Mundie Moms

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi / Blog Tour: Author Interview / Read An Excerpt

Hello and welcome to today's THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN blog tour stop, hosted by St. Martin's Griffin. Roshani Chokshi's debut it TODAY!! To celebrate, today's stop includes both an author interview and an excerpt. Interview questions were furnished by the publisher. First, a little bit about the book. 


By: Rouhani Chokshi
Published by: St. Martin's Griffin
Released on: April 26th, 2016 - TODAY
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...

But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.

A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.


What/Who were your biggest inspirations for the characters in The Star-Touched Queen? Which character in The Star-Touched Queen did you personally relate to the most and why? 

For Maya and Amar, they were inspired by the Hades/Persephone. But I imagined those two mythological characters a little more differently. In Maya’s case, I knew that ambition was her defining trait, but I wasn’t sure whether that would manifest as seeking emotional or material fulfillment. Turns out, it was a bit of both.

Kamala was inspired by my love of fiendish side characters like Mogget from Garth Nix’s SABRIEL and is probably the character I relate to the most. Her sense of humor can be a little abrasive. But she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. Other people in TSTQ were inspired by a collection of people whom I met/knew/heard of growing up. 

Have you always been drawn to Mythology and what are some of your favorite mythological tales? What myth specifically inspired Star-Touched? 

Always! I was raised on mythology. It was one of the most important outlets for me to connect to my Filipino/Indian heritage. My favorite Indian myths are Shakuntula, Nala and Damayanti, and Savitri. My favorite Filipino story is the Igorot tale of the Sky Maiden. My favorite Western myth is Hades and Persephone. TSTQ was specifically inspired by Hades & Persephone. 

Let's talk inspiration.  What Indian folklore inspired The Star-Touched Queen and where could someone who might be interested in reading and learning more about it and other Indian stories (cough, me, cough) learn more? 

The main Indian folktales/myths that inspired TSTQ or particular scenes were: Shakuntula (plays on the idea of memory and forgotten loves), Savitri & Satyavan (bargaining with Lord of Death, wily females!) and Narasimha (the fourth avatar of Lord Vishnu who defeated the demon king Hirayankashipu). Honestly, most of these were stories I heard growing up with my family. But my favorite thing to read when I was younger were the Amar Chitra Katha comics! They’re these illustrated tales from Indian mythology and I love them so so so much. 

What scene in THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN was your favorite to write?

Definitely the scene where Amar and Maya are working together in the constellation room. I think it’s an important scene about interpretation, which, to me, is a major theme in TSTQ.

How did you build your world and keep everything straight for STAR-TOUCHED? Flashcards, charts, webs, etc. I know everyone has their own tricks! 

Flashcards, backs of receipts, corners of napkins. Which is to say, I did not keep things straight at all. This is why you have beta readers. To throw virtual tomatoes at you and point out that given the rules of your world, you cannot do the thing you just did.

What is your next project? Is it in the same world as STAR-TOUCHED? 

I just finished the companion novel to TSTQ! So, I’m hoping to get started on edits soon. I can’t wait for y’all to read it. I love it so much.

What is the one thing you want readers to walk away from STAR-TOUCHED with? 

I hope readers see a little of how fairytales and folklore celebrate our shared experiences across cultural spectrums. And I hope their dreams are a little star-touched and that they close the book thinking they’ve tasted fairy fruit and walked through more than one life. 



The archives were cut like honeycombs and golden light clung to them, dousing every tome, painting, treatise and poem the soft gold of ghee freshly skimmed from boiling butter. I was only allowed to visit once a week—to meet with my weekly tutor before I inevitably scared him away. Every time I left the archival room, my arms brimmed with parchment paper. I loved the feeling of discovery, of not knowing how much I wanted something until I had discovered its absence.

LET THE WIND RISE by Shannon Messenger / Blog Tour: Author Interview / Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's blog tour stop for LET THE WIND RISE by Shannon Messenger. I'm so thrilled to host today's stop because it's also LET THE WIND RISE's release day!! To celebrate, I've got Shannon on the blog to talk a little bit about her new release! Don't forget to enter 1 of 3 sets of Shannon's Let The Sky Fall series, below! First, here's all little bit about the book. 


By: Shannon Messenger
Published by: Simon Pulse
Releasing on: April 26th, 2016
Series: Sky Fall Book #3
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository | iTunes
Add it to Goodreads

Vane Weston is ready for battle. Against Raiden’s army. Against the slowly corrupting Gale Force. Even against his own peaceful nature as a Westerly. He’ll do whatever it takes, including storming Raiden’s icy fortress with the three people he trusts the least. Anything to bring Audra home safely.

But Audra won’t wait for someone to rescue her. She has Gus—the guardian she was captured with. And she has a strange “guide” left behind by the one prisoner who managed to escape Raiden. The wind is also rising to her side, rallying against their common enemy. When the forces align, Audra makes her play—but Raiden is ready.

Freedom has never held such an impossible price, and both groups know the sacrifices will be great. But Vane and Audra started this fight together. They’ll end it the same way.


* I can't believe this series is over. It feels like we were just introduced to Vane and Audra. Looking back through out the series, what is one of your favorite Vane and Audra moments? 

I know—I can’t believe it’s over either! I’m probably going to get all sniffley on release day! And hmm, this is tricky because I’m terrible at picking favorites. So I’m going to go with the first scene that popped into my head: the moment in LET THE SKY FALL when Vane thinks he’s being equal parts flirty and Mr. I-Am-Taking-Control-Of-This-Situation, and Audra responds by slamming him into the wall with a gust of wind and threatening his life a few dozen ways. If anything sums up their relationship dynamic, it’s that. ☺

* Is the ending something you always had in mind, or did it change a little bit based on character's actions?

It’s funny—the ending itself is exactly how I knew it would be. But the journey getting there was very different. Some of the final climactic scenes weren’t at all like the original battles I’d planned, but when all was said and done, it brought me to the same place. And bonus—the new battles are way cooler than the ones I’d first imagined, so it’s proof that trusting the story is always the better way to go.  

* Out of the series, which book was the most challenging to write, and which was the most fun to write?

Book three was definitely the biggest challenge, mosty because I’d never written the end of a series before so it felt like, AHHH—I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO THIS! But it was also a story that lived in my head for years, so that made it tricky to find the right balance between trusting the story and staying true to the original “vision.” Book one was definitely the most fun to write, since it started out as a secret pet project just for me. There was no pressure. No plan. Just the characters taking me on a journey. There’s something so magical about that.

* Let's talk cover love! Normally I'm not a big fan of cover changes in a series, but I really love your new covers. I think this cover might be my favorite. What were your thoughts when your first saw the new covers, and do you have a favorite one?

You have no idea how happy it makes me to hear you love the new covers! I was sooooooo nervous when I found out there would be a change, especially since my other covers were incredibly beautiful. I kept thinking, how will they come up with something as amazing as the first ones? And then they sent me the new comps and I fell in LOVE. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’d probably say the cover for LET THE SKY FALL, since—strangely enough—that was the kind of cover I’d originally pictured for the book. I always thought of the series as “the story of a wind war, where two of the characters happen to fall in love,” not “a love story that happens to have some windy battles in it.” So to see Audra holding her windslicer and floating over the wind farm, ready to take on the world felt perfect. Especially since the artist did such an amazing job.

* Best piece of writing advice you received as an aspiring writer?

I’ve touched on this a bit in my other answers, but the best advice I was given is to “trust the story.” Of course as the author you need to maintain some control, but honestly, the best scenes in all of my books—the scenes I get the most readers talking about—are always the scenes I never quite plan, that happen as the story unfolds.


Find out more about THE SKY FALL series, Let The Sky Fall (book #1) and Let The Storm Break (book #2), here


"The conclusion to this very original fantasy trilogy is stronger than the first two installments, with nonstop action and believable teenage sarcasm, which takes the edge off the brutal reality of Audra and Vane’s highly emotional romance and quest. A good match for fans of Claudia Gray’s Firebird series." ~ RT Book Reviews


Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned--among other things--that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She's studied art, screenwriting, and film production, but realized her real passion was writing stories for children. She's the bestselling author of the middle grade series, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, and the SKY FALL series for young adults. Her books have been featured on multiple state reading lists, published in numerous countries, and translated into many different languages. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at

Find Shannon:  WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr 


Catch Shannon on the road! Find out what cities she's coming to for her LET THE WIND RISE book tour, here.


Thank you to Simon Pulse, we have 3 sets of THE SKY FALL series to giveaway! To enter, please fill out the form below. This is open to residents of the US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


4/19 - YA Bibliophile, Excerpt #1

4/20 - Jenuine Cupcakes, Author Guest post #1

4/21 - Me, My Shelf & I, Excerpt #2

4/22 - Page Turners, Author Interview #1

4/25 - Novel Novice, Guest Post #2

4/26 - Mundie Moms, Author Interview #2 

OUT TODAY - Tuesday April 26th, 2016

Out Today! 

Check out this epic list of new YA releases hitting book store shelves today!
Which new releases are you picking up today?