Monday, February 13, 2017

Q&A With S. Jae Jones

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Hello and welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. Today we have a Q&A with the author and hopefully they’ll make you feel even more excited about reading the book!

Please give a round of applause for S. Jae-Jones!

Q&A With S. Jae-Jones

What was your favorite part about writing this book? What was your favorite scene to write?

I loved that I was able to draw on so many things that inspired or influenced me aesthetically as I wrote this book. I love goth stories, Death and the Maiden tropes, Jacques Cocteau movies, Phantom of the Opera, glitter, David Bowie, Mozart, and all of that made it into my book in some form or another. I don’t have a favorite scene, necessarily, but one that was “fun” (in that it was full of personal “Easter eggs”) for me was the first time Liesl crosses the Underground lake and meets the Lorelei.

What inspired you to write Wintersong?

The easy answer is, of course, the movie Labyrinth. But Labyrinth is only a small piece; I wrote about the whole thing on my blog.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever had to Google for research?

Most of my research is fairly mundane; it’s where I end up that’s a little ridiculous. For one of my WIPs, I think I Googled “King George V” and somehow, in the course of following little details

down the rabbit hole of research, I ended up at Aleister Crowley’s idea of “sex magic.” Yeah. #ravenclawproblems

Could you tell us anything about your next project after WINTERSONG? What can we expect from the sequel?

Well…it’s a sequel. J A direct sequel, and not a companion novel. I’m not sure I can say what you can expect without spoiling things too much, but it will deal with the consequences of the decision Liesl makes at the end of Wintersong.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre? Favorite retelling?

My all-time favorite book is The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I think it’s partially because I first read it at the right time in my life (I was eleven, Lyra’s age), but also because it’s a book that has aged with me. I’ve always loved the coming-of-age narrative, and Pullman takes the concept of growing up and makes it literal in ways that amaze and astound me.

I suppose my genre is YA fantasy, so the opposite of that would be…adult contemporary? I don’t know if I have a favorite, but I thoroughly enjoyed Robert Galbraith’s Cormoran Strike novels, which are the adult mystery/thrillers written by J. K. Rowling.

My favorite retelling is Beauty by Robin McKinley. Again, I think it’s because read this book at the exact right time in my life, but every time I read it, it gives me the warm fuzzies.

Jelly-filled donuts or Chocolate glazed donuts? (v. important question!)

I’m sorry to say I don’t do doughnuts. They taste of Korean school and shame.

About the Book

Q&A With S. Jae Jones
Wintersong
S Jae Jones
Genre: Fairy Tale, Fantasy, YA
Publication date: February 7th, 2017
by Thomas Dunne Books

GoodreadsPurchase
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

About the Author



Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.

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Posted by on 02/11/2017 • 3 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

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Goodreads Purchase

Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in her father’s war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured by ruthless…

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Posted by on 02/10/2017 • 1 Comment

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I think my biggest qualm in terms of the actual horror parts of the book is how much they are based on Christian myth. This is obviously a very personal qualm and not all readers will have that same experience but as someone who exists outside of that narrative, it can be a little unsettling to have all this info forced down ones throat. It isn’t even just the satanic elements but rather the…

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Posted by on 02/09/2017 • 2 Comments

2k17, the year where my eyes tear up because of everything. Currently tearing up because I wish I was a teen and I wish I could have had all these wonderful #ownvoices books in my life as a teen. I am not Latinx but goddamnit, it is so so SO good to read so many #ownvoices novels with non-white main characters. It is so good to see a POC main character and its so incredibly good to see a POC character in familiar tropes. Don’t ever let anyone tell you tropes are bad. TROPES ARE AMAZING (if done right) and people who think books need to not be trope-y are just reading books where tropes aren’t done well.

The Education of Margot Sanchez has been described as being ‘Pretty In…

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Posted by on 02/08/2017 • 8 Comments

TBH, I don’t even know how to start this post off. I wish the world was a better place and I wish everyone could just agree that we all deserve to be treated as humans and equals instead of shitting on the existence of entire groups of people. I am trying to use this space to promote books that we should all be reading right now and to get people to support more diverse (& #ownvoices) content. So here is a list of 10 Books about Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences.

1. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

MC is a first gen Pakistani-American and the book is #ownvoices. Also deals with arranged marriage and has a jaw-dropping gorgeous cover.

2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

I think people who…

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Posted by on 02/04/2017 • 3 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

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Goodreads Purchase

Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father’s identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother’s best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.

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Posted by on 02/02/2017 • 6 Comments

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THE PLAYLIST

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Posted by on 02/01/2017 • 11 Comments

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