Debut Author Spotlight is a Saturday feature at Book Chick City. We will be showcasing a debut author each week from the genres of horror, urban fantasy and paranormal romance. We will give you all the relevant book information as well as an insight into the author.
Lea Nolan writes the kinds of stories she sought as a teen—smart paranormals with bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She’s holds degrees in history and women’s studies concentrating in public policy and spent fifteen years as a health policy analyst and researcher. She lives in Maryland with her heroically supportive husband and three clever children. Her debut YA novel, CONJURE, book one in The Hoodoo Apprentice Series releases on October 23, 2012 from Entangled Publishing under the Entangled Teen imprint. You can learn more about Lea on her website, on Facebook, Twitter and on Goodreads. CONJURE is available at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
RELEASE DATE: Oct 2012 | PUBLISHER: Entangled Publishing | GENRE: YA Fantasy Romance
Be careful what you search for… Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry – hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday. When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge, demon dogs become a threat, and Jack turns into a walking skeleton, Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer – and her friends – are lost forever.
What’s CONJURE about?
Three teens find a mysterious message in a bottle that leads them to an 18th-century pirate treasure and inadvertently unleashes a wicked flesh-eating curse. To save her brother’s life and the soul of her unrequited secret-crush, Emma Guthrie must apprentice herself to an elderly Gullah root worker to learn hoodoo magic and break the hex.
Tell us a bit more about the hero/heroine in CONJURE
Emma Guthrie is quiet and shy and very artistic. Since she doesn’t belong to any cliques in school, she spends the majority of her non-class hours sketching in nature, which pays off later when she begins to dabble in hoodoo magic, a plant and herb-based folk magic practiced by the Gullah. Emma’s also secretly in love with her best friend, Cooper Beaumont, even though she’s sure he only thinks of her as a little sister.
Despite losing his mother when he was a young boy and having the worst, most lascivious glutton for a father, Cooper is the nicest guy on St. Helena Island. Kind-hearted and compassionate, he’s also got strong, broad shoulders and a killer set of abs. He’s also an expert sailor and smells like the crisp, Sea Island air. His coolest feature is that his eyes appear to switch from blue to green depending on the color of his clothes.
How did you research CONJURE?
In a word, thoroughly! I delved deep into learning about the Gullah, the descendants of enslaved Africans who live on the Sea Islands located off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullah developed their own distinctive culture and dialect because they were extremely isolated from the rest of the population. This was true until the mid-twentieth century when bridges and highways finally connected the islands to the US mainland.
I had the most fun researching hoodoo magic. There are lots of books that describe this folk magic and I poured through them all. The best, most specific source on actual hoodoo spells and their ingredients is Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure by Catherine Yronwode. She also runs the Lucky Mojo Curio Company which has an exhaustive website where you can learn about all things hoodoo, including its history, conjure craft, and a catalogue from which you can buy actual hoodoo spells and potions.
Is CONJURE the first in a series or a stand alone?
Conjure is the first book in The Hoodoo Apprentice series. The second installment, Allure is slated for 2013 release and will be followed up by Illusion.
When is your favourite time to write?
My favorite time to write would probably be from around 2:00 pm till 8:00 pm, but since I’m a mom with smallish, school-aged kids, that hasn’t worked out so well. Instead, I generally work around my kids’ school schedules and force myself to get started around 9:00 am and go through until 3:15 pm when I’ve got to start afternoon pick ups. When I’m on deadline my husband pitches in a lot to help me crank out pages on evenings and weekends. Love that man!
Where is your favourite place to write?
I write everyday at a Panera Bread Bakery and Café, which is essentially a really nice coffee shop in my hometown. The food is great, the staff are friendly, and the wi-fi is free. And better still, there’s no laundry staring at me, begging to be washed, and no dust bunnies taunting me to pick up a broom or run the vacuum.
What was the last book you read and enjoyed?
I know I’m way late to the party on this but I finally read The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I read all three books back-to-back and loved them even though they tore my heart apart. But that’s exactly what they were supposed to do.
Which authors do you admire?
The obvious answers include JK Rowling, the undisputed goddess of magic, and JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis who both had a profound influence on my early reading experiences. My recent favorites include Alyson Noel, Tera Lynn Childs, Kiersten White, and Heather Davis.
Describe yourself in five words
Dogged, forthright, open-minded, maternal, and bespectacled.
I’m working on Conjure’s sequel, Allure which is slated for a 2013 release. The story gets darker and I can’t wait to discover all it’s creepy twists and turns!
Thanks so much for having me! This was wonderful!
Lea is giving away ONE (1) digital e-copy of Conjure.
To enter please answer the following question then fill out the form below: If you could conjure up your own magic spell, what would it be for? Money, love, eternal life or youth? Or something else entirely?
This giveaway is for international only and ends 27th October 2012
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