope she doesn’t.)

Yeah, this read-along is KILLING ME! I just hope I don’t combust before finding out what happens at the very end of this series. Finally.



Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: THE CROWN OF EMBERS (Fire and Thorns #2)
Release date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 416
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook


She does not know what awaits her at the enemy’s gate.

Elisa is a hero.

She led her people to victory over a terrifying, sorcerous army. Her place as the country’s ruler should be secure. But it isn’t.

Her enemies come at her like ghosts in a dream, from foreign realms and even from within her own court. And her destiny as the chosen one has not yet been fulfilled.

To conquer the power she bears, once and for all, Elisa must follow a trial of long-forgotten—and forbidden—clues, from the deep, hidden catacombs of her own city to the treacherous seas. With her go a one-eyed spy, a traitor, and the man whom—despite everything—she is falling in love with.

If she’s lucky, she will return from this journey. But there will be a cost.


About Rae Carson


Author portrait by Michelle Daniel Photography

Rae Carson is the author of the New York Times–bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series. Her books tend to contain lots of adventure, magic, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. Originally from California, Rae Carson now lives in Arizona with her husband.


Other Books in the Series


Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS (Fire and Thorns #1)
Author: Rae Carson
Release date: September 20, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook


Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.



Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: THE BITTER KINGDOM (Fire and Thorns #3)
Release date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, audio, eBook


The champion must not waver. The champion must not fear. The gate of darkness closes.

Elisa is a fugitive.

Her enemies have stolen the man she loves, and they await her at the gate of darkness. Her country is on the brink of civil war, with her own soldiers ordered to kill her on sight.

Her Royal Majesty, Queen Lucero-Elisa né Riqueza de Vega, bearer of the Godstone, will lead her three loyal companions deep into the enemy’s kingdom, a land of ice and snow and brutal magic, to rescue Hector and win back her throne. Her power grows with every step, and the shocking secrets she will uncover on this, her final journey, could change the course of history.

But that is not all. She has a larger destiny. She must become the champion the world has been waiting for.

Even of those who hate her most.



Add to Goodreads

Title & Series: THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS STORIES (Fire and Thorns #0.5-0.7)
Release date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 272
Formats: Paperback, audio, eBook


A paperback edition of three novellas set within the world of the New York Times bestselling Girl of Fire and Thorns series, previously available only digitally: The Shadow Cats, The Shattered Mountain, and The King’s Guard.

The Shadow Cats is told from the perspective of Elisa’s older sister. Discover how their sibling rivalry looks from Alodia’s viewpoint, and find out why Alodia agrees to marry her sister off to King Alejandro of Joya de Vega.

The Shattered Mountain revolves around Elisa’s best friend and handmaiden, Mara. Before she meets Elisa at the rebel camp in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, she suffers her own tragedy. Her village is destroyed and she must lead the few young survivors to safety.

The King’s Guard centers on Hector, Commander of the Royal Guard and Elisa’s true love. Set years before The Girl of Fire and Thorns, it shows us fifteen-year-old Hector as a new recruit. He must prove himself—and he discovers a secret he must keep forever.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES – The Shadow Cats, The King’s Guard, The Shattered Mountain  | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | GOODREADS

The Schedule

If you’d like to follow along, here are the dates where you can stop by all the participating blogs.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

  • July 13th | Chapters 1 through 11
  • July 20th | Chapters 12 through 23
  • July 27th | Chapters 24 through 34

The Crown of Embers

  • August 17th | Chapters 1 through 10
  • August 24th (today) | Chapters 11 through 20
  • August 31st | Chapters 21 through 30

The Bitter Kingdom

  • September 7th | Chapters 1 through 14
  • September 14th | Chapters 15 through 28
  • September 21st | Chapters 29 through 42

Walk On Earth a Stranger

  • September 22nd | Release Day Celebration Blast

The Giveaway

I am offering up for giveaway a pre-order copy of WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER to THREE (3) winners.

  • Giveaway ends at the conclusion of the read-along
  • Must be 13 or older to enter
  • There will be 3 winners
  • Giveaway is open to anywhere The Book Depository ships
  • Books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
  • Winners will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email
  • Winners will have 72 hours to respond with their details
  • There are no requirements to like or follow this blog but there are extra entries to follow the author and publisher on social media, to add the Fire and Thorns series and WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER on Goodreads, to leave a comment, to tweet a message, and to follow the other read-along participants on Twitter.

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Note: This same giveaway Rafflecopter is included in all read-along posts for convenience.

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