Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Embrace Blog Tour - Author Interview with Jessica Shirvington

Hey everyone! Are you as excited as I am for Embrace by Jessica Shirvington? This novel marks her North American debut and let me tell you the novel is great! I'm lucky enough to be a part of the blog tour for Embrace, and for that I have a fantastic author interview to share!

Here's the novel summary;

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…
Now, on with the interview!

To date, Embrace has had many fantastic reviews. Can you describe how this makes you feel, knowing that people really adore your novel?
It is amazing! Sharing stories with people is what it is all about. The idea of someone else reading about my characters and going on the journey with them and enjoying it - it is pretty cool. Not everyone is always going to connect with the characters and the story in the way I want them to and I always knew that would be the case. But to see so many people reading about them and wanting more - it is definitely a wow kind of feeling!

What’s the best piece of life advice that you’ve ever received? Does it play any part in Embrace?
My father would say it was his: Fill your mind before you fill your pockets. My mother would say it was hers: Go for it and follow your heart. My husband might say it was his: God doesn't deny destiny, he only delays it. I think it might be all three in some ways and I suppose elements of each play into threads of the story of Embrace.

What are the three things that you never leave the house without?
Wallet, phone, pen.

Could you sum up your novel in three sentences? How about three words?
3 Sentences.
Angels are real and frightening, and they play a part in everything that happens in the universe, good and bad.
Violet must face a choice that will change her life irrevocably and set her on a path bigger than anything she could ever imagine.
Everyone's heart is on the line and everyone has to pay the price for the choices that they make.
3 words.
Heartache. Sacrifice. Consequence.

Do you remember what you were doing when the idea for Embrace came to you?
Sitting at the breakfast bar in my kitchen. I don't know why I opened my laptop exactly... Sometimes things just happen. I decided on most of the key elements of Embrace that day.

Any plans for a sophomore series? How about a stand-alone novel or two?
I definitely have plans. I'd like to write a stand-alone. I think the challenge is different to a series and there is a story I would very much like to write when the time is right.

Your novel has a North American release date of March 6, 2012 from Sourcebooks Fire. Just how excited/nervous are you on a scale of 1-10? 1 being inhumanly calm, and 10 being about to wet yourself in public – and not care who sees.
Probably around an 8 on your scale. Translation: So incredibly nervous that I could pee myself, but not so nervous that I wouldn't be mortified by it!

If you could meet Violet in person right before the start of the novel and give her one piece of advice, what would it be?
 Hold on tight and don't forget who you are.

If you had to choose only one novel to read for the rest of your life, which would it be?
It's an impossible choice. Too much to give up in return for one novel that would forever disappoint as a result.

Any plans for book tours in the near future?
Yes! I'm going to be in the US in September in time for the release of book 2, Enticed. I am so looking forward to the trip and having a chance to chat with as many readers as possible. More details will be posted closer to the time at the Embrace The Series website:

ARC cover for Embrace

I love the covers for Embrace, though I have to admit that I completely adore the ARC cover more than the finished copy – it’s just so pretty! Did you have a lot of say in what they looked like? Did they turn out how you imagined?
The cover exceeded my expectations. Like you, I fell in love with the ARC cover. Something about its simplicity just worked so well. I didn't believe Sourcebooks would be able to top it, but when I saw the final design - I was totally blown away. It captures the essence of the story and works so well as the image to start the series. On top of that they have given it the soft-touch finish - needless to say, lots of petting in my future! I was very lucky to be given an early glimpse at the mockups they were considering. To tell the truth, when I saw them, I loved them all. I told them my favorite but that I was happy to leave it in their hands. As luck would have it, they shared my opinion and my favorite ended up as the cover.

A lot happens with Violet in this novel. Did you initially go into writing knowing exactly what would happen, or did some bits of the plot just sneak up on you out of nowhere?
My initial chapter breakdown allowed for 16 chapters. I finished with 36. It's safe to say I was surprised along the way - to me that is the beauty of writing. If it was all perfectly mapped out and there was no element of surprise it would be difficult for me to fully connect with the characters. By letting them come to life on the page, by letting their choices steer them in a surprising direction - better scenes and outcomes are discovered. I will always welcome a sneaky attack!

If you could choose just one song that really sets the mood for Embrace and captures the feeling of the novel, what would it be?
Hardest of Hearts - Florence and The Machine

Now, it's time for a super special surprise! Namely, a giveaway of Embrace from Sourcebooks! Mucho thanks to them for providing a copy for giveaway! All you have to do it fill in the form below. US and Canadian addresses only, please. Contest will end on March 6, 2012 - the Embrace release date!

Fill out this form here.
contest over

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