Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blog Tour, Tens List, and Giveaway: January Black (Wendy S. Russo)

Tour Schedule
January Black Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma. More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple. What was January Black? It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff. 

Praise Refreshingly intelligent and loads of fun! I lost a few hours as I read this book. It's a Young Adult novel that is refreshingly and astonishingly intelligent, and the love story is perfectly played out. ~Christine Ashworth, Amazon Review The mystery was intriguing - I loved how Wendy Russo weaved in all her secrets throughout the book, how she incorporated just enough to keep you reading, while never actually divulging much of anything. I was guessing for most of it and that's pretty hard to make me do. ~Julie, Clean Teen Reads Wendy Russo has created a masterpiece. ~Ivan Amberlake, Author   Book Trailer

Author Wendy S. Russo Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.  


Top Ten Favorite Characters

Oh wow. How do I choose only 10? 

1. Kara "Starbuck" Thrace. Battlestar Galactica. -- I love her many, many flaws. While not beautiful, she is pure passion. A candle burning at both ends. Underneath, she has a side of her that is pure love, and when it surfaces, it scares her to death. The creators of BSG rounded Starbuck out so well, she's almost touchable. 

2. Batman/Bruce Wayne -- Again, a horribly flawed individual, hunting down criminals as surrogates for his personal demons. 

3. Pollyanna -- Who can read Pollyanna and not love that little girl at the end?

4. Mara Jade -- She is my very, very favorite character of the expanded Star Wars Universe. Beautiful, independent, driven. Try as she might, she can't escape that she's Luke Skywalker's soulmate.

5. Luka -- He is a secondary character of Kate Evangelista's "Taste," which is one of my five favorite books ever. He's careless, playful, enigmatic, a stark contrast to Demetri, the lead male in the book. While both young men are politically important, Luka wields his power with incredible delicately at times and like a whip at others. It's a beautiful thing to read.

6. Benedict/Beatrice -- I mention them together because that's how they shine. Shakespeare created such a brilliant, snarky pair in these too that I think every snarky pair to follow should necessarily be compared to them. 

7. Maleficent -- The big bad from Sleeping Beauty. She's awe inspiring. 

8. Willow -- Buffy the Vampire Slayer's BFF. She's just cool. I love her to pieces.

9. Daniel Jackson -- The archeologist from Stargate SG-1. He's reads hierogyphics. He speaks 23 languages. He carries a gun. And he's Ascended, twice. 

10. Alice Cullen & Jasper Hale. I think they should get a spin-off. I adore them.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The collapse of BearStearns in 2008. I remember thinking at the time, with some frustration, that there's no where on this Earth left to go. When our ancestors bristled at religious oppression in northern Europe, they left. They got on boats and they braved the ocean to start over here. (My family has Native American ancestry. I know that chapter of our history is soiled, but it's unrelated to my story.) 

While the financial system teetered, it occurred to me that short of endearing ourselves to a lost tribe in the Amazon or falling off the grid and cutting all of our ties to modern civilization, there really are no unsettled provinces left. Every inch of land on this planet is claimed by one government, sometimes two. Also, American consumers are responsible for 20% of the world's economy. As bad as things may seem in America, there's really now where better, just different.

It's not a fun answer, but that was the spark. BearStearns.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

Hadrian. He doesn't have a lot of time in the novel, but he was fun to write.

Which came first, the title or the novel?
The title. I've love it from the moment I saw in on my screen.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There is a scene where Matty is very upset about something. Hadrian talks to him about a time in his live when he suffered through a similar situation. I can't explain why I love this scene, but I think when a reader finished the book, the'll understand why it's my favorite.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

It wasn't so much what I learned as what I acquired. The submission and editing process has given me a lot more confidence in my writing. It also taught me how to sift through critiques and suggested edits to find what helps me and what doesn't.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

The light. Taria Reed, my cover artist, gave the sunlight shining through the garden and the gates a luminous quality. Kind of like the way a little salt helps liven up sweet snacks, the glow makes the gate enticing as well as ominous. 

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2013?

It's a book called "Moth," by Sean Poindexter. It's a spin-off of his Dragon's Blood Chronicles, a paranormal romance series. They are NOT family friendly, but if that doesn't bother you, and you enjoy the idea of dragons squeezing vampires like tubes of toothpaste, I recommend them. 

I'm also looking forward to Katie O'Sullivan's "Son of a Mermaid." It's young adult. 

What was your favorite book in 2012?

Kate Evangelista's "Taste." I love her voice. She had me on the first sentence and didn't let me go until a week after I read it. 

What’s up next for you?

I'm working on two New Adult Series, one science fiction with an alternate timeline, and the other paranormal, Angels vs Fallen, with humans caught in the middle and a twist.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

When January Black gets its 100th Amazon Review, I'm giving away a set of "The Infernal Devices" signed by Cassandra Clare. The giveaway announcement graphic is here: Interested readers can like my Facebook page for updates. Reviews won't be necessary to participate, but they are needed to get a party started.

january black promo
More Information:
  Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 5/8/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.  a Rafflecopter giveaway  

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