Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BLOG TOUR # 22 - GUEST POST/REVIEW - KINGS & QUEENS by COURTNEY VAIL - KINGS & QUEENS # 1



Today on Novels On The Run I would like to welcome Courtney Vail as our Guest Author and her wonderful post she has written for us. I had this urge to find out what an author thought about brunettes as villains/psychos. Not bashing the brunettes, I just have to look in the mirror, I am one.

Oh and I just want to mention the book cover for Kings & Queens. It is absolutely smashing for the story within the pages. LOVE the crown on her lips and the blood splatters......oh yes you are in for a ride with this little gem.

Watch this trailer , it tells you what I won't repeat in my book review, before you go any further.


By: Courtney Vail
Published By : Little Prince Publishing
Released : 27th January 2012
Details: Digital , 328 Pages 

RATING : 5 ADDICTIVE DEREK STARS!!

Book Blurb: Taken From Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse.

So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act. But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.




Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
was blind . . .


BOOK REVIEW by Michelle :

Curveballs are woven masterfully through this energetic read. I went through a lot of emotions reading this book.

At first I felt confused with the Prologue.

Then the story kicks in like I should really know the characters and where I am at. Now I am not criticising as this is a most exciting read, but it just takes the reader a bit to get their bearings. But that is Courtney's style of writing, getting us to learn along with the characters.  It felt like I was slotted into the story next to Majesty. I was her shadow.

This book has everything. It’s quite chaotic with the mind games it plays on the reader.

It was amazing to watch myself change my rating of this book , the more I read.

The title and cover image are very apt. This book is very original and very cleverly written. I applaud an author that can keep me guessing.

* clap clap clap*

Now I will admit feeling a tad frustrated at the start as I was having a bit of trouble getting my head around all this information I was flooded with.

But!!

This story just kept rising to the occasion. Like, holy bat man, it was an incredibly intriguing read with mystery that just keeps you guessing! There is no slowing down once this story gets into 5th gear. The pedal is to the metal ,and hang on cause........... it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Bang! Bang!

The character Derek, Majesty’s best friend, appears at first to be quite two dimensional. Just happy for a lay................*shakes head* ....holy cow!!! Keep reading!

Alec, Derek’s mate and also Majesty’s other best friend..............keep reading!!!

This book has baseball, an incredible mystery thingy that I can’t tell you as it is such a major part of the story even though you don’t know it. Lust, betrayal, guns, explosive church scene, guys wanting to get it on with Majesty, but she has eyes for Derek or Alec ( the girl is confused) There is stuff going on that is woven in spits and spurts through the storyline but it makes sense, a most interesting style of writing by Courtney. It’s hard to explain the buzz going in your head when reading as you play catch up, but at the same time it’s very well done. It’s almost a challenge for the reader to get the right answer/s .

My brain was going all over the place and then CURVEBALL....it was zipping around another corner..then...CURVEBALL.....

Courtney really plays her characters off the reader. What appears to the reader is not necessarily what it appears. It's quite amazing the complicated puzzle and web of deceit that your brain realises after finishing. Oh I need to shush up!!

I loved watching Majesty turn all Nancy Drew. She started to turn the tables and  it worked very well.

Oh the trust issues and ........... and.............and..................then.....

Bang! Bang!

There are enough characters ( so choosing my words carefully) to keep the reader guessing and ????? and WT!!!!

LIE    LIE     LIE

This would make a brilliant movie.  I can so see the brilliance of this on the big screen and the viewer’s face as they start to get that moment of recognition, then the curveball that slaps them in the face..hehe!

SHOCK  SHOCK SHOCK

There is such a frightening thought, what if this story could one day be a reality, the power and glory of being able to say................well I can’t tell you that!



FAVE QUOTES:

“Mom. I’m bruised, not broken. I hate to get knocked down. I hate to get screwed with. And I hate to lose. Let me try and be strong. You don’t understand how important this is for me.”



“A strip club? Why am I even surprised?”

“No, no, no. It’s close-to-nude art, a dancing theater … down to Band-Aids and floss. Close enough. Awesome, huh?”



Majesty’s apology to Pete was about as well-received as a used tampon.



“Good. I need you to be really naughty and spend the day with me.”

He pinched his arm, making sure he wasn’t still asleep. Reality assured, he licked his lips. “Sure, I can be as naughty as you want. I’ll bring the whipped cream and the scarves.”

Michelle



GUEST POST


Do Brunettes make better psychos in books?

Do authors have a favourite hair colour for their bitches/villains?


In YA, many of the psychos I’ve encountered in books happen to be blond. It’s weird because blondes in America are depicted as clueless for the most part, like with the mountain of blond jokes that have accumulated over the years, and posters and T-shirts, but often in books, they’re the most calculating, the most diabolical, the most conceited, the most snarky, the most bitchy and the most antagonistic. So blondes also have a lockdown on “psycho” for some reason. 

You often get the popular cheerleader who is the direct antagonist of the MC. She’ll be bitchy, snarky, rude to her friends, dating the captain of the football team, ruling the school and dumping on the misery by the heapload onto Miss Protagonist. Or there’s the cold chick in the church youth group dating the hottest guy, and everyone else can see that she’s a nightmare and that her sweetness is saccharine-based, except the one, totally blind, but amazing guy she snagged. And said MC will be in that youth group pining for Blind Guy and hoping he comes to his senses. And there’s the vampire/fairy/werewolf/teacher from hell/drunk mom/murderer--the worst of the worst, are often blond. The teacher may be grey and haggard in the story’s timeframe, but back in her day, I’ll bet anything she was blond.

Usually the mousy brown-haired chicks are insecure, shy, quiet, klutzy, nerdy and understated. Very rarely will this brunette be anything close to evil. But … she will BECOME evil and start turning on what little friends she has, as soon as she goes blond in an infamous transformational makeover. Her new blondness will warp her judgment, make her mean, and eventually, turn her psycho. 

Redheads are sometimes the protagonist, just to shake things up on the hair color spectrum. Red hair is seen as a little more edgy or bold in choice, over blond or brown, and some authors make the mistake of thinking the red hair will carry the character, and they won’t fully develop their MCs. Redheads are the least likely to be pscyho or evil. So watch out! A surprise in the murder mystery you’re reading may be headed your way. In books, red heads are usually fun, strong, loyal, vivacious, maybe artsy, perhaps dancers or singers or violin players. Sometimes you get the freckled-faced meany, with of course FRIZZY red hair, but that’s a rarity. The meanness, not the frizzy. Rain and I have met on many occasions and over the state of my locks.

Brunette seems to be the predominant hair color for protagonists. It is the most prevalent in society, so this only makes sense. I don’t know if they make better psychos, but I’d really like to see more brunettes breaking out of the blah mold for sure. So many brunette protagonists have very little personality, much less than other hair colors, which I don’t get. I guess there’s a perception that blonds and red heads have more fun, and more bubbly and testy personalities come with the hair. And brown-haired characters will often be loserly or self-loathing in some way. You do get the occasional brown-haired guy that’s a stalker or nerd-gone-wild or whatever, but on the jerk scale, blond guys and girls remain on top.

In Kings & Queens, Majesty, my main character is brunette and I didn’t let hair color determine who she was in the story. When I first wrote the book, I had her kind of insecure because guys didn’t pay much attention to her in a romantic sense, but she defied that and ended up emerging as strong, feisty, sensitive, weird, gutsy, mouthy and athletic. She’d be the same exact girl with any hair color. 

I really do hope for more brown-haired psychos, and for more personality overall in books, especially YA. I’m so tired of tripping, sadsack, sour-faced drips who complain and kick stones all the time. Brunettes can have fun too … and they can just as easily burn your clothes on the lawn.


Thanks for having me.


About this author

COURTNEY VAIL writes totally twisted YA and adult suspense. She enjoys braiding mystery, suspense & romance with some kind of weirdness. Her addictions to crazy coffee concoctions, Funny Bones, Ben & Jerry's, and bacon keep her running and writing. She currently lives in New England with a comedian stud and a wild gang of kidlets.

6 comments:

  1. Hahaha I love the review, It's like a radio transcript.

    Talk Supe

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    Replies
    1. Hey B,

      This was quite a ride, sometimes my reviews get a bit 3D. This story jumps at the reader:D

      Mich

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  2. I love how much thought went into this post on hair colour! I'm a brunette and I'm find with more brunettes being the bad girls in YA!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey V,

      Courtney did write an awesome posting on my topic. It did make sense!!

      Mich

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  3. haha. This is THE most hilarious review I have read of my book yet. I LOVE it. Thank you for the rave comments. This review pairs so awesomely with my post too! I love the quotes you pulled out too. When I was doing research on whether or not a teen could actually get into a strip club to dance, I came across this incident in Indiana or something like that where some cop's 17-yr-old niece was arrested for just that and the bar was brought up on charges. But the judge dismissed the case because it was technically "a dancing theater" not a strip club. I'm like, that is too funny and definitely, definitely going into my book!

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  4. Hi Courtney,

    Awww thanks * blushes* . My brain was rattling about as I was trying to write it. I LOVE a book that bowls me over with mystery. Trust me I look under every door mat and you had me fooled. Then I was playing tennis with my theories, back and forth. So thumbs up for bringing that to the party. I can sooo see this like a tv series, an on going thing. Your writing is snappy so it doesn't lag. I'll check your post:D

    Keep having twisted YA fun:D

    Mich

    ReplyDelete

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