Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Landry Park Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


I'm so pleased today to welcome author Bethany Hagen to the blog as part of the promotional tour for her new dystopian novel, Landry Park. I always love learning behind-the-scenes tidbits about an author's writing process, so I'm excited to share what made one particular scene in Landry Park so easy and fun to write for Bethany. I hope you all enjoy this peek behind the curtain as much as I did, and don't forget to check out the bottom of the post for a chance to win a copy of the book!

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I think that, as a general rule, it’s almost shamefully easy to write about dresses and food and boys in tuxedos. I loved writing the dinner and dance scenes in Landry Park, not only because I loved spending hours staring at ball gowns on the internet, but also because those scenes are the most vibrant representations of gentry life. With all the silk and pearls and bow-ties, it’s easy to see exactly what kind of delicious, enviable world Madeline lives in, and it becomes so easy to lose yourself in that kind of fantasy.

There are several dances and parties in the novel, but my favorite is Madeline’s own debut, where ivy and roses are twisted around the statues and stairs and the tables are heaped high with food. Most importantly, there are cute boys and angst (which are necessary components for any good ball.) Madeline’s debut is supposed to mark a turning point in her life as an heir to a gentry estate, but it also marks a turning point in her understanding of her world.

Thanks so much Bethany!

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In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish Gentry, sixteen year old Madeline Landry dreams of going off to the University. Gentry decorum and her domineering father won’t allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when her childhood friend is attacked and she witnesses Gentry golden boy David Dana secretly helping a Rootless girl, in spite of the fact that the Rootless, who maintain the nuclear power the country relies on, are exposed to dangerous radiation. As Madeline begins to question everything she has been taught her whole life, rumors of war and rebellion begin to swirl amidst Gentry courtships and extravagant debuts. Soon Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she is forced to make a choice: to stay with the Gentry—her family, her charmed life, and the estate she loves dearly—or to join David in the fight for Rootless equality.

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Bethany Hagen was born and raised in Kansas City, meaning she can tolerate jazz for brief amounts of time and is offended by dry rub barbecue. She grew up reading Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, and all things King Arthur. When she's not working at the library or running around with her kids and husband, she's writing or thinking about writing. Landry Park is her debut book


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GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the team at Penguin I have one hardcover copy of Landry Park to give away on the blog today. Woo hoo! To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

38 comments:

  1. I love Dystopian novels and this book sounds really interesting.

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  2. This one sounds really good! It sounds like a combination of two of my favourite genres: dystopian and historical.

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  3. I've read rather mixed reviews of this novel so far, though I intend to pick it up as it sounds incredibly interesting. I love this guest post and am curious, now, about how the protagonist's ball aids in her growth. Thanks for sharing, Jenny!(:

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  4. I'm really excited to read this one, Jenny! I love dance scenes so if the book has a couple, I'm sure I'll be happy.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this with us, Jenny, and for the great giveaway. I am excited for this one and I love the sound of the dresses and descriptions of the dances.

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  6. It's so wonderful when you can use research as an excuse to stare at all the pretty things -- boys in tuxedos (yum) and pretty dresses among them. I'm so intrigued by this book and can't wait to read it!

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  7. Is this already out? How did I not know? I've been wanting to read this for a while now.
    It's interesting how the easiest scenes for her were the dinners and balls. I actually love ball scenes in books, but I can't imagine how they are easy to write! (I'm a failure of a writer unfortunately).
    Great post! Thanks for sharing, Jenny.

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  8. I can why the balls would be her favorite to write about but not the easiest, other than all the fun it would be to imagine it all and bring it to life.

    I really need to pick this one up.

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  9. Oh I am going to have to tell my friend about this one. Not up my alley but I think she would LURVE IT!

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  10. I love the research you did, the little details are what make a book at least for me really good. Looking forward to this :)

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  11. I adore dystopian novels! They can be some of my favorite. The way they can mimic our own society is unsettling.

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  12. This books sounds soooo good! I can't wait to read it!!

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  13. I've had this one on my TBR for a while now, but I've still not read it. I like that it sounds like there's a good mix of reality with the dystopian nature of the novel though - that's something I think is lacking in a lot of the genre. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Really like the sound of this book. Cannot wait to read it.

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  15. I read and reviewed this book a while back and I fell in love with the story. It will capture you that's for certain. However, I did have some issues with it in the end. See my full review here: http://readerwritercritic.blogspot.com/2013/11/landry-park.html

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  16. I just got my copy of Landry Park and I'm so excited to read it! Thanks for the great post and behind the scenes look at it :)

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  17. I haven't really heard a lot about this book yet, but it sounds fantastic! I think it might be fun to research those fun bits as well. Gotta make sure we can picture the dresses just right! This has a striking cover as well, very unique!

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  18. I've been hearing quite a bit about this book! It sounds great! Interested to read the dance party scenes! They sound great!

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  19. This sounds perfect for me. Love the sound of the characters and it also sounds like a good growth book! Love that!

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  20. I love gowns and gorgeous dresses in books:) and movies. And pictures and real life (during balls and such). Cute boys you say? Oh, hells yeah. Gimme! I'm so happy that you shared this with us today, Jenny:) Thank you!

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  21. Oh yes, fancy dressups and all that are fun, I am hearing interesting things about this book and I am most curious!

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  22. It sounds like the scenes that were easiest to write would also be the most fun for me to read. I love parties with gorgeous gowns and gorgeous boys! :-)

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  23. This book sounds amazing!!!! I really want to read it!!!

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  24. I understand how the balls and dinners must play up the conflict the heroine feels about leaving her gentrified life. I've been looking forward to reading this book for some time now; it sounds quite compelling.

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  25. I've been reading such great reviews for this book, it's on the top of my want list :) Thanks for sharing!

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  26. Honestly, I've only recently become interested in this book. At first I wasn't sure about it, but I'm definitely on board now. :)

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  27. Totally agree with her!! Those scenes are very alive, you can see what the characters and world are like :)

    Thank you:)

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  28. Huge fan of dystopian novels and I have been waiting for this book to come out - been on my TBR list! Can't wait to read this one!

    Thanks,
    Leanne

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  29. This books sounds awesome! I totally love to read this. Thanks for the post and giveaway!

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  30. This sounds really good, I checked amazon and saw some good reviews for it too. Will def be checking it out, thanks!!

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  31. Ball gowns are so gorgeous! That's interesting that the dinner and dance scenes were easier for the author to write. I really want to read this book :)

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  32. (This is Darith L)

    It's great to learn about that scene! It sounds so awesome! I love gentry dances! I mean, watching one season of Downton Abbey will do this to you. :D

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  33. From the book description, the story sounds terrific. I want to read this book.

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  34. This sounds so good! Can't wait to read it :)

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  35. Interesting info about the scene

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  36. This sounds like a book I would like. I will keep my eye out for it -- or better, I will win it!!!!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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