Mundie Moms

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

MANOR of SECRETS by Katherine Longshore, Blog Tour: Interview / Giveaway

Welcome to today's MANOR OF SECRETS tour. I'm so thrilled to have author Katherine Longshore on the blog today to talk about her new release. First, here's a little about the book:

About the Book
Author: Katherine Longshore
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
The year is 1911. And at The Manor, nothing is as it seems . . .

Lady Charlotte Edmonds: Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered, Charlotte feels suffocated by the strictures of upper-crust society. She longs to see the world beyond The Manor, to seek out high adventure. And most of all, romance. 

Janie Seward: Fiery, hardworking, and clever, Janie knows she can be more than just a kitchen maid. But she isn't sure she possesses the courage -- or the means -- to break free and follow her passions.

Both Charlotte and Janie are ready for change. As their paths overlap in the gilded hallways and dark corridors of The Manor, rules are broken and secrets are revealed. Secrets that will alter the course of their lives. . . forever.

Hi Katherine! Thank you for being on Mundie Moms. I'm so thrilled to have you with us today. Congratulations on your new review. I love the cover. I have to ask, did you have any say in your cover?

I love the cover, too!  The model is stunning, and the dress is to die for.  But no, I can claim no credit for the cover at all.  I basically just saw the image and said, “I love it!”

I love the time period your book is set in. What inspired you to set your book in 1911? Did you enjoy all the research you did for this time period?

When Scholastic asked if I could write a book set in Edwardian England, I settled on 1911 because it seemed right on the cusp of some major changes in the world—the rise of labor unions, the redoubling of efforts for women to get the vote, the rumblings along the faultlines that would eventually rift into the Great War.  But society (or, more specifically, Society—the upper class invention) still clung to the “old ways.”  Huge potential for tension and historical foreshadowing.

And I love research!  There’s a book by Juliet Nicolson just about 1911, titled The Perfect Summer, and I scoured it for details and characters and historical drama.  But I truly became obsessed with the memoirs of servants.  I started with Jean Rennie’s Every Other Sunday and continued on through several that have been published on the coattails of Downton Abbey.

What's something you came to admire about both your characters, Charlotte and Janie?

I love Charlotte’s imagination.  She reminded me a little bit of Walter Mitty—projecting herself into adventures that she didn’t think she’d possibly live out in real life.  

Janie’s tenacity was a real inspiration—her deep-rooted strength.  But also, her realism.  She knows how her world works and tries to work within its boundaries.

So really, the things I admire about each of them are the things that need to be balanced in most of us.  We all need to have some ambition, and a hope for a brighter (or at least different) future.  But by the same token, we all need to recognize our own limitations, if only to be able to find ways around them.

Which character did you find yourself relating to the most?

Probably Janie, because if I’m perfectly honest, that’s where I’d be in 1911—belowstairs.  But also because my husband is English, and his family was all in service just a couple of short generations ago.  I’ve heard a few stories that have been passed down, and seen some photographs.  Relating to Janie makes me feel closer to that side of the family, and gives me a much more visceral understanding of the culture of England—then and now.

There are a lot of fabulous YA releases hitting shelves this year. Which releases are you looking forward to picking up?

I can’t wait to get my hands on copies of INTO THE STILL BLUE by Veronica Rossi and LADY THIEF by A.C. Gaughen.  I love E. Lockhart’s books, so I’m eagerly anticipating WE WERE LIARS.  One of my favorite 2012 debuts was Huntley Fitzpatrick’s MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, so I’m counting the days to WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE. And Donna Cooner’s CAN’T LOOK AWAY will be out in the fall..
Are you working on any new projects that you can tell us about?

I’m currently working on something very different from my previous books—the characters are allowed a lot more freedom, and use it effectively.  No kings, no pretty dresses, but they still have to cope with the preconceived notions of who they are and how they should be acting.  I’m still in the early stages of writing, and enjoying it.  

Thank you for being with us today!
Thank you!  Always delighted to be here.

About Katherine:
Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.

Giveaway Details:
5 Signed finished copies of MANOR OF SECRETS US Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule
Week One:
1/27/2014- Fiktshun- Guest Post
1/28/2014- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
1/29/2014- Good Books and Good Wine- Review
1/30/2014- Hobbitsies- Review
1/31/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Interview
Week Two:
2/3/2014- A Glass Of Wine- Guest Post
2/4/2014- Mundie Moms- Interview & Review
2/5/2014- Read My Breath Away- Guest Post
2/6/2014- Page Turners- Review
2/7/2014- Tales of a Ravenous Reader- Guest Post

SCINTILLATE by Tracy Clark, Debut Author Spotlight

I'm so thrilled to be able to spotlight a book that has been on both mine & Sophie's most anticipated 2014 releases. Tracy Clark's debut, Scintillate! Tracy is also part of the YA Series Insiders, a group of amazing authors whom I'll be featuring through out the year here on Mundie Moms. 

Today I'm thrilled to celebrate the release of SCINTILLATE! I can not wait to read this book. It's one I'm definitely heading out to pick up today.

Keep reading to find out a little bit more about Tracy's debut, and enjoy reading a couple of quotes and teasers Tracy has shared with us today. 

A mighty flame follows a tiny spark

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.
As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Published by: Entangled Teen
Released on: 2/4/14 - TODAY
Purchase it from: Amazon | Barnes and Noble 


"A lush and atmospheric debut with a scorching romance and a metaphysical mystery. It had me hooked from the start." -Suzanne Young, author of The Program

Check out these teasers:

“Ireland is littered with ghosts. Music is how we speak to them. But it also sings to the ghosts inside you.”

My body responded to his fire by sparking to life. This want was loud, crashing against my skin, burning me from the inside out. Shockingly assertive thoughts swam through my mind. I wanted to pin him against the trunk of a tree, run my tongue along the curve of his upper lip, taste him.

Check out the Trailer

Read a teaser:

He nudged my shoulder softly with his own. “There’s nothing wrong with you. Except I think, perhaps, you have no idea how rare you are.”
I stared into his eyes, then let my gaze roam, exploring his aura. “How rare we are.” I shifted slightly away so that his shoulder would stop kindling against mine. “You are the only other person I’ve met whose aura is—”
I bit my bottom lip. He was a wily one. “Silver.”
Giovanni leaned his face close. I could see silvery-gray specks in his blue eyes. I tried to ignore the obvious merging of our auras when he was that near. Happy agitation skipped through me, but I couldn’t tell if the thrill I felt was his or my own at finding another silver person.
“What? What does that mean?” The word was wine-red and silky. It sounded like schinteeela in his accent.
“It’s what we call people like us.” His sky-blue gaze traveled over my face, to my aura above my head, and then slowly raked over my body. His nostrils flared a touch before he added, “Spark.
Teaser #2
I turned to look at him, close still, staring at me with crystalline eyes. So close, shock waves of pleasurable energy darted back and forth between our auras. We stood there a moment and gazed at each other, our silver auras flickering, competing with the luminosity of the
votive candles next to us.
Giovanni’s eyes settled on my mouth and his lips parted a little. His aura pulsed faster with his heart rate, and mine sped to match. He moved his head a fraction closer. I’m sure he could see my aura flare wildly as I realized what was happening. I put my hand on his chest to
stop him. “Tell me everything you know about us.”
He covered my hand with his for a moment, then held on to it and led me to a row of wooden chairs. We settled in, facing each other. Sparks ricocheted from where our knees touched. I shifted slightly. At some uncomfortable point, we were going to have to discuss the obvious energy between us. I thought it was the unique alchemy of two Scintilla, but a girl knows when she’s about to be kissed.

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self. 
She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. 
Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.
Follow Tracy: WebsiteBlog | Twitter | Facebook