Monday, February 25, 2013

Blog Tour: The Midnight Spell by Rhiannon Frater & Kody Boye - Review, Interview & Giveaway!


I am a big Rhiannon Frater fan so I was super excited to take part in this tour. On my stop today I have my review of the book and a great interview with both Rhiannon Frater and Kody Boye!! I also have a giveaway for an ebook copy of the book and there's a tour wide giveaway that's pretty awesome! For the full tour schedule click on the banner above to be taken to the tour page.

  • Publish Date: February 26th 2013
  • Genre: YA Paranormal
  • Souce: eARC provided by Xpresso Book Tours for review
Purchase: Amazon (Link will work on publish date)

Adam and Christy have been best friends since kindergarten. Always the perpetual outsiders in their small town in Texas, they’ve always had to deal with nasty comments from their classmates. Adam is called “gay” while Christy is called “witch.”

On both counts the bullies are right.

Their junior year in high school seems destined to be the same old same old until Christy decides to cast a love spell for Adam at the midnight hour. The next day an alluring and mysterious new boy enrolls at school and sets hearts a flutter, including Adam’s. Meanwhile, Christy’s mad crush on the handsome Ian seems to be going nowhere fast. Struggling to capture the heart of Ian while trying to come into her full witch powers is tough enough, but when a great evil arrives in town that threatens everything they hold dear, she realizes that finding a boyfriend is the least of her and Adam’s worries.

Soon Adam, Christy, their potential love interests, and their good friends Drifter and Olivia, will have to battle a force of darkness that has killed in their town before and will again.

My Thoughts

I love books about witches, and I love myself a good scary book. Combine them and I'm all in!! I know that Rhiannon Frater knows how to write scary well, so I had no doubt this book would totally creep me out at some point. Now not only is it about witches, but there are other paranormal elements to it too. By far my favorite part was the characters and their relationships. This book is based very strong on friendship and family and I think that there really should be more of that in YA. Also notable is the awesome humor in it. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times!


The main characters are Cristy and Adam and I really loved them both. They have both been social outcasts since elementary school and have been best friends since kindergarten. They call Cristy a witch, and Adam gay. Both true, but it gets them picked on. They are always there for each other no matter what though and will do anything for the other. I loved how loyal they were and you could tell that they had been friends since they were kids. I could really feel the connection between them. They seemed to balance each other well. Adam is more quiet and reserved, while Cristy says what is on her mind. I thought they were both well developed and I loved their alternating POV's

The other characters were equally awesome. Olivia was so fun!! She was like a ray of sunshine. She is super friendly and unique. Best is she is comfortable with who she is and will stand up for her friends in a heartbeat. Then there's Drifter who although he is friends with everyone, he tends to hang out with Adam and Cristy. Mark was charming and sweet, though a bit possessive of Adam, and Ian was so nice and I almost felt bad that Cristy kept shooting him down after crushing on him for so long. She really judges him too harshly. Mostly I loved Adam's mom, Ashley. She was so awesome!! She was funny, tough, and I just adored her. (She is based on Ashley from The Bookish Brunette and I think they did a fantastic job capturing her personality!) Cristy's parents are also really fun, and totally embarrassing. Best for me were "broom" and Callie. Some of my favorite scenes were with them.

This story captured me right from the start. I was invested in the characters and interested in where the story was going. It was funny, scary, and had some great action. I loved the friendships and the bonds that were already there and the ones that formed. No matter what craziness was going on around them, they would do what they needed for each other with no questions asked. And I mention again, the family aspect. I could not have loved the parents involvement more. Cristy's parents and Adam's mom were such great additions to the story and it really rounded out everything well. I was very wrapped up in the story and I felt at times like I was there with them. This book was really fun to read and I can only hope for a sequel!!





Interview with Rhiannon and Kody!!

Hi Rhiannon and Kody! Thanks so much for doing this interview.

What was it like writing a book together? How different was it from writing a book on your own?

Rhiannon: Well, it took a lot more planning than I usually do with my own writing. We had to fully discuss all the characters and the plot points before writing. Im an organic writer, so I usually jump into a novel with an idea and a general concept of where its going to go then allow things to develop naturally. 

But even though we had a character bible and full outline, THE MIDNIGHT SPELL still developed organically. I remember at one point we just looked at each other and tossed out the whole last part of our outline because we realized it wouldnt fit what we had already written.

Kody: Like any book, it takes a bit of planning. Some are more seed writers (I.e, Stephen Kings plant a seed, let a tree grow); others are plotters. With two people, you had to plot. For something like this, it wasnt hard. It was basically following an A - B - C pattern. There werent too many major subplots to interfere with what we had plotted, but as Rhiannon said, near the last fourth of the book, we just said, Screw the outline, and tossed it. The pacing wouldnt have worked. So we pretty much just rewrote it and went from there.

How did you come up with the idea for The Midnight Spell? I am a big fan of witch books.

Rhiannon: Well, Kody had said he wanted to write a YA vampire novel, but had no firm idea. So I helped him brainstorm and at some point Christy just popped into being. We loved the idea of both of them having secrets while growing up together. Adam is gay, Christy is a refugee from another dimension where magic was real. They both get picked on growing up, but have each other. When Adam comes out of the closet to Christy, Christy comes out of the broom closet.

What is the process like when writing a book together? Did it ever get confusing?

Rhiannon: Well, we wrote the book in Google Docs so we could both write on the novel at the same time. We also sat at my dining room table with our laptops open so we could discuss as we wrote. Sometimes we would wait for the other person to finish before moving on. There were a few times I got confused and Kody helped me muddle through it. I mostly struggled with the fear that I wasnt picking up all the plot threads. I remember one big discussion we had where I wasnt sure we were clear on a plot point and Kody had to show me that we had. But it was also nice to have the other half of the team saying No, no. Were not screwing up.

Kody: Thats the thing, though--I think its natural for any artist to have self-doubt because theres always that, Am I good enough? thing running through your head. (Which also translates to, Am I doing this right?) I have the same thing as well and its incredibly helpful to have a second person on board, even if its just to look at it.

Is this book a stand alone, or will it be part of a series?

Rhiannon: We wrote the novel with the intention of it being able to stand on its own. Were aware that we broke a lot of YA rules. The book isnt a romance. Its not a social commentary on bullying. Even our protagonists are not the norm. We have the short redhead gay boy and his slightly overweight outcast friend who happens to be a real witch. At the storys heart , its just about two kids who are very best friends and are awkwardly trying to find love and acceptance while attending high school in a small Texas town. Also, its a pretty funny and yet scary novel. We have an idea for a sequel, but well have to see how the sales for the first one are. It is expensive to indie publish and writing a book is a time-consuming endeavor.

Fingers crossed for a sequel!!
What other projects are each of you working on that you are allowed to share with us?

Kody: Im writing the last book in my Brotherhood saga. Other than that and The Midnight Spell, I havent been doing too much the past few months.

Rhiannon: Im writing the final AS THE WORLD DIES UNTOLD TALES short story collection, then Ill be writing PRETTY WHEN SHE DESTROYS, the final book in the PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES trilogy.

Is collaborating a thing you would consider doing again either with each other or another author?

Rhiannon: I probably wont do this sort of thing with anyone else. The fact we were sitting across from each other during most of the writing of the book and that we could discuss it in detail at anytime was really great. I would definitely write another Midnight Spell novel with Kody.

Kody: This face-to-face collaboration process has ruined any other form of collaboration for me. I know it. I could see myself doing something like this on Skype, but even discussing details such as the layout of a house or a backyard, where we could draw and coordinate it, was so much easier in person.

Thank you both so much for answering some questions for me.

Rhiannon Frater
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to rhiannonfrater@gmail.com.

Author Links:


Kody Boye
Kody Boye was born and raised in Southeastern Idaho. Since his initial publication in the Yellow Mama Webzine in 2007, he has gone on to sell nearly three-dozen stories to various markets. He is the author of the short story collection Amorous Things, the novella The Diary of Dakota Hammell, the zombie novel Sunrise and the dark fantasy novel Blood. His fiction has been described as ‘Surreal, beautiful and harrowing’ (Fantastic Horror,) while he himself has been heralded as a writer beyond his years(Bitten by Books.) He currently lives and writes in the Austin, Texas area.


Author Links:
Giveaway

one ebook copy of The Midnight Spell
International
Winner must respond within 48 hours or a new one will be chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour giveaway

Paperback copy of The Midnight Spell
The Midnight Spell Candle
The Midnight Spell Bookmarks

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This post brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours
  

34 comments:

  1. Ohhh that's some wicked swag! So happy you loved this one. I know how much you love Rhiannon so I had no doubt this would be a fast favorite of yours. I love reading books by my favorite authors because you just KNOW that you are going to love it. This sounds like it pulled off the creep factor and had some really great characters thrown into the mix. Fabulous review!

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    1. The characters were so great!! I love all the different interactions between them whether it be the friends, the parents, or Cristy and the broom or Callie!! The broom was one of my favorite parts of the book!

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  2. This does sound like such a cool book! I love the premise, and I love that the parents are involved! We don't see enough of they in YA. I also enjoyed the interview, and the story of the collaboration. It seems The Midnight Spell was done well. So glad you enjoyed this, Amy!

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    1. This was done very well. I loved the characters, I loved the story, and I hope that we get a sequel!

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  3. This sounds like such a good book. I have it for review and I need to get to it as soon as I can. The characters seem so different from typical YA characters and big thumbs up for the parents actually being involved in the lives of their kids. I'm glad that you enjoyed the book, Amy!
    Great review and interview! I also asked them a couple of the same questions!

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    1. I hope that you enjoy it when you read it!!

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  4. This does sound good. I like books about witches too. Glad you liked it!

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    1. I really loved the dual POV too and the fact that the two main characters were best friends, not a romantic thing.

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  5. I'm not a witches kinda reader. I'm glad you liked it though.

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    1. Haha!! Every time I review a witch book you say that. ;)

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  6. I love books with witches and I love books where friends and family are important. Christy seems like a character I would really like as well. I just read another good review of this one too and I think I might like this book!

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    1. I loved that this focused a lot on friends and family. I think too many books get away from that.

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  7. Yay so happy you enjoyed it! I read the first few chapters and it was really good! I also love when parents are genuinely involved in YA books. Absent parents is just not believable. Great review, muffin!

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    1. OMG the parents in this are not only part of it, but they were really awesome and funny too!

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  8. Knowing that the mom character is based on a real blogger I've read/watched in her vlogs is so cool! I'm so glad I read this review before the book. I've had Rhiannon Frater near the top of my list since Giselle went gaga over her books a while ago, but somehow haven't gotten to her yet. I love witches, so maybe I'll start with this one!

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    1. The character Ashley is so like Ashley from The Bookish Brunette! Even if I hadn't known ahead of time I would have figured it out pretty quick! That was really fun to read!

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  9. Amy!! You have me really excited to read this one. :) I totally agree that more YA books need to have strong family and friend relationships. Those are what get us through real life, not the boy that stumbles along into it. ;) LOVE that this is mostly about witches but has other paranormal elements as well.

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    1. I thought this was fabulous!! I couldn't help but emphasize the family and friendships since it was such a big part. I think it's important and I am glad they had the parents not only in it, but an active role in the books too.

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  10. Sounds like a good book but not sure if I enjoy it much. Still, thanks for sharing :)

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    1. It won't be everyone's thing. I hope that the people who enjoy this type of book discover it and love it though.

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  11. I've actually only ever read one book by Rhiannon but I loved it and have always been meaning to read more. I'm happy this book has fun characters, and I love books about outcasts when they're done well. The interview is also really fun! Fabulous post, darling. <3

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    1. I think you would really like this one! I really loved how it was about outcast, but it didn't take the path of making them popular or anything like that, that so many books do. It has them happy for the most part with who they are. Yes, they have their insecurities, but they don't want to be the popular kids.

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  12. I love character-driven stories and this seems like something I would enjoy. I remember seeing sign ups for this tour and idk why I didn't pick it up! I'l have to check it out sometime soon. Great review!

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. This is very character driven. I loved all of the characters.

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  13. Yay, witches! Plus, it's so awesome that a character is based off a blogger!

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    1. Yes!! I read a post on Ashley's blog about it, so I noticed it right away. Even if I hadn't known, I would have guessed pretty quickly.

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  14. I always love knowing when an author is working on the final book in a series! Kudos!!
    Pabkins @ My Shelf Confessions

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  15. Great review, Amy! I think we pretty much agree about everything in 100%, and I just can't believe I forgot to mention the broom and the cat in my review *face-palm*! I definitely need to check out some of Frater's other books! Have you read of them? Also, I can't believe Kody is so much younger than I am.. o_o

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    1. I have read her other books. I read the As the World Dies series, The Last Bastion of the Living, and the first 2 books in the Pretty When She Dies series. I loved them all!! I have a few of Kody's books that I really need to get to also!!

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    ReplyDelete

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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete

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