Monday, July 16, 2012

Crux Blog Tour: Interview, Review, & Giveaway


Interview with Author Julie Reece:

Q: What gave you the idea for Crux?
It started with really weird a dream I had, though the setting was in Paris. I don’t know a lot about Paris, (wish I did) so I switched it to my home in Atlanta. In my dream a girl was running in the dark, pushing through a crowd of people, barefoot on a cobblestone street. You know how in dreams, you understand things without explanation? Well, this girl was young, maybe seventeen. She was hungry, cold and homeless. She caught sight of a man hauling a big black suitcase. Desperate and without really knowing why, she followed him. The man wore a dark over coat. He crouched over the suitcase and started to unzip it, but then he paused. When he looked up, she saw his eyes. Deep blue, his gaze pulled her in. As I dreamt, I felt the hollow pain in his heart, and so did the girl because I heard her sharp intake of breath. Sad and haunted, his eyes seemed to beg her for help, though she’d followed him hoping for the same. I felt these two bound together in that moment. Tied to some unfathomable cause. After I woke up sweating and breathing like I’d just run fifty yards for a touchdown, I got to thinking … what happens next? I wrote the story to find out.

Q: There is a lot of Norse Mythology in Crux, how were you introduced to the Norse myths?
When I was a kid, I struggled with reading. I loved comic books, and they helped fill a literary void. (Don’t laugh, it’s true!) Inspired by the art as well as the fantastical writing, I stayed completely enthralled with the different worlds. Thor was one of my favorites. Later, after reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy, (yeah, I finally got the hang of reading) I researched Tolkien. I found much of his inspiration had come from Vikings and Norse mythology. C. S. Lewis was the same. I was trying to write the book I couldn’t find—something new and different.

Q: Was there anyone in particular that reminds you of Birdie? Or was Birdies character influenced by anyone you know?
Ah Birdie, She is the sum total of bits and pieces of people I’ve known. There is a healthy dose of my own imagination in there as well. She was fun to write.

Q: How long did it take form your first day of Crux to publication?
I’d say two years. I wrote it in four or five months but took that long again to edit and find a good home. Just call me speedy! (Kidding)

Q: Are there any plans for a sequel?
I have another finished novel in edits (mine not a publisher’s) and two more half written books. The first is a paranormal, historical romance. The other two are urban fantasy. All YA, though. They are keeping my focus at present. My mind is always churning out story ideas, which I hope will improve as I gain experience. I think every writer wants to grow and improve with each project. I know that is my goal.
I’ve toyed with the idea of continuing the story. An idea is formulated but I haven’t done anything with it because the original vision was this would be written as a standalone. I wouldn’t tackle a sequel unless I was feeling it one hundred percent. Does that make sense?

Thank you very much for having me here today. It was fun!


Crux by Julie Reece
Publisher: J. Taylor Publication
Expected Publicaton: July 9th, 2012

Review: 
In a YA market saturated with paranormal beings it is a rare occurrence to see a story that is truly original. Crux is original and I was drawn in from the first page into Birdie’s world and into the magical world of Norse mythology.

Crux begins with a mysterious man gathering a group of people together and throwing money into the air. Birdie being a homeless teenager goes along with whatever is happening, hoping to get the money for her next meal. Little does Birdie know that the man throwing the money and her are inexplicably linked. Following the money toss Birdie is followed by three men trying to get her newly acquired money and this leads her to the hot, rich, Grey Mathews. But that is all I’m going to tell you about the plot because half the fun of this book was finding out things right along with Birdie and Grey.

Birdie was everything I look for in a heroine. She is strong, independent, and willing to do anything for those she loves. I really like reading and seeing things from Birdies perspective. I also liked the fact that she came from a background of foster homes and the she was actually homeless at the beginning of the book. I feel like in a lot of YA lit the protagonist comes from a “perfect family” but that is not the case for many teens and Crux really gives you a glimpse into the not so perfect side of life.

So when you think of Norse mythology I’m sure like me you think of this guy:



But then I remembered what actual Norse people look like and I couldn’t stop picturing Alexander Skarsgard. So for the entire book I imagined Grey Mathews like this:



Oh yes, just like that. But, Grey was more then just a pretty face he was a pretty face with an amazing back story and a huge heart! Really, the perfect male counterpart to Birdie. Grey was actually my favorite character in the story. I think he kept Birdie honest, and his dedication to her made me swoon for sure.

Overall, I really enjoyed Crux, it was refreshing to read such an original novel. Julie Reece did an amazing job with her debut novel and I will be eagerly awaiting her next release!



Julie Reece Biography:

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess... or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

Connect with Julie on: Twitter ♥ Her Blog ♥ Goodreads



Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

  1. I'm not posting a comment to win - I'll be purchasing this to support my Pen Sis Lovey. :)

    Great interview & I LOVE the man you pictured for Grey. Can't wait to meet him. *wink wink*

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  2. Hi everybody!

    I want to send a big thanks to Falling for YA for hosting today! This is a beautiful site (I love the graphics, she reminds me of a french doll my aunt gave me as a child) Too cool! Your vision of Grey stops my heart, he's gorgeous :)

    If you've already read Crux, thank you so much. For anyone who has time, I hope you'll leave a review and tell me what you thought. If you plan to read it in the future, I really hope you enjoy it! :) Thanks for giving a new author a go.

    Appreciate you all for stopping by

    Julie

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  3. Wow!! Great interview and fabulous review, Em! <3 Hahahaha, I was laughing so hard at the typical image of a Norseman. Yes, you're bang on. In fact, my school's mascot is the Norseman ^_^; (http://www.ntci.on.ca/gardner/NTCI_Logos/colour_norsemen_logo.gif) and that's exactly the mascot image XD Birdie sounds like an awesome heroine and the premise for Crux sounds great too! <3

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

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  4. Fantastic interview and a great YA read. Birdie is one of my favorite Ya characters.

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  5. What a fantastic interview! I like who you picked as Grey. Even though I've read this book and recommend it to everyone, I wouldn't mind winning a copy for a great young lady that would absolutely love this book. I'm also saving up some money so I can buy a bunch for Christmas presents. This book is phenomenal.

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  6. Great interview and review! I hadn't read much about this book until today - thanks for getting it on my radar! It's definitely on my TBR list now. It sounds great!!

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  7. Awesome Interview! I just love this book and I love Julie!!!!

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  8. I absolutely loved this book and would love to see a sequel, but if Julie is not feeling it 100% then, it has a chance of falling flat so if it happens, it happens and I will be queuing up to read it. Failing that, I thought Julie was an awesome author so I am looking forward to reading her paranormal and UF that she has in the pipeline.

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  9. thanks for the great giveaway!
    mrsmommybooknerdsbookreviews at gmail dot com

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  10. Thank You for the Giveaway!
    Looks like a great book.

    Thank You And Have A Blessed Day,

    ~AmayaAngel7 (Marissa Anderson)

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  11. So many authors get ideas from dreams! I never have any good dreams! LOL Norse Mythology sounds intriguing. Nice interview!

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  12. What an awesome interview. the author's cool too.

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  13. You had me at original idea. I dream constantly and often write down the stories that come from them, I should do something with that at some point

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  14. Great Review and Interview I loved Crux it was the first book I read about the norse myth thanks for sharing!

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