Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder / 10th Anniversary Blog Tour: Guest Post / Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's POISON STUDY 10th Anniversary blog tour stop.  Before there was Clary & Jace, or Edward & Bella, there was Valek & Yelena. I have loved this series since it first came out. It's one of my all time favorite series, and I'm so thrilled to be apart of the 10th anniversary celebration. Today I'm honored to share 1 of 2 guest posts being featured on the tour, from author Maria V. Snyder. First, in case you haven't picked up Poison Study, which I HIGHLY recommend that you do, here's a little bit about the book:


By: Maria V. Snyder
Published by: Mira
Released on: March 1st, 2007
Series: Study #1
Purchase it from: AmazonBarnes & Noble, iBooks, Google Play, Books A Million, The Book Depository, Kobo, Indiebound
Add it to: Goodreads

Choose: A quick death . . . or slow poison.
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.

And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.

As Yelena tries to escape her new dilemma, disasters keep mounting. Rebels plot to seize Ixia and Yelena develops magical powers she can’t control. Her life is threatened again and choices must be made. But this time the outcomes aren’t so clear. . . . 


Valek’s Tasting Notes
by: Maria V. Snyder

Butterfly’s Dust:  Mixed one teaspoon of Butterfly’s Dust with one teaspoon of honey and eight ounces of peach juice.  Yelena detected the poison easily when she gargled the drink.  She seems intelligent, but she took the food taster’s position without asking many questions.  Perhaps she’s afraid of the answers.  Time will tell -- it always does.

Tigtus:  Sprinkled a pinch of Tigtus onto one of Rand’s ham-and-egg concoctions.  Yelena’s sense of smell is excellent - much better than the dull-witted Oscove.  Will try a half dose next time and see just how good her nose is.  She doesn’t talk much, but her striking green eyes take in every detail and she listens closely to everything I say.  I wonder what pushed her to kill Reyad.  She’s attractive even after living in our dungeon for so long.  Perhaps Reyad raped her and she killed him.  A commendable action if that’s the case -- need to find out.

My Love:  Mixed one ounce of My Love in eight ounces of tea.  Hope I calculated the right dosage.  She’s thin and still weak from her stay in the dungeon.  Don’t want to kill her too soon -- too many mysteries surround her.  Her reaction to the poison was quick - she swayed like a stalk of wheat in a gust of wind.
Day one -- she’s still unconscious - dosage might have been too strong.  
Day two -- remains unconscious.  Perhaps I should have Margg take her to the infirmary -- medic can’t help -- she’ll either live or die so why am I even thinking about it?  Pure foolishness!
Day three - conscious and well!

Note:  Found Yelena being chased by Brazell’s goons.  No surprise there except that she gave them the slip with only a cut to show for it.  Must keep her close to me while Brazell’s here.  His need for revenge is predictable.  Her quick thinking is commendable.

Mint test:  Yelena’s palate is remarkable.  She has no trouble discerning the different tastes underneath the mint.  Commander’s impatience has ordered me to give her a test on all the poisons.  It’s unusual and dangerous -- but somehow I know she’ll pass.  She’s a survivor.

Poison test:  Used every poison I have and watched Yelena taste all the food and drinks with an uncomfortable feeling of unease.  If she fails, she’s back to the dungeon to await the noose.  A very unappealing prospect.  
Poison test results:  Yelena uncovers an attempt on her life without knowing it.  Rand, who she defended as her friend, has spiked the clean drink with Blackberry poison.  Her anger is directed at me.  I let her believe that I had tried to trick her.  No sense in letting her get too comfortable -- if she thinks I will be testing her, then she will be more diligent in tasting the Commander’s food.  This attempt on her life is another development that must be investigated.   Somehow I feel this will only lead to more trouble, and to more involvement with the food taster than is usually required -- so why am I looking forward to it?


10 winners to match 10 years!
  • Grand Prize is a signed hardcover first edition of Poison Study and Magic Study (both books).
  • 1st Place a signed hardcover first edition of Poison Study
  • 5 winners will get a signed cover flat of the original cover of Poison Study
  • 3 winners will get a signed original bookmark for Poison Study

About Maria
Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master's degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.

Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email
Find Maria: Website/Blog/Facebook/Goodreads

Tour Schedule

Week One:
9/28/2015-Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsScavenger Hunt
9/29/2015- a GREAT readScavenger Hunt
9/30/2015- Seeing Double In NeverlandScavenger Hunt
10/1/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
10/2/2015- Alice MarvelsScavenger Hunt

Week Two:
10/5/2015- FiktshunScavenger Hunt
10/6/2015- Read Now Sleep LaterScavenger Hunt
10/7/2015- Mundie MomsGuest Post
10/8/2015- Tales of the Ravenous ReaderScavenger Hunt
10/9/2015- ParajunkeeScavenger Hunt

Follow The Read-Along Schedule
October 4th-10th: Chapters 1-8
October 11th-17th: Chapters 9-17
October 18th-24th: Chapters 18-25
October 25th-31st: Chapters 26-32 and closing post

Shadowhunters TV Series: Weekly Wrap Up 10/3 - 10/-6

Happy Wednesday Shadowhunters! We're half way through the week, and there's been a lot of exciting posts from the cast & crew as they wrapped up filming! Normally I post one big weekly wrap up, but this week I'm splitting it up. Check out all the posts shared so far from the cast & crew. This weekend I'll be posting coverage from the cast & crew, and Cassie from NYC-Comic Con! 

There's a lot more pictures and videos the cast and crew have shared on Instagram this week. Be sure to follow them on Instagram & Twitter. Check, to stay up to date with their latest news about the TV series. Follow them on Twitter, and Facebook.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

BLACK WIDOW: FOREVER RED by Margaret Stohl / Book Tour: Author Interview / Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to today's BLACK WIDOW blog tour stop! I'm so thrilled to have one of my all time favorites on the blog today, Margaret Stohl! She's here to talk about her upcoming release. First, here's a little bit about the book. 


By: Margaret Stohl
Published by: Disney / Marvel Press
To Be Released on: October 13th, 2015
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks
Add it to Goodreads 

Enter the world of the Avengers' iconic master spy

Natasha Romanoff is one of the world's most lethal assassins. Trained from a young age in the arts of death and deception, Natasha was given the title of Black Widow by Ivan Somodorov, her brutal teacher at the Red Room, Moscow's infamous academy for operatives. 

Ava Orlova is just trying to fit in as an average Brooklyn teenager, but her life has been anything but average. The daughter of a missing Russian quantum physicist, Ava was once subjected to a series of ruthless military experiments-until she was rescued by Black Widow and placed under S.H.I.E.L.D. protection. Ava has always longed to reconnect with her mysterious savior, but Black Widow isn't really the big sister type. 

Until now. 

When children all over Eastern Europe begin to go missing, and rumors of smuggled Red Room tech light up the dark net, Natasha suspects her old teacher has returned-and that Ava Orlova might be the only one who can stop him. To defeat the madman who threatens their future, Natasha and Ava must unravel their pasts. Only then will they discover the truth about the dark-eyed boy with an hourglass tattoo who haunts Ava's dreams. . . . 

Black Widow: Forever Red features all the heart-pounding adventure readers expect from Marvel, written by #1 New York Times best-selling author Margaret Stohl. Uncover a new side of the Marvel Universe that will thrill loyal fans and newcomers alike, as Stohl reveals the untold story of Black Widow for the very first time.


Welcome back to Mundie Moms Margaret!! Huge congratulations on the honor of writing a story for Marvel for BLACK WIDOW!
Thank you! So great to be able to do this interview with you your site has been so supportive ever since Kami and I first launched Beautiful Creatures!
Aside from Captain America, she's one of my all time favorites! I'm so excited about this never before story for Black Widow. I love her Marvel character. She's empowering. What attracted you to telling this particular story?
Ive always loved Marvel comics, and Ive worked with Marvel in the past, when I made videogames. I love the Avengers and Iron Man and Captain America movies as much as anyone else. But probably my biggest inspiration for tackling Natasha Romanoffs story is my incredible fourteen-year-old Avenger of a daughter. She knows the importance of speaking her mind and standing up for what she believes is right, and I actually have learned from her example. Black Widow has the same spirit. Shes always her own person, whether or not shes saying what you want to hear. Were at the start of a new era of female superheroesones that girls can and want to look up to, and Im so proud to have the honor of telling such a powerful characters story.  
Being that Black Widow is already a character that fans know and have loved for years, did you find that more challenging in writing her story or was it easier than creating a whole new character? 
Writing Natashas story was a privilege but also a responsibility. It wasnt easy! I had to stay true to her character and to deliver for her fan base, but I also wanted to be able to tell her story from a different perspectiveone that focused less on her relationships and more on who she is, the nature of her heart. Shes always been a mysterious figure, so I didnt want to lose that element of her character, either. It was a challenging balance to find, and Ive never worked so hard in my life, but I feel like I found it. Thank goodness!
I'm really looking forward to meeting Ava Orlova, and getting to see her interaction with Black Widow. It sounds like these two have a lot in common. Can you tell us a little bit about their relationship? 
Ava and Natasha have a shared moment in their past that resurfaces many years later, when a common enemy unites them. Its not easy to be united with either one of them; Natasha and Ava are equally stubborn, independent and strong-willed, and when they clash you dont want to get between them! But their relationship is more complicated than it seems, and it will ultimately evolve into something much bigger than either one of them could have anticipated. But no spoilers...!
What's one thing you admire about both Black Widow and Ava?
Their strength. They have both been through terrible hardships, and theyre both what you could call damaged -- but they keep fighting. They dont give in, and they never concede that they might be broken beyond repair. The things that they have been through would break most of us, but instead of letting themselves be victims of their situations, they use that pain to motivate them. Most importantly, they use it to motivate themselves to help other people.
If the Marvel superheroes had sidekicks, which character would you want to be a sidekick for, and why?
Black Widow, of course! But if we ruled her out, I think Id have to say Kamala Khan, the new Ms. Marvel created by G. Willow Wilson and Sana Amanat, my editor at Marvel. Shes only sixteen but shes an incredibly strong character. She struggles with her family and her Muslim-New Jersey-Superhero identity, and I love her for it. I also love every word out of her mouth, every awkward thing she does. Shes very real and relatable, but also someone who I feel lots of girls can look up to.
Inquiring minds have to know, will Black Widow or you know any of the Marvel characters, like Captain America or the Hulk *coughs*, be at your book release party? 
Im not sure about that, but you WILL be able to see tons of Marvel characters on my book tour since were inviting everyone to come IN COSPLAYeven me! Were giving prizes to the best costumes at every stop, and Im sure there will be a Hulk or two in the mix. Lots of my friends from the Women of Marvel and a few YA writer friends will be there too, so it will be super fun.
I'm patiently waiting for your book's release so I can read it. I know many fans are as well. I'm including your tour info below, so fans know where they can come see you. Will be getting more of Black Widow and Ava's story?
My lips are sealed! I wouldnt want Marvel to send a Widow after me!
Thank you Margie! Can't wait to see you when you're in Austin! 

Catch Margaret at a book store near you! Check out her book tour signing below. *click image to enlarge*

About Margaret
Margaret Stohl is the #1 New York Times Bestselling co-author of the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES Novels and DANGEROUS CREATURES novels, as well as the author of BLACK WIDOW: FOREVER RED forthcoming from Marvel Press (Marvel YA), and the ICONS Novels.

She is the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Indie-Bound, Wall Street Journal and Internationally Bestselling author of nine YA novels, and has been published in 37 languages and 48 countries. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES was adapted into a film (2013) by Warner Brothers and Alcon Entertainment, and was an ALA William C. Morris YA Debut Award finalist in 2010, as well as a SCIBA award finalist, a NYPL Book for the Teen Age, and a YALSA Teen Top Ten Pick. Beautiful Creatures was named the #1 Teen Pick from Amazon in 2009, and the #5 Editors Pick, Overall. 

Prior to becoming an author, Margaret worked in the video game industry as a writer and lead designer for sixteen years, eventually co-founding 7 Studios game developer with her husband, Lewis Peterson. She is also the co-founder of YALLFEST (Charleston, SC) and YALLWEST (Santa Monica, CA), two of the biggest kid/teen book festivals in the country. An alumnus of Amherst College, Stanford University, and Yale University, Margaret lives in Santa Monica with her family, two rescue cats, and two bad beagles.

Find Margaret via: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram


3 winners will receive a finished copy of BLACK WIDOW: FORVER RED. US Only.


Week One:
10/5/2015- Caught Read Handed- Review
10/6/2015- Mundie MomsInterview
10/7/2015- Novel NoviceReview
10/8/2015- IceyBooksGuest Post
10/9/2015- Word SpelunkingReview

Week Two:
10/12/2015- FangirlishInterview
10/13/2015- Wishful EndingsReview
10/14/2015- NerdophilesGuest Post
10/15/2015- Chapter by ChapterReview
10/16/2015- The Reading Nook ReviewsInterview