Authors Are Rockstars Tour: Tessa Gratton Guest Post + Giveaway

I was so ecstatic when author Tessa Gratton accepted our invitation to be on the tour. I have been in awe of her ever since I read BLOOD MAGIC last year. It was one of my very first trades and I had the chance to devour it early.

Which was a relief. Because, ever since I first set eyes on the cover for BLOOD MAGIC and read its description I was obsessed. I wanted that book. I just knew I would love it. It sounded gorgeous. It sounded dark. It sounded amazing. It was my kind of book.

And oh, I was not wrong. The writing in that book was exquisite and beautiful and I was immediately taken to a place that was so very different from anywhere I’d gone in a book before… or since. And Silla and Nick are two characters that are so very memorable. Yes, even with the many books I’ve read between then and now they are unforgettable.

And after what seems a lifetime, finally this week, with the release of THE BLOOD KEEPER, there’s a new book to read, to fall in love with, and to remember for ever and ever.

So, why is Tessa Gratton a rockstar to me?

Do you mean aside from being such an amazing author? Yes, Blood Magic got my off-the-menu six star rating, was a book I thought was one-of-a-kind and mesmerizing, and even forced me to use a “big word” in my review.

Aside from writing the kinds of stories that cling to me? It’s dark. It’s haunting. It’s heartbreaking. It’s poetic. It’s gruesome. It’s beautiful. It’s everything I love.

Aside from being brilliant and quirky and an incredible performer? Have you seen her latest YouTube video Tessa Does Shakespeare: Hamlet’s Rant for the Internet? Or where she performs Chapter Five from BLOOD MAGIC?

Go ahead and watch. I have time. I’ll be here when you get back… maybe.

Well… aside from all of that, she’s traveled the world, she translated BEOWULF, she loves magic, and she has – and has worn – a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bracelet. How awesome is that?

Yeah, she’s a total rockstar to me.

If you’re not yet convinced, just check her out online at the places she haunts, take a peek at the descriptions of her books, maybe add one or two of them to your collection, and then take a look below at the awesome guest post where she shares her Top Ten Wizard/Magical Movies.

You can even enter the giveaway if you’d like. And let me get back to reading THE BLOOD KEEPER.

About the Author

When Tessa was a kid, she wanted to be a wizard. Or a paleontologist. Maybe both.

She’s neither now, but magic and monsters are still her favorite things.

Born in Okinawa, Japan, while her Dad was on duty with the US Navy, Tessa moved around throughout my childhood and traveled even more. She’s lived in Japan, California, Kansas, and England, and visited 4 continents.

After graduating from the University of Kansas in 2003 with a degree in Gender Studies, she went on to graduate school for a Master’s in the same. Halfway through, she ditched the program in favor of the blood, violence, and drama of  Anglo-Saxon and Germanic epic poetry and to focus on my writing.  Tessa doesn’t have a graduate degree, but she did translate her own version of Beowulf!

Despite having traveled all over the world, she settled in Kansas where the sunsets are all in Technicolor, with her partner, two cats, and a mutant mutt named Grendel.


About Blood Magic

It starts off simply.

Draw a circle… place a dead leaf in the center… sprinkle some salt… recite a little Latin… add a drop of blood…

Maybe that last part isn’t exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents’ horrific deaths. She’s willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep … and spill some blood.

The book isn’t the only recent arrival in Silla’s life. There’s Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She’s not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick’s first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can’t deny their attraction. And they can’t ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.


About The Blood Keeper

For Mab Prowd, the practice of blood magic is as natural as breathing. It’s all she’s ever known. Growing up on an isolated farm in Kansas with other practitioners may have kept her from making friends her own age, but it has also given her a sense of purpose—she’s connected to the land and protective of the magic. And she is able to practice it proudly and happily out in the open with only the crows as her companions.

Mab will do anything to keep the ancient practice alive and guard its secrets. But one morning while she is working out a particularly tricky spell she encounters Will, a local boy who is trying to exorcise some mundane personal demons. He experiences Mab’s magic in a way his mind cannot comprehend and is all too happy to end their chance meeting.

But secrets that were kept from Mab by the earlier generations of blood magicians have come home to roost. And she and Will are drawn back together, time again by this dangerous force looking to break free from the earth and reclaim its own dark power.


Tessa’s Top Ten Wizard/Magical Movies

When I was a kid I really wanted to find a wizard to take me as his apprentice so that I could spend fifteen years studying 17 hours a day and come out at the end as an uber-powerful, unstoppable magic machine. (I loved magic AND school.) Here are my top ten all-time favorite wizards and their magical systems from movies and television:

1) “Labyrinth” – The Goblin King set my basic lizard-brain desire for a white feather cloak when I become a super wizard. I will avoid the goblin minions, though, as they’re not too bright. Singing would be optional.

2) “Spirited Away” – I love magic that is based on names (a la A Wizard of Earthseaby Ursula K. LeGuin, one of the best systems of magic in books). And this one is a perfect fairy tale, to boot. It’s creepy and full of bravery. Plus, when I am a super wizard I will definitely have dragons.

3) “Howl’s Moving Castle” – Howl the Wizard might be the most entertaining of my favorite wizards! He not only has great powers, but he cares very, very deeply about his hair. When his dye is the wrong color, he melts into green slime, which is similar to what happens to me.

4) “Practical Magic” – Here is a fabulous introduction into folk magic, and the kind of every-day magic that families pass down. It’s also about the magic in love and in grief, so although there isn’t an uber-wizard here, the family of witches really knows what magic means.

5) “LadyHawke” – True loves kept apart by a single magical curse? Hawk by day, wolf by night? Ferris Bueller? Epic cathedral during a solar eclipse happily ever after ending? Super 1980s synthesizer soundtrack? What’s not to love?

6) “Legend of the Seeker” – This short lived TV show based on Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth books is so silly and fun, with great magic and a wizard named Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander, which is exactly the sort of name an uber-wizard needs.

7) “Willow” – Not only is Madmartigan hilarious (and sexy), but this movie is all about a man (Willow) learning to become a wizard. He’s doing it while on a crazy quest to save the kingdom, and this magic is hard. It requires focus, determination, and heart.

8) “Sleeping Beauty” One word: Maleficent. So she’s selfish and evil – she also turns into a dragon. A DRAGON. Did I mention how much I want one? But Maleficent doesn’t just have a dragon, she IS a dragon. And it takes other wizards, a magical sword, and a brave prince to defeat her.

9) “Avatar: The Last Airbender” – Elemental magic, for the win. I would like to be a Fire Bender, personally, and occasionally can be found practicing forms for channeling lightning in my office.

10) “FullMetal Alchemist” – This is my favorite anime (I love both versions, even) because of the relationship between the two brothers, and because of the amazingly complex and cool magical system. Alchemy in this world is almost exactly how I imagined wanting magic to be when I was 8 years old. Difficult, full of math and symbolism, and you could gain power just by studying and practicing! LOVE.

If, like me, you’re studying wizardry, any of these movies would be a great place to begin. Good luck!

[Note: This top ten list, excluding the introduction, was previously published at and is used with the permission of the author.]

I haven’t had the chance to see all of those films, but I have seen quite a few of them. And agree wholly with her number one choice. “Labyrinth” = best magical film ever!

Oh and “LadyHawke” breaks my heart for a moment every time I watch it. And yes, I happen to be a sucker for ’80s synthesizer soundtracks and scores. Especially The Alan Parsons Project score in this movie.

But I digress….

It was such an honor to be able to host an author that I think is one of the biggest rockstars ever! And while I’m sad today is the last official day of the Authors Are Rockstars Tour, I couldn’t be happier having author Tessa Gratton on the blog today to close things out.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….

What’s up for grabs:

The Author’s Giveaway: A copy of THE CURIOSITIES, a copy of THE BLOOD KEEPER and a paperback copy of BLOOD MAGIC to ONE WINNER. (US only)

My Giveaway: A copy of THE BLOOD KEEPER to FOUR WINNERS ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository. (International)

The deets:

1. One entry per household. (You can enter BOTH giveaways.)

2. There will be ONE winner for the author’s giveaway and FOUR WINNERS for my giveaway.

3. You must be 13 or older.

4. Author’s giveaway is US. My giveaway is International.

5. Contest ends on Friday, September 7th at 9:01 p.m. Pacific.

6. Winners will be chosen by through Rafflecopter and announced on September 7th in this post.

7. Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details.

The chance to choose which giveaway you’d like to be entered into is in the rafflecopter form and is the only mandatory entry in the giveaway. But if you’d like to spread the word that would be awesome!

To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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