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Rae Hachton

    Pretty in Black Tour: Character and Author Interview

    Today is my stop for author Rae Hachton’s Pretty in Black tour and I’m excited to be able to interview not only the author but the very interesting and mysterious Marcus Marble.

    If you haven’t yet read Pretty in Black, which released last month, or you’d like to know a little bit more about the author, the book or the world, be sure to visit the site, HERE.

    The Pretty in Black site will tell you much of what you need to know about the Evermores and has a bunch of really cool stuff to read/download including a Guide to Nevermore and an peek at the first seven chapters of Pretty in Black.

    Pretty in Black is the first book in the series of the same name. Book two, Black Satin, is due out in May 2012 and books three and four, Raven in the Grave and Evermore are slated for release in 2013 and 2014.

    Pretty in Black is available in paperback and eBook format at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

    Be sure to head on over to the site during the tour, by clicking the tour banner above, because the author is having some awesome giveaways including a special edition copy of the book.

    Goodreads description:

    A troubled, suicidal teen meets a mysterious guy in a cemetery and later discovers he has an unquenchable desire for her love…and her life

    Ellie Piper’s life is turned upside down after her sister’s unexpected murder and her parents divorce. After her mom succumbs to moving in to a trailer park and marrying a man half her age, Ellie begins cutting herself, quits cheerleading and begins hanging out in cemeteries, dreaming of her perfect death. But when Marcus Marble shows up and sets her heart afire, she discovers a whole new world full of love and mystery. And in this world, Marcus has returned from the dead, just for Ellie, and has a desire to take her with him, into eternity. Now that he’s found her, there’s no way he’s letting her go. Dead or Alive. They’re fated.

    ***

    And now for the interviews…

    First up is Marcus Marble who has agreed to play Twenty Questions.

    Q1. You have a rather interesting name, Marcus Anthony Marble. Can you tell us where it originated and a little about your background before you became an Evermore?

    A. The last name “Marble” originates from Cheshire and during the Great Migration, the Marble family crest began to settle in the United States during the seventeenth century and throughout the nineteenth century.

    And “Marcus Anthony” is just the name my parents gave me. But…In Latin, the name “Marcus” means warlike *Grins* and since Roman mythology “Marcus” was the god of war. I was born in 1892, grew up, and never followed any rules that were set forth for me. I was always getting into trouble, which displeased my parents. Speaking of which…

    Q2. Marcus, you were very young when you died. Not yet 19. Do you remember how you died?

    A. I do remember this. I was fatally wounded by an enemy in a fight one night. He and I had some confrontation earlier that day, but I couldn’t let it rest at that. I challenged him to a duel, for the courtship of a certain girl, and it went too far, and I lost.

    Q3. Are you the same person now as you were before you died? How has death and immortality changed you?

    A. I still feel very much the same. But now, every choice I make, will be weighed more carefully, because its consequences, good or bad, will have an everlasting effect, and will follow me, forever.

    Q4. What has it been like being an Evermore?

    A. The experience of Resurrection was awful, to say the least. I had no idea what was happening. And being brought to Nevermore and meeting the Corvidae Dynasty and given all these new rules, that took several years to adjust to. I have faced many challenges along the way, many of which have taught me how strong I really am.

    Q5. Many of the Corvidae are Crows, but you are a Raven. A White Raven. Do you know how it came to be that you’re special? And for those of us who don’t know much about the Corvidae, what does being a White Raven mean?

    A. This is a concept that I myself did not fully grasp in the beginning when I was brought to Nevermore. Everyone in the room the night I resurrected, during my inspection, believed I was a black crow. When it was revealed I was a White Raven, this infuriated everyone. I finally know what it means.

    There is a ranking system in Nevermore. Ravens are at the top, as leaders, and Crows are below, as followers. Any other Corvidae group falls below that system. For example, Jays are the servants.

    When Nevermore was first structured, White Ravens ruled as leaders, but over time, they lost their power and became extinct. The White Ravens have the most abilities and powers as leaders. White Ravens are the only ones meant to be leaders and can be nothing else but a leader or ruler.

    Michael was supposed to take the throne after Zarfe’s retirement, but upon finding out I was a White Raven, it was made evident that it would be a mistake not to crown me leader.

    Everyone was against this judgement, so Zarfe decided to put Michael and me through a test to see who was better suited as leader. The throne is supposed to be mine, according to ancient rule.

    Q6. When was the very first time you saw Ellie? How long were you watching her before you first introduced yourself to her in the cemetery?

    A. I don’t want to sound like a creep here, but I had studied her for a while and I found her intriguing. She kept frequenting that same cemetery and I stood at a vantage point and watched. She had this aura around her and I knew she was unlike other people.

    Q7. After all the years you’d spent as an Evermore, what was it about Ellie that drew you to her when no one else captured your heart? Why Ellie? Out of everyone you’ve met or could meet, why choose Ellie, a mortal and a hunter?

    A. Being dead and all, my heart was not operational. When I was brought to Nevermore, my focus was not on finding love. I was still in the process of figuring everything out and finding myself. But something happened when I saw Ellie. My heart chose her for me. My heart thumped inside my chest, although I was dead. This is how I knew something was there, when I felt alive again. Her mortality and the fact she was a hunter, did not stand in my way. These were minuscule matters.

    Q8. What is your very favorite quality of Ellie’s?

    A. The fact that she is so very real. This world turns and turns, it does not stop spinning for anyone. Ellie isn’t afraid to feel. By not feeling, everyone is dead. She is alive.

    Q9. What would you have done if Ellie turned you down and actually meant it?

    A. I would have had to pursue her again.

    Q10. The very first time you and Ellie met, you asked her to dance. And throughout your courtship it seems that dancing played an important part. How come dancing with Ellie is so important to you?

    A. No one really does this anymore. Ask someone to dance, and they might look at you in an odd manner. A person who can stop long enough to take 5 minutes of their time to dance with you, especially where there is no music, is a person who isn’t afraid to stop and listen, to stop and feel. This person is a person one should never let go.

    Q11. The Evermore, and especially the Corvidae, have rules. You seem to like to break them. Were you always this way or has Ellie turned you into a rulebreaker?

    A. I’ve always been this way, but it’s just a lot more interesting to break all the rules with Ellie, who also breaks all the rules. This is one of the many reasons I love her so much.

    Q12. From the moment you met Jillian – another Corvidae – you and she had a rocky relationship. And it seemed like she might have wanted more. Over the century that you and she spent together did anything ever happen between the two of you?

    A. No way. I do not like her personality or her demands. She is one Corvidae I am going to be thrilled to see pass through at the Risorgimento. Emilie warned me of her devious ways when I first arrived at Nevermore. And I am very thankful of this knowledge.

    Q13. What is your favorite music to listen to? To dance to?

    A. 50s/80s.

    Q14. What was your favorite time period to exist in and why?

    A. I have unlimited access to any Era of time. I will always prefer those time periods with more culture and structure. Especially in Europe. My favorite Era is the Victorian age. I love the style, the dress, and the social behaviors of society, during that time.

    Q15. Knowing what Ellie is, why do you think she hasn’t tried to kill you?

    A. Ellie is not capable of harming anyone without having a true reason. And because she loves me. And because she is a rule breaker. And because there is a secret concerning this, that has not yet been revealed.

    Q16. What would you say is your best feature? Ellie seemed to notice your eyes and lips more than any other feature. Are they your best features?

    A. If Ellie believes so, then I would say yes. These are my best features.

    Q17. Your situation with Ellie is complicated and dangerous to you both. If you had the choice, would you have never wanted to meet her in the first place?

    A. I could not even imagine not meeting Ellie as a possibility. And while this may be dangerous and complicated, I am ready to fight for this. Without her, I am just dead, without a purpose.

    Q18. What is it that you like most about hanging out in the cemetery with Ellie?

    A. The serenity. And the scenery.

    Q19. What is your favorite place to hang out?

    A. Anywhere quiet and dark.

    Q20. How often did you/do you spy on Ellie?

    A. Occasionally.

    ***

    Well, Marcus, thank you so much for stopping by and answering ALL of my questions. I’m so glad to know that no matter what you’d have still wanted Ellie in your life. And I’m also glad that Jillian has never been.

    You have an absolutely fascinating history, and it figures that your death was the result of a “certain girl.” And I’m glad that you would have continued to pursue Ellie – in a non-creeper way – if she had said no.

    Thank you so much for explaining why dancing is so important to you. You really make it sound absolutely romantic and I totally agree that a person who takes the time to agree to a dance, music or no, can be someone worth holding on to.

    I know I put you on the hot seat for quite some time, so thank you again for being so patient. I’ll let you get back to your responsibilities and to figuring a way out of your current predicament…. Okay, that’s an understatement, but for the sake of those who haven’t read your story, I can’t say more.

    If you don’t mind sending in your author and creator, Rae Hachton, I have just a few questions for her.

    While Marcus definitely stole the show, I couldn’t help but ask the author, Rae Hachton a few questions about her new series….


    Q. If you had to describe Pretty in Black in three words, what would they be?

    A. This may be biased but: Mesmerizing Gothic Romance

    Q. How did you come up with the idea of the Evermore and the Corvidae?

    A. I have always been mesmerized by Ravens and Crows. This served as my inspiration. Everything else just fell into place.

    Q. What was your inspiration for creating a character like Marcus Marble? Is his personality based on anyone you know?

    A. He is the guy I would’ve liked to have met. He is not based on anyone I know in real life. He is from my imagination only.

    Q. You and Marcus share a birthday. Is there any significance to that date for the story?

    A. The Character Marcus Marble began forming in my head on my birthday, thus becoming his birthday as well. Also, the Risorgimento takes place on this date in Nevermore.

    Q. You told the story first from Ellie’s point of view and then later, briefly, from Marcus’s point of view. Who was your favorite character to write for? And why?

    A. I enjoy writing for both Characters equally, but I believe writing for Marcus proposes more of a challenge, but this is something I believe I am going to continue throughout the series because I like seeing events unfold through his eyes.

    Q. When we first meet Ellie she is in a cemetery, ready to end it all because of the dark turn her life took after the death of her sister. In fact, she and Marcus spend quite a bit of time in the cemetery over the course of the story. How well do you feel this setting captured the mood for the story?

    A. I believe that because both characters each have a tie to this location, that this setting was organic and important for the story. This story would not exist without the cemetery setting, so I believe it captures the mood well and the way I intended it to.

    Q. How would you describe Ellie and Marcus’s relationship? She seems reluctant to give her heart to him at first, but yet there seems to be an almost irresistible pull.

    A. It is meant to be. That might sound cliche, but I do believe in things like this still.

    Q. Ellie liked to quote Poe, are you a fan of the author/poet? How influential was he/his writing on you?

    A. I am a major fan of Poe. He has always been a favorite. He is the reason I began writing poetry, which eventually led me to writing stories, and now I am writing novels. He has been a major inspiration to my work.

    Q. When writing Pretty in Black, did you have a soundtrack/playlist in mind for the story or did you create one after you’d written it?

    A. The soundtrack was developed before I had written one word on the story. For a while, the soundtrack was the story. I listened to it while I wrote, and it helped set the mood and develop the story into what it is now. The soundtrack can be found on the Evermore website and the tracks are listed in the Pretty in Black Reference Guide.

    Q. If there was only one song that you would call Ellie and Marcus’s song, what would it be? And why?

    A. “My Time’s Up” by the Raveonettes. This song is what inspired the entire novel, and is also the song that Ellie and Marcus dance to at the Halloween dance when she decides to be with him forever. This song is extremely important in the series, and will reoccur once more, in a major and climatic scene later on in the series.

    Think of this song being sort of like how the “Flightless Bird, American Mouth,” by Iron and Wine was for Edward and Bella in Twilight. It plays once at their High School Prom scene, then again at their wedding scene.

    Q. There are a number of things left up in the air at the end of Pretty in Black. Will they all be addressed in the sequel? Is there a third book planned?

    A. Black Satin, which is the title of the second book in this series, will answer a few of the really important cliffhangers that have been left at the end of Pretty in Black, while at the same time, raising more questions, which will be answered in the third and forth books.

    Anything that left you pondering, will be addressed in Pretty in Black.

    ***

    Thank you so much for answering all of my questions, too. Both you and Marcus were so amazing to answer them all. And thank you for asking me to be a stop on your tour. I can’t wait to visit all the stops and see what else is revealed about you, Marcus and Ellie.

    ***

    And so that you don’t have to scroll all the way back up to visit the Pretty in Black website to find out more, click the button, which will take you there!

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    My Reading Pile #38

    I may have received a few books in the past week. One or two or twenty-two. I did have issues with the mailman and the unattended mailboxes again. But I don’t think I’m missing any and actually received a couple books I’ve been waiting anxiously for.

    As I am sharing what I received in my mailbox this week, I’m giving credit to Kristi at The Story Siren who came up with the idea of sharing what’s in her mailbox each week.

    I received Bloodrose temporarily thanks to Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads who offered to lend me her copy for a few weeks. I will have to re-skim Wolfsbane first and possibly write my review and then I’ll dive right into Bloodrose. I can’t wait. Thanks so much Mindy!

    All the rest of the books in the pile above are thanks to a trade with one of my trading partners. They actually arrived in two shipments – which include the eleven books in the third picture that she sent just because she was cleaning off her shelves.

    One of the shipments the post office did manage to tear apart a little, the other arrived intact. I can’t wait to get to a few of these books – especially Truth, Balthazar, and Immortal City. And a couple of them I’m lending out to one of my favorite bloggers, Jaime, as I know she’ll be able to read them before I do.

    I also got back my two copies of If I Die by Rachel Vincent that I sent to the author who so generously agreed to sign them for me. As always, I don’t publicize personal inscriptions, because they’re, well, personal. But only one of those is mine. The second copy I got signed for Alba of Book Pics and I’ll be sending that on to her today.

    Right below that is a finished copy of Pretty in Black by Rae Hachton that I received from the author for review. I will be participating in the book tour this month and actually plan on reading it this week.

    At the bottom is Destined by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast that I received from the publisher for review. I hope to get to it in the next few weeks because I am curious about this new character who’s apparently a yummy cowboy.

    And, finally, completely unexpected, was this stack of books I received in my box of trades. I hadn’t requested them, but my trading partner just sent them in case I might want them, along with some swag. I’m not sure if I’ll be keeping any of them, but I do think the new covers for the classics are really pretty.

    Other than After Obsession, I don’t think I’ve heard of any of the other books. So maybe I’ll pass these along in a Clearing the Pile giveaway, though I wanted to avoid the post office at all costs after today.

    Anyway, yeah, my apartment is piled high with books. They do not fit on my book tower, which is now over-full. But maybe if I get reading, I can start to pass more of these along. So….

    Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

    (December 4-December 10, 2011)

    ***

    First up is Pretty in Black by Rae Hachton. I received a finished copy of this book from the author for review. In print, this cover is absolutely beautiful.

    I heard about this book earlier this spring on Twitter and I headed over to the author’s blog to check it out. This book sounded so dark and the title immediately grabbed me so I decided to sign up to receive an ARC and I kept my fingers crossed.

    The author asked if I’d be interested in being part of her blog tour and I jumped at the chance. And since my stop is on December 19th, I thought I’d add Pretty in Black to the pile this week even though I just received it a few days ago.

    I’m excited to meet Ellie Piper and Marcus Marble. And I can’t wait to find out just what happens for this “troubled, suicidal teen” and this boy that she meets in the cemetery who returned from the dead for her. I always love stories where the characters are fated to be together, even those where that’s not necessarily a good thing.

    As the holidays draw near I do seem to be in a mood to read darker books, and I am thrilled to be adding Pretty in Black to the pile this week.

    Next up on the pile is Cold Blood by Heather Hildenbrand. I am just now reading Dirty Blood, but I should be done by the time I start on this new pile on Sunday. I received an eARC for review for the tour that will be stopping here on December 20th.

    While a review is not required, I did want to read both books and hopefully I’ll have finished the series in time to have a review posted of Cold Blood for my stop.

    The description for this sequel on Goodreads is linked in the cover image, but I have not looked at it as I don’t want any spoilers for the first book in the series and Goodreads has a way of doing just that.

    But this series about werewolves is a dark and gritty one and I am excited to be able to devour both books this week.

    Wishful Thinking reads:

    I would love to read Death Sentence by Alexander Gordon Smith. I may have already mentioned this once or twice on my wishful thinking reads. But I still wish I could be reading it now.

    I just found Fugitives – the next book in the series – on NetGalley and haven’t yet heard back from the publisher. But I’m really, really hopeful I’ll be approved because I totally would read it well in advance of release because this series is so flipping fantastic, you have no idea how much I love it.

    Okay, maybe those of you who have stopped by the blog know. Because I can’t stop talking about it.

    Those left behind:

    I ended up reading a book that was on the pile from an earlier week before I started last week’s reads, but I did finish and review Clockwork Prince. And as I am reading Dirty Blood right now and will finish it before Sunday, I’m not really behind with last week’s reads.

    But I do have to review that other book, Hushed, which I hope to do today. And boy is that one going to be tough. What a dark and amazing book it was. It really left me with that hollowed out feeling that I love. But that type of book does require recovery time and sadly I just don’t have much time to recover.

    And I have to review Everneath this weekend. I just have to. Every time I think about Cole and Nikki I still get that twisty feeling when I remember the two of them all wrapped up together and it makes me sigh. I need to hang on to that feeling and am so afraid I’ll lose it if I read too many more books before I write my review.

    ***

    I utterly failed in my request-free week. I did end up requesting a couple titles from NetGalley.

    One is Fugitives, which I’m dying to read and panicking because I have not heard word one from the publisher. And the other is Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard. It just sounds so wonderful and isn’t out until March which means it could be one of my “me” reads for February.

    ***

    Do you create a reading pile?

    If so, what’s in your pile this week?

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