Monday, April 30, 2012

Hemlock Tour Stop

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Kathleen Peacock is visiting Xpresso Reads today for the blog tour of her wonderful book, Hemlock. This is one of my top favorite reads of 2012 so I’m very excited to have her over for an interview. Let’s first have a look at my glowing review! =)

Kathleen Peacock
Series: Hemlock, #1
Release date: May 8th, 2012
by HarperCollins

Goodreads / Purchase

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.

Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins Canada for review purposes*

There has been no shortage of vampire and werewolf novels in recent years. I was wondering how a new werewolf book could possibly bring about something new and original. Somehow, someway, Kathleen Peacock thought of an intriguing plot, wrote some fantastic characters, gave them life, unique voices, strong personalities, and wrapped it all up in this lovely novel full of mystery, friendship, and loyalty.

What makes this plot unique is obvious from the start: The werewolves are out. The public has been made aware of Lupine Syndrome. The Trackers, who are trying to contain the spread of this virus, are basically given free reign to be violent to whomever they think has been infected. Thus, as you can guess, the infected want to hide their secret. Then there’s Amy – our protagonist’s best friend – who’s just been murdered. See? We’ve got a simple werewolf lore with added suspense, a murder mystery, and a dystopian-like society, which gives us a pretty darn good page-turner! Also, this is the first book in a long time that I can honestly say has surprised me with the twists. It ambushed me! There are actually several of these twists wound together that made me take a step back… and blink.

A society such as Hemlock’s really triggers some helpless feelings while reading – werewolves having no lawful rights or protection. Everyone’s at the mercy of the Trackers. They have all the power, and believe me, they use it. It reminded me a bit of reading a dystopian: feeling like you’re trapped with no one to turn to for justice. One thing I’m curious about is the werewolf politics: What they’re doing to fight this, what the camps are like, etc. However, seeing as this is the first in a series there’s still time to get into this.

Inside this society, Hemlock possesses characters that shine throughout. Mac’s personality is so honest I really grew to be fond of her. She’s got incredible devotion, she’s strong and her head is screwed on right. In addition, there are two of the sweetest, although polar opposite, guys after her. I don’t dislike love triangles but I’ve read my fair share of them. Yet, I was delighted by the way Kathleen wrote the romance in Hemlock. First you should know that although the romance is always somewhat present underneath it all, it never takes the lead. The plot keeps at center-stage with Mac’s commitment to get to the bottom of Amy’s murder. With that said, both guys in this book are incredible. Kyle is so adorable you just want to squeeze his cheeks. Jason- he’s the bad boy. You’ll hate his actions, but it’s easy to see the huge heart that he’s hiding underneath his tough exterior. Don’t ask me which team I’m on, though, I have joined none. I refuse to choose! *Crosses arms*

As far as werewolf books go, this is easily my favorite to date; it has so much more. It’s an all around wonderful novel that balances plot, romance, and action perfectly. It will keep you up until morning, either from its enticing pace, or its gorgeous cover that you simply cannot stop staring at!

Oh, and side-note: The author is Canadian! REPRESENT, YO! >.<

5 Hot Espressos
Interview with Kathleen Peacock

Q. Let’s first start by telling us a bit about how you came up with the story behind Hemlock.

I actually had the initial idea while walking to work and listening to emo breakup music. “It’s Been Awhile” by Staind started playing, and I just had this very clear picture of three teens in a hospital room. A girl had just been hurt, and her two best friends—both boys—were at each other’s throats.  

Q. Hemlock has two incredibly sweet, well-rounded male characters. How did you go about creating such vivid opposing personalities?

Kyle’s personality has really stayed true to the first few flashes I had of him as a character. In every draft the book went through, he always felt so much responsibility and wanted so badly to protect the people he cared about—especially Mac.

Jason has been a little harder to pin down. He’s so self-destructive, and it’s been a challenge to portray that side of his nature while balancing it so that you can understand why Kyle bails him out of trouble and why Mac cares about him so much. 

Q. If you had to pick one to go on a date with, would it be Kyle or Jason (and why)?

I can’t really pick because they’re seventeen…

That being said, when I was seventeen, I would totally have crushed on Jason. I always liked guys who were ridiculously out of my league and just a little bit broken.

Q. What is your writing process? Do you go with the flow or do you already know how this series will end?

I used to totally go with the flow, but over the course of the first book, I really became a fan of outlines—mostly because it was just too hard to figure out which clues should get dropped where without planning it.

In terms of the series, there are events in book two which will lead to revelations in book three, and I do have plans for each of the main characters. That all being said, I’ve never completely stuck to an outline, so nothing is set in stone.

Q. If you were a werewolf, what would you look like (in wolf form)?

Not to sound ultra-Canadian, but I think I’d look scruffy and kind of like a wolf version of The Littlest Hobo.

Thanks so much for having me on the tour Kathleen! I loved getting to know you and I can’t wait for the sequel! *grabby hands*

Kathleen’s Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

Kathleen spent most of her teen years writing short stories. She put her writing dreams on hold while attending college but rediscovered them when office life started leaving her with an allergy to cubicles.

Hemlock, her first novel, will be released on May 8th by Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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38 Responses to “Hemlock Tour Stop”

  1. Karen

    Great review! Werewolves usually aren’t my thing but I’ve been dying to read this one ever since I saw a blurb for it months and months ago. Good to know that it’s worth looking forward to! 😀

  2. Natalia Belikov @ Dazzling Reads

    OMG!!!!!!!!! My dear… how come I had NO idea the author was Canadian? shame on me! now Im broken!! sniff!!!!!!!!! Excellent review my dear!! OMG! if this one is your favorite werewolve book, then that MEANS something! HOLY COW!

    Im gonna go break my pigXD LOL!

    Have a nice day sweetie =P

  3. Danny

    See Giselle!? That’s an awesome post a great and exciting review about a book I haven’t had on my radar before! Seriously, I saw it around but never really cared, but since I come and visit yout blog every day and read whatever you have to say I have no one book more on my list!

    Loved this interview too!

    And Kathleen: It’s totally fine to pretend to crush on 17 year olds. I do that all the time when reading YA and I’m .. nearly .. twice their age! (There, I said it..)

  4. Jasprit

    Great interview and review Giselle, the last time I read a decent werewolf book was ages ago! So thanks for recommending this one! Btw I love the cover it’s gorgeous! 🙂

  5. Amy

    Awesome review and Interview!! I was going to post my review today, but I am behind a bit so I still haven’t written it. I think probably Wednesday. I have too much stuff Going on the blog tomorrow. A cover reveal, a video for a book release, plus my regular Tuesday posts. Whew!! Lol. I loved Hemlock!! I knew I would because you told me so. 😉 It was a refreshing change to the typical werewolf story.

  6. Andrea @The Bookish Babes

    I really enjoyed Hemlock, as well. I think I like it more now than when I finished it. And it’s funny, b/c I touched on a lot of the same issues as you did. I think I did choose a guy, Kyle. But I’m sure I’ll waffle back and forth throughout the series. Great review and interview, Giselle!

  7. Nick

    Yeah ! I’m so glad you loved it too 😀
    I especially loved the paragraph on The Trackers. They could be so oppressive sometimes that I wondered how on earth the citizens of Hemlock could live with such people around them.

    Kathleen seems like such a nice person !
    Awesome review and interview, Giselle 🙂

  8. Jac

    I’ve read so many “Vampires are out” books, that a werewolf scenario sounds GREAT!! And, your favorite Warewolf book to date?? I definitely have to grab this – you haven’t steered me wrong yet.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  9. Rachelia (Bookish Comforts)

    I don’t normally read books about werewolves – I’m much more into witches, ghosts, and some vampires, but when I read the summary a few months back I knew I HAD to read this book. And that in my eyes is an accomplishment in and of itself, when I normally have pretty much no interest at all in werewolves.

    Plus, anarchy and werewolf politics definetely sound intriguing.

    Also, I don’t think I realized Kathleen Peacock was Canadian, WOOT WOOT! 😀 Hahaha, also I loved her last answer!

  10. Tiffany

    I really enjoyed this one! I thought this book was really unique for a werewolf book and I loved the mystery aspect. As for the love triangle, I haven’t chosen a side yet either but I’m leaning a bit more toward Jason. Awesome review 🙂

  11. Book Sake

    This is one I’ve been looking forward to reading. I’ll be reading it in a few days and now I really can’t wait – glad it lived up to the expectations!

    – Jessica @ Book Sake

  12. Gabby

    Loved that review Giselle! This sounds great I need a good werewolf book to sink into and great interview! Love this post 🙂

  13. Melliane

    Oh it sounds very interesting!It’s always amazing to have a unique story because it’s difficult with these kinds of book. thanks for the review

  14. Giselle

    @Natalia: Break your pig!! bahaha! I love your face!!

    @Danny: We all know she’s crushing just like we all are! 😀 And I’m glad I can get you to read this one it’s really fabulous!!

    @Amy: Because I told you so! *chuckles* #SoulMates

    @Jac & @Rachelia: I know except for the Sookie books this is the only werewolf book that really interested me. The others were all “yet another paranormal book”.

    Thanks for dropping by lovelies! <3

  15. Stephanie

    This sounds amazing! You’re so lucky you got a copy haha. I’m so excited for this to come out.
    Great review!
    Canadians rock ~ ^.^

    Have a great day !

  16. Jennifer Messerschmidt

    Ohhhhh I can’t wait! I’ve read in several reviews now that the twists are really shocking and surprising and that is usually rare. I also love the fact that the werewolf disease is out to the public. I hate love triangles but I’ll suffer through as usual lol

  17. Giselle

    @Jennifer Messerschmidt: haha. Actually the love triangle is very well written in this one. Some don’t even consider it a triangle at all. So you might have no suffering! 😛

  18. Sam

    I have this on my reading pile but I haven’t yet gotten round to it. It sounds amazing though! I know Juhina loved it too and both of your reviews have me really excited to start it soon. Thanks for sharing the interview too! 🙂

  19. Lexie

    Your favorite werewolf book?



    I get it.

    I need to camp out at the bookstore on May 8th, right?

    Because all the five star reviews, the fabulous interviews, the concept, the general awesomeness that is Kathleen Peacock . . .

    I guess it was inevitable.

    I just hope B&N is okay with a random girl sleeping just outside their doors.

  20. Amber Hughes

    I’m so looking forward to this book! It’s been on on my TBR for awhile now. Werewolf books are my favorite! I loved your review (& the fact that this was your favorite werewolf book)& the interview was great! On a side note: I love that song “It’s Been Awhile” 🙂

  21. ODell @ Book Twirps

    Great review! I’d passed on this one because whenever I hear werewolf or vampire, my skin starts to prickle. I trust your judgement, though. I’ll have to give this a try.

  22. Christina BookTasty

    I wasn’t too interested in this one at first (because I was hesitant about another werewolf story) but I’ve been hearing good stuff about from other bloggers and now you too. I guess I’m going to have to check it out! 🙂 Thanks!

  23. Candace

    Oh yay! I’m so happy to see such an awesome review! This one came today and I’m super excited to read it now!
    Btw, love the new design!

  24. Rebecca (Kindle Fever)

    Ohhhhhhhhhh I’m so glad you loved it. :DD It’s my next one and I’m super excited! I love the idea about the werewolves being out and I’m just starting to love reading about these creatures so… yay! 😀

    Also great interview! LOOOVE the sound of the boys… o:

  25. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue

    I am DYING for the sequel. This is one of those times when although I’m really glad I read an ARC (because Giselle, I totally agree with EVERYTHING in your review), now I have to wait. I have to wait for more Mac, Mac/Kyle, werewolf mythos, and it’s NOT FAIR. 😀 😀

    Awesome interview. Kathleen is so fun and easy to get along with. I just loved the questions you asked her, too!