Verb Vixen

I read. I listen. I watch. I write.
Tuesday, May 29

Dreamless Is OUT NOW!

So you may or may not have read my reviews of Starcrossed and Dreamless by Josephine Angelini. Take this opportunity to go read them now. They explain quite well why I am 100% OBSESSED with this series. OB-SESS-ED.  
That being said, I am beyond excited to give you a short and sweet interview with Josie about the books, in particular Dreamless which is out today! (DUH, GO BUY IT).  Just past the interview is a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes which have an interesting role in Dreamless—-interesting and delicious. So read on, cook up, and enjoy fellow Starhearts!
Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2)
The Interview:
1. Helen feels quite the burden of responsibility in Dreamless, what
motivates her and that sense of duty?
Helen has a fantastic relationship with her dad, and that has instilled in her a deep sense of duty and responsibility to family.  In DREAMLESS, Hector is an Outcast, and the the only way to restore him to his family is to end the curse of the Furies.  Spoiler Alert! Since she believes that Hector is her cousin, she feels an enormous sense of urgency around this.  It is her strong commitment to family that drives her (at first.  Later, as her understanding broadens, she wants to complete her task for a whole host of reasons).  It’s also Helen’s duty to family that fuels her conflict with Lucas.  When Helen finds out that they are cousins, she feels deeply divided.  One part of her doesn’t buy it that they are related, but the other part is disgusted by the thought that they are.  It all comes back to family in my story, as it almost always did in Greek myth.

2. We get to meet new demi-gods and even some gods in Dreamless—what
influenced your creation of those characters?
The gods that I introduce are influenced by a combination of things I’ve read about them (mostly in Edith Hamilton’s Mythology) and from my own imagination.  Honestly?  There isn’t much written about the gods that I chose to write into this book, so most of it is from my imagination.  I just wanted to make unique characters that would really stick in the reader’s mind.  And terrify them!  ;)

3. You’re so good at taking a story or character we think we know and
then altering that tradition to bring it new life.  What is your
process for writing like when dealing with a story that has deep roots
like the Trojan War?
First of all, thank you for that lovely compliment!  I work very hard on my characters, and it’s really gratifying to know that it has paid off.  My process is all about humanizing the characters that we think we know.  The Iliad is an epic poem, so the language used to describe most of the characters is hyperbolic.  I wanted to take those broad characteristics and really ground them in every day human reality.  What would it be like, for example, to be so beautiful that everyone fought over you and wanted to possess you?  It would probably be horrible.  You’d probably try to downplay your looks.  You might slouch or not want to look people in the eye.  I started with that for Helen and built from there.  

4. You’ve given us a lot of heart-throb worth boys to swoon over, so
personally who would you choose and why?
I’m a Lucas girl all the way.  His intelligence, his determination, and his loyalty are really appealing to me.  Not that Orion’s big heart or Hector’s swagger don’t appeal to me as well.  They totally do.  But if I had to pick, I’d pick Lucas.

The Recipe: So I straight up took this from The Boy Trifecta because they look AMAZING, are made from scratch, and the steps are super simple.  So check her out if you like it, cause I had nothing to do with this one.


1.5 cups of milk
4 Tbsp vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 eggs
4 Tbsp melted butter
1.5 cups pumpkin puree

1. Mix your milk and vinegar, and let them sit for 5 minutes while you put everything else together. 
2. Mix flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl. 
3. Add eggs, butter, milk mixture, and pumpkin puree.
4. Cook on a hot griddle.
5. Add some butter and syrup.
6. Eat.

Tags:   #i read #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #ya lit #books #starcrossed #josephine angelini #dreamless #interview #pancakes #recipe #pumpkin #trojan war #demi-gods

Wednesday, March 7

Blog Tour: The Marked by Inara Scott

The Marked (Delcroix Academy, #2)

Welcome to The Marked Blog Tour stop at Verb Vixen! We’re delighted to have an exclusive interview with Inara Scott as well as a chance at a copy of The Marked, the second book the The Talents series (formerly known as Delacroix Academy). Not sure you if you want the book? You do, just read my review of The Marked here.

Now let’s get to it and hear from Inara herself:

1. A sequel is never an easy task. What was the biggest challenge you faced in writing The Marked?
Oh man, there were lots of challenges! I’d say that the hardest part was trying to balance listening to the readers who had just finished The Candidates and had lots of suggestions for book 2 (!), and not listening too much. Some writers say they never read reviews. I am definitely NOT like that. I care deeply about what my readers think, and learn a ton from reading reviews and listening to readers. But I also know the book I need to write, and I know my characters better than anyone else, so to some extent I have to ignore what readers are saying. It’s very hard to strike the right balance. 
2. What was on your playlist while you were writing and what was your go to snack or reward?
I have a hard time listening to music while I write. If I listen to anything, it has to be in another language (that I don’t speak!) so I don’t get distracted by lyrics. For example, here’s one of my favorite French tunes: 
Thomas Dutronc - J’aime plus Paris
I listen to this album over and over when I’m writing! 
3. The Marked finds Dancia growing more confident. She becomes more of a leader, can you talk a little bit about her evolution from book 1 to book 2?
It’s important to remember that Dancia was 14—just finished eighth grade—when book 1 begins. Though I want people to recognize her strength, I also want to make sure they understand that she’s a real person, who has a real evolution over the course of all three books in the series. At the end of book 1, Dancia is finally able to accept who she is and embrace her talent. In book 2, she continues her journey and emerges as the leader she has always been meant to be. 
4. I love the morality aspects of the series and there’s quite a few interesting questions about right and wrong, good and evil that come up. What is Dancia’s governing principle that guides her decision making?
What a great question! I will be sure to call you when I’m making my study guide, okay? :-) 
This series is really about the difficulty of making choices in a flawed, dangerous world. In book 1, Dancia asks Grandma for advice about a choice she has to make, and Grandma tells her to trust her instincts. Dancia replies, 
"Grandma, how do you know what your instincts are? I mean, what if you have two different instincts? What do you do then?" 
To which Grandma replies, 

"I suppose there’s no good answer to that, Danny. I wish there was. But if you take the wrong path, something deep inside you will feel twisted. There are times when that will be the only way to know the right from the wrong." 
More than anything else, it’s that voice inside her heart that guides Dancia. I think that’s what guides us all. 
5. We’ve found out more about enemies outside of Delacroix and there are definitely shady characters within the walls. Which is the bigger threat to Dancia and friends?
Did you really think I was going to answer that? Ha! Let’s just say that the threats are everywhere. Dancia is going to have to struggle to find anyone she can trust. 
6. Who would you pick: Jack or Cam?
As the author, there’s no picking between them. I love them both. But to give you some answer to your question, the best way I can describe how I feel about them (without giving anything away) is this: You know the Chinese symbol for yin and yang? That’s Cam and Jack. Two boys, one circle, parts of both in each. 
I’m not saying who’s black and who’s white. ;-) 
That concludes our interview, so now go read The Talents and pre-order The Marked!  OH and definitely ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway entries:

Please leave links to each that you complete in a comment and please be sure to include your email! 

Mandatory: +1 for leaving a comment on this post

+1 for liking this post

+1 for liking Inara Scott on Facebook

+1 for following Inara Scott on Twitter @inarascott 

+1 for tweeting about the giveaway: “I want to win The Marked by @inarascott from @verbvixen!” (This can be done daily).

Rules and Regs: Open to U.S. and Canada only. Winner will be chosen at random by a random number generator at the conclusion of the giveaway on April 27th at 12:01 am. Winner(s) will be contacted by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends. 

Thank you to Inara Scott and Disney Hyperion for allowing V.V. to be a tour stop.  Be sure to check out the other tour stops for The Marked for other prizes and exclusive content.

March 6           Murphy’s Library, interview

March 9           Chick Loves Lit, interview w/celebration pictures

March 16         The Book Life, guest blog

March 18         Up! Brazil, interview

March 22         Chapter by Chapter, guest blog

March 29         Two Chicks on Books, guest blog from Jack’s POV

March 30         Buried in Books, interview

April 2             Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks, guest blog

April 4             The Hardcover Harlequin, interview

April 9             A Reader’s Adventure, guest blog

April 12           The Book Cellar, interview questions

April 13           Steamed, guest blog

April 16           Fangs, Felines, Fins, & Fun Fiction, interview

April 20           Icey Books, interview questions

April 27           Good Choice Reading, guest blog

Tags:   #the marked #the talents #inara scott #delacroix academy #i read #ya #young adult #young adult fiction #ya lit #books #blog tours #interview #paranormal

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