Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview, & Giveaway: Beyond The Red (Ava Jae)

Author: Ava Jae
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Pages: 360
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Alien queen Kora has a problem as vast as the endless crimson deserts. She’s the first female ruler of her territory in generations, but her people are rioting and call for her violent younger twin brother to take the throne. Despite assassination attempts, a mounting uprising of nomadic human rebels, and pressure to find a mate to help her rule, she’s determined to protect her people from her brother’s would-be tyrannical rule.
Eros is a rebel soldier hated by aliens and human alike for being a half-blood. Yet that doesn’t stop him from defending his people, at least until Kora’s soldiers raze his camp and take him captive. He’s given an ultimatum: be an enslaved bodyguard to Kora, or be executed for his true identity—a secret kept even from him.
When Kora and Eros are framed for the attempted assassination of her betrothed, they flee. Their only chance of survival is to turn themselves in to the high court, where revealing Eros’s secret could mean a swift public execution. But when they uncover a violent plot to end the human insurgency, they must find a way to work together to prevent genocide.

Find it: 

Ava Jae is a writer, an Assistant Editor at Entangled Publishing, and is represented by Louise Fury of The Bent Agency. Her YA Sci-Fi debut, BEYOND THE RED, is releasing March 2016 from Sky Pony Press. When she’s not writing about kissing, superpowers, explosions, and aliens, you can find her with her nose buried in a book, nerding out over the latest X-Men news, or hanging out on her blog, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, Goodreads, Instagram, or YouTube channel.

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

A few things. Long before it occurred to me to write a book about it, I’d come up with Eros (albeit, a very different version of Eros), Safara (the planet the book takes place on) and the Sepharon (the alien species that populates the planet). When I decided that I wanted to write a book that heavily involved aliens, I remembered I already had a culture and planet set up, and the rest fell into place nicely. Beyond the Red’s origin story, so to speak, was somewhat inspired by James Cameron’s Avatar—in that I asked myself what would happen if humans arrived on an alien planet with intentions to colonize, but rather than taking over, the native population fought back and forced the humans to abandon the plan—and the humans who’d travelled there—altogether. 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I love both Eros and Kora, but Eros really resonated strongly with me from the first draft, while it took some time for me to really get Kora to open up while I was writing and revising. There’s also a minor character named Gray who completely butchers English phrases that we use today, which was a blast to write. 

 Which came first, the title or the novel?

Ha ha definitely the novel. Coming up with the title was a loooong, painful process.

 What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Hmm, that’s a tough question. Probably the opening scene and the final ending scene—if only because they’ve remained almost exactly the way I initially envisioned them while outlining, and I honestly couldn’t be happier with either of them. A lot of the middle stuff has changed pretty drastically, but that first and final scene turned out how I wanted them to from the very start.

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

Learning to be patient with myself and with the process was really hard. Publishing is a slooooow industry, and learning how to improve your craft as a writer often takes a lot of time. When I first started writing I was in such a hurry to get published—but ultimately I’m glad it took the time it did because I’m a much better writer and way more prepared for the stresses involved than I was at the beginning of my writer journey. 

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

The colors! The desert landscape is pretty much exactly what I wanted, which is awesome, but I especially adore the colors. It’s so fitting for the book, and the title, and aesthetically the colors just work really beautifully together. :)

 What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2016?

How do I pick just one? I can’t. Some that I’m really excited about include A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith, Timekeeper by Tara Sim, Burning Glass by Kathryn Purdie, Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard, and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. 

 What was your favorite book in 2015?

Oh boy, I have to pick just one? This is really hard, as I read a lot of incredible books last year...but I’ll say one of my favorites was Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Not only was the book awesome and twisty, and not only was going back to the Grishaverse amazing, but it also had a really diverse cast that I appreciated. I especially loved seeing a protagonist who is disabled and deals with chronic pain in a book that wasn’t about his disability. 10/10 would read again.

 What’s up next for you?

I’ve got a couple things under wraps right now that I can’t really get into detail about yet—but hopefully I’ll be able to talk about them in a more official capacity sometime this year! 

 Is there anything that you would like to add?

Just that I’m very happy to finally be able to share Beyond the Red with everyone! Thanks so much for having me! :) 

10 winners will receive a finished copy of BEYOND THE RED, US Only.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

2/22/2016- Take Me Away To A Great Read- Interview

2/23/2016- Twinning for Books- Review

2/24/2016- A Dream Within A Dream- Guest Post

2/25/2016- Avid Reader- Review

2/26/2016- Moonlight Gleam Reviews- Interview

Week Two:

2/29/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post

3/1/2016- Jessabella Reads- Review

3/2/2016- Taking It One Book at a Time- Review

3/3/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book- Interview

3/4/2016- Literary Meanderings - Review

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