Grimoire Trilogy Blog Tour: Interview with author SM Boyce


Today, I’m happy to be a host for the blog tour for the Grimoire Trilogy! S.M. Boyce has written a young adult fantasy that features an complex world with intriguing characters. I wasn’t able to finish the books in time to review them for the tour, but I will soon because they are fun reads!

Read on for info about the trilogy, a giveaway, an interview, and an excerpt from Treason! This is just packed full of fun stuff 😉

About The Books

Lichgates:
The Grimoire turns its own pages and can answer any question asked of it, and Kara Magari is its next target.

Kara has no idea what she’s getting herself into when she stumbles across the old book while hiking a hidden trail. Once she opens it, she’s thrown into Ourea: a beautiful world full of terrifying things that want the Grimoire’s secrets. Everyone in this new world is trying to find her, and most want to control the new-found power the book bestows upon her. Even if Kara does escape, Ourea will only drag her back.

Braeden Drakonin grew up in Ourea, and all he’s ever known of life is lying. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. He has one question to ask the book—one question that can fix everything in his broken world—and he’s not letting Kara out of his sight until he gets an answer.

There’s no going back now.

Treason:
Ourea has always been a deadly place. The lichgates tying the hidden world to Earth keep its creatures at bay—for now.

Kara Magari ignited a war when she stumbled into Ourea and found the Grimoire: a powerful artifact filled with secrets. To protect the one person she has left, she strikes a deal that goes against everything she believes in. But things don’t go as planned.

Braeden Drakonin can no longer run from who—and what—he is. He has to face the facts. He’s a prince. He’s a murderer. He’s a wanted man. And after a betrayal that leaves him heartbroken, he’s out for blood.

To survive, both Kara and Braeden must become the evil each has grown to hate.

Giveaway

Visit S.M. Boyce’s blog for a chance to win one of:

  • 3 Sets of Autographed Paperbacks (Lichgates & Treason)
  • 3 Grimoire Clover pendants (your choice: clear or blue stone)
  • 7 Unique, hand-wrapped sterling silver wire wrapped pendants with natural gemstones.
  • 3 Journal & Pen sets (Your choice: Lichgates or Treason cover)
  • $25 gift card (Your choice: Amazon, B&N, or Apple)

Don’t miss out on this generous giveaway!

INTERVIEW WITH S.M. BOYCE

Fill in the blanks: Treason is like [TV show/book/movie] meets  [TV show/book/movie].

Treason is like Alice in Wonderland meets Lord of the Rings.

Was there anything specific that inspired you to write this series?

The Grimoire Trilogy is one of those ideas that began with a thought and snowballed into something massive. I’ve been working on it since 2006, so my inspiration comes from everything: the world, places I visit, people I meet…you name it. It’s a huge story, and you can learn more about it by heading to the official site: The Grimoire Online.

Book Order:
Lichgates (Grimoire Trilogy #1)
Treason (Grimoire Trilogy #2)
Heritage (Grimoire Trilogy #3) – releases Fall 2013

How did you do your world building for Ourea?

This is actually a question I get a lot, so I wrote a blog post with more detail. It will be featured on December 11, 2012 over at Jen McConnel’s blog, but you can read it now on my writing blog, Boyce’s Guide to Writing, where I empower other authors through discussions on writing technique and the publishing world.

What do you think are some necessary elements to a good romance in a book?

I think romance needs to be balanced with action, or else the story gets dull. I’m not fond of books where the only real plot is the main characters getting together, but that’s me.

Another element to consider is realistic implementation. That is, avoid “insta-love” where the MCs look at each other and love each other for no real reason. True love builds over time, and I think fictional romance should reflect that.

What are some of the children’s/YA books you read when you were younger?

I loved The Hobbit. It’s still one of my favorite books. I also read Goosebumps religiously, as well as the Redwall series by Brian Jacques and Artemis Fowl.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I usually start by listening two cinematic songs that I relate to whatever series I’m writing. Their orchestra gets me into the mindset of my novel, and it helps me daydream about what I want to happen next.

For The Grimoire Trilogy, my two cinematic songs are Requiem for a Tower (Escala rendition) and Unstoppable by E.S. Posthumus. Once I listen to these songs, I’m in the zone and can slip right into the mindsets of my Grimoire characters.

Who are some of your heroes, authors or otherwise?

Tolkien & Neil Gaiman, obviously (since I’m a fantasy nerd). But if we’re talking non-authors, Jon Stewart is probably one of my greatest heroes. I think he’s level headed and presents his arguments in both an entertaining and logical manner. I may not agree with everything he says, but I am always inclined to at least listen. I respect that finesse, because few people possess it.

What was the hardest scene to write in Treason? What about the funnest?

Fun question! Okay. Well, the hardest scene was the scene where Kara meets Death (I won’t tell you any more than that). It was also my favorite, possibly because it was so difficult. I must have rewritten it a half-dozen times in an effort to convey the situation’s gravity in the most delicate manner possible while still keeping the conversation engaging. I mean, nothing really happens in that scene; it’s 95% dialogue. But the setting and conversation’s content made it riveting to me, and I therefore wanted to give it every ounce of attention I could manage.

If you could go to Disneyworld with one of your characters, who would you choose and why?

Kara. She and I are similar on so many levels that I know we’d have a blast. We would also get into ridiculous amounts of trouble.

Can you give us a hint of what’s to come in the next book?

Hmm…well, for you, yes.

Heritage will be a roller coaster, even more so than the first two books. Every major character (and some minor ones) will be forced to change if they want to survive. Many will die anyway. The question is…who? You’ll have to read it, though, if you want to find out.

AH. Before I go, I wanted to let you and your amazing readers know about a fun new experiment. I created an ARC mailing list for book bloggers and reviewers. If you’re a book blogger and love to read fantasy and young adult, I encourage you to sign up. You’ll only get one email each time I prepare a signup sheet for a new book release. At most, you’ll get about 3 emails a year. Very low key, but it’s a great way to grab my new books before anyone else gets a peek.

You can also sign up for the Heritage ARC now.

Stay awesome!

Thanks for dropping by, SM! 🙂

Excerpt from Chapter One of Treason by SM Boyce

Kara pushed herself to her feet. “We should probably make our way back to the mansion, Braeden.”

“Nope,” he said.

“What do you mean, ‘no’?”

“You wanted to learn to fight. We haven’t trained today. We need to spar.”

She groaned. They’d been sparring. She’d healed dozens of bruises and even a broken finger, all evidence to the fact she was barely able to react in time to a sword coming at her face, much less a magical technique. She just wasn’t a very good fighter.

“But—”

He laughed. “You’ll never get better if you don’t practice. Come on.”

He drew his sword.

Her stomach twisted. “Right here? Seriously? On a ledge? Those are rapids!”

“Yes. Today, it’s all about controlling your opponent’s movement and fighting in difficult terrain. Since you aren’t strong in this environment, drive me back up the stairs and to the forest, where you have more room to move. Also, you should never be without a sword.”

“But I don’t have one!”

“That was my point.”

“Shouldn’t I practice one lesson at a time?”

In answer, he swung his sword at her arm. She pressed her back against the cave wall, ducking the blow seconds before the blade cut the air. Goose bumps crawled up her neck.
Braeden laughed. “The best way to learn is baptism by fire. Let’s go!”

Kara ducked another swing and looked around, but she had no tactical advantage. Braeden blocked her way to the stairs. She couldn’t run past him or—she glanced over the ledge at the tumbling river below. Nope, she was not jumping into that. Her only escape was a nearby hole in a ledge that ran above her like a catwalk. If she could—

Braeden shifted his weight onto the balls of his feet, apparently ready to lunge and end this whole bout before it began.

No time to think. Just go.

Kara sprinted away, toward the gap. Braeden followed, and Kara jumped for the ledge seconds before he lunged. She grabbed the walkway, the splinters of rock digging into her arms as her momentum lifted her legs out of Braeden’s passing reach.

His fingers brushed her ankle, sending a shiver up her leg. She resisted the impulse to smile at the tingling sensation his touch left behind. It made her think of his hand on her back, of their kiss—

“Clever!” he said.

Focus, Kara.

She pulled herself onto the ledge and wished she had a witty response, but she’d learned that lesson the hard way during an earlier match. She had distracted herself by talking, instead of distracting him like she’d hoped. Braeden had tripped her and knocked her clean onto her back. Dialogue was yet another weapon, one that required practice. Let the better fighters banter. Lesser fighters focus.

Kara got to her feet and raced along the upper pathway toward the waterfall, her satchel bouncing against her back while she ran as fast as she could. Braeden would be faster, but she had to try.

The ledge curved around a bend in the cave. Her feet pounded against the rock, sending shards of cave wall sprinkling to the ground below. The walkway likely hadn’t seen action like this in its lifetime. She hoped it wouldn’t crumble.

Braeden’s steps echoed from under her as the edge of the catwalk came into view. It would end about ten feet before the stairs, so she picked up her pace. She couldn’t slow down, or Braeden would catch her.

Five feet away, now.

Two feet—

Jump!

Kara kept her eyes where she wanted to go, just as Braeden had taught her the last time they’d sparred. She’d tried to jump from a tree and wound up in a bramble bush.

Instinct and a dozen failed attempts in prior matches told her to tuck her head, to curl onto her shoulder and let the momentum propel her forward.

Rocks dug into her neck and shoulder before pushing against her back, but nothing stung. She rolled back onto her feet and took off again, not daring to look back for Braeden. She would probably trip if she did.

She grinned, adrenaline numbing her fingertips as she ran. She had no earthly idea how she would do it again, but to hell with it. She’d finally rolled!

Kara followed the path as it curved and disappeared behind the waterfall. The water misted along her neck, blocking all light as she passed behind it. She let her feet find the stairs as she bolted up two at a time. Braeden’s light breaths came from somewhere in the darkness behind her.

Green sunlight illuminated the top of the stairs, the light blocked by a thick canopy of trees. Brown blurs came into view—bark. There would be a root right when she rounded the last stair, so she had to be careful not to—

Kara’s foot hooked on the root anyway.

She shot forward and skidded along the dirt path. Sticks left gouges in her arms. Her cheek stung. She wiped her hand over her face, but that just made the stinging worse. Blood stained her fingers when she pulled away.

A sword glinted in Kara’s peripheral vision. She sprung to her feet. Braeden stood a short way off, without a scratch on him. He grinned.

“Falling was an interesting choice,” he said.

“Cute.” Kara rolled her eyes and brushed dust off her clothes.

***

So, what are you waiting for? Go check this book out!

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