Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blogoversary Day 3: Paula Stokes

Blogoversary day 3 whewwww and I have Paula Stokes aka Fiona Paul on my blog today with some awesome excerpts of her books. Paula/Fiona (I still don't know what to call her, I use the names interchangeably) was actually the first author I had on my blog for a blog tour. I adore her Secrets of the Eternal Rose series - Starling, the final book in the trilogy comes out this year and I'm super-duper excited because as love-triangles go, we're approaching the third book and I STILL haven't chosen which boy I like better. That's how awesome the love-triangle is. Paula's also releasing her contemporary YA, The Art of Lainey, this year which I'm very excited for!

Fiona... Paula... and I talk frequently on Twitter about Korean things. I sort of went a little crazy when I found out she'd lived in Korea for a while - I MEAN HOW COOL IS THAT. You guys know my blog name is derived from the chorus of a K-pop song right? Well you do now ;)

Fiona has very kindly put together the following post which features excerpts from all her books whew. THIS MEANS EXCERPTS FROM STARLING AND THE ART OF LAINEY GUYS. *Twirls*

Paula Stokes/Fiona Paul

Hi everyone! Paula Stokes AKA Fiona Paul here, thrilled to be part of the blogoversary celebration for Fiction in Fiction in Fiction. (Is anyone else’s brain about to explode from thinking about that? It’s like Inception or something). Anyway, I’ve known Jaz on twitter for almost a year and have enjoyed talking to her, especially about bookish things and Korean things! Did you Korean things are awesome? If not, you do now :)

Blogoversaries are some of my favorite celebrations (along with any holiday when Cadbury makes crème eggs) so I thought I would share some of my favorite non-spoilery lines from my books for this event. Here goes:

from THE ART OF LAINEY, (HarperTeen, 2014):
“This is called ‘Wake Up Dreaming,’” the lead singer says. Her voice is a mix of throaty and little girlish. “Someday we hope to perform it with a full symphony.” Around me, people are pulling out their cell phones, lighting up the screens and holding them above their heads. The girl counts out a beat and the whole band begins to play at once. It’s one of the songs Micah played on the way to Mizz Creant’s. The song that almost made me cry. 
The bright lights blink off and suddenly the stage is awash in overlapping blue circles. I can feel vibrations from the amps, from the floor. I swear I can even feel the individual notes moving through the air. My blood hums in my veins. I look over at Micah. He’s got his eyes closed. 
The music pitches and swells, violin and guitars, drumbeats and thudding bass. As I sway back and forth in front of the stage, it feels like being in the eye of a tornado, where it’s calm, but everything is going crazy whirling around me. I can’t stop looking at Micah, at the way the lights reflect off his mohawk, at the way he’s completely lost in the storm of overlapping chords.

Like Micah, I am very passionate about music, even though I don’t play instruments. The way people talk about #YASaves? Music saved me like that. Lainey has never really been moved by music prior to this scene. I worked hard to bring her “musical awakening” to life for others who have not yet had songs get inside of them like this.

from STARLING, (Philomel, 2014):
“I see.” Luca paused for a moment. “So let me ask you again, Cassandra. Do you love him?” 
Did she love Falco? Two months ago she would have said yes. Two weeks ago she would have said no. And then tonight when he showed up at the palazzo, everything had become muddled again. “I’m not sure,” Cass admitted. “But I know I love—” 
Luca cut her off. “You realize my sentence, as handed down by the Senate, nullified our engagement contract, right?” He looked down at the ground. 
“Well, I suppose, but I—” 
“Perhaps it was foolish of me not to clarify that earlier, to assume that you wanted things to stay as they were.” He looked up, eyes hard. Empty. “Consider yourself officially released of any obligation to me.” 
“But Luca, I don’t want—” 
“Clearly you don’t know what you want, Cassandra. And you won’t figure it out with me by your side.”

I actually had to lobby to keep this scene in the book, because some of my editors thought it made Luca unappealing. I could not disagree more. As the author, I know better than anyone how Cass treated Luca deplorably at times in this trilogy, and I felt that for readers to respect him he would have to eventually call her on it. He not only calls her on it, he walks away from her. (After making sure she has a safe place to go—I mean, he is still Luca after all).

from BELLADONNA (Philomel, 2013):
But Cass didn’t get well. Over the next few days, she grew sicker and sicker, despite Piero’s constant attentions. Her temperature fluctuated. Her muscles weakened until she could not get out of bed without assistance, and, although she did not tell anyone, she began to have all sorts of hallucinations, especially just as she was drifting off to sleep. One night, the walls of her room pulsed with faint reddish light, expanding and contracting as if she were trapped inside the villa’s beating heart. The next night, the ivy that ran wild over the back wall of the garden twisted its way through the tiny crack in her shutters. Vines writhed past the heavy curtains, growing toward the bed where Cass lay helpless, reaching out to her like grabbing hands.

I like this paragraph even though Cass isn’t being active, because of the way her hallucinations manifest. Belladonna is a seriously creepy lady, and it was fun to write her villa as having this malevolent life force.

from VENOM (Philomel, 2012):
“Long spikes of rain stabbed circular wounds into the surface of the murky canal beneath them. Falco paused on the bridge to consider the view. “Water on water. Beautiful,” he said.
Cass stopped just long enough to try to see things through Falco’s eyes, the artist’s perspective, but all she saw was rain. Rain that was seeping through her dress to soak her undergarments. She put her hands on Falco’s lower back and pushed. “Keep moving.”

I like this passage because I like the imagery of the rain stabbing holes in the surface of the canal and think it works with the dark tone of the book. I also like that these lines emphasize how different Cass and Falco are. He’s always thinking about art, whereas she’s a little more practical—at least in this scene.

I hope you enjoyed a peek at some of my favorite snippets of my books. For my giveaway, the winner can choose between a signed Venom paperback or an ARC of The Art of Lainey. Once again, HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY JAZ!


Luca walked away from Cass. HE WALKED AWAY FROM HER OMG WHAT. I still love you Luca. And omg Falco appears too? *Dies*

Anyways, how awesome were those excerpts?

Thank you so much for that Paula!!!


And and Paula/Fiona is giving you all a chance to win either a signed paperback of VENOM or an ARC of THE ART OF LAINEY. Derp *runs away with them* ;D This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL.

Giveaway T&C:
  • Please check clearly that you are in the region specified before entering the giveaway
  • Winners must reply with address within 48h of being contacted or a new winner will be picked
  • I assume that if you're under a certain age you need permission to enter these giveaways. You agree that by entering you have such permission from a parent or guardian (I don't even know but yeah).

So what's next? Well, Gabrielle Tozer, 2014 Australian debut author, will be next (((: stay tuned!


  1. I NEED The Art of Lainey! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    Denise @ Dandelionn Wine Book Blog

  2. Happy Blogoversary!!! Here's to many more.

    I've heard amazing things about Paula's writing, and I'm really hoping to be able to get my hands on The Art of Lainey. :)

  3. Because Paula rocks. And she doesn;t have enough fanboys ;)

  4. Happy Blogoversary

    I love contemporary and this sounds like a great novel . Good luck to all

  5. Happy Blogoversary!!

    I would love to win this book! Thank you!

  6. yay on your blogoversary! The art of lainey sounds so fun and plus, I love music! I love it when books incorporate music in.

  7. Awesome give away! I LOVED Venom and I really want to read The Art of Lainey!

  8. Happy Blogoversary! Thanks for the giveaway.

  9. Yes, definitely. I want to read it.

  10. THIS IS AWESOME! Thank you for the amazing giveaway!

  11. Thanks for all your comments, lovelies :)

  12. Yay! *waves flags* *sprinkles confetti*

  13. Happy Blogoversary!!! I'd love to win Venom.

  14. Happy Blogoversary! :)
    Thanks for the wonderful post and thanks for the great chance! :)

  15. Awesome prize! Thank you for the chance to win!

  16. I cannot wait for The Art of Lainey! I heard amazing things about it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. OMG LUCA LETS HER GO!? HE LETS HER GO!? ahhh.... this just makes me like him more ><

  18. Happy Blogaversary! I seriously cannot wait for the Art of Lainey (go #TeamLainey) and Starling! EEP! (Go #TeamFalco) :D

  19. Woah your blog name- from Beast's song, right?! Totally didn't know that!
    So...if Korean things are awesome, and I'm Korean...does that make me awesome? :P haha

    p.s. A very late Happy Blogoversary! :D