- Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
- Publication date: 1/15/2013
- Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
Jodi Marshall isn’t sure how she went from normal teenager to walking disaster. One minute she’s in her junior year of high school, spending time with her amazing boyfriend and her best friend. The next she’s being stalked by some guy no one seems to know.
After the stranger, Alex, reveals himself, Jodi learns he’s not a normal teenager and neither is she. With a kiss that kills and a touch that brings the dead back to life, Jodi discovers she’s part of a branch of necromancers born under the 13th sign of the zodiac, Ophiuchus. A branch of necromancers that are descendents of Medusa. A branch of necromancers with poisoned blood writhing in their veins.
Jodi’s deadly to the living and even more deadly to the deceased. She has to leave her old, normal life behind before she hurts the people she loves. As if that isn’t difficult enough, Jodi discovers she’s the chosen one who has to save the rest of her kind from perishing at the hands of Hades. If she can’t figure out how to control her power, history will repeat itself, and her race will become extinct.
As soon as I saw the gorgeous cover for this book and then read the overview I knew I had to read this! The story just sounded too awesome to pass up, and I was correct. This book had me hooked from the first few pages. I knew that this book would be one that I would love. Full of horrifying events, a romance that doesn't distract from the plot, and a whole lot of awesome revelations about what is really going on, this book is a true winner!!
Jodi was a character that I could relate to, I mean not that I have the kiss of death or can bring people back to life of anything, but because underneath her not so pleasant powers, she is a pretty normal girl. She is accident prone beyond belief, and though it leads to some pretty traumatizing events, it was quite funny at times. I am one of those people who could hurt myself on anything so she was very real to me. She also grows so much from beginning to end. To me she starts off as someone who isn't quite sure of herself and doesn't have a lot of confidence, to a totally bad ass chick who will do anything she can to save her race. As broken as she was leaving her old somewhat normal life, she really embraces her new one and does the right thing at times when almost anyone else would take the easy way out.
Alex was iffy to me for most of the book. I never really could completely put my trust in him. For one, he is a total stalker to begin the book, then he does some really... odd things. He is also a bit of a moody guy too. He goes from one extreme to the other like Jekyll and Hyde. But really, for the most part, I thought he was sweet and a little broken. I could almost see where his behavior was coming from, but like a lot of guys in books lately, I wanted him to grow a pair and man up. I guess easier said than done. In the end I did really like him though, and to me those are the best kind of characters. When they have to work to make you like them.
The take on mythology in this book and what the Ophi can and can't do was really great! I loved the whole idea of it all and as the story progressed it just got better and better. This is one of those books that you really can imagine the setting, and the things happening. You can feel what the character is going through. This was a slightly creepy, fantastically awesome book with a lot of action, and humor. And for those who don't like huge cliffhangers, this one doesn't leave you in suspense, but does leave you wanting more. Touch of Death was an amazing start to this series and I will be counting the days until Stalked by Death. 4 out of 5 stars
BLM: Hi Kelly! Thanks for taking time to do the interview.
BLM: You have written a number of children's books. What made you decide to write YA?
KH: I actually started writing YA first, but my children's books were published sooner. YA is where my heart is because I never truly stopped being 16. That version of me is still going strong in my mind.
BLM:What inspired you to become a writer?
KH: I've always loved to read. Books have impacted my life in so many ways and I wanted to be able to have that kind of impact on other people's lives. I guess you can say, I'm trying to pay it forward.
BLM: What gave you the idea for Touch of Death?
KH: I was researching for another book at the time and came across a lesser known myth about Ophiuchus and Medusa. According to the myth, Ophiuchus was given two vials of Medusa's blood. Being Gorgon, the blood on the right side of Medusa's body could bring back the dead and the blood on the left side of her body could kill. I knew immediately that I wanted to have a cast of characters who could do the same thing.
BLM: What type of research did you do for the mythology aspect of the story?
KH: I had to do a lot of research on Ophiuchus (the 13th sign of the zodiac) and Medusa. I also had to research Hades quite a bit. I've always loved mythology, though, so the research was really fun. In addition to regular research, I read books that featured Hades. I wanted to make sure I was portraying him in a convincing way, but I didn't want him to be stereotypical either. I had to put my own spin on him.
BLM: This is a planned three book series, correct? Do you have the whole series plotted out or are you kind of figuring it out as you go?
KH: Yes, it is. I actually planned the entire series before my agent took Touch of Death out on submission. All three books are written at this point, too. I like to be ahead of things. Of course, my characters did make me stray from my planning on numerous occasions. They're much smarter than I am. ;)
BLM: Are any of your character based on people who you know?
KH: No. I may pull traits from myself or other people, but none of my characters are modeled after real people.
BLM: How did you come up with the characters names? Was it random? Did they choose their own names?
KH: Thankfully, they come to me named. I know that makes me sound crazy, but my characters come to me the same way I'd meet a new friend. They approach me with their names and stories already in mind.
BLM: Do your characters speak to you or get in your head and lead the story directions that you don't expect?
KH: All the time! I really don't even feel like I write the books. I feel like I'm just trying to keep up with the characters playing out their stories in my head.
BLM: You have a few different books that will be coming out in the next two years. Is it hard to switch your mind off from one story to get into another?
KH: All my MCs are very different and that really helps. They each have their own story to tell, and that allows me to love them all and give them separate attention.
BLM: The cover for Touch of Death (and Stalked by Death) is gorgeous! Did you have any say in the design of it at all?
KH: Yes. Kate Kaynak at Spencer Hill Press asked me for my thoughts before the cover was designed, and I found a picture that I loved as Jodi. Kate loved it too, and she worked her magic on it, altering it to fit the story perfectly.
BLM: Now I have some random this or that questions for you.
Coffee or tea? Coffee
M&M's or Skittles? M&M's
Chips or cookies? cookies
Sneakers or Heels? Heels
Morning person or night owl? morning person
Pool or ocean? pool
Facebook or twitter? twitter
Okay that's all I have. Thanks so much Kelly! It was a pleasure to be able to interview you!
LOVE ALL, Swoon Romance, December 2012
TOUCH OF DEATH, Spencer Hill Press, January 15, 2013 Pre-order on Amazon or B&N
STALKED BY DEATH, Spencer Hill Press, July 23, 2013
THE MONSTER WITHIN, Spencer Hill Press, April 2014
THE DARKNESS WITHIN, Spencer Hill Press, TBA
INTO THE FIRE, Month9Books, Spring 2014
CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE, Month9Books, 2016
That is a whole lot of books coming out in the next few years!! I can't wait to read all of them. :) Don't forget to enter the tour wide giveaway using the rafflecopter form below.
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