Review + Author Q&A: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi

Review

25203675Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 342
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Blog Tour)
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Synopsis from Goodreads:

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

my rambles

Special thanks to the St. Martin’s Griffin for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour and providing me with an advance copy of the book for review!

What a book! I could tell from the moment I heard about The Star-Touched Queen that it was going to be a book that I’d love. And it was. Roshani Chokshi crafts a beautiful love story of epic proportions, set in a unique and magical world like none other.

The story of Maya is one that unravels slowly, much like the threads in tapestry of fate. We meet her as a girl from one life, but as the story continues, we get to delve into her many reincarnations, and discover her deep connection with Amar. The decisions the two make will break your heart and then weave it back together again.

The incredible magic of the Otherworld, Naraka, the Night Bazaar, and all of the beings within make for a world that is fascinating, frightening, and amazing. In great contrast to Maya’s original home, Bharata, with it’s lush middle-eastern and Indian culture, and their superstitious beliefs in horoscopes and legends.

Fast-paced and never not exciting, The Star-Touched Queen will take you on an adventure that you won’t believe. Filled with magic, romance, incredible descriptions, and rich writing, this book will not disappoint. Fans of The Wrath and the Dawn and A Court of Thorns and Roses will love delving into this wonderful story!

7


Q&A with Roshani Chokshi!

What/Who were your biggest inspirations for the characters in The Star-Touched Queen? Which character in The Star-Touched Queen did you personally relate to the most and why? For Maya and Amar, they were inspired by the Hades/Persephone. But I imagined those two mythological characters a little more differently. In Maya’s case, I knew that ambition was her defining trait, but I wasn’t sure whether that would manifest as seeking emotional or material fulfillment. Turns out, it was a bit of both. Kamala was inspired by my love of fiendish side characters like Mogget from Garth Nix’s SABRIEL and is probably the character I relate to the most. Her sense of humor can be a little abrasive. But she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. Other people in TSTQ were inspired by a collection of people whom I met/knew/heard of growing up.

Continue reading “Review + Author Q&A: THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi”

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Review, Author Q&A, and Giveaway: SANCTUARY BAY by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

Review

25663880Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: January 19th, 2016
Series: N/A
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Blog Tour)
Genre(s): Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Synopsis from Goodreads:

In this genre-bending YA thriller, will Sarah Merson’s shiny new prep school change her life forever or bring it to a dark and sinister end?

When Sarah Merson receives the opportunity of a lifetime to attend the most elite prep school in the country-Sanctuary Bay Academy-it seems almost too good to be true. But, after years of bouncing from foster home to foster home, escaping to its tranquil setting, nestled deep in Swans Island, couldn’t sound more appealing. Swiftly thrown into a world of privilege and secrets, Sarah quickly realizes finding herself noticed by class charmer, Nate, as well as her roommate’s dangerously attentive boyfriend, Ethan, are the least of her worries. When her roommate suddenly goes missing, she finds herself in a race against time, not only to find her, but to save herself and discover the dark truth behind Sanctuary Bay’s glossy reputation.

In this genre-bending YA thriller, Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz, Sarah’s new school may seem like an idyllic temple of learning, but as she unearths years of terrifying history and manipulation, she discovers this “school” is something much more sinister.

my rambles

Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of the book for review, and for the opportunity to be on the blog tour!

I’ve mentioned before that I have a love for books set at boarding schools. There’s always mystery, intrigue, and thrilling plotlines! Sanctuary Bay did not disappoint on those aspects, and in fact, there’s a completely unexpected element to the story that made me like it even more!

The prologue of the book sets the ball rolling in a flashback scene that is filled with action, and leaves you wondering what the HECK just happened. It’s quite a way to start off a story! With Chapter One, the story flashes forward to the main character, Summer, who is now in foster care after her parents’ murder. She’s on her way to Sanctuary Bay Academy, an isolated and mysterious institution where she’ll stay for the rest of her high school career.

Continue reading “Review, Author Q&A, and Giveaway: SANCTUARY BAY by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz”

INTERVIEW with B.T. Gottfred, author of FOREVER FOR A YEAR + a GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Forever for a Year! I had the amazing chance to interview the author, B.T. Gottfred about his debut novel, and get some insight on the book! I’ve already reviewed the book on the blog here, so be sure to check that out after you’ve read this post to hear my thoughts!


INTERVIEW

First, congratulations on the release of your debut novel and thanks so much for being on the blog today! For those that have yet to read Forever for a Year, can you describe what the book is about and why they should pick it up?
Forever for a Year is about two freshmen – Carolina and Trevor – who meet on the first day of school and the amazing, crazy, terrifying chemical connection they feel almost at once. The book alternates between Carolina and Trevor chapters as they go from strangers to a couple to beyond. The book is for anyone who likes really, really intense character voices. It taps into every tiny thought both of them have. If you download the first twenty pages for free online, you’ll know if it’s a book for you almost right away. (And if it’s not, no worries. I’ll write another that hopefully you like better;)
Forever for a Year is a book about first experiences and being young. What inspired you to write about such an important and impressionable time in a person’s life?
Old people (i.e. anyone over 20;) might not all admit this, but your first love (and often the first sexual experiences that accompany first love) never, ever leaves you. They inform almost every future relationships and relationships inform all aspects of your life. So I think the better question is why did it take me so long to write about first love?;)

Were any of the events in the book based off of real ones from your life? And are any of the characters inspired by those that you knew and/or loved at that age?
Yes, I definitely pulled from the emotional adventures I had when I was first falling in love 100 years ago but I also had to turn the book over to Carolina and Trevor so that they could experience whatever they needed to experience authentically without me getting in the way. 

Forever for a Year is told from both Carolina and Trevor’s point of views. Whose perspective did you enjoy writing from the most, and who did you find more difficult to write?
I have just as balanced of a feminine side as I do a masculine side so neither one was easier than the other. But there were days or parts of the book that were harder. For instance, Carolina’s scenes with her father were sometimes very hard for me because he is such a complex guy and she has such a complex relationship with him. Same goes for Trevor and his mother. I also hated writing scenes where the characters were making TERRIBLE choices. I love them but sometimes you just have to let your characters do bad things so you can see how they grow (or don’t grow) from those choices.

I found the ending of Forever for a Year to be extremely bittersweet. What were you hoping readers would feel during and after they read the book?
This may sound strange but I don’t want my readers to feel anything in particular. Feel something, yes, but not one thing for all people. I just want to be loyal to what Carolina and Trevor’s story had to be. Every person is going to be reading this book with different things behind and ahead of them. So it could mean something differently to every person. All I really hope for is the reader to end the book feeling, “those characters felt real and their choices felt real.”

Thanks so much for being here on the blog today! Any last words to share with readers about Forever for a Year, and any advice to give readers who may being going through similar situations as Carolina and Trevor?
First off, thank you to everyone for (1) being a human being. It’s a tough job so I appreciate you sticking with it;) (2) being a human being with a passion for books.
I could give a bunch of bad advice – trust me, I have plenty – but the only good advice I can every give anyone is ‘listen to your gut and follow it… no one knows you better than you.’
good luck to everyone in everything — b.t.g.


About the Book

When Carolina and Trevor meet on their first day of school, something draws them to each other. They gradually share first kisses, first touches, first sexual experiences. When they’re together, nothing else matters. But one of them will make a choice, and the other a mistake, that will break what they thought was unbreakable. Both will wish that they could fall in love again for the first time . . . but first love, by definition, can’t happen twice.

Told in Carolina and Trevor’s alternating voices, this is an up-close-and-personal story of two teenagers falling in love for the first time, and discovering it might not last forever.


Giveaway!

The lovely publisher is offering up a copy of FOREVER FOR A YEAR for you to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


You can follow the rest of the tour HERE!xo