Mundie Moms

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

DEATH SWORN by Leah Cypess, Blog Tour & Giveaway

Hello & Welcome to today's stop in the DEATH SWORN blog tour! I can not tell you guys how excited I am for this book to be out. Leah Cypess was one of the first authors whose writing I fell in love with back when I first started Mundie Moms. Her debut Mistwood is still one of my favorite reads. I've been patiently awaiting DEATH SWORN's release.

This book surpassed my execrations. I LOVED it! I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could. By my fingerling about it will wait for later this morning when my review is posted. For today's stop, I'm sharing a couple of my favorite lines from Leah's book. Don't worry, there are no spoilers. First, here's a little bit about the book:

About the Book

By: Leah Cypess
Published by: Greenwillow Books
To Be Released on: March 4, 2014
Pre-Order from: Amazon/Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.

But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

Two of My Favorite Passages from Death Sworn

In no particular order, and taken out of context from the book, so that I don't spoil anything, here are just two of my favorite passages from Death Sworn. I swear if I listed all my favorites I would list much of the book.

1) She strode after Sorin, following him through a series of twists and turns that made it feel like they were walking in circles, until they reached a steep stone staircase that wound upward into darkness.

Sorin glanced at her sideways and said, You should go first."
"So I can catch you if you fall."

"I don't-" she began, and then suspicion made her go silent. His face was perfectly stolid and unsmiling. "Are you making fun of me?"

"Do you truly imagine I would ever do that?" he said, still not cracking a smile. "It wouldn't be properly respectful."

"Good think I"m not in my night clothes, then," IIeni snorted, and started up the stairs. She was almost sure she saw his lips twitch as she went past.

2) There's more that happens in this scene that the lines I'm sharing with you. What kind of Mundie Mom would I be if I didn't share a kissy scene...

..... "I'll forget about you."
That did it. IIeni launched herself forward, with more determination than grace, and kissed him.

After a startled moment, he responded, his hands coming up hesitantly to her face, then fumbling to her shoulders. After another moment-or several-IIeni leaned back and stared at him in disbelief.

About Leah:

I wrote my first story in first grade. The narrator was an ice-cream cone in the process of being eaten. In fourth grade, I wrote my first book, about a girl who gets shipwrecked on a desert island with her faithful and heroic dog (a rip-off of both The Black Stallion and all the Lassie movies, very impressive).
After selling my first story (Temple of Stone) while in high school, I gave in to my mother’s importuning to be practical and majored in biology at  Brooklyn College. I then went to Columbia Law School and practiced law for almost two years at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, a large law firm in New York City. I kept writing and submitting in my spare time, and finally, a mere 15 years after my first short story acceptance, I sold my first novel to Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins).
I live in Brookline, Massachusetts (right outside of Boston) with my husband Aaron, a researcher and doctor at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and our three children.
Find Leah via her: Website Facebook & Twitter!

The Giveaway:
1 Grand Prize pack signed copies of all 3 of Leah’s books (Mistwood, Nightspell, and Death Sworn), plus signed SWAG for all 3 books as well! US Only
Tour Schedule
Week One:
2/24/2014- Two Chicks on BooksOriginal Content
2/25/2014- Mundie Moms-Original Content
2/26/2014- BookishOriginal content
2/27/2014- FiktshunOriginal Content
2/28/2014- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads-Review or Original Content
Week Two:
3/3/2014- Supernatural SnarkOriginal content
3/4/2014- Page Turners - Original Content
3/5/2014- Tales of a Ravenous ReaderOriginal content
3/6/2014- YA SisterhoodReview
3/7/2014- A Backwards StoryOriginal content      

STEADFAST by Claudia Gray, Chapter 1 Reveal & Giveaway!

Welcome to day one in the STEADFAST chapter reveal. Steadfast is the second book in Claudia Gray's Spellcaster Series, and will be out on March 4th. I'm thrilled to reveal Chapter 1, which you can read below.

About The Book
Published by: Harper Teen
To Be Released on: March 4th, 2014
Series: Spellcaster #2
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

The second book in the dazzling Spellcaster series from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray is perfect for fans of the Beautiful Creatures and Hex Hall series.

Nadia, Mateo, and Verlaine saved Captive's Sound from the dark sorceress Elizabeth . . . or so they thought. But despite their best efforts, a crack opened and a new, greater evil seeped through. With Mateo as her Steadfast, Nadia's magic is magnified but her training is still incomplete. And a darker magic has begun to call Nadia. . . .

With her Steadfast, Mateo, and her best friend, Verlaine, Nadia must fight the black magic that tempts her and stop the One Beneath before he comes to claim what is his.

Chapter 1

Nearly every gravestone in the cemetery of Captive’s Sound made a promise about forever.

The tombstones said things like Remembered Evermore or Always In Our Hearts. But for all those promises of unending devotion, nobody seemed to visit very often.
Today, though, three people had arrived.

Nadia Caldani stood directly under the cast-iron gate, 
which bent into curves to imitate leaves, roses, and thorns. Nothing about her wine-red sweater or dark jeans betrayed the most important secret Nadia had: that she was a witch— young and only half-trained, but more powerful than she’d once believed.

Her thick black hair was gathered back into a ponytail, which revealed the bruise on her temple and the small cuts along one cheek. Less than thirty-six hours before, she’d fought the darkest magic she knew of—wielded by Elizabeth,


a sorceress, a servant of the One Beneath. Somehow, against all odds, Nadia had won. She knew she should feel elated. And yet fear still flickered inside her, a fire that wouldn’t quite go out.

I got lucky, she thought. But at least Elizabeth’s gone, and we can start picking up the pieces.

Next to her stood Mateo Perez, letter jacket slung over the black T-shirt and jeans he’d have to wear for his shift at the restaurant later. Nadia knew he’d always thought of him- self as an outsider in Captive’s Sound, isolated by the curse that followed his family. For a long time, he’d believed he had only one true friend—but that had only been Elizabeth playing games with his mind. Elizabeth had used him, and the curse, for her own purposes.

Nadia had been able to show Mateo what Elizabeth really was. More important, she’d discovered who he really was: someone strong enough to bear the curse. Someone who could serve as her Steadfast, the person who could amplify the strength of her witchcraft. Someone who now could see magic at work in the world, both light and dark. She had known within weeks that she needed him beside her, always. They’d kissed for the first time only days before; she felt like she could taste that kiss, feel his lips against hers, every moment.

We have time now, she thought as he looked sideways at Nadia. All the time in the world. So today isn’t about us. It’s about Verlaine.

Tumblr Tuesday: Cassie Clare News

I'm stealing a little bit of Sophie's thunder with her Twitter Tuesday posts. Cassie has been treating fans to all sorts of awesome posts on her Tumblr. Here's a few of the things she's recently posted:

Aww, it's James! Here's what Cassie reposted:

I was inspired by the reveal of TLH! I wanted to finish Lucie but my body is giving up on me. Just wanted to sneak this drawing of James because I’ve been having the urge to draw him after I saw cassandraclare's pinterest for TLH. I wanted to draw Cordelia too and her freckles, because- just because. 
I can’t promise but I really want to do a drawing thing for them! I just love the pictures miss Cassie pinned. The laces and the dresses of the Edwardian era, good god, they’re so gorgeous! My hands are itching to draw them. Maybe after my finals, then and only then can I go bonding with my tablet. My hands are pretty much itching to draw the fashion and the hair. Aheehee. Can’t wait! 
Tata, wish me luck on mah finals!
James Herondale (c) TLH, Cassandra Clare

Hey Cassandra! I know I’m one of MANY adults who have fallen deeply in love with your characters and their stories, and I can’t thank you enough for giving me a much-needed break from the day-to-day doldrums! 

Here’s my question. You obviously are socially-conscious enough to embrace diversity in your characters, we’ve seen (or will see) lesbian, gay and bi people interspersed throughout your stories. I am a fabulously full-figured woman of transsexual experience. Any chance we’ll see a trans* character down the line? 

Can’t wait for CoHF, and I mean I Literally. Cannot. Wait.”
Hello fabulous. :)
Thank you for your way too kind words. I do have a trans* character planned for TDA. Right now I’m working on shaping her and figuring out what makes her tick and what her goals and desires are, so I feel like I should keep my mouth shut until she’s more finalized. But she is a badass. :)
A few others have asked about genderqueer and/or genderfluid characters; there is one in TLH — Anna Lightwood.

Anna, with her confidence and her rejection of binary gender identity in a more repressive time, has been a fascinating character to develop… Anyway, I hope you will like these characters! I’m currently buried under piles of research and memoirs in the hopes of not screwing up too badly. If any trans* or genderqueer readers want to share thoughts about what they do or don’t like to see in representation I would be happy to listen.

Cassandra, I heard that you said in Mexico City that Magnus would forgive Alec, is that true?
There seems to be a lot of semi-true stuff floating around based on my appearance in Mexico City — remember everything I said had to be filtered through a translation headpiece! I said, in fact, “Magnus forgives what Alec did but that does not mean they get back together.” I mean, Magnus is not a bitter grudge-holder so I never thought it would be a surprise that he would not be furious with Alec forever. :) So their chances of getting back together are exactly the same as before.
Hello! Um, so I was wondering: does Jace ever begin to use Herondale as his surname(even if just on paper)? Or at least does the Herondale name exist outside of Jace? It just makes me sad to think that the Herondale line will disappear after getting so attached to Will and Cecy.
All I can say is that the continuing existence of the Herondale name is addressed in CoFA!
 I know a lot of people on the Shadowhunter wiki, including me, are Downworlder sympathizers, and we were wondering, will we be learning more about them (like almost as much as we know about the Nephilim) in the future series? I’m optimistic that since Mark & Helen are half-fey, we’ll learn more about the Fair Folk in TDA. But more about warlocks would be pretty cool, too.

You are definitely right that you will be learning a lot more about the Fair Folk in TDA. They’re a big part of the story. They’re also a big part of CoHF, maybe in ways you might not expect? There have been some hints scattered through CoFA and CoLS about the part they play. And there is a big political issue that has to do with them toward the end.
TDA also features a new warlock character — the High Warlock of Los Angeles.
Ms. Clare, I recently read the snippet of Julian and Emma from COHF and the writing with their fingers really stuck with me. When I was younger, there was one year when my cousins and I went to about five funerals and to console each other in the pews we would do the exact same thing as Julian and Emma, and we still do to this day. Thank you for that detail, and for the books that brought magic back into my life. — make-dreams-your-master
Aw…I teared up a bit . .. It is a thing I used to do with my best friend when we were kids. Though we sucked at figuring out the letters we were tracing half the time and were like “What do you mean, is there any newts?” “Not newts! NEWS!”
* 1234 is etched on the base of Raziel’s statue, along with the Shadowhunter motto, above the entrance to the Silent City. What’s the year’s relevance to their history?
That is the year that Shadowhunters began looking better in black than the widows of their enemies. Previously when wearing black they looked only equally as good, or worse, than the widows of their enemies.