Interview with Lesley Livingston Author of Trascendent

Interview with Lesley Livingston Author of Trascendent

In your own words, tell us a little bit about your book?

“It’s the end of the world as we know it!” Wait. Those weren’t exactly my words… Still, it’s a pretty good snapshot. Mason Starling is standing on the perilous brink of an impending apocalypse, the Fennrys Wolf lies at her feet in a pool of blood, and a whole cast of powerful entities – friend and foe – circle them like a supernaturally-charged cyclone, waiting to see if together they’ll end the world, or save it. Or, as I like to call it, a normal night out in New York City!

Can you tell us about the characters in your book? Who is your favorite?

The students of Gosforth Academy start off as relatively normal high school students. Of course, all it takes to change that is one night of catastrophically bad weather, an attack of storm zombies, and a super-hot naked blond young man crashing into their midst, trailing an impending mystical apocalypse in his wake. The people in the story who aren’t students tend to underestimate those who are. With consequences. And the line between humanity and, well, non- tends to get fairly blurry as the story progresses.

As for favorites? I hate playing favorites. Always gets me in trouble. Fenn and Mase, of course, are my scintillating leads and I adore them. I will say, though, that I always have a heck of a lot of fun writing some of the minor characters – like, say, Taggert Overlea. He proved to be much more interesting than I had originally planned him to be.

Your book / series centers around mythology, what particular mythos  did you try to focus on within the series?

With the Starling Saga, the central mythology I use as the tent pole of the story is the concept of Ragnarok – the Norse apocalypse – and some of the accompanying legends of the Vikings that go along with it. But I didn’t want to just leave it at that. Insofar as New York City is a cultural melting pot, I wanted it to be a mythological one, too. So I had a lot of fun folding in other pantheons like Greek, Roman, Egyptian… a sprinkling of Faerie dust…

What research did you do to write within the mythological inspiration? 

I’ve always been fascinated by mythology and folklore and fairy tales. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve devoured books on the subjects, so I already had a kind of built-in knowledge base when I started out writing the Wondrous Strange and then the Starling books. But I still did a lot of reading and research, mostly to confirm details of certain myths or characters. The internet is a great starting point for that sort of research, but it’s never a good idea to leave it at that. Books. You always have to go to the source.

Did you find yourself restricted by basing your idea off of the myths?

Quite the contrary, actually! The marvelous thing about the old stories is how malleable they are. Especially Norse myth. The tales of the Aesir have been transmitted down through time in such a fractured, prismatic fashion, that they lend themselves freely to various interpretations. For me, it had the effect of giving me a degree of structure to hang the story on, while at the same time allowing me the freedom to take it in the direction I wanted to.

Reviewers and Bloggers love your series and are raving about this final book in your trilogy, I read one review that called TRANSCENDENT “perfect” how do you feel about the high praise?

Oh my! *Blush!* I have to say it’s enormously gratifying to hear that kind of response. As an author, you spend an awful lot of time alone, having conversations with the people who live in your head. And when you finally let them out into the world to go play with others, you hope that they’ll get along and make friends. And when they do – really do – you’re proud of them. And proud of yourself for being able to tell their story in a way that does them justice. I hope I’ve done that.

++++++++++ And care for some quickies? ++++++++++

First class or back of the bus?

Wherever the most interesting people are sitting.

Beach or Mountains?

Mountains. Preferably with castles on them.

Paperback, Hard Cover or eBook?

Um… yes? All three! Coexisting peacefully!

Dr. Who or Buffy?

All due respect to the good Doctor, but I learned everything I needed to know from the Buffster and Mr. Pointy.

Coffee or Tea?

COFFEEEEEEEE!!!!… er, perhaps I’ve had enough for today. Thank you. Just half a cup more.

Interview with Lesley Livingston Author of Trascendent

Transcendent/Starling Trilogy #3 by Lesley Livingston

Starling #3
Published by: HarperCollins Canada, Limited on December 22, 2014
Amazon Goodreads
On a terrace high above the streets of Manhattan, Mason Starling kneels beside her beloved Fennrys Wolf, who lies in a pool of blood, his life hanging in the balance. Even if he lives, their future is far from certain as chaos swirls around them. Has this unstoppable heroine-smart, savvy, deadly with a blade-reached the limits of what her sword can vanquish and her soul can survive? Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series, and set in the same universe as Lesley Livingston's much-loved Wondrous Strange trilogy, with roots in Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, and Celtic myths and legends, this thrilling conclusion to the acclaimed Starling trilogy is filled to the hilt with sweeping adventure and soaring romance.


On a storm-swept terrace high above the streets of Manhattan, Mason Starling holds the fate of the world in her hands as her beloved Fennrys lies bleeding at her feet, his life hanging in the balance. The ancient Norse prophecy of Ragnarok stands poised on the knife edge of fulfillment. Mason’s transformation into a Valkyrie—a chooser of the slain and the one who will ultimately bring about the end of the world—is complete. Still, she remains determined to thwart her father’s apocalyptic desires. Whatever is to come, it won’t happen because of what the prophecy foretold, or what Gunnar Starling has planned, or what the fates have already decided. What happens next will be up to Mason and the Fennrys Wolf. The world had better hope they haven’t reached the limits of what their souls and swords can survive.

Perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series, and set in the same universe as Lesley Livingston’s much-loved WONDROUS STRANGE trilogy, with roots in Greek, Roman, Norse, Egyptian, and Celtic myths and legends, this thrilling conclusion to the acclaimed Starling trilogy is filled to the hilt with sweeping adventure and soaring romance. 

Grab STARLING Book 1 in the series now for only $1.99!

About Lesley Livingston


Lesley Livingston is a writer and actress living in Toronto. She has a master's degree in English from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in Arthurian Literature and Shakespeare. She frequently performs with the Tempest Theatre Group, of which she is a co-founder. She is also the author of WONDROUS STRANGE and DARKLIGHT.

You can visit Lesley online at


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Tour Schedule:

Week One:

12/15/2014- Wholly BooksReview

12/16/2014- Reading YA RocksInterview

12/17/2014- Reading LarkReview

12/18/2014- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post

12/19/2014- Please Feed The Bookworm-Review


Week Two:

12/22/2014- ParajunkeeInterview

12/23/2014- Wishful EndingsReview

12/24/2014- Mom With A KindleInterview

12/25/2014- Crossroad Reviews – Review

12/26/2014- Bewitched BookwormsGuest Post

Harlequin Holiday Reads #Giveaway

Harlequin Holiday Reads #Giveaway

:Harlequin Holiday Awesome

Joss Wood: A Diamond for Christmas.

In a Diamond for Christmas James and Riley head back to South Africa to spend Christmas in Cape Town, leaving a snowy New York City for the heat of Africa. There is nothing quite like spending Christmas in South Africa. It’s the time of our long summer holidays and it’s hot, scorching-ly hot! It’s a time of sun-burnt noses and ice creams on the beach, watermelons and mangos- preferably eaten in the pool.

Put a pack on my back and a ticket or passport in my hand, the most romantic gift you can give me, and I’m the happiest person in the world. I’m lucky in that I have the most adventurous man in the world as my husband; someone who will try anything once so we’ve had some interesting trips together. We’re lucky that our children love to travel as much as we do and travelling over the Christmas period is our little family tradition.

And when I mean that we like to travel, I mean that we like to travel!  One of the most unforgettable journeys was a Christmas holiday trip across Southern Africa, 6000 km’s in two and a half weeks. It included four days on a houseboat on Lake Kariba, a visit to Sioma Falls, where the same volume of water that cascades over the Victoria Falls flows over a set of 3 horseshoe shaped falls on an island in the middle of the crocodile infested Zambezi River. We were taken over the Zambezi in morkoro’s, which are canoes crafted out of tree trunks. Scary! I remember spending Christmas day in the Etosha Game reserve where we made bread in cast iron pots over an open fire and drank copious amounts of red wine.

Another of our favorite destinations is Malawi, a beautiful country filled with friendly people. We spent a Christmas 2012 there and we had a blast. 

skyWe stayed at the Norma Carr Cottage, a guest lodge owned by our great friend Taffy Heske and is situated on Lake Malawi at Namkoma Bay. It is quite close to Monkey Bay and Cape Maclear. The lake is beautiful, the sunsets incredible and the snorkeling is amazing!

If we have to stay at home this year—sigh!—then another tradition we have is to hike in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains situated on our doorstep. The area is a world heritage site and simply beautiful. We don’t visit it nearly enough.


There is no snow and no egg nog and no sledding but our Christmas holidays are always a fun filled, family time and we love it down here on the tip of the African continent! 

The Hot Harlequin Read

Christmas with the Billionaire

Christmas with a Billionaire

Authors: Carole Mortimer, Maisey Yates & Joss Wood
Imprint: Harlequin anthologies
Release date: October 7, 2014
ISBN: 9780373838035

Amazon   B&N   Goodreads

An embarrassment of riches: three sweet and sexy tales of holiday romance! 

Billionaire under the Mistletoe by Carole Mortimer: When softhearted Sophie pulls off a last-minute Christmas miracle for a family in crisis, she wins the gratitude—and heart—of wealthy Max Hamilton. But at what cost?

Snowed in with Her Boss by Maisey Yates: Dutiful Amelia is stranded on Christmas Eve. (Bad.) She’s at a five-star Aspen resort. (Good!) She’s posing as her handsome boss’s girlfriend. (So bad it’s good!) But is she pretending…or practicing with Luc Chevalier?


A Diamond for Christmas by Joss Wood: Headstrong Riley’s holiday run-in with hot gemstone tycoon James Moreau is unsettling to say the least. But she soon discovers that the only thing better than resisting temptation is finally giving in!

About the Authors


Joss Wood: Fueled by coffee, when she’s not writing or being a hands-on Mom, Joss, with her background in business and marketing, works for a non-profit organization to promote the local economic development and collective business interests of the area where she resides. Happily, and chaotically, surrounded by family, friends and books, she lives in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa with her husband, young children and their many pets. Readers can find out more about Joss at her website

Facebook  Twitter

Looking for more holiday-themed reads? Click here to discover.


Grand Prize Giveaway


The Harlequin Holiday Reads prize-pack includes:
One mass market paperback of each of:

  • Christmas with the Billionaire by Carole Mortimer, Maisey Yates and Joss Wood
  • Maybe this Christmas by Sarah Morgan
  • Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne
  • The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak
  • The Lodge on Holly Road by Sheila Roberts
  • One copy of Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey in the digital format of your choice
  • One package of ornament charms
  • One box of Harlequin-themed gift tags

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Parajunkee's View

Tour Schedule
My Five Favorite Folktales and Legends of Brittany from Robin LaFevers

My Five Favorite Folktales and Legends of Brittany from Robin LaFevers

My Five Favorite Folktales and Legends of Brittany from Robin LaFevers

Guest Post: My Five Favorite Folktales and Legends of Brittany

When I was casting about, looking for the perfect setting for the HIs Fair Assassin books, I stumbled across this land called Brittany. The more I read of its turbulent history, the more I became convinced it was the perfect setting for my books. Then, when I learned of some of the country’s legends and folktales, I knew I’d absolutely found the place where I would tell my story. Here are five of my favorites. Some of you will no doubt recognize bits and pieces of these legends that I’ve played with a bit and then incorporated them into mythology of His Fair Assassin!

The Passage l’Enfer

This legend tells of fishermen who received a knock on their door at midnight and were required row the souls of the dead across the ocean at night. When they stepped into their boats, their hulls rode low in the water, as if filled with some heavy invisible cargo. On the return trip, the boats were light and buoyant again, as if they had disgorged their loads.

The Nine Druidess Priestesses

Ancient sources refer to an island which housed the last of the nine druid priestesses who were said to have supernatural powers, such as seeing into the future or calling down the weather. The island on which they were said to live is the very island I placed the convent of Saint Mortain. Careful readers will note that the convent had nine nuns who instructed the novitiates.

Conomor the Cursed

Conomor was an early ruler in Brittany, known for his dark, violent reputation. He takes a young wife, who resists but is ultimately swayed by threats to her family. Under his roof, she stumbles upon the room where he keeps his previous dead wives. With the help of the wives’ ghosts, she learns of his murderous intent and manages to escape.

Churchly Prescience

There is another legend that says that on a certain saint’s feast day, if you stand in the back of the church at just the right moment, you can look out among the congregation and see a faint ghostly light glowing around all those who will die in the coming year.

The Ankou

In Brittany, the Ankou is a figure of personified death. He is known to pull the bone cart down the rutted roads at night. Those snuggled warm in their cottages can hear the rattle of the wheels and know that death is coming. Some sources believe him to be a Celtic version of the god of death, while others claim he is a remnant of an earlier death goddess. Some say it isn’t a he at all, but a she.

My Five Favorite Folktales and Legends of Brittany from Robin LaFevers

Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers

Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on November 4, 2014
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Amazon Goodreads
In the powerful conclusion to Robin LaFever's New York Times bestselling His Fair Assassins trilogy, Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.   She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind, doesn’t mean she has.

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has…

Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

About Robin LaFevers


Robin LaFevers was raised on a steady diet of fairy tales, Bulfinch’s mythology, and 19th century poetry. It is not surprising she grew up to be a hopeless romantic.

Though she has never trained as an assassin or joined a convent, she did attend Catholic school for three years, which instilled in her a deep fascination with sacred rituals and the concept of the Divine. She has been on a search for answers to life’s mysteries ever since.

While many of those answers still elude her, she was lucky enough to find her one true love, and is living happily ever after with him in the foothills of southern California.

In addition to writing about teen assassin nuns in medieval Brittany, she writes books for middle grade readers, including the Theodosia books and the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series. You can learn more about those books at

Where you can find Robin:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr

Giveaway Details:

(1) One winner will receive a rustic arrow necklace, a leather bound notebook and a hardcover of MORTAL HEART! US Only.


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The Tour Stops
Q&A With Author Claudia Gray

Q&A With Author Claudia Gray

Q&A With Author Claudia Gray

Hi, Claudia – welcome to Parajunkee’s View. I’ve been a big fan of yours for awhile, way back when in 2008…feels like ancient times. But, it really hasn’t been that long and in that time you’ve done so much. How many books have you published and does it ever get old?

Somehow, A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is my ninth book to be released. That is so surreal to me, still, as is the fact that I’ve now been doing this for six years. You do get used to the process of writing/editing/releasing — like, I used to drive myself up the wall by checking my Amazon rankings by the hours, and I now no longer check at all. But it never, ever gets old. Sending a new book out into the world is always a thrill.

You’ve written about vampires and witches and now science fiction and the multi-verse. Out of all these topics, which one was the hardest to write?

I’d say that the SPELLCASTER series has been the hardest to write, to date. In large part that was because the main character, Nadia, is so very guarded — she’s been deeply hurt, and shields herself so well — that getting inside her head and communicating everything to the readers became challenging. I love her, and I think her personality ultimately comes through. But guarded/shy characters are often the toughest to write, and Nadia is the only MC I’ve ever had who fit that mold.

Can you tell our readers about A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU?

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is the story of Marguerite, the daughter of two famous scientists, who is chasing her father’s killer through alternate dimensions. In each new dimension, she appears within another version of herself and must learn quickly what this world is like, and who she is there. As Marguerite travels, she encounters alternate versions of all the most important people in her life — the people they would be if their histories had altered just a little — and realizes they’re far more complex than she realized … as is the truth about what happened to her father.

The idea for this book came to me while I was on a book tour of the US with Dan Wells and Lauren Oliver, after which I went directly into an Australia/New Zealand tour. It felt like I was appearing in a different world every day — but always with the same people — and that got the gears turning. By the time my flight to Sydney had begun, the idea was already burning brightly; by the time I’d reached Auckland, I was ready to write my first draft of the first scene.

So, what exactly is the Firebird?

The Firebird is a device that allows consciousness to travel between dimensions. As Marguerite’s mother discovered, matter is very difficult to move between alternate universes, but energy can make the journey. The Firebird is specially constructed to be able to travel along with someone’s consciousness, allowing them a way to return home. It looks like a large locket on a chain – larger than a credit card, smaller than a cell phone; although it’s an irregular shape, it’s roughly oval. And if you’re traveling through dimensions and you lose or break your Firebird — you’re in trouble.

The book has been called “unique”, “brilliant” and “one of the best scifi books ever” by early readers and editorial reviewers, what do you think about this initial reaction from readers?

Wow, those are some amazing quotes! I wouldn’t call ATPOY one of the best science fiction books ever – really it’s more science fantasy — but I am so, so thrilled that people are responding to the book. I mean, I love all my novels. Each one matters to me. But A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU is my passion project. This is the story that caught fire in my mind, the one I couldn’t rest until I told. These characters came alive for me within days, and honestly, the main reason I wrote the book was just so I could finally talk about them with someone else! So hearing that other people connect to this story makes me deeply happy, mostly because now I discuss Marguerite and Theo and Paul without sounding … a bit off.

How many books will there be in the Firebird series?

The Firebird series is a trilogy, though I hope to write many stories and novellas for it — like, tons, so follow me on [Wattpad]( now! — because each dimension has its own stories to tell, and it would be fun to visit a few new universes, too, don’t you think?

I have to say, that cover – wow – did you have any input on it? Or did you just get it in your inbox like a happy little present? Can you also tell us a little bit about what it represents in the story?

Isn’t that cover something else? In no way it my idea, but I did have input on the process. As known by those reviewers who got ARCs with a plain black cover, it took FOREVER to get the right concept. Tons of designs were submitted, but none of them were telling the whole story. This was about the fourth or fifth concept we tried – something ike that. My part was saying that I wanted the cover to say that this was a book about alternate dimensions, but it turns out that’s sort of a difficult idea to express visually. But when we got this image, the message came through. The cover is beautiful, expresses the central idea, and IMO really stands out. People’s response to it has been tremendous.

You also have the final Spellcaster book coming out next year, how many books do you write a year? And should we expect any more series or books?

How much I write in a year varies. This year was extremely busy, but you never know what the future might bring. Definitely there are more books to come, but I can’t say more … yet.

On a more personal note, I know you are a fellow NOLA (New Orleans for those not in the N.O.) native, do you find our local atmosphere and flavor conducive to writing or different types of ideas?

I’m not actually a New Orleans native, but I’ve lived here for long stretches of my adult life and don’t plan to leave again anytime soon. So far, I have yet to have a NoLa-themed book idea, but give it time. This is a great city for creativity, don’t you think? People put imagination and energy into their daily lives. So that part of it is constantly inspirational.

I don’t want to put you on the spot, but do you have a favorite local indie bookstore?

You KNOW it’s Octavia Books. That said, I sometimes sneak around behind Octavia’s back with — with other bookstores. ::hideshead in shame:: But Octavia is always my first choice.

Do you have any advice for visitors to the city? Any bookish spots they can’t miss?

My main advice to visitors to the city is, the less time you spend on Bourbon Street, the better. Like, if you want to see it, go see it. But if you’re not dining at Galatoire’s, and you don’t find the sight of drunks staggering around to be endlessly fascinating, there’s no reason to hang around for very long. Other streets in the French Quarter make for far more interesting (and less sleazy) meandering; Royal is my personal favorite, and I’ve done some writing at Royal Blend. Plus there’s the Garden District and uptown to explore!

Another tourist tip: find one of the restaurants that offers the 25-cent martinis/cosmopolitans special at lunch. Several do. They’re not mini-martinis, either.

As for bookish spots — honestly, one of the most inspirational sites in the city for me is the Pharmacy Museum. Sounds dull, but of course it isn’t! Old medical instruments should strike a chill in anyone’s heart, and the big old bottles of patent medicine and voodoo love potions — if that doesn’t get stories started in your brain, nothing will. :)

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions, Claudia!

THANK YOU so much for the interview! I’m so happy to spread the word about A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU.


Q&A With Author Claudia Gray

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Published by: HarperTeen on November 04, 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Amazon Goodreads
Cloud Atlas meets Orphan Black in this epic dimension-bending trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray about a girl who must chase her father's killer through multiple dimensions. Marguerite Caine's physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite's father is murdered, and the killer—her parent's handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul's guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father's death is far more sinister than she expected.A Thousand Pieces of You, the first book in the Firebird trilogy, explores an amazingly intricate multiverse where fate is unavoidable, the truth elusive, and love the greatest mystery of all.

Every Day meets Cloud Atlas in this heart-racing, space- and time-bending, epic new trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray.

Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their radical scientific achievements. Their most astonishing invention: the Firebird, which allows users to jump into parallel universes, some vastly altered from our own. But when Marguerite’s father is murdered, the killer—her parent’s handsome and enigmatic assistant Paul—escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite can’t let the man who destroyed her family go free, and she races after Paul through different universes, where their lives entangle in increasingly familiar ways. With each encounter she begins to question Paul’s guilt—and her own heart. Soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is more sinister than she ever could have imagined.

A Thousand Pieces of You explores a reality where we witness the countless other lives we might lead in an amazingly intricate multiverse, and ask whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.


About Claudia Gray


Claudia Gray is a pseudonym. I would like to say that I chose another name so that no one would ever learn the links between my shadowy, dramatic past and the explosive secrets revealed through my characters. This would be a lie. In truth, I took a pseudonym simply because I thought it would be fun to choose my own name. (And it is.)
I write novels full-time, absolutely love it, and hope to be able to do this forever. My home is in New Orleans, is more than 100 years old, and is painted purple. In my free time I read, travel, hike, cook and listen to music. You can keep up with my latest releases, thoughts on writing and various pop-culture musings via Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, GoodReads or (of course) my own home page.
If you want to contact me, you can email me, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and GoodReads.

If you want to contact me, you can email me, but your best bet is probably to Tweet me. I don’t do follows on Twitter, but I follow everyone back on Tumblr, Pinterest and Goodreads.

Website   Tumblr   Goodreads   Wattpad

The Giveaway

A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU Prize Pack consisting of a_ scarf with a quote from the book, a scented candle from one of the mutliverses, and a signed book.  International



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The Tour Stops
Q&A With Author Ryan Graudin

Q&A With Author Ryan Graudin

Q&A With Author Ryan Graudin

**In your own words, tell us a little bit about your book?**

THE WALLED CITY is the story of three teenagers who are each, in their own way, trapped in a lawless, labyrinthine neighborhood known as the Hak Nam Walled City. Jin Ling, is a fourteen-year-old street girl who is forced to steal and disguise herself as a boy to survive. She’s in the Walled City looking for her older sister, Mei Yee, who was taken from their farm and is now trapped in one of the neighborhood’s many brothels. In order to get a look inside the brothels, Jin Ling must go on drug runs for the Walled City’s most fearsome druglords. These drug runs are set up by Dai, a boy with a mysterious past, who has his own life or death mission to get out of the city.

**Can you tell us about the characters in your book? Who is your favorite?**

Jin Ling is a tough survivor. She lives on the streets, under a tarp with a bossy gray cat named Chma. She has to disguise herself as a boy, since most homeless, parentless girls end up in one of the many brothels that line the Walled City’s sunless streets. She sometimes uses what little money she earns from drug runs for food, but survives mostly by stealing. Her biggest desire is to find her sister Mei Yee.

Mei Yee has spent the past two years trapped in a brothel run by the Brotherhood of the Red Dragon, yearning for freedom and watching any girl who tries to escape fail with terrifying consequences. She often dreams of being back on the farm with her younger sister, Jin Ling.

Dai has spent the past seven-hundred-and-thirty days trapped in the Walled City, haunted by nightmares from his past. He has eighteen days to find a way out. He always thinks the worst of himself. He always wears a black hoodie and has a long snaking scar on his arm he never talks about.

Each of these characters found a place in my heart, but I have to say that in the end, my favorite character is Dai, mostly because of where his character arc ends up taking him.

**Your book is described as a Science Fiction / Dystopian novel, is that a fitting classification and what sets it a part from others in the genre?**

I find it interesting that so many people have been labeling THE WALLED CITY Science Fiction/Dystopian, because it’s not. There is no science fiction whatsoever in this book. The story _does_ have a dystopian feel, but I don’t think it fits into the genre as a whole, since it’s based on a place that actually existed in our world. The Walled City itself is quite small—only 6.5 acres—and is set in the middle of a more modern, completely functional city.

I actually wrote and edited the book so that it could work on two different levels. On one hand, the story could actually read as historical fiction. With a few name changes and a handful of altered facts, this story could have feasibly taken place in 1980s Hong Kong. The reason I chose to change the names and steer the narrative is a slightly more gentrified direction was to highlight how incredibly surreal it was that a place like this actually existed in our world. I talk about this at length in THE WALLED CITY’s author note.

All this being said, I did have a hard time pinning a genre on this book while I was querying it. It’s a strange novel, in that it fits into a little bit of everything. But If I had to place THE WALLED CITY into a single category it would be a YA thriller.

**The setting is based off of the Kowloon Walled City what drew you to this idea and how did you research it?**

I first learned about this place in 2011 from a woman name Jackie Pullinger, who worked in the Kowloon Walled City for over twenty years. As she started describing this neighborhood in Hong Kong—which housed over 33,000 people in its 6.5 acres—I knew I had to learn more about it. I started by watching some old documentaries on the city, which were truly incredible. I gathered so many details from watching the European cameramen roaming the sunless, tunnels of streets, interviewing people. I dug through every article I could find online, and managed to read some biographies of people who lived in the city before it was torn down in the early 90s.

HK Kln City To Kwa Wan Sa Po Road

**Have you traveled there? Or plan to?**

The Kowloon Walled City was torn down in 1993 and replaced with a very pretty park. I was fortunate enough to visit Hong Kong last January and took a whole day to visit the site of the Kowloon Walled City Park. There’s a museum in the middle of the park, which was very informative. There are also a few relics from the city: cannons, pieces of the Old South Gate, wells. One of the neatest things to go see is a small-scale model of the city, which sits by the park’s entrance.

**Did you find yourself restricted by basing your idea off of a real place?**

Not at all. If anything there were facts from the real place that fed the story! I remember watching one of the documentaries about the Kowloon Walled City where the narrator talked about how all of the apartment verandas were covered in bars to keep thieves out. This small detail spun off into a whole storyline about Dai feeling trapped in his own apartment. As strange as it sounds, basing the setting off of a real place made it feel as though I was exploring a landscape. I never knew what I would find around the corner.

**Reviewers and Bloggers are falling in love with your book, describing it as “captivating” and “compelling” how do you feel about the high praise?**

I’m really relieved. I’ve been calling THE WALLED CITY the “book of my heart” for a while. Ever since I started this project I knew there was something special about it. Something different from all of the things I’d worked on before. I eventually came to the conclusion that this was because, in writing this book, I was asking a lot of raw, honest questions. To have people respond so positively to this is encouraging!

**How would you describe your writing style?**

I like to settle in to scenes. Discover those small details that evoke mood. I use a lot of descriptive, lyrical language.

**What are some of your favorite authors?**

I adore Laini Taylor’s books. I’m also a Maggie Stiefvater fangirl. And of course there are the staples: J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, T.S. Eliot. (Wow, I just noticed they all have initials for their first names. Maybe I should try that. R.M. Graudin.)

++++++++++ And care for some quickies? ++++++++++

First class or back of the bus?

I’ve always been a roughing it sort of traveler. (If you ever see an authoress arriving to a conference with a bright blue hiking backpack for a suitcase, that’s me.) But the husband and I got upgraded to first class for our flight to Beijing and I have to say, it was very, very nice. Very nice.

Beach or Mountains?

Beach. I love the vastness of the waters and the sand between my toes.

Paperback, Hard Cover or eBook?

Hardcovers. Even though they conspire to break my back every time I move houses.

Dr. Who or Buffy?

I’m a Whovian through and through.

Coffee or Tea?

Black coffee in the mornings. Herbal tea at night.

Q&A With Author Ryan Graudin

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 30, 2014
Genres: Action & Adventure, Young Adult
Amazon Goodreads
730. That's how many days I've been trapped.18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out.DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

There are three rules in the Walled City: Run fast. Trust no one. Always carry your knife. Right now, my life depends completely on the first. Run, run, run.

Jin, Mei Yee, and Dai all live in the Walled City, a lawless labyrinth run by crime lords and overrun by street gangs. Teens there run drugs or work in brothels—or, like Jin, hide under the radar. But when Dai offers Jin a chance to find her lost sister, Mei Yee, she begins a breathtaking race against the clock to escape the Walled City itself.

About Ryan Graudin


Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at

The Giveaway

(1) Grand prize pack: It includes: A finished copy of THE WALLED CITY, rice candy, a miniature lucky cat, a traditional Chinese paper cutout of a dragon, and a pamphlet from the real Walled City Park! US ONLY

(9) winners will receive: A finished copy of THE WALLED CITY. US ONLY.


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The Tour Stops
#READPINK 2014 Penguin Campaign & Blog Tour

#READPINK 2014 Penguin Campaign & Blog Tour

#READPINK 2014 Penguin Campaign & Blog Tour

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,
Penguin announces READ PINK® 2014 campaign and Parajunkee’s View is proud to show-off their titles.

 The goal of the Read Pink campaign is to spread awareness and support research done by The Breast Cancer Foundation. The following are participating authors in the Read Pink campaign.

Read Pink A Hundred Summers Hi Res

Memorial Day, 1938

Lily Dane has returned to Seaview, Rhode Island, where her family has summered for generations. It’s an escape not only from New York’s social scene but from a heartbreak that still haunts her. Here, among the seaside community that has embraced her since childhood, she finds comfort in the familiar rituals of summer.

But this summer is different. Budgie and Nick Greenwald—Lily’s former best friend and former fiancé—have arrived, too, and Seaview’s elite are abuzz. Under Budgie’s glamorous influence, Lily is seduced into a complicated web of renewed friendship and dangerous longing.

As a cataclysmic hurricane churns north through the Atlantic, and uneasy secrets slowly reveal themselves, Lily and Nick must confront an emotional storm that will change their worlds forever…

Find out more


“Every life lost to breast cancer leaves behind a hole that can never be filled again: a wife, a mother, a sister, a friend, an aunt, a grandmother. I’m so grateful for organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation for their efforts to find a cure for this devastating disease, and honored to support breast cancer awareness, detection, and research through Penguin’s READ PINK program in 2014. With your help, we can move closer to the day when breast cancer leaves behind only survivors.”

—Beatriz Williams


Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
“To all the moms and daughters, wives and sisters, lovers and friends, Read Pink is here for you and yours. Help support breast cancer awareness and the strong, brave women who fight or will fight this disease and Read Pink in October.”

Sea Swept is the first novel in a stunning quartet of four men bound by the love of the extraordinary couple who took them in and raised them as brothers. Now grown and living on their own, the Quinn brothers must return to the family home on the Maryland shore, to honor their father’s last request.

A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight…

After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth’s sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth’s fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together—or tear them apart…

Find out more


Karen White, The Time Between
“Since 1989, death rates from breast cancer have been decreasing due to earlier detection and improved treatment because of the efforts of organizations like The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Books have always been an important part of my life, and I am honored that my book will be part of Penguin’s Read Pink program that supports breast cancer awareness and research through reading. It is my greatest hope that through efforts like this we might find a cure within my lifetime.”

Eleanor Murray will always remember her childhood on Edisto Island, where her late father, a local shrimper, shared her passion for music. Now her memories of him are all that tempers the guilt she feels over the accident that put her sister in a wheelchair—and the feelings she harbors for her sister’s husband.

To help support her sister, Eleanor works at a Charleston investment firm during the day, but she escapes into her music, playing piano at a neighborhood bar. Until the night her enigmatic boss walks in and offers her a part-time job caring for his elderly aunt, Helena, back on Edisto. For Eleanor, it’s a chance to revisit the place where she was her happiest—and to share her love of music with grieving Helena, whose sister recently died under mysterious circumstances.

An island lush with sweetgrass and salt marshes, Edisto has been a peaceful refuge for Helena, who escaped with her sister from war-torn Hungary in 1944. The sisters were well-known on the island, where they volunteered in their church and community. But now Eleanor will finally learn the truth about their past: secrets that will help heal her relationship with her own sister—and set Eleanor free….

Find out more


Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
“I am so delighted to be included in the Read Pink campaign again this year with Perfect Timing being featured, along with so many other great books, to raise funds for breast cancer research. I can remember when a diagnosis of breast cancer was often equivalent to a death sentence. Nowadays, the survival rates have increased greatly, and I personally know women who have prevailed over this terrible disease. Sadly, I’ve also known a few women who lost the battle. So I call upon all of you to join ranks with me and countless other women in a war to defeat breast cancer. ‘Read Pink! Buy books bearing the Read Pink logo as gifts for the women you love.’ By standing together as sisters, we have it within our power to make a huge difference!”

Tragedy has struck the Harrigans—Quincy’s beloved sister-in-law Loni is gravely ill and nearing death. Quincy, like his brothers, feels helpless to save her, and the clock is ticking. Then, with perfect timing, a winsome red-haired woman named Ceara O’Ceallaigh mysteriously appears on Quincy’s property and insists that Loni can be cured. Only Quincy, she says, as the sole remaining Harrigan bachelor, can make it happen—by marrying Ceara.

To Quincy, Ceara is a charming and quite likely deranged spinner of dreams who can’t prove she’s telling the truth. But how can he pass up any attempt to restore Loni to health? Against all better judgment, he decides to marry Ceara. Maybe he’s making the worst mistake of his life. Or maybe he’s opening himself up to possibilities that defy explanation…and will send him on a miraculous journey toward enough love to last forever.

Find out more

Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes
“This is the time of year when we celebrate the progress that has been made in the battle against breast cancer and acknowledge the work that lies ahead. No, we aren’t there yet. There’s a long way to go. The greatest weapon we have to fight this disease is research and research costs money. That is why this breast cancer awareness campaign is so important and why I am proud to participate.”

A suspicious death. A ghost in a mirror. The new Dark Legacy novel from the New York Times bestselling author known for crafting stories of burning passion and chilling suspense…

The death of her friend and mentor, Evelyn Ballinger, brings psychic counselor Gwen Frazier back to the small town of Wilby, Oregon, and brings back memories she would rather forget. Two years ago, a killer stalked the members of one of Ballinger’s research studies—including Gwen, who survived while two others didn’t. Now, she’s sure that Ballinger’s death is related.

Sent by a friend to help Gwen, psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith arrives in Wilby barely in control of his own talent and his own life, and haunted by urgent dreams. His attraction to Gwen is primal, but there are secrets he must keep to protect himself from surrendering to her completely, even as their investigation draws them into dreamscapes, into decades of deception and into the paranormal fires of a desire too strong to resist…

Find out more


Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
“I’m so thrilled to be part of the Read Pink effort to help raise awareness and funding for breast cancer research. I hear frequently from romance readers who tell me my books and those of other romance authors have helped them get through breast cancer treatment. I want to hear from fewer of them in the future. I want to hear they took our books on fabulous vacations rather than treatments. Please Read Pink in October to support all the courageous women fighting this disease and to fund critical research. Thank you for Reading Pink!”

For the Abbott siblings, the Green Mountain state has always been an idyllic place to call home. But it isn’t until they open themselves up to love that they’ll truly discover how fulfilling life can be…

Almost seven years after losing her husband in Iraq, Hannah Abbott Guthrie isn’t sure she’s ready—or able—to move on, but the attentions of a lifelong friend are making her think about it for the first time. The memory of the sweet kiss she shared with Nolan Roberts hasn’t strayed far from her thoughts, but she also fears that pursuing something with him would mean betraying her husband’s memory.

Nolan has loved Hannah for years, but he’d been giving her the space she needed to heal from her devastating loss. Now, when an opportunity arises to show her how he feels, Nolan can’t resist, but he knows earning her love will take more than a kiss. Somehow he has to prove to Hannah that finding love twice in a lifetime is possible—and well worth risking her heart.

Find out more

Full List of 2014 Participating Authors:
Jojo Moyes, The Last Letter from your Lover
Karen White, The Time Between
Nora Roberts, Sea Swept and The Witness
Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker
Beatriz Williams, A Hundred Summers
Wendy Wax, While We Were Watching Downton Abbey
Catherine Anderson, Perfect Timing
Marie Force, I Want to Hold Your Hand
Janet Chapman, The Heart of a Hero
Lisa Gardner, MacNamara’s Woman
Jayne Ann Krentz, Dream Eyes

Mark your calendars and remember to join in the conversation with @BerkleyRomance and @PenguinGroupUSA on Twitter in October.  Make sure to use the hashtag #ReadPink!

For more information about the Read Pink initiative and to view a complete list of the participating retail outlets, please visit

More info about the Read Pink Campaign:

What’s black and white and pink all over?  The initiative by Penguin Random House called Read Pink® in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)!

Today the scientific community has left behind the “one-size-fits-all” breast cancer treatment to emerge with targeted, more effective therapies. As a result, after remaining stagnant for more than 50 years, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by 30 percent. The Read Pink® initiative by Penguin Random House is proud to be part of this exciting new chapter in the fight against breast cancer, supporting the bold research of The Breast Cancer Foundation® (BCRF), while leveraging its passionate readers to help increase awareness and education about the disease. This literary embrace of a life-saving cause has resulted in nearly 1.5 million best-selling novels shipped with Read Pink seals and information about BCRF across all five years of the promotion.

Penguin Random House is thrilled to partner once again this year with BCRF, as 91 cents of every dollar spent by BCRF is directed towards breast cancer research and awareness programs.

The $25,000 donation that Penguin Random House contributes, regardless of sales, provides vital funds to support the mission of BCRF.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Penguin Random House’s Read Pink® editions, we are featuring a few participating authors and what Read Pink® means to them…

Participating Bloggers:
Please support the blogs taking part in this special, Read Pink® Spotlight Tour!

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