Thursday, August 29, 2013

Authors are Rockstars Tour Stop: Rae Carson (Interview + Giveaway!)

Howdy, my bookish friends! It's that time of the year again: the Authors ARE Rockstars Blog Tour! I participated in this tour last year (also on the 29th of August, eh!), and it's my utmost honor to be a part of it once more! The Authors ARE Rockstars tour, in case you're unfamiliar, is an annual tour hosted by the fabulous Jaime of Two Chicks on Books, Rachel of Fiktshun, and Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads that showcases the awesomeness of over 100 authors every August. Thank you for all that you do, Jaime, Rachel, and Mindy!

Today, I am SO SO excited to present to y'all the amazingness that is Rae Carson.

Why is Rae Carson a Rockstar?

Rae is one of the most inspirational people I've ever "met". She has such a strong personality: both incredibly determined and incredibly reassured. She writes amazing books for sure, but I'll get to that in a second. I just want to say: Wow. If you ever read the stories about what Rae has gone through, and how she battled her way through misogyny and people who should reconsider their moral path--it's truly inspiring. Besides, Rae connects with her fans a lot and it's really awesome to see that she responds to your tweet, even when it's super embarrassing. And then of course, her books are among some of my all-time favorites. Just: dang. I bow down to this woman. SKILLZ.

And on a personal note... I do believe that The Girl of Fire and Thorns was one of the first--if not the first--ARC I ever received, so I owe a lot to Rae just for how much she helped me kickstart my blog. Love you, Rae! *she says with the most serious and solemn face possible, with a handful of tissues on the side*

Before I get to the interview, you should know what this series is about.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns
By: Rae Carson
Release Date: Already released
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

-Summary from Goodreads
Purchase: Mrs. Nelson's (Help support my local indie store!)* || Barnes & Noble || Amazon || Book Depository

Here is my review of The Girl of Fire and Thorns ///// Here is my review of the sequel, The Crown of Embers (Find it on Goodreads here)  ///// Lastly, find the last book, which just came out on August 27th, here on Goodreads!

Alright, without further ado... let's get to the INTERVIEW!

Hi Rae! Welcome to The Reviews News. *waves* Thanks!! *waves back*

1) Your books draw heavily from Spanish roots, which I think is incredibly cool. How much research did you have to do, if any at all, to make sure the period/cultural information was at least reflective of the Spanish culture?

I was pretty immersed in it at the time. I lived in California's Central Valley, in a place were non-Hispanic whites are a minority. My Latina friends were teaching me Spanish, and I was watching Spanish telenovelas religiously. So all the Spanish influences came pouring out in a very organic and natural way.

2) In Elisa's world, religion is as embroidered into their lives as breathing. Did you ever think that the religious aspect could be a turn-off to some readers?

The religion absolutely turns off some readers! But I feel strongly that teen experiences should be explored in literature—in all their incredible diversity—even if they make readers uncomfortable. In a country where more than 80% of people still claim to believe in a god, it's odd to me that more books don't explore religion. I'm not a religious person myself, but I'm determined to have empathy for the millions of teens who are. 

3) I'll admit: when I first read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, what happened to Alejandro and Humberto completely shocked me. I think that was the first book where my naive expectations of "everyone's safe! Always!" was irreversibly knocked down. I love you for it, but man, that was brutal. Did you ever feel as though you couldn't carry through with a plot point because it was just too emotionally unbearable?

I'm not going to lie; it was reeeally hard to do what I did to Humberto. I liked him a lot. But I wanted Elisa to experience true loss, especially in regards to war. War sucks. People die. And it's dishonoring to all those who have risked their lives in service to their countries to pretend otherwise.

Also, while Humberto was generally a nice guy, he was Elisa's kidnapper, and she deserved better. No heroine of mine will ever end up with a man who abuses her.

4) Did you always set out to make Elisa an overweight heroine to begin with? What were your influences for her character?

Yes, I always intended for her to be overweight. Even later, when she is more fit because of her changed lifestyle, I hope readers continue to picture her as a larger girl. I chose to make her that way after dumping a guy who was obsessed with my weight—even though I could run 6 miles every day, I was never skinny enough for him. So writing about Elisa was my way of giving the finger to him and his douchey perception of beauty.

5) Your husband and you both write. Has this impacted your writing in any way? Do you both never sleep? (The second question is a joke. I think.)

My husband is my first reader for every single thing I write, and he has a great editorial eye. For example, after I drafted The Crown of Embers, I could tell that a few scenes weren't paced right. So he broke them out into an Excel spreadsheet!!! and showed me how I could re-order them for maximum impact. It's the sexiest thing he's ever done for me. 

And what is this "sleep" you speak of? 

6) You're writing a new series in the Gold Rush Era, which is AWESOME. What can we expect? :D

The first book is tentatively scheduled for early 2015. It will have some similarities to the Fire and Thorns series because epic journeys! And magic! And horrifying deaths! And KISSING! But it will be different because guns! And DYSENTERY! I'm very excited about it.

P.S. Questions:
-Humberto or Hector?
HECTOR. Hands down. No question.

-How much will we die from The Bitter Kingdom's feelz?
A lot, I hope. "Am DED from FEELZ" is pretty much the best thing you can say to an author.

-Will you come to my funeral?
Of course! I'll bring Hector with me.

-How embarrassed were you by my absolutely facepalm-worthy fangirling video of The Crown of Embers that I sent you a link to on Twitter last year? (I hope you don’t remember it. And I’m not posting the link again, haha. Oh gosh. I swear I have no eloquence. T.T)
How could I forget something that epically awesome?!?

Thank you so much for stopping by! ^.^ We eagerly await the final part of Elisa's epic story.

Thanks for having me!

I don't know about you, but those were some AWESOME answers. I know I can't wait for Rae's new series--but first, I don't know if I'm ready to handle the emotional wreck that I will become after The Bitter Kingdom.

Rae CarsonAbout Rae:

I write books about teens who must do brave things. I'm originally from California, but I moved to Ohio to marry my husband, who is the smartest and therefore sexiest man I know. We live in Columbus with my teenaged stepsons, who are awesome. My books tend to contain lots of adventure, a little magic and romance, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. I especially love to write about questions I don't know the answers to.

Find Rae: Website || Goodreads || Twitter || Facebook

And finally... the GIVEAWAY!

What can you win?
-A signed hardcover copy of The Bitter Kingdom from Rae herself!

What are the rules?
-The prize can only be shipped to an address in the U.S. But that doesn't mean you can't get your friend in the states to enter for you, and then for them to mail it to you wherever you are if they win! *nudge nudge*
-The giveaway will run for one week, from August 29th, 2013 to September 5th, 2013. You must enter within that timeframe.
-The winner will be given 48 hours to respond following initial contact. If there is no response, another winner will be selected.

What do I do?
-Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below! Only leaving a comment is mandatory, but if you follow Rae on Twitter or tweet about the interview + giveaway, you get extra entries! Woot!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops today:

C.J. Redwine stops at A Life Bound By Books
Elizabeth Richards stops at Literary Exploration
Leigh Bardugo stops at Cuddlebuggery
Michelle Rowen/Morgan Rhodes stops at Tales of the Ravenous Reader
Vivi Barnes stops at Fiktshun

Thank you!  
*The Mrs. Nelson's link is an affiliate link, which means I get a portion of the sale at no additional cost to you. I use my affiliate money for giveaways, so basically it's a no-extra-charges gift for you, really.
The Reviews News


  1. I can't wait to read the last book! :) *excited*

  2. I haven't read Rae's books, but I've been scouring the internet for Blog Tours featuring Bitter Kingdom!!! Thanks for the giveaway! And Best of Luck to Rae Carson!!!

  3. I haven't read Rae's books yet but I do own 2 of them! Really excited to get the 3rd so that I can binge-read, in true bookaholic fashion. :D Thanks for the awesome giveaway and interview!

  4. I have read both The Girl of Fire and Thorns and The Crown of Embers this summer and loved the series so far. I can't wait to read the finale book Bitter Kingdom and find out how it ends, and I have read that one of the POV's is going to be Hector:)

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  6. I haven't read any yet, but I am very excited to!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. Not yet, but would like to

  8. I loved Girl of Fire and Thorns so much! I have Crown of Embers on my kindle but haven't gotten to it. I'd like to binge read the whole series once I get Bitter Kingdom!

  9. I have not read any of her books, but I would like to.

  10. I haven't read her books but I'm excited to read them, it sounds great.

  11. I have not read them yet but have added them to my list

  12. I have not but I'm very excited to!

  13. I sadly have not... Yet :( I am seriously ashamed as a blogger that I haven't as I have heard so many great things about this one!! Thank you so much for the great post and a chance to win something from this Rockstar author!

  14. I HAVE read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but not Crown of Embers(yet). Waiting for the third book to release!

  15. I have read all her books except the Bitter Kingdom. I cannot wait to read it but at the same time I'm scared to read it because that is the last book =(

  16. I haven't read anything by her :-( I'm really trying to keep up with all these amazing books people gushs about

  17. I loved the other books in the series and can't wait to read the conclusion. Thanks so much!

  18. I haven't read any of her books, but I'm excited to. I love the covers, and have heard nothing but good things.

  19. I've read the first 2 books in the series and I loved them both. I think it was because the book surprised me, which is always a pleasant experience:)
    Looking forward to reading this one!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. I haven't read her books, but I plan to soon. I'm so psyched to hear that practically everyone loves her series. So, I'm really looking forward to it. :)

  21. I have not read any but have heard great things and hope to soon! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  22. I have read The Girl of Fire and Thorns, I have Crown of Embers waiting for me to read on my Kindle, but I don't want to read it until I have The Bitter Kingdom or I will lose my mind when it ends waiting to read it! I absolutely love her writing, it is just incredible. Girl of Fire and Thorns just sucked me right into that world and I never wanted to leave!

  23. YES!!! I loved Girl of Fire and Thorns so much, and Crown of Embers was even better! Its such a beautiful and well written fantasy! The Bitter Kingdom is one of my top TBR books for 2013! I also read her short story, Dangerous Voices, and THe Shadow Cats, and loved those as well! Rae is such an amazing writer!

  24. I have never read Rae's books, but I have e-copies of both on my nook, and I THINK I have a HB copy of the first one, although I'm not positive at this time because most of my books are in boxes. :( But I'm super excited to read them all, and now that they're all out I can just do it one after the other!!!

  25. I haven't read this series but I really want to!

  26. I haven't read her books yet either, but like Violette up above I am also trying to get my hands on all three books so I can have a mini readathon of sorts. This series looks AWESOME. Thank you so much!

  27. I haven't read any of her books yet, but I've heard such wonderful things.


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