Mundie Moms

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Blessed Blog Tour: Author Interview & Giveaway

It's day 2 of Simon & Schuster's The Sinner's to Saints, The BLESSED Blog Tour, and I'm thrilled to have author Tonya Hurley on the blog today to talk about her newest release. 

Hi Tonya! Thank you for being on Mundie Moms today. How would you describe Blessed in 5 words or less?

Supernatural Bachelorette with blood

Out of your three main female characters, Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy, who do you feel your most connected to?

I definitely feel a connection to all three – either to myself personally or people I’ve known in New York.  Agnes is the hopeless romantic, I think there’s a bit of her in all of us.  Lucy is the attention seeker.  But, Cecilia is probably most like me.  Moving to New York from the Midwest hoping to make it in the music industry.  I can definitely identify most with her struggle.

What inspired your story, The Blessed?

I’ve always loved martyr stories and art – the gruesomeness and the glory.  When I went back to read some of these legends, I realized that they are probably some of the first YA stories we have, supernatural romances in the most literal sense with strong female characters.  I think people often mistake their martyrdom for passivity, but in their patriarchal world, at that time, the refusal to submit to authority, to compromise your values, was the ultimate act of defiance.
Also, the idea of fame, the pursuit of it, how people deal with it and respond to it, fascinates me and is a strong undercurrent in The Blessed.   It really allowed me to explore and experience these characters in a modern context in a way that I thought was completely relatable.  These girls were superstars, influential not just in their own day, but ever since, outshining even the brightest of today’s tabloid stars. 
Who were some of your favorite authors as a teen?
As a teen, I loved V.C. Andrews, Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton and of course, Stephen King.

With Halloween around the corner, what's one of your favorite Halloween traditions?
I love creating murderous silhouette scenes out of paper and taping them to my windows!

Speed round questions: 

* Sinner or saint? 

Sinner in life, saint at heart.

* A Knight in shinning armor or the bad boy? 


* Comedy or horror movie? 

I love humor mixed with horror, so black comedy.

* Cold or warm weather?  


* Audiobooks or physical book?
I definitely get the book before the audiobook.  However, both formats allow you to experience the story in a totally different way.  As I did for the ghostgirl series with Little, Brown, I spent so much time with the S & S designers on The Blessed hardcover and reverse jacket by Natalie Shau, on the interior art, even the logo and typefaces because I believe all these elements add value for the reader.  It’s such an intimate experience – to hold a book in your hands  - and I think it’s the little extra touches that make reading an even more enjoyable experience .  Likewise for the audiobook.  Vince Clarke created the score and Moonrise Kingdom star Kara Hayward voiced the characters and the vibe perfectly and brought an almost cinematic quality the text.  Vince and Parker Posey did the same for the ghostgirl audio, so it is getting to be a sort of tradition for me.

About the Book:
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: September 25th, 2012
Series: The Blessed #1
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a captivating and haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy—a boy who believes he is a saint.

What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?

Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief -quoted from Goodreads

About the Author:

Tonya Hurley is the New York Times best-selling author of the highly acclaimed “ghostgirl“ book series; creator, writer and producer of animated and live action hit television series; writer and director of independent films; writer and director of commercials for Playstation, Gameboy and Warner Home Video; and creator of groundbreaking videogames. Her new young adult trilogy, THE BLESSED, will be released by Simon and Schuster in Fall 2012.

Follow Tonya via her Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Giveaway:

Thank you to Simon & Schuster, each stop featured on this tour will be giveaway a copy of BLESSED. In addition to the books, the first 3 winners will also receive a BLESSED candle. To enter, please fill out the form below:

Weekly Round Up in the Stacks (IMM #145 / Stacking the Shelves #9)

Wow, what a crazy Sunday! I hope everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy stays safe, as well as those in the area were the large earth quake hit in Canada, and were the Tsunami warnings are issued. 

Welcome to this week's edition of my weekly round in the stacks. This weekend was such a blast! Friday night started off with my interview with David Levithan, which was AWESOME! My friend Stacey with Girls in the Stacks came down to do the interview with me and she filmed it. That will be up later this week. Kristen Cashore and Rebecca Stead where also there, and can I just say how awesome they are. I adore Kristen! 

I had the opportunity to be a moderator at this weekend's Texas Book Festival, for Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's panel. What a blast!! I love these two. The entire experience was so much fun. Friday night after David's interview/signing the festival kicked off with a fabulous author/moderator together out at The Writing Barn. TONS of fun. I'll write up a separate post about it soon. Here's a picture from each event: 

Pic 1: Lisa McMann, Maggie Stiefvater, Cinda Williams Chima, and Bree Despain / Pic 2: Becca Fitpatrick, Kami Garcia & Maragaret Stohl prior to our panels. 

Can I just say how awesome all these women are that are in both pictures. Seriously, if ever get the chance to meet them, please do! I'm not just saying that as some of them are my friends, I seriously admire each one of them. They're inspirational, strong, fun and down right awesome! And they're all amazing writers.

Okay, now on to books....

For Review:

Harper Teen:
Penguin Teen:
Penguin Books:
Simon Teen:
Little Brown
Tor Teen:
Fierce Reads:
 Purchased / Gifted:

I'm so excited to share this with you guys, we're quoted in The Lost Prince! It's Sophie's quote from her review of The Iron Daughter!!

Gifted: Thank you K!
Won: from the YA Sisterhood (thank you!)

A few of the books I got signed at the TX Book Festival. Can I tell you guys how excited I am over getting my RAVEN!!! I love Maggie's illustrations. Thank you Maggie!!!

Thank you to:

Penguin Teen, Penguin Books, Harper Teen, Simon & Schuster, Kristen Simmons, Little Brown, Fierce Reads, the YA Sisterhood, and K for this week's awesome reads.

What goodies did you receive this week?

Weekly Re-Cap: There was a ton happening on the blog this week. Don't miss this week's:
Thank you for stopping by this week! Please leave me a link so I can come check out your mailbox feature and see what books you got. 

The Cross Roads Blog Tour Day 8: Joy Preble / Leanna Renee Hieber

Welcome to Day 8 of The Cross Roads Blog Tour, hosted by author Judith Graves. Today is the last of the tour, so be sure to stop by the tour blog page HERE to check out the awesome line up of authors who were apart of this year's tour, as well as the bloggers who will be hosting each author. Don't forget find out how you can win a kindle!

TOMORROW-  Join myself and the entire line up of The Cross Roads authors for an end of tour chat LIVE on Twitter! This starts on Monday, October 29th at 9pm EST. Trust me, you won't want to miss it. More info that will be posted soon.  

Hi Joy. How would you describe Anastasia Forever in a 140-character tweet?

Secrets within secrets. Truth within lies.Will Anne and Ethan end up together? History never tells you everything. And magic has a price.

You've been granted your 15 minutes of fame. How will you spend it?

Truth: I’d probably end up wasting it agonizing over how I should spend it. I am such a dork.

Wild rumpus's, huh? What's your wildest rumpus to date?

Salsa dancing in a club above a restaurant when I was in LA for the SCBWI conference. My agent, Jen Rofe, is this amazing salsa dancer. So she took a few of us with her after the Saturday night party. That’s all I’m saying.

What's next for Anastasia - or if book 3 is the last, what can your readers look forward to next?

Book 3 is probably it for the ANASTASIA series. I think the story has come to its proper and sufficient conclusion, although as one reviewer did say, there is a door left open. But I don’t see me walking through it. Right now I’m focused on next year’s paranormal mystery, THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, which comes out in May 2013 from Soho Press. It’s set here in Texas and its funny and bittersweet and a little scary and I adored writing it.

Strangely beautiful fiction - love this! What does it mean to you and how does it apply to your writing?

My greatest strength as a writer is merging the beautiful with the strange or terrifying. I write Gothic novels, so beauty and terror are always entwined. My first saga of books I published is the Strangely Beautiful saga, which will be re-issued in 2014, with crossover characters appearing in my other sagas.

It's the month of ghosts and ghouls. What monster would you like to dance with at The Bash?

Oh, Lestat, please. Nothing better than the old-school vampires, frightening and powerful as they are meant to be.

How does playwriting differ from fiction? Do you prefer one style over another? 

Playwriting is so much more concise, and it isn’t my preferred medium. Because I started my professional career as an actress, my connections to publish plays were easier to navigate than publishing fiction, but I’ve been writing novels since I was around 11, so it’s second nature to me. I like the more expansive world that I can create verbally in a novel than the constraints of the theatre. Although I am currently adapting my first novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, into a musical, with Broadway talent on board on the production team, and so that’s a fascinating fusion of my fiction and playwrighting skills. More at 

Who is the protagonist in The Eterna Files? Tell us 5 quirky, need-to-know things about him/her.

I have four main protagonists, the tale is a parallel narrative between them, two in England, two in America, set in 1882. Harold Spire is a gifted English policeman assigned to head a paranormal secret branch that he’s utterly skeptical about, his right hand woman Rose Everhart is a gifted clerk, researcher and intuitive analyst and the operation would fall apart without her. In New York Leigh Templeton created the idea of the “Eterna” compound, a substance that could prolong life to make sure political leaders would stay in office after the assassination of President Lincoln, she’s an incredibly gifted woman with a sense of her past lives and psychic gifts, her partner Franklin Fordham is a gentle giant of a man with the ability to touch objects and see their past. These two London and New York offices become embroiled in a paranormal arms race for immortality, and the quirky characters that surround them all might drive them all mad as they try to find the cure for death.

*Thank you to Judith for supplying the questions for today's tour stop.

The Tour:

Each day of The Crossroads Blog Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page: and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all answers by the end of the tour.

Answers are to be emailed to judithgraves @ ymail dot com by October 28th at MIDNIGHT. Winner of the grand prize will be announced on OCTOBER 31st – HALLOWEEN.

The Giveaway:

The GRAND PRIZE you’re vying for? A brand new KINDLE, preloaded with a title from each of the participating Crossroads Blog Tour Authors. That’s right folks, a free KINDLE and 13 free EBOOKS!