The Giveaway for The Blessed sets have been picked and we are happy to announce our TWO lucky winners!
Thanks for entering and happy reading!
The Giveaway for The Blessed sets have been picked and we are happy to announce our TWO lucky winners!
Thanks for entering and happy reading!
By the time you finish reading this review you will be online purchasing both ‘Pivot Point‘ and Kasie’s next book in this duo ‘Split Second‘ which hit bookstores Feb 12th, 2014!
Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
So, Addie is a Searcher. She lives in a safe community where everyone has different abilities. Her mom is a Persuasive, meaning she can persuade others to do as she wants, and her father is a Discerner, meaning he is able to see truth from lies.
Addie’s big decision that Pivot Point is based around her parent’s decision to divorce. Her parent’s give her the choice on which parent she would like to live with. If she lives with her mom, Addie will stay in the home she grew up in surrounded by her friends and in the same school. However, if she moves to live with her dad she will be living the safe community and unable to talk about her abilities with anyone.
Addie starts off with her mom and uses her Search ability to see how her life would be if she chose to stay there. She also uses her Search ability to see how her life would be if she goes out of the community to live with her father. These choices are told in alternate chapters.
At first, it was hard to know which future I hoped for more but after 2 chapters of each I figured out what I hoped would happen. I won’t tell you which one since I do not want to spoil any of the fun for you!
I loved meeting Trevor and was dismayed with Addie’s friendship with Laila. It’s great that she has such a dramatic friend but I would be happy for her to leave Laila behind.
I’m really excited to find out what happens in Split Seccond which came out this week. GO and BUY both books!
One would hope that if you are visiting our review for ‘Passionaries’ (The Blessed #2) by Tonya Hurley you have read ‘Precious Blood’ (The Blessed #1) but even if you haven’t we have for you a spoiler free review.
Agnes, Cecelia, and Lucy watched as Sebastian sacrificed himself for what he believed in. Will the girls trust that their destiny as saints and martyrs and perform the miracles as Sebastian instructed? Or lose faith in themselves and each other in his absence? Time is running out for them to make a decision, and the fate of the world lies in the balance.
The end of ‘Precious Blood’ was a shock but also completely fitting for the storyline Tonya has woven with Agnes, Cecilia, Lucy and Sebastian.In Precious Blood, we met Dr. Frey. Fear not, for Dr. Frey is BACK and the creep(y) factor is still there. He continues to wreak havoc between the girls. While I do not want to be a patient of Dr. Frey, I do love what he brings to the storyline.
As with ‘Precious Blood’, death is not in short supply. I am definitely looking forward to book 3 and am wondering who we will end up with at the end. After the tough situations the girls have lived through I am wondering what life afterward will look like. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Prepare to fall in love with a young boy named Jude. No, I am not giving out information about him because YOU should go read this book!
Not only do we learn more history of the Saints thanks to Dr. Frey’s intrigues, we also go behind the scenes of the Catholic Church. Reading ‘Passionaries’ inspired me to go online to find photos and floor plans for the Vatican. I enjoyed reading up a bit on what different areas were built for and how they are currently being used. One area I looked into is the Borgia which is included in my Q&A with Tonya in the previous post. Go and check out the picture!
One of my favorite parts about The Blessed series are the illustrated pages that have character hymns, elegies and visions. In fact, I admit to going back and reading them twice as they are so intricately written. Plus I am always trying to figure out if they are dreams or actually happening.
While I haven’t talked about what Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy they are of course the most important part of the story. However, I want you to discover, as I did, how hard it will be to put down this book while you continue to learn more about their backgrounds and what they are up against in ‘Passionaries’.
Stop by our Giveaway post and enter to WIN copies of ‘Precious Blood’ (book 1) and ‘Passionaries’ (book 2). Then check out our Photo based post about the characters! Plus check out the Q&A post. To learn more stop by the newly updated ‘The Blessed’ webpage, Tonya’s Webpage and THEN go follow Tonya on Twitter. You know you want to.
To prepare myself for Tonya Hurley’s new book ‘Passionaries’ which is book 2 in The Blessed series I re-read ‘Precious Blood’ on a trip I took recently. I admit I had ‘Passionaries’ with me as lovely folks at Simon & Schuster sent me a copy so I read both books in one weekend. Since I was on an airplane and had a TON of questions about the books I created a list on my iPad to ask Tonya later. Shout out to Tonya for being willing to answer my very random questions.
When I was re-reading ‘Precious Blood’ I picked up on the fact that you use numbers at the beginning of each chapter for each girl: 3 Agnes, 7 Lucy and 13 Cecilia. Since it is throughout both books I wondered if it was related to theBible or from something else you had read about the Saints. (Example photo from ‘Passionaries’ on right)
I wanted to use numbers like the Bible so I chose 13, 7 and 3. All considered holy numbers. Cecilia is 13 because she’s badass, Lucy is 7 because she’s known as Lucky Lucy, and Agnes is 3 to represent a trinity – which, other than the 3 girls themselves, will be revealed.
How did you come up with the special pages for the specific characters Hymns, visions, and elegies that are throughout the series?
I wanted to incorporate some aspects of the character’s sainthood that would be very personal and relevant to the story but not part of the narrative. Also, it’s a way for the characters to act out their feelings – perfect for love scenes and fantasies.
The headpiece on page 104 of ‘Passionaries’ for Lucy is the headpiece from ‘Precious Blood’. Did you find one like it somewhere online or in person or did you dream it up?
I basically dreamed it up. I wanted to combine something I thought would be fashion forward, since Lucy is all about style in many ways, and also a piece that suggested a relic. A piece of art. The bones and pearls seemed to make sense to me. Beauty, death and immortality. Three big themes that run through the series.
Sister Dorothea and Agnes discuss the phenomena of Bilocation. How did you learn about that? (pg 170/1)
In my early research for the book on the legends of saints and martyrs. There were certain special abilities attributed to these men and women and bilocation was one of them. I thought it would be interesting to endow the characters in the Blessed with some of these powers or at least the suggestion of them.
Jude speaks to Agnes every time he sees her and yet Agnes has the feeling something is different about him. Sister Dorothea tells her that he is ecstatic. What does that mean? (Page 171)
It can mean many things. An ecstatic is someone who undergoes mystical experiences and who often believes that the truth is revealed to them in visions.
On page 200 of ‘Passionaries’ we end up at the Borgia Apartment. Can you tell me what a Borgia Apartment is?
It is one of several Papal apartments in the Vatican.
Did you interview any clergy or was all of your research conducted via books and the internet for the background and saints of this series?
I was raised Catholic so I had some idea about the lives of the Saints and the traditions that surround them but most of my background information came from research. I’ve had the opportunity to chat with several priests since I wrote the Blessed and that has been interesting to say the least.
Where did you find the Latin phrases and how did you fit them in? A bit like the chicken and the egg question. Had you read them during your research and then add them in or did you write the story and go back later to add in the phrases once you had them translated?
They come from several places. Some Biblical, some not. Bits of prayers, poems and other things I’ve read and researched that fit that moment.’I felt strongly that I needed to connect this story, which is a very gritty and modern day fantasy, and the characters to the ancient and mystical aspects of the martyr traditions. The use of Latin felt like one way to do that.
We are so thrilled Tonya could answer my burning questions about The Blessed series. I can not wait until Book 3 is out!!
Stop by our Giveaway post and enter to WIN copies of ‘Precious Blood’ (book 1) and ‘Passionaries’ (book 2). Then check out our Photo based post about the characters! To learn more stop by the newly updated ‘The Blessed’ webpage, Tonya’s Webpage and THEN go follow Tonya on Twitter. You know you want to.
As I read ‘The Blessed’ and ‘Passionaries’ much of my daydreaming was spent attempting to picture the amazing clothing, headpieces and surroundings I was immersed in…along with Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy. I wondered if Tonya had drawn up visions of the headpieces I read so much about. Wanted to tour the church mentioned so frequently throughout the books and yes I wanted to go downstairs to the sacred room where….oh right NO SPOILERS HERE!
So a few months ago when I was rummaging through my friends Pinterest boards and came across the board Tonya Hurley had labelled as ‘The Blessed’ I was intrigued. I’m not sure how long I spent clicking on each photo and staring at the detail and beauty of the fashions as well as the gothic beauty before I realized I had to ask Tonya about her inspiration and use of the Pinterest board.
Tonya had this to say, ‘I am very inspired by fashion. Music. Life. So the fashion aspects of my boards help inspire me!’
All of the images below are pulled from Tonya’s Pinterest page and are clickable directly back to her board.
Starting with this simple yet complete image (above) of how I imagine Sebastian at the church. Although I admit to picturing him slightly less clothed. The elegance found among the images Tonya has pinned always has me checking back to see what she has found and added.
Moving along to Cecilia, for me to narrow down the photos to a reasonable amount was difficult. I admit Cecilia is, after two books, my absolute favorite of the three young ladies. I want to rock out and whip my attitude around as she is
so succinctly able to do. *waits for Tonya’s brother in law to call about setting up guitar lessons* …
As I wait, let’s talk about how I adore the cover design for ’Passionaries’ and how it relates back to Cecilia.
The purple and black are what I have come to think of as her personal colors. This black/white photo is exactly how I picture Cecilia. When she has to deal with Dr. Frey or any of the naysayers I imagine this to be her facial expression. Also, awesome headpiece for the win!
Now truly when I picture her dressing for a rock performance the veil I want to see her wearing is actually this photo to the left!
This black strand veil with a beautifully designed head piece inspires head banging and flailing all over the stage as Cecilia shreds her guitar. Bonus: Subtle ability to hide her face making her appear even more secretive and desired by the crowd.
Now when Cecilia is rocking out her nails are torn up but for some reason I couldn’t let go of her starting off with beautiful nails that reflect the love she has for Sebastian. I found this photo and they really only work for her.
I am a big fan of Taylor Momsen. In fact when I went to Warped Tour 2010, the big reason I went was to see her. It was most definitely the highlight of my day! The bonus was the signing tent after as I love meeting artists and authors! It was one of the few music acts I wanted to see. My friend B-tez would tell you I dragged her to that set…and I figured she & my other friends owed me for making me spend the rest of my day seeing their choices…haha So I’m clearly taking a bit of artistic license here when I point out that my next few picks are not only clothes I can see Taylor wearing but also Cecilia. I wonder if Tonya agrees that they could be friends? Um..you know if Cecilia was not a fictional character that is…
So above are the boot/leggings that I love….and really why hasn’t anyone bought those for me? You know..maybe don’t answer that. I admit I found two pairs of boots that combined would be PERFECT…so here they are below! I admit the benefit of having curved blades that you could grab quickly, and use to fight off Dr. Frey or anyone else, would be a great benefit to Cecilia.
This was probably my favorite find on Tonya’s Pinterest board after those leggings above…this Articulated Hood would be so beneficial to Cecilia for slipping out of the club when the crowd goes crazy after her sets. I can also imagine her ducking down alleys and into the church with the stealth I know only Cecilia has.
Now I know my adoration for Cecilia has probably overwhelmed you but I do have a few picks for Agnes and Lucy. Ready?
For Agnes, viriginal, pure and with an inner strength to go against all who rail against her I figured the items I felt drawn to would illustrate the quiet strength that surprises those who do not truly know her.
Now this is the beautiful floral headpiece I imagine Agnes pairing with the white dress above along with the make-up that I imagine Lucy would do while they are sitting in the pews of the church getting to know each other or catching up on what has happened in each other’s lives.
For this dress and gold headpiece to the right, I think Agnes would be the first to take scissors to the bottom two or three layers to shorten it in order to climb out her bedroom window. The gold headpiece would be added later once she reached the church. The man she is stepping on is one of those horrid cops from ‘The Blessed’. Okay so technically a cop would be dressed but…just GO WITH IT people.
Of course with Lucy being the It Girl of the group, I couldn’t imagine picking out anything but the following blatant HERE I AM gown for her. I wonder how long after Lucy shows up at the club with photos posted online this dress would sell out? This dress is also on my wish list for someone to buy me.
Oh did I mention I picked out a headpiece appropriate with some edits for Lucy?
This red rose headpiece is not quite how I imagine it. I picture the roses being dipped in gold around the edges and the long part hanging down would be turned around to the back of her head. Really this outfit is the perfect outfit for that disastrous night out Lucy is bound to have as she attempts to distance herself from Cecilia, Agnes and thoughts of Sebastian.
Of course her make up would need to be spectacular as only Lucy can pull off. So to the left is how I know her eyes would look. Only a hunch here that the lips would have to be a bold ruby red to match the dress above. Quite possibly her hair would be braided in a crown around her head and her ears would have dangling ruby red earrings.
So which item(s) are you favorite? Did I not pick something on Tonya’s Pinterest page that you think fits Agnes, Cecilia or Lucy better? Leave me a link so I can check it out!
As soon as I found out Tonya was editing a trailer for Passionaries I emailed her to ask when I could see it. If you have yet to watch the trailer for ‘Precious Blood’ you should go view it first. Here’s the linkety link a doo.
Not only did I adore the trailers that have been for The Blessed series but I LOVE the music. When you go to watch the trailer for the first Blessed book there are family connections at work there people. Check out the music and see if you can figure out what I mean.
We are thrilled to be hosting a giveaway for TWO sets of The Blessed books. So we will be drawing for two winners who will receive ‘Precious Blood’ and ‘Passionaries’. So you have NO excuse not to read them as soon as they arrive at your house.
Fill out the Tonya Hurley – ‘The Blessed’ series Contest Entry Form and tell us which of the 3 Saints featured in The Blessed series are you most like?
We will be selecting winners at random.
Two winners will each receive ONE of the following prize packs:
All entries are due by midnight (PT) on Friday, February 7th.
Questions? Leave ‘em in the comments & we’ll reply!
Today we honor and celebrate the life of middle grade author, Barbara Park. Thank you for giving us our beloved heroine with a “big, fat mouth,” Junie B. Jones. You will forever be in our hearts!
Post from Publisher’s Weekly:
Children’s author Barbara Park, long appreciated for her stories that blend humor and heart, and best-known as the creator of irrepressible kindergartner Junie B. Jones, died on Friday, November 15, after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
Park was born Barbara Tidswell in Mount Holly, N.J. in 1947 and grew up there. She attended Rider College and, after transferring, she graduated from the University of Alabama in 1969. She was married later that same year and she and her husband Richard Park had two sons. She was a longtime resident of Scottsdale, Ariz.
Park has said that her writing career was largely born as a way to express her sense of humor. In high school she developed a love for reading and, “I had also begun to find myself quite amusing (though certainly not everyone agreed with me on that one),” she wrote in a Random House biography that answers questions from children. She had initially studied to become a high school teacher though she did not pursue the profession. Park tried her hand at writing a “funny” book while she was at home with her young sons.
Operation: Dump the Chump was the first manuscript that Park sent out to publishers and after three rejections from various companies, Knopf acquired the book, along with two others. Don’t Make Me Smile (1981) was Park’s first published novel, followed by Operation: Dump the Chump (1982) and Skinnybones (1982). Her novel Mick Harte Was Here (1995) was hailed in part for its message about the importance of wearing bicycle helmets.
She continued to write warmly received middle grade novels and in 1992 launched her bestselling early chapter series with Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. The series celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and boasts 29 titles and more than 55 million copies sold in North America alone. Reflecting on that milestone, Park told PW in an interview: “For 20 years I’ve gotten to laugh my way through my work,” she says. “For me, that’s a dream job.”
Fried eggs, toast & coffee
Go-to karaoke song?
“Rock of Ages” by Def Leppard or “Back in Black” by AC/DC
Favorite snack food?
Hot fudge sundae
Guilty pleasure TV show?
Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries
Song that will get people dancing at my wedding reception?
“Kiss with a Fist” by Florence + the Machine
Find out more about Kami and the Legion series at: www.kamigarcia.com & www.TheLegionSeries.com, and on Twitter @Kami Garcia & @TheLegionSeries. If you haven’t seen the videos and MIMEs on the Legion Tumblr, you’re missing out – TheLegionSeries.tumblr.com.
Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times & international bestselling coauthor of the Beautiful Creatures Series and the author of UNBREAKABLE, the first book in the Legion Series, releasing on October 1, 2013. Kami is fascinated by the paranormal, and she’s very superstitious. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found watching disaster movies, listening to Soundgarden, or drinking Diet Coke. She lives in Maryland with her family, and their dogs Spike and Oz (named after characters from the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Fall is officially here! And like many of you, I like to kick off the season with a good, cozy book. My current delicious fall read is The Magicians Tower, by Shawn Thomas Odyssey.
A sequel to the debut novel, The Wizard of Dark Street, Odyssey picks back up with his charming heroine, Oona Crate, and along with his lyrical descriptions, takes his readers through the ultimate wizard challenge.
My official review of The Magicians Tower will be published next Monday, but for those of you wondering what book to get your child for Fall (or if you’re currently looking for an appetizing Middle Grade book to sink you teeth into) I wanted to offer a sneak peak.
Throughout the month of October I will be posting/reviewing more Fall favorites (and new releases) so stay-tuned!
The Magicians Tower official synopsis:
Despite her extraordinary magical abilities and sleuthing skills, Oona Crate’s detective agency has failed to take off. But a new challenge captures her attention—The Magician’s Tower Contest.
Held every five years, no one has ever completed the array of dangerous tasks (such as racing on flying carpets or defeating a horde of angry apes). As the competition commences, a case emerges. A rare punchbowl—one with unparalleled magical powers—has disappeared from the carnival surrounding the Magician’s Tower. If Oona can find the culprit, she could use the bowl to answer her question about her mother’s and sister’s tragic deaths so many years ago—was she really at fault?
Full of magic, mystery, and fun, THE MAGICIAN’S TOWER continues the wonderful adventures of Oona Crate.